• schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Clearly there is a wide area of middle ground that for some reason is difficult for us to realise and explore.I like sushi

    Depends on a lot more than you are saying. First off, many arguments being made here are ones about impositions. What kind of impositions are acceptable if at all? Procreation is problematic as it isn’t just a gift but comes with many burdens and can never be consented. One cannot get out of this universe’s setup to some better one, and even if one thinks they’d rather not comply with this world’s standards, limited choices of how to survive, and harms one must endure, self-harm/suicide is still a big enough fear that it’s not a realistic option as just a casual and accessible alternative. It would be gaslighting to and wrong to even use that as an excuse for why life “must be good then”.

    At the end of the day, is it acceptable to create impositions onto others unnecessarily that are significant and not easily escaped? The only way out is ITSELF a significant traumatic harm to the person (death) or the only way out is to comply. Comply or die seems to then be the only two alternatives.

    If this world always ended up being a utopia, individualized for every individual- where even the “boredom” of everything being good was not in the equation, we’d perhaps be having a different argument. Then truly it was purely a gift with no burdens or other agendas. But life isn’t just that and so there’s always some excuse as to why someone else needs to be burdened.
  • I like sushi
    4k
    I believe it is an error to talk about ‘consent’ for a force of nature. Not consenting to live is like not consenting that gravity keeps my feet on the ground.

    The question of whether it is better to abstain from procreation may have some credit to it but even then I cannot fathom how we can say one way or another given that our scope and understanding of life is rather limited.

    To argue not to have have children is an action that may or may not reduce ‘suffering’. We are in no position to say with any real authority what is ‘better’ only to make personal judgements that sit well with us as an individual among other individuals.

    We do not consent to breath, nor do we think about breathing every second of the day, yet this does not necessarily mean we are forced to ‘comply’. There are certain situations where the term ‘comply’ can be readily applied but I cannot see how you can bring me to agree that ‘comply’ applies to living a life. It just does not make sense to use that term here. I can understand why you can, with some force, make it appear as wholly applicable to ‘living’ but it is just a term used loosely and no matter how hard it is forced it does not hold up for me.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Not consenting to live is like not consenting that gravity keeps my feet on the ground.I like sushi

    Just wrong/error in thinking because this isn’t addressing that consent cannot be had. That doesn’t negate this fact. Just because it’s post facto also doesn’t negate it. It is the non ANs that have to address the issue. it’s not simply handwave it away as inevitable. Someone ELSE made the decision on behalf of someone. That is the fact of the matter.

    To argue not to have have children is an action that may or may not reduce ‘suffering’. We are in no position to say with any real authority what is ‘better’ only to make personal judgements that sit well with us as an individual among other individuals.I like sushi

    This is not addressing the argument from imposition that @Tzeentch and I have been presenting.

    It just does not make sense to use that term here. I can understand why you can, with some force, make it appear as wholly applicable to ‘living’ but it is just a term used loosely and no matter how hard it is forced it does not hold up for me.I like sushi

    Comply means here, having to do the actions necessary to survive in a social setting. You cannot live by simply being, you must do certain things you might otherwise not have wanted to do. Your only recourse if you don’t like ANY of the options is to kill your self- hence comply or die.
  • I like sushi
    4k
    Given that these threads have been thrown into one thread (mistakenly/stupidly imo) I cannot readily see the propositions laid out.

    Your definition of what is means to ‘live’ simply does not fit with my understanding of what ‘life’ is. This cannot be resolved so any disagreement is moot because they do not even start on the same footing because neither of us is willing to give up such key terms and neither see enough flexibility, in terms of being generous with these terms, to make much headway.

    If we can at least agree that the conflict between our views is due to having almost entirely oppositional uses of terms like ‘life,’ ‘living’ and ‘comply’ then that is good enough for me. That is how I see it.

    Antinatalism is an interesting item to explore. I wish the mods would not be so silly and lump several completely differing points together making it more than difficult to tease out what each person is trying to communicate.

    Thanks for your responses :)
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    I think choosing to have children is a denial of causality.

    I don't think parents believe they are responsible for the things they are causing.
  • Cuthbert
    1.1k
    I don't think parents believe they are responsible for the things they are causingAndrew4Handel

    Scary. Either they think they are responsible for things they haven't caused or they think they aren't responsible for anything at all. Glad I'm not a parent.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k

    There’s always a starting point from which one is trying to overcome. Buddhists and mystics will say this life is an illusion. Yet why is there an overcoming of the illusion in the first place? At that point it’s word games. The overcoming points to a real situation. That situation (the supposed illusion) came about through a cause- reproduction.
  • L'éléphant
    906
    I guess some people oppose anti-natalism because the followers of anti-natalism explain their reason as if it's universal or true of all people. The choice to not reproduce is still only accepted so long as the reason is personal, rather than universal moral claim. Some people shouldn't have children simply because they're too young, too poor, or too irresponsible, or addicted to drugs and alcohol.
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    I was thinking about the validity of an argument I wanted to make concerning antinatalism and it made me think how I could frame an argument in the most coherent or formal way to examine it for flaws.

    Here is one way of framing the argument I was going to make.

    Premise 1: You cannot be responsible for something you didn't cause

    Premise 2: You didn't cause your own existence

    Premise 3: Your actions are caused by what caused your existence

    Conclusion your parents are responsible for your actions because they caused you existence

    However this leads to the ad absurdum that no one is responsible for their actions because of their parents actions.

    We are all not here by consent. But I want to differentiate between the responsibility of the person creating human life and the person who never creates another human life.

    I usually resort to a notion of causal responsibility. Your parents caused you which caused your actions. It might not be a moral responsibility but they were a causal necessity for your actions. Nevertheless in a purely causal deterministic world their actions were forced by their parents actions.

    Is there a way to frame all this to something beneath the concepts involved like a mathematical equation?
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    In response to my own post I think you can have the belief in free will and blame people for all their actions but the parents actions have added weight because different actions have differing degrees of harm or potential harm attached.
  • universeness
    4k
    Is there a way to frame all this to something beneath the concepts involved like a mathematical equation?Andrew4Handel

    Yes, life happened in this universe without intent, so that happenstance has no moral component.
  • Agent Smith
    9.1k
    @schopenhauer1

    By imposition vis-à-vis life do you mean no one was/is/will be asked whether s/he wishes to be born?
  • javi2541997
    2.8k
    By imposition vis-à-vis life do you mean no one was/is/will be asked whether s/he wishes to be born?Agent Smith

    It is impossible indeed.
  • Agent Smith
    9.1k
    It is impossible indeedjavi2541997

    Yep, that be impossibile!

    I was wondering @schopenhauer1, how subjective is pain & pleasure?
  • javi2541997
    2.8k
    how subjective is pain & pleasure?Agent Smith

    Good question :up:
  • Ansiktsburk
    181
    Two kids maximum is my policy, my wife raised havoc going for a third. But it seems probable that the world´s population should decrease nicely if you had a maximum of 2. A lot of gus would go for 0 or 1.

    Any reasoning on whether people should live or not per se is beyond me. Sometimes I hate myselt and humanity and sometimes i love those two groups. Cant make up my mind. But 2, thats a good sound limit.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    By imposition vis-à-vis life do you mean no one was/is/will be asked whether s/he wishes to be born?Agent Smith

    I mean the following:
    A) Imposition- foisting one's will onto another.
    B) Imposition- creating a burden for another.

    Both of these definitions can apply here. In the case of the utopia example, the absence of B makes the the case a bit murkier, but this existence never has a case where there is not B, it it wouldn't matter. In my argument I had three things here:

    1) The range of choices are limited to the physical-cultural arrangements of this existence and circumstances of time and place. This was assumed to be an appropriate set of choices for another.

    2) Known harms are assumed to be enough for others to endure.

    3) Unknown harms are simply had by a person through collateral damage of being born. The parent knows there are unknowns but they can't say what they are.

    2 and 3 are certainly a violation of B.

    1 may seem to not be a violation of B, but besides just the fact one is imposing one's own will (A), the fact that the choices are limited to what existence currently has to offer, B is still relevant too in that the choices may not be wanted if otherwise one could choose so. A and B are violated in all three parts of the argument.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    I was wondering schopenhauer1, how subjective is pain & pleasure?Agent Smith

    It doesn't matter as far as I am concerned, towards the imposition (comply or die) argument.
  • Agent Smith
    9.1k


    Parents have a responsibility; true, they're imposing themselves on their kids. A reasonable person wouldn't bring children into the world. Why start families at all?
  • Agent Smith
    9.1k
    It doesn't matter as far as I am concerned, towards the imposition (comply or die) argument.schopenhauer1

    Are you sure?
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k

    You tell me. As long as life is non utopian for that individual, the question becomes irrelevant as to whether it is objective or subjective. I am not making an argument of good or bad, but whether someone should create an imposition on others. I refer you then back to my previous response
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/760143
  • Gnomon
    2.8k
    that the issues brought up by pessimists do seem true, yet life is getting better because of these truths and the work our forefathers and science and the new age positivists are making the world better off.Shawn
    I agree that life on Earth is not an idylic Garden of Eden, but as you implied, we human care-takers are assiduously working to improve a less-than-perfect situation. We haven't eradicated suffering and unequal distribution of benefits, but Philosophical Pessimism is not going to produce a Utopia. On another thread, I've been engaged with pessimists in a Science vs Religion debate. Whereas most Religions put their faith in all-powerful gods or nature spirits to alleviate their suffering, modern Science is learning to control the vicissitudes of nature directly via Technology. Even so, some posters remain pessimistic in the face of implacable & all-powerful thermodynamic Entropy driving the world toward destruction. However, I am endorsing Enformy*1 as an inherent positive counter-agent to Entropy.

    I'm not sure who you are referring to as "new age positivists", but most New Age religions are still relying on Nature to fix its own shortcomings in human relations. On the other hand, modern ecologists, both science-based and religiously-motivated, are espousing a return to human caretakers working hand-in-hand with Nature to keep the Garden and its inhabitants healthy. Unlike the anthro-morphic gods who supposedly answer prayers, Nature/Entropy seems to be deaf to human pleas. However, impassive Nature is inherently balanced between positive & negative forces as it evolves toward more complexity and intelligence. So, you could say that Nature has bred its own race of gardeners. :smile:


    *1. Enformy :
    "My own interpretation of Enformed history is not based on divine revelation. Yet I remain somewhat optimistic that the self-organizing natural force of Enformy will prevail over disorganizing Entropy in the end (Omega Point)."
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/13862/the-self-under-materialism

    *2. Ecologist :
    a person who studies the relationship between living things and their environment.
  • 180 Proof
    11k
    Life is getting better for whom? Whose pessimism is being overcome but at what cost and to whom? "Progress" – if there's such a thing – is just not evenly distributed yet (W. Gibson). The Epicureans and Stoics, Cynics and Pyrrhonians, as examples, strove against the tragedy of daily life as existentialists and absurdists have in our time. And yet dukkha remains despite the high-tech hedonic treadmill of modern mass consumerism and televangelism. "Sisyphus" is still our promethean avatar. Existential dread, my friend, of which pessimism is an expression, is the ineluctable condition to be endured and not a (technoscientific or psychiatric) problem to be solved (by "progress").
  • Shawn
    12.6k


    Well, I just wanted to raise the issue of positivism as the antithesis of Philosophical Pessimism. In that positivists seem to have a strong desire to alter brute suffering and lack that some of us have experienced in our daily lives.

    The new age positivists label was directed at entrepreneurship and huge stores of money in Silicon Valley to alleviate said lack and suffering, through technology.
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    Whose pessimism is being overcome but at what cost and to whom?180 Proof

    The question seems incoherent. As I posted elsewhere, pessimism is an attitude. So, for some pessimists who view reality with dukkha and all the suffering of the world or even the senseless samsara that we undergo, until we break through the karmic cycle, then no matter what kind of progress technology has to provide they probably wouldn't change their attitude. I say it is an attitude because Buddhists don't fall into that mood for example. Furthermore, it also seems that if what the Philosophical Pessimists profess as hard truths or brute facts about reality, then doesn't that make their point universal?

    And yet dukkha remains despite the high-tech hedonic treadmill of modern mass consumerism and televangelism.180 Proof

    Yet, the Buddhists didn't just advocate complacency with dukkha, they professed non-attachment to desiring things or goods that we hear from self-help gurus from the Eastern tradition.

    Existential dread, my friend, of which pessimism is an expression, is the ineluctable condition to be endured and not a (technoscientific) problem to be solved (by "progress").180 Proof

    Progress, as defined wouldn't solve the issue but alleviate the degree to which it is apparent in ones condition.
  • Manuel
    3.1k


    I mean, I agree.

    But as you well know, some people aren't born with "reality-agreeing" lenses and choose the "rosy-picture" one instead and remain with them.

    My intuition is that pessimism (which I share many sympathies with) is very much person dependent. Some people are more predisposed to such views, others are not.

    And in the latter case, existential dread is at most covered by an hour long visit to the church on Sundays - if that.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    My intuition is that pessimism (which I share many sympathies with) is very much person dependent. Some people are more predisposed to such views, others are not.Manuel

    Interesting. Probably right. I sometimes wonder if there is intellectual pessimism and emotional pessimism. Personally I have usually taken pessimism for a disposition. Generally my answer to existential angst has been the same as Pablo Casals', "The situation is hopeless, we must take the next step.' Is this just a version of Camus' insistence that we must see Sisyphus as happy? Even pessimism comes with choices.
  • Manuel
    3.1k


    I'd guess that it depends on how hard-wired the pessimism is on that particular person. If it's not too deep, then surely Sisyphus could simply go up the mountain and enjoy the view and forget about the bolder for a while.

    If it's more deep-seated, you still have options, but they're drastically reduced. Which further feeds into the whole pessimistic scenario. It has its own logic and lived experience can be a very powerful force in terms of how deeply felt such feelings are held.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    It has its own logic and lived experience can be a very powerful force in terms of how deeply felt such feelings are held.Manuel

    True that.
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