X-Message-Number: 25271
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 07:22:26 -0800
Subject: Self-Modification, to Robert
From: <>

Dear Robert:

In part, you wrote:

"The ultimate in this area, perhaps, is work by a young Brit, David 
Pearce. (See hedweb.com) He has written THE HEDONISTIC IMPERATIVE, 
the boldest step yet  in this area. He proposes nothing less than 
the complete elimination of pain or  suffering, for all of humanity 
and even all of life on earth, plus enhancement  of pleasures. He 
might even be right about the possibility."

I think some form of suffering is a necessary aspect of existence. 
The only way I can be perfectly happy, is if I want of nothing; and 
if I want of nothing, I will exist in the state I find myself, and 
will not attempt to change my state to a different one. Therefore, 
I will be changeless until I die---which probably will occur very 

A man hooked into a morphine drip is probably perfectly happy. 
However, he will soon die of starvation.

Without hunger, we would not eat. Without pain, we would not avoid 
damage to ourselves. Without curiosity (which is a word used to 
describe our lack of contentment with what we presently know), I 
would not seek out new knowledge which would prove beneficial to 
me. Without fear of impending death, I would not seek to prolong my 

In light of such things, I think my 'lifetime happiness' can be 
increased with some measure of suffering in the present. 

Even many of the hobbies I enjoy, I enjoy because I have improved 
myself, which means going from a state I don't desire, or even feel 
ashamed of, to a state that I do desire. 

But certainly, there are a few things I would change about myself 
if I could do so safely. For example, I would never want to become 
so depressed that I would kill myself, or so angry that I would 
kill another; and of course I would not want to have any pain from 
sickness or disease (because I would not want to have sickness or 
disease), though pain to prevent injury is a good thing (much of 
our pain is in spite of the fact that we cannot prevent the damage--
-e.g. cancer or feeling miserable from the effects of a cold).

Best Regards,

Richard B. R.

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