Procreation is Immoral, Not Just a Personal Choice: Anti-Natalist Chronicles XI

Antinatalism: since children can’t consent to being born, it’s unethical to impose life (give birth) in a world in which the potential for extreme suffering exists. Having children means gambling with the welfare of someone else. It means conducting Frankenstein experiments you can’t control in which someone else pays the price. It means playing god while lacking a god-like control over the outcomes. In short, it’s crazy.

When you point out to people that as long as people are giving birth, a certain percentage of those children will end up suicidally miserable (close to 40,000 people a year commit suicide in the US), they tend to think that suicidal people are just the price we have to pay in order to have happy people. When people decide to have children, they are implicitly prioritizing the existence of happy people at the expense of those who will suffer. They are making a value judgment that happy lives are more important than suffering lives. Antinatalists believe the opposite: suffering takes precedence, and better no one exist than one person endure a nightmare existence. If the possibility of creating even one miserable, suicidal person exists, then it’s unethical to have children. Either way, one group of people has to be sacrificed to the other. Either miserable people can be sacrificed so happy people can exist, or potential happy people can be sacrificed so suffering people don’t have to exist.

There are many common arguments against antinatalism:

1.) You said that “either miserable people can be sacrificed so happy people can exist, or potential happy people can be sacrificed so suffering people don’t have to exist,” doesn’t that mean that either way it’s unfair? If that’s the case why not stick with the status quo?

The reason this argument doesn’t work is because even though it’s unfair in both situations it’s not equally unfair. Potential happy people won’t miss what they haven’t been alive to experience, but suffering people will suffer from existing. Therefore, it makes more sense prioritize suffering rather than happiness.

2.) But there’s a lot more happy people in the world then suicidal people. Shouldn’t you take that into account?

How many suicidal people is acceptable to you? 40,000 in the US alone isn’t enough, so how high would that number have to be before you think having children is immoral? Furthermore, minorities have rights. If five people would benefit from raping someone else, that doesn’t make rape ok. Nor is it ok to torture a minority of people by imposing life on them so that others will benefit.

3.) Miserable people can always commit suicide.

Those who say this don’t realize that it’s like getting someone hooked on heroin and saying “well, you can always quit if you want.” Sure, it’s possible, and many people manage to quit (usually after years of suffering), but it’s incredibly difficult. And it still doesn’t justify the pain endured leading up to suicide. It’s like raping someone and saying “well, you can always go to therapy.” Having children means getting someone addicted to life. And like other addictions, no matter how much suffering results, the addict has trouble stopping themselves, whether it’s due to the fear of hurting others or the deeply ingrained biological fear of hurting themselves that’s stopping them. Once someone is alive they have all sorts of obligations that can make suicide impractical. If would-be parents want to use the “you can always commit suicide” argument to justify imposing life without consent, they should be doing everything they can to make suicide easier and more socially acceptable. Since they’re not doing this, their argument is disingenuous and made in bad-faith. It’s an easy rationalization for their selfish desire to reproduce.

4.) Unborn children can’t give their consent to being alive, therefore you don’t need their consent!

Consider the following thought experiment. Suppose hell was real and the inhabitants of hell were allowed to procreate, thus dooming young children to a hellish existence. Some of the inhabitants suggest that it’s immoral to have children in hell especially without their consent, but others point out that you don’t need their consent because they can’t give it until they’re actually alive to give it. And after all, they say, isn’t it better to be alive and in hell than non-existent anyway?

In response to the above scenario, most people tend to say it’s not ok to reproduce in hell without consent, even if it’s the only opportunity for the unborn child to exist. Why does the argument that it’s ok to bring children into our world without their consent (because they’re not alive to give it) make sense in our world but not in the hell world?

Just to be clear, the point is not that our world is equivalent to hell (at least for everyone). The point is that the argument that unborn children can’t give consent so therefore we don’t need their consent is fallacious.

And, yes, it’s true that most people wouldn’t want children in hell, not because they can’t consent, but because they think hell is a bad thing, period. But that doesn’t mean consent isn’t a factor. Suppose there were people who willingly decided to go hell because they wanted to experience it, and they made an informed decision to go there. Would you support that? I think plenty of people would. Now suppose these same people decide to drag others to hell who didn’t consent? Would you be against that? Most people would be. This demonstrates that it’s not experiencing hell’s inherent badness that people oppose, it’s forcing others to do so without their consent. Consent is key.

5.) Humans can’t stop breeding. It’s biology!

Everything we do is biological, including rape and murder. Is it wrong to encourage people not to rape and murder? Furthermore, plenty of people don’t have children. And many people who do have children, have them as unplanned accidents, resulting from a biological urge for sex, not reproduction. It’s true that some men and women have a specific urge for children, but giving into this urge is no more right than giving into the urge to kill someone who cut you off in traffic, even though anger is a strong biological impulse as well. Those who make this argument are really just saying that we should just accept that we’re apes, not even try to do better, and just embrace it. I.E. they’re nihilists.

6.) But antinatalism is nihilism!

It’s actually the opposite of nihilism. It’s based on basic principles, like the principle of consent, and a concern for suffering. Our current situation, where people breed left and right without concern for the suffering created is closer to nihilism than antinatalism is. It’s just status quo nihilism that we’re so used to that we don’t see it as nihilism. All sorts of immoral behavior was once seen as normal and acceptable.

7.) But that means that no one will exist! I like the the thought of people existing!

It doesn’t necessarily mean that no one will exist. You have three options:

a.) Happy life exists somewhere else, either on a different planet, universe, dimension, etc. If that’s the case, and we already have happiness perpetuating itself elsewhere, what’s the use in perpetuating life on earth with its attendant chance of misery?

b.) Life exists elsewhere, but it’s not happy. In that case, let them reproduce. You’re not responsible for them anyway and can’t do anything about it even if you were. You can sleep well at night knowing that life exists somewhere in this universe even as Earthlings decide to do the right thing and take the antinatalist approach.

c.) Life exists only earth. This is extremely unlikely. But if it’s the case, that still doesn’t give us the right to impose life on others without their consent.

Furthermore, even if life only currently exists on earth, it still doesn’t mean that life wouldn’t exist somewhere else in the future. We waited an eternity before being born. We could have waited another eternity to be born into a better world. What’s the rush?

8.) Just because we can’t be 100% sure of the outcome doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have children!

Actually, it does. There are two problems with this. One, you’re gambling with someone else’s welfare, which is wrong. And two, it’s incredibly glib. Extreme suffering is real and should be grappled with, not just conveniently hand-waved away. If your child ends up in a long-term suicidal nightmare of an existence will you be content to say, “I’m sorry you’re in hell, but when I was rolling the dice I had a good feeling!”

9.) But if we stop breeding we won’t be able to create our future utopia where everyone is happy!

There’s no evidence that humans are moving toward a future utopia. More importantly, even if they were, that still doesn’t make it ok to create suffering humans without their consent in order to use them as stepping stones to your future utopia.

10.) You’re just trying to be edgy!

Got any arguments or just insults?

11.) You’re just depressed!

Psychoanalysis can go both ways, but even if that’s true, it only bolsters my point. Your child could end up like me!

This isn’t about me, though. It’s about the fact that close to 40,000 people a year commit suicide in the US and millions more think about it. It’s about the fact that some people are destined to draw the shortest sticks in life and these people are conveniently swept under the rug and ignored when it comes to discussing the ethics of procreation. People who decide to have children are like gamblers who are so excited by the prospect of winning and so focused on imagining how great it will be when they win that they completely fail to weigh the risk properly. Only in this case, the risk is borne by someone else. And even those people who think long and hard about the possibility their child will suffer, for all their self-awareness they’re still ultimately saying “fuck it, roll the dice” when they opt for children.

In any case, just because you’re incapable of simultaneously enjoying your own life while recognizing that your own joy doesn’t justify other people suffering, doesn’t mean everyone else is incapable of drawing a similar conclusion.

12.) You’re just a pessimist! Why are you so negative?

Extreme suffering is a FACT, not something conjured up by a bad attitude. Why are you so glib and so lacking in empathy that you’d prefer to deny, minimize, and/or rationalize the existence of extreme suffering? Why do you bury your head in the sand when confronted with basic facts of life? Your “positivity” is actually denial and it just creates more suffering in the long run. If you want to be truly “positive,” help end suffering.

13.) But I love being alive! Life is great!

That’s great, but it doesn’t justify you imposing life on someone else without their consent. And furthermore, life isn’t great for everyone. Just because you choose to ignore suffering, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

14.) I have faith! Yes, there’s suffering, but it’s for a reason!

If your faith is so strong, why are you so eager to have children? Why not wait to have children in the afterlife or some other realm that you claim exists? Or why have kids at all? If your faith is so strong, you should be able to endure the pain of not having kids. Furthermore, your “faith” is not a trump card that justifies any immoral act. It doesn’t justify you raping people, and it doesn’t justify imposing life on others without their consent.

15.) You’re such a control freak! You need to learn to “let go” and trust the universe and quit trying to control things!

No one would say that to someone who was trying to end rape, slavery, etc. The natural state of the world is filled with problems and people are constantly trying to control it. But rather than trying to control ME and others like me, why don’t you “let go” and accept the fact that this world is no place for children. Why don’t you give up your fear of a baby-free world and trust that things will be ok if people stop procreating?

16.) But my maternal/paternal instincts are so strong, you don’t understand!

If your maternal instincts were so strong, you wouldn’t have children. This world wouldn’t be good enough for them. The very fact that you think it is, is proof that you DON’T have strong maternal/paternal instincts. It’s proof you have SELFISH instincts.

17.) Even if you’re right, it’s a hopeless task to convince people.

Maybe, but you don’t know until you try. If you asked someone in 1950 whether gay marriage would ever be a thing, they’d probably think you were nuts. Same goes for lots of issues.

18.) I’ve been through the worst and I’m still having kids! And you’re arrogant to tell people they shouldn’t have kids!

It’s arrogant to make other people suffer just because you want kids. And it’s arrogant for anyone to claim they have been through the worst. It’s far more humble to assume that there are others out there who have it far worse than you or I have. Just because you have suffered and come to terms with it, doesn’t mean that everyone else has or will. And just because you’ve suffered, it doesn’t mean you have empathy for other people. There are plenty of drug-addicted prostitutes who have children even though they hate their own life, because they think having children will make them happy. And not just addicts, but regular people. If you were truly content, why would you want children? Wanting is a form of desiring which is a form of suffering. Having children is a way of relieving YOUR suffering.

It’s also arrogant to think you’ve got what it takes to be a great parent. All sorts of smart people have tried and failed, but you think you’re different?

Concluding questions:

Natalists,

1.) Even if you disagree with antinatalism, don’t you think would-be parents should be forced to grapple with these issues? Most parents never seriously consider these issues. What does that say about the gravity, or lack thereof, which the average person possesses when they decide to have a child? Most parents are never forced to defend their choice, isn’t it about time that parents are, at the very least, put on the defensive and forced to explain themselves?

Antinatalists,

2.) How bad does life have to get before you not only decide for yourself to not have children, but actively start to prevent other people from having children?

Original source

Human Extinction! Don’t Panic; Think about it like a philosopher

  • A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn’t be all that bad, morally speaking.
  • The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
  • The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.

Humans could go extinct. The idea has been floating around science fiction since 1826, it dominated diplomatic thinking during the Cold War, and it fills the existentially inclined with dread. We’ve had some difficult times in the past, but today the only real threat to humanity is suicide.

While most people would think humans going extinct would be an obviously bad thing, these people aren’t philosophers. This strange breed of human looks at the problem from many perspectives and often comes to conclusions that might shock you.

In his opinion essay in The New York Times, philosophy professor Todd Mayconsiders the idea of human extinction and decides it would be “a tragedy” but notes that “it might just be a good thing.”

Knowing how confusing that sentence was, he explains the idea by looking to tragic heroes in literature. Characters like Oedipus and King Lear do bad things yet invoke our sympathy. The idea is that humanity is doing bad things that could only be stopped with the extinction of humanity, but that we still have every reason to feel sympathetic for humanity despite this.

The “bad things” Dr. May refers to in this case are the suffering we cause to animals and the damage we cause to the environment. He makes specific reference to the vast numbers of animals we breed into existence, cram into factory farms to live unpleasant lives getting fat, then eat them, as one example. He mentions how human-caused climate change will alter Yellowstone National Park as another. Our often wanton destruction of the environment is unmatched by any other creature.

He concludes that while humanity has done some good things, like making art and writing good plays, it would “make the world better off” to see us go. The loss of the art, beauty, and the rest would be the tragic element that should invoke sympathy but doesn’t outweigh what we’re doing to nature. He admits the harshness and controversial nature of this stance and explains:

“It may well be, then, that the extinction of humanity would make the world better off and yet would be a tragedy. I don’t want to say this for sure, since the issue is quite complex. But it certainly seems a live possibility, and that by itself disturbs me.”

The idea that it would be for the best if humanity died off is held by more people than you might imagine. The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (yes, it is real) encourages its supporters to not have children in hopes that humanity will peacefully die off.

The perpetually depressed Schopenhauer was an anti-natalist, one who thinks having children is morally wrong, because he thought most people would be doomed to live lives dominated by suffering. Several other thinkers, most notably David Benatar, agree with him. If these arguments were carried to their logical extreme, there wouldn’t be any humans left after a few decades.

Others, including Benatar and the extinction movement people, agree with Dr. May that creating more humans causes more environmental trouble than is morally justifiable and that we should stop reproducing now.

Now, none of these groups or people advocate suicide or murder. They argue only that we shouldn’t create more people. There is a, generally accepted, moral difference between people who are alive and people who could exist. While saying we shouldn’t have more kids doesn’t cause harm, since people who never existed can’t be harmed, killing people currently alive does harm people. So you needn’t worry about armies of philosophical Unabombers cropping up anytime soon.

Dr. May does refer to stances one could take that would cause you to disagree with them. One such position would be to assume there is a “profound moral gap” between animals and humans. If you did this, the suffering we cause animals to feel could be dismissed off hand because the animals have no moral standing.

Plenty of philosophers have argued for this exact thing. Most famous among them was Immanuel Kant, who argued that we should be kind to animals as practice for being nice to people but considered them things without moral rights. He would probably find the idea that we should drive ourselves to extinction for the sake of those animals to be absurd. Christine Korsgaard, a modern Kantian theorist, disagrees and argues that animals are worthy of some moral consideration while admitting that our capacity for reflective, normative thinking is a unique feature that may have moral weight.

There is also a more moderate route other thinkers take. Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and noted autism spokesperson, argues that raising animals for the sole purpose of eating them is ethical but that we should assure them a decent life with a minimum of pain. Her stance would both allow humans to continue existing and using animals for our benefit while improving life for those animals; no extinctions required.

Even Peter Singer, a philosopher who has been known to stake out a controversial stance now and then, argues that we should give animals moral consideration but has yet to say that we ought to die off for their sake. Instead, he has argued that we ought to stop needlessly causing them harm and perhaps take up vegetarianism.

It is also possible to take issue with the claim that the environment would be that much better off without humans or that the effect of humanity on the environment is so awful that we ought to die off. Nature can be sickeningly cruel without any human intervention. Animals can cause as much deforestation and environmental degradation as humanity does at the local scale. Plants, as well as humans, have caused climate catastrophes by changing the composition of the atmosphere.

There were two dozen mass extinction events before the evolution of modern humans. One of these, the Permian–Triassic extinction event, saw 96% of all marine and 70% of all land-dwelling vertebrate life die. The famous Cretaceous extinction event featured the death of the dinosaurs and almost every land animal that weighed more than 55 pounds as the result of a giant asteroid hitting the earth, as they often have done and will do again. Humans have yet to do anything with nearly the kind of impact on the environment as these random events had.

While our destroying the environment is not made acceptable by the fact a random occurrence might do the same thing, it does make the argument that humans should die off for the sake of the environment lose a bit of its punch. After all, if another mass extinction event is inevitable, which many people think is the case, then getting rid of humans doesn’t actually accomplish much in the way of protecting the environment over the long run.

It would only serve to assure that, after that next cataclysm, both the environment and human-made wonders like the works of Shakespeare are obliterated. Since Dr. May does suggest that the works of art humanity creates have value and that there is something to be said for our being the only animal that can truly contemplate beauty, a world where we are gone and nature takes it course seems to be the worst one of all.

Would humanity going the way of the dodo be a bad thing? Some philosophers don’t think so, though they might shed a tear or two for us anyway. While the rate of population increase makes the immediate risk of extinction seem low, risks are always present. So, think for a moment, if we went away, how sad a thing would it be?

Source

5 Reasons Trump is a Cunt

Trump, I think, is one of the most divisive Presidents we’ve ever had. I remember Bush being popular after 9/11 but immediately losing popularity after he decided to invade Iraq. Someone can correct me on that if I’m wrong, but that’s just how I remember it. I was in high school then and don’t remember much because I didn’t pay attention to the news like I should have. I didn’t start paying attention to the news until the 2016 elections when it started to seem like Trump had a good chance of winning.

Once Trump won I remember officially giving up on us as a species. I wasn’t fond of us before then, but that sealed the deal for me. We’re idiots and we deserve whatever catastrophic events come our way. Plague? Nuclear holocaust? Plague and then a nuclear holocaust? We deserve whatever nature or a foreign enemy tosses our way for the outcome of that election. It was a culmination of the stupidity of a culture that came together — a culture that’s too wrapped up in reality television, viral videos, and being famous just for being famous.

Someone online posed a question, not understanding how people can be so anti-Trump. I stay out of political arguments these days because they don’t do anything except lead to insults and broken friendships. Since I don’t care anything about this person’s friendship I decided to chime in with my reasons for not liking the moron:

1. He does not have the temperament for the job.

2. He is too vain for the job.

3. He can not tolerate a negative comment about what he says or does.

4. He immediately tries to discredit or attack anyone or organization that does such a thing. You can’t be in his position and throw a tantrum any time someone says something negative about you. That just comes with the territory of being president. People are going to make fun of you. If you didn’t want that to happen then you shouldn’t have signed up. I think he’s used to surrounding himself with “yes” men and since we’re not a nation of “yes” men he doesn’t know how to handle that so he lashes out.

5. I don’t like children. That includes 73-year-old children.

But what do I know? I’m just someone with an opinion and internet access. No one cares what any of us think anyway.

The Third Day of a Seven-Day Binge

I used to binge drink every day. I’d give myself a day to recover if I overdid it, but as soon as the alcohol left my body I was dumping more back into it. I never let anyone know. Well, that’s not true. I let people know I was drunk because I get chatty (and sometimes mouthy) when I drink. I know some worried, others I kept in the dark such as family. Others seemed to encourage my drinking because let’s face it — some of us really are more fun when we’re drunk. I’m not really fun when I’m stoned, and I’m not aiming to be.

When I’m stoned I’m aiming to be calm and relax. I don’t care to socialize with others when I’m stoned. When I’m drinking it means that I’m required to talk to other people and that just can’t happen unless I imbibe. The fun nights were the nights when I was drinking, popping narcotics, and smoking weed at the same time. I’d do this on webcam with friends from a now-defunct blogging site. We had the best ideas then, but we’d forget those ideas the next day because we were bombed out of our minds the night before.

I can’t say I’ve given up drinking because I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I may very well go to the liquor store and get a bottle of my old friend Jim Beam. I may decide to have a sit down with Jack Daniels since he and I haven’t shot the shit in some time. I’m medicated now so I shouldn’t feel the need to self-medicate, should I? I’m just not wanting to feel anything right now. Memories got brought up earlier and I don’t know how others handle those. I try to get them out of my head in any way that I can.

I guess I can ask my psychiatrist when I see her. I see her in a couple of weeks. I just want memories and certain thoughts to go away. I’ve been doing so well, too. It’s just par for the course, I suppose. You see something that reminds you of something or someone and all those bitter emotions come back. You become distraught all over again. What others see as no big deal I take to heart and over-analyze and interpret every way to Sunday. What could I have done differently? Why didn’t what I do work out? I think I do the right thing and strive to do the right thing, but sometimes the right thing just kicks you in the dick. What do you do when that happens?

It’s also a bitch when you’re left with no answers. You know those scenes you see in the movies where the person is seen standing there alone while the train or car or the other person leaves them stranded and alone? I think that’s the best image I can come up with for what’s going on with me right now. It’s not a specific person or thing. Everything feels like it’s slipping. I’ve also become more and more afraid of things the more I think about them. Why am I rambling? Who gives a shit?

Disgustipated

What disgusts me most about humanity is how we misuse our intelligence. The scientist, mathematician, philosopher, artist, and author are all too often financially subordinate to the businessman or executive. Yet the former come as close to meaning as can be found in our sorry existence, while the latter are nothing more than parasites of society.

This financial subordinacy drives many away from careers through which they could develop and pursue their passions, and toward those where their work only benefits others. Their reward? A few imaginary units that have value by decree. If beauty is truth, and truth beauty, our web of lies and ugly lives make perfect sense together.

In our great idiocy, we perpetuate tribalism through our obtuse and otiose political systems. How are we so blind as not to see that no politician genuinely believes anything? That the beliefs that outrage us the most are carefully constructed to keep us in the game?

Where is the quest for meaning? When did we stop asking “why?”

Childfree by Choice Setbacks: Anti-Natalism Chronicles X

Like almost everything in life, there’s a plus and negative side. I do not regret my choice to get a vasectomy. I do not have any regrets about the decision I’ve made to not bring another human into this world of hate, bigotry, poverty, and suffering. It’s not so much of a regret as it is a heartbreak that a relationship I put my heart and soul into had to end because of my beliefs — not just a relationship, but a seven-year friendship. I don’t know where she is or what she’s doing, but I hope she’s happier now.

I wasn’t in the best place back then, which may have led to what ended us. I can’t be sure because I chose to severe ties with her sometime in January after we last spoke. It was for my own well-being. I was hurt, but I wanted her to carry on, which I’m sure she has. At the same time, I don’t think it’s fair how it ended, either.

She and I had been friends and flirted for seven years before deciding we should be serious and maybe see where a relationship would take us. She had mentioned wanting children and would bring up the subject every so often, but I’m nine years older than she is so my mind has always been made up, she had changed hers at some point. She spent time with a friend’s children and found them to be obnoxious and told me, “I think I’ve decided I don’t want children.” I thought that was great news. It was one less thing to worry about, and maybe this relationship could continue.

Maybe I was blinded by my own seeming happiness. Maybe it was my own mental illness that was festering just below the surface, expecting her to end things at any moment because why would someone like her want to be with someone like me in the first place? We come from two different upbringings. I grew up poor. She grew up privileged. Her father was a judge and I’ve had a couple of run-ins with the law before (nothing major, one of those arrests isn’t even on my record.) A friend of mine said she felt that my ex was too worried about what her dad thought, and that was going to hinder our relationship going forward.

What hindered it was probably a combination of things, but the reason she gave was when we were alone together and she began to cry, informing me “I think I want to have a baby one day.” I didn’t dare tell her that I had already had my vasectomy done and there was no going back. I wasn’t going to reverse it; not for her, not for anyone. Now it was a case of “Where do we go from here?” There was only one thing to do: break up.

I suppose I was fine with the break-up initially. She was toying with the idea of wanting a child or a couple of children. I refused to bring any children into this world; not with her, not with anyone. “I think maybe we should take a break,” is what she said to me. I’m not stupid. I have read enough books and seen enough movies and television shows to know that “take a break” is a nice way of telling someone, “I don’t want to see you anymore.”

I think I was more upset that I wasn’t upset. More than that, I think I was upset that she knew how I felt concerning children and yet she decided to go along with our relationship anyway and I don’t know why. Was she just waiting for another guy to come along to give her what she wanted? I suppose I’ll never know because like I said, I made the best decision for myself (and possibly the best decision for her), and I cut her out of my life. No more emails, no more phone calls, no more seeing her, no more wishing her a happy birthday or merry Christmas. I was done and so was she.

I still think about her, but haven’t written anything about her except for right now. I suppose this is my way of saying goodbye. Anti-natalism is a philosophy that can sometimes cost you your relationship, but I’m not going to sacrifice what I believe in order to remain in a relationship when the two of us have two very different views as far as bringing another life into this fucked up world.

Fighting the Inevitable: Anti-Natalism Chronicles IX

I don’t know why we do it. Death is inevitable. As soon as you’re born, the clock starts ticking. As soon as life is brought into this world it’s only a matter of time before that life ceases to exist. It could be several years down the road or it could be mere seconds after that life is born. Why subject others to such a fate?

The whole abortion debate is ridiculous to me. For people who claim it’s murder, I say that giving birth is murder. At some point we’re going to get killed by someone else’s hand, by nature, or simply by being too fucking old and our own body is going to shut down and kill us anyway. So to put it simply: a birth in itself is going to lead to a murder — murder by life.

Abortion is no more a crime than going through with a pregnancy. Giving birth is forcing something on someone against that someone’s will. I use the term “someone” loosely because I do not believe a fetus is a human being. If you don’t have a birth certificate then you’re not a human being as far as I’m concerned. That’s why we don’t give birth certificates to fetuses: they’re not born yet. They’re not human, no more than a single sperm is a human.

Giving a person life is cruel and inhumane, but we continue to subject others to it every single day. Women and men fight for the right of something that has no say in the matter. The fetus could very well be born with health defects that could take hours to name on this particular blog, but they think the humane thing to do is to bring it into the world with those defects and flip a coin and hope for the best. If you knew you were going to have a child who would be dead by the age of six months, would you avoid giving birth to it from the start? What about the child not living to see its third birthday? Its fourth? Its fifth? Abortion and those who believe in it are not cruel. It’s those who insist on giving birth and raising a sick child, raising a child in a sick world, those are the people who are cruel; those are the people who are murderers.

Be a better person. Make a better decision for the life you plan to have one day and change your mind. If you really want a child. I mean if you absolutely, 100% want a child to love and care for then go through the proper channels and adopt one. There are 443,000 children in the foster care system in the United States alone. Let’s work on finding them families and homes before we consider bringing more children into this world that never asked to be brought into it.

The Joys of Extinction

I’d always had a fascination with death ever since I was a kid. I remember reading a book titled The Children’s Book on Death and Dying. I can’t remember the name of the author. I can’t remember how many times I read the book, either. I remember checking it out of the library at school and reading it over and over again. Friends of mine would read it and I’d ask to read it again when they were done and I’d return it for them when it was due. The parts of the book involving losing a parent, a friend, a relative of some kind, those didn’t bother me. It was the chapter on losing a pet that always made the tears flow. I’d read that chapter if I felt I needed a good cry. I’d skip it if I was in school because I didn’t want to cry in front of my classmates and be seen as weak. No one wants others to think they’re weak. I felt I might die if that’d ever happen.

That book still sticks out in my mind every so often. I wonder if I should go back and read it now that I have experienced death. I’ve experienced the death of a grandfather from Alzheimer’s disease; I’ve experienced the death of an uncle due to pancreatic cancer; I’ve experienced the death of a classmate from colon cancer who was a mere two years older than I am. I’ve even experienced losing someone to gun violence. A clerk at a convenience store I’d made friends with because of my late night trips in there to buy smokes and beers when I was underage was gunned down over some lottery tickets and a few bucks. We weren’t close. We only spoke when I was talking to him while in the store, but that one in particular hit me pretty hard. I think it’s because of the number of times I was in that store at the same time the murder occurred. I could have been buying smokes, beer, any number of things when the boy who walked in decided to rob the place.

The manager heard the gunshots and shut the door to the office to get out of harm’s way. I can’t say that I blame him. I would have done the same thing if I was in his shoes. That would have left me and my friend both out in the open and I could have received the same fate he did. It didn’t take me long to return to the store, which was surprising. I don’t know why it didn’t bother me like it did some of the others who were frequent patrons of that gas station. I guess my morbid curiosity overshadowed my fear and paranoia. Although I’d lost a friend I still wondered what exactly happened that night. Where did my friend fall? What were his last words? What was going through his mind? These are the thoughts that run through my head when I think about death.

I think about what people would have wanted; how they would have wanted to have been remembered. I think about my grandfather’s funeral and how it was nothing like he spelled out in his last will and testament which I found after the fact. My mom and her sisters almost argued about everything concerning the funeral. My mom wanted to respect her father’s wishes. Her sisters seemed to want to make a show out of something that was supposed to be personal and meaningful to the family. My grandfather didn’t want flowers, but my aunts insisted on flowers. My grandfather wanted to be cremated, but my sisters insisted on a burial. I bring up my own funeral preparations so often because I don’t want that happening with me.

I don’t want to be buried. I want a cremation. I want some of my ashes to go into a vial for my friend Lauren to wear as she has requested. The rest of them can be scattered around the family property in Chattahoochee Hills. I don’t want a funeral. Funerals are too somber and crying is not very becoming of people. No, I don’t want a funeral. I want a wake. I want people to remember me for the weirdo that I was. Tell stories, exaggerate stories, embellish about me if you’d like. I just want you to have fun and remember me and think of me there having fun with you. I jokingly said that I want something on my urn. I know exactly what I want as well. It’s a Richard Pryor quote. People who know me might be surprised that I don’t want Bill Hicks, but I think for this occasion Richard Pryor would be funnier. “Waiting on 11:30” would be perfect. If you don’t know the reference then just try YouTube “Richard Pryor 11:30.” I’ll forever be waiting on 11:30 and that next party that’s about to go down. Remember me at every party you throw because I’ll be there to have some drinks with you, to smoke a bowl or a joint with you; to tell jokes, to rehash old stories over and over again and laugh like they all happened just yesterday.

I’ve thought about death a lot recently. I’m 32 and I’m not getting any younger. I’ve accomplished nothing it seems because I’ve always been too timid to try new things. I’m afraid I’ll fail. On the other hand however I want to be remembered somehow. I admire many people who have passed: Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Kirkegaard, Twain, many authors I’ve read and entertainers I’ve enjoyed whether it be music, movies, or television. They’re all going to be remembered and their legacies will live on forever. I want a legacy of my own, but how do I go about that? If someone has an answer then I’d like to hear it.

I fear leaving my loved ones behind. My mom has had to deal with my dad’s suicide 15 years ago. Just two years ago she experienced another loss when her boyfriend of eight years passed due to health issues. I have physical and mental health issues that I’m sure are going to lead me to an early grave, which terrifies me when I think about one of the two causing me to leave my mom behind. I fear losing my mom, being lost in a world with the one constant in my life. My sister and I get along, but we’re not as close as I’d like to be. I don’t know if we ever will be. We’re two completely opposite people.

My friends are the other constants in my life. I’m talking about those I know online and off. They’ve been there for me through hardships and good times. The stories we could tell strangers who gave us the courtesy of listening. I think about missing out on more stories when I’m gone. As much as you matter to people, once you’re gone there’s a bit of mourning, but the world continues to turn. Everything is over for you, but they return to their daily lives and if you’re lucky they remember you and smile because at some point in time you gave them joy.

So when I heard the news of a rogue planet on a collision course with earth I breathed a sigh of relief. There was going to be no pain. Suffering was not going to exist. In a matter of days all life on earth is going to cease to exist. This isn’t a movie where we can send astronauts to space to try to drill a hole and plant a bomb deep within this planet. The planet itself is twice the size of Jupiter so there’s nothing to do but enjoy life while we have it. A little less than two days is what we have to say our goodbyes, try to get in touch with those we long lost touch with, and embrace the inevitable. I embraced it as soon as I heard the news. Goodbye, cruel world. I turned off my television, lied down in bed, lit a joint, and laughed. This is how the world ends. A world full of 7 billion people who thought they were invincible will be ash and space dust in a matter of hours.

It’s better if we all die simultaneously. There will be no heartbreak. No one is going to mourn the loss of a parent, a friend, a child. We can have ourselves a going away party. I plan for us to take whatever we have out of our cabinets and freezers and cook the biggest feast we’ve ever cooked. I plan for us to drink to our heart’s content and load up on drugs we never dreamed of trying before. This is the end for us and it’s well deserved. Strap in people. It may get a little rocky, but we’re going to be fine.

Don’t Write Me Off: Anti-Natalism Chronicles VIII

I know what people think when I tell them I’m an anti-natalist. “Anti what?” Yeah, I know. It’s a big word and you don’t read. I’m not talking about those people who are incapable of understanding words that have more than two syllables. I’m talking about people who know where I stand on childbirth, on propagating the human race, on shelling out another mouth to feed. “Oh, great. This is just what the internet needs: another pessimistic nihilist who hates everyone and everything.” A few years ago, you would have been correct.

Am I saying I’ve changed my ways and I embrace everyone? No. I still think people are scum, but I like to think of myself as more of a philanthropic misanthrope these days. The world is shitty enough as it is so I like doing little things here and there for other people while I wait for the world to burn. There’s no sense in being an asshole to others when there are plenty of assholes to go around already. I’ll lend a hand to someone who has fallen on hard times. I’ll chip in a $20 to a guy on the corner who may need to grab a bite to eat. Hell, I’ll chip in $20 for someone to buy a bottle of liquor and a pack of smokes if that’s what gets them through the day. Who am I to judge?

I am not some edgy teenage nihilist. I have thoroughly considered the options as far as reproducing goes. Getting my vasectomy was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Another child will not have to come into this world full of hate and suffering because I’ve chosen to nip that in the bud. No one ever suffered by not being born. It’s all of us that are already here that are suffering. You can go your entire life, enjoying every minute of it, but at some point you’re going to experience heartbreak. Someone or something is going to hurt you. Someone is going to leave you. You know that feeling. If you don’t then you will. Why would you want to put someone else through that?

There are people out there born with mental and physical defects that are hereditary. I am one of those people. I chose not to pass my shitty genes onto another person. Why do others insist on passing on their mental and physical disabilities to the next generation? Let’s end this here and now. Voluntarily remove your progeny from the face of the earth before it ever comes into existence. You’re only going to do it more harm than good by bringing it into this world. You’re going to do yourself more harm than good if you have to watch it suffer or worse. It’s no guarantee that your child is going to outlive you. You don’t want to go through that. Do you?