• DA671
    626
    An act is an imposition if it violates someone's freedom, which also seems to imply that non-existent beings are in some free state and being brought to some negative one against their will. But if purposely ignoring that evidently false idea is the best option, then creating positives can also be a gift and constantly mentioning deprivations/hurt is nothing more than suggesting an unjustifiable double standard. It's your point which makes little sense.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    However, if there is a right to not suffer, there definitely should be one to be happy (and the truth is that both of them are intimately connected).DA671

    There is no "right" to the unborn for either harm or happy. There are considerations for what can befall someone in the future who will have rights that are violated. So in these considerations, we can say, "Is it appropriate for one person to make such significant decisions on behalf or another person relating to the kind of choices they will encounter, and the harms they will endure, and the gambling of unknown harms that we did not even know would occur to a child?". That is the question at hand.. not the red herring questions about benefitting non-existent people.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    You fail to see the point then or perhaps I wasn't clear enough. Lemme explain: You, as an antinatalist, want to prevent suffering but this suffering exists only as a potential for a possible person. It is only fair/consistent that you also concede that a possible person has the potential for happiness, oui?
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    An act is an imposition if it violates someone's freedom, which also seems to imply that non-existent beings are in some free state. But if purposely ignoring that is the best option, then creating positives can also be a gift and constantly mentioning deprivations/hurt is nothing more than suggesting an unjustifiable double standard.DA671

    You are ignoring my question and making your own red herring/straw man so you can try to knock it down. Stop it.
  • DA671
    626
    I was responding to Agent Smith's post and agreeing with the general claim that one ought to be consistent.

    Except that rights begin with creation, which is why they are not violated by it. Deciding on behalf of another person is bad for an actual individual, not the air.

    The presence/absence of a real person is very much relevant. It lies at the heart of your confusion—along with your inability to appreciate the ultimate value of the good.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    Actual people do have rights. But that doesn't mean that there is any value in trying to preserve these rights when the person who would have those rights does not exist. However, if there is a right to not suffer, there definitely should be one to be happy (and the truth is that both of them are intimately connected).DA671

    Ok!
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Except that rights begin with creation, which is why they are not violated by it. Deciding on behalf of another person is bad for an actual individual, not the air.DA671

    Whence does an individual come into play (when they are born). This is also when bad comes into play. Don't do that thing that causes bad. It doesn't matter one wit about whether the non-existent person gets joy from this move of not getting harmed.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    You, as an antinatalist, want to prevent suffering but this suffering exists only as a potential for a possible person. It is only fair/consistent that you also concede that a possible person has the potential for happiness, oui?Agent Smith

    While I agree that there can be a potential person who will suffer, and will experience happiness.. Not causing the happiness isn't morally wrong, or an ethical problem or issue, especially in light of the fact that collateral damage of harm is entailed.
  • DA671
    626
    It does matter. The act is not a harm (in terms of something being worse for someone and consequently being something that should be prevented) unless it negatively impacts an individual. Sans a meaningful comparison between two states of affairs, there can be no obligation to not act in a particular way. Creation does not reduce someone's well-being—the lava pit does. Similarly, the truth is that there is no need to create positives when doing so does not improve one's well-being. However, if preventing harms is important, then so is generating positives.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    The act is not a harm unless it negatively impacts an individual.DA671

    You made my point.
  • DA671
    626
    And being born is not making a previously happy person cry by frustrating their desire to not exist. Hence, there is no obligation to never procreate. However, if it is a harm to create someone, it can also be a benefit. Once this crucial understanding has been gained, all one has to do is to realise that doing something better is preferable to not doing anything along with acknowledging that one's perspective is not shared by all, which is precisely why boundless pessimism is unacceptable. I am glad there is some understanding.
  • DA671
    626
    :up:

    Ethics is also about doing good. Happiness cannot be sacrificed on the altar of unremitting pessimism.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    Ethics is also about doing good. Happiness cannot be sacrificed on the altar of unremitting pessimism.DA671

    Let's hope that the sacrifice is worth it!
  • DA671
    626
    Only if there is a greater good. The void does not constitute such a good, in my view.
  • DA671
    626
    I should add that I am not trying to be an optimistic extremist here. The sacrifice can indeed be worth it in many cases. The only proviso is that there are also countless goods that are a source of imperishable hope and joy for many sentient beings (who, contra the Nazis, do wish to benefit others). Even if one does not believe that an action is not a harm if it does not diminish one's well-being, I think one can still accept that bestowing a good has intrinsic value, just as imposing harms and choosing for others has intrinsic disvalue. Saying that not creating the positives does not hurt or deprive someone completely misses the bigger picture: everything does not revolve around the negatives. If we do not require an antecedent positive state for us to claim that creation is a harm, then neither do we need someone to be hurt in order for us to say that it is inherently good (which means that it's ethically problematic to not do so unless there are physical limitations/possibility of overwhelming negative consequences in the long run) to lead to the manifestation of joy. To affirm the former and then deny the latter is to engage in semantical legerdemain in an attempt to elude consistency.

    I hope that everyone here has a nice day!
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    optimistic extremistDA671

    We need 'em like a chimney sweep needs a shower.

    everything does not revolve around the negatives.DA671

    I wanted to pick schopenhauer1's brain on how, given the givens, a minimum amount of suffering is necessary (leprotic/diabetic neuropathy related maladies) for survival or, in more colloquial terms, to stay outta trouble. Transhumanists disagree of course and I feel there's merit in such a position - we could, if we work in earnest, find ways of decoupling danger from pain. It's just that in my humble opinion, nature (evolution) has already experimented with that and it was a disastrous failure - those who didn't feel pain were genetic dead ends and failed to pass down their superpower superweakness to the next generation. In a sense, life rejected happiness or, inversely, life welcomed, with open arms I might add, pain.

     Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost[...] — Agent Smith :cool:
  • DA671
    626
    We need 'em like a chimney sweep needs a shower.Agent Smith

    Too much of a good thing can sometimes lead to terrible consequences. Having a tunnel vision can be quite limiting. Let's not use up all the water we have!

    I am sympathetic to transhumanism. I have talked with David Pearce and found him to be fairly realistic in his assessment and expectations (though he was also a bit too pessimistic, I believe). I have no qualms about letting everybody willingly deciding to give up on life and ceasing procreation. Although I would certainly be sad that people cannot find value in the world anymore, I am not going to let some rule about the sanctity of life make me try to prevent people from doing something they rationally wanted to do after considering all other options. People can decide to not be reproducing machines. The main point is that if the goods can outweigh the negatives for many sentient beings (and there are many people who do find inimitable happiness in love and unraveling the mysteries of reality despite suffering significantly), then turning a blind eye to that truth is not going to make it disappear in a puff of smoke.

    @schopenhauer1 thinks that the cardinal consideration is whether or not impositions and choosing for someone else are justifiable. However, another equally critical question (aside from the obvious one about the ethical value of an act with reference to an agent that does not exist prior to the act) is whether or not is is ethically important to bestow a good. As far as I am concerned, the answer is a decisive yes.

    :up: Let us design something better!

    Edit: Albeit briefly and irregularly, the quotation and mentioning systems worked! I am grateful for this miracle!
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    And being born is not making a previously happy person cry by frustrating their desire to not exist.DA671

    Right, the straw man you keep presenting that I am not positing.

    Hence, there is no obligation to never procreate.DA671

    Wrong conclusion from a straw man argument.

    it can also be a benefitDA671

    Weasily words to get out of the fact one is doing the three things I argued in the OP. It's not just unimitigated benefit (benefits without contingencies attached). Benefits purely, and alone is not what is in question here in terms of the "bestowing". Other things (what set of choices others must endure, harms they must endure, unknown harms) were what was in question as moral. You must admit that I have given you my objections numerous times in regard to giving a gift that isn't just trivial or unimitigated good, but comes with those three things. To ignore this is to be uncharitable to the extreme and wasteful conversations that go on forever because I have to repeat myself, being that these objections have been unprocessed/packaged, overlooked for the same argument that I am questioning, and then repeating the process. To move forward you'd have to at least recognize that goodness isn't unmitigated and that this unmitigated "gift" is the aggressive move, because it is assuming things for others that imposes on them.

    I see no difference between choosing for others what they must endure/be harmed/gamble harms for them when already alive and from scratch. That is indeed the question at hand.. Why would procreation not fall under this kind of aggressive paternalism? How is it any different than if someone was already born. See conversations I've had with @Tzeentch about this recently as well.
  • DA671
    626
    Right back to pointlessly throwing around fallacies when one is simply pointing out why one should have a consistent framework, which is different from construing one's argument in a certain way.

    It is my argument and there has been no successful demonstration of its falsity.

    Weasels are nice. However, prevarication will not work forever. I never said that the benefits were unmitigated. My claim is that the absence of absolute perfection does not imply that it isn't better to create positives, just as the fact that life isn't completely bad does not make one day that it is never wrong to create someone. Even though I do not find creation to have any value/disvalue, I assumed the framework to be true and then simply tried to suggest that it would be rational to expand it by also including the factors such as the goods one would experience, the fact that the positives cannot be asked for prior to existing, and also that there are ineffaceable positives that can be found by people even in the darkest of times. I am sorry if my replies seemed "uncharitable". However, I think it is you who is refusing to see the light of reason here. The unavoidable truth is that the positives will always matter. Also, it isn't "aggressive" to provide a good that cannot be solicited. Perhaps your unbridled pessimism is preventing you from grasping this.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    It is my argument and there has been no successful demonstration of its falsity.DA671

    Don't be a dick. The OP of this thread set out an argument about something being wrong due to making an aggressive(ly paternalistic) move on someone else's behalf. THAT is the question.. It is a two parter.. It is not just about the person being affected, but rather the person doing the affecting upon the other person.. In fact, it is MORE about that. It is about the move the procreator makes upon the procreated.

    Edit: Not THIS thread but what this thread has become about.. (The other thread).
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    I wanted to pick schopenhauer1's brain on how, given the givens, a minimum amount of suffering is necessary (leprotic/diabetic neuropathy related maladies) for survival or, in more colloquial terms, to stay outta trouble. Transhumanists disagree of course and I feel there's merit in such a position - we could, if we work in earnest, find ways of decoupling danger from pain. It's just that in my humble opinion, nature (evolution) has already experimented with that and it was a disastrous failure - those who didn't feel pain were genetic dead ends and failed to pass down their superpower superweakness to the next generation. In a sense, life rejected happiness or, inversely, life welcomed, with open arms I might add, pain.Agent Smith

    So similar to DA671, this is not about straight up harms/benefits but a move I characterized as "aggressively paternalistic". So for example, if I forced you into a game that had a set of choices that were the parameters of the game, and also had a certain amount of harms, and even ones I didn't mean to happen but happened anyways as you played.. You would say that's wrong.. But not only because it kidnapped you from a previous life.. There is something wrong with me choosing for another person (you) that THIS is what you should endure.. And then telling you to kill yourself if you want out of my game. I see no difference with this intuitively wrong move and procreating someone from scratch. In other words, even if I conjured you from thin air with the snap of my fingers, it would be just as wrong as if you already existed.
  • DA671
    626
    I appreciate your sentiments. I have already addressed the claims about paternalism and why it doesn't make sense to suggest that an action that does not go against the rights of an existing being who could have had antecedent interests in a state of affairs can somehow restrict their freedom. Then, I explained that if it can be paternalistic to create life, creation can also be an act of beneficence that gives a good. This is a good that comes as a result of the actions of the procreator. Unfortunately, meaningful progress will remain elusive if people disregard one aspect of reality.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Then, I explained that if it can be paternalistic to create life, creation can also be an act of beneficence that gives a good.DA671

    That's just spin. I can limit you, create conditions of harms for you, and gamble with unknown harms on your behalf and then say, "I am giving you opportunities as well".. That's an old manager's trick when they hand you more busy work.
  • DA671
    626
    Schopenhauer1 would have you believe that his worldview that is restricted to games and impositions is the be-all and end-all of human existence. However, if you were unaware of something/unconscious (and consequently unable to decide for yourself), and I brought you to a palace that you would almost certainly enjoy and be grateful for being brought there when you were not in a position to arrive there, then I think that choosing to act would seem almost certainly to be the better option.
  • DA671
    626
    "Opportunities as well" is not a valid excuse if one already has a fairly satisfied life or could have found alternative sources of value that did not require unnecessary harms. However, non-existent beings are not in a positive state of affairs, which is why one should definitely focus on the opportunities as well as the risks. Too much spinning can make it difficult to think reasonably—and that is why I generally avoid it.

    Unknown benefits are also important.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    However, non-existent beings are not in a positive state of affairs, which is why one should definitely focus on the opportunities as well as the risks.DA671

    THAT goods exist aren't justifications for the aggressive paternalistic assumptions in question. Just because there is a state of affairs that's better off than complete negative outcomes doesn't mean, THUS aggressively assume for the others what you think is best because goods exist.

    I don't get to force people into my game because I think there are good parts they will enjoy in my game.
  • DA671
    626
    Of course, the aggression in providing a good to an innocent being by saving them/giving them something that they would probably find to be valuable is quite palpable.

    Unremitting repetition about paternalism and aggression cannot distract one from the value of bestowing goods, which are also a key part of the "question".

    Just because there is a state of affairs that is worse than absolute perfection (the world could also be permeated with a lot more harms), it does not mean that it is better to never choose the right thing for someone who cannot ask for it and bestow the good that innocent sentient beings deserve. Illimitable pessimism will not define the destiny of an existence that is filled with a variety of perspectives and experiences. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that people should be able to find a dignified exit if no other source of fulfilment can be discovered. Blindly worshipping happiness does not seem appropriate and is unlikely to lead to formation of a more ethical society.

    My hypothetical pessimistic outlook does not justify me trying to prevent the manifestation of a better state of affairs for a sentient being who is not in a position to ask for the positives themselves.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    My hypothetical pessimistic outlook does not justify me trying to prevent the manifestation of a better state of affairs for a sentient being who is not in a position to ask for the positives themselves.DA671

    It’s not aggressive to give nothing to no one.
  • DA671
    626
    It's not respectful/kind to care about preserving the non-existent freedom of inexistent souls (and if the lack of procreation does not preserve anybody's freedom but creation is still an imposition, then it is still better to bestow positives even if not doing so is not an act of aggression against someone). If it is aggressive to create the negatives (whose prevention was desired by nobody), giving positives that cannot be solicited is an ethical act that has significant value.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k


    Well, I did agree that giving birth to children is imposing on 'em (your aggressive paternalism).

    Nonetheless, antinatalism is also an imposition.

    Think of it in terms of possible persons. This isn't far out, it's perfectly reasonable to do so, as (an) actual (person) implies (a) possible (person).
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