Ligotti’s stance is that, unlike other life forms, homo sapiens have (through an evolutionary quirk) developed an overabundance of consciousness. Ligotti views this ‘extra’ consciousness as a curse rather than a blessing as it imbues us with an acute awareness of the futility of life. We cannot simply exist in the moment as other animal forms can.

The book was inspired by Peter Wessel Zapffe’s essay “The Last Messiah”

Wouldn’t this line of reasoning also support quickly and painlessly killing people, to prevent them from more suffering?

A very hard line to argue since there would be little more important and if someone believed it they should be killing themselves or someone else rather than arguing the case.

I think deciding “quality of life” for another human being is not only difficult, it is impossible. As for “choice” to have kids, it has been almost a societal norm , even is with certain religioud dogma. The divergence is still “stuck” at the ontological logical question, which are ai as you pooint on based in the very question asked, hence in futility. On top of that logic is not always “rational”, example: some people have kids because they like kids, a seemingly selfish motive. So apart from a purely philosophical discussion:it seems to offer very few answers.

I know what it’s like to see death as a friend.

I lived as a hermit, became anorexic and laid in bed all day wondering why I shouldn’t kill myself throughout my teenage years. I hated myself, my family and the world. More than that, I was hurt, extremely fucking hurt.

As a young child, I would abuse animals. Especially the family pets. I would get rabbits put them in the toilet, close the lid, flush it, then go about my business. I’d get cats and throw them against walls. I had cuts all along my arms from where they’d claw me. When I went to school, I’d lose my temper, I’d attack and bully other students. Mainly because I thought they were weak, and therefore, deserved it. That’s what I’d been taught.

I was born with bad hearing, so my parents dismissed me as being mentally handicapped and treated me as such. Up until I started going to a speech pathologist in grade 1, no one could understand what I was saying. My teachers in the first school I went to, didn’t like my parents, so they mistreated me based on my handicap. Other students bullied me throughout recess. That’s why I changed schools.

I don’t want to talk about what my siblings and parents did to me, but my parents were messed up, and my siblings had the same parents, therefore, they were messed up. I’m the youngest, so all paths eventually lead to me. I wanted love, so I took what came my way on the chin, just so someone would pay me attention. My mentality was that I had to ‘weather the storm’, and that it was my fault that shit happened.

You know what’s scary? When you watch profiles of serial killers as children, and you see yourself.

I was born open, loving, carefree, unjudging, curious and motivated. I had to suppress my identity, in order to survive. In order to protect myself. But, I am not the wall, I am the human being who wants love.

It’s all bullshit, man. A means to and end. Learn to accept and forgive. Understand who you are, why you are, what you really want… if you do, you’ll find a romantic just like me.

We are beautiful and full of potential. One has to have the courage and fortitude, to admit to themselves, who they are.

Strictly speaking, one could argue that never existing at all would be better than life, but that life (once created/experienced) is preferable to death - for example, the suffering of voluntarily relinquishing life before one must outweighs in some way the benefits of later non-existence. If one wanted.

That’s a good argument against suicide, but not murder as a kindness.

The only difference, if all goes well, is that in the latter, the person is ignorant of the upcoming event. If death is a kindness, it will be even more so if one is left with suicide to attain it.

If you’re going to die, after the event, it wont matter whether you were in a good place or bad. Therefore, there’s no harm in trying to get someone into a good place before they die, unless it will only eventuate into more pain, in which case, it will make death so much more appealing and an easier transition. Death is one of those things where you can procrastinate, without fear of losing the chance.

Why not procrastinate?

This sounds so interesting. I’m gonna read it for sure.

Interesting that you say this given that hurting animals is usually a symptom of psychological disorder.
By the way, you’re one of favorite posters around here but, if I were to meet your former self, I would probably rip your head off because I can’t stand people who hurt animals regardless of that behavior being fully caused. Animals are my weakness so to speak.

We have all heard that argument but isn’t it a cognitive error of sorts?
It’s not like when you death you’re going " Shit, I wish I was alive. Life was so much better".
I mean, there is no “being dead”. Being dead is not a state, it’s exactly the opposite, a lack of state. A lack of possibility of being in any state.
You just cease to exist.
This is actually something I’m very interested in, looking forward to hear your answer.

^^ Statelessness may be something.

Probably not something you’d wish yourself alive again from, such thoughts would be states.

Yet statelessness may have a predisposition or potentiality for life/state. opposites n all that.


While a fetus can be “aware” of certain ‘things,’ it isn’t necessarily “conscious” of those things. There is a difference between those two words. To me, ‘awareness’ comes first, but consciousness requires experience, so when Only_Humean wrote:

it seems he was speaking from the pov of someone with consciousness, which takes a while to develop. Ask a two-year old who s/he is–her/his answer will be a name, the name s/he is called by. That means, again to me, that while awareness may come before birth, consciousness doesn’t. Furthermore, ‘awareness’ isn’t present in a fetus until certain stages of development are complete.

All of this leads to, “There is no consciousness of life either before birth or after death.”

If people choose not to have children–not even to produce a pregnancy–for whatever reason–that’s much more desirable, imm, than producing an unwanted pregnancy. If the conviction is strong enough, there are medical procedures that’ll ensure this. Just make sure you are firmly committed to the idea of no children, ever.

How is awareness different then consciousness ?

And saying “To me, it is” is not really an answer.

I apologize, I thought I had explained it. If you want scientific corroboration, do a search for Consciousness and Awareness. Then read the abstracts of the first two scholarly papers listed. Then scroll down to Bruce G Charlton, MD’s article, [i]Evolution and the Cognitive Neuroscience of Awareness, Consciousness and Language[/i].

There is a difference between awareness and consciousness. A fetus is aware of motion, sound, language inflection, etc. as it matures in the womb. It doesn’t have consciousness because it has no experiential memory.

I usually qualify my statements here when I draw on what are basically ideas I’ve arrived at through my understanding of things I’ve learned or read or experienced before now, as was true in this case. It’s also true that I was able to find what I found after the fact, to satisfy you and anyone else who requires ‘proof’ rather than opinion; I think you’ll find that the ‘proof’ is also opinion. It’s simply more erudite opinion.

If only my better judgement kicked in earlier.


That anger is a defense mechanism. Do you still need to be in defensive mode?

(Also, thanks for the compliment. I enjoy reading your posts too. I can tell that you’re honest.)

I was about to type, “dan, people always understand”, but then I thought that sometimes I don’t. It might not be you though. I have a tendency to space out a good bit. Even if I didn’t understand, I might think it was funny. Then you’d be bringing laughter into the world. What a beautiful thing.

For the thread.

I’m about to be 33. No kids. Haven’t been without a girlfriend in about 10 years, so it’s not that. I don’t think the world is an evil place, so it’s not that. I’m just selfish. I like to travel and drink fat bottles of scotch, and smoke insano blunts and take road trips and do irresponsible things that result in me having ridiculous freedoms. I’m not giving it all up to wipe ass.

Not at all. In the situation described I would be defending other conscious creatures and not me.

Not exactly interested in discouraging you from having kids but here’s what we know about it: