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How to Live Despite the Struggle -- The Morality of Staying Alive

Updated: Jul 9

A white tiger sitting on a throne.

Ms. Tamara Moskal's Synopsis

A nihilist perceives existence as insignificant and, therefore, doesn't care about life or death. Finding one's meaning in life is crucial for justifying self-preservation and avoiding suicide.
The conscious choice to stay alive is the mentally healthy and ethical choice. Our life's purpose should be solid and independent of external sources like romantic love, which is not always long-lasting. Find a source of meaning that resonates with your internal core instead, and it will stay with you for life.
Suicide is a waste of human potential and a cause of suffering for relatives.
To the author, writing philosophical articles gives him an existential life purpose and allows him to help others.

The Moral Ground To Self-Preservation

There's a good reason as to why I am not a nihilist. The nihilist sees everything and everyone as equally insignificant, and as a result, the same would be when it comes to premature death. All death, in the eyes of the true nihilist, is of the same value. Therefore, should the nihilist not care enough for death, I'd argue that they wouldn't mind departing from life himself or herself, either.

The quest for meaning, and its attaining, is very crucial when it comes to escaping from death. Therefore! Meaning can be regarded not as only, a form of satisfaction, but also, as a means and justification for continuous survival. A continuous survival not only physically but mentally as well.

Given that nihilism is the rejection of all meaning, nihilism is the rejection of all life as significant. That includes one's own. On the other hand, it's the non-nihilist, or the anti-nihlist, who attributes value to human life, including his or her own.

Therefore, the conscious choice to survive, and do whatever it takes to preservere, is not only the mentally-healthy decision to make, but also the ethical one. To live despite the struggle is to live by the value-giving code-of-conduct that is the refusal to die.

That is the moral ground to avoid suicide. Other logical grounds exist as well.

Whenever a bad or unfortunate event happens to you, remember to have a strong and solid source of meaning at your side, one that isn't quick to disappear from your grasp. After all, it can save you from... the ultimate escape, the one I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Depend your meaning on love and you'll sure to suffer, as love hurts. Fail to prepare to it and its loss can break you from the inside. Live to work and you might find yourself empty inside once you're left with nothing to do on the long term.

People might not always find a solid source for meaning. By "solid", I refer to a source that would not get away from you that easily. A romantic partner for example, can always leave the door, should they be willing enough to. Therefore, I wouldn't say that they are a solid source for meaning, when it comes to the functionality, of preserving your own life.

When people say, "I can't live without you", such sayings degrade the value of a life, should the "you" be forever absent. Could you say that degrading the self's worth as conditional for a significant other is moral? Could there be a degradation of the self that is moral, when degrading oneself makes us weak and thus less willing to endure life (if certain conditions are met)?

Hence why I prefer relying on mainly on myself, and not entirely or mostly on an external partner, for my quest for self-preservation. That's because the best way to love someone is to let them be the best version of themselves. What if "the best version of themselves" happen to be one that is supposed to break our hearts? That, then, would contradict sayings such as, "I can't live without you". In this case, your own life can be your downfall.

And as established, valuing your own life is the ethical choice to make. Otherwise you would discard it like a true nihilist rejects their own life by default. And there is no morally-absent person than he or she who regards no value to anything or anyone whatsoever.

Picking the Right Tool/s For Existential Endurance

What would be a good source of meaning, that will allow you to better manage against life's struggles? I at least would choose something that is more internal. In other words, something that exists in what I call "The Self Beyond the External World". I chose my ability to write, to fit that role. Even if a rocket from a hostile country may strike my house and cause my apartment to be permanently destroyed, along with my valuables, no rocket can take away my ability to write!

Do you see what I did there? I asked myself the opposite: What can truly take away a source of meaning, which I appropriate for self-preservation? The CLOSER such a source is, to my internal core, the harder it will be, to have it taken away from me, while being alive.

I'd like to give a fictional example. The villain known as Professor Ratigan, might be a pompous, arrogant character, but I do admire the fact that he takes his mind in high regard. Why? Because no matter what would happen to him and to his criminal empire, as long as he was alive, he had his self-praised mind. When you value your mind in such regard, you might also wish to protect it desperately.

And desperate protection of something within us is a good way to preserve ourselves as well. When having a bigger ego helps you value yourself enough to not die so easily than otherwise, wouldn't it be moral? Wouldn't it be more moral to discard your own life, when suicide is technically the murder of the self? And of course, there is moral reasoning to avoid murder as well.

The Value Of a Life

Suicide is a waste of human potential that causes misery to those who have known you! Based on that logic, I see no reason to succumb to it. Thus, I'd protect my own life's significance, with "my teeth" as they say. What is the point of such endeavour, when there isn't a strong enough sense of significance, embedded in it?

This is why, the act of philosophizing for me is also an act for survival. Due to such designation of the niche, there is no reason for me to ever give up on it, despite life's struggles. It is why I write for you as well, so you'll benefit too along the way.

It has nothing to do with arrogance, and it has nothing to do with narcissism. It's simply my way of surviving, mentally, with my thoughts and feelings. Such survival, in my opinion, has every reason to be there. And likewise, I think you can learn from that, as well. Learn to strengthen the core of your existence, by giving it a reason that wouldn't collapse as easily.

The Functional Value of Keep on Living

No matter what would happen to you, you will always have yourself, when alive. I'm not sure of an afterlife, yes? But if you're with yourself, you can still do things, even if you suffer from constant fatigue, like me.

Remember: In a better world, no one would have a reason to practically "escape" from life, when such reason, is nihilism. One could argue that an existential purpose, justifies life's struggle. Do you see now, why philosophy deserves to be relevant? It can save lives... Like it did, with my own.

Perhaps we should judge and question our current view towards morality, using quotes such as the one contributed by Mr. John Duran:

A quote on morality.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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