14 December, 2011
In Defense of Suffering
This is one of the best short articles I've read in months. The wealth of references (Dante, Eliot, Dostoevsky...yes please!) appeals to the classically-educated nerd within me, and the point he makes is one I agree with wholeheartedly. Are some of the claims sweeping and not to be fully supported (surely not all depression is merely psychological)? Of course. It's a short article. Should we do as much as we can to alleviate human suffering? Sure. Should we do so in particular as independent actors exercising our own freedom to choose our own and others' good? Yes. Should we manipulate governmental structures so as to minimize the extent to which free human choice (within normal limits) results in suffering, to the extent that we essentially abolish freedom? I think that would show that we have our priorities very, very wrong.