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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #51
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

We may have found an ally in America's Dear Leader:


'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #52
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

I discovered an interesting thinker by the name of Julio Cabrera today. He's an antinatalist who is strongly influenced by Heidegger. He argues that procreation is morally wrong because of the intrinsic nature of human beings. Unlike Benatar's defense of antinatalism, Cabrera's main argument involves certain ontological claims most analytic philosophers are unwilling to discuss.

Borrowing from Heidegger's ontological difference, he distinguishes punctual death (PD) from structural death (SD). Punctual death refers to death as an empirical phenomenon. Structural death is the actual process of dying itself. PD is the consummation or complete realization of SD, i.e., it represents the whole purpose of SD. The problem, according to Cabrera, is that SD serves as the very basis of human life. Mortality, in other words, is an intrinsic feature of birth. Ethically speaking, no good(s) discovered within the process of structural death can counterbalance the evil nature of the process itself.

Procreation is inherently wrong because it means forcing someone to suffer through structural death.

Julio Cabrera: NEGATIVE ETHICS

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #53
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

I once discussed antinatalism with a true reactionary, a dyed in the wool traditionalist. He argued antinatalism is the end game of the enlightenment. Once Nietzsche declared God is dead, nihilism became the inevitable result since there was nothing left to believe in, no higher power to answer to. In his mind, answering to each other was not enough to re-establish the balance. With nothing higher to reach for, he argued that antinatalism was eventually inevitable and that Western civilization will be doomed as a result. Don't know how much I agreed with him, but it was a point to ponder.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #54
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Seems like a pretty bad argument considering antinatalism is still considered a fringe weirdo philosophy by almost everyone. The urge for the human race to continue is stronger even than faith in God. It's pure instinct.

The reactionaries I have had the ill judgement to debate with about the purported doom of western civilisation (I just walk away now) were more worried about not enough white babies being born in the west to keep a majority comfortable enough for them than they were about the rise of antinatalism. I don't think most people have seriously considered or even heard of antinatalism. Too obscure and alien. The average person would just laugh if they found out about it.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay

Last edited by James; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:43 AM..
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #55
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

That's true. I think America will become a socialist country sooner than antinatalism taking root.

"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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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #56
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Meanwhile it hasn't been a better time to be a fascist in years. Way to go, western civilisation.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #57
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

When I look at the utter sewage that clogs up my YouTube recommendations, I can easily concur that the problem with Western society is that there is no longer any conception of 'higher things' (whatever you might take those to be).

I decided yesterday I'd had enough of sampling this kind of thing on my tea-breaks (the recommendations that are almost always culture-wars propaganda), even if it is all grist to a writer's mill. I deliberately watched this instead:


What a difference!

Imagine if the kind of aspirations shown in this were general. It would be a much different world.

I currently have my eye on this:

https://www.versobooks.com/books/231...ce-of-nihilism

The author seems to think the rot set in much further back than the enlightenment.

Just as a PS, I can't help noticing the number of scientists who are aggressive in trying to prevent humans from even being able to conceive of higher things. A professor of physics sent me this recently, apparently trying to dissuade me from taking an interest in philosophy:


Feynman straw-manning heavily there.

“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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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #58
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Nice links, qcrisp!

I've always admired Wittgenstein. You should definitely read his On Certainity, which contains his views concerning epistemology. He essentially makes the claim that in order to know something there must be the possibility of doubt. The reason this is relevant, philosophically speaking, is because it's a critique of modern philosophy's attempt to ground knowledge claims on propositions that are certain, i.e., propositions immune from doubt.

For Wittgenstein, knowledge presupposes a wealth of basic propositions which cannot be questioned, not because they are grounded in certainty, but because of the semantic role they play with respect to all knowledge claims. To question them leads to nonsense.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #59
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

I've seen that Wittgenstein documentary linked to elsewhere, in widely (and even wildly) disparate contexts. I'll watch it when I get a chance.

I second Mr. Veech's recommendation of On Certainty. It is a much-thumbed volume in my domicile.

qcrisp, in case you're not already aware of it, I would also recommend another small, pithy book called "Work On Oneself": Wittgenstein's Philosophical Psychology, by Fergus Kerr. I think you might find that book especially interesting.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #60
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Re: Anti-Natalism, Can It Really Exist?

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
I discovered an interesting thinker by the name of Julio Cabrera today. He's an antinatalist who is strongly influenced by Heidegger. He argues that procreation is morally wrong because of the intrinsic nature of human beings. Unlike Benatar's defense of antinatalism, Cabrera's main argument involves certain ontological claims most analytic philosophers are unwilling to discuss.

Borrowing from Heidegger's ontological difference, he distinguishes punctual death (PD) from structural death (SD). Punctual death refers to death as an empirical phenomenon. Structural death is the actual process of dying itself. PD is the consummation or complete realization of SD, i.e., it represents the whole purpose of SD. The problem, according to Cabrera, is that SD serves as the very basis of human life. Mortality, in other words, is an intrinsic feature of birth. Ethically speaking, no good(s) discovered within the process of structural death can counterbalance the evil nature of the process itself.

Procreation is inherently wrong because it means forcing someone to suffer through structural death.

Julio Cabrera: NEGATIVE ETHICS
Excellent contribution Mr. Veech. I didn't know anything about Cabrera and his works, but Negative Ethics seems to be a really interesting reading, even more if he maintains different ontological views on this subject. This also remind me of something that I read once about Deleuze's Philosophy on how the relation between the becoming of becoming creates the Event, and how this Event can expose the human condition as a plague who never cease to "becoming" in relation to the reality. It was a strange relecture of Deleuze -and some Negarestani's ideas mixed with some reinterpretations of Lovecraft's tales - exposed by an unknown person. Sadly, the writings are only in spanish. Anyways, I'm going to leave them here just to clarify all the different visions that can be found related to the antinatalism dilemma.

Considerations about the Notion of Becoming
https://xenogeddon.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/2/

Futility arises out of the grim suspicion that, behind the shroud of causality we drape over the world, there is only the indifference of what exists or doesn’t exist; whatever you do ultimately leads to no end, an irrevocable chasm between thought and world.-"Cosmic Pessimism" by Eugene Thacker
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