Friday, 12 October 2012

Where There's Life, There's No Hope


For whatever reason Albert Camus has been on my mind a bit lately. His is a name regularly trotted out by pro-lifers who claim it is a necessity to affirm life and that we must welcome our fate as human beings. Now don’t get me wrong, The Myth of Sisyphus is a noteworthy book if only for the very fact that it assumes that contemplating the ordinary absurdity of the world could drive one to the brink of suicide, a position so different from the staid dullness of Anglo-American philosophy that we owe Camus a debt for that if nothing else. And yet, the awful last sentence: ‘we must imagine Sisyphus happy’. Really? Why must we? Surely a happy Sisyphus would be regarded as insane or at the least highly delusional. Would it not be more noble if Sisyphus were angry, pissed off, suicidal?

Furthermore, Camus was far from neutral about human life. He had no doubts as to its ultimate value. Proof? He procreated. In fact his daughter is still alive. So in spite of it all, Camus was yet another one who gave the thumbs-up to this world despite its madness and carnage. This is why he’s currently enjoying a renaissance in France as a proponent of that awful, shallow, vapid, quasi-Nietzschean 'embrace life and be happy' twaddle that passes for philosophy amongst the shallow-minded.



Last time round I mentioned James Wood’s decision to procreate in spite of his awareness of the reality of the world. Since then I picked up a novel he wrote before the book from which I quoted his philosophical position. Here’s the narrator reflecting on the possibility of procreation:

But I was, and am, sure that I did not and do not want a child....My real objections were metaphysical. What right do I have to bring life into the world? To create a person who might, at some point in his life, wish that he were dead? Who might complain – to me, his father – that he had never asked to be born? True, we cannot ask to be created; that would be like Baron Muchausen tugging himself out of a bog by his own pig-tail. So we cannot complain that we were never consulted in the matter. But knowing this does not alter the truth that life, however enjoyable or pleasant, being imposed rather than requested is a sentence on us. That which seems uniquely ours – our life – is not ours at all, since we were voteless at conception.

Atheists and anti-religious philosophers have often argued that though life is meaningless, we should not commit suicide, since to do so is to surrender the necessary struggle with the sentence of life. But I think this presumes too much of life; suicide is no surrender of possession if we do not possess our life anyway. If life is meaningless, then suicide is meaningless too, and the reason not to do it is that to add one meaninglessness to another meaninglessness is not a solution but merely akin to a double negative in speech, a blocked statement. Since we did ont ask to be created, we can never have been free enough for suicide to grow any prestige of freedom. We cannot commit suicide – because we are not alive; we cannot freely end –because we did not freely begin.

Do I have the right to impose this sentence on someone else? Clearly not. Do I have the right to pass on my unhappiness? No.

Personally, I disagree about suicide: it does end the problem. I agree, of course, with everything else.

James is married to a novelist and has one son and one daughter.


I mentioned in the comments last time that Cormac Mac Carthy’s The Sunset Limited is available to watch online. For anyone who missed it, here’s a link:


And here’s the truest words ever spoken in cinema. Fast forward to 00:30 if you can’t bear the anticipation:



Don’t know if anyone’s heard of the Jimmy Saville scandal in the UK. Saville was a TV celebrity who raised over 40 million pounds for charity throughout his life and was knighted for his efforts. It’s now emerged he was a serial sex offender who abused his status to gain access to victims. Doesn’t he somehow symbolise the fucked up nature of humanity itself? A guy who committed more evil than most will do, hopefully, and a guy who did more good than most will do, unfortunately. Get me the fuck off this planet of schizo fuckheads.



Was ruminating on religion’s deepest desire: to save humanity. Yet look at the species closely and you’ll see there’s nothing worth saving. What is a human being? An embodied consciousness constantly tormented, striving and groping for an unattainable happiness and willing to wade through blood (other people’s) to chase it. And this is something worth saving? Give me a break.


Jim/Metamorphh has a new blog where people can debate points raised on his YouTube channel. It's designed to facilitate a more sophisticated, in depth and civilised exchange than YouTube allows. It's the DebateYouTube blog listed on the sidebar. Well worth a look.


Hope everyone’s as well as can be expected. A particular shoutout to Bazompora and Garrett. Guys, I hope the silence lately is due to the cruddy nature of the blog rather than any personal misfortune. Keep safe, everyone.


309 comments:

  1. It's nice to see another post in your blog, Karl! Not long ago I was thinking that everything there was to be said has been said, but now I've just realized that I'm enjoying the posts and comments discussions on here and other AN blog for their own sake. As if it's a social thing more akin to hanging out with friends.

    Both James Wood who procreated despite his awareness of what's wrong with procreating and Saville are proof to me of something I've been suspecting for some years: that many people are "bad"/evil by nature. It's in their structure, it's just the way they are.

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    1. Hi,Laurua! Thanks for the comment. Yeah, in many ways everything has been said, I guess. I like to keep the blog going anyway, for the reasons you mention.

      Character is a tricky one. None of us chose to be born and none of us chose our character. Unfortunately some people's character means hell for others.

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    2. Well, Georgia O'Keeffe painted the same door over and over. Presumably it wasn't to achieve perfection but instead to make a good feeling last, and that applies here. (I'm no art expert; I learned this from an episode of "Breaking Bad.")

      And yes, character can be hellish. My mother is like Schopenhauer's, even worse. I probably was born a pessimist, but she certainly helped me to progress along that rocky path.

      To borrow from Daphne Merkin, "....as if in exiting the womb I was enveloped in a gray and itchy wool blanket instead of a soft, pastel-colored bunting."
      Colorado Friend

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    3. Karl, you definitely need to keep the blog going. Your fans need you! (I also think that you need to follow Jim and Shadow and start writing a book. With your black humor, Irishness, and mastery of prose, you could easily be the next Samuel Beckett.)

      Laura, I agree that many (probably most) people are evil by nature. If we weren't, our species would have died out long ago. Basically, people are one of three things:

      1. Evil
      2. Delusional
      3. Antinatalist

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    4. Thanks, DNA-Borg! You're way too kind. Maybe one day, if I can ever drag my ass out of the trough of apathy and futility the world generates.

      And spot on about your anthropology. I really don't think it's any more complicated than that when fundamentals are broached.

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    5. Karl I dont think its possible to drag yourself of out reality other than by suicide... it makes everything I do completely pointless and futile.

      Other than going back to nothingness, there is no other solution...

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    6. Yeah, but I woudn't commit sucide just to prove a point either. I'd rather be in the mood for it if I were to do it.

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    7. Dimasok, I can only agree. Even achieving a tolerable life means closing your eyes to the horror to a certain extent.

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    8. Anonymous who said anything about proving a point? Suicide for me would be the only rational way of ending this nightmare that you don't want to be a part of. Why is it so difficult to understand? I am aware of the horrors of existence to an extent that I can't function at all in life under any shape or form. I don't want to be a part of the need/desire machine that the abhorrent DNA molecule led to and life is simply nor for me.

      When I was a potentiality, no one had to hear about my complaints or grievances about existence nor was I aware of anything, needed anything or desired anything. Due to the selfishness of my parents, I was whisked forcibly here, had the societal norms imposed on me (which I disagree with entirely) and now can't leave the game gracefully without subjecting myself to the potential of ending up still alive but in a worse state. Otherwise, I would die today. Not to prove a point, God no, nor for any other reason anyone would care to rationalize according to their own optimistic understanding of reality.

      I would do it simply because I am sick and tired of this nightmare I never asked for. I wouldn't leave a note, nor would I do it in front of my parents but there is no reason at all that would keep me here other than the fear of the dying process itself.

      Procreating is an act of CRIMINAL NEGLECT and the only thing humanity has left to do in this universe is gracefully bow out and return to its default state of non-existence (and the universe would not be affected in anyway regardless).

      Delete
  2. If it makes you any happier to imagine Sisyphus writing angry comments on his blog instead of dealing, go right ahead.

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    1. The point is he shouldn't have to deal with it in the first place.

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    2. And I'm sure fixating on that makes things so much better for everyone.

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    3. Well, no one is made to come here and read it, and no one is made to comment either. There must be something about the perspective that resonates with you enough to make you share your thoughts.

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    4. Wow it's like you are looking into the depths of my soul.

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    5. Yawn. If you ever have anything constructive to say, please feel free to share it.

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    6. Either antinatalism is something which is just your personal choice and opinion, in which case it makes perfect sense to go "if you don't agree, just walk away" OR it's something which should apply to everyone, everywhere, in which case you're going to have to deal with people that don't agree.

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    7. Yes, and so what exactly? Antinatalists have been debating with people who don't agree with it for years on various blogs, youtube channels, public fora etc.

      Delete
    8. Well then it's pretty counter-productive to tell them to just stop and walk away, isn't it? Either hope they come around eventually, or that they make such fools of themselves that it makes your side look more appealing.

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    9. I've never told anyone to walk away, even the most obnoxious people; I've always welcomed debate.

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    10. "Well, no one is made to come here and read it, and no one is made to comment either." Made me get the opposite impression, but okay, it's the internet, words get misinterpret all the time.

      What I'm saying is, you don't think seeing a post like Dimasok's below and going "yep, everything seems fine and proper here" is a bit irresponsible, not to mention disconnected from the gravity of your actions?

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    11. To be fair, I think you did misinterpret it. I meant anyone can say whatever they want here, for or against.

      Dimasok or anyone else can say what they want, as long as they don't start abusing people. If he wears his heart on his sleeve, good for him. Bear in mind that venting can help people to cope.

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    12. No it doesn't. Humans aren't steam kettles, it's just habit forming to throw fits online.

      Delete
    13. I think many humans are steam kettles, hence the vast amount of frustration and sublimated violence in society.

      I don't really see what the problem is with Dimasok's comments. Some people are clinical and remote. He's heartfelt and feels things deeply. Nothing wrong with that.

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    14. I don`t understand why is my post generating so much controversy?

      Anonymous, none of what I said was a hissy fit or whatever it is that you thought it was. I ALWAYS talk like that whether I am sad or happy.

      You`re just like the people inmendham likes to put down: instead of addressing the arguments, you`re attacking the character as being depressed or throwing tantrums.

      Pathetic.

      Delete
    15. I'm not the one who screams about killing themselves online but can't get up the balls to do it, whines about how hard the comfortable middle class life is, and takes life lessons from burnt-out Amazing Atheist ripoffs, kid.

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    16. "I'm not the one who screams about killing themselves online but can't get up the balls to do it"

      What I'm saying is, you don't think seeing a post like above and going "yep, everything seems fine and proper here" is a bit irresponsible, not to mention disconnected from the gravity of your actions?

      "whines about how hard the comfortable middle class life is"

      How do you know he is comfortable?

      "burnt-out Amazing Atheist ripoffs"

      Here's another Gary cult follower.

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    17. I didn't want anyone to confuse me with the above guy so I got a name.

      "How do you know he is comfortable?" He has the time and ability to post whiny shit online, so he's not 99.9999% of everybody who's ever lived.

      "Here's another Gary cult follower."

      ?

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    18. Why are you guys even here given the facile commentary you are providing that you can see under any youtube video?

      This is a blog for people who can think, nor for pre-teenage assholes with a chip on their shoulder.

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    19. "This is a blog for people who can think, nor for pre-teenage assholes with a chip on their shoulder." Then why are you still here?

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    20. Why? So dumbass pro-natal parents would stop procreating vermin like you and plunge existence back to the default state of non-existence.

      Any other questions kiddo? Didn`t think so. Now scram.

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    21. "state of non-existence."

      Oh YOU

      Delete
  3. Another great post, Karl. Nothing about this place or the people who inhabit it is worth much at all. I think Borges that said something like "human actions are unworthy of hell or heaven."
    Still need to see Melancholia. I remember you saying it was a bit boring, but the concept just seems too good.

    The more that I reflect on my existence, the more I realize much of it has been spent looking for a means to salvation for humanity. Our ticket "to beyond the stars." And it has lead me here. Salvation cannot be achieved, except with the end of life.

    A brief plug for a band by the name of "Those Poor Bastards." Not my usual fare of ravening metal hatred, but probably one of the bleakest country (inspired) groups ever. They do have a quasi-religious bent, but its all towards hell fire and the fallen state of humanity. Well worth checking out.

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    1. Thanks for the nice words, Artashata. Yeah, humans, ultimately insignificant, yet sadly capable of wreaking hell on each other.

      Melancholia is worth watching. The first half is a slog, but the second half picks up brilliantly to a fantastic climax.

      Will check out the band, thanks!

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  4. I have been greiving lately, because I know I've been corrupted forever by being brought into this world. My soul was pure until I was forced to come here. I will quote a scripture here, Isaiah 5:20- "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." This world is evil and woe to those who call it good.
    Lately I've been thinking about the case of Bart Whitaker, who murdered some of his family members. He says he wanted to take revenge on them because they forced him to exist. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=7461122&page=1 Although I am not going to kill somebody, I do understand the outrage felt by Bart. What his mother did to him (birth) is worse than what he did to her.

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    1. I find comfort in hard determinism and try to not to hate the "sinner" but the sin.

      "What his mother did to him (birth) is worse than what he did to her."

      Yes, she was the cause of her own downfall (lol?), anyways it's best to forgive your parents and every pronatalist, it's just pointless to hate them for something that was never in their control.

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    2. I think you can blame them for being thoughtless. Whether you hate them is dependent on what kind of upbringing you had.

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    3. Oh...I do forgive my parents, I mean they believed the baby-hype as portrayed in the media and society. They would never have had me if they had known I would have many deformities. So I don't put the blame on them but on society that lies through its teeth about life being a good thing.

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    4. The reason why I can`t forgive my parents is because they committed the gravest errors of them all... due to their own selfish needs, they gave birth to me and now they expect me to give a fuck about anything and get offended and hurt when I follow my pessimistic and antinatalistic philosophy to a T in every aspect of my life. Well, what did they expect? My conclusions are inarguable and 100% rational while their mush is reprehensible and irrational.

      This need\desire machine never had to exist and yet they perpetuated it through me and now expect me to follow the precepts in an existence I didn`t consent to, existence I despise, in a decaying, morally bankrupt world and for what? For going back into nothingness after all is said and done?

      So, essentially, I was brought here as a pet for their amusement to suffer and then return to whence I came.

      FUCK that.

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    5. I'm starting to think you should all just post lyrics to Linkin Park songs. It's roughly as adult.

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    6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jH8kWk-hy3c

      See how much easier it was to just post that link?

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    7. Anonymoushypocritebullymode14 October 2012 at 16:34

      What I'm saying is, you don't think seeing a post like Dimasok's above and going "yep, everything seems fine and proper here" is a bit irresponsible, not to mention disconnected from the gravity of your actions?

      Delete
    8. You're right my joking around here is far more damaging to young Dimasok's psyche than literally everything Inmendham says.

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    9. Its too bad that out of Karl`s circle of people who are able to think rationally, there exist youtube idiots like you.

      I don`t plan to respond to ignoramuses like you anymore so wallow in your bullshit mush all you want.

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    10. "Its too bad that out of Karl`s circlejerk, there exist idiots like you."

      FTFY

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    11. Yeah, all antinatalists are depressed emos and/or goths. And therefore you don't need to address our arguments. This is the classic Reductio ad gothum fallacy.

      Much better than Linkin Park:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAOr2WBKvoI

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    12. Diamosk, you are really just like me. There is nothing wrong with you. You are responding to a genuinely horrific world...a giant slaughterhouse floating in space. Your soul is repulsed by it, as is mine. I believe that repulsion towards this evil world is one of the markings of a righteous soul...whilst the love of such a world is, in my opinion, demonic.

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    13. I like the analogy of a "giant slaughterhouse floating in space". It's a giant slaughterhouse floating in space with people who mistakenly believe they are in some sort of fairy-tale where no one gets slaughtered and where their human values of justice or what have you get realized in another existence which no doubt would theoretically be just another giant slaughterhouse floating in space.

      How can the idea of nothingness not be the only appealing concept in light of all this? Sleeping peacefully without dreams has been the best time of my life and waking up has always been the worst time of my life. Just extend that indefinitely and you have the perfection humanity yearns for.

      Its ironic how its impossible to realize even the tiniest snippet of perfection while existing and its realized by default while not existing...

      The proof that birth is a calamity are all around us and yet everyone refuses to acknowledge that and instead project their frustrations of their need/desires into yet another existence where they're all realized.

      It gives me a good chuckle every time.

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    14. 'The happiest moment of the happy man is when he falls asleep, and the unhappiest moment of the unhappy man is when he awakes' - Schopenhauer

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    15. Karl, that was the exact quote I was thinking when writing that post :)

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  5. Existence is hell. Existence is torment. I despise positivity and optimism. Despise people who start pessimistically and end optimistically (Woods, Camus, Sartre and hell, EVERYONE!!)

    Just fucking acknowledge just like inmendham always does that this need/desire machine is pure shit and created crap instead of the nothingness that was always peaceful within itself.

    I keep thinking of Schopenhauer quote "Life is a disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness"... I used to not read about it too much... but now after being an anti-natalist and reading so much from Crawford, Ligotti, Benatar and others... its really the truth!

    What does nothingness lack? What does nothingness need? No desire, no need, no meaninglessness, no somethingness, no suffering, no pain, no pleasure. Its pure BLISS!

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    1. Looks like somebody needs their naptime.

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    2. With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe:

      Sleep, those little slices of death;
      How I love them!

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    3. I think sleep was left by nature as the only respite from the hell of existence.. a foretaste of what death is like.. we should have never waken up.. I want to go back to sleep forever..

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    4. These days when I go to bed I think that if I were told I wasn't going to wake up I wouldn't care. I don't mean that in some dramatic 'cry for help' sense, just an immense weariness and tedium in regard to existence.

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    5. I'm right there with ya. I re-read quite often John Berryman's "Dream Song 14": "Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so..." He threw himself off a bridge at 57 to fix this problem, a sane response, in my opinion.
      Colorado Friend

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    6. Funny, CF, I was just thinking of that great poem over the past few days!

      For those who haven't had the pleasure:

      Dream Song 14 by John Berryman

      Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
      After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
      we ourselves flash and yearn,
      and moreover my mother told me as a boy
      (repeatingly) 'Ever to confess you're bored
      means you have no

      Inner Resources.' I conclude now I have no
      inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
      Peoples bore me,
      literature bores me, especially great literature,
      Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
      as bad as achilles,

      who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
      And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
      and somehow a dog
      has taken itself & its tail considerably away
      into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
      behind: me, wag.

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    7. Karl i know what you mean. I wish I never had to wake up again. What`s the point? Its all futile and nonsensical.

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    8. Karl, I'm so tired of caring right now that I've put the "great literature" aside and am watching back-to-back episodes of "Trailer Park Boys" with titles like "Fuck Community College, Let's Get Drunk and Eat Chicken Fingers" and "If I Can't Smoke and Swear, I'm Fucked"! Gawd, it helps seeing these guys play fast and loose with life, especially the constant eating of pepperoni, haha!
      Colorado Friend

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    9. Don't blame you in the least, CF! Reality is just too banal, boring, pointless, painful and empty to bother with. Dallas re-runs to compliment the new series is my guilty pleasure.

      In fact, let me highlight the very last episode of the original series in 1991. Background: most people love the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life' because it flatters their ego, ie the world and people would be so much poorer without me. In the last epsiode of Dallas, JR was shown what the world would have been like without him, and it turns out to have been much better all round. JR then shoots himself. Pure philosophical genius!

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    10. It's interesting that so many folks here claim to be bored with life. I won't dispute the claim- tell you to get over it- just an observation. For myself, I do still have plenty of interests, obsessions. Able to "distract myself," as it were. Of course, the topics do tend to veer toward darkness. Lovecraft, Machen, human sacrifice, divine darkness, religions to name but a few. Watching videos of animal sacrifice on the net. Listening to ugly music.

      Anyway, on we move towards nihilvana.

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    11. You're fortunate, Artashata. Over the past few years, I've gradually lost my ability for distraction. In the face of the world's chaos and futility I feel like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights.

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    12. Nope, Karl is right, it's all boring at a certain stage in life.

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  6. I think people want some distraction when they are pushing that huge fucker up the hill. Little Joey or Fatima is so cute when they are pushing a beachball next to you,grinning and all happy.

    Personally i don't want to choose between suicide and pushing the rock, i just want to let go and let the rock squash me (natural/accidental death). I just can't get over the consequences of suicide on my family, used to be gore suicide pictures was a great way to scare me off..but now? Partial hanging looks like paradise!



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    1. Same. I just want to be UNBORN. But I don't want to push this fucking rock or inflict pain upon myself which might end up leaving me alive in a worse state (is such a thing even possible?).

      Truly, my conviction of not ever awakening consciousness in something else is unparalleled... the only good thing I could possibly do in existence is never inflict it upon anyone else!

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    2. Yup, the best contribution is to make no contribution! The problem with suicide is the sheer lack of grace and dignity available. No one asked to be here, and to have to perform a brutal physical assault on yourself to liberate yourself is surely one of life's most disgusting and damning paradoxes.

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    3. And that`s yet another reason why existence is truly unbearable!

      You are forced to be born, forced to comply with society`s bullshit and forced to live because suicide is ungraceful.

      Life is a forced curse and my parents are entirely to blame for it. Thankfully, I learned from their mistake which is why I will never have kids.

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  7. The irony is that the more one thinks about how much life or existence sucks, the more it actually starts sucking. That's my perception anyway.

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    1. Yeah, it's definitely a negative feedback loop. Problem is, once you've twigged to it and are short on distraction it's hard to avert your eyes from it!

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  8. I think the last line of The Myth of Sisyphus was heavily ironic, not an MGM ending.

    We should remember the first line of that book, perhaps the Greatest First Line Ever:

    "There is only one philosophical question - the question of suicide..." Camus answered it with his own mysterious death.

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    1. Hi, Anthony. Nice to see you here.

      Do you think Camus was being ironic? I'm not sure; he struck me as being deeply wedded to life, in spite of its absurdity, although if 'The Fall' can be read in any way autobiographically he may have been short on hope toward the end. Some even speculate that he was turning toward Christianity.

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    2. I find Camus disingenuine.. he and Satre started off well, but drifted off into an "optimistic mush" (as Gary would call it)... nonsensical, phantasmagorical, futile, illogical, irrational mush.

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    3. And I'm sure your extensive knowledge of their wikipedia pages qualifies you to make that statement.

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    4. Sartre and Camus were two very different fish. Jean-Paul was into celebrity, and might have been the Jimmy Savile of his day ;-) Camus was much more 'grounded'. 'The Plague' is not a cheerful play.

      I wonder would Genet qualify as a realist-antinatalist ? (Just wondering...)

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    5. Don't know much about Genet, although I did see him described as 'the twentieth century's mosr pessimistic writer' recently.

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  9. I dont need qualifications to judge someone`s poor irrational arguments. Justifying life in any way, shape or form is irrational because there is simply no rational justification for this bullshit. Anything else that you`d bother to heap on top of that is just pure mush. And I read their work so I know exactly how they reached their argument.

    I don`t hold any respect for bullshit arguments, whether they are coming from Camus, Sartre or Anonymous.

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    1. "Justifying life in any way, shape or form is irrational because there is simply no rational justification for this bullshit"

      Good to know you have read literally every justification everyone has, will, and are making for life.

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    2. I read pretty much all of them that`s right. Anything else that I haven`t read would have to come from a vivid imagination and since its all irrational I don`t really care about that.

      There is a very limited set of rational arguments with a scientific backing so take your sophistry and other mush elsewhere.

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    3. Please, someone could say that we have to stop breeding because the nameless immortal shadow dwarves demand it, and you'd hail them as a genius.

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    4. Also I thought you were done arguing with useless trolls like me.

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  10. You know what, this is accomplishing nothing. Just forget I said anything(like you wouldn't do that anyway)

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    1. SF, it's a shame you and your like don't actually put forward a reasonable counter-argument instead of just hanging around trolling and making snarky comments. Maybe you just haven't got any.

      Delete
  11. I love the title of this entry :-)

    Metamorphh has a video about Camus' failure to explain how Sisyphus can be happy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9fRUvOVjuU

    To me it makes sense that Camus reproduced. After all, if suicide is the only philosophical question, there can't be any question about bringing more people into the world, even if it's a world in which suicide is the only philosophical question.

    From an obituary for Cioran: "He disliked Sartre and hated Camus, who, he said, had the mentality and culture of a substitute teacher."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-emil-cioran-1588019.html

    I thought that was a funny line.

    Yeah, James Wood seems like a bad person for breeding despite knowing it's wrong. Too bad there's no God to punish those who callously choose to bring more victims into our godless world. I hope James Wood stumbles across this blog sometime so that we can hurt his feelings.

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    1. Thanks, DNA Borg. I remember that vid; it's great stuff.

      Excellent point about Camus. I guess if he felt life could be justified even in the face of absurdity then procreation was a non-issue. A strange logic.

      Quite a good Cioran obit, although slightly soft maybe. Damning line about Camus!

      Cioran is getting a bit more mainstream attention these days, which can only be good:

      http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1044659.ece

      Apparently, JW does surf the web looking for stuff about himself, so who knows? James, if you're out there, please make yourself known:-)

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    2. Interesting article. I never noticed all of Cioran's similarities with Beckett.

      I think we can draw James Wood here if we just keep mentioning him. Maybe he'll write a review of your blog. That will help to prepare the literary scene for your novel, if you ever decide to write it :-)

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    3. Cioran and Beckett were friends, actually, although Beckett ditched him in the end because he thought Cioran was too pessimistic!

      I couldn't imagine a greater compliment to one's negativity than being dumped by Beckett for being too grim!:-)

      Maybe I'll just try and find an email for JW and ask him straight out why he replicated.

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  12. An embodied consciousness constantly tormented, striving and groping for an unattainable happiness and willing to wade through blood (other people’s) to chase it. And this is something worth saving? Give me a break.

    Karl, just last Tuesday, I saw both these articles -- one on my main newspaper, another on its Children's supplement. They speak for themselves:
    News item
    Children's supplement article

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    1. Horrific stuff, Srikant. Poor kid! Nature is no one's friend.

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  13. I'm trapped in a 24h-circle in an autistic manner, and i - the modern Sisyphus - can say: i'm angry, pissed off and suicidal!

    And suicide is not "meaningless"; that's the same bullshit as this: "Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead."


    *** fuck the system but use a condom ***

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    1. Of course suicide is not "meaningless". It's the grand solution to the grand problem of existence.

      Unfortunately, consciousness was a fucking stupid detour taken by existence for no reason or purpose.

      There are no rational arguments against committing suicide while there are tons of rational arguments for the worth of committing suicide

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    2. I think Woods' comment about suicide being meaningless is a desperate, pathetic and transparent attempt to say that we must hang on in life, no matter what. 'Suck it and like it' as Camus, Sartre and so many other one-time truthful people say.

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    3. Karl, I think its evident everywhere because the second you start complaining about how miserable life on all the profoundest level, it won't take long till the question of "why don't you kill yourself" comes up.

      I've had that question asked of me many times and the simple answer to that is that I can't kill myself while there is no graceful way to exit and no guarantee that I will be successful.

      Gary had videos where he said that the second a way to gracefully exit becomes available, he would be the first one in line to exit this nightmare and I agree with him.

      I just want to die in my sleep within an environment guaranteed to do that peacefully and without pain and suffering. Wishing for that every night doesn't help, so the next best thing is to instigate that through other means that can induce the sleep, sort of like anesthesia but one I never wake up from.

      Unfortunately, I can't just walk into the hospital and ask for that. Therefore, I am still here.

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    4. It's funny, but today I hear a girl talk about Tolstoy's 'A Confession' where he describes hoe finding life meaningless, he wanted to kill himself. She said she thought he must have been 'mentally ill'. I despair. Just more proof that the shitty life cycle is going to go on and on until the sun goes nova...

      Oh yeah, in case you've never seen it, here's what's possibly my favourite ever Gary video. He just lets rip!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXUNTxJ48YM&feature=relmfu

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    6. I slowly go through some of Gary's videos but thanks for pointing that one out for me. It was really good. But I've heard videos where he lets it rip even more :)

      I liked the part where he said "Show me something living happily ever after. Everything i've ever encountered doesn't live happily ever after. It dies miserably very soon"

      And that girl you mentioned.. she is like everyone else, hiding behind veneers of self-delusion designed to provide protection and a mental comfort zone to avoid being aware as much as possible about what is happening out there.

      I mean, forget about humans. Look at the animal kingdom. How much of the shit going on there can ever be justified? How much of that suffering can be atoned for? Cycle of life is a bullshit argument designed to justify.. what exactly? Precisely that - NOTHING. It's all done for no rhyme or reason.

      When I see an injured bird lying on the ground or a limping cat or a carcass of a dead animal or even an insect struggling, I know they all struggle in their own ways. The struggle might be different from ours due to the brain circuitry, but its suffering and struggle nevertheless. What can possibly justify that suffering in the universe?

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    7. Karl, do you really think humans will survive until the sun goes Nova? You're too pessimistic :-)

      Great Inmendham video. I'm not sure about my personal favorite Inmendham video, but this is my favorite Inmendham quote:

      "So much on my mind... I've got the whole human race to annihilate, and all the animals to kill... got so much to do."

      Dimasok, I share your view of nature. Nature proves even more clearly than humans do that life is an abomination. I remember, long before I heard about antinatalism, seeing gazelles ripped apart on National Geographic and such and I would think, why don't we just help them to go extinct?

      I don't know if you've seen this Onion video. It's been posted on Metamorphh's blog and the Ligotti boards already:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwxl_-DHqKo

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    8. Dimasok, yes, you're perfectly right. The amount of animal suffering in the world is literally unimaginable. Then consider how many animals are slaughtered in the most brutal fashion possible to satisfy the gullets of humans. Barabaric. (I read somewhere that the French believed that if an animal died in terror, the meat tasted better.)

      And yes, that girl was living in la-la land. All arguments against AN ultimately boil down to a form of egotism: 'I like my life; I don't care how much suffering is going on as long as I don't see or experience it'. Ego pure and simple.

      DNA-Borg,

      Yeah, I am that pessimistic:-) Never forget what ingenious assholes humans are. I once knew a guy who talked about designing a capsule in order to survive the heat-death of the universe!!!!

      Great Gary quote. Any idea which video it comes from?

      And yeah, that's a funny Onion video. There sure are a lot of jaded people working there:-)

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    9. Karl, presto.

      Don't you get frustrated from people who post videos like that:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhn8QKyu00I&feature=plcp

      This is optimistic bullshit. Selfish, "let's procreate" bullshit that tries to psychologically deconstruct the meaninglessness of the universe down to anthropocentric satisfaction and other crap.

      While I will concede that he may perhaps be right that psychologically speaking, when you're at the peak of your happiness, you might not question the meaning of life per se, but what exactly does that have to do with the questions of existence in general? It's essentially just a statement of "I am happy, ergo I need no meaning and fuck everyone else who is not happy and needs meaning even though there is nothing I can do for them to help them be happier about their conditions"

      It's so FACILE. Its mindnumbingly frustrating. While this guy might go a bit deeper into the whole "meaning" question, he is still just as deluded as the girl you mentioned.

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    10. Hmm... you're probably right about humans being able to survive, but there are so many different possible doomsday events, and people in developed countries seem to be losing interest in procreation anyway. I don't think we should lose hope.

      The Gary quote is at 4:10 of this walk-and-talk about his video contest:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0CQ3m90vNI

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    11. Dimasok, those kinds of vid make the puke rise. As we've said, it's fundamentally self-love that's at the heart of it all. 'The show must go on', 'they must go on through their DNA-dolls' etc. No amount of suffering could stop these people.

      Thanks for the vid, DNA-Borg. Looking forward to checking it out.

      Hard to know if the lower birth-rate in the developed world isn't just due to economic hardship. I wonder if the money starts rolling again, will the sperm start flowing with it?

      Of course, disillusionment and ennui is higher in the so-called 'developed' world. Hopefully Africa and all the other poor regions will get rich, get disillusioned, realise it's all crap and lower their cocks once and for all:-)

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    12. Karl, I was thinking about that as well. Gary always stresses in his videos how the birth-rates in the developed world are already low enough to assure the discontinuation of the human race. However, I don't think it has anything to do with the adoption of antinatalist philosophy and more to do with the economic hardship and other factors associated with it. Its all good of course and if there is no other way, then any avenue that leads to the same outcome is good. However, none of these people are abstaining from procreation not due to any philosophical thinking, but because they want to "live for themselves" while hurtling towards oblivion and don't have the money to support any additional conscious beings.

      Ironically, economic hardship is actually unknowingly leading these down-to-earth people to an AN favored outcome.

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    13. Yeah, you mirror my own thinking re.Gary practically word-for-word. Dare I say it, but I think he's actually being a little optimistic on this issue. He tends to ignore the fact that however western birth-rates may be declining, the world stats are still terrifying. Most demographers predict 10 billion by 2050 or so. Also, a friend of mine who recently returned from China told me that the one issue which could trigger a revolution there is the one-child policy. They don't care about not having direct political representation, but they do want more kids. If the Chinese start breeding, prepare to be crowded out!

      By the way, Gary's latest vids critiquing weak atheists are superb, particularly vol. 1.

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    15. Karl, I hope to God I am no longer on this earth in 2050. 10 billion.....it's like perpetually suffocating in an overcrowded elevator. I wish people were clamoring for common sense and compassion rather than babies.

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    16. I don't understand how can anyone want to bring children into THIS overcrowded, horrible existence. For what? to go to work? To experience deprivation of desire/need? To wish for death? To get sick and die or perish in an accident? For what are people giving birth for more children?!

      I KNOW what reality is, i KNOW how much I hate it, i KNOW what it takes to survive in it, i KNOW that the boat will crash horribly very likely before it ever approaches deep water and i KNOW what sort of feeling I am experiencing.

      For the LOVE for all those potential unborn children of mine, I would never want to whisk them away from the calm of nothingness.

      There really is no rational reason why the calm of the unborn should be disturbed!

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  14. According to this page:
    http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/greatc.html

    There are 19 births per 1000 versus 8 deaths per 1000 so yeah, the trend is that we will have even more people and not less. Doesn't really jibe well with what Gary says. Is that due to the third-world countries exclusively?

    Because if it is, then the developed world is not going to help here at all.

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    1. The demographers Karl mentioned expect the population to peak at 10 billion in 2050. After that, the trend that's already occurring in developed countries will take over.

      Gary isn't being optimistic. He's aware that the population is currently increasing, but he says that if living conditions in the developing world improve, the trend will reverse sooner.

      People with access to education and high-tech distractions are less likely to want new DNA-dolls to play with.

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    2. You're probably right. However, I still don't think that even people who don't procreate are driven by any of the things we are talking about here.

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    3. Just wondering...are you from Southeast Asia, dimasok? Your blogger name sounds Malay I think?

      And oh: Hi Karl! I hope you don't mind me silently lurking in your blog all this time :)

      - fellow antinatalist

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    4. Anonymous, no I am from Canada :)

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    5. We can to some extent see birth rates dropping in properly developing countries like India, but I've read that in many African countries, it is still common to have four or five children from one mother.

      Basically this "development" works in two phases: in the first, population grows up like mad because life expectancy is 'improved', and births are made safe for the mother and "safe" for the child. Perhaps people also begin feeling, life is so good with all these technologies, let's make more of it. (As is said of the Baby Boom after WW2.)

      After that, as you say, people stop needing DNA Dolls as badly.

      I've also read that African couples often come to India in order to make Frankenstein babies, so medicine in Africa hasn't yet become that sophisticated. We are perhaps yet to see the scariest birth rates that continent has to show.

      Immigration definitely makes the calculations pretty complex, but I think perhaps USA's population would continue to grow if there weren't any of it? Like Sister Y says, after children have become a financial and emotional burden, people of developed nations have now come up with "meaning" and "pure joy of parenthood" ... perhaps helped by Christianity.

      Fact is, even one-child-per-couple will take over a generation (perhaps half a century) to drop the population by half. And we have around 2^33 people (already). Besides, this trend may reverse later again. Darn!

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    6. If you look at the link in Fetivore's comment above, you can see that Africa does seem to be moving toward higher income and lower fertility, but they are lagging behind the rest of the world.

      The USA has a high GDP per capita, but due to extreme inequality, the quality of life is lower than that of other developed countries, which explains the higher birth rate.

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    7. Ultimately, I'm with Benatar: a population of one is one too many!

      The idea of the planet containing mega-cities everywhere with the dog-eat-dog atmosphere they engender is enough to make me despair more than usual.

      Another thing to bear in mind is the rising prospect of resource wars, which could lead to nuclear conflict eventually. But maybe I'm being optimistic there:-)

      Hi back to the Anonymous AN Lurker. Thanks for commenting!

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  15. http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth.html

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  16. Don't forget cultural factors, which I feel are the even more influential than the level of affluence/poverty, and are also less likely to change.

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  17. 'Children of Men' was never a movie I could empathise with, for obvious reasons....

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  18. I was struck by your last words on this blog entry. 'Keep safe', safe from what? Safe for what? Safe for the further contemplations of the relative meaninglessness of life and death, and possible meaninglessness of all points inbetween? I am no sure how anyone makes a rational decision in a meaningless world, though I am with you about choosing to not breed because breeding perpetuates unhappiness, for my own personal reasons. But beyond that particular little death of the joys of parenthood I enjoy too much the paradox of finding something bracing in nihilism which stops me from totally embracing it. I can live with that paradox, because I find life in it, if it is an irrational paradox well that is fine too-not that I can find it in me to change. 'Take care of your paradoxes' is perhaps what you meant.

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    1. Bearz, we're not actually nihilist, just antinatalist. =) You seem to be non-nihilist / antinatalist too, in fact, as you recognize "unhappiness"!

      As I understand, the "take care" is not to not walk into death, but to not walk into worse misery. Like to not get hit by a bus and lose both our legs.

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    2. Thanks for the comment, Bearz.

      As Srikant said, the 'keep safe' was simply an innocuous wish that people don't get any more shit than is necessary in life.

      And as also stated I wouldn't call my self a nihilist. To me nihilism means no values whatsoever; Antinatalism wants to spare others from pointless suffering so tries to adopt an appropriate attitude.

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    3. Karl, I do agree regarding the AN position for pretty much all the reasons inmendham, metamorph and so many others advocate. However, I think nihilism is really misrepresented in general. I consider myself a nihilist as well but its not really because I think suffering doesn't matter - on the contrary, its the only thing that matters in this stupid game and we shouldn't bring anyone to existence to experience and witness this nightmare.

      However, the reason I say I am a nihilist is because there really is no value in anything anywhere. On the grans scale, nothing at all matters (human or otherwise) so nothing has any importance which is why the state of universal default of no existence, no consciousness, no nothing is the only possible alternative which requires to validation of value or anything else. There should be NOTHING rather than something.

      Only because I am an embodied consciousness do I think that others should not suffer which is why I will never procreate. But outside the anthropocentric human context, had there been no consciousness to experience anything, suffering wouldn't matter either as none of that need/desire machine should have existed and the only reason suffering matters is because it evolved. Otherwise, had we not been suffering due to its evolution, I would say suffering doesn't matter either.

      So I consider myself to be an antinatalist nihilist in a way as well.

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    4. Dimasok, I agree with everything you say, as in that suffering and its avoidance is a subjective sentience-dependent value. Take sentience out of the equation and yes, there is no value anywhere. The universe is a cold and silent place, devoid of values or anything else.

      I suppose the only reason I'd be careful with the nihilist tag is that it gives pro-lifers an easy option to duck out of engaging with AN, as they can say 'Oh, they're just nihilists'. It's a lazy, self-deluding comfort-inducing manouevre, but alas, one all too often practised by those who don't want to contemplate life outside their own smug ego.

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    5. Karl, yes pretty much what you said. But pro-natalist cling to any argument just so they could go back to attacking the character of the person who is making it without reading his rationale behind the argument first.

      Even though inmendham always says that he is far from being a nihilist, I am sure that if he were to read the way me and you views nihilism through this rationale prism, he would agree with us completely.

      There is nothing good about life and this horrible need/desire machine and I can proclaim without any doubt that it would be better had I never been born. When I first read Benatar's book (my first official exposure to AN term), I knew that I found the one philosophy that is to rule all other philosophies in terms of how deep and compassionate it is and also in terms of how easy it is to avoid perpetuating the grand error (simply don't procreate).

      Benatar was academically limited by what he could say, but I think that's where Gary, Jim, other philosophers and you guys were able to fill in the gaps.

      I am an antinatalist because I am a profound pessimist and nihilist and I would never want to subject someone who doesn't need it (the unborn) to the frustrating hell of life with all its problems and atrocities that I experience myself all the time. I can't fathom being anything else but an AN.

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    6. Snap to all that. As Shadow says in his latest blog entry, AN is the philosophy that treats all other issues with a big yawn. I remember Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign, where they coined the 'It's the economy, stupid' as a phrase to get to the heart of America's problems while people were blathering about other issues. I feel like getting t-shirts and posters done up saying:

      "It's EXISTENCE, stupid"

      I've been feeling quite angry lately, just watching people barreling on mindlessly in their hedonistic bubbles, shitting out kids left, right and centre. Even if people aren't AN, wouldn't they think it's not exactly a great time to have kids in terms of the global economy, world population, resources etc etc? But no, on they go regardless. No doubt if the end of the world were nigh, they'd still be at it, the dumb jerks.

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  19. Most people like their lives and there are too many amazing experiences to enjoy. We shouldn't end all life just because of few melancholic losers who will regret being born in some point of their lives.

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    1. There you have it in a nutshell, ladies and gents. "I'm having a great time, and fuck everyone else and all the world's suffering as long as I get my kicks".

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    2. Seriously Anonymous, are you for real? Is that the only self-centered argument you can produce?

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    3. I mean, you're talking about antinatalalists characters in an ad-hominem matter and not about antinatalism per se as as Gary frequently says in this video for instance:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IQ4BgTXCPtk#!

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    4. "I can't get laid therefore everything should end"

      Go find a grilfriend Karl.

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    5. Anon is the person that drives past a horrible car crash and thinks i'm glad that's not me in there

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    6. Well then let's just continue perpetuating the human race so they can continue torturing animals in research labs, factory farms, fur farms..since it doesn't bother you any...you're having such a good time after all. What does it matter to you if billions of innocent animals are screaming in agony every second of every day. What does it matter to you, Anonymous, that I cry every day because I was born severely deformed? The only reason you're having such a pleasant time in life is because you are ignoring those of us living in hell.

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    7. Its pointless. AN is foolproof in terms of rationality, and thus, the only thing others can do is attack the character of the people making the arguments.

      It's laughable, but oh well, every time they speak, it just shows how irrational people are.

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    8. My god, what a horrific story. And this is the sort of world that most people ultimately give the thumbs-up to.

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  21. Karl, you know what else frustrates me? When AN themselves get caught up in nuances of the language. Let's take DerivedEnergy for instance with his video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yDzVM-nFC-4#!

    What "prospect"? There is no such thing as "prospect" in a universe and existence as meaningless as this. Prospect towards what? Reducing deprivation by gaining more income? I really hate when people get caught up in using weird concepts to supposedly prop up AN.

    AN doesn't need to be propped up - its as sound as it can get.

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    1. And non-existence is preferable to existence in ALL circumstances, not just "some" as he says.

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    2. Yeah, I sometimes wonder when I hear Gary talk about 'improving' society and so on. I think that maybe because he lives a hermit's lifestyle in the woods that he forgets just how antithetical AN is to the mainstream. No society will ever adopt it as a philsophy, to do so would be almost a contradiction, as 'society' and Antinatalism are opposites by definition.

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    3. I would like to express my sincere thanks to you, Karl, for providing such an uplifting and philosophically enlightening blog.

      Childlessness is indeed the supreme moral imperative. There can be no greater act of mercy and rectitude than to spare one's unborn progeny of the unbearable wretchedness of life.

      Although nonexistence is always preferable to existence, and any determined individual may be sucessful in attaining childlessness, the fact that there is nothing we can do to prevent our own existence or at least gracefully escape from our existence, with no more than a modicum of pain and constraint, only serves to infinitely amplify the horror of existence.

      The undesirable outcome is the most probable. This guiding precept falls in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which denies all hopes of salvation from the intolerable misery of existence. Happiness entails order and necessitates an inexhaustible input of free energy. Therefore, all joy must remain forever only a dream.

      What is desperately needed in our society is a compassionate pessimism that acknowledges the fundamental unpleasantness of existence, and seeks to thoroughly question our preconceived and dogmatic notions of happiness.

      Though it may be nearly impossible to convince anyone, especially those who are prisoners of the unrelenting control of our biological instincts and culturally programmed optimistic predilections, of the philosophical and ethical merits of antinatalism the best that we can hope to do is at least enumerate the myriad of problems that plague human existence.

      Please continue your good work.

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    4. Karl, I agree. Check out this video for instance:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEmWn0KGNxo

      After such truthful statements, I don't know why he even bothers talking about virtual reality or how to improve society. All of that is really meaningless.

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    5. Thanks for the kind words, Anonymous.

      I agree about society. It's horribly ironic that societies automatically reject philosophical pessimism, as I reckon that if such an attitude were adopted, and people just said 'we're all trapped in this shit together. Let's see how we can help each other out and make it as bearable as possible' then we'd see a lot more fairness and compassion. As it is, society is founded on deluded optimism and baselss notions of forward movement that generate massive inequalities and conflict.

      Dimasok, to be honest, even when he talks about art, grace and dignity in that video, I take umbrage. I've very high standards of pessimism:-)

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    6. Karl, I know exactly what you mean :)

      Sometimes, its hard for me to reconcile Gary's profound pessimism of life which we all share with his other talk regarding virtual reality, the economy, work, etc.

      I mean, if you reject civilization and all life in general, why does any of that matter at all? Shadow would agree with me here.

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  22. Would it be best to say that we, as finite individuals, are powerless to persuade the world of the merits of philosophical pessimism? Philosophical pesssimism, taken to its logical conclusion, leads to a state of intellectual catatonia, when the philosophically inclined and emotionally sensitive individual realizes the impossibility of any redemption or salvation whatsoever, either for himself or for the world.

    I am utterly exhausted by the gross socioeconomic discrepancies, disempowerment, prejudice, favoritism, and mediocrity that abound in this world. I see no possibility of utopia or even a modest amelioration of the human condition.

    My state of childlessness will be my greatest accomplishment and my sole consolation in my last moments of consciousness. Though we may be able to spare our progeny of the unsatisfactory nature of conscious existence, it is still truly tragic that our own existence could not have been prevented. The best we can do is to minimize any unpleasantness by maintaining a modest lifestyle, where at least the basic needs of food and distraction, are obtained, but, with increasing economic disparities and rising food prices in developed nations, this may prove to be doubtful.

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    2. Anonymous: isn't it horrible that we can't even obtain the basic needs of foods and distraction within the imposed conditions of society that were superimposed on the initial imposition of birth?

      I find it utterly disgusting how the bare minimum to reduce suffering somehow is becoming increasingly inaccessible even though none of us asked to be brought here to struggle!

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  23. Honestly, I am frequently very frustrated with the reason some people are AN. While things like lack of consent, damage to the environment and to others, suffering and many others are all legitimate reasons and ones I utilize myself in nearly every discussion, I am disappointed that so many AN don't find life absolutely hideous and a meaningless, useless mess in an uncaring infinity and don't quote those as reasons not to exist only taking into account the net positive or negative of experiences.

    I think there is a spectrum of AN thinking and I think Karl, Shadow, myself and whoever wants to join us here fall within the profoundly pessimistic/misanthropic/nihilistic category of thinkers (that is the extreme right I suppose) while many others fall to the far left where they quote a reason or two not to have kids and still think that life has a point or that pleasures make life worthwhile.

    Nothing makes life worthwhile. NOTHING. Even pure 24/7 bliss won't suddenly make me bring anyone into existence into this need/desire machine of meaningless and temporary slavery.

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    1. I find myself drifting more and more to the right of the spectrum. When I debate AN with my pro-existence friends, I generally respond to the "why don't you kill yourself" argument by saying that life can be worth continuing, but the more I actually think about it, the more pro-mortalist I become.

      On page 30 of this paper, Benatar explains why pro-mortalism doesn't follow from his asymmetry:

      http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/philosophy/Benatar%20Every%20conceivable%20harm.pdf

      He goes on to argue against weak antinatalist arguments that are not based on the asymmetry. He says that since his argument that coming into existence is always a harm is stronger, it is a better way to argue for antinatalism.

      I think that the argument that non-being is better than being is even stronger than the argument that coming into existence is a harm. I agree with Karl's hypothesis that because Benatar is an academic, he can't openly advocate suicide. Otherwise, I see no reason why he would go so far out of his way to argue against pro-mortalism.

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    2. I think you're right. Non-being is better than being is actually stronger than the other argument because it subsumes the other argument in it and yet manages to come out stronger.

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    3. Dimasok, I am certainly very impressed with the clarity of logic you exemplify in your condemnation of existence. You are a true antinatalist, having freed yourself from every illusion that the subconscious fabricates in order to ensure our continued attachment to existence.

      What exactly should we do with our lives, once we are set on the path of childlessness?

      We are prisoners of existence, since existence could be the sole and necessary means of achieving nonexistence. The utter inevitability of conscious being is deeply horrifying to me. Aside from the mere fact of existing as individuals, taking into consideration also this "lottery of life" we come into, in which each individual finds himself a captive of a certain body, ethnicity, physiological constitution, socioeconomic status, etc. (all factors that will that completely dictate his every experience and action), only serves to exacerbate the infinite horror.

      Ultimately, one must contend with the practical and logistical difficulties of ending one's existence, since, suicide is the logical culmination of a pessimistic and nihilistic worldview. I do not see any prospects of euthanasia being legalized for individuals who may be burdened by the "weariness of life." Our so-called "mental health professionals" will simply assign us to the appropriate pharmaceuticals to calm our existential anxiety.

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    4. I agree with all of the above. Lately, the most powerful AN argument in my mind is the sheer NON-NECESSITY of Being. There is no need to procreate, no need to disturb nothingness, nothing ultimately to be gained. Even if life were 99.99% joy, this would still hold. To create means to imprison someone in the network of contingent facts Anonymous lists. Why do it? What possible good can it serve?

      I also think people undrestimate the sheer pointlessness of all life. Each individual life comes to an end, the sun will one day swallow up the earth, the universe will close in on itself one day. If those facts aren't enough to induce a sense of pointlessness and 'why bother?', I don't know what would.

      As for pro-mortalism, yes. I think most people are in fact pro-mortalist without realising it. When someone commits suicide, all bar the lunatic fringe feel sympathy and compassion for the person who's exited, we respect their decision. We don't say 'Oh, he/she should have hung on. They could have had so many more big macs/orgasms/sun holidays/soaps to watch etc etc'. For me, it's about whether life is bearable, not worth living.

      As for how to get through life, for me it's a defensive battle. I hope to have enough to have a roof over my head and time to read, reflect and write a bit. As Laura says below, some periods will be better than others, but if you've got a serious AN attitude, I find it hard to see how a life other than one of passivity and endurance is possible.

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    5. Karl, amen to all that!

      I went to Gary's stickam yesterday and talked to him and the guys there for a bit.. and rest assured, it was a typical chat room shenanigans happening there... almost no discussion of AN and a lot of discussion about politics, capitalism and other shit like that.

      Karl you should start a stickam too so we could actually discuss the relevance of AN itself and not the moot issues of existence and survival as they are presented AFTER birth which is again beside the point and irrelevant.

      For me life is a battle of attrition... I know everything is pointless and whatever personal woes befall me is beside the point but nevertheless adds to the suffering and amplifies the feeling that it should end very soon and that continuing on with this fake game and feigning interest in any aspect of it is becoming truly impossible.

      Its just sad that a 15-years old girl in BC has recently committed suicide due to cyber-bullying... so essentially, due to suffering brought on her by other people and yet I can't do that when I am 26-years old with a much more encompassing set of reasons for committing suicide, from the stupid, pointless cycle of life, to existential, social and nihilistic futility to mundane interactions with the pointless work,suffer,play,suffer,die circle of viciousness.

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    6. I've occassionally listened in on Stickam and sometimes it's interesting, but, to be honest, a lot of the time it's just idiots who show up there. It's only fun when Gary gets angry and starts ranting and raving:-)

      Suicide due to cyberbullying. So much for the innocence of childhood. This world is getting uglier and uglier.

      By the way, I forgot to give a big thanks to DNA Borg for posting a link to that Benatar paper. Thanks, man! Plenty of food for thought there. I was particularly struck by the guy making light of suicide, Smilansky or some such (appropriate that such a jerk should nearly have the word 'smile' in his name). People's lack of compassion and empathy is truly stunning.

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    7. Karl I read that paper and once again, the criticism leveled against Benatar is too sophistic and too tangled up in various definitions and language confusion (as Wittgenstein would say) that simply fails to capture the essence of what Benatar is saying.

      I can also have an argument then to these critics: by bringing a particular person into existence at time "x" who would theoretically be forever happy, you are preventing the formation of another person who could have been born at time "y" (basically, if you had sex a few seconds/minutes later) and who would have been just as happy.

      There is far too much that can be argued if all terms are twisted and turned just to argue against an argument.

      I also think Benatar fails to mention the simple fact that there is no meaning or purpose behind existence, humanity isn't accomplishing anything and that the universe has no itch that it wants life to scratch and thus the perpetuation of happiness OR suffering in the universe is NOT the duty of any sentience.

      Why create a need/desire where none were needed before? Even 0.000000001 chance of suffering is enough to warrant not making something out of nothing, especially if there is no duty to do so, everything ends in death anyways and the universe is hurtling towards oblivion and life is meaningless and pointless in general also.

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    8. Again, I think the PC nature of academia prevents Benatar from elaborating on either the meaninglessness of existence or the misanthropic argument for AN. If he did so, it would be far easier for smug critics to label him a crank and write him off without having to engage his arguments.

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    9. Karl, I actually emailed Benatar (I deduced his email address somehow) and got a response today.

      "Dear Dima

      Thanks for your email. I am inundated with correspondence about the book and thus I hope that you will understand and excuse a brief reply.

      If you look carefully at my book you will see that in the asymmetry argument I explicitly indicate that pleasure and pains are only exemplars of harms and benefits and that my argument applies more generally. It is not restricted to hedonistic considerations. If you look at chapter three you will see that I discuss many issues well beyond pleasure and pain, including desire fulfilment and objective list theories. These include some of the issues you raise in your email. The other existential matters will be the subject of future work.

      Regards,
      David Benatar"

      So, a new book is coming apparently that will address existential questions, probably within the framework of asymmetry.

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    10. Just to clarify, my original email to him was this:

      "Hi David,

      My name is Dima and read your book "The Harm of coming into existence".

      I just had a question. In that book and in your paper published in January, you only address the question of existence as it relates to the net weight of positive or negative experiences.

      Why did you decide not to include arguments of a philosophical nature that are always a harm even outside the pleasure/pain dichotomy? We are specks of dust in an indifferent, infinite blackness accomplishing absolutely nothing (the universe has no itch it needs life to scratch) on the way to oblivion both subjectively (i.e death) as well as objectively (i.e. heat death of the universe and or milder versions of sun becoming a red giant, Andromeda collides with Milky Way, etc). There is no meaning or purpose to any of it and the need/desire machine that evolved out of the blind DNA molecule only created a need and everyone keeps perpetuating it for no rhyme or reason when the human race is in fact more than expendable: its just irrelevant.

      Also, the social structure surrounding all life is an imposition just as much as life itself is an imposition: work, play and die. What's the point of that?

      I am just wondering how come you didn't address so many of these aspects?

      Thanks"

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  24. Dimasok, I don't think that the kind of AN's that you call of the "left" think that their life has a point or is worthwile, but rather they just drift along with it as long as their personal circumstances aren't too horrible. It's happened to me repeatedly: when things go fairly well in my life, my mood lightens up a bit, but when things go bad due to financial insecurity or other reasons, I have about the same feelings and thoughts as you.

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    1. Laura, that may very well be so, no doubt. I was just suggesting that it appears that even such a philosophy as AN has a spectrum as well. I've met many AN who claimed that you don't need to be a pessimist in order to be an AN for instance and I find it extremely hard to reconcile that.

      It reminds me of Atheists who claim that life is wonderful even though they essentially acknowledged all the horrors about it.

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    2. Richard Dawkins has a new series on British tv tomorrow entitled 'Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life'. I can only imagine how bad it'll be. The blurb says something about using science as 'consolation'. The usual bull.

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    3. Oh god I can only imagine how much crap he is going to throw at viewers there. "Life is precious because you are lucky to be alive".

      Ewww... vomit.

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    4. I just looked up 'Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life' on YouTube. Started to puke after the first forty seconds.

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    5. I stopped watching when he asked "How can an atheist find meaning in a world without God and afterlife?"... ehmm.. he can't?!

      I will probably finish watching it later just to come back here and rain down some expletives at the malarkey Dawkins produced.

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  25. I'm still here, bro... silently observing. I've been trying desperately to decorate my little corner of this proverbial sewer, but without much success. Make the best of a bad situation. Whenever I start to feel comfortably numb, some cunt starts clinging to me at my workplace and wants to talk about things like her "biological clock", or if I have/want to have children. Goddammit, man... I feel like an open powder keg standing next to an encroaching flame. Bipedal apes better step the fuck back, know what I mean?

    So yup, I'm good. If I'm angry, that's as good as it gets dude ;)

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    1. Hey, man. Great to hear from you!

      Yup, I know what you mean about anger. If I have to get out of the way of one more onrushing buggy, things could get nasty:-)

      I think if most people knew what I thought about things, they'd never talk to me again.

      As Ligotti said, "I couldn't even begin to write something that would express my true aversion to everything that exists".

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    2. Karl, you might want to check out this video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uuI2bonis0

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  26. Life is simply an entropy-accelerating system, and the world's current weapons technology represents the highest level of manifestation that the "will-to-die" has attained since the Big Bang. Conflict and the concomitant deterioration of energy and matter are fundamental to all levels of organization, from humans to institutions to nations.

    It is regrettably only a matter of time before increasing global economic disparities, political and social repression will unleash the vast accumulation of rage that has been damned up to an infinite degree over the millenia.

    Man's departure from the stage of Cosmic Evolution will be horrifyingly traumatic.

    Julius Bahnsen, Philipp Mainlander and Ulrich Horstmann are the Holy Trinity of Philosophical Pessimism. Reading Horstmann's beautiful essay "Das Untier" brings much comfort and consolation from the drudgery of existence.

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    1. Well said, Anonymous, unfortunately, the predominantly Anglophone community of antinatalists around the world may not be acquainted with the profound wisdom of Julius Bahnsen.

      Julius Bahnsen would have probably considered antinatalism as just another futile attempt of the feeble human intellect to awaken from the "eternal nightmare of existence" and find ego-satiation in a meaningless world.

      The fundamental principle of reality is absolute illogic, and the essence of existence an eternally self-tormenting contradiction, from which escape is impossible. However, he would have given enough intellectual credit to antinatalism to place it in the category of his Final Illusion that the wise man must overcome.

      According to Bahnsen, even suicide is useless, since, upon death, one becomes again an invisible act of will only to be reborn into this "abyss of insanity."

      It is quite possible that the wretchedness of being is everlasting and irreconcilable, and any hope of redemption, either through antinatalism, or any other pessimistic worldview, is but a vain striving for the "metaphysically impossible."

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    2. I did hear about the holy trinity as you call them from Ligotti's book but yes, they're even more obscure than Cioran and others.

      While I do agree with both of you guys regarding the futility of existence and the inevitability of destruction, I have qualms about antinatalism being called "the final illusion".

      If anything, AN is the overcoming of any illusion and even though attempts to "awaken from the eternal nightmare of existence" and "ego-satiation in a meaningless world" are pointless, I think the final aim of AN is to bring about the end of all sentience through an acknowledgement of all that horror and the acceleration of demise through the least amount of suffering and elimination of all future suffering.

      For example, I am completely awakened to the horrors of existence and find no ego-satiation whatsoever through being an AN in a meaningless world and I fully acknowledge all the horrors of existence that you mentioned.

      I don't think suicide is useless as you say though.

      While everything is conceptually useless when compared with the "abyss of insanity", I am not sure what you mean when you say "reborn" - you're not reborn anywhere when you cease to exist and not procreating also guarantees that no one else is reborn into that abyss.

      I think that the most rational choice I can glean from these three philosophers is to willfully eradicate the abyss through the pressing of the red button right now and end it all for everyone and all births and all deaths of the future will be rendered invalid through that act.

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    3. Dimasok, thank you kindly for responding to my comments regarding the philosophy of Julius Bahnsen.
      According to Bahnsen, upon death, though our physical embodiment ceases to exist, we become, what we were before birth, an "insatiable and lustful impulse originating from the metaphysical inconceivability" that is inexplicably, of course, driven back into existence - "an inextricable tangle of contradictions of the most tragic negativity."
      Bahnsen precisely considered complete annhilation (a la "red-button") - "the vain striving for the metaphysically impossible" since life, possesses a certain cockroach-like "existential stubborness", rendering it difficult to exterminate effectively. Eliminating life on Earth would be insufficient (due to the evolutionary resilience of microorganisms, safely hidden in terrestrial subsurfaces and the fact that it only took 500 million years for sentient macrorganisms to evolve). We would have to truly bring all reality to an end, which would demand that we annihilate the very root of Being, which is itself a "contradiction never to be overcome, therefore not simply ideal, but real."

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    4. I don't know about the other two (Bahnsen & Horstmann) but i do agree that ANs have a sort of messiah complex like Mainlander. All those youtube antinatalist cling to that rage against life passion and honestly i'm amazed that they can hold on for so long because it's pretty exhausting (i used to be one of those posting youtube crusaders). I'm reminded of Tim's blog Todo and how keep on hammering about life is bad and the antinatalism agenda is pointless.

      The suicide is not an option or not an escape is a cop out. Logic indicates death is the end. People like Inmendham saying that there are no good methods to exit are kidding themselves. You don't have to be ashamed to admit that you are afraid of death (DerivedEnergy confesses this) instead of trying to find excuses.

      Even Dimasok here, how he romantices non existence "oh oblivion" while deep down you come of as someone who is damn afraid of it (nothing wrong with it). If you are not going to take that final step, you need to deal with life. period. There is no great cosmic battle where the antinatalist is victorious, the babies will keep popping and no one cares.


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    5. I will respond in order:

      Anonymous: well, when I speak of "eliminating all life", I am referring precisely to the metaphysical elimination of the root of all being. Now, I am not sure if that's something that is conceivable at all but I can definitely see how the elimination of all life on Earth wouldn't suffice. Would the elimination of the universe suffice or some sort of brain-like membrane could collide with another brain-like membrane trillions of years from now and create yet another universe where life will evolve? Do you consider the heat-death of the universe to be equivalent to the "root of all being"? I suspect not, but I would like to know anyway.

      Mahomet: A lot of AN rage is indeed misguided and while I enjoy a lot of inmendham's videos, he is very mistaken in other categories of existence that are concerned with other subjects so he is very inconsistent when it comes to bringing the AN mindset to anything but AN.

      I think when Gary says there are no good methods to exit, he means "graceful exits". Every method one could think of necessarily is painful and/or does not guarantee 100% success.

      I do agree with you that I am afraid of non-existence as much as anyone else who romanticizes it and I can't escape that mental trap because I am an embodied consciousness with a will-to-live and full of psychological fallacies and survival mechanisms, no doubt about that.

      I also agree that unless you die, you basically deal with life until the moment life does you in in one way or another even if you don't decide to end it yourself... and that's truly tragic. Still, I consider it a strength that despite all my intellectual and emotional baggage against existence and its horrors, that philosophy taught me that I could, at the very least, not bring others to face the same nightmares as I am facing. Isn't that by itself a mini-victory for my self that is incapable of bringing enough harm to itself to plunge voluntarily into oblivion due to the fear of death? You be the judge on that...

      In terms of your last comment... there is no cosmic battle to be won by the human race at all; period. Life is a struggle of embodied need/desire that starts from deprivation, never gets satisfied and ends in oblivion from which it started and took a useless detour from. No one is victorious. Life is a fail in the cosmos and AN who is truly aware of all that (and a lot of AN are not by the way) probably has the heftiest load to carry of them all.

      I think your comment here could be linked to the Anonymous comment above as you both essentially are saying the same thing: "babies will keep popping out even if we are destroyed", that is, the metaphysical root of all life will keep creating life and unless it is destroyed, all AN quests are futile.

      So, we come to the conclusion that the root of all evil that is the metaphysical existence of the inconceivable impulse is the thing that needs to be destroyed in order for babies or any sentience at all to stop popping into existence, to destroy the very concepts of life and death and consciousness that becomes aware of them and to generally obliterate the framework that gives rise to the impulse. The Kantian and Schopenhaurian "will-of-life" or "noumena".

      Can we do that?

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    6. Here's where my lack of German becomes a frustration as I would dearly love to read the 'unholy trinity'. Does anyone know if Horstmann's 'Das Untier' has been translated into English?

      Incidentally, I found a lengthy article on Bahnsen in English today. If anyone would like a copy, please feel free to email me at w1.karl@gmail.com and I'd be happy to forward it on.

      DImasok, agree about the weight of cosmic meaninglessness. I think that crushes me more than anything else.

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    7. Karl, i tried to find a translation but no to avail. I think the "unholy trinity" is even more obscure than Zapffe... believe it or not.

      I am just so tired of going through this mundane bullshit and lying to myself about everything in order to get through the day. I mean, I figured out what existence is and its horrors as well as where I stand in the grand scheme of things... so now what? Work, fun (whatever that means after work) and die?

      If I could muster the courage to off myself I would but as Mahomet said, unless death does me in one way or another, I still have to contend with the conditions imposed on me after the grand imposition of life. No escaping that while being alive.

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    8. Thank you, Dimasok, for inviting me to provide some additional comments.

      I propose, extrapolating from Bahnsen’s writings, that the heat-death of the universe will bring only a momentary (from the perspective of eternity) restoration of the equilibrium between the “metaphysically explicable” and the “metaphysically inexplicable” until the quantum fluctuations (which Bahnsen described as the “sadistic primordial cravings for Being” and an “insatiable thirst for Eternal Torture”) begin to regenerate, polymerize and amplify, and then – BOOM – a new “Cosmic Slaughterhouse” will surge forth from the “wretched loins of Unrelenting Potentiality.” No more than 15.6 billion years later, we will again find a world, amongst countless ones, where “all longing for joy and hope of redemption have been cruelly suffocated by the unforgiving Law of Suffering, which remains forever supreme.”

      As Bahnsen says, “our miserable World-Period is only one of an endless succession of traumatizing nightmares, from which any anticipation of awakening is but a vain moaning for the unspeakably impossible.”

      Aside from an invitation to succumb to paralyzing despair, Bahnsen offers the “despicably wise, yet helpless” only the indescribable pain that comes from the inability to surrender oneself to the inescapable necessity of this “Cosmic Brutality.”

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    9. Anonymous: I love reading the parts about "sadistic primordial cravings" and "wretched loins of Unrelenting Potentiality". What a great way to describe this "cosmic slaughterhouse"!

      I tend to agree with you here... even though its impossible to conceptualize the creation/destruction of the metaphysical impulse even if all life is wiped clean, it still rings true to me that all of this may very well regenerate again at some point even if everything gets wiped today.

      This gets me pretty depressed. Essentially, there is no hope at all even in the ultimate destruction of all reality and I think that's where science will always be lacking - the lack of an origin point (that is to say, the metaphysical impulse) makes any attempts to eliminate suffering only temporary and even the best case scenario of Antinatalists is only a makeshift, patchwork solution for the current sufferers and the ones they bring forth (but will hopefully not do) and not a solution against suffering as a "metaphysical craving of an impulse".

      Still, I don't think there is anything more rational than AN. Yes, we can't deal with the reality that will be left here after we're gone and we surely can't deal with the metaphysical impulse that will remain even if all reality gets obliterated... however, i think AN is the most we can do as suffering consciousness to prevent others from coming here and witnessing this nightmare.

      Its mindboggling to think however that all of these attempts will not prevent consciousness from reforming and perpetuating itself in suffering even if AN is successful :(

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    10. I express my sincere gratitude to you Dimasok for your intellectual honesty, and for taking the time and patience to join me in this very fruitful discussion regarding the endpoints of our philosophical woes.

      I solemnly proclaim that as long as there are courageous warriors, like you, who have completely devoted their “Everlasting Sentence” to the vehement condemnation of all reality and to the unremitting struggle against the "Cosmic Puppeteer," then the universe has already been redeemed.

      I believe the following Buddhist prayer aptly articulates the fundamentally compassionate spirit of all antinatalists:

      "For as long as space endures
      And for as long as living beings remain,
      Until then may I too abide
      To dispel the misery of the world."
      -Santideva

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    11. Redeemed for whom? It might sound nice in fantasy.. but nothing has changed for anyone.

      Same old, same old, till I drop dead.

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  27. Hey Dimasok,

    I particulary do not care about graceful but the pain factor makes sense. Nembutal, Helium or Carbon Monoxide or any peaceful handbook cocktails are the winners here. You are right it's not a 100% and if you are found early you can suffer brain damage. You need to plan it well and you will succeed. The courage to do it and the whole survival instinct is another thing of course. I admit i'm terrified but having an escape clause gives me peace. I will kill myself but not today (a coward in limbo).

    " Isn't that by itself a mini-victory"

    It is, all your suffering had a purpose. The trick is how to live after the great revelation, somehow i always believed i would uncover it but it al went downhill from there.

    "Can we do that?"

    Honestly no idea, probably not.

    " the weight of cosmic meaninglessness. I think that crushes me more than anything else."

    Same here, but when i think about it i can't be satisfied. I would be more horrified it there was some sort of cosmic purpose and at the same time i feel this longing for real purpose.

    "If I could muster the courage to off myself"

    Join the club, i would suggest you mentally prepare for suicide. Even searching for suicide methods is a good way to process those feelings. I have my plan all set up, learned a great deal about checking out but i'm still stuck at the survival instinct phase. I give it one more hellish year and i'm damn sure i will have the strength to get out this shithole. Whatever you do Dimasok, i wish you good luck.

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    1. Mahomet, well, you would know when I left this shithole as I would no longer post here for a very prolonged period of time. Actually, for all eternity..

      I've read up about suicide methods way back in the past when I was suicidal (I've actually been like that all my life even before stumbling upon pessimism and AN) but its the courage and overcoming the survival instinct that's the real trouble.

      Good luck to you too Mahomet

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  28. Dimasok, that's exciting news about a potential new Benatar book! Nearly a reason to carry on living, even:-)

    I emailed Horstmann about an English translation of 'The Beast', but, alas, it's only been translated into Japanese.

    By the way, the Dawkins docu was of the utmost banality. There's another episode next week, where I suspect he'll try to show how science can provide 'meaning'. He tried to talk up the fact that our genes are 'immortal', but given that entropy rules and immortality is no more a provider of meaning than anything else, it was all pretty lame.

    The only nugget of interest was that apparently those who do not procreate live longer! There you go: Nature will punish us to the end for not obeying her dictates!

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    1. Karl, it was indeed a very vomitful documentary...

      I think Dawkins falls well within the range of Benatar's Pollyanna's adaptation idea.

      He figured out there is no God and meaning so he came up with a delusional idea that science can give meaning without all that so he essentially adapted to the circumstances without realizing how truly insane he sounds :) The Dawkins delusion indeed...

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    2. I found that piece where Benatar was commenting on Dawkins:

      http://vorosh.blogspot.ca/2008/03/optimism-delusion.html

      How very well written :) I wonder how come the other 2 parts weren't published..

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    3. i only found part 3:
      http://vorosh.blogspot.ca/2008/03/proof-of-existence-of-fairies.html

      Optimism* has no influence on reality, but reality has influence on pessimism.
      (* same for faith, hope, wishing e.t.c.)

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    4. That wasn't from Benatar but their own response which, as expected, was too poetical with zero philosophical value...

      I guess only Part 1 actually dealt with Benatar..

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  29. Wow, this is quite an active comments section, almost like a forum! :)

    Anyway, I think it may be worth commenting using my Google alias (I was the anonymous lurker back here: http://goo.gl/HqNam)

    So where to start...well, here's a blog post I had summarizing my antinatalist experience:

    http://goo.gl/6r7S0

    I've been antinatalist, even way before I learned there was even such a term (I got to learn of the term "antinatalism" just a few years back, from maybe Google's 30th page while browsing a suicide topic, imagine!). I just realized way back then that, it simply was better never to have existed. I just knew that if I didn't exist, I wouldn't care if I'll never know joy, but at least I'll never know pain either, precisely which I think is where Benatar's "asymmetry" is coming from. And you can just imagine how discovering an online antinatalism circle was big revelation for me!

    Now what I want to share in particular would be my personal curiosity with the possibility for an "antinatalist fantasy fiction". As I said, I've been antinatalist even before I came to learn the term, and it's most strongly reflected in my personal stash of fiction--"personal", since they're mostly never have been written and have always remained figments of my imagination (perhaps they didn't want to exist either? lol!)

    As for what I did manage to write, here's one particular I'd like to share:

    http://amorescelestia.blogspot.com/2008/12/genesis.html

    The whole collection of this fiction is titled "Amores Celestia". It's mostly anime/fantasy-inspired, and it starts as the usual good-vs-evil kind of story. But as foreshadowed by the Genesis story, it isn't really what it seems. The reason Kashaar Hanaan came about attacking Hevon the Creator was precisely because He "created", and so Kashaar Hanaan ended up existing, as everything else did. All except perhaps Assanthael, who somehow "She alone became of Her own Will". To spoil the story (as I really doubt I'd ever get to publish this fiction): the supposed villain Kashaar Hanaan becomes the champion of Non-Existence, who didn't give shit about "Good and Evil", and does a Final Battle with Assanthael, who becomes the Almighty Celestia, the full realization of Existence and all its hopes and tyranny--the "Mira'soh" (an interesting back-story: Assanthael actually started from a different universe as a college transgirl who comitted suicide, but that's a different body of fiction altogether :D).

    Anyway, I apologize if I ended up exploiting this comments page rather than writing an entry on my long-forsaken blog. But I really just had to share, something different I hope from what people here are discussing at the moment. I may post more about it, if anyone here is interested. :)

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    1. Lady Datu: I enjoyed your blog post immensely. It was very well written and covered pretty much most of the bases of AN. Well done! That's precisely why we're all here :) To not spread the evil of existence to others.

      I also thought the story was well-written as well. I love anime/fantasy so for me it was a double blessing :)

      Keep em coming!

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    2. Hi dimasok! Thanks for appreciating my posts. Will be posting some more thoughts every now and then, hopefully with Karl's permission :)

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    3. Hi, Lady Datu. Most certainly! All are welcome:-)

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  30. I have been happy before in dreams where I dreamed I was in a completely other world, vastly different from this one. I can honestly say I have never experienced any happiness in my real life (non-dreaming state). It kills me to have a dream where I am so happy and then to wake up and come back to this. What is this life? It doesn't even feel real to me. I swear I just don't recgnize this world or this body I'm living in. How the f# did we get here? Everybody's worst nightmare is to be forced to suffer and have no way out. We're so trapped. I am not committing suicide because I'm too scared of pissing god off if there is one.

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    1. If there was a god, precisely more the reason we ought to hate such an egoistic being who created life to toy around :)

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    2. I've often had similar thoughts about god, if such a being were to exist. What could have been his(?) reason to create us, but for us, with all our drama and turmoil, to provide him entertainment? And to gratify his ego by worshiping him and constantly pleading with him out of fear? Why the hell would I praise someone for forcing me to exist? And why would I worship, and be compelled to appease, a narcissistic sadist?

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    3. "By no means is the nature of our world made by Divine Grace for our benefit, so severe are the flaws by which it stands beset." - Lucretius

      The Epicurean argument from evil is sufficient to preclude the possibility of an intelligent, benevolent and omnipotent creator. A true God would be devoid of the three properties of existence as defined by Philipp Mainlander - Necessity-Motive-Motion. According to his metaphysics, the Divine Pre-Cosmic Unity, exasperated with Eternal Boredom, tore itself asunder into the multitude of decaying Being-fragments, that must now submit to the Great Law of Deteoriation, which will eventually restore all to the "blessed calm of nothingness."

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  31. I think one issue overlooked by most antinatlists is not strictly the issue of being born into a particular world, and not being born per se.

    While life has no meaning, the need/desire mechanism is heinous and the whole superstructure on top of life is horrible (capitalism/work/money/slavery/etc) and while I agree that bringing any life into this existence is an act of criminal insanity, I am just wondering if I would the neutral states of non-existence (or the negative bliss as Jim likes to call it) appealing if I could be born into a world that is replete with transhumanistic technologies (Venus Project, Singularity, etc) where I wouldn't have to work, suffer or worry about meaning and purpose of anything and whether I would find the idea of having kids appealing then (by that time I suspect a kid would be no more than a mind upload).

    Surely, the world we are born to is a pretty colossal failure and its hard to impossible to justify bringing more people into it.

    However, Karl, even though I am aware of your general aversion towards these optimistic, forward-looking predictions (and I share your aversion to a very large degree), let's assume a Utopian scenario where the human nature is not as it is and it transforms into being a compassionate and cooperative nature that brings about the elimination of poverty, suffering, money and every other capitalistic mechanism that causes suffering. Let's further assume that suffering is eliminated in "designer babies" on a genetic level and every new baby born would enjoy every second of their life and finally let's assume immortality (physical/digital immortality).

    Granted, it would hardly solve the issue of "why live?" or atone for the existence of the need/desire mechanism, but I think it would largely be a desirable world that I wouldn't mind seeing humanity live and prosper in.

    Do you think such an utopian world is a world that we could all come to enjoy and love?

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    1. dimasok:

      Hi, I hope you don't mind me replying. Personally, being in your aforementioned Utopian scenario would still not convince me to actively bring a child into the world, but it would certainly indeed be the best scenario for those who already do exist in such world.

      I'm taking here that the Utopian world you're assuming here came about by "magic". Because otherwise, if it had been subject to the usual physics and evolutionary laws of the Universe, such Utopian world would not have been without much effort and possibly pain and sacrifice from those who made it be. The "Cosmic Puppeteer" (or in my personal terminology, "Mira'soh") wins as always. Boo! :(

      But I do follow where your assumption is coming from. It's just that for me, the "good" is strictly a reactionary goal, not a true goal in itself. We crave for "good", because we want to avoid the present state of being "bad", at the very least we want to avoid even the "urge of wanting" (Hmm...I'm not particularly good at describing things, so I hope I'm making sense). But we know something is bad, because it is DAMN BAD!

      This is also why I think, even if we were indeed given a chance to decide whether to exist or not, it would still have been futile ("Mira'soh" vs AN, 2-0). The reason we know what's "good", is necessarily because we know what's "bad". So if we were given a choice to be born, we would necessarily have to know first what "good" and "bad" are. To know them is to experience them. And that defeats the purpose of not wanting to exist to avoid the "bad". ("Mira'soh" vs AN, 3-0 :,c)

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    2. "Do you think such an utopian world is a world that we could all come to enjoy and love?"

      I know your question is meant for Karl. Sorry to be a "stick in the mud". However, I do not desire any of that... so, no. My parents ignored that fact by making assumptions and caring more about their desire for a pet human designed from their own genes. Let's face it... we're all "designer babies". I was designed by the obsessive compulsive desires of horny human beings who were more concerned about building a facade than concerned about the individual they actively planned to harm. A harm committed regardless of the intentions of those who bred me. There's a reason there's a saying that reads thus, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

      I just want out. Forever. But I cannot get free... because this must be my own personal Hell. I want to cry, but I can't anymore. After all, that would be relief. Sometimes I yell... when I'm sure I'm far away from other humans. I make sure I'm alone because anger frightens and confuses them. They just don't get it. Even the rage barely sustains me anymore. There is no more relief for me. All hope is gone.

      It's the lack of freedom that expels all potential for real "meaning". The freedom to choose your own playground. Your own form. Unlimited by even your own imagination! The freedom to be able to choose instant and eternal peace. Now THAT would be OK with me. But this... this gory veneer. How could this be anything other than the innermost ring of Hell itself?

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    3. I'm with Lady Datu and Garrett on this one. Even in such a world, there would still presumably be the possibility of that world lapsing into the old processes, not to mention that, as Lady Datu so eloquently said, the forces of Chance, Contingency and Entropy would still be at work. We would still be trapped in a world of finitude and decay.

      Never-Coming-Into-Being will always trump Being for me, no matter what the context of Being is.

      Garrett, I'm totally with you, brother. Occassional rage is all that's left for me, too. I am weary and resigned beyond belief. My best moments come when my mind is quiet and still, but this only occurs after physical exhaustion. To say I have no hope left would be an exaggeration, I'm not looking for hope anymore because I know that hope ultimately has no object and is not worth the trouble.

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    4. Heed these illuminating words, my brethren!

      "The apocalypse has arrived. We monsters, we have known for a long time, and we all know it ... (There exists) a secret agreement, an unspoken agreement that we must put an end to our existence and the likes of us, as soon and as thoroughly as possible - without forgiveness, without scruples and without survivors... What is it that the monster calls "the universal story", unless it is the hope of disaster, of the end, of erasing the traces..., the monster (has today) finally become tired of old wives' tales, UTOPIAS, heavenly visions and the holy histories, and has plucked up courage to look the inevitable in the eyes... The true Garden of Eden is DESOLATION. The goal of history is a decaying field. The meaning is the sand blown by the wind that flows out through the eye sockets in the skull."

      -Ulrich Horstmann, "Das Untier"

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    5. Anonymous: Thank you very much for those quotes from Prof. Horstmann's outstanding book. We, antinatalists, have a tendency to momentarily seek respite, from the unceasing drudgery of pessimistic thought, in the infinitesimal possibility of technological utopia. We need to be a little more careful, lest we accidentally start discarding our contraception, in hopes that one of our descendants will be able to enjoy the "Holodeck" installed in their basements.

      Do you all really think that the vast arsenal of nuclear WMD's that have been accumulated in the past 60 years, enough to completely oxidize all organic macromolecules on this planet a thousand times over, is just going to sit around and rot?!

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  33. Suffering is an illusion.

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    1. Where you do you live anon? I can cut off your balls since suffering is an illusion. Or you can work all day and pay my bills, suffering is an illusion! This reminds me of shadow's post on buddhism, i used to respect it but the whole procreation thing really disgusted me.

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