Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Should Drug Addicts Be Sterilized?





76 comments:

Kalki02 said...

I know a 45 year old female who had 7 children in 8 years of marriage. She doesn't smoke, drink,or drug. All are in foster care, but she still "wants them back". The estranged husband is out of jail on bond. If ever anyone should not have kids it is her. She is penniless, essentialy unemployable, and lives with friends/relatives.

Ann Sterzinger said...

One woman had 21 babies in the system?! On top of doing drugs?!?! How the hell is she still alive? Jesus, that's depressing.

Curator said...

21 babies

Yeah, humans are definitely on the r-selection side of things, unfortunately. Compared to, say, orangutans. Very sad.

metamorphhh said...

Did everybody catch the part about the woman who started delivering while she was in the middle of turning a trick? Yikes!

I posted these interviews as an example of how far people will go in trying to justify procreation even in the face of the most horrible of consequences. And btw, I loved how the moderator in the second video wouldn't let the 'pregnant woman advocate' get away with her misrepresentations of Barbara Harris' position.

I plan on writing a post discussing these videos at length in near future.

Kalki02 said...

I'm pissed that we men have almost no cards in the mating game regarding procreation. Condoms have a high failure rate, and vascectomy, from my research, has MANY more possible complications than the pamphlet in the doctor's waiting room even hints at. Women have a whole smorgasboard of contraceptive options. And the right to abortion if that fails. And, no offense lady readers, some women lie about protection and maternal intentions. Men even have to support a child he never intended to conceive.

Yeah,thats life. Get used to it.

TGGP said...

Humans are considered to be on the K side relative to most of the animal kingdom. I did not know orangutans were further out. Perhaps it's mentioned in "Demonic Males" and I just forgot.

TGGP said...

Barbara seemed to misrepresent her opponent in the first video, perhaps she wasn't paying close attention to an argument she figures she's heard millions of times. The bit about the lack of effects on crack-babies would be tough for the anti-hereditarians with a focus on pre-natal conditions (as an explanation for the results of twin studies). I was surprised the moderator in the second video was so supportive. If you'll permit me to patronizingly generalize from one example, she's a credit to her gender (the first host was fair but boring, they could have just let the two women take turns without him). I think Barbara could have put more emphasis on the libertarian argument that it's all voluntary against the critiques of being Nazi-like or coercive, but perhaps since she's not a philosophical libertarian she would find such a tactic untrue to herself.

The Plague Doctor said...

Kalki02,

Check out: latex boxers

It is 10x thicker than a usual condom and obviously can't accidentally slip off during sex. When (if!) my digestive health improves (I am hoping within a few weeks, as my current supplement protocol appears to be working somwhat), I am considering buying these.

(We need to get a condom manufacturer to endorse/sponsor this blog!)

The other (unrealistic, perhaps) option would be to demand that your partner uses an IUD, and then manually check each time before sex if the threads are still sticking out of the cervix (ugh...).

A third option is to rely on paid sex (as propounded by Advocatus Diaboli).

Meanwhile, wait for new male contraception.

cuntagious said...

*everyone* should be sterilized

CM said...

While uncontrollable breeding remains legal, what BH is doing might be the most effective course of action in terms of reducing the number of births. Her resources are limited, even with donations. And if she paid everyone to get sterilized (which, of course, she wouldn't), people would jump at the opportunity to get free money and then have a mid-life crisis in their forties, pay to have their sterilization reversed and fork thousands of dollars over to the fertility industry. That's what people already doing anyway. But if addicts continue using heavily, they won't be able to afford sterilization reversal.

Curator -

but then there are a lot more orangutan rapists. Maybe it's just because they don't have law enforcement.

Kaliki -

I agree, that really sucks. The fact that you can rape someone, have his baby and then collect child support on top of it is beyond fucked up. And it's all purportedly justified by the "best interests of the child", which is just laughable given the fact that in reality no one gives a shit about children's interests, either before or after they are born, which was evident in the attitudes of those pregnant women advocates. Child abuse is legal, for chrissakes!

TGGP -

The Nazi comparisons are just mind-boggling. I had no idea the final solution was all about paying Jews to get sterilized... but only if they wanted to.

Anonymous said...

1)Thank you for the videos... These in-between issues test the water in interesting ways. At least the anti-natalist doesn't have to worry about discriminating against groups when arguing for everyone to cease reproducing.

2) The lack of male contraceptive options for men! Personally I've never had sex partly due to my concern about this (although lack of sufficient desire holds considerable sway). I am certain, however, that some of my unwillingness to enter into relationships is related to uncertainty about women possibly wanting children. I’m curious to know if other anti-natalists just show their cards as soon as possible and move on?

filrabat said...

I only "show my cards" if she seems interested in me. Naturally, there have been a few disappointed women due to this. Besides, I've pretty much lost interest in women anyway - at least where relationships or even sex is concerned.

Life's just so much simpler without all that b.s. anyway.

Curator said...

I have written about the lack of reproductive rights for males here and elsewhere. It's a major injustice at the heart of our civilization. At least with suicide and antinatalism, there are, ya know, arguments on the other side. With the male reproductive rights issue, I haven't found any arguments to speak of offered to justify the practice of forcing males to pay child support for babies they did not wish to conceive.

The lack of male birth control options beyond vasectomy and condoms is tragic, too. Sex is a consolation for the misery of human life, and anything that makes it less available or more procreative increases suffering.

Karl said...

Regarding males not being obliged to pay support for children they didn't intend to concieve, I'm of the opinion that the very fact they took the risk of having sex without protecting against the possibility of procreation is enough for me. People know what they're doing when they disavow protection and should be prepared to face the possible consequences of their actions. I have ZERO sympathy for casual shaggers:-)

Anonymous said...

Curator- I’ve read quite a lot of your blog. It is very good.
............

I think it’s fair that men should contribute something if they took no measures to protect against pregnancy but condoms have something like 2% failure risk (for perfect use) and 10–18% risk (for actual use). That doesn’t look too good when taking into consideration years of sexual activity. I wouldn’t be comfortable with those odds even if I was in a committed relationship.

Of course in practice, distinguishing between responsible and irresponsible sex would be difficult on a legal level because a guy could claim he used protection to escape having to make contributions. I’m not sure what other options there are besides reaching a stage where a man has guaranteed risk free contraception.

I can’t say for certain if my aversion to these levels of risk is too extreme but the looming possibility of pregnancy via sex (or getting attached to someone who might want kids someday) has alienated me from society more than most people could ever understand. It’s difficult to be interested in someone when you have the “I hope she doesn’t want kids” alarm bell buzzing in the background. It has totally demystified love for me.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that a woman can rope a man into genetic fatherhood without vag intercourse, if she is so inclined. All she has to do is find a way to get his sperm outside his body (via a hand or blow job) while she is ovulating, and then insert a little bit of the stuff you-know-where, and voila! If I were a man, I wouldn't engage in ANY sexual act with a potentially fertile woman unless I'd had a confirmed successful vasectomy beforehand. Or, if somehow I "had" to do the deed without a prior vasectomy, and had to rely on condoms instead, I'd make sure those condoms were never out of my sight, neither before nor after the act. I'd make sure no holes got poked in it AND I'd be the one in charge of disposing it once used. There are way too many women out there with a desire to saddle a man into fatherhood/monetary support. She figures she can cutely claim "oops" and stick him for all he has. Sick world we live in... Protect yourselves, fellas. Do it like you mean it.

filrabat said...

Safest of all is to be a committed celebate - like me. Heck, I even go so far as to not socialize with women of childbearing age any more than the courtesy or practicality of the situation absolutely demands that I do. Even then, it's good to keep your wits about you.

Curator said...

Anonymous, thanks.

Regarding males not being obliged to pay support for children they didn't intend to concieve, I'm of the opinion that the very fact they took the risk of having sex without protecting against the possibility of procreation is enough for me.

For females, consent to sex does not equal consent to have a baby. Why is it so with men?

I think the difficulty in figuring out whether the male did, in fact, consent to have a baby is a real problem; but I'm not sure that means that we should have an irrebuttable presumption of consent (especially, as commenters point out, when consent to vaginal intercourse was not present because the semen was obtained by other means).

CM said...

What about cases where the mother has a child without the father's consent, but does not have the means to support it? Then the choice is between the father footing the bill, or the taxpayers. At least the father got sex out of it (this obviously doesn't apply to male rape victims or those whose gametes were somehow stolen).

There is a difference between consenting to have a baby and being responsible for the baby you helped create through a negligent act, e.g., women having unprotected sex in countries where abortion is illegal, or men having unprotected sex anywhere. Even if X has a vasectomy and his partner somehow conceives anyway, I think X is a better candidate for supporting the resulting baby than the rest of society who never engaged in the risky behavior of having sex with that woman.

Of course, even if abortion on demand were available everywhere, women would still run the risk of having unplanned children because they might not know they are pregnant until it's too late, like the woman who was turning a trick. TLC has a running show about this, and here's a list of possible explanations (other than ignorance and stupidity).

Shadow said...

Anonymus and Filrabat,

Guys, I totally get your arguments.

Please, answer me if you see this message, and we take the discussion from there.

I´ll tell you how I´m dealing with stuff from my side of equator.

Cheers to everyone else.

Curator said...

CM - then why the genetic father, and not just any guy the mother had sex with?

CM said...

Curator -

You think voluntary breeders may not kill themselves because they have an obligation to their children, but they probably did not intend to become suicidal. So they are "just unlucky". So why do they have obligations, but unlucky victims of contraceptive failure do not?

I'm actually okay with public assistance for children because the costs to society are minimal and it prevents great harm (and as a determinist, I do not believe in moral culpability anyway, so technically, I can't hold anyone responsible for anything). But I'm also okay with forced abortions to prevent greater harm. You, on the other hand, think it's immoral to force people who cause harm to have abortions or pay child support, but it's somehow moral to force people who had nothing to do with creating the child to pay it?

What if procreation resulted from masturbation instead of sex? Would masturbators who suffered from contraceptive failure not have greater obligations towards the resulting child than other people, on your view?

filrabat said...

Shadow,

If you're referring to my last post, I simply see it as simple risk management. If you don't want children, then make sure the woman doesn't want children either. AFAIC, I don't see a point in even being in a relationship unless you're planning to have children one day anyway, but that's another subject entirely.

Curator said...

I think the de minimus. general obligation we have toward each other as humans, to prevent or relieve extreme suffering, is stronger than any moral obligation a sex partner has to an unintentionally formed embryo (and child, if it is allowed to develop into one). I think we are all tragic accidents, and ideally we wouldn't exist; but given that we exist, we have certain duties to each other. Also, given our choices and activities (like voluntarily having children, or perhaps getting into a serious relationship) we may create new duties toward others.

I just can't see the simple act of sex (especially if birth control is used, or the partners agree they will abort any conceptus) as justifying any greater duty to a child than the general population has toward the child. More narrowly, I do not see the act of sex and the accident of becoming a genetic father as creating any greater duty toward the resulting child than any of the mother's other sex partners might be said to have.

I have written about how it is wrong to argue that doctors don't owe any duty to people to "assist suicide," because the drug prohibition gives doctors all the power to prescribe lethal drugs. Similarly, a woman, in our society, has all the power to abort, or not. Since power is assigned asymmetrically, she is more of a moral actor in the situation than the man.

Curator said...

(An errant period sneaked in there - better than a missed period, I suppose, especially in context.)

CM said...

Curator -

I think people who think some humans have more obligations than others generally accept some measure of moral luck (which is one of the reasons I prefer determinism). I guess it all boils down to intuition, and the most prevalent intuition is voluntary sex results in greater moral obligations to the resulting child.

This paper by Rivka Weinberg discusses similar issues. She formulates the bystander challenge:

If I have committed no wrong associated with someone else’s problem, what obligates me to help them? How does someone else’s problem become my obligation?

and then goes on to argue that the kind of positive obligations that the likes of Peter Singer advocate are implausible. It reminded me of your post on p-zombie suicide. There is also a very nice poem at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Just out of interest, how do “choice mums” support their children without financial support from a partner? Are they financially assessed before they are allowed the child or is parenthood considered an entitlement even though the state might have to subsidise it?

Curator said...

Anonymous - I suppose the same way mothers support their children when a genetic father cannot be found, or cannot be made to cough up money to support the child.

I merely want to point out that it's at least somewhat unfair to make genetic fathers support their children when they have done very little, in many cases, to incur this obligation. However, a major problem with this and any antinatalist incentive structure is that it harms the innocent victims antinatalism is itself trying to protect - children. I have written about this here in my essay about how having babies is like prostitution and drug use.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but not much activity of late so I thought I'd post here. I have severe panic disorder. Sometime my attacks are so bad, they wipe me out for the rest of the day when I have them. I find life horrifying, and I believe that's why I get the attacks. I believe the primary reason I'm an antinatalist is that I find life so horrifying. I might go so far as to say I have pathological antinatalist. It's so engrained in me, I can't fathom that others are so at peace (or appear to be) in their daily lives. Horror lurks everywhere in my mind. I'm sure it will kill me some day. Thanks for reading. Maybe someone here will understand.

Kalki02 said...

Anon:

I, too, suffer greatly from anxiety and it is a primary reason I do not wish to pass my genes to anyone. I also have a co-morbid depressive mood disorder, but I find the pain of anxiety worse. You are not alone!

Anonymous said...

Here's something to cheer us all up!

http://communities.canada.com/VANCOUVERSUN/blogs/parenting/archive/2010/08/09/what-parents-regret-most-about-having-children.aspx

CM said...

Anon -

Anxiety is one of the worst components of existence, in my experience. It poisons everything. I think the fact that you can't fathom that other people are at peace probably has to do with their not having any peace. People are surprisingly blind to their own emotional states, which makes their presumptions about what their children's life will be like even more ridiculous.

From this article:

In one study, as many as 18% of all consultations with a general medical practitioner were found to be cases of anxiety or depression in which the persons complained of bodily symptoms but were not aware of affective or cognitive symptoms and had no recognition of their emotional state (Bridges & Goldberg, 1992).

Mitchell said...

Inspired by the term "childfree"... maybe we should call the dead, and the people who were never born, "lifefree". :-)

The Plague Doctor said...

Anonymous (August 28, 2010 8:00 PM),

Try supplementing with 1200 mg of magnesium (10 g of magnesium chloride) every day, and please report back if it worked.

Magnesium is a relaxant, a sedative, and has antianxiety and antidepressant properties.

The Plague Doctor said...

Anonymous (August 28, 2010 8:00 PM),

Try supplementing with 1200 mg of magnesium (10 g of magnesium chloride) every day.

Magnesium is a relaxant, a sedative, and has antianxiety and antidepressant properties.

The Plague Doctor said...

Anonynous (August 28, 2010 8:00 PM),

Try supplementing with 1200 mg magnesium (from 10 g magnesium choride) every day. It needs to be taken spread throughout the day (to prevent diarrhea and falling asleep): the easiest way is to put it in a water bottle and sip it throughout the day.

Magnesium is a relaxant, a sedative, and has antianxiety and antidepressant properties. Most people are said to be deficient, you could have your blood levels measured.

Please report back if it works.

CM said...

Anon -

I don't get panic attacks, but sometimes I just start feeling like I can't get enough air, and it can go on for days, so I go on and off buspirone. It helps with the breathing, though I still feel like something horrible is going to happen all the time.

I have serious doubts that other people are at peace; I think most of them just have little awareness of their own emotions. This article quotes a study in which "as many as 18% of all consultations with a general medical practitioner were found to be cases of anxiety or depression in which the persons complained of bodily symptoms but were not aware of affective or cognitive symptoms and had no recognition of their emotional state (Bridges & Goldberg, 1992)".

The Plague Doctor said...

CM,

I am highly skeptical of such claims; how did they establish that there was absolutely no underlying physical problems? (Or maybe the physical symptoms caused secondary mental symptoms.)

I have experienced first-hand how doctors have tried to dismiss my demonstrably physical symptoms as "somatization". I think it is much easier for them to dismiss a patient than actually to find out what is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Life sucks.. just face it. Other people are hell.. and so are you.

CM said...

Plague Doctor -

doesn't brain chemistry count as a physical problem? As for the patients, they didn't think they had any mental symptoms; that's kind of the point.

I haven't been able to read the cited study, but when I went in for my breathing problem, they gave me some tests to check my lungs and rule out asthma etc., even though I was pretty confident it was anxiety-related. The doctor even offered to prescribe an inhaler just in case. So I would imagine that if a GP rules out non-neurological causes and the patient's physical symptoms are alleviated by psychoactive drugs, that would constitute pretty conclusive evidence for the psychological origin of the symptoms.

CM said...

Some guy took hostages at the Discovery Channel Building today and got shot by the police. Apparently, he was an antinatalist for environmental reasons and had some demands for their programming posted here. The guy clearly had some serious issues, but he does make some good points (like the fact that breeding is glorified and more breeding means more war), all caps and exclamation points notwithstanding.

So looks like people are going to add the question "Why don't you just go take some hostages?" to the usual "Why don't you kill yourself ?". At least there will be some variety. Yay.

Anonymous said...

CM - I <3 u big time. Even when you say something gloomy, you do it with such flair. I always look forward to your posts. Thanks

CM said...

Anon-

thanks for your kind words. This blog, as well as Curator's, and the commenters here make life much more bearable. Plus, you guys have an excellent taste in movies. I have just watched The White Ribbon (recommended by Jem), and it was incredible.

Shadow said...

I don´t think saving the planet is such a big deal.

Obviously enough, the planet doesnt seem to care about the human race, so I dont see why should we better.

That being said, the guy who invaded the Discovery Channel building said some pretty nice things, on the link CM posted.

Shadow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Plague Doctor said...

Pay Problem Parents Not to Breed

Anonymous said...

I gave a 18 year old girl that I met in my G.E.D. class a ride to the abortion clinic a few days ago.

I live way down in Louisiana and The closest place to get an abortion is in New Orleans which is about 50 miles away. She doesn't have a car or a drivers licence and There's no bus station or cab service where we live. She said that her family and most of the people she knows who have access to a vehicle are fairly religious and are opposed to abortion like alot of people down here and most likely wouldn't agree to take her to have an abortion.

The deed is done and she's recovering well. And the best part (well the second best part) is that sense she's 18 and was only in the first trimester of her pregnancy no one has to know unless she wants them to.



Antinatalism: 1

Pronatalism: 6.5 billion

Anonymous said...

It was very kind of you to help her out like that. I'm so glad she had a trusted friend to do that for her and her never-to-exist kid. Bullet=dodged.

Anonymous said...

I'm not even really a "trusted friend". I'm just some guy she's known for about a month...I really believe this shit.

Shadow said...

Anonymus,

believe what?

Other than that, you can count your stars, because you were lucky as hell.

Besides antinatalism, one has also to care about some degree of responsible parenting, meaning: Having a kid with a 18 year old girl who you just about a month ago, is not a high responsible move.

But then again, it´s all alright now.

Shadow said...

And I´m not scolding or anything.

One friend from where I live almost became a father these days. total irresponsible move: he doesnt have much of a job, the girl was just a casual partner... and so on.

One has to be careful about those things!

=)

CM said...

Anon-

sure, 1 is a small number, but considering how much shit a typical human life contains, it's a pretty significant reduction in suffering. So, great job!

I wonder how many people exist because no one would give their mothers a ride to the clinic... But I guess it still beats existing because of a power outage.

Shadow -

I don't think he's the one who knocked her up...

Curator said...

Anonymous, you are rad. Score one for human decency.

Kalki02 said...

Is fetal pain, if it exists, a legitimate part of the antinatalism position?

Curator said...

I think it must be. Benatar leaves open the question of when someone comes into existence in a morally relevant way, only saying that it's not in the earliest stages of pregnancy. But I think the capacity to suffer is relevant to this inquiry. It is far from clear that the antinatalist position requires late-term abortions.

I am not sure that the possibility of some fetal pain makes it okay not to have an abortion. But I think there is definitely a moral impetus to (a) practice effective birth control and (b) abort as early as possible if pregnancy occurs. And I think there is a moral duty to perform abortions in a way to minimize fetal pain.

For me, I would have greatly preferred to have been aborted, even if it had caused me substantial pain. I understand that this is an unusual position, but I don't think the possibility of causing some pain to a semi-sentient being is a solid excuse for bringing that person into existence and dooming them to a human life.

Kalki02 said...

Curator:

Thanks for your response to my post. Perhaps I should have stated that the vast majority of abortions are performed before the point most scientists think it is even possible for pain perception. One can Google "fetal pain" for much information on this subject.

BreederRerminator said...

Once you get to this point you can never go back. I feel like Agent Smith in the matrix:

Me: "You must see it by now Mr parent! You can't win! It's pointless to keep breeding..Why mr anderson, WHY WHY WHY DO YOU KEEP BREEDING?!"

Parent:"because i choose too"


*RAAAGE*

Anyways, i kinda stopped spreading the message. It's sad though, when i look at my nephew i see the me 20 years ago. He's already depressed and shows signs of being "gifted". I love him but i just know he will suffer in life. My family has a HIGH rate of suicide/depression/mental illness and my sister threw the dice and it's my nephew that has to pay the price. He already asks questions about religion,god and i'm keeping my mouth shut..the more ignorant the better. I'd rather he be happy and a breeder, than miserable and an antinatalist. Then again, the vicious cycle continues. Well atleast my cycle ends:)

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, I don't think spreading the word of antinatalism is tantamount to spreading depression. In my mind, by talking to people about this topic, one of two things can happen. Either the person is so deluded/brainwashed by our natalist culture that anything I say will go in one ear and out the other, and the recipient of my tidings will be none the worse (but also none the better) for it. The other possibility is that my words will strike a chord with the listener, and rather than depressing him/her, this individual will feel a sense of comfort and relief that he/she is "not alone" in this otherwise extremely alienating state of enlightenment. I'm sure that my view on this is strongly shaped by the fact that this is how *I* felt when I first stumbled into the morsels of antinatalist writings that exist online (here and at select other few sites, most of which happen to be linked on Jim's home page--heh heh). Somehow, having a virtual community of others who think like I do out there has truly made it easier for me to get through the day. So, if you sense that your nephew is already starting to sting from the futility, drudgery, and utter hopelessness of life, then he may be grateful to learn that it's ok to be a rational and honest person, even if makes life miserable, without the benefit of a sugar-coated veneer. He might just feel better knowing that he's not alone.

Shadow said...

that´s some nice posts we got here.

The Plague Doctor said...

In between mu chronic bloating, diarrhea and nausea, I managed to been watching some segments from "The Little Couple". Does anyone else find this sort of thing sickening?

The Little Couple: Parents
The Little Couple: Surrogate Parenthood

Talk about Russian Roulette! I agree with one of the YouTube commentors:

"If they decide to have a child together I will seriously hunt them down and step on em with my size 12. That kid will have to go through life as a knee high troll, just because their parents want to have a child of their own. That seems pretty selfish to me.  If I grew up as their kid I would whack them both."

Anonymous said...

"I would whack them both"

I would cut off all 4 of their limbs with a cutting torch, put out their eyes with a hot poker and rupture their eardrums with a hat pin.

Shadow said...

Is not even about the dwarfism or anything but about passing on to to other generation something that will seriously impair the life of another human being.

Curator said...

I am interested in the question of whether parents who knowingly bring disabled children into existence are morally worse than parents who bring nondisabled children into existence - which can be generalized to all quality-of-life issues, like whether rich parents are less morally blameworthy than poor parents.

I suspect the magnitude of suffering experienced by any individual over a lifetime is so great that arguing over whether a parent failed to provide some advantage or other is a bit silly. The analogy that comes to mind is countries that execute political prisoners being judged for the quality of the last meal they provide.

Shadow said...

Curator,

I agree.

Advantages or conforts are only about trying to make life bearable.

In the end, every life has its stakes.

filrabat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
filrabat said...

"If it's any consolation, I don't think spreading the word of antinatalism is tantamount to spreading depression."

Agreed. Antinatalism should be about prevention suffering and alleviation: refusing childbirth is only a means to that end. Antinatalism should be about using the time and money otherwise devoted our kids and devoted to helping others and the wider community -- plus concentrating on pursuing our own happiness (activities, hobbies, books, speculating about how to live better lives and thinking of how to "build a better mousetrap", etc).

In short, yeah, life may suck, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to make the most of it. Making the most of it in good spirits and trying to have fun while on this earth WILL take at least the worst of the negative tarnish away from antinatalism - and perhaps even help eliminate the stereotype.

No movement based on a negative succeeded. If we're not careful, antinatalism can easily become a movement based on negativity.

Kalki02 said...

filrabat:

I certainly agree being long faced and miserable is not a prerequisite for being an antinatalist. However, the whole idea is indeed based on a negative. Namely that life is so dreadful on whole that it is a moral imperative not to reproduce. If we water down the pessimism that few would dispute is the bedrock of antinatalism,I believe we undermine antinatalism itself.

Please accept my comments in the spirit of constructive dialogue. I would welcome any replies.

Shadow said...

Kalki got it right.

Pessimism is the very fountain for antinatalism.

That doesnt mean that in practical life, one should not try to lead a good life, devoided of most harms one finds not enjoyable.

filrabat said...

Kalik, Shadow,

I definitely see your point on a strictly rational level: that antinatalism is based on a negative because its based on use of a negative grammitical operative: NOT (in this case "Do NOT have chidren".

However, it doesn't follow that we should react negatively in the common everyday sense of the word (i.e. "your attitude is so negative!". Otherwise, we risk turning people completely off from antinatalism due to fostering the image "They're so bitter and angry, or so gloomy and doomy! Why should I take them seriously!" That's exactly what happens to so many other movements out there that are based on mere "I'm angry at the way the world is! It's so damened unfair!".

I go into more detail about it on my new blog (pardon the self-reference, not meaning this to be a cheap attempt to get more traffic and I'm certainly not trying to divert attention from this one. We can discuss the issue here if you prefer).

The Plague Doctor said...

I have no need for this "big boys don't cry" rhetoric. Reacting negatively can be a perfectly appropriate response to the absolute horror of existence.

filrabat said...

Reacting negatively is one thing, but at least do it with calmness and rationality. Otherwise it'll make it tough..REALLY tough..for others to open their minds to what you and we have to say. Personally, I don't dismiss impassioned grievances as "mere whining", but most people do. It's sad that people are so lacking in empathy that they are that way, but that's just something we have to deal with.

Given that the image of antinatalists is at stake, and given that we are by far in the minority position, we can't afford to turn off others with attitudes and tones society deems unworthy of respect. Better to just stick with dissecting grievances in such a way that it highlights the flaws of human nature.

Garrett said...

I tend to agree with you Filrabat. Of course, in the safety of this little community here, I see no reason why we shouldn't vent our specific feelings about the world now and again. When it comes to the real world and face to face encounters though, I always use my "happy go lucky" bullshit facade. That way other humans can't so easily label me an existential weakling and write off everything meaningful that I have to say. That's really all the practical use I have for making the best of a bad situation. Of course, occasionally I do get lucky and find some pleasant distraction :)

I don't know if anyone here is familiar with the game series called Silent Hill. It's one of those creepy and deeply disturbing mind-fuck games in the horror genre that I played once upon a time. I remember thinking at the time, how eerily similar the whole scenario is to our reality. When the protagonist Harry Mason was in the "normal" part of the town, there was light, but never enough to fully illuminate much beyond maybe fifty feet around him. A thick and ever present fog occluded most of what he could see. Monsters would sometimes be lurking nearby... their presence betrayed by their own frightful vocalizations or the white noise emitted by Harry's hand held radio. The streets would abruptly terminate in a sheer bluff, so he couldn't leave despite his sense of impending doom. He might see gas and electric pipelines jutting out sharply next to a fallen street sign; yet no sign of the bottom. The whole place seemed strangely deserted, save for a few eccentric (and often megalomaniacal) residents. Those people who weren't out with an evil agenda were lost in a twisted world of their own creation. Left in limbo and doomed to wallow in their own self pity. When the darkness comes, a bombing siren sounds, and the world of Silent Hill reveals it's true self. Harry is able to see it for what it actually is; in all of it's full demonic dimension. Each time he defeats one of his demons he gets a small respite back in the limbo version of the town. The relative peace is short lived, however, and he once again finds himself running straight into the heart of darkness. You are left with the unsettling feeling that he never really leaves Silent Hill behind.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I think many of us feel like Harry. We have a goal in mind, yet fear holds us back. So we opt instead, for limbo. We find ourselves constantly on the run from the beings that hunt us while we are here. We know we can't just go back to the way it was before the craziness began. Most opt for the easy way out, by pretending everything is just as it should be, OR better! They think by bringing more entities into the fray, things will somehow be alright. Some try to fight the fear and charge headlong into the stark contrast and hope that when/if they come out on the other side, that there will be some untold secret of the ages. Whatever our choices, all of us here face this darkness. To never have been... who among us was so fortunate? Not a single one.

If anyone reading this can summon the strength to leave this darkness behind and put your faith in something higher than yourself, I admit that I am jealous. Faith, hope, God, and love may all be just a sham... but then again, so is everything else this world has to offer. Best wishes to you all.

Still in the fight,
Garrett

Garrett said...
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Garrett said...
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Garrett said...
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Garrett said...

Sorry for the multi post. I kept getting Google errors!