• Leontiskos
    1.6k
    No, because you don't need to view the world as evil for this argument, just that preventing suffering is a priority.schopenhauer1

    The argument holds that human life is evil (or bad) on account of suffering, and therefore we should not further human life by procreation. The proposition that <Life is evil> flows from your claim about suffering, but it still seems to me obvious that this is a crucial proposition in your argument, and that it is "theological."

    So whilst I agree with what you have said there, the point is that paternalistically making a decision on behalf of someone to not prevent them from suffering, and thus basically forcing the conditions of suffering onto them, would not be respecting the dignity, as this becomes aggressive paternalism.schopenhauer1

    We force a decision upon them either way. I don't see how only one direction is paternalistic.

    In this state of affairs scenario, it is doubtful you will find this thinking absurd. That is to say, just because there isn't a particular person that this state of affairs will affect, doesn't mean we are not incumbent to prevent the situation.schopenhauer1

    The problem is that your argument is a form of metabasis, <We ought to prevent persons from suffering; preventing a person from existing will prevent their suffering; therefore we should prevent their existence>. I don't say that it is necessarily unsound, but it is not a clean syllogism. There is a quasi-equivocation on "persons."

    Our obligation is to prevent the suffering of persons, not to prevent persons for the sake of suffering. Our primary suffering-obligation is to prevent existing persons from suffering. Additional argument is required to show that this means that we should prevent persons from existing. Your aversion to suffering is overwhelming, and out of sync with common intuitions. Common intuitions merely say that suffering should be mitigated, not expunged at all costs. ...but maybe I would be better off directly addressing Benatar's argument... (and I do so at the end)

    In fact, I didn't even mention whether ONCE ALREADY EXISTING, non-existence is or is not considered a harm. You cannot put the genie back.schopenhauer1

    Why not? Does existence suddenly become a non-harm once someone is born? Is life bad before we are born and good after we are born? So that we must avoid it before we are born and embrace it after we are born?

    Let's move to the consensual variant, which seems to me more fruitful:

    Well, now you've changed it. If he asked, and everyone consented, ethically speaking, this isn't violating an ethic. Whether this is the right "solution", I don't know, because I don't believe already-existing to be symmetrical for never-existing.schopenhauer1

    Again, why are they not symmetrical? I am guessing that unhappy people correlate to antinatalism and happy people correlate to "pronatalism," because there is symmetricity. Again, the whole thing is based on the question of whether life is good or bad, and that determination should hold steady. So if you really think life is bad then you should think that other people should think that life is bad, and that other people should consent to painless euthanization. If euthanization is not the rational choice for living persons, then why would you promote antinatalism? (Note that when I talk about the "rational position," what I mean is that this is the choice that the rational person ought to freely choose for themselves.")

    But once someone has X done upon them, if it means that they have abc experiences, and they value them, I see no need to get rid of them, unless indeed they thought they were were worthless.schopenhauer1

    If X doesn't want to be euthanized because they find life beautiful and valuable, then either they are irrational or else the antinatalism thesis suffers a blow. That person would literally resent your antinatalism, because it sought to "paternalistically" prevent their fulfilling life. These two realities are directly opposed. It is not faulty logic.

    Rather, we are NOT LIVING for that value, but rather, preventing that negative state of affairs from befalling someone.schopenhauer1

    It seems to me like a rationalization of pusillanimity: fear of life for fear of suffering. The antinatalist would apparently counsel the unborn to opt out of life for fear of suffering.

    Do you agree that, one way or another, we must make a choice for the unborn? That to give birth is to choose life for them, and that to abstain from procreation is to choose non-existence for them? (Really "them," as I am now swimming in the metabasis). I don't accept the purported neutrality of the antinatalist position, as if so-called "paternalism" is not inevitable.

    My point was that empirically-speaking, in the real world, there are no such charmed lives, so it is de facto out of the question other than a thought experiment. Supposing only a pin-prick was the suffering, I guess the scenario could be reconsidered.schopenhauer1

    Reconsidered on what basis? I am offering a reductio, and if your argument succumbs then the argument itself is problematic, as it "proves too much."

    So for example.. What if when you stab someone, they reanimate every time you do it instantly.. would that be wrong?schopenhauer1

    It wouldn't be wrong in the same way as it is now. But your theoretical does not function as a reductio to any argument that I have offered, and that is the primary difference.

    Benatar thinks indeed, being that no one being deprived of this "almost charmed life", there is no foul. No person harmed, no foul. Rather, the violation still takes place in this scenario.schopenhauer1

    The problem occurs if this is a valid argument:

    1. Suppose every living human being is guaranteed a pinprick of pain followed by 80 years of pure happiness.
    2. [Insert Benatar's antinatalist argument here]
    3. Therefore, we should never procreate

    Are you starting to see the reductio? The reductio has force because we know that any (2) that can get you from (1) to (3) is faulty argumentation.
  • Fire Ologist
    349
    I wouldn’t argue with you that I’ve made arguments based on emotion in here. But there is a basic premise that suffering qua suffering is only bad, so inflicting suffering on another is only bad, and inflicting suffering on another is unethical. These notions arise out of emotion, and raw experience (unless there is some heretofore 11th commandment that the antinatalists dug up.). Suffering itself involves emotions, physical states and psychological reactions to those states, so bringing emotion into it isn’t a non-sequitor.

    But, true, I’m not just building analytic proofs here.

    1. There is no ethical way to treat non-existing people,Fire Ologist

    The ethics are to do with our actions now. Not unborn people.AmadeusD

    Then it would stand to reason you are an anti-abortionist? Someone who would not look twice pulling out in the road? Wouldn't remove broken glass from a playground? These are all potential harms to no one in particularAmadeusD

    Schop said, and I agree, that ethics only exist where people and exist, and in particular, where more than one person exists. The ethical rule at issue is: it is always wrong to inflict suffering on others and/or to do so without consent. And the ethical solution is to stop making people.

    While I disagree with the rule (and I don’t thereby think inflicting suffering is good, just that it is not universally always wrong to inflict any suffering without consent), leaving the rule as is anyway, there is a distinction between an ethical rule that prevents harm to people you don’t know in particular, and a rule that prevents harm in people people that don’t exist.

    It is true that, if all suffering infliction is wrong, the unethical behavior is “to do with our actions now” and the unethical person is the one who exists, inflicting the suffering. But in all of the above scenarios, in your quote, there are already existing victims of the harm. The antinatalist isn’t looking out for the fetus who will be a person; the antinatalist is urging no one gets pregnant. There is no person existing that is the one towards whom the ethical act is directed. There is only the antinatalist claiming ethical treatment of the beneficiaries of that ethical treatment, namely beings (I guess you can call them human beings) that never come to be. There is not only no particular subject of the antinatalists actions, there is no potential ethical subject.

    Too leave the glass on the playground is potentially inflicting harm (not necessarily, whereas necessary suffering is part of the antinatalist solution) on anyone who plays there. The people who might or might not play there actually exist while I consider whether or not to remove the glass. The non-procreated are not beings at all. So if two ethical beings must exist for there to be an ethics between them, those beings exist in the playground scenario but do not exist in the antinatalist world. We can’t prevent suffering in someone until someone exists, at least any reason we would have to prevent further existence is not a matter of ethics towards that further existing being, because there is no one or thing there to be ethical towards.

    If I use the playground analogy, the antinatalist reasoning to me would lead to solutions like “there should be no playgrounds” or “because children at play can cut themselves on glass, there should be no children.”

    Truth is antinatalism solves every math problem, every philosophical conundrum, every imperfection - all of gone to history. Problem is, people like playgrounds, despite the glass. All ethics and logic and suffering be damned when there is good sliding board around.
  • ENOAH
    637
    I am making a rule that says I should not be making rules.Fire Ologist

    Totally

    Antinatalism isn’t tailored to the specific problem it is trying to prevent, and is way overboard of a response to just suffering.Fire Ologist

    And, if you don't mind, add: and, a response directed at the wrong party. If you want to end suffering, end mind's constructions, and attachments thereto. Why end a species?
  • schopenhauer1
    10.3k
    The ethics are to do with our actions now. Not unborn people. The potential suffering itself is not hte moral crux. The action that (on the balance of probabilities) will make it come about, are. This is a gross oversimplication (or, overcomplexification, depending where you stand) of the point of antinatalism.AmadeusD

    Yep

    Then it would stand to reason you are an anti-abortionist? Someone who would not look twice pulling out in the road? Wouldn't remove broken glass from a playground? These are all potential harms to no one in particular (the A-symmetry argument beats this anyway). A starker example is, why keep NICU's sterile? Hehehe.AmadeusD

    Yep/.. I am not sure why @Fire Ologist isn't quite getting this.

    Benatar, particularly, addresses this issue. It is far more likely the figure is closer to 80% (this is interpolation based on my thoughts along with his arguments around it). Polly-Anna syndrome is rife. Most people are genuinely mistaken about how often they suffer. That said, I'm unsure this is a particularly strong anti-natalist argument anyway. I don't care what living people think about their lives. The vast majority of anti-natalists hold that the living have a deep interest in continuing to live. Perhaps there are situations in whcih this isn't the case, but overall, its hard to find examples of that.

    Your earlier two objections are to stronger arguments, and I think your objections are just your taste. They aren't logic objections or reasonable ways around the claims made. They just illustrate that you do not accept htem, prima facie. That's fine. None of that has to do with the strength or weakness of hte anti-natalist position other than how it strikes you (weakly, it seems).
    AmadeusD

    Yep.

    All of these are basically my points as well.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.3k
    Antinatalism isn’t tailored to the specific problem it is trying to prevent, and is way overboard of a response to just suffering.Fire Ologist

    Again, you ignore what it means to cause suffering and back-filling the justification after-the-fact with palliative ethics. You don't intentionally cause the situation for which you think you then have the remedy. And since you really ignored my argument, and simply show your distaste, I don't know what else to say other than you have failed to show any meaningful objections other than indeed your distaste for the logic.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.3k
    When thinking ahead for the unborn-yet-to-be-procreated persons, the potential ones antinatalism is trying be ethical toward, couldn’t we just as easily instead think of those unborn persons and make the rule “one cannot deprive someone of happiness without their consent.”Fire Ologist

    No, causing happiness is not an obligation in the way NOT causing harm is. Causing pain in order for them to also have happiness is still a violation of non-malfeasance.

    Happiness-promoting is not obligatory, and especially so if to promote happiness you knowingly create the conditions for someone else to be harmed. Procreation creates the very need for palliative measures to mitigate suffering. Preventing harm by not procreating avoids creating this need altogether.
  • Fire Ologist
    349



    and, a response directed at the wrong party. If you want to end suffering, end mind's constructions, and attachments thereto. Why end a species?ENOAH

    See, that reads to me like a breath of new air in the conversation. Sort of procreates some breathing space.

    Reminds me that we are talking about making a rule that must guide my actions. It’s not just an analytic exercise with suffering and ethical rules as its parts. The argument for antinatalism is also about my response, like where you said it was a response directed at the wrong people.

    After we’re done with the logical analysis, antinatalism is a call to action. It says if we work hard enough together, maybe in a few generations, we will finally all do the ethical thing and choose to be antinatalists, then, the human species will be gone, and with it, gone is all suffering, and those last people can say “we, now the most ethical generation, the ones who have inflicted the least suffering on others, we bid to those who discovered antinatalism our humble gratitude for showing us the ethic, and bid everyone else, including ourselves, I guess, good riddance.”

    While I think we mean different things when you say “end mind’s constructions and attachments thereto”, I would use those same words to point to the fact that all ethics is in our heads. Ethics is about what we physically do when we interact with other people in the world, but the ethical parts of those actions exist only in my head, in our heads. We must construct all of this, and together for it to be ethics. I would also instead use some of your words to say, “while we are always attaching and detaching from constructions, to be ethical is to take care of what you attach to and detach from.”

    But we need both the analytic approach, and this raw, more contextual (aware of aware-ing) view to find an ethical norm.

    My attempt at the analytic syllogism:

    Life is suffering.
    No one should intentionally cause suffering.
    Procreating is intentional infliction of suffering…
    Therefore, antinatalism.

    Negatively put, we should not inflict suffering, so we should not procreate. Or more positively put, it is right not to procreate, or else you would intentionally cause suffering.


    We’ve constructed out of suffering this new ethic. (It had to be new because people had to be here first to construct it, it is newer than us at least.)

    Now of course antimatalism is more that. And granting the premises, it’s a sound argument. That may be enough for many intuitions.

    But what can we know and say about this syllogism?

    P1: Life is suffering.

    Maybe. Maybe because of life, we have something to compare suffering with in order to identify that life includes suffering. Without something good in life to compare to, how would we recognize suffering. We had to have a happy finger first before we could say that on prick was suffering. But then, does that mean the good and happy finger is a cause of the suffering too?

    But maybe life is living. And living is many things, with the many things we live with. One of them is suffering. One of them is ecstasy. One of them is sleeping. One of them is a pin-prick, or reading. Life is reading, right now.

    Also, this premise is where we assume a sub premise “suffering is only bad.” Suffering is bad, but it is not only bad. Some suffering is called work. Some called really hard work. Some called loving. Some called longing. Some longing is suffering deeply. Some longing is not.

    I think many are willing to say there is enough suffering assured in life that it’s not worth breaking it down into how much or how little there is that it would start to change the calculus of the syllogism. Many would argue life pivots from suffering too much to suffering enough, and therefore “Life is suffering” is a valid premise, period, end of discussion.

    So we’ll move on, under protest.

    P2: No one should intentionally cause suffering.

    Sounds like a nice sentiment from the start. But it depends on your view of what suffering is from P1 if you would make this an absolute. If all suffering is bad, then yeah, absolutely no one should inflict it on anyone else. But many of us have had suffering inflicted upon us without our consent, at great cost, causing deep suffering, only to later count the experience as a a good one. That’s the constant life of a child. Some suffering can lead to tremendous things that would not have been what they are without the suffering. So if not all suffering is bad, what is wrong with causing it in another?

    So this premise only works if all suffering is bad. So my protest from P1 is rearing its head.

    That means to me I should try to tailor P2 to keep the argument flowing.

    How about new P2: “No one should intentionally harm or injure another for the sole purpose of causing them to suffer.”

    Sounds stronger, and accounts for the good of inflicting valuable suffering, but this will be a problem when it comes time to choose whether to procreate. Now with new premise 2 we have to have a baby already born who we can physically “harm and injure” before we might unethically do so for “the sole purpose of causing them to suffer.”

    I just disagree that intentionally causing suffering, the heart of this ethical rule, is necessarily something that should never be done, it’s not clearly a universal. It’s not self-evident.

    It needs work, as does my argument against it, but let’s press on.

    P3: Procreating is intentional infliction of suffering.

    This conflates begetting, or giving new life, with infliction on a subject. When we inflict, we inflict upon. There must be an object that we inflict something specific like suffering upon. But that object is missing in the syllogism. Take the antinatalist negative approach and flip it, and you see the hole, the missing object when one tries to inflict something onto the unborn, the non-existent.

    If we do not procreate we will not inflict suffering upon……..who? (I get it, the answer is: on the possible child that would have been had you gotten pregnant.). But really, who benefits when I do not have a kid so I can not inflict suffering? Can I say I benefited 10 babies because I was going to have at least 10 kids, but now since I’m an antinatalist, I benefited 10 people? That seems really odd. But if making up some number of never-existing people as beneficiaries of my good antinatalist deeds is odd at all, so is saying I benefitted one person. There is no one person who benefits if you conflate the Infliction of suffering with procreation and respond by not procreating. I’m just procreating. There is no one there to enjoy my mon-procreation with, as there is no one to say “thanks for not inflicting suffering on me” because I didn’t create any such life.

    Secondly, there is a bias in the word “inflict”. We don’t inflict levity and happiness. We inflict pain and suffering. To procreate need not be an “infliction” of anything at all. Maybe it is another place to reword the premise better.

    But thirdly, premise three is kind of premise 1 reworded. To say procreation is inflicting suffering is like saying life is suffering. Life, the tug and pull of being and becoming, or just the becoming of being, or just the “ing” of suffering. If life is suffering procreating is building new suffering or inflicting suffering.

    This just goes back to the arguments against premise 1, that life can’t only be suffering for suffering to be distinguishable as a feature of life at all - life is more than suffering, and more than enough good to enable appropriate attachment to other features of life besides suffering. And suffering isn’t so bad that you must never cause it in another.

    But, Conclusion: Antinatalism.

    Logically flows from the premises as they are meant by the antinatalist. Suffering is truly excruciating and life is suffering, so since procreating makes new lives of suffering, we should not procreate. Certinly uses logic.

    But only compelling if you think suffering is so bad, that suffering is the definer of becoming a human being, that we can’t see any good in suffering, that we can’t see other things besides suffering more valuable to us, that we can’t use our suffering to construct other things, and that if we inflict suffering it is never for good, it is always an unethical act. I just disagree with all of those observations. Together they mean an end to procreation is wildly inappropriate a response. It’s an emotional response to suffering, not something clear enough to construct an ethical norm.

    It’s a slap in the face of the Dionysian. Mother Nature inflicted humanity on the universe, why would we judge her so harshly and end her creation, for the sake of each other not having each other?

    I don’t see wisdom in turning against life itself because of suffering.

    We should turn against the suffering, not the life that begets it or not even the ones who inflict it.

    The law should be, because life involves suffering, we should give relief and kinship, so that others can know life with less suffering, but others can know life.

    My arguments don’t seem compelling enough yet either. But that just means I need to keep searching for the words, suffering through the birth of better words, constructing something to attach to that accounts for more than the last attachment.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.3k
    Without something good in life to compare to, how would we recognize suffering. We had to have a happy finger first before we could say that on prick was suffering. But then, does that mean the good and happy finger is a cause of the suffering too?Fire Ologist

    Suffering is intrinsically negative and harmful regardless of comparative happiness. The existence of suffering is ethically significant on its own, as it involves harm and distress that should be prevented when possible.

    But maybe life is living. And living is many things, with the many things we live with. One of them is suffering. One of them is ecstasy. One of them is sleeping. One of them is a pin-prick, or reading. Life is reading, right now.Fire Ologist

    Promoting happiness at the expense of causing harm violates the principle of non-malfeasance by justifying harmful actions for potential positive outcomes. It involves using individuals as means to an end, imposing projects on them without their consent, and treating them as tools for achieving broader goals. Ethical consistency requires prioritizing the avoidance of harm and respecting individuals' autonomy and dignity, rather than foisting known and unknown conditions of harm upon them, for the sake of some positive-ethical external objectives.

    Also, this premise is where we assume a sub premise “suffering is only bad.” Suffering is bad, but it is not only bad. Some suffering is called work. Some called really hard work. Some called loving. Some called longing. Some longing is suffering deeply. Some longing is not.Fire Ologist

    While some people argue that suffering isn't all bad and can lead to growth, this idea falls short when you look at the bigger picture. First off, suffering is inherently harmful. Even if it might lead to some positive outcomes, the immediate distress and pain it causes shouldn't be ignored or justified. The principle of "do no harm" should always come first, and causing suffering to potentially promote happiness just doesn't cut it ethically. Plus, making someone else suffer because you believe it's good for them totally disregards their right to make their own choices. It's like deciding for them that the end justifies the means, which is a huge overstep.

    Treating people as tools for achieving a goal (like personal growth through suffering) is another major issue. People aren’t just instruments for projects we believe in. Everyone has different ways of dealing with and understanding suffering. What might be a meaningful struggle for one person could be devastating for another. This unpredictability means you can't assume suffering will lead to positive outcomes for everyone.

    Respecting personal autonomy is crucial. Everyone should have the right to decide whether they want to endure suffering for a potential benefit. Foisting this decision on someone else is ethically wrong and incredibly paternalistic. It’s like saying, "I know what's best for you," which often isn't the case. Growth and fulfillment can happen through positive experiences and challenges that don't involve suffering.

    Finally, there's a big difference between preventing harm (preventative ethics) and trying to fix it after the fact (palliative ethics). Creating situations where suffering occurs and then trying to justify it with potential benefits is backwards. It’s better to avoid causing harm in the first place. All in all, assuming that suffering is valuable and imposing it on others without their consent is unethical and dismissive of individual autonomy and well-being.

    After reviewing your P2, that last response answers that as well, so moving on...

    This conflates begetting, or giving new life, with infliction on a subject. When we inflict, we inflict upon. There must be an object that we inflict something specific like suffering upon. But that object is missing in the syllogism. Take the antinatalist negative approach and flip it, and you see the hole, the missing object when one tries to inflict something onto the unborn, the non-existent.

    If we do not procreate we will not inflict suffering upon……..who? (I get it, the answer is: on the possible child that would have been had you gotten pregnant.). But really, who benefits when I do not have a kid so I can not inflict suffering? Can I say I benefited 10 babies because I was going to have at least 10 kids, but now since I’m an antinatalist, I benefited 10 people? That seems really odd. But if making up some number of never-existing people as beneficiaries of my good antinatalist deeds is odd at all, so is saying I benefitted one person. There is no one person who benefits if you conflate the Infliction of suffering with procreation and respond by not procreating. I’m just procreating. There is no one there to enjoy my mon-procreation with, as there is no one to say “thanks for not inflicting suffering on me” because I didn’t create any such life.
    Fire Ologist

    This principle doesn't need to be about a specific person who benefits or says thanks. It's about the ethical stance of the decision-maker to prevent harm. The decision not to have children because you want to avoid causing potential suffering is about maintaining an ethical standard. Saying "who benefits?" misses the point because it’s not about imaginary future people celebrating your decision. It's about your commitment to an ethical choice that avoids creating a scenario where suffering is possible. It’s not about benefiting non-existent beings; it’s about making a responsible and ethical decision based on the understanding that creating life inevitably involves creating suffering, and the ethical imperative to avoid this suffering outweighs other considerations, and the recognition that not doing so, is a paternalistic overstep in foisting one's projects onto another, using them. So, this strawman argument oversimplifies and misrepresents (this particular) antinatalist position.
  • ENOAH
    637
    But maybe life is living. And living is many things,Fire Ologist

    Is this not the long and the short of it?

    With a Bricolage of logic and reasoning, a skilled artist can construct complex hypotheses to justify many things in ethics. As much as we like to think ethics transcends us, that thought too, emerged because it is functional to view ethics that way. Contra Descartes et. al., the only thing this organism can claim with certainty is that this organism is. Period. The same cannot be said of any of its constructions from "I" to "all life is Dukkha," to "thou shalt not x".

    So does it not boil down to: life is living. We humans make the distinction suffering/no suffering. These, and like distinctions are how our world turns. But with antinatalism we are clearly going too far. People think asceticism a radical approach; how much more is extinction?

    Even practically. If you can mobilize an entire species to eliminate one of the three strongest drives--to perpetuate living, and to bond with one's offspring--you might as well exhaust first, all other efforts to change the conditions. If the livestock are suffering under our current conditions, the solution is to change the conditions, not to sterilize the cattle.

    As much as I have been turned on to Schopenhauer. This is the corrupted truth which emerges out of the insistence that the will is both the seat off the suffering and our essential human nature. The will constructs suffering. Our human nature may experience pain, the absence of pleasure, but it does not construct anything out of that; it responds to it, just as it responds to pleasure.

    The so called will is the name we give to those dynamics of Mind. Difficult to escape, but actually malleable.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.3k
    We force a decision upon them either way. I don't see how only one direction is paternalistic.Leontiskos

    Because only when born is it paternalistic, as there is someone aggressed. The aggression only works one way.

    Our obligation is to prevent the suffering of persons, not to prevent persons for the sake of suffering. Our primary suffering-obligation is to prevent existing persons from suffering. Additional argument is required to show that this means that we should prevent persons from existing. Your aversion to suffering is overwhelming, and out of sync with common intuitions. Common intuitions merely say that suffering should be mitigated, not expunged at all costs. ...but maybe I would be better off directly addressing Benatar's argument... (and I do so at the end)Leontiskos

    No, going back to the Kant thread, not preventing all counts of suffering BECAUSE (X reason that parent has), IS using as means to an ends, overlooking dignity. It is this crux of dignity that you are missing. It was unnecessary, other than promoting some cause.. That project is done on behalf of the child- hence aggressive paternalism.

    Why not? Does existence suddenly become a non-harm once someone is born? Is life bad before we are born and good after we are born? So that we must avoid it before we are born and embrace it after we are born?Leontiskos

    No, because again, one could have been prevented, one violated and justified with mitigation or because of X conflicting reason of the parent, to be carried out for the child, but can never be the child.. there was no child to begin with to even need happiness.. nor to need the suffering which ultimately comes along with it... And again, "merely" becomes a cover for everything. I merely let that thing hurt you because in the future, it could be in your interest. There is an reductio for ya.

    Again, why are they not symmetrical? I am guessing that unhappy people correlate to antinatalism and happy people correlate to "pronatalism," because there is symmetricity. Again, the whole thing is based on the question of whether life is good or bad, and that determination should hold steady. So if you really think life is bad then you should think that other people should think that life is bad, and that other people should consent to painless euthanization. If euthanization is not the rational choice for living persons, then why would you promote antinatalism? (Note that when I talk about the "rational position," what I mean is that this is the choice that the rational person ought to freely choose for themselves.")Leontiskos

    I've already answered and you conveniently ignored and cherry picked so I will present it again:
    Can it be that once existing, different priorities are considered in regards to harms and goods? Perhaps. For example, I wouldn't recommend forcing X upon someone. But once someone has X done upon them, if it means that they have abc experiences, and they value them, I see no need to get rid of them, unless indeed they thought they were were worthless. So perhaps nothing should have been done to that person, but once it's done, it doesn't take away the value they might have gotten. They do not have to be mutually exclusive. This is a trap many anti-AN arguments fall under. If there is good from a bad, then the bad must not be that bad. That is faulty logic.schopenhauer1

    If X doesn't want to be euthanized because they find life beautiful and valuable, then either they are irrational or else the antinatalism thesis suffers a blow. That person would literally resent your antinatalism, because it sought to "paternalistically" prevent their fulfilling life. These two realities are directly opposed. It is not faulty logic.Leontiskos

    Actually, if we want to use Benatar here, that matters not. If no ONE is deprived of the good, then the decision does no good or bad that "no benefits" took place for someone. The onus is on the creating the bad "for someone". I might even argue that creating bad "for no one" is not good or bad either. It can only be formulated as a maxim for someone making the decision.

    And yes, the ethic assumes that creating suffering is more important ethically than promoting happiness. And hence why even the pinprick argument is a sort of shrug because due to the non-existing people to not care about it, it becomes moot. It's only YOU the person existing crying on the sidelines over non-existent spilt milk.

    Do you agree that, one way or another, we must make a choice for the unborn? That to give birth is to choose life for them, and that to abstain from procreation is to choose non-existence for them? (Really "them," as I am now swimming in the metabasis). I don't accept the purported neutrality of the antinatalist position, as if so-called "paternalism" is not inevitable.Leontiskos

    No it's precisely this kind of formulation I am against. The only scenario where something would happen for/to them is the one where a person results, none of the others. At this point, it might be helpful to draw a table...


    Reconsidered on what basis? I am offering a reductio, and if your argument succumbs then the argument itself is problematic, as it "proves too much."Leontiskos

    No, not really. When you create a fantasy world and that changes the very terms of how existence works, I don't see that as proving anything. What if gravity didn't exist? How would that change ethics? What if time and space could be changed so that we can redo actions? Again, none of this is this world. We can argue facts, but then at least we are arguing what is the case, and not hypotheticals that change how ethics would work because circumstances of the very conditions for ethics have changed.

    It wouldn't be wrong in the same way as it is now. But your theoretical does not function as a reductio to any argument that I have offered, and that is the primary difference.Leontiskos

    It's to show an illustration of what is going on when you change things to a certain extent.
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