Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Personal Testimonies

I've noticed some new faces popping up here and via emails, and I thought this would be a good time to introduce a new feature to the blog, 'personal testimonies', which I'll link to in the left-hand column. Tell us how you found us; and, if you're an antinatalist, how you came to your philosophical position. Was there a particular turning point for you? Share your stories.

64 comments:

Sharkbabe said...

K, nobody's stepping up to the mic here, so I'll finally bite. As I recall I landed here one night after googling every "life sucks" and "humans off earth now" sort of phrase I could think of, after my usual perusing of political blogs left me suddenly feeling that I could no longer ingest one single more shred of well-presented, screamingly obvious truth amidst the torrent of toxic sociopolitical bilge in which we're all being drowned. It made me feel only more isolated and impotent to grok another day's worth of the p’s and q’s, the scale and sweep of the awfulness and folly.

Anyway, after not too much slogging through the usual bunch of hits that turn out to be Hallmarky dead-end ("here's how to get past your blues!") bullshit, I landed at the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement page, and thence to this one via their linky list.

So, that's how I got here. And yay, quelle relief.

I wonder if I ever had a philosophical turning point toward antinatalism. Looking back to my very earliest consciousness/socialization, I remember finding myself very pointedly horrified at my femaleness and all the unspoken imperatives that seemed to accompany it. Play with dolls. Be a pretend mommy. Wear clothes that might not cover your privates when the wind blows or some asshole kid shoves you to the ground. Etc, etc. I didn't buy any of it for a second, but what's a kindergartner to do?

One other strong memory from kindergarten: for milk & cookie time, the milk came in tiny returnable bottles with a pull-off cardboard stopper on the top. Then one day out of the blue, the milk appeared in waxed paper cartons meant to be simply thrown away. I found this a strange and baffling development. Wasn't this creating a big mound of trash where there used to be only a small bit of cardboard stoppers? Why was this good? It seemed truly weird and not in a good way. Could I complain somewhere? (Yeah, to the Fuck Playing With Dollies bureau, I suppose.)

Anyway, long story short, my entire lifetime (b. 1953) has been looking at just about every goddamn thing around me and thinking WTF?

As life went on I managed to be smart, personable, witty, talented, and attractive enough to have an okay life as a self-made quasi-professional worker drone (people used to be able to do that) and lesbian (thank you, hugely changing social times) - plenty of fun, laffs, hot affairs in my prime, etc. The personal problem of reproduction that everyone seems to face simply didn't exist for me. It was out of the question, and had been since kindergarten. But as we've seen (fuck you, changing social times), even lesbianism has ceased to be a refuge from reproductive assholery shenanigans.

Anyway, to be continued - enough blathering for one comment - I'll tie this all together somehow :)

Anonymous said...

Very cool, Sharkbabe. Thanks for taking the first bite (and pardon the pun). I'll share too... when I can pull it all together and make a cohesive story of it (not my forte).

Anonymous said...

Learning, degree by degree over the years that happiness is NOT the the default state of living and that contrary to what was imprinted since childhood, "playing by the rules", and all that implies, does not entitle one to squat. Having inherited anxiety/depression that began to fully blossom in my late 20's didn't help. That's the super short version. And BTW I'm not the same anon. who posted just above this.

Anonymous said...

While I'm thinking about my testimony, I thought I'd share this. Just cuz:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2232976419

Sister Y said...

A few years ago, I was interested in the problem of restarting society after a major collapse of civilization. What kinds of technologies could we preserve after a collapse to make restarting less painful? (Think Foundation trilogy.)

Gradually, I realized that there was a major assumption I couldn't defend: that making sure there are humans in the future is a good thing.

And I realized that what I clearly knew was right - suffering prevention - was in fact the direct antithesis of the project of preserving civilization.

(Also, it's way too late.)

Diamantina da Brescia said...

I wrote a long post that was lost, so I will try to summarize it here:

I read Benatar's book and was impressed by it. However, as a practicing Catholic, I cannot approve of his acceptance of artificial contraception and abortion. I am 44 and have remained a virgin by choice because I thought that I would pass bad genes and be a terrible mother: also, I suspected that I would commit suicide and thus orphan any hypothetical children, which I thought would be a selfish thing to do. (My depression has largely improved in the past six years, thank God and medications.)

I think that Christians (at least Catholics and Orthodox) would be more willing to hear antinatalist arguments if more antinatalists were willing to remain celibate and chaste for life, as I have. Remember that birth control, sterilization and abortion are serious sins according to Catholicism.

Also, a five-year moratorium on conceptions and births is a good idea, as long as it relies exclusively on abstaining from sex. The gradual reduction of human population to 1 billion by 2100 or the gradual extinction of humanity by 2400 are good ideas, as long as they rely exclusively on abstaining from sex.

What Christian antinatalists can do is to promote a society that valorizes lifelong virginity and celibacy, and sees it as normal and praiseworthy. What secular antinatalists can do is to take Christian antinatalists seriously: I don't think I am the only one.

Anonymous said...

Interesting input, DdB. I'm a non- religious male, but I shudder that any sexual relation I may have might result in new life. Any woman I might would have sex with would have to have practically notarized medical documents that it is impossible for her to conceive.

Anonymous said...

Anon above: Ummmm... why not just get a vasectomy followed by periodic tests to confirm you're shooting blanks? Seems a lot better bet than trying to make sure your female partner can't conceive. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Diamantina da Brescia-
Thanks for your post. I'm intrigued. I have a lot of questions, but for now I'll stick with this one. While I don't find it impossible to believe that there could be Christian antinatalists, I do wonder what that says about their views of "God's gift of life". Isn't refusing to procreate kind of like telling God, "thanks, but no thanks, Buddy"? Maybe that's a dumb question, and I certainly don't want to be impertinent (so please don't take it that way). I'm just genuinely curious how you resolve these things in your mind. In the end, I'm just grateful for every antinatalist and hope the lifestyle spreads. Christian, non-Christian... it's all good in my book!

Anonymous said...

Anon, second above this. Getting snipped is not quite the safe and simple procedure you might think. Visit www.dontfixit.org and I think you can get a free download (no pun intended) of Kevin Hauber's worst case scenario nightmare. Some years ago I spoke with him by phone and he was kind enough to send me a spiral bound copy...In more ways than one, I don't take chances!

Diamantina da Brescia said...

@Anonymous March 6, 2011 2:28 PM

Oh, not all Christians believe that procreation is the default option that God wants of all of us. That may be true among Evangelical Protestants, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, but not Catholics and Orthodox.

Remember that in Catholic and Orthodox tradition, Jesus and His mother Mary were virgins for life, and Mary's husband (Jesus' foster father) St. Joseph is referred to as being Mary's "most chaste spouse" in Catholic litanies. (A marriage that is never consummated is therefore referred to as a "Josephite" marriage in some Catholic circles.)

Also, before the Protestant Reformation, virginity and chastity for life were seen as superior to marriage (which necessarily meant procreation): one theologian stated that one of the best things about marriage was that it brought into the world more (male and female) virgins. Nowadays, the Catholic Church sees lifelong chastity and lifelong monogamous marriage as equal options.

Many canonized saints who loved God greatly and did many good deeds never procreated: they did not say "thanks but no thanks" to God by doing so, unless you think that Mother Teresa (recently beatified), Pope John Paul II (to be beatified in May 2011), et al. were less than exemplary Christians and ungrateful to God by not procreating. I certainly do not think so!

However, I doubt that there are canonized saints of the Roman Catholic Church who had pronounced antinatalist tendencies. I think that the thought of persuading everyone in the world to permanently abstain from sex would have boggled their minds. Even St. Paul the Apostle realized that not everybody could be celibate and chaste like him: it was better for most people to marry (and therefore procreate) rather than to burn.

Does that answer your question, Anon? :-)

metamorphhh said...

Not sure if I've shared this one before. As is so often the case with me, it involves a dog.

I named her Popcorn. I adopted her from a shelter, and she seemed a perfect fit...for awhile. Then one day, she grabbed hold of Barney, my little Lhasa Apso, by the throat and tried to shake him to death. I managed to finally separate them, but the same thing happened a few more times, and I realized I'd have to take her back to the shelter, WHERE THEY HAD ASSURED ME THAT THEY WOULD FIND HER ANOTHER HOME.

Instead, they simply told me she was antisocial, and directed me down the street where she would be put to sleep. They even said they would track me to be sure it was done. So, I drove there with my wife and Popcorn, and delivered her into a cage. I held her for a little while, crying like a baby. Then I released her to the executioners, and as I walked away I felt a coldness steel around my heart. I looked at my wife and said "I HATE life!" I remember choking the words out, like a part of me still didn't want to relinquish them. My wife gave me a look of abject horror, and almost shouted "No! You don't mean that!"

But I did mean it, and in fact repeated the words over and over again. After that, we drove home in silence. It was one of those thresholds, you know? There were others to come.

Sharkbabe said...

well, I'd get to part 2, but i'm still thinking.

then there's Alice Miller .. she too dancing around the fundamental problem .. but helping me along with her radical compassion toward the suffering of children

Garrett said...

Diamantina da Brescia:
I think your choice is a beautiful one. That's saying a lot because I don't see anything in this world that I consider truly worthy of that word. It seems to me that you respect true creative essence by humbly bowing down and saying "I am not worthy." As a result, you also refrain from imposition and that is commendable, in my opinion.

I often find myself thinking back to the days when I still had faith in God. But, I could never shake that nagging feeling that the other people I knew weren't being completely honest with me. They spoke of faith as though it were something tangible. That they could test it with all five senses and if I lacked this ability, I was lost. They never doubted that everything would be alright... in the end. Their "faith" somehow justified all of their actions, regardless of the consequences. Maybe it was human beings that caused me to lose sight of God, or too much distraction... or harsh reality. There is so much white noise in this life and it's very hard to filter out the truth. I wish there were something out there that's beyond the reach of this sick place. I really would give anything to feel that calm reassurance again, but it seems so far away. Oops, I'm rambling! Sorry!

Jim:
"Not sure if I've shared this one before. As is so often the case with me, it involves a dog."

I hear you man. I've been there far too many times when my adopted friends have pointlessly died. You hear all this crap about how you become calloused and gets easier to deal with... well, I've found the opposite to be true.

Take care

Anonymous said...

Do you recall the moment you found out you were going to die? When was it? How did you find out? What did it do to you? Were you shocked and horrified?
I ask because I can't remember answers to the above in my own life. Knowledge of eventual death seems to have been with me from my earliest memory, and yet somehow I doubt that it actually was. But then if it is something that was dropped on me like a bomb at some point in time, I don't remember the occasion. Does that mean I didn't care? I don't even know if I care now. The process disturbs me, but not really the fact.

Anonymous said...

And I am not frightened of dying! Anytime will do, I don't mind... Why should I be frightened of dying, we all gotta go sometime.

Garrett said...

Honestly Anon, I'm not really certain. I guess it's because I too cannot pin down an exact moment in time when I suddenly felt the world closing in around me. I assume it all started with the little things like feeling the shock of injury at a young age. You know, when as children we run around playing rough and treating our bodies as if they were invulnerable and no harm can befall us. Yeah, that realization hits you hard and fast. Youth's resilience however, caused me to pretty much just shrug off most of those passing moments. Most children aren't suicidal because they are so enamored with the world around them.

I remember being dragged (practically kicking and screaming) into Sunday school and church services. Seems like my parents' own insecurities may have helped to play a role in my fear of death as time wore on. Parents train us to fear the same things they fear and love the same things that they love. Pretty fucking twisted when you think about it.

Come to think of it, I guess I still have not completely accepted death as an inevitability because I continue to cling to fantasies that some outside entity will come to it's senses and set all of these wrongs right. Or that I will somehow acquire the ability to separate myself from the insanity of the universe and achieve clarity of spiritual vision. Then along comes that logical side that says to me "Give it up, it's all bullshit and thinking happy thoughts won't change anything. You can decorate your cage with whatever you want, but the cold steel bars remain." Still, the insanity of "life" has already occurred. What possible guarantee do I have that this cycle won't just repeat itself? My attitude is: "Stay until it's completely unbearable (and just hope it won't get worse), do not aid in bringing human or non-human lives into this universe nor impose death upon them when they are already here, and finally, continue making the best of a bad situation."

To me, imposition is the evil that has brought us to where we all are. I will never understand how any thinking and caring being can justify forcing something into this existence. They know it's all about deception and ego, but they won't admit it to themselves.

Anonymous said...

i saw all the suffering and pain in this world, and i saw, this is the very last thing that should exist. i never became an antinatalist; i was born one.

realizing that you're an AN is the biggest shit, because when you realize it, it's too late.

Stacy said...

I had not heard of antinatalism until recently. But for a long time I have felt that it is wrong to have children since there is no way to know whether your children will have a good life or not.

I also have always thought that life is a lot of work for no reason. We go to work every day in order to have food, shelter, and other things we need. How do we benefit children by bringing them into existence? So they can do the same thing and deal with all the pain and needs of life too? Are we somehow greatly benefited that we came into existence and have needs that constantly need fulfilled?

Yes, there are things that are enjoyable in life, but if we never came into existence in the first place, it is not like we would feel deprived of enjoyment. I also have never thought that the good things in life are enough to make up for the bad things, and for some people, life consists of almost all suffering and no joy.

Compoverde said...

Stacy, I am an antinatalist for very similar reasons. You stated your reasons quite well. Don't forget boredom, the flip coin of work/survival. When all our basic needs are met, we have to pursue entertainments that get is into drama that get us into all sorts of despair, etc.. all because we are bored and our minds need this emotional and intellectual stimulation it seems at all times, because we cannot just exist and be happy, its a constant moving of the rock up that hill, but to nowhere in particular. Check out my blog at www.anti-procreationmovement.blogpspot.com where I do a whole rant on this and antinatalism. I wrote it before I came to this website or before Benatar's book was written. I am hoping more and more people see the light of antinatalism. How do you suppose, however, we combat people who say "Well, MY life is just great!" I guess the gamble argument (procreation is a gamble with someone else's life); the rights argument (potential beings weren't asked to be here and now the only method out is a painful solution of suicide); the warped view argument (you are being a pollyanna, look at your life more closely, there are things that make life not worth living, however, being confronted with my argument you only pick the positive).. Can anyone else think of something else to "jump" that wall people make when they say "Well MY life is fine and great"?

Stacy said...

Compoverde, I believe the best argument to convince people of antinatalism who say their lives are wonderful is the gamble argument. Most people have to admit to a certain extent that even though their lives may be wonderful, there are many lives that are total misery. Is it really right to take the chance of having a child when you have no idea how that child's life will go? Some people think because they are good parents they know their children will have good lives, but in reality there is no such guarantee.

I do think your point is very good that once we have satisfied our basic needs we have to deal with boredom because of our big brains. So no matter how wealthy the world eventually becomes and how little work we have to do we still will need to keep ourselves constantly entertained.

Compoverde said...

Stacy, thank you for recognizing the boredom factor. It really is the big elephant in the room.. Meaningless, Existential Angst, Despair, Ennui, its all rolls back to boredom really. The idea that the world does not have much to offer. We can try to fill that time with as much "Stuff" or meditation, or aesthetic appreciation of art, music, and nature as we want, but there is always that something missing.. There is always a lacking, even in the most entertaining of diversions. Nothing will ever make that lacking cease as long as we are awake and alive.

filrabat said...

Stacy, Compoverde.

Those are more good points, all of it. I'll say it's not so much the gamble part as it is that it's impossible to consent. If people were in a pre-born state before birth into this world AND could make a fully informed decision about this world, and decided they wanted to enter this world, then I'd have no problem with forcing more people into existence. But because (a)we don't - no, CAN'T - know if a person would like subjugation to the rules of The Game of Life (an essential part of which is the work/live phenomenon Stacy brought up), and (b) there's no guarantee that even playing the game by the rules will yield a happy life...it follows that you are taking a nonconsensual gamble with other's lives.

rae said...

i am an antinatalist although i am profoundly disabled (with deformities) and i could not have children if i wanted to anyways. i always wish that i was never born. my own life is full of year after year of physical and emotional agony because of my disease. there won't be a cure for me so the only releif will come when i die. add to that the misery of deformity. but the worst thing of all, the most agonizing thing, is the suffering of animals. i am well aware of it and i absolutely cannot deal with it. i don't want this horrible world to continue at all. all i want is for it to stop. i am so sorry that this world ever happened.

Francois Tremblay said...

rae, welcome to the group. Please come by the chat room sometime.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Rae, good to see another AN out there.

metamorphhh said...

Glad to have you, rae. I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say about animal suffering. I think most of us here feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I wanted to give you all some information about how I came to hold the irreversible conclusions about the human condition that I do.

I think I knew from a very early age, perhaps even during my middle childhood, that there was something not quite right with the situation I found myself in as a sentient self-reflexive being. Later on, I struggled to comprehend all the suffering I saw in the world and how people could just block it out without even seeming to consider it. The christian beliefs my mother raised me on seemed self-evidently fatuous to me even as a 9 or 10 year old boy as I could not reconcile the notion of an omnicient, omnipotent and benevolent god with his conduct in the Old Testament.

In my teens I gave the questions about 'life, the universe and everything' some serious thought. During that time, I wrote some poems reflecting my unmet need to be able to frame my existence in a way that I could somehow make sense of. The poems I wrote inevititably contained overwhelmingly melacholic tones and conveyed a sense of futility in a universe that I knew even back then that I could never ever truly understand.

During my late teens and early twenties I managed to shrug off some of my earlier 'pessimism' as I got somewhat indoctrinated by the prevailing superstition of the masses that 'all is well and good in the world.'Despite this, however, I still had not managed to shrug off my ambivalence about being born and in my mid twenties it increasingly began to dawn on me that if I could somehow have been asked prior to my birth if I had wished to be born, I would have politely declined because it just did not seem worth all the aggravation and the effort somehow. I just saw in front of me a series of daunting, stressful and ultimately pointless tasks that I would need to accomplish before I would die like everybody else who has ever lived. I also started to look at my parents as mortal creatures who would die before me and I anticipated that this would cause me a great deal of emotional distress.

Anonymous said...

Life just never really seemed to me like something I could take entirely seriously but not at all in the light-hearted manner that that may suggest. I felt that the most important questions in life were the ones that people habitually seemed to skirt around and they seemed infinitely more interested in jabbering about what 'x thinks about y and what y thinks about z' chit chat and the 'he said that she said that I said...' mindless gossip type of thing.

I was and still am passionately interested in seeking understanding about the REALLY important questions in life such as the true nature of the human condition. I studied psychology and wrote my dissertation employing the use of discourse analysis in order to examine how people justified child smacking as I found it upsetting to be smacked as a child even though it was well intended and not at all what would be considered to be gratuitous by most people's reckoning.

I was fascinated by the concept of consciousness and in wondering how the mind managed to manifest itself from what appeared to basically be an inanimate lump cased in the skull. I reflected on the pure animalistic nature of my own body that defecated and sweated and pumped blood around my arteries and veins in a most unseemly way. I learnt about the history of religeon and became very interested in the philosophical arguments for and against. I knew that religeon was a dead end but I enjoyed the way in which philosophical arguments were framed and gained some amusement from how easily the monotheistic religeons could be debunked and ridiculed. Quantum physics also intrigued me and I had to concede that 'reality' conducts itself in a most counter-intuitive manner on both the very large scale and also the very, very small.

I read my Schopenhauer and my Cioran and my Benatar. The Benatarian assymetry seemed self-evident to me when I read it but the full ramifications of how bad are lives really are in relation to non-existence when viewed from a purely objective and rational perspective have only just begun to really sink in.

Anonymous said...

I recently took a personality test. The following was my main profile:

Intellectually curious, competitive and always driven to acquire more knowledge and competence. Blues represent 10% of the population. They like coplex issues, are compelled to understand what makes the world run, seek knowledge (for its own sake) and typically challange and test all authority. Their first reaction is to criticize and set their own standards against which they test everyone - themselves and others. They are highly precise in thought and language, and are future orientated, trusting only logic and reason, not the rules or procedures of the past.

The above describes me pretty well I think apart from my inability to spell 'asymmetry' correctly; I actually think I HATE the asymmetry!

I'm glad that there are other people out there who can take a step back from their immediate surroundings and see the history of sentient life on this planet as nothing more than an utter unmitigated travesty. I don't think I like human nature very much generally, even that of my best friend who actually thinks that he gave his son 'a chance'to experience the wonders of life.

From a biological perspective, my mother has been bi-polar since and as a result (trigger) of my birth. My sister too has been hospitalised due to depression and self-harm and now she seeks some solace in christianity (I can't capitalise the 'c' here) and looking after her two pet hamsters. I've never personally been treated for depression but I have been able to live a 'functional' life, drifting around the world and holding down full-time jobs but I would never have described myself as a happy, sociable, care-free, go-getter kind of guy. Most likely, if 'I' had 'I' would not be writing this very message to you right now:

I just wanted to insert this definition of 'depressive realism' here:

Depressive realism is the proposition that people with depression actually have a more accurate perception of reality, specifically that they are less affected by positive illusions of illusory superiority, the illusion of control and optimism bias. The concept refers to people with borderline or moderate depression, suggesting that while non-depressed people see things in an overly positive light and severely depressed people see things in overly negative light, the mildly discontented grey area in between in fact reflects the most accurate perception of reality. (Wikipedia)

Obviously personal circumstances are going to impact tremendously on one's 'world view' as well. I experienced much more than my 'fair share' of bullying whilst I was at school when I was just a quiet, painfully shy little boy in the corner who wanted to be fully accepted by his peers but somehow could never quite 'fit in', or even generate the desire to do so for that matter.

It's a pet theory of mine that whoever wrote Hamlet, and there has been much dispute over whether it was even the work of a single author, saw right through to the heart of the matter when he/they wrote 'Hamlet'. I have a hunch that we're probably (for the most part) in good company.

Take care,

Derived Energy

Anonymous said...

My philosophy in a nutshell:

Sentience enables one to be aware of all the needs, wants and desires one has at any given time and also enables one to be aware of the gap between the reality of this situation and what one currently experiences. Due to the fact that sentience is the process by which awareness of this shortfall reaches the creature who possesses it, sentience can only ever be logically regarded as a net minus liability or (arguably) as a neutral capacity. This is the non-deranged way to regard the human condition.

Derived Energy

rae said...

@metamorphhh....nice to 'meet you' everybody. i only recently learned there were other "antinatalists" out there. i would love to share more on my thoughts about animal suffering but i don't know where to do that at.

Francois Tremblay said...

rae, you can come on the chat room (scroll down to the bottom of the main page of this blog) or to the forum at
http://www.graveyardofthegods.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=41

Compoverde said...

Derived Energy,

I would say that is a very good, compact understanding of what we humans face. My philosophy is very similar to yours. We are deprived at almost all times..Everything is lacking..Consciousness just makes us that much more aware of our lacking, and one may say worse off than even other animals.

Karl said...

Rae, welcome to the gang. I hope this blog and the others give you an outlet. Animal suffering is indeed the hidden holocaust of this planet and is one of humanity's greatest shames (alongside all the others!).

Derived Energy: Nice autobiographical piece. I can identify with large elements of it. There are days when one feels as if one is just trapped in a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Cleveland Amory's book Man Kind? was one of the the first shoehorns to my pessimism. About human atrocities to the animals. Hunting, trapping, poisoning, and other nice things. Published in 1974, and I read it as young teen. And he didn't even touch on factory farming.

I'm not sure if it's still it print. I should have checked Amazon before posting.

Anon6226 said...

The turning point for me came when I arrived at the conclusion that I couldn't rely on the people around me to tell me what the truth was. Those around me were lacking the necessary insight. I decided that if ever I was going to realize truth, the realization would come through observation and learning and not by being told what was true.

Eventually, this approach led to an observation that life is marked by struggle. Human beings persistently struggle day after day to stave off various kinds of physical and emotional ailments. How could I justify having children under these circumstances?

There are material pleasures which people are very taken by (but of which the intensity is greatly exaggerated, in my opinion). However, it is a mistake to think that life is not fundamentally marked by futile and meaningless struggle.

Anonymous said...

The Samantha

My awakening came a few years ago during a period of strong suffering which I am still undergoing. I have paranoid schizophrenia ans a result of years o bullying and torment at the hands of my peers and society. I realized that I didn't want to have children because I didn't want them to suffer. I didn't have a name for this, but I searched and found Conceiving a Child is a Sin bu P Srivastana and Compoverde's blog The Anti-Procreation Movement. While browsing childfree websites, I came across Moral Childfree. I said to myself "I'm moral childfree." I didn't know I was an antinatalist. It was sheer luck that a wikipedia search returned the term and the rest was history.

Sex is the only thing I really enjoy about life. I have a lot of casual sex. I used to be a stripper and I've sold sex a few times. I'm a a slut and I'm proud of it. I loathe the sexual double standard (he's a stud, she's a slut) and I am relieved to have found so many people who refrain from perpetuating it. For years, I have feared having a daughter because I didn't want her to have to deal with that double standard. Without sex, I'm often bored and tormented by the voices. I hate and don't trust people because I believe they have trouble accepting minority viewpoints and lifestyles such as mine. I have highly unusual views (atheist, conservative on race, pro-sex femniinst, pro-abortion, antinatalist, bisexual, etc.) and people see it as a threat so they target me for harsh criticism.

I'm currently unemployed and not interested in working, not because I'm lazy (I have an Ivy League degree) but because I'm afraid to deal with people's drama. When I'm not having sex, I like to keep to myself, read, and find kindred spirits on the internet . For some reason, people who are incapable of entertaining themselves see this as unfriendly and make critical comments.

I stil have ambition and hope. I call myself The Samantha because I mirror myself after the sexual maverick and successful independent 46 year old Samantha from Sex and the City (I'm 28). I want to be a sex therapist. It will be hard but it can be done. I know my life will be a lot better without marriage and children. It's so freeing.

Anonymous said...

You aren't Sister Y I pray, if an atheist may pray.

Anonymous said...

Hi Samantha, I'm glad you found us.
You might want to reconsider the career as a sex therapist, as that would force you to deal with "people's drama", would it not? Anyway, welcome!

Anonymous said...

The Samantha

Why do you pray I'm not Sister Y?

Sister Y said...

I am not and have never been a sex worker (though I've dated a former stripper - she was too crazy for me, which is saying a lot).

Jim said...

Out of the blue here but I cannot enter the chat. It says "rejected" every time I try to enter.

Francois Tremblay said...

Really? There are 3 people in the room right now and we're all doing ok.

Jim said...

I guess Ive been blocked by the owner?

metamorphhh said...

Hi, Jim. Sorry you can't get in. I haven't blocked anyone, but it's happened before to a regular here. Glitch in the system, I guess. Hope you keep trying.

ppp said...

Hey jim,

Try clearing your browser cache. It happened to me too. something to do with an old cookie.

good luck.

Stacy said...

I actually was not able to get into the chat through Google Chrome yesterday. It said "rejected" when I typed "Stacy" into the chat box. But when I used Internet Explorer, it worked fine. But I normally use the chat through Google Chrome without any issues.

filrabat said...

The first serious doubt I was uneasy about childbirth was in my early 20s. As a Christian, I started wondering if any of my children would be saved, for salvation is not heritable. Still that wasn't enough to convince me.

What really convinced me, in a nutshell, was when I realized just how selfish, petty, and frankly immature so many people WELL after entering adulthood, and perhaps their entire lives. Lies centering on gossip, climbing the social ladder, excessive image-conscious, and indifference - if not disdain - for intellectualism and independent thought. In short, the same mentality but dressed up in adult clothes and adult-level impression management.

In the end, people's lives are about making more money, so they can afford to buy more stuff or take more trips and leisure activities, so they can impress people whom they don't really like.

This by itself was bad enough, but what really compelled me to adopt AN was that even many adults actually don't have that much more concern for even basic simple fairness, civility, and openness to other ideas or people different from they are. In effect, one hell of a lot of them have the mentality of adolescents but they express that mentality in adult ways. Isn't that contrary to what maturity is all about?

Now why would I want to drag my children into this kind of world?

Further reinforcing all this is the fact that humanity's going to die off one day anyway, so what's the point of it all?

I think we should do what we can to make the world a better place for the sake of those who either already exist or who are going to exist. However, that's a different matter from fundamentally changing human nature itself (which is impossible.

Because it's impossible to change human nature to any real degree (let alone a satisfactory one) do we really need to continue giving birth to yet more members of such a species?

filrabat said...

PS, this is in addition to what Stacy and Compoverde already said. I find it true even from a Christian P.O.V. - a nonexistent person is not deprived of anything, not even salvation. Furthermore, if brought into existence, there's always the chance that child would end up choosing the wrong path. So the only way I can guarantee my child would be safe is not to have him or her in the first oplace

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here have fundie Christian parents? I was told just the other day by my mother that I was going to the Hell if i didn't accept Jayzuz. She's been a head case all her. And I inherited that shit. Thanks, Mom! The major reason I'm an antinatalist.

Anonymous said...

The Samantha

I'm in complete agreement with Filrabat. Why drag children into a world filled with just vicious, callous, and narrowminded "adults"?

Because they will need money to survive, they'll have no choice but to find work where they'll be around these types of a people for eights hours a day, five days a week, four weeks a month, twelve months a year, for 50 years.

Also a non-existent child is not deprived of heaven. But a child in existence may end up in hell for various reasons (some out of their control) like being gay or being illegitimate. Even if there is no hell, there's still the fear of hell that may intensify with age.

Adele said...

Having been vegetarian since childhood, and now vegan, I feel strongly that the suffering of our fellow sentient beings is not something trivial or something that should be bracketed away, either psychologically or socially.
Previously, I was of the view that we simply needed a radically different political system, fewer people on the planet, and that those fewer people needed to live in a (radically) more ecologically-minded manner. However, since acquainting myself better with the philanthropic arguments for antinatalism, I've come to realise that when extended to humans, the logical result of my concern for the welfare of animals is antinatalism. For inasmuch as we have control over such events, there is simply no 'need' to bring any sentient creature into this world to live and die and suffer. Once the inescapable logic of this is grasped, it's extremely difficult (impossible, even) to shake off - not that I would wish to.

The irony of the situation is that if one is able to come to the above realisations BEFORE having children, one is more deserving of the title 'good mother' or 'good father' than ever.

Which brings me to another point. The sad fact is that there are many who 'benefit' (although I use that term loosely- since we all suffer to some extent here, and we will all die) from either reproducing or encouraging others to. I have come across people from many different walks of life in my home country (UK) who appear to see a child as their meal ticket - whether this is to access particular welfare benefits or subsidised housing, or the middle class equivalent (I know of women who have effectively used having a child, or an additional child, as a means to increase their income/future income once a relationship split is on the horizon). Using children as bargaining chips in this way is beyond selfish and yet is actively perpetuated (encouraged even, if that's not too cynical a view) by our social structures. After all, for those at the top of the pile, who may believe they 'benefit' from the breeding of expendable consumers, producers, soldiers etc, there is perhaps less incentive to do away with the 'farm' altogether.

Whilst I'm therefore skeptical of how much we can realistically achieve in terms of inroads at this particular juncture, I'm very much of the view that we should, from our point of realisation of these facts, be reproductive refuseniks. Refusing to procreate is an act of solidarity; not with other childless folks, but with our hypothetical unborn children.

Incidentally, as a gnostic of sorts, I believe there may be more than a grain of truth in the gnostic idea that this mortal realm serves as something of a prison or trap. If one accepts such a scenario, it would surely be incumbent on us not to bring any more beings into existence into this world than is strictly necessary. Nevertheless, I recognise the moral and ethical arguments put forward by atheist and materialist antinatalists as perfectly valid in themselves and requiring little further elaboration.

Adele said...

I missed this out of my last post by mistake:

Having read much of the material on the VHEMT website (and finding myself in agreement with a great deal of it), I then linked through to this one, which I've been reading with great interest. As a female in my late 20s, I've been conscious of issues surrounding whether to have children or not for some time - since I am at an age when many of my peers, I'm sorry to say, seem to think it is their automatic duty to create more people into this world to live and die. For this is what 'having children' entails - although the reality is almost always repackaged and presented to us (and particularly to women!) in heavily sugarcoated form.

Tragically, there is much suffering on this planet - whether directly at the hands of humans, or the human-created 'system', or as a result of natural phenomena. Whilst it may be possible to mitigate some of this suffering, I agree with the statement that for a human being to bring a child (or indeed animal) into this world with intent is effectively to gamble with the wellbeing (i.e. the psychological and psychological integrity) of the child or animal. This is quite apart from the fact that irrespective of may or may not happen beyond death, we will all die - a fact that many people understandably struggle to come to terms with.

Anonymous said...

~~the truth hurts/life sux~~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THIODWTqx5E&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous said...

Ironically perhaps, anti-natalism comes from love. We love ourselves/our friends/our family/the world/our planet. We know that any children we have will suffer in the real world. For this reason, i think many religions, e.g. buddhism, christianity raise up being a monk or nun as a path of causing least suffering ...

Anonymous said...

I don't think antinatalism "perhaps comes from love". I think it definitely comes from love or at least a concern for the impact one's actions has on another human being.

Anonymous said...

Buddhism brought me to an antinatalist perspective. In fact, it is an inevitable conclusion that one arrives at in researching the history of Buddhism. It is primarily against 'rebirth', or in other words, against the possibility of actually living another life. If this is not antinatalism, what is? Of course, most antinatalists today are not thinking of it from within that context. Nevertheless one simply cannot deny that the Buddha was teaching something that goes against the pro-natal grain. He had a wife and child himself, but left them at age 29 when the child was still a baby. Obviously, he must have been horrified. Here was a being who had a sensitive, philosophical disposition since childhood, becoming completely entangled in the worldly life that he had grown to hate. He had to leave. And what did he do when he left? It goes beyond armchair antinatalism, into the realm of 'askesis'. He sought out altered state experience, training with various masters of meditation. This was a man who was not only tired of the mundane world but actively seeking a soteriological escape from it. Having attained such experiences as 'infinite space', 'infinite consciousness', 'nothingness', etc he found that even these profound states did not lead to the complete extinction or nirvana that he had philosophically realized to be of paramount importance. The Buddha was teaching a soteriological antinatalism: don't procreate and don't get born again! Modern antinatalists have assumed that there will be no continuity of their consciousness after death. It may not be so. The Buddha is said to have remembered all 'his' past lives and known that he would not be reborn again. If we do not believe there is any continuity of consciousness or karma after death, then our own complacency may result in innumerable rebirths rather than attaining parinirvana at the time of our deaths - complete extinction. From a Buddhist perspective, complete cessation of consciousness is the attainment of a enlightened one and not the natural right of every dying creature. Interestingly, even if this Buddhistic cosmology is dismissed as unverifiable, we can still find in Buddhism the psychological basis for an antinatalistic soteriology, inasmuch as meditative practice in the Buddhist tradition aims towards the cessation of all perception and cognition and consciousness itself. In other words, through such a practice the psychological subject who feels imprisoned by existence may find his own effacement and dissolution in meditative states. Buddhism doesn't teach Self-realization, it teaches the dissolution of the self into nothingness. Such a psychology - of dissolution and disappearance, of escaping within, - goes completely against the cultural grain which encourages involvement in society, procreation, keeping the tribe alive, and so on. It is thus no surprise that Buddhism and other celibate monastic cults have always generated the criticism from worldly people that monks and nuns do nothing to contribute to society or its continuity.

NightHorse said...

As I am a recent retiree and still married to my third wife, going on thirty-one years, landing on Mr. Crawford's site (and later, reading his book) is the result of opportunity and curiosity. Since we opted for romance over the "family way" of spawning heirs, I wanted to know what other people were doing out there in cyberspace who, like us, were making their own decisions to refrain from human reproduction.

That's when i first ran into the term, "antinatalism", a word completely foreign to my vocabulary.

It's funny and maybe it's just a sign of the times, but the reasons I've read for not having kids have left me a bit stunned. Everyone here is more than familiar with the standard, antinatalist arguments of overwrought pessimism. Life is suffering, the world is doomed, children are better off unborn, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But what I seldom come across are MY reasons not to procreate. OUR reasons, my wife's and mine. Simply put, to further the cultivation and expansion of existential freedom. You remember that word, "freedom", don't you?

That's my only real criticism of your book, Jim. I might be wrong here, but I don't recall the word, "freedom" appearing in it anywhere at all. Why is that?

Anyway, I guess it's the old story. Everyone growing up gets thoroughly put to sleep by so many rules and authorities (starting with one's parents, of course), it gets easier and easier to forget the Prime Directive. And then you start shooting yourself in the foot, kowtowing to petty tyrants and all manner of socially sanctioned bullying.

Jim Morrison once said, "When you make your peace with authority, you become an authority", and really, that's exactly what parenthood is all about - playing authority for someone who doesn't know shit. Wonderful ego-trip, I'm sure, but a monstrous blow to the pursuit of personal freedom.

Therein lies my lifelong disdain for breeding "little ones". But here's the rub: I really, really, REALLY liked to fuck! And when it came to sex, it was Morrison to the rescue once again - mental control of the male orgasm.

Today's my birthday. I'm 65 and I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

Night Horse:

Please elaborate on this New Agey sounding afterlife you allude to. And Jim Morrison is just another skeleton in a Paris cemetary.

Please, tell us.

NightHorse said...

Well, my anonymous and obviously younger friend, there was a time before anything "new agey" became briefly popularized. What there was instead was very clean, very strong and very cheap LSD-25. And there was this guy, Jim Morrison, who probably took more of the stuff than Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey combined.

Anyway, he got into this habit of having sex with willing females for hours and hours on end while tripping on the drug. And, while thus preoccupied, he was not only able to see some very interesting things in his mind, but he found that he could quite easily control his orgasm. He found that he could "play" with it; move closer and then move further away. It felt so good, so intensely ecstatic, that he just wanted to stay there, in utero.

The Doors thing was just like a hobby until his voice started to change. The rest is history. But what most people don't know is that all the fucking on acid had the unfortunate side effect of killing his cock. Once that happened, the heavy drinking started, as in "drunkenness is a good disguise" for a world-class sex symbol who couldn't get it up anymore.

It just proved to me that with proper concentration, any guy could control his own orgasm and you didn't need acid to do it. You just have to try and most guys never do.

As for existence beyond the grave, I'll save that for another post.

NightHorse said...

I'm not gonna sit here and complain about the hyper-pragmatism, the overly political sensitivity or the spiritual bankruptcy of the current culture we live in. Or the fact that an increasing number of people are actually CHOOSING to believe in non-existence after death these days.

Try this: try to imagine non-existence. You can't do it and you can't do it because it's impossible to do. Of course, you can THINK of non-existence as an abstract concept, but you cannot imagine what it would be like. Now why would believe in something you can't even imagine?

A better question might be, "Why can't I imagine non-existence?" Maybe because its non-existence itself that doesn't exist and there is no such thing as "nothingness". These are categories of rational thought which simply are not and can not be real.

Maybe it's because existence is a given in this universe of ours. You have always existed and always will exist. Nothing "comes into being". It just moves around and changes form.

To me, the big question is, "What will be the nature of my existence after this body dies?" and "How did I get BORN in the first place?" I mean, I know it was because a man and a woman fucked in a certain way, but why me, why here and why now? And, maybe more importantly, what was MY role in the conception? What are the real mechanics of the lustful alchemy that can trap spirit in matter this way? That's what I'D like to know!

Natalie said...

I come from a highly christian background. Raised in MD, we attended regular Baptist churches(lot of preachers in my family),a semi-cult ("don't call it church, it's just a meeting!"),then joined some very legalistic Mennonites, finally, onto homeschooling super pro-procreation non denominational Christians where nearly everyone had 8+ kids (cept my family, I'm the last baby - #3)and we all crowded into the pastor's house to sit on folding chairs for 6-8+ hours.

I got myself into public school in 10th grade since I wasn't receiving an education (autodidact). My parents divorced right after I turned 16, and the home we lived in for several years before the divorce and for all the years after was a shit-hole, not only filthy esp cos of all the animals but both my parents are extreme hoarders and the entire rancher (idk size, 7,000+ feet easily-- basement, garage, even the acre of land was filled with junk.

Hypocritically zealous fucked up christian parents. I latched onto my own looser, more liberal Christianity in high school, got with a youth group, made tons of christian friends. I thought I was onto something...that I was better than my parents, that I got it right and I despised their weakness.
Slowly and luckily, I snapped out of it around age 19...life was too dark, the brain very obviously a reality creator (I finally started tripping a little bit, experiencing different mindsets and states, to say the least). And anyway, I'm really making a long-ass story short, but suffice to say I'm 27 now, my older sister just had her 3rd kid and I cringe and hate the stupidity that leads people to make such obvious irrational decisions.
It just doesn't make sense. My mind seems to be on repeat with this phrase, there's too much that doesn't make sense. Why are people so dense? I come from pure shit, I'm not super intelligent, but not having children should be a given for anyone with a half of a mind to work with...why isn't it? It brings me to tears. But that's life for ya ...


Technocratic Union said...

I came to this conclusion a long time ago; after struggling so much to make ends meet that I noticed that the ends aren't long enough to meet in the first place.

Suffice to say, I think that everyone here is too passive with their AN. You need to be Aggressive. Attack life wherever it stays; drown animals, abort babies and set the elderly on fire. If we aren't making this hell shittier for someone who's still here or preventing the birth of someone who isn't then we're not doing enough.

I see myself akin to the Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files. Someone who is really only doing things now; because there's nothing left to do but this. Not until the end anyway; and hastening that end is the only good and noble thing we could do.

Forest Gump had it right; he just didn't get the conclusion. In the end, all you have is an empty box, filled with useless, brown paper wrappers.