• schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    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.DA671

    No, it just isn't. Positives are not separated from the negatives and thus you are giving both. When giving both, one must face the fact one is creating impositions on others, whether bestowing goods or not. Is it ever okay to do this? No. It is aggressively assuming various choices and harms for other people. Goods doesn't thus make this not an issue.

    If I gave you a gift that was tied to many limitations and harms that I figured was good for you and your only escape was death, that is similarly aggressively paternalistic in my assumptions of what I should do to you.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    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).
    Agent Smith

    What is the damage to said "person" by not reproducing them? Do you get to produce "good" (with limitations of choices and harms) because you feel uncomfortable that a potential good did not actualize? How is that a justification? "OH I feel uncomfortable and sad by not forcing others into X, therefore I shall do it". Does that sound right? The judgement of "sad" or "uncomfortable from the missed opportunity is simply your imaginative projection.

    And no, it doesn't go the other way.. That is to say.. I don't care about the happiness of missed negatives (as there is no person to be happy about this. Just me). Rather, I do not want to be the cause of imposing my view onto others for what choices another should endure and what harms are acceptable, let alone gamble with the unforeseen harms.
  • DA671
    608
    The good is certainly relevant. The harms are not the only important thing. Preventing all positives because of the possibility of negatives is problematic. If there doesn't have to be an actual benefit in order for us to say that creation unethically causes damage and imposition, then there is also no necessity for the lack of procreation to cause damage to someone for us to say that it is still good to bestow provide happiness.

    The proof by assertion fallacy is being exemplified here. Unless the so-called game can be a source of greater value for a person and that person has an interest in it, it isn't necessary. However, non-existent beings are not in a state of affairs they prefer, which is why excessive risk-aversion at the cost of ignoring the opportunities is probably unwise. I already have the gift, and I appreciate it despite the limitations (just as many do). But even if I did not, it does not erase the value of the joy experienced by you or someone else. If you were to save me and give me something good even if there were some negatives that I would have to face, it would still be better to provide the benefits. Perspectives and experiences can differ. It is an act of beneficence to bestow a good.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    The good is certainly relevant. The harms are not the only important thing. Preventing all positives because of the possibility of negatives is problematic. If there doesn't have to be an actual benefit in order for us to say that creation unethically causes damage and imposition, then there is also no necessity for the lack of procreation to cause damage to someone for us to say that it is still good to bestow provide happiness.DA671

    Huh? I know you are trying to make your repeatedly refuted argument, but this variation of it is hard to comprehend.

    The proof by assertion fallacy is being exemplified here. Unless the so-called game can be a source of greater value for a person and that person has an interest in it, it isn't necessary. However, non-existent beings are not in a state of affairs they prefer, which is why excessive risk-aversion at the cost of ignoring the opportunities is probably unwise. I already have the gift, and I appreciate it despite the limitations (just as many do). But even if I did not, it does not erase the value of the joy experienced by you or someone else. If you were to save me and give me something good even if there were some negatives that I would have to face, it would still be better to provide the benefits. Perspectives and experiences can differ. It is an act of beneficence to bestow a good.DA671

    It is not obligatory, nor moral to bestow goods with significant amounts of harms and choices made for other people. Never was, never is. If I have you work at my company and say you can never leave my company because I believe you to get benefit from it.. And somehow you are stuck there... Even if you derive some benefit from it eventually, BESIDES the kidnapping aspect, I would still be wrong in imposing my sets of choices on you and imposing my view of what harm is "good" for you.. Along the way you also were harmed unexpectedly (I didn't want you to get harmed in "that" way...or wasn't expecting "that" kind of harm). Well, life is just a bigger version of this. Just because the "sets of choices" are much broader doesn't mean they are not THE de facto sets of choices someone SHOULD be made to encounter. Same with harms. Same with gambling with unexpected kinds/amounts of harm.
  • DA671
    608
    The irrefutable truth is usually unaffected by flawed arguments (even if they are incessantly repeated). I am sorry if I couldn't explain myself clearly enough, but I really don't think that there is any point in trying to elucidate the same idea. Rehashing the same refuted objections leads to nowhere.

    It's not just a "bigger" version of this (though the analogy does reveal your pessimistic biases). Non-existent beings have no interest to avoid existence that is being disregarded as they are dragged away from the blissful void. For existing people, not doing something negative is usually sufficient for them to live a life they value. Kidnapping someone (or intentionally forcing them to do something they dislike) is highly unlikely to give them happiness they want and deserve. But when it comes to those who don't exist, bestowing the goods of love and beauty is a far cry from unnecessarily harming existing individuals for the sake an improbable benefit. It's not 'kidnapping" someone to give a good/save someone when they are not in a position to ask for it themselves. It's not for you to decide what choices are "de facto" adequate for all sentient beings, and constantly focusing on the risks whilst downplaying the significance of beneficence and benefits only paves the way for a myopic worldview that does not understand the variety of the sentient experience. It is a major folly, I think. It will never be moral to deliberately contribute towards the end of all happiness, beauty, meaningful relationships, and the pursuit of knowledge merely because there are harms (that will differ from person to person). If there are inescapable harms, there are also irremovable goods. The fact that life does not end easily can also be seen as a blessing. It shows the resilience of the gift and how it drives us to move forward even in difficult times. The crux of the problem is that you are not willing to come out of your pessimistic narrative. For you, everything is about impositions and deprivations. However, I believe that beneficence and fulfilment are equally essential elements of forming a coherent worldview.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    Non-existent beings have no interest to avoid existence that is being disregarded as they are dragged away from the blissful void. FDA671

    You keep thinking I’m claiming this straw man. Either you are arguing out of bad faith now or you just can’t stop repeating it for some reason.

    Kidnapping someone (or intentionally forcing them to do something they dislike) is highly unlikely to give them happiness they want and deserveDA671

    And because you ignored my explicit comment that the imposition is still in question BESIDES the obvious kidnapping aspect means you do seem to be arguing out of bad faith by ignoring what I’m saying.

    It's not for you to decide what choices are "de facto" adequate for all sentient beings,DA671

    That’s actually my point. You are not deciding “for” anything by the non-procreation option. @Tzeentch described it as “non-interferance”. Maybe he can explain his position that is similar.
  • Cuthbert
    900
    If the human race is to continue then we could leave the morally compromising business of procreation to others and spend our time teaching them that their behaviour is unethical. We can enjoy our position on the anti-natalist high ground, not have to bother with bringing up children and all will be well. Yet there seems something faintly, I don't know, well, off about this, though I can't quite name it. Perhaps it's a scent of self-righteous free-loading hypocritical nonsense, or did I forget my after-shave?
  • DA671
    608
    Implications are not always accepted. Once again, I am explaining why it's not a negative, not explicating your argument. I could also say that talking about the lack of procreation not causing damage/deprivations is a straw man (vide https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/724625) because I am concerned with the benefits and not with the damage/harm that results from their absence.

    When one begins to keep harping about the same point ad infinitum despite multiple attempts to demonstrate their obvious flaws, I think that there is very little one can do. I have no blind faith in unbridled pessimism. You are the one who ignored the difference between bestowing a good that cannot be solicited and imposing a harm that is neither required nor ultimately beneficial. Tragic but not unexpected.

    You are also not deciding for someone if they don't exist. And once they do exist, there is nobody for whom one can decide (as far as their creation is concerned). If procreation can be an imposition even though there is no agent existing at the time of the action whose interests are being violated, then it can also be gift. Non-interference is not a good idea when one is trying to save someone (@Isaac delved deeper into the nature of the cause of harms and non-interference in a discussion he had recently). Furthermore, the central point is that it is good to decide on behalf of someone in order to provide a good they deserve and would benefit from but are not able to ask for.
  • Tzeentch
    1.7k
    If the human race is to continue ....Cuthbert

    Perhaps it's a scent of self-righteous free-loading hypocritical nonsense, or did I forget my after-shave?Cuthbert

    That's usually the idea I get when people claim their actions are motivated towards the survival of the human race. What benevolent and great beings to aspire to such lofty ideals!
  • DA671
    608
    The good is always worth striving towards (though one need not forget about appreciation!).
  • DA671
    608
    Are you saying that all (or most) antinatalists are self-loathing? If so (and I apologise if I am wrong), I think that this would be an erroneous characterisation. Despite everything, most supporters of AN are normal people who want to make the world a better place and are tired of the selfishness and unnecessary competition they see around them. Additionally, people who hold unconventional views and are more empathetic might be self-critical to a degree that is greater than what most people are used to. I may disagree with their solution but I do believe that there is profound value in caring significantly more about our actions and how they could cause gratuitous harms. For me, doing so is an inextricable part of bringing about the happier tomorrow that innocent sentient beings deserve.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    We can enjoy our position on the anti-natalist high ground, not have to bother with bringing up children and all will be well. Yet there seems something faintly, I don't know, well, off about this, though I can't quite name it. Perhaps it's a scent of self-righteous free-loading hypocritical nonsense, or did I forget my after-shave?Cuthbert

    Hey when I force recruit you to my company you can save all the whales you want! Hopefully you can be grateful to me for allowing you to do your help projects and giving you this “opportunity”. I’ll make sure to give you the range of choices are best and decide that you should be harmed in certain ways I deem as acceptable. There will also be a set of unknown harms I hope you don’t mind I decided maybe or maybe not will happen to you. I guess we’ll find out!
  • Athena
    2.1k
    There are about 24,000 math topics on Wikipedia, many if not most by "Western minds". That doesn't sound like the Western mind is terribly limited.jgill

    I don't know if that is enough information for that judgment. Do you want to provide some of those categories on the chance of conceiving me?
  • Athena
    2.1k
    As someone who is sympathetic to vedanta, it would have been difficult for me to have not heard of him! I really enjoyed reading Ethics.

    Doing the right thing for the right reasons is certainly quite important. It is the only way one can ensure the long-term triumph of the good

    I am sorry, but did you mean to say that poverty does not have to mean ignorance and suffering? Your reply seems to suggest so. If that is the case, I would definitely agree with you. Coming from a relatively poor country, I have been amazed by the degree of satisfaction many of the financially less fortunate people seem to experience. Additionally, they seem to have a wisdom about how to live a good life that many well-off individuals appear to lack. The pursuit of knowledge is undoubtedly a source of great satisfaction. I am glad to know that you have had a nice day. May you have plenty more ahead!
    DA671

    Don't tell me I forgot to put in the word "not" again. I hate it when I do that.

    You reminded me of shows of poor people around the world that I have seen and how impressed I am with their happiness. I sure do not want to romanticize being poor however where everyone is relatively poor and there is equality, there is no relative deprivation between the have's and the have-nots. In these cases, it appears to me happiness is dependent on relationships and everyone doing a lot of singing and dancing together and of course eating together. They do not need math and a search for truths.

    You have me really thinking. The Greeks developed the idea that happiness is gaining knowledge. Now I am wondering, what are the social conditions that made that so? Why a search for truth, instead of just singing and dancing together?
  • DA671
    608
    I think we can all be glad that we don't live in a world wherein it's wrong to save a person (who cannot magically rescue themselves) just because there is a risk that they would actually hate it. And before someone argues that non-existent beings cannot be rescued because they aren't in a negative state of affairs that restricts their freedom, I would also like to point out that neither are there souls floating around in some joyous antechamber that provides them with unimaginable freedom which would somehow be taken away by the "imposition" of life. Yet, if creation can be an imposition, it can also be a gift. At this point, only caring about one side of the coin epitomises the flaws of a narrow perspective. To each their own, I guess.
  • DA671
    608
    No worries!

    The amazing thing isn't the poverty (obviously!), but their ability to find happiness in the seemingly small things of life. It's become a cliché at this point to talk about love and beauty, perhaps because these things are simply not good enough for a society that encourages creating unnecessary holes in order to fill them up again. When the good is already there, it's better, I think, to have modest expectations and appreciate the value that does exist (as much as we can).

    I cannot hope to have all the answers. Nonetheless, I think that having a balanced worldview can definitely be immensely helpful. The pursuit of knowledge is obviously good for rational beings who are curious about the nature of ultimate reality. It's also important to know if the direction we are headed in is the right one. But this doesn't mean we need to embark on this journey in an emotionless manner or disregard simple the goods of life. If anything, understanding the sheer diversity of the sentient experience has made me more open to the value that might be inherent in things that I once considered to be boring or intellectually deficient. In the end, I hope that we can do the right thing, reduce acrimony, and find the happiness that (hopefully) ethical beings deserve.

    Have a nice day!
  • Athena
    2.1k
    That's an amazing article on Indian mathematics on Wikipedia. Ramanujan, of course, was one of the great geniuses in math. When I was a math prof I would be asked occasionally to teach the survey course in mathematics history - a task none of us relished since no one had the necessary background. It would have been an enormous help had Wikipedia been available!

    How do you guess mathematics might have evolved had it not been for the Romans and Christianity? Or, is it the teaching of math to school age kids that you think should be different? My wife is a retired HS English teacher and she made the same remark about coming up with the right answer without going through all the steps when she was a student. :smile:
    jgill

    I very much appreciate teachers confirming the truth of things I read in books and/or experience.

    Your question has a very deep meaning with no empirical support that I know of. My interest in the Roman/Greek difference has become a big-picture awareness. I have always known the Celts and Greeks got a long, but not the Celts and Romans. However, only recently have I become fascinated by the deeper metaphysical significance of that difference.

    Rome did not have the number system essential to developing math and science. Rome did not ask the impossible to answer questions and dare to answer them. Rome did not have the concepts for metaphysics.

    Metaphysics - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Metaphysics
    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, ...
    ‎Aristotle · ‎Feminist metaphysics · ‎Category:Metaphysics literature · ‎Substance theory
    — wikipedia

    That makes Christianity a problem. On the one hand, we must believe in supernatural beings, and on the other hand, we must stand against superstition. How is it logically possible to do both at the same time? My god is real but not yours? :chin: There is a saying, "when you think you know God, you know not God". How about this, why do Christians think the unscientific story of creation is important, but not an understanding of pi? A few have put quantum physics and Tao together but that will not be discussed in Sunday school when everyone is proudly talking about God's truth. How can I explain this better? Rome did not have the concepts for such a discussion, and Christianity neither does Christianity. The Greeks and others created gods as they saw a need for them. Without all those gods (concepts) interacting we could not have developed our intellect. Without the Greek academies, the Dark Age was dark.

    So what music do you listen to for healing? What is your favorite medication? What do you read for an understanding of truth?
  • Cuthbert
    900
    I am veering towards anti-natalism. There are very good arguments for it which have been put forward cogently and persuasively by members of this forum like yourselves and others in this thread and in others on the topic. It is an injustice to expose someone to undeserved and unnecessary suffering without any plan or knowledge how great or small that suffering might be. It is a loss to general welfare to bring into the world a person who will undoubtedly suffer something (no matter how little) and who would not suffer any loss at all by not ever coming into existence. All that is granted. I have friends who plan to have no children for those reasons and I respect them for it.

    My only qualm is this: if we all do the right thing and refrain from procreating then the human race will quickly cease to exist. And that (I'm tempted to believe, rightly or wrongly) is a bad thing. So by everyone behaving in a way that is beneficial, right and just - that is, by not procreating - then we would collectively create an empty world.

    Conversely, if we don't want an empty world, then we depend upon people doing the thing that is not right, not just and not over-all beneficial, that is, procreating.

    How can I overcome that qualm? One approach I have seen is - let justice be done and let the world be empty. I'm not ready to take that step. Another approach is - we know most people will ignore the moral claims of anti-natalism, so the world will go on anyhow. That is pragmatic but it does seem to undermine the moral strength of anti-natalism because it entails colluding with the harm and injustice of procreation. So although I am veering towards anti-natalism, I am stumbling over this last problem.

    I'd love to work for your company and if it's the only company there is (the world) then I guess I'll have to take my chances and rely on your kindness to protect me as best you can.
  • Cuthbert
    900
    True. But people don't usually have children to save the human race. Nevertheless, if they didn't have children, there wouldn't be a human race. Personally, I have no children, nor any ambition to save the race. But if everyone was like me then there would quickly be no race to save.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    [...]then the human race will quickly cease to exist — Cuthbert

    Which is mass suicide albeit in a way so subtle as to pass unnoticed by so-called guardians of life. Kill without killing is the right expression I believe. It gets confusing. Meanwhile in...

    :snicker:
  • Tzeentch
    1.7k
    My only qualm is this: if we all do the right thing and refrain from procreating then the human race will quickly cease to exist. And that (I'm tempted to believe, rightly or wrongly) is a bad thing. So by everyone behaving in a way that is beneficial, right and just - that is, by not procreating - then we would collectively create an empty world.Cuthbert

    Why would the existence of the human race even be on the individual's radar? They don't have an influence on whether the human race exists or not, nor will they be around to appreciate how the human race exists or not.

    Ultimately moral behavior needs to be guided by rational ideas, and for humans to base their behavior on things they have no control over is, in my opinion, irrational.


    Look around you. Is the extinction of the human race even a remote possibility today?

    Clearly it is not, and it won't be tomorrow either.

    If it even becomes a possibility, let the individuals that live then make their choices to avoid it, if they wish.


    Finally, if by some unimaginable fluke all of mankind were to voluntarily decide that not procreating is indeed the moral thing to do, on what basis would you object to them making that voluntary decision?
  • DA671
    608
    Reckless procreation is undoubtedly problematic, and I think that it is good that there is growing awareness regarding the need to reduce suffering. Still, I don't think that universal antinatalism is the right path forward. Along with the risks, one also has to consider the opportunities. There are plenty of people who find inimitable happiness in their lives in spite of going through countless harms and their perspectives also matter. The non-existent don't experience any negatives, but neither do they gain/preserve any positives. If the objection is that the absence of happiness isn't bad because nobody is deprived, then it should also be kept in mind that nobody in the void is left in a fulfiled state of affairs due to their lack of existence. It doesn't seem particularly persuasive to me to emphasise the negatives whilst entirely disregarding the goods of love, beauty, and the acquisition of knowledge that also exist concurrently. The variegated nature of the sentient experience makes me believe that a one-size-fits-all is unlikely to be the correct one. I do believe that people should have the right to a dignified exit. In addition, judicious use of technology (Pearce's hedonistic imperative comes to mind) can also help alleviate suffering.

    I am glad that you have actively played a role in preventing unnecessary misery. All I would say that there is something beyond the clouds as well and it would be better to not let a shroud of excessive risk-aversion and pessimism prevent us from grasping its value.

    Also, I wouldn't mind if all rational beings willingly decided to stop reproducing due to their inability to find adequate value in the world. Perhaps I would be sad, but my sadness does not justify ignoring the reality of innumerable individuals. However, since we (fortunately, I think) do not live in a world devoid of all hope and value, I believe that it can be justifiable to procreate. At the same time, the individual should obviously ensure that the environment in which they are creating is more conducive than not to the existence of a life that would be permeated with more worthwhile experiences. One's expectations and perspectives can also influence their lives in an unimaginably powerful way, which is another reason why absolute pro-natalism and antinatalism seem limited in their scope.

    I hope that you have a good day!
  • DA671
    608
    Being a guardian of genuine well-being is far more important. Blindly worshipping life is a recipe for disaster.
  • Cuthbert
    900
    Look around you. Is the extinction of the human race even a remote possibility today?

    Clearly it is not, and it won't be tomorrow either.

    If it even becomes a possibility, let the individuals that live then make their choices to avoid it, if they wish.

    Finally, if by some unimaginable fluke all of mankind were to voluntarily decide that not procreating is indeed the moral thing to do, on what basis would you object to them making that voluntary decision?
    Tzeentch

    Yes, you are right about the human population. We can be as anti-natalist as we like and the world will go on. That was the answer to my problem that I summarised and said I found weak. If we depend upon other people behaving unjustly in order for our world to continue then we are in a poor position to promote justice. We would say: not procreating is just, right and beneficial - but thank goodness for all our futures that most people pay no attention to these moral claims. That seems a view that is odd, at best, if not inconsistent.

    You are also right about decisions not to have children. God forbid that I should tell anyone to have children in order to sustain the race. And I don't do that. I respect my friends' views to apply anti-natalism to their personal lives. My problem is that if I say that, for example, murder is unethical then the result, if my view were ever to universally applied (unlikely), would be a happier and safer world. If I say that procreation is unethical then the result, if my view were applied universally (unlikely, again, as you say), would be an empty world. And an empty world, I cannot help feeling, might be a bad thing. I would be promoting an ethical principle which, if applied generally, would lead to a world without humans. That's my problem.
  • DA671
    608
    Assuming physicalism is true, I don't think that an empty world is bad. However, it's not good either. In other words, there isn't an absolute reason to either seek the void for everyone or to ensure that nobody ever reaches close to it. If one thinks that it is good/better that there wouldn't be any suffering in a lifeless universe, then I believe that it is incoherent to suggest that it wouldn't also be bad/worse that there wouldn't be any happiness.

    Many people I know are sceptical about having children. That doesn't mean they are universal antinatalists. Conditional natalism (or conditional AN) appears to be a better alternative.

    Ultimately, people like you, Bartricks, Tzeentch, and Schopenhauer1 are intelligent enough (certainly a lot more than me) to decide your path. I am just glad that there is little support for violence here because there are some who want to accomplish their goals using whatever means necessary.
  • Cuthbert
    900
    Thank you. You seem to be saying that we need to apply judgement in having children and give them the best chance we can and protect them from harm and suffering and to weigh up risks and opportunities. All that is fine. It is not antinatalism, and it is not a view I have any qualms about at all. Antinatalism (as I understand it) is the thesis that procreation is unethical and therefore we ought not to do it: it is an act of injustice and guaranteed to reduce over-all welfare in comparison with leaving uncreated a person who will (because uncreated) not suffer any loss at all. That means it's ethical not to procreate and unethical not to procreate. It doesn't mean we weigh up the pros and cons. That would be like deciding that slavery is unethical and so let's some of us try to cut down the number of slaves we own and not go over the top with enslaving new people.

    As for the empty world, you are right that in the absence of beings to experience happiness or grief there can be no preponderance of grief over happiness. But still, perhaps a world with life in it is better than a world without. Then it would follow that happiness and suffering are important but are not the only measures of value that we are inclined to use.
  • DA671
    608
    Thank you for your reply. I am saying that the claim that procreation is always wrong is not an evidently justifiable one. Even if we accept that creating someone causes unjust harms (and still don't believe that an act that doesn't reduce one's well-being can be a harm), we should not miss the fact that it also bestows happiness that innocent sentient beings deserve and cannot ask for prior to existing. Is not not just to provide a good that cannot be solicited? Sure, there could be risks, but this also applies to trying to save someone who might actually hate that or experience other negatives. We have to work on the basis of reasonable probabilities and make sure that we don't tilt too much towards a pessimistic/optimistic ultimate analysis.

    You also seem to be arguing that not creating happiness is not bad because nobody loses anything if they don't exist. This is true, but this principle also applies to the prevention of negatives. If the absence of happiness is only bad if someone is deprived because of it, then the lack of suffering is only good if it allows a being to live a happier life and benefit from the absence of suffering. In order to argue that this isn't true, I think that one has to resort to arbitrary double standards that fail to recognise the value of the positives. If one is going to say that it's better/good to prevent suffering even though this prevention helps no actual being, then I can also say that it's worse/bad to not create happiness even if it's absence doesn't cause a loss to someone. Alternatively, if the argument is that creating suffering is bad but not doing so is neutral (as opposed to being good), then it is also better to bestow positives rather than maintain neutrality because a neutral state of affairs is worse than a (largely/mostly) positive one. I just don't think that the only alternative to reduced welfare is no welfare. There are guaranteed harms (though it's also a mostly likely a guarantee that nobody born today will suffer from smallpox) and there are also guaranteed ineffaceable goods. Some of the happiest people I've met have been those who didn't have a lot. I can't find the strength within me to feel that, no matter how much you cherish your life, it would have been better/not bad for you to have never existed.

    There are obviously a lot of people who believe that life has intrinsic value and deserves to be continued. I think that the nature of this value cannot be entirely divorced from the well-being of sentient beings, but I certainly respect those who find some enigmatic yet potent significance in the continuation of life (and we all know that the existence of life is a rare phenomenon that only occurred because many things went right).
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    And an empty world, I cannot help feeling, might be a bad thing. I would be promoting an ethical principle which, if applied generally, would lead to a world without humans. That's my problem.Cuthbert

    This is projection of fear of nothingness. You as an
    Individual will not be in the world one day. Not just a projection of it from the alive vantage point. Life itself causes death. So I get your mixed feeling but it’s just a feeling. There are logistical questions of the last generations but thats not necessarily the wrongness of the principle.

    Your fear thus causing you to “pass it on” to the next generation because of an uncomfortable or sad notion would be like a pyramid scheme.
  • Tzeentch
    1.7k
    My problem is that if I say that, for example, murder is unethical then the result, if my view were ever to universally applied (unlikely), would be a happier and safer world. If I say that procreation is unethical then the result, if my view were applied universally (unlikely, again, as you say), would be an empty world. And an empty world, I cannot help feeling, might be a bad thing. I would be promoting an ethical principle which, if applied generally, would lead to a world without humans. That's my problem.Cuthbert

    These worries are fair and understandable. Let me say the following:

    The prospect of no humans doesn't appeal to most humans. It doesn't appeal to me either. Yet, when we ask whether something is universalizable or not, we must ask ourselves if the situation that arises is immoral.

    Is an empty world an immoral outcome, or just one that we as humans don't find very appealing?
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    Is an empty world an immoral outcome, or just one that we as humans don't find very appealing?Tzeentch

    Exactly!
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