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Old 02-24-2014   #11
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Re: Against Antinatalism

Seriously, I find it sad that only antinatalism threads seem to catch fire. I came to this site because of a love for the fiction of Lovecraft, Ligotti and a number of other masters of weird literature. I also came in the hopes of introducing the macabre works of Friedrich Durrenmatt to readers who might not have come across his work. That was it period.

I have no intention of participating in another thread regarding antinatalism. But I would like to say one thing:

Speaking Mute remarks that the philosophy of antinatalism plays a substantial part in Ligotti's fiction. I haven't read the revised tales but I saw one example where the following phrase (or something very similar to it) appears: "The paradise of the unborn." This was clearly an addition; and perhaps these reworked stories are signifigantly different than the originals that so captivated my imagination.
I saw Ligotti's stories as dark and nihilistic evocations of the spectral and the horrific. I never noticed a major antinatalist influence in them. To me, art either suceeds on its own terms or fails. A philosphical message, no matter how profound, will not turn a botched work of art into an aesthetic sucess. Indeed, Ligotti said it himself once: Art was either entertainment or it was nothing. Ligotti's entertainments were always chilling and often quite brilliant. They didn't need a philosophical message to justify their existence in my eyes. Art is one thing; philosophy is another. An author's worldview will be reflected inevitably in his fiction but that's something very different than a philosophy text.

My interest in Ligotti's fiction continues. My interest in antinatalism does not. And if this thread is the result of manipulation by one or two individuals, the thread should just die. Gveranon and Speaking Mute may have caught on before the rest of us.
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Old 02-24-2014   #12
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Re: Against Antinatalism

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
I haven't read the revised tales but I saw one example where the following phrase (or something very similar to it) appears: "The paradise of the unborn." This was clearly an addition; and perhaps these reworked stories are signifigantly different than the originals that so captivated my imagination.
"The Last Feast of Harlequin". That was indeed an addition but one that doesn't feel entirely out of place, as earlier in the story (both in the revised and original versions) we're told that the Mirocaw cult was "singing to the 'unborn in paradise', to the 'pure unlived lives'." Can't say I know every single change by heart, but as far as I recall I don't think the revisions included interpolating any AN sentiment into stories that didn't have it or didn't need it. They were mostly about style and concision. Can't say I think each and every one was an improvement (there's a handful I just didn't like at all), but no, it's not like he turned the stories into AN propaganda or tried to shift their original theme or mood.

The one story that got practically rewritten was "Eye of the Lynx". It's pretty much the same tale, but it finally makes sense
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Old 02-24-2014   #13
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Re: Against Antinatalism

The answer to your question can be found through various other sources. This is not, to my knowledge, a pro-antinatalist/natalist/anything forum. Why you even decided to come here seeking an answer to a question that not only serves little purpose to the spirit of this forum, but has been brilliantly argued and answered by much more dedicated and focused people is puzzling, unless of course you are just being antagonistic, in which case you don't deserve a modicum of anyone's time here anyway. This kind of childish instigation doesn't belong in such a place as this.
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Old 02-25-2014   #14
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Re: Against Antinatalism

My point was not that anyone had said anything intolerably offensive, but only that the start of the thread looked like a set-up to me. Possibly done by a banned member who, curiously enough, had just been logged in not long before, or done by an associate or two of his. I say two because the second post looks like part of the set-up to me. My post was basically just to raise the possibility (likelihood?) that we're being trolled here. If you agree with my assessment, you might not want to waste your time indulging a prankster or two. If you don't agree, then feel free to continue the discussion. And, or course, a good discussion could ensue from a mischievous beginning. Other members have made some thoughtful comments. I'm not trying to shut down the discussion, just saying caveat lector or something like that.
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Old 02-25-2014   #15
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Re: Against Antinatalism

I see "The Conspiracy Against The Human Race" more as an intensely bleak mood piece--like some great death metal album--than philosophy. It is the product of a certain temperament at a certain time in history, like all philosophies. There's no "conspiracy against the human race" any more than there's a "conspiracy for the human race". I was a nihilistic pessimist for many years, and no one conspired against me or shunned me for my views unless I was a dick about it.
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Old 02-25-2014   #16
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Re: Against Antinatalism

Quote Originally Posted by gveranon View Post
My point was not that anyone had said anything intolerably offensive, but only that the start of the thread looked like a set-up to me. Possibly done by a banned member who, curiously enough, had just been logged in not long before, or done by an associate or two of his. I say two because the second post looks like part of the set-up to me. My post was basically just to raise the possibility (likelihood?) that we're being trolled here. If you agree with my assessment, you might not want to waste your time indulging a prankster or two. If you don't agree, then feel free to continue the discussion. And, or course, a good discussion could ensue from a mischievous beginning. Other members have made some thoughtful comments. I'm not trying to shut down the discussion, just saying caveat lector or something like that.
This is possible.

I'm not going to comment further on this thread.

I will mention something here, though, in case - if it happens - anyone thought I was being quiet about it.

Shortly after the "Antinatalists, attack!" thread, I was approached by someone who has nothing to do with TLO to write an essay on antinatalism. Because of the way that thread turned out, I initially declined. I didn't want to open up another can of worms.

Then I got an idea for an angle. So, I wrote the essay. I finished the second draft last night.

The current version stands at 5,771 words, which is way over the magazine's word limit. For that reason, and because the editor hasn't read it yet, and might not even like it, it's possible it won't appear in the magazine. If it does appear, it will likely be in an edited version.

I have extremely mixed feelings about the article, but in one sense it would be better if it is published: it will make reasonably clear (nothing is ever entirely clear) in an independent forum what my position is (for what it matters - naturally it matters to me, and to people close to me, but I don't expect anyone else to care). One reason that it will be a relief to me is that I am associated with the horror/weird fiction scene and with antinatalism. The latter association is justified, but misleading. I have felt some pressure in my life - not enormous, but definitely unwanted - to represent antinatalism in some way. For instance, I got a pseudonymous message a while back along these lines which is mentioned in the current version of the essay. (I'm not going to go into other examples, as I would have to imply who the people involved are.)

If the essay is published, then I think I'll leave it at that. Like many people here, I think that art is not the same thing as philosophy - both have their interest, and, are, indeed, linked at certain points, but I think it's important to recognise that they are distinct.

It has been remarked in my presence that it's a shame that when one posts to TLO one almost feels that one has to give a dimmer view of life than one actually holds simply in order to make some people feel better. My view of life has not been especially scintillating, but I have no objection to a more glowing assessment of existence than I have (usually) been able to give. (There are cases of what David Nickle - I believe - has called "terrible optimism", which have human collateral damage; I tend to view Ray Kurzweil as a case of "terrible optimism", but for myself, I can at least see how pessimism in my life has adversely affected those around me.) I hope some day to be able to give a glowing assessment myself.

I do think that the antinatalism argument should be examined more widely - the more widely it is examined, the more likely it is to be examined in neutral venues - but at TLO, it is clearly something of a sore tooth to which the tongue returns in fascinated pain.

This is the magazine mentioned above:

http://www.litfmag.net/issue-1/

It looks like being an interesting magazine. I almost hope that my article is rejected, but we shall see.

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 02-25-2014   #17
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Re: Against Antinatalism

From what I've seen on this forum, Ligotti is an antinatalist, so that probably gets people interested in it who may otherwise not have heard of it.

I don't know where I fall on the natalist-to-antinatalist spectrum, as I don't think about it much. i have other hobbies, and 99% of the discussions on the topic I've seen here are either way over my head or look too much like flame wars to bother with. if i'm an anything-ist, i suppose hedonist will do. couchpotatoist or gluttony-&-slothist would probably be a more accurate description.
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Old 02-25-2014   #18
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Re: Against Antinatalism

nil

Last edited by symbolique; 09-06-2017 at 01:02 AM.. Reason: nil
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Old 02-26-2014   #19
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Re: Against Antinatalism

Antinatalism is as legitimate an idea as any other. It scares people because it calls into question the defense mechanisms their psyches employ for the purpose of immediate, day to day survival. On the other hand, Thich Nhat Hanh's books don't spell out a formula for antinatalism. Not that many of us could ever reach that level (or the level of a Daniel Berrigan, or whoever), but books concerning spirituality by Buddhists and liberal Catholics are not all about doom and gloom at all, though they emphatically affirm the horrendous aspects of life. Robert Ellsberg, son of Daniel Ellsberg, included Albert Camus in his collection "All Saints".
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