Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thoughts on Yesterday's Post

On further reflection, I can't help but feel utterly appalled at the willingness people have to entertain delusion, in their attempt to affirm their own existence. I tried to speak to my ex-wife about this the other night, and she did everything short of putting corks in her ears to shut out what I was saying. Finally, she simply admitted that she's perfectly happy in her ignore-ance, considering the alternative would be to acknowledge that our having had children was a big, fat mistake. Understandable? Yes. Reprehensible? More than yes.

Furthermore, it's my considered opinion that almost everybody is aware of this universal trait of self-deception. The major religions of the world either ostensibly or tacitly acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with life. The world's mythologies are rife with stories about the 'fall of the world', offering escape routes of one kind or another. St. Paul even advised that it would be better if people stopped having children altogether; though he copped out in the face of his message's obvious futility. Doubly surprising when one considers that Christians are willing to bring a child into the world, full well knowing there's a chance the child might turn away from the
faith, and spend an eternity in God's torture chamber.

My ex is a Christian, btw, and both our children are agnostic, bordering on atheist. I can only wonder at the psychological hoops she's forced to jump through in order to maintain her denial that her little girls are headed for an appointment with a pitchfork. Knowing the way she thinks, I assume she's somehow convinced herself that they're actually Christians in a perpetual state of backslide; and that, at the end, Jesus will take that into account. I feel bad for her, but there's really not much I can do about it. After all, I'm the lone voice crying in the wilderness, countered by the interminable background noise of a whole culture intent on perpetuating the Lie.

I could go on, but I'm just too pissed off about the whole thing today. From time to time, it dawns on me that the whole idea about Truth being an ultimate ideal is just so much horseshit; most people are more than content to lie to themselves, and to pay professional liars to enforce those lies. And life affirmation is the biggest lie of them all. No...strike that! Bringing new lives into the world, in order to sustain the lie of life affirmation, is the biggest lie of all. Or, perhaps, it's just the biggest crime of them all.

And THAT'S the truth.


Anonymous said...

If it is best not to exist at all, I'm wondering why you are bothering with this blog? Why not blow your brains out?

Also, people who don't exist don't know that they don't exist and don't give a flying fuck whether or not they exist.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your question, anon., I believe I've answered that in several different ways throughout this blog. But here's a direct answer, cut and pasted from my reply to tggp:

"TGGP said...
I actually don't know why you haven't killed yourself. Chip says the main reason life and procreation is awful is precisely because of death, but for you everything one experiences while living is awful or at least doesn't make up for the awfulness.

In my short experience, things have always worked out though I might have worried before.

March 4, 2008 6:19 PM

your host said...
First things first- I haven't killed myself for a variety of reasons, familial duty, and the knowledge of the harm I'd inflict on my children probably chief among them. There's also the thing about doing irreversible harm against oneself; an obstacle that I'm surprised almost anybody is able to get around. There are other psychological constraints, I suppose. The moment of death doesn't actually bother me; it's all the shit leading up to that moment.

As far as experiences...well, that's a mixed bag, isn't it? And certainly not equally distributed throughout the species, eh? And that's my point, the one that many folks seem to be missing. One might be blessed beyond measure in his personal life; a rarity, to be sure, but it COULD happen...at least, in a relative way. But almost no one fares as well as our hypothetical Mr. Lucky, and for millions upon millions of people, life is shit, and between THOSE two extremes, there is a spectrum of good luck versus bad luck, happiness versus awfulness, etc. Any my point is that it isn't worth the risk bringing a life into the world, that has even a small chance of getting the horrible end of the stick. That's why my site is called 'antinatalism' in the first place...see? And yes, no matter what good fortune I or anyone else might experience, it isn't worth bringing other lives into the world who might not fare so kindly.

I think the point you might be missing here is encapsulated in your last sentence:

"In MY short (personal) experience, things have always worked out (for ME), though I might have worried before (about MYSELF, or someone else I cared about). Which is sort of like saying "Violence is totally worth it, because I've never been shot". I'm glad things have worked out for you so far, but you're much too intelligent to truly believe your particular sort of luck (so far) is the universal condition.

Admittedly, my take on life also emerges from the particular sort of person I am; I can't claim to be totally objective here, nor can anyone. That's why I put forth arguments, and await counter-arguments. Ultimately, where we come down on the question has a lot to do with our emotional makeups, and the pre-suppositional frameworks in which those emotions justify themselves, and are justified (vicious circles within vicious circles). It's my contention that many pro-natalists (not all of them) ofttimes act against their own philosophical best interests, giving rein to viewpoints which, examined more closely, actually collide with their own sensibilities.

Take lying, for instance; the topic of this particular post. Now, lying is ostensibly a bad thing in most peoples' eyes, most of the time. At the same time, life is supposedly a good thing. And yet, down through history, folks have found it necessary to justify many aspects of life through the 'art' of the lie; out rageous storytelling is part and parcel of the universal motif, as it were. And if you were to ask many adherents why they believe in these obviously fictitious apologues, they might answer something like "my life wouldn't be worth living without them."

Hope I've made myself clear here, tggp...thanks for the challenge."

As to your second statement, I'd simply say that you've helped to make my point. Indeed, no one who doesn't exist realizes or cares that they don't exist, so why bring them into existence? Especially considering the inherent risks, and sundry pains and sufferings, and the ultimate fact of each being's mortality? (This IS pretty much the whole point of this blog, after all).

I hope I've sufficiently answered your challenge.

Mitchell said...

To the anonymous commentator: Choosing to live, and choosing to make a new life, are very different things. It is the difference between betting your own money at the casino, and betting someone else's.