• TheMadFool
    3.1k
    You make a pertinent point here. The average opinion of the people, on morals and antinatalism, can be viewed as objective.

    It then comes to be that antinatalists are trying to impose their minority views on the majority.

    This brings us back to the original question of which, the majority happy to live or the minority antinatalists, is being objective?

    The question then boils down to the soundest arguments from both sides.

    The antinatalist argument is a good one based on the fact that both religious and secular factions have an imagined ''better'' state of existence. Heaven for the former and Utopia for the latter.

    The interesting thing is there's also a ''worse'' state of existence imagined. Hell for the faithful and dystopia for the unbelievers.

    These imagined states, one better and the other worse, indicates that antinatalists haven't really made their point. Nor have the anti-antinatalists proven their point. This world, our reality, sits in the middle and is neither as good as some people claim nor as bad as the antinatalists say.

    Is this a better point of view on the matter?
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85

    Well, while it’s true that we can imagine much better and worse states of beings than our current lives, I don’t think that it necessarily means that our existence is about as good as nonexistence(I’m guessing this is your position but correct me if I’m wrong). For example, let’s imagine that non-existence has a hypothetical value of 0 and heaven has a hypothetical value of 1000000 and hell has a hypothetical value of -1000000. Our lives could on average have a hypothetical value anywhere between 10000 and -10000 for all we know and that would still make a huge difference between existence and non-existence. The antinatalist could believe that life is really awful but hell is just so much worse. They would also likely to believe that the disvalue of hell is much more farther away from the zero of non-existence than the value of heaven is compared to non-existence. So, heaven might only have a value of 1000000 but hell has a disvalue of -1000000000000. The antinalist philosopher David Benetar is known to argue that if you ask people if they willing to experience 30 minutes of the worst suffering imaginable for 2 hours of the best and most sublime pleasures, most people would not be willing to take the deal.
    Overall, whether or not existence is overall good or bad for the average person, I think it’s almost certainly not anywhere close to non-existence in value or disvalue. That’s because we spend decades on Earth experiencing good and bad mental states and having preferences and desires. Given how consequential our existence is, it seems that we have to have a strong view of its goodness and badness if we really think about it. While it’s really difficult to compare existence to non-existence and we may not know the answer, I do think it is important to ask the question. I have thought about several thought experiments that seem to give at least a rudimentary answer to this question but I’m not going to take the time to explain them unless you would like to continue having this discussion in that direction.
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    I guess if antilatalism states life is awful enough to be not worth it then they have a point. However, are they right on this?

    Hell/dystopia is unequivocally worse than our circumstances.

    So, antinatalists are wrong.

    On the other hand, to say life is wonderful in the superlative sense is also wrong. Heaven and Utopia are patently better.

    So, those who endorse existence as better than nonexistence under all circumstance are also wrong.

    Given the context above, how would one make a good judgment on the matter?

    I believe that life is getting ''better''. We have medicine, machines, knowledge, democracy, etc. All mentioned afore facilitate a happy existence. Things were different a few thousand years ago - tyranny, disease, ignorance, etc. Am I wrong in thinking there's a positive trend here?

    Of course, it's possible that I'm ignoring the ills of modern society - social isolation, depression, suicide, pollution, etc. Considering these, one could question my belief that there's a positive trend to human history.

    So, what's the truth of the matter?

    If there's one thing to go by I guess it's population. An increasing population would mean longer lives, healthier women and children. There may be depression, suicide, and other social ills but it seems to be of lesser effect than the positive effects as evinced by world population growth.

    Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that, with all the social, scientific, and health planning we engage in, life in the future will likely become enjoyable enough to contradict the antinatalist claim.

    This is a lot of speculation on my part but there's a ray of hope for those who deny antinatalism.

    ''Life was awful. Life is less awful, Life will become enjoyable'', is what I want to say.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    Given the context above, how would one make a good judgment on the matter?TheMadFool

    Well, it’s a good time to bring up the thought experiments that I have come up with then. The first thought experiment is what I call the suspended experience machine experiment. Imagine there is a device that allows you to suspend your ability to experience things during certain times in the day while maintaining your functionality and allowing you to do things you need to do without having to experience them. Let’s say you don’t want to experience your work day or your school day and you could make the experiences disappear almost as if you were asleep the whole time and you would still perform your work and gain all the memories and knowledge from the time you were unconscious. It’s almost like you could make yourself a philosophical zombie with this machine any time you don’t want to experience something unpleasant. The downside of this machine is that it does shorten your lifespan because you will still need to go to sleep at night and if you use it a lot, you will only be awake for a short period of time. The question I would like to ask you is how often would you use the suspended experience machine. For me, the answer is about 40% of my current life. That just includes me skipping my work day, and my chores with the machine. Considering how pleasant my life is, I find it remarkably shocking that I spend almost half my life doing things that are worse than being unconscious. I imagine that my life will get worse as I get older and I start having health problems.
    The second thought experiment I have thought about is what I call the magic coin experiment. Imagine that you find a magic coin on the ground and whenever you flip the coin, if it lands on heads you will re-live the best day of your life so far but if it lands on tails, you will re-live the worst day of your life so far. Would you be willing to flip that coin? For me, the answer is a resounding “no”. I can’t even recall what the best day of my life was but I can certainly recall the worst day of my life. Given my responses to both of these thought experiments, I think it would be better if I don’t reproduce. That is because if I can’t conclude that my own life is better than nonexistence then I can reasonably expect that my future offspring would share the same attitude since that offspring would inherit my genes and environment. I can’t say if my conclusion about these thought experiments is just my own subjective judgment or if many people would agree with me so I don’t know if I have a reasonable consequential case against reproduction for most people or everyone. But if you agree with my intuitions, it seems appropriate for you to consider refraining from reproduction at least until you can improve your life enough that you would have little use for the suspended experience machine and you would be willing to flip the coin. I doubt that one is likely to improve or worsen the quality of one’s life over the long term though. That is because our best research on happiness seems to indicate that people’s happiness stays around a set hedonic set point that seems to be mostly determined by particular genes(scientists have actually already identified those genes). This is what is called the hedonic treadmill in happiness research. Whenever a really good or bad event happens in people’s lives, it tends to only impact their reported happiness over a period of 6 months or a couple of years at the most. Afterwards, their happiness returns to their normal hedonic set point. It seems to be an asymmetrical treadmill though for 2 reasons:

    1. Periods of temporary suffering after a tragedy typically last longer than periods of temporary happiness after a positive life event.

    2. In rare cases, some life events could permanently shift your hedonic set point up or down. It is more likely that a tragedy will lower your hedonic set point permanently than a positive event will raise it.

    I believe that life is getting ''better''. We have medicine, machines, knowledge, democracy, etc. All mentioned afore facilitate a happy existence. Things were different a few thousand years ago - tyranny, disease, ignorance, etc. Am I wrong in thinking there's a positive trend here?TheMadFool

    Well, developing countries do often report having a higher happiness level and lower suicide rate than developed countries so I’m not sure if I agree with that. But when I think about the suffering of people in developing countries, I almost have it hard to believe that their life could be as good as mine. Dostoyevsky was famous for arguing that even if we gave a person everything he could possibly want, they would still suffer just as much as people in unfortunate circumstances do, simply because they can do so or out of some strange spitefulness. Perhaps there’s is a solution to problem of suffering that could be offered by altering the genes responsible for it and other technological methods that could be developed in the future that could eliminate suffering for everyone. There is a philosophical community known as the hedonistic imperative that hopes for that kind of future and thinks we can be successfull at eliminating all suffering. I hope they are right but I tend to be skeptical of such utopian claims.

    If there's one thing to go by I guess it's population. An increasing population would mean longer lives, healthier women and children. There may be depression, suicide, and other social ills but it seems to be of lesser effect than the positive effects as evinced by world population growth.TheMadFool

    Regarding population ethics, I think it’s really difficult to predict what impact a particular world population would have on the world. There are so many confounding variables to think about. I’m aware that the world population is expected to peak at around 9 billion and then start going rapidly down due to the low birth rate in many developed countries and it’s estimated that once developing countries become more developed they will have a population decline also. The 2 biggest reasons for the low fertility rates seem to be access to contraception and higher education levels for women. While the underpopulation in developed countries could cause economic stagnation, it could also slow down global warming and if technology progresses to the point that most people would be unemployed within a couple of generations, then underpopulation would be good I think. That’s because if we have a high unemployment rate, we would most likely have to resort to something like a universal basic income to support most people and most young people will be unproductive and just taking up resources. The more educated and skilled older people would likely be extremely productive in this new type of complex and technologically advanced economy.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    No, I’m not actually.TheHedoMinimalist

    You are because you used the word "objective." What was that word supposed to suggest otherwise? What difference did that word make to the sentence you typed?
  • Christoffer
    486
    Antinatalism is the belief that birth should be morally wrong because it involves bringing into being a creature capable of suffering and that will suffer without its consent and that automatically makes it wrong no matter how much pleasure that creature experiences (because you have no right to create another human when THEY will be the ones to bear the consequences of your choices).khaled

    Antinatalism is like when you take a philosophical conviction and stand by its extreme form without challenging it. It's utilitarianism taken to the extreme in which any kind of human existence becomes irrelevant and the idea itself becomes absurd. It's the kind of idea that proves philosophical ideas to be flawed as a singular system or end in itself, and that a philosophical idea needs to evolve and change through dialectics rather than be the final answer to everything.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    ”They [parents] were just a cog in the mechanism of the physical world. You might as well blame our galaxy for your birth, or the Big-Bang. I'm not denying that your parents had a role, but not uniquely. You're giving them too much credit. — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    As a materialist I see blame and prosecution as an evolved mechanism for removing troublemakers and bolstering your chances of survival.
    .
    .
    As a Christian, I see blame as ultimately irrelevant and counterproductive.
    .
    Especially since, as Nisargadatta pointed out, nothing has ever happened. …making it unnecessary to get all worked up over blame.
    .
    Were our parents culpable? Of course. So what. I bet my parents were worse than yours.
    .
    With blame, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
    .
    As a materialist that doesn’t believe in free will…
    .
    Though I’m not a Materialist, I don’t believe in free-will either. As I’ve said, much of my criticism of what is said by Antinatalists and Absurdists is just as valid for you if you’re a Materialist.
    .
    Now, that being said, in my view blaming your parents for your existence makes sense. You were evolved to undoubtably see them as the cause of your existence despite the fact that they had no choice but to have you. As such they are the cause of your existence.
    .
    You’re expressing your Materialism, but we should agree to disagree about metaphysics. These issues aren’t really metaphysical, since the relevant conclusions are really the same under Materialism or Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism. Yes your parents were the proximal physical cause of your conception and birth.
    .
    Same with how you say “the gunshot killed the man”. Of course, according to my view, the Big Bang killed the man but when people talk of “cause” they always mean their perception of who the biggest actor was as tuned by their evolution to remove troublemakers. And this is what materialists always mean by “cause”.
    .
    Is the criminal responsible for his crimes, or were his crimes the result of a combination of his genetic-heritage and his surroundings?
    .
    Answer: Both. He’s fully responsible for his crimes, which are also entirely the result of his genetic heritage and his surroundings, over which he had no choice or control.

    This is my reply to the 2nd of your recent posts. The other replies will also be along soon.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    2019-W04-1 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)
    2019-W03-1 (ISO WeekDate Calendar)
    January 14th (Roman-Gregorian Calendar)
    January 15th (Hanke-Henry Calendar)
    Late-South Week 4 Monday (6-Season -3 wk Offset Calendar)
    Month 1 Week 4 Monday (South-Solstice Equal 28-Day Months Calendar)
    24 Nivose (Snowy) CCXXVII (French Republican Calendar of 1792)
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    You are because you used the word "objective." What was that word supposed to suggest otherwise? What difference did that word make to the sentence you typed?Terrapin Station

    If you go back to read my original quote, I mentioned objective human preferences. By objective, I was referring to something worth mentioning as a fact relevant to the subject matter at hand. For example, if I am hosting a party and I ask my guests what do they want to have for dinner and the most popular answer is pizza, this is a fact I should consider whenever I’m deciding to what dinner I should bring to the party. It would not be fallacious for me to argue that I should buy pizza because that’s what the guests want. Similarly, it would not be fallacious to argue that if most people prefer existence over non-existence then we should consider this fact when thinking about the morality of reproduction. To bring the point home, here’s a difference between some ad populums and valid preferential arguments:

    Ad populum: antinatalisms is wrong because most people think it is wrong.

    My claim: most people prefer existence over non-existence. This fact should be taken into consideration when thinking about reproduction.

    Ad populum: The most guests at your party believe that ordering pizza would be best for everyone at the party.

    Valid argument: Most guests at your party want to have pizza for dinner. This fact is one objective fact about the overall preferences of your guests that should be taken into consideration
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    ”But if there's no need for life, then why does Schopenhauer1 think that there's need for things in life?” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    He means that a non existent thing (an unborn baby) doesn’t need anything including life
    .
    No argument there. A nonexistent thing wouldn’t need anything.
    .
    Need or absence of need can only be meaningfully spoken of in reference to someone who is. At the end-of-lives (or at the end of this life if there isn’t reincarnation), the person indeed doesn’t need life anymore, and eventually doesn’t know that there ever was, or even could be, such a thing.
    .
    But then, as you quoted me asking, if you didn’t need life in the first place, and didn’t need this life, then what makes you think that you need anything in this life?
    .
    …but when someone is born, they suddenly need things in life.
    .
    They think that they do. But obviously their need for things in this life can’t be any greater than their need for being in this life in the first place.
    .
    It’s better to be in a state of not needing anything and to be put in a state of needing something then acquiring it.
    .
    Yes, if you mean “seeming to need something”.
    .
    Let me repeat some quotes that I’ve been posting:
    .
    Barbara Ehrenreich said something to the effect that death doesn’t interrupt life. Life (temporarily) interrupts sleep.
    .
    Mark Twain said something like:
    .
    “Before I was born, I was dead for millions of years, and it didn’t inconvenience me a bit.”
    .
    So yes, sleep, such as the ever deepening sleep at the end-of-lives, is the natural, normal, usual and rightful state-of-affairs. You’re right about that.
    .
    …because it’s timeless, and because it’s the final state-of-affairs.
    .
    But, because of what I referred to immediately above, then what are you Antinatalists and Absurdists complaining about? Life is temporary, a brief blip in sleep and timelessness. So what’s to complain about???
    .
    Solving a problem you posed is not productive and it is immoral to force someone to solve a problem YOU POSE on them when they didn’t have to solve it before.
    .
    Again, you’re speaking from your Materialist belief, making metaphysical assertions. We needn’t bring metaphysics into this.
    .
    Anyway, even if you’re a Materialist, you and your life are inseparable, even in principle. It’s meaningless to speak of a “You” that never began a life.
    .
    Whatever you believe is the reason or origin of your life, it and you were always the two complementary parts of the same whole. …even under Materialism.
    .
    So, all this talk about being better off if you hadn’t been conceived is quite without meaning.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    2019-W04-1 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    It would not be fallacious for me to argue that I should buy pizza because that’s what the guests want.TheHedoMinimalist

    That's not a fallacious sentiment--sentiments can't be fallacious, arguments are; but it's also not true or false, correct or incorrect, or objective in any manner (aside from the objective fact that when polled, most of your guests said they wanted pizza).

    Similarly, it would not be fallacious to argue that if most people prefer existence over non-existence then we should consider this fact when thinking about the morality of reproductionTheHedoMinimalist

    That makes a lot less sense to me. You should consider that fact when thinking about the morality of reproduction in what context? Deciding your own moral stance?

    Valid argument: Most guests at your party want to have pizza for dinner. This fact is one objective fact about the overall preferences of your guests that should be taken into considerationTheHedoMinimalist

    You can't have a valid should. Shoulds are preferences that individuals have, too. They're not valid or invalid.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    ”Then what is the point of railing at that obvious inevitability?? In fact what even is the meaning of that railing?” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    It’s not an inevitability.
    .
    Even under Materialism, it’s inevitable that you’re in a life, because, as I said in my other reply today, for it to even be meaningful to speak of “You” at all, you’re in a life.
    .
    “You” and “in a life” are inevitably inseparable.
    .
    It might convince others not to have children (deterministically of course) and then eventually maybe an anti-reproduction policy can be implemented.
    .
    That could conceivably happen on this planet, in this possibility-world. That would be good, because the human population is suboptimally-high.
    .
    Of course, if Antinatalism became international official policy, abided-by by everyone, then the human species would become extinct within one human lifetime.
    .
    There’s nothing wrong with extinction. I don’t disagree with you about that. There’s no need for a species to be, and, as you might have heard in the news, the other species on this planet wouldn’t have good reason to miss us.
    .
    Yes, the Norway Rats, the House-Mice and the Cockroaches would soon follow us into extinction, because our dwellings are their niche. But the rest of Earth’s life would do just fine without us. Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt our pride.
    .
    Humans—the great experiment. In the distant past, a pig and a chimpanzee had a romantic tryst, or at least a date. …and now here we are.
    .
    …until we make ourselves extinct. (We won’t do that by Antinatalist contraception or celibacy. We’ll do it by global-warming due to unabated CO2 and methane emissions.)
    .
    Of course Antinatalist contraceptive extinction will never happen, for a number of reasons.
    .
    1. For one thing, there’s a strong reproductive instinct, for all animals, including humans. Therefore, Antinatalists will always remain a small minority.
    .
    2. For another thing, rulers need workers (at least until workers are replaced by robots). So there will never be an official Antinatalist policy (…at least not until the necessary robots are available). Of course this reason #2 is secondary to reason #1--The rulers, like everyone else, want to have a family future due to reason #1.
    .
    The antinatilists might succeed in their quest you never know.
    .
    They won’t, for the reasons stated above. But don’t worry: Our CO2 & methane fueled global-warming will achieve your goal of human extinction.
    .
    Will the global-warming extinctions stop when we’re extinct, or will a vicious positive-feedback cycle tipping-point have been passed by that point, eventually turning Earth into a lifeless Venus? I don’t know the subject well enough to even guess, but I’ve heard both opinions.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    2019-W04-1 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)
    2019-W03-1 (ISO WeekDate Calendar)
    January 14th (Roman-Gregorian Calendar)
    January 15th (Hanke-Henry Calendar)
    Late-South Week 4 Monday (6-Season -3 wk Offset Calendar)
    Month 1 Week 4 Monday (South-Solstice Equal 28-Day Months Calendar)
    24 Nivose (Snowy) CCXXVII (French Republican Calendar of 1792)
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    That's not a fallacious sentiment--sentiments can't be fallacious, arguments are; but it's also not true or false, correct or incorrect, or objective in any manner (aside from the objective fact that when polled, most of your guests said they wanted pizza).Terrapin Station

    If this is a sentiment and not an argument then I imagine that you also think my point regarding morality of reproduction is a sentiment also. Then, why accuse it of being fallacious since sentiments can’t be fallacious?

    That makes a lot less sense to me. You should consider that fact when thinking about the morality of reproduction in what context? Deciding your own moral stance?Terrapin Station

    You should consider the probability that your offspring will be glad to be born. This fact could help you determine that probablity. I’m not claiming it’s the only thing you should consider but it’s a good start.

    You can't have a valid should. Shoulds are preferences that individuals have, too. They're not valid or invalid.Terrapin Station

    If I say that you shouldn’t rob a bank unless you are willing to risk going to prison, this would be a valid should insofar as I am making a pertinent point if you are not willing to risk going to prison.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    ”What? Things that we like are an opportunity, not something compelled on us. That's how everyone but a very few Antinatalists and Absurdists view it.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    That’s how most absurdists view it actually.
    .
    When I said “a very few Antinatalists and Absurdists”, I didn’t mean “a small percentage of the Antinatalists and Absurdists”. I meant that the Antinatalists and Absurdists are very few.
    .
    Not having free will is the state of the world for us.
    .
    Of course. If that were Antinatalists’ and Absudists’ only contention, then I wouldn’t disagree with them.
    .
    ”It's meaningless to speak of that situation as something that has been done to some pre-existing someone.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    No one does that. I found andrew’s analogy most fitting. Setting a bear trap in an empty park is still wrong despite the fact that there is no one there yet. The point is that setting the bear trap WILL harm someone. Doesn’t matter if that person doesn’t exist yet.
    .
    Undeniably.
    .
    Under Materialism, that analogy holds up, to some extent at least. By my metaphysics, it doesn’t work, because you’re the reason for your parents, not vice-versa. But I’ve not been saying that lately, because I feel that it’s more effective to talk to Antinatalists and Absurdists in terms of their own metaphysics. So I’ve lately only been saying things here that are true even under Materialism.
    .
    Your parents are the proximal physical cause of the fact that there’s you. Under Materialism, that’s the whole reason why there’s you. …entitling you to blame them.
    .
    Fine, they’re culpable, even with Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism, because they made themselves part of your being in a world like this one. (…and maybe because of being unqualified for parenting too.)
    .
    So, we don’t disagree about parents’ culpability.
    .
    But evidently we disagree about the importance now, of that culpability. Yes they’re culpable, but so what?
    .
    “So don’t repeat their wrongdoing”? Fine. I agree with that too. I wouldn’t want to be part of the proximal physical mechanism of someone coming into being in a world like this. Nor would I want to add to the world’s already excessive population, and its consequent problems. …nor would I encourage others to do those things.
    .
    So we agree on the bottom-line main-issues of Antinatalism. …just not on Antinatalists’, Schopenhaurists’ and Absurdists’ irrational life-rejection. …in other words, I disagree with their attitude toward this life…which is an issue of theirs that’s different from and more than their exhortation to not reproduce.
    .
    So I don’t disagree with Antinatalism itself. I only disagree with the “philosophical-pessimism”, and specifically the bad-attitude toward and rejection of this life that Antinatalists unnecessarily tack onto Antinatalism, as if it were an essential part of Antinatalism.
    .
    And I only express that disagreement because I’m genuinely trying to be helpful.
    .
    But it doesn’t seem to be doing any good, and so there isn’t any reason for me to join future Antinatalist or philosophical-pessimism discussions.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    2019-W04-2 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)
    2019-W03-2 (ISO WeekDate Calendar)
    January 15th (Roman-Gregorian Calendar)
    January 16th (Hanke-Henry Calendar)
    Late-South Week 4 Tuesday (6-Season -3 wk Offset Calendar)
    Month 1 Week 4 Tuesday (South-Solstice Equal 28-Day Months Calendar)
    25 Nivose (Snowy) CCXXVII (French Republican Calendar of 1792)
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    Great thought experiments. An eye-opener.

    1. There are experiences people don't want
    2. Suffering is weighted more than happiness
    So,
    3. Nonexistence is better

    However, what about the experiences people want out of life?

    Here's a thought experiment of mine:

    Imagine someone given three options:
    1. Non existence
    2. Existence in dystopia
    3. Existence in utopia

    The choice thus given, the person would chose 1 over 2, 3 over 2 or 1.

    As this reveals the only problem with existence is suffering and pain one has to undergo in living.

    As I mentioned, the suffering and pain graph is showing a downward trend with modern medicine, technology, and good governance. There is no logical contradiction in utopia is there? Utopia is possible and if we go by national strategic planning and UN millenial goals, such as eradication of polio, universal health for all, etc., the global community is, in reality, aiming for a utopian world or thereabouts.

    Therefore, in my opinion, my though experiment shows that if happiness is achievable, it looks possible, people will choose existence over nonexistence.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    As this reveals the only problem with existence is suffering and pain one has to undergo in living.TheMadFool

    It’s not clear to me how your thought experiment does reveal that the only problem with existence is suffering and pain. Some philosophers would argue that betrayal, ignorance, disappointment, malevolence and death would also be part of any properly dystopian future even if they wouldn’t contribute to the suffering. Some pessimistic philosophers would even argue that life is good but death is bad and it’s the combination of life followed by death that makes being born regrettable. Also, it seems that I could just as easily argue that the only thing good about existence is pleasure and happiness. There’s a debate in philosophy about whether or not intrinsic goodness or badness lies in experience or if there are also things that are intrinsically good or bad outside of its effect on experience. I tend to think that intrinsic value could only lie in experience.

    As I mentioned, the suffering and pain graph is showing a downward trend with modern medicine, technology, and good governance. There is no logical contradiction in utopia is there? Utopia is possible and if we go by national strategic planning and UN millenial goals, such as eradication of polio, universal health for all, etc., the global community is, in reality, aiming for a utopian world or thereabouts.TheMadFool

    Well, even if I knew that in 200 years there would be a utopia, would it be right for me to create a child living in circumstances that I believe are worse than non-existence in order so that my great-grandchildren can live in utopia? It’s seems like I would be using my children as a means to an end and that could be objectionable from a deontological perspective. But, even if I was to be a pure consequentialist and I knew that a utopian world would come about in 200 years, how long would this utopian period last? Would it be an everlasting utopia? What if it peaks 200 years from now and it sustains it’s utopian state for another 200 years but then it goes to hell afterwards because something goes terribly wrong and it continues being hell for thousands of years. My great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren might have to live in hell! This is why it’s not clear to me if we should rely on future predictions as a basis for justifying or condemning reproduction.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    ”I’ve been saying those things [about reincarnation] since my arrival at The Philosophy Forum.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Well you haven’t said them here lol.
    .
    You’re right: I hadn’t said them in this thread before I said them in this thread LOL :D
    .
    And looking into the comment history of everyone I meet is creepy and time consuming
    .
    Then maybe it would be better if you didn’t assert about posting-histories.
    .
    ”…though I never claimed proof that there’s reincarnation “— Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Why were you stating it as fact then?
    .
    What I said was that it plausibly follows from my metaphysics.
    .
    Fact? It probably is. …though I can’t prove it.
    .
    ”No pain whatsoever for anyone is a big, big thing to postulate for physical beings in a physical world operating by its own physical law, where the physical perception of an immediate &/or urgent need to avoid serious injury is called “pain”.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Imagine a world where a planet where particles accidemtally collided together forming a utopian planet where everything has a marshmallow like texture so that even if you fall you just bounce back and can’t hurt yourself even if you tried. Now imagine those particles collided also forming 2 humans that just happen to both not have the ability to feel pain.
    .
    :D
    .
    Living things can be expected to likely depend on various physical conditions obtaining, and various things not happening, and various other things happening. A physical world operates by its physical laws.
    .
    Your world of never any harm, misfortune or pain for any of its living-things doesn’t sound very plausible.
    .
    But your beliefs are your business. I’m just saying that I don’t share that one.
    .
    Almost surely there are, in other possibility-worlds, better societal worlds than that of this planet
    .
    If you’re still not convinced a world without suffering is possible you must at least be convinced that a world with less suffering than this one is possible.
    .
    Of course.
    .
    And besides according to your position you shouldn’t be an antinatlist.
    .
    I address that statement farther below.
    .
    Because no matter what you do you’re not actually preventing people from being born. A person will ALWAYS be born into whatever world best fits “them”
    .
    Yes, as required by consistency of experience, if the subconscious predispositions that are the basis of this life remain at the end of this life, then there will be a next life in a world consistent with the person you are.
    .
    And yes, your parents have nothing to do with it.
    .
    If your practice contraception, you aren’t preventing anyone from being born.
    .
    (although you don’t hhave proof that changes to their subconscious self remain after life
    .
    I answered that in a recent previous reply. Maybe even the one that you’re “replying” to here. No, I’m not going to repeat that answer. I refer you to the recent previous reply in which I answered that claim of yours.
    .
    and you still have no proof that moral GOODNESS brings you to better worlds.
    .
    That’s your wording. I didn’t say that. I said that, due to the requirement for consistency of experience (because there are no mutually-inconsistent facts), your next world will be one that is consistent with there being someone like you…a world inhabited by the kind of people who would beget someone like you.
    .
    But I’ve answered about that too, and so, again, I refer you to my recent previous replies.
    .
    You know the saying nice guys finish last right? What if being good actually made you susceptible to getting born into WORSE realities.
    .
    Say you’re a really awful person. Most likely you were begotten by similarly awful people. Then what kind of people are likely to populate a world in which you’re born? What kind of a world is that likely to be?
    .
    But see above. I refer you to my recent previous replies.
    .
    Anyway, you’re of course entitled to your beliefs. It’s just that I don’t share them.
    .
    You haven’t explained how this “affinity” between person and world is decided).
    .
    See directly above.
    .
    We can agree to disagree about that claim.
    .
    And I refer you to my recent previous replies.
    .
    I have no objection to discussing, or answering questions about, reincarnation. But if you’re going to pursue that issue here then you shouldn’t object to it.
    .
    The points that I’ve been making here don’t depend on the matter of whether we have one life or many.
    .
    Since a person will always be born into whichever world fits them our decision to procreate or not procreate is completely inconsequential.
    .
    Correct.
    .
    If we DO antinatalist ourselves into extinction…. we didn’t save anyone from anything.
    .
    Correct.
    .
    Now, above, you said:
    .
    according to your position you shouldn’t be an antinatlist.
    .
    I’ve clarified many times that I support Antinatalism because:
    .
    1. It’s undesirable to be part of the proximal physical mechanism of the start of a life in this societal world.
    .
    2. This world is already overcrowded, and so it’s undesirable to make it more crowded.
    .
    Neither of those reasons requires agreeing with your philosophical claims.
    .
    ”Actually, Ontic-Structural Subjective Idealism makes no assumptions or presumptions whatsoever, and posits no brute-facts (…unlike Materialism.)” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Your version does. You assume people go to better worlds if they do moral deeds. You assume people’s subconscious changes remain after death and that they get reborn into a different life as a consequence.
    .
    A hint: When you quote someone, limit yourself to things that they actually said.
    .
    You assume people’s subconscious changes remain after death
    .
    I’ve answered that, and I don’t have time to keep answering it. But I’ll say again (for the last time) that I was speaking of the unconsciousness (absence of waking-consciousness) during death.
    I wasn’t speaking of the time (experienced by your survivors but not by you) after your complete shutdown, For you, of course, there’s no such time.
    .
    and that they get reborn into a different life as a consequence.
    .
    As for reincarnation, I’ve already clarified more than once that it’s a plausible consequence of the metaphysics that I propose. It isn’t part of that metaphysics. It isn’t assumed by that metaphysics.
    .
    If you want to find assumptions or presumptions in my metaphysics, then look for them in my description or exposition of my metaphysics.
    .
    You assume “minds” exist
    .
    Nonsense. I’ve many times clarified that I make no claim about “existence” or “real-ness” (whatever that would mean) of any of the logically-interdependent things.
    .
    to have ideas to begin with for these minds to be born into a world consistent with their ideas.
    .
    I spoke of complex logical systems consisting of inter-referring abstract implications about propositions about hypothetical things. I didn’t claim that they “exist” or are “real” (whatrever that would mean).
    .
    Some of those systems can be called “experience-stories”, about the experience of a protagonist. That protagonist and hir (his/her) surroundings are the mutually-complementary components of that story.
    .
    It goes without sayings that the protagonist and hir physical world will be mutually consistent, because there are no mutually-inconsistent facts.
    .
    You’re debating metaphysics, when I’ve been avoiding that topic because I’ve been making points that are valid even under Materialism.
    I’ve been avoiding the metaphysics issue because it’s more effective to say things that aren’t metaphysics-dependent, and are compatible with the whatever metaphysics you already believe in. Most Antinatalists are Materialists, and so it’s best to say things that are valid even under Materialism.
    .
    You assume our laws of logic are cross-universal and that an illogical universe with contradicting principles cannot exist.
    .
    I make no claims about the “existence” (whatever that would mean) of any of the logically-interdependent things.
    If mutually-contradictory facts are important to you, then it isn’t for me to say that they shouldn’t be important to you. But they aren’t what I’m talking about. I’m not quite sure how a world based on mutually-contradictory facts, and propositions that are both true and false, would work—and neither are you. There isn’t evidence that the universe in which we live is one such.
    .
    All you know is that we cannot image such a universe. That’s not proof it cannot exist.
    .
    There’s no reason why you can’t speak of such things. I make no claims about the “existence” (whatever that would mean) of any of the logically-interdependent things.
    .
    If you want to say that worlds with mutually-inconsistent “facts” exist in some way (though neither of us knows what you mean by that), you’re free to speak of such things. It’s just that I’m not.
    .
    There is no such thing as an ideology that makes no assumptions.
    .
    Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism doesn’t make any assumptions.
    .
    .
    I invited you to name one, and you named things that Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism doesn’t assume.
    .
    You can’t have a syllogism without premises.
    .
    You can have an abstract implication with a false antecedent, or with an antecedent about which you don’t claim truth or falsity.
    .
    I make no claim that any of the antecedents of any of the abstract implications that I speak of are true.
    .
    I have no objection to discussing or answering questions about metaphysics or about the metaphysics of Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism, but if you’re going to pursue that topic here then you shouldn’t object to it.
    .
    I no longer criticize philosophical Antinatalism (the belief that your parents are the reason why you’re in a life), because, in this Antinatalist topic, I want to say things that don’t depend on metaphysics. I want to say things that are just as valid for you if you’re a Materialist.
    .
    ”The (Materialist) world that they believe in is indeed absurd.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Mind explaining how?
    .
    Materialism assumes a brute-fact, as an unfalsifiable proposition. That brute-fact is that this physical world comprises all of Reality. In fact--regarding the mere assumption that this physical world has some (unspecified) kind of absolute or objective existence or real-ness that isn’t had by the system of inter-referring abstract-implications that I speak of--That assumption is an unsupported, faith-based brute-fact too, and an unfalsifiable proposition.
    .
    Materialists claim to highly value science, and to be More-Scientific-Than-Thou, but their faith-based, unnecessary, unparsimonious brute-facts and unfalsifiable propositions are not the sort of things that are usually favored by science.
    .
    That qualifies as absurdity.
    .
    Also I’d rather we do metaphysics in a private chat rather than on this thread
    .
    1. Fine, but philosophical Antinatalism (which claims that your parents are the reason why you’re in a life) depends on a metaphysical belief. (But I no longer address that issue, because I want to say things that don’t depend on metaphysical issues.)
    .
    2. Then why are you persistently debating metaphysics and reincarnation in this thread?
    .
    I’d be glad to leave metaphysics and reincarnation out of this thread. But if you pursue those topics here, then I’ll reply to them here.

    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    2019-W04-2 (South-Solstice WeekDate)
    2019-W03-2 (ISO WeekDate Calendar)
    January 15th (Roman-Gregorian Calendar)
    January 16th (Hanke-Henry Calendar)
    Late-South Week 4 Tuesday (6-Season -3 wk Offset Calendar)
    Month 1 Week 4 Tuesday (South-Solstice Equal 28-Day Months Calendar)
    25 Nivose (Snowy) CCXXVII (French Republican Calendar of 1792)
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    It’s not clear to me how your thought experiment does reveal that the only problem with existence is suffering and pain. Some philosophers would argue that betrayal, ignorance, disappointment, malevolence and death would also be part of any properly dystopian future even if they wouldn’t contribute to the suffering. Some pessimistic philosophers would even argue that life is good but death is bad and it’s the combination of life followed by death that makes being born regrettable. Also, it seems that I could just as easily argue that the only thing good about existence is pleasure and happiness. There’s a debate in philosophy about whether or not intrinsic goodness or badness lies in experience or if there are also things that are intrinsically good or bad outside of its effect on experience. I tend to think that intrinsic value could only lie in experience.TheHedoMinimalist

    By dystopia or hell, if you prefer, I include ALL negative experiences and so those that you mention above are part of my thought experiment.

    My point is that people will prefer existence over nonexistence if the problems of existence are solved and they are being solved. Some problems are easy to solve and some may require all the ingenuity we can muster. Yet, the future seems bright. Doesn't it?

    Well, even if I knew that in 200 years there would be a utopia, would it be right for me to create a child living in circumstances that I believe are worse than non-existence in order so that my great-grandchildren can live in utopia? It’s seems like I would be using my children as a means to an end and that could be objectionable from a deontological perspective. But, even if I was to be a pure consequentialist and I knew that a utopian world would come about in 200 years, how long would this utopian period last? Would it be an everlasting utopia? What if it peaks 200 years from now and it sustains it’s utopian state for another 200 years but then it goes to hell afterwards because something goes terribly wrong and it continues being hell for thousands of years. My great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren might have to live in hell! This is why it’s not clear to me if we should rely on future predictions as a basis for justifying or condemning reproduction.TheHedoMinimalist

    Well, isn't depriving people of heaven/utopia a bad thing? When I say utopia/heaven I mean a permanent state of happiness. All the problems of existence dealt with decisively.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    Well, isn't depriving people of heaven/utopia a bad thing? When I say utopia/heaven I mean a permanent state of happiness. All the problems of existence dealt with decisively.TheMadFool

    How could you deprive someone that never existed? Deprivation requires that there’s someone to be deprived so never bringing a child into existence can never be harmful to anyone. You could say that you are failing to provide a benefit if you don’t reproduce under utopian circumstances. But, am I obligated to provide a benefit to someone? We typically don’t think that someone is blameworthy for refusing to benefit someone. Otherwise, I would be immoral for refusing to donate some money to charity to help the starving children in Africa. On the other hand, somebody that harms somebody else could be called immoral. Reproduction involves potentially harming someone and it could therefore be immoral but avoiding reproduction can never harm anyone so it can never be immoral. It’s also not clear to me if creating a happy life would be morally praiseworthy. That’s because you took a risk of creating an unhappy life in the process. On the other hand, avoiding reproduction can also be potentially praiseworthy because it could be considered preventing harm and we typically think that preventing harm is praiseworthy. Another way you could be praiseworthy is by preventing reproduction by donating money to charities that provide contraception to developing countries. That way we could prevent the creation of lives that are even bad by your standards. The average cost of raising a child in the US is around $250,000. Imagine if I donated that amount of money to charity to provide enough contraception to prevent potentially dozens of terrible lives from coming into existence. Wouldn’t you think that would be more virtuous? Less controversially, I could just donate that money to provide food and shelter to developing countries and that would be more beneficial than having children.
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    How could you deprive someone that never existed?TheHedoMinimalist

    May be if we view this as potentiality it'll make sense. A person, before birth, is nonexistent and , therefore, can't be deprived of or gifted with anything.

    However, a person doesn't come into existence from nothing. A plant grows from a seed. The seed has the potential of becoming a beautiful flower. Would you deny the seed of its potential?

    Likewise, in our bodies the female egg and the male sperm together, have a potential for a beautiful life. Are antinatalists not then depriving a potential wonderful life?
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    However, a person doesn't come into existence from nothing. A plant grows from a seed. The seed has the potential of becoming a beautiful flower. Would you deny the seed of its potential?

    Likewise, in our bodies the female egg and the male sperm together, have a potential for a beautiful life. Are antinatalists not then depriving a potential wonderful life?
    TheMadFool

    Well, by that logic, we are depriving a near infinite number of potential beings. Every time you are not reproducing, you could be potentially depriving someone who could of lived a happy life. You seem to be suggesting that all of the gazzilion of different sperm and egg combinations could be potential victims. This seems absurd to me. I would also like to point out that it takes both a sperm and an egg to create an identity unless you hold the strange metaphysical view that we had dual identities before the sperm and egg came together. So, it’s not clear to me if I would harming a whole being or half a being by not reproducing. I also would like to ask you a question. Suppose that a person who doesn’t want to have kids and who could raise a child in a utopian circumstances agreed with your argument and decides to remove his testes to prevent the production of future sperm, thereby making it so that there is nobody who could be created or deprived by not being brought into existence. Would the fact that he avoided creating sperm cells make any moral difference under your view?
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    Well, by that logic, we are depriving a near infinite number of potential beings. Every time you are not reproducing, you could be potentially depriving someone who could of lived a happy life. You seem to be suggesting that all of the gazzilion of different sperm and egg combinations could be potential victims. This seems absurd to me.TheHedoMinimalist

    Truth can evoke many kinds of emotions.

    You deny that nothing is gained or lost in antinatalist contraception. That's not true. In the context of an improving world children have a brighter future than not. Not producing children would be depriving life from a beautiful existence.

    Imagine you have a gift that you're sure will make anybody happy. Imagine you're a filthy rich man. Wouldn't you produce children or find someone to appreciate and enjoy your gift/wealth?

    Of course, if you were poor the reverse logic would apply. But isn't it then an individual issue. We can't make any general pronouncements like antinatalists do.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    Imagine you have a gift that you're sure will make anybody happy. Imagine you're a filthy rich man. Wouldn't you produce children or find someone to appreciate and enjoy your gift/wealth?TheMadFool

    I’m actually a fairly wealthy person myself and I used to be poor and I could tell you that having more money is not going to make you any happier. I don’t think existence could ever be a gift that will make absolutely everyone happy. Alleviating suffering is not as simple as giving them enough material resources and opportunities to form relationships. I think suffering is inevitable so long as we do not alter our genome or strip away our humanity. We used to suffer from disease and starvation but now we are suffering arguably just as much because our romantic partner broke up with us or we are in poverty while surrounded by rich people in the developed countries. This is among the reasons why the suicide rate in developed countries is higher than it is in many developing countries. Tragedies are so much worse when you seem to be the only one experiencing them.

    I would still love to hear the answer to my question about whether or not preventing the production of sperm cells in your body would prevent anyone from being deprived of being born since the reason you gave me for why you think not having children deprives someone revolved around there being an identity attached to each individual sperm and egg combination. It’s not clear to me how there could be an actual physical identity if the sperm and egg do not combine and if each individual has a dual identity before fertilization, then simply preventing the production of sperm and egg cells would prevent the deprivation.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    Then, why accuse it of being fallacious since sentiments can’t be fallacious?TheHedoMinimalist

    Because you're forwarding that it can somehow be objective, and you're basing an argument for that on popularity. In other words, I'm criticizing it from the context you're proposing.

    You should consider the probability that your offspring will be glad to be born. This fact could help you determine that probablity. I’m not claiming it’s the only thing you should consider but it’s a good start.TheHedoMinimalist

    I'd agree that the probability that your offspring will be glad it was born will help you determine the probability it will be glad it was born. ;-)

    That is, assuming that (a) probability really works the way people like to imagine it does, and (b) we could have data for something as ridiculously oversimplified (outside of frustrated teenagers expressing frustration) as whether people are "glad they were born."

    If I say that you shouldn’t rob a bank unless you are willing to risk going to prison, this would be a valid should insofar as I am making a pertinent point if you are not willing to risk going to prison.TheHedoMinimalist

    That's still not valid. You could say that if you rob a bank you increase your chances of going to prison, but that tells us nothing about what anyone should do a la validity, which has to do with truth. Shoulds can't be true (or false). That's a category error for them.
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    I hope we're talking about the same thing - potentiality.

    The chain of causation relevant to potentiality can be extended into the past and the future.

    You, me and everyone else are part of this potentiality chain or web if you like.

    There was a Siddhartha Gautama once, the Buddha, whose philosophy is founded on pain and suffering. He was right. During his time his words were true.

    In the 21st century his foundational thesis, that life is suffering, is only partially true.

    All of us, 21st century people, were only potential humans during the Buddha's time. Yet, here we are enjoying, even if only relatively, our lives.

    Yes, there's a lot of suffering but this isn't a photograph in which we're stuck in one state/pose forever. It's more like a movie - states change - we can become happier. If I see a photograph of African slaves it saddens me. Yet, if you observe the passage of history, a movie as it were, then you see emancipation.

    The potential for happiness can't be ignored and, as of habit, we don't. Don't we all go to school, sacrifice little pleasures and willingly undergo a little pain, for a greater state of happiness/contentment? The potential for happiness or greater happiness is very relevant.

    It is the above element of truth that is missing from the worldview of antinatalism.

    Lastly and most pertinently, I draw your attention to the familiar idiom ''to nip something in the bud''. Antinatalists are advising just that and that is, if not anything else, an endorsement of potentiality as I've tried to describe it. Only difference is I see a different outcome (happiness) than antinatalists (sorrow).
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    Because you're forwarding that it can somehow be objective, and you're basing an argument for that on popularity. In other words, I'm criticizing it from the context you're proposing.Terrapin Station

    I was forwarding that if we asked about people preferences, their collected answers would constitute an objective fact. You admitted that you agreed that was the case in your previous comment. Whether or not this fact is relevant to the case of reproduction is a different question. You could argue that it’s up to debate as to how relevant this fact is. I never claimed it was the only fact we should consider and think about relating to reproduction but it’s worth considering. When I say it is worth considering, I am not claiming that it’s an objective fact that it’s worth considering but I’m claiming that the objective fact is the collected explicit preferences from different people.

    That is, assuming that (a) probability really works the way people like to imagine it does, and (b) we could have data for something as ridiculously oversimplified (outside of frustrated teenagers expressing frustration) as whether people are "glad they were born."Terrapin Station

    So, what do you think is a more relevant fact to consider here then? It’s sounds to me like you don’t even think anyone could make a sound moral argument of any type and that there are no relevant facts to addressing any moral issues. So, how should we talk about the morality of reproduction then?

    That's still not valid. You could say that if you rob a bank you increase your chances of going to prison, but that tells us nothing about what anyone should do a la validity, which has to do with truth. Shoulds can't be true (or false). That's a category error for them.Terrapin Station

    I think we’re using a different definitions of valid here. My definition of valid here is something worthy of consideration that is relevant to the subject matter at hand. The fact that you might go to prison for robbing a bank is valid because it’s something worthy of consideration that is relevant to the subject matter at hand. Similarly, the fact that most people claim to prefer existence over non-existence is valid because it’s something worthy of consideration that is relevant to the subject matter at hand. On another note, whether or not, shoulds can be true or false is dependent upon which theories of truth you except. If you accept only the correspondence theory of truth then shoulds cannot be true or false(although, something could be neither true nor false but still be valid under my definition of validity. Although, I must point out that the technical definition of validity in logic has to do with the structure of the argument and not the content of it. By the technical definition of validity, you could make a valid false argument because an argument is valid if the premises would lead to the conclusion even if the premises are false or could not be true nor false). But if you accept the coherence or the pragmatic theories of truth then shoulds could be true or false. By the coherence theory, shoulds can be true so long as there are no contradictions in the larger framework of all of your should claims. By the pragmatic theories of truth, shoulds can be true if believing in them is useful for your life.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    85
    The chain of causation relevant to potentiality can be extended into the past and the future.

    You, me and everyone else are part of this potentiality chain or web if you like.
    TheMadFool

    Yes, but if you removed the potentiality by preventing the production of sex cells, wouldn’t that prevent the deprivation? If potentiality implies possible deprivation, then if an antinatalist mad scientist invents a powder that prevents the future production of sperm cells and he puts the powder in the food of unsuspecting men, you would have to conclude that he is doing something good by preventing the harm of deprivation of all the potential happy beings that were extremely unlikely to be born anyway. That’s because most of these potential beings that would of been produced by the future sperm cells had they existed would not be potential beings anymore and that means the mad scientist got rid of the deprivation by removing the potentiality.

    There was a Siddhartha Gautama once, the Buddha, whose philosophy is founded on pain and suffering. He was right. During his time his words were true.

    In the 21st century his foundational thesis, that life is suffering, is only partially true.

    All of us, 21st century people, were only potential humans during the Buddha's time. Yet, here we are enjoying, even if only relatively, our lives.

    Yes, there's a lot of suffering but this isn't a photograph in which we're stuck in one state/pose forever. It's more like a movie - states change - we can become happier. If I see a photograph of African slaves it saddens me. Yet, if you observe the passage of history, a movie as it were, then you see emancipation.

    The potential for happiness can't be ignored and, as of habit, we don't. Don't we all go to school, sacrifice little pleasures and willingly undergo a little pain, for a greater state of happiness/contentment? The potential for happiness or greater happiness is very relevant.

    It is the above element of truth that is missing from the worldview of antinatalism.
    TheMadFool

    Well, if life was suffering in the past and is now better, we would expect to see a reduction of the suicide rate and antinatalism should be becoming less popular. What we are seeing in the 21st century is opposite of that so it’s not clear to me that material well being leads to life satisfaction and happiness. As I have mentioned with the hedonic treadmill, our level of happiness tends to stay constant throughout our lives and we simply adjust to our increased well being and find new things to be miserable about. The upside to the hedonic treadmill is that we can adjust to our suffering also but that takes a longer time and is more difficult.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.