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Eradication of Human Suffering

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Sleeppy, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Sleeppy

    Sleeppy Fatalist. Christian. Pacifist.

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    Is it possible, in any regard? And what must it logically entail? (Today, 5 yrs from now, 25 yrs from now, 50 yrs from now)


    This is one for all affiliations and people.
     
  2. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    If we didn't suffer we wouldn't be human.
     
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  3. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    There is a possibility:

    Alter the human species such that it is incapable of processing any sense-perceptions associated with pain. Additionally, humans must be non self-aware and incapable of any cognitive abilities that would lead to internal emotional discomfort from thinking.

    I'm seeing only a couple of ways of doing this, so take your pick: permanent comatose state or species extinction.
     
    #3 Quintessence, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  4. FranklinMichaelV.3

    FranklinMichaelV.3 Well-Known Member

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    Are humans the only things that suffer? Fear seems to be something almost all organisms feel, even if nothing wrong happens to them should fear not be considered suffering? Think of how you can kill a rabbit just by reaching overhead at it (instinct would have it believe a hawk is reaching for it).
     
  5. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    Eradication is a big word, and also an unrealistic word especially since in this age we are still in a period (with prospects of many centuries to come) in which we need to minimize suffering and control the various of risks global societies face. There are a myriad of ways to prevent future suffering or at least maintain a healthier quality of life. Such as education of self and perpetuating an educated social environment which values education as a prime standard, promoting sane social norms, promoting smart use of technology, maintaining a solid middle class, thinking long term about the challenges which we face on a regional and global level. Can we continue on the same path on every venue? What needs to be changed? What are the first changes we want to see?
     
  6. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    And of course one of the most important things to reflect on and understand: Discerning the difference between cause and symptom.
     
  7. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Suffering seems to be not only a result of the human condition, but also and integral part of it. When you reduce physical suffering, people tend to focus more on existential suffering. If you somehow took away existential suffering, you would also take away the attributes which cause human joy and fulfillment. As anyone with a bit of life experience knows, the struggle and process of achieving something is more joyful and fulfilling than the actual experience of achieving it. Inherent in this struggle is also suffering (including such things as doubt, sacrifice, physical/emotional pain, worry/anxiety, etc.).
     
  8. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Unless we're brain dead, I don't think suffering can totally be eliminated. However, it can be significantly ameliorated.
     
  9. Clarity

    Clarity Active Member

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    No.

    We all have pain receptors, useful as signals when we need to stop doing something causing us harm.

    Therefore pain will always exist, suffering will always exist, and it (by default) can't be eradicated.

    I understand that it feels good to cloak yourself in this kind of ideal, but it's not realistic to actually believe it.
     
  10. Sleeppy

    Sleeppy Fatalist. Christian. Pacifist.

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    You've focused on physical pain. Physical pain can be controlled/manipulated. But mental pain, which you did not mention, can also be controlled/manipulated. Both are malleable, and being researched continually.

    Why do you think this is an ideal that can not be met?
     
  11. Parsimony

    Parsimony Well-Known Member

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    The "easy" way to do it would be to kill all humans. Sounds a little unappealing, though (and that would only end the suffering in this life, if one believes in a punishment in the afterlife).

    One of our best chances, I think, would be to wait until the world is advanced enough to create a post-scarcity economy. Combine that with putting everyone into a kind of Matrix simulation where only good things happen to people.

    Hmm, what would count as suffering? Torture and terminal diseases, obviously, but would minor annoyances count as well? Having an itchy butt?
     
  12. Clarity

    Clarity Active Member

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    Mental pain is eradicated by growing up. We have no need of science.
     
  13. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Can you clarify what this "growing up" is and how exactly it eradicates mental pain? Is this some slang for a new psychoactive drug I'm not aware of or something? :sarcastic
     
  14. Ablaze

    Ablaze Buddham Saranam Gacchami

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    Suffering can be eradicated. Oppression, pain, injustice, etc. will remain, but our relationship to it can change.

    If suffering is understood as relating to oppression, pain, injustice, etc. in ways that compound the experience by needlessly layering internally-generated mental anguish and psychological turmoil on top of externally-derived offenses, then yes, suffering can be eradicated. The eradication of suffering, in this context, would not involve the annihilation of human emotions. Instead, it would involve training in the skills necessary to relate skillfully to whatever exists out there without being so immersed in strife and perturbed by our bare experiences.
     
  15. Clarity

    Clarity Active Member

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    In the last 40 years, the US government has spent more than $27 trillion in the eradication of poverty.

    Per capita, poverty hasn't changed. In fact, it seems more correlated with the economy than with any program we throw at it.

    Forgive me if I doubt your assertion. "We" can't, even with the help of unimaginable wealth as a resource.
     
  16. Ablaze

    Ablaze Buddham Saranam Gacchami

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    I'm not at all suggesting that poverty will be eradicated, although I wish it could be. I'm suggesting that the added psychological suffering that is layered on top of external conditions can be.
     
  17. Clarity

    Clarity Active Member

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    We normally call that "immortality".
     
  18. Sees

    Sees Dragonslayer

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    Lessened and not held on to or magnified when occuring, but we are passionate beings. We cry and laugh and love and play the game. Not all suffering is so bad, without purpose, or...
     
  19. Ablaze

    Ablaze Buddham Saranam Gacchami

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    Is that so? I might go with "invincibility" or "imperturbability" at most, but not "immortality."
     
  20. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Realitarian

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    It'd be a foolish thing to do, unless you're talking about emotional suffering which serves particularly no use.

    At the same time, even if it were a good idea, it's impossible. Happiness in humanity is a bit of a contradiction. One man's depression is another man's happiness.
     
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