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[RD] Why is there so much suffering in the world?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by caketastydelish, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Though I have no will to approach this as something about Mouthwash (given the implications for alarming lack of empathy towards Palestinians), I also am of the view that suffering is something very particular (if we aren't talking about extremes!). Psychological parameters may cause one to feel great pain over seemingly insignificant - or relatively not that dramatic - states.
    Of course, if we go to extremes, as always relatively is diminished, and I think virtually everyone would agree that it is rather better to be alone than having had your arms cut off by belgian-run askari or some such in Congo.

    There is the famous quote by the stoic Epictetus, that "one suffers not due to what happens to him, but due to how he regards what has happened".
     
  2. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Yes, having your arms cut off would be a new opportunity to learn new skills with your toes.
     
  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    When emperor Romanos D' Diogenes got his throne usurped by the ducids, his end was to be blinded, and the analogue of prime minister told him that now he was blessed because he would be able to stop focusing on ephemera and find god.
     
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  4. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Which may have been good advice. Certainly better than "I'll bet if you are miserable enough your eyes will grow back, so get out there and try!"
     
  5. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure what point you are trying to make.
     
  6. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I'm trying to make the point that when someone says "I'm suffering because <thing happened>" you have two choices. You either stand up for "things happen, but you have the choice to suffer about it or not," or you self-righteously take a vicarious share of outrage and 'help them' by agreeing that they have a just cause and they should go ahead and suffer. Your responses in this thread seem to tip pretty heavily towards the latter.
     
  7. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Ah.
    I don't mean to disparage anyone's individual suffering, but the apparent attempts by some people in this thread to imply that there are equal amounts of suffering between the first and third world, or that one cannot decide which is more suffering - bad relations or having to flee your home because your family was killed with machetes- strikes me as sociopathic.
     
  8. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I see it as a slippery slope best avoided. At some point that inevitably leads to "so it's okay to suffer for this, but not for that." That runs counter to the stand that you actually do not HAVE TO suffer at all.

    And yes, I've had plenty of people accuse me of being callous, get angry with me, and basically demand that I acknowledge their 'right to suffer.' Then they always seem to get even madder when I say "okay, I'm convinced, go ahead and suffer MF, see if I care." Funny that.
     
  9. bernie14

    bernie14 Filter Manipulator

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    I think judging how much some other person should be allowed to suffer is sociopathic
     
  10. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Even assuming some suffering is wrong, it's not like you help by just telling someone to stop suffering.
    Though I do agree that (most) suffering could be avoided with a better mindset.

    And we shouldn't forget that we are on the internet, in a forum with very few people who aren't in the ""west"", and we never even had one regular poster from Africa.
     
  11. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Just a comment about the latter... not that I've experienced it (for which I'm very glad), but 10 years ago I had a neighbor from Zimbabwe who had some extremely gruesome experiences as a kid. He was very glad to have been able to escape to Canada, and the way we met was because one night he knocked on the door and asked for some computer help - he had to submit a term paper for one of his online university courses and wasn't sure how to do it. While I helped him, he told me a very Reader's Digest condensed version of his life story. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who gets through that with their sanity mostly intact is to be commended.
     
  12. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    Yup, rapists and murderers a big part of why suffering continues.

    Here is a serial rapist talking about why he did it during college.
    **TRIGGER WARNING**

    This guy sounds like a real, actual monster, so don't read unless you are actually curious.
    Spoiler :
    Link removed, bad language*

    Spoiler :
    Serial Rapist -

    First off, I must say, I was at a dark and horrible place in my life, that I’ve since grown from. I’m ashamed of the person I was, if the people who I’m close to now knew who I was, I would be ruined. I’m known for being a great guy, friendly and easy to get along with, a community/political activist, a fervent volunteer in the community, and a person who rises through the ranks quickly due to successes at work. That was my mask, and I was good at it, so good that maybe I convinced myself along the line that was who I could really be, and that may of helped me change, and stop doing what I did.

    I’m somewhat remorseful for what I did to those girls, but I don’t think I could ever face them to apologize. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I had this certain insatiable thirst that brought me to do what I did. I didn’t know how to stop, and just when I thought maybe I could, I’d find myself back in my pattern, back on the hunt.

    I’m a good looking guy, and I can get girls pretty easily. I’m currently married to a beautiful woman that I met during this time of my life (not someone I raped, but someone who knew my mask during this time). So, anyways, after a while it became boring to...

    Will just skip to the end.
    Spoiler :
    Serial Rapist -

    …I’m a muscular guy, over 6′ around 200 lbs. and most of these girls may have been 125-130, really tiny and easy to pin down. To be honest, even remembering it now, the squirming always made it better, they didn’t want it to happen, but they couldn’t do anything about it. Most girls don’t say no either. They think you’re a good guy, and should pick up on the hints, they don’t want to have to say “no” and admit to themselves what’s happening.

    Alcohol helped. Having a few drinks during the movie, or doing a few jello shots that were “prepared for a party that weekend” would usually do the trick.

    The aftermath was always different. Some girls left after about 15 minutes after. Some girls would stay until the morning and then leave. A few tried to call back, maybe blaming themselves for what happened or something. I never worried too much about being caught. Everyone knew me, and I worked with the police a lot, with administrators, and campus officials. I was on first name basis with the Chancellor and the President of Student Affairs, so if anything came down to a he/she-said I figured I’d be in the clear. Having her come over to my place also made it seem less predatory, as she came into my domain, and “could leave at any time”.

    I guess that’s about it…seeing as just about everything has been said I’m gonna call it a day. I hope this view into a dark part of my history offers some insight into the mind of a serial rapist.



    This story cleared up for me how these scum always seem to rack up 20 or 30 victims who all come out at the same time later.
    They are the worst humans! :vomit:

    As for murderers, O.J. Simpson confessed last year and I missed it.
    **TRIGGER WARNING**
    This guy really did kill 2 people, I can't believe Fox interviewed him about his murders he committed. :wallbash:
    Starts at 2:03
    Spoiler :
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  13. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Yes, there are people for whom the suffering is the point. I don't usually wallow in the fantasy too hard. Can put some of mental on for a little bit but it sort of wounds the soul to stay in that spot. One of the relatively decent arguments for getting the hell off porn porn and anger porn on the internet.The worst is not good to consume all the time. Much less by choice.
     
  14. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    So, would you apply this reasoning to black people in the US circa 1955? They were just choosing to suffer and all their talk of "equality" was nonsense?

    That is the fundamental problem of stoicism, which emerged in the context of a slave society...it is a philosophy tailor-made to preclude working for social change by convincing people to think of their suffering as their own private individual problem.
     
  15. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Surely they chose not to suffer but to try and change things instead?
    Stoicism and wallowing in suffering aren't going to change your situation. If you can't change your position stoicism might be the sensible response although I don't think its always easy but wallowing in suffering never achieves anything.
     
  16. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    To me there is a difference between "wallowing" in it and acknowledging, yes, I am suffering, and something has to change. The problem is Stoicism in its more strict variations does not acknowledge that difference. I mean, from my reading the original Stoics were pretty explicit that even slaves, people being tortured and so on could simply let go of suffering. I know there was no antislavery movement in ancient times, and it would absurdly reductive to blame Stoicism for that, but I at least think that Stoicism was not particularly helpful in that sense.

    This isn't to say I see no value in Stoicism as a school of thought (or Buddhism which contains a similar concept of suffering, ie, that it is caused by attachment, and by letting go of attachment you can let go of suffering). I think the notion that moral virtue is sufficient for happiness is quite powerful but I think we need something more, some theory that allows for collective solutions to political (and therefore eradicable) sources of suffering.
     
  17. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    If someone treats me unfairly I am not going to suffer over it. I'm not going to get angry over it. That doesn't preclude me from beating the crap out of them to make sure they never do it again. I consider that pragmatic, and necessary for the good of society.

    Based on that I think you can figure out my views regarding the question asked.
     
  18. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    If you're not suffering then you're just beating the crap out of them for no reason.
     
  19. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    I would consider getting angry over it. Anger is frequently one of the main driving forces for change. Otherwise I'd agree with you.
     
  20. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Bull. Just because I am not going to let them make me suffer doesn't mean they aren't being unfair. Their behavior brings them consequences.

    Where we differ is in the idea that "being a slave means they were suffering," as an example. I say that the suffering is optional, but that doesn't mean I'm okay with keeping slaves. Plenty of people think I was sent to prison so that I could be made to justifiably suffer, and some get pretty pissed off when I tell them that if they think that's what prison is for they better think again because it failed. I went to prison, and didn't give anyone the satisfaction of suffering about it...but that doesn't mean that I didn't go.

    Be a slave. Go to prison. Get cancer. Lose a loved one. Suffer. Those are five unique things. Not one of them requires any of the others.
    If I fight when I'm angry I tend to get hurt a lot more, so I've opted out...but I get your perspective.
     

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