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Suffering and Death

January 8, 2013

3

Mark Twain didn’t like paradoxes. In his own life, he longed for the freedom of youth, far away from the confining society of mature adulthood, and yet he remained a scientific determinist to the end. Twain revealed his longing for the other side of the paradox in Huckleberry Finn when he caused his hero to continually desert necessity for freedom. Twain may have had to choose necessity in his own life, but he still craved freedom enough to make his heroes grasp at human autonomy. He wanted to have it both ways, but no matter where he went he ran into tragedy. He could not see how freedom and necessity could possibly be reconciled. To him, finitude, temporality, bodyliness, and limitation were man’s worst enemies. But these are only the constituent realties of life.

And out of them comes suffering.

And out of them comes death.

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