X-Message-Number: 13006
From: Keith Rene Dugue <>
Subject: It is a DAFy world
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 12:31:16 -0800

To George Smith

Unfortunately, fallacies exist independently of how well the individuals 
that they affect understand them or are able to understand them.
So , yes the arguments of those who claim they can escape suffering through 
death are Death Advantage Fallacious (DAFy)

To Robert Ettinger

You wrote
" It is not a question of how your future self
would feel (there would be no future self), but how you feel now and how 
would feel in the future if you chose to continue."

When we decide  between one of two mutually exclusive options we 
extrapolate into the future how we would feel if we had taken each of the 
options. Next ,we compare them to our goals to determine which option would 
bring us closer to our goals. This process is repeated as new information 
becomes available. The problem arises in being able to extrapolate into a 
state of nonexistence. It is impossible. So with nothing to compare to the 
state that you would be in if you "choose to continue"  you can not say 
which option would be better or worse for that matter.  You simply can not 
say anything. But escaping suffering through death relies on nonexistence 
as being the superior option.

As a sidelight , we extrapolate our states of mind into the future during 
our entire existences even when we run out something to extrapolate to. 
This extrapolation is an evolved survival mechanism and does not shut off. 
It does not know when to shut off because nature  does not act to optimize 
our happiness. It would always benefit an organism to think about it's 
future no matter how unpleasant  just in case it might survive. Our basic 
problem is that we have a tendency to extrapolate off into the water where 
we have run out of firm ground for our arguments. Once we become aware of 
our impending inescapable undesirable future, we might avoid thinking about 

I am not just arguing that there are not things to be gained. I am also 
saying that one would be unable to realize any gain.

To Mike Perry

You wrote

"On the face of it, it doesn't seem intuitive that a state of
non-existence should be considered "worse" than any state of existence
however horrible."

I did not say that a state of non-existence should be considered , or 
actually is, "worse" than any state of existence. What I did say was that 
"There can be no death advantage simply because once one does not exist one 
can no longer appreciate the purported advantage. Moreover ,one can not 
even appreciate that there is a difference. In fact, one can not appreciate 
anything at all."

"If Jones is non-existent it
seems reasonable to regard S as "not true," for the simple reason that S 
be *true* only if Jones exists."

The instant Jones ceases to exist he will from thereon never be able to 
appreciate that he is not suffering or that suffering should even matter. 
Nothing  matters in the least to someone who is buried and decayed and 
non-existent. For Jones, when he dies, can not change the only thing that 
matters to him which is that he will suffer for the rest of his life. He 
may feel ,however erroneously, that his death will end his suffering. But 
this is not due to his actual death but his anticipation of his death. The 
benefit comes from anticipation regardless of what actually happens to him. 
So the real and only advantage comes from anticipation and not death. This 
would be true for *any* scenario we could construct.

"Another way to look at it is that S is
really equivalent to the longer statement, "There exists a conscious being
named Jones and that being is suffering inconceivable amounts of 
pain." So to say "it is not the case that S is true" it is not necessary to
presuppose that Jones exists or is conscious in any sense, including that 
an afterlife."

You seem to be saying that suffering is dependant on existence. But so is 
one's ability to comprehend ,be aware and appreciate that one is not 
suffering. What  one can not be aware of is irrelevant to that individual. 
My garbage can is not suffering (for reasons other than nonexistence) It 
also can not be aware that it is not suffering so the fact that it is not 
suffering is irrelevant.  If Jones were imprisoned because of debt and he 
performed some action that caused his debt to be repaid but he was unaware 
of this repayment then the action would not have any significance 

The nonexistent are stateless entities because there is nothing to define 
their states. They can be neither happy nor unhappy  neither suffering nor 
free of  suffering. They simply aren't. They do not have abilities such as 
appreciation because they can't do  anything. So they can not appreciate 
the difference between any two states. Even though we can not say whether 
they are happy or unhappy etc. we can say that they can not appreciate the 
difference between happiness and unhappiness etc.

Reasons Greetings

Keith R. Dugue

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