posted on 2021-08-23

right to death, therefore

because i like freedom so much, i think people should be generally able to do what they want. but this immediately raises a conundrum: should someone be able to do an action that hampers their future freedom?

one relatively extreme case is the ability to commit suicide: it's about as committal as you can get, in terms of actions with future ramifications to oneself. if you choose to get in debt or cut off a limb, that can be pretty hard to get out of, but it still seems less impactful and less inescapable than suicide.

so, should suicide be allowed? (i am of course only talking about reasonable, clear-minded suicide, informedly consented; not coerced suicide, nor suicide out of compromised ability to make decisions)

in my opinion, obviously yes. the alternative, that people be forced to live until their biology kills them (which we may very well find ways to prevent indefinitely), seems abhorrent to me. given this guarantee, then it makes sense to me that any lesser commitments should also be fine.

there are some criticisms one can make about this argument. bad but non-death commitments could tend to increase the amount of suffering people in society at any given moment; and, if people change over time (as they tend to do), then commitments can ramificate into a future person who is sufficiently different from the person making the commitment that it might be considered unreasonable for them to be subject to some excessive amounts of "locally" unconsented negative effects. a cap on the time duration of commitments, and/or the requirement for people to guarantee that they remain the same "enough" over time until the commitment is expired (a technology we currently don't have, but will become easier to make once we're uploaded and we understand the human mind better), might be reasonable patches for these issues.

posted on 2021-08-23

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