• Wallows
    9.6k
    What some posters also don't get is that a paradise is still a paradise, even if it is unobtainable. The question wasn't "Is paradise attainable', but "What is paradise?".schopenhauer1

    But, it has to be in some sense 'attainable' for anyone to even entertain it as being realistic?
  • S
    11.8k
    Causing someone to need something when they don't have to is morally problematic, even if the person is gracious or indifferent to the need they are being forced to need.schopenhauer1

    It annoys me that you see things through such a narrow perspective, and cling to that way of seeing things like fundamentalist, but I should probably not allow myself to get annoyed by that and just accept that you probably won't change.

    Others recognise that having needs is just part of a much bigger picture, and that the evaluation should be based on that much bigger picture.
  • S
    11.8k
    But, it has to be in some sense 'attainable' for anyone to even entertain it as being realistic?Wallows

    Yes! If your "paradise" is like a wholly black, wholly red, square circle, dry watery ground sky, then it doesn't even count. We can't even have an intelligible discussion about it.

    A conceivable paradise of a life without having to work full-time, having millions of pounds, a nice house near a beach, an expensive sports car, and so on, at least makes sense and is in some sense attainable. I could win the lottery.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Causing someone to need something when they don't have to is morally problematic, even if the person is gracious or indifferent to the need they are being forced to need.schopenhauer1

    So that's a statement. And I understand that you're making that statement. What I'm asking is the why. Why is that morally problematic?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k
    But, it has to be in some sense 'attainable' for anyone to even entertain it as being realistic?Wallows

    You never asked, is paradise unattainable. And no it isn't. Precisely the problem.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k
    So that's a statement. And I understand that you're making that statement. What I'm asking is the why. Why is that morally problematic?Terrapin Station

    It shouldn't be a surprise when I restate what I have stated before- ethics starts with axioms and sometimes you cannot go further back than that. Suffering is bad. Lacking is bad. Prevent and avoid suffering. Prevent and avoid lack. Preventing and avoiding suffering/lacking for a whole future life with no collateral damage to an actual person is good.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    Okay. That's fine. It just seems very counterintuitive to me when we're talking about something that tons of people don't even have a problem with.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k
    Okay. That's fine. It just seems very counterintuitive to me when we're talking about something that tons of people don't even have a problem with.Terrapin Station

    This is actually why a lot of my posts are not straight-up arguments, but rather thought-pieces that invoke or conveys a certain understanding or feeling around the axioms at hand.. What we may be overlooking or not considering, etc.
  • Wallows
    9.6k
    As a passing note, I do wonder how does the antinatalist not succumb to depression or suicidal tendencies if the world is really that terrible as to not procreate. Any thoughts about this?
  • Shamshir
    856
    What do you mean - does not?
    It's exactly like a child that loses once in a game and refuses to continue playing the rigged game, so as to not embarass itself.
  • S
    11.8k
    As a passing note, I do wonder how does the antinatalist not succumb to depression or suicidal tendencies if the world is really that terrible as to not procreate. Any thoughts about this?Wallows

    Yes. They're lying to themselves. They'll come up with elaborate answers to avoid having to admit that life ain't that bad. It's all misdirection: smoke and mirrors. For example, he'll bring up that it's not easy to commit suicide. True, but then according to World Health Organisation statistics, approximately one million people commit suicide each year worldwide, which is about one death every 40 seconds or 3,000 per day. So lots of people can and do kill themselves. Every day. So even that is kind of misleading, given what he's arguing for. It would be alright to say that in an ordinary context, but not really when you're saying that life is so much worse than non-life.
  • Wallows
    9.6k
    What do you mean - does not?Shamshir

    Where does the confusion lay about here?
  • Shamshir
    856
    They're obviously depressed, and if not outright suicidal, apparently self deprecating.

    So, I wonder how you came about the notion that they do not succumb to either ailment?
  • S
    11.8k
    They're obviously depressed, and if not outright suicidal, apparently self deprecating.Shamshir

    No, I don't think you can lump them all together like that and jump to that conclusion. Like I said, in some cases, they're largely lying to themselves. You know, like an armchair philosopher who does this as a sort of hobby, content enough with life. The sort where it has just become the norm to come out with this kind of rhetoric. Note also that the real Schopenhauer himself was a massive hypocrite.
  • Shamshir
    856
    Obviously. And that's precisely why they're all depressed - waving the 'rigged game' flag in terms of an unsuitable for procreation world.

    It's the childish lust after victory, over the enjoyment of life, that puts them in this situation. They don't want to lose and thus refuse to play i.e procreate.
    And you know this.
  • S
    11.8k
    Obviously.Shamshir

    That's my line. Please don't use it without my permission.

    And that's precisely why they're all depressedShamshir

    So they're all depressed because they're not all depressed, because some of them are content enough with life and are just lying to themselves? No, that makes no sense.

    Alternatively, you weren't actually referring to anything I said, and so you shouldn't have worded your response that way.
  • Wallows
    9.6k
    Darn, you lot are quite unsatiable.

    May we not delve into such a line of reasoning, that would assert something of the sort:

    You, yeah you antinatalist! If life sucks so much, then why haven't you killed yourself yet? — Some dumbfuck
  • S
    11.8k
    You're discouraging us from being logical, and honest, on a philosophy forum of all places. No, in answer to your question, certainly not. And to top it off, you're the one who began the thinking which lead this way.
  • Shamshir
    856
    It's not even about that.
    It's the indulgence of fear that's off-putting, the paranoia.

    If you put an antinatalist alone on an island with his or her crush, do you think he or she would be as prone to paranoic bouts of suffering?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k
    Yes. They're lying to themselves. They'll come up with elaborate answers to avoid having to admit that life ain't that bad. It's all misdirection: smoke and mirrors. For example, he'll bring up that it's not easy to commit suicide. True, but then according to World Health Organisation statistics, approximately one million people commit suicide each year worldwide, which is about one death every 40 seconds or 3,000 per day. So lots of people can and do kill themselves. Every day. So even that is kind of misleading, given what he's arguing for. It would be alright to say that in an ordinary context, but not really when you're saying that life is so much worse than non-life.S

    Kind of an immoral way of trying to prove your point. I can see you standing there, waiting for the antinatalist to slit his wrists in front of you.. Then, turn to the crowd and say, "well that proves nothing really..just a blip of a statistic". Get the hell outta here.
  • leo
    804
    The fact that we are in a deprived state = suffering. It matters not what people evaluate about this or that actual experience.schopenhauer1

    One does not have to see a desire as a "deprived state", that's your own personal interpretation. One can desire something and not see what is desired as something that is lacked. One can feel content about life and desire new experiences and not feel in a deprived state. Why would your own feeling that that person is in a deprived state trump that person's feeling that they aren't in a deprived state?

    You brought up Buddhism that supposedly says that desire is suffering, but that's not what it says, what it actually says is that attachment to desire is suffering. Buddhists decidedly do not agree with you in saying that desire is suffering.

    And obviously if you see desire as suffering then it's no wonder life reduces to suffering to you, considering that desire drives our whole lives. But again, in my view you seeing desire as suffering is simply a symptom of your depression, which has causes that you do not want to look at or address. And the cause of your depression is not that "desire is suffering", you seeing life that way is a consequence of your depression.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k
    But again, in my view you seeing desire as suffering is simply a symptom of your depression, which has causes that you do not want to look at or address. And the cause of your depression is not that "desire is suffering", you seeing life that way is a consequence of your depression.leo

    So why are you interested in this subject. You comment on here about my supposed depression.. What draws you to this subject? Is there something specifically about this that appeals to you to make sure that I make sure that I'm wrong?

    Anyways, at the least, I think antinatalism brings up the broader idea of why we have children. I think that in itself is a benefit, whether you agree or not, there is something to be said to actually question what we are trying to do as humans, bringing new people into existence. What do we want them to accomplish? What is it that is so necessary to the universe about humans living out their lives?

    What can we agree on? Can we agree that life is not a paradise? Can we agree that harm exists on varying levels for individuals? Can we agree that bringing people into the world is often not reflected upon very much as to what they are hoping the progeny gets out of existence?
  • Inyenzi
    56
    You never asked, is paradise unattainable. And no it isn't. Precisely the problem.schopenhauer1

    Are children brought into being from this paradise? Do we return to this paradise at death?

    It seems incoherent to me that our lives and ourselves just burst from 'timeless non-condition' because our parents had sex. We are not brought into existence from somewhere/something that's not the world. As in, this abstract paradise ("unmanifested") is unnattainable because we are not distinct from the way in which the world is manifesting. There is no substantial self or being, separate from the world that has or lives a life, that will be annihilated at death - returning to paradise. It is through projecting nothingness prior to ones birth (and after), that these thoughts arise. There's nothing and nowhere and no time that's not worldly/manifested.
  • S
    11.8k
    Kind of an immoral way of trying to prove your point. I can see you standing there, waiting for the antinatalist to slit his wrists in front of you.. Then, turn to the crowd and say, "well that proves nothing really..just a blip of a statistic". Get the hell outta here.schopenhauer1

    I agree that that would be immoral. But that's an emotionally charged mischaracterisation, so it doesn't count. You're welcome to reply to what I actually said, though.
  • Shamshir
    856
    You brought up Buddhism that supposedly says that desire is suffering, but that's not what it says, what it actually says is that attachment to desire is suffering. Buddhists decidedly do not agree with you in saying that desire is suffering.leo
    To say it even simpler - overindulgence is harmful.
    The Middle Path is no different from Goldilocks' just right.
  • S
    11.8k
    You brought up Buddhism that supposedly says that desire is suffering, but that's not what it says, what it actually says is that attachment to desire is suffering. Buddhists decidedly do not agree with you in saying that desire is suffering.
    — leo

    To say it even simpler - overindulgence is harmful.
    The Middle Path is no different from Goldilocks' just right.
    Shamshir

    Yes, I know very little about Buddhism, but even I know that. There's the story of how the Buddha went through both extremes. And it doesn't fit with the picture that anti-natalists paint.
  • leo
    804
    So why are you interested in this subject. You comment on here about my supposed depression.. What draws you to this subject? Is there something specifically about this that appeals to you to make sure that I make sure that I'm wrong?

    Anyways, at the least, I think antinatalism brings up the broader idea of why we have children. I think that in itself is a benefit, whether you agree or not, there is something to be said to actually question what we are trying to do as humans, bringing new people into existence. What do we want them to accomplish? What is it that is so necessary to the universe about humans living out their lives?

    What can we agree on? Can we agree that life is not a paradise? Can we agree that harm exists on varying levels for individuals? Can we agree that bringing people into the world is often not reflected upon very much as to what they are hoping the progeny gets out of existence?
    schopenhauer1

    I want you to see that you're wrong not because I want to boost my ego or win an argument, but for your own good, because I care about you. I care about people in general, but on this forum you stand out to me as someone who suffers a lot, so I try to help you. My comments to you aren't meant to attack you or belittle you, they are meant to provoke you to help you open your eyes. Specifically I try to help you see that your bleak vision of the world is not objective, it is a subjective view that stems from your own suffering, which is why I try to draw your attention to the actual reasons why you suffer so much, and away from the imagined reasons (such as that all desire is suffering and supposedly that's why you suffer the way you do).

    When I talk of depression I don't mean to say that the root cause of how you feel about the world is a chemical imbalance in your brain and the solution is antidepressants, indeed we can agree that life is not a paradise for everyone, that individuals suffer on different levels, and that if you suffer it's not all your fault. You suffer because of experiences you've had, because of the beliefs you've formed, and while you are not entirely responsible for the experiences you've had, you can still change how you look at them and you can still change your beliefs. I have hope that you can get better, and I care about you, and if you want we can talk in private about your life so that I can help you more effectively.

    Regarding the topic of why we have children, I would say for most people it's a drive that they feel, like people who feel thirsty are driven to water. Is there much point in discussing why we drink water, what's so necessary about drinking water? We do it because we feel the need to, the feeling is what moves us, the feeling could be seen as the life force itself. Sure we can temporarily ponder why we follow our feelings instead of just staying still and slowly die, and then at some point your feelings come back and you realize that you simply don't want to die, and you don't need to formulate a reason why you don't want to die, when you experience the feeling you see clearly the reason why, and the essence of the feeling cannot be put into words, we can talk about feelings but we're not conveying what it's like to experience them, their essence.

    Depending on how you feel a given sentence can make sense to you or not, depending on how you feel you can see the same series of words as meaningful or meaningless. Feelings are fundamental to existence in a profound way, how you see the world depends on how you feel, and you won't understand why people have children if you abstract out the essence of feelings, the essence of life itself, by focusing solely on words and reason. Some people pretend that they focus only on reason and logic and don't let feelings get in the way when presenting an argument or reaching a conclusion, yet their most fundamental premises stem from how they feel and not from reason or logic.
  • Shamshir
    856
    The world is a bad place and there's no point in living, so why have kids?

    Reminds me of an old folktale, where a boy refuses to wash 'cause he'll just get dirty again, so his folks stop feeding him 'cause he'll just get hungry again.
  • S
    11.8k
    The world is a bad place and there's no point in living, so why have kids?

    Reminds me of an old folktale, where a boy refuses to wash 'cause he'll just get dirty again, so his folks stop feeding him 'cause he'll just get hungry again.
    Shamshir

    That's a good one, I'd not heard it before. And it fits well here. I think that perhaps the best way to convey the glaring fault with antinatalism is with the idiom that it is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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