X-Message-Number: 6192
Date:  Sun, 12 May 96 22:56:13 
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Re "One life is enough"

Mark Feldman (#6182) writes:

>My view has always been that 
>life is always worth living, no matter how difficult or trying it can 
>be (indeed, difficult circumstances often bring out the best in human 
>nature).[...] [My girlfriend] however thinks you do what you can
>with the life you get and then leave it at that. I respect her personal
> views on the matter, and yet it is incomprehensible to me how
>someone could have such a fatalistic view on life.

It's incomprehensible to me too, yet it seems to be very common. "One 
life is enough," "If I can just get through *this* life, that'll be 
enough for me," etc. is the sort of thing you hear over and over. 
(And it does seem to be more common among women than men, though here 
I'm not trying to address the specific issue of women and cryonics.) One thing 
that puzzles me is that, on the face of it, it seems that many people 
who think this way ought to be suicidal, yet apparently they aren't. 

Say you don't believe in an afterlife, and you do feel that "one life 
is enough." Then I don't see how you could also feel that "life is 
worth living." (If you think that life is worth living *now* but you 
don't believe you'll think so when old age sets in, well, aging 
should be a curable affliction in the future.) If "life is not worth
living" on the other hand, why 
stick around even another day? Why do people do this? Why aren't
there more suicides among the "one life's enough for me" crowd?

Is it because somehow people feel an 
*obligation* to remain in the world, at least for their natural 
lifespan, even though they don't like it? Then there's the afterlife 
issue. Do they fear hell or some future punishment after all, if they take 
their own life? Or do they just have a *fear* of death that is not 
rational but keeps them from hastening their own?

Any comments are appreciated.

Mike Perry, 

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