Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

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RedKryptonite
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Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

Postby RedKryptonite » 23 Jun 2018 09:35

Hi Everyone,
This is a statement I made in reddit discussion about Antinatalism. I would like to share it and hear everyone's thoughts. (Most especially you Summerlander. ;) )

You can only enjoy life at the expense of others. That nice big house you live in? people less fortunate than you had to go through the labor to build it. Factory workers and Sewer cleaners wouldn't do what they do if they had better prospects,but we need them. Law enforcement officers and violence professionals put their lives and well-being in the line of duty,for without them,we'd be at the mercy of the monsters of society,etc.

There's a Donald duck comic book out there called "A financial Fable" where the moral story is that we need people who are working the "less-than-pleasant-but-necessary-jobs" to keep society functioning. Somebody has to bite the bitter end of the stick so that the privileged can enjoy their life.

I originally saw this mentioned as an argument against UBI(I dunno how applicable this will be when we have advanced robots though),but I now see this as an excellent argument in favor of antinatalism. Nobody has to bite the bitter end of the stick if everything and everyone ceased to exist.


Oh,and another statement here by the reddit user I replied to with the comment above:

Death is not just the specific, dated event that ends your life. The question implies that life is, on balance, potentially a worthwhile and valuable thing if you aren't "born with horrible cards", and if you are, that problem can be solved by providing a painless way out. It's another way of saying: life is usually good and death is usually bad because it ends a good life, but if you have a bad life, death becomes good because it ends your bad life.

This entirely misses the other dimension of death, which is the fact that it doesn't just appear suddenly to end your life, it's a constitutive part of your life from the start. As long as you are born mortal, as we all are, death is a process that began at the moment you started to exist. Coming into the world means emerging as a temporary, rapidly diminishing organism, always on the verge of death from accident or disease, but also from the mere passage of time. In every way, our vitality is constantly ebbing, our energy is being spent to keep us going, our bodies are getting worn down, it's just a fact of physics. And this is not a pleasant thing to endure for humans, but we endure it because we have to, because to give in and stop resisting would mean our annihilation, something we naturally strive to avoid.

So, we all have to scramble for our survival in a world that is endlessly subtracting from us. We have to add new things to replace what is lost, and create values to make sense of our predicament. When you put billions of humans on the same rock and force them to take on this obligation, you get all the problems of human civilization. All the conflicts and violence we see is a result of everyone clashing with everyone else in their attempts to cling to life at all costs, which they are made to do just by virtue of being alive to do it. From a moral perspective, this creates a huge amount of useless, gratuitous suffering.

These two dimensions, the continual process of dying and the guarantee that people will always harm one another, are what prevent life from having the value your question assumes it does. Providing a way of ending an individual's life without much pain would be nice, but it wouldn't make giving life to someone any better. I would still be giving someone the pain of mortality and placing them in a situation of friction with everyone else. Assisted suicide would just be the consummation of the initial "seed" of death that was already planted by me when I created them.

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Summerlander
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Re: Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

Postby Summerlander » 24 Jun 2018 04:27

Anyone born in this world is bound to follow some kind of system that never guarantees absolute safety. And all life is a 'suicide mission' anyway---we all end up losing everything and everyone before ultimately, ourselves!

Even the 'privileged' won't be so privileged for long. Nobody escapes sickness and death. I think it's important to remember that so as to ward off pronatalists who might say that a newborn could become privileged. And you're absolutely right when you say, 'Nobody has to bite the bitter end of the stick if everything and everyone ceased to exist.'
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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RedKryptonite
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Re: Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

Postby RedKryptonite » 24 Jun 2018 13:33

Real curious,but do your kids know about your antinatalism? if not,do you consider introducing them to the idea in the future?

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Summerlander
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Re: Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

Postby Summerlander » 24 Jun 2018 20:44

I've introduced it to my eldest as he was curious when he saw me watching the debate between Jordan Peterson and David Benatar. I emphasised the fact that those who are alive have a moral duty towards their loved ones and for this reason suicide should be resisted.

Exceptions, however, do exist. If they are physically and mentally tortured, and there is no guaranteed escape in life, then the release death provides can be conscientiously applied through the practice of euthanasia. Anybody who doesn't understand the concept of 'mercy-killing' cannot discern the intimacy between antinatalism and ethics.

RedKryptonite wrote:These two dimensions, the continual process of dying and the guarantee that people will always harm one another, are what prevent life from having the value your question assumes it does.


Beautiful. :mrgreen:

You either like life in general or you don't. The notion that life is precious is a persistent meme which is indubitably tied to our survival instinct. To suggest otherwise is counterintuitive and often deemed by majorities as evil.

That's what happened when a controversial Nietzsche committed deicide with his pen using scientific arguments, reason and philosophy. Worse still was when he said humans invented morality and that our obsessive quest for perpetual happiness discourages geniuses from making progress---and the argument that all progress comes from struggle and misery was not enough to dissuade the majority from the moral dogma that everyone swallows.

A spoilt kid often has no motivation or inspiration. He's been turned into a fanatical hedonist. From the depths of hell, however, can emerge passionate geniuses and, well, as they say, the 'strongest souls'.

He made a good point. But I don't think it's ethical to sacrifice suffering for the sake of genius. Since he was familiar with Schopenhauer's pessimism, I guess he was only saying, 'Things are ugly and if they are to be dealt with, suffering is inevitable.' :twisted:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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RedKryptonite
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Re: Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

Postby RedKryptonite » 27 Jun 2018 03:40

Does your son agree with the Antinatalist viewpoint? Its really good that you're introducing the philosophy. More people need to know about it. I realize not everyone will agree with it,all we can do is let people know about it in the hopes they will at least deeply introspect themselves and seriously think about the implications of giving birth.

A spoiled kid often has no motivation or inspiration. He's been turned into a fanatical hedonist. From the depths of hell, however, can emerge passionate geniuses and, well, as they say, the 'strongest souls'.


I've seen this argument before,and all it does is strengthen the argument for Antinatalism further,not weaken it. If suffering/hardship is necessary to develop someone into a good and competent person,then all the more reason that you shouldn't force someone into existence. You don't "need" to "suffer and become a good/strong person" if you don't exist now,do you?

Stop creating needs that didn't need to exist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ADwl9ClAsA

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Summerlander
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Re: Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

Postby Summerlander » 27 Jun 2018 22:55

Stop creating needs that didn't need to exist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ADwl9ClAsA


Well hammered. :mrgreen:

My son is old enough to see that the world is not a bed of roses so antinatalism resonated with him. Yes, I agree with the introduction of philosophy to children because I believe it will give them the tools to think for themselves. It teaches them about reasonable doubt and to question everything.

I'm yet to see a counterargument that seriously challenges antinatalism. It's undeniable: the world is such a chaotic place that consciousness arising in clumps of matter is a real problem. We may strive to accommodate consciousness and life in the universe by manipulating matter with technology, but this well-intentioned project costs suffering over time.

If there are no sentient beings to perceive and be affected by reality then problems don't exist.

'Fuck it, you might as well die now!'
~Eminem; Bad Influence
:mrgreen:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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RedKryptonite
Posts: 238
Joined: 13 Oct 2016 02:26

Re: Antinatalism: An Insightful Argument

Postby RedKryptonite » 29 Jun 2018 09:41

We may strive to accommodate consciousness and life in the universe by manipulating matter with technology, but this well-intentioned project costs suffering over time.


Sadly though,the vast majority of the world will never accept Antinatalism. We might be able to convince a few at best,but humanity(and the inevitable suffering)will live on whether we like it or not. Scientific development is our best bet to minimize the suffering/downsides of life.

Honestly,the best bet antinatalists have is to spread awareness of the Childfree lifestyle and that parenthood is a choice,not a given. I believe you'd have a much better chance of getting results that way. The CF community is much,much bigger than the Antinatalism community. Someone quoted me on this actually,here's the passage:

https://www.reddit.com/r/antinatalism/comments/82k7uw/a_way_to_convince_people_not_to_have_kids/


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