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Angelie D.

Maningas / BSAT3-2 PHILO 101: Introduction to Philosophy with Logic and Critical Thinking March 5, 2012 MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEATH: A Reflection Paper on the Leo Tolstoys My Confessions

LIFE: a single, four-lettered word. Four letters, four profound interpretations, and only one conclusion, it is worthless, life is vain, is futile, is useless. Life and death are two opposing words, one means existence, and the other means nothingness; there are no other clear and identifiable distinctions aside from what the great philosophers would say that the latter is better than the former, that death is more desirable than life for life is nothing but sufferingfrom pain, sickness, and eventually death while death is ultimately, freedom, freedom from all agony brought by life. When we are young, we hear from preachers that life is the greatest gift of all, but we grow up a little and hear Solomon, Schopenhauer, Socrates and other wise men say that life is evil and lie, stupidity and worthlessness. As if these great philosophers would want to say that life is not actually a gift at all but a burdena load we all have to carry, the only escape of which is to free ourselves from life, and if it may mean ending it, then let it be. There are at least four types of people in the world, each representing a different view, an altered interpretation on the vanity, worthlessness and futility of life. There are people who have not seen, have not known, or at least have not understood the question of lifes value. These are the people who goes through life without questioning it, sees himself as just a single dot in the world and not recognizing that the world is as well a part of himself. They are the ones who believe that in this life, what you see is always what you get; they dont pay attention to the underlying meanings and the hidden questions which this life is so much filled with.

There are also people who have understood fully that life is really unworthy and empty, but have drowned such truth in lifes intoxication instead of facing it. Wealth, riches, fame and the other vices of life were their ways of making themselves believe that life is in fact, worth living. They carry on existence simply to satisfy the worldly pleasures they have learned to love disregarding the fact that what they enjoy is merely an accident, that not all people have their welfare, and that not everyone have a thousand wives like Solomon, or has hundreds of palaces like his. How ironic are these people to get drowned at the very superficial reasons they have created out of their inability to really make sense out of life. There are people who have known and have comprehended lifes vanity but have chosen to endure such emptiness and worthlessness simply because they never earned sufficient courage to walk away from life. They are the ones who are too weaktoo weak to stand up for what they finally understood, and too weak to be able to end their own sufferings that they end up bearing indefinitely such a weight of lifes absurdity. Finally, there are people who have discerned that life is really not worth anything, people who have seen the full extent of lifes vanity, and have acted accordingly. They are the ones who knew and have brought themselves on the way to freedom from life, that is to say, they are the ones who have ended their lives. For them, death and freedom are two synonymous words and as such has gathered the strength to revolt against life, against sufferings, pain, emptiness and death. They are four types of people who tell us only one thing: only those who are strong and wise enough to understand that life is so worthless can be spared from it, only those who can end their lives shall truly be free. On the other hand, those who are still living are either too fool not to see that life is full of vain, or too intoxicated of life, or are too weak to face the consequences of lifes unworthiness.

I must admit now, I totally disagree with my own conclusions, as I must say, I am so in love with life and that if living would mean never-ending suffering from pain, sickness or death , then I would endure it. I understand now that life is so worthless, nevertheless, I dont accept such fact, because life for me, no matter how many wise men would talk about its vanity, worthlessness or futility, is and will always be the sweetest opportunity that could be given to anyone by the Almighty God. It is a chance to experience His love, to experience all the things that come together with itwhether it is pain, or suffering. All these things are part of life and they are not the ones that make life worthless, in fact they are the very thing that make it all the worth living. We live to surpass sufferings, to overcome pain and to become better persons. Now, would you rather end your life and lose such a special opportunity?