Monday, June 30, 2008

Two New Antinatalism Blogs

At least, new to me...

Anti-Procreation Movement
Condemned to Existence

You're on the blogroll...welcome aboard!


compoverde said...

Thank you sir, and I will put this blog in my related links as well. If I see any antinatalist/anti-procreationist news or comments I will gladly share them on this blog. Is there any way we can make this movement more noticed? I am trying to think of more than a blog, but cannot find any real good ideas. Do you have any suggestions?

compoverde said...

Thank you sir for putting my blog on your blog roll, I will do the same for this website on my blog. I am thinking of ways to get this movement more noticed, but haven't thought of anything substantial as of yet. Would you have any suggestions?

your host said...

Compoverde: Beyond developing your blogs, I'm not sure there's a lot you can do. Bend ears whenever possible, I suppose. Advertise your blogs on bulletin boards, as well as in other forums and chatrooms. Keep the information in the air...that's about all we can expect, I think. Of coure, if you get any ideas, please let me know. Not many of us around, y'know?

I'm not holding my breath for any miracles here, Compoverde. But no matter how small my chances are for making a noticeable impact, at least there's the satisfaction of knowing that the information's getting out there. We do what we can. BTW, love your enthusiasm! Hang in there.

Chip said...

If you have disposable income, Utilitarian has suggested donating to third world population control charities. This might not draw attention to antinatalist reasoning, but it could have the practical effect of reducing the incidence of forced life. Unintended consequences notwithstanding, of course.

Anonymous said...

Agree with a lot on your site. However there's some things I want to share with you.

1) Antinatalism insults my parents and their parents and so on (or anyone in general with children) so greatly that the mere thought of it makes me cringe and feel sorry for them. The thought makes me feel unclean. Should I accept it they were irrationally happy and naive folks then and rejoice that at least on a relative scale my life is excellent.

2a) Perhaps accompanying others on the terrible journey of life is a good thing. Perhaps life cannot be stopped anyway and it will emerge regardless of what we do. We cannot stop time. We cannot stop evolution. Doesn't it then make it noble and beautiful to at least accompany each other as best we can on the journey, to help make it as least bad as possible, perhaps even positive.

2b) If creating more children that espouse our views and are arguably of a superior mind-set, wealth or education level (or genes), that it will enable them to help others who are unable to see what suffering they are causing by procreating? In this sense, the antinatalists, if they think they can create children that can help others, perhaps have a valid reason to create more.

2c) Perhaps antinatalists, by procreating, can create an army of antinatalists that can effectively stop the human experiment. This of course is a thought crime, because arguing for the eradication of the human race isn't exactly a view that will go down well. Note for the future onlookers -- this is a thought, not something I am actually planning to do or am arguing for. I am just posing reasons for antinatalists to have children.

3)Perhaps our lives in 2008 are a transitory stage in which we are reaching a time where we can truly live forever and avoid pain. Choose our experience, perhaps by uploading our cores into some kind of experience machine -- perhaps we are actually in that machine already. If our children can help reach this stage it might be worthwhile. Also, if we're in a simulation their and our suffering isn't "real" anyway. This is obviously not something I am betting on.

4) Given that we have been created against our will, doesn't it then give us some kind of right to create more people against their will to alleviate our suffering?

Just some thoughts, I don't necessarily believe in any of them. At this point I am leaning towards children.

your host said...

Welcome, anonymous. I'll try to address your points briefly:

1.I realize these ideas have the potential to feel insulting to some. All I can say is that the truth isn't always conducive to good feelings. Also, adhering to the antinatalist philosophy doesn't preclude your seeking of the best life possible, as long as that doesn't include procreating.

2a.Again, accompanying others on the journey through life doesn't require that you bring other lives into existence.

2b.But in creating new children, you have no way to predict how their lives, and inherent sufferings, will unfold. Ultimately, this argument is just a roundabout way of continuing the circle of life and death.

2c.See my response to 2b. However, if you already have children, as I do, they can do their parts by not having children, thus cutting off the problem at the root.

3.You can find these transhuman/virtual reality scenarios all over the net. Besides the fact that they're highly speculative, pie in the sky approaches to the existential problem, they offer nothing to the countless billions who will appear, suffer, and die in the interim between now, and then. To say that the suffering of our children is worth the dubious vision of a slightly possible future (a future, btw, which will NOT include most of them), is to consider them to be gross utilities; steppingstones set in mud to ease the crossing of as yet non-existent future generations into paradise. A questionable course of events, to say the least.

4.I'm not sure about the logic here. Does being robbed grant me the right to steal, in order to restore the balance of my personal finances?

I hope I've sufficiently addressed your challenges, anonymous. And I hope you reconsider your predilections towards having children. Procreation is an ultimately selfish act, and each child brought into the world is another bundle of suffering realized. Furthermore, the degree to which your child will suffer is mostly out of your control. And keep in mind...your child WILL die. That's a sure bet.

Chip said...

Jim notes that "adhering to the antinatalist philosophy doesn't preclude your seeking of the best life possible, as long as that doesn't include procreating."

I would add that there is likewise nothing inherent in philanthropic antinatalism that precludes one from "forgiving" one's parents, nor from understanding their predicament and good intentions. To be sure, there is nothing about the antinatalist idea that should preclude individuals from being glad for their life and lot. These are subjective, personal issues. The arguments become salient, in a more disinterested if not morally objective sense, specifically with reference to the unknowable plight of those upon whom life has not been imposed.

M. Häyry argues that an appropriate forum in which to air antinatalist arguments is in the course of pre-reproductive counseling, which makes sense to me. I also think it is healthy that forums like this make it possible for people to at least encounter the view against forced life, since it's the sort of notion that we meat-made sentients are more or less programmed not to consider.

As I've said before, it is all too easy to dismiss antinatalism as impracticable because of the ultimate ends toward which it aspires. But memes matter. Every time a new life is not ignited by choice, real suffering and death are spared without commensurate deprivation.

your host said...

Thanks for that, Chip. The kind of antinatalism I support is the sort emerging from a sense of humankind's shared predicament, and understanding is the first, and most crucial, step towards righting the fundamental, existential asymmetry. As we explore the issue, ramifications arise which threaten to cloud the issue, if we forget the utter simplicity of the core issue i.e. DON'T HAVE CHILDREN. The pre-reproductive counseling is a great approach; in fact, I'd argue that the whole philosophy IS inherently a call for pre-reproductive circumspection.

Memes DO matter, and in the case of procreation, the other side of the thought process is almost never addressed (at least, not overtly). There's a real argument to be had here, but it's one in which the supposedly antagonistic side, which I believe is the WINNING side, is hardly acknowledged. Its an uphill battle, to be sure, and the real challenge is to try and be heard above the ubiquitous background noise. But, sometimes, reason has a way of prevailing in the end.

THIS is my motivation...

anti said...

pre-reproductive counselling is teh way to go =) How early can people be targetted? any suggestions? maybe using irrelevant tags that appeal to kids? or more anti-natalism in children's books?

Chip said...

An anti-natalist children's book. Now there's an idea...

compoverde said...

Ha Ha, three cheers for an anti-natalist children's book! The pure irony of that should make it a worthwhile venture. I think by the time of adolecense kids should be given the antinatalist view as an option. Maybe we can have some sort of meet up group or something for all ages to attend in which to talk about these things. I don't know how to present it so people will attend though. Any suggestions, chip or host?

Ann said...

where do you propose we have a meet up compoverde?

interesting that all the activity around the topic seems to have started in the last months of 2007, after the book came out.

here's a facebook group that started around the same time

compoverde said...

Hi Ann,

As far as where to start a meet-up group, I would say wherever you live locally. Start it with a sympathetic friend, or someone who will at least help you if they don't necessarily agree with it. Go to and create sign up to make the new group. Call it the Antinatalist group and reference this website. Give a brief description of the point of view of antinatalist/anti-procreationists.

As far as these websites popping up when the book came out. I can't attest for other people, but my website at was up before I knew about that book. Also, people such as Author Schopenhauer from the 19th century have been espousing philosophical pessimism many years before David Benatar came out with his book. Although, I do like Benatar and his work, and commend him for his unique presentation of the topic of antinatalism and pessimsim. Also, in regards to the facebook group, I never liked or used facebook so I couldn't tell you anything about it.

anti said...

"truly live forever and avoid pain" is probably the best oxymoronic phrase I have heard.

Thank you for publishing the group Ann, personally i don't think a meetup like you suggest would work. It took almost a year to reach 22 members worldwide for instance, in the facebook group; of which only 2 people really discuss anything. Many are merely there as window dressing, if i had a meetup in my area, it would be with group members/friends of mine, that has in the past ended up with them questioning why we are even friends. (i suspect they often have sickening thoughts of me secretly throwing some pregnant women down flights of stairs).

=) did anybody tell anonymous that beliefs are not genetic? or do we not state the obvious around here?

Ann has an interesting point, I am also looking for anti-natalist material preceding 2006 (when BNTHB was published) and 1997 when chapter 2 was published in APQ. I'll certainly go read Zapffe, thank you host. I find it annoying that Benetar does not mention VHEMt and perhaps deliberately omits a bunch of great thinkers.

your host said...

Glad to see the interest, folks! I don't know about getting local movements together; I'm afraid anti's experiences might not be unique. But it might be nice to get a ring of sites together and get the info out there, as much as is possible blogwise.

I don't know what to say about the Benatar connection. I'd never heard of him, nor of the term 'antinatalism', until I started my blog. I've had these feelings for some time, and I was just googling things like 'don't have kids', 'it's wrong to have children', and the like, to see if anybody else was feeling the same way as me.

Oh, and I like Benatar's asymmetry angle; tidies things up a bit, I think.

Zappfe might be hard to find; he doesn't seem to be printed in English. If you find anything, let everybody know, ok? T'would be much appreciated.

You know, while not a lot of folks are blatantly antinatalist, there certainly is no dearth of 'childfree' material out there. I think we have more potential allies than is obvious. Hopefully, together we can at least get the idea heard now and again, yes? And like Chip Smith over at the Hoover Hog ofttimes reminds us, every life not brought into existence is a victory for our side. In the face of almost universal opposition, let's remember that our argument is the compassionate one, the philosophically consistent one, and...the right one.

Take care, folks, and have a good week. As for me, I have the summer flu, and I feel like shit...ugh!

anti-natalist said...

Indeed. I think anti-natalism is the underlying psychological motive for post-partum depression and i firmly believe unbiased research can show that, but that's just me. Pity about Zapffe. One should find some translators and encourage em to blog perhaps.

compoverde said...

Does anyone know of a way to form a webring so we can collaborate our efforts and strengthen the movement for anti-procreation/moral childfree/ antinatalism movements?

compoverde said...

host, have you ever heard of Philipp Mainlander? He had an interesting gnostic/pessimist philosophy which seemed to blend gnostic metaphysical ideals with schopenhauer inspired pessimism. The belief was essentially that god/universe/will needs salvation through the death of individuals and our highest duty is to not procreate and commit suicide. Following his own philosophy, he killed himself.this website might give you some more information about his philosophy and I also included the wikipedia article.

your host said...

anti-natalist- Wow, that's an interesting angle I'd never considered before. Postpartum guilt? Have you ever researched the idea? I'd LOVE to hear some more about it.

compoverde-I'm not particularly computer savvy, but I'm sure somebody around these parts has some info to share concerning web rings.

I've never heard of Mainlander, though I've bumped into more than a few flavors of gnosticism in my time. The idea is intriguing, though I tend to shy away from metaphysical foundations for ANYTHING these days...not that I'm absolutely sure they don't exist, but there's way too much speculation to base sound arguments upon, IMO. An interesting idea, nevertheless. I remember hearing Alan Watts attempting to justify existence "because if life really isn't worth the candle, the universe would've ended it all by now." I might counter with the idea that, since life always ends, maybe each lifeform eventually groks the retrospective miserable truth at some unrecognized level of experience, and so every lifeform ultimately offs itself.

Thanks for the links! I'll be checking them out shortly.

anti-natalist said...

Dear Jim,

Sorry for my delayed reply, somehow the notifications about your comments never came. i must find a litterature review I did on post-partum blues some years ago. I was still brewing different angles of the antinatalist idea in my lil head. As far as i recall, an extensive search revealed nothing published in psychology about any form of anti-natalism.i must look again. Mainstream psychology is quite backwards IMHO. have they even thought of pre-reproductive counselling? i doubt they have but i'll check... and write back next month. I do update the facebook group regularly, but with less serious ramblings (like advertising to find Norwegian fans of Zapffe, i must ask in some Svartmetall groups too)

your host said...

anti-natalist: Anything you can come up with would be great. Thanks!