• Agent Smith
    5.2k
    @Bartricks

    So you upped the ante as it were. Not just suffering but, alack, undeserved suffering! Could we add another layer to this delicious antinatalist cake, please, pretty please?
  • punos
    128
    So you agree, do you, that we ought not to create them then? Or at least that there is a desert-based case for drawing that conclusion?Bartricks

    I would not agree to not create them just because they might suffer at some point or other like everyone else does. I have suffered but not so much that i regret living or being born. Other people may have a different experience and opinion about their lives, they may hate their lives and feel it pointless. I would at least want to be given the choice, even if it takes being born first. What i'm saying here is that i can not presume to know what the child's own morality will be in relation to being born. He may or may not want it but i don't and can't know. It would feel unfair to deny him or her the choice.

    One thing that can change or vary my conclusion is the present level of potential suffering in the present environment and my assessment of that potential for the next generation. If i deem it acceptable then i would have a child, if not then i will not.


    Full disclosure i don't have children and don't plan to have any.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    I love this girl. I want to give her a gift, a box of chocolates. The problem is I don't know if she likes chocolates or despises them. I consider the options. What should I do? Then it hits me! I'll buy the box of chocolates for her; after all if she doesn't like chocolates, she can always decline to accept them. :snicker:
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    :up:

    If nobody deserves anything, then nobody deserves to come to harm, do they?Bartricks
    "Anything" also includes nobody deserves not to come to harm either. The premise disputed was "deserving". Pay attention, barftrix. Here's some show-n-tell to help you with that ...
  • spirit-salamander
    218


    Innocence does not always equal innocence. There is the more metaphorical innocence of the animal, and there is the moral innocence of a person.

    The innocence of a baby is like the former innocence.

    Animals neither deserve to suffer nor do they not deserve to suffer. Babies, being potential persons, deserve only our respect for their right to live and their right to become a completed person.

    But I agree with you, an actual and therefore really innocent person brought directly into existence would not deserve to suffer. Only in the real human case it is not easy to say, because there is development.

    Regardless, your argument begs the question regarding optimism and pessimism. An absolute optimism states that to be is always better than not to be, so that it is even better to be in hell than not to be at all.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    The premise disputed was "deserving".180 Proof

    Are you saying this as an is (the way the world is, a game of luck and business deals) or does it extend to ought too (how the world should be)?

    What's your opinion on meritocracy and its variations?
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    ↪Bartricks You are not looking at this with any sense of depth it seems.I like sushi
    :up:

    The OP's use of "deserves" suggest something a newborn has not earned. "Merit" has nothing to do with it. In this context, for clarity's sake, I differentiate "deserving" from earning – nobody "deserves" a priori (by definition), rather everyone either earns or does not earn (re: agency ~ responsibility). As I (and others) have already pointed out to Barftrix the Incorrigible, nobody – no baby – (A) deserves to be harmed or (B) deserves not to be harmed; thus, the antinatalist argument in the OP falls apart almost immediately because the notion "deserves" renders its premise incoherent.
    Should one unnecessarily harm existing persons? No.

    Does "not procreating" prevent unnecessary harm to existing persons? No.

    Do nonexisting persons (e.g. Frodo Baggins, Mother Theresa, hypothetical offspring) warrant moral concern? No.
    @schopenhauer1 @Bartricks ... :yawn:
  • schopenhauer1
    7.1k

    There are things that can exist but don’t and things that can never exist. Cmon you know this (I hope).
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    I've no idea what you're talking about.
  • Bartricks
    5k
    i can't discern a coherent criticism in what you wrote.
  • Bartricks
    5k
    I would not agree to not create them just because they might suffer at some point or other like everyone else does.punos

    That's not the claim. They don't deserve to suffer. They will though. So it's wrong to create a situation like that - voluntarily to create a situation in which someone will receive something they do not deserve.

    What justification do you have for doing that? That it was done to you? So, if you were raped, you can justify raping someone? Clearly that doesn't work.

    That you're giving people a choice? No you're not. What choice? You will have created a person who does not deserve to come to harm and they will come to harm. They didn't choose any of that.

    So what you're saying makes no sense. Procreating creates an innocent person. And an innocent person deserves a harm-free happy life. That's not something you can give them. So you've done wrong - a great wrong - if you create that person.
  • Bartricks
    5k
    Innocence does not always equal innocence.spirit-salamander

    Yes it does.

    There is the more metaphorical innocence of the animal, and there is the moral innocence of a person.spirit-salamander

    Animals are innocent too. But why bring animals into the equation? Regardless of the status of animals, my argument is that those whom humans create by their procreative acts are innocent. And that's true. Or at least, it is what we are obliged to believe. There is a presumption of innocence: a person is innocent until we have evidence to the contrary.

    Regardless, your argument begs the question regarding optimism and pessimism. An absolute optimism states that to be is always better than not to be, so that it is even better to be in hell than not to be at all.spirit-salamander

    It's not question begging. A question begging argument is an argument that has a premise that asserts the conclusion. My argument does not do that.

    Premise 1: if a person deserves no harm yet will come to harm, that is an injustice
    Premise 2: procreative acts create a person who deserves no harm, but will come to harm
    Conclusion: Procreative acts create an injustice
    Premise 3: Other things being equal, one ought not perform acts that create injustices
    Conclusion: Other things being equal, one ought not perform procreative acts

    That's not question begging. Note, to challenge my argument the 'optimist' would need to argue that it is reasonable to believe that the life a procreative act creates will contain no harm whatsoever. And that's absurd, of course.
  • Bartricks
    5k
    Reason is not strong with this one. If nobody deserves anything (an incredibly silly assertion), then nobody deserves to come to harm. Therefore newly born babies do not deserve to come to harm. So, you've made an outrageously silly claim - that no one deserves anything - to no avail. That's really not very rational, is it?

    If all As do not deserve to come to harm, and all Bs are As, then all Bs do not deserve to come to harm.
    Now imagine an emoticon that whose tongue is forced beneath its lower lip and that is making a 'durrr' sound.

    What are you going to do next - deny anything exists? Bartricks has made an argument - but his argument doesn't work because nothing exists. There. Pow!
  • punos
    128

    It just seems to me that if everyone did what you are suggesting then humanity will go extinct in short order. Anyone can commit suicide if they don't like their situation, it should be up to the individual.

    Do you think anyone deserves to live? Do you think you deserve to live? Do you regret being born?
  • Bartricks
    5k
    It just seems to me that if everyone did what you are suggesting then humanity will go extinct in short order.punos

    Yes. If people decide not to procreate, then the species will go extinct. Do you think people do not have the right to make that decision? If every woman in the world decided they did not want to procreate, are you in favour of raping some of them? No, right? Why? Becasue that would be unjust. See? It's more important to respect others and not to create injustices than it is to continue the species.

    Plus, we're a terrible presence on the planet. It's only humans who think humans are great. And dogs, perhaps, but they're idiots.

    Do you think anyone deserves to live?punos

    Yes. Innocent people deserve happy harm-free lives. Are you not listening? So innocent people do not deserve to die. They will die, of course. But they do not deserve to die. They deserve a happy harm free life, like I said. That's why one should not create them! They'll come to harm and die. They won't get the lives they deserve. They deserve happy harm free lives.

    Do you regret being born?punos

    No. What's that got to do with anything? Imagine I am the product of rape. Well, I don't regret being here. Does that mean it was ok for the man to rape my mother? No, obviously not. That one does not regret a situation is not evidence that the act that created it was moral.
  • punos
    128

    Have you considered the fact that about half or 50% of pregnancies are accidental? No one is making any decision to have children in those cases. What should be done about that?
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    The OP's use of "deserves" suggest something a newborn has not earned. "Merit" has nothing to do with it. In this context, for clarity's sake, I differentiate "deserving" from earning – nobody "deserves" a priori (by definition), rather everyone either earns or does not earn (re: agency ~ responsibility). As I (and others) have already pointed out to Barftrix the Incorrigible, nobody – no baby – (A) deserves to be harmed or (B) deserves not to be harmed; thus, the antinatalist argument in the OP falls apart almost immediately because the notion "deserves" renders its premise incoherent.180 Proof

    Muchas gracias señor for the clarification! Clear and to the point. By the way is innocence deserving of anything but pain/anguish/suffering? The naïve aka the innocent are easy prey, to be dispatched at the earliest, as brutally as possible! :snicker:
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    :eyes: Stupid is as stupid does.

    :roll:
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    I do not believe people embrace antinatalism because of compelling argument. They embrace antinatalism because of compelling experience.Bitter Crank

    I disagree.

    The anti-natalist problem is very simple: what gives one the right to decide for another that they should experience life?

    Until someone can give me a satisfactory answer to that question, I have no choice but to "be an anti-natalist".
  • punos
    128

    Here is an alternative: instead of trying to keep people from procreating because of occasional suffering, or potential harm, would it not be better to try to make the world a better place with less suffering, and less potential for harm?

    It seems to me that it would be a better moral alternative than to just preempt actual procreation which in my view at least morally violates the biological imperative of the species. It's something i personally care about, and i'm sure i'm not the only one. It appears to me that it's a morally and intellectually immature stance born from ignorance of the big picture of our existence and disregard for other wills or potential other wills apart from your own.

    I think it's fine if you don't want kids (i don't), don't have them (i'm not), you've made your assessment of the situation and you have that right. As long as people are not forced to not have kids, they can choose what they want according to their own moral understanding and stance.

    Suffering is usually a product of human ignorance and folly (not always); that's what you should focus on in my opinion, not if other people should have kids or not. Try to be better to make a better world, do things that will alleviate suffering while not violating the will of the unborn. That's a right you don't have. Your morality is your opinion, there is no standard that is universally applicable.

    You must understand that morality is simply a human social construct anyway, it is not a law of the universe. Is there such a thing as morality outside the human sphere of existence?

    What do you think of my last reply, about accidental births?
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    Here is an alternative: instead of trying to keep people from procreating because of occasional suffering, or potential harm, would it not be better to try to make the world a better place with less suffering, and less potential for harm?punos

    Yes. It's like trashing your car because of a flat tire.
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    [W]hat gives one the right to decide for another that they should experience life?Tzeentch
    DNA.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    It's like trashing your car because of a flat tire.Jackson

    It's nothing like that.

    Firstly, it is not your car. It's someone else's.

    Secondly, "a flat tire" represents an objective problem with an easy solution, whereas the problems and suffering that people experience, indeed the worst kinds, are often neither objective nor easily solvable.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    Secondly, "a flat tire" represents an objective problem with an easy solution, whereas the problems and suffering that people experience, indeed the worst kinds, are often neither objective nor easily solvable.Tzeentch

    Hamlet: To be or not to be. No one has to live. The idea the world is supposed to make you happy is the problem.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    A newborn has no choice but to live, and an adult can only make that choice by committing suicide.

    If your argument is that "if you don't like it, just commit suicide", you'll excuse me if I don't find that very compelling.

    And if your position is that life isn't supposed to make you happy, then it begs the question why one feels the need to put more people into existence in the first place.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    If your argument is that "if you don't like it, just commit suicide", you'll excuse me if I don't find that very compelling.Tzeentch

    Why? Your position is more extreme.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    then it begs the question why one feels the need to put more people into existence in the first place.Tzeentch

    No one has to live. You don't like the planet, leave. Seriously.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    Your position is more extreme.Jackson

    What is extreme about it?

    I can see you may not find it very usual, but to err on the side of caution is hardly extreme.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    What is extreme about it?Tzeentch

    Aren't you advocating that people should not procreate? Did I miss your point?
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    stupid is as stupid does.180 Proof

    :snicker: What explains the existence of stupid in the gene pool? According to many logic books, idiocy is a death sentence or worse. Yet here a moron, there a moron, everywhere a moron, moron, moron! :snicker:

    By the way, I'm as stupid as stupid gets! :groan:
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