Asymmetry between pleasure and pain
189 visits since 07/06/2017
Manu Herrán
Happiness, Reality, Axiology

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I think there is no significant difference between the reasons why non-human animals whose future lives are going to be predictably negative do not commit suicide and the reasons why we humans do not commit suicide. The reason is the same: we were not designed to enjoy, but for the survival of our genes. Most lives, even human ones, are not worth living. In the case of nonhuman animals it is even worse.

Pleasure and pain appear to be useful, and be in different ways, justifying the existence of both experiences. Pleasure is practical to motivate to "go" and pain is practical to motivate to "escape".

But for matters related to entropy and the inherent scarcity of life / evolution, there is no symmetry between pleasure and pain. There is much more pain than pleasure, because there is so much more to "escape", and little to "go". This makes most of the experiences (and lives) not worth. If we are not aware of it, it is because we have a bias. And we have a bias (in this and in many other things, as the bias for despising the interests of individuals of other species) because genes do not care that we have biases, on the contrary, take advantage of them and encourage them to favor Its objective indifferent to our suffering: reproduce at all costs.




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