• unenlightened
    5.6k
    Is what one deems to be good a justification for making major decisions on behalf of another?

    If so, why?
    Tzeentch

    I think it is good for you and other readers if I answer this question. It brings me no joy, and it will probably bring you none either. Nevertheless, there is no justification for doing anything at all other than that one deems it good. This post will change the world forever in a very minor way, and the full consequences are unknowable. Who knows, my daughter my yet become the antinatalist that finally convinces the world to stop making babies? Such is the terrible risk one takes in making a post or a child. but the same risks go with doing nothing at all. There is nothing for it but to do what one deems good and refrain from what one deems bad. "It seemed a good idea at the time ." is the only justification of anyone for anything. You seem to argue that I should have refrained from giving life to another from a place of even more ignorance than me. At least I know my daughter somewhat.

    Some people wish they had never been born. Some people live lives full of pain and suffering. Others like myself are privileged and lucky. It isn't fair. We could make it more fair if we tried; we could massively reduce suffering if we cooperated, but I do not think we can end it or that we would want to end it. Our current guest has a project, but it makes no sense to me. I don't like suffering, yours or mine, but I love life and I choose to pay the price, and I have to choose one way or the other for untold future generations. I make the best choice I can in ignorance. I respect that you make the opposite choice in your ignorance. I do not even seek to change your mind.
  • Tzeentch
    986
    You seem to argue that I should have refrained from giving life to another from a place of even more ignorance than me.unenlightened

    I am arguing no such thing. I'm here to test my own ideas and there's no reason my comments should be seen as a personal attack on anyone's life choices.

    Back on subject:

    This fundamental ignorance you speak of, isn't that a serious reason to refrain from making major decisions on behalf of another?
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    This fundamental ignorance you speak of, isn't that a serious reason to refrain from making major decisions on behalf of another?Tzeentch

    No. One must either have a child or not; that is the decision one must make if the choice is available, or else let nature take its course. One decides to have a child or not, and one does not decide not to have a child on behalf of the child one does not have, nor does one decide to have a child on behalf of the child one has not yet had, and might never have. How many more times would you like me to answer that question?
  • James Riley
    317
    This has probably already been said, but it seems to me that some antinatalists agree that life is worth living, if only because they limit the prevention of suffering in life to the unborn. They don't champion the idea of killing once a person is out and about. Is this only because the law would increase their suffering if they were to kill? Why not suicide? All of these things seem to indicate that life is worth living. Or is more akin to a confession that once life takes over, it deprives us of the opportunity to be objective about it, and kill it. Life itself is an animal that refuses to die?

    A person once told me about a deer that was flopping around in a ditch, having been hit by a car. I got a 45-70 and went to put him down. As I approached, he stood and stumbled. I shot him, point blank, right through the heart. He stood again, and stumbled again. I shot him through both lungs. He stood and stumble through a barbed wire fence and finally collapsed and died. In hauling off to a better location for the coyotes and ravens, I noticed all four legs had compound fractures (bones broke through and through). He also had a large chunk of skull hanging off the side of his head, held on only by his hide. I could see his brain.

    After that, I resolved to live.

    So I was perplexed about these guys: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/04/06/texas-family-murder-suicide/

    Suicide is a thing. I get it. But when I heard they killed their family so their family would not have to deal with their suicide, it made my think of this thread. I guess I don't get. I'll roll with the deer.
  • Manuel
    315
    A deeply personal decision, I suppose it affords great meaning to one's life and also gives the parent a new sense of purpose and very substantial responsibilities. Also, it's a reason to continue with the human experiment.

    Having said that, I'm not sure how many people know just how bad the situation is climate wise, I'm not so confident anymore than after a certain amount of years, perhaps 8 years, perhaps less, it would be a good idea to introduce new creates to the world with no prospects of a good life at all. In fact, it looks to me to be a quite cruel act. But again, it's far from clear just how much people know about how bad the situation is, and how little time we have to prevent the worst outcome.

    And virtually no one speaks about the increasing nuclear threat, which the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, not a organization to take lightly, has not shifted from using minutes to seconds, and warns us that, if we do not cooperate on a global level, we are 100 seconds away from midnight, meaning, the end of it all. Of course, this news is so bleak, it makes it easy to ignore. I think this is a mistake, just look at how we've reacted the pandemic, surely the lightest of warm-ups for what's coming very soon.

    It's not a pretty picture, and questions such as the one posted by the OP now gain an existential urgency that would otherwise not have existed.
  • Tzeentch
    986
    One must either have a child or not; that is the decision one must make if the choice is available, or else let nature take its course.unenlightened

    The choice to have a child is akin to choosing on behalf of that child that it must experience life.

    One might say that there is no child yet on whose behalf choices can be made, but one knows it to come about as a direct result of one's actions.

    How many more times would you like me to answer that question?unenlightened

    Well, it is a rather odd position.

    It implies one should not take into consideration the future conditions one knowingly brings about as a result of their actions.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    Well, it is a rather odd position.Tzeentch

    I think it is quite commonplace; antinatalism is the odd position. The only oddity on my part is that I even bother to articulate the view.

    Rather, I Think it odd that you take ignorance as a reason not to have children and knowing as another reason.
  • Tzeentch
    986
    Fundamental ignorance is the prime reason one should practice caution when forcing conditions on others. As far as I am concerned, that applies anywhere in life, and I see no reason why the choice of having children should be different.
  • T Clark
    4.8k
    I don't think you do recognize that at all, as you did it in the preceding sentence!Bartricks

    I agree, my argument about your resentment was invalid, which, as you note, I acknowledged. That doesn't mean what I said was wrong.

    But just to be clear: you started it when you said that the thought of me having kids made you shudder. That's a personal slight, not a rational consideration.Bartricks

    I agree that it is a personal slight and unbecoming someone as mature and rational as I am. But my comment about you having children was not part of my argument. That's the difference. Also, I was talking about my feelings, not about you.

    As you will note, I didn't make any case against your argument at all because that, according to the OP, is not the subject of this thread. Note, from the OP -

    What possible reason could there be for creating another person?Andrew4Handel

    What I did was to answer Andrew4Handel's question. My answer - It is human nature to want to have children. Then I made some comments about what I think the reasons for and value of that is. People have children, I had my children, because we want them. Nuff said.

    As I've noted, you haven't made any response to that comment at all.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    I agree, my argument about your resentment was invalid, which, as you note, I acknowledged. That doesn't mean what I said was wrong.T Clark

    No, you did not acknowledge it, you just made it in ignorance of the fact you were committing the very fallacy you had just mentioned. That's how inept you are at being consistent.

    Now, you also said this in your earlier post:

    One characteristic of rational people is that they respond to the argument that's actually made rather than one they imagine.T Clark

    I then responded with an argument. Here:

    It is widely recognized that it is wrong, other things being equal, to do things to others without their prior consent. We ask people if they'd like a coffee, we don't ram one down their throat.

    There are lots of exceptions. But the exceptions aren't arbitrary. They seem invariably to be cases where a person is unable to consent and furthermore not doing the thing in question would most likely result in them coming to serious harm. That is, it doesn't seem sufficient that the act will benefit the person. If the person can't consent to what you're proposing to do, then the default is you are not morally permitted to do it unless that's the only way to prevent this person from coming to a serious harm.

    Acts of procreation clearly involve doing something to someone else without their prior consent, for none of us have asked to be born.

    Is it an exceptional case, though? No, for although we can't consent to be born, not bringing us into being here can't reasonably be considered to be something that would likely result in us coming to serious harm. For either we do not exist prior to birth, in which case our non-existence poses no risk of harm to us. Or we do exist prior to birth, but given our total ignorance of what pre-birth life is like, we are not entitled to assume that it is any worse than life here. Either way, procreative acts come out as acts that we are not morally entitled to perform.

    That's just one of a whole battery of arguments that can be made for the antinatalist conclusion.

    What have you got?
    Bartricks

    You then reply:

    As you will note, I didn't make any case against your argument at all because that, according to the OP, is not the subject of this thread.T Clark

    So I take it that you admit that by your own lights you are not rational? For you had accused me of making no arguments - false, I made one and made it again and again - then you accuse me of not being rational, then you identify a characteristic of rational people, and then you demonstrate that you lack it. Good job! Like I say, totally inept.

    You also do not seem to understand the OP. In the OP the question is whether there are any reasons to have kids. Normative reasons. I am saying that there is positive reason not to have them. Moral reason. Instrumental too, but I am focussing on moral reasons. (Moral reasons are among the normative reasons that there are).
  • T Clark
    4.8k
    You also do not seem to understand the OP. In the OP the question is whether there are any reasons to have kids. Normative reasons. I am saying that there is positive reason not to have them. Moral reason. Instrumental too, but I am focussing on moral reasons. (Moral reasons are among the normative reasons that there are).Bartricks

    I'll repeat - the subject of the OP was the question:

    What possible reason could there be for creating another person?Andrew4Handel

    You have identified reasons for not having children, which was not the issue raised in the OP. I answered that question. An appropriate response on your part might be to question whether the reason I identified was valid. You haven't even done that.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    You've got nothing to say, but you're not letting that stop you are you?
  • T Clark
    4.8k
    You've got nothing to say, but you're not letting that stop you are you?Bartricks

    You still haven't responded to how I addressed the issue raised in the OP.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.5k
    I think the question as of why did you something is very interesting.

    For example you could say "why did you drink that water?" If the person responds "because I was thirsty" that would satisfy your question.

    I think that I do a lot of things to make me feel good. I think this kind of hedonsistic, self-protective motive is somehwat understandable and logical.

    The problem is using other people for pleausre. I cannot force someone I am attracted to to be my partner/lover It is only in having children that you are permitted to exploit someone else to fulfill your desires with limited protest.

    What is happening now due to fertility technology is that people do not need to be in a consensual relationship to create a child.
  • Manuel
    315
    I've been reading a bit more on anti-natalism. If anything, it's helpful to highlight the issue of the consequences of having children in today's age, given the risks we face as a species.

    Having said that, I've only read a few threads, seen a few YouTube videos and the like, so I may be missing out on important themes. But, what I most see highlighted is the tension or the problem of the pain/pleasure ratio, which no doubt is important. But surely there is more to consider than pleasure and pain? Honor, honesty, struggle, sacrifice, ideals and the like do not fit in neatly to such a pleasure/pain schema, but it's not talked about much in these arguments, at least none that I have seen.

    I think these things also merit mention, because they are also important in the life debate.
  • khaled
    2.6k
    To continue improving the fate of those who remain after your death through projects that take longer than one generation to complete.Isaac
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    Honor, honesty, struggle, sacrifice, ideals and the like do not fit in neatly to such a pleasure/pain schema, but it's not talked about much in these arguments, at least none that I have seen.

    I think these things also merit mention, because they are also important in the life debate.
    Manuel

    But I guess the question would be whether YOUR values should be bestowed on someone else, who may not share them. Further, even if you do not use pleasure/pain, or suffering, that will be a factor in the person who is born, and thus you have now created the conditions where someone else will suffer. YOU deem the challenge/overcoming challenge game as good. However, is it RIGHT to recruit another person into this inescapable game? Isn't this overlooking the person being born (their dignity) in the pursuit of YOU seeing SOMEONE ELSE go through a game that YOU value?
  • Manuel
    315


    Well, If I was not already clear, I'm somewhat sympathetic to the argument. Not completely, but I think it's not unreasonable, so I'm not sure why you frame the question as if I were attacking anything. The question of whether my values should or can be attributed to a non-existent entity doesn't arise. It only arises after a person is born.

    That's just the thing, if the argument is based inherently on pleasure or pain, then these are the main metrics that will be used to judge whether a life if worth living. I agree that a lot of life consists in suffering. But that surely misses out on a lot of other aspects of life too.

    Whether these other considerations are enough to justify a person having children varies. For those who do have children, or want to have them, the issue of potential pain can be answered with potential pleasure.

    But there's a way out and it's a viable option for everybody. Whether people can overcome the biological imperative for wanting to stay alive, is person dependent.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    The question of whether my values should or can be attributed to a non-existent entity doesn't arise. It only arises after a person is born.Manuel

    I've already written a lot on this so don't wish to go into another argument, but surely we can consider a future state where a person will exist by our current actions, correct? Just because there is no person suffering NOW, doesn't mean that the current action can't lead to a future person who suffers, which clearly it would in this case.

    Whether these other considerations are enough to justify a person having children varies. For those who do have children, or want to have them, the issue of potential pain can be answered with potential pleasure.Manuel

    Does it matter if no "one" experiences a life that has a balance of pleasure or pain? "Who" exactly is suffering from this loss?

    But there's a way out and it's a viable option for everybody. Whether people can overcome the biological imperative for wanting to stay alive, is person dependent.Manuel

    Ah, so you "bestow" an inescapable game on another person, one where the only way out is killing yourself. That seems pretty cruel.. Force into game that can only escape via extreme self-harm, one which is not easy to do for inbuilt fears of pain and the unknown. However, just because people don't commit suicide at the drop of a hat, doesn't mean that this is fair either. It just shows more that humans have a hard time inflicting self-harm and getting over death anxiety.
  • Manuel
    315
    Just because there is no person suffering NOW, doesn't mean that the current action can't lead to a future person who suffers, which clearly it would in this case.schopenhauer1

    Correct. But this focuses on the pain side, there are other considerations. Unless you think pain is the only metric that matters in human life. It's a very important metric, though not the only one.

    Does it matter if no "one" experiences a life that has a balance of pleasure or pain? "Who" exactly is suffering from this loss?schopenhauer1

    We can say anything about non-existent entities. But that can quickly turn pointless. No one is suffering the loss, and no one is is gaining the pleasure.

    Ah, so you "bestow" an inescapable game on another person, one where the only way out is killing yourself. That seems pretty cruel.. Force into game that can only escape via extreme self-harm, one which is not easy to do for inbuilt fears of pain and the unknown. However, just because people don't commit suicide at the drop of a hat, doesn't mean that this is fair either. It just shows more that humans have a hard time inflicting self-harm and getting over death anxiety.schopenhauer1

    That's not the only way out. You can choose to struggle and look at the good aspects, that's always a possibility. But suicide is an option for anybody who thinks life is unbearable. And a good option to have too. Your perspective would strengthen substantially if we could not kill ourselves, that is, the only option for death is old age or injury/disease.

    Of course it's not fair. Then again, if we could kill ourselves through mere strong willing, almost everyone would be dead, cause at one point in life, the option must have flashed in one's head. But people managed to find a way out of being at such depths. I'm not saying life is easy, nor is suicide, nor is pain trivial. But to assume that what you think is correct, and what I am somewhat sympathetic to (in part), is what other people should do, doesn't follow. Other people have different judgments.

    If suicide isn't tenable because it's difficult, then one can look forward to death as salvation, as Mainländer argued. Though he killed himself to make it quicker.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    Correct. But this focuses on the pain side, there are other considerations. Unless you think pain is the only metric that matters in human life. It's a very important metric, though not the only one.Manuel

    I think preventing pain is more important than bestowing pleasure, certainly. There is no obligation for providing pleasure, but certainly if one is ABLE to prevent pain, one should. If that means no human in the first place, what does that matter (for THAT human)? Pleasures missed out, to me, isn't a thing for anyone. But certainly pain that is had, is pain that is had by SOMEONE.

    That's not the only way out. You can choose to struggle and look at the good aspects, that's always a possibility. But suicide is an option for anybody who thinks life is unbearable. And a good option to have too. Your perspective would strengthen substantially if we could not kill ourselves, that is, the only option for death is old age or injury/disease.Manuel

    Yes that is cruel too. I like baseball, therefore I want to force recruit you into the game. Your only escape if you don't want to hit, slide, and catch all day is kill yourself or get better at it and "accept" it. OR you can not put someone in the game in the first place. However, this game is the "challenge/overcoming challenge" game which is more than presumptuous to assume OTHER PEOPLE must play.

    Other people have different judgments.Manuel

    And THAT is a major point. If other people have different judgements, then certainly putting people into existence is a MAJOR judgement you are making on SOMEONE ELSE'S behalf. However, if you choose not to put someone in existence, someone else is not living out the collateral damage. Also, going back to the game. Even if someone else likes the game, is it right to assume that force recruiting them is okay because YOU deem the game so good, that everyone else should play it?
  • Manuel
    315
    I think preventing pain is more important than bestowing pleasure, certainly. There is no obligation for providing pleasure, but certainly if one is ABLE to prevent pain, one shouldschopenhauer1

    Well, if you stick to pleasure without specifying what this entails, then the argument is obvious. But what fits under the term pleasure isn't trivial, unless you have in mind feeling good. If that's what pleasure is, then anyone can surely get very high on heroin and live a very short, but mostly very pleasurable existence. But that view is absurd. If we consider pleasure to include other things besides feeling good, such as, growing up in a nurturing, healthy environment and society, then it should be as much as an obligation as preventing pain.

    OR you can not put someone in the game in the first place. However, this game is the "challenge/overcoming challenge" game which is more than presumptuous to assume OTHER PEOPLE must play.schopenhauer1

    As much as I may want to, I cannot say what other people should want in life. Sure they will not want pain, meaning unnecessary suffering, but I cannot tell other people not to have children for this reason. It should be a huge consideration, given the current state of the planet, I agree. But life isn't reducible to pain and pain avoidance alone, this should be evident.

    However, if you choose not to put someone in existence, someone else is not living out the collateral damage. Also, going back to the game. Even if someone else likes the game, is it right to assume that force recruiting them is okay because YOU deem the game so good, that everyone else should play it?schopenhauer1

    Again, you only consider pain as the sole reason for games at all. It's way too narrow. What should be done is to make this place better for others now, instead of talking about pain alone. We'll all be dead soon anyway.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    is it right to assume that force recruiting them is okay because YOU deem the game so good, that everyone else should play it?schopenhauer1

    This thread {and all the others} repeats this question over and over again. The answer I and most people give is YES.

    Life is good and life is a gift, and if you are ungrateful, and some other people are ungrateful, that is an unfortunate consequence, usually of a life lacking in challenge and engagement, or occasionally of traumatic events. Not much I can do about that, but it is no reason to end all life. We disagree about this, but your endless question has no more force with me than my repeated answer has on you. The question is a complaint, not an argument.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    The question is a complaint, not an argument.unenlightened

    I disagree that it is not an argument. However, I can accept that the insistence of it (the complaint) is part of the pessimistic process of catharsis perhaps. But that is also bad faith, because people may argue it forcefully because they feel as passionately about it as vegans for animal rights issues, etc.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    I disagree that it is not an argument.schopenhauer1

    You are wrong to disagree. It is a simple matter of grammar, that a question is not a proposition, and has no function in an argument as either a premise or conclusion. Rather it is a rhetorical device that attempts to put pressure on the interlocutor to make statements that can be attacked without stating an argument that can itself be attacked. A question can be wonderful opening to an open discussion, but as an argument, it is a trick and a cheat.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    :100:

    Well stated sir.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    You are wrong to disagree. It is a simple matter of grammar, that a question is not a proposition, and has no function in an argument as either a premise or conclusion. Rather it is a rhetorical device that attempts to put pressure on the interlocutor to make statements that can be attacked without stating an argument that can itself be attacked. A question can be wonderful opening to an open discussion, but as an argument, it is a trick and a cheat.unenlightened

    Ironically, you did not make an argument for why my particular argument is not an argument. Poor form if you want to show what you are accusing.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    Ironically, you did not make an argument for why my particular argument is not an argument. Poor form if you want to show what you are accusing.schopenhauer1

    a question is not a proposition, and has no function in an argument as either a premise or conclusion.unenlightened

    I don't need to make an argument, I am stating a fact about what makes an argument. Do you dispute the fact? Go consult an elementary logic text. Or just ignore the facts and me too. Or whatever.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    I don't need to make an argument, I am stating a fact about what makes an argument. Do you dispute the fact? Go consult an elementary logic text. Or just ignore the facts and me too. Or whatever.unenlightened

    But I am saying to apply your critique of why my argument is not an argument not just a general critique of how a question isn't an argument or something like that.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    But I am saying to apply your critique of why my argument is not an argument not just a general critique of how a question isn't an argument or something like that.schopenhauer1


    The question is a complaint, not an argument.
    — unenlightened

    I disagree that it is not an argument
    schopenhauer1

    Fuck it, dude I can't be bothered any more. Carry on without me.
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