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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
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Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

There just possibly may be some closet anti-natalists out there somewhere. But I doubt it. Those who publicly espouse Anti-Natalism however are part of some cosmic hoax, which life is anyway. If they were true anti-natalists, they would and could not even bother to tell us.

The only belief system possible in the light of Berkeley? It does entail a first hoax mover, though.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Eh? I can assure you anti-natalists are real. Try reading the work of David Benatar. The online groups have thousands of members, and it is being discussed ever more in mainstream media. It's an "OMG, you can't be serious" topic for many, but that's their difficulty.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Anti-Natalism, as an ethical position, trivially exists (as Malone has already pointed out). A more difficult question is: Is Anti-Natalism true? (There is some good evidence that it is.) And another question is: Will Anti-Natalism ever be put into practice? (Perhaps, no.)
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Anti-natalists are most certainly real!


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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

My working hypothesis, for discussion purposes, is that Anti-Natalism can not be *proved* to exist as a philosophy because it seems logical that anyone truly holding its perceived tenets would and could not be bothered to promulgate it, deploy it in any form or even discuss it.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Quote Originally Posted by Nemonymous View Post
My working hypothesis, for discussion purposes, is that Anti-Natalism can not be *proved* to exist as a philosophy because it seems logical that anyone truly holding its perceived tenets would and could not be bothered to promulgate it, deploy it in any form or even discuss it.
Fortunately or unfortunately, a philosophy doesn't need to be practised, or to be professed with one hundred per cent sincerity and consistency, or even professed at all necessarily, in order to exist. One example of this would be epistemic skepticism. This is the position that nothing is knowable, not even the fact that nothing is knowable. There are various other flavours of skepticism, all of which have had enormous importance for philosophy, but it is often considered that actual adherents of strict forms of skepticism are chimerical. Descartes is often used as a starting point for the discussion of skepticism, because he decided to doubt everything as a means of arriving at the truth. He was not a skeptic in the strict sense (or in his conclusions), however, skepticism certainly existed for him to use as a philosophising tool.

There is a possible question here concerning abstract entities such as propositions (true-or-false statements), universal properties and so on, to wit: does a philosophy exist if no one ever entertains it? Those who hold propositions to have mind-independent existence would say yes (I lean in this direction). Antinatalism is a normative philosophy, however - that is, it is about what we ought to do, more than what is. Its premises may be propositions, but it is controversial as to whether saying, "We ought not to have children" is a proposition (true-or-false statement). I would suggest that anyone wishing to contend that antinatalism does not exist as a philosophy press on this particular point.

However, I myself would contend that, whether it is essentially propositional or not, antinatalism as a philosophy has an abstract existence independent of human minds, whether it is practised or not and whether it is internally consistent or not.

Finally, I would say that in terms of praxis, it certainly exists empirically as the simple abstention from procreation. There is another question, though, as to whether all the premises on which AN is based lead to consistent praxis. This might be another point to press on.* In order to do this, one must examine the premises and then find things that are forbidden (if one can find them) to praxis by the premises, which are nonetheless universally (even necessarily) part of the lives of those who profess antinatalism.

I hope that helps.

*Tenets were mentioned above. These need to be enumerated and examined for the case to be made.

ôSpecialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved." - Max Weber
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Thanks, I found that provocatively helpful.

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
Tenets were mentioned above. These need to be enumerated and examined for the case to be made.
Nihilism.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Quote Originally Posted by Nemonymous View Post
Thanks, I found that provocatively helpful.

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
Tenets were mentioned above. These need to be enumerated and examined for the case to be made.
Nihilism.
I know what you mean here, although I think this needs elaboration for the case to be made.

Since time is limited, however, I'll simply say:

I think that there is a stronger argument for antinatalism that doesn't rely on the negation of meaning in human life. So, as one tends to find with these things, there's more than one antinatalism.

I think another line I'd pursue with this argument would be to do with metaphorical procreation. I don't have time to give details here, but:

If AN is fundamentally about eliminating suffering, and if this requires the cessation of life, what do we do about those who are still alive? There is, at least, a tension here.

Do we negate their life? If so, this causes suffering, which is against one of the root principles of AN. If we don't negate their life we are implicitly encouraging the continuance of life.

I don't think I've phrased the above in an air-tight way, but perhaps you can see the direction in which I'm pointing.

As I've said elsewhere, I have strong AN sympathies, but also philosophical reservations. The above is one of them.

ôSpecialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved." - Max Weber
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Old 6 Days Ago   #9
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Not being a native speaker, i worry if my limited vocabulary adequately expresses my thoughts, but nevertheless:

If the core tenet of AN might be summarized as the prevention of suffering through the cessation of procreation, this would mean, in the abstract, the prevention of a situation or circumstance ( life ) because it implicitly contains a certain circumstance ( in this case a circumstance thought negative - suffering ). This means, however, that all other implicit states or circumstances, thus all potentials in fact, will be equally annihilated along with the potential suffering, including all potentials that may qualify that suffering in any way; including the opposite of suffering by contrast with which suffering may be discerned or measured; including the very things that might give cause to desire the cessation of suffering. So antinatalism, in that way, negates itself in even the theory of applying itself.

So i guess Nemonymous has a point.

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Old 6 Days Ago   #10
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
Not being a native speaker, i worry if my limited vocabulary adequately expresses my thoughts, but nevertheless:

If the core tenet of AN might be summarized as the prevention of suffering through the cessation of procreation, this would mean, in the abstract, the prevention of a situation or circumstance ( life ) because it implicitly contains a certain circumstance ( in this case a circumstance thought negative - suffering ). This means, however, that all other implicit states or circumstances, thus all potentials in fact, will be equally annihilated along with the potential suffering, including all potentials that may qualify that suffering in any way; including the opposite of suffering by contrast with which suffering may be discerned or measured; including the very things that might give cause to desire the cessation of suffering. So antinatalism, in that way, negates itself in even the theory of applying itself.

So i guess Nemonymous has a point.
So you're saying the prevention of life negates happiness or boredom or a neutral state (whatever "the opposite of suffering" means and boredom is arguably a special case of suffering) and therefore makes a judgement of suffering not possible and therefore negates antinatalism.
This is only true if a person defines suffering as a lack happiness after they've experienced happiness. But is it possible for an individual to never once in life experienced whatever this happiness means?

I would say antinatalism doesn't opposite art. To reproduce doesn't merely mean to pass on genes, but to create an individual human. Have an artistic work ever come to life and become conscious? In Greek myth it happens to Pygmalion's statue, but I haven't seen such a thing in real life. Maybe you're thinking of eflism "The belief that life is inherently negative, and therefore should be voluntarily ended." That's a different thing.

"Tell me how you want to die, and I'll tell you who you are. In other words, how do you fill out an empty life? With women, books, or worldly ambitions? No matter what you do, the starting point is boredom, and the end self-destruction. The emblem of our fate: the sky teeming with worms. Baudelaire taught me that life is the ecstasy of worms in the sun, and happiness the dance of worms."
---Tears and Saints, E. M. Cioran
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