It is best not to be born at all; and next to that, it is better to die than to live.

You, most blessed and happiest among humans, may well consider those blessed and happiest who have departed this life before you, and thus you may consider it unlawful, indeed blasphemous, to speak anything ill or false of them, since they now have been transformed into a better and more refined nature. This thought is indeed so old that the one who first uttered it is no longer known; it has been passed down to us from eternity, and hence doubtless it is true. Moreover, you know what is so often said and passes for a trite expression. What is that, he asked? He answered: It is best not to be born at all; and next to that, it is better to die than to live; and this is confirmed even by divine testimony. Pertinently to this they say that Midas, after hunting, asked his captive Silenus somewhat urgently, what was the most desirable thing among humankind. At first he could offer no response, and was obstinately silent. At length, when Midas would not stop plaguing him, he erupted with these words, though very unwillingly: ‘you, seed of an evil genius and precarious offspring of hard fortune, whose life is but for a day, why do you compel me to tell you those things of which it is better you should remain ignorant? For he lives with the least worry who knows not his misfortune; but for humans, the best for them is not to be born at all, not to partake of nature’s excellence; not to be is best, for both sexes. This should our choice, if choice we have; and the next to this is, when we are born, to die as soon as we can.’ It is plain therefore, that he declared the condition of the dead to be better than that of the living.”

Aristotle, Eudemus

11 thoughts on “It is best not to be born at all; and next to that, it is better to die than to live.

  1. John Doe July 31, 2016 at 03:33 Reply

    I have learned that, feel free to call me pessimistic, but we start dying from the moment we are born, so honestly what is the point of anything? What is the point of people romanticizing their precious ideas and making them into policy? Why are people actually entertained by the idea that people’s genetic makeup such as their gender, skin color, and sexuality affect other people as a whole? This is why free speech pisses me off so much. Freedom of speech is just as much of an idea as everything else, so why don’t people criticize that?

    • Francois Tremblay July 31, 2016 at 04:17 Reply

      Didn’t you write this same comment before? I’m having deja vu.

      • John Doe August 1, 2016 at 16:25 Reply

        I am so so sorry, but I did. I get a little panicky when I don’t get an immediate reply. I’m terribly sorry.

        • Francois Tremblay August 1, 2016 at 16:43 Reply

          Calm down buddy. I didn’t have anything to say. Sometimes there’s just nothing to say.

          • John Doe August 2, 2016 at 00:52 Reply

            You know, I’ve been thinking about something.

            After everything that America has done over the centuries with all of its bluster about being the so-called freest nation on the planet, from subordinating just about everyone who isn’t white, straight, male, rich, or Christian when they are not killing them all silently or openly, to committing countless acts of brutality such as starting wars and nuclear bombings and slavery, I have a question.

            Why in the hell should the US EVER be entitled to freedom?

  2. Francois Tremblay August 2, 2016 at 01:10 Reply

    Everyone feels they’re entitled to freedom. Even if they’re the scum of the Earth.

    • John Doe August 2, 2016 at 15:58 Reply

      So does that mean that they should? It’s a fact of life that freedom must be tempered is responsibility, and honestly if one is going to stoop to levels like Donald Trump and many other right wing politicians and threaten and demonizise everyone who is not them, especially in a country that is said to promote freedom from tyranny, and politicize the characteristics that people are born with, you don’t deserve to be free. Worse, I think you deserve to be arrested an kicked out of the country by force, or be immediately reeducated.

  3. Francois Tremblay August 2, 2016 at 15:59 Reply

    “So does that mean that they should?”

    No.

    • John Doe August 2, 2016 at 21:56 Reply

      Another thing that I want to say that I think I already mentioned is that I am completely sick to death of everyone touting and romanticizing these bogus made up systems to hell and back. So called rationales such as the “non aggression principal” and the “marketplace of ideas” in the end do nothing except promote conformity. Like I said, these are totally made up ideas from simple human minds, so why are they so rarely taken to task?

      • Francois Tremblay August 2, 2016 at 22:17 Reply

        Agreed!

        • John Doe August 3, 2016 at 04:11 Reply

          I’ve reached another spike in my emotional levels, so get ready for some major irrationality.

          I think I have said a million times now that I am a young man who questions his sexuality, has Asperger’s Syndrome, and was raised Catholic but is now agnostic. There are groups of people out that believe I have two kinds of diseases; my autism and potential homosexuality both need to be cured and are a threat to others. My kind have been demonized endlessly to the point suicide and numerous laws have been passed against me denying my right to live as I individually desire, and everyone expects me to just live with it and blame it all on me.

          In return, I am not going to fight for these people’s so-called “right to free speech”… I am instead going to say that all of these people deserve to die the most painful death imaginable.

          No excuses. No apologies. No shame.

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