My theodicy, such as it is

I think pain is our primary connection to the real world, i.e. the difference between dreaming and being awake (or “woke” ;D). One of the consequences of this is that pain produces fear, fear produces reflection, anticipation, and forethought, these produce causal thinking, and causal thinking produces wisdom…leading inevitably to my pre-existing heuristic that wisdom = pain * IQ. That is, pain is the reason we ask “why” questions.

In a Christian theological context, pain would be our capacity to “hear” messages from God. We could also hear other messages, but we would have this capacity because pain is our reality antenna. So if we presume that God designed life to feel pain (I’m agnostic on this), then this implies that pain exists because God wants to talk to us using objective reality as a medium. I.e. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

I believe philosophy is a behavioral response to existential terror. That terror comes from the understanding that reality is much bigger and more powerful than we are, as artistically expressed by Lovecraft. Now, this calls back to something commonsensical: all creators and artists have a sort of “artistic fingerprint” that exists in all of their work. (In my head I call the common element in a class of objects the “essence” of that class.) If God created reality then everything real would include this common element. So the fear of reality is also the fear of the creator. If we define God as the “aboutness” of existence, then philosophy follows from the pain of existing.

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33 Responses to My theodicy, such as it is

  1. SirHamster says:

    So if we presume that God designed life to feel pain (I’m agnostic on this), then this implies that pain exists because God wants to talk to us using objective reality as a medium.

    You are familiar with the ability to feel being linked to the ability to feel pain?

    Leprosy is a skin disease with an interesting side effect: “This may result in a lack of ability to feel pain and thus loss of parts of extremities due to repeated injuries or infection due to unnoticed wounds.

    Without the ability to feel pain, man could get completely lost in sin and go to his eternal damnation without even noticing he is in trouble. In light of that alternative, pain is a mercy.

    And it makes sense to me that pain is linked to sense. Any sensor has an upper limit to it’s input. Pain is a sensor overloaded to the point of signal clipping.

  2. Santoculto says:

    Sescient beings need all palette of sensations to start to understand reality not only one of them.

    I thought you are confusing feel pain to become aware with become truly aware of something or awareness = pain. I don’t think we need feel the pain to understand but because the histrionic nature of this sensation seems more efficient to increase our awareness about something than other type.

    An to become aware usually is needed that certain reality have some familiarity with the subject/ the being, to have some potential to be internalized/ become aware/part of the being, of your personality.

    But I don’t think that is the Pain, literal way??, that make us aware about certain particularity of reality but when the chain of certainties finally lost their vigor by abrupt or progressive way, generally via intuitive and subsequent deliberated recognition of patterns and moral pressure. We can learn, primarily, by immediate fear when we shock abruptly with certain reality and became instantaneously aware about it or when we already have certain understanding about it and progressively we are self-convincing. For example, I have some relatives who become vegan after they have watched a popular documentary about “holocaust” animal. They become abruptly aware about this reality and this shock make us self actualize quickly. I become vegetarian slowly, since a long time I think timidly about it and I was self-convincing myself, charging my courage to become vegetarian.

    Ignorance is a bliss but too much existential neuroticism is not recommended even rational is. I think have introspective well being is fundamental to survive near to depression (melancholy), when we become existentially aware, in other words, more near to both, emphasized awareness of death and life. Without this intrinsic happiness, the pure ones, suicidal ideations can become a mental habit, unhealthy for sure.

    I also think your pain concept here can be understood as the lament of the lost instinct because instinct naturally blind living beings while reason make us stop our vital trajectories and always think about what we dong, who we are, where we go, inevitably increasing our existential pain because different than instinct we don’t born with natural guidelines and follow it in “blind’ way. We tend to love routines because this reconnect us with this instinctive past, when the natural ignorance of instinct blind/protect us from the absurd of life, of existence. Non human living beings just live, with disadvantages (they usually are killed or die exactly because they can choice too much, they are totally dependent from their instinctive guidelines that change little during the time life).

    • Santoculto says:


      i believe emotion is a ”evolutionary” mechanism to evaluate ”aesthetically” [harmonically] the patterns we are recognizing.

      For example, i’m looking for beautiful combination of colors in sky during dusk.

      First i’m recognizing a set of patterns via sensorial attention, namely vision, and i’m evaluating these patterns, based on my emotional iNput.

      Emotion is just like a echoes of our pattern recognition, to fixed some impression about SomeTHING.

      watcha tcha

  3. mendicant says:

    I haven’t read Wittgenstein in forever but recall him persistently using a toothache or headache as an example of a subjective experience. This may be significant,

    Also when I was quite young (<8) I could indeed feel pain in dreams. I'd get shot and it seemed inappropriate that it didn't hurt, so I somehow willed myself into feeling it. Somehow I lost this talent.

  4. bicebicebice says:

    “I believe philosophy is a behavioral response to existential terror.”

  5. Ophiuchus says:

    Your initial thrust that pain is what connects us to reality definitely strikes true in my mind. As for the notion that God designed life to feel pain, I believe that is an incomplete assessment of the Creator’s grand vision for life, which is rather incomprehensible as a rule (or seems that way to me). However, denying that pain is a teaching implement of the Lord is also incorrect. Pain, as you say, is a tool the Lord uses to teach us, but it’s not the central reason for existence. It’s merely an instrument that he deploys to bring us closer to that central reason.

    I believe the theodicy you’ve laid out here can be extrapolated upon in accordance with your triaxial “Slave, Master, Freeman” paradigm, so just for fun, let’s do that. Specifically, the sources of existential pain could be theorized to coincide with whether one’s natural mindset is that of a slave, of a master, or of a free man.

    For a natural slave, the source of existential terror comes from realizing that either:
    a) “Master is gone–or worse, he’s stopped caring–and now I don’t know what to do! (cue angst)”
    b) “The other members of my group have judged me to be non-virtuous–or worse, weird–and I am being shunned! (cue angst)”
    Otherwise, God’s in heaven and all’s right with the world.

    For the master, the cause of terror, roughly, is realizing that:
    “The functional coherence of the sociopolitical system I am in control of is breaking down! The little people are going hungry, and I may soon end up with my head on a stick! (cue angst)”
    Otherwise, God’s in heaven and all’s right with the world.

    For the free man, the cause of terror, roughly, is realizing that:
    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (cue angst)”
    God may be in heaven. He may not be. What is “heaven”, anyway? And how do we define what’s “right” and “wrong”? Also, how are we defining “God” here?… etc.

    So, even though all pain finds its root in the “aboutness” of existence (which we understand in this case to be God’s fingerprint), it channels itself through each individual’s mind through different neurologico-architectural vectors, particularly those three which we broadly define as “Slave, Master, and Free Man”.

    • Ophiuchus says:


      • Son of Distant Trebizond says:

        I have a hunch that Evil follows from free, rational yet mutable minds apprehending Eternity. An inversion of ‘becoming’ that is abstracted by the rational mind and applied in every moment.

        • Ophiuchus says:

          “Do you have an obsessive drive to build imposing monolithic structures for the purpose of conveying the concept of advanced civilization across the abstractive dimension of time? Can’t stop using weaponized linguisto-symbolic memes to mold reality into a more aesthetically-beautiful representation of abstract perfection? Do you consider social manipulation, when performed to meet the end of a harmoniously circuitous and balanced civilizational superstructure a legitimate form of artistic expression? Have you ever sacrificed your life to achieve the spiritual redemption of all mankind through all subsequent aeons in a grand theatrical act of symbolic self-sacrifice, simultaneously codifying the optimally virtuous civilizational heuristic-set for prosperous, wholesome nations to thrive? Or are you just sad because your neurocranium is too big to wear one of those funny little hats with the rotor-thingie on top?

          Hello, I’m Dr. Melon McMelonson, here to talk to you today about Melonheaditis. If you meet any of the criteria listed above, please call us today for your free trial of Thalflex™! Using our patented formula of small-tribe, Ice-Age k-selection, atavistic grey matter endowment, and endogamous personality, YOU TOO can learn The Way of the Nobilid™! Downregulate your psychopathic tendencies! Turn off the ability to understand exactly what someone else is thinking and why via their minute, involuntary biomechanical indicators and unconscious body language! Learn to fix your computer by yourself! Call now!

          (Not responsible for any and all side effects up to and including compulsive information-hoarding, DIY vault-creation and My Little Pony fandom. No refunds. Some parts may be sold separately. Or perhaps not. We’ll be the judge of that, now won’t we, little man?)”

          In other words:

          “This thing all things devours:
          Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
          Gnaws iron, bites steel;
          Grinds hard stones to meal;
          Slays king, ruins town,
          And beats high mountain down.”

          Being ruled by time is a hell of a drug

          • bicebicebice says:

            “Being ruled by time is a hell of a drug”

            Sure is, especially since they keep asking for the next best thing after “What is the meaning of life?”, namely “can I get an estimate on how long of a time eternity is,preferably in human years please, I would like to now when everything ends”. That never happens, leaving a hurt of butts which leads them to facilitate their own demise instead via whatever works best for that current era, to get back at whatever perceived entity/being/reality that somehow wronged them for not giving them and answer that doesn’t exist. “Well it itz up to me to end everything then I will HA check m8 take that God”. Okay then.

            Very strange people, these Melons.

            • -MM- says:

              The vast majority of the melons do what they do because they are really just normies with high IQ and low (normal) associative horizon.
              Low AH is better than high AH in getting shit done but unless they have elevated psychoticism(and thus higher AH) they do exactly what you would expect of pyhsical reality obsessed dopamine seakers.
              The EVIL melons, ironically, are in many ways similar to the so-called “thal” in the sense that they live beyond the present moment and can make great leaps on intuition(And like “thals” some of these leaps turn out to be utterly batshit).
              Of course there are High AH melons that have at least some altruism. They are the ones who comment here.
              Most Melons just control the people directly under them and never question the fundamental structures of society. So you cant blame them, more than anyone else at least, for falling for materialism and nihilism.

            • Yes I would agree that the really nasty evil people aren’t just bigeye melon ace used-car salespeople. It takes a power of the will, patience and sheer emotional capacity that’s beyond them. Most run of the loom melon just want to make $150k and get their Johnson polished by a leggy blonde and that’s actually a great life goal IMO.

            • bicebicebice says:

              I got a bad feeling about a good thing and must act on it for reasons

              Sometimes itz a race between who can be the most entertain(t)ed for the longest amount of time by the most mundane thing, autism at itz finest, without ruining the planet in the process. The winnarz are yet to be determined in this.
              Watch out for crommy and crummy Head Hunters in Papua New Guinea and Amazonian Aztec remnants sacrificing tourists, tho. They have all the time in the world, a very patient lot. r-people found their niche. Why risk having these critters unleashed again?

              I think Melons are too greedy, but then again curiosty killed the cat, and by cat I mean Thal, and by that I mean too eager is just another word for greed. But without drive, we would throw spears at helicopters. This begs the questions, r-people are the final destination of the black pill,a notion that would not be popular among the “muh nobles savages” lefties and righties fighting for these people “rights”, and looking up to them, for reasons I will never understand.
              If I happened upon a ferra-scandi leaping at me out of the bushes with a rock in hand spouting gibberish i’d fight my retarded cousin to the death then and there. I wouldn’t have any other choice, thanks to bleeding hearts shitlibs. A lot of religious nutjobs fall into this category as well, unfortunately.

              And, thusly, you could say the Good Thals are Evil Melons, in that they can’t stop applying layers to reality, leading them to make great tech-strides with a wonky culture(Melons being more vice versa imo, with emphasis on classic civz), but never stopping at a good-enough-to last forever point, or, best case scenario, just getting there before everybody else, but being too spergy to wait for the rest, start a shit-fest and make enemies of both r’s and K’s at the same time. This is not a good strategy to alienate your fellow K, heck even snake melons and the art of the deal could save this galaxy from the ayy lmaos. Sometimes you have to snake your way out of your planet becoming a live action weapons testing facility for grey vultures.

              All i’m saying is, there are cultures out there hell bent on inventing calendars that all point to the same thing, and if that calendar fails they invent a new one, where the end goal is always the end of time, the coming of the end of time, or something similiar along those lines, leading some to finding the most comfy way to spend time before that happens, but it never does. There is no end of time, only and end of you, but somehow the future of the human race got thrown into that equation.
              Also funny how interest and debt plays into this.

              Then again, we did a pretty good job of ending our cousin species. If that isn’t the original sin of mankind the nothing is, and maybe we are just smart enough to think about these things over and over again. but not being able to change our nature to prevent it until everyone devolves into an island-cannibal-ooga booga. Oh shit…

              Which job do I apply for to get the leggy johnson? If i’m going to be blackpilled then I want it to be a comfy experience. (and then you sit on your ass do nothing until everything becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of decline and rebirth until such a thing is no longer possible thanks to our devolving T-scores). Those blackpills are very shiny and alluring, muh rome muh byzans muh pyramids muh insert dead high/golden age culture.

              Falling to anything is what happens when a culture loses Momentum. Imagine the impact of failing global cultures. Deep Impact. Vote for change, get a Kenyan and his fellow world socialist comrades thrown into the deal. There is a tendency in The West to actively work against your own interests, and if you really really really run out of enemies, you can always fight yourself. First World Problems.

              Invent it N
              implement it K
              maintain it r
              reinvent it because remember guys itz all going to hell anyway *rubs ha…..((())) <— NO, watch out for shiny blackpilling comfy leggy blonde johnsons, especially the ones with funny noses. There is no need to ever lose your johnson again, trust me.

              My favourite anti-semite is Stephen Hawking, we all know Black Holes are an allegory.

            • MM says:

              Agree with Bice.
              Just think if instead of Melons we had a race of Texas Arcane’s in charge.
              Actually that would be pretty fun while it lasted. But ultimately no different in outcome.
              It’s all a question of purpose for this race isnt it…. But such thoughts are luxuries and RIGHT NOW we have families that need protecting. Children in the future. Whatever the fuck THIS PLACE is, I’ll keep my line going for at least a while longer.

              The choir at the end makes me want to slip into deep black water. The cold on your skin for eternity. Just floating.
              A return to a dead womb.
              But now the black pill passes.

              We have work to do.

    • baduin says:

      Have you read Lindsay’s The Voyage to Arcturus? Krag the guide of the main character, is Pain. There is also a bit there about Hegel’s master and slave dialectic, with a free man added in.

      “One hot morning I came to Shaping’s Causeway. It is so called either because Shaping once crossed it, or because of its stupendous character. It is a natural embankment, twenty miles long, which links the mountains bordering my homeland with the Ifdawn Marest. The valley lies below at a depth varying from eight to ten thousand feet—a terrible precipice on either side. The knife edge of the ridge is generally not much over a foot wide. (…) About halfway across I saw someone approaching me a long way off. This put fear into my heart again, for I did not see how we could very well pass. However, I went slowly on, and presently we drew near enough together for me to recognise the walker. It was Slofork, the so-called sorcerer. (…)
      “We sat down and faced one another, about two yards apart.
      “‘Which of us walks over the other?’ asked Slofork. His manner was as calm as the day itself, but, to my young nature, terrible with hidden terrors. I smiled at him, but did not wish for this humiliation. We continued sitting thus, in a friendly way, for many minutes.
      “‘What is greater than Pleasure?’ he asked suddenly.
      “I was at an age when one wishes to be thought equal to any emergency, so, concealing my surprise, I applied myself to the conversation, as if it were for that purpose we had met.
      “‘Pain,’ I replied, ‘for pain drives out pleasure.’
      “‘What is greater than Pain?’
      “I reflected. ‘Love. Because we will accept our loved one’s share of pain.’
      “‘But what is greater than Love?’ he persisted.
      “‘Nothing, Slofork.’
      “‘And what is Nothing?’
      “‘That you must tell me.’
      “‘Tell you I will. This is Shaping’s world. He that is a good child here, knows pleasure, pain, and love, and gets his rewards. But there’s another world—not Shaping’s and there all this is unknown, and another order of things reigns. That world we call Nothing—but it is not Nothing, but Something.’
      “Before I realised what he was doing, he jumped tranquilly from the path, down into the empty void. He crashed with ever-increasing momentum toward the valley below. I screeched, flung myself down on the ground, and shut my eyes.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        >Have you read Lindsay’s The Voyage to Arcturus?

        I haven’t, but it sounds interesting. I don’t understand how the Nothing worshipers think suicide is the right idea in response to the whole “abyss looks back” thing. After all, the whole idea behind suicide is to enter the abyss (unless you’re a samurai).

        • baduin says:

          Slofork is not a Nothing worshipper. He is a very minor character in this novel, I quoted nearly all that is to him. He is what you call above a free man, refusing to be a slave or a master (Ifdawn Marest is the land of masters and slaves, and Shaping Causeway leads to it). He refuses to bown down and be trodden on, and he does not want to walk on others. He is an intellectual, who discovered that the material world and pleasure is not the whole of reality. But that intellectual knowledge did not help him.

          The book is in a sense Gnostic. There are, however, important differences which make it important, and most of all, Pain. For Gnostics world is false, and pain is evil, and part of the lie. For Lindsay, Krag (that is, Pain) is the only guide to truth.

          But what Lindsay has in common with gnostics is that it is not enough to think intellectually about truth. This is only guessing, and it doesn’t work, it has no results. Only direct experience gives true knowledge of Good, which changes our behaviour. (To know the Good is to desire it; but intellectual games are not enough).

          ” It was Slofork, the so-called sorcerer. I had never met him before, but I knew him by his peculiarities of person. He was of a bright gamboge colour and possessed a very long, proboscis-like nose, which appeared to be a useful organ, but did not add to his beauty, as I knew beauty. He was dubbed ‘sorcerer’ from his wondrous skill in budding limbs and organs. The tale is told that one evening he slowly sawed his leg off with a blunt stone and then lay for two days in agony while his new leg was sprouting. He was not reputed to be a consistently wise man, but he had periodical flashes of penetration and audacity that none could equal. (…)

          “‘I have heard,’ said I, ‘that you are good at growing and ungrowing organs?’
          “‘That’s not enough for me. Every organ tells me the same story. I want to hear different stories.’ “

  6. Fear reality? But I’m a Melonhead! I own reality!

  7. Heaviside says:

    >I think pain is our primary connection to the real world

    You would probably like Jordan Peterson, but I don’t agree with him.

  8. la la lla s says:

    “wisdom = pain * IQ. That is, pain is the reason we ask “why” questions.”

    Gives a feel of joy that someone else in the world actually reached this thought of mine :)!
    On the other hand, no one who reaches that thought is a lucky person, so I am not glad for you.

    Our eyes see only through a veil of tears, they said in ancient China.
    This is old knowledge, but it doesn’t suit healthy humans, so it never becomes common.

    And this is why the free one realizes, intelligence being the same, so many more than slaves and masters. Slaves take suffering without feeling pain, they need to love their thralldom and not desire anything but what they can get.
    Masters, masters fulfill the normal human’s course so entirely, they are power-grabbing, power-expanding machines that run on… power. They’re too healthy to understand a fuck about anything, usually.

    Masters who fall from the altar to the ground, on the contrary, may understand a lot, and quickly. Certainly more and more quickly than slaves.

    They are all much luckier than the free wanderer, who not only does wander, but unlike the others sees and has to see the whole time his own shadow next to him.

    • la la lla s says:

      I express this as (deep) knowledge = intelligence * sensitivity. Or actually, A*intelligence + B*sensitivity, with A and B varying a lot, depending on many factors.

      “knowledge” means nothing like coding skills, engineering, or law or economics, clearly.
      It means philosophical knowledge.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Gives a feel of joy that someone else in the world actually reached this thought of mine :)!

      Convergence is very nice. It’s not confirmation that we’re drawing from reality, but it means we’re at least drawing from the same well.

      >Our eyes see only through a veil of tears, they said in ancient China.
      This is old knowledge, but it doesn’t suit healthy humans, so it never becomes common.

      That’s the tragedy, isn’t it? Success makes us weak, and failure makes us strong.

      I basically agree with your assessment of the three types’ reactions. Of the three, two are ultimately solipsistic and fail to recognize the existence of other minds.

    • baduin says:

      “Masters who fall from the altar to the ground, on the contrary, may understand a lot, and quickly. Certainly more and more quickly than slaves.”

      Lindsay The Voyage to Arcturus
      “I came eventually to the Marest. I threaded its mazes in terror for four days. (…) When I was nearly through, and was beginning to congratulate myself, I stumbled across the third extraordinary personage of my experience—the grim Muremaker. It was under horrible circumstances. On an afternoon, cloudy and stormy, I saw, suspended in the air without visible support, a living man. He was hanging in an upright position in front of a cliff—a yawning gulf, a thousand feet deep, lay beneath his feet. I climbed as near as I could, and looked on. He saw me, and made a wry grimace, like one who wishes to turn his humiliation into humour. The spectacle so astounded me that I could not even grasp what had happened.

      “‘I am Muremaker,’ he cried in a scraping voice which shocked my ears. ‘All my life I have sorbed others—now I am sorbed. Nuclamp and I fell out over a woman. Now Nuclamp holds me up like this. While the strength of his will lasts I shall remain suspended; but when he gets tired—and it can’t be long now—I drop into those depths.’

      “Had it been another man, I would have tried to save him, but this ogre-like being was too well known to me as one who passed his whole existence in tormenting, murdering, and absorbing others, for the sake of his own delight. I hurried away, and did not pause again that day.”

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