Freedom from Suffering and Freedom from Morality

Axiopaths are, oversimplifying somewhat, people for whom human beings exist for the sake of ethics, rather than ethics’ existing for the sake of human beings. Removed, in a laudable degree, from any charge of being such an “axiopath” is  Hans Lenk (*1935), who declares himself fully ready to embrace a world without morality provided only that it were also a world without suffering:

“To buy a world without suffering at the price of freeing it also of morality – this would, indeed, be no hard renunciation to perform. But such a world, of course, is unimaginable: living beings are forced to bring about the destruction of other living beings if they are to continue to exist themselves – and this is no less true of us human beings, capable though we are of morality, than of other living entities. All such entities are profoundly damned to do evil.” (Lenk in: Willy Hochkeppel (Ed.), Die Antworten der Philosophie heute)

Considered from the broadest of all perspectives, however, Lenk commits the error of viewing a world freed from suffering at the price of freeing it also from morality as an acceptable prospect, indeed, but also as a mere speculation which envisages an object that could never, in fact, be brought to realization. He blocks from his mind the fact that the existence of human beings hangs directly from the thread of procreation – a thread which can be cut at any time. Lenk’s statement about us humans to the effect that we are “profoundly damned to do evil” depends on the false supposition that this procreation is something imposed on us by Nature with the same irrecusable necessity as is breathing.

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