Exploring the philosophy and ramifications of antinatalism; that is, the belief that life should not be brought into existence.
Would you reproduce if the world's current situation were different, i.e., less humans, less environmental degredation?Personally, I might consider it, but as things stand now - 6.8 billion humans and growing, and increasingly disruptive climate change (and the resulting starvation, disease and warfare) - there's no way in hell.
This friendly comment from the pronatalist crowd (Texasjim2007) is suitable for the left sidebar:"Personally I wouldn't have any problem killing you people and feeding your bodies to the dogs and cats whose survival is more beneficial to the human race than any parasitic disease organisms like yourselves who merely consume our resources giving us nothing of value in return. Sane people should take your kids." "Your suicide wouldn't cause me any suffering. Why should it? You don't seem to be concerned about causing suffering for all the people on Earth who sacrifice their lives and pleasures for the survival of their families and nations and humanity so why should the rest of us be concerned about you malignant parasites suffering?"
China has decided to continue with their one child policy. Personally I think this is the right choice --and one I would support for the entire planet. However, most folks here (on the left, right, and center) look aghast on such a policy as being overly coersive and an assualt on 'human rights'. Nevermind that a one or two child policy will result in significantly less suffering in the future, and as long as it is applied equally to everyong, would be fair. Anyone have any thoughts on China's one child policy?
Have any of you seen Gaspar Noe's film, "Enter the Void"? I caught it last night and can't shake the idea that it ties in with Ligotti's neo-Schopenhauerian thesis in "The Conspiracy against the Human Race."
Just a reminder to work on the Antinatalism Manifesto. If anyone wants to work on this project please go to:http://www.theantinatalismmanifesto.wikispaces.com
I've been wanting to get things rolling on that wiki for a while now, but I've been very busy. If I had the time, I'd make rudimentary FAQ, Arguments Against (with rebuttals) and Resources (links/books) pages. I think this is most important because it will give all of us a place to stash antinatalism-related stuffs. This blog is good for reporting on current affairs, but collections of things like FAQs and links and "visceral huffing and puffing" would in my opinion be better stored on the wiki.
timcooijmans-Thank you for the contribution on our wikipage. Hopefully this will get the ball rolling. I think your ideas make sense and hopefully people will utilize the wiki to increase our awareness be a repository for ideas and artifacts that do not fit in this blog. Jim, would you be able to put the wiki site as a link? I have provided your link on the wiki as well. Again, anyone on here feel free to go to the wiki page at http://theantinatalismmanifesto.wikispaces.com/and edit and add as much as you want. There are a lot of neat tools on there to add video, pictures, and create multiple tiered pages within the one main wikisite for as many subtopics as we want to add. Thanks for your contributions!
Actually, I haven't contributed anything yet, Compoverde. Someone else wrote that blurb on the front page. If I manage to get drunk tonight, I'll try to smooth that bit out and add some other stuff too.I think it would be good to introduce filrabat's taxonomy on the front page (after a short, general explanation of what antinatalism is).
cuntagious, I wouldn't choose to reproduce if the world was in better shape socially or ecologically because although it is particularly bad in these regards, life itself (as it has evolved and exists on this planet, in this universe) will be painful. Scarcity, unfulfilled desires, pain, separation, and death will still exist. Therefore, no, I wouldn't reproduce even if things that humans do influence were better.Why? Because causing those who you'll love the most to exist is wrong when right now they cannot be deprived of anything since they don't exist.
Mike Stivic-I'm in agreeance with you. I guess that would make us "Pure Antinatalists" according to the Sister Y?
Would that be Mike Stivic of Archie Bunker fame? Did I just date myself?
@TimI already posted a bare-bones description of the taxonomy on the wiki.
filibrat, just wondering...do you think Sister Y's breakdown of the four categories on this recent post by Jim should also be put in the wiki?"Pure Antinatalism""Situational-Context Dependent""Universal-Context Dependent""Pronatalism"
Yes, named after Meathead.And yes, pure anti-natalist of the philanthropic variety.I hate being confused with those who say something like, "So you think the world is in such bad shape that you don't want to bring children into it?" Although, yes, the world is in horrendous shape, it's not that I'm looking at the gloomy current situation and saying I wouldn't want to bring a person into THAT.The problem is existence itself. Pain is bad and any life will be somewhat painful (in my opinion all lives will eventually be VERY painful-- physically and mentally). And you can't deprive those who don't exist, so you're not taking anything from anyone.
Mike: Amen, bro! I decided long before I ever heard the term antinatalism that I would not reproduce. Cursed genes that have long caused me mental pain just for starters.
I put up a little FAQ on the wiki. Currently, it's biased toward my own philanthropic antinatalism, so feel free to add what you think is important.
Just wanna say thanks to Tim Cooijmans and filibrat for being the first participants in the new antinatalism wikipage. I think there are more intelligent people on this site who can help as well to edit and contribute more content. The wikispace is a great place where everyone can collaborate. This site can be a great tool if we ever want to start real life chapters of antinatalism meetups. Its a focal point that we can turn to when people ask what this movement is. If anyone who feels that have a good grasp of spelling and grammar wants to act as editor, you are welcome to the position. This is a collaborative grassroots project we all can work on here. Again, the site is:www.theantinatalismmanifesto.wikispaces.comI am trying to model it after the humanist manifesto to some extent.
timcooijmans, if you'd like you can copy and paste some of what you wrote in your other blog in the manifesto in truncated form. I am envisioning 10 or so central tenets that all antinatalists can rally around and move forward in meetups.
@CompoverdeI'm assuming the Antinatalist Manifesto advocates pure antinatalism, but I could be wrong. If so, then I can't see how Sister Y's list has much relevance - except the "pure antinatalism". If it does belong on the wiki, it'll have to go under another category entirely (again, assuming everything we composed on the wiki is "pure antinatalism"). Still, I hesitate to dictate the content of the wiki because it's a collective worn, rather than my sole property. So let's put a question mark by this one.
Compoverde, I think all of my writings are too opinionated (sometimes irrationally so) to have any place on the wiki. If anybody wants to use them or part of them in any way, feel free; but I don't see how they could be useful there.My blog is mostly for letting off steam.
Anyone please answer me this, is just a pratical question.How live our lives the best way, in the future, you know if we manage to stay alive until old age?Many of us here are still young. People say they have kids to help them in the future. I´m not saying that is not selfish (which it is, of course) but actually that they make somewhat of point: considering the family helps each other, and they manage to be alive, yeah, the children eventually help their parents.How can we go through this a little bit easier? I´m not saying that it wont be though either will (cause it totally will) but how do we make it easier without having someone there?I´m a antinatalist, but I gotta wear this "devils advocate suit" here, for a moment. This question is also for the antinatalism in masse: consider that everyone in the planet decides to not have kids. Eventually there´ll be like 10 people living the rest of their lives here. How does this people can manage to live a little bit easier? What do you guys think?
Shadow: I am childless at 50 and that will not change. I have a plan, a very special plan (pun intended for those in the know) when life gets too shitty from old age or whatever reason.
Shadow, not sure if this directly addresses your question, but I also have a "plan". It's called check out before life becomes unbearable. This isn't just about antinatal loneliness (or the potential thereof). It's also about the realization that I see no point to hanging on as long as I can just to start shitting diapers again and wandering around trying to remember my name and address, while my body screams with arthritic pain, and I can no longer walk without a cane or worse. I could say that I'll save buttloads of money right now so that I can go into assisted living when the time comes. But why bust my young ass to put away pennies for when life becomes the ultimate in worthlessness? I'd rather try to live/enjoy now, while I'm still young and healthy, and then have the guts, means, and good sense to pull the switch when the right time has come. If I can swing that, I'll die reasonably happy (I think--that's what I'm banking on, anyway).
I like the comments from both the Anonymus. I too, am preparing something of the like for me.I´m gathering up courage also for when that time comes. But until then, of course, it´s trying to take the best out of this life.thanks guys, a lot.
There are many elderly who do not have children. Some of them live independently until they die. Many others live in pain and loneliness even if they HAVE kids.Having kids to support oneself in old age is one of the worst reasons for having kids and it is neither a certain necessity nor a guarantee.But it is an important topic that concerns many people. I don't mean to be dismissive of it-- just sharing my thoughts.
I agree with Mike Stivic. Basically, having kids is no guarantee they'll take care of you. Furthermore, it's plain wrong to have kids with that assumption. One shouldn't saddle one's offspring with that expectation because kids owe their parents nothing. That they should be brought into existence was a unilateral decision one the parents' part, and there is no contract in place that dictates the kids must take care of the parents. Now, if they WANT to take care of their parents, that's very kind of them. Hopefully parents lucky enough to have such kids realize how nice they have it.
Question For Anyone: Who is the DoNotGod guy who does the videos at the link listed at the bottom of the manifesto?
I was wondering the same thing. I watched his video. It was rambling and somewhat incoherent, but the gist of it was antinatalism at its best (just not adorned with all our buzzwords). It would be nice to bring him into the fold if he's not already among us.
Mike Stivic and (other) Anonymus:I agree with you that, as you say:"Basically, having kids is no guarantee they'll take care of you."Of course. Garanties are just an illusion. I´m just saiyng that this is sometimes the case. I´m not saying that is ok to have kids if you are going to need them to take care of you. I´m asking what is the best way to live a better life being an antinatalist.
I have found a sactuary here! I have never wanted to breed and do not allow children into my home. I agree the earth needs a break from humans, I certainly did not ask to be born, some parents don't plan ahead financially, and so on. For years I have felt alone and today not only do I find like-minded, strong people, but I also found a word, "antinatalism". Increasing my vocabulary certainly helps me better categorize and define my own feelings. Bravo to all of you! Thank you for being here. Hmmm, does this make us "family"?
Hi Anon- Welcome!Yes, I believe in some way, that does make us a "family".
Shadow - No one should take life lessons from a would-be suicide, but I have avoided suffering and lived years longer than I thought I would want to by:- having as much sex as possible with brilliant, attractive people- running 7-10 miles a day- using a moderate-to-high amount of marijuana (properly prescribed)- using a moderate-to-high amount of other prescription medication (properly prescribed)- using a small amount of illicit drugs (and getting other changes of scenery, like backpacking)- doing as much as possible to ease the suffering of othersSex, exercise, drugs, adventure, philanthropy, and close friends pretty much exhausts my own personal Maslow hierarchy. Life is still irritating and pointless, but less awful.
Curator, Plauge Doctor, Jim, anyone... I know I am beating a dead horse, but if someone with the sufficient amount of creativity and drive wants to, they can make a huge contribution to the antinatalist manifesto site. As I've stated before, this would be a great chance to rally around a platform for any "real world" chapter meet-ups. This is someone's chance to overhaul the wikipage and try to create a framework for something that will advance the cause of antinatalism. Again, the website is www.theantinatalismmanifesto.wikispaces.com. Again, anyone with the drive and sufficient creativity can really recreate that webpage to how they see fit. From there we can collaborate and edit.
Curator: Lots of sex with intelligent and attractive people? It must be nice. Sounds like you have other "peak experiences" as well. No offense, but you sound like you have it made. Why deprive another of all this hedonistic shit?
Anon, Hello, feel welcome into this family!Curator,Thanks for the answer! Are you the suicide to be? I do exercise also... do it also to keep myself in shape so when the age kicks in... I can do some stuff before crumbling about...My question was more like - how can we approach life as we age? Sure stuffing oneself from alchohol now may seem wonderful (i dont actually drink lots but so I´ve heard...lol), but as we age, even this will get somehow discomforting. Or do everybody here thinks about pulling the plug sometime in the future? I talk with this guy, named John. First met him eletronically in the suicideproject.com. We exchange e-mails from time to time. He is from US, I´m from Brazil. We exchange emails on the topic of suicide... and here´s the thing, he´s like a bit older than me and it´s already thinkin about pulling the plug. Thing is, he doesn´t exaclty know how. We discuss several methods and their flaws, and he is not certain on any one of them. So if any of you guys know something, you can pass the word to him, or to me and I pass it up to him. And thanks =) Compoverde:Yeah, I wanna try it, but dont know exactly how.
Reading Jim's book, along with Ligotti's Conspiracy Against the Human Race, and discovering this site, has made me feel less of a freak. Would that everyone share our conviction that the human race quit breeding and quitly die out.
Re: How Antinatalists Should Approach Life.Curator has the basic right idea, though I don't agree with all of what he says and does; but to each his own. If it makes him happy, more power to him.For those looking for a less hedonistic route, this link from my blog - Philanthropic Antinatalism Must Stand for Positives, not negativeshttp://why-im-sold-on-antinatalism.blogspot.com/2010/09/philanthropic-antinatalism-must-stand.htmlRegardless, yeah, life often (if not always) sucks, but if we're here, we might as well make the most of our own lives (for the sake of antinatlists' image - or for OUR OWN sakes, if nothing else
I do to some degree "have it made," in that I probably experience more pleasure than most people. But there is no night when I would prefer to wake up int he morning rather than die. I think I'm a case study that advantages vis-a-vis other people do not lead to happiness.For what it's worth, I'm a girl.
(Curator = Sister Y)
One should strive to make the most out of life, but in a way, we even need some strife. I mean, some, not a lot.Besides, pleasure is always negative, right? As in Schopenhaurian´s terms.When we indulge ourselves, it´s only one small desire that we quench, another one shall arise to take it´s place, like always.But it´s no use to despair, it´s just how life works.
@ Curator/Sister YMy apologies. Sometimes I have trouble with people using multiple screen names.
There´s some other thing tough.If we are not right, and counscience still lives on, and we got to be reborn in another universe, another life, or whatever, then the antinatalist concept will wither a bit. Because we would still going to be born, again, again and again... And that should be a drag.
Curator,If you ever need someone to go running with, or backpacking, or maybe something else on the list, feel free to contact me.Haw haw haw, I'm sure you didn't at all see that one coming!By the way, are there any people here who visit Hacker News? There are relatively often pessimistic comments by people who would fit in here pretty well.
Tim, stay away, I saw her first! :PI did happen to read Hacker News occasionally (but have no account there), but my career in I.T. is going nowhere fast, after I became chronically ill after college a few years ago. Here are some other pessimistic Lispers (it's the Lisper's curse, I tells ya): 1 (this one is scarily similar to me), 2 (this one has exchanged depression for optimistic delusion), 3, and of course 4 (death by pizza).I am now embarking on a course of the Vivonex elemental diet and am soon seeing my third gastroenterlogist (wish me luck). My previous progress has stalled and things are not looking good; I fear I will end up like № 4 above.My own recipe for happiness:- Have your liquid assets go to zero due to the the stock market bubble, health care expenses, and student loans.- Move back in to your mothers' house.- Lose all your fake 'friends', remain complete alone and celibate.- Spend years housebound and almost bedridden, bloated, malnourished and in severe pain, hair falling out, with skin rashes and autoimmune symptoms, staring daily at your own vomit and poo monstrosities in the toilet bowl.- Occasionaly engage in defending antinatalism online, get told that one is a crackpot.- Repeatedly press F5 on antinatalism.net until the key breaks or the breast health hit counter overflows (which ever comes first).Read all about it in my upcoming book "7 Habits of Highly Defective People".
Thanks guys. I'm flattered. I just found out (from wikipedia) that Richard freakin' Stallman has been an antinatalist since, like, before Google.
OMG.It´s like an eharmony.com around here ain´t it?
Hey you guys might be antinatalists - which is cool - but you are also xenophobic.I write a lot here, put questions, asked Compoverde how the antinatalistmanifesto works (because I dont really know how to go about that site) and no one answers.Or you guys are xenophobic, because I´m brazillian, or just plain dull.Nothing against the cause or Jim (I bought a book from him) but I´m done with this blog and the people here.
Shadow-Nice Eric Cartman impersonation :)But seriously, if you keep calling names and stomping off, nobody's gonna want to play with you anymore. Nobody's here for your personal benefit, and I imagine this blog is just a small part of most people's lives...including your own. We talk, we relate, we trade refs and ideas, we argue sometimes; and hopefully, we offer a little support to each other from time to time. You're more than welcome to join in. Always have been. But leave this kid stuff at the door, if you don't mind. Here, in this place, I've very little patience for it. That said, here's hoping all is relatively well with you and yours. Good luck in your future endeavors.
Hey, Shadow, I'm not sure what I said or didn't say. I didn't realize you asked how the antinatalism manifesto works. It works like wikipedia in that anyone can edit the page and put whatever contents they like. There is a toolbar on top that gives you format choices such as font, color, size, etc. You can also add pictures and video or any web 2.0 tool as well. The page can be transformed into a fairly advanced web 2.0 site. I don't know what I did to drive you away, but you are welcome to fiddle with it, try it out and put your own comments in where you'd like. Play around with it and you can probably figure some cool tricks out. There is also a help section that may give some clues and also there is a discussion section you can click on that you can use to put comments on why you edited something if you feel inclined. Please don't use my response or non-response for a reason to just flee this blog. I was not aware my comments were taken to such a personal level. Lets just contribute and have some fun at the blog. If you want greater collaboration, well thats a part of why the wikipage would be interesting to try.
Hey Shadow,Just my own observations, so take it with a grain of salt. As antinatalists, I actually think that most of us are VERY uncomfortable with the topic of suicide. On average, possibly even more so than most human beings. I can only speak for myself, but I'm an antinatalist because I don't like suffering, imposition, or the inevitable meaningless death that all living things eventually meet. It's typically why I avoid the topic of suicide like the plague. I find it depressing and frightening, that's all. That, and I'm a master procrastinator. I will put this unpleasantness off for as long as I can! Others around here probably have similar reasons. I'm not xenophobic. Hell dude, I could give a damn what anyones' skin color is... I'm an equal opportunity human hater. Character is what matters to me. Believe me man, you've got good character. I tend to favor antinatalists though, so maybe I'm biased ;)Take care
I love you, Plague Doctor.Being a fellow programmer is one thing; being a fellow Lisper is quite another! I'd like to believe, of course, that the language's simplicity allows one to think clearly and therefore one sees what we see. Or that the other programmers are so busy being distracted by their languages' strange and arbitrary punctuation rules that they don't notice how much life sucks... Damn... I should never have gotten into lisp... I love distraction!I LOL'd at your list and book title. Hacker News is filled with people who call themselves Entrepreneurs and who think they really can live their dreams if they start their own company doing what everyone else is doing at the moment... Because some rich guy tells them so. I dropped Hacker News here because a few days ago someone started a thread about an "awesome book", a kids book celebrating and romanticizing wild dreams, and there were some awful comments, one of them by a guy saying he was going to have kids just so he could make them read it. Somewhere down the line I jumped in... http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1917038The book, by the way, is mediocre. I would find it mediocre even if I weren't an antinatalist. But look at all the groupthink praising it! It makes me puke.Speaking of which... I hope you find something that works, Plague Doctor (did you pick this name before or after you became ill?). The absolute best of luck.
By the way, that link points to a subthread. Those who are interested in the entire thread should click the "parent" link a bunch of times.The book can be read in full (afaik) at http://veryawesomeworld.com/awesomebook/inside.html
Shadow -and here I was beginning to think this is the only place on the intertubes without any drama... FWIW, as a fellow non-American, I haven't noticed any xenophobia around here.
We won't be a real movement until we have a schism.
Richard Hell's "Blank Generation" caught my ear the other night. "I was sayin let me out of here before I waseven born--it's such a gamble when you get a faceIt's fascinatin to observe what the mirror doesbut when I dine it's for the wall that I set a placeI belong to the blank generation andI can take it or leave it each timeI belong to the ______ generation butI can take it or leave it each timeTriangles were fallin at the window as the doctor cursedHe was a cartoon long forsaken by the public eyeThe nurse adjusted her garters as I breathed my firstThe doctor grabbed my throat and yelled, 'God's consolation prize!'"
I was recently reading over a forum thread in which the question "would you torture a baby to end world suffering?" was posed. Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly in the face of ployannaisms), the majority out of several hundred respondents were in opposition to this idea. Are people really that obtuse to the colossal amount of suffering in this world? Is there no limit to the amount people are willing to shut themselves off to adverse externalities to permit themselves to live in some fantasy world in which millions of babies aren't tortured regardless? In fairness, some of that opposition was directed squarely at the repulsion they'd experience towards the idea of themselves torturing another yet clear in the rationalisations of many were notions that it was either plainly wrong to torture a baby for any reason or that the world is simply better off as it is currently.Can the antinatalists here do any better?
zralytylen,You are asking the wrong question to the wrong person bud. Your question is open ended as well. "End world suffering"... what do you mean by that? Do you mean end it by placing sentient beings into a different state of existence outside the realm of mental and/or physical anguish by destroying consciousness, or perhaps some type of artificial Matrix-like virtual "playground"? What's your vision of the destruction of suffering? For that matter, are YOU personally willing to impose your will on another sentient being, that you would achieve your own self centered ends? Sounds like the DNA has it's talons firmly grasped into your flesh if you would be willing to carry out such an act. Now, torture can be defined as the very act of bringing a sentient being into a set of circumstances to which it is opposed. An existence that it cannot, and likely would not consent to. Please define your terms, just so all others may see and understand you. As for me personally, I can opt out on my own, and without the need to impose on another for my own selfish gain. My biological parents chose to torture me by bringing me into a meaningless world in which a loving god does not exist (though they tried to convince me that one does), work has no reward (because one is never allowed to own the fruits of one's labor due to governments, robbery, and the futility of death), the friends that I care about wither and die one by one. So... enlighten me please... why the fuck would I physically or mentally torture another sentient being for the so called "greater good"? Because it's YOUR vision of a greater good... is that why? Would agreeing with you suddenly make me right? If that's how you feel, you have a lot of growing up to do. Don't bother pointing out the glaring fact that "growing" is a futile effort by antinatal logic. You already know the context in which I am addressing you. Have I "done better", in your opinion? It's just a hunch, but I have a feeling that you're here for more than just the pleasure of trying to find cracks in antinatal logic. I think you're learning to accept some of it... whether you like it or not ;)
For the record (just so you don't make some half-assed attempt at labeling me) I understand and appreciate the actions of my own parents. I pity them for it. However, that does not fix the issue. That doesn't mean that I have forgiven them... because forgiveness requires remorse. That's something most parents cannot understand, since they view themselves as little gods, as it were. They cannot even comprehend that they have done something wrong. Despite that fact, I desperately want to let go of that anger. I actually want to forgive, but they will not allow it. Let that sink in for a moment... consider how many beings in this messed up world might actually feel that very same way. Then maybe, just MAYBE you'll begin to understand something beyond your own selfish little construct. How do you KNOW that your own offspring won't feel exactly the same way? Are you willing to gamble with money that is not yours? If so, our principles are diametrically opposed, and my effort in bringing these very serious matters to your attention are needless, and futile.On a more personal note, my own mother confided in me that she had recently come close to "pulling the trigger". It's not something that I share lightly. Human beings seem to think that by bringing more individuals into a finite realm of being, that they will somehow solve their own existential woes. This is not so. Not everyone mindlessly breeds. Many put great effort and deliberation into the act, and I am vehemently opposed to the act (mindless or deliberate). I'm not going to reveal too much about the topic of the conversation... it's far too personal. All I could do was put my arm around her.
It should have been clear from my analysis of the thought experiment that it was being considered within the context of optimism biases. While the question naturally contains a number of ambiguities, its implied premise was that of inflicting a comparatively small amount of suffering to solve the rest. Any qualms about the nature of this future world could have been qualified within your response; perhaps there are some worlds in which the action could be justified and others not etc. Either way, quibbling about the conditions of the scenario is not helpful.Based on the rest of your response, it seems as though you somehow got sidetracked and went off on an irrelevant tangent. I would advise you to re-read my post so that you understand precisely what was being said.
Wilbeforce Award announced
zralytylen,I was pretty sure I answered you with this: "So... enlighten me please... why the fuck would I physically or mentally torture another sentient being for the so called "greater good"? Because it's YOUR vision of a greater good... is that why? Would agreeing with you suddenly make me right?" If it's unclear in any way, here is the translation: There is no way that I would ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER... torture another living thing for ANY reason whatsoever. Forget Pollyannaism, it's self delusion at it's finest. Is that clear enough?Feel free to go back and re-read... if you must. Nothing that I post in relation to antinatalism is ever "irrelevant" or a "tangent". Read more carefully, and think very hard on what I am saying. Always keep in mind that "what if" scenarios such as this thought experiment which you have conjured up, are merely flights of fancy and nothing more. If you or anyone else would torment another being for your own gain or for any twisted logical fallacy, then what is the point of discussing this with me? What do you hope to accomplish with such a crude manner of thinking? Are you looking for consistency within antinatal arguments from the masses? I can guarantee you bud, you will never find consistency among the collective. The only chance you have for consistency, is within the individual itself. If you don't respect individuality... what do you ever hope to find out there? The world will not change. The real question is, can you?Take care
Firstly, to dismiss this thought experiment as a “flight of fancy” is to misunderstand its purpose. Hypothetical scenarios such as these help clarify and refine our ideas of morality; whether one will ever be faced with such an option is immaterial.Secondly, your characterisation of fulfilling the terms of the thought experiment in those of 'selfishness' and 'self-centredness' completely misses the point in that the radical implications of solving world suffering extend well beyond any one person. Moreover, you suggest that I would only act in self interest as though I were completely indifferent to the suffering that befalls the rest of humanity.Would you torture one living beings to prevent two others from experiencing a similar fate? What about a million others? If you're in a position to help others but decline to do so, in what way are you not responsible for the misfortunes they face?Your posts do nothing short of reveal the very same prejudices of which the other respondents were guilty. If you think that the world as is is fine and dandy then so be it but at least allow me a modicum of incredulity when I assert anything to the contrary. I've seen enough to know that the suffering of a single child doesn't even register against the opposing tally.Also, it's unwise to make so many false assumptions about other people. Very little about my personal beliefs with particular regards to antinatalism can be recovered from what I've written here.
Just something I wrote recentlyThere are in my estimate five rationally-based, axiomatic, ethical, non-self-interested answers to why one should never procreate:1.) The Negative Utilitarian Argument---This argument is based on the negative utilitarian grounds that you are preventing the most amount of pain and/or suffering (which is good) while at the same time you are not depriving the potential newborn person of the good (which is not bad). This is the argument argued by David Benatar in his book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (by Oxford University Press) and other philosophers as well.This argument goes that good things are good, bad things are bad. If we are to prevent the bad for a new generation (by not having this potential generation) than this is good, because there will be no new person to experience suffering. On the same token, by not procreating a new generation you are not depriving that potential being of good because that potential being never existed to "know" there was good to be deprived of...literally there is no-thing there to be deprived. On a negative utilitarian scale it is win/win as there is no deprivation of good (which is not bad) and also no experience of bad/suffering for a new child (which is good). You have prevented a new potential being from suffering without any side effects (that potential but literally non-existent being is not "deprived" of experiencing the good as nonexistent beings don't get deprived).[Sidenote..even if you live a "charmed" life, the ultimate harm of death befalls everyone..but there is rarely or never such thing as a "charmed" life anyways].2.) The Eastern, Schopenhauerian, and Ancient Greek Forms of Suffering Argument---In Eastern philosophy and in some forms of Ancient Greek philosophy there is a notion that suffering simply comes from being deprived. Buddhism goes further and calls this "attachment to desire" in the Second Noble Truth. At least on the "First Noble Truth", that "life is suffering", Buddhism is correct. However, there is no metaphysical/mystical/divine way to get rid of this desire as Buddhism and some Ancient Greek Philosophy schools go on to prescribe; we are always going to be deprived as long as we live. Humans are deprived at almost all moments and this simply causes suffering at almost all moments. We always need food, water, shelter, the basics of life.. Along with this we need entertainments of all sorts (similar to the H.L. Menken quote). We cannot "just be" and be happy at all times. We are in continual need of fulfillment from a deprivation that does not cease. As long as our biological and psychological needs are never fulfilled, we are never truly in a state of pure bliss or happiness, but instead a state of "continual becoming". In Platonic terms we are never a perfect being, but always a shadow being that is moving in time and thus in flux. According to this theory.."enlightenment", "nirvana", "tranquility" or whatever other pinnacles of self-actualization, cannot really be achieved in our time as living beings because de facto, as a rule of life and being thrown into existence, we must always try to fill this constant deprivation... we will always need to overcome our human need to survive, sublimate any feelings of despair, ennui, and entertain ourselves. We may be "temporarily satisfied", but this is never complete. [Sidenote...Callous and unthinking people seem to believe that this deprivation is not a state of humans, but then go on to live exactly the life of deprivation thus described. One can try to deny that which causes suffering while still suffering.]If bliss is not had (from birth on to death), and suffering exists (deprivation exists)... simply put, this is not a condition that is right to subject another being to.
Cont'd:4.) The Gambling Argument---Though we experience harm throughout our existence, some humans have more harm in their lives than others. By having children, a parent is always running the risk of having children that will experience lives with much more harm than others. It could be a genetic disorder/disease; it could be a completely traumatic life experience/episode;, it could be a health disorder, mental disorder, or any number of terrible terrible instances and ailments that can befall a human... The parent simply does not know the negative consequences that will befall a new life and by having a child, the parent is taking that risk. Even if likelihood is supposedly "high" for a "happy" "well-adjusted" life.. the fact that there is risk at all and that we are gambling with people's lives is reason not to have children.5.) Treating people as Means and not an Ends Argument---There is an economic and social machine that all societies create. By knowingly throwing another unit of labor into the market(or society in general), you are making a cog in a wheel. The argument would say that the new child is now treated as a cog that was born to serve a collective.. Now, the child was born not for itself, but for some entity (in this case society).. Is the child here to increase technology for no reason except to increase technology? Is it here for its parent's sake? For him/her/future beings/technological innovation/science (insert any outside entity)...? If so, those are all not reasons for the CHILD, the individual, but for other things outside that individual.. if that is the case the child is only here as a means to someone ELSE's ends.. The only reason anyone is put into existence is because of someone else's ends.. The gift of life is for others, not for the gift itself. You cannot give a gift to something that didn't exist in the first place.
Cont'd:These are five solid groundings for not having kids, Pragmutility. Any reason to have a child is a self-interested one.. The list of self-interested reasons is endless but most reasons include:I can’t help it, it’s a biological urge.Want to give our parents grandchildren.Still seeking parental approval.I just love children.I have superior human genes.Need help on farm or in family business.Want someone to care for me in my old age.Pregnancy and childbirth are life experiences.A good family is essential to career advancement and strong standing in the community.We want to create a life which embodies our love for each other.To carry on family name.Want to see a little me.My wife/husband wants a baby.Giving in out of fear of losing partner.Want a child with our bloodline.It’s a spiritual thing for me.I’ve always wanted to have children, it’s what people do.To cement our relationship.I love babies.Being a mother is a woman’s highest calling.We’d like to try for a boy/girl this time.I just want to.I want someone who will love me and not leave me.The world needs more of us (certain ethnicity) or we’ll be outnumbered.We may as well, the planet is doomed anyway.I’d like to achieve a sense of immortality.My biological clock has gone off.These are all self-interested reasons and not ethical. We almost always have children for selfish reasons. These reasons do not amount to a good ethical reason to have a child. In fact, the rational analysis goes the other way. It is rational NOT to have a child. However, the fallacious "naturalistic" argument that humans can procreate so we must allow it, is often used in defense. Just because we can do it, doesn't mean we should. We can prevent this.. it is not vital to live OUR life if we do not bear children.
Jack Kervorkian:Does anyone know if the good doctor had ever expressed any antinalist views? He would seem to almost be a "natural".
Thank you Compoverde. Your insight is exactly what I'm referring to here, and trying to help zralytylen to understand. You cannot treat people as a means to an end... particularly not your own. zralytylen, when you claim to have the best interest of others in mind when you speak of this hypothetical situation... you are completely forgetting that this individual too, has self interest in avoiding pain. Yet you say you would be acting selflessly when you allow someone else (or you personally do the torturing) to torture someone you don't even know. Do you know anything about this hypothetical being? Has he/she/it done something cruel to you or others that makes you believe it would deserve more pain?Try thinking of it this way: if you were willing to place yourself in that individual's position of anguish in order to spare others that same pain, that would indeed be selfless. However, approving of someone else taking the bullet for you, just because you speak of sparing others something terrible... that says a lot about you. You seem like a megalomaniac to me. As if you think you can somehow create a facade of humility that would hide your dark side from full view. I'll let other people be their own judges of your character though. Based on what I've read from you so far, I have a very hard time believing that you are an antinatalist. If you are, then great! Why don't you just tell me one way or the other? I'm opposed to breeding more of anything, and I feel no need to hide it. By the way, where on earth did you get the idea that I think the world is "fine and dandy"?! Did you read anything I posted, or just skim it? Remember my past postings on the treatment of animals as mere means as well, or was that mentally filtered? ;)Anonymous: I'm not too sure about Kevorkian's views on the subject. Honestly, I've never really paid attention. Maybe someone else has some input on this one?
I think Kevorkian is an antinatalist.
Garrett, glad to be of help. I have a question I'm wondering if you can help me with. I was on the philosophy forum again, and someone brought up Carnap's philosophy. They continually do this, and I want to shut their argument down for good. However, I do not know how to go about this. Does anyone have any ideas? I will post what the guy from the forum "Benkei" said. I appreciate everyone's help. This will probably take multiple posts, so bear with me.
post 1: As stated before, the problem is when comparing states of a person that will come into being to the states of something that doesn't exist (being better or worse off). That's the nonsense of Benatar's argument. Carnap deals with it mostly in Paragraph 5 but the entire thing is an interesting read.I've never claimed there is anything wrong with saying: If a child is born from those parents it will suffer X, Y and Z (we can argue that qualitatively though). But to go beyond that and then say: "therefore it would be better off if it had not been born" is where it becomes a pseudostatement.Benatar thinks he anticipates it but basically shows he doesn't understand the problem.Benatar wrote:This objection would be mistaken because 3 can say something about a counterfactual case in which a person who does actually exist never did exist. Of the pain of an existing person, 3 says that the absence of this pain would have been good even if this could only have been achieved by the absence of the person who now suffers it.
The question is, who is doing the suffering and who is better off? Let's take a few statement to illustrate.1. Person A suffers2. Person A can suffer less or more (happy childhood, car accident, whatever)3. Person A has red hair4. Person A can ride a bicycleThen, Person A does not exist:5. ... does not suffer?6. ... has red hair?7. ... rides a bicycle?Who is doing the not-suffering, has red hair and rides a bicycle here? Nothing. But we can't use nothing as a noun, so this is a pseudo-statement. To subsequently compare these states is not possible.Furthermore, if we would accept even this possibility. We are in fact comparing two different entities. Certainly non-existing person A is not person A. And since we cannot define non-existing person A (which is "nothing", we cannot ascribe qualities to nothing) what are we comparing? So the comparison itself is the second pseudo-statement.[Benatar said]: In other words, judged in terms of the interests of a person who now exists, the absence of pain would have been good even though this person would then not have existed. We may not know who that person would have been, but we can still say that whoever that person would have been, the avoidance of his or her pains is good when judged in terms of his or her potential interests. If there is any (obviously loose) sense in which the absent pain is good for the person who could have existed but does not exist, this is it. Clearly 3 does not entail the absurd literal claim that there is some actual person for whom the absent pain is good.More of the same mistake.
Compoverde: I'm signing off for now, but can you give me the link for this discussion?
The discussion is on a philosophy forum. Here is the link to the discussion:http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/five-reasons-for-antinatalism-44541.html
Just leaving a link for anyone who cares:http://antinatalismo.blogspot.com/2010/12/vegetarians-are-right-english-version.html
@victor -I'm sure you'd have a field day with this site:spawn***better.com/(remove asterisks)
Compoverde-I would press people like them with a combination of logic and insult. That type will only respond if they are made to feel guilt for what they desire. They will only feel guilty if they first feel the sting of truth. The only way they will know truth, is if they are confronted with hideousness of their own reflection and design.You CAN deprive a self aware being; you CANNOT deprive anything that is not sentient. If it has a central nervous system, there is absolutely no question that it is self aware to some degree. We now face the problem of pain and deprivation. for some, pain may be viewed as an enhancement "drug" for pleasure. However, others view pain as a negative experience. Regardless of the your personal bias, "you" cannot be deprived if something like a "you", does not exist. Now, here is the simplest part (anyone who can take the time out of their day to read this ought to be able to understand it). When one creates new life, one consciously chooses to mold the newly caged entity to their personal will. You presume to know all of it's hopes, dreams, and aspirations before you even bring egg and sperm together. You are effectively dubbing yourself a master, and your creation is now a slave not just to your will, but to the will of the nature you have chosen to subject it to; without obtaining consent. It is impossible to obtain consent from "nothing", therefore, your act of attrition is made clear to all who aren't blinded to truth. The truth being, that you are blinded by "beauty". A facade. You view the world with rose colored glasses. All the while you focus on whatever will bring YOU pleasure. Unshaken by the effect it would have on a being whom you do not know, but are already looking forward to creating.
continued:So... you think that a non existent being is an abstract concept; unworthy of even the slightest consideration? You exist here and now, right? There are other living humans out there that you could have sex with, right?! The archaic concept of homunculi may not be true in the strictest physical terms, but that does not change the fact that potential beings "exist" so long as any two sentient beings possess male and female reproductive organs. Clearly, many beings who were once nothing more than mere potential, do now exist in your beloved universe. It's all thanks to assholes like you! So when you "settle down" and have little apes of your own, remember this: They do not belong to you. They will return from where they came. Along the way, some will invariably cause you to be revealed as what you actually are (they may even be of your own making). You are a self aggrandizing collection of inbred cowards. Little children creating more copies of little children. You are changing nothing, you are not "becoming something more", nor striving for any end other than death. You are not "making love"... you are making war.
Compoverde: If there is anything you find useful in my response, please feel free to paraphrase, copy/paste part or all, what have you. Natalists are an exasperating lot, aren't they? I sometimes think it would be more useful to stand in a public place and just bang my head against a brick wall. At least I might get the breeder's attention that way, right ;)I like to think that every little bit of truth we put out there will find the right person at the right moment. Otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time. I've reached a stage in my life (most of us here, actually) where everything I see looks like the same bullshit. But I still have fight left in me, even though I am fully aware it's nothing more than two other people's fears manifest in a separate consciousness. Kind of a liberating thought.Anonymous:@victor -I'm sure you'd have a field day with this site:spawn***better.com/(remove asterisks)What... the... fuck. Thanks for that, Anon. I'm gonna go find that brick wall now :)
"...because the best way to make new vegans... is to make new vegans."Silly me. I thought the same logic that went into adopting an ethical vegan lifestyle would lead one toward ethical antinatalism. Guess not.
Anon: Yeah, I had the same thought. But, it doesn't apply to the yuppie chic life stylers. It's all about image and networking to them. We can only hope that their poor kids discover their hypocrisy and don't repeat the same behavior. Hope... what a stupid, pointless word. Why the hell do I use it, anyway?
the last posts from Garret are superb! about the vegan stuff, that guy in the other blog talks about something along these lines...
Thank you, Pidgeon_Kay :)I can appreciate where people are coming from when they write off my choice of a vegan diet as "unnatural". I mean, I've been there myself... I used to kill and devour living things possessed of mind and will. And it's true! It IS unnatural to not force others to do your bidding. In this world, other beings willfully tend to use whatever means available to them, that would help to build their own power base. They feel if they must shut others down, so be it! But I don't worship nature, and I don't crave attention from others. I have no desire for power over anyone except for myself. I don't look up to materialists or fixate on fear and predation. I had to accept that I was, for all intents and purposes, a puppet in someone else's stage show. As I've become wise to the reality of this world, I slowly became more aware of my own personal impact on other individuals and I cast off the fear that I had allowed to control me. Namely, the fear that I would slowly wither and die without the flesh of sentient beings in my diet. I decided to put love before my fear. Ironically, it has made me a stronger, and more confident individual. Not at all physically or mentally weaker, as many fearful "naturalists" would have one believe :) The sad thing is, (principled though some may be) we all fade to black someday. Back to the void. All of those so called "worthwhile" accomplishments in science, charity, religion, medicine, war, and recreation have taken you nowhere. All of our pains that we hoped would have a purpose; that would teach a stern lesson... in vain. Love for children, husband, wife, brother, sister, mother, father, friend, God... meaningless. Eros, Philos, Agape... lost memories in time. So it seems to point to one thing. If nothing else, it might be this: We are an illusion. God's nightmare, perhaps? Maybe someone wakes up tomorrow and *poof* The button has officially been pressed. I don't pretend to have any answers, but I know one thing for sure. You won't find meaning here. It's like chasing the wind.
I've gotta share this! I'm certain that so many natalists out there practically salivate at any opportunity to make us look like we're the existential weaklings. Thought I'd link this vid 'cause it's a perfect characterization of the (false) view they have of the entire philosophy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czY9kWNXDDI&feature=channelI freakin' love Metalocalypse :)
Oh and if Murderface represents us, then here you have - the cryogenecists! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msGvEtmR970&list=SLAnd here we have the cryogenic solution to the problem ;)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj4c8FeqR4s&feature=relatedEnjoy!
Garret, you are fine, I think vegs are right, and if you do something, anything, that prevents another being of suffering, that´s a noble thing in my book.My intention in that blog post, is to demonstrate that normally, vegetarian people become comfortable with their choice, and don´t bother to do anything else, not that they have to, but not to procreate is where we should strive towards in order to maximize harm prevention, as anybody here is aware.So vegetarians that are also breeders should take this last step, if they really are empathetic enough.
I remember someone (Jim? Curator?) having a blog post long ago discussing the asymmetry (or maybe only the healthy/sick analogy) with pictures of the quadrants. I can't find it. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
tim: That doesn't sound like anything I've posted. I'm not computer savvy enough to do much with graphics. I'd look in Sister Y's direction.
pardon for my riposte to something so far up the thread, but re: the quasi-grammatical argument against Benatar's 'pseusostatement': holy shit, how can anyone claim with a straight face that 'nothing' cannot be used as a noun? In what fucking language would you not get your knuckles rapped for pronouncing such nonsense to even the dullest third-grade teacher? I guess it just goes to show what kind of convoluted nonsense must be resorted to in order to make anything that sounds like a logical-ish defense of natalism. New rule: no one is allowed near any philosophy texts until they have first mastered basic grammar in at least one language.
Tim: It's in the Benatar book (BNthB). I don't think I've ever undertaken such a task, but I will consider it in the future.Ann: Exactly. People accept dumb arguments if they support their preexisting prejudices. We antinatalists are not immune to this, though.
I know it's in the book, but I positively remember there being something like that in the internets, and I'm almost certain it was a blog post. But then... my brain is known to play tricks...
@Tim, Re: Asymetry QuadrantsI think quadrants are misleading because they imply an either-or approach. Specifically, the Pleasure-Pain / good-bad dichotomy is rather superficial. I'd recommend a six-square.Pleasure = positively joyfulNeutral = Neither joyful nor miserablePain = Misery.Even that is still a bit simplistic, I'm afraid. Pleasure and pain exist on a continuum - a matter of "more or less", not "all or none". I think that's a big hole we antinatalists dug for ourselves. It's our job to climb out from that hole and fill it back up - namely by taking this continuum into account.
Sister Y and Ann... You are welcome to join the philosophy forum and try to refute Benkei..He's very annoying and keeps bringing up the idea that non-existent beings can't have stateshttp://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/five-reasons-for-antinatalism-44541-6.html Just register with a username and password
filrabat -- IIRC (I don't have the book handy here), the quadrants of Benatar's asymmetry denote the value judgments of absence of pleasure and absence of pain in the case where the potential person x exists and in the case where he never exists. Each value judgment is one of "good", "not bad", "neutral", "not good", "bad". I don't think it is necessary to consider "absence of neutrality".Also, if Benatar is right, the quantities of pain and pleasure experienced or "missed out on" are irrelevant. He says that, in the case where x never exists, the absence of pleasure is "not bad" but the absence of pain is "good". So if it is known that there will be any pain whatsoever, then it is wrong to make x exist.
More arguments that we can help refute: I mean this as a completely logical argument and not some wild accusation: I believe that you are missing the main point of the argument. It can be confirmed here that yours/Benatar's argument's singular purpose is to minimize negative utility. However, the purpose of utilitarianism is to balance a scale, to maximize utility and minimize negative utility. Your argument completely ignores the utility side of the scale by claiming that any weight on the negative utility side makes the scale drop to the negative side no matter what characterizes your judgment of utility and how many points can be made on the utility (good) side. The only argument that can explain how schopenhauer1's side of the debate could work would be by giving credence to a judgment of utility that put absolutely no value in utility only a negative value on negative utility. Posting on this website for instance, surely comes with some negative utility so surely one should have avoided it no matter the potential benefit. Furthermore, the saving grace against my point in terms of conception (which we can note that schopenhauer1 has not yet included in any of his claims) still relies on inescapable falsehood: the theory that every conception would lead to greater negative utility than utility. If you confirm that this is what motivates your philosophy then I claim that your judgment of utility does not come from observation of what is good/utility and bad/negative utility to other entities which is the very standard and defining context of the utilitarian consideration of conception: in that entities judgment of utility is it positive or negative. Thus even if your own value of utility is completely barren, it is not by your own standard of measure that you judge a conception to be of utility or not but by theirs as far as harm to the individual goes (and the argument for societal benefit vs harm is characterized by the same exact logic). If you choose to ignore the entity that is being conceived's judgment of utility and expect your own to suffice as replacement then you have redefined utility from a complete equation of total harm/good entered into a system and redefine it simply to your own good/harm which in case is not utilitarian nor likely to actually overall benefit even you at all.Supporting my words above via a response to this statement: to consider that it is overall bad to conceive a child because they will be "unequivocally harmed" is only justified if EVERYONE's utility judgment did not believe that any "good" can justify such harm. This is your own evaluated judgment of an equation However, people have been observed to find it overall good to exist despite being also having taken some harm. Given that the overall benefit of a conception includes not only to your view of utility but also to the new child a logical look at utility would have to take into consideration your utility + child's utility = ?. ? is neither positive nor negative (as you claim) because the very definition of good and utility added to a system is a moot point if you consider that the only system is your own perception. This is because the system you refer to in terms of overall good and bad contain more than just yourself and your perceptions, such an equation considers good by whatever context ANY bearer experiences and you are not the ONLY bearer in the system.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2011/jan/04/nigerians-top-optimism-pollhttp://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/world-happiest-countries-lifestyle-realestate-gallup-table.htmlWhat do y'all think?
An Antinatalist NightmareI believe someone once made a post about the possibility of real life "meetups" of antinatalist folks. The cruelest irony would be if a male and a female met at such a gathering and eventually wound up having a child!
revolutionaryandjoyful - Very interesting juxtaposition. The different methodologies used to research the happiness question are fascinating. I really like the methodology of the second link.
It appears that Richard Dawkins has no qualms with the assumption that only suffering matters (at least in an ethical context):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vueDC69jRjE(Only the first question in the video is relevant.)Tim
Thanks Tim,This video was very enlightening about Dawkins.
Musical Interlude -- Perfect Title (given my astronomy interests), Perfect CD Name...all in all, perfect for a philanthropic antinatalist. Also great if you like trance music / trip-hop or whatever you care to call mellow techno instrumentals :DFila BrazilliaHeat Death of the UniverseCD: Lucky to be a Weirdo TonightCan't believe this was made in 1997!To fellow Philanthropic Antinatalists out there...This one's for you all!!!
Brings a tear to my eye: http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/12/chase-britton-boy-without-a-cerebellum-baffles-doctors/
Because of the incessant affirmation of the situation. Even with hindsight they wouldn't have chosen this Chase over "perfectly healthy" Chase. And if they would have, then that's disgusting.This quote is a dead giveaway: "His goal in life is to make people smile." I'm pretty sure he himself never said anything like that.
And let's not forget the reaction to the first news tidbit, informing the parents that baby was blind:"Oh, that's ok!" blithely chirped mom in response.(haha -- capcha = "mummu"!)
Yeah,We all know that parents will like their children, no matter what, but the whole article is in itself, a load of crap.It´s the same old, same old "cult of grinning martys" routine that Ligotti talks about in his book.
(continuing)And that we all know about.
Looks like inmendham finally subscribed to Jim's YouTube channel! I hope he makes a video about it.
The hypocrisy is staggering.
In case anyone has ever doubted that The Onion is, indeed, America's finest news source:Grown Adult Actually Expects To Be Happy.
Nice one CM. Methinks Mr. Peterson is in for a rude awakening ;)
I've received a message from a friend of mine in South Africa. He is trying to get his organization to sponsor a trip to the Garhwal Himalayas in India. There's going to be a group taking part in a bird count study that will also be tutoring the rural village youths in the area. For the children who take part, we will need binoculars, a spotting scope, used digital cameras (still shot and video), used laptop computers (minimum Pentium 4) w/ external hard drives (4 X 250 GB), books on birds, insects, butterflies, reptiles, wildflowers, global warming, environment/conservation issues, and bird feeders (don't know why they want bird feeders... seems it would be cheaper to just build or purchase on site). At any rate, I'm trying to get some of these items together before this takes place in November 2011. The way this relates to the antinalist movement is quite simple. When young minds are diverted into areas which are not related to sex, family planning, or survival, they become more open to the greater issues surrounding them. At least, that's my opinion. I'm certainly not going to go into the subject of "human caused" global warming. Mostly because I think it's BS, but also because any fear that it could be real, might cause some individuals to refrain from breeding. In my book, that's a good thing :) My motto: Don't force anything in, and don't force anything out of life. Just give other's their space. If anyone can donate some items from the list above, the kids would be most appreciative! My email: email@example.com
I officially came out of the closet about my antinatalism a few hours ago....though to be honest, I laid the groundwork for it to Mom for a couple of years..a little hints here and there. So she wasn't surprised. All in all, it went pretty well actually - given she wasn't actually surprised by decisive admission of my antinatalism tonight. It goes to show that it's all in how you break the news, often it takes a few years for you to be confident enough to admit it decisively.
Hi Philip,Way to go man! I know it can be tough to bring up that subject in conversation. Particularly when one's parents are involved in it. But that's really the heart of the matter. It's all about getting everyone to really ponder the consequences their actions can have on non consenting beings. Hopefully, she can take a part of what you explained to her to heart; without taking it personally. So if anyone ever approaches her on the grounds of receiving her approval for their impulse to breed, she might offer up some newly garnered insight.
Philip = filrabatThanks, Garrett. That was the best way for me. Like I said, lay the groundwork before you out yourself, even if it takes several years. It'll cushion the shock for them and create less friction for you.
Why should I "cushion the shock for them"? My mother has told me to kill myself on several occasions. In spite of this she still defends herself on the grounds that it's "natural" to have children and that's "just what people do" and life has so many beautiful things.
From mrsneutronsgarage:"My thesis is a simple one. We were a much tougher, more connected and honest nation when we permitted children to grow up as the offspring of ALL animals have since the beginning of time. Like chickens in a yard. Pecked at and picked upon for any and all apparent shortcomings and failures to be, or, act normally. Hard and often cruel as it was it represented Nature and, try as we may, we will never surpass through artificial means what Nature achieves naturally. The standards were set and it was up to everyone to live up to them or face the horrible consequences. If you were fat you got called Porky and our school yards were not full of butterballs clutching their inhalers. If you did poorly at schoolwork you got called Goofy and did your best to improve because Diplomas for just showing up had not been invented yet. If you had a speech impediment you worked day and night to correct it or your life became more and more unbearable. A little Bugs Bunny lived in the soul of us all in those days and I submit that the world was a far better place for it.Just look at us now. Shortcomings and infirmities instead of being something to overcome or be ashamed of are Free Passes to services and praise for just having something to overcome, whether you ever do or not. Kids who never once in a season get even a piece of a pitched ball or catch one, for that matter, are guaranteed trophies. Children, instead of picking each other apart as Nature clearly intended, have in sheer desperation been forced to turn on their teachers who themselves have been rendered defenseless. By removing what was “Naturally” funny from a child’s universe we have inadvertently turned education into a joke. We have weakened our stock by creating a wholly artificial and inhuman world for our children. Is it any wonder so many are utterly incapable of ever truly growing up?
I second Anonymus on that motion:"Why should I "cushion the shock for them"?"And that quote from mrsneutronsgarage is the celebration of madness of life.
Plague Doctor:I'm hoping to have that post I promised based on our little discussion with mrsneutronsgarage up by tonight or tomorrow. This is the second 'hard-ass' piece he's written since our conversation of a few weeks ago, and I can't help but wonder if he's reacting along the lines of the study outlined in the film 'Flight from Death-The Quest for Immortality'. For those interested in the details, Sister Y. has written a treatment here (skip down to the header: Judges and Prostitutes: An Introduction to Terror Management Theory). So it seems that where bullying and the terrorizing of children are concerned, mrsneutronsgarage offers a big thumbs up! Part of life's absurdity that he finds so entertaining, I suppose. Of course, if the victims don't like it, they can always kill themselves, right?
..."So it seems that where bullying and the terrorizing of children are concerned, mrsneutronsgarage offers a big thumbs up! Part of life's absurdity that he finds so entertaining, I suppose. Of course, if the victims don't like it, they can always kill themselves, right?"... Not quite. But, why would you care? You characters are out of the game. As if anybody gives a shit if you reproduce. I, and many (most) others, LOVE the potential of life in matter with all its pain and all its pleasure. You don't. So? Find a comfortable spot and wait for your torment to end.
Anonymous said...Why should I "cushion the shock for them"? My mother has told me to kill myself on several occasions."He he he. So, I wouldn't be going out on a limb in assuming you are somewhat of a disappointment to the old girl? Well, at least you have found the right characters to hang around with.
He he he.You bastard.
I'm rushed for time, so I'll just answer briefly to MNG (mrsneutrongarage):*Comparing chickens and humans beyond amusing, it's patheticand insulting - as though humans have no capacity to overrule our animal instincts when need be*You seem to believe in "Social Darwinism" - assuming the animal world is a proper model for human relations. J. Wesley Ulm blows this out of the water in What Darwin Didn't Mean: How Social Darwinism Fails Us and Survival of the Nicest? Social Darwinism is Biomimicry Gone Wrong. Give those articles a read and then get back to us, MNG - if you want to be taken seriously.
Hi all (anti-natalists only). I'm so glad there are a few outlets for us ANs to vent and express our views and share our thoughts. Too bad it is almost impossible to meet like-minded people on the street as most aren't any better than animals in their reckless desires for mindless breeding. I'm just sick of it and find myself surrounded by herds of breeding sheeples. I think we're too smart for those people to understand where we're coming from. Most think we just hate children when in fact it's not the case at all but they just can't understand. I don't know where else to turn. I've been looking for a place to meet childfree people but looks like that isn't going to be easy to find. So,I'm just going to stick around (here) for now.
Don't expect the greater childfree community to embrace philanthropic antinatalism. Some do, but my observation is that many don't. A lot of them (not all, I realize) actually do dislike children, and furthermore don't see it as cruel to force life upon people without their consent.
As long as they don't have children I don't care what reason they give. The problem is that most breeders seem to accept it when you tell them you don't want children because you dislike them or you're too busy and stuff like that but once you tell them you don't want children because you believe life is full of endless suffering that you wouldn't want your child to go through - or what you call being philanthropic antinatalist- that's when breeders start attacking and ridiculing you and your belief.
I get your point. The only reason I was making the distinction is that, once upon a time, I naively thought I could harness the growing numbers of the childfree movement to forward the message of philanthropic AN, and I was met with a mixture of disinterest and ridicule. To each his own, I suppose. But, I agree that any reason not to breed is ultimately a good one.
..."I was met with a mixture of disinterest and ridicule.".. They were being overly kind and it's hard to find fault with that.
mrsneutronsgarage:"Not quite."Well, let's see. In your article, you:Lamented the lack of racial stereotyping in children's cartoons, judging those to be the only "really entertaining" episodes.Bewailed the shift in societal norms that "suddenly" condemned public insults aimed at overweight people, people with speech impediments, as well as at those who "looked funny".Lauded the hypothetical good old days when children were encouraged to brutalize each other "like chickens in a yard" where the weak ones were left to "face the horrible consequences".Interpreted asthma as a character flaw (clutching their inhalers).Encouraged name calling towards anyone falling behind academically.Interpreted children "picking each other apart" as something pure and 'natural', as opposed to those nasty habits like sympathy, cooperation and understanding as 'artificial' traits. (Although, I assume that if some kids cooperated in beating up the 'weaklings', that would be ok in your book.)Inferred that shortcomings and infirmities should be either "overcome or be ashamed of".Warned against asking a doctor's advice before taking medication.Mourned the loss of the "REAL Bugs and Porky and Daffy"; who, in the context of your article, are the Bugs and Porky and Daffy who encouraged racism and brutality in all their wonderful wackiness. (That's undoubtedly the deciding factor in your view, since Bugs and Porky and Daffy are still alive and flourishing; on celluloid and video, anyway).I have to say, far be it from me to interpret your words by what you actually say, YOU LILY LIVERED VARMINT! What's up, Doc? Yadittyyadittyyadittyyaditty...bouoooooooooeeeeeeeeeYUP!
mrsneutronsgarage:Ah, I see you commented just ahead of me there. What a coinkydink!My, but you're just a mean little stinker, ain't ya? I'd suggest that at your age you should be more than a little embarrassed. Then again, your type never are. Do I detect short man's syndrome, ala Yosemite Sam? And, 'naturally', you never did answer any of the challenges in the other thread, the thing you falsely accused others of. What a maroon!That's all, folks!
Also, apologies to whoever it was I disagreed with about MNG being an internet troll. I suppose in his head, he's still in the schoolyard picking fights (or, being picked upon?) Either way, 'pathetic' is the word for the day.
I've got it, by Jove! I should have seen it earlier with the chicken yard nonsense and all the tough talk. It's Foghorn Leghorn!
NOTICE: I'll be deleting mrsneutronsgarage's future comments until he manages to pull something out of his ass other than cheap shots and other assorted kid games. Comments of substance will be allowed through :)
filrabat:Good articles. I'm constantly amazed at the short sightedness of folk who interpret evolutionary science is such simplistic and one-sided terms. After all, what isn't 'natural' in our development; including, of course, empathy?
Schopenhauer the 2nd:Welcome. As you can probably tell, it's very difficult for a lot of people to even approach the issue without knee-jerk disdain; or just jerkiness, as the case may be. As soon as I get through the backlog of loose ends, I'll be writing about a series of novels I've just completed, by a writer who I believe honestly recognizes the root issues of the discussion, and yet falls just a hair short of the inevitable conclusion. These are the kind of people outside the choir who feel themselves resonating to the tune, but hesitate stepping through the door due to deeply inbred compunctions.
As far as the 'childfree' movement is concerned, the proponents seem mostly focused on issues like personal rights and societal acceptance of 'being different' aka not having kids. But there's probably a spectrum of opinion, like there is in most things.
"I believe honestly recognizes the root issues of the discussion, and yet falls just a hair short of the inevitable conclusion."To be an antinatalist is never an easy thing to do, everyone must be sure of that. there are pressures, misunderstanding, and all kinds of shit down an antinatalist´s path. There´s one post in my blog where I discuss this, under the title: "It´s not easy to be what we should be". http://antinatalismo.blogspot.com/2011/01/its-not-easy-to-be-what-we-should-be.html
I met this girl. She asked me why I´m an antinatalist, if I´m one because of broken relationship or something like that.I didnt know what to say. I dont know if I found her question to be stupid, or something. I just want to know if any of you guys have had any stupid question about this being thrown at ya. What did you answer to somethin like this?
Yaoshan,Just date a robot.
Yes, it's never easy to be an antinatalist. In fact, there's hardly anything harder than being an AN in any society anywhere. It seems that most people no matter how "open-minded" they claim to be aren't willing to accept or at least understand our views as ANs especially if you're a philanthropic one. You can be an atheist, a satanist, a nudist... you can curse god and all the prophets and people will say you're entitled to your own opinion but, once you say you don't want to have children it's like an open season for attacking you and ridiculing you and branding you with all kinds of accusations from being anti-social to being a misanthrope -like I've been called before.Procreation, and the expectation that you will have children has been so ingrained in us that it literally runs in our blood and to the vast majority of people the thought of not adhering to that SCRIPT is totally out of the question and even considered as offensive. For some god damn reason they don't think of it as a personal choice just like any other personal choice. Hypocrisy at its worse of course. Also, proves that people are selective in their open-mindedness. Yaoshan, if a woman or any person asks you why you don't want to have children just ask them any random question about any of their personal choices. Ask them why they're of this religion or that. Why they don't eat certain foods... Remind them that it's a CHOICE and not an obligation. In fact tell them it's the right thing to do in a world that has gone completely crazy. Of course there are a million and one reasons why you shouldn't have children but this isn't the place to talk about it.
Wow, here is some visceral huffing and puffing if there ever was any: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQa5bL2XHAc
Pyrrho314 has uploaded his Antinatalism Mammoth Post (1 hour 11 minutes!). If inmendham replies to this the video will be at least 27 hours!
Last Days on Earth, about ten disasters that could render humanity extinct or nearly so. @ 2:32 a woman's answers the question "What would you do if you learned a giant asteroid were about to hit the earth soon?" that she'd have kids, even if she acknowledges there'd be a certain selfishness in it.Most of the video posts commenters REALLY tore into her! Still, I think the only reason they did so is that the consequences were immediate and staring in our face.Apparently, most of us are good at taking the ultimate good step ONLY when the threat is imminent and obvious. Even so, it shows we CAN choose if we're sufficiently motivated.
filrabat- the comments on that video are a gold mine! "bring one more person into the world to suffer and die....how selfish""so you are going to bring more life into existence just to expect death?"Apparently, these people think their children will be immortal and suffering-free. Priceless.But I suppose if push really came to shove, everyone would quickly "realize" that a life that lasts for several years in a collapsed society followed by burning to death is better than no life at all...
Came out of the closet to my brother not even an hour ago, after I told him I ordered Benatar's book. When I explained to him what antinatalism was (the rawest description, that humans would be better off extinct), he got really outdone with me - not vicious anger, but he and I had polite but rather irksome semi-discussion. He's probably a bit in shock over it, though. I don't think it irreprably harms our generally great relationship, but i think it will change it in some way at least for the short term (though I think we're still on speaking terms). We'll just have to wait and see about this one.
I think it would be more difficult to break the news to him if he's a father already or if he's in the process of trying for a baby with his partner. Is this the case?I hope it doesn't create much disruption to your relationship with him though it's easy to see how it possibly could. I just gave my dad a copy of Benatar's book and let him draw his own conclusions but he said it was too difficult for him to read. lolGood luck with everything!
What I think about antinatalism
Some 2000 Alt. Rock, for old time's sakeEnd of the World by Cold
Kirk,I talked with him 24 hrs later, and we cleared a lot of things up. One of the best talks, for him as well as me, we had in a while. He's still not an antinatalist, but I think he has a little more appreciation of my position (and yes, he is a father of three kids). Certainly there's no broken ties between us. All in all, it was for the best for both of us.
As requested, link to my blog:http://dzheng.freeshell.org/
Karl, could you please allow non-registered commenters on your blog?Jim, you might also wish to add Modern Man to the right side-bar.
Plague Doctor: It's done. Apologies, I didn't realise that the default setting prevented non-registered individuals from commenting.
Karl´s new addiction to the circle of antinatalists and pessimistic blogs is very well apreciated!
Dali,I liked this blog post of yourshttp://dzheng.freeshell.org/?e=75Despite, I myself, being graduated in law school, but because of that, I know exactly what you mean.
Ha ha - I didn't realize that, Shadow. I wonder how many more of us are former lawyers? (Me, but I only worked poverty law/legal aid.)
Where are all the last comments?Maybe the blogmaster last bug erased them?
While ProfessionalTeabagger is busy defending his futuristic fantasies of mankind flitting around the universe in the Federation starship USS Goosechase to peddle their pharmaceutical utopia to alien races of reptilians, meanwhile back in reality on planet Earth, I just found out on his blog that the depressed Lisper I mentioned in one of my previous comments (in link #1) apparently has killed himself.Serious suckage.
The Blogger glitch Shadow was talking about must have also reset the anonymous comment settings on Karl's blog.Also, I think a comment of mine is stuck in Blogger comment spam filter.
[Second post attempt.]While ProfessionalTeabagger is busy defending his futuristic transhumanist fantasies of mankind flitting around the Universe in the Federation starship USS Goosechase, peddling their pharmaceutical utopia to races of alien reptilians in another galazy, ... meanwhile back in reality on Planet Earth, I just found out that the depressed Lisper I mentioned in a previous comment (see link #1), has recently killed himself. :-(Fucking thing sucks!!!(Cached) suicide note here.As usual the expected anti-suicide rhetoric here.His Dad writes: "He was a real believer in the singularity, even contributing a large sum of money." A fat lot of good that did him!
The anonymous comment option has been re-enabled, Plague Doctor. Cheers for the heads-up!
These people are insane!
In what way, Plague Doctor? Below replacement level white birth rates have been no secret for decades. It's not some arcane conspiracy theory. Is it the politics of these people, real or as perceived by you, that you find "insane"?
Anonymous, Mr. Mangan and his commenters worship the DNA as their surrogate religion (as long as it's white DNA, of course).
I just read the suicide note from pdf23ds. :-(Why do such things get deleted? It was obviously important to him, to publish these last words. Maybe we could learn something if we read this ultimate criticism of the world. I mean, we say that this and that sucks all the time. But if something sucks so much, that one refuses to live with it any longer, then it must be really serious. That could give us a hint what we need to do to improve this world. The phrase "vote with your life" comes to my mind. In that sense, his vote was deleted and that is not fair. Ok, some things he said weren't either, but still... Frightened,rob
It was very sad reading his suicide note and reading his previous posts, he had a certain hope but i could sense he himself felt predestined for suicide (as do i, don't know how to explain it..)He also mentions his parents and basically blames them/hates them in his note, maybe it's a good thing they didn't read it.
I cut and pasted his suicide note for fear it would be taken down. I felt it was only right that the guy's last testament should be preserved. If anyone wants a copy, let me know.
Some interesting comments on this video:"Idk I dont care if I have kids then when they are 40 they gwt burned alive in an accident and suffer or w/e thats just life."--AEVautomatic 1 day ago"@pyrrho314 Anyways that was just short for in terms of if i know i had a kid and i knew that he would be burned alive at 40 I would still have that kid."-- AEVautomatic 1 day agoIf anyone thinks one can influence these kinds of sadists solely with arguments, without using some kind of legal enforcement, this person is suffering from the same optimism bias that antinatalists often like to point out in others.
I think he just hasn't given the issue enough thought. He says "that's life", and clearly doesn't realize that he can prevent life.I'd rather have a society that encourages sanity and productivity than to have to rely on laws. Otherwise I am in favor of legal enforcement of antinatalism. Unfortunately establishing and enforcing these laws requires antinatalism to already be somewhat popular and/or taken seriously.But by then I also think commenters like the above will be rarer because more people will understand the situation. On the other hand it may be as prevalent then as nationalism is now.
I figured we could all use a little light-hearted fun right now. Enjoy! http://www.whythefdoyouhaveakid.comAnd don't bother weeping for the future. I tried that already, and it did no good.
"I suppose I used to have "antinatalist" thoughts every now and then. I often thought why would I want to have a child when the world can be such a b!tch sometimes? Then I went ahead and had a kid anyway. Mostly because the urge to have children grew stronger than the arguments against having children that were floating around in my mind."Found this on Wrongplanet discussion, nature is such a beast.
aevAutomatic's comments have to be amongst the most mindlessly sadistic I've ever heard. He's not the only one, though. An otherwise intelligent friend of mine once said if his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4, raped and tortured for eight years and finally murdered aged 12, he'd still reckon her life was worthwhile on account of the first four years. In other words, for the four years of pleasure her existence had given HIM. What a jerk.
Karl, "jerk" is infinitely too kind a word.
It´s not easy to believe in what these people say.
In case readers did not catch the my last comment on the most recent post, just wanted to repeat my comment here...http://mrsneutronsgarage.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/antinatalism/This is an aggravating article that tries to make subtle critiques of antinatalism. It starts off pretty good but then she tries to pull a rabbit out of a hat by offering that imagination trumps pain, and therefore is a reason that we do (or should) keep on procreating. If anyone wants to make some comments on her blog and show her where her logic is wrong, please be my guest. I'll try to find more articles floating around the web about antinatalism.
jim,how'd i get banned from the chatbox? is everyone else banned, or is it discontinued?
No idea, filrabat. I just checked in there ok, and there are a couple of others there now. Hopefully just a kink. Let me know if the problem persists, ok?
Jim... it still says "user is banned" or something to that effect
If we can learn what IRC channel this applet is using, maybe filrabat could log in using an IRC client?
Evolution is suicide and LifeSucks.info have disappeared (suicided?)! Make a backup copy while you still can!
Yeah, I noticed that myself. I particularly enjoyed the pithy to-the-point entries of "Evolution is Suicide". Maybe there was a clue in the last entry about the Ubermensch killing himself. I hope not! "Life Sucks" was also a neat compendium of why life isn't what it's cracked up to be. I guess people say what they have to say and that's it!
http://facesofsuicide.com/Don't look too long, it's like the abyss watching back..brrrr, why do i picture my face up there? Rip to those people, it was avoidable.
I like the site - but for various reasons I don't think calling suicide "avoidable" helps anything. For one, it takes away the agency of the suicidal person, judging suicide to be wrong somehow. Second, it is hurtful to those left behind, implying that they could have done something if only they'd seen the "signs," that they're somehow at fault for the suicide.A beautiful, haunting set of pictures, though.
I agree, Sister Y. Many people kill themselves for unfixable problems that no time or counseling or meds can solve.
Oh no i didn't mean it like that Sister Y. Avoidable as in not being born not the "not kill yourself goodygood crap". I'm all for pro-choice on having the right to end your own life. I have a strong desire to not exist too but i lack the will to execute it whether it's actually doing the deed or davestating those left behind. I only wish i had that determination and courage, but here i am..waiting to die (hope soon!)
I wish I could end my life! ._. also waiting...
Ah, I understand now!
15 year old wants a baby
2 arms 1 head: a moving tale of despair and agony.
Anonymous,Thanks so very effin much.I will read this in a heartbeat!
Shadow, you may also like this longer note.
Anonymous,You are kidding? I adore this kind of texts.The 2 arms 1 head one is so sad by the end... do you know if it´s a true history?
Yes, this is the biker board thread.
Inmendham is missing in action: his town in New Jersey appears to have been flooded by the hurricane!
"Another stubbornly persistent illusion is that when you look at me, you think you are seeing a whole person. First things first. Right now, once and for all and forever, shatter that illusion. I am two arms and a head, attached to two-thirds of a corpse. The only difference is that it’s a living, shitting, pissing, jerking, twitching corpse. To visualize this, wrap a towel around yourself the height of your nipples and look in a mirror. What is above the towel is what I am. What is below the line is the inert, onerously heavy, dead slab of waste-excreting meat I am fated to lug around forever. I sometimes look at people and draw that imaginary line in my mind. Do it yourself and look at how much is below it. What was once my beloved body is now a thing. I am a brutally, unthinkably mutilated human being. If you think people’s legs and genitals being ground off or smashed into paste approach the outer limits of what is gruesome, you have not pushed your imagination far enough to comprehend something far more horrific. If you think those types of things are worse than paraplegia, you are being fooled by the illusion."
Great interview with Thomas Ligotti http://evilhat.blogspot.com/2011/09/interview-thomas-ligotti.html
Thanks Anonymous!!!From the interview:"Thus, in my opinion, if your life—or some portion of your life—depends on the consumption of fiction founded on the darkness of the world for it to be worth living, then there is definitely something wrong with you both as a conventional and a peculiar being."Haha, you gotta love his honesty. Cheers for Ligotti.
"Why don't you sue?" Sigh.
Re: the "Why don't you sue?" article:Funny how all the mother could think about was how the spina bifida affected HER and her husband. Not a thought was expressed as to how poor little Emily was to cope through the years.Sigh, indeed.
Cheeriness is treatable!
Anon,Funny as hell! Thanks for sharing.I´ll keep this going: anyone checked the dialogue of Professor Anton and Gary? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9BFoIy8sdg&feature=email
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