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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Quote Originally Posted by mkdavey View Post
Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
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.
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.

What do you mean when you say “do we negate their lives”?

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Yeah, well, this is why the argument requires elaboration. Unfortunately, I don't really have time to elaborate at present. I am not, myself, trying to argue against antinatalism, so such elaboration is not a priority for me, but I just thought I'd contribute to the discussion here a little.

However, to give some idea of what I mean, this is from another recent thread:

As far as I am able to determine, the desire to live in what might be a happy or fulfilled way correlates with something like 'hope' or 'affirmation', and these are in conflict with the imperative for the cessation of life.

Benatar, of course, addresses this when he talks about the distinction between creating new life and continuing existing life, and this distinction is obviously (and to his credit) made in order to be humane to those who already exist. However, I think that a tension still exists in that once a person is committed to the extinction of all (sentient) life theoretically, they are still continuing a life that is now (effectively) negated. I do think this causes suffering.

To some this will be immediately intuitively apparent, but to others it will require elaboration.

Of course, part of the point of philosophy is that in the course of such elaboration one discovers whether or not a certain view has inner consistency (and there are also empirical factors which tend to postpone conclusions indefinitely). I am not saying with any certainty that a perfect elaboration would reveal the view I'm stating as air-tight - I was simply adding to the discussion above.

I think this kind of elaboration would ultimately take a huge amount of time, and I'm not actually here to make that argument (just to point out that it's a direction one might take).

“Specialists 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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gveranon (1 Week Ago), Nemonymous (6 Days Ago), ToALonelyPeace (6 Days Ago)


antinatalism, exist
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