Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Futility of the Sensitive

Sensitivity, kindness, compassion and all these other alleged virtues are of little use in this world. In fact, they will make your life harder than it need be, as you will be crippled by over-awareness of every slight, every injustice, every pointless grief. Life is a violent process, generated by violence (think of the thrusting, grunting, force and possession involved in the sexual act), and maintained by violence. Your life will be happier the more of a pig you can be. Moreover, those you help, or imagine helping, will not be that grateful; most will go on to procreate and renew the slaughterhouse, and applaud the others who do so.

Another good reason to be a pessimist.

49 comments:

  1. It took me a long time to realize this. I think one has to live long enough for it to sink in. Once I fully realized how few people are worth a damn, I had no interest in helping or making anyones life better. Besides, by making peoples lives easier, you are helping perpetuate this awful game. I have no interest in preserving the environment, volunteering, voting, or any other nonsense that people think make a difference. This is a lamentable existence, but most are too bling to see it.

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  2. You are absolutely right, Karl.
    One of my favorite songs by Jane Arden "How To Be Insensitive" resonated with me and still does. I just had my own interpretation.

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  4. It took me a long time to realize this. When I fully realized just how shitty most people are, I had no desire to help them. When you're nice/helpful to people they start to take advantage of you. Being useful/helpful to society just serves to prolong this worthless game. Why help the poor, when they will just keep squirting more vermin from their slimy loins? Why help preserve the environment, when there a million people born every four days?

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  5. If all life is full of suffering, then there is only one way to remain happy, and that is Schadenfreude – taking delight in someone else’s misfortune. I never laugh as heartily as when I see some fat degenerate trip and fall in the snack aisle of the supermarket.

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    1. Hello Karl, and Mr Mean Spirited, your statement is conditional. It starts with 'If'. There are times when gloating at others misfortune seems fine, if a tad in poor humour. I try and save my gloatings for when bullies come unstuck in their plans, for when corporations and unsympathetic governments come acropper, rather than rejoicing in the mistakes any individual. When we sign popular online petitions against Monsanto et all we might well have the right to gloat a little when the petition works. When a corporation is stopped from an activity or bending some law to suit itself. A corporation is not a live thing in itself, it is no more than the sum of the activity of it's senior members, so my gloat is at something that is dead, not real, it does not exist beyond human imaginings. Corporations are trojan horses full of corporate types who use them to hide inside the better to ambush people. I doubt the corporations suffer if I sneer at them, but I feel better.

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    2. I laugh every time people fail, at their futile endeavors against corporations. I love oil leaks, rain forest depletion, species going extinct, smog, etc. These things are ultimately tied to population, not corporations. If people are too stupid to stop breeding, then they deserve to live in a polluted world.

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    3. Yes, the title of Naomi Klein's latest book, 'This changes EVERYTHING' is so fucking pompous and deluded. It's all about environmental degradation and NOWHERE does she talk about overpopulation. Complete head in the sand stuff.

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    4. I've tried to figure out why population is ignored to such a degree. I came to the conclusion that most of these people, like Klein for instance are really just establishment tools. What the establishment wants, is high consumption. It's for this reason that they push for third world immigration to the developed world, not altruism. When I've asked environmentalist types, why they want to raise the living standard of the poor, considering this would only add to pollution, they have no answer.

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    5. This is what it's really all about.

      http://www.theirnetworth.com/Actors/Naomi_Wolf/


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    6. Sorry. Wrong Naomi, but since she's involved in many of the same things, the point is the same!

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  6. Señor Karl,
    a short but truthful post. There is no room for virtues such as compassion or kindness.The problem starts in the family when you begin to understand the ways of the world or humans, and one becomes a hypocrite. When I was little I was told not to say that or to do this. In Paraguayan Spanish I became a "boludo" (jerk) for trying to be kind and then step by step bitterness enters one´s heart. And señorMean, yes you can take delight one someone else´s misfortune but the same the others will do to you or me. A never ending cycle in the horror of life. Raul

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  7. I like the expression "No good deed goes unpunished".

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  8. "In modern life the world belongs to the stupid, the insensitive, and the disturbed. The right to live and triumph is today earned with the same qualifications one requires to be interned in a madhouse: amorality, hypomania, and an incapacity for thought."

    Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

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    1. Beautiful. Pessoa is the greatest.

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  9. I've been checking in here frequently since I find Karl's views refreshing, and reading the comments here gives me a better grasp of reality than reading the front pages of current newspapers.

    This post reminds me of a long essay I wrote and stored at: https://xhentric.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/love-and-respect/

    It is so frustrating to realize that the toughness and hardness of those who would claim to have been made this way “by the streets” may actually be the result of television viewing and TV-Land’s enculturation to HATE. The world today conspires against trust. The city in ancient times may have kept danger out, but in our world, the city itself breeds the danger. The city is a death senstence.

    As far as what Nietzsche calls ressentiment, the “old” Natives of North America knew how to handle this. They just got rid of anything anybody wanted. They didn’t own property and they dressed in rags. They laid low and let the aristocrats, egalitarians, sycophamts, and assassins all look on them as worthless

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    1. Nice essay, Mike. As a current denizen of London I can assure you that ;loving one's neighbour' is only possible from a distance, a very safe and far distance....

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    2. By the way, Mike, you might enjoy Morris Berman's blog, a sociologist who abandoned America because it was driving him mad, and decamped to Mexico. http://morrisberman.blogspot.co.uk/

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    3. Mike, you might want to get a new television set – because the mass media, in this day and age, is broadcasting nothing but propaganda about tolerance and acceptance. The only indoctrination is not “hate”, but hope. The world does not conspire against “trust”, but necessary distrust.

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  10. Dear KARL:

    I am a convinced antinatalist and activist in favour of this (almost impossible) cause. Also I usually enjoy and I am grateful for your messages, but this time I am not so pleased for your message "The Futility of the Sensitive".

    For example among the antinatalist guys I consider you a nice and kind fellow, and a good example to mention to others which may adhere to this movement (and have expressed it here on your blog sometime, for example see my post on from June 20 2013). in contrast to other rude antinatalists as Inmendham (DoNotGod or Gary Mosher... a really bad influence for our movement) with I rather dislike for his intransigence and bad manners.

    It is true that the world has plenty of procreators (breeders) which profit and abuse from the good deeds of others, including natalists or antinatalist, but also there are good (either procreators or non procreators) which may enjoy some pleasures of life thanks to the good actions of others (think for example in nice music, good literature or scientific achievements, or even simple actions as a sincere smile for other person on a cold morning).

    I say all this in part from a recent video I just watched, and I would appreciate very much your comments about that video; as well as your considerations about this dilemma:
    "Nice guys finish last" or "Nice guys finish first"?

    Richard Dawkins explains the tragedy of the commons and the prisoners dilemma.

    Worth watching this 1986 documentary by Richard Dawkins which discusses what he views as a misrepresentation of his first book The Selfish Gene.

    (a good complement for chapter # 12 of The Selfish Gene book)


    Richard Dawkins - Nice Guys Finish First.avi
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I71mjZefg8g

    Sincerely and kindly

    Eco_h2o
    <:{{{{{{>< <:))))))>< <:{{{{{{>< <:))))))>< <:{{{{{{><
    eco_h2o@lycos.com

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    1. I think you might be misinterpreting the blogpost. I am not advocating being cruel, hard or insensitive. I am pointing out that sensitive individuals suffer more because they are prone to register more of life's negatives than insensitive people that just barrel along.

      Nor do I subscribe to the 'Become a hard man', philosophy, as I don't believe one can change the essence of one's character. Again, it is another horrible feature of existence that those who care less enjoy it more.

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    2. It's easy to 'minsinterpret' then, because you say "Your life will be happier the more of a pig you can be."

      "Can be", meaning you can control how much of your attention you give to particular situations in which you could be of help or contribute to a problem. It's easy, for instance, to understand how such a justification could help someone feel more comfortable eating meat because "whatever, it's all bad anyway".

      You also make it sound like there really are no pros at all for being a sensitive person by nature. But Schopenhauer and Hermann Hesse made a really good case that this isn't so.

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  11. Thanks for your reply. I am relieved, and now understand it better, although some of the replies here seem to be praising callousness and even cruelty.

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  12. Those who can feel no guilt usually have a good time.
    -Thomas Ligotti (very slightly paraphrased)

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  13. Fine. I agree, adding that gloating to individual misfortunes, particularly occurring to poor or sick people is cruel, tasteless and even irresponsible, showing a bad quality of being the gloater is.

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  14. Hey Karl,
    have you ever read "All Men Are Mortal" by Simone de Beauvoir? I'm pretty sure you would like it :)

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  15. I am an extremely sensitive and compassionate person by nature. The very fact that I am compassionate is the primary reason for me being antinatalist, as I believe there is nothing loving and compassionate about throwing another living, feeling creature into this cesspool of a world where the only guarantee is pain. I've grown very tired of the sentimentalism in the news: the constant need for humans to pat themselves on the back for every charitable act. Just last week the front page of our local newspaper showed a politician and his staff washing people's feet. Why couldn't they do this privately? Because they needed society to witness their "selflessness."

    When I help somebody I do it in a subtle way not asking or desiring society to "Instagram" my actions and leave facebook comments about "restoring our faith in humanity." I've never had faith in humanity and never will. We are appalling creatures- I, as much as any other. I don't have faith in humanity but in the power of the individual who strives to reach beyond what they are- to make themselves something better than human.

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  16. As a blog piece, the above is about the process of how insensitive humans coarsen sensitive humans, and how painful it is for the sensitive humans to be aware of their own being coarsened, as if sensitivity were some zero-gain-sum in which the sensitive have to become smaller or lesser for the insensitive to become a lot more than they started out as. It is like playing Monopoly where the currency is human feeling. But we have only one world and we all make zero gain sums out of human activities, and justify ourselves doing so. If we do this to each other through the coarsening/being coarsened of each other, then please think how much more sensitive the eco-systems of the world are, and how, seemingly, our only means of learning how sensitive they are is through very noisily wrecking them. And then we deny we have become deaf to our own noise.....

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  17. This thread has been reflecting on Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot," where Myshkin is a sensitive character who ends up forgiving all those who abuse him.

    And by "forgive" I don't mean some great religious act, but simply that, internally, psychologically, he just doesn't hold any grudges. He seems "sensitive" the the underlying causes which make people the miserable and abusive wretches they are.

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    1. Hmmm ... I did not word that correctly. The thread had ME reflecting on The Idiot. Maybe those who are considered "sensitive" simply have a more honest and realistic sense of a human being's delicate vulnerability as a naked ape - no fangs, no fur, no stinger; hence our obsession with weapons and security.

      "Sensitive individuals suffer more because they are prone to register more of life's negatives than insensitive people that just barrel along."

      This is what I mean when I state that sensitive individuals may be more honest. I mean that their perceptions may be more clear, and hence will suffer accordingly. I agree that being sensitive has nothing to do with being kind. One simply may empathize more with the horrid situation all are born into through no choice of their own.

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  18. Hi man, you must update the blog Philosophy of redemption, it is very interesting. Thank you.

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  19. Señor Karl,
    I hope you are doing allright there. Take care. Raul

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  20. The futility of regularly checking this blog

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  21. Haha I can't agree with you more. My misanthropy definitely stems from the fact that I am too god damn sensitive.

    Anyway will you consider putting your thoughts on facebook. Better to keep track of your posts this way.

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  22. Señor Karl,
    Once more I hope you keep writing in your blog. Raúl

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    1. Thanks, Raul. I'll write when I feel moved to. Hope you're keeping safe.

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  23. Karl, don't abandon the blog. Post at least every 4 months.

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    1. Karl will post when he feels like it. It's his blog. Try to have faith in him.

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    2. Good for nothin' bad in bed nobody likes you and you're better off dead goodbye
      We've all come to say goodbye
      Born defeated died in vain
      Super destruction you were hooked on pain and tho' your music lingers on
      All of us are glad you're gone

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  24. Metamorphhh has deleted his blog?

    http://antinatalism.blogspot.com

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  25. Hi Karl I would love to hear your thoughts on this, I know you are repulsed of long standing by the nebulous pollyannaisms of transhumanists; never the less we must cogitate a strategy to subdue these savvy barbarians. I especially appreciated the brief article at https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2016/01/views-on-death-and-aging-and-what-to-do-about-it/, that and the comment section in 20 minutes cover tremendous ground as befits a cohesive retrospective. Take for example the last comment by Plato, whuch I will go ahead and emphasise, and please bear with the length and tangetial commentary:

    When reading through the pro-death arguments, I cannot stop my heart from feeling that those arguments are huge insults to my tremendous efforts to stay alive. I have survived through a lot and I have lived every day thankful that I am alive for the past decade. I have lost half of my intestines due to an unfortunate event, but I am still alove [Stein-seems like a Freudian sic] and the other half of my intestines are functioning well. How can anyone say it would be heroic for me to choose death?... I endured terrible pains, but I accepted it as part of life, part of the deal. [you don't say]

    While I was lying on my hospital bed as I have been hospitalised countless times in my life, I had plenty of time to think about life. I defined life for myself as suffering, and I told myself that even if I had tp suffer like this for eternity, I would still choose life. [Stein-and it is insulting that anyone would demur from such a lucrative offer]
    This is what got me through everything [is surviving ww2 something to be proud of, as a species]. People who love death are just afraid of the suffering of life. They fear suffering more than death, which is strange {Quelle Surprise! Quelle Horreur!}. We cannot avoid some pain if we are going to live, and I have no problem with that [can you rationally recommend that to anyone? besides, resignation-the principle that the unavoidable is by definition acceptable, is hardly a basis for morality, let alone social engagement and advancement. There are ought-is issues lurking too].

    It cost me a lot to be here today [Stein-Sunk cost fallacy], and I am happy I am still here. ... My greatest hope is that I will live to the day that anti-aging technologies will be available, so that I can be saved [Jesus Saves! His partners Enrique and Mendoza contributed mightily to the new tech]. Since I have looked death in the eyes almost every day of my 21 years on Earth, I know that I want to live. I do not want to stop being conscious, even when it causes me pain. I regret nothing [Je ne regrette rien! Vivre la vivendi!]. Everything I have experienced had been useful for something and it taught me one important lesson: never give up on life [Stein-self indulgent tautologies and presumptions]. I also realise that life is too short right now to do all the things I still want to do. ... Without [anti-aging] technologies, I do not know whether I will make it to 60 or even 50. My body needs the kind of repair that anti-aging technologies will offer .... I have made it so far, and all would truly be in vain if I die before the anti-aging technologies will be available. I want to learn so much, but I do not have enough time for that in my current condition. ... ..I am [I have] a very curious person[addiction] who loves science with all his heart, and I have been reading scores of science books whenever I was hospitalised, because that kept me motivated to live.

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  26. I live to know more. I truly do. Even if life were to become the most boring thing, which I doubt, I would still want to live. I do not care[Stein-The argument is at once contingent upon emotions and unfalsifiable, but I repeat myself]. .... I like that about life. We need to solve problems. Life is dynamic, and never static. Therefore, we can never get in a static state of boringness in life [Stein-Sisyphus? Bored? Unpossible!]. It is simply not a realistic scenario. Human emotions [yaaay emotions! Wait- what if you can get emotional about emotions! Mind asplode, emotional basketcasery to infinite regression], moreover, are also dynamic as we live in a dynamic world. ...If I can live, all pains that I have to endure are worth. I used to live by the day, sometimes even by the hour. I never knew whether I was going to die the next moment, but I am still here. I want to be here longer, much longer.


    Karl, we need to be mindful of the transhumanists-they are smart, technofixationist, ruthless and disdainful of philosophy aka idle ivory-tower debating/mutual appreciation societies.We need to focus on intervening generations, potential for abuse, legacy of elitism/eugenics and inferiority of protein machinery to metal-let alone composite or nano- machinery. I wish your anonymous post option had an email adress input, as I would love to be notified of any response to this. Anyway, you're a first rate blogger in my book, I just may remember to poke around later.

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  27. Señor Karl,
    You have not written so far. I hope you are doing allright there. Greetings from Paraguay. Raúl

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  28. Hi Karl! Insightful as always, I might add.

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  29. Señor Karl,
    If I am correct, you turned 40 this month. Well I hope you keep well over there. Greetings from Paraguay. Raúl

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  30. Thanks, Raul! Hope you're keeping safe too!

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  31. As someone who had a child (who died at the age of 21 months in a car accident, never comprehending what was happening to him), I'd like to say a few things.

    The first is this: it was the single greatest joy I ever experienced. And he was overjoyed to be alive. You could see it in his face and how he ran about. I never loved anyone or anything more. I don't think I could have. I was more alive and joyous and ecstatic than I had ever been. I delighted in his growth and his intelligence, strength and courage. It was likely the best time of my life. And I'm grateful for it.

    Then he died. Run over by his mom in a driveway. Totally not her fault. She thought he was playing with me somewhere else and could not see him (she was backing up). I had forgotten what my wife was doing and never thought he was in danger where he was. Neither of us was drunk, or high, or anything else like that. Kids played on that road all the time. We were just doing what we always did together. Then he died.

    That was the worst pain I ever experienced. I won't go into it. It was beyond awful, more painful than when I almost lost a thumb to a wood splitter. I thought I would die for most of it. I just could not believe that my beautiful son was gone, just like that. I had brought him into the world only to die at 21 months old. I was (in other's eyes, not just my own) a great father, as these things go, and heaven knows his mom was lovely. I loved him dearly, more than I had words for. I would have literally died to protect him, and that is no joke. But that choice was not given to me. I had no control at all, in the end, other than the obvious things like loving him, educating him, and not hitting or abusing him or wrecking his sense of self and belonging. Life had cars, and diseases, and other life-threatening things I could not stop. But somehow I had forgotten that, as my wife and I had had fairly happy childhoods and had survived. Not so for him.

    As time has gone by, I have thought about whether I had any right to bring a person into this world, even when circumstances are (and they were) good, or at least as good as they could have possibly been. Given what I have learned about our condition in the universe, and the extreme evidence brought about by my son's early death, at this point I would have to say 'no'. I don't. Even though I think he would have had a really good life had he lived to see it, and he did have about the best of all possible worlds when he was alive, I don't know that for a fact. I just wish I had thought about this before he lived, and died, as much as I loved him and as much as I wish he was still here long enough to say 'sorry' to and wish him on his way (even though I know in my head he cannot hear me and is now just bones). I'll live with what happened forever. And as beautiful as he was and as great as it was to have him in our lives, I hope and pray (ha!) that I'll never do that again. It's not fair. The next one could die too, or worse.

    Thanks for listening. This seemed an appropriate place to tell this story.

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    1. Wow, I do no really know what to say to that.

      First off, thank you for sharing your experiences. I am sure it cannot have been easy. I showed it to a number of people who were moved to tears.

      Secondly, my deepest condolences for your loss and the hurt caused to you and your partner.

      I feel like anything else I say would be redundant, but thank you once again for being brave enough to share this story.

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  32. Some of the earlier comments expressed some very unpleasant attitudes from very damaged people.
    Might I just add what a wise Oriental wrote a long time ago:

    The man without shoes should weep for the man without feet.

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