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Old 20th December 2012, 09:29 PM   #41
Piscivore
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
Thanks for the response. But I'm curious: what kind of situation, in your mind, requires "rudeness"?
Someone trying to bully, rip off, or take advantage. Someone being passive aggressive or otherwise manipulative. That sort of thing. A lot of that depends on the manipulator counting on people being trained not to or unwilling to give offense. My kids have offensive behaviour in their toolbox.
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Last edited by Piscivore; 20th December 2012 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 20th December 2012, 10:29 PM   #42
Dinwar
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
Someone trying to bully, rip off, or take advantage. Someone being passive aggressive or otherwise manipulative. That sort of thing. A lot of that depends on the manipulator counting on people being trained not to or unwilling to give offense. My kids have offensive behaviour in their toolbox.
"If you're going to be rude, do it for a purpose and get something out of it", to paraphrase a witch from The Enchanted Forest Chronicles.
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Old 21st December 2012, 02:41 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by s4zando View Post
Besides life itself. Life. Itself.
In my response to joesixpack, I mentioned that people who do not exist do not feel sad or deprived of existing. That’s the the point I was trying to convey. I think that point is the most important. I do apologize for not repeating that explanation very well in my response to Piscivore.

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The focus will be on anti-natalism, not pro-natalism, because that is the nature of this thread.
I’m just not explaining myself very well and I do apologize. I meant that in a general sense people should focus on pro-natalism rather than anti-natalism. I agree that anti-natalism should be the focus in this thread since that’s what this thread is about.

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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.
I’m aware of those answers already, but I still don’t believe that they fully answer the questions. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to fully answer these questions. If there is a drive, I believe we should be asking ourselves why we need to follow this drive. Why do we feel the species must continue? I do think humans need to really think about these questions. It’s so easy to not think about it and breed because “That’s just what you do.”

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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?
This is a great question. While I’ll admit that I don’t speak for all anti-natalists, if I could summarize what anti-natalists hope to accomplish I think it is this: To not breed or to stop breeding (themselves) and to spread the ideas of anti-natalism. (And it’s not necessary to breed in order for the ideas to be passed along. I see anti-natalism as a kind of “awareness” that will “pop” up in certain humans as long as humans exist.)

I’ve come to the conclusion that, more than likely, humans are going to continue mindlessly breeding themselves to death. But I feel that it’s better to speak up about something that I feel is important than to not speak up. Even if my words/actions barely put 1 cm of impact into the world, I think at least I’ve tried. I honestly think the same can be said about atheism and skepticism.

Even if things might not change that much, people such as yourself are starting to become aware that breeding is a choice, so that’s a good thing. Ignoring anti-natalism for a moment, I think it’s great when people are aware that they don’t need to breed. Some people breed not realizing that they have a choice, end up miserable, and end up spreading their misery to their children. (And while misery can make the children hardier, it can impede their ability to function) And, of course, most anti-natalists want to cut down on the unnecessary suffering of those who are here.

I hope that answered your question. Good day.
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Old 21st December 2012, 02:48 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
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.
To clarify, I’m not exactly arguing that non-existence is preferable to existence. I’m saying that, as far as we know, a person who doesn’t exist cannot be sad or regret that they weren’t born. So, why do we feel the need to “gift” a person who doesn’t exist with life when they literally can’t care whether they receive the “gift” or not? And this “gift” is the kind of gift that can’t be returned. We’re all aware of those who don’t want to be here and use extreme and often painful methods to stop their suffering.

“What’s the point?” I ask. What’s the point of making the huge decision of life for another person, the biggest decision one can make? What gives us the right to make this decision for another person? What if I end up giving my life an A+ but my child doesn’t want to be here (and feels that way until they die). Was my “need to breed” justifiable when it directly lead to another person, especially a loved one, suffering in a way that I can’t even imagine? You don’t have to answer these questions, of course. This is just how I, and many anti-natalists, think.

As for how I feel about my existence: SO FAR (and this is the key) I am not suffering enough to feel the need to end it. Not to mention that I strongly fear the process of dying and death. Suicide is horrifying/terrifying even to those who want to end it all. That fear definitely keeps me in line, so to speak. Also, my parents, especially my mom, are emotionally fragile. If I can help it, I don’t want to die before my mom does. I don’t know if she would be able to handle my death, especially via suicide. If I were going to kill myself I would only kill myself if I were in severe pain (or maybe if I got something like a cancer diagnosis – I’m not sure). I’m thankful that everything is not more than I can handle and I hope it never gets that way.

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Your continued existence has the potential to cause suffering to others, same as the existence of an infant does.
My continued existence does have the potential to cause suffering to others. I will never deny that. I’ll admit that I don’t end it all mainly because I’m selfish. I put my fears over the potential to harm others and basically just hope that I don’t cause too much harm in the world. (I might have control over the breeding part, especially when I get sterilized) I have the genetic component most people have that says “Do anything to survive. Anything” and I shamelessly follow it.

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Why do you get to live but others don't?
You say it like life is some kind of prize to win. I “get” to live (and possibly die a horrifying painful death – yay!) because my parents forced me into existence because they wanted to raise biological children. I didn't choose to be here. It’s not like I said “Hey, I’m going into existence! Woohoo! Now I’m going to lock the gates on the non-existence folks so you can’t get in! Suckers!” As I’ve said above, people who don’t exist do not feel deprived that they don’t exist. They don’t go, “Aw man, why did Sarah get to exist but I didn’t?” Those who exist haven’t “won” anything. We just..exist.

If you can understand that non-existent people don’t feel deprived, then you can better understand my viewpoint and the viewpoint of many anti-natalists. In general, I believe that the focus shouldn’t be on anti-natalists wanting to “deprive” people from life, but on the common mindset that it is acceptable to force life onto people who can’t consent to it. (Yes, a person has to be alive in order to consent in the first place, but since the entire consent situation is impossible, I don’t believe we should make the decision of life for another person. There’s no real need to, in my opinion)

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No. You can't prove yourself right by proving something else wrong. Your arguments need to stand on their own merits.
The reason I said what I said is because, in general, I think the focus should be on the mindset that all breeding is acceptable because this is the mindset that I think is a lot more dangerous. (There are non-anti-natalists who feel the same way; this isn’t me trying to deflect the focus from anti-natalism) I was speaking “beyond” this discussion and I apologize if I didn’t explain myself very well. And my intentions will never be to prove that I am “right” because I can’t objectively prove that any philosophy is right. My intention is simply to spread the ideas of anti-natalism. That is all.

I hope my answers were satisfactory. If not and/or if you want more anti-natalist views on the “Why don’t you kill yourself” question, I highly recommend checking out the following sites:

1. http://why-im-sold-on-antinatalism.b...de-part-1.html

2. http://theviewfromhell.blogspot.com/...-yourself.html

Good day.
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Old 21st December 2012, 03:00 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
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.
I actually agree. (And I think you’ll find that a lot of anti-natalists feel the same way) To me, I see the universe as “it is what it is.” That’s why I said “It's common for humans to feel that some suffering is unnecessary and purposeless. “ I was trying to say that it’s common for humans to see things as “senseless.” (And, of course, human opinions often differ) And, of course, as a typical human, I attribute meaning to things like most other humans. It is what it is.

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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.
I agree that life is never so simple that concise aphorisms and easy analogies can provide universal answers. I never said otherwise. I still believe my example stands, though, as I do not feel I’m describing the same situation you described. If you still disagree, we might have to agree to disagree on my example. No offense, but I think it would be fruitless to further discuss it so I will not be focusing on that example in the future.

The point I was trying to make is that most humans do not think all suffering is a “good” thing, a way to “better” ourselves. It is common for humans to want to minimize certain kinds of suffering. My point was in response to your statement "I believe suffering is what motivates us to better ourselves, our circumstances, and our environment."

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You're giving far to much credence to "consent". Humans "consent" to almost nothing that happens to them over their lifetime.
And you’re assuming that I’m not aware of this. Trust me when I say that many, if not most, anti-natalists are aware of this fact. That’s what makes the “playing God by breeding” situation so iffy. By breeding one is literally gambling with another person’s livelihood.

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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?
No, that’s not right at all. My interpretation of your comment is that you think anti-natalists are trying to make everything about them and what they want out of life. I think you’ve got it backwards. The “smart” anti-natalists are aware that since they are already here, what happens is going to happen. For example, unlike some people, I’ve made peace with the fact that I am going to suffer and die and I have practically no control over anything. I struggle like everyone does occasionally, but it is what it is. And it’s not the point of my anti-natalism by a long shot.

Unlike the mindless pro-natalist mindset, we are looking at other people, specifically the people who aren’t yet here. We are looking at whether it’s right to force the huge decision of life and all that comes with it onto another peson. And since they can’t properly consent to such a huge thing, we say “Best not to touch it. There’s no need to touch it.”

Now there are some anti-natalists out there who are more egocentric than others (we’re humans, after all), but even if we were “taking the ball and going home,” we still wouldn’t be doing any harm. As I’ve said, people who don’t exist can’t feel deprived of not existing. It’s impossible for us to snub our noses at those who don’t exist. But people who exist certainly can feel deprived and you cannot reverse life like you can a DVD. I would highly recommend viewing my response to Dinwar as I touch on this subject rather well (if I do say so myself).

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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?
I agree that nothing about humans is necessary, but that humans judge it so. Why not stop breeding if none of it matters? The universe doesn’t care if we breed or not, so why continue it? Why continue it if we’re acutely aware of suffering and the universe is not? Why continue breeding, which usually causes guaranteed suffering, when a lot of humans want to minimize suffering?

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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.
It’s also a common sentiment to anti-natalism. Let’s continue to focus on that topic, please. Yes, a human who does not exist cannot have/experience anything. That’s the point of non-existence. Many anti-natalists are keenly aware of this fact. And, like I mentioned, people who don’t existence don’t feel “deprived” of not existing. They don’t sit in their little non-existence bubbles crying about not being able to try pizza pies or get a bachelor’s degree. But those who are here can certainly feel deprived of their original non-existence. What of these people? To me, they mean a lot more than the potential people because they are actually here and experience real pain. Even after dying, their deaths don’t erase the pain they felt.

That you think it’s not a good trade is your opinion. I think it’s a good trade seeing as how if you don’t exist you don’t cry about it. If you don’t see it as a good trade, you should be mourning the tons of people who won’t exist, but I know you have other things to do, like live and tend to the people who are here. And like you said above, if the universe won’t notice that we are gone, why does it matter that a “person” can’t “enjoy anything”?

It seems to me that you enjoy your life and aren’t receiving more than you can handle and that’s good. Hopefully, it stays that way. It’s heartbreaking when people don’t want to be here. But please keep in mind that if your parents decided not to have you you would not feel deprived of anything. You wouldn’t feel sad about not existing. It’s hard to wrap the mind around, but it’s true.

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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.
Well, if breeding doesn’t serve a purpose, then, again, why are we doing it? I have trouble wrapping my mind around the “So what?” response. You’re (general “you”) making the decision of life for another person. You have the potential to create an individual that does not share your views on life, that does not want to be here, and will have a violent and painful end. I think that goes beyond a person’s personal opinion on breeding, but that’s just me. It sounds like you are a good parent to your kids and that is good. The interesting thing is that you could have done all of that with children who are already here. But it is what it is. As with you, may your children never receive more than they can handle.

I’m not writing kids off. Being anti-natalist does not mean you don’t care about people. Like I said before, anti-natalism is mainly rooted in empathy/sympathy for your fellow human beings. I don’t think you meant to, but to me your comment came across as an attack on my character. You can ask me my opinion on such topics as children, but please refrain from making comments that can easily be perceived as negative assumptions or we may have to discontinue this discussion. Good day.
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Old 21st December 2012, 03:02 AM   #46
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marplots, I am aware that “person” and “exists” are one in the same. The reason I use the term “person” is because I don’t know how else to explain my viewpoints.

I’m not sure if I fully understand your point or not, so I will answer the best way I can: The philosophy of anti-natalism is very concrete, mainly focusing on human beings (though some anti-natalists also focus on other species) and the belief that we should not breed. Anti-natalists believe that it’s easiest for humans to stop breeding because of our level of intelligence. (Many, I’ll admit, are biased towards humans and human issues)

Many anti-natalists are aware that, once we are here, suffering is guaranteed, but we do want to try to minimize suffering (even simple things like refraining from punching people in the face, volunteering with senior citizens, and advocating for contraceptive use). We know that we are mainly going off of what we hope is correct (as are all humans, of course), but by not breeding we know that humans will not be forcing life onto another person without their permission (and the suffering and death that comes with it). We advocate not making the decision of life for another person because we feel there is no good enough reason to do so.

I hope that answers at least some of your concerns. I would also recommend reading my response to Piscivore as well because I think I touched on this issue. Good day.

Last edited by JayJayJay; 21st December 2012 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 21st December 2012, 06:30 AM   #47
marplots
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
Many anti-natalists are aware that, once we are here, suffering is guaranteed, but we do want to try to minimize suffering (even simple things like refraining from punching people in the face, volunteering with senior citizens, and advocating for contraceptive use). We know that we are mainly going off of what we hope is correct (as are all humans, of course), but by not breeding we know that humans will not be forcing life onto another person without their permission (and the suffering and death that comes with it). We advocate not making the decision of life for another person because we feel there is no good enough reason to do so.
Well, my whole point was that you aren't "forcing life onto another person without their permission" because until they are a person, and can then decide for themselves, there is no permission in play. It is the equivalent of me claiming my front lawn is an atheist, for it doesn't believe in God. Without the capacity for belief, I am misusing the label atheist. So too are you misusing the "forcing" and "permission" bit, as if a not-person had the capacity to be forced or to give permission.

That is why I brought up insensate and inanimate objects. You do not say, "I will refrain from creating a bookshelf, for I do not have its permission."

At whatever point permission is possible, that same point is where you lose the right to make a decision for them. This works at the other end of life as well with euthanasia, where we want someone to choose death for themselves as an escape from suffering. It is the difference between suicide and murder.
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Old 21st December 2012, 07:29 AM   #48
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All the arguments for anti-natalism seem to boil down to the assumption that people are sorry they were born. You can massage the self-evident truth that if you didn't exist you wouldn't suffer and wouldn't miss anything, but it always seems to come down to the adult version of an angry kid yelling at his parents "I didn't ask to be born, you know!" when he has to clean his room. Life is crazy, short, confusing and uncertain from conception to death. Oh golly, paint tears on your cheeks and play your copy of "Dust in the Wind."
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Old 21st December 2012, 07:34 AM   #49
Dinwar
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
All the arguments for anti-natalism seem to boil down to the assumption that people are sorry they were born. You can massage the self-evident truth that if you didn't exist you wouldn't suffer and wouldn't miss anything, but it always seems to come down to the adult version of an angry kid yelling at his parents "I didn't ask to be born, you know!" when he has to clean his room. Life is crazy, short, confusing and uncertain from conception to death. Oh golly, paint tears on your cheeks and play your copy of "Dust in the Wind."
That's pretty much what I'm getting out of this. The entire focus of this idea is on the negative--the positive is ignored or downplayed. Which makes no sense; after all, if bad things make it wrong to cause someone to be born, surely good things make it right to cause someone to be born.
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Old 21st December 2012, 05:18 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Well, my whole point was that you aren't "forcing life onto another person without their permission" because until they are a person, and can then decide for themselves, there is no permission in play.
Thank you for clarifying. I appreciate your thinking outside of the box, but I do not feel like having a discussion on the defintion of “person” because I think it is irrelevant to the discussion on anti-natalism. However, I will start to use the term “person” to refer to non-existent individuals to make things easier to understand (hopefully).

Since breeding causes a "person" to come into existence without a say in the matter, I believe that one is literally forcing another "person" into existence without their permission. Yes, gaining permission is impossible (as I tried to explain in my response to joesixpack), but that’s the point. Because of this impossibility and because the non-existent "person" does not feel deprived of existence, anti-natalists do not believe that it is a good idea to force the decision of life onto that "person."

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At whatever point permission is possible, that same point is where you lose the right to make a decision for them.
Well, objectively, we can’t prove that, but I understand what you’re saying. Considering a situation where a “person” can give permission and states that they don’t want to exist, I do believe that the “person’s” wants should triumph the parents’ (and/or societies’) wants. But since (as far as we know) gaining permission to exist is impossible, anti-natalists believe humans should err on the side of caution.

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This works at the other end of life as well with euthanasia, where we want someone to choose death for themselves as an escape from suffering. It is the difference between suicide and murder.
I understand where you’re coming from. Good day.
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Old 21st December 2012, 05:41 PM   #51
JayJayJay
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
All the arguments for anti-natalism seem to boil down to the assumption that people are sorry they were born.
Bruto, your comment wasn’t directed at me, but I feel the need to respond to clarify some things. The assumption is NOT that people are sorry that they were born. Some anti-natalists such as myself are aware that many people would classify themselves as happy to be here, even those who are struggling a great deal every day . (That’s why the “Well, some people are happy even though they are literally beaten and raped daily” argument doesn’t work on me. I’m aware of it and agree with it.)

I am aware that it is in many humans’ nature to cling to life no matter what and that’s where the fear of suffering and death that many have comes from. (Moving away from anti-natalism and moving towards atheism and skepticism for a moment: I believe this fear of suffering and death has to do with why so many people believe in a god. I do believe that, because of nature, many are hard-wired to believe in these things in order to function and that’s why I’m not sure that we will ever be able to fully eradicate religious/spiritual beliefs - the goal of some atheists/skeptics. This is one of the reasons I don’t look down on people just because they are religious/spiritual. If their beliefs keep them going and they aren’t causing much harm to others because of their beliefs, more power to them.)

While I would prefer to not have existed, I would say that I do enjoy living so far and I hope to NEVER get to the point where I receive more than I can handle. (Hope means nothing, but whatever.) Again, this is how I personally feel and I am fully aware that there are others who feel differently. And that’s okay. As I’ve said before, I LOVE it when people who are here are glad to be here and I hope it stays that way for them. It’s heartbreaking when people don’t want to be here. While we have “treatments” like counseling, medication, friends, keeping busy, etc. there is no real “cure” for existential issues.

Some anti-natalists such as myself are aware that mainly focusing on “suffering” is not a good idea because it is such a subjective argument. As you mentioned above, we cannot possibly argue our case by telling a person that they are "sorry they are born" when they feel and say that they aren’t. There are ways to argue our case without trying to prove that someone is suffering.

As I’ve said numerous times, anti-natalism boils down to the very logical belief that we shouldn’t force existence and all that comes with it – the GOOD, the bad, the neutral (as I specifically said in my post to joesixpack) -- onto someone who cannot consent to existence. And yes, the fact that the non-existent would not feel sad about not existing is a very important part. Why do we need to create people who do not ask to be here and would not care if they didn’t exist? Why do we need to create these people who don’t care about not existing but who will who will suffer and die (and might feel deprived of their original non-existence) when they get here? To us, that doesn’t make sense. THESE are the questions that anti-natalists ponder.

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You can massage the self-evident truth that if you didn't exist you wouldn't suffer and wouldn't miss anything, but it always seems to come down to the adult version of an angry kid yelling at his parents "I didn't ask to be born, you know!" when he has to clean his room.
I explained in my previous posts (especially my most recent posts to Dinwar and Piscivore) that anti-natalism is NOT about US and what WE want from life. I have made peace with the fact that I am here and now that I am here I will suffer and die. (And since, for some reason, people think we ignore pleasure: I will find things pleasurable, too.) I cannot reverse time and I am not spending my life crying about things I can’t change. I am working on the things I can change (including myself and others) and I am looking at the OTHER people. I am looking beyond myself and my experiences. There seems to be no need for people to be forced into existence without their consent. No real good reason.

If you want me to explain anti-natalism again I’ll be more than happy to, but if you continue to assume that anti-natalism is about “wanting to get back at our parents” then you are literally not trying to understand anti-natalism and there’s nothing I or anyone can say or do to help you to understand it. And if you don’t want to attempt to understand anti-natalism, I don’t understand posting in this thread.

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Life is crazy, short, confusing and uncertain from conception to death.
Most, if not all, anti-natalists are aware of this fact. What we don’t understand is why there is a “need” to breed. We don’t understand why there is a “need” to continue the human race.

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Oh golly, paint tears on your cheeks and play your copy of "Dust in the Wind."
This sentence has nothing to do with anti-natalism. And it’s an unfortunate one because this sentence seems to be minimizing the real suffering of those who don’t want to be here and can’t do anything to “fix” their suffering. (Barring the horrifying act of suicide, of course) Their suffering is in no way humorous. If you aren’t already, please be thankful that so far you have not received more than you can handle in life. Everyone isn't that lucky.
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Old 21st December 2012, 05:49 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
That's pretty much what I'm getting out of this. The entire focus of this idea is on the negative--the positive is ignored or downplayed.
Dinwar, your comment wasn’t directed at me, but I feel the need to respond to clarify some things.

In my post to joesixpack, I said the following: “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.”

The entire focus isn’t on the negative, I have specifically acknowledged the positives of life, and I have not once downplayed the positives of life. “Smart” anti-natalists won’t try to "weigh" the positives and negatives because we can't objectively do that. We cannot objectively downplay the positives. Like the negatives, like the neutral, they are what they are.

Quote:
Which makes no sense; after all, if bad things make it wrong to cause someone to be born, surely good things make it right to cause someone to be born.
I can’t objectively say that it is wrong to cause someone to be born because we cannot objectively prove that breeding (or even not breeding) is wrong.

Here is the anti-natalist position again: Why should we force someone into existence when they cannot consent to life and when they would not feel deprived of not existing? Why do we need to create these people who don’t care about not existing but who will who will suffer and die (and might be against existence) when they get here? When we cannot objectively prove that the good things outweigh the bad things (we can’t), why are trying to create people? These are the questions anti-natalists ponder. (In my opinion, these questions are similar to the questions many atheists ponder – For example, why should we believe in and/or follow the “rules” of a god when there is no objective evidence that one exists?) We don’t think breeding makes “sense” (in numerous ways) and that’s why we believe it shouldn’t be done.

However you feel about the anti-natalist position is however you feel. But if you have questions or thoughts on anti-natalism, please feel free to ask me. That’s why I’m here. Good day.
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Old 21st December 2012, 07:38 PM   #53
marplots
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Eh.
It's not so much that I am forcing life on anyone, they are forcing their life on me. Here we are, just hanging out, enjoying our lives and suddenly, and without permission, this new life comes into existence and wants my beer.

On the other hand, they made a cogent argument. They said, "Look, there were 17 peta billion other lives that won't ever get out of the non-existence phase. Statistically, there really isn't much life at all, hardly any. So how about I get a beer?"

Serious odds. All the lives never lived.
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Old 21st December 2012, 08:34 PM   #54
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everyone, December 23rd will be the last day that I will be posting in this thread (I will be extremely busy from December 24th and on) so please get any questions/concerns in ASAP so that I can respond to them before December 24th. If anyone wants anti-natalism site recommendations, PM me at any time.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Here we are, just hanging out, enjoying our lives and suddenly, and without permission, this new life comes into existence and wants my beer.
It doesn't just "pop into existence," though. You have to have penile-vaginal sex and get pregnant or impregnate someone first. (And then the embryo/fetus has to survive) Of course, it can be argued that it is eerily easy to create human beings.
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Old 21st December 2012, 09:47 PM   #55
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So you can't accept the human condition at all. Obviously, nobody ever consented to conception, and that's true of every living being. Of course if you want to end humanity, antinatalism is the only non violent way to do it in theory, though owing to its low rate of acceptance it will never happen and the world itself will likely be worse for the effort. Of course there are a myriad of good, valid and sensible reasons for an individual to decide not to procreate. To my mind this does not translate into an argument that humanity should perish and the entire world be lost forever.

Even if I can see many reasons not to breed, the pure antinatalist position strikes me as silly junk. Of course I can only use my own life and those around me to form an opinion, but most of the people I know who exist have some reason to believe that existing is a good thing most of the time, and that humanity is something we value and wish to see continued. Some of us may actually even be thinking beyond the individual level, and considering humanity itself as having value. It may not be objective, but what about living is? If you see it as a gift rather than a burden, then there's only one way to give it, and that is without consent as we always have done. If you value the hive you need the bees.

I'm sorry if you think my final remark is flippant, but that's on purpose, because I think antinatalism is stupid and sophomoric. Sorry, I just do. The example I threw in was not meant to suggest that anti-natalism is about "getting back at your parents," but to suggest that it's a stupid idea thrown out in stupid moments when good arguments are not to be had. Sure, we all suffer, and we all will probably go through some point in our lives when we wish them over, and maybe even wish them never begun, especially if we let momentary feelings take over our thoughts and erase our social history. And of course we will all die, and at some individual existential level we will be as if we had never been. I still think it's silly to suggest that the only way to fix the bad moments is never to have any at all, or that the only way to resolve the obvious fact that those who have never existed lack rights is to eliminate existence. There is no perfection in existence, but this does not mean that nonexistence is perfection. Sure those who never were will never know it. Maybe that seems like an insight to some but to me it seems a silly truism.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 09:33 AM   #56
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I will take over JayJayJay's position since he will be unavailable for a bit. I define myself as an antinatalist, transhumanist and an existential nihilist/misanthrope and I am also open to all questions you might have. I am of a more selfish antinatalist nature and so I don't want to force on others my point of view. However, I don't think there is really much to discuss here. My position is all-encompassing and thus, individual aspects can always be argued away with simple logic.

I will first respond to the last reply by Bruno but that incidentally answers all other replies as well:
Quote:
So you can't accept the human condition at all.
That's essentially it. Why should I accept it? Human condition is extremely flawed and I never asked for the "gift" of life anyways so I have every reason to complain if its not making me happy.

The reason I am a transhumanist is because I want the human condition to be completely turned upside down: shed biological shell, remove death and all pain and suffering, old age, abolish work, money and capitalism, etc. Basically, unless there was already some sort of utopia here, I don't see a reason why I transitioned from non-being into being.

This existence is as far away from an utopia as one could get, so I don't want to bring anyone here just as I don't appreciate at all being brought here myself.

Finally, I am an existential nihilst/misanthrope because I do actually hate people for the sort of nightmare they created and continue selfishly perpetuating and while I will not tell them not to do so since its their freedom and not that my words will change anything, i will continue decrying the tragic state of affairs and so to a large degree the suffering inflicted on humanity by itself is well-deserved since this race is pathetic in that it enslaved itself and continues promoting life-affirming philosophies when there is every reason not to do so given our state of affairs. I am ashamed to be a part of this race and would like to have my membership fee returned if that was possible.

Quote:
Even if I can see many reasons not to breed, the pure antinatalist position strikes me as silly junk.
Fair enough. As I stated in the beginning, I am a more selfish antinatalist and thus I do not expect to impose my will on others. Yes, most people would probably say that its worth existing and thus they procreate and have kids who are also likely to enjoy their lives. However, I am not one of them and I am not grateful for that "gift" of life bestowed upon me without my consent, and not only that, but into an existence that is so badly constrained in every single way - dystopia if you will. I am not sure if my kid would enjoy their lives to the extent that he would truly feel that it was worthwhile to exist. However, I know a lot of probabilities of what might happen to him/her if he comes into existence - slave to capitalism, biological frailty, inevitable suffering and death. What does he gain from all that? Perhaps pleasures here and there. However, that doesn't really tip the balances in its favor. Also, on a sidenote, I would make for a horrible parent. Maybe a pet would be the better option for me (although it would have to be neutered as well).

Quote:
There is no perfection in existence, but this does not mean that nonexistence is perfection.
Non-existence is simply the absence of everything. If you never existed, what exactly would you be missing out on? Do you think the non-existent Martians are missing out on something? Do you miss them on Mars and want to bring them into existence? I personally think non-existence is preferable to existence and I would beg to "stay" there if I was given a choice. I would only consent to existence if it was a utopia and nothing less.

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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:29 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
I will take over JayJayJay's position since he will be unavailable for a bit. I define myself as an antinatalist, transhumanist and an existential nihilist/misanthrope and I am also open to all questions you might have. I am of a more selfish antinatalist nature and so I don't want to force on others my point of view. However, I don't think there is really much to discuss here. My position is all-encompassing and thus, individual aspects can always be argued away with simple logic.

I will first respond to the last reply by Bruno but that incidentally answers all other replies as well:

That's essentially it. Why should I accept it? Human condition is extremely flawed and I never asked for the "gift" of life anyways so I have every reason to complain if its not making me happy.

The reason I am a transhumanist is because I want the human condition to be completely turned upside down: shed biological shell, remove death and all pain and suffering, old age, abolish work, money and capitalism, etc. Basically, unless there was already some sort of utopia here, I don't see a reason why I transitioned from non-being into being.

This existence is as far away from an utopia as one could get, so I don't want to bring anyone here just as I don't appreciate at all being brought here myself.

Finally, I am an existential nihilst/misanthrope because I do actually hate people for the sort of nightmare they created and continue selfishly perpetuating and while I will not tell them not to do so since its their freedom and not that my words will change anything, i will continue decrying the tragic state of affairs and so to a large degree the suffering inflicted on humanity by itself is well-deserved since this race is pathetic in that it enslaved itself and continues promoting life-affirming philosophies when there is every reason not to do so given our state of affairs. I am ashamed to be a part of this race and would like to have my membership fee returned if that was possible.


Fair enough. As I stated in the beginning, I am a more selfish antinatalist and thus I do not expect to impose my will on others. Yes, most people would probably say that its worth existing and thus they procreate and have kids who are also likely to enjoy their lives. However, I am not one of them and I am not grateful for that "gift" of life bestowed upon me without my consent, and not only that, but into an existence that is so badly constrained in every single way - dystopia if you will. I am not sure if my kid would enjoy their lives to the extent that he would truly feel that it was worthwhile to exist. However, I know a lot of probabilities of what might happen to him/her if he comes into existence - slave to capitalism, biological frailty, inevitable suffering and death. What does he gain from all that? Perhaps pleasures here and there. However, that doesn't really tip the balances in its favor. Also, on a sidenote, I would make for a horrible parent. Maybe a pet would be the better option for me (although it would have to be neutered as well).


Non-existence is simply the absence of everything. If you never existed, what exactly would you be missing out on? Do you think the non-existent Martians are missing out on something? Do you miss them on Mars and want to bring them into existence? I personally think non-existence is preferable to existence and I would beg to "stay" there if I was given a choice. I would only consent to existence if it was a utopia and nothing less.
Well, if you really think non existence is preferable to existence, of course there's little to argue about. Of course the non existent Martians are not missing out on anything, but there is such a thing as humanity, and such a thing as human society. It already exists, and so do we. We are not arguing in heaven about what to begin, but about what to do with what we already have. So it is possible for a person now living to value human culture and want to bring a further generation into existence to keep that thing going, as well as for the somewhat selfish reason of making one's own life a part of something that does not end when that life ends. Of course if you think all human culture, society, and art are of negative worth, then nothing I or anyone else can say will change that, and if you combine that with an incredible level of self-congratulatory puerile arrogance, I suppose nothing will change the antinatalist position either.

So we've discovered that life is often unfair and people are animals that die. Oh woe and welladay. If that means you'd rather give up and die off fine. But what possible argument gets you from that to the idea that you should advocate the end of the human race? Or, if you're consistent, all life (after all, nothing consents to it)? Or, if you're consistent, the entire universe, since its existence is only theoretical without beings to experience it? You can espouse nonexistence and partake no further of human life than you must (and forum rules require us to advocate), but as you yourself point out, the kids you don't have will never know what the rest of the world gets up to later, so why should your point of view or your assumption of theirs influence anyone else's? What is the difference to the nonexistent if the world goes on?

Or in the words of Mary Oliver, a poet whose work you would so glibly consign to nonexistence but I would not, some of us feel within us "the beast shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted." It takes a lot of gall to believe your own gloomy and individualistic ideas are so powerful and so right that they should be imposed on everyone for ever. You are, after all, not just saying you will not be a further part of the world. You are in a very real way advocating the death of the universe.

Besides, if you are to be even remotely, marginally practical, you must realize that this tyrannically stupid policy of universal resignation will not ever be shared by enough people to be effective. All you can reasonably expect to do is cease your own line. If your ideas require that the whole world end, then it cannot succeed and must be abandoned, because it's otherwise just a dumb "if only I were king" fantasy and not only will the world go on despite it, but it will be the worse off for your waste of time.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 04:26 PM   #58
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Well, if you really think non existence is preferable to existence, of course there's little to argue about.
I prefer non-existence to THIS existence. If we had some sort of utopia (say the Resource Based Economy+Transhumanism) I wouldn't mind existing. However, the way it stands is that I am possibly the worst manifestation of what could go wrong when someone gives birth like my parents did because they wanted a kid. I think life is an imposition, its terribly unfair and full of suffering and enslaving conditions and while I did experience pleasures in my life, if I consider my life from all sides on the whole I can definitely say that it would have been better had I never been born, but its too late for that. People who come to this conclusion have normally experienced their share of hardships before coming up with such a dour point of view so I would probably agree that we're a more miserable lot than the majority of humanity out there and simply can't cope with all this crap like others can or are simply more honest with ourselves rather than simply blaming it on our own character flaws and depression (and I am not saying they don't play a part). However, would you really want your kid to come out and hate life like I do? Wouldn't you agree that its a pretty big risk?

You will find that I am in general a less conservative antinatalist in that I am open to all critique and can fully admit my vices and negative psychology predispositions that life shaped in me. I find no fault in admitting my own deficiencies and still be as philosophically inclined as I am.

Quote:
But what possible argument gets you from that to the idea that you should advocate the end of the human race?
I think I already specified that I am not forcing my will on anyone else. It just so happens that there are others in the world who think like me. The only one that I am aware of is truly broadcasting the antinatalist message to the world advocating the end of the human race is inmendham (look him up on youtube)

Quote:
So we've discovered that life is often unfair and people are animals that die.
Yes, and I couldn't discover that when I didn't exist. Makes sense right? Let's agree on the basics at least.

Quote:
You can espouse nonexistence and partake no further of human life than you must (and forum rules require us to advocate), but as you yourself point out, the kids you don't have will never know what the rest of the world gets up to later, so why should your point of view or your assumption of theirs influence anyone else's? What is the difference to the nonexistent if the world goes on?
Again, if I am asked, I will tell my point of view but obviously you don't have to adopt it. Its up to every individual to decide for themselves. I happen to think that the negatives in life far outweigh the positives and don't want to procreate in this existence. Now if we had some sort of utopia then you could definitely argue that the unborn are "missing out" on so much pleasure and will not be harmed by coming into existence. However, even then they wouldn't be technically "missing out" but your feelings about that would at least be justified.

Quote:
You are, after all, not just saying you will not be a further part of the world. You are in a very real way advocating the death of the universe.
That's what I would prefer. However, I concede that barring some sort of global catastrophe or doomsday scenario, such a thing is unlikely for at least the next 100 to 1000 (or perhaps more) years (and that's on a local scale... to destroy the universe would take billions of years).

I just don't feel that the human race is really accomplishing anything here. Ever since we came here, we didn't do anything really. We've been stuck on this little planet fighting our endless wars and killing each other and we visited another rock and now sent our probe to yet another rock.. you consider that progress? It seems like we are cleaning up the mess we are making and always fail to do it properly. Why make the mess in the first place then? Its less about the universe itself and more about what the hell are we doing here to begin with? Why create a need that need not exist? The universe is not screaming for us to tend to something that it can't take care of. We are the ones who keep creating deprivation (by bringing others here) and then attempting to satisfy that deprivation and mostly failing to do so.

Quote:
Besides, if you are to be even remotely, marginally practical, you must realize that this tyrannically stupid policy of universal resignation will not ever be shared by enough people to be effective. All you can reasonably expect to do is cease your own line. If your ideas require that the whole world end, then it cannot succeed and must be abandoned, because it's otherwise just a dumb "if only I were king" fantasy and not only will the world go on despite it, but it will be the worse off for your waste of time.
Well I acknowledge that I cannot speak for the whole world but can only express an opinion which I am doing right now. I can end my own line at least so I am practical here.

Anyways, thanks Bruno for the great comment! Its not too often that people are willing to talk about antinatalism in a practical rather than emotional manner so I appreciate it

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Old 22nd December 2012, 07:58 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
I prefer non-existence to THIS existence. If we had some sort of utopia (say the Resource Based Economy+Transhumanism) I wouldn't mind existing. However, the way it stands is that I am possibly the worst manifestation of what could go wrong when someone gives birth like my parents did because they wanted a kid. I think life is an imposition, its terribly unfair and full of suffering and enslaving conditions and while I did experience pleasures in my life, if I consider my life from all sides on the whole I can definitely say that it would have been better had I never been born, but its too late for that. People who come to this conclusion have normally experienced their share of hardships before coming up with such a dour point of view so I would probably agree that we're a more miserable lot than the majority of humanity out there and simply can't cope with all this crap like others can or are simply more honest with ourselves rather than simply blaming it on our own character flaws and depression (and I am not saying they don't play a part). However, would you really want your kid to come out and hate life like I do? Wouldn't you agree that its a pretty big risk?
I can certainly see from your own account why you'd want not to continue your line, but I actually don't think the risk of life hating kids is so great that I would join you. Of course it's a little late now, since my kids are grown up. I am pretty sure they, as well as my stepson, are on balance glad that they exist.
Quote:

You will find that I am in general a less conservative antinatalist in that I am open to all critique and can fully admit my vices and negative psychology predispositions that life shaped in me. I find no fault in admitting my own deficiencies and still be as philosophically inclined as I am.


I think I already specified that I am not forcing my will on anyone else. It just so happens that there are others in the world who think like me. The only one that I am aware of is truly broadcasting the antinatalist message to the world advocating the end of the human race is inmendham (look him up on youtube)
Of course you're not forcing your will on anyone else, but you're certainly advocating it with an insistence that suggests you would if you could. If you would not, then I would contend that you're not so much an antinatalist as a voluntary non breeder, a position with which I have no problem.
Quote:


Yes, and I couldn't discover that when I didn't exist. Makes sense right? Let's agree on the basics at least.


Again, if I am asked, I will tell my point of view but obviously you don't have to adopt it. Its up to every individual to decide for themselves. I happen to think that the negatives in life far outweigh the positives and don't want to procreate in this existence. Now if we had some sort of utopia then you could definitely argue that the unborn are "missing out" on so much pleasure and will not be harmed by coming into existence. However, even then they wouldn't be technically "missing out" but your feelings about that would at least be justified.
Once again, it seems you're mixing the decision not to breed and the reasons for that with the antinatalist philosophical position that breeding is inherently wrong (for one thing consent before conception is clearly an impossible idea) and should simply cease. Perhaps it's realistic to conclude that society can never ever get better, but it's pretty drastic to end that possibility forever. Among other things, I'm not quite ready to conclude that humanity as it stands now is an evolutionary dead end. By any standards but our own, we haven't been at it all that long yet.
Quote:


That's what I would prefer. However, I concede that barring some sort of global catastrophe or doomsday scenario, such a thing is unlikely for at least the next 100 to 1000 (or perhaps more) years (and that's on a local scale... to destroy the universe would take billions of years).

I just don't feel that the human race is really accomplishing anything here. Ever since we came here, we didn't do anything really. We've been stuck on this little planet fighting our endless wars and killing each other and we visited another rock and now sent our probe to yet another rock.. you consider that progress? It seems like we are cleaning up the mess we are making and always fail to do it properly. Why make the mess in the first place then? Its less about the universe itself and more about what the hell are we doing here to begin with? Why create a need that need not exist? The universe is not screaming for us to tend to something that it can't take care of. We are the ones who keep creating deprivation (by bringing others here) and then attempting to satisfy that deprivation and mostly failing to do so.
Do I consider it progress? The very idea of progress, like every other idea, is a human one. The idea that there's some virtue to continuing the universe is ours. The idea of asking why is ours. Have we done nothing at all? I guess we'll have to differ on that one. I see something that is at least very interesting. A story, if you will, which by the standards of the earth itself is still very short. The antinatalist position (assuming the antinatalist is also an atheist) is not just that one wishes to stay out of it, but that it end, and not just that it end, but that it be erased never to have happened.
Quote:

Well I acknowledge that I cannot speak for the whole world but can only express an opinion which I am doing right now. I can end my own line at least so I am practical here.
As a non breeder you certainly are practical, but as a philosophical antinatalist, I would contend the opposite. There's no reason to believe that your action will make the world any better, and a good chance that it will make it worse, including adding to the world more suffering than it takes out. In your individual case you may well be correct, especially if you don't believe you'd make a good parent yourself. But in the universal sense, the calculations are impossible, I think. In the countless generations to come a lot could happen. But only if they come.
Quote:

Anyways, thanks Bruno for the great comment! Its not too often that people are willing to talk about antinatalism in a practical rather than emotional manner so I appreciate it
I find it an interesting discussion, though hard to remain dispassionate. I have to say I am more than just tolerant of living. I love it. The world is not always fun but it is always interesting and wonderful. I can't guarantee how those in generations to come will see it, but to me it's a gift and one that I appreciate, however long I can hold it.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 08:44 PM   #60
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I can certainly see from your own account why you'd want not to continue your line, but I actually don't think the risk of life hating kids is so great that I would join you. Of course it's a little late now, since my kids are grown up. I am pretty sure they, as well as my stepson, are on balance glad that they exist.
Fair enough. But consider the recent shootings in Connecticut. My heart really goes out to all the parents and their kids and it makes me think that no one would have to grief or die if no one existed in the first place. Do you think the chances of my kid or someone else's kid being there are so impossibly low that you should forego the risk completely? What would you think as a parent of these kids? Would you consider it a boon that they were born for such a short period of time only to die in this manner? Do you think their lives were worth starting? If you knew for a fact that they would be killed at that age, would you bring them here? The risks aren't fantasies.. there are statistical probabilities for pretty much everything out there (disease, getting hit by lightning, getting run over, ending up in a house fire, etc). Do you think that they're so low as to be irrelevant to the question of whether its worthwhile having kids? What if you knew for a fact that your kid would have some sort of birth defect? Is only risk of that type sufficient to not procreate and all other risk negligible? Just curious.

Do you see any correlation between slavery and procreation? I am just wondering what sort of risks of conception do you find acceptable and what sort of risks you find unacceptable and whether you consider existence to really resemble slavery with no way out (you can't kill yourself nor can you continue living).

Quote:
Of course you're not forcing your will on anyone else, but you're certainly advocating it with an insistence that suggests you would if you could. If you would not, then I would contend that you're not so much an antinatalist as a voluntary non breeder, a position with which I have no problem.
I am not so sure even that is the right way to put it. I think I would be happy if parents decided against procreation on philosophical grounds, but I wouldn't force them to do it even if I could. After all, the resulting person wouldn't be me and wouldn't be my offspring so the responsibility would lie on these people and I would feel sad if the offspring decided that life wasn't worth it.

I guess I am more of a "soft antinatalist" rather than a "hard antinatalist" and even though voluntary non-breeder is not too far from the truth, it still dodges the philosophical issue of "existential preference" (i.e. non-existence vs existence), something that it along with the childfree people don't really take into account (they only care about it insofar as they don't see themselves being parents and its usually a lifestyle choice without any deeper thinking involved).

Again, I would be happy if people chose not to breed because I see life as generally futile and humanity not really accomplishing anything.. not to mention our insignificance and eventual extinction at some point in the future, but I wouldn't force it on them even if I could.

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Once again, it seems you're mixing the decision not to breed and the reasons for that with the antinatalist philosophical position that breeding is inherently wrong (for one thing consent before conception is clearly an impossible idea) and should simply cease. Perhaps it's realistic to conclude that society can never ever get better, but it's pretty drastic to end that possibility forever. Among other things, I'm not quite ready to conclude that humanity as it stands now is an evolutionary dead end. By any standards but our own, we haven't been at it all that long yet.
You have to admit though things have been pretty grim and are looking even grimmer. I am not saying we're at an evolutionary dead end... hence, I am a supporter of transhumanism and the singularity and all that. However, I don't think even that would solve any of the fundamental properties of life which are not really here to accustom sentient beings.

My decision not to breed could be described as a mix between my desire to be child-free, my inability to be a good parent (I am pretty sure of that due to various reasons) and the inherent futility and fleeting nature of life as well. I mean, these kids would go back to non-existence after a few decades. Was it worth bringing them here only to subject them to that? I mean I am afraid of death myself... and had I not been born, I wouldn't really be afraid of it. Also, if I hadn't been born, I wouldn't experience any of the suffering nor the pleasure.. however the suffering was always far stronger and far more prevalent... would you consider it rational of me to conclude on census that my life with that ratio is something that wasn't really worth starting?

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Do I consider it progress? The very idea of progress, like every other idea, is a human one. The idea that there's some virtue to continuing the universe is ours. The idea of asking why is ours. Have we done nothing at all? I guess we'll have to differ on that one. I see something that is at least very interesting. A story, if you will, which by the standards of the earth itself is still very short. The antinatalist position (assuming the antinatalist is also an atheist) is not just that one wishes to stay out of it, but that it end, and not just that it end, but that it be erased never to have happened.
Yes, it is indeed a human idea. I guess you could say its interesting in that inanimate matter woke up on a small planet to "do" something, however artificial that something is, but is it worth all of the pain, suffering and death that our species endured and continues to endure as we speak? At the end of the day, everything will be erased anyways as if it never happened once the Sun becomes a Red Giant or when Andromeda collides with our Milky Way.. not to mention when the universe comes to an end in a Heat Death. You think its worth sticking out till then and see our species suffer and die till perhaps we reach a point of the singularity? I am just wondering if you consider a possible good future for mankind worthwhile in light of the fact that it would be built on past corpses of those who "didn't make it".

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As a non breeder you certainly are practical, but as a philosophical antinatalist, I would contend the opposite. There's no reason to believe that your action will make the world any better, and a good chance that it will make it worse, including adding to the world more suffering than it takes out. In your individual case you may well be correct, especially if you don't believe you'd make a good parent yourself. But in the universal sense, the calculations are impossible, I think. In the countless generations to come a lot could happen. But only if they come.
So, if the non-existent people never come into existence, that will not make the world a better place seeing as sentience is the only thing that can potentially be inflicted harm on in this universe? The earth is really being crunched to its limits with all of the resource depletion and there are already too many of us, especially in the poorer parts of the world where a lot of people are born into conditions that are pretty close to death already. I don't believe we can survive for much longer like that unless we fundamentally change our ways (for instance, abolish capitalism). But since no country wants to attempt to implement a sustainable system, do you really think things will get better from here on?

A lot of people argue that we can't discuss non-existent people because they don't exist yet. Do you think the same way? If not, do you agree with me that we can predict at the very least the general path of life they will take and the sort of things they will have to deal with?

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I find it an interesting discussion, though hard to remain dispassionate. I have to say I am more than just tolerant of living. I love it. The world is not always fun but it is always interesting and wonderful. I can't guarantee how those in generations to come will see it, but to me it's a gift and one that I appreciate, however long I can hold it.
I am glad you're having a good life and I hope it will continue being good for you and your kids. However, I am sure you are aware that there is a lot of misery and suffering out there both in first world and third world countries and a lot of it is the direct result of how the society is managed.

Do you consider the natural human ability to not think that globally about their life or the lives of others as essential in keeping one's wits and not going insane?

All in all, I guess the main reason I am an antinatalist is because I see no reason why I was subjected to this kind of existence and not an existence that I would be always thankful for because it would always satisfy me. I see no ultimate justification for my suffering and no reason for why i should live in this intolerable socio-economic system, subject to biological whims (disease, etc), old age and eventual demise (which can really happen anytime). Yes, I had my pleasures, moments that I wished would last forever, moments that could freeze just like that in eternity but these were very fleeting whereas the suffering is far more pervasive and its potential is far more potent in this dangerous world. Since I am having these conscious miserable experiences, I can definitely anticipate others having similar sensations and can empathize with their sentiment that it would have been better had they never been born (and i've had talks with people who feel similar to how I feel on various blogs) and while the percentage of people who feel that way versus those who don't feel that way is probably extremely small, we can't really discount all of these people and their suffering, right? Do you think there is an alternative solution? Or simply to stop breeding voluntarily and not spread your own misery further down the rabbit-hole and let others decide for themselves?

Now, I don't think that it's irrational even if you think that way... but I just want the suffering to be acknowledged and for society to allow certain people to exit gracefully when they decide to do so if no treatments seem to work, these people should be allowed to leave the game because antinatalism, grim and dour as it is, is still based on rational grounds, even if the premises and conclusion are all extremely negative.

I will not deny that I've seen a psychologist in the past, been taking antidepressants, was reading self-help books and been trying to improve my life somehow, but the deficiencies were just too damn flagrant to ignore and they always put me back into a depressive state since nothing was ever enough for me and I always yearned for the kind of existence where I wouldn't suffer and where everything would satisfy me and found no justification to continue reading optimistic tripe that could never change the fundamental parameters of life.

Do you think that suicide clinics should be built and euthanasia should be legalized for pretty much anyone after a certain age even if they're not terminally ill? What if they are truly depressed and after the cool-down period they were given, that depression didn't subside. Do you think they should be given the right to "exit gracefully"? I think that makes perfect sense.

I guess I can see where you're coming from since you're probably the first person who truly engaged with me in a deep discussion about antinatalism from a pro-natalist perspective without hurling insults and attacking my character and I appreciate that because my YT channel with videos about AN was a pretty big train wreck as you can imagine I am feeling more and more that perhaps preaching antinatalism to the majority shouldn't really be done forcefully at all and could simply be explained to them if they're curious and then let them decide for themselves whether its evident truths have any merit and bearing on their own views of life. However, I think antinatalism can still be a personal decision that I don't necessarily have to preach like the gospel from the belfry. So thank you for that. I am happy that you are willing to discuss the deeper merits or vices of the philosophy in a rational, respectful manner. I guess that's one benefit of being an adult who had kids that others who had no kids do not possess. Maybe its "humility"? Not sure but I do detect that you have something that I haven't seen in other responses on YouTube which were hot-headed and full of lead and spite.

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Old 22nd December 2012, 09:02 PM   #61
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Suffering is an instrinsic characteristic of life; much like the fact that complex life must consume other life in order to sustain itself. I don't personally consider it a good enough reason not to create new life.

However, I also believe that if people don't want to have children, it's not something society requires them to justify. If you don't want children, just don't have them.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 09:19 PM   #62
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I am really curious.

How many parents here actually planned the parenthood and stuck strickly to "The Plan", as opposed to people for whom "Life just happened, the way it happened"?
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Old 22nd December 2012, 09:43 PM   #63
dimasok
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Suffering is an instrinsic characteristic of life; much like the fact that complex life must consume other life in order to sustain itself. I don't personally consider it a good enough reason not to create new life.
Well, is that really something to praise? Wouldn't you be happier if there was a utopia, life didn't consume itself and actually didn't contain any suffering whatsoever? Is there any reason you consider good enough not to create life? How about a reason good enough to ending life?

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Old 22nd December 2012, 09:59 PM   #64
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Deaman, it's too late tonight for me to digest much, but I will say that horrible though the school shootings and many other bad events are, to suggest that nobody at all should ever breed is I think a misreading of the risk. We don't know what people's fate will be, nor how long they will live, nor whether they will live long enough to procreate, die young in agony, but give rise much later to children or great great grandchildren who will balance out all the pain. It's too complicated. We can make individual choices only as individuals.

We could go on and on about this, and maybe will but not tonight. I do not feel deprived of my nonexistence, because there was no I and nonexistence is complete. You can't be deprived of something if there's no you to be deprived. Part of this argument is difficult to make sense of on either side because language is limited, and so, I think, is our ability to conceive of things. It's impossible to argue the antinatalist position without using terms that seem to imply that the nonexistent have some kind of pre-being or rights.

I guess life is like that. We live and die, we are or we aren't. When it's over it will all be over, but it isn't yet. It will all be forgotten and for naught when it's over, but it hasn't been yet. What's temporary and relative is real, and it's all there is. I could wish there were something more but there isn't. Must a flash be eternal to be bright?

I'm quite aware that I am lucky and that much of the world is miserable, but though I and my progeny could possibly make it worse it is far more likely they will make no difference in the big picture, and possible they will make it a little better, at least for someone. Nothing about the future is certain, except for nonexistence. That's utter, complete, and dreadfully dull.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 10:04 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
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.
Actually the post I was responding to was quite insulting.

As to what I said? I think that it is self evident.

First of all, it requires the self importance that you believe you have the right to force another being to exist

It is arrogant for someone to think that way

It is greedy, in that you would have to want to do it in the face of all opposition
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Old 22nd December 2012, 10:31 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Deaman, it's too late tonight for me to digest much, but I will say that horrible though the school shootings and many other bad events are, to suggest that nobody at all should ever breed is I think a misreading of the risk. We don't know what people's fate will be, nor how long they will live, nor whether they will live long enough to procreate, die young in agony, but give rise much later to children or great great grandchildren who will balance out all the pain. It's too complicated. We can make individual choices only as individuals.

We could go on and on about this, and maybe will but not tonight. I do not feel deprived of my nonexistence, because there was no I and nonexistence is complete. You can't be deprived of something if there's no you to be deprived. Part of this argument is difficult to make sense of on either side because language is limited, and so, I think, is our ability to conceive of things. It's impossible to argue the antinatalist position without using terms that seem to imply that the nonexistent have some kind of pre-being or rights.

I guess life is like that. We live and die, we are or we aren't. When it's over it will all be over, but it isn't yet. It will all be forgotten and for naught when it's over, but it hasn't been yet. What's temporary and relative is real, and it's all there is. I could wish there were something more but there isn't. Must a flash be eternal to be bright?

I'm quite aware that I am lucky and that much of the world is miserable, but though I and my progeny could possibly make it worse it is far more likely they will make no difference in the big picture, and possible they will make it a little better, at least for someone. Nothing about the future is certain, except for nonexistence. That's utter, complete, and dreadfully dull.
Thank you for this. This resonates deeply with me. You have a way with words
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Old 22nd December 2012, 10:47 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
Well, is that really something to praise? Wouldn't you be happier if there was a utopia, life didn't consume itself and actually didn't contain any suffering whatsoever?

Sure it would be great; but the dice didn't turn up that way, it's just a plain and simple fact. If a way could be found to make those things true, again great; but in order to do the necessary research and development we need living people who unfortunately are going to have to suffer and consume other life as a condition of their existence.

Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
Is there any reason you consider good enough not to create life?
I believe there are good situational reasons for an individual choosing to not create life. Financial capability, health, interest, and maturity are important factors that, when not of a desirable state, might lead one to reasonably conclude that creating life isn't a good idea at the current moment.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 01:41 AM   #68
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dimasok, hello fellow anti-natalist. Thank you for taking over. It's interesting reading your POVs and I appreciate your "outside of the box" thinking and raw honesty. I will, though, have to respectfully disagree that the premises and conclusion of anti-natalism are all extremely negative. (If that's what you were saying. If not, I apologize in advance.)

Do you have a link to your YouTube page? I'd love to check it out. Good day.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
So you can't accept the human condition at all.
I'm not sure what this means and I do wish that you would frame your assertions as questions. If I'm understanding you correctly then this is what I have to say: I can accept that life is what it is. I do not fault it; I do not get angry at it. It's not like life is purposefully malicious. It is mindless and random. (This mindset gives me peace when horrible things happen. I don't have to ask "Why did this happen?" Whatever happened happened because it was always a possibility)

However, for numerous rational/logical reasons, I do not feel that it is necessary for us to breed and, therefore, it should be discontinued. Please focus on this point because that is the main point of anti-natalism. Acceptance or non-acceptance of the human condition is not the point.

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Obviously, nobody ever consented to conception, and that's true of every living being.
I am aware of that. I'm also aware that we can stop making the decision of life for other people.

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Of course if you want to end humanity, antinatalism is the only non violent way to do it in theory, though owing to its low rate of acceptance it will never happen and the world itself will likely be worse for the effort.
Looking at humanity's collective mindset and track record, I agree that more than likely humans will breed themselves to death (and a potentially ****** end if we end up overbreeding) unless some seriously questionable stuff is implemented. I strongly disagree that the world will likely be worse for the effort. I don't understand how not breeding and/or advocating not breeding would be "worse" than breeding which, as we all know, leads to potential rejection of existence and guaranteed suffering and death.

But, yeah, like I've said in previous posts, I'm going to continue advocating anti-natalism until I literally can't. If atheists/skeptics are going to continue trying to rid the world of superstition (which is more than likely impossible) I might as well do my thing, too. When I die, I'll at least know I tried.

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Of course there are a myriad of good, valid and sensible reasons for an individual to decide not to procreate. To my mind this does not translate into an argument that humanity should perish and the entire world be lost forever.
Well, if it doesn't make sense to you, then it doesn't, I suppose. Maybe it'll make sense someday.

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Even if I can see many reasons not to breed, the pure antinatalist position strikes me as silly junk.
Again, I'm getting the feeling that you are having trouble understanding the philosophy.

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Of course I can only use my own life and those around me to form an opinion, but most of the people I know who exist have some reason to believe that existing is a good thing most of the time,
Like I've said numerous times, I am aware of this fact. This fact isn't the point of anti-natalism, though.

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and that humanity is something we value and wish to see continued.
That's fine if you value humanity (I and many anti-natalists value it, too). About wanting to see it continued: What gives you (general "you") the right to the make the decision of life for another person simply because you want to see humanity continued? You don't have to tell me the answer, but this is an important question.

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It may not be objective, but what about living is? If you see it as a gift rather than a burden, then there's only one way to give it, and that is without consent as we always have done.
I do understand that a LOT of people see life as a "gift" that should be given. Regardless of whether people see life as a gift or not, that doesn't give us the right to make the decision of life for another person. And the icing on that logic-cake is that, as most humans should know, not everyone sees life as a gift. So, why risk passing along this "gift" if it might not be accepted and can't be returned? That is the view of anti-natalists.

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I'm sorry if you think my final remark is flippant, but that's on purpose, because I think antinatalism is stupid and sophomoric.

Sorry, I just do. The example I threw in was not meant to suggest that anti-natalism is about "getting back at your parents," but to suggest that it's a stupid idea thrown out in stupid moments when good arguments are not to be had.
I don't see your final remark as flippant because you made an effort to explain yourself and I appreciate that. And thank you for clarifying the "getting back at your parents" comment. Though it's your opinion and it is your right to have it, I find it unfortunate that you find anti-natalism stupid and sophomoric because, again, that is a sign to me that you probably don't understand it. Pro-natalism is a lot more sophomoric than anti-natalism. "Let's breed because I love living so far and, um, it's tradition and, um, nature tells us to. Yeah breeding!""AlsoI'mafraidofdeathandbelievethatIcanliveonthrou ghmychildren!"

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[...]and at some individual existential level we will be as if we had never been.
Nice thinking outside of the box. However, I both agree and disagree with your statement. I do not believe that by dying we will be as if we had never been here. When something existed, it existed. When something exists, it exists. For example, if someone was in severe pain before they died, their dying isn't going to erase the pain. It happened. It was real. It was life, but it was horrible.

This is getting slightly off topic but this mindset is the reason I don't fully understand people wanting to torture the murderers of their loved ones as a way to "seek closure." What happened to the victim happened. If the victim suffered, he or she suffered. Torturing the murderer does not reverse time or erase what happened. The only thing people can do is take comfort in the fact that the suffering of their loved one eventually ended and they found peace through death. I will say I do understand people wanting to murder and/or torture murderers out of anger and hurt. That makes more sense to me.

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I still think it's silly to suggest that the only way to fix the bad moments is never to have any at all,
Not sure what you're saying with this sentence. What happens to those who exist will happen. I think you're focusing way too much on the concept of suffering. It's icing on the cake for our argument, but even ignoring suffering, our argument still makes sense.

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or that the only way to resolve the obvious fact that those who have never existed lack rights is to eliminate existence.
How is this silly? How is it silly to advocate NOT forcing someone into existence who can't make the decision of existence? And what is wrong with eliminating existance? I may be interpreting your words wrong and, if so, I apologize in advance, but it seems to me like you have a fear of the human race ending. (I noticed your phrase "the entire world be lost forever" which gives me the belief that you hold great weight towards the human race continuing)

This is a common mindset of humans and I used to mildly fear this concept before I became more "aware." (I think fear of our species ending/"dying" is nature's way of saying "Breed!" to us, giving us the feeling that we are doing something "right" by breeding.) But there is nothing to fear. It is what it is. We didn't exist before and we won't exist again. So why not just say we had a "good run" and just "wind down"?

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There is no perfection in existence, but this does not mean that nonexistence is perfection.
I know that non-existence isn't perfection. I do not strive for perfection. I've simply said that, for numerous reasons, there is no need to force someone into existence without their consent and, therefore, this practice should be discontinued. If non-existent people don't care about not existing, why bring them into existence? There'd be more of an argument for pro-natalism if we found out that non-existent people cry about not existing and beg for existence.

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Sure those who never were will never know it. Maybe that seems like an insight to some but to me it seems a silly truism.
I disagree that it's silly, but you're right that it's a truism. That's the point. It's the kind of thing that should make people stop and say, "Why are we breeding again? Shouldn't we stop doing this? There is no need for us to continue breeding."

Good day.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 07:48 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
dimasok, hello fellow anti-natalist. Thank you for taking over. It's interesting reading your POVs and I appreciate your "outside of the box" thinking and raw honesty. I will, though, have to respectfully disagree that the premises and conclusion of anti-natalism are all extremely negative. (If that's what you were saying. If not, I apologize in advance.)

Do you have a link to your YouTube page? I'd love to check it out. Good day.



I'm not sure what this means and I do wish that you would frame your assertions as questions. If I'm understanding you correctly then this is what I have to say: I can accept that life is what it is. I do not fault it; I do not get angry at it. It's not like life is purposefully malicious. It is mindless and random. (This mindset gives me peace when horrible things happen. I don't have to ask "Why did this happen?" Whatever happened happened because it was always a possibility)
I do not feel that I need to frame an assertion as something else. What I see in the strong antinatalist position is a desire and intention to eliminate humanity (and thus all that is or ever has been human) from the world forever. There is no degree of non-acceptance greater than this.
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However, for numerous rational/logical reasons, I do not feel that it is necessary for us to breed and, therefore, it should be discontinued. Please focus on this point because that is the main point of anti-natalism. Acceptance or non-acceptance of the human condition is not the point.
I believe it is exactly the point. If your desire is, in fact, to end humanity, then you are, de facto, rejecting humanity. There is no god or other being to whom the history and collected cultures of the human experience will ever be available. You state your wish to snuff it entirely.
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I am aware of that. I'm also aware that we can stop making the decision of life for other people.
Of course we can stop, and since life is life, the decision means no life. To suggest that this isn't a rejection of life is silly. It's how it works. It's the only way it can or will work. There are no other people for whom the decision is made. It's always either never made or already made.
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Looking at humanity's collective mindset and track record, I agree that more than likely humans will breed themselves to death (and a potentially ****** end if we end up overbreeding) unless some seriously questionable stuff is implemented. I strongly disagree that the world will likely be worse for the effort. I don't understand how not breeding and/or advocating not breeding would be "worse" than breeding which, as we all know, leads to potential rejection of existence and guaranteed suffering and death.
If you believe as a strong antinatalist, the world cannot get much worse anyway, but if you are not, then political correctness aside, you must look at who subscribes to the idea, where it will be implemented, and what generations are forever ended. Of course we all die, but as I have said over and over, a large part of what I value is society. The problems of overpopulation and exploitation and war will not be ended by the decision of a few well educated middle class westerners to end it all, and while everyone has his own ideas about what is virtuous and beautiful in human culture, handing the world to the remainder is at best a risky decision.
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But, yeah, like I've said in previous posts, I'm going to continue advocating anti-natalism until I literally can't. If atheists/skeptics are going to continue trying to rid the world of superstition (which is more than likely impossible) I might as well do my thing, too. When I die, I'll at least know I tried.



Well, if it doesn't make sense to you, then it doesn't, I suppose. Maybe it'll make sense someday.



Again, I'm getting the feeling that you are having trouble understanding the philosophy.
You may be right, but I suspect the reverse is true.
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Like I've said numerous times, I am aware of this fact. This fact isn't the point of anti-natalism, though.
It should be. If a significant percentage of the people who exist believe that existence is good and that they are glad they were brought into being, then your proposal that they should not have been conceived and that nobody should ever be again is at least very arrogant.
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That's fine if you value humanity (I and many anti-natalists value it, too). About wanting to see it continued: What gives you (general "you") the right to the make the decision of life for another person simply because you want to see humanity continued? You don't have to tell me the answer, but this is an important question.
Sorry, but as far as I am concerned, you cannot advocate the end of humanity and say you value it. The language here is handicapped by being a product of human culture, of course, but the very idea that conception involves a right, or that the decision can be made for another person, is problematic. You can't say you're in favor of life and then reject the way it happens.
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I do understand that a LOT of people see life as a "gift" that should be given. Regardless of whether people see life as a gift or not, that doesn't give us the right to make the decision of life for another person. And the icing on that logic-cake is that, as most humans should know, not everyone sees life as a gift. So, why risk passing along this "gift" if it might not be accepted and can't be returned? That is the view of anti-natalists.
And here we go again. It's unfortunate that some people dislike life and it's too bad there is no effective way for them to opt out of it. I don't think this is the general viewpoint, and acting as if it is is not to accept the reality of reality.
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I don't see your final remark as flippant because you made an effort to explain yourself and I appreciate that. And thank you for clarifying the "getting back at your parents" comment. Though it's your opinion and it is your right to have it, I find it unfortunate that you find anti-natalism stupid and sophomoric because, again, that is a sign to me that you probably don't understand it. Pro-natalism is a lot more sophomoric than anti-natalism. "Let's breed because I love living so far and, um, it's tradition and, um, nature tells us to. Yeah breeding!""AlsoI'mafraidofdeathandbelievethatIcanliveonthrou ghmychildren!"
I'm sorry to say I will always find anti-natalism naive and stupid, because what I see here is a clash between an idealistic view of what human life should be and the reality of what it is, and the conclusion that if we can't have it in some imagined way we should have none at all. I don't quite subscribe to the idea you put there in quotes. I say, let us (as a society, not necessarily as individuals) breed. Not just because I love life, but because my experience suggests that others will too. I see something worth continuing, and since there's only one way nature has given us to do that, that's the way to do it.
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Nice thinking outside of the box. However, I both agree and disagree with your statement. I do not believe that by dying we will be as if we had never been here. When something existed, it existed. When something exists, it exists. For example, if someone was in severe pain before they died, their dying isn't going to erase the pain. It happened. It was real. It was life, but it was horrible.
Well, in some way you're right, just as I'm right that life is no less because we know that someday the universe will blow out like a candle. We will have to stay neutral on that one, I think, because just as dying doesn't undo the pain of death, the pain does not undo the pleasures of life. I will probably die painfully too, though of course I hope I don't. But I am neither such an individualist nor such a liver in the moment that I would end my life now, with its prospects and its memories, in anticipation of that.
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This is getting slightly off topic but this mindset is the reason I don't fully understand people wanting to torture the murderers of their loved ones as a way to "seek closure." What happened to the victim happened. If the victim suffered, he or she suffered. Torturing the murderer does not reverse time or erase what happened. The only thing people can do is take comfort in the fact that the suffering of their loved one eventually ended and they found peace through death. I will say I do understand people wanting to murder and/or torture murderers out of anger and hurt. That makes more sense to me.
No real argument here. I can understand emotional responses, including bad ones. Whatever side of this fence you're on, if human values and ideas are important, then it follows that you do not always act on emotional impulse.
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Not sure what you're saying with this sentence. What happens to those who exist will happen. I think you're focusing way too much on the concept of suffering. It's icing on the cake for our argument, but even ignoring suffering, our argument still makes sense.
I would contend that aside from the theistically tinged arguments on consent, and the ontologically difficult ones on being and non-being, the potential for further suffering is really the only good argument you have. There's no real cake under that icing.
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How is this silly? How is it silly to advocate NOT forcing someone into existence who can't make the decision of existence? And what is wrong with eliminating existance? I may be interpreting your words wrong and, if so, I apologize in advance, but it seems to me like you have a fear of the human race ending. (I noticed your phrase "the entire world be lost forever" which gives me the belief that you hold great weight towards the human race continuing)
Indeed I do. I also am of course inevitably steeped in the linguistic limitations of being a human being in a human society, but I think existence is a good thing. I am for it. And I don't see any way to be for it and to want it to end with nobody to know about it. I still say that all you're really doing is observing the truism that humanity is not what you would have designed if you were boss, and so to hell with it all.
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This is a common mindset of humans and I used to mildly fear this concept before I became more "aware." (I think fear of our species ending/"dying" is nature's way of saying "Breed!" to us, giving us the feeling that we are doing something "right" by breeding.) But there is nothing to fear. It is what it is. We didn't exist before and we won't exist again. So why not just say we had a "good run" and just "wind down"?
We are part of nature, like it or not, and no doubt nature has produce in us an urge to defy extinction. I think there's more to it than that, that as a species we have created a cultural and social entity that makes the urge worthwhile and the adventure interesting. What we decide as individuals is not necessarily what we can prescribe for the species.
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I know that non-existence isn't perfection. I do not strive for perfection. I've simply said that, for numerous reasons, there is no need to force someone into existence without their consent and, therefore, this practice should be discontinued. If non-existent people don't care about not existing, why bring them into existence? There'd be more of an argument for pro-natalism if we found out that non-existent people cry about not existing and beg for existence.
Language and the limitations of concept trip us up here. Nonexistence is total, and there is not an iota of retrospection available. Decisions about the pluses or minuses of life can only be made by and for the living.
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I disagree that it's silly, but you're right that it's a truism. That's the point. It's the kind of thing that should make people stop and say, "Why are we breeding again? Shouldn't we stop doing this? There is no need for us to continue breeding."

Good day.
Well, on that note I think we might as well close. The very idea of need is a social and human one, and I say there is a need for us to continue breeding as much as there is any need or any application of the idea of needing. On one level of course you're right, with the truism that the entire universe wouldn't be missed if it didn't exist (phrase stolen from Piet Hein), and on another, I believe, entirely wrong. As I've said before, if you value the hive then you need the bees.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 08:27 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by JayJayJay View Post
everyone, December 23rd will be the last day that I will be posting in this thread (I will be extremely busy from December 24th and on) so please get any questions/concerns in ASAP so that I can respond to them before December 24th.
Thank You, JJJ for taking the time to reply to my queries. Antinatalism fascinates me. I look forward to continuing the discussion with others.

Good day.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 08:49 AM   #71
marplots
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Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
(snipped post to get at two points) I am of a more selfish antinatalist nature and so I don't want to force on others my point of view. However, I don't think there is really much to discuss here. My position is all-encompassing and thus, individual aspects can always be argued away with simple logic.
Could you explain what you mean here? Do you mean that your stance is only supported holistically and not built from blocks of logic?


Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
Yes, most people would probably say that its worth existing and thus they procreate and have kids who are also likely to enjoy their lives. However, I am not one of them and I am not grateful for that "gift" of life bestowed upon me without my consent, and not only that, but into an existence that is so badly constrained in every single way - dystopia if you will.
This bothers me. How would you obtain such consent? What does it even mean for a non-existent person to wish to be born?

1) We know some people (on balance) enjoy their lives.
2) We know others do not.

How do you choose between these two, since, arguably, the one who enjoys life wanted to, and is grateful for their existence, while the other is not. Would you use a statistical measure or does the negative completely outweigh the examples of positive outcomes?

If you have a moral duty to avoid creating a disappointing life, don't you then have the same duty to create meaningful, fulfilling lives?

I would claim the locus of control is screwed up here. First because talking about the desires of a non-existent being is nonsense and second because you are exercising a type of illusory control over the situation. I think this stems from an idea that evil (or whatever term you prefer) is created somehow, as a kind of willful act and as if evil were a thing you could package up and sell by the pound.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 10:46 AM   #72
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Wrong target.

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Deaman, it's too late tonight for me to digest much.
I don't know why you would address your post to me. I have only posted onc post in this whole thread, and it has nothing to do with anything you say in your post.

I'll just put it down to your tiredness.

Last edited by deaman; 23rd December 2012 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 11:09 AM   #73
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One cannot "force another being to exist". Even if one chooses to engage in reproductive behavior, whether or not this results in the creation of another life is purely a matter of chance.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 11:18 AM   #74
marplots
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
One cannot "force another being to exist". Even if one chooses to engage in reproductive behavior, whether or not this results in the creation of another life is purely a matter of chance.
Agree. One might as well say, because I am not going around killing sad people, I am perpetuating evil. After all, by not offing them, I am "forcing them to exist" in exactly the same way as procreating.

The whole thing strikes me as toxic hubris.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 11:59 AM   #75
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Sure it would be great; but the dice didn't turn up that way, it's just a plain and simple fact. If a way could be found to make those things true, again great; but in order to do the necessary research and development we need living people who unfortunately are going to have to suffer and consume other life as a condition of their existence.
The question is whether you should roll that dice for someone else? What if someone else would come to the same conclusion that I did? If there is no utopia, why bother bringing them from non-existence and rolling the dice for them, forcing upon them suffering, pleasure and death?

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I believe there are good situational reasons for an individual choosing to not create life. Financial capability, health, interest, and maturity are important factors that, when not of a desirable state, might lead one to reasonably conclude that creating life isn't a good idea at the current moment.
So, then, the dice is not worth throwing for these reasons but not for reasons of existential nature?
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Old 23rd December 2012, 12:07 PM   #76
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dimasok, hello fellow anti-natalist. Thank you for taking over. It's interesting reading your POVs and I appreciate your "outside of the box" thinking and raw honesty. I will, though, have to respectfully disagree that the premises and conclusion of anti-natalism are all extremely negative. (If that's what you were saying. If not, I apologize in advance.)

Do you have a link to your YouTube page? I'd love to check it out. Good day.
Just look up "universedestroyer" on youtube as I can't post links on the forum yet.

Well, I never said being an antinatalist meant agreeing with each other We're humans after all and can take different stances on different issues. However, I see where you're coming from and that means there will be less friction between us than there would be otherwise. I am in general a very profound pessimist/existential nihilist so its hard for me to see anything in a positive light. While antinatalism is compassionate and driven by altruistic motives, the conclusions are pretty grim when weighed by an average human who has an innate need for comfort, positive thinking and who is hypersensitive to optimistic bias.

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I'm not sure what this means and I do wish that you would frame your assertions as questions. If I'm understanding you correctly then this is what I have to say: I can accept that life is what it is. I do not fault it; I do not get angry at it. It's not like life is purposefully malicious. It is mindless and random.
And that's where we diverge. I do get angry at life and how mindless and malicious and it does't matter whether it was created by a superintelligence or by crude forces of unintelligent design. I think I have the full right to be at it even if there is no one there who would care that I am angry.

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That's fine if you value humanity (I and many anti-natalists value it, too). About wanting to see it continued: What gives you (general "you") the right to the make the decision of life for another person simply because you want to see humanity continued? You don't have to tell me the answer, but this is an important question.
I don't really value humanity I think its a blight on the face of the planet that destroyed whatever little this planet had to provide. I value the concept of "suffering" as such and I value animals. And also, sentience is no more valuable to the universe than a piece of rock.

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This is getting slightly off topic but this mindset is the reason I don't fully understand people wanting to torture the murderers of their loved ones as a way to "seek closure." What happened to the victim happened. If the victim suffered, he or she suffered. Torturing the murderer does not reverse time or erase what happened.
I can definitely agree with that.

Last edited by dimasok; 23rd December 2012 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 12:33 PM   #77
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I believe it is exactly the point. If your desire is, in fact, to end humanity, then you are, de facto, rejecting humanity. There is no god or other being to whom the history and collected cultures of the human experience will ever be available. You state your wish to snuff it entirely.
So, essentially, if the majority of humanity don't want to subjectively (because as you said, there is no one out there who needs us to go on) end humanity, then we should go with the desire of the majority in a sort of democratic vote?
What if the majority did want to end humanity, would you change your mind then and reluctantly consent or not?

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Of course we can stop, and since life is life, the decision means no life. To suggest that this isn't a rejection of life is silly. It's how it works. It's the only way it can or will work. There are no other people for whom the decision is made. It's always either never made or already made.
It is indeed a rejection of life based on one's own experience of it. I guess what you're saying is that each individual can make that decision for himself but not for other people who might think otherwise.

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The problems of overpopulation and exploitation and war will not be ended by the decision of a few well educated middle class westerners to end it all, and while everyone has his own ideas about what is virtuous and beautiful in human culture, handing the world to the remainder is at best a risky decision.
Do you think the zeitgeist movement/transhumanism are the only way we can bring "salvation" to humanity?

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It should be. If a significant percentage of the people who exist believe that existence is good and that they are glad they were brought into being, then your proposal that they should not have been conceived and that nobody should ever be again is at least very arrogant.
David Benatar wrote in his book that most people simply adapt to the new situations (that are obviously less than optimal) and continue seeing value in life even if they were depressed and miserable for a time when the quality of their lives took a significant hit. So even if that' the case, and people are actually far less happy than they claim they are and still lie to themselves in order to keep that mental security blanket on, would you still think its arrogant? I can't say I completely disagree with you in general, because, again, I can only make the decision not to procreate for myself (and my spouse if she agrees) and not for anyone else around me.

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Sorry, but as far as I am concerned, you cannot advocate the end of humanity and say you value it. The language here is handicapped by being a product of human culture, of course, but the very idea that conception involves a right, or that the decision can be made for another person, is problematic. You can't say you're in favor of life and then reject the way it happens.
I agree with that and I told JJJ too that I don't value humanity and I admit it. However, I also admit that the majority of people do value humanity (or at least, their lives) and thus perhaps you're right and its arrogant to force them to adopt my point of view. This is a tricky one but I see where you're coming from. I guess it would be more correct to say that antinatalists value the concept of "suffering" far more than they value "humanity" as such. Would that make more sense?

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And here we go again. It's unfortunate that some people dislike life and it's too bad there is no effective way for them to opt out of it. I don't think this is the general viewpoint, and acting as if it is is not to accept the reality of reality.
So I assume you're in favor of suicide clinics and a process in place which would allow anyone to kill themselves (obviously, within a defined "cool-down" period and other stipulations) even if they're not terminally ill? I think that makes sense to me.

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I'm sorry to say I will always find anti-natalism naive and stupid, because what I see here is a clash between an idealistic view of what human life should be and the reality of what it is, and the conclusion that if we can't have it in some imagined way we should have none at all.
I do agree that at least in my case, I have an idealistic view of what life should be given the experiences I've had since the moment I was born and these experiences don't correspond to that idealistic view at all and thus, I regret being born because of that. However, if I wasn't born, I would not have formed any impressions (idealistic or not) and the question would then be moot. It still remains an unfortunate fact though that I was born. However, perhaps I shouldn't attempt to convince anyone of that and just leave these thoughts to myself.

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We will have to stay neutral on that one, I think, because just as dying doesn't undo the pain of death, the pain does not undo the pleasures of life.
Yes, dying doesn't undo the pain of death and the pain does not undo the pleasures of life. However, if one sees only pain in his future and sees no prospects or anything that would make him want to continue living his life to whenever it ends, do you think its at the very least rational to not procreate then and to end one's life if there is a graceful way of doing so?

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the potential for further suffering is really the only good argument you have.
That's pretty much it. Suffering for whatever reason might seem justified to some (given the prevailing memes of "no pain no gain) and unjustified to others who are idealists and can't cope with reality that is as far away from ideal as can be imagined.

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I still say that all you're really doing is observing the truism that humanity is not what you would have designed if you were boss, and so to hell with it all.
I think it's more of a case of "humanity is not what I would have designed it to be and my design would please 100% of the people, but unfortunately, I cannot redesign anything and yet my wish to end it all is not shared by anyone but the smallest minority"

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Language and the limitations of concept trip us up here. Nonexistence is total, and there is not an iota of retrospection available. Decisions about the pluses or minuses of life can only be made by and for the living.
That is indeed the case. Language is a very limited tool that can only refer to things that are already in existence. Nothingness as such cannot be conceived or talked about. I guess that's why my question of "why is there something rather than nothing" can't be answered since language evolved to deal with things that are already existing and if there was nothing, nothing would be here to inquire as to its origins and reasons for being.

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The very idea of need is a social and human one, and I say there is a need for us to continue breeding as much as there is any need or any application of the idea of needing. On one level of course you're right, with the truism that the entire universe wouldn't be missed if it didn't exist (phrase stolen from Piet Hein), and on another, I believe, entirely wrong. As I've said before, if you value the hive then you need the bees.
You're right. The main assertion of antinatalists is that "there is no need to create a need that need not exist" and as you said, the universe doesn't need us to be here or do anything at all. However, let's assume that the bees are needed for the hive, it still seems to me absurd that we have money and capitalism and labor to allocate unfairly the satisfaction of those needs which is the main reason why there is so much pain and suffering out there. Hence, I am probably more of a transhumanist than an antinatalist.

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Old 23rd December 2012, 12:53 PM   #78
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Could you explain what you mean here? Do you mean that your stance is only supported holistically and not built from blocks of logic?
What I meant is that antinatalism in general rejects humanity (so I would disagree with JJJ here that it values humanity.. it only values the concept of suffering as it applies to any sentience) and thus, any counterarguments would necessarily involve the question of value of anything, and since antinatalism doesn't really value anything of humanity, then it would be really easy for its proponents to reject values that operate based on pro-human categories.

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This bothers me. How would you obtain such consent? What does it even mean for a non-existent person to wish to be born?
I can't say I never asked myself that question. Indeed, a non-existent person is essentially nothing... how could I gain consent from a non-existent entity? Impossible to do.

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How do you choose between these two, since, arguably, the one who enjoys life wanted to, and is grateful for their existence, while the other is not. Would you use a statistical measure or does the negative completely outweigh the examples of positive outcomes?
A statistical measure of probabilities seems to be reasonable. In fact, let's do it right now. What are the chances that mine or your kid or the majority of kids out there would be born into a luxurious lifestyle filled with almost pure pleasure where they have all the money they could ever want, all the capitalistic toys they could ever desire and all the power, sex appeal and charisma that others look up to and they will never have to work for it? Pretty slim right? Counter that with the a more realistic assessment of someone being born into an average family in first world country where they would have to work for a living (very likely never becoming rich or influential), would experience a lot of disappointments (heartbreak, achievement failures, etc), would have to get a degree of some sort to secure any career path (if that degrees does not prove to be useless as it is in a lot of cases) or someone born into a third world country as a 5th child or something and being forced to labor all their lives, be surrounded by guerrilla warfare, gets AIDS or some other disease and die very early on. Add to all of that the statistical probabilities of any of these people getting cancer or some other malady and being murdered or dying in some other way to get the full picture.

What is there more a potential for? Negative or positive experiences then?

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If you have a moral duty to avoid creating a disappointing life, don't you then have the same duty to create meaningful, fulfilling lives?
Well, think about it this way. If you create a disappointing life, you imposed a pretty bad state of affairs on someone who never needed pain or pleasure when he/she didn't exist. So suffering in light of that seems extremely superfluous. However, if you create pleasure that pleasure was never missed by non-existing beings who were never harmed through not experiencing it while suffering does harm them. There is a moral imperative to prevent harm because harm is bad but there is no moral imperative to create pleasure because pleasure was never needed by non-existent and carries with it no harm. Also, bear in mind that pleasures are by themselves satisfaction of an inborn deprivation in all life (i.e. hungry=need to eat, horny=need to copulate, needy=need to go achieve this or that, broke=need to find a job). It seems as if every positive is simply the satisfaction of a negative. The question is, why create the potential for harm (=suffering) and the potential for unsatisfied pleasures (=suffering too) when there is no need to create either?

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I would claim the locus of control is screwed up here. First because talking about the desires of a non-existent being is nonsense and second because you are exercising a type of illusory control over the situation. I think this stems from an idea that evil (or whatever term you prefer) is created somehow, as a kind of willful act and as if evil were a thing you could package up and sell by the pound.
Its true that talking about non-existent desires is nonsense, however you know that if you procreate, someone will be here that will be imbued with desires similar to your own. It seems as if procreation is just playing God with other people's welfare, regardless of whether they would appreciate the gesture or not.

While the intentions of would-be parents are probably not evil (especially if the child was planned and not "just happened"), they are not the ones who will live the lives of their offspring. What if the offspring come to hate life and wish they were never born? What possible recourse would the parents have? None. Name me one rational unselfish reason why parents want to have kids? Bruno mentioned "because I would like my kids to experience life's joy". If non-existence is neutral and has no joys or pleasure and no potential for harm and if life contains suffering and the potential for harm, then what possible reason could there be to surmise that your kid would be the "lucky" one? Especially, given the scenarios I outlined above?

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Agree. One might as well say, because I am not going around killing sad people, I am perpetuating evil. After all, by not offing them, I am "forcing them to exist" in exactly the same way as procreating.

The whole thing strikes me as toxic hubris.
Benatar also said in the past that once people are born, they have a natural propensity to want to keep on living so antinatalism is not so much for pro-death and more for anti-life. Killing someone sad is morally wrong as that someone might be one who enjoys life and the sadness is only temporary and even if its not temporary, no one has the right to take someone else's life away if that person doesn't wish for his life to end. However, a non-existent being is neither sad nor happy and is not harmed by not being brought into existence; there is no potential for him to be "sad" because he will never become existing. However, if you give birth to him/her, there is a potential for irreversible harm from being "a bit sad" and "very sad", both cases that are harmful and that the person might be able or unable to cope with - its harm nevertheless and unless they decide to kill themselves, we as outside observers would not have the right to kill him anymore because now he has rights and taking them away is morally wrong. Before he comes into existence, there is no "sadness" (whether big or small) to extinguish and ergo there is no harm. However, when he is born and experiences sadness, that already is a harm and if we take that sadness away by killing him, then that's more harm also since the death would be painful and the person might not want to die even if he is extremely sad.

If you say that we have a moral imperative to kill all sad people right now, then how is it not the same as saying that we have a moral imperative to continue procreating 24/7 every single minute of your lives everywhere because not doing so would prevent the formation of trillions of potential beings who would never have the potential to be happy? A bit absurd. no?

Last edited by dimasok; 23rd December 2012 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 03:51 PM   #79
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
The question is whether you should roll that dice for someone else? What if someone else would come to the same conclusion that I did? If there is no utopia, why bother bringing them from non-existence and rolling the dice for them, forcing upon them suffering, pleasure and death?
This is a non sequitur. There's no such thing as "bringing someone from non-existence". If they do not exist, they cannot be brought or taken anywhere.


Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
So, then, the dice is not worth throwing for these reasons but not for reasons of existential nature?
Yes. My personal opinion. "Because I cannot nurture it" is a good reason; "because it is life" is not.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 04:37 PM   #80
marplots
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Originally Posted by dimasok View Post
If you say that we have a moral imperative to kill all sad people right now, then how is it not the same as saying that we have a moral imperative to continue procreating 24/7 every single minute of your lives everywhere because not doing so would prevent the formation of trillions of potential beings who would never have the potential to be happy? A bit absurd. no?
Yes, my point exactly. It is absurd. But it is also absurd to think there is a moral imperative the other way round.

You are saying, in effect, "This game is rigged, therefore I will not play it."

However, the result, in the extreme, is that no one else can play it either. Just as much as your decision prevents the potential for harm, it prevents all other potentials. This relies upon a concept of "suffering" which I reject as baseless because it is relative and subjective.

Here is an attempt to measure Gross National Happiness for Bhutan, an objective measure of a subjective experience: http://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/articles/
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