Does Suicide Work?

Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life

The scourge of suicide

Each year, tens of thousands of people in North America, and up to a million people worldwide, take their own lives as an escape from situations that feel overwhelming and hopeless to them. Millions more make unsuccessful attempts.

There is plenty of good information available on the psychological, emotional, and social issues involved in suicide, and its effects on friends and relatives. We don’t need to repeat it all here. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the spiritual questions involved in suicide:

  • Do people who commit suicide go to hell?
  • What happens to people after death if they commit suicide?
  • Does suicide work? Do we really escape from our problems if we kill ourselves?
  • Is there a path to heaven for suicides who are good people at heart?

Does suicide send us to hell?

Let’s clear this one up right away: No one who…

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Suicide: the one truly serious philosophical problem — Camus

The Floating Library

O my soul, do not aspire to
immortal life, but exhaust the limits of the possible.

— Pindar, Pythian iii

An Absurd Reasoning

Absurdity and Suicide

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect.

If I ask myself how to judge that this question is…

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Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International

Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International

 
Naomi Klein warns that the push we’re seeing to jump into the fray in Ukraine may be Shock Doctrine tactics writ international.
Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International

When I read The Shock Doctrine for the first time, I wrote that it was a little like watching pieces of a puzzle fall before me and being able to see the larger picture for the first time ever. It completely changed the way I filter news and issues.

I’ve been watching the events in Ukraine and the American response to it with an eye to how this would be exploited. When I read the Big Oil was taking meetings with Putin and ignoring the threat of sanctions, I realized that the Shock Doctrine was in play in Ukraine as well. The author, Naomi Klein, has noticed the same thing:

Now the crisis du jour is conflict in Ukraine, being used as a battering ram to knock down sensible restrictions on natural gas exports and push through a controversial free-trade deal with Europe. It’s quite a deal: more corporate free-trade polluting economies and more heat-trapping gases polluting the atmosphere – all as a response to an energy crisis that is largely manufactured.

Against this backdrop it’s worth remembering – irony of ironies – that the crisis the natural gas industry has been most adept at exploiting is climate change itself.

Never mind that the industry’s singular solution to the climate crisis is to dramatically expand an extraction process in fracking that releases massive amounts of climate-destabilising methane into our atmosphere. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases – 34 times more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, according to the latest estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And that is over a 100-year period, with methane’s power dwindling over time.

It’s far more relevant, argues the Cornell University biochemist Robert Howarth, one of the world’s leading experts on methane emissions, to look at the impact in the 15- to 20-year range, when methane has a global-warming potential that is a staggering 86-100 times greater than carbon dioxide. “It is in this time frame that we risk locking ourselves into very rapid warming,” he said on Wednesday.


↓ Story continues below ↓
 

And remember: you don’t build multibillion-dollar pieces of infrastructure unless you plan on using them for at least 40 years. So we are responding to the crisis of our warming planet by constructing a network of ultra-powerful atmospheric ovens. Are we mad?

Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International | Crooks and Liars

Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International | Crooks and Liars

via Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International | Crooks and Liars.

Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International

By Nicole Belle April 20, 2014 3:32 pm – 4 Comments
Naomi Klein warns that the push we’re seeing to jump into the fray in Ukraine may be Shock Doctrine tactics writ international.
Ukraine Is The Shock Doctrine, Writ International
When I read The Shock Doctrine for the first time, I wrote that it was a little like watching pieces of a puzzle fall before me and being able to see the larger picture for the first time ever. It completely changed the way I filter news and issues.

I’ve been watching the events in Ukraine and the American response to it with an eye to how this would be exploited. When I read the Big Oil was taking meetings with Putin and ignoring the threat of sanctions, I realized that the Shock Doctrine was in play in Ukraine as well. The author, Naomi Klein, has noticed the same thing:

Now the crisis du jour is conflict in Ukraine, being used as a battering ram to knock down sensible restrictions on natural gas exports and push through a controversial free-trade deal with Europe. It’s quite a deal: more corporate free-trade polluting economies and more heat-trapping gases polluting the atmosphere – all as a response to an energy crisis that is largely manufactured.

Against this backdrop it’s worth remembering – irony of ironies – that the crisis the natural gas industry has been most adept at exploiting is climate change itself.

Never mind that the industry’s singular solution to the climate crisis is to dramatically expand an extraction process in fracking that releases massive amounts of climate-destabilising methane into our atmosphere. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases – 34 times more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, according to the latest estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And that is over a 100-year period, with methane’s power dwindling over time.

It’s far more relevant, argues the Cornell University biochemist Robert Howarth, one of the world’s leading experts on methane emissions, to look at the impact in the 15- to 20-year range, when methane has a global-warming potential that is a staggering 86-100 times greater than carbon dioxide. “It is in this time frame that we risk locking ourselves into very rapid warming,” he said on Wednesday.

.
And remember: you don’t build multibillion-dollar pieces of infrastructure unless you plan on using them for at least 40 years. So we are responding to the crisis of our warming planet by constructing a network of ultra-powerful atmospheric ovens. Are we mad?

US IS AN OLIGARCHY PRINCETON STUDY CONCLUDES

The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

Report by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities suggests that US political system serves special interest organisations, instead of voters

The Capitol building in Washington DC

Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans Photo: Bloomberg
 

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The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.

The report, entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, used extensive policy data collected from between the years of 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the US political system.

After sifting through nearly 1,800 US policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile) and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the United States is dominated by its economic elite.

The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organisations: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”

The positions of powerful interest groups are “not substantially correlated with the preferences of average citizens”, but the politics of average Americans and affluent Americans sometimes does overlap. This is merely a coincidence, the report says, with the the interests of the average American being served almost exclusively when it also serves those of the richest 10 per cent.

The theory of “biased pluralism” that the Princeton and Northwestern researchers believe the US system fits holds that policy outcomes “tend to tilt towards the wishes of corporations and business and professional associations.”

The study comes in the wake of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a controversial Supreme Court decision which allows wealthy donors to contribute to an unlimited number of political campaigns.