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Old 08-18-2009   #31
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Alberto,

As much as I like Catharism (from what I know about it, which is not much), I don't really relate.

I don't believe that the spirit was trapped in a material body by an evil Demiurge. I think the spirit only exists inasmuch as it is embodied in matter. I mean, I think the spirit will cease to exist if it no longer has a body. That is what I hope for.
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Old 08-18-2009   #32
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Jeff, Cathars didn't believe in reproduction, but for different reasons. By what you said, "If every conscious being refused to reproduce, then suffering would eventually cease to exist", your statement brought to my mind a vague relationship with their beliefs, almost instantly. Physical suffering (or pain) is in fact "an aversion associated with harm or threat of harm", example: we suffer if we hit our head against a wall, which is the way our head tells our brain through uncountable nerves that we may be in danger if we persist on doing so. Therefore, pain is some kind of natural defense mechanism. Mental suffering, or unhappiness, is most profound, and has its roots in desire. See this The conquest of suffering : Buddhism versus utilitarianism

1. All is suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by desire/attachment.
3. If one can eliminate desire/attachment, one can eliminate suffering.
4. The Noble Eight-fold Path can eliminate desire. Extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification should be avoided.

I know who you are
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Old 06-03-2011   #33
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Burning Witches vs Procreation

Courtesy of Derived Energy


If this doesn't hammer it home, what does?

Have a nice weekend.
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Old 06-04-2011   #34
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

As a childless and single young man, it is very easy for me to keep away from reproduction and have, at the present time, my own reasons for not wanting to bring any innocent lives to this world. Whenever the conversation comes up, I always say that I love my unborn children so much I want to spare them the suffering of being brought to this world.

Something interesting happened a few weeks ago. I was out on the street with an ex-pat friend from Iran, and as you know, Iran is a very close minded, very strict theocracy and my friend, being a girl, has always expressed how happy she is from being out of there. She's a very charming and smart girl, really open minded and fun to hang out with.

So we were out on the streets, just walking and talking, eating some ice cream , when a toddler, perhaps some four years old, came our way and started waving around and making noises, surely attracted by the prospect of free ice cream. So I started playing around with the kid since, I confess, I actually like it, and while the kid and I were having fun, my friend asks "You can't wait to have kids of your own, right?"

She was really shocked when I told her my answer, and she was even more shaken when I told her my reasons.

Her answer: "You're a very selfish person"

I'm still trying to figure out how genuinely not wanting to bring an innocent life to suffer on this world is considered an act of selfishness.

Anyway, people die...
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I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
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Old 06-04-2011   #35
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Quote Originally Posted by Karnos View Post
I'm still trying to figure out how genuinely not wanting to bring an innocent life to suffer on this world is considered an act of selfishness.
as someone who shares your lack of interest in procreating, I am equally puzzled by it. I think most people regard raising children that one has conceived and/or adopted as a requirement for perpetuating the species, culture, or lineage of a given adult human.

When people say i am selfish or otherwise in error for not wanting to have kids, I respond with a lecture like what follows:
Humans are already the top of the food chain, and my culture/nation/ethnicity is populous enough that it can persist and perpetuate itself without all members thereof having kids. Bee hives function quite well with only a fraction of the resident bees reproducing, and society can do the same. My taxes contribute to the schools, libraries, roads, and other public services that other people's kids make use of, and I happily pay them because helping other people's kids in such a fashion benefits the whole community. Having a kid, getting the tax deduction for the dependent, and spending that money on that one kid just because they're related to me would, in my opinion, be the selfish option
or, if my accuser seems too thick-headed to understand my explanation, I go for "You're probably right" and leave it at that.

I'm personally anti-natal from disinterest in sex and dislike of children, and i am all for promoting the benefits of childlessness, but I can't bring myself to support enforced anti-natalism unless it's me enforcing it as some sort of all-powerful fascist dictator, and then I can unleash my special plan for population reduction (mostly cribbed from an Aldous Huxley novel). I lack the ambition, charisma, and interest in politics needed to get that kind of power, so the Brave New Population-controlled World will have to stay on paper until someone else tries to pull it off.
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Old 06-04-2011   #36
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Long-winded rants are not always the best option, so I came up with a couple short, snappy responses that may get you slapped depending on who you use them on and how. So when someone says you're selfish for not having kids, you can say....

...but my carbon footprint is smaller (do some research to back this up if you're gonna use it)
...and assuming the future needs your DNA is narcissistic
...so you only had kids to donate their organs, then?
...and buying your kid all those toys/videogames makes you Mother Theresa?
....I'm sure the local government appreciates all the diapers, wipes, and plastic toy packaging you and your child have donated to the dump.
... I'm sure people are just lining up to thank you for bringing a screaming baby into the store/theater/postoffice/bank
.... you must get so many thank-you cards for contributing to school overcrowding
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Old 06-04-2011   #37
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Suffering is the coin that pays for our pleasures. An exquisite meal is made possible by hunger; the torment of desire is necessary for the ecstasy of sex, so on, we know this, nothing new here...Lovecraft remarked that suicide was justified when suffering is greater than pleasure. Yet nothing is ever that simple, is it? We forget that there's no 'objective' reality here that can be measured. Human beings (at least some of 'em) will endure tremendous pain and hardship if there's even a chance that there's a light at tunnel's end. In the end we all croak; still why deny the transient victories? Everyone's capacity for happiness--or the lack of it--is different. The problem with antinatalism is its arrogance; it assumes all realities are the same. Now that would be a laugh indeed! Durrenmatt considers human existence a paradox because of the irreconcilable tensions between logic (the many) and the existential (the one, the individual). Antinatalism springs from existential despair and at the same time believes itself to be a rigidly logical response to life. I agree with F. D.: There ain't no such beast.

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Old 06-05-2011   #38
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Quote Originally Posted by Montag View Post
Durrenmatt considers human existence a paradox because of the irreconcilable tensions between logic (the many) and the existential (the individual). Antinatalism springs from existential despair and at the same time believes it to be a rigidly logical response to life. I agree with F. D.: There ain't no such beast.
i don't think all anti-natalism springs from existential despair. some of it, the kind that dwells on preventing/alleviating suffering, yeah. the ecological/resource-management antinatal approach (fewer humans = more air/water/land/whatever per human) is more conservation-oriented. there's economic, religious, and even egocentric ("I don't like children so everyone else should stop having them") flavors of antinatalism out there, I suspect. personally, i go back and forth between the selfish and the ecological approaches based on whether or not there is a screaming baby in my vicinity.
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Old 06-05-2011   #39
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Yes, DoktorH, screaming babies give even the greatest philosophers indigestion! I feel your pain.

I wasn’t speaking of it in the sense of individual choice based on personal preference or as population control based on one’s personal commitment to eco-awareness; whatever; I was speaking of it in its most extreme form, as a philosophy intended to end all human suffering by abolishing the human race....In that form, it reminds me of Fritz Leiber's description of Nyarlathotep: coming out of Egypt "...to sell the world on Death."
Ever read Gore Vidal's fine novel "Messiah"? It's worth checking out.

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Old 06-05-2011   #40
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Re: Antinatalism- The Greatest Taboo

Quote Originally Posted by Montag View Post
I was speaking of it in its most extreme form, as a philosophy intended to end all human suffering by abolishing the human race.
but that's going to happen anyway. every species that comes into existence eventually goes extinct. to paraphrase a tweet from astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, the earth is an extinction machine and a shooting gallery for asteroids.

and to parapharase biologist Richard Dawkins (full text here) there's all kinds of stuff that can take us from the top of the food chain to just another layer of the fossil record.

so why are these anti-natalist philosophers in such a hurry? the abolishment of humans is already guaranteed. All works of humans will erode/degrade. even the cockroaches and twinkies so frequently assumed to survive anything will, eventually, join us in the dust. if they sincerely wnat to hasten the process, why aren't there more mad scientists with doomsday devices?
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