Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our First Entry!

And it's a goody, contributed by commenter and host of TheViewFromHell, Curator AKA Sister Y. The ball, as they say, is rolling.

UPDATE: I went ahead and started a new blog dedicated to an antinatalism pamphlet (link top left margin). Send your pdfs to the email listed there, and I'll post them. Thanks!

DOUBLE UPDATE: Compoverde has contributed a flyer as now, as well. You can view it at the aforementioned link. Totally awesome!

Flyer 1

33 comments:

Compoverde said...

Wow, nice job Sister Y! I would definitely consider that usable for distribution. Jim, good idea for the link to a pamphlet page as well. This ups the anti to say the least. I must really think now how I would coordinate and market this. I was thinking of a section for the many reasonings for life's miseries, including listing a laundry list as Sister Y has done, as well as some simple reasonings (mentioning a simplified Benatar symmetry and Schopenhauerian philosophy). Also included could be a "Q&A" section. This would really just be an "ill conceived arguments against antinatalism" section with the answers being the antinatalist response. Sister Y has the right idea though.. keep it simple and understandable for the public.. too much philosophical jargon will confuse most people. Also, graphics of some sort are always a good idea.

Compoverde said...

Also, admittedly I didn't know what "Chick tracts" were, and I just looked them up. That is a great idea to parody those "gospel cartoons". Haha, what a joke.

TGGP said...

Nice job, Sister Y.

Compoverde said...

This is not the grand brochure I was thinking of. It is just really hastily done, and probably infringes on copywrites with old Smoky the Bear. But, what the hell it seemed appropriate. Also, I just want to get some more stuff out there to get the ball rolling. Jim, here is the link to the flyer, you can post it on the website.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/34038831/Anti-Natal-Ism-Poster

metamorphhh said...

Compoverde:

Well, I'm pretty much wasted after a night of bowling and a lot of beer, but from what I can tell this is a GREAT FUCKING ADDITION to the pamphlet! Thanks so much for the effort.

Compoverde said...

This is just my philosophy poster.. it really will be useless to the greater public who would not understand the subtlety of the argument, but I felt I had to make it anyways. Keep thinking of those great ideas people! I'm sure there are people much more creative than me when it comes to this stuff.

Compoverde said...

Well, I guess I forgot to give the link. That would help.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/34039799/Leaky-Bucket-Poster

CM said...

Oooh, I love it! You guys did such a great job.

Do we have any artists here? Who did the artwork on the cover of Jim's book?

I can't draw a straight line to save my life, but stripgenerator.com is a pretty handy website for creating custom comic strips, so I used that.

metamorphhh said...

CM: Your strips are great! Wow, this idea's really taking off. I guess I'll have to try one myself eventually.

Doing them on Scribd seems to be the way to go. Makes it a lot easier to post 'em, and all you guys already seem conversant with the process, unlike yours truly who had to figure it out to get Curator's pdf posted on the blog. I am NOT computer savvy, being of the dinosaur generation and all :)

The artist who did my book cover is Chip's guy; not sure if he'd be interested or not.

I'll check that stripgenerator place first chance I get. Thanks for the tip!

filrabat said...

This gets my thumbs-up

Anonymous said...

Just posted about the pamphlet on the thread before but I didn’t need to. This is good! Perhaps it is just as good to be direct about the situation. I’m sure some people will be amused by it because antinatalism is often (due to its taboo status) a punch-line but I think that it certainly provides a lingering thought.

CM said...

Jim -

I love what you've made so far! These would have been great illustrations for your book.

You can convert png to pdf by saving your creation as a .png file, then inserting that picture from file into a document in your word processor. You can then add some stuff if you want (that's what I did). Then save the resulting document in one of the formats Scribd accepts (like .doc). After you have uploaded it, you will have the option to download the document as a PDF file. There is probably a less roundabout process, but it worked for me.

metamorphhh said...

Anonymous: This is just sort of an experiment in progress. At this point, I'm thinking less about a compiled 'pamphlet' or tract (which would require too much shrinking to fit, I think), and more about just a grab-bag of flyers for people to rummage through and use as they see fit. Then again, we'll see. Whatever eventually happens, at least this is a possible angle of communication towards the sort of people who would never read this blog. And maybe good advertisement FOR this blog, now that I think about it. Thanks for your input.

CM: Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try. Although, the pings are printing out pretty well as they stand. I'm planning on taking some of them to work to gauge some reactions. I imagine as we do these, and more people participate, the process and approach will become refined. Oh! And thanks for the stripgenerator recommendation. Works for me :)

The Plague Doctor said...

Jim, your strips are excellent.

metamorphhh said...

Thanks, man!

zralytylen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
metamorphhh said...

Powerful. It's up.

mdf1960 said...

If you choose not to have a child, you guarantee that this child will never suffer."

"This child" won't exist, so this makes no sense.

metamorphhh said...

MDF1960:

""This child" won't exist, so this makes no sense."

Sure it does. We take into consideration the rights and welfare of potential people all the time. Ever read this?

'We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves AND OUR POSTERITY, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.'

We also make provisions for our own, abstract future selves in too many ways to count; selves that don't exist now, nor may they ever exist due to any number of unforeseen circumstances. In fact, taken as a whole I'd say that pretty much everything we busy ourselves with is invested in a future that doesn't exist yet, whether the future we're talking about is years away, or five minutes from now.

mdf1960 said...

"We take into consideration the rights and welfare of potential people all the time."

Yes, but non-existing non-people can't have rights.

CM said...

mdf1960:

You could say that the right to not come into existence is a kind of right that cannot be upheld, but can be violated, and the bearer exists only in the breach. There is a lot of related debate surrounding affirmative action: why are members of certain groups entitled to redress for something that occurred before they existed? Yet it somehow makes sense to a whole lot of people.

But the appeal to rights is not necessary. You said:

"This child" won't exist, so this makes no sense.

While it would not make sense to refer to a particular person, we can refer to the indeterminate person who would have existed; the same indeterminate person people refer to when talking about their future children. So if it makes sense, linguistically, to say "this child won't exist", I fail to see why saying "this child won't suffer" doesn't make sense. Throw a negative in there and it coheres.

Chip said...

MDF1960,

Can you think of any reason why a pregnant woman shouldn't ingest thalidomide?

metamorphhh said...

mdf1960:

I want to revisit your original claim I was responding to, lest we go off on a tangent about 'rights'...

"If you choose not to have a child, you guarantee that this child will never suffer."

"This child" won't exist, so this makes no sense.

From what I can tell, what you're saying here is that it makes no sense to consider the welfare of a child before it's conceived. Is this your point, or is your problem one of semantics? I don't want to go on until I'm clear about this.

mdf1960 said...

Chip,

Of course a pregnant woman should not ingest a drug that will cause birth defects as it will harm an already existing embryo/fetus.

Matamorphhh,

"From what I can tell, what you're saying here is that it makes no sense to consider the welfare of a child before it's conceived. Is this your point, or is your problem one of semantics? I don't want to go on until I'm clear about this."

No, not really. Of course you should consider the welfare of a (potential)child before it is conceived. But if no child is conceived at all, there is no welfare to consider, and no child exists except in your imagination.

This may just be a semantics problem.

Obviously, imaginary people have no problems and don't suffer. Or feel pleasure either.

The problem with "better to never have been born" is that there is no entity that is "not existing" to compare yourself to. Comparing yourself to non-existence seems like philosophical sophistry to me.

mdf1960 said...

The trouble with a "right" not to exist is that no way can it make sense for "nothing" to have rights. Does "non-existence" have the right to life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Once you already exist, I admit a right to kill oneself.

Modern Man said...

mdf1960,

You wrote: "Of course you should consider the welfare of a (potential)child before it is conceived."

Using your logic, I should reply with: This "potential child" does not exist, so your comment makes no sense.

Maybe I'm missing an essential part of your argument, but it appears you're making the same sort of logical fallacy you denounced.

-MM

Chip said...

mdf1960,

Many people would argue that the fetus or embryo does not exist in a morally relevant sense. But if that's your sense of it, you can tune out the conceptus by considering the case of two potential parents who are both carriers of the Huntingtons gene, making it highly likely that their potential offspring would inherit the condition. Any reason why these people shouldn't make a baby? And if they do, and their child inherits the disease, can it be said that they harmed this person?

CM said...

mdf-

Of course you should consider the welfare of a (potential)child before it is conceived. But if no child is conceived at all, there is no welfare to consider, and no child exists except in your imagination.

Okay, then. You want to have a child, so you decide to have one. In some sense, you have determined that some indeterminate person who is genetically linked to you will exist, so it makes sense to consider his/her welfare. But when you do that, you determine that his/her life will be bad for him/her (we can discuss the intricacies of badness later). So then you decide that the child will not exist. But then you are faced with the very problem you outlined, so you dismiss your concern for the never-would-be child and decide to conceive. But then it makes sense to consider the "will be" person's welfare, etc. etc. ad infinitum. So you would just linger in that moral grey area until you either died or became infertile, and would never actually breed. I would be satisfied with that outcome. The problem is that most people get sick of lingering, and decide to only consider their own interests. And most don't even ask themselves the question whether or not to breed in the first place.

The problem with "better to never have been born" is that there is no entity that is "not existing" to compare yourself to. Comparing yourself to non-existence seems like philosophical sophistry to me.

You can compare yourself to the state of affairs in which you never exist instead of an entity. Or imagine you were born a p-zombie if you need a physical anchor. A p-zombie is just like a non- (sentiently)-existent person.

It's not really better for anyone not to be born, I'll grant you that. But it is a harm for existers to have come into existence, so the alternate state of affairs is better for them (in a loose sense) by comparison. An atheist can say "I'm better off dead", and we understand that what s/he means is that going on living would be bad for him/her, not that they would be in a better state after dying.

Once you already exist, I admit a right to kill oneself.

You did see that "Avoiding Redundancy" link in the sidebar? Just checking.

Chip said...

Jim,

You should consider expanding the "avoiding redundancy" thing into a sidebar FAQ where common objections -- such as those based on non-identity -- could be addressed. The "ill-conceived arguments" thread should provide a quick reference to get things started.

metamorphhh said...

mdf1960:

Sentence 1- "Of course you should consider the welfare of a (potential)child before it is conceived."

Sentence 2- "But if no child is conceived at all, there is no welfare to consider, and no child exists except in your imagination."

The child of these two sentences is exactly the same child. I take it that you're trying to differentiate between a child who is eventually conceived (sentence 1), from a child who is never conceived (sentence 2). However, in each of these cases this child resides in potentia- 'in the imagination'- at the time of consideration of its welfare. Your assertion in sentence 1 precludes your premise in sentence 2. Otherwise, you just wind up contradicting yourself.

Consider: You decide to conceive a child. In preparation for the event, you begin saving money. You start shopping for a bigger house, and attending child care classes. Your wife stops smoking, and starts exercising in order to prepare a better environment for the fetus. These are all commonplace examples of 'considering the welfare of a (potential) child before it is conceived'.

A year later, you discover that one or both of you is incapable of conceiving a child. Does that suddenly render all your previous preparations illogical? And the only difference between this scenario and the antinatalist position is that the question of conception is made part of the package concerning 'consideration of welfare'.

And honestly, is the idea of asking yourself whether or not it would be good to have a child under such-and-such circumstances, at such-and-such a time, all with the consideration of the potential child's welfare in mind, really that much of a foreign notion? Isn't to do otherwise- at least, to SOME degree- pretty much the epitome of irresponsibility? (Not to say there aren't a lot of irresponsible people out there).

Karl said...

Greetings, all. New article here from the Slate about the rise in women choosing childlessness. Good news is that most of the comments are supportive. Enlightened folks!


http://www.slate.com/id/2259822/

Curator said...

Awesome that the article, and some of the comments, address the fact that having no children is, paradoxically, good for children - fewer abused, neglected children that way.

Hilarious that some commenters imply that not having children is antisocial because childless folks might have to rely on welfare in their old age. Honestly, who is more of a drain on public assistance - childless old people, or people with a bunch of kids they can't take care of?

mdf1960 said...

MM:

It doesn't exist now, but might exist in the future. That is, if you are considering having a child. We are talking about a hypothetical.

Chip:

Everyone suffers, so everyone brought into existence suffers. Some more than others. So you shouldn't have kids. I understand the argument. Not sure to what degree we should blame nature, the parents or other people for the suffering though. I don't have a chip on my shoulders against my parents for being born, at any rate.

CM:

Generally good comments. I have no kids and desire none, btw. But not because of antinatalism. And yes, I saw the avoiding redundancy link. Just thought suicide was relevant to the point I was trying to make.

metamorphhh:

Good comments