Sunday, 8 April 2012

Winning the Antinatalist Argument

I‘m sharing the following story in the hope that it may come in use for anyone here who ever ends up in a debate about Antinatalism. I’ve a friend with whom I’ve debated AN periodically over the past few years. This guy is a highly intelligent man, with two small children, someone who always loves a good back-and-forth over the big questions, and always hates to yield a single point in an argument, and I mean hates it. I loaned him my copy of Benatar’s book a few years back. He appreciated it, but declined to endorse the book’s thesis. His main objections were endowing non-existent beings with rights, and what appeared to him as the absurdity of the pinprick argument. He also made the slightly strange remark that while he gave AN his emotional assent, he couldn’t give it his intellectual assent. Anyway, one night last week I finally presented him with a question I’d been wanting to pose him for a long while:

Can you give me a single non-subjective, non-personal, non-emotional, objective, rational reason to propagate the species?

He stopped dead in his tracks, paused, thought and admitted he had no answer.

72 comments:

  1. People have done this many times with me. They disagree, but can't tell me why. There's no argument they can come up with, they just persist in saying I'm being "too pessimistic" or "too objective" or "absurd" or "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". The argument ends there, because they need to maintain their sanity and I know they'll never accept what I'm saying to them. As Dr. Faustus says, arguing never convinces anyone of anything, people just come out from arguments maintaining their original positions in an even stronger manner. Probably not true in every case, but in most cases from my perspective it definitely is true.
    All I've ever managed to convince anyone of is that antinatalism isn't an idea that has no basis whatsoever, even though they can spout thousands of illogical emotional reasons why it's untrue.

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  2. Karl, I know another highly intelligent guy who also admits there's no reason for this, but says we don't need reasons to do those things. I think he's an Ayn Rand fan, actually, though. Sigh!

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    1. Srikant: "I think he's an Ayn Rand fan..."

      Filrabat: Ahh, selfishness elevated to a religion - enough said!

      Srikant: "We don't need reasons to do those things"

      Filrabat: Sounds like he's putting too much faith in the assumption that the reptilian complex (of the brain) is a reliable guide to truth (or right and wrong). To which I say "Fine, I don't need a reason to get a bandsaw, then grab a four-year-old child, and cut his arm off without anesthesia! I'll just do it because I feel like it!!" (basic translation of "I don't need a reason"). Yeah, right. Let's see how well that one would hold up in court; not to mention will pass with the child himself and the rest of his family!

      While there are loads of difference between procreation and amputating an arm without anesthesia, that is not the issue. The issue is whether "I don't need a reason" is morally justifiable - especially if you take as axiomatic "Pain is a bad thing, the more painful something is the more bad it is".

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    2. Just out of curiosity, what do you guys mean by "highly intelligent"? IQ? Credentials?

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    3. filrabat: I don't think that's quite right. You don't need a reason to do X unless there are reasons to not do X, in which case you need reasons that outweigh those other reasons. You need good reasons for cutting off someone's arm. If having kids is not bad, then you don't need any reason to do it.

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  3. Yes, but how can 'Joe Public', let alone an 'intelligent' person, be expected to answer to such a question? I'm not sure if reason and logic are applicable to this issue because surely it's simply just a case of the human race being genetically pre-determined, nay, pre-programmed, to reproduce like a sickness upon this planet. Do you think the average person with their snout in the trough of a consumerist society or pig-ignorant believer in the Divine Non-Entity, can tolerate such a perspective?

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    1. Look at this jerkface n his breeder bingo-a phrase I recommend you spend one solid afternoon googling-about the mechanical, mindless nature of reproduction. That is risible and I contend that the only mindless aspect is people FORSAKING and SHIRKING their duty to be circumspect in such massive decisions, because there is NO social pressure to justify having a kid, as long as you keep it fed. Have it for free farm labor, pointless suffering in the inner city, suburban somnolence, third-world sweltering etc or even just to be an 'independent, productive member of society' (I have seen that EXACT phrasing in moo and duh forums enough to be SICK OF IT! I mean, most people hate their jobs, self medicating (or even antidepressants) just to be functional. And this is what you want your kid to look forward to? Or are you looking for support and asswipery in your dotage?) as though our social roles really deserve to be taken serious.

      More t the point, if we were so hard-wired, why do so many Westerners have 2.1 kids? Even the ones who can afford more? I live in what passes for a major city in Africa. If OECD societies found the lifestyle of 'middle class africans' (rapid transit, regular meals, local vacays, delayed purchases of fashionable things etc) yall could have entire football rosters per neighborhood. People are squares in square holes, they wanna seem normal, and what is more familiar than family? It's a bias, not a drive. We know the score, and since antinatalism doesn't compute celibacy it's a lot more feasible. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF TRITE COPOUTS!

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  4. Hey guys, my 'intelligent' friend is a college guy, heading to Oxford to take up a post there soon. Not that that necessarily makes him intelligent, but he is very sharp, with a great analytical capacity. (Although funnily, Srikant, he, too, was once an Ayn Rand fan.)

    I think people are susceptible to the argument, once you can get past the deep layers of pro-life programming. As an instance, here's an interesting article in today's UK Guardian about having kids. Writer is a twat, but comments are interesting:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/08/why-would-anyone-have-children

    And hey! Historic event. Jim and Inmendham, the two internet gods of Antinatalism, converse. From last Saturday's Stickam:

    http://inmendham.com/cb/upload/watch_video.php?v=UAX2GD6WW2OS

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  5. Hi, Karl. I've been following your blog for a while. Awesome stuff, keep it up! I wanted to share a song with you guys. It's called Martyr and it's by the American industrial metal band Fear Factory. I've known this song for years, but haven't really paid any attention to the lyrics (I'm not a native English speaker so it's hard to catch every word from just listening, without reading the lyrics, especially when it comes to metal). Anyway, I hadn't listened to it for quite some time, and when I heard it again yesterday, the lyrics kinda struck me, especially the "born into a world, I never asked for this" part. Sound very antinatalistic, doesn't it ;)
    I thought you guys might like it (at least lyrics-wise).
    Here's the song (lyrics in the description):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHMLpFPY_5c

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    1. Yes. Metal music can be quite antinatalist. I arrived at my current philosophical ideas partly due to the influence of this sort of music (mostly grindcore and black metal). I was even a bit surprised that others had not brought it up before.

      If you don't like the sound of metal, bands like Anaal Nathrakh and Rotten Sound are (probably) not for you. The titles of songs alone are interesting. For example:
      When Humanity Is Cancer
      Paradigm Shift - Annihilation
      Cataclysmic Nihilism
      and
      To Err Is Human, To Dream - Futile
      (many more where they came from)

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    2. Cheers, EO. Will check those tracks when I get the chance. Titles look good!

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    3. Anaal Nathrakh is amazing, one of my favorite bands, but I feel I should warn you that you probably won't get a lot out of them if you aren't into extreme metal, as the vocals are pretty much indecipherable for the most part and they (frustratingly) don't release their lyrics. And their music is about as extreme as it gets, short of noise/power electronics- it's very powerful and cathartic stuff if one already has an ear attuned to extreme metal, but it would probably sound like a bunch of noise if one doesn't. Much as I like them and think they're one of the deepest and smartest bands in today's metal scene, they're definitely not a band I would use as an introduction to the genre.

      Whatever one's taste in music, though, I'd definitely recommend looking up interviews with Dave Hunt, the vocalist and lyric-writer of the band- he's a very smart and erudite guy, with an outlook on life that I think is very much in line with that of most of those here. A pretty in-depth one here: http://spinaltapdance.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/interview-anaal-nathrakh/

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    4. Kudos to all you said. Probably should have mentioned they are about as close to noise as music can get without collapsing entirely.

      Good idea about posting an interview. Much more accessible. He is quite the well read and thoughtful person too.

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    5. Really enjoyed the interview, Anonymous. Cheers! It's encouraged me to go off and check out the band.

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  6. Hey, Seeker. Thanks for the kind words re.the blog. Appreciated. I checked out the song and although I'm not particularly a metal fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the lyrics! Cheers!

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  7. Here's a fantastic article on antinatalism:
    http://www.examiner.com/arlington-progressive-in-fort-worth/abortions-are-moral-when-compared-to-bringing-a-child-into-existence?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150171818461476_21438468_10150642999191476#f1c6387e34
    It's about an year old so you might know it. Nothing new really, but well said. The religious parts didn't appeal to me, but it's a good way to present the subject to religious people who would otherwise directly reject the ideas of antinatalism.

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    1. Thanks, Seeker. Yeah, I've seen that article and the writer has some other good ones in his back catalogue. I like the guy. He's straightforward and honest and says what he thinks without any superfluous jargon.

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  8. So much win. I guess this person, whilst not being an AN, is still a very honest individual. Props to him for that.
    And kudos for the big question Karl!
    =)

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  9. Procreation is a inherently logical step-process; a completely rational one. Reproduction is a rational methodical way to continue life, which is the primary function of living organisms. Perfectly rational.

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    1. Living organisms have no primary function, no "purpose," if you will. Reproduction is simply something that living beings mindlessly can do and because they do it, it mindless continues. For human beings who are the only living beings who can actually think about something before they do it (and choose whether or not to do it based on the circumstances) and who have an extremely high level of empathy, it is irrational to reproduce. It is irrational to attempt to minimize harm (something most humans do), while continuing to create it. The entirety of procreation is as mindless as the universe. The universe is akin to a mindless machine. That's why it's pure insanity and irrationality for humans to use mindless nature as a basis for their actions. We don't have to reproduce just because it's something that we can do. We, unlike the other animals, have the potential to override the "need to breed."

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    2. Would someone please explain to whoever strokes his dick that his other head needs all the bloodflow available so as to even approximate perfect rationality, or recognise it when there is AN ENTIRE BLOG that tentatively and unpretentiously approaches it?

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  10. Continuing life is a chosen end. Procreation is the means to achieve that end. Antinatalism disputes the value of that end.

    'Function' is a misnomer, as it implies design. It's equivalent to saying 'life's function is to life'. Our reflective capacity allows to question the value of life itself.

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  11. But you can't call it irrational. Procreation is anything but irrational.

    The meaning of life is its function(Survival and procreation). You can't deny the only meaningful thing in the universe.

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    1. "Rationality implies evaluation, value-judgements and decisions. Prior to the emergence of reflexive human consciousness, procreation occurred mindlessly as a result of blind biological and chemical processes."

      Beautiful.

      "And life only has 'meaning' to living creatures. The universe is utterly indifferent to the existence or non-existence of humanity or any other species."

      Beautiful.

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    2. I'll add that one can certainly call procreation irrational, especially if the person identifies not inflicting suffering as a goal which many people do openly.

      You can't have your cake and eat it too; you can't procreate and then proclaim that one is not blameworthy. Either accept the responsibility that comes with one's actions or don't procreate; it's that simple.

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    3. Anonymous, THERE IS NO MEANING TO LIFE and THERE IS NO FUNCTION TO LIFE. We exist because we exist because we exist. What we do with our life is up to us. I am personally against harming children. Therefore, I will not throw lambs out to the wolves by breeding. Mindlessness such as yours is dangerous. By your logic, rape is totally okay because reproduction is "everything." I disagree and I hope you do as well. We are human beings, not mindless animals. Always remember that.

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  12. Why is procreation rational? Rationality implies evaluation, value-judgements and decisions. Prior to the emergence of reflexive human consciousness, procreation occurred mindlessly as a result of blind biological and chemical processes. We now have the ability to make a judgement call and ANs decide it's not worth it based upon its risk and ultimate futility. AN is eminently rational.

    And life only has 'meaning' to living creatures. The universe is utterly indifferent to the exsitence or non-existence of humanity or any other species.

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  13. This begins to amuse me and that is rare.

    Concerning meaning, the procreation argument seems to be that we must survive to procreate, to survive, to procreate ad infinitum. Is this meaningful? What's the point of it? Of course, there is none.

    The same applies to reason which, by the way, like 'meaning' is an entirely human concept: if survival is the reason for procreation, then what are we surviving for? More procreation?

    It's just a meaningless, unreasonable circular argument.

    I say again that reason doesn't apply to something that is genetically pre-programmed into humanity.

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  14. It is only in the interaction of functions that purpose and meaning is derived. Meaning/purpose comes from the different functions working together. If all the individual functions work together for the sake of the whole, then the meaning of the whole is perpetuating the Circle of Life.

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    1. The circle of life. I bet the Zebras hate that song!

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  15. Oh come on, all this 'Circle of Life' crap. All there are is 7 billion individuals making their way through their own existences having to endure all of this pointless crap. 'Circle of Life' is just vodoo mysticism. 'Life's purpose is to life' , shit's purpose is to be shit. Empty, vacuous circular thinking.

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    1. It's also more of a spiral of life or a line segment. A circle would mean we have a Nietzschean eternal recurrence type of cosmos. The pronatalism guy is obviously one of the people who were indoctrinated by the bullshit about the lion king -- notice they didn't show the baby elephant being eaten alive in that movie because then maybe people would start to see that their "circle" is actually a pile of shit.

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  16. How I agree with your last posting Karl.

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  17. Derived Absurdity20 April 2012 at 21:15

    "Can you give me a single non-subjective, non-personal, non-emotional, objective, rational reason to propagate the species?"


    I can. There is one reason and one reason only to propagate the species: saving the animals. If humans collectively stop having children, then wild animals will presumably continue to reproduce indefinitely until the sun blows up. That would be at least a billion years of more suffering. That is unnaceptable. We cannot escape this party and let the rest of nature fend for itself.

    What is the antinatalist's answer to the sufferings endemic in nature?

    (And, btw, I'm an antinatalist, if that makes any difference to how you'll react to my comment.)

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    1. DA, cheers for the comment. I applaude and admire your desire to end animal suffering, but I do think it's a very complicated issue. You're assuming that

      A) Humans can end animal life

      B) Humans should end animal life

      C) Animal life won't re-emerge at a later point even if all life currently in existence now came to an end

      Any thoughts?

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    2. Karl, read up on tardigrades and realise that life will never let go of earth, its beachhead against the universe. I lean more to Inmendham;s efilism, but I guess a couple centillion years with no sentience, before another kambrian kablooee just in time for the sun blowing up would be worth the reprieve. Still, sad that all these digestive tracts will keep chasing their tails (and chasing tail in general) until the sun puts the kibosh. Guys, the fix is in!

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  18. If the end of animal and plant life on this ball of dirt, is the cost of ending human existence, wouldn't this be a price worth paying?

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  19. How do you mean, Mr Graverol? How would ending human existence end animal and/or plant life?

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  20. I think you misunderstand me. I am saying that ending non-human life on this planet would be a price with paying if it meant an end to human life itself.

    I am not suggesting a particular method of achieving this: there is no need for me to because it seems to be the way things are going anyway despite people and organisations claiming to be 'green', whilst they try to grab the biggest profit in the process.

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  21. Ah, I see. Would ending non-human life entail the destruction of humanity, though? Wouldn't they come up with synthetic this and that to sustain humanity? Or are you thinking that the conditions of the biosphere would become unfavourable for the preservation of humanity? (I don't have much of a clue about the science of this.)

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  22. I have little knowledge about the science of this either. I just think ending humanity would, in many respects, be a good thing for its own good, and for that of this ball of dirt more generally.

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  23. Can't argue with that! I think one of the things that would make the end of humanity of a relief even if animal life continued would be the knowledge that the suffering the latter would continue to endure would be more blind, non-malicious and less sadistic than the form humans inflict upon both animals and each other.

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  24. And I can't argue with that either.

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  25. The problem I see is not reproduction, but sentience combined with the capacity for empathy, leading to the perception of suffering (and that the suffering matters). Sociopaths and selectively empathetic individuals I doubt would be antinatalists. Perceived suffering is the problem, antinatalism is but one solution, but by no means the only nor the best one. BTW, I am neither an antinatalist nor a natalist.
    I dislike natalists only to the point that I do not wish to be forced to help pay for their reckless breeding. Antinatalists, I have to disagree with on different grounds. Something I had brought up before on Youtube is "What does an AN do for one of their loved ones if they become pregnant and they know of it? Does the AN assist the pregnant loved one knowing that they would be complicit in committing the very act they are against? I would think that an AN, being true their philosophy, must necessarily withhold material goods as well as any other assistance from their loved one at least until the pregnancy is over. That would obviously be detrimental to the AN's relationship with the breeder.

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    1. Suffering happens whether or not it is perceived. As human beings, we should be against suffering. It's that simple.

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  26. Also, on another note, since the AN's actual focus is preventing/reducing the amount of suffering, it would seem reasonable for them to attempt to weaken some of the emotional attachments other people have to them such that if the AN were to become suffer/perish, at least the AN has reduced the amount of potential pain those other people would feel at the AN's pain/passing

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    1. CN, antinatalism taken its logical conclusion would ensure the avoidance of such scenarios (or any others for that matter). I assume in the first paragraph of your comment, you're not suggesting people should be genetically engineered to not care about suffering. I've no interest in that dystopic scenario. The only other solution is transhumanism, which doesn't interest me for different reasons.

      Re. the pregnancy scenario, I think that's just one of those examples which each individual would have to deal with as they see fit. As for lessening attachments, yes, you have a point. Silence and solitude would seem to be the logical extension of AN, but again individual circumstances will dictate these matters, I reckon.

      Thanks for the comments!

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    2. So, individual circumstances will dictate? The AN may continue to support a breeder, temporarily and selectively (for their own personal reasons). That seems to be a kind of cherry picking. "Oh, I am an AN for all other cases, just not this one because it impacts me greater than my consideration for the potential born human." I think an AN that does this is in fact being hypocritical. Also, either you are actively against suffering or not. If one preaches, then one must practice, otherwise one is not to be taken seriously.
      Silence and solitude does indeed seem to be a logical extension of AN, as does the suffering and brief existence of such human. Without the breeders and the products of the breeders offspring, the AN has limited access to comfort and survival means. Rationally, ANs should only be friends with ANs, preventing them from knowingly helping a breeder, though it seems a little silly given the aforementioned solitude and silence extension. I consider this but one of the main problems with AN, the logical extensions seem rather unbearable, ESPECIALLY for a social organism.

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    3. CN, I simply stated my position. I don't think there are any good reasons for breeding, and I don't plan on it myself. This blog is a platform for AN ideas, but I have no interest in attempting to control individuals directly. Like any form of morality, AN is an ideal, not a reality, and like every other form of morality in the world, it's going to encounter the messy contingencies of existence. That's just the way it is.

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    4. I would pretty much agree with you, there does not seem to be any "good" reasons for breeding. At best breeding increases the likelihood that more minds will come into existence, to be brought to bear upon issues/problems within existence (cures/treatments, technological advances, etc). In order for us to advance in some way, we need more minds to replace the ones that fall. I depend on the discoveries of my predecessors and those who came into existence after I did in order to maintain some of my health and longevity.

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    5. Yes, but if there are no humans there are no issues/problems. I don't really subscribe to the language of 'we' and 'advancing'. The 'we' is pretty much an illusion created by a loose and indiscriminate use of language, and I don't believe there is anywhere to 'advance' to.

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    6. If there are no humans, then there are no issues/problems...for humans, or for at least your kind of humans. By advancing I mean building upon and applying knowledge. "We" is not exactly illusion, since when you talk of yourself, "you" is an emergent property of the colony of cells that your body is composed of functioning for the most part as a cohesive whole. A "society" is functionally the same, with the same basic drives towards self-preservation. Ultimately humans as a species function the same as a collective as it does as an individual, hierarchical. Would you agree? Treating the "species" as if it were an organism itself, since it has the same qualities, trying to make its "cells" stop replicating and thereby killing it is akin trying to make it stop eating, breathing, etc.

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    7. Just like in a human body, there are those individuals that take from without giving back, and sometimes acting detrimental, such as cancer cells. Cells communicate with other cells, "attempting" to make sure homeostasis is maintained. When cells start acting in ways such that homeostasis is potentially compromised, functioning cells "tell" the improperly functioning cells to cut that shit out :). If they do not accept the command, they are either cordoned off, attacked until destroyed and/or told to kill themselves. Those that resist these assaults ultimately end up killing their organism along with themselves, directly or indirectly.

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    9. *
      There's one fundamental difference between "you/I" and "we":
      even as a collective of smaller organisms, the former has a personality and mind, while the latter is just another organic blob that has no sentience of its own.

      Human preservation is just another, more bloody, kind of treehuggery.

      The thing that makes cancer cells cancerous is their continued proliferation, with no set limit to the number of generations that are produced, and their causing of suffering and death. This malignancy is not that different from the procreation that an antinatalist opposes.

      Just like cancer, mankind is but an impersonal mass of human tissue that exists insofar it consumes sentient humans.

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    10. I only agree with you to the point of natalists constant reproduction with little to no regard for currently existent humans, they are more like cancer. ANs, on the other hand, seem to be an evolutionary dead end, their meme is an anti-evolution virus, counter to the entropic drive of evolution. Since that meme attempts to enforce something counter to the survival aspect of evolution, the population of ANs should be expected to remain small. For the record, I am not AN but I choose not to reproduce because I wish to assume responsibility only for what I CHOOSE to. My time is mine.

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    11. CN, you attribute value to 'evolution', 'survival'; you use adjectives such as 'detrimental' etc. All of this is arbitrary. So what if animals and/or organisms have a survival function? This doesn't necessarily imply value or that the animal/society is worth preserving from an objective perspective. It's just a blind function that an individual may or may not choose to attribute value to.

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  27. CipherNihilo,

    You also mentioned homeostasis previously; could it not be that, in spite of your commendable assertion of personal responsibility, you have yet to overcome a homeostatic predisposition?

    Evolution just fell upon us: antinatalists don't see it as god and would tend to agree that it would be better if it were removed from crushing life (sentient, especially sapient) underneath.

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    1. I do not consider my assertion of personal responsibility commendable. It is merely a choice. I am selfish with my time, as it is limited, therefore I do what I can to expend it with as many of those I value as much as I can...or even by myself if I am being antisocial :). ANs attribute value to suffering (a negative value). So what? Suffering sucks. In the end though, none of us suffer. Nonexistence is equally as valueless/pointless as existence. We are born, we live and suffer, then we are negated such that we, the negated, cannot say we ever suffered. Those who existed contemporaneously with us will also cease existence, so from their standpoint nothing could be said of suffering, theirs or others. ANs seem to only go so far into the future of a potential human being to argue for the prevention of suffering...except they forget me, the Nothingness waiting in the future as well. At any time, I can embrace you, negating you and any concept, memory of suffering. As far as you would be concerned, you never suffered for you would equal what you were before birth, and so on for everyone else. To continue promoting the existence of self and others by consuming materials and sharing them with others seems a little sadomasochistic, knowing that the longer you and they live, the more suffering will be experienced. If self-termination occurs, which I am not advocating, any further infliction of suffering stops, especially from the self-terminated. From their standpoint, they succeeded in ending all suffering everywhere forever.

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    2. Yeah, but that doesn't negate or justify the real experience of suffering as it happens, or the fact that beings are coming into existence every second who will suffer. The nothingness to nothingness position you describe merely emphasises the pointlessness of the suffering all creatures must endure.

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    3. Suffering does not exist except in the minds of sentient beings. The fundamental problem is SENTIENCE itself. You, as a sentient being, are anthropomorphizing ALL creatures by ascribing them with the same awareness of "suffering" as you. I would argue that many, if not most, creatures have no concept of suffering just as a human born with congenital blindness has no concept of vision. Also, nothingness to nothingness is based upon the ANs consideration of the potential human's future, I just take it one step further. From Nothingness, then this "person" will live and all that entails, then Nothingness. In my thoughts of this potential human's existence, it will be in the state of "dead" just like in the ANs, it will be in the state of "suffering". Since this hypothetical "imaginary" person is dead in my world, the best I could do is maybe have a funeral?

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    4. Karl, SOME beings are coming into existence every second that may or may not suffer. Sentience, self awareness of suffering, is not a quality that all organisms get or achieve, not even all humans. It could be argued that since human babies are not born sentient, that it is perfectly okay to have children PROVIDED that they are only cared for up until the point where sentience develops. Then we terminate them, since the AN argument is actually about bringing more sentients into the world to suffer. Just a thought.

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    5. Oh, I just thought of something amusing. Here goes: Since we exist and in general try to reduce suffering, if not outright prevent it, then the most effective way to prevent as much suffering as possible is to not reproduce, which prevents potential humans from suffering, right? (I think that is the basics of the AN argument).
      My variation: When we have humans are in a state of nonexistence, it causes some of us suffering, so to stop that suffering we should prevent humans from being in a state of nonexistence. It probably is not quite right, but it seemed funny to me :)

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    6. Can you show me a sentient creature that doesn't suffer? Can you show me a human being that doesn't? No need to roll the dice, no need to get the suffering scenario going, no need to disturb nothingness. That's my bottom line.

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    7. Not all human beings are sentient. There are some humans I have little or no emotional attachment for, so whether or not they suffer or experience pleasure means nothing. In fact, most of the world's humans I do not even know exist, that is, they only factor into my world model, but not into my day to day existence. Regardless, I still for the most part follow the Golden Rule, though I prefer the LaVeyan version as a corollary “Do unto others as they do unto you.” I do know that those I have an emotional attachment to get priority in my considerations of suffering/pleasure, not the potential humans that I may never meet nor may never exist (which makes it strange to speak of potential).
      Relative to the "residents" of the Void, our "reality" does not exist. Our Universe is just as non-existent as they are, just as much Nothingness. Nothing disturbed as far as I can tell. It has been interesting and just to let you know, I am not "against" ANs. If you consider your behavior ethical/moral such that it causes no harm to existent sentient beings, go crazy. This is only an intellectual exercise for me, to try to understand other points of view. I, for one, cannot consider it "taboo" as I have never heard of it until I wandered around on YT a year ago. When I tell people of what AN is, they have never even heard of it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is nowhere near the level of "taboo" as incest or bestiality, it probably is hardly on the radar at all. Perhaps in the future there will be more penetration of AN. Farewell...for now. >:)

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    8. I've never thought AN was anything more than the philosophy of a handful, so no bubble to burst for me.

      I don't weep for the world's suffering either, it's impossible. For me, AN is the only effective way of trying to ensure I don't add another turd to the doggy-pile.

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    9. Neither do I weep.
      ... but I do loathe, that, besides the lack of good out in the world aside, there's none at home in the heart.

      CipherNihilo,

      I don't think we are any different in that we give more consideration to those that we are attached to. But the problem arises when you become attached to a victim of another you are attached to, which is most likely the case with offspring of relatives. You care for the youngling, but you realised it has been utterly wronged by the parent you might similarly care for. Somewhere in that, someone has to be betrayed: giving considerations to the wrongdoer would mean you didn't give as much consideration for the victim. You could convince yourself that you cared as much for both of them, but that would be betraying both yourself and the victim, would it not?
      One has to act towards eventualities.

      When it comes to the attachment I too used to have towards the species, I found myself bemused:
      do we feel sad when we reach the last step in flight of stairs? No, we feel a sense of accomplishemnt, albeit slight. Why then should we not rejoice in having reached the summit of our evolutionary ladder? If it went on forever, we'd be but an immemorable cobblestone in a path without end in sight. Is it really any consolation to become the ape ancestors to the future humans? To return as the missing link, eternally derided in archeology?
      I much rather stay on the top level of human fossils.

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    10. Agreed. Life is slowly choking whatever 'good' there was in my heart. Monkey see, monkey do. It's hard to feel compassion for an ape species that shits and kills its fellow aspes while all the while believing that it's really a cousin of the angels.

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  28. Do not mind the self-identifying with Void. I just have this strange fascination with nothingness and the negation of things :)

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  29. Greetings once more from the Void :). I came up with something recently that seems like a refutation of ethical extinction versions of AN and efilism, I would like consideration given to it. It is found here on Youtube and quite short. I would like anyone to post possible refutations in the Youtube comment section, thanks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qDbloOU7rw&feature=plcp

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  30. For me it's all about empathy for the suffering of sentient creatures. My suffering and all others and potential future suffering. Empathy does not carry great weight for most humans except as lip service. I do see that AN is getting a voice finally but I totally despair of it every being truly popular.

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