Thursday, 29 September 2011

A Defence of Suicide

Excerpts from A Philosophical Dissertation Upon Death by Count Alberto Radicati Di Passerano. The author was an Enlightenment philosophe, heavily influenced by Spinoza. As a result of the publication of the book in England, he was forced to flee that country and died destitute and alone in Holland.

"A Man ought not to be
apprehensive he is doing Ill when, tired and tormented by Life,
he deprives himself of it; seeing he therein makes Use of a
Right which none can take from him. This is a Right which does
not only belong to Man, but also to all other Animal Creatures,
the which do know how to make a better use of it than he does;
since they, having always lived according to the Natural Laws,
their Intellectuals have not been corrupted by Education.

A Man ought not to believe he does any Wrong to the
Society he chances to be a Member of, in depriving himself of
Life: For societies were founded for the Benefit of Men; and
therefore when a Man ceases from reaping Benefit therefrom,
with Reason he may therefrom separate himself, and more
especially if the said Society was formed without his
Approbation or Concurrence; since no Man is tied down to
stand to any Agreement made without his Participation, or
against his Will: And notwithstanding the Jews, the Christians,
and the Mahometans pretend the contrary, by forcing people to
continue in the Religion wherein they are born, I do aver and
maintain, that this Violence is unjust and abominable; since a
Man is no more tied to be a Jew, a Christian or a Mahometan,
on account of his having been Circumcised, or Baptised, when
he was an Infant, than if his Parents or the Priests, at his Birth,
had bound him to love (when arrived at Man's Estate) a woman
to whose Beauties or Deformities, good or bad Qualities, he
should be an utter stranger.

A Man is not an enemy to his Existence when, quite
tired and oppressed, either with Poverty, or Contempt, or
Sickness, or Bondage, he shall voluntarily Cease to live: Since
if it be a Thing natural always to choose the least Evil when
Evils are not possible to be avoided; it is a most natural Thing to
have Recourse to Death, to get free from the Evils and Miseries
of Life: So let us suppose Men not liable to those Calamities
which molest them during their Life, nevertheless ought they
always to run to Death without staying for it; since they all
know that, by a Decree eternal, they are condemned to die from
the very Moment they are born; and as the Sort of Death each
Man is to die is uncertain, and as most Sorts are very painful, a
wise Man, finding himself to be approaching his End and
Dissolution, either through Age, or the Indispositions attending
him, and not having the least Hope or Prospect of ever enjoying
any more of the Pleasures of Life, would do a most wise Action
in making Choice of the kind of Death which appeared to him to
be the pleasantest, in order to evade that most grievous one to
which he is sentenced: And in so doing, he would demonstrate
himself a true Friend to Himself.

In short, a Man ought not to imagine that, in depriving
himself of Life, he any way discomposes the Order of
Providence; since the eternal Laws of Motion cannot, in any
wise, be varied, or altered, on account of a Creature's living a
longer or shorter Space of Time, that is, its changing sooner or
later the Modifications of its Matter: Because Nature being most
potent and most wise, and operating incessantly in all Matter,
the consequence is, that her Operations are always superlatively
perfect; so that it little imports that the Matter which formed the
Body of a Man assumes the Form of a Million of Worms, or of
other Beings, that of round it becomes quadrangular or
multangular; the smallest Atom is ever of some signal Utility to
the infinite Designs of that most industrious Architect.
The foolish Prepossession, which Men have in Favour of
their own Species, is a Child of Ambition, and this is the Child
of Education: Since, even from the very Birth they are taught,
that They are the most perfect of all Beings; as being the lively
Images of GOD, who created all the others purely for their Use
and Service. Reason being confused and rendered stupid with
these vain and nonsensical Ideas, Man believes that the
Destruction of one of his Kind, or Species, must needs put into
Disorder the whole Frame of Nature; and does not consider,
"That a Man more or a Man less, nay the whole Race of
Mankind united, and a Hundred Millions of Worlds, a Thousand
times greater and more beautiful than this our Terrestrial Globe,
are no other than a very diminutive Atom, whose existing or not
existing is not so much, with respect to the Immensity of the
Universe, as is a single Drop of Water in Comparison with the
vast Ocean!"

Let us then conclude; That a Man, weary or satiated with
living, may die when he pleases, without offending NATURE:
Since in dying, he makes Use of the Remedy which She kindly
has put into his Hands, wherewithal he may cure himself of the
Evils of this LIFE."


  1. Very nice! This is the part of the argument I see forced-lifers having to engage in the most mental gymnastics to get around:

    "and therefore when a Man ceases from reaping Benefit therefrom, with Reason he may therefrom separate himself, and more especially if the said Society was formed without his Approbation or Concurrence; since no Man is tied down to stand to any Agreement made without his Participation, or against his Will"

  2. I thought you'd like it, Sister Y:-) Yes, social contract theory certainly falls flat when it comes to prohibiting suicide. And as for life being a gift, well, if you didn't ask for it, you're entitled to refuse it.

  3. Beautiful. I almost cried here! Karl! Let´s fight together with all our might to enhance antinatalism awareness.

    Other than that... people are talking about efilism now... Gary has even made a new channel called efilist. Do you know what that is? I have no idea.


    Cheers man!

  4. Hey, Shadow. Thanks, man. I looked up efilism and this is what I found.

    Efilism: a group of activists committed to working towards the extermination of all life on the planet.

    Interesting. Must go and check out that channel. Looks like it could be the first serious schism in the antinatalist movement!

  5. Great! Once you´ve checked it, let me know what you think of it.

    Let´s continue the good fight, my brother.

  6. And things are getting pretty busy in the youtube community about antinatalism. There are tons and tons of videos and people talking about it nowadays. What started as some people discussing something has become a chain reaction that only tends to rise and rise. Maybe some light in the end of the tunnel after all? =)

  7. I watched Inmendham's elifism vids. It's basically an overview of how life evolved and why there's no point to it continuing. I'm not sure why people are getting snarked about it, but maybe I missed something. It could be becasue he's including animals also.

    As for the growing coverage, that can only be good. At least we can say before we roll into the grave that we did our little bit to try and prevent the creation of future suffering. There doesn't seem to be much more you can do on this wretched planet!

  8. 'Twas excellent. I believe I may use it as the core of my own explanation.