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Old 03-06-2009   #11
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

And, forgive me, but ... THAT'S the part of what I said that was chosen as a quote?
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Wokka wokka wokka.
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Old 03-07-2009   #12
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

I don't know much about antinatalism, but ignorance has never stopped me having an opinion before....

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.
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Old 03-07-2009   #13
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Quote Originally Posted by vegetable theories View Post
I don't know much about antinatalism, but ignorance has never stopped me having an opinion before....

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.

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Old 03-07-2009   #14
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

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.

Last edited by Jeff Coleman; 03-07-2009 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 03-07-2009   #15
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

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.

Anyway, people die...
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Old 03-09-2009   #16
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Quote Originally Posted by The Black Ferris View Post
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 exist—that makes the argument less absurd, no?

With regards to frames of reference and suchlike—are 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.
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Old 03-09-2009   #17
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Quote Originally Posted by Karnos View Post
(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.

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Old 03-19-2009   #18
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Quote Originally Posted by Viva June View Post
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 exist—that makes the argument less absurd, no?

With regards to frames of reference and suchlike—are 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.
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Old 03-19-2009   #19
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

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.)

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Old 03-19-2009   #20
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

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
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