• khaled
    2.1k
    That this will involve suffering on the part of the children.Echarmion

    Oh. Interesting. So you’ll actually consider it as a harm. So then: what is the justification?

    I think it's sufficient that you want to have children and honestly judge that you can give them the necessary love and resources in order to allow them to become active members of a free and equal society.Echarmion

    So if I feel like shooting someone and I honestly believe I can pay their hospital bills afterwards, and I even agree to take care of them for 18 years afterwards, I can go around shooting people? No that would be ridiculous. So why is it in this case you find it acceptable to cause harm as long as the harm causer is confident he can help out after the fact? What’s the justification?

    I think I'll just not be convinced that the suffering is simply bad.Echarmion

    That’s not what’s being said. What’s being said is that inflicting suffering without justification is simply bad. You haven’t actually given any examples where you think it’s acceptable short of birth itself which makes me suspect you agree. And moreover, this principle does NOT result from or result in “suffering is always a negative”. I agree with you that suffering is sometimes required (I make a distinction between suffering and pain, and think pain is required, but that’s nitpicky and out of scope of the reply) and that it is necessary for growth. That does not give me the privilege to go around causing it Willy nilly.

    What I find good, and what I am justified in causing to others are two separate things
  • khaled
    2.1k
    To think that antinatalism is any different than any other moral principle in this regard, would be special pleading to make antinatalism seem extraordinarily out of place with ethical principles.schopenhauer1

    :up:

    It’s tiring seeing all these “You didn’t give me a reason to believe your premise” arguments. That’s true of every moral theory, why do you expect it here?
  • schopenhauer1
    5.1k
    It’s tiring seeing all these “You didn’t give me a reason to believe your premise” arguments. That’s true of every moral theory, why do you expect it here?khaled

    Exactly.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    Oh. Interesting. So you’ll actually consider it as a harm. So then: what is the justification?khaled

    I said suffering, not harm. And as I already wrote, I consider this merely a statement of fact, not a moral issue.

    So why is it in this case you find it acceptable to cause harm as long as the harm causer is confident he can help out after the fact? What’s the justification?khaled


    I did give you the reason. What else is necessary to turn this reason into a justification?

    That’s not what’s being said. What’s being said is that inflicting suffering without justification is simply bad.khaled

    That seems to be saying the same thing. Whether or not we frame this as an exception to a rule or the rule itself doesn't seem to matter.

    You haven’t actually given any examples where you think it’s acceptable short of birth itself which makes me suspect you agreekhaled

    I did. Causing heartbreak. Doing risks sports. Driving a car.

    And moreover, this principle does NOT result from or result in “suffering is always a negative”. I agree with you that suffering is sometimes required (I make a distinction between suffering and pain, and think pain is required, but that’s nitpicky and out of scope of the reply) and that it is necessary for growth. That does not give me the privilege to go around causing it Willy nilly.khaled

    You don't have the "privilege" to do things which affect other people "willy nilly". The principle I recognise here is "don't do things willy nilly", not "do not cause suffering".

    What I find good, and what I am justified in causing to others are two separate thingskhaled

    "Good" is a label I attach to actions, not outcomes, so I don't really agree.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    I said suffering, not harm. And as I already wrote, I consider this merely a statement of fact, not a moral issue.Echarmion

    Any other situations where someone can cause another to suffer and it’s not a moral issue?

    I did give you the reason. What else is necessary to turn this reason into a justification?Echarmion

    That the reason should not be useable to make ridiculous things moral. As I said, if A is thinking of causing B to suffer, it is not enough that that A intends to help out B after the fact in order for A to be justified in causing the suffering.

    I can’t force you to work at my company no matter how much I like it simply because I reasonably believe that I can really help you out while you’re working there.

    That seems to be saying the same thing.Echarmion

    They’re not at all the same. “Suffering is not always bad” is entirely consistent with “Inflicting suffering without consent is always bad”. Therefore they cannot be the same. Again, what you find good and what you’re justified in doing to others are two different things

    I did. Causing heartbreak. Doing risks sports. Driving a car.Echarmion

    What I said was: “You haven’t given an example where causing suffering to others without justification is bad”

    Doing risk sports is not causing suffering to anyone but yourself so idk what it’s even doing here

    Driving a car is justified because otherwise you yourself would be getting harmed comparably. Same with heartbreak in most cases. People break up because they don’t want to be in the relationship anymore.

    The principle I recognise here is "don't do things willy nilly", not "do not cause suffering".Echarmion

    Where is the line that defines when causing suffering is Willy nilly and when it isn’t? I’ve stated mine clearly: When the suffering you alleviate is comparable to that which you inflict, and when the suffering you inflict is done on dependents for their own good. Those are the only two cases it’s justified. You?

    "Good" is a label I attach to actions, not outcomes, so I don't really agree.Echarmion

    Still, what you find good and what your are justified in doing to others are not the same thing. Masochists don’t get to go around torturing people.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    Any other situations where someone can cause another to suffer and it’s not a moral issue?khaled

    I answered this question a couple of times now. Not sure what else I can say.

    That the reason should not be useable to make ridiculous things moral. As I said, if A is thinking of causing B to suffer, it is not enough that that A intends to help out B after the fact in order for A to be justified in causing the suffering.khaled

    If you're thinking about morality as a set of general reasons that can be applied to any given situation regardless of circumstance, like the 10 commandments, what you and I think of as morality is nothing alike.

    They’re not at all the same. “Suffering is not always bad” is entirely consistent with “Inflicting suffering without consent is always bad”. Therefore they cannot be the same.khaled

    I don't know what you wanted to say here, but I don't recognize the logic. Things that are the same are also obviously consistent.

    Again, what you find good and what you’re justified in doing to others are two different thingskhaled

    If you use "good" in the sense of preference, yes. But I don't see how that is relevant, because I haven't said that you're allowed to do whatever you like.

    Where is the line that defines when causing suffering is Willy nilly and when it isn’t?khaled

    It's not willy nilly if you act according to a principle that can be universalised.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    It's not willy nilly if you act according to a principle that can be universalisedEcharmion
    I answered this question a couple of times now. Not sure what else I can say.Echarmion

    Which is? I honestly don’t remember and I can’t find it.

    If you're thinking about morality as a set of general reasons that can be applied to any given situation regardless of circumstance, like the 10 commandments, what you and I think of as morality is nothing alike.Echarmion

    So.... you DON’T have a principle that can be universalized now? I’m confused.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    Which is? I honestly don’t remember and I can’t find it.khaled

    There is no one principle that can be universalised. You figure it out by using something like Kant's categorical imperative, or Rawls "veil of ignorance". You ask yourself whether or not you can imaginge all of humanity as acting as you do, and then see if this results in a) an obvious contradiction and b) a world you would want to life in regardless of how and where you lived.

    So.... you DON’T have a principle that can be universalized now? I’m confused.khaled

    I have a method to check principles. The number of principles that pass the check is indefinite.
  • Albero
    49
    I would like to see you further elaborate on the point of a parent inflicting blindness on their child if there “was no child”. You made some really good points
  • Albero
    49
    i agree. I feel like every pro-natalist argument I’ve read elsewhere took future people into consideration. I don’t see why people keep re-hashing this argument. If one disregards the concept of consent in procreation that’s fine I guess (depending on what bullets you want to bite) but people are going to be affected. I don’t see why it’s popular here
  • schopenhauer1
    5.1k
    If one disregards the concept of consent in procreation that’s fine I guess (depending on what bullets you want to bite) but people are going to be affected. I don’t see why it’s popular hereAlbero

    Yep, good observation. It's probably a bias and also a way to try to not grapple with the question at hand perhaps, that as you said, someone is going to be affected.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    I have a method to check principles.Echarmion

    And that is? And does mine pass it? If not why not?

    There is no one principle that can be universalised. You figure it out by using something like Kant's categorical imperative, or Rawls "veil of ignorance". You ask yourself whether or not you can imaginge all of humanity as acting as you do, and then see if this results in a) an obvious contradiction and b) a world you would want to life in regardless of how and where you lived.Echarmion

    And which of those does mine produce?
  • Pinprick
    532
    It seems to me that the guiding principle of antinatalism is that it is wrong to cause unnecessary harm. I think that’s a principle everyone more or less agrees on, and taken in isolation antinatalism logically follows, at least in some instances (those where not having children does not cause unnecessary harm itself to those who desire to have children, grandchildren, etc.).

    But, the principle itself is only half the story as I see it. It is also wrong to unnecessarily deny pleasure (or happiness or whichever feel good term you prefer) to others. Procreating seems to violate the antinatalist’s principle, yet antinatalism seems to violate the natalist’s principle, since it’s also equally likely that a child born will experience some unknown amount of pleasure or happiness. I don’t see a way to determine which principle should be upheld over the other, as I think the asymmetry argument fails to do so. Therefore, it seems to simply be a matter of personal preference as to which principle you choose to uphold.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    It is also wrong to unnecessarily deny pleasure (or happiness or whichever feel good term you prefer) to others.Pinprick

    So if you want a PS5 I have a moral duty to buy you a new PS5 as a complete stranger? Nah, I don’t think any of us think that. If you think that tell me so I can request a PC from you which you will be morally obligated to provide :lol:

    But even if we were to say people have a duty not to deny others pleasure, AN would not violate this (incredibly weird) duty.

    If you have a child you cause harm, as the result will be the existence of a child and that child will be harmed. Notice how there is actually a person being harmed in this case. However, if you do not have a child, there will be no child to deny anything. So no violations.

    I think the asymmetry argument fails to do so.Pinprick

    I think the asymmetry argument is bullshit so at least we agree there.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    And which of those does mine produce?khaled

    That depends a bit on the exact exceptions you're going to make. I don't think "never take an action that you know will cause suffering unless you can be sure you're not going to cause net suffering" works at all, since it would make all actions impossible. There is no cutoff to causal chains, so you're never going to be able to predict the suffering you cause with any certainty.

    If we're going with something more malleable like "never take actions that will cause forseeable suffering greater than the forseeable suffering they prevent", it's not going to result in something obviously self-defeating. It still fails the secon test in my opinion, since as I pointed out it'd obligate us all to avoid causing any kind of emotional distress to each other that is avoidable, and if we applied that rigorously we'd be forced to do whatever the most emotionally unstable people wanted in order to avoid causing them any distress, unless and until your distress overrules theirs.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    There is no cutoff to causal chains, so you're never going to be able to predict the suffering you cause with any certainty.Echarmion

    Non sequitor. "With any certainty". Really? Be reasonable. With some certainty.

    If we're going with something more malleable like "never take actions that will cause forseeable suffering greater than the forseeable suffering they prevent"Echarmion

    That is literally the same thing as the above. You just changed "be sure" to "forseeable". Again showing that you can predict these things with some certainty. I don't understand why you insist on pretending we can't.

    and if we applied that rigorously we'd be forced to do whatever the most emotionally unstable people wanted in order to avoid causing them any distress, unless and until your distress overrules theirs.Echarmion

    We already do that. Unless they are dependents or they consent to it we do not interfere with others, furthermore we consider it immoral to do so. Doctors don't go around forcefully "curing" people, people instead come to doctors. And if a doctor was going around forcing people to exercise for their health, we'd think he's being immoral, and he'd immediately get his license revoked. It's none of his damn business.

    NOT having this principle would mean that if I deem you "unstable" I am allowed to do whatever to you to "stabilize" you without your consent, and without you being my dependent. Give me one situation where we consider that acceptable.
  • Pinprick
    532
    So if you want a PS5 I have a moral duty to buy you a new PS5 as a complete stranger?khaled

    Lol, no, you’re not required to provide my pleasure, you just have no right to stop me from buying a PS5. So trying to do so is what would be wrong.

    But even if we were to say people have a duty not to deny others pleasure, AN would not violate this (incredibly weird) duty.khaled

    What makes this any weirder than preventing unnecessary harm? This is why laws that unnecessarily violate our “pursuit of happiness” are considered unjust.

    If you have a child you cause harm, as the result will be the existence of a child and that child will be harmed. Notice how there is actually a person being harmed in this case. However, if you do not have a child, there will be no child to deny anything. So no violations.khaled

    I do see that, but you can’t claim one the one hand that not having a child prevents harm, and on the other that it doesn’t prevent pleasure as well. Having a child doesn’t just cause harm, it also causes pleasure, but AN seems to want to ignore this side of the equation.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    you just have no right to stop me from buying a PS5.Pinprick

    Because doing so would be harming you. At least the way I define it. Simply as: Doing to someone something they wish isn’t done to them.

    What makes this any weirder than preventing unnecessary harm?Pinprick

    That I misunderstood it.

    I do see that, but you can’t claim one the one hand that not having a child prevents harm, and on the other that it doesn’t prevent pleasure as well.Pinprick

    I didn’t. This doesn’t violate your principle though. I have to not stop you from seeking pleasure. Sure. But that does NOT mean I have to provide anybody pleasure. Not having children isn’t stopping anyone from seeking pleasure. So this principle has no bearing on the discussion

    Having a child doesn’t just cause harm, it also causes pleasure, but AN seems to want to ignore this side of the equation.Pinprick

    Because it is irrelevant. In the same way that I can’t force you to work for my company just because “it will cause some pleasure as well” even though that is true. Point is that “risky acts” (risk causing both pleasure and pain) require consent or justification normally and neither is given in the case of birth.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    Non sequitor. "With any certainty". Really? Be reasonable. With some certainty.khaled

    You can predict the outcome of an indefinite chain of events with "some certainty"? I don't see how you could.

    That is literally the same thing as the above. You just changed "be sure" to "forseeable". Again showing that you can predict these things with some certainty. I don't understand why you insist on pretending we can't.khaled

    And "foreseeable" was the word I used to denote exactly the things we can predict. But you can't predict whether the person whose life you saved today has a grandson that murders millions, nor would anyone feel obligated to calculate the odds.

    We already do that. Unless they are dependents or they consent to it we do not interfere with others, furthermore we consider it immoral to do so. Doctors don't go around forcefully "curing" people, people instead come to doctors. And if a doctor was going around forcing people to exercise for their health, we'd think he's being immoral, and he'd immediately get his license revoked. It's none of his damn business.khaled

    We interfere with others constantly. Casting someone a sideways glance is interfering with their emotions. Police patrols interfere with people traveling. We expect people to abide by all kinds of laws and social norms regardless of how they personally feel about doing so.

    The one are where we uphold your principle is bodily autonomy, but this is a special case of strict non-interference, not the norm.

    NOT having this principle would mean that if I deem you "unstable" I am allowed to do whatever to you to "stabilize" you without your consent, and without you being my dependent. Give me one situation where we consider that acceptable.khaled

    Mentally ill patients.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    And "foreseeable" was the word I used to denote exactly the things we can predict.Echarmion

    You can predict the outcome of an indefinite chain of events with "some certainty"? I don't see how you could.Echarmion

    I never suggested predicting the outcome of an indefinite chain of events. But predicting as much as you can reasonably.
    Police patrols interfere with people traveling.Echarmion

    When they're travelling in such a manner as to be harmful to others. And if police patrols stop random law abiding citizens for no reason they get fired (supposedly) and for good reason.

    Casting someone a sideways glance is interfering with their emotions.Echarmion

    Sure. But you are not entitled to people acting a certain way towards you. You accept the risk of sideways glances when you go out in public and do dumb things.

    We expect people to abide by all kinds of laws and social norms regardless of how they personally feel about doing so.Echarmion

    Because, as I said, the point of these laws is to make sure people don't harm each other.

    Mentally ill patients.Echarmion

    How do we determine "mentally ill"? If not by them being harmful to others or themselves? In which case NOT detaining them would be the more harmful thing to do.

    Is there a situation where we do something that does NOT minimize suffering of others (including yourself) and find it acceptable unless it’s dependents and it’s being done for their own good?
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    Is there a situation where we do something that does NOT minimize suffering of others (including yourself) and find it acceptable unless it’s dependents and it’s being done for their own good?khaled

    It seems like we're going in circles here where I give some example, and you then reject it because you deem it to minimize suffering.

    Since you're willing to class everything as "suffering", including abstract and generalised harm caused by jaywalking or similar acts, it seems to me you can justify any arbitrary result. I can see no principles behind your argument other than that whatever you have already deemed to be acceptable must therefore be what minimizes suffering.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    because you deem it to minimize suffering.Echarmion

    I don't just deem it arbitrarily. You haven't actually engaged with the argument. When do we label people as "mentally ill"? It is precisely when they start becoming a danger to themselves and others. For cases of mental illness where we find it appropriate for forcefully intervene, we are interfering because the person in question is threatening someone or is being suicidal due to impairment.

    Find me a situation where we find it acceptable to label someone mentally ill and forcefully intervene in their lives when they are:

    A- Not (dependents + we are doing it for their own good).
    B- Not being harmful towards anyone or themselves.
    C- They did not ask us to do it.


    it seems to me you can justify any arbitrary result.Echarmion

    False. Try using my system to justify murder or theft. You will fail.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    I don't just deem it arbitrarily. You haven't actually engaged with the argument. When do we label people as "mentally ill"? It is precisely when they start becoming a danger to themselves and others. For cases of mental illness where we find it appropriate for forcefully intervene, we are interfering because the person in question is threatening someone or is being suicidal due to impairment.

    Find me a situation where we find it acceptable to label someone mentally ill and forcefully intervene in their lives when they are:

    A- Not dependents.
    B- Not being harmful towards anyone or themselves.
    C- They did not ask us to do it.
    khaled

    My point is that you don't show how any of this is related to "suffering" in the usual sense of the word. You talk about danger, harm, being suicidal. But what's the relation with suffering here? Are these all synonyms for suffering? Why is there no reference to the actual suffering of the person in question?

    False. Try using my system to justify murder or theft. You will fail.khaled

    For murder: someone might really enjoy murdering someone, and painlessly murders a homeless person with no relations. But I admit this is a fanciful and unrealistic example.

    For theft it's actually really easy. A hungry person steals bread from a large company store. It seems pretty evident that the suffering of being hungry outweighs any suffering anyone who works for the company feels due to the theft.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.1k

    What I find astonishing is the amount of Pollyannaism with pro-natalism camp. Many of them think only in best case scenarios, without thinking of the worst case, or even just the actual amounts of suffering and harm that occur in a prototypically "normal" life. And then once this point of how much harm is actually present is brought up, they retreat to things like, "What is suffering really?" or "Suffering is not bad because it provides, meaning. Don't you see!". And then they claim they just "can't" understand the antinatalist's claims. I think they are either deluding themselves (less likely), have such a strong bias that they can't get beyond their own point of view, or most likely, they are being intellectually dishonest with how much they actually indeed do understand (intuitively) the arguments. It's just hard to understand the objections especially since you keep reiterating the same thing again and again.

    Also the approach with antinatalism seems to be burn down the house with everyone in it too. Instead of acknowledging that you have some damn good ideas there and that there may be some exceptions, the ruse is to be completely "incredulous" and disapproving out of the gate so to make the whole argument seem species. It's a rhetorical tactic. Where do you think people learn this? Just kind of comes naturally to some? Picked up from seeing others? Taught somewhere?
  • Pinprick
    532
    I didn’t. This doesn’t violate your principle though. I have to not stop you from seeking pleasure. Sure. But that does NOT mean I have to provide anybody pleasure. Not having children isn’t stopping anyone from seeking pleasure. So this principle has no bearing on the discussionkhaled

    Well, it depends on the scenario. AN treats the unborn as potential sufferers, so you could argue that they are also potential happy beings. By not allowing them to be born, you are denying their potential happiness, just like you are denying their potential suffering.

    Also, if you want to have a child, then doing so will likely bring you pleasure. But if you are not permitted to have a child, then your happiness is also being denied. This is really only applicable if someone is trying to convince or coerce someone else that they shouldn’t have children.

    Point is that “risky acts” (risk causing both pleasure and pain) require consent or justification normally and neither is given in the case of birth.khaled

    Do any of these count as justifications?

    I want to have a child so they can experience love, happiness, etc.

    ....So that life will continue.

    ....So that I’m not made to feel like a failure.

    ....Because the vast majority of people find life worth living, so the risk that my child will not is very small.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    Well, it depends on the scenario. AN treats the unborn as potential sufferers, so you could argue that they are also potential happy beings. By not allowing them to be born, you are denying their potential happiness, just like you are denying their potential suffering.Pinprick

    Sure. And this doesn’t violate your principle. Because your principle isn’t “denying pleasure is bad”. That would lead to the PC scenario. Your principle is “Stopping people from seeking pleasure is bad”. Even if we were to propose potential happy beings, not having children is NOT in fact stopping even these beings from seeking pleasure, it is simply not providing it for them

    Agreed, not having children does, in fact, result in less pleasure existing. Point is that does not violate your principle. It violates a principle which we agree is ridiculous which states that “you cannot do anything other than that which maximizes the pleasure of complete strangers”. That’s the only thing being violated here. But we agreed that’s a ridiculous principle.

    To further illustrate this ridiculousness: If I told you that your next child will have a perfect life and not suffer at all, would you be obligated to have them? I think we can agree that no you wouldn’t. Which is very weird if you consider not having children bad because it “stops someone from experiencing pleasure”. This shows that having children is not, in fact, stopping anyone from doing anything.

    Also, if you want to have a child, then doing so will likely bring you pleasure. But if you are not permitted to have a child, then your happiness is also being deniedPinprick

    Agreed. Except having children makes THEM also have to deal with the problem as PART of all the suffering they’ll endure. So it’s a totally inacceptable solution. The suffering alleviated is abysmally small compared to that inflicted. It’s like shooting people for entertainment. Sure, if you don’t shoot people you will not be entertained, and may even suffer for it, but the solution you are proposing (shooting people) is completely unacceptable as it causing way more suffering than it alleviates.

    I want to have a child so they can experience love, happiness, etc.Pinprick

    No. Because they don’t exist. So this cannot possibly be for them. Making someone exist for the sake of that person is incoherent. Closest you’ll get is “So I can see my child happy” which is not actually for the child but for you.

    ...So that life will continue.Pinprick

    Some think this is acceptable. I don’t. I think “we should continue life” has to come out of the morality, not just be assumed.

    So that I’m not made to feel like a failure.Pinprick

    No. Because again, the suffering you experience is incomparably small to that which you are planning to inflict to alleviate it. There is a much better solution to this feeling known as adoption. Or volunteering in child care. Or not being self loathing and stupid enough that you let societal expectations determine how you feel about yourself to this extent. Or or or or.... All of these inflict a lot less suffering and still solve the problem.

    Because the vast majority of people find life worth living, so the risk that my child will not is very small.Pinprick

    “It’s bad but it’s not that bad” isn’t actually a reason to do something at all.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    For murder: someone might really enjoy murdering someone, and painlessly murders a homeless person with no relations.Echarmion

    There is a reason I specifically say “Harm caused less than harm mitigated”. Could this murderer foresee, that he would suffer more than the homeless man by not killing the homeless man? I find this very very hard to believe. I can’t imagine someone suffering due to not killing people comparatively to how much the people suffer by dying. Unless said people are the ones causing him suffering but the homeless man is innocent as far as I understand the example.

    But I admit this is a fanciful and unrealistic example.Echarmion

    Good

    A hungry person steals bread from a large company store. It seems pretty evident that the suffering of being hungry outweighs any suffering anyone who works for the company feels due to the theft.Echarmion

    Sure. Which is why I think we can agree the hungry person didn’t do anything wrong there no? Do you honestly think that stealing food when you’re starving is wrong? The only case I think it is is if you steal it from someone else who is also starving. Because then you’re causing a lot more suffering.

    My point is that you don't show how any of this is related to "suffering" in the usual sense of the word.Echarmion

    The way I define “harm” is “Doing to someone something they wish isn’t done to them”. And “suffering” is simply the thing you don’t wish is done to you. Idk if that answers your question.

    So you are harming the homeless person even if it’s a painless death (because they don’t want to die I presume)

    Why is there no reference to the actual suffering of the person in question?Echarmion

    There is clearly. I don’t know what you’re talking about here.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    The way I define “harm” is “Doing to someone something they wish isn’t done to them”. And “suffering” is simply the thing you don’t wish is done to you. Idk if that answers your question.

    So you are harming the homeless person even if it’s a painless death (because they don’t want to die I presume)
    khaled

    So, suffering is deontological? Only a relation between a person's will and some state of affairs, or even perhaps just another person's intentions? If so, that'd actually be pretty close to Kant. But I don't see how it squares with the way you have been using the terms.

    For one, the suffering you outlined isn't quantifiable, since it's a binary relation (something is either what you wish or it isn't). So this principle needs to be backed up by some hierarchy of interests to resolve conflicts. That isn't necessarily a problem - a lot of legal systems work that way - it's just different from merely tallying up empirical suffering.

    More to the point of the decision, if suffering and harm are ultimately about a violation of your will, and your will is how your self realizes itself in the world, then what you seem to be concerned is not so much suffering, but freedom or dignity. The quality of the subject to decide their own path as free from outside interference as possible. I just don't see how this squares with anti-natalism, because obviously to protect freedom and dignity, someone must exist to possess them, first.
  • khaled
    2.1k
    For one, the suffering you outlined isn't quantifiable, since it's a binary relation (something is either what you wish or it isn't)Echarmion

    Not really. The extent to which I wish not to die easily trumps the extent to which I wish it doesn't rain tomorrow.

    some hierarchy of interests to resolve conflicts. That isn't necessarily a problem - a lot of legal systems work that way - it's just different from merely tallying up empirical suffering.Echarmion

    How so? Sounds practically like the same thing to me.

    More to the point of the decision, if suffering and harm are ultimately about a violation of your will, and your will is how your self realizes itself in the world, then what you seem to be concerned is not so much suffering, but freedom or dignity.Echarmion

    You take it too far. Just apply the principle as it is. Does having children cause someone to experience something they would rather not experience? Overwhelmingly yes. Is there justification for it (consent, dependent + for their own good, or alleviation of suffering)? No. Therefore it is wrong.

    Don't morph it into something completely different. No one said anything about freedom or dignity and they are not required to derive the principle. They just sound similar.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    Not really. The extent to which I wish not to die easily trumps the extent to which I wish it doesn't rain tomorrow.khaled

    What's the "extent" here? The strength of the associated emotions?

    How so? Sounds practically like the same thing to me.khaled

    In one case you have something that's measurable - like an emotional reaction. In the other, you have abstract values like "bodily autonomy" or "self-determination" which have no intrinsic scale.

    You take it too far. Just apply the principle as it is.khaled

    I can't, though, if there is no method, or algorithm, if you want, which tells me what kind level of justification I need, or how different kinds of suffering relate.

    For example: not having children also causes someone to experience something they'd rather not experience. So we have a conflict here, how is it resolved?
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