Apr 5, 2013

An assignment on the application of Ethics / Metaphysics to Psychology

“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” – Albert Camus

Work on this quote, while I work on the responses to the earlier (Aristotle's) quote. Try to finish by the 6th evening


  1. Philosophy must appreciate and accept the beauty of human existence. Philosophy is concerned with investigating greater questions but it is in virtue of being allowed to live life that even philosophy advances.

    THe following points become important: -
    1. We may accept that there is no essential or underlying purpose to human existence.
    2. An individual's existence does not necessitate anything.
    3. The lack of purpose in life does not imply a nihilist mindset. This lack of purpose also does NOT validate the act of suicide.
    4. The importance of the idea, 'there is no purpose,' is to help individuals understand how to alleviate there existential crises. However once this alleviated, they are in a sense free in life

    5. Suicide presents a philosophical problem because it present the worst possible consequence of misunderstanding the idea that there is no purpose to life. It causes an agent to take his/her own life, and causes a nihilist framework of understanding.

    6. Suicide presents an ethical problem. Does an individual have the right to take his/her own life ? (A discussion along this path will discuss the consequence of such an action.) Does this violate any philosophical principle ?
    7. Suicide is philosophical terror (the opposite of philosophic beauty inherent in profound arguments and quotes). Why ? Because it is signifies the collapse of an agent into his/her self. This shows that an individual who suicides fails to accept the world as is, and chooses to ESCAPE.

    A particular aspect of philosophy aims to deal with the age old question of purpose, and of meaning. A possible answer to this question is to accept the lack of purpose of meaning. However a consequence of this becomes suicide. Thus this raises a philosophical problem because what would happen if people were to commit suicide upon the realization of this fact. Isn't suicide an escapism and an evasion of the philosophical truth of 'lack of purpose.'

    Thus Camus believes that suicide presents a problem that must be resolved.

    How can this be resolved ? Lets have a discussion ...

    1. suicide- define it, analyse the standpt dat sees it as a social situation, a choice or not.
      Understanding of purpose and motives

  2. Asit's reply to the quote:

    “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.”
    – Albert Camus

    A) Suicide-
    1) Act of ending one’s life by one’s own will due to reasons like depression, despair, etc.
    2) Suicide is directly linked to the question whether one has a right to end his or her
    3) One can commit a suicide only after accepting that he/she has the moral right to do so.

    B) Social factors-
    1) (From A2) For suicide to be ethical one must actually have a moral right to end his/her
    2) A man isn’t born in this world by his/her own will. He is born by the decision of two
    other beings, i.e. his parents.
    3) But neither does a man ask himself to be created.
    4) As a man grows up, he interacts with the society that does good as well as bad turns to
    5) In return of the good turns he has to fulfill certain expectations but living his life is not
    one of them.
    6) (B1+B2+B3+B4+B5) a man does not face any social obligation that prevents him from
    committing a suicide.

    C) Individual factors:
    1) Each living being even a human has a certain survival instinct that is deep rooted
    from the birth itself. (Each animal knows how to survive. This is even seen in new born
    2) While committing a suicide a person has to over ride this instinct by making an
    assumption that the present living conditions are so bad that it is impossible to live in
    3) However the person forgets that with some or the other efforts it is possible to change
    the conditions.
    4) However death is the ultimate end of everything. After death we will no longer exist.
    5) Thus there is no chance of improvement after death. While the worst thing that can
    happen while one is living is death.
    6) (C1+C2+C+C4+C5) Suicide is not beneficial.
    7) (A+B+C) Suicide is ethical but not beneficial for the individual.

    D) Is suicide the only serious philosophical problem?
    Camus’s argument-
    1) The question of determining whether to live or not to live is a question in philosophy.
    Suicide is directly related to this question. Many people commit suicide as they are
    unable to understand this question rightly. Therefore they end up losing their lives. Thus
    according to Camus this question is the only serious problem in philosophy. The rest are
    not so important.

    My Argument-
    2) For suicide we must first exist.
    3) Then to understand the consequences of suicide we must know what death is.
    4) Thus the question of suicide becomes relevant only when we understand the question
    of our existence.
    5) (D2+D3+D4) Suicide is not the only or the most truly serious philosophical problem

    1. do not use a1+a2 thing, it's nt conclusive nor sensible. Gv an understandng of moral choice. Explore possible argumnt for a mental condition that makes 1 'not concerned' about consequences, going above causality.

  3. A nice reply to Camus:

    “The life of a man is of no greater importance to the world than that of an oyster.”
    David Hume On Suicide


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