“So, just kill yourself!”

Some critics of the pessimist often think they have his back to the wall when they blithely jeer, “If this is how this fellow feels, he should either kill himself or be decried as a hypocrite.” That the pessimist should kill himself in order to live up to his ideas may be counterattacked as betraying such a crass intellect that it does not deserve a response. Yet it is not much of a chore to produce one. Simply because someone has reached the conclusion that the amount of suffering in this world is enough that anyone would be better off not having been born does not mean that by force of logic or sincerity he must kill himself. It only means he has concluded that the amount of suffering in this world is enough that anyone would be better off never having been born. Others may disagree on this point as it pleases them, but they must accept that if they believe themselves to have a stronger case than the pessimist, then they are mistaken.

Naturally, there are pessimists who do kill themselves, but nothing obliges them to kill themselves or live with the mark of the hypocrite on their brow.

Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, p.50

8 thoughts on ““So, just kill yourself!”

  1. Cann Abyss February 18, 2014 at 21:10

    I’ve been wanting to read this book, but it’s been out of stock at Amazon for quite some time…

    Great excerpt here for those who believe procreation is immoral.

    • Francois Tremblay February 18, 2014 at 21:15

      That’s too bad. I have my copy from Amazon. It’s really a very good book, highly recommended.

    • travis February 19, 2014 at 11:19

      You can find it on bookdepository

      • Cann Abyss February 19, 2014 at 13:38

        Have you bought from them before? I was hesitant. I’ll just wait for Amazon to get more. It’s not like I don’t have other books to get through *sigh*

    • Michael February 23, 2014 at 14:52

      @Cann Abyss
      You can buy it from Amazon UK

  2. AnonyMoose February 19, 2014 at 10:42

    Ligotti is the Typhoid Mary of suicidal philosophy. That being said, he is correct here, but his work is archetypal of “pessimistic” literature.

  3. Ara February 21, 2014 at 23:41

    People who have never truly suffered imagine its all so easy to kill yourself. How little they even know. There are many of us who have had multiple, serious suicide attempts that failed to kill (I have even heard from a guy who tried 32 times!). My sister knows a woman who threw herself in front of a train and survived, mangled. If only it were as easy as “just kill yourself.” Unfortunately the human body doesn’t come equipped with a simple off switch and to kill oneself can be an insurmountable obstacle. This is the most important reason why antinatalism is a moral necessity. Believe me it’s not kind to bring someone into a world where they will suffer without means of escape.

    • Cann Abyss February 22, 2014 at 04:41

      Antinatalism is moral based solely on the fact that most people would rather breed out of pure selfishness than to adopt babies that need a home. For every selfish couple who produces a child, an adopted baby suffers needlessly.

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