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How Christianity’s Subversion of Kin Selective Altruism Evolved into the Modern

Quote
BOSTON: A 35-year-old man, who shot himself near Harvard University here a week ago, has left behind a 1905-page suicide note, an online document he had been working on for the last five years.

shot himself at Harvard Yard on September 18.

His family and about 400 friends received the 1,905-page suicide note in a posthumous e-mail.

In the note Heisman wrote that he took his life as part of a philosophical exploration he called "an experiment in nihilism."

The lengthy document included 1,433 footnotes, a 20-page bibliography, over 1,700 references to God and 200 references to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Heisman wrote, "Every word, every thought and every emotion come back to one core problem: life is meaningless... The experiment in nihilism is to seek out and expose every illusion and every myth, wherever it may lead, no matter what, even if it kills us."

"If life is truly meaningless and there is no rational basis for choosing among fundamental alternatives, then all choices are equal and there is no fundamental ground for choosing life over death," he wrote.

He quoted former US President Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein in the lengthy document.

The New Jersey native, who had studied psychology in college, had told his family and friends he was working on "a history of the Norman conquest of England."

The chapters in the document are titled 'Philosophy, Cosmology, Singularity, New Jersey' and 'How to Breed a God.'

Heisman's friends said he bought the gun, a .38-caliber pistol, three years ago.

They described him as being "cordial, considerate and quiet."

Heisman, a Jew, committed suicide in Harvard yard in front of a group of tourists, on the day of Yom Kippur, considered one of the holiest days in Jewish faith.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/Man-leaves-behind-1905-page-suicide-note/articleshow/6641319.cms

http://www.suicidenote.info/

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 03, 2010, 06:29:33 AM
Quote from: Heisman
If life is truly meaningless and there is no rational basis for choosing among fundamental alternatives, then all choices are equal and there is no fundamental ground for choosing life over death

He almost had it right, but that one little flaw about there being "no rational basis for choosing among fundamental alternatives" is what got him.  Moral of the story, relativism kills.  I'd be interested to see an analysis of this document by one of the more philosophically literate posters here.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 03, 2010, 10:12:40 AM
Relativism or fatalism in this case? I know you want to say "fatalism" because that is what fucking happened omg lol a suicide ♥ ! Go Norway ♥ !

WHY do you think this is a case of relativism and not fatalism? You have to prove some ARGUMENTS for your case.

Here's my anaylisis of this complete bullshit: very cool that he wrote so much about it, he must have been an obsessive maniac. Probably even psychotic. No neurotic writes so god damn much about the same fucking subject.

"Lol but its like his life lol ♥ ! "

"Yes, which, like has been pointed out by Mr. "JewBob" overthere, his reasoning was flawed to state that there is "no rational basis for choosing among fundamental alternatives." WHAAAAAT? This is isn't a fucking argument, its just an AFFIRMATION! And he actualy wrote almost 2000 fucking pages to try and justify this?

Brünhilde's Lesson On This Subject: "Bad premises lead to even worse conclusions, even if the reasoning is the steel-logic of deductive reasoning."

No, I meant relativism.  The idea that there is no rational basis for choosing among different views or beliefs is a form of relativism.  The fact that it was fatalistic is secondary, a result of the thought process undertaken given the flawed premise.

As for deciphering the rest of your post, I'm not sure exactly what, if anything, you're asking of me.  You seem to be telling me I need to prove that there is a rational basis for choosing between alternatives, yet you go on to simply agree with it in your analysis.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 03, 2010, 12:03:28 PM
Guy obviously thought his life was a Big Fuckin Deal. Should have kept it short, simple, and humorous, like "Dead" Ohlin.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 03, 2010, 12:15:09 PM
http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/2010/09/22/did-you-know-mitchell-heisman/

September 28, 2010, 11:59 PM
Yes I knew him and his family. I went on two trips with him, one to Washington DC and the other to Gettysburg. During the ride to Gettysburg (the latter trip) he talked about his “book”. He said it was going to be a history book beginning with the Norman conquest in 1066 and ending in some date in the future in which Artificial Intelligence will have completely taken over the world and God would be a computer (I guess a rather large one.) He also asked me if I thought I was the same person I was when I was young. At the time he spoke of someone in the health field that he admired that was selling supplements that would keep his followers alive long enough for a breakthrough in which we would reach immortality but that that immortality would be in the form of Artificial Intelligence. I guess he was saying that one’s identity is not something we can easily understand.

lol.

If his experiment was one in hilarity inducement by suicide then he definitely succeeded. I'm going to shoot myself in the head as an "experiment" in nihilism. Well you aren't going to be around to verify the findings of that experiment, and it has just a faint whiff of attention seeking lunacy and the desperate need for your personal brand of intellectual fascism, the highly specific personalization of your own thoughts and past (which are as much of a limitation as they are an advantage) to become ONE with everything. When you are driven to these extremes it's usually an schizoid inability to deal with the own imminent dissolution of the very ideas that have so jolted your nervous system into hyper rational fight or flight insanity.

It's another notoriety gaining tactic, the ultimate PR stunt for his book. I'm not dismissing him for this, i am going to read the thing. it's pretty much the ultimate way of saying: "I meant it", I'm going to be going through this thing with the time and attention it deserves and hopefully anyone else here that does the same can share their thoughts. Initial speculations are that he's taking the singularity theory too seriously, it's not an actual event that will happen, it's more a flawed mystical religious theory. And that line about the supplements....

What's almost as funny as blowing your brains out on Yom Kippur in front of a group of jews in order to bequeath your manifesto on the flaws of liberal capitalist democracy are the Christian keyboard warriors whose connection to God is obviously so strong they have to try and shore up their own terrified bio-security by making condescending posts about the sadness of it all, since obviously since this man chose athiesm and turned from jesus it could only ever lead him to despair and suicide. Obviously. I guess jesus must have been too busy listening in on their hymns and prayers that day to pay any attention to Mitch.

But to be mildly serious for a moment, it's not hard to piece together the trap this guy was stuck in - his dad dies when he was young, he's living off the money his dad left him - obviously not succeeding or making any improvements in his life whilst feeling the desperate need to prove himself, he buys into the whole singularity bullshit and is dumb enough to fall for immortality giving health food supplements. the guy kills himself like all do to become one, one with his sense of self he is unable to realise is a false construction and always waiting to dissolve into zero if he could only get a chance to break from the constant attention grabbing circuits of capitalism and just let go. Seriously, the guy needed a night alone in a private space to sit back and get away from it all. He probably need a few months of decent food and a break from whatever was fraying his nerves. It's a suicide, so I'm not going to buy into the whole contemplative existential calm idea. That's not how you decide to make that decision, it's an act of utterly desperate terror. there is a commenter on one of the sites who in his broken English makes more sense than probably anything Mitch thought in the days and hours before he killed himself :

Raj Bangladesh 29/09/2010 at 06:30 AM
He had lacking in acquiring real knowledge from nature.

Damn right Raj. A good weeks holiday somewhere peaceful, a good lie in front of a window at night looking out and realising nature is an inhuman void of death that has no place for you, and all you can do is struggle and eventually fail to survive against it - that's what this guy needed. Something like that which would have allowed him to dissolve into nothingness for a while on his own, and realise the actual insignificance of the faulty thought patterns that were plaguing him.

Of course, it is not surprising he didn't get it considering the life most of us live in modern capitalism. He wasn't the first and he most certainly won't be the last who will end up exterminating their own life because they can't find the kind of release

Ultimately I expect to still be laughing after I read through the whole thing. Because even if suicide is a great way to guarantee people pay attention to your manifesto, I mean come on, we'll never get anywhere if that's the method we use to spark debate with each other. Another American who thinks they have to do EVERYTHING alone, and if they can't self subsist in total isolation, relying on noone else then their life is meaningless. Seriously, you people need to get over this particular aspect of your cultures dream. It's monomanic and frankly bullshit.

Still, got my attention anyway.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 03, 2010, 05:42:19 PM
Ein Jude, Psychologie, Selbstmord. Wie ironisch?

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 03, 2010, 06:44:42 PM
I find this a very respectable act, however ignorant it may be.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 06:31:05 AM
Quote from: Heisman
If life is truly meaningless and there is no rational basis for choosing among fundamental alternatives, then all choices are equal and there is no fundamental ground for choosing life over death

He almost had it right, but that one little flaw about there being "no rational basis for choosing among fundamental alternatives" is what got him.  Moral of the story, relativism kills.  I'd be interested to see an analysis of this document by one of the more philosophically literate posters here.

Could you clarify what you mean by this? I'd say he is correct in asserting that there is no rational basis for choosing, some are just preferential to others.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 06:54:07 AM
Then you'd agree there's no rational basis for choosing a healthy salad over a cheeseburger for lunch?

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 08:48:45 AM
What rational basis would you posit?  I believe that if you enjoy being healthy, or that if you prefer long term happiness over instant gratification which will eventually destroy you, then the choice is clear as option A would bring you closer to your goals than option B. However, these goals, which are near universal in people that are alive precisely due to the fact that not having these goals is self-destrucive and self-destructive people tend to not stay alive, seem to me to not be chosen on a strictly rational basis.

Some might consider this splitting hairs as the alternative choice seems unthinkable. Mitchell Heisman obviously disagrees.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 10:17:01 AM
That's a pretty weird extrapolation of "relativism", if it's even that, Jewbob.  It seems far more like fatalism.  Bear in mind that relativism is, in its simplest format, merely the acceptance that morality is "relative", in that different groups have different moralities.  On its own, relativism neither states nor denies that any morality is true, it simply accepts that there is moral divergence between peoples.  It's less a moral philosophy and more an empirical fact.

Then again, when most people say "relativism", they're talking about a very odd branch of subjectivism, which collects people into groups rather than dealing with individuals.  Subjectivism of any kind is fundamentally shaky/stupid.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 10:45:22 AM
Could you clarify what you mean by this? I'd say he is correct in asserting that there is no rational basis for choosing, some are just preferential to others.

If your preferences are for rationally based choices, then you can easily see how one can rationally choose.

A more complete answer would be that once you realize that no intrinsic value exists, it is only posited by people, you can look at the world from a purely logical perspective.  Certain values are preferential to others because they have properties that allow for the continuation of the natural processes that bring forth life and the higher goals that creatures like us can achieve.  The only objection to this could be the proposition that you hate natural processes and their products and therefore hate yourself.  If you hate yourself, then killing yourself would make sense.  Otherwise, it would be a wholly irrational choice.  If you find this answer unsatisfactory, I may be able to elaborate more.

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 12:42:36 PM
You don't have to have high self esteem to have an instinct for survival.

NHA

Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 01:05:26 PM
lol people get so butthurt over suicides.

Coward! how dare he kill himself!?!!!



Re: Man leaves behind 1905-page suicide note
October 04, 2010, 02:04:24 PM
Guy obviously thought his life was a Big Fuckin Deal. Should have kept it short, simple, and humorous, like "Dead" Ohlin.

This sums up my thoughts exactly.  Nearly 2k pages seems a tad redundant :-/