• schopenhauer1
    3k
    I suppose I'd just say this asymmetry is false, then. Or, at least, I do not believe in the asymmetry between these. Preventing harm is only important if someone is there for harm to be prevented. And, even then, preventing harm is also a relative good -- causing harm can be the right thing to do, in certain circumstances.Moliere

    Not in the circumstance of no person existing at all (but has a potential to ). In cases of potentiality of possible people, there is an absolute way to prevent all harm, with no relative trade-offs that affect a person.

    Ethics are a human concern, and so eliminating the agent from which they spring sort of undercuts the very basis of any ethical claim.Moliere

    This doesn't make sense. It again values life itself as something that must be had in the first place. Ethics is about right course of actions. If there are people around then follow the right action. If there are no people around, ethics does not matter. People don't need to exist for ethics Rather, if people around, ethics then can take place. There is a big difference. We don't live to be bearers of existence, or bearers of ethics. We just happen to live and thus exist and think about ethical concerns.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    However it is an absolute always goodschopenhauer1

    :lol:

    Someone being prevented from harm is always good, period.schopenhauer1

    Which is factually incorrect. Things are only good or bad to particular people who exist and who feel that that thing is good or bad.

    Guess what though, being not born is not a harm, it is not a bad. Nothing is lost by not being born for any particular person.schopenhauer1

    Again, to people who want to have a child, not having one, where that's not by their choice, is suffering. Why wouldn't you care about alleviating the suffering of people who actually exist?
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    Nothing can be any loss or gain or anything to a "potential child."Terrapin Station

    Correct.

    If Jim and Janis want to have a child but do not because of social pressures (maybe even a law) against it, doesn't that create suffering for them?Terrapin Station

    Yes, there is a component that the suffering is on behalf of someone else. If someone suffers cause they can't do an action that will cause suffering to others, that is still not a good thing that takes place, as it is causing the suffering for someone else. The kicker again, is that someone else did not need to suffer..unlike people who are already born that may need some type of adversity to get to a stronger outcome.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    Which is factually incorrect. Things are only good or bad to particular people who exist and who feel that that thing is good or bad.Terrapin Station

    The terminus is preventing harm with no cost to any particular person. I cannot conjure an infinite amount of reasons. That is the starting place. Who created the first cause.. etc. So at the end of the day, no argument can go beyond the values of the ethical premise. We discussed this and something we agree with to that small extent.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    Yes, there is a component that the suffering is on behalf of someone else.schopenhauer1

    The suffering isn't on behalf of someone else, it's their personal suffering, due to their desires not being met.

    If someone suffers cause they can't do an action that will cause suffering to others,schopenhauer1

    You have no idea that the action will cause suffering to others. That's speculation. Meanwhile, there are existent people who really are suffering because they can't have a kid through no choice of their own.

    he terminus is preventing harm with no cost to any particular person.schopenhauer1

    Not being able to have a kid when you want one is a cost to a particular person.

    Not that that has to do with what you were commenting on. "Preventing harm" is only categorically good to the individuals who feel that it's good. It's simply false to suggest that it can somehow be good outside of that.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    The suffering isn't on behalf of someone else, it's their personal suffering, due to their desires not being met.Terrapin Station

    No I mean, the import of the argument relies on creating harm for someone else.

    You have no idea that the action will cause suffering to others. That's speculation. Meanwhile, there are existent people who really are suffering because they can't have a kid through no choice of their own.Terrapin Station

    Then their suffering is their own and not exposing a lifetime of suffering for another- with no cost to any particular person (that is to say an actual child). It's not like the child already exists and there is a relative trade off.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    No I mean, the import of the argument relies on creating harm for someone else.schopenhauer1

    The "import of the argument"? What argument? We're simply talking about people suffering or not. There are actual people who suffer (and who would) if they can't (or couldn't) have a child for physical or social reasons. That's not an argument. It's a fact about people suffering, a fact about a cost (in terms of suffering).
    Then their suffering is their own and not exposing a lifetime of suffering for another- with no cost to any particular person (that is to say an actual child).schopenhauer1

    It's their own suffering and that's a cost. They ARE actual children.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    It's their own suffering and that's a cost. They ARE actual children.Terrapin Station

    So exposing a new person to all possible suffering it may incur in order to alleviate the suffering of a present person on one particular issue, is justified? That makes no sense to me.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    So exposing a new person to all possible suffering it may incur in order to alleviate the suffering of a present person on one particular issue, is justified? That makes no sense to me.schopenhauer1

    If your goal is to reduce suffering, and there's a chance that the child won't experience suffering, at least not anywhere near the actually existent people who are suffering (because they can't have a kid), then it should make sense to you, because that could easily result in less suffering. That is, it should make sense to you if your goal really is to reduce suffering.
  • Moliere
    1.6k
    Not in the circumstance of no person existing at all (but has a potential to ). In cases of potentiality of possible people, there is an absolute way to prevent all harm, with no relative trade-offs that affect a person.schopenhauer1

    Preventing all harm to whom, though?

    I'd say we've reached something of an impasse here. The case for the harm to the potential of possible persons is just not a case that means much of anything to me. But I'd just be rehashing what I said and what you are responding to here.

    I see by absolute you mean something different than I had thought, though. You mean something along the lines of certain, or perfect.

    This doesn't make sense. It again values life itself as something that must be had in the first place. Ethics is about right course of actions.schopenhauer1

    Does it not make sense, or is it something you disagree with?

    I actually disagree that ethics is about a or the right course of actions. And perhaps that could be fruitful to explore, though it would take us pretty far astray from the OP -- so another thread, another time. I'll close with the opening paragraph from Susan Wolf's Moral Saints to hint at what else I might be thinking of, though -- and say that I think ethics is about living the good life, just to give it a slogan:

    I DON'T know whether there are any moral saints. But if there are, I am glad that neither I nor those about whom I care most are among them. By moral saint I mean a person whose every action is as morally good as possible, a person, that is, who is as morally worthy as can be. Though I shall in a moment acknowledge the variety of types of person that might be thought to satisfy this description, it seems to me that none of these types serve as unequivocally compelling personal ideals. In other words, I believe that moral perfection, in the sense of moral saintliness, does not constitute a model of personal well-being toward which it would be particularly rational or good or desirable for a human being to strive. — Susan Wolf
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    ”Ultimately, they aren’t the reason why I was born, or why I was born in a world like this one” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    No they WERE the reason you were born in THIS world.
    .
    1. I didn’t say they weren’t the reason why I was born in THIS world. I merely said that they weren’t the reason why I was born, or why I was born in a world like this one.
    .
    2. But, as a matter of fact, they WEREN’T the reason why I was born in this world.
    .
    I was born in this world because it’s the world that’s consistent with the person that I was, because the experiencer and his/her physical surroundings are a complementary pair.
    .
    Yes, as part of this world, one’s parents are definitely part of the mechanism that, in this experience-story, has produced the person. And so they’re a significant part of what makes this world consistent with you. As such, then, yes they’re part of the reason why you were born in this world, if you want to say it that way.
    .
    But no, they certainly are not THE reason why you were born in this world.
    .
    I realize that Materialists will disagree with much of what I’m saying.
    .
    Had they not decided to have birth you could have been born into a world of immortal robots.
    .
    Alright, I can’t criticize that because I was the one who brought up a world of immortal robots. But I wasn’t really right to do so, because how could someone be in the beginning of a life, in a world where no lives begin?
    .
    Had Mr. & Mrs. Ossipoff decided not to give birth, then I’d nevertheless have been born in a world similar to this one, to parents similar to them.
    .
    So that’s one thing that I don’t blame on them.
    .
    They're not the reason you're born but they're the reason you were born HERE.
    .
    (I still don't really accept your premise that a person is the cause of his own birth or part of the cause…)
    [/quote[
    .
    You wouldn’t, if you’re a Materialist. We don’t subscribe to the same metaphysics. I propose Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism.
    .
    ”But I suggest that there’s no reason why anyone would be born into a societal-world like this one, unless they’d gotten themselves into a major moral-snarl, over a number of lifetimes, digging themselves deeper each time.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Whoa whoa whoa there I'ma have to give you a speeding ticket. Why'd you turn Hindu so fast what the heck?
    .
    When wasn’t I?
    .
    What does one's moral actions in his current life story have to do with him reincarnating?
    .
    Your subconscious attributes, inclinations, wants, needs, predispositions at the end of this life determine what kind of a world is consistent with the person that you (subconsciously) are. Consistency is the requirement of experience-stories, because there are no mutually-inconsistent facts.
    .
    You never said people reincarnate.
    .
    I’ve been saying it at The Philosophy Forum since I arrived at The Philosophy Forum.
    .
    Reincarnation plausibly follows, as a natural and plausible consequence of Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism.
    .
    No, I’m not claiming to prove that there’s reincarnation.
    .
    In any case, whether you do or don’t reincarnate, you won’t know that you did or didn’t, because, either way, you won’t remember that there was this life.
    .
    In fact, according to your theory then what follows death is NOT reincarnation but the repetition of the exact same life like in Nietzsche's book thus spake zarathustra. Since you're the cause of your own life story then after death, you should cause the same life story again. You don't move on to another life story.
    .
    Above, I said:
    .
    “Your subconscious attributes, inclinations, wants, needs, predispositions at the end of this life determine what kind of a world is consistent with the person that you (subconsciously) are.”
    .
    Your subconscious attributes, inclinations, wants, needs, predispositions at the end of this life are the determiner of your next life. What makes you so sure that those things will be the same at the end of this life as they were at the beginning of this life and the end of the previous one?
    .
    Wait. Right there you’re saying a contradiction. That’s contrary to the definition and nature of hypothetical stories. There are infinitely-many, and there are all of them, including the bad societal worlds in which hardly anyone is an anti-natalist. … — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    I might have misspoke there. What I meant was that
    .
    P1: if THIS world turned antinatalist it would reduce the chances of someone getting born here.
    .
    Undeniably. The probability of birth here would be zero.
    .
    P2: there are worlds where no pain is possible
    .
    Not necessarily. I’d say probably not. A physical world is bound by logic, not made-to-order, and must operate according to its physical laws. So P2 is far from certain.
    .

    P3: pain is possible in this world
    .
    Most undeniably.
    .
    C: this world should turn antinatalist to reduce the number of people that have to experience pain
    For one thing, P2 is doubtful at best.
    For another thing, even if P2 were true, C still wouldn’t follow, unless you believe in Materialism or something similar.
    .
    The number (actually an infinity, not a number) of people of people who have to experience pain has exactly zero dependence on whether or not this world turns Antinatalist. …by Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism, but not by Materialism.
    .
    Your logic would still make an argument for antinatalism
    .
    I support Antinatalism, but not for the fallacious reason usually given by Antinatalists.
    .
    ”So, I agree with anti-natalism in that sense.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Wait so you're an antinatalist now? I thought you were trying to argue AGAINST it
    .
    No, not at all. I’ve given two good reasons for Antinatalism.
    .
    What I disagree with is the faulty metaphysics, the Materialist myth, by which Antinatalists usually argue for Antinatalism.

    (By the way, yes, requested assistance with voluntary auto-euthanasia should be available to everyone and anyone. Not because suicide makes any sense, but as insurance regarding things that can happen to someone that would spoil their quality-of-life.)
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    December 19th (Roman Gregorian Calendar)
    December 20th (Hanke-Henry Calendar)
    2018-W51-3 (ISO WeekDate Calendar)
    2018-W52-3 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)
    28 Frimaire (Frost-Month) CCXXVII (French Republican Calendar of 1792)
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k
    Aside from the fact that you're not seeing the distinction between whether a person exists or not (you're thinking of it simply as a question of whether someone is conscious--that's not the issueTerrapin Station

    Do you think a person exists when they are recently dead and their body is intact?
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    Yes, but obviously in a limited sense, since they're dead/not functional, they don't have "personhood" in the philosophical sense, they're not due the same moral considerations (although I wouldn't say they're due no moral considerations), etc.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k

    What matters to me is the potential for harm. A dead person exists but has no potential for harm.
    I don't t like to do things that have the potential for harm like I will not work in the weapons industry and build a bomb.

    What matters with a (deeply) unconscious person is they can in the future be harmed. Not that they can be harmed whilst you are abusing them.

    On the other hand it seems like plants and the environment cannot be harmed although they exist because they do not appear conscious.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    None of that amounts to being able to do anything, pro or con, consensually or nonconsensually, to someone who doesn't exist.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    believe that moral perfection, in the sense of moral saintliness, does not constitute a model of personal well-being toward which it would be particularly rational or good or desirable for a human being to strive. — Susan Wolf

    Yes, and there is no need to strive for anything if no-person existed in the first place. No need to make people strive for a good if they can be prevented from existing (to not experience harm). To make someone in order for them to pursue some model of well-being makes little sense, if they didn't exist to need anything in the first place. We will always have this back and forth as I will always bring up the idea that no one needs anything to begin with if they don't exist in the first place to need it.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k
    None of that amounts to being able to do anything, pro or con, consensually or nonconsensually, to someone who doesn't exist.Terrapin Station

    I have not claimed someone non existent is being forced to do anything.

    However I did give the example of a vase, a vase comes to exist by an act of force on preexisting clay and then the vase is made to exist by someone else's actions.

    You seem to be quibbling or prevaricating about the boundary between coming into existence and not existing.

    Before a child comes to exist there is the potential and material for a child to come to exist. A humans psychological desire to create a child is also real and can motivate the action of turning preexisting matter into a new child. So I do not think there is non existence in the sense you seem to be referring to.

    Are you claiming nothing is forced on a child? I mentioned how straight after birth I was indoctrinated and forced into strict religious routine. It was not free of parental force at any stage in my childhood and I had to painfully struggle to leave including nearly dying by suicide attempt.

    I still think your point is a semantic mistake. Or a mistake about the relationship between intention and action. Before John Lennon was shot his assassin intended to shoot him and that intention was a significant causal event (that played a causal role in the eventual murder). My intention, not to create a child is preventing me causing a pregnancy.

    This seems similar to your apparent moral stance. If someone has every intention of Killing John Lennon you wouldn't prosecute them until the bullet exited the gun.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    I have not claimed someone non existent is being forced to do anything.Andrew4Handel

    What started this whole tangent was you writing "to force him or her into existence," where you could be read as saying that there was a moral problem with doing something to someone that forces them into existence. I clarified that that's not possible (for force someone into existence.)

    And no, I'm not claiming that nothing is forced on a child. I'm only claiming that no one can be forced into existence, in the sense of force being applied to a person to cause that same person to exist.

    And yeah, no intentions would be illegal if I were king, a fortiori because no thoughts, period, or even expressions of thoughts a la speech, etc., would be illegal if I were king.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k


    The problem is that no one can choose to be born and so how do you describe their existence instead other than as an act of force?
    I think things like houses are made to exist by force and when I am doing gardening or moving something around I am aware I am using force. I do not think the term force is a value judgement but it is obviously not how parents want to describe having a child. Maybe you like the "life is a gift" metaphor?

    Nevertheless I do think there is a puzzle about how we come into existence in term of consciousness because it seems you can mold clay into numerous different objects without it ever being aware of existence but humans are aware of existing in a profound way.

    I think there are definitely different degrees and varieties of indoctrination and I think that religious extremism is not equivalent to the inevitable indoctrination of a child on birth.

    However to limit force and indoctrination would entail giving a child adequate information to draw her own conclusions and to allow a high level of freedom of choice, information and action.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    The problem is that no one can choose to be born and so how do you describe their existence instead other than as an act of force?Andrew4Handel

    It's neither an act of force (against them) nor consent (from them), because there's no one to grant or withhold consent.

    I think things like houses are made to exist by force and when I am doing gardening or moving something around I am aware I am using force.Andrew4Handel

    Yes, but it's not force against the house prior to the house existing.

    The distinction here is force as a means of any physical activity occurring versus force against something('s consent).

    Nevertheless I do think there is a puzzle about how we come into existence in term of consciousness because it seems you can mold clay into numerous different objects without it ever being aware of existence but humans are aware of existing in a profound way.Andrew4Handel

    Different material, in different dynamic structures, has different properties. Brains aren't made of clay. They have blood flowing through them, they have electrochemical activity, etc.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k
    I think one of the problems with having children is that you can do it without any skill or qualification or planning or justification.Andrew4Handel

    it is absurd that anyone can have children without showing any capacity to rear a childAndrew4Handel

    Hear hear! Quite so!

    In Europe and many other places the state will take someone's child from them if they consider them an unfit parent.Andrew4Handel

    ...as they should.

    In fact, there should be demanding requirements for qualification before someone is permitted to be a birth-parent or any other kind of parent. Who'd judge that qualification? I didn't say it was feasible in this Land-of-The Lost societal-world--only that it would be right, if feasible.

    I'm qualified to comment about unqualified parents.

    But it seems to me that it would be entirely meaningless to speak of "...if Mr, & Mrs. Ossipoff hadn't reproduced...." It's a nonsense clause, from my point of view. (...even if not from someone else's point of view.)

    And for whom would it have been better?

    Another thing: As a Materialist, you'll agree that your parents were biologically-originated purposefully-responsive devices. ...just parts of the physical universe. So where's the justification to attribute primary responsibility to them, to make them the cause, as if it all happened because of them?

    They 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.

    There were going to be parents for me, as an obvious requirement for my physical world, and they were going to be like they were, because, for some reason,. that's the world (including the parents) that was consistent with me.

    I was the reason for the parents, not vice-versa.

    December 25th (Roman-Gregorian calendar)
    2019-W01-2 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k
    no one needs anything to begin with if they don't exist in the first place to need it.schopenhauer1

    But if there's no need for life, then why does Schopenhauer1 think that there's need for things in life?

    ...if he says that life itself was and is unnecessary?

    No one needs anything to begin with if they don't exist? It's meaningless to speak of needs of someone who isn't. Schopenhauer1's sentence doesn't really have a subject, and therefore doesn't have a meaning.

    Another thing about "no one needs anything to begin with..."

    ...so Schpenhauer1 thinks that they "need" things now? He's spoken of a "need" to entertain oneself, to always instrumentally strive for entertainment. Yes, greed brings misery, but I suggest that that greed isn't necessary.

    The regrettable situation that Schpenhauer1 (along with other Antinatalists and Absurdists) talks about is an attribute of some people. It isn't an attribute of the world.

    A comment about Absurdism:

    Absurdists are right to say that the Materialist world that they believe in is indeed absurd.

    Michael Ossipoff

    2019-W01-3 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k


    I think that all the matter that makes a human does exist before it turns into a child. the only thing that might not exist prior to conception is consciousness.

    I think creating someone is clearly an act of force on them because you are in control of the outcome which profoundly effects them. There is no mystery now about the process of reproduction where you have unprotected sex knowing it could lead to the fusion of egg and sperm and start the process of making another person.

    Anyhow here is another example. If you plant a land mine in a playground it does not matter if the persons killed by the mine did not exist when you initially planted it because your action was clearly one aimed to maim and kill and harm someone else at some stage. You can expose future persons to harm and hardship.

    To me also if someone cannot chose to be born then they did not chose there life and cannot really freely chose anything afterwards because any choice is forced upon them by the nature of non-consensually coming into existence.

    Likewise you cannot authentically help your child charitably because you caused their life problems in the first place. It is like chopping off someones leg and then making them a prosthesis
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    I think creating someone is clearly an act of force on them because you are in control of the outcome which profoundly effects them.Andrew4Handel

    Okay, so at time T100, let's say, conception occurs--S is conceived via intercourse.

    At time T200, birth occurs--S is born.

    At time T10, what is S's status?
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k

    DNA in the mother and father?
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    DNA in the mother and father is identical to S at T10? Is food that the mother and father eat identical to S?
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k
    I’m not posting to this Antinatalist issue just to be argumentative. If I just wanted to argue, I could argue with Atheists and Materialists, but I’m tired of that. I sometimes answer Antinatalists, precisely because what they’re saying is something that I can relate to, something that has often occurred to me as well.
    .
    Yes there’s something right about what they’re talking about, and their topic is worth comment. Yes, I didn’t consciously choose to be in a life...least of all one (seemingly) inexplicably sharing the world with violent or aggressive people with whom I have nothing in common.
    .
    Because Antinatalists are Materialists, comments that refer to a metaphysics different from theirs won’t be effective with them. But there are things that can be said that are true for Materialists too.
    .
    As a Materialist, you believe that you’re fundamentally a product and result of your physical world. But then how can you object to being in this world?? What else would you expect, given the belief that I quoted in this paragraph?
    .
    You seem to be objecting to the fact that there’s such a thing as life. To whom is that objection addressed? Not to God, because you’re an Atheist, though Antinatalists seem to be shaking their fist at the heavens. Atheists shakings their fist at the heavens.
    .
    Why has your material world made you be in a life? …which really means, why has this material world made there be life. Materialists deny that they’re religious, but their Material-World really, for them, stands-in for God. It’s there without explanation, as the Ground-of-All-Being, the Uncaused-Cause of everything.
    .
    (I’ve previously described, how, likewise, by Merriam-Webster’s and Simon-&-Schuster’s definitions, Materialism is indeed a religion.)
    .
    But the main point of this answer is what I said a few paragraphs back: If, as you believe, you’re a product and result of this material world, then, given that that’s what you are, then why are you surprised that you’re in a life in a world. …how could it have been otherwise? Is it even meaningful to speak of the possibility of it being otherwise, given that “You” is a meaningless notion without life in a world?
    .
    Then what is the point of railing at that obvious inevitability?? In fact what even is the meaning of that railing?
    .
    Given your beliefs, then, given that you’re here, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to just accept the obviously inevitable situation and just do as you like (…which might include some you-intrinsic standards of right-living, but that’s another topic)?
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    2019-W01-5 (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)
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    2019, Late-South, Week 1, Friday (6-Season -3 wk Offset Calendar (where “South” refers to the 13-week terrestrial-season resulting from south solar-declination, roughly corresponding to December, January & February) )
    .
    2018 December 28th (Roman-Gregorian Calendar)
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k


    The DNA is not identical to S but it will become an essential part of S.

    The rape analogy consent is most powerful. You cannot have sex with an unconscious person because they cannot consent to it and therefore it will be rape.

    It is not usually acceptable to do something that will effect someone that they couldn't consent and may not have consented to.The fact an unconscious person cannot consent to sex is what makes it so unethical.

    Because someone cannot consent to being born I cannot see any ethical good in that scenario. If someone enjoys there life that is fortunate but does not mitigate the lack of consent. (I will go into this more in the other Schopenhauer thread.)
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    The DNA is not identical to S but it will become an essential part of S.Andrew4Handel

    But then you didn't answer what I asked you. I asked what S's status at time T10 was.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k


    Do you think people come out of thin air?
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