Monday, 23 October 2017

New Benatar essay and vitriolic response

A new and succinct Benatar essay with some interesting comments:

Having children is not life-affirming, it's immoral

And an unusually moronic and vitriolic response even by normal standards:

Evil Professor calls for end to humanity

Stay sterile!


  1. It's funny to see this, I was reading "TCAHR" today. ^^

  2. Good to see you are still with us, Karl. How are you?

    1. Still around for some reason, but one day I won't be, like all of us!

  3. Dear Karl:

    Thank you very much for these references to the recent article by Benatar and critics to it.

    But frankly, Karl, I don't get why your wrote: "And an unusually moronic and vitriolic response even by normal standards". When you refer to this article: Evil Professor calls for end to humanity

    Although the author doesn't agree with Benatar's ideas, I think the article is well written and even summarizes correctly what Benatar argues.

    On other issue: Has someone read newest book by Benatar: "The Human Predicament. A Candid Guide to Life's Biggest Questions".

  4. Señor Karl,
    I hope you are doing fine in, the city of fog,London. I only read an interview with Professor Benatar in The Critique. Enlightening reading. THis reminds me of what happened here on Wednesday in Asuncion. A young man and his five-year old son died in a firefight. An internal fight between drug traffickers, Paraguayan and Brazilian. The sicarios were following this guy and they thought he was alone. The car received 35 bullets, and the child took a bullet in the skull. The police said that the when the man saw his child killed, hie pulled his gun and killed himself in the car. Was the boy not killed twice, I mean at birth and life? I am sure the mother knew her husband was a dead man walking and yet they conceived this victim. The sicarios broke a code where no family is touched. There are rumours that more killings will happen. Gretings from Paraguay. Raúl

    1. Raul, good to hear from you. I hope you are keeping safe. The world is a hellish place!

  5. Karl,

    What do you make of the astonishing, and astonishingly unappreciated, progress in human well-being over the last 3 decades?

  6. Data about the contingencies of social life have no real impact on the arguments of Benatar's AN, or those of other metaphysical pessimists such as Schopenhauer.

    Plus that kind of data and those kind of trends are always contingent. For example:

  7. Señor Karl,
    Thank you for the response. Sometimes I think I agree with those that believe that we humans are just a laboratory experiment and we are farmed with an utiitarian purpose. Earth is a dark planet. If an extreterrestiral judge came here there would be no escape from their indictment. I wanted to be an optimist about us, homo sapiens sapiens but it is clear we are just meat for this gigantic death machine called world. Take care of yourself in London,the city of the fog. Raúl

  8. Former reader and atheist14 November 2017 at 02:14

    I was an antinatalist for most of my twenties (I'm now 30 3/4), started reading AN blogs around 2009/2010. I was depressed and survived a hanging attempt that got me institutionalized when I was 23.

    Nicolás Gómez Dávila had an important influence on me, whom I discovered around 2013/2014. Back then, I was mostly drawn to "Don Colacho" because of his low opinion he had of the modern world and human nature. Now being a Christian, I of course see his remarks about God, Christ and Christianity in a different, a new light.

    During the last two years, I began to change my hostile attitude towards Christianity, seeing it more and more in a positive light. In part, this came about due to my interest in what is generally called the Alt-Right. I followed some of it, read some of their blogs; it was mostly Vox Day, however, who influenced me in this regard. The fact that he's a believing Christian and a lot smarter than I am -- his IQ being around 150 -- slowly got me questioning my atheism. This was a rather long process, I read his book The Irrational Atheist about five months before I was born again in Christ (read it in May, became a Christian in October).

    What finally opened my eyes, though, was his remark that the problem of evil led him to have faith in Christ. I was already in the process of reading the Bible, picked it up in January, but I wasn't really making a lot of progress -- looking back, I should have really started with the New Testament. Last month, I started reading up on Adam and Eve, the Fall of Man, what is sin and so on (mostly on, quora, stackexchange, reading Bible passages along the way), when suddenly all doubts were washed away, followed by being overcome with sadness and guilt -- some of my worst sins flashed through my mind --, and the next moment I felt reborn, or, as Huysmans put it: an explosion happened.

    I stopped swearing and cursing: I was angry/"fed up" most of the time, the utter meaninglessness of life that I felt from about the age of 16 made every obstacle, every misfortune unbearable (I also struggled with social anxiety). Other changes included the fact that I now had a lot more self-control (ate less, stopped having and indulging in unclean thoughts etc.), was generally more friendly to people, and my anxiety issues went away.

    Most importantly, I now had hope and meaning, meaninglessness no longer being an issue due to my faith in God and trust in Christ.

    I know how that sounds to an atheist -- I'm aware that if I had been told this about two months ago, I wouldn't have believed, and some years ago I would have downright rejected it. If it happened to me (who was soaked in Schopenhauer and Cioran), it could happen to anyone.

    Interestingly enough, I read the preface that Huysmans wrote twenty years after the publication of "À rebours" [1] for the first time. His admiration of Schopenhauer and understanding of the shortcomings of his pessimism, his vanishing doubts -- very close to my own experience and thoughts.

    (Another interesting conversion is that of John C. Wright[2].)

    This is all I can do in sharing the Good News, I can't force anyone to accept it. I understand how long it took me to find faith.

    All the best


  9. Former reader and atheist:
    What you have described is easily explained by the Terror Management Theory. Yoy simply found yourself a delusion to indulge in that's all. You've rebuilt your psychological armor and now you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside... yuck. You are fooling yourself.

  10. Karl, do you know anything about what is up with Raphael Tages of the now defunct the last page blog?

    1. I believe he is safe and well, but no longer blogs about anti-natalism, as his interests have turned elsewhere. It's a shame his excellent blog has disappeared.