Are we "lucky" to be alive?

2 years, 4 months ago

“We are so lucky to be alive.” A cliche I’m sure we have all come across, I’m wondering how much truth or substance is really behind this statement. For one to be lucky in a situation, at least two different outcomes must be possible, and more often than not one gets to enjoy the more positive of the two simply by chance. It could be said that being alive is an outcome, but what is the other? Never being born? Is never existing in the first place “unlucky”? Surely not, because there is no subject or agent there to be unlucky.

The only scenario I could see this phrase having any meaning in is after a near-death experience. “Boy, I’m lucky to be alive after almost getting hit by that car!” or “I feel so lucky to be alive after overcoming that horrible disease!” However, I would argue that “I’m lucky to have not died” is a more accurate description here than “I’m lucky to be alive.”

The phrase “We are lucky to be alive,” like so many other “inspirational” cliches, is entirely transparent and has no real basis other than a nice thought.

November 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

You must sign in or join to reply!

1
Profile photo of Nick Nick (@nickc2007) 2 years, 4 months ago ago

…not really.

My interpretation of that phrase has always been that life is short and so fucking sweet that you do sometimes need to be reminded that the chance to live is a real blessing. Obviously it’s impossible to compare it to not being born, as nobody has direct experience of that, it’s more a reminder that it’s well worth being an optimist. Let’s quote Tool shall we?

“Twirling ’round with this familiar parabol.
Spinning, weaving ’round each new experience.
Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this
chance to be alive and breathing,
a chance to be alive and breathing.”

[Hidden]
1
Profile photo of stryder stryder (@stryder) 2 years, 4 months ago ago

@dkanowsky The chances of both of your parents meeting and then pro-creating to create you are so small that its little short of a miracle that your unique self exists at all. And if you then factor in the chances of both sets of your grandparents meeting and then creating your parents, the chances of your own individual self being alive are so small that it is a miracle that you are alive and walking around this earth.

[Hidden]
1
Profile photo of cadeus cadeus (@cadeus333) 2 years, 4 months ago ago

I’d have to disagree with you, I feel very lucky to be alive in this galaxy, at this time, on this planet on this planet and to have the life that I have. My life is not perfect but it is a million times better than most peoples lives on this planet if I am honest wit myself. It is a blessing to be alive and it is very lucky to be alive in a situation where you can really appreciate and make the most out of this blessing we call “life”.

Might as well enjoy it to the fullest and be a shining example of love and compassion to the rest of humanity, so that we may die with pride and dignity while leaving behind a legacy for our children to improve on.

[Hidden]
1
Profile photo of derek derek (@dkanowsky) 2 years, 4 months ago ago

@nickc2007, “it’s more a reminder that it’s well worth being an optimist.” – exactly, as I said this phrase serves no purpose other than a nice thought. As for the Tool quote, it seems to be saying that life is an opportunity, which I am not denying. I am simply exploring what I view “luck” to be, and concluding that cliches like this one have no real utility when analyzed.

@stryder, You raise a fair point bringing up the unlikelihood of one’s ancestry working out the way it did, however it seems to me that you are basing the “luck” simply off of probability (or should I say, improbability). No one can deny that to exist as uniquely as you do at this moment is a near mathematical impossibility, but this is not the angle I am looking at the phrase from.

@cadeus333, I do not mean to demean or attack your positivity, but your response is simply an extension of the very cliche I am criticizing.

[Hidden]
1
Profile photo of 123 123 (@a1379) 1 year, 3 months ago ago

We are lucky to be here because we are here. If we were not here, then yes there would be no person to feel lucky or unlucky unless it was determined that we were so by someone that actually did exist. I believe I exist and I that I am lucky to be here compared to if I did not exist. It makes sense to me because I am here. Why do you care to debate if not existing is lucky or unlucky to something that does not exist? The feeling of being lucky or unlucky to be here is clearly up to the person that is questioning it. If there is not someone to question it, then other people that do exist might question it for them. Is that what you are trying to do? Figure out if existing is lucky or unlucky? I think it depends on if you can handle being lucky or not.

[Hidden]
1
Profile photo of Matheus Pinheiro Matheus Pinheiro (@Mattgood) 1 year, 3 months ago ago

It is unique and people do not give unique experiences that easy.

Of course we are lucky!

[Hidden]
1
Profile photo of YHVH YHVH (@spaceghost) 1 year, 3 months ago ago

I used to say “I didn’t ask to be born!”

Now I’m not sure I didn’t.

[Hidden]
1
Profile photo of sian sian (@siantastic) 1 year, 3 months ago ago

I personally feel like the luckiest bastard ever.

[Hidden]
Reply to this topic
Click here to join the our site-wide 30 Day Dream Journaling Challenge! Challenge Yourself

More Posts Like This

1

Profile photo of sian Book Slop

Introduction We have trouble telling the truth on a number of occasions, and resisting the arrest of our lies has become increasingly difficult over the years. It’s become taboo to speak our minds, and it’s become...

4
1

Profile photo of Campfirecowboy Happiness?

Is nirvana remotely possible for human beings? I’ve often been thinking about how happiness can become an everyday thing… and most of the time, it seems utterly impossible. How can someone be ultimately...

4
2

Profile photo of sian Where do you go?

When you die, where do you go? I mean sure you no longer interact with that which is (depending on your perspective)…but where do “you” go. Is it possible for you to escape the cosmos…and if yes...

8
1

Profile photo of Campfirecowboy The Big Bang Theory Is Wrong

Every single individual atom is alive with a unique consciousness Your mind is the ruler of these atoms, whatever you think attracts certain atoms with a similar vibration and motivates them to carry on life processes...

21
48

Profile photo of M4G1C LOG1C14N [HE 30 Day Challenge] March ’15 – Dream Journaling!

Is everyone super zen from last month’s meditation challenge? I hope so :) The challenge for March is dream journaling! Dream journaling is the practice of writing down your dreams immediately upon waking (before...

111
5

Profile photo of Ellie What do you Fear?

As I was reading posts and responding to them I decided I wanted to get some input from you all on a topic that I toil over quite often. Everywhere I look I see things like “conquer your fears”, “fear...

34
3

Profile photo of isthisreal Traveling on a budget?

I’m a broke ass college student but I NEED to leave this city this summer. Maybe pack up the car or save up enough for a one way ticket? Anybody else feeling restless? Any tips on how to travel VERY cheap? thanks...

1
2

Profile photo of LVX Quotes

Genius seeks continuously, comprehends thoroughly, contemplates passionately, and then disagrees entirely.

1
3

Profile photo of LVX The KABALAH!

Since all the threads I have found on this subject are old, I felt the need to make a fresh one dedicated to this most awesome system of ‘Life’ study. Those who wonder what it is, please ask, and those who...

79
2

Profile photo of LVX Does everything we do ripple across the universe?

I often wonder if through all the song lyrics and every passage in a book that seems to transforms into a voice sitting infront of me, staring me in the eyes, and talking to me alone in the world, I wonder if that voice...

1
1

Profile photo of LVX Lucid dreaming books

Anybody have any suggestions for a lucid dreaming book for a beginner?

1
1

Profile photo of LVX Ever spent hours trying to find something do?

I usually am a very decisive person. Though I occasionally find it very difficult to find an activity that suits my interests when I’m in the mood of doing something fun. I recently discovered a very good app for...

4
3

Profile photo of Franco Lucien Null Physics

So, from what I have learned in the past year the concept of nothing exists in relation to the concept of something. If nothing exists, then something therefore must exist. And if something exist, vice versa, nothing...

20
1

Profile photo of boobookitty Meditation

What is Vipassana? I want know more about it

1
1

Profile photo of Franco Lucien New Fitness Instagram biggy_bates

Hey guys, this is kind of stupid but I just made an Instagram page for my fitness journey. One of my goals is to make it big in the fitness world and Instagram is great when it comes to publicity. It’s also kind of...

1