• DingoJones
    934


    Its about the subjective judgement you are making in saying that person is going to suffer. According to you and your sense of suffering, not theirs. I do not mean the decision about having children and the the moral consequences, Im talking about you using your own sense of suffering and life not being worth the suffering etc and applying that to everyone.
    Maybe that's a more subtle distinction than I originally thought, hopefully that's more clear.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    I'm talking about something much broader than that.Terrapin Station

    Then there's your category error as you are dragging in two different situations- one where you are starting a life and one where a life is already-existent. It is important that the two not be mixed. That is much of your problem.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    You contradicted yourself in your confused response as well, in one instance denying any possible consideration of the person to be (they arent born yet) then turning around (in other posts) and allowing that consideration (how they will suffer as a person after being born) when it supports your argument.DingoJones

    So this is Benatar's asymmetry that he pointed out. It's not about allowing consideration, but rather the absence of good vs. the absence of bad for potential people. The absence of bad for a potential person is always good, even if that good is not enjoyed by anyone. It is simply good that bad is not taking place. The absence of pleasure is not bad, unless there is an actual person for which this absence was a deprivation. The absence of pleasure is not bad, unless someone is actually existing to be deprived of it. The absence of pain for any actual person is good, no matter what.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    I don't want to argue with you but the thing is the WAY you argue is what's so weird. You argue the principles themselves and then when it no longer works out you go back to your "But actually I don't use principle based approaches" crux. That's why I called you a troll. Because you DO principle based ethics, for a bit, by arguing why this principle is better than that or what motivation there is behind this principle etc but then you turn back to saying "But actually I don't use principle based approaches" at the first sign of inconsistency

    If you don't do principle based approaches don't argue the principles themselves. Every time I argue with you I think you're suspending your disbelief and actually doing a principle based approach only for it to end with "but actually I don't do principle based approaches". If you don't, don't argue the principles themselves because that's called oing a principle based approach
    khaled

    You hit the nail on the head! I told you he argues like a troll and not with any sense of integrity or sincerity. Much of what he does is to try to dig rabbit holes and argue in circles. He does not argue in good faith and thus will never actually offer any real debate, just circular reasoning which you think is in a spirit of good faith, but is not.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    Again, if you don't do principle based ethics, you shouldn't be debating principles. And if you DO suspend your disbelief with doing principle based ethics and decide to debate principles then you at least should continue suspending your disbelief until the debate is over. Not go back to "But actually I don't do principle based ethics" the second a contradiction between a principle and your behaviour arises.khaled

    Great observation!! :up:
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    "Asshole attitude". Really dude? Because you have been the absolute pinnacle of gentlemanly, chivalrous conduct? "Asshole attitude" coming from you means absolutely nothing no offence.khaled

    :rofl: Either he is being completely ironic or has no self-reflective abilities of how he comes across.
  • Purple Pond
    567
    I don't think this is good enough still. Would you agree to someone betting all of your life savings on some random business that has a 4 or 5% chance of failing miserably? Sure the chance is low but why take the bet in the first place for someone you don't know? Especially when so much is at stakekhaled
    I don't think you are considering everything. Just because a child is born with defects, she's not doomed to a miserable life. Parents can provide proper care and do the best to make their offspring's life as good as possible. For the most part, in modern society, illnesses can be treated and disabilities managed. As long as you're a caring parent and are willing and able to provide as much as you can for your child, I see no reason not to have kids.
  • DingoJones
    934


    Holy shit, im not talking about Benatars asymmetry. Im not even really talking about that part of the antinatalist argument at all.
    In this last post, I was pointing out a contradiction that you made, and before that I was pointing out a double standard you keep trotting out. These are not based on the weakness of Antinatalism, they are based on logic and they attack the way in which you are making your argument. (With misapplied logic). Evidently you are completely clueless as to what you are actually saying and instead consider your points well made not by their merit but merely by the repetition of words you’ve read in Benatars argument.
    So nothing you have responded with shows any comprehension at all about what is being said to you. (By me).
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    Holy shit, im not talking about Benatars asymmetry. Im not even really talking about that part of the antinatalist argument at all.
    In this last post, I was pointing out a contradiction that you made, and before that I was pointing out a double standard you keep trotting out. These are not based on the weakness of Antinatalism, they are based on logic and they attack the way in which you are making your argument. (With misapplied logic). Evidently you are completely clueless as to what you are actually saying and instead consider your points well made not by their merit but merely by the repetition of words you’ve read in Benatars argument.
    So nothing you have responded with shows any comprehension at all about what is being said to you. (By me).
    DingoJones

    Go ahead, tell me what I'm missing and I'll tell you how I'm exactly countering your point. You said that it is about consideration of what is for the future child, and I am telling you my argument is about consideration of a potential child that is presently absent. That does change the way this argument goes, sorry but it does.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    You said:
    You contradicted yourself in your confused response as well, in one instance denying any possible consideration of the person to be (they arent born yet) then turning around (in other posts) and allowing that consideration (how they will suffer as a person after being born) when it supports your argument.DingoJones

    and

    Yes it is. That is exactly what you are doing. You have made a subjective evaluation about suffering, and are arguing against and morally condemning other people (parents/would be parents) based on that evaluation (foist number one), in addition to making a decision on behalf of somebody else (anyone born!) based on your own evaluation about suffering. (Foist number 2).DingoJones

    I am not foisting anything on the parent. Foisting is forcing someone to do something. I am not forcing anything, just presenting my argument. So that is wrong.

    As far as foist number 2 there, it goes straight back to the point that no one exists who will be foisted upon. Look at the two scenarios:
    1) A child is not born. There is no ACTUAL person who is foisted upon. I can have hundreds of potential children, NONE OF THEM have anything happening to them.

    2) A child is born. An ACTUAL person is foisted upon. Something is actually being affected. Something is having a game/challenge/"adventure" of life put on someone. The escape is death from this, or cope, deal, identify with the game. Whatever you want to say, someone is being foisted something in scenario 2.
  • khaled
    803
    Im talking about you using your own sense of suffering and life not being worth the suffering etc and applying that to everyoneDingoJones




    That’s not what I’m doing. I never said life isn’t worth the suffering. I think it is. That doesn’t permit me to force someone else into it though. See my analogy that starts with “for everyone here who is a natalist” which no one has replied to. It’s a page or 2 back
  • khaled
    803
    I don't think you are considering everything. Just because a child is born with defects, she's not doomed to a miserable lifePurple Pond

    This is what I have a problem with, that the bar is set at “miserable life”. “It’s ok Timmy at least you’re not suffering as much as those Chinese sweatshop workers making your clothes”. Would you imagine if someone invested all your life savings on a mediocre deal that lost you money without your consent then had the nerve to say “hey, at least you’re not broke amirite?” I set the bar at near perfect life. Because it makes no sense to create the problem of suffering for someone then claim it’s ok not to solve it. And to claim they must be grateful to you afterwards also makes no sense

    I see no reason not to have kids.Purple Pond

    “As long as you’re not broke, I see no reason for me not to invest with your life savings on projects I like no matter the consequences because after all, first world countries have a very good welfare system”

    The point isn’t that the child might suffer tremendously, having a child while KNOWING they will suffer tremendously is monstrous. Having a child while knowing there is a RISK they suffer tremendously (in spite of your best care and effort) is pretty bad. Why are you taking the risk for someone else in the first place? Because YOU like life? That’s no good reason.
  • DingoJones
    934


    Ok not “life isnt worth the suffering” if thats not your view...doesnt matter, whatever your sense is about suffering is you are applying it to everyone. Not everyone views suffering the way you do, you dont get to decide for anyone else whats so bad about life that they shouldnt risk living it. Thats just the reverse position of the exact same thing your so upset about.
    If I was able to talk to somebody who was there before I was born trying to convince my mom to make the ”ethical” choice and not have me, I would say “hey asshole, mind your own fucking business. Only one person gets to make this decision, me. If life sucks, there is a real simple exit option.”
    Most people would, because most people do not view life and suffering the way an Antinatalist does. Or the way you do, or the way I do or the way anybody does. Its a subjective assessment, made in the sovereignty of a persons experience but its certainly not the case that most people wish theyd never been born.
    No, Purple Ponds description of situational
    Antinatalism makes much more sense, but it doesnt need its own special term, thats just good judgement really.
  • Inyenzi
    52
    As long as you're a caring parent and are willing and able to provide as much as you can for your child, I see no reasonnot to have kids.Purple Pond

    It is as if having children is taken to be the default position - against which the antinatalist must present his case and challenge. But it should be seen the other way round, with inaction as the default, and a case needing to made for taking such a morally significant action. What justifies creating a being with needs? Needs are a source of harm, and having needs is not a good thing. Although one might believe that they can provide for the needs of a child (well, until the child has grown and has the skills to provide for themselves), this does not justify the creation of a being with needs in the first place. It is as if the justification for creating a problem, is that one will do their very best to mitigate the harm caused by it.
  • khaled
    803
    “hey asshole, mind your own fucking business. Only one person gets to make this decision, me. If life sucks, there is a real simple exit option.”DingoJones

    Two things here. 1- you did not make the choice to be born by definition. And you said it yourself, only one person gets to make that decisions and it SHOULD be you not some stranger you get to know over the following years. 2- “there is a real simple exit option” is false. If it was true I’d have no problem with having children. The problem is when you have a child he will have a natural survival instinct that will keep him living despite how much he suffers. If suicide was as easy as “I had a bad week, lemme just go kill myself real quick” I wouldn’t have a problem with having children. The problem arises when you not only burden someone with solving the problem of suffering you’ve given them but also make it so that there is a very heavy exit cost

    Most people would, because most people do not view life and suffering the way an Antinatalist doesDingoJones

    I don’t view life as suffering, but I recognize the possibility that my child might. That’s the point. How much someone likes life is not a factor when it comes to deciding if they should have kids or not. No matter how much I like my job I can’t force someone else to work it for example. Especially not a stranger

    but its certainly not the case that most people wish theyd never been born.DingoJones

    I never said it was. There is a difference between lives worth living and lives worth starting. Most lives are worth living but not worth starting. Ex: being blind is an experience worth living through. Most blind people are decently happy, so are most people with paralysis. Most debilitations become the norm for people after a few months and they no longer agonize over them. That doesn’t make it ok to go around hacking peoples eyes out or shooting their spines does it? That’s an example of an experience worth living through but not worth starting, I view life that way, but you don’t have to. My child might view life that way and who am I to take the risk for them


    I’m not applying my subjective judgements onto anyone, all I’m saying is for people to stop applying their subjective judgements about life being good on their children. Just don’t apply subjective judgements to people you don’t know at all. It’s ironic for someone to argue AGAINST antinatalism by saying “who are you to make judgements for someone else” because all antinatalism is about is NOT applying these judgements on anyone anymore
  • khaled
    803
    It is as if having children is taken to be the default position - against which the antinatalist must present his case and challenge. But it should be seen the other way round, with inaction as the defaultInyenzi

    I know right. In EVERY OTHER CASE inaction is taken to be default. It’s just that people have too strong a mental block when it comes to antinatalism

    It is as if the justification for creating a problem, is that one will do their very best to mitigate the harm caused by itInyenzi

    Couldn’t have said it better
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    one where you are starting a lifeschopenhauer1

    I wasn't talking about that at all when I made the comment about my opinion of what's called "suffering."

    You can't stop thinking about it, so you interpreted my comment as if that's what it's about.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    It is as if having children is taken to be the default positionInyenzi

    What would it amount to for something to be a "default position" on an ethical issue?
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    you did not make the choice to be born by definition. And you said it yourself, only one person gets to make that decisions and it SHOULD be youkhaled

    Still unable to grasp that there's no one to make decisions not only prior to conception, but for a while after birth.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    I wasn't talking about that at all when I made the comment about my opinion of what's called "suffering."

    You can't stop thinking about it, so you interpreted my comment as if that's what it's about.
    Terrapin Station

    What broader thing are you talking about? This debate has always been in the context of antinatalism. It's even the name of the thread. That is the subtext of all these sub-debates. Don't try conning me into thinking this isn't to some extent about antinatalism in some way, as that is where this whole conversation came from and leads to, whatever tangents we take in the meantime. I'm keeping it on point and the point I'm trying to make is that if we are talking about antinatalism, we do have to consider that the debate is whether a life is "worth starting" rather than "continuing" or in a state of "already-existing". People are making that category error in their analogies, and their characterization of the antinatalist position.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    What broader thing are you talking about? This debate has always been in the context of antinatalism. It's even the name of the thread. That is the subtext of all these sub-debates.schopenhauer1

    You may have some personal restriction that everything you say in a thread has to have some relation to the initial post of the thread or the thread title, but I don't. At least half of the time I don't even have any idea what thread I'm posting in, because I really couldn't care less. I prefer chatting. I have no personal restrictions that we have to stick with some topic so that every post, every comment (in every post) has to relate to that topic somehow.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    You may have some personal restriction that everything you say in a thread has to have some relation to the initial post of the thread or the thread title, but I don't. At least half of the time I don't even have any idea what thread I'm posting in, because I really couldn't care less. I prefer chatting. I have no personal restrictions that we have to stick with some topic so that every post, every comment (in every post) has to relate to that topic somehow.Terrapin Station

    I'm fine with a thread going in various directions. I don't necessarily have anything against that. What I do have something against is what khaled was implying in several posts back when you are talking about something else, and then you all of a sudden use that comment to talk about the topic at hand, thus you can always weave in and out and say, "no I wasn't using that argument for that topic then, but now I am". Which is more than a bit dodgy.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    I'm fine with a thread going in various directions. I don't necessarily have anything against that. What I do have something against is what khaled was implying in several posts back when you are talking about something else, and then you all of a sudden use that comment to talk about the topic at hand, thus you can always weave in and out and say, "no I wasn't using that argument for that topic then, but now I am". Which is more than a bit dodgy.schopenhauer1

    You just have to read stuff for what it says. If I make a comment about my opinion of the sorts of things that people consider to be "suffering," there's no reason to read it as a comment on antinatalism. You'd only do that if you basically insist that everything has to relate back to the initial topic/subject of the thread.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    You'd only do that if you basically insist that everything has to relate back to the initial topic/subject of the thread.Terrapin Station

    I'll gladly move on from that particular line of reasoning. It makes no sense to believe that one's own interpretation of suffering should dictate another's life so, yeah I'd gladly accept that you are not talking about that, because that might mean you actually take that position. Of course if it is, then the topic focuses on antinatalism again. But as you admitted, that particular reasoning is not about antinatalism.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    I'll gladly move on from that particular line of reasoning. It makes no sense to believe that one's own interpretation of suffering should dictate another's life so, yeah I'd gladly accept that you are not talking about that, because that might mean you actually take that position. Of course if it is, then the topic focuses on antinatalism again. But as you admitted, that particular reasoning is not about antinatalism.schopenhauer1

    Again, this isn't about antinatalism specifically, but I see it more as "One's attributions of what counts as suffering should not dictate what anyone else is required to do a la needing to make sure that you don't experience what you count as suffering."
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    Again, this isn't about antinatalism specifically, but I see it more as "One's attributions of what counts as suffering should not dictate what anyone else is required to do a la needing to make sure that you don't experience what you count as suffering."Terrapin Station

    Okay, are you applying that to the principle of starting a life (antinatalism debate) or someone who is already born (not antinatalism debate)? If it is the first or both, then it is an antinatalism debate.
  • Purple Pond
    567
    This is what I have a problem with, that the bar is set at “miserable life”. “It’s ok Timmy at least you’re not suffering as much as those Chinese sweatshop workers making your clothes”.khaled
    There is no bar set because there's no theoretical limit to the amount of suffering a person can experience. It's all about tolerating risk. Is it worth the risk to produce an offspring? Like I said, it depends.

    Would you imagine if someone invested all your life savings on a mediocre deal that lost you money without your consent then had the nerve to say “hey, at least you’re not broke amirite?”khaled
    I'm finding it very difficult to make sense of this analogy. A potential baby is nothing, has nothing. So you can't deprive it of anything.
    Having a child while knowing there is a RISK they suffer tremendously (in spite of your best care and effort) is pretty bad.khaled
    I disagree. If there's a good chance that the child will grow up to live happy healthy life, and a very small chance that they will suffer tremendously, it's worth the risk.

    Why are you taking the risk for someone else in the first place? Because YOU like life? That’s no good reason.khaled
    How about because you want a child? Children can give lots of joy to the parents. It also happens to be very likely that the child is grateful to be born, so it isn't selfish.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    Okay, are you applying that to the principle of starting a life (antinatalism debate) or someone who is already born (not antinatalism debate)? If it is the first or both, then it is an antinatalism debate.schopenhauer1

    I'd say only the latter, since only people who are born and who have developed mentally a bit have notions of what counts as suffering.
  • khaled
    803
    There is no bar set because there's no theoretical limit to the amount of suffering a person can experiencePurple Pond

    But you clearly set a bar when you say that in most cases where money isn't a problem and where the children will likely live happy lives etc, that it is then fine to have children. You have decided that the amount of suffering experienced by the typical middle class first world country citizen is "good enough" to put someone else through that life. I believe that bar should be set at near perfect life, not a typical one

    I'm finding it very difficult to make sense of this analogy. A potential baby is nothing, has nothing. So you can't deprive it of anything.Purple Pond

    Ok how about this one: I'm going to kidnap you and strap you in a VR video game that I really like. Why? Because I really like it. I won't ask for your opinion. Also, if you try to get out you die. Is that ethical?

    Another one I heard elsewhere is: Someone takes your empty bank account and puts it 20 million in debt, then gives you 15 million and chastizes you if you fail to pay the remaining 5 million.

    I disagree. If there's a good chance that the child will grow up to live happy healthy life, and a very small chance that they will suffer tremendously,Purple Pond

    Agreed

    it's worth the risk.Purple Pond

    Not in my view. Creating pleasure by creating new people that are happy is different from creating pleasure by actually helping a living person. That a potential child will live a happy life doesn't oblige you to have them morally speaking. However that a potential child will live a terrible life obliges you not to have them. Put those together and you get: You are obliged not to have a child because he might experience more suffering than pleasure.

    To illustrate why "make a happy person" is different from "make a person happy" and shouldn't have the same weight (you're treating them as if they do):

    Say there are 3 starving people and you are presented with 2 solutions to this problem. Which would you employ?

    A: Feed the 3 starving people
    B: Materialize 100 satiated people so that overall, you created more pleasure than you would have by simply feeding the 3 starving people

    I think everyone would say A is the better solution, because B doesn't actually help anyone. That's my point. "making happy people" is morally neutral "making people happy" is morally good. You can't treat them like the same thing.

    How about because you want a child?Purple Pond

    Not enough. Because your child will also want a child. So saying that the suffering you experience from not having a child is going to outweight the suffering your child will have is bogus.

    It also happens to be very likely that the child is grateful to be born, so it isn't selfish.Purple Pond

    Again, it doesn't matter what the living think of living, they shouldn't be allowed to add more people in the same way that no matter how much I like my job I can't force others to work it, even if this forced labor has had a history of producing happy employees.
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.