Is any death meaningful?

Many times the phrase let their deaths not be in vain has been uttered like at moments of civil strife and I am here asking myself, if deep down these deaths were meaningless. Did someone have to die for something to be achieved?

Take for example the over 30 people who were killed by police in our last election. What did they die for? What, if you were to meet their parents or relatives, would you tell them was achieved by their deaths?

In the movie silence, based on the Japanese inquisition of the 16th century (2016) by Scorsese, a number of Japanese endure torture and some even die to show their faith in Jesus. Was this rational? What was the point?

who knew

There was a direct link between anti-natalism and atheism.

The author of Ecclesiastes (my favorite book of the bible) wrote

4 Next, I turned to look at all the acts of oppression that make people suffer under the sun. Look at the tears of those who suffer! No one can comfort them. Their oppressors have all the power. No one can comfort those who suffer. I congratulate the dead, who have already died, rather than the living, who still have to carry on. But the person who hasn’t been born yet is better off than both of them (emphasis mine). He hasn’t seen the evil that is done under the sun.

And Nietzsche in the Birth of Tragedy writes

There is an old legend that king Midas for a long time hunted the wise Silenus, the companion of
Dionysus, in the forests, without catching him. When Silenus finally fell into the king’s hands, the king
asked what was the best thing of all for men, the very finest. The daemon remained silent, motionless
and inflexible, until, compelled by the king, he finally broke out into shrill laughter and said these
words, “Suffering creature, born for a day, child of accident and toil, why are you forcing me to say
what would give you the greatest pleasure not to hear? The very best thing for you is totally
unreachable: not to have been born, not to exist , to be nothing. The second best thing for you, however,
is this — to die soon.”

Since I find nothing odd in the observation of Silenus and Qoheleth, I am inclined to argue they make a lot of sense and while an argument can be made that all of us who write in support of anti-natalism do so only because we have been born, this argument doesn’t defeat the arguments for anti-natalism. And whether those who support anti-natalism are atheists or agnostics is not an argument against the position. It proves nothing. It is neither an argument against atheism nor against anti-natalism.

Allowing for a moment that most of those who support anti-natalism are atheists, is this an argument against any of the two positions?

Maybe, just maybe, we are like Kirilov in the Possessed who commits a logical suicide.

two things i like

First is the Martin Scorsese’s movie Irishman that was released not long ago. You will need to have 3 free hours to watch the film. It has some of my favourite characters.

Next is this paragraph from Man without qualities

The train of events is a train that lays down its own tracks as it goes along.

The river of time carries its own banks along with it.

The traveler moves on a solid floor between solid walls, but the floor and the walls are strongly influenced by the movements of the travelers, though they do not notice it.