• Agent Smith
    8k
    I get you, but you seem to be ignoring quantity and focusing on quality. Life's full of ups and downs and you have to take both into account; not only that, you have to also caclulate and compare the good times with the bad. If it turns out that pleasure exceeds pain by the right amount, antinatalism wouldn't make as much sense, oui?
  • DA671
    626
    As someone who is sympathetic to vedanta, it would have been difficult for me to have not heard of him! I really enjoyed reading Ethics.

    Doing the right thing for the right reasons is certainly quite important. It is the only way one can ensure the long-term triumph of the good

    I am sorry, but did you mean to say that poverty does not have to mean ignorance and suffering? Your reply seems to suggest so. If that is the case, I would definitely agree with you. Coming from a relatively poor country, I have been amazed by the degree of satisfaction many of the financially less fortunate people seem to experience. Additionally, they seem to have a wisdom about how to live a good life that many well-off individuals appear to lack. The pursuit of knowledge is undoubtedly a source of great satisfaction. I am glad to know that you have had a nice day. May you have plenty more ahead!
  • DA671
    626
    :up: When it comes to experiences, quantity has a quality of its own. The existence of harms does not efface the value of all the positives of life. Just as the grateful person saying that they ultimately love their life does not remove all the harms they have experienced, the person who dislikes life in their final analysis may still have numerous positive experiences. The pessimist I was debating the other day is (unfortunately) unlikely to suddenly start loving their life in its entirety simply because they said that my comment made their day. Yet, this does not change the fact that a significant good was experienced, even if it was not sufficient. In the same vein, there could be many negatives without them outweighing the positives. Once again, the solution, in my view, lies in comprehending the diversity of experience and perspectives.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    If it turns out that pleasure exceeds pain by the right amount, antinatalism wouldn't make as much sense, oui?Agent Smith

    Choices and harms are presumed for another. That’s all that matters ethically. You’re imposing on others.
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    Choices and harms are presumed for another. That’s all that matters ethically. You’re imposing on others.schopenhauer1

    My point is simply this: either way (natalism/antinatalism) we're imposing (on a possible person). Damned if you do, damned if you don't! We gotta choose the lesser of the two evils. Can you give it a shot? I'm all ears.
  • DA671
    626
    Presuming and choosing for others when they are not capable of getting a good themselves is the ethical thing to do because it provides a benefit that cannot be chosen by somebody before they are born. If one creates someone, they also bestow happiness that would be cherished by sentient beings. If they don't, then I guess they could focus more on helping existing beings as well as satisfy some pessimistic desires. As far as I can tell, this is clearly a win-win situation (as long as we don't tilt too much towards one side!).
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    My point is simply this: either way (natalism/antinatalism) we're imposing (on a possible person). Damned if you do, damned if you don't! We gotta choose the lesser of the two evils. Can you give it a shot? I'm all ears.Agent Smith

    Yes, only that one presumption creates harms and presumes set of choices that’s supposed to be good for another with its other intention. This matters. Not creating goods creates no negative situation for no one. I can do this all day.
  • DA671
    626
    Ignorance of beneficence hardly erases its worth. There can be negative consequences for those who do exist and care about procreating. Not creating harms does not create a positive situation for anybody (who does not exist) either. But if it is still good to prevent them, it is also injudicious to prevent all positives. Everything does not remove around harms and negatives. This will remain, I believe, the ineluctable and eternal truth no matter how many times claims to the contrary are made. Of course, one can't know everything but the probability of universal AN (and absolute pro-natalism) being right seems low to me. Some people might not change their views, but I remain committed to respecting them and the value of life. After all, the willingness to ultimately stand for what is just is an act of affirmation in and of itself. The glimmer will always be there. Will the veil be removed entirely? That is a question that fundamentally depends upon the individual. Nevertheless, we must (and I remain optimistic that we will) be with each other until the end of the line.
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    Yes, only that one presumption creates harms and presumes set of choices that’s supposed to be good for another with its other intention. This matters. Not creating goods creates no negative situation for no one. I can do this all day.schopenhauer1

    Does the following make sense to you?

    Imagine a couple who had it all in a manner of speaking. They decide not to have children. A person, a stranger, hears of them and remarks "If only they had children! How lucky it would be to be born to such a wonderful human beings!"
  • DA671
    626
    Well, one could say that non-existent beings are not missing out on the goods of existence because, unlike the existing person who wishes he could have had a better life, inexistent people have no desire to be born. Therefore, no harm befalls upon the non-existent. But this doesn't prevent sadness being caused to those who do exist.

    My central point is that if it isn't bad to create positives because nobody would lose something/be harmed due to their absence, then it also isn't good to prevent harms for non-existent souls who do not have beatific smiles due to the lack of creation and will not gain anything from the end of all procreation. Personally, I do not think that an action can be a harm if not doing so does not have any value for a being. Yet, if it is a harm to be born, it is also good to create the positives. At this point, I think that one should also care about the opportunity for the good instead of making ethics all about annihilating the possibility of the bad.

    Lastly, there are indeed people who are saddened by having a life they did not ask for, just as there are many other individuals who are grateful for having a good they could not have solicited. If one wants to just focus in impositions and ignore the value of doing any good, then that is they are free to do so (though the possibility of universal AN causing harm to existing people still remains). However, this is quite a limited understanding of ethics that appears to miss the enigmatic depth of the complexity of the sentient experience.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k

    No ONE that this decision is affecting is in fact affected. Period.

    And if you’re going to talk about already existing people sad they didn’t create a child, just think of the slippery slope implications of that. Imagine if people were allowed to impose anything they wanted to others because they’d be sad otherwise. That’s nuts. A mad scientist wanting to use people for his experiment doesn’t get to just use people when he’d like because he’d be sad otherwise. Think of any other situation whereby one person would be sad so they do X cause they want to see it play out and they’d be sad if it doesn’t. Crazy.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    In India, it seems religion and math went hand in hand.Athena

    That's an amazing article on Indian mathematics on Wikipedia. Ramanujan, of course, was one of the great geniuses in math. When I was a math prof I would be asked occasionally to teach the survey course in mathematics history - a task none of us relished since no one had the necessary background. It would have been an enormous help had Wikipedia been available!

    How do you guess mathematics might have evolved had it not been for the Romans and Christianity? Or, is it the teaching of math to school age kids that you think should be different? My wife is a retired HS English teacher and she made the same remark about coming up with the right answer without going through all the steps when she was a student. :smile:
  • DA671
    626
    Not procreating does not have a positive effect on the non-existent freedom of inanimate objects. However, clearly some people think that creation can still be called an "imposition". If that is the case, then one would assume that not creating someone respects their autonomy. But if that's true, then, by the sake token, creating someone also gives a good that otherwise could not have been asked for by the person prior to their existence. The good and the bad exist on the same spectrum, in my opinion. This is why it's difficult to claim that a state of affairs is good without also implying that its absence is bad, or vice versa. Howbeit, even if the lack of procreation is simply a neutral act (and not one that benefits someone or respects their rights) but creation is still an imposition, neutrality cannot be universally preferred over a good outcome. Finally, the impact on existing people will always be something to keep in mind.

    The "slippery slope" can become a big threat when it starts to impact a significant amount of people. Unless one believes that anybody who does not share their pessimistic worldview is mad, talking about a single random scientist has no bearing on the negativity that could be experienced by countless innocent individuals. Also, nobody is saying that we should not do everything we can to improve the lives of those who exist, so harping about "using" someone as if the action entails nothing except harms for the individual does not seem right to me.

    What would be crazy if we stopped doing any good in the world just because someone was unable to ask for it—either due to epistemic or physical limitations. Thankfully, we do not live in a world wherein the only things that matter are impositions and harms.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    negativity that could be experienced by countless innocent individuals.DA671

    As populum fallacy.. a million nazis is a million nazis. Less extreme- a million misguided people are a million misguided people. Multiple as much as you want.

    What would be crazy if we stopped doing any good in the world just because someone was unable to ask for it—DA671

    Yet no one is deprived and you’re right back at square 1. It always goes one way.

    Thankfully, we do not live in a world wherein the only things that matter are impositions and harms.DA671

    And that is exactly the attitude of impositions at question. That you should make those decisions for another.
  • DA671
    626
    People who bestow good and genuinely try to help others are slightly better than Nazis, I think. There weren't many Nazis sacrificing their lives, sleep, money, and even happiness for the sake of keeping the Jews happy. Appealing to the minority and attempting to malign the characters of people in order to attempt to defend the indefensible is unlikely to succeed, I am afraid. Sacrificing the happiness of billions for some abstract rule seems like a puzzling way to look at the world to me. Fortuitously, there is no rule against creating positives.

    And nobody benefits from the absence of the harms, which is why the unavoidable fact is that the lack of creation has no value/disvalue for the non-existent. There is no room for untenable double standards here.

    Saving someone or choosing to provide a good when one is unable to ask for it is only an imposition in the eyes of someone who has deliberately chosen to blind themselves to one side of the coin.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Fortuitously, there is no rule against creating positives.DA671

    You keep overlooking the negatives that come with it! And you can’t use a gift excuse unless the gift was also an inescapable set of burdens that others couldn’t ask for. That certainly would be questionable gift.

    And nobody benefits from the absence of the harms, which is why the unavoidable fact is that the lack of creation has no value/disvalue for the non-existent. There is no room for untenable double standards here.DA671

    And for millionth time, it doesn’t matter to literally no one. It’s only the other way, creating harms and limitations of choices for another along with the intended goods that matters as now someone indeed exists that this affects.
  • DA671
    626
    I never did. I do believe that avoiding and reducing unnecessary harms is important. It's you who has wilfully decided to ignore the positives. The gift refers to the positives, not the negatives. It isn't for some people to decide whether or not the value of giving a gift is necessarily less than the disvalue of the creation of harms for all individuals. A so-called imposition that leads to the birth of ineffably valuable experiences appears to be quite an impotent imposition.

    And for the infinite time:
    1. It can matter to existing people.

    2. If the absence of happiness is not bad because it does not matter to those who do not exist, then the absence of suffering is also not good because it does not matter for the inexistent.

    3. In the absence of a prior state of well-being and pre-existing interests, creation is not a benefit/harm/imposition/positive. If one still insists on saying that it can be a harm and imposition, then it can also be a positive that comes from an act of beneficence.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    It isn't for some people to decide whether or not the value of giving a gift iDA671

    No one is obliged to give a gift, especially for an empty set.

    1. It can matter to existing peopleDA671

    Already addressed.

    2. If the absence of happiness is not bad because it does not matter to those who do not exist, then the absence of suffering is also not good because it does not matter for the inexistent.DA671

    Lava pit. It only matters if the person will be born to be harmed. That is the morally questionable thing. I’m not at this point questioning unmediated good (which this is not a case of).

    In the absence of a prior state of well-being and pre-existing interests, creation is not a benefit/harm/imposition/positive. If one still insists on saying that it can be a harm and imposition, then it can also be a positive that comes from an act of beneficenceDA671

    For millionth time, it does t matter UNTIL the person comes into existence. Lava pit
  • DA671
    626
    Neither is one obliged to preserve a void. The gift would positively affect an actual person.

    Already responded.

    Absolute bliss. The pit is indeed bad for one who does exist. However, it's absence is not desired and does not benefit the non-existent. When the lack of action does not result in an actual better/worse state of affairs for a person, there is no obligation to do/not do something (unless it impacts existing people). In the absence of a meaningful comparison, all that remains are mere projections of value (moral or otherwise) where there is none. But if creating someone in a lava pit is bad, then creating someone in a palace of joy is also good and questions about deprivations are irrelevant. This isn't an unrestricted harm either.

    For the trillionth time, it's true that being in lava pit/palace of joy feels bad/good. But neither of those states are worse/better for someone who does exist because it does not decrease/increase a prior state of well-being. And if you wish to continue talking about the effects, then the positives should also be a part of one's final analysis.
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    @schopenhauer1 & @DA671

    Nonexistence is not just nonexistence in re life (the supposedly highest form of existence). Nonexistence has the potential for existence if you concede the notion of possible persons and with the potential for life, a possible person has, in my humble opinion, some basic rights - the right not to suffer (antinatalism) and the right to be happy (natalism).

    What sayest thou?
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Neither is one obliged to preserve a void. The gift would positively affect an actual person.DA671

    With collateral of the other (harm and imposed choices).

    Absolute bliss. The pit is indeed bad for one who does exist. However, it's absence is not desired and does not benefit the non-existent.DA671

    No one claimed it did. Straw man that you even bring it up (constantly and annoyingly).

    When the lack of action does not result in an actual better/worse state of affairs for a person, there is no obligation to do/not do something (unless it impacts existing people).DA671

    This is either common sense or ridiculous depending how you mean it. The lava pit refutes whatever point you were trying to make, and "prevented" good hurts no ONE. Again and again and again.> You can keep making these category errors your gospel and I will keep refuting thus.

    But if creating someone in a lava pit is bad, then creating someone in a palace of joy is also goodDA671

    Creating good WITH the bad though, buddy.. Yes not UNMITIGATED good. You are creating burdens/impositions/harms/choices for others, THAT is the relevant ethical claim. Creating good WHEN IT COMES WITH BAD. You say it's fine. I say it isn't good to do procreation or otherwise (except as always with the mitigating greater with lesser harms which procreation doesn't fall under except to expiate someone else's sadness for not getting to enact their will, as if every desire that isn't acted upon is automatically wrong).
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Nonexistence has the potential for existence if you concede the notion of possible persons and with the potential for life, a possible person has, in my humble opinion, some basic rights - the right not to suffer (antinatalism) and the right to be happy (natalism).

    What sayest thou?
    Agent Smith

    There is no right for the unborn to be happy. But there seems to be a prohibition to creating harms/choices for others "just because you want to".
  • DA671
    626
    With the presence of the former whose prevention is not required by nothingness.

    I never said that you are saying that. It's my argument that there is no obligation to create someone/not create someone because neither of those two actions cause a person to gain/lose something.

    Your refutations are terribly insufficient and misguided, I am afraid. Common sense isn't always right (after all, the goodness of life is a fairly commensensical view). It is my view that because there is no prior desire to not exist/to exist, the actualisation of neither of those states is worse or better for someone. And if something is not a benefit/loss, there is no obligation to choose/avoid it. You keep suggesting that the only thing that matters is being hurt (which is supposedly why the absence of happiness isn't a problem). In response, I would again say that, unless one wants to have a myopic worldview, one has to also say that preventing harms is not necessary unless their absence benefits an actual person. The gospel of pessimism cannot obfuscate the truth.
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    There is no right for the unborn to be happy. But there seems to be a prohibition to creating harms/choices for others "just because you want to".schopenhauer1

    Nonexistence has no rights, I'm with you on that. However, a possible person does have rights even if not to the same degree/level as actual persons. At the very least, if a good life can be assured, possible persons should be allowed to become actual ones.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    I never said that you are saying that. It's my argument that there is no obligation to create someone/not create someone because neither of those two actions cause a person to gain/lose something.DA671

    You're playing a semantic game with what I underlined, throwing out red herrings...by trying to make an odd metaphysical point.. but I'm not letting you do that.
  • DA671
    626
    It's quite apparent to me that attempting to dimish the potency of the good by employing arbitrary double standards when it comes to the value of creating happiness is a lot more problematic.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    However, a possible person does have rights even if not to the same degree/level as actual persons. At the very least, if a good life can be assured, possible persons should be allowed to become actual ones.Agent Smith

    I think you are mixing up semantic metaphysical points as well. Possible people don't have "rights". However, possible people have considerations as to what can befall them. There are such things as future conditionals. A future can happen. The lava pit baby. The baby is born into a lava pit by a crazy mother. You talk the mother out of it. You prevented a horrible incident in the future of someone who was not even born yet (but could have been.. into a lava pit). I think this conversation moves forward with progress if you try not to do summersaults about this.. You are giving full rights to non-existent people and @DA671 is denying that considerations are possible. It's like the two extremes that are kind of weaselly in an attempt to avoid the issues.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    It's quite apparent to me that attempting to dimish the potency of the good by employing arbitrary double standards when it comes to the value of creating happiness is a lot more problematic.DA671

    Just asserting "double standards" doesn't make the argument a double standard. You are placing one and haven't seen how your point doesn't actually make sense.
  • DA671
    626
    Actual people do have rights. But that doesn't mean that there is any value in trying to preserve these rights when the person who would have those rights does not exist. However, if there is a right to not suffer, there definitely should be one to be happy (and the truth is that both of them are intimately connected).
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