Saturday, December 11, 2004
The Prophet of pessimism.
A friend of mine and I were having a conversation a while back about God and the meaning of life. He kept asking me "why life was worth living, " particularly since I am an Atheist.
We were both having difficulty coming up with a reason for going on. My friend unable to shed his adolescent desire to conquer the world through his genius, was just discovering the futility of trying.
I have preached the merits of mediocrity [and how we are all doomed to it anyway] to any who will listen. And while I have never been systematic about my attempts it has always been my desire to do so.
Luckily, prefabricated for our purposes is the wit and wisdom of Schop.
On the futility of trying:
" ...if we compare the ... restless, serious and laborious efforts of men with what they can get from them, in fact what they can ever get, the disproportion becomes apparent. Thus what are a short postponement of death , a small alleviation of need and want, a deferment of pain, a momentary satisfaction of desire, with the frequent and certain victory of death over them all?
Schopenhauer finds our commitment to life quite ironic.
"man loves above everything else an existence which is full of want, misery, trouble , pain, anxiety, and then again boredom, and which, were it considered objectively he would of necessity abhor."
I am afraid Schopenhauer has not given much help in quelling our descent into suicide.