|2NC Turns Case – Suffering
A life of pain and suffering is a life that is rich in affirmation. The way that the aff conceptualizes solutions avoid the positive aspects of life and stalls them from overcoming the suffering they seek to solve.
Philip J. Kain, PhD, professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University, 2009, The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Nietzsche, Virtue, and the Horror of Existence, ProQuest
Suppose that you can, as Aristotle suggests, look back over your life as a whole and feel that it was a good one – a happy one. Would that make you want to live it again? Would you at the moment in which you feel that your life was a happy one also ‘crave nothing more fervently’ than to live it again? What if your life was a joyous life or a proud life? It is quite clear isn’t it that you could have a very positive attitude toward your life, and not at all want to live it again? In fact, wouldn’t the prospect of eternal repetition, if the idea grew upon you and gained possession of you, begin to sap even the best life of its attractiveness? Wouldn’t the expectation of eternal repetition make anything less appealing? Wouldn’t it empty your life of its significance and meaning? Most commentators seem to assume that the only life we could expect anyone to want to live again would be a good life. That makes no sense at all to me. On the other hand, most would assume that a life of intense pain and suffering is not at all the sort of life it makes any sense to want to live again. I think Nietzsche was able to see that a life of intense pain and suffering is perhaps the only life it really makes sense to want to live again. This requires explanation. For years Nietzsche was ill, suffering intense migraines, nausea and vomiting. Often he was unable to work and confined to bed. He fought this. He tried everything. He sought a better climate. He watched his diet fanatically. He experimented with medicines. Nothing worked. He could not improve his condition. His suffering was out of his control. It dominated his life and determined his every activity. He was overpowered by it. There was no freedom or dignity here. He became a slave to his illness. He was subjugated by it. What was he to do? At the beginning of the essay, ‘Concerning the Sublime,’ Schiller wrote: “nothing is so beneath the dignity of a human being as to suffer violence . . . whoever cowardly suffers it, tosses his humanity aside . . . Every human being finds himself in this position. He is surrounded by countless forces, all superior to him and all playing the master over him . . . If he can no longer oppose physical forces with a corresponding physical force, then nothing else remains for him to do to avoid suffering violence than to do completely away with a relation so deleterious to him and to destroy conceptually a brute force that he in fact must endure. However, to destroy a force conceptually means nothing other than to submit to it voluntarily.”39 While Nietzsche does not go about it in the way Schiller had in mind, nevertheless, this is exactly what Nietzsche does. What was he to do about his suffering? What was he to do about the fact that it came to dominate every moment of his life? What was he to do about the fact that it was robbing him of all freedom and dignity? What was he to do about this subjugation and slavery? He decided to submit to it voluntarily. He decided to accept it fully. He decided that he would not change a single detail of his life, not one moment of pain. He decided to love his fate. At the prospect of living his life over again, over again an infinite number of times, without the slightest change, with every detail of suffering and pain, he was ready to say, ‘Well then! Once more!’’40 He could not change his life anyway. This way he broke the psychological stranglehold it had over him. He ended his subjugation. He put himself in charge. He turned all ‘it was’ into a ‘thus I willed it’. Everything that was going to happen in his life, he accepted, he chose, he willed. He became sovereign over his life. There was no way to overcome his illness except by embracing it.
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