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matteo
02-24-2014, 07:59 AM
The vast majority of people enjoy life and have considerably good lives. Most people are glad to be alive, and even those who experience suffering still prefer to have been born despite of all hardships they have experienced in their lives. Why is suffering not a reason to exist, when most people who suffer still prefer to exist?

Why would we give veto to such a small minority of harmed people who wouldn't consent their existence? We have the consent of the vast majority.
Why the opinion of the such a small minority has so much weight to antinatalists?

Shadow
02-24-2014, 08:33 AM
I have no idea why people who are not antinatalists are so eager to be fans of Thomas Ligotti.

Thomas Ligotti IS antinatalist.

Now you come to this website (granted, non-official) and you ask why antinatalism?

To me, thatīs like questioning the very works of art that you (ALL) say you so fondly love. They were all based upon his worldview, and thus, antinatalism as well.

Grow up, everybody.

Over and out.

qcrisp
02-24-2014, 09:04 AM
To me, thatīs like questioning the very works of art that you (ALL) say you so fondly love. They were all based upon his worldview, and thus, antinatalism as well.

Grow up, everybody.

Over and out.

Must admit, I don't understand this. It would be a tall order to agree with every word of every author whose works I love, not least of all because they all contradict each other. Since when did works of art become things we're not allowed to question?

Druidic
02-24-2014, 09:09 AM
Lovecraft, Ezra Pound, T. S Elliot, Jack London and too many others to mention were racists or Anti-Semites. So if I'm passionate about their work I should be racist or antisemitic as well?
That's utter rubbish. It's the art that matters more than the artist.
Good response, qcrisp!

Karnos
02-24-2014, 11:03 AM
I have no idea why people who are not antinatalists are so eager to be fans of Thomas Ligotti.

Thomas Ligotti IS antinatalist.

Now you come to this website (granted, non-official) and you ask why antinatalism?

To me, thatīs like questioning the very works of art that you (ALL) say you so fondly love. They were all based upon his worldview, and thus, antinatalism as well.

Grow up, everybody.

Over and out.

I guess the one who needs to grow up is you.

Nothing wrong with enjoying an author whose philosophy or personality you don't agree with. Why is it so difficult for a good lot of people to separate the artist from their art? I heavily dislike Harlan Ellison as a person, doesn't mean I can't enjoy his work.

Do we need to split hairs here? Lovecraft's fiction had a heavy prejudice against what he considered racial trash. Does that mean that people need to be on the same frequency to "eagerly be" fans of his work?

You make things more complicated than what they really are.

As for Mr Ligotti's fiction and overall worldview and the type of folks it attracts: he is more than just the limited audience of this website, and you'll find people of all walks of life attracted to it. I suppose that the norm are the folks who enjoy the work of a master in mood, setting and symbolism, in other words, the people who enjoy fine literature.

I still remember when I discovered The Nightmare Factory omnibus, back in 2000 or 2001, and started furiously looking for Mr. Ligotti's work online and people who shared the same admiration. I don't remember seeing even a quarter of this whole antinatalism business that this far looks more like a desperate circus of show and tell. It really is sad that the work of such a great writer has come to be hijacked by a certain mob mentality instead of recognition for his mastery in prose and technique.

But hey, it's the internet, and we're all edgy and dangerous here...

ramonoski
02-24-2014, 01:16 PM
I don't think anyone is under any obligation to subscribe to someone's ideology in order to appreciate their work as a writer of fictions or other. Like qcrisp noted, you're bound to encounter great writers with mutually exclusive views. What will you do then, pull a HAL 9000? Of course not.

Anyway, back to matteo.

First of all, I'm not sure that "most people" is a good indicator of anything. In general terms, yes, it can be useful to have a consensus on the basics of what we deem reality (e.g. 'most people' will agree the grass is green and blood is red; this, of course, leaves daltonics and the blind and some of the mentally challenged out... but we're only concerned with the "most people", so to hell with them). But on more specific issues, well, things begin to fall apart.

One could argue the vast majority of people have convinced themselves that life is worth living because the alternative is too horrible, or because thanks to their specific sociocultural upbringing they can't even conceive of an alternative.

If I may, I'd like to suggest you take some time off your schedule and take a look at the now infamous "Antinatalists Attack!" thread:

Antinatalists, attack! - THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK (http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=7741)

It's packed with all kinds of opinions on the subject, all kinds of arguments, all sides of the fence. It might not give you a definite answer nor convince you to swing one way or the other, but it's a good starting point to see what the whole thing is, or isn't, about.

Mr. D.
02-24-2014, 02:04 PM
I am a fan of Mr. Ligotti because he is one of the best short story writers of all time. He speaks to our fears of what the world may be. It doesn't matter whether he is right or wrong in some objective sense because the fears are real. Some may think that they are not fears but are a form of reporting reality. Others may think that this is how things could become. Others may think that his writing is what the world would be without God. Still others may think that he truthfully records this generations nightmares but that waking reality is separate and different.For Literature none of these opinions matter. The important thing is that we all suspend disbelief and are pulled into the bleak, nightmare universe of Mr. Ligotti whenever we read one of his stories. That is the mark of a great writer. I do not see Mr. Ligotti as simply a horror writer. I see him standing with such great writers as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Katherine Anne Porter - not to mention Poe, et al. This is why so many readers read him in the first place. What does it matter if a reader does not believe exactly as he does? We need to respect each others viewpoints and keep the important thing, Mr. Ligotti's work, in mind. I'm sure that every member of TLO agrees that he is an effective, fascinating writer.

Speaking Mute
02-24-2014, 05:37 PM
I think folks are pouncing on Shadow rather quickly. Whereas it's certain that one needn't be an Antinatalist to be a fan of Thomas Ligotti's, I think it's rather bizarre, and borderline trolling, for someone to come here and post a hollow broadside against Ligotti's philosophy. Agree with him or not, Ligotti forwards a reasoned position that's been a major component of his literary work. It's doesn't sum Ligotti up as an artist, but here of all places it deserves its due.

gveranon
02-24-2014, 07:58 PM
Maybe this is just paranoia, but . . .

I looked at TLO late last night (central U.S. time) and noticed that a banned member was logged in. His status still says banned but evidently he can at least log in. Take a look at the list of users active in the last 24 hours, and you'll see a familiar name.

Then, not long afterward, this thread was started by a new user who had just created an account. Big yellow exclamation symbol on the thread, just to make sure it got everyone's attention.

Granted, the opinion expressed in the first post is the opposite of the banned member's opinion, but effective trolling does not require sincerity.

Coa
02-24-2014, 08:29 PM
Like its said before,if Ligotti were bad writer, nobody would care about hes worldviews and stuff said in TCATHR - me first,even if I mostly agree on things said there.But, in the same time if TCATHR were some generic new age book and Ligotti some random hippie guy that is far away from things in hes horror work - that would ruin whole thing for me.Relation between those two is very important.

And when it comes to all this antinatalism thing,I just think that humans just ain't no classy enough to do those "big and epic" things like goals of antinatalism,we are just not smart enough for any kinda of utopia - even one of extermination.
Like they say "all that man need is conformable shoes,tight pussy and hot place to take a crap" that kinda sums up our real ambition.So,lets just focus on those rare moments of unselfish creation,good literature for example !

Druidic
02-24-2014, 09:59 PM
Seriously, I find it sad that only antinatalism threads seem to catch fire. I came to this site because of a love for the fiction of Lovecraft, Ligotti and a number of other masters of weird literature. I also came in the hopes of introducing the macabre works of Friedrich Durrenmatt to readers who might not have come across his work. That was it period.

I have no intention of participating in another thread regarding antinatalism. But I would like to say one thing:

Speaking Mute remarks that the philosophy of antinatalism plays a substantial part in Ligotti's fiction. I haven't read the revised tales but I saw one example where the following phrase (or something very similar to it) appears: "The paradise of the unborn." This was clearly an addition; and perhaps these reworked stories are signifigantly different than the originals that so captivated my imagination.
I saw Ligotti's stories as dark and nihilistic evocations of the spectral and the horrific. I never noticed a major antinatalist influence in them. To me, art either suceeds on its own terms or fails. A philosphical message, no matter how profound, will not turn a botched work of art into an aesthetic sucess. Indeed, Ligotti said it himself once: Art was either entertainment or it was nothing. Ligotti's entertainments were always chilling and often quite brilliant. They didn't need a philosophical message to justify their existence in my eyes. Art is one thing; philosophy is another. An author's worldview will be reflected inevitably in his fiction but that's something very different than a philosophy text.

My interest in Ligotti's fiction continues. My interest in antinatalism does not. And if this thread is the result of manipulation by one or two individuals, the thread should just die. Gveranon and Speaking Mute may have caught on before the rest of us.

ramonoski
02-24-2014, 10:38 PM
I haven't read the revised tales but I saw one example where the following phrase (or something very similar to it) appears: "The paradise of the unborn." This was clearly an addition; and perhaps these reworked stories are signifigantly different than the originals that so captivated my imagination.

"The Last Feast of Harlequin". That was indeed an addition but one that doesn't feel entirely out of place, as earlier in the story (both in the revised and original versions) we're told that the Mirocaw cult was "singing to the 'unborn in paradise', to the 'pure unlived lives'." Can't say I know every single change by heart, but as far as I recall I don't think the revisions included interpolating any AN sentiment into stories that didn't have it or didn't need it. They were mostly about style and concision. Can't say I think each and every one was an improvement (there's a handful I just didn't like at all), but no, it's not like he turned the stories into AN propaganda or tried to shift their original theme or mood.

The one story that got practically rewritten was "Eye of the Lynx". It's pretty much the same tale, but it finally makes sense :drunk:

Cnev
02-24-2014, 11:42 PM
The answer to your question can be found through various other sources. This is not, to my knowledge, a pro-antinatalist/natalist/anything forum. Why you even decided to come here seeking an answer to a question that not only serves little purpose to the spirit of this forum, but has been brilliantly argued and answered by much more dedicated and focused people is puzzling, unless of course you are just being antagonistic, in which case you don't deserve a modicum of anyone's time here anyway. This kind of childish instigation doesn't belong in such a place as this.

gveranon
02-25-2014, 12:41 AM
My point was not that anyone had said anything intolerably offensive, but only that the start of the thread looked like a set-up to me. Possibly done by a banned member who, curiously enough, had just been logged in not long before, or done by an associate or two of his. I say two because the second post looks like part of the set-up to me. My post was basically just to raise the possibility (likelihood?) that we're being trolled here. If you agree with my assessment, you might not want to waste your time indulging a prankster or two. If you don't agree, then feel free to continue the discussion. And, or course, a good discussion could ensue from a mischievous beginning. Other members have made some thoughtful comments. I'm not trying to shut down the discussion, just saying caveat lector or something like that.

teguififthzeal
02-25-2014, 01:01 AM
I see "The Conspiracy Against The Human Race" more as an intensely bleak mood piece--like some great death metal album--than philosophy. It is the product of a certain temperament at a certain time in history, like all philosophies. There's no "conspiracy against the human race" any more than there's a "conspiracy for the human race". I was a nihilistic pessimist for many years, and no one conspired against me or shunned me for my views unless I was a dick about it.

qcrisp
02-25-2014, 09:14 AM
My point was not that anyone had said anything intolerably offensive, but only that the start of the thread looked like a set-up to me. Possibly done by a banned member who, curiously enough, had just been logged in not long before, or done by an associate or two of his. I say two because the second post looks like part of the set-up to me. My post was basically just to raise the possibility (likelihood?) that we're being trolled here. If you agree with my assessment, you might not want to waste your time indulging a prankster or two. If you don't agree, then feel free to continue the discussion. And, or course, a good discussion could ensue from a mischievous beginning. Other members have made some thoughtful comments. I'm not trying to shut down the discussion, just saying caveat lector or something like that.

This is possible.

I'm not going to comment further on this thread.

I will mention something here, though, in case - if it happens - anyone thought I was being quiet about it.

Shortly after the "Antinatalists, attack!" thread, I was approached by someone who has nothing to do with TLO to write an essay on antinatalism. Because of the way that thread turned out, I initially declined. I didn't want to open up another can of worms.

Then I got an idea for an angle. So, I wrote the essay. I finished the second draft last night.

The current version stands at 5,771 words, which is way over the magazine's word limit. For that reason, and because the editor hasn't read it yet, and might not even like it, it's possible it won't appear in the magazine. If it does appear, it will likely be in an edited version.

I have extremely mixed feelings about the article, but in one sense it would be better if it is published: it will make reasonably clear (nothing is ever entirely clear) in an independent forum what my position is (for what it matters - naturally it matters to me, and to people close to me, but I don't expect anyone else to care). One reason that it will be a relief to me is that I am associated with the horror/weird fiction scene and with antinatalism. The latter association is justified, but misleading. I have felt some pressure in my life - not enormous, but definitely unwanted - to represent antinatalism in some way. For instance, I got a pseudonymous message a while back along these lines which is mentioned in the current version of the essay. (I'm not going to go into other examples, as I would have to imply who the people involved are.)

If the essay is published, then I think I'll leave it at that. Like many people here, I think that art is not the same thing as philosophy - both have their interest, and, are, indeed, linked at certain points, but I think it's important to recognise that they are distinct.

It has been remarked in my presence that it's a shame that when one posts to TLO one almost feels that one has to give a dimmer view of life than one actually holds simply in order to make some people feel better. My view of life has not been especially scintillating, but I have no objection to a more glowing assessment of existence than I have (usually) been able to give. (There are cases of what David Nickle - I believe - has called "terrible optimism", which have human collateral damage; I tend to view Ray Kurzweil (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/22/robots-google-ray-kurzweil-terminator-singularity-artificial-intelligence) as a case of "terrible optimism", but for myself, I can at least see how pessimism in my life has adversely affected those around me.) I hope some day to be able to give a glowing assessment myself.

I do think that the antinatalism argument should be examined more widely - the more widely it is examined, the more likely it is to be examined in neutral venues - but at TLO, it is clearly something of a sore tooth to which the tongue returns in fascinated pain.

This is the magazine mentioned above:

http://www.litfmag.net/issue-1/

It looks like being an interesting magazine. I almost hope that my article is rejected, but we shall see.

DoktorH
02-25-2014, 11:50 AM
From what I've seen on this forum, Ligotti is an antinatalist, so that probably gets people interested in it who may otherwise not have heard of it.

I don't know where I fall on the natalist-to-antinatalist spectrum, as I don't think about it much. i have other hobbies, and 99% of the discussions on the topic I've seen here are either way over my head or look too much like flame wars to bother with. if i'm an anything-ist, i suppose hedonist will do. couchpotatoist or gluttony-&-slothist would probably be a more accurate description.

symbolique
02-25-2014, 01:13 PM
nil

teguififthzeal
02-26-2014, 11:27 PM
Antinatalism is as legitimate an idea as any other. It scares people because it calls into question the defense mechanisms their psyches employ for the purpose of immediate, day to day survival. On the other hand, Thich Nhat Hanh's books don't spell out a formula for antinatalism. Not that many of us could ever reach that level (or the level of a Daniel Berrigan, or whoever), but books concerning spirituality by Buddhists and liberal Catholics are not all about doom and gloom at all, though they emphatically affirm the horrendous aspects of life. Robert Ellsberg, son of Daniel Ellsberg, included Albert Camus in his collection "All Saints".