Anti-Natalism Chronicles XIV: A Return

It’s going to be hard to type this since I’m on a different computer since my Mac is being serviced at the moment so sorry for any mistakes. It’s a bitch getting used to a different keyboard when you’ve used the same one for three years now. I wanted to talk once again about anti-natalism since that’s mostly what my blog is about and one of my main beliefs as a person.

I was sitting outside just now, having my morning coffee when I started thinking about my last relationship and how it ended because she brought up the fact that she wanted children one day. We had known each other for seven years. We dated for two of those seven years. She knew how I felt about having children and at one point said she didn’t want any, either. Out of the blue one night as we were lying in bed together she said she thinks she may want them one day. “Well, you know how I feel about that. Besides, you know I’ve gotten a vasectomy so it’s kind of a done deal for me.”

No harsh words were spoken or exchanged. We didn’t argue. We just kind of decided that this was one area where we weren’t going to be able to reach a compromise. There is no compromising when it comes to children. You either want them or you don’t and I don’t.

I had always joked that every girl from my hometown was born pregnant because they either had a baby by high school (middle school in some cases) or it was the first thing that happened after high school. Practically everyone I know now has at least one child so that sucks for me as far as dating is concerned. It’s just one of those things that’s a definitive “no” for me. Kind of like anal is a definitive “no” for a lot of women. Hey, you don’t do butt stuff. I don’t like kids. I respect your decision to not do butt stuff. Respect my decision to not have children.

I don’t think I’d make a good dad anyway. It’s not like I had a positive influence in the dad department growing up so who’s to say I wouldn’t be an asshole just like my father was? I’ve also got the mental and physical health issues going on so why would I risk bringing a child into the world with said issues? That’s something I’ve never understood about people who have mental issues, emotional issues, health issues, etc. that are genetic.  If they’re genetic and you know you risk passing them onto your offspring then why do you go ahead with having your own offspring? Kind of a dick move on your part.

Maybe I have more compassion than others or I give myself credit for. I don’t want to bring any children into a world such as this one; a world plagued by violence, climate change, disease, and a number of other things that could go wrong and do go wrong on a daily basis. I see commercials for hospitals for children with cancer and just think to myself if only their parents didn’t have them at all then those children wouldn’t be going through what they’re going through right now.

We all want suffering to end so shouldn’t we be stopping it before it begins? There’s no suffering in non-existence. I’ve never once met a person who didn’t exist that had cancer. I’ve never once met a person who didn’t exist that got murdered for no reason at all. Call it a coincidence if you want, but I think there’s something more to my theory here.

If you already have children then by all means, love them with every fiber of your being and take care of them to the best of your ability.

If you don’t have children then do what’s best for the children you don’t have and leave them be in whatever dimension there is before birth. All that comes with existence is suffering and eventual death and heartbreak.

Anti-Natalism and Mental Illness Mash-Up

I’m back again. This is my second post of the night. A lot of my posts deal with my discussing my mental illness as well as my anti-natalist views. I figured why not post a blog that touches on both of these topics? People get the wrong impression as far as anti-natalists are concerned. They think we’re a bunch of misanthropic assholes who just think the world should burn. I’m not going to lie, I am pretty misanthropic, but I consider myself a philanthropic misanthrope. I try to do good by others and extend a hand if someone needs help, but if the human race were to die out tomorrow then I think it’d be for the best and we had it coming for a long time anyway.

Mental illness seems to run in my family. Dad was bipolar. My sister’s bipolar. My mom suffers from depression and anxiety. I think about people who have mental illness in their family who have children and wonder why they decided to have said children. I wonder the same thing about people who have issues such as diabetes, cancer, and things of that nature that run in their families. Why do you want to pass these things onto other people? It’s cruel if you ask me.

People don’t consider what they may be putting their offspring through nor what they may be putting themselves through. I’ll never have children so I’ll never experience the pain of losing a child, but for those out there who suffer with mental illness and have passed it onto their children, what if your children don’t deal with it as well as you do? What if they can’t or don’t get the help they need and do something drastic? It could lead to something tragic, something tragic that could have been avoided had you just not decided to procreate in the first place.

Procreation isn’t fair to the unborn. You’re giving them a life that they didn’t ask for and quite possibly a life they’re going to not end up wanting as they get older. What then? I suppose you could get them help with a professional and get them on some meds, but those don’t always work. Speaking from experience, I’ve been through my share of meds and therapies to try to “get better” and I still struggle daily with thoughts of suicide. They haven’t been as prominent in recent months, but they’re still at the back of my mind. What’s usually on my mind these days is wishing I’d never been born in the first place.

I, like billions of others, had no say in this matter. I just struggle to understand why my parents wanted to have me knowing what ran in the family. Is it any surprise to anyone that I’d be stuck here suffering through the same issues, suffering with the same thoughts and feelings? The shitty part is that I think as I get older, it gets worse. I’m just getting closer and closer to the grave and for some reason it’s starting to worry me a bit and I don’t know why. I wasn’t always afraid of death like I am now.

Why do you want to put others through things like this? It’s not fair to them. We all know life isn’t fair so spare others from experiencing that. Spare others from experiencing thoughts of their own demise. Spare others from the stigma that’s associated with mental illness. Just spare others from pain by leaving them in whatever realm they’re in before this thing called life begins.

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:


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?


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?

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