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 Would you do anything to survive?

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PostSubject: Would you do anything to survive? Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:14 am

My response, from the thread on ILP

James S Saint wrote:
This largely depends upon what one identifies himself as. Survival of what exactly?


Yes, JSS got it right. Survival of what? Usually when we say survival, we mean survival of a particular organism, immediate biological survival. Another form of survival would be the survival of your biological offspring, also biological but more long-term. In this sense, no, I would not do anything to survive, or to ensure the survival of my offspring.

I propose a following thought experiment against the idea that biological survival matters the most: Say a war happens and your group is enslaved by the enemy group. You survive and not only are you permitted to reproduce, but the enemy uses you as a breeder to make as many children as possible because the group that captured you needs slaves. So you survive and make lots of children, and these children continue to propagate your genetic material and make a lot of children too, but they are all slaves. They have no freedom to do what they want to do and live life. And they are never set free or in a position to free themselves.

So no, I do not consider life at all costs as worth living, and I would not do anything to survive.

But the other extreme, that of making absolutely no concessions and to not be willing to do anything contrary to your most idealistic principles in order to survive is no good either.

Now let's think of survival beyond the biological.
As JSS said, survival is a matter of identity, what is it that one identifies with and wants to survive? Even in animals there are known examples when a close "friend" of their dies, either another animal or a human, the animal can get visibly depressed and stop eating, ceasing to care about its own survival. Of course, this is only the case in more intelligent mammals, I doubt a snake or an insect can mourn anything. So if I identify strongly with X, then if X is no longer, it would be as if a part of myself died and there is not much left to fight and struggle for. This X doesn't necessarily have to be another organism, it can also be a principle. Say one is an aware human who knows what things like pedophilia and beastiality are, and what they entail, and the kind of psychological scarring that results from engaging in such behaviors. Such a human may then strongly identify with being a non-pedophile and non-zoophile. So to engage in beastiality or child rape in order to survive on a base, biological level would go contrary to the survival of his identity/self as a non-zoophile and non-pedophile on a rational, higher level. Then it comes down to what kind of survival one values more. I suppose this is why it's sometimes said that people who do the most abhorrent things to survive and have no principles aside from survival are "dead inside", that there is "nothing human" left in them, because indeed they reduce themselves to something lower than human.

A lowly animal that has no sense of self except the base, instinctive, and biological, will know nothing else.
More evolved animals, like dogs, can think a little beyond that.
Humans then go even further.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you do anything to survive? Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:45 am

Meme overwrites the gene.
Masculine spirit dominates the feminine.

The ideal determines how much and in what way the individual is willing to sacrifice, and accommodate.
There are birds that die in captivity.
With man, for me, these are basic ideals that are not to be compromised.
Freedom.
Dignity.

The first in relation to the necessity of self-repression to survive in a social group with rules and norms. Freedom in relation to potentials in space/time and individual, inherited (genetic) potentials having access to space/time, or being able to express themselves fully, to be nurtured to their highest degree.
The second in relation to the individual's ideals and definition of Self.
To not be forced to go against your nature (past).

These need to be fleshed-out further.

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