Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reply to Aschwin de Wolf Critique- Introduction

I’ve been thinking about how best to approach Aschwin de Wolf’s critique of antinatalism, and have decided on something similar to my response to TGGP’s essay from some time back. The downside to this approach is that I run the risk of being pedantic and/or repetitive. Then again, when did that ever stop me before? The upside is that I can take my time, stretch it out through several posts, and thereby cover my ground more thoroughly; as well as, I’m hoping, more thoughtfully. As an emotionally driven writer, I tend to write hurriedly with my eye on the finish line. Usually I’m ok with that, but I’m really bending over backwards this time, for two reasons-

1. I sincerely appreciate Aschwin’s effort in putting together this article, and feel it’s only fair to return at least that expenditure of energy in my reply.

2. Aschwin’s essay is ‘loose’ enough to allow me to make a rather comprehensive philosophical statement as I proceed along the course of his various observations and criticisms. At the end of all this, I hope to have produced a bookended declaration containing answers to most of the questions people frequently ask. I’ll be touching on history (particularly the history of philosophy and religion), psychology, morality and ethics. I also hope to delve rather deeply into the ‘philosophy’ of transhumanism, the various aspects of which I’ve always been interested in, and even more so these days.

That said, I’d also like to mention that this endeavor will be a true group effort, in that any insights offered by commenters will be considered part of the creative process here, and fed back into subsequent posts. I’m under no illusions that I have all the angles covered, and will seriously consider any relevant ideas and extrapolations as we move along. On this ride, backseat drivers are welcomed! :)

Finally, I beg your patience, as well as your valuable input. Your intellectual energy keeps me motivated more than you might suspect. Feel free to critique, ask questions, and contribute as you see fit. Any ideas at facilitating communication around here are also appreciated. The ‘watercooler’ thread seems to have been a particularly beneficial addition to the blog. I’m also of a mind to better highlight the websites of those who regularly contribute here. I’ll work on that.

Ok, so this has been the teaser. Next post, we get to the meat of the thing.


Anonymous said...

Then there is Friedrich Nietzsche, who, despite a life of disease and isolation, recognized that pessimism is not an objective feature of the universe but the expression of a weak and oversensitive mind.

Didn't read anything else after that line. *sigh*

Unknown said...

The three ultimate issues surrounding procreation are consent, consent, and consent.

Let's put it this way. I think it's wrong to force someone to sign an otherwise legally enforceable business contract even if you know they will benefit from it. This is especially true if the other person vehemently objects to the contract's terms for whatever reason.

To me, that's what forcing someone into this life is: forcing them to adhere to a set of rules (i.e. the rules of the game called life) which they have such deep objections to. Forcing them into a situation they had no choice but to participate in, especially if they don't like the situation. OK, maybe they won't object so badly to the rules of the game, but we will never know until they say one way or another. By that time, it's too late to do anything about it short of that other person's suicide (which even Benatar finds, in most circumstances, objectionable. I certainly find it objectionable on the grounds of causing anguish for family and friends).

Karim Akerma said...

You might want to read my reply to de Wolf's review at:
Karim Akerma, Hamburg

Anonymous said...

Typical emotionalist rhetoric from our ideological opponents.