more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4854

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 4. Suicide]

Full Idea

That a man, from the necessity of his own nature, should endeavour to become non-existent, is as impossible as that something should be made out of nothing.

Gist of Idea

It is impossible that the necessity of a person's nature should produce a desire for non-existence


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], IV Pr 20)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.203

A Reaction

At first glance this is very paradoxical, but it fits with evolutionary theory, which seems to make it almost inconceivable to naturally desire suicide. The desire to live is universal, and only circumstances can create an artifiical contradictory desire.