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Old 12th December 2012, 05:21 PM   #1
derchin
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Antinatalism-Thoughts?

Or the belief that no new life should be brought into the world based on the amount of suffering that the life form will induce to onto others or will receive themselves.


Here's a better definition: http://theantinatalismmanifesto.wikispaces.com/


And a few examples of it (Scroll down): http://theantinatalismmanifesto.wikispaces.com/


Thoughts? Opinions?
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Old 12th December 2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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Sounds like silly to me!!!

The fundamental principles of any species are to survive and procreate. We will never escape the present problems we have if there isn't a new generation to build and improve on the systems we have in place.
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Old 13th December 2012, 09:46 AM   #3
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From the site, bolding mine:
Quote:
As neither is confirmed that existing is preferable to non-existing , nor is it proven an (unknown) non-existence is preferable
to existence, humans should cease to decide to give birth to another sentient human being, like he should not decide to deprive
someone of his life, as long as the decision is not handed over by this being to someone else voluntarily, which is unobviously impossible
by someone in the condition of non-existence.
Not sure exactly what this isn't about, but it's certainly not unlike no other.

They are definitely anti-something.

What is not unobviously impossible by someone in the condition of non-existence, anyway?

Nothing, probably.
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Old 13th December 2012, 10:46 AM   #4
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They're cowards. If they believed what they said they'd commit suicide. I'm not saying that they SHOULD, understand--I'm not in favor of anyone taking their own life. I'm just saying that the logical conclusion of their philosophy is death, pure and simple. They put a lot of fancy-sounding jargon in their presentation of the conclusion, but that's what it boils down to. And they simply refuse to face where their logic inevitably leads.
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Old 13th December 2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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Suicide is scary, not reproducing is easy.
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Old 13th December 2012, 12:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ehcks View Post
Suicide is scary, not reproducing is easy.
As I said, they're cowards.
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Old 13th December 2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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People are such idiots..... before you know it there will be people trying to unbirth...
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Old 13th December 2012, 12:12 PM   #8
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I believe the exact opposite. I believe suffering is what motivates us to better ourselves, our circumstances, and our environment. To that end, I raised two children to be supervillians. It didn't work, they rebelled and went into the arts, but they aren't "nice" and they are both strong leaders.
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Old 13th December 2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
... To that end, I raised two children to be supervillians. It didn't work...

That's what they want you to think.
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Old 13th December 2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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I enjoy watching children suffer.
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Old 13th December 2012, 04:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
People are such idiots..... before you know it there will be people trying to unbirth...
I recall a joke involving this concept. Something about spending 9 months trying to get out of one and your entire adult life trying to get into another one.
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Old 13th December 2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
They're cowards. If they believed what they said they'd commit suicide. I'm not saying that they SHOULD, understand--I'm not in favor of anyone taking their own life. I'm just saying that the logical conclusion of their philosophy is death, pure and simple. They put a lot of fancy-sounding jargon in their presentation of the conclusion, but that's what it boils down to. And they simply refuse to face where their logic inevitably leads.
Absolutely. It's a completely asinine argument and it's natural conclusion is an endorsement of suicide. The fact that they shy away from that is indicative of the intellectual dishonesty of their position. They and the "voluntary human extinction" idiots.
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Old 13th December 2012, 09:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
Absolutely. It's a completely asinine argument and it's natural conclusion is an endorsement of suicide. The fact that they shy away from that is indicative of the intellectual dishonesty of their position. They and the "voluntary human extinction" idiots.
I'm with you, but I bet if you told that to an antinatalist they would be quick to draw a distinction between committing suicide in order to not exist and simply never existing in the first place. I think there is a relevant distinction there, though as antinatalism is silly either way, I'm not very eager to defend it.
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Old 13th December 2012, 09:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
That's what they want you to think.
You may be right. You should hear my daughter's elaborate revenge plans for when I'm elderly. I'm so proud.
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Old 14th December 2012, 05:20 AM   #15
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I have been going about this wrong. I was going to continue with the anti-antinatalism sentiment we have going thus far in the thread, but then I realized that I, myself, would be as intellectually dishonest as they are.

Here I've been urging 'stupid people' to stop breeding, have felt strongly about that for about a decade, and more so with each passing year. Now, I'm looking at a group of people who have silly beliefs I disagree with, and they are voluntarily taking their seeds out of the gene pool. And all I can think to do is mock them? Man, I just feel dirty.

You go, antinatalists! And don't let all those anti-antinatalists get you down! You can win this! If sucessful, by the end of your generation, we will all know you were right!

And your success will be demonstrated by your non-existence.
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Old 14th December 2012, 07:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dog Breakfast View Post
I'm with you, but I bet if you told that to an antinatalist they would be quick to draw a distinction between committing suicide in order to not exist and simply never existing in the first place. I think there is a relevant distinction there, though as antinatalism is silly either way, I'm not very eager to defend it.
Once you accept the premise that non-existence isn't preferable to existence, there's no justification for living. The only rational argument possible is "Death hurts", but we know ways to kill someone without pain. Besides, that argument merely proves my point: They're cowards. They are allowing fear to dictate their actions--they're alive only because they're afraid to die.

Other arguments can be presented, yes, but they amount to nothing more than special pleading. They're post-hoc justifications for allowing you to live. There's no possibility for any of them to be valid, because you've already assumed that existence and non-existence are equal. The conclusion is known before we even start, and any post-hoc justifications are merely going to be contradictory with the philosophy. (The "Death hurts" argument is rational because it addresses the process, by the way, not the states on either end of the process.)

Originally Posted by s4zando
You go, antinatalists! And don't let all those anti-antinatalists get you down! You can win this! If sucessful, by the end of your generation, we will all know you were right!

And your success will be demonstrated by your non-existence.
Yeah, that's the other thing: This meme can't survive. It's self-limiting.
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Old 14th December 2012, 08:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post

Yeah, that's the other thing: This meme can't survive. It's self-limiting.
They might leave behind some great furniture like the Shakers did.
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Old 14th December 2012, 09:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Yeah, that's the other thing: This meme can't survive. It's self-limiting.
The more I think about the above implications, the more it makes my head spin with how ridiculous it is. It's a one-shot deal...

Take your pick:

"I come from a long line of antinatalists."

"I am no longer antinatalist. Took me years to shed the antinatalist dogma my parents raised me with."

"Me? Antinatalist? No, that's my old man. He loves non-existent kids. I, like tubbablubba,
Quote:
enjoy watching children suffer.
This is fun.
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Old 18th December 2012, 06:41 PM   #19
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Hello. I identify as anti-natalist. If anyone has questions about anti-natalism, please feel free to ask me, but please do so in a respectful manner. Thank you and good day.
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Old 19th December 2012, 04:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
They're cowards.
Or they're just not arrogant, greedy self important pigs
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Old 19th December 2012, 07:27 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
Hello. I identify as anti-natalist. If anyone has questions about anti-natalism, please feel free to ask me, but please do so in a respectful manner. Thank you and good day.
1)What's the difference between an anti-natalist and someone who simply doesn't wish to have children?

2) Are you a part of the so-called "Voluntary Human Extinction" movement?
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Old 19th December 2012, 10:34 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
Hello. I identify as anti-natalist. If anyone has questions about anti-natalism, please feel free to ask me, but please do so in a respectful manner. Thank you and good day.
What do you think of my statement: "I believe suffering is what motivates us to better ourselves, our circumstances, and our environment."

Or these ideas?

Quote:
"...in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
Helen Keller

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."
Khalil Gibran
By trying to prevent suffering in others, aren't you robbing them of the chance to grow as fully as possible as human beings?

Finally, how much of this philosophy is rooted in fear?
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Old 19th December 2012, 08:29 PM   #23
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I read the manifesto, or tried to. What a load of manure. If the educated middle class airheads who write manifestoes like this are filled with malaise, o pobrecitos, too blinking bad. I was on my way to writing a whole diatribe on it, and then it came down to this. As long as we live in a world where there are warlords and child soldiers and child prostitutes, their misery is trivial. As long as population is not fungible, they're just throwing philosophical feces. Yep, we all die, boo hoo.
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Old 19th December 2012, 08:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
I believe the exact opposite. I believe suffering is what motivates us to better ourselves, our circumstances, and our environment. To that end, I raised two children to be supervillians. It didn't work, they rebelled and went into the arts, but they aren't "nice" and they are both strong leaders.
So would you think it a good idea if you see someone suffering, to, well, let 'em suffer? If they beg for help, ignore their pleas or toss an insult their way? Should we close down the psych. clinics, emotional counseling, etc. and just Let 'Em Suffer with their emotional problems and hope they "grow" out of it? I guess we shouldn't help the poor -- let 'em suffer and turn a blind eye to it all. After all, if we stop them from suffering, then in your words we are "robbing them of the chance to grow as fully as possible as human beings" (and I'm curious -- "grow" in what way? What objective and universal unarguable standard do you use to determine what "growth" means)? And when you say they aren't "nice", do you mean you trained them to be nasty, amoral, etc.?
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Last edited by mike3; 19th December 2012 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 19th December 2012, 08:41 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
What do you think of my statement: "I believe suffering is what motivates us to better ourselves, our circumstances, and our environment."

Or these ideas?



By trying to prevent suffering in others, aren't you robbing them of the chance to grow as fully as possible as human beings?

Finally, how much of this philosophy is rooted in fear?
"...in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Hmm. So then we should be supporting oppressive regimes, we should be advocating war at every turn, no?
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Old 19th December 2012, 10:36 PM   #26
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mike3, great points. Couldn't have said it any better. Good day.

joesixpack, great questions.

1. An anti-natalist is someone who believes that humans should refrain from breeding. (Some ant-natalists are also against other species breeding)

I know a lot of anti-natalists use the "suffering" argument, but I prefer the "consent" argument. (I think it's less subjective than the suffering argument) I do not believe I have the right to force life (and all that comes with it - the good, the bad, the neutral) onto someone who cannot consent to it. Yes, I am aware that a person can't make that decision without first existing. Because, to our knowledge, it is impossible for a person to consent to existence, I do not believe that I should make the decision for the person. And when a person doesn't exist, they do not feel sad or deprived of not existing. I think it's a win/win situation.

People who intend to permanently remain non-parents often identify as "childfree" or "childfree by choice." Some childfree people also identify as anti-natalist or sympathize with anti-natalism, but some don't.

Some people intend to never breed but choose to adopt children. I'm not sure how they are labeled.

2. I think that the VHEMT has some good ideas (For example, I think their "Why Breed?" chart is pure genius and I highly recommend it), but I don't agree with all of their ideas. I guess I could technically be considered part of the VHEMT because more than likely I won't be breeding (I am a lifelong celibate and I intend on getting sterilized by the age of 30, but I always prepare for the worst), but I identify as anti-natalist and childfree first and foremost.

Good day.

Piscivore, great questions.

First and foremost, I believe that practically everything has advantages and disadvantages. So, keep that in mind when reading my posts.

When a human being is brought into existence, some suffering can help him/her to survive. For example, if we know that animal bites are painful and can cause death (two things that most humans fear), we will do our best to not allow an animal to bite us. If we know that being hungry hurts, we find food to stop the hunger from hurting.

At the same time, because of our empathetic nature, it's common for humans to want to cut down on the amount of suffering that occurs. It's common for humans to feel that some suffering is unecessary and purposeless. I'm sure many humans would agree that the recent school shooting that took the lives of small children and adults is an example of unnecessary/pointless suffering. Also, I'm sure that if your child was in severe pain and you couldn't cure it, you would take it to the hospital with hopes that the medical professionals could stop your child's pain. No parent is thinking about the advantages of suffering at that moment (and after, most likely).

I know humans have a knack for trying to see the upside of ****** situations (as do I) and this knack keeps us from losing our minds, but I'm trying to look at the big picture. I don't believe it is my right to force existence onto another human without their consent. Yes, I am aware that a person can't make that decision without first existing. Because, to our knowledge, it is impossible for a person to consent to existence, I do not believe that I should make the decision for the person.

I don't believe existence is necessary. Since existence is unnecessary, suffering certainly is not necessary. And a human being who does not exist cannot be deprived of anything.

I believe the anti-natalism philosophy is mainly rooted in empathy/sympathy for human beings and basic critical thinking and logic. I think the focus should not be on the philosophy of anti-natalism but on pro-natalism. Why are we breeding in the first place? What purpose does breeding serve?Why do many humans feel that the human race must continue? (You don't have to answer these questions, of course. Just things to think about if you don't already.)

Good day.
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Old 20th December 2012, 05:40 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
I don't believe existence is necessary. Since existence is unnecessary, suffering certainly is not necessary. And a human being who does not exist cannot be deprived of anything.
Besides life itself. Life. Itself.
Quote:
I believe the anti-natalism philosophy is mainly rooted in empathy/sympathy for human beings and basic critical thinking and logic. I think the focus should not be on the philosophy of anti-natalism but on pro-natalism. Why are we breeding in the first place? What purpose does breeding serve?Why do many humans feel that the human race must continue? (You don't have to answer these questions, of course. Just things to think about if you don't already.)

Good day.
The focus will be on anti-natalism, not pro-natalism, because that is the nature of this thread. If you'd like to start an anti-pro-natalism thread, you may do so.

The answer to each of your questions is that a large percentage feel it is necessary because their god tells them so. Another large percentage (100% or so) because it is hardwired into their nature. That you and other anti-natalists choose not to procreate is simply ignoring that drive. Which is fine. You may choose whatever. I choose not to have children because I am lazy and irresponsible. I don't feel my choice will affect the propagation of the species either way, so I an content with the knowledge that our species will continue. What do anti natalists hope to accomplish? And can it be acheived in this lifetime, or the lifetimes of all future anti natalists that have had the indignities of existence thrust upon them?
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:13 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
So would you think it a good idea if you see someone suffering, to, well, let 'em suffer? If they beg for help, ignore their pleas or toss an insult their way?
Depends on why they are suffering. If it is circumstances out of their control, such as natural disaster or something, no. But if it is due to something like drug addiction, then likely yes.

Quote:
What objective and universal unarguable standard do you use to determine what "growth" means
No such thing exists.

Quote:
And when you say they aren't "nice", do you mean you trained them to be nasty, amoral, etc.?
If the situation demands, they have that option available to them.
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:29 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
"...in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Hmm. So then we should be supporting oppressive regimes, we should be advocating war at every turn, no?
You seem to be confused that I am championing a contrary ideology; I am not. I don't hold with ideologies, they are simplistic, inflexible, and unskeptical. You are asking for simple answers to very complex circumstances; I have none to give. I'm simply trying to shine some light on these complexities.
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:44 AM   #30
Dinwar
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Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
Or they're just not arrogant, greedy self important pigs
Please provide a coherent argument for why having children makes one an arrogant, greedy, self-important pig. Because I genuinely can't see it, and this is extremely inflamitory.

Originally Posted by JayJayJay
If anyone has questions about anti-natalism, please feel free to ask me, but please do so in a respectful manner.
What is your justification for not killing yourself? (I'm not advocating suicide, I'm merely trying to get at the philosophical justification here.) If you're an antinatalist, as far as the information thus far presented goes, you assume that existence is not preferable to non-existence. You exist, but that's hardly a preferential state. Your continued existence has the potential to cause suffering to others, same as the existence of an infant does. Why do you get to live but others don't?

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I think the focus should not be on the philosophy of anti-natalism but on pro-natalism.
No. You can't prove yourself right by proving something else wrong. Your arguments need to stand on their own merits.
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:54 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
First and foremost, I believe that practically everything has advantages and disadvantages. So, keep that in mind when reading my posts.
Fair enough.

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When a human being is brought into existence, some suffering can help him/her to survive. For example, if we know that animal bites are painful and can cause death (two things that most humans fear), we will do our best to not allow an animal to bite us. If we know that being hungry hurts, we find food to stop the hunger from hurting.
That's true; but that "instinct" can lead to bigger problems, wich I'll talk about in a minute.

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At the same time, because of our empathetic nature, it's common for humans to want to cut down on the amount of suffering that occurs. It's common for humans to feel that some suffering is unecessary and purposeless.
You probably disagree, but I don't see the universe itself as anything but purposeless. The only measure of "necessary" or "purpose" or "meaning" is imbued by humans judging it so. And humans have different opinions.

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I'm sure many humans would agree that the recent school shooting that took the lives of small children and adults is an example of unnecessary/pointless suffering. Also, I'm sure that if your child was in severe pain and you couldn't cure it, you would take it to the hospital with hopes that the medical professionals could stop your child's pain. No parent is thinking about the advantages of suffering at that moment (and after, most likely).
Funny that you should mention that. My son was born with a congenital heart defect, which we had surgically repaired when he was two. His suffering through the process was immense; on the contrary, had we done nothing, he would have suffered no noticable effects of the defect at all--until he dropped dead suddenly at age 40ish.

Life is never so simple that concise aphorisms and easy analogies can provide universal answers.

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I know humans have a knack for trying to see the upside of ****** situations (as do I) and this knack keeps us from losing our minds, but I'm trying to look at the big picture. I don't believe it is my right to force existence onto another human without their consent. Yes, I am aware that a person can't make that decision without first existing. Because, to our knowledge, it is impossible for a person to consent to existence, I do not believe that I should make the decision for the person.
You're giving far to much credence to "consent". Humans "consent" to almost nothing that happens to them over their lifetime. What I read in this philosophy is that you're trying to tell the universe that if you can't have things your way, if the universe isn't going to offer you an unambiguous "purpose", you're going to take your ball and go home. Is that about right?

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I don't believe existence is necessary. Since existence is unnecessary, suffering certainly is not necessary.
Absolutely nothing about humans is "necessary" but that humans judge it so. The universe won't notice if we were gone. Why does that matter?

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And a human being who does not exist cannot be deprived of anything.
That's a sentiment common to suicides. But a human being who does not exist cannot have anything; either--cannot enjoy anything, love anything, be delighted by anything, be awed by anything, triumph over anything, learn anything, screw anything, or help anything. It is not a good trade.

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I believe the anti-natalism philosophy is mainly rooted in empathy/sympathy for human beings and basic critical thinking and logic. I think the focus should not be on the philosophy of anti-natalism but on pro-natalism. Why are we breeding in the first place? What purpose does breeding serve?
None at all, inherently. So what? People make reasons, why are they not good enough? For myself, the joy I've gotten watching my kids learn and grow and discover the world has literally been the best part of my life. Spend some time in a preschool class before you write kids off.

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Why do many humans feel that the human race must continue?
For the same reason I suspect you're not going to kill yourself. Non existence serves no purpose either, and it's not got any of the advantages of exisiting.

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Good day.
Likwise.
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Old 20th December 2012, 03:59 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
You seem to be confused that I am championing a contrary ideology; I am not. I don't hold with ideologies, they are simplistic, inflexible, and unskeptical. You are asking for simple answers to very complex circumstances; I have none to give. I'm simply trying to shine some light on these complexities.
But what you said makes it sound like you're saying that the quest for less "oppression" may be misguided or have a negative effect in that it deprives people of character-building suffering.

And where can I get a "complex" answer to my questions?
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Old 20th December 2012, 04:23 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
But what you said makes it sound like you're saying that the quest for less "oppression" may be misguided or have a negative effect in that it deprives people of character-building suffering.
Yes. It may be. Such things have to be evaluated on an individual basis and are not served by simple aphorisms like "suffering is bad".
Further, what is "oppression" to one person may be the social norm to another. What may be "suffering" to someone--such as keeping a gregarious outdoorsman indoors--might be comfort and security to another, such as an agoraphobe. On the other hand, the gregarious person who is in school may benefit from being kept indoors, and the agorophobe may learn to at least cope with his aversion if forced outside. A drug abuser is looking to alleviate suffering when he shoots up with heroin (and actually acheives it for a short time, in the beginning at least), yet that desire to avoid suffering actually increases the net suffering he will experience. On the other hand, by confronting the suffering head on, and working through it, he may lessen his suffering, but have to live with a measure of it without possibility of relief for the rest of his life. Military persons regularly trade their comfort and security for goals they find more important, as do doctors, police, and fire persons. For that matter, so does anyone not fortuante enough to love their work. Of course, the definitive case for the idea that suffering increases character is in parenting; children who do not suffer consequences for their actions never learn the discipline required to function as effective adults.

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And where can I get a "complex" answer to my questions?
Life.
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Old 20th December 2012, 05:24 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
Yes. It may be. Such things have to be evaluated on an individual basis and are not served by simple aphorisms like "suffering is bad".
So what might be an example of a case where stopping the "oppression" would be robbing them of that character growth, and what would be an example of another case, where it wouldn't? (Since you say it must be evaluated on an individual basis)
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Old 20th December 2012, 05:34 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
Yes. It may be. Such things have to be evaluated on an individual basis and are not served by simple aphorisms like "suffering is bad".
So what might be an example of a case where stopping the "oppression" would be robbing them of that character growth, and what would be an example of another case, where it wouldn't? (Since you say it must be evaluated on an individual basis)
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Old 20th December 2012, 05:49 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
So what might be an example of a case where stopping the "oppression" would be robbing them of that character growth, and what would be an example of another case, where it wouldn't? (Since you say it must be evaluated on an individual basis)
What do you mean by "oppression"? Why is it in quotes? Why are you asking me about that in particular? I didn't use that word initially; I mentioned suffering.
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Old 20th December 2012, 08:22 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
What do you mean by "oppression"? Why is it in quotes? Why are you asking me about that in particular? I didn't use that word initially; I mentioned suffering.
What do I mean? Well, I consider what, say, Iran does to its religious minorities oppressive. Why in quotes? Just to highlight the word, I'd guess. Why am I asking about it? Because one of the things you quoted was talking about how "democracy and peace" led only to a "cuckoo clock", and so I was asking about something opposite to that, so I picked oppression. I could've picked war, too, which was mentioned explicitly in that quote. But that's just what came to mind.

Now, I'm curious: since you didn't use the word oppression initially, but you did use the word "nice", with quotes around it, what do you mean by that word? When you said your kids "are not 'nice'" (note quotes around "nice"), what did you mean by that? What is your definition of the term 'nice', with quotes?
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Old 20th December 2012, 08:45 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
(snipped most)

I know a lot of anti-natalists use the "suffering" argument, but I prefer the "consent" argument. (I think it's less subjective than the suffering argument) I do not believe I have the right to force life (and all that comes with it - the good, the bad, the neutral) onto someone who cannot consent to it.
There's a problem with this bit. Which you sense, but I think don't fully appreciate when you say this part:

Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
Yes, I am aware that a person can't make that decision without first existing. Because, to our knowledge, it is impossible for a person to consent to existence, I do not believe that I should make the decision for the person. And when a person doesn't exist, they do not feel sad or deprived of not existing. I think it's a win/win situation.
"Person" and "exists" are one and the same. Before consent can be given, as with a baby, for example, there is not "person" there in the sense you mean it. If you have no ability to consent, then all the rest is out the window as well. So, for example, we would scale this back for animals, who cannot consent to end their lives and, most radically, for inanimate objects which cannot decide either.

Your win/win also works for not creating a computer program or a clock. There is no person existing in those things and hence cannot be sad or deprived if they are never made. After they are made, there's still no person to be sad or deprived... and so on up the ladder, until, at last, you reach the point of the thinking decision maker, who can feel sad and deprived -- the elements needed to make a decision about existing. Why is the ability to decide the descriminator on who is a person and who is not? Because "sad and deprived" are relative to the merits of being alive (or not, as the decision may fall).

At the point of personhood, however, you no longer have the moral right to decide for them. In either case, you have no role in this at all. The only logical position to adopt is to avoid creating anything -- but that means you can't be here, for with any change you make, even a breath, you are changing the status of the world, and hence "creating." In fact, the only thing you can do at all, under this philosophy, is decide for yourself.

If this argument was unclear, I can take another stab at it.

Last edited by marplots; 20th December 2012 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 20th December 2012, 08:53 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
What do I mean? Well, I consider what, say, Iran does to its religious minorities oppressive. Why in quotes? Just to highlight the word, I'd guess. Why am I asking about it? Because one of the things you quoted was talking about how "democracy and peace" led only to a "cuckoo clock", and so I was asking about something opposite to that, so I picked oppression. I could've picked war, too, which was mentioned explicitly in that quote. But that's just what came to mind.
I explained that I offered the quotes as an alternative view that I wanted Jay's opinion, without particularly endorsing it. I do not advocate fascism or totalitarianism such as Iran practices.

Quote:
Now, I'm curious: since you didn't use the word oppression initially, but you did use the word "nice", with quotes around it, what do you mean by that word? When you said your kids "are not 'nice'" (note quotes around "nice"), what did you mean by that? What is your definition of the term 'nice', with quotes?
In the context of my children, I meant they are not trained to be automatically deferent or obedient to authority or their elders, they are not afraid to be rude or stand up for themselves if the situation calls for it, and I prepared them to the best of my ability to grab life by the balls until it gives them what they want. That means treating people with kindness or respect more often than not, but to have the option to be a hardass if necessary. This, basically.
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Old 20th December 2012, 08:56 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
I explained that I offered the quotes as an alternative view that I wanted Jay's opinion, without particularly endorsing it. I do not advocate fascism or totalitarianism such as Iran practices.


In the context of my children, I meant they are not trained to be automatically deferent or obedient to authority or their elders, they are not afraid to be rude or stand up for themselves if the situation calls for it, and I prepared them to the best of my ability to grab life by the balls until it gives them what they want. That means treating people with kindness or respect more often than not, but to have the option to be a hardass if necessary. This, basically.
Thanks for the response. But I'm curious: what kind of situation, in your mind, requires "rudeness"?
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