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Jeff Coleman
03-05-2009, 06:03 AM
YouTube - Antinatalism-The Greatest Taboo 1

YouTube - Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo 2

The Black Ferris
03-05-2009, 07:56 AM
I've been listening to this argument for years. There are also occultists working with what is called anti-cosmic current, in an attempt to undo what the demiurge has done and reach a state of 'true freedom' in uncreation, a state without limitation. They believe we are trapped here by a sadistic and egotistical force of some sort.
Plenty of people think people suck. Thinking humans suck is a time honored tradition. I suck and you suck. You know it and I know it.
So forgive me if this 'antinatalism' doesn't sound 'far out'. If you think about anything, it sounds like the same old ego gratification crap packaged as taboo.
Poor humans. Material existence is so darn hard. Why do we even have chairs? What is it worth and what does it mean? It's nothing, but torture! Why go on? Woe is me! Woe is me.
I do like, though, how he plays on our compassion for children and parents. No one wants to be in pain or see their children in pain. But he makes an awful lot of assumptions. After all, if it doesn't matter, than what's the difference?
Not that I am in any way against making a stand, but this doesn't seem like a winning battle to me. Not that life does, but at least there's stuff to do. Sounds like if these guys get their way, there won't be anything to do.
Unless, of course, you should actually achieve 'godhood'. In which case, you could always trap unlimited potential in a slow vibrational state and spin it for a while. It makes a nice puppet show.
But then, I'm biased. I've already been born. I'm a father. I like Earth. I enjoy being here. I enjoy the illusion and look to it as an encrypted mystery that I must spend my time solving, even if in the end there will be no reward or punishment or even an answer. I enjoy the exploration and the sense of discovery. I have been to 'alien' lands beyond description and experienced states as close to non-existence as one can and still live. I am a user of anti-cosmic current, but only to shake things up. And I love to create! To draw forms out of the ether and make them 'solid'! I make these things my business.
In my opinion, people like the gentleman who made this little seminar, are just bored because they've bought the real lie. Life is simple, Death is easy and there is no such thing as Magic.
The truth as I have found it, so far, however, seems just the opposite. Nothing is simple, Nothing is easy and there is no such thing as no such thing.
You can go home if you want, but I think I'll stay a while. This just might be the party that brings the house down.
Thanks for posting this. It gave me something to rant about during my bout of insomnia.


Sin cerely,
The Black Ferris
Entertaining the Gods since 1974

qcrisp
03-05-2009, 10:06 AM
I liked the Black Ferris' reply here, but I must say, I also agree with most of what was said in the first clip (I haven't listened to the second one yet, but I think I get the gist). My own personal take on this is that I simply cannot understand why people have children, unless they do it by default and unthinkingly, because everyone does. In other words, I can't understand why any thinking and sensitive person would inflict life self-awareness on anyone. No one has yet come up with a convincing way of turning life from a horror into the kind of dream we are promised as children but never, ever actually get. To me there seems to be absolutely no possible excuse for perpetuating life. Having said that, I think that this clip becomes absurd in the same way that the Church of Euthanasia and so on are absurd, because there's no point in crusading for non-existence, because the premise of the whole crusade is pointlessness itself. I kind of feel like this sort of thing is almost an ultimatum to the universe - give us want we want or we're "outta here". Which, actually, is an idea that makes me smile. I quite like it, really. But it is absurd. And calling yourself an anitnatalist is absurd, and having websites about it is absurd. If existence is evil and pointless then nothing matters anyway, and we might as well watch while it plays itself out. But, personally, I still could never bring myself to perpetuate this nightmare, so... I suppose I tread a circle on this one. Here's a related link: Population control. s Blog (http://bookmanpeedeel.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/population-control/) I might put the antinatalist clips on my blog, actually. I feel kindly disposed towards them.

Odalisque
03-05-2009, 02:41 PM
Plenty of people think people suck. Thinking humans suck is a time honored tradition. I suck and you suck. You know it and I know it.

References to sucking seem strangely apt on a thread with natal in its title. It is, after all, what infants do.

I wonder when and why suck came to be used as a verb meaning to be bad. I'm sure that it had not assumed this meaning when I was young. The very fact of a verb meaning to be bad seems strange. The ancient Egyptian language had numerous adjective verbs of this kind, but I don't believe that they're common in English. (By adjective verb, I mean verbs meaning to be [an adjective].)

The Black Ferris
03-05-2009, 03:09 PM
I guess I still don't get it. Maybe it's because I am a Dollmaker.
So, you guys are saying that if you were a 'CREATOR BEING' floating along as the endless void, you wouldn't make a place like this?
"Well, uh... I have such compassion for unlimited potential so, I just don't wanna trap it, O.K.?"
What sort of existence would be acceptable to a puppet? What sort of world would you be happy to bring a child into?
I know if my child were still floating out there on the 'other side', I'd still grab him and say, "Hey, man, you gotta check this place out!"
Perhaps, the Earth is the true entity and we fool ourselves into thinking we are more than a process toward her evolutionary goal. This is why I can never quite think of humans as any sort of true evil. Nor can I worry much about 'saving the planet'. Seriously? Have you seen this thing? Earth will have what it wants. We all have our part to play. Even in killing yourself, you are only being asked to return what did not belong to you so that it may be used for raw material. Nightmare, maybe, but who's?
I guess I'm just a creator being at heart. But I can tell you that if I had created this universe, I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ####ING AROUND!
MONDAY MORNING, 8 'O CLOCK, FIERY BALLS OF GAS, #### SMASHING INTO OTHER ####, EXPLORERS, ARTISTS, SCIENTISTS, INTERDIMENSIONAL TRAVEL... (neat, but... little boring.. something's missing... hmm... what could it be? Oh I know!) MONSTERS!
I don't know, maybe you guys are right. Maybe non existence is more original.

Sin cerely,
The Black Ferris

The Black Ferris
03-05-2009, 03:15 PM
I think suck is another surfing term. Like getting sucked under a totally tubular wave. "Dude! That SUCKS!"
Then again, "go suck an egg"? When? Why? Eh...

The Black Ferris
03-05-2009, 03:40 PM
Acclaimed Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem discussing the cosmology of
controversial 17th-century kabbalist Nathan of Gaza:

"From the beginning there are in Ein-Sof two kinds of light or
aspects- the "thoughtful light" and "the thoughtless light." The first
comprises all that is focused on the purpose of creation. But in the
infinite wealth of Ein-Sof there are forces or principles which are
not aimed at creation and whose sole purpose is to remain what they are and stay where they are. They are "thoughtless" in the sense that they are devoid of any idea directed to creation...What is called the power of evil, the kelippah is in the last resort rooted in the noncreative light in God himself. The duality of form and matter takes on a new aspect: both are grounded in Ein-Sof. The thoughtless light is not evil in itself but takes on this aspect because it is opposed to the existence of anything but Ein-Sof and therefore is set on destroying the structures produced by the thoughtful light...The whole process of creation proceeds therefore through a dialectic between the two lights; in other words, through a dialectic rooted in the very being of Ein-Sof."
-Gershom Scholem, from "Kabbalah" by Gershom Scholem, pp. 270

Viva June
03-06-2009, 06:55 AM
I know if my child were still floating out there on the 'other side', I'd still grab him and say, "Hey, man, you gotta check this place out!"
You are arguing from false premises. Non-existence is, by definition, not a mode of being and certainly not a place, which is exactly why it is always better than being "smothered with the burdensome overcoat of matter", as Ligotti put it.

Edit: I misquoted. My apologies to Mr L.

Odalisque
03-06-2009, 07:46 AM
You are arguing from false premises. Non-existence is, by definition, not a mode of being and certainly not a place, which is exactly why it is always better than being "smattered with the burdensome overcoat of matter", as Ligotti put it.

I agree that non-existence is neither a place nor a mode of being. But I fail to see why that makes non-existence better than being. :confused:

The Black Ferris
03-06-2009, 12:51 PM
Exactly the point. If it is being said that 'no one chooses this' than we first have to establish that there is something in nothingness to bring into somethingness. Obviously this might not be the case, but if it were, how would you ask? What would the frame of reference be? How could you know whether it would be favorable over non-existence?
Again, this argument is absurd. I love it, but that doesn't change the facts.
I gladly shoulder the burdens of certain realities, even if I can't be trusted to stick to the common story. I am in no way opposed however, to others laying down their burden.
But this whole thing is much like a human telling a martian that Earth is the best! A two dimensional creature doesn't understand depth, only length and height. It has no frame of reference.
For that matter, pertaining to this conversation, neither do we.

Sin cerely,
The Black Ferris

The Black Ferris
03-06-2009, 12:58 PM
And, forgive me, but ... THAT'S the part of what I said that was chosen as a quote?
Wokka wokka wokka, man.
Wokka wokka wokka.

vegetable theories
03-07-2009, 09:01 AM
I don't know much about antinatalism, but ignorance has never stopped me having an opinion before....:D

I don't object to the antinatalists assessment of the world as a hell-hole of suffering, and I certainly don't object to his impulse to suicide.
I don't object to his opinion that suffering is a bad thing, but I do object to the conclusion that he draws from this fact. Because suffering is a bad thing, he believes it would be better if nobody suffered.
How can he speak for other people ?
For many people, god help them, suffering is a worthwhile cost for living.
This is just as bad as saying, Because I believe life is sacred I'm going to make it illegal for you to leave it in a easy painless way.
It's the reverse argument.
I also object to the accusatory tone of his argument.
I object to the way he is blaming people for having children.
But thanks for posting this.

yellowish haze
03-07-2009, 09:40 AM
I don't know much about antinatalism, but ignorance has never stopped me having an opinion before....:D

I don't object to the antinatalists assessment of the world as a hell-hole of suffering, and I certainly don't object to his impulse to suicide.
I don't object to his opinion that suffering is a bad thing, but I do object to the conclusion that he draws from this fact. Because suffering is a bad thing, he believes it would be better if nobody suffered.
How can he speak for other people ?
For many people, god help them, suffering is a worthwhile cost for living.
This is just as bad as saying, Because I believe life is sacred I'm going to make it illegal for you to leave it in a easy painless way.
It's the reverse argument.
I also object to the accusatory tone of his argument.
I object to the way he is blaming people for having children.
But thanks for posting this.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, vegetable theories. I wouldn't have put it better.

Jeff Coleman
03-07-2009, 01:46 PM
Vegetable Theories,

I don't know if it is accurate to say that the author of those videos is suicidal.

You bring up a good point in saying that the antinatalist is speaking for everyone when he says that it would be better if none of us had ever been born. It is impossible to speak for other people, who might very well think that their suffering is worthwhile.

But, on the other hand, it could be said that people who have children are saying "because I think that suffering is a worthwhile cost for living, I will bring another person into life. If they happen to disagree with me, tough for them."

What seems to be ignored for the most part in these discussions is the fact that people who have children are bringing other people into the world, people who might very well disagree with the attitude towards life that their parents hold. People who would not otherwise exist as conscious beings if their parents hadn't decided to bring them into life.

I disagree that saying that people shouldn't have kids is just as bad as trying to make it illegal for someone to commit suicide in the least painful way possible. For one thing, the person who made those videos doesn't seem to be trying to make procreation illegal, he is just imploring people to not procreate. Even if he were trying to make procreation illegal, it wouldn't be the same thing. If someone tries to establish laws that prevent a person from committing suicide in a comfortable manner, they are trying to prevent a person from causing perceived harm to themselves. Anti- procreation laws would seem to me to have more in common with laws against harming other people.

Do you see the ethical problem in bringing a person into this world who has no say in the matter, and who might greatly regret their birth? I feel like I am arguing for logic that seems screamingly obvious to me, but apparently isn't to other people. People often say it is wrong to harm other people, but they rarely extend the logic into this realm.

As for the accusatory tone, the person who made those videos is the father of two children. I'm sure he regrets his part in bringing them to life, but he seems to care for them.

It is difficult for me to avoid making a value judgement about parents. I have to admit that I think it is wrong to have children, and I judge people who are parents accordingly, even if I think highly of them otherwise. I haven't figured out yet how to get around having an opinion about something and judging people according to that opinion. If you know the secret, please share it with me. I would rather it was not the case.

Karnos
03-07-2009, 04:14 PM
I am fascinated by these kind of ideas, even if I am not that passionate about them.

I find a lot of people saying that non-existence is preferable to the actual state of existence, and who knows, maybe they are correct. But as it has been pointed out on this thread; what's the frame of reference? if by non-existence we are talking death, and death, by all of what our rationale can tell us, can simply be defined as the ceasing of all censorial stimuli, how can we claim it to be preferable?

Quite frankly, I don't remember the nothingness I was dragged out of before my parents conceived me so I cannot lay claims about it. I wholly agree the world is a bad, violent place, and so is the Universe itself (Do I need to remind everyone that we were about the be hit by an asteroid just four days ago?) but I don't agree with the sense of blame the man making the videos seems to lay on parents. In a way it reminds me of Boyd Rice's quite stupid statement on radio (Years ago, with Bob Larsen) about how people who drive their cars tot their work should be executed, a similar stance I have heard coming from Green Movement nazis.

I don't know, I agree in saving future generations the burden of existence, but I find myself returning the the frame of reference argument. Some people genuinely enjoy being alive, I know quite a few like them. Are these people crazy? Maybe, but they think the same of us who believe otherwise.

Personally, I don't think there is anything good or evil about existence, it just is, and so do us. Life is a big mystery, but perhaps the biggest mystery of Life is that there is no mystery at all and all of this is just philosophical fair game. Borges once wrote that metaphysics and philosophy should be classified as another form of fantasy literature, and I agree with that.

Viva June
03-09-2009, 11:03 AM
Exactly the point. If it is being said that 'no one chooses this' than we first have to establish that there is something in nothingness to bring into somethingness. Obviously this might not be the case, but if it were, how would you ask? What would the frame of reference be? How could you know whether it would be favorable over non-existence?
Again, this argument is absurd. I love it, but that doesn't change the facts.
I gladly shoulder the burdens of certain realities, even if I can't be trusted to stick to the common story. I am in no way opposed however, to others laying down their burden.
But this whole thing is much like a human telling a martian that Earth is the best! A two dimensional creature doesn't understand depth, only length and height. It has no frame of reference.
For that matter, pertaining to this conversation, neither do we.
Surely that depends on the metaphysics one subscribes to. You seem to be postulating some kind of Platonic pre-birth limbo, like an actual, non-hypothetical version of Rawls's original position. Suppose those of us who are of a more, er, materialist bent deny that such a thing exists or could conceivably existóthat makes the argument less absurd, no?

With regards to frames of reference and suchlikeóare you arguing that what cannot be understood must be accepted and endured and, furthermore, passed on to others? That is a rather strange notion. Life's infinite complexity is an argument for antinatalism.

Odalisque
03-09-2009, 11:32 AM
(Do I need to remind everyone that we were about the be hit by an asteroid just four days ago?)

You couldn't have reminded me of that because your post is the first mention of it I've seen. (To be reminded one has to have previously been aware of whatever it is.) Is it true that we were about to be hit by an asteroid? I don't watch the news every day. Perhaps I shouldn't watch it at all. :(

The Black Ferris
03-19-2009, 05:47 AM
Surely that depends on the metaphysics one subscribes to. You seem to be postulating some kind of Platonic pre-birth limbo, like an actual, non-hypothetical version of Rawls's original position. Suppose those of us who are of a more, er, materialist bent deny that such a thing exists or could conceivably existóthat makes the argument less absurd, no?

With regards to frames of reference and suchlikeóare you arguing that what cannot be understood must be accepted and endured and, furthermore, passed on to others? That is a rather strange notion. Life's infinite complexity is an argument for antinatalism.

I postulate no such premise. In fact, that postulation seems to me to be borne by the antinatalist. Those of us of a more, er, materialist bent have a difficult time believing in something that has never been experienced, i.e. nonexistence. Those of us who are of a less materialist bent deny that such a thing could not exist, or any such combination of all forces extant and non, certainly in the face of so much evidence, i.e. the incredibly unlikely fact that we are having this conversation.
The argument becomes no less absurd by denying the possibility of anything. However, It is not I who wants to return to a Platonic pre-birth limbo. Nor to some Edenic garden of non-existence, place or not.
What I am arguing is that this all smacks of familiarity. Like Sumerian gods arguing about how their children make so much noise and "can we not just kill them and get back to sleep?" Like christians whining about a paradise lost.
I am arguing that it is better to know than to not know. This all sounds like 'ignorance is bliss' to me.
Should I be expected to keep my knowledge to myself? Shall I tempt you with what I know?
I know that it is all the same. There is no argument because there is no difference. A Platonic pre-birth limbo, a Cullipherian post birth limbo.
The twilight limbo of this conversation on the 'internet'.
Where are we? And what is this?
I believe that antinatalists should not have children and that this may ultimately prove to be something like Darwin's natural selection.
Besides, I can't imagine a parent who wishes their child, or they, themselves, had never been born being worth anything.
In this existent world, to me, anyway.

Mr. D.
03-19-2009, 04:07 PM
This thread seems to have struck a nerve in a lot of our members. Before I start let me say that my frame of reference is observations made over decades and that I am a trained observer having spent my entire adult life in Security, Executive Protection, Private Invsetigation, with my last 19 years spent as a Federal Law Enforcement officer.I have noticed two things about the responses in this thread. The first is that we are assuming that though things suck today (if I may be vulgar, in my home town the phrase was "suck donkey dick" which conveys the sentiment much better than simple sucking). Maybe 100 years ago things were better and everyone was a lot happier. Maybe our grandchildren will live in a beter world. We just don't know these things. The forces that work on the world are cyclical.Secondly, whatever may be someone's philosophy or religion, or lack of the same, most people live as if life makes sense. We don't commit suicide, we get married, children are born, we buy real estate, we pay our taxes and act as if there is a future. Instead of robbong convenience stores we get jobs. We stop at stop lights. Generally we don't act as if life is only painful, brutish and meaningless.I think that intellect, while useful, is overated. Many of the most important aspects of existence are beyond thinking. This generation intuits a grim bleak face to the universe. The next one may intuit a different aspect of the same universe and neither is either true of false. They just are. Life is full of pain, as well as other things. In fact I believe that deCarte was wrong. I would change his famous phrase to"I hurt, therefore I am." We can fool ourselves too easily, but when we are hurting we know that we are alive.I am fascinated by the gap that existes between what we say and how we live. For example, how many children does the man in the vides already have, and how many more will he have in the future? I don't say that to be mean or anything. That's just how we are. (Me included.)

The Black Ferris
03-19-2009, 04:38 PM
I, certainly, am coming from a biased viewpoint. I am a life and death user. I use these things to make Art which would not exist if I did not exist or they did not exist. There are many unexplained things for which there is no explanation and I have seen indescribable things that I could not begin to describe to you!
I am many people's fiction. I am never bored. Here on Earth I have so much to do, I will likely not get it all done. And I love being here, being Arthur Cullipher, but Arthur Cullipher will not last forever, whether I do or not.
I suppose it only struck a nerve due to the initial late hour and my lack of a use for this sort of thought outside of this conversation. It has intrigued me to explore why someone might think this way by offering an opposing argument. The concept is a good start for a plethora of fictive werks that I will never have the time to write. For the black magician in me, seeking uncreation, it seems logical.
In my life, however, it just isn't useful.
But if it gets you through the day... ;E

The Silent One
06-18-2009, 01:23 AM
The "greatest taboo" is by definition not a possible thing, universally, as everything that is has some limitation, even if it is that of being. A taboo is a societal or universal norm, yet each thing that thinks has its own perception of limitation, and only by elimination of that final hurdle does one breach one's greatest taboo. So, if there were something, someone, that broke every rule possible, what could it even be, considering that the ultimate rule, in what is, is being itself. Hence, it is no more, so no taboo.

And, as The Black Ferris pointed out, there has always been a contingent of at least one person who has thought of his/her/its own (consciousness of) being as negative in aspect. And, generally, that philosophical following is greater than, say, the group that actually wants perpetual suffering for at least a contingent of conscious life, be it torture killers or whatever... Which is more generally perceived as "the greatest taboo" than, say, "common" misanthropy.

Sam
06-18-2009, 02:30 AM
This is a fascinating thread. I may be in over my head, but I can see some merit to both of the main points of view herein expressed. I am not overly enamored of general existence myself, but I figure that since I am already here, I may as well make a go of it. And while life may be pain, I have managed to find bits of it that, to me, most certainly are not. I expect that is the case with most people who are not suicides.

As for children, I know some people who had them as a consequence of absentmindedness or inebriation rather than a heartfelt desire to procreate. They mostly say that they are happy things turned out the way that they did; while that may be true for some, I have my doubts. Myself, I do not feel this desire, and I do not plan to have any children.

I am also recently married, and these feelings lead to a particularly sweaty conversation with my then-fiancee's parents. My now-wife and I had been over all of this long ago, but when I went to seek their approval to ask their daughter's hand in marriage, we had a lengthy and wide-ranging talk about this very subject.

In the end, they did not really understand my viewpoint, but they accepted it, and me in general. I feel the same way about those of my friends who revel in their children and seem to be truly happy with their decisions. I don't really understand it - I don't think I can - but I accept it, and I wish them well.

This all reminds of the famous quote from the sage Douglas Adams: "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad idea." Douglas Adams may well be the anti-Ligotti, but I find pleasure in the works of both men. To quote another sage, the thoroughly eldritch Alan Moore: "Duality, it whispered."

Jeff Coleman
06-18-2009, 03:04 AM
The Silent One,

Hey. I can't say I disagree with what you've said, or I should say I don't want to disagree with what you've written, because it seem logically solid.

I don't care to defend the assertion that antinatalism is the greatest taboo. I just used that as the title of this thread because that is the title of the video series that I posted. Even though I agree with much of what is said in the videos, I don't feel like I have to defend the way antinatalists go about advertising the idea.

I do think it is a major taboo, as far as taboos go. For one thing, it is very difficult to discuss the idea in public, because everyone is a child of their parents, and many people are parents themselves, so it can be expected that most people have reasons to dislike the conclusion of antinatalism. There are other reasons, also.

I am surprised that most people don't at least acknowledge the difficulty of raising the idea in public. Even if you disagree with the conclusion, you can at least see how it is an unpopular idea, right?

Misanthropy might be one of the most common reasons for expressing antinatalist sentiments, but it is not a reason that factors in to my own view to a significant degree. I am often surprised at how rarely I feel misanthropic sentiments.

In your second paragraph, you seem to be saying that, strictly speaking, it is a greater taboo to wish for perpetual suffering than it is to wish for the cessation of suffering. I kind of agree. Antinatalism at least appeals to 'common sense' ethics that are almost universally agreed upon, such as the idea that reducing suffering is a good thing. But almost no one will come out and say that they hope that people continue to suffer, and that they even hope that they suffer as much as possible for as long as possible.

I would argue that the latter sentiment is more common than the former, though. At least in actual practice. How many people actually have well thought out reasons for wanting to see the human race (and conscious existence) cease to exist as soon as possible? Peter Wessel Zapffe, David Benatar, Thomas Ligotti... and? I can count them on my fingers and toes. On the other hand, how many people take pleasure in suffering and wish to see it continue for as long as possible? I would include all serial killers, and go on to include everyone that works for the continuation of suffering, consciously or not, which is almost everyone that exists, if not everyone.

In my experience, most of the people who express the wish to see others suffer are also parents. What are the odds?

Jeff Coleman
06-18-2009, 05:15 AM
Sam,

I wouldn't be surprised if most of your friends with kids are being honest when they say that they are glad that they have them, even if they didn't plan on having them. I'll take this further and say I think most parents wish the best for their kids. That is probably one of the reasons why it is so difficult to discuss antinatalism with them. Because they just don't want to hear it. It is related to what you said about being born, "I am not overly enamored of general existence myself, but I figure that since I am already here, I may as well make a go of it." It has already happened, so there is very little point in obsessing about what could have been (or, more to the point, what could not have been).

But it is that little point that nags at my consciousness.

Viva June
06-18-2009, 02:04 PM
I postulate no such premise. In fact, that postulation seems to me to be borne by the antinatalist. Those of us of a more, er, materialist bent have a difficult time believing in something that has never been experienced, i.e. nonexistence. Those of us who are of a less materialist bent deny that such a thing could not exist, or any such combination of all forces extant and non, certainly in the face of so much evidence, i.e. the incredibly unlikely fact that we are having this conversation.
The argument becomes no less absurd by denying the possibility of anything. However, It is not I who wants to return to a Platonic pre-birth limbo. Nor to some Edenic garden of non-existence, place or not.
What I am arguing is that this all smacks of familiarity. Like Sumerian gods arguing about how their children make so much noise and "can we not just kill them and get back to sleep?" Like christians whining about a paradise lost.
I am arguing that it is better to know than to not know. This all sounds like 'ignorance is bliss' to me.
Should I be expected to keep my knowledge to myself? Shall I tempt you with what I know?
I know that it is all the same. There is no argument because there is no difference. A Platonic pre-birth limbo, a Cullipherian post birth limbo.
The twilight limbo of this conversation on the 'internet'.
Where are we? And what is this?
I believe that antinatalists should not have children and that this may ultimately prove to be something like Darwin's natural selection.
Besides, I can't imagine a parent who wishes their child, or they, themselves, had never been born being worth anything.
In this existent world, to me, anyway.
Nothing prevents a materialist from believing in something she has never herself experienced—perhaps you are thinking of empiricism? Still, I see your point: the existence, as it were, of non-existence is of course a postulate of mine, albeit one which I take to follow non-controversially from certain assumptions (materialism or naturalism, broadly speaking). Naturally, if this claim is rejected, the argument is moot.

Ignorance, or at least the kind of ignorance in question, is in fact bliss, as far as I am concerned. Another banal expression which, to some extent, sums up antinatalism is "better safe than sorry": avoiding life entirely is better than enduring all its mixed blessings. I see no prima facie reason why it should be preferable, not to mention mandatory, to engage with the world rather than reject it outright.

Maybe I just lack the sense of perspective possessed by a practising magician. I think we shall have to agree to disagree.

Steve Dekorte
06-18-2009, 04:08 PM
In my experience, most of the people who express the wish to see others suffer are also parents. What are the odds?

I've had this experience with pet owners. Personally, I don't feel right treating a pet in a way I wouldn't want to be treated and imprisonment and neutering/spading aren't how I would want to be treated. Yet people claiming to be animal lovers tend to commit these violent acts with casual disregard.

It would seem that for these people, fulfilling their desire to "nurture" (and perhaps dominate) overrides genuine empathy or respect for the object of nurturing.

The Silent One
08-18-2009, 05:04 PM
In your second paragraph, you seem to be saying that, strictly speaking, it is a greater taboo to wish for perpetual suffering than it is to wish for the cessation of suffering. I kind of agree. Antinatalism at least appeals to 'common sense' ethics that are almost universally agreed upon, such as the idea that reducing suffering is a good thing. But almost no one will come out and say that they hope that people continue to suffer, and that they even hope that they suffer as much as possible for as long as possible.

I would argue that the latter sentiment is more common than the former, though. At least in actual practice. How many people actually have well thought out reasons for wanting to see the human race (and conscious existence) cease to exist as soon as possible? Peter Wessel Zapffe, David Benatar, Thomas Ligotti... and? I can count them on my fingers and toes. On the other hand, how many people take pleasure in suffering and wish to see it continue for as long as possible? I would include all serial killers, and go on to include everyone that works for the continuation of suffering, consciously or not, which is almost everyone that exists, if not everyone.

In my experience, most of the people who express the wish to see others suffer are also parents. What are the odds?

But this all, however, is dependent upon what parameters we create to define "suffering". If we define life itself, without qualifiers, as suffering, the purpose is defeated; A serial torture-murderer becomes, in the long run, a negater of the overall suffering of the world, as does someone who bombs cities, plans wars, plans genocide... Which is inherently self-contradictory.

Perhaps the definition should, then, in the context of this discourse, be limited to "conscious" or "overt" suffering. It keeps things at least comprehensible. To an extent. (As if anything, ultimately, is comprehensible or overt.)

And, yes, it does seem that those most inclined to cruelty tend to be either parents and/or (in the case of classic sociopaths) prone to promiscuity. A manifestation of their vanity, I gather, through the (at least unconsciously attempted) distribution of their genes. That, and ignorance.

I really do hate stupid, mean people. Considering that I will admit to hating very few things, that does indeed mean something.

P.S. When I mention promiscuity, I refer to that in the sense that it is seen accompanying the other symptoms of mild to extreme sociopathy; That is, a combination of emotionally disconnected and excessive sexual behaviour married to recklessness and a predatory nature. Namely, a surprising number of individuals....

Jeff Coleman
08-18-2009, 06:31 PM
The Silent One,

I don't think that life itself is suffering. But conscious life is a prerequisite for suffering. Conscious life must exist for suffering to exist. I also think that any conscious being will experience at least some amount of suffering. Given those assumptions, I say that anyone who reproduces contributes to the continuation of suffering. If every conscious being refused to reproduce, then suffering would eventually cease to exist, at least unless/until nature causes conscious beings to come into existence again, and the whole process starts over.

A torture-murderer does reduce the overall suffering in the world, once their victims are dead. I guess I was working from the assumption that torture-murderers don't want their pool of victims to disappear. They want people to continue to be brought into existence indefinitely, so they can draw out their torture as long as possible.

What is a torture-murderer without his victim-sufferer?

I think I wish that the murderers and the victims never existed in the first place. And given that they already do exist, I think it would be best if they ceased to exist as soon as possible. The most humane way to do this seems to be to stop reproducing.

Russell Nash
08-18-2009, 06:45 PM
I also think that any conscious being will experience at least some amount of suffering. Given those assumptions, I say that anyone who reproduces contributes to the continuation of suffering. If every conscious being refused to reproduce, then suffering would eventually cease to exist, at least unless/until nature causes conscious beings to come into existence again, and the whole process starts over.

Cathars rejected sex as a continuation of the human soul's entrapment in earth-bound carnal evil. According to Cathars, marriage was a form of prostitution. Children were born as demons until they could be consciously lead to choose salvation in the Cathar path. Cathars believed that the human soul could pass on its journey through animal life, thus they were vegetarians: they did not eat meat, eggs, cheese or any fat except vegetable oil and fish. [from "The Cathar Faith"] CATHER CHURCH A Critical Intro (http://www.russianbooks.org/montsegur/montsegur1.htm)

What you just wrote sounds something similar to what Cathars once believed. Sometimes I am tempted to think similarly.

G. S. Carnivals
08-18-2009, 07:17 PM
I also think that any conscious being will experience at least some amount of suffering. Given those assumptions, I say that anyone who reproduces contributes to the continuation of suffering. If every conscious being refused to reproduce, then suffering would eventually cease to exist, at least unless/until nature causes conscious beings to come into existence again, and the whole process starts over.

Cathars rejected sex as a continuation of the human soul's entrapment in earth-bound carnal evil. According to Cathars, marriage was a form of prostitution. Children were born as demons until they could be consciously lead to choose salvation in the Cathar path. Cathars believed that the human soul could pass on its journey through animal life, thus they were vegetarians: they did not eat meat, eggs, cheese or any fat except vegetable oil and fish. [from "The Cathar Faith"] CATHER CHURCH A Critical Intro (http://www.russianbooks.org/montsegur/montsegur1.htm)

What you just wrote sounds something similar to what Cathars once believed. Sometimes I am tempted to think similarly.

What a pathetic existence. Meat, eggs, cheese, and fish are yummy.

Jeff Coleman
08-18-2009, 07:38 PM
Alberto,

As much as I like Catharism (from what I know about it, which is not much), I don't really relate.

I don't believe that the spirit was trapped in a material body by an evil Demiurge. I think the spirit only exists inasmuch as it is embodied in matter. I mean, I think the spirit will cease to exist if it no longer has a body. That is what I hope for.

Russell Nash
08-18-2009, 09:00 PM
Jeff, Cathars didn't believe in reproduction, but for different reasons. By what you said, "If every conscious being refused to reproduce, then suffering would eventually cease to exist", your statement brought to my mind a vague relationship with their beliefs, almost instantly. Physical suffering (or pain) is in fact "an aversion associated with harm or threat of harm", example: we suffer if we hit our head against a wall, which is the way our head tells our brain through uncountable nerves that we may be in danger if we persist on doing so. Therefore, pain is some kind of natural defense mechanism. Mental suffering, or unhappiness, is most profound, and has its roots in desire. See this The conquest of suffering : Buddhism versus utilitarianism (http://www.bltc.com/buddhism-suffering.html)

1. All is suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by desire/attachment.
3. If one can eliminate desire/attachment, one can eliminate suffering.
4. The Noble Eight-fold Path can eliminate desire. Extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification should be avoided.

sundog
06-03-2011, 10:37 AM
Burning Witches vs Procreation

Courtesy of Derived Energy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl9yjLLWZDA&feature=feedlik

If this doesn't hammer it home, what does?

Have a nice weekend.

Karnos
06-04-2011, 09:45 AM
As a childless and single young man, it is very easy for me to keep away from reproduction and have, at the present time, my own reasons for not wanting to bring any innocent lives to this world. Whenever the conversation comes up, I always say that I love my unborn children so much I want to spare them the suffering of being brought to this world.

Something interesting happened a few weeks ago. I was out on the street with an ex-pat friend from Iran, and as you know, Iran is a very close minded, very strict theocracy and my friend, being a girl, has always expressed how happy she is from being out of there. She's a very charming and smart girl, really open minded and fun to hang out with.

So we were out on the streets, just walking and talking, eating some ice cream , when a toddler, perhaps some four years old, came our way and started waving around and making noises, surely attracted by the prospect of free ice cream. So I started playing around with the kid since, I confess, I actually like it, and while the kid and I were having fun, my friend asks "You can't wait to have kids of your own, right?"

She was really shocked when I told her my answer, and she was even more shaken when I told her my reasons.

Her answer: "You're a very selfish person"

I'm still trying to figure out how genuinely not wanting to bring an innocent life to suffer on this world is considered an act of selfishness.

DoktorH
06-04-2011, 09:17 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how genuinely not wanting to bring an innocent life to suffer on this world is considered an act of selfishness.

as someone who shares your lack of interest in procreating, I am equally puzzled by it. I think most people regard raising children that one has conceived and/or adopted as a requirement for perpetuating the species, culture, or lineage of a given adult human.

When people say i am selfish or otherwise in error for not wanting to have kids, I respond with a lecture like what follows:Humans are already the top of the food chain, and my culture/nation/ethnicity is populous enough that it can persist and perpetuate itself without all members thereof having kids. Bee hives function quite well with only a fraction of the resident bees reproducing, and society can do the same. My taxes contribute to the schools, libraries, roads, and other public services that other people's kids make use of, and I happily pay them because helping other people's kids in such a fashion benefits the whole community. Having a kid, getting the tax deduction for the dependent, and spending that money on that one kid just because they're related to me would, in my opinion, be the selfish option
or, if my accuser seems too thick-headed to understand my explanation, I go for "You're probably right" and leave it at that.

I'm personally anti-natal from disinterest in sex and dislike of children, and i am all for promoting the benefits of childlessness, but I can't bring myself to support enforced anti-natalism unless it's me enforcing it as some sort of all-powerful fascist dictator, and then I can unleash my special plan for population reduction (mostly cribbed from an Aldous Huxley novel). I lack the ambition, charisma, and interest in politics needed to get that kind of power, so the Brave New Population-controlled World will have to stay on paper until someone else tries to pull it off.

DoktorH
06-04-2011, 09:45 PM
Long-winded rants are not always the best option, so I came up with a couple short, snappy responses that may get you slapped depending on who you use them on and how. So when someone says you're selfish for not having kids, you can say....

...but my carbon footprint is smaller (do some research to back this up if you're gonna use it)
...and assuming the future needs your DNA is narcissistic
...so you only had kids to donate their organs, then?
...and buying your kid all those toys/videogames makes you Mother Theresa?
....I'm sure the local government appreciates all the diapers, wipes, and plastic toy packaging you and your child have donated to the dump.
... I'm sure people are just lining up to thank you for bringing a screaming baby into the store/theater/postoffice/bank
.... you must get so many thank-you cards for contributing to school overcrowding

Montag
06-04-2011, 11:46 PM
Suffering is the coin that pays for our pleasures. An exquisite meal is made possible by hunger; the torment of desire is necessary for the ecstasy of sex, so on, we know this, nothing new here...Lovecraft remarked that suicide was justified when suffering is greater than pleasure. Yet nothing is ever that simple, is it? We forget that there's no 'objective' reality here that can be measured. Human beings (at least some of 'em) will endure tremendous pain and hardship if there's even a chance that there's a light at tunnel's end. In the end we all croak; still why deny the transient victories? Everyone's capacity for happiness--or the lack of it--is different. The problem with antinatalism is its arrogance; it assumes all realities are the same. Now that would be a laugh indeed! Durrenmatt considers human existence a paradox because of the irreconcilable tensions between logic (the many) and the existential (the one, the individual). Antinatalism springs from existential despair and at the same time believes itself to be a rigidly logical response to life. I agree with F. D.: There ain't no such beast.

DoktorH
06-05-2011, 12:00 AM
Durrenmatt considers human existence a paradox because of the irreconcilable tensions between logic (the many) and the existential (the individual). Antinatalism springs from existential despair and at the same time believes it to be a rigidly logical response to life. I agree with F. D.: There ain't no such beast.

i don't think all anti-natalism springs from existential despair. some of it, the kind that dwells on preventing/alleviating suffering, yeah. the ecological/resource-management antinatal approach (fewer humans = more air/water/land/whatever per human) is more conservation-oriented. there's economic, religious, and even egocentric ("I don't like children so everyone else should stop having them") flavors of antinatalism out there, I suspect. personally, i go back and forth between the selfish and the ecological approaches based on whether or not there is a screaming baby in my vicinity.

Montag
06-05-2011, 12:23 AM
Yes, DoktorH, screaming babies give even the greatest philosophers indigestion! I feel your pain.

I wasn’t speaking of it in the sense of individual choice based on personal preference or as population control based on one’s personal commitment to eco-awareness; whatever; I was speaking of it in its most extreme form, as a philosophy intended to end all human suffering by abolishing the human race....In that form, it reminds me of Fritz Leiber's description of Nyarlathotep: coming out of Egypt "...to sell the world on Death."
Ever read Gore Vidal's fine novel "Messiah"? It's worth checking out.

DoktorH
06-05-2011, 01:06 PM
I was speaking of it in its most extreme form, as a philosophy intended to end all human suffering by abolishing the human race.

but that's going to happen anyway. every species that comes into existence eventually goes extinct. to paraphrase a tweet from astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, the earth is an extinction machine and a shooting gallery for asteroids.

and to parapharase biologist Richard Dawkins (full text here (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/science-explains-the-end-of-the-world/2011/05/10/AFaLvBiG_blog.html)) there's all kinds of stuff that can take us from the top of the food chain to just another layer of the fossil record.

so why are these anti-natalist philosophers in such a hurry? the abolishment of humans is already guaranteed. All works of humans will erode/degrade. even the cockroaches and twinkies so frequently assumed to survive anything will, eventually, join us in the dust. if they sincerely wnat to hasten the process, why aren't there more mad scientists with doomsday devices?

qcrisp
06-05-2011, 01:36 PM
so why are these anti-natalist philosophers in such a hurry? the abolishment of humans is already guaranteed. All works of humans will erode/degrade. even the cockroaches and twinkies so frequently assumed to survive anything will, eventually, join us in the dust. if they sincerely wnat to hasten the process, why aren't there more mad scientists with doomsday devices?

My feeling is there's a Dave-the-Moon-Man syndrome at work.

Dave the Moon Man - Looper - YouTube

DoktorH
06-05-2011, 07:16 PM
My feeling is there's a Dave-the-Moon-Man syndrome at work.

so they're kooks. i can dig it.

Other posts have linked anti-natalism to existential despair, and I don't think that link is always there. I'm quite happy with a meaningless existence, as it means i can give it whatever meaning I like. it's a Mad Lib. there are no wrong answers.

What bums me out, what gets my goat, is that I am stuck in a society where pro-natalism is the norm and where i must, whenever interacting socially with others, be ready to drop whatever else i was doing and defend my anti-natalism. I've gotten fuming, spitting, sputtering mad trying to explain my disinclination to copulate and procreate to people who think these things are as essential to life as breathing and excreting.

Such experiences make me suspect that if anti-natalists tend to be a bit crazy, it is because pro-natalists drive us crazy. It may not be why alcohol was invented, but it certainly contributes to the annual sales of the stuff.

DoktorH
06-05-2011, 07:21 PM
on that note, if someone you care about is thinking about procreating and you need a hard and fast way to talk them out of it, I suggest The Children The Children (2008) - IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1172571/)

Several couples with their tots in tow converge on the stately home of a friend/relative, at which point everyone under the age of 6 decides to kill off anyone older than themselves by any means possible. Also makes a great baby-shower gift, so when your pal winds up in traction because Junior left toy cars on the stairs you can send flowers with a note reading "I told you so."

gveranon
06-05-2011, 09:43 PM
"Dave the Moon Man" -- great song! I've never wanted children myself, but I don't care if others choose to have them. This indifference probably disqualifies me from being an antinatalist. It's possible, of course, that I manifest Dave-the-Moon-Man syndrome on other topics; I'd almost be disappointed if I didn't. I enjoy reading philosophy, and without Dave-the-Moon-Man syndrome many interesting philosophical positions would go unargued.


She was really shocked when I told her my answer, and she was even more shaken when I told her my reasons.

Her answer: "You're a very selfish person"

I'm still trying to figure out how genuinely not wanting to bring an innocent life to suffer on this world is considered an act of selfishness.

This is probably one of those topics on which the majority of even intelligent people will simply ignore any unconventional argument (not disagree with it, ignore it; the ears stop up, the mind refuses) and then proceed to utter the stock response.

Another example: At least in the U.S., if you tell someone you don't vote and carefully explain your reasons why, you will get -- no, not a disagreement with your reasons -- the following bit of folk unwisdom, which everyone seems to have memorized: "If you don't vote, you can't complain."

Montag
06-05-2011, 09:49 PM
I think it’s a semantics thing. If I have no desire to have children that’s my personal choice. DoktorH, I never meant to imply that that’s rooted in existential despair. It’s a personal preference. Born possibly of logic: I don’t want/need children, I can’t afford them, I’ve got a bad temper and shouldn’t be around children, I want to pursue a career...whatever! These are preferences to me, I really don’t see any of that as necessarily being antinatalism. You’re not trying to make a case for the extinction of the race. Antinatalism as a philosophy has, I believe, its roots in existential despair, the sense that the world is too horrible for conscious life; again whatever. If that isn’t an existential cry I’d be surprised. Your attitude is reasonable: you object to the reactions of others, basically telling you how you should feel. That’s arrogance on their part. Your anger is understandable! In short they are the unreasonable ones.
Difference between preference and a Philosophy (with a capital P)? Preference: For me. Philosophy: a tacit understanding what’s good for me is good for my brother. Hint: Don’t move next door to a man who practices self-flagellation for what he believes are objective religious/philosophical reasons. He’ll soon decide you need the benefits of his wisdom . Whether you want them or not.

DoktorH
06-05-2011, 10:45 PM
Youíre not trying to make a case for the extinction of the race. Antinatalism as a philosophy has, I believe, its roots in existential despair, the sense that the world is too horrible for conscious life; again whatever. If that isnít an existential cry Iíd be surprised.

fair enough. I can't help but wonder, though, if the horrible-ness is all in their heads, a byproduct of having more consciousness than they need to get along happily. The Conspiracy Against the Human Race gets into that a bit as I recall.

There is hope, though. This excess of consciousness may be self-correcting! Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol | Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201010/why-intelligent-people-drink-more-alcohol)

Montag
06-05-2011, 10:54 PM
Intelligent people know they have too many brain cells. They're also smart enough to know how to get rid of them!
Good song by the way.

Gray House
06-06-2011, 04:15 AM
I can't help but wonder, though, if the horrible-ness is all in their heads, a byproduct of having more consciousness than they need to get along happily. The Conspiracy Against the Human Race gets into that a bit as I recall.

There is hope, though. This excess of consciousness may be self-correcting! Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol | Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201010/why-intelligent-people-drink-more-alcohol)

Another way of looking at it might be that with more consciousness comes more consciousness of objective reality (I believe in a reality that is separate from humans' perceptions of it) and objective reality doesn't look good.

Well, time to pour myself a drink. I like to think I'm intelligent.

Gray House
06-06-2011, 04:47 AM
Personally, I think it would probably be better if the Big Bang had never happened, or that life had never developed. But I'm also aware that having children is extremely important to a lot of people and if I were able to convince any of those people not to have children that would be very harmful to those people. Although, I doubt many people who have decided to have children would be swayed by intellectual arguments against it. Still, I don't usually talk about antinatalism, partly because it is disturbing to most who want children and partly for fear of hostile reactions.

Karnos
06-06-2011, 01:00 PM
[quote=Montag;66043]

There is hope, though. This excess of consciousness may be self-correcting! Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol | Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201010/why-intelligent-people-drink-more-alcohol)

I don't know, I drink a lot of alcohol and I am not exactly bright and I know people who are light years more stupid than me and consume even more alcohol.

I think this study is bs...

sundog
10-18-2011, 10:18 AM
These make me giggle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Zv5x8xKd4&feature=feedu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO6gp7clR9M&feature=channel_video_title

Spot on!

DoktorH
10-18-2011, 06:52 PM
[quote=Montag;66043]

There is hope, though. This excess of consciousness may be self-correcting! Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol | Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201010/why-intelligent-people-drink-more-alcohol)

I don't know, I drink a lot of alcohol and I am not exactly bright and I know people who are light years more stupid than me and consume even more alcohol.

I think this study is bs...

either that, or these folks you know have rid themselves of even more consciousness and intelligence by consuming even more alcohol. they could be success stories!

sundog
11-13-2012, 05:14 PM
A voice of reason in a world of insanity:

Colombian Antinatalist Speech - YouTube

Malone
11-14-2012, 06:20 AM
Forget the Gettysburg Address or Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' speech, that is surely the greatest political oration ever delivered;)

Jeff Coleman
11-14-2012, 07:08 AM
That speech is very moving.

I wonder if people in Colombia are more receptive to antinatalism because of the hellish violence they have witnessed in their country, which leads them to be more respectful of speeches like that than most people in most other countries would probably be. If so, love to the people of Colombia (the ones not making life hell for others).

Of course, it might just be that that particular crowd was being respectful of his views because he is a respected author.

Obviously, I'd like to think there is something more.

I think an interesting study could be made, to see how the idea of antinatalism is received by different cultures. How it has been received by different cultures throughout history.

My intuitive sense is that in societies that are harder off, where they witness horrific violence more often, there will be more people receptive to antinatalism, or at least more people respectful of the idea.

That, of course, would go against how antinatalism is often dismissed as just the whining of first worlders. It's no surprise that it's probably entirely first worlders dismissing it as such.

Perhaps they should be referred to the Vallejo video :)

Malone
11-14-2012, 07:14 AM
It's an interesting question.

Antinatalism was a perfectly acceptable idea in Ancient Greece. I suspect it only became taboo with the onset of Christianity, when all life was deemed a gift from God and therefore to reject it was an insult to the Creator, hence the prohibition on abortion and suicide.

Today, it's the poorest countries that breed the most. Whether this is because sex is one of the easiest consolations on offer, lack of contraception etc etc is hard to determine.

Justin Isis
11-19-2012, 04:17 AM
http://i50.tinypic.com/14y5mh5.png

sundog
11-19-2012, 08:41 AM
Antinatalism
means I
pull out

THIS IS YOUR SACRIFICE!

My Only Regret: That I Ever Was Born - YouTube

Clown Puppet
11-19-2012, 11:33 AM
Antinatalism means I pull out.

didn't work for Joe Rogan

Joe rogan birth - YouTube

sundog
11-19-2012, 12:13 PM
Bill Hicks the antinatalist - YouTube

Ben Cain
11-20-2012, 11:51 AM
There's a pressure to procreate which I don't hear much about from antinatalists and which I talk about in my blog article, "Should we procreate to honour our ancestors? (http://rantswithintheundeadgod.blogspot.ca/2011/12/should-we-procreate-to-honour-our.html)" Here's the relevant portion:

"Every animal is chemically connected to what the biologist Richard Dawkins, in his book River Out of Eden, calls a river of DNA that stretches back to the origin of life on this planet. This is to say that weíre each alive not just because of the obvious facts that our parents reproduced and that their parents did as well, but because a continuous stream of our ancestors did so, including the evolutionary ancestors of our species and the ancestors of those ancestral species, and so on back to the simplest sexually reproducing organisms. This is a biological fact rather than just a metaphor and the point isnít merely the abstract one that humans descended from other species; rather, each one of us, and each animal currently alive, is alive only because that animalís germ cells were produced by its parentsí sperm and egg, which themselves were produced by their germ cells, which in turn were produced by that animalís grandparents' sperm and egg, and so on, going back countless generations and thousands and millions and billions of years. Each one of us, therefore, was literally produced indirectly by certain dinosaurs, for example, who stomped around on prehistoric Earth long enough to procreate.

"The third pressure, then, is that when an animal fails to reproduce, for whatever reason, that failure is the termination of a multibillion-year-old chemical process that created millions of generations of creatures that necessarily succeeded in sexually reproducing. Thereís the sense that although most of our ancestors, including our nonhuman ones, canít know when we fail to pass their genetic material to a new generation, we nevertheless let them down when we fail in that regard, since we render their struggles ultimately inconsequential. When a person dies without reproducing and raising a child to be able to carry on the genetic legacy, the person is a dam blocking the river of DNA from flowing onward. Did the river flow for countless miles and for billions of years, through its dinosaurian and mammalian host organisms, only to be stopped by Joe Blow, who slips on a sidewalk and dies prematurely or, even worse, who chooses not to have children even when he has the resources to honour his ancestorsí victories by letting their river of DNA flow through him as well? Thereís the feeling that life is precious and that if everyone ceased reproducing, ending life on this planet, the loss to the universe would be unfathomable. Thus, when even a single person takes a step towards realizing that possible lifeless future, by failing to procreate, the person sins against the sacredness of life."

luciferfell
11-20-2012, 01:12 PM
Yeah but some of us resent this flesh game we are trapped in and don't want to be biological robots. And I find the word sin to be of no meaning unless you are talking about eroticism and taboo where to sin makes life more erotic.

Ben Cain
11-20-2012, 03:51 PM
Luciferfell,

In my blog I argue against this point of view I raise, but I do feel the force of this objection to antinatalism. Thereís a feeling of being the ultimate party crasher or spoiler, of being in a line of literally millions of torch-bearers, each of whom carried the torch and passed it on to the next generation, only for the torch now to be decisively dropped by the antinatalist who thus terminates a biological process thatís gone on, uninterrupted, for millions of years. I think those who would be appalled by antinatalism are likely feeling this sort of pressure: they feel they have to honour their ancestors and to avoid being the ultimate spoiler.

I agree that ďsinĒ loses its meaning without a spiritual dimension. Once you have the idea of the sacred, though, you can speak of evil or sin as being opposed to that ultimate value.

Malone
11-21-2012, 04:23 AM
Those who hold the view of 'honouring their ancestors' and respecting those 'who passed on the flame' are guilty of irrationally emotionalising a biochemical process. Sex and reproduction are undertaken for self-serving reasons; there's nothing necessarily noble about it. And who says their ancestors were so great anyway? To worship 'Life', DNA or the 'great chain of being' is even more irrational than standard religious belief. And the 'sacred' without religion or spirituality is just an empty wishy-washy term.

Ben Cain
11-21-2012, 06:03 PM
Malone,

Well, it's not just the biochemical process; it's the millions of sentient host organisms who are our ancestors. And I'm not talking about rationality. The point is that there's an emotional pressure not to drop the ball in the middle of a very, very, very long race. Of course, it's not literally a race and there is no finish line. But we all have an illogical compulsion to understand things with anthropocentric metaphors; that's how the human brain works, by making associations. So we understand the mind-numbingly old biological process of procreation which leads to us, by anthropomorphizing that process. This metaphor may be emotional and illogical, but it does resonate; hence this pressure to procreate. If the antinatalist response is that we should reject any anthropocentric metaphor, I'm afraid the antinatalist is recommending that we discontinue using language and our brain.

I don't see why worship should be rational. I'd think rather in existentialist terms of taking a leap of faith in something which we then call sacred. I take it some antinatalists will say they don't have any irrational faith, and thus they have no ultimate values; in other words, they're hyper-rational calculators, like Data from Star Trek. Indeed, there are people who lack emotions, such as sociopaths or perhaps those with autism. But other antinatalists say they have compassion for sufferers, which is why they want to see our species terminated, since humans suffer the most. I'm not sure that compassion would be rationally justified, though.

Malone
11-22-2012, 04:28 AM
Well, you may feel emotional pressure to reproduce, but I certainly don't, nor do plenty of other people I know. You seem to be suggesting that we have no choice but to reproduce, again maybe due to some form of quasi-religious 'life worship'. If that's your choice, fine.

As for existentialism, ultimately it goes nowhere. Any value you can choose for yourself, you can just as easily disregard later. Why should your subjective choice become 'sacred' for everybody else? Everyone will have conflicting values and differing choices.

sundog
02-23-2013, 10:44 AM
"The rich man desires a son to inherit his wealth, but were the fathers intelligent no children would be born. Procreation is a sin, though not called one. A father wronged by his sons pays the just penalty for the crime which he committed against them. To beget is to increase the sum of evil...It is better for a people, instead of multiplying, to perish off the face of the earth."

- Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (973-1058).

Al-Ma Ņarri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ma%CA%BFarri)

Alarm Agent
05-18-2013, 02:31 PM
How I see it:
Just as Death is the final verdict for every individual alive, already known from its moment of birth, the ultimate fate for humanity as a whole is just as inevitable: Extinction. (And Iím ignoring any Trans-or Post human Sci-Fi-Pipe Dreams of Life Extension and Space Migration here: the odds for Humanity ever reaching a Trans-human State are near Zero and the odds for extinction are exceedingly high in comparison.) The Sun's turning into a red Giant and scorching the inner solar system may be still 5 Billion years away, but the time when the number of humans will have reached a critical mass too high to sustain is probably only a few hundred years away, given the exponential birth rate, especially in the underdeveloped world.


And even when humanity somehow overcomes Resource depletion, overpopulation, growing religiosity and stupidity and irrationality (not very likely), it still wouldn't redeem any individuals experience of deprivation, suffering and alienation in the world. And even if we all lived in the best of all possible worlds instead of the worst as we do, there would still remain questions like why a self-conscious animal must exist at all, when it feels compelled to justify its own existence with imaginary notions of morality, values, ethics, all of which are totally meaningless in an indifferent mechanistic universe, where life is merely Ďchemical scum on a moderate-sized planet' (Hawking).

LeglessSaltyDiogenes
10-26-2014, 12:03 PM
I'm only in favour of anti-natalism if its anti-natalism by SLEAZE. If we got to the point where every man and woman was just too busy having wasteful, unnatural, sleazy sex to bother with having kids, what a wonderful world.

0_is_less_than_8
03-10-2015, 10:14 PM
Just to add my thoughts as someone new to this debate, I would like to say that so far, I see antinatalism as a form of humanism. My logic is as follows: humans create other humans, assuming that a divine creator is not responsible for each individual's creation. Therefore, it is humanity that perpetuates itself, and thus parents are responsible for bringing a person into existence without the consent of this person. Thus, we exist, for better or for worse, against our consent in the beginning. As human existence can be seen as bad or good, I see antinatalism arguing that parents should consider their worldview before having children, or choose not to have children at all. I see this philosophy as having something to offer for everyone, not just the small multitude I see debating it. It's message, to everyone, is this: if you believe that existence is a boon to all, or that any child you bring into the world will ultimately decide that life is worth living, you should have the right to procreate. However, if you disagree with either of those scenarios, you should not procreate, and especially not because you believe that is "your purpose". What I do not see in this philosophy is an ultimate argument that proves, deductively, why humans should not reproduce. It sounds right to me, and fulfills parts of my experience that argue against my existence, but I cannot see empirical evidence to state that existence is "all good", "all bad", or even a numerical in-between. No matter how convincing the argument, all antinatalists I hear arguing their point seem to make crucial assumptions that must be accepted before the rest can continue. How do you prove that existence is bad? How do you prove that there is more suffering in the world than pleasure? How do you prove that what we call "suffering" is bad and not part of life? In closing, I agree that there is no consent on the part of those who do not exist, and thus we need to keep that in mind always. However, I am on the fence on how universal this philosophy should be, and what steps antinatalists plan on taking to spread this philosophy and defend its pertinence to humanity worldwide.

0_is_less_than_8
03-11-2015, 02:31 PM
Just to add my thoughts as someone new to this debate, I would like to say that so far, I see antinatalism as a form of humanism. My logic is as follows: humans create other humans, assuming that a divine creator is not responsible for each individual's creation. Therefore, it is humanity that perpetuates itself, and thus parents are responsible for bringing a person into existence without the consent of this person. Thus, we exist, for better or for worse, against our consent in the beginning. As human existence can be seen as bad or good, I see antinatalism arguing that parents should consider their worldview before having children, or choose not to have children at all. I see this philosophy as having something to offer for everyone, not just the small multitude I see debating it. It's message, to everyone, is this: if you believe that existence is a boon to all, or that any child you bring into the world will ultimately decide that life is worth living, you should have the right to procreate. However, if you disagree with either of those scenarios, you should not procreate, and especially not because you believe that is "your purpose". What I do not see in this philosophy is an ultimate argument that proves, deductively, why humans should not reproduce. It sounds right to me, and fulfills parts of my experience that argue against my existence, but I cannot see empirical evidence to state that existence is "all good", "all bad", or even a numerical in-between. No matter how convincing the argument, all antinatalists I hear arguing their point seem to make crucial assumptions that must be accepted before the rest can continue. How do you prove that existence is bad? How do you prove that there is more suffering in the world than pleasure? How do you prove that what we call "suffering" is bad and not part of life? In closing, I agree that there is no consent on the part of those who do not exist, and thus we need to keep that in mind always. However, I am on the fence on how universal this philosophy should be, and what steps antinatalists plan on taking to spread this philosophy and defend its pertinence to humanity worldwide.

waffles
03-22-2015, 12:37 PM
Hi,

This thread keeps showing up in my New Posts feed and it looks like there hasn't been any new posts in over a week. It also appears to be stuck on page 7. When I click on the "next page" arrow, it brings me back to page 7.
Is this happening to anyone else? For some reason it is only this thread.

p.s. Now that I've hit the submit button, I'mm on page 8.