• schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    People often indicate that the trump card reason for being against global antinatalism (as opposed to perhaps situational antinatalism where specific circumstances of poverty/misfortune may call for no birth) is that people can pursue their version of happiness. In other words, being born leads to the possibility of pursuing happiness and this reason is powerful enough to override any negatives to being born for many people.

    However, this makes an assumption that happiness, and the pursuit thereof, is a reason unto itself for why procreation is justified. What makes happiness an automatic justification for procreation of another person? Is it really the ultimate "trump" card for why it is justified to put new people into existence and have to experience life?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    What makes happiness an automatic justification for procreation of another person?schopenhauer1

    You know this already. These things are about one's preferences, one's dispositions, and that's all they can be about. So what makes happiness an automatic justification for someone is that that's their disposition. It's how they feel about happiness versus other emotional (or situational) modalities.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    So what makes happiness an automatic justification for someone is that that's their disposition. It's how they feel about happiness versus other emotional (or situational) modalities.Terrapin Station

    Yes, but this argument will come to a standstill based on first principles. From what I remember, you don't have any prescriptive ethics. So, if someone was to steal someone's property and find out that they were happy about this later on, you would be ok with the fact that the thief stole someone else's property. At the same token, if someone stole from another person and if the person whose property was stolen felt violated and angry, that would not be ok. This does not seem to add up, something was still violated in both cases.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Indeed, I think procreation violates a principle of non-aggression. Oddly, borrowing from the political discourse of the libertarian right (non-aggression principle), by procreating a person, you are aggressively forcing your view (LITERALLY!) on someone else. All first principles of politics come from being born in the first place. The first act whereby a person is being used by another entity, is being born at all in the first place. To justify that this is OKAY because people generally want to pursue their happiness once the aggression is enacted, seems to be a post-facto excuse to enact the aggression in the first place. It is also oddly making autonomous individuals beholden to a principle- that of pursuing happiness. This seems oddly authoritarian, whether in the name of "happiness", or any other principle. Just because "happiness" is warm and fuzzy sounding doesn't mean people should be aggressively forced into pursuing it (by being born at all). It seems odd, but it does make sense.
  • Wallows
    9.3k
    However, this makes an assumption that happiness, and the pursuit thereof, is a reason unto itself for why procreation is justified. What makes happiness an automatic justification for procreation of another person? Is it really the ultimate "trump" card for why it is justified to put new people into existence and have to experience life?schopenhauer1

    Non-sequitur, really. Happiness isn't the ultimate goal of life, and thinking so would cause the very misery you are propounding against existence...
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Non-sequitur, really. Happiness isn't the ultimate goal of life, and thinking so would cause the very misery you are propounding against existence...Wallows

    I agree, but this does not stop people from thinking that "pursuing happiness" is a principle people should be forced into pursuing by procreation. You see, even though procreation is an aggressive forcing of someone into life (because of any X reason such as "they should pursue happiness"), people think pursuing happiness trumps the aggressive forcing into life thing.
  • Wallows
    9.3k
    I agree, but this does not stop people from thinking that "pursuing happiness" is a principle people should be forced into pursuing by procreation.schopenhauer1

    And, we can both agree that such people are stupid and will suffer, so why use them as a template against the very notion of existence, which goes way beyond the notion of "happiness"?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    And, we can both agree that such people are stupid and will suffer, so why use them as a template against the very notion of existence, which goes way beyond the notion of "happiness"?Wallows

    I'm using them not as a template against the very notion of existence, but as an example of how people will justify forcing someone (violating the non-aggression rule) by simply throwing out "but pursuit of happiness!!". Somehow it is a "get out of jail free" card. As long as you say that they NOW get to pursue their happiness by being born, the whole "forcing the other person" thing gets to be swept under the carpet.
  • Wallows
    9.3k


    Then you can tell them to feck off. They're misguided, like some religious fanatics that want to live forever in some paradise.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Then you can tell them to feck off. They're misguided, like some religious fanatics that want to live forever in some paradise.Wallows

    Correct. They are misguided as they are using "the pursuit of happiness" as an excuse to justify violating the non-aggression principle (not forcing others). It is the ultimate "get out of free card" because somehow the connotation of the emotion/state-of-being of happiness makes people fee warm and fuzzy and therefore must be automatically a good justification.
  • Wallows
    9.3k
    Correct. They are misguided as they are using "the pursuit of happiness" as an excuse to justify violating the non-aggression principle (not forcing others). It is the ultimate "get out of free card" because somehow the connotation of the emotion/state-of-being of happiness makes people fee warm and fuzzy and therefore must be automatically a good justification.schopenhauer1

    You don't talk much about Nietzsche; but, he expounded on this to great lengths.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    You don't talk much about Nietzsche; but, he expounded on this to great lengths.Wallows

    Any quotes? I think you might be relating this to his idea of beyond good and evil and eternal return.
  • Wallows
    9.3k
    Any quotes? I think you might be relating this to his idea of beyond good and evil and eternal returnschopenhauer1

    Not an expert. Just mentioning.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    From what I remember, you don't have any prescriptive ethics.schopenhauer1

    I definitely have preferences about what people should or shouldn't do. So in that sense, my ethics is partially prescriptive.

    if someone was to steal someone's property and find out that they were happy about this later on, you would be ok with the fact that the thief stole someone else's property.schopenhauer1

    Aside from the fact that it's not stealing if the person is given consent to take the property, it's the height of moralizing in the negative sense (the sense of haughtily, self-righteously telling people what they should be doing) to say that something is a problem when the people involved in the action in question don't have a problem with it.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k

    Aside from the fact that it's not stealing if the person is given consent to take the property, it's the height of moralizing in the negative sense (the sense of haughtily, self-righteously telling people what they should be doing) to say that something is a problem when the people involved in the action in question don't have a problem with it.Terrapin Station

    The person didn't know beforehand. The person happens to not mind the stealing. I still say that action is wrong. It's the height of arrogance to assume everyone wants to be stolen from (in this particular analogy). This is also rife with ad populum fallacy. A whole society agrees it is okay to steal. and murder (think of the Spartans or even slaveowners).. does that make it right? Maybe some slaves don't mind their lot as slaves. Maybe some Helots were okay with the arrangement...
  • Valentinus
    589
    I will start by admitting I have trouble perceiving the "anti-natalism" argument as a thing. I understand zero population growth strategies as a means to control our fate as a species so that we avoid that nasty catastrophe part of the movie where we all die.
    But I don't understand the effort to assign having progeny to one personal end or another. As a parent, the process has been a lesson on which end of the stick I inhabit.
    I think taking the species point of view as a means of averting disaster has a better chance of being developed than convincing particular people they want stupid things.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    I think taking the species point of view as a means of averting disaster has a better chance of being developed than convincing particular people they want stupid things.Valentinus

    That's not the antinatalist argument. Rather it is that existence has harm and by introducing new people, you ar e creating new experiences of harm. Also, you are essentially force recruiting people into existence based on an agenda set by the parent (their particular reason for putting a new person into the world). As stated in this thread, politically speaking,this is the first act of aggression, thus violating the non-aggression of not forcing views.
  • Valentinus
    589
    I take your point regarding what is being argued versus my reaction to it.
    I don't own my progeny. My parents tried to make me be a certain way but I never thought they were responsible for my existence.
    More precisely to your point, how does being born have to do with your parents at all?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    More precisely to your point, how does being born have to do with your parents at all?Valentinus

    How does being born not have to do with your parents?
  • HereToDisscuss
    52
    Correct. They are misguided as they are using "the pursuit of happiness" as an excuse to justify violating the non-aggression principle (not forcing others). It is the ultimate "get out of free card" because somehow the connotation of the emotion/state-of-being of happiness makes people fee warm and fuzzy and therefore must be automatically a good justification.schopenhauer1
    I do not understand this. Is the argument that people experience happiness when alive and it is a good thing, so we should procreate? If so, it is as good as the argument that existence has harm and we should steer away from harm at all costs, so we should not procreate-not that good.
    Also, why should we adopt the non-agression principle? I believe that the answer to this question can help us understand whetever reasons for procreating justify violating it are good or not.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    I do not understand this. Is the argument that people experience happiness when alive and it is a good thing, so we should procreate? If so, it is as good as the argument that existence has harm and we should steer away from harm at all costs, so we should not procreate-not that good.
    Also, why should we adopt the non-agression principle? I believe that the answer to this question can help us understand whetever reasons for procreating justify violating it are good or not.
    HereToDisscuss

    So we have two ideas here: non-aggression principle, pursuit of happiness.

    In this variation of it, I would identify non-aggression as not imposing one's views on others through force. I'd like to acknowledge and then set aside the idea that in this view, self-defense and preventative defense is justifiable as it is defending against an initial force or threat-to-force.

    It can also be argued that having children is a forced outcome. The parent views that another being should be born and experience the world because they feel it is good or necessary, and thus they procreate (this is "forcing" the child). Let us also acknowledge that the "force" is making the events possible for the person to be born. Thus, even though there is no actual person existing before X time, at some X time, when the child exists, it is indeed brought about through the actions of the parents, which is where the "force" has taken place. Thus any arguments saying there was no child before X time to be forced are specious and red-herring arguments, as the X time when the child actually exists IS the time when force has taken place. Nothing more or less is needed there to demonstrate that.

    When interviewing parents as to possible reasons for having kids (outside accidental births), inevitably a pattern emerges whereby some idea of "happiness" or "flourishing" emerges (maybe not said in exactly those terms, but amounts to similar concept).

    Thus the parent may indeed go about life believing in the non-aggression principle in regards to property, physical autonomy, and freedom of speech. However, in the case or procreation, this is never linked as also following under this purview of non-aggression. Birth is seen as an exception to non-aggression (i.e. not forcing physically or otherwise) on someone. Further, if this was ever presented as just another case of aggression and force onto someone, they wold make the pivot to some version of the happiness principle. People "need" to be born to pursue their happiness. This overrides (is a post facto-excuse) any non-aggression principle that they may otherwise have. Thus the pursuit of happiness idea acts as sort of way to dissolve the tricky problem of aggressively forcing (literally everything about life) onto another person.

    So, why should we adapt the non-aggression principle? Why should people be forced into anything at all? That is the heart of the matter. There is an agenda taking place, and this agenda is literally forced onto the next generation. Why should the person be forced into this agenda, be it happiness principle or otherwise? Let me ask you this, if happiness is the goal, are parents then messianic "deliverers" of happiness by having children? Are they on some sort of mission whereby individuals are beholden to follow? This may sound odd, but that is the logical conclusion of such thinking- even if the person presenting it has not thought it all the way through.
  • Tzeentch
    445
    For children who have had a healthy upbringing life is generally a positive experience. I'd consider that enough reason to put the "Procreation is bad. Period." argument on hold. The question should be whether everybody, including those people who are incapable of providing a healthy upbringing for a child, should be having children.
  • HereToDisscuss
    52
    So, why should we adapt the non-aggression principle? Why should people be forced into anything at all? That is the heart of the matter. There is an agenda taking place, and this agenda is literally forced onto the next generation. Why should the person be forced into this agenda, be it happiness principle or otherwise? Let me ask you this, if happiness is the goal, are parents then messianic "deliverers" of happiness by having children? Are they on some sort of mission whereby individuals are beholden to follow? This may sound odd, but that is the logical conclusion of such thinking- even if the person presenting it has not thought it all the way through.schopenhauer1
    I am going to accept all of you said: This is a violation of this principle, we do it in order to "deliver happiness" (my argument would not be that they would experience happiness but rather that, in order to have a society that we want, be it an utilitarian or a Kantian or something else one, we have to have alive people-otherwise there would not be a society at all, but this particular argument still holds against your objection, so there is no problem) and parents are on such a mission that they hold that individuals must follow.
    Now, i am asking again: Why should we adapt this principle? Why should we not force people to things? You just gave a very, very brief answer and then skipped to the argument.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    For children who have had a healthy upbringing life is generally a positive experience. I'd consider that enough reason to put the "Procreation is bad. Period." argument on hold. The question should be whether everybody, including those people who are incapable of providing a healthy upbringing for a child, should be having children.Tzeentch

    Healthy upbringing, happiness, or otherwise, why does that trump non-aggression?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k

    I think it generally contradictory that most people generally agree about non-aggression about property, rights, physical violence, and otherwise, but not about procreation. I am stating that this action also follows under the non-aggression principle, like any other. Procreation is not an exception because the parent has a notion of an agenda that needs to be followed (in your case "maintaining society").
  • Tzeentch
    445
    Why do we learn to swim when initially it is dangerous and scary and we may drown?

    As long as we have a proper teacher we'll learn that swimming is healthy, harmless, even fun.

    Sometimes people need a little nudge to grow.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Sometimes people need a little nudge to grow.Tzeentch

    But this is your principle. Why should this be forced on anyone?
  • Tzeentch
    445
    Because sometimes others know what is best for you.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Let me back up because I know what's coming next.. Children need adults to decide for them thus "forcing them". This is different, however. The force here is for a whole life, including the adult. The child as child, is something that is a particular time/place it does not hold over the whole life. The birth decision reaches into an autonomous adult and obviously affects/effects the person in literally every way.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Because sometimes others know what is best for you.Tzeentch

    And this is the heart of the hubris here. Who is to say who knows best? And why does procreation from a loving parent get to be THE decision of what is best? Things done out of love or out of a hope for happiness or out of making society function get to bypass non-aggression? Why?
  • HereToDisscuss
    52
    I will concede you the point that procreation falls under that principle. It is not that important.

    Going back to the main point, i will ask you again, one more time: Why is forcing people to do things wrong? Why should we adapt that principle?
    You have not given an answer so far.
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