morfizm (morfizm) wrote,

Are we living or just surviving?

(answering stupid questions at Quora)

Living is a neutral term that describes the state of being alive and everything that happens while in that state.

Surviving is a narrower term, a subset of "living", which adds difficult circumstances, denotes struggle to stay alive.

Whether someone has (or we all have) difficult circumstances is subject to interpretation. You can take the same factual description from different persons, one who have positive or neutral mood would say it's living, a depressive one would say it's surviving. It's very subjective and often judged in comparison to person's previous experiences or expectations.

Are we all depressed and judging negatively about life? Apparently, the answer is "No". Are we all neutral or positive? Apparently, the answer is "No" as well.

So the correct answer to your question is that we are living (it includes those who are surviving but also those who're not). The answer "we're just surviving" would've been wrong. However, since we're talking about sets of people, a more precise answer is that we are allliving, but some of us are just surviving.

I'd like to add that this question is also contextual: a person may feel negatively about their life in certain circumstances or at certain times, and may feel differently at other times. I am sure there are some people who who always feel positive or at least neutral and never feel they're just surviving. It also seems incredibly rare (if at all possible) that someone would've been negative 100% of the time in all situations. In other words, I think there are very few people (if any) who can say they're "just surviving all the time".

Another note is that understanding of math (specifically, basic set theory and mathematical logic) can help reason about questions like this and feel cool, even if at times one feels depressed and tempted to incorrectly generalize. I highly recommend math ;)
Tags: in english, linguistics, order

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