Comments

  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    If you were to go through the entire conversation, you would see that I was merely making a parallel claim to the idea that the incalculable joy that many people claim to have experienced through love, through triumphing over diseases such as polio, through feeling the gale of freedom from the extensive slavery that once existed, and from even allegedly trivial things such as admiring the beauty of the world around us is actually an illusion (which is what my interlocutor was saying).

    I am sorry for causing any confusion concerning this.
  • Antinatalism Arguments
    Your characteristic generosity is greatly appreciated. However, with all due respect, I don't think that I possess either the eloquence or the breadth of knowledge that S1 does. I can only hope to present the other side of the coin.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    If the absence of harms is only good for existing people, then there is no reason to say that not creating them is an obligation. Once again, a state that is not good in any way has no value and therefore doesn't give us any reason to prefer it or to call it better. If we are saying that non-existence is good because there is no suffering involved, then one can also say that it is bad as there is no good present. Finally, if the view is that non-existence is "neutral" and is better than a negative state (suffering), then it is also true that a neutral state is worse than a positive state (happiness). If we don't need someone to feel satisfied/happy for us to say that the prevention of suffering is good, we don't need someone to feel deprived for us to understand that the prevention of joy is bad.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    If we say that it is "better" for them to not exist, we are effectively saying that it is good in some way. States that are not good have no value, which is why we have no obligation to choose them. If creating harms is bad (and not doing so is good), then creating happiness is good (and not doing so is ethically dubious).
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    For the person for whom it is "better" to not suffer even though they don't even exist.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I said "all the harms we prevented". What I meant was saying that the absence of harms is good, which is something that many say.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I never said it was. It is, however, good to create good experiences that promote beauty, the dynamic power of love, and the ability to learn about the enthralling reality.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Neutrality is inferior to that which is good. And, if the absence of suffering is good (as opposed to being merely neutral), then the lack of happiness is also bad.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I was talking about the overall nature of procreation and saying that it may not be always bad or always good.

    By "celebrating", I meant saying that it is good.

    Similarly, the benefits of not suffering are only for those who exist, not for nothingness.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I was trying to explain the balance for me. If it was about breaking your leg, I don't think that it would be good for you (which is what matters when we are talking about personal value). A society in which people are casually breaking people's legs will likely descend into anarchy, so I would not agree with it (especially because it isn't as if I could not live a decently happy life without the act). I don't think that the concept of consent applies to a case in which no prior interest is being ignored. But if life can be seen as an imposition, it can be seen as an authentic gift that allows people to experience love, beauty, and knowledge (none of which they could have asked for before existing).
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I do see it, but I also see something else. There is nobody to feel good/satisfied as a result of not experiencing suffering in nothingness.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    My view is that there is no absolute need to create people or to not do so as non-existent beings don't lose or benefit from either of these. In this case, procreation becomes a more of an individual matter that can differ from person to person. But if we need to celebrate all the harms we prevented for non-existent beings, then we do have to worry about the absence of the positive experiences. Nobody in the realm of nothingness is pleased about our decision to not procreate.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I was referring to the hypothetical case of being offered to break one's leg for the joy. Procreation, something that is linked to family and community, can have a lot more value (the loss of which would not be acceptable to many, which is different from intentionally risking their limbs for a good that they may not require for living a sufficiently good life).
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Whoever this is apparently good/better for.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    And the second fact is that nobody benefits from this. The non-existent are not happy.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Your use of the word "root" (primarily used in the context of plants) with cause to effectively explain your point was quite beautiful to me.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Possibly, but then the prevention of suffering will only be good for those who would actually benefit from it in terms of their overall well-being.

    I would hope that metaphorical/poetic language has not been relegated to the sidelines by all. And if the absence of suffering would be good even if nobody experiences that state, then it can also be bad, even if nobody is being haunted.

    That would depend. Existing beings can already be satisfied with what they have and therefore don't need endless interventions for happiness that may involve exorbitant risks. However, non-existent beings are not in some blissful state that would be jeopardised by our act of creation. As for me, I think that, assuming that this really is twice as much happiness, I don't think that breaking my leg would be that bad. Of course, this also depends on the impact this would have and whether the pain of breaking it would last longer.

    Neither is it good/better for anybody. Nobody experiences a profit prior to existence.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    And that would be neither good nor bad. In my view, life can matter for us. But if the absence of harms would be good in some way, then the lack of happiness will certainly be an issue. The silence would only be a haunting reminder of the immorality that has occurred.

    The absence of suffering also only matters to existing people as it allows them to live happier lives. If we are saying that it is good/better even for those who don't exist, then the only consistent view would be that the prevention of happiness is problematic.

    This also applies to the value of preventing suffering. Rocks would not be "better off" because of all the suffering they would not experience if we decided to not make them sentient (assuming we had that technology). If they would be, then they would also be worse off as a result of not experiencing any of the good journeys they could have had. Discarding the possibility of a myriad of good experiences for sentient beings is bad.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Not about everything (and it would not be apt to oppose a patronising attitude while doubting/discarding his analysis of his own life).

    Many don't believe in God and mostly focus on meditation/living a simple but surprisingly positive life.

    Non-existent beings are not begging for not being created. If it is still "necessary" to prevent the future harms, I would say that the positives are also good/necessary to create good experiences. I am not denying that one has to contend with the negatives, but, if the positives do matter and the prevention of suffering is good, then never giving birth would cause a reality in which we would also have to contend with the ethically problematic state of affairs of very few positives (which could be far more bad than good). I do think that standards should be realistic so that there isn't greater damage in the long term. In this world, in which there are already plenty of people, there isn't an immediate need to mindlessly start creating people. However, if the situation were to change, then it would be moral to create individuals (unless doing so causes more problems than benefits).
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I am aware of that. But that doesn't mean that everything good she experienced was a result of her faith. Others, like Camus or even many Buddhists, are not theists.

    Being almost half a century old is not immature. We should also be careful lest we become patronising towards those whose experiences differ from our own

    No one is consciously left in a happier state due to the absence of suffering either. If the prevention of pain can be an abstract good, then the prevention of pleasure can be an abstract harm (even if there is nobody who is feeling deprived). Not losing is good if something positive is gained or preserved (neither of which occurs for those who don't exist). If creation can contain harms (which are bad), then there are also positive experiences (which are good). The fact that everyone will definitely go through at least some good moments is a good state of affairs.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    She was referring to optimism here. I am sure that Camus was not a theist when he wrote about the invincible summer within him.

    In which case, the harms also only matter to those who exist. If their absence is still somehow "good" or "better" for those who never come into being (despite the fact that this doesn't cause any benefits for an actual person), then the lack happiness is also bad, even if nobody is consciously feeling deprived as a result of not having any good experiences.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    No, but if people like Helen Keller can find the "faith that leads to achievement", then the durability of the individual is not a mere dream. Before creating, one can only act on the basis of what they know. Obviously, intentionally creating a life having mostly negative experiences would be problematic. However, if there are positives that do matter, then it can be justifiable (and good) to do so (assuming that it is not almost certain that the outcome will primarily be a bad one). This is why this is an issue that can transform depending upon the situation and a blanket ban on either option (creation and non-creation) can ignore one aspect of reality.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Against harms. There are people, such as Erik Weihenmayer, who have figuratively and literally climbed mountains despite facing seemingly insurmountable odds. It is not the case that the negatives of life will necessarily crush us without any hope for a better tomorrow remaining.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I think that the immensely meaningful relationships, aesthetic value, resilience, and the other numerous positive experiences of life (love, accomplishment, pursuing knowledge) can certainly justify procreation.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I do hope that your week will go well. Apart from this, you can write whatever you wish to. I have expressed my reasons for disagreeing with the asymmetry before.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Again, I was not trying to make this about you. The point was a broader one that I felt was relevant in the context of the value of life. I am sorry if anything I said was patronising. As I said, I was not trying to condescendingly tell you how wrong you are. It was more akin to a suggestion a friend might give (although I don't have many of them) about an idea and how they see it.

    I have already shared why I disagree with the asymmetry.

    It's particularly painful when (in my opinion) it is not even true.

    Sure, it is possible (though I don't think that most people in all areas die of cancer). It's also true that I will no longer die of smallpox. Similarly, as someone who has suffered from multiple illnesses that essentially confined me to my house for years, I have also found that seemingly insignificant things (reading, family, art, etc.) can have indescribable value that can outweigh moments of great pain. For now, I can only appreciate what I have and hopefully do some good for others in this fascinating universe of ours.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    Well, I don't think that it is correct to say that the absence of suffering is good even though there is no satisfaction resulting from it, but somehow the absence of happiness is not bad because there is no deprivation.

    I don't want to pointlessly wake anyone up. I only shared my view as I think that I could also be right about this and help give a glimpse of an alternative that doesn't require believing that all that is good is not worth it (a view that doesn't cause me much comfort). Ultimately, views are bound to diverge when it comes to intricate topics such as this one.

    Have a wonderful day!
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    That is good. But many people (by which I mean almost all antinatalists I have talked to) agree with his assessments. After a particular point, one starts to presume certain things so that time is not unnecessarily wasted.

    I could, and I could also be terribly wrong. This can vary greatly from one person to another. In general, I do think that there is a tendency (and I am not exactly above it) to emphasise what we don't have while paying little attention to the countless "little" sources of happiness around us. This can range from the beauty of one's surroundings to appreciating the food one consumes. I noticed that it wasn't necessarily that such things did not give me joy. Instead, I almost did not even consider them significant because of my prior desires for some specific things, ideas, etc. Some people close to me have experienced something similar. Nevertheless, I am not going to deny that this could be different for other people. This diversity of lives is the primary reason why I don't think that universal antinatalism or absolute pro-natalism are, even theoretically, correct ways to look at the world.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    It is.

    Professor Benatar and many antinatalists talk about how good experiences are not as good as they might seem (the so-called positivity bias). I think that this is patronising. I am not saying that your feelings are invalid or your experiences are unreal. However, considering that this is an issue that resolves a lot around our perspectives, I found it worthwhile to mention that there are those (like myself) who can find greater joy in their lives by focusing on the immediate experiences rather than the needs we might have for certain valuable things. If you were to tell me something that would help me live a better life than the one I am living now as a result of my less than optimal way of looking at my life, then, personally, I would be immensely grateful for that suggestion. But I acknowledge that I am probably much less intelligent than most people (including yourself) here, so my requirements could be greater than most. Once again, I apologise for saying anything that appeared to be dismissive.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    I am, and I disagree with it. I don't think that the absence of suffering can be "good" or better for non-existent beings if the lack of happiness is not bad for those who don't exist. It is usually argued that those who don't exist are not deprived of any positives, but it is also true that non-existence doesn't provide any value either. If the absence of suffering can be good irrespective of whether or not there is an actual benefit for a person, then the absence of happiness is also bad. However, one should have a realistic framework that doesn't foist moral obligations that end up causing more harm than good.

    I did not intend to be patronising. I have often felt that there are moments that are better than how they might appear to during reflection as a result of my mind having certain expectations or preoccupations. I am sorry if I said anything offensive; I did not intend do so.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    This is also about the value of life and making decisions on the basis of what one does know.

    Improvements are good because they help people live better lives and also enjoy the things they have. Just as there are new problems, there can also be new solutions. Unrestricted pessimism is not generalisable either. Additionally, this was about reaction to the attempt, not necessarily the act itself.

    I am not going to disconnect them both entirely because the ethics of procreation is also linked with the benefits/harms of life. Being able to avoid the unnecessary suffering that could come with being forced to continue a mostly negative existence is good and does have an effect on the nature of reproduction. If the harms are important, then so are the positive experiences.

    Absolute pro-natalism does not exist for most people (as that would mean that it is always good to create as many people as one can regardless of the impact this would have). Universal antinatalism does not exist, and, considering its shortcomings, I hope it will not.

    You certainly will have a week. There are also moments of fulfilment even when we don't care.
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    There is no empirical evidence that most people don't value their lives or that there aren't good moments that we did not expect. Cases like the following are a part of the empirical domain, I think:

    https://www.wect.com/2020/11/17/it-was-instant-regret-golden-gate-bridge-suicide-survivor-share-story-virtual-event-wilmington/

    A more than trivial amount of suffering has been eradicated as a consequence of the end/reduction of issues such as smallpox, polio, widespread slavery, unopposed patriarchy, etc. Pragmatic use of technology can also help alleviate the suffering of sentient beings beyond humans (Pearce would be interested here). Although progress is hard (we do have to look into addressing afflictions like the rapidly rising inequality and climate change), I do not believe that it is impossible.

    I am not saying that this is true for all. This is why I am a staunch supporter of allowing people to find a graceful exit if they cannot discover any good in their lives. It is also incontrovertible that procreation should not be treated frivolously. In my view, both universal antinatalism and absolute pro-natalism are flawed. I hope that you will have an excellent week!
  • Antinatalism & Masochism
    My point was about preferring one's existence to never having been there. It is also possible for people to value some aspects of their lives while also believing that it is mostly negative (the opposite is also possible). I was not referring to this group of people. Of course, if life can be seen as a gift, it can also be seen as something that is mostly negative. Any worldview concerning existence should not impose a universal prohibition against creating or never doing so, since both of them can fail to consider a significant aspect of existence.

    Reality having other plans is quite true. But I think that the statement can also apply to experiences that are unexpectedly good. I and many of those I know received a myriad of such positives when all hope seemed lost. In such cases, life can often feel like a sturdy fortress that, despite facing multiple attacks, stands firm and acts as a potent source of happiness.
  • The beauty asymmetry
    :up: The effort is certainly the pertinent factor (alongside the degree of the necessity of the good).
  • The beauty asymmetry
    Certainly. If something immensely good is already there, it will probably act as a source of significant value and would therefore make it unnecessary for people to make a lot of effort to create something new. Creating a positive is still good but because one has (thankfully) already been created, to pressurise others to continuously do so does not seem right.
  • Antinatalism Arguments
    Behind the resignation lies an approbation. The only pertinent point is whether it is always good for all individuals at all points of existence. I am not convinced that it is. For some, Shiva pervades the universe (or is synonymous with it!), which is, as wise people would know, true (satya) and beautiful (in its highest form). Many perspectives are out thereā€”a hint that a broader approach is necessary when it comes to judging the value of existence.
  • Antinatalism Arguments
    If it's not necessary to cease doing something, then it's at least permissible to keep doing it. However, I wouldn't say that people should be pressurised. Natalism, to me, is simply acknowledging that procreation can be justifiable and good in at least some cases. The idea that either universal AN or absolute natalism can be beneficial does seem false to me.