• khaled
    2k
    What's the "extent" here? The strength of the associated emotions?Echarmion

    Yea

    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.Echarmion

    But if you were to rank these abstract values wouldn't they be ranked by the strength of the associated emotional reactions when violated anyways? I don't see any other meaningful ranking.

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

    Who? The parent? Then as I said to Pinrick:

    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 known as adoption. Or volunteering in child care. Or or or or.... All of these inflict a lot less suffering and still solve the problem.khaled

    In other words, when both doing and not doing something will result in some suffering, you obviously pick the version that results in the least suffering. I wouldn't even mind valuing your own suffering above that of others when doing this.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    But if you were to rank these abstract values wouldn't they be ranked by the strength of the associated emotional reactions anyways?khaled

    You could, but I wouldn't. I suppose that'd be some kind of moral realism or evolutionary morality. I'd consider that an is-ought-fallacy though.

    In other words, when both doing and not doing something will result in some suffering, you obviously pick the version that results in the least suffering. I wouldn't even mind valuing your own suffering above that of others when doing this.khaled

    I think that this would result in us having to pay way more attention to the emotional reactions of others than is reasonable. Certainly, as we have already alluded to, property rights would be a lot weaker, since mass produced stuff would be legal to take if you really needed it. Not necessarily a terrible outcome, but I don't see why we should hand over moral authority to those with the strongest emotions.
  • khaled
    2k
    You could, but I wouldn't.Echarmion

    How would your rank them?

    I suppose that'd be some kind of moral realism or evolutionary morality. I'd consider that an is-ought-fallacy though.Echarmion

    I didn't say that's how they should be ranked, I said that's how I would rank them. So no.

    Certainly, as we have already alluded to, property rights would be a lot weaker, since mass produced stuff would be legal to take if you really needed it.Echarmion

    Not necessarily. You could argue that weakening property rights in this manner does more harm than good since you can't really tell who has the strongest emotions, and use that as justification to keep them the same. The law, and what is moral, are different. For example: Committing suicide is illegal in most countries, so that cops can detain you. Doesn't make it morally wrong.

    And this is also why I said "I wouldn't even mind valuing your own suffering above that of others when doing this". However too much would make you what we normally dub a "selfish cunt".
  • Albero
    49
    I don’t really understand why this forum continues to have these discussions. I’ve looked back on the other antinatalism threads from years ago and they always devolved into the same arguments from both the antinatalists and the natalists. I think there are more fruitful discussions to be found in academic papers. What fun is there in repeating ourselves
  • Isaac
    3.6k
    What fun is there in repeating ourselvesAlbero

    Oh it's not fun. Antinatalism seeks to turn the loving relationship between parent and child into one of resentment and blame, seeks to turn attention away from actual action to reduce suffering here toward some esoteric idea of non-existence, and seeks to focus the negative aspects of life, which might otherwise be overlooked, in a populace which has already a shockingly high suicide rate.

    I can't speak for others, but it's not for fun that I argue against it.
  • khaled
    2k
    False on all accounts. Apply your own standard and try to support your claims instead of throwing them out. Funny you’re chewing someone out for not supporting their claims about BLM on the leftist forum thread right now.
  • Isaac
    3.6k
    Apply your own standard and try to support your claims instead of throwing them out. Funny you’re chewing someone out for not supporting their claims about BLM on the leftist forum thread right now.khaled

    It's not a factual claim. I thought that was clear from the context, but if not then hopefully this will serve to clarify. Obviously antinatalism cannot seek to achieve anything. That's why I chose the term rather than antinatalists with which I would have taken more care.

    These consequences are predictions, things I'm concerned about, antinatalism is thankfully not popular enough to gather any meaningful data on current consequences.

    If you want evidence of philosophical outlooks in general having negative consequences socially as they are adopted more widely I can provide that, so as to support the idea that concern is not unreasonable, but I suspect you'd already agree.
  • khaled
    2k
    These consequences are predictions, things I'm concerned aboutIsaac

    Ok. In that case I’ll add they they’re reasonable. I’ve seen them very frequently with other ANs, though mostly the ones that misinterpret the argument.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k

    "Actual action"? What was the action that got people in the mess that they have to get out of? Tail wagging dog. The presumption is.. First it is okay to put someone in the mess.. and it is only okay after the fact, and not question whether it is okay to put someone in the mess in the first place.
  • khaled
    2k
    The presumption is.. First it is okay to put someone in the mess.. and it is only okay after the fact, and not question whether it is okay to put someone in the mess in the first place.schopenhauer1

    Simple and straightforward. I like it. The standard argument against this is either “It’s not a mess” (false, it very much can be) or “But we need to” (False, outright). Or the worst “It’s fine to get people in messes because they don’t exist yet” which is ridiculous and can easily be dismantled with the malicious genetic engineering example or the forced to play a game example.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    Simple and straightforward. I like it. The standard argument against this is either “It’s not a mess” (false, it very much can be) or “But we need to” (False, outright). Or the worst “It’s fine to get people in messes because they don’t exist yet” which is ridiculous and can easily be dismantled with the malicious genetic engineering example or the forced to play a game example.khaled

    Yes, this is pretty much all of these arguments in a nutshell.
  • khaled
    2k
    I forgot about “If they don’t like it they can just kill themselves so it’s fine”. That’s gotta be the worst. Strange what can come out of otherwise rational people’s mouths when this is the topic.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    I forgot about “If they don’t like it they can just kill themselves so it’s fine”. That’s gotta be the worst. Strange what can come out of otherwise rational people’s mouths when this is the topic.khaled

    Yep, agreed 100%.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k

    The more sophisticated versions will speak as if they are the representative of a club or team, "WE think it is really good to be alive, and you shouldn't prevent another person because they will want to join the team too!"
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    How would your rank them?khaled

    Based on relevance to continued practice of one's freedom, so life would rank highest, as the conditio sine qua non, then bodily autonomy, since you can only act through your body, and so on.

    Not necessarily. You could argue that weakening property rights in this manner does more harm than good since you can't really tell who has the strongest emotions, and use that as justification to keep them the same.khaled

    But if we're willing to allow such general and abstract notions of suffering, we might as well throw the entire principle overboard and go with "whatever we thinks is best for everyone".

    As I said before, you use actual, emotional suffering as your standard for the clear examples, but as soon as the water gets muddy you fall back on more generalised notions of "danger" and "harm" to shore up the holes. And that you need to do that is exactly the reason I find your approach not convincing.

    Seeing as you are happy reaffirming your view with @schopenhauer1, I think I'll leave it at that. This discussion has gone on a long while, and I think we're past the point where any of us will learn anything.

    I do appreciate the calm and honest debate from your side though, thanks for that!
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    Seeing as you are happy reaffirming your view with schopenhauer1, I think I'll leave it at that. This discussion has gone on a long while, and I think we're past the point where any of us will learn anything.Echarmion

    Don't use me as an escape hatch.. I've also been patient :D.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    @khaled
    What do you think of people who say that people need to be born into non-ideal circumstances so they "strive" to do better, and get themselves to more ideal circumstances? In other words, they think that the value of getting out of a less ideal state to a more ideal state is a goal above and beyond not suffering? The suffering is "worth it" because one feels the accomplishment of getting out of the non-ideal circumstances?

    Edit: The new person needs this experience it, which means the "need" to be born for this experience as it is above and beyond suffering.
  • khaled
    2k
    Based on relevance to continued practice of one's freedom, so life would rank highest, as the conditio sine qua non, then bodily autonomy, since you can only act through your body, and so on.Echarmion

    Still there seems to be a clear contradiction. You’ve stated before that there are situations where having children is wrong. I don’t see how you can get that if life outranks suffering in your hierarchy. Same with how you get malicious genetic engineering to be wrong. Your system does not match up with your own moral intuitions.

    But if we're willing to allow such general and abstract notions of sufferingEcharmion

    There is nothing abstract about it. Weakening property rights means I’ll get random people coming into my house and taking my stuff. That causes distress. And I can’t stop them because I can’t easily prove that they don’t need the stuff. There is nothing abstract about this. There is a very concrete consequence to weakening property rights in the way you’re suggesting. So we shouldn’t do so.

    As I said before, you use actual, emotional suffering as your standard for the clear examples, but as soon as the water gets muddy you fall back on more generalised notions of "danger" and "harm" to shore up the holes.Echarmion

    I have no idea where you’re getting this. Nothing that I’ve said so far has not referred to very concrete suffering. I am very against the idea of referring to anything else when talking about morals.

    Seeing as you are happy reaffirming your view with schopenhauer1, I think I'll leave it at that.Echarmion

    I don’t see what me and shope’s talk has to do with anything.
  • khaled
    2k
    What do you think of people who say that people need to be born into non-ideal circumstances so they "strive" to do better, and get themselves to more ideal circumstances? In other words, they think that the value of getting out of a less ideal state to a more ideal state is a goal above and beyond not suffering?schopenhauer1

    I don’t think those are the same thing. I agree with the latter not the former. I agree that there is value of getting out of a less ideal state to a more idea state, and that that is preferable to not suffering at all (heck, I don’t think this is possible). I don’t agree that that can be applied when treating others. It is a personal philosophy to find meaning in suffering. It is problem to then go around inflicting suffering on others because you find meaning in it.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    I don’t think those are the same thing. I agree with the latter not the former. I agree that there is value of getting out of a less ideal state to a more idea state, and that that is preferable to not suffering at all (heck, I don’t think this is possible).khaled

    Yes, it is assuming that someone else should be put in some sort of game of going from less ideal to more ideal state. It is affecting someone else, not yourself.

    But the interlocutor is going to say that the value of overcoming the deprivation is what matters, not the principle of "not putting others in the game of suffering in the first place". To the contrary, that is one of the "goods" of life, the accomplishment of overcoming challenges. Thus they think they are not inflicting suffering, because a greater good will come out of it.

    I guess my question then becomes, is there a principle outside of statistical possibility that they won't come out of it better, that this is wrong? I would say putting someone purposefully in a deprivation to make them come out of it better, is always a wrong, either because of non-consent or because you simply don't put people in impositions unnecessarily, period. It is just a hard axiomatic stop.

    The analogy to prove the point would be similar to the game argument.. You don't kidnap someone into a game and say, "Hey, you're going to thank me when it's over! You're going to love all the challenges and harms because it makes you better!". But there is something wrong with that besides simply non-consent to the game. Something a bit more foundational to be used in such a way, and the paternalistic presumption.
  • Pinprick
    530
    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 themkhaled

    I don’t see the difference. Providing pleasure would be doing something that actually gives them pleasure. Birthing a child in itself doesn’t give them pleasure, it just gives them the opportunity to experience pleasure. So giving birth isn’t providing pleasure, but not doing so eliminates the possibility to experience it. Giving birth is like letting people in to an amusement park. Simply being allowed in isn’t pleasurable, but experiencing the rides, etc. is. My argument is what justification do we have for not allowing people to enter the amusement park? Is it potentially dangerous/harmful? Yes, but it seems more likely that it will be pleasurable, so it’s ultimately worth the risk. By “denying pleasure” you are also “stopping people from seeking it.”

    I assume you will argue that the difference is that with amusement parks there is consent, as people aren’t forced to enter, and you’re right. But, there are examples in society where people are forced to do things against their will, even when there is the potential for harm. Mandatorily sending kids to school is a good example. Some, perhaps even most, do not want to go to school, but we judge that doing so benefits them, so we send them anyway. And there is definitely the potential for harm, with bullying and things of that nature, but collectively we deem the potential benefits to outweigh the costs.

    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.khaled

    I don’t consider not having children as bad. I object to propagating your personal choices, which boil down to mere opinion, as if they should be some sort of absolute rule (which is precisely what AN does, unless I’ve misunderstood something). I would never judge someone else’s decision to have, or not have, children as bad. But I also wouldn’t act as if whatever personal choice I make should be universalized. My issue lies more with the idea that it’s ok to tell others not to have children, or to have children. The actual act of giving birth is amoral, because it causes no harm/pleasure. It establishes the potential for both to occur, but that is it. Whatever unnecessary harm that may occur during a lifetime are isolated incidents that can themselves be judged right/wrong, but you can’t blame life itself. Ted Bundy’s mother can’t be blamed for the harm he caused to others, even though her giving birth to him created the potential for his atrocious acts to occur. The suffering I endure when I stub my toe is also not my mother’s fault.

    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.khaled

    I figured as much...

    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.khaled

    I don’t think this necessarily follows. I can wish good on someone for their own sake. Like wishing that my loved ones continue to have a happy life after I’m dead. I won’t be there to share their happiness, but I wish them the best nonetheless. Why can’t it be the same for a child? My offspring being happy is a good thing, therefore I have children so that this good can occur.

    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.khaled

    I can accept this. I’m basically just throwing shit to see what sticks, but this made me think of another question. Could it be argued that reproducing is a biological need, similar to sex or companionship?

    “It’s bad but it’s not that bad” isn’t actually a reason to do something at all.khaled

    It isn’t meant to be a reason, it’s a justification. When you are considering doing something, isn’t it good practice to weigh the pros and cons? If I think I want to have a child, I should consider things like my financial situation, age, health, etc.; but I should also consider the “what if’s” that could happen to my child.
  • khaled
    2k
    I think the only thing you can do with someone like that is ask them how often they inflict suffering on non-dependents because it “makes them better”. They probably never do. Which makes it highly dubious that they actually believe what they say they believe
  • khaled
    2k
    But, there are examples in society where people are forced to do things against their will, even when there is the potential for harm. Mandatorily sending kids to school is a good example.Pinprick

    There are no examples in society where people are forced to do things against their will unless it reduces suffering to them or others. Or at least there shouldn’t be.

    Some, perhaps even most, do not want to go to school, but we judge that doing so benefits them, so we send them anyway.Pinprick

    There you say it yourself. You cannot logically say that being born is good for the person being born.

    I don’t consider not having children as bad.Pinprick

    But by your own principle, if not having children is “preventing someone from experiencing pleasure” and that is bad, then it should be mandatory. So either having children is not preventing anyone from doing anything, or “preventing someone from experiencing pleasure” is not bad. There is no other way out.

    I object to propagating your personal choices, which boil down to mere opinion, as if they should be some sort of absolute rule (which is precisely what AN does, unless I’ve misunderstood something).Pinprick

    You’ve misunderstood something. I’m not a moral realist. I’m arguing against the claim that “there is something wrong with AN” which is the topic of this post. No one so far has been able to show what this thing that is wrong is.

    I would never judge someone else’s decision to have, or not have, children as bad.Pinprick

    Would you judge a murderer? Probably. So the reason you wouldn’t judge someone’s choice to have kids has to be that you don’t consider it a moral issue. I would ask why. Does it not result in harm? Why would it not be a moral issue?

    What about malicious genetic engineering? Would you judge someone who genetically engineers their child to be blind? Probably. But why is THAT a moral issue but birth itself isn’t?

    The actual act of giving birth is amoral, because it causes no harm/pleasure.Pinprick

    False. You literally just argued a paragraph ago that not having children is a denial of pleasure. Which means that having children causes pleasure (as well as harm). Which is it? Make up your mind.

    I can wish good on someone for their own sake. Like wishing that my loved ones continue to have a happy life after I’m dead. I won’t be there to share their happiness, but I wish them the best nonetheless.Pinprick

    Yes. But they exist in this case don’t they? Who said anything about you?

    Why can’t it be the same for a child?Pinprick

    Because they don’t exist until you make them exist. So it can’t be that you’re doing it for them. You can’t do something for someone that doesn’t exist and claim it’s for their own sake. Because they don’t have a “sake”. Because they don’t exist.

    Could it be argued that reproducing is a biological need, similar to sex or companionship?Pinprick

    No. Sex and companionship are hardly needs. Food is a need. Because you die when you don’t get it. You don’t die when you don’t get any of those things.

    And even if it is a need, following it in this case would be like a starving person stealing from another starving person since it’s a need that when satiated, propagates to others. Still wrong.

    It isn’t meant to be a reason, it’s a justification. When you are considering doing something, isn’t it good practice to weigh the pros and cons?Pinprick

    Yes but “The cons aren’t that bad” is not a pro. So idk why you’re framing it as if it is.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    I think the only thing you can do with someone like that is ask them how often they inflict suffering on non-dependents because it “makes them better”. They probably never do. Which makes it highly dubious that they actually believe what they say they believekhaled

    Yes, there seems to be this weird idea of destiny or inevitability (that isn't justified) that people "need" to experience life, partly due to the idea that they can overcome their suffering by learning to go from less ideal to more ideal states. Why not skip the whole game on someone else's behalf? I guess, my question to them is, why do they think it is justified to impose this game on someone else?

    I also have a notion, you may disagree with, that existence short of being an ideal existence, would be one where someone should not be born into. I'm not sure what to say to people who then make the move to say, "But an imperfect existence of going from non-ideal to more ideal is the ideal existence". That seems like a disingenuous move to make, but if it is truly believed, then the nagging axiomatic understanding that starting unnecessary impositions on others is always wrong, hard stop, whether you think it is some great game or not. I just don't get how people can justify their way around that.
  • khaled
    2k
    I also have a notion, you may disagree with, that existence short of being an ideal existence, would be one where someone should not be born intoschopenhauer1

    I don't agree. I think if we know the person in question will find their life worthwhile then it's fine. Problem is we don't.

    I guess, my question to them is, why do they think it is justified to impose this game on someone else?schopenhauer1

    They don't really I think. Only say they do. Yet they would seriously object to being kidnapped and forced to play some VR game or other.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    I don't agree. I think if we know the person in question will find their life worthwhile then it's fine. Problem is we don't.khaled

    I think it's hard to assess. A lot of times if each moment was aggregated, it would not be considered worthwhile, even to the same person when interviewed, may say "yes" in a summative way. There may be some disconnect with how people actually evaluate/experience in the moment vs. when asked to sum things up. What to trust?
  • khaled
    2k
    What to trust?schopenhauer1

    The summative evaluation for me. If they don’t consider it a problem as a whole then why should I? And how do you aggregate these moments anyways? You’re suggesting some sort of objective measure of “worthwhile ness” which is different from the guy simply telling you it was worthwhile.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k
    The summative evaluation for me. If they don’t consider it a problem as a whole then why should I? And how do you aggregate these moments anyways? You’re suggest some sort of objective measure of “worthwhile ness” which is different from the guy simply telling you it was worthwhile.khaled

    Well, I'm thinking this type of thing (1-10 scale). Let's say, worthwhile is 6 or above. :
    Hours:
    H1: 2
    H2: 4
    H3: 3
    H4: 7

    etc. etc.. and if aggregated, it looks like it's below a 6, but when asked to sum later on it is an 8 or something. I'm just saying sometimes there are biases even in answering a question like that due to social expectations, forgetting each moment actually felt, etc. You could say that this "forgetting" then clears out the bad that was experienced prior, but I don't know.
  • khaled
    2k
    it looks like it's below a 6, but when asked to sum later on it is an 8 or something. I'm just saying sometimes there are biases even in answering a question like that due to social expectations, forgetting each moment actually felt, etc.schopenhauer1

    Yes and I'm saying that we should use the 8 despite of this. Because the remembering self is what really matters. Or at least, there is no reason you should favor the 6 over the 8 (experiencing over remembering self)

    You could say that this "forgetting" then clears out the bad that was experienced prior, but I don't know.schopenhauer1

    Yup. That's my position.
  • schopenhauer1
    5k

    See, we do disagree. Either way, we agree that people shouldn't assume either one for their child: the lived experience or the remembered experience.
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