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Old 01-10-2014   #1
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Another perspective in the antinatalist debate

In which the reviewer considers assertions such as, "Perhaps the human future is a kind of Ponzi scheme where the value of our own lives is always dependent on the well-being of future generations," or "Letting the thought of the eventual end of humanity demoralize us would be a terrible mistake."

Obviously no one will concur with each point of the discussion, but perhaps fair to characterize both the book and the review below as thought-provoking.

http://bostonreview.net/books-ideas/...y-ponzi-scheme



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Old 01-10-2014   #2
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Re: Another perspective in the antinatalist debate

Thanks for that, although to be honest, to me it read as 'Let's just keep the show going, for no good reason'. And his willingness to let future humans be subjected to what he admits is inevitable, 'looming horror' is a little disturbing, although very common.
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Old 01-10-2014   #3
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Re: Another perspective in the antinatalist debate

The Alvy scene quoted in that article is exactly that which I used, many, many years ago, to illustrate some of my concerns to a counselor I had to see.

The article is very well-written and interesting, but a number of things are excluded from the discussion - one, actual afterlife, which is not the sole property of Judaeo-Christianity, and, by implication, is not merely the monkey on the atheist's back that must be shrugged off (cf. Empedocles' poem 'On Nature', for instance).

Two: Alvy is described as "neurotically joyless" - an assertion which merely situates the author in his assumptions of normality. The joy of living, is, to me, too, an important matter. But I do not see it (as this writer seems to) as a default position that is therefore a) not to be questioned and b) something that allows us to dismiss what is not the 'default'.

In a discussion of this kind, the totality of human experience needs to be taken into account, or at least, to be allowed at the table.

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 01-10-2014   #4
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Re: Another perspective in the antinatalist debate

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
...a number of things are excluded from the discussion - one, actual afterlife, which is not the sole property of Judaeo-Christianity, and, by implication, is not merely the monkey on the atheist's back that must be shrugged off (cf. Empedocles' poem 'On Nature', for instance).
P.S. The author of the article notes that the author of the book makes just this omission in his assumed "us", but the former doesn't redress this omission in his own article. I suppose I understand why not, but it's an omission nonetheless.

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 03-11-2015   #5
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Re: Another perspective in the antinatalist debate

In response to the original post here, I think that both of those points have a good backing of support, however, they both reek of the bandwagon fallacy. I am not expressing open disagreement, merely that it is more than a bit convenient to this argument that both premises are more or less the assumed attitude towards human life by society at large.

Most people, philosophers and non-philosophers alike, would most likely agree that the existence of future generations are our duty and part of our purpose, and that thinking about extinction in no way helps the current situation (for this second premise I am assuming that this is gradual extinction, not sudden, catastrophic, meteor-hitting-the-planet extinction).

Therefore, while I accept that arguments can work from unique origins and reach the same conclusions that most people accept without much thought, both of these statements have a certain "duh" factor to them, am I wrong? Of COURSE our purpose could be attributed to one of life's most basic processes. Of COURSE the eventual end of human existence bears little importance to me on my way to work in the morning, or when I'm making love, or when I'm doing pretty much anything except perhaps typing responses on a Ligotti forum.

Just another perspective on another perspective. Change my mind!
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Old 03-11-2015   #6
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Re: Another perspective in the antinatalist debate

Also, qcrisp, you make mention of an afterlife that you do not contribute either to Judeo-Christian religion or to weak Atheism. I'm sure you've explained yourself thoroughly before, but could you elaborate? I want to better understand the type of afterlife you're mentioning. Feel free to PM me if you'd rather talk there.
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