Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Futility of Antinatalism

"Antinatalism is an epic failure. Such a philosophy is unthinkable and unobtainable for the vast majority. An infinite chasm exists between it and the average person’s weaknesses, depravities, priorities, etc... I honestly believe most CANNOT live up to such things no matter what. They can’t even come close to doing so....AN is and always will be a total failure. It is no less a version of philosophical opium for the sensitive than religion. That's why I laugh when I see people here and elsewhere demand more "AN activism", as if there were an ice-cube's chance in hell of it ever taking off." - Joint statement from two AN Elders

"The lessons never seem to get learnt. They never seem to get learnt. Maybe the odd individual will learn them, but you still see this madness around you. You can say, ‘For goodness’ sake! Can’t you see how you’re making the same mistakes humans have made before? Can’t we do this differently?’ But it doesn’t happen. Unpleasantness and suffering are too deeply written into the structure of sentient life to be eliminated.”- David Benatar

New Yorker interview with David Benatar

28 comments:

  1. Antinatalism is the ultimate radical ethical solution to human pollution of the planet. Put at it's simplest AN is freely choosing for there to be fewer humans via not creating any descendants of our own means so that in theory that there will be less human intervention in the future of the planet, less pollution, less top down interruption of the working eco-systems of the planet. The paradox of human science has always been that to understand we have to intervene and we can never got top side of our own interventions without them proving destructive, often before we understand what it is we have destroyed. Antinatalism is an attempt at retreating from being unwittingly destructive whilst seeking to understand. Antinatalism is understanding that we cannot understand with intervening in nature and we mostly destroy what we intervene in. So Anti-natalism is a post-scientific enlightenment that if it worked would lower the human place in the food chain and preserve the planet we live on at the expense of 99.9% of human knowledge and human population, it is an enlightenment that if it worked would put nature back in charge rather than man. As an enlightenment it would perhaps be the most selfless enlightenment humans have ever imagined. Imagining not being, or your species not being, or your species being much lower in the world food chain, is a very difficult thing to do.

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  2. Your take sounds more like population reduction than pure anti-natalism, which argues that procreation is wrong in all circumstances.

    If AN were to be judged in terms of effectivity, then world population should be heading toward 0. Is it? No, it is heading in the other direction at exponential speed. 10 billion forecast by 2050, if not sooner.

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    1. I think both, Bearz's and Karl's, comments are correct and brilliant. Let me also give another point of view or definition of AN, referred to the initially quoted -Joint statement from two AN Elders-
      ' "AN activism", as if there were an ice-cube's chance in hell of it ever taking off.'

      AN is worth and truly valuable by its own merit at the individual, personal, level, even if there is no activism or success in spreading the idea to others, but is practised within oneself.

      AN is an ethical, and sometimes even difficult and counter-intuitive and counter-social attitude, but anyhow an ethical and brave decision.
      The main merit of Antinatalism is providing an immense ocean of tranquility and peace for that or those whose non-existence is guaranteed by the not procreating person.

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  3. You're just gonna let all that hard work you didn't do be for nothing?

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  4. Señor Karl,
    I hope you are doing allright in London. I just wonder if antinatalism is viewed as a failure because those in power consider it as a danger to their profits. More babies, cheaper labor. Also,in my view, the Catholic hierarchy is against,what they call, culture of death. More babies mean more tithes and more churchgoers.Antinatalism is a bad marketing policy. Greetings from Paraguay. Raúl

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    1. Thanks, Raul. I'd say it's more most people haven't even heard of it, rather than a deliberate ploy. I hope you're keeping well!

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  5. Señor Karl,
    Thank you for your response. Yes,most have not heard of antinatalism. Sometimes I hear some people say that poor should not have many children or no children at all. I suppose this is a kind of selective antinatalism. Most would not undestand antinatalism. I would not be surprised if they think that antinatalism is a satanic cult or related with mass murder. I think our Catholic heritage is a very heavy heritage. This is most tragic, being born without consent, being inserted in a body of a hairy monkey,"make love" with the member used for pissing. A death trap. Our thoughtless mothers behaved like pigs in a farm. I suppose this is the gift of li(f)e.

    Have you heard the term omnicidism? Is it related to antinatalism?
    Take care of yourself, Señor Karl,and if possible take a siesta. Greetings from Paraguay. Raúl

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    1. Omnicidism means killing all things, I think.

      You might like this writer on the Catholic Church: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zswOBQvAnIg

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  6. Señor Karl,
    Thank you for the link. So omnicidism nas nothing to do woth antinatalism.

    I read that there is an officially registered AntiNatalist Party in the UK. Do you by chance know some of their members?
    Stay well. You are brave living in that city of the fog. Greetings from Paraguay. Raúl

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  7. Out of curiosity, who are those AN Elders? Sadly, They're right.

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  8. Isn't civilisation ever more so an epic failure? Despite our 7 billion human population, the vast majority of sentient lifeforms remain small critters who in almost every case end up being torn apart alive by a slightly less small critter. Among them, there is no potential for animal rights to ever be observed. An estimated 10 quintillion (that's apparently 10 billion times another billion) of these critters are insects alone. Even if they'd account for 90% of small critters, about a 99.9999999% of sentient creatures that abound this world are irredeemable towards any kind of civilised project that would give them chances of a predictible life.

    So what?

    All this just means that for most of the living, the idea of justice has always been inconceivable. Why should we care any more about breeders always remaining the vast majority any more than about bugs remaining the vast vast majority? The savage and the tribal will always be divided, preying upon eachothers litter. They breed ignorance and wallow in it. The situation being that breeders cannot even contemplate antinatalism, means they cannot oppose us any more than bugs can harass us. All you need is stop looking to conquer THEIR world.

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    1. Civilisation is only a failure if you believe it had something to do with justice in the first place, but it was a tribal enterprise designed to maximise safety and order.

      Seeing as how AN is about preventing suffering and the majority of suffering is produced from "their" world, I would have thought you would at least need to be in some way concerned. Otherwise, AN is a solipsistic thought-exercise.

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    2. But we are preventing suffering; just not most of it. Civilisation has been going on for millenia, before we've seen the dangerous chaotic realm of the wild turn towards decline. By keeping antinatalism going, the same should happen to natalism long after the present generations are gone. And what makes me think so? Just like bugs in the past, natalism is hitting the earthly limits to its expansion. Antinatalism, though not for everyone, still isn't known to most of mankind. Contrary to extinct antinatalist movements, the present global spread will prevent antinatalism's erasure this time around. Antinatalism also needs this time and space to evolve into forms that are more "mimetically" fit, before it can compete with the genetic fitness of natalism. Civilisation couldn't take off when everyone filled the same role and neither can antinatalism.

      Antintalism is only a "failure" if you limit it to a single lifetime, method and outcome.

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    3. I don't follow. There's no way to measure the "success" of non-reproduction. Is every empty room a sign of the triumph of anti-natalism? Hardly.

      World population predictions keep going up and up all the time. The only external metric of AN "success" is population numbers and that is speeding away from zero faster than ever.

      As for the "global spread" of AN, due to 24/7 multi-media every 'ism' is getting more and more coverage - it is not due to some inherent virtue of AN. There are more and more articles and features about everything.

      I am not sure what you mean by AN 'adaptation'. You're probably better off supporting child-free movements rather than invest in AN, the masses will never accept that life in and of itself is a bad thing.

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    4. That's pessimism, is it not? Antinatalism more specfifically is that birth is a bad thing, which can be predicated on the lack of consent to one's birth or opposition to civilisation itself. Whatever it be, the masses cannot be reasoned with. But you can influence individuals that you are acquainted with. By acting as confident within an antinatalist worldview as breeders do in their antinatalism, you expand the scope of moral considerations. Neither preaching antinatalism, nor keeping antinatalism to yourself, but to normalise antinatalism is the adaptation required to push back against this world. That'll be our triumph.

      For starters, I never say to anyone that "I'm happy for" their malignancy. We need to profoundly extricate ourselves from breeder pressure lest we remain apologetic and inclined to (as Green Tiger put it) "give in".

      Isn't the real issue that we are not mentally ready yet to sustain a counter-weight to the breeder realm?

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    5. I don't know what you mean - I've had a blog for six years that's had over a million hits, and have written articles on the topic.

      What have you been doing for "the cause", Bazompora?

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    6. I've done exactly what I said:
      be unapologetic about antinatalism.

      I had to teach myself to be casually and reflexively antinatalist in my social interactions. Is that futile? You know I can't compare in your field, nor do I see why I should compete with you.

      If an antinatalist doesn't produce copious proze, does that make him unconcerned, Karl?

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    7. If you're talking about normalising AN, then there's nothing to stop you making a blog or YouTub videos. Why don't you do that?

      Seeing as how there is no viable way of measuring AN "success" and every observable way of measuring natalist triumph I feel it is all somewhat unreal.

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  9. I think keeping the AN movement going at least reassures other ANs that they're not alone, and gives them the strength to not "give in".

    It also gives us some friends to vent out to.

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    1. Venting out after family gathering and people discussing how their kids piss them off but now they can't beat them.

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    2. Stop subtweeting mister mean-spirited

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    3. It does sound like him, lol! Nonetheless, he's right in many cases.

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  10. I finally read the interview in full. Benetar's argument seems to be a rather flat paradox, or maybe a tautology-I am not sure which. It could be both. Boiled down it comes to the following; Human beings are stupid, and they should not breed because the more they breed the more stupidity they breed in each other. If they were intelligent they would learn and not breed. Frank Zappa, a musically talented breeder lest we forget who not only had three children but gave them notoriously odd first names to endure, said similar, with a more direct mix of humour, brevity, and condescension: 'There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it [the stupidity] has a longer shelf life.'. The problem is that clever people rarely understand that the stupid everyday folk don't like being the targets of cleverness and condescension, and resist it with all the fibre in their being that they have. If the AN message is to engage with a wider audience and persuade more humans to have fewer children then it has to do so with a subtlety, guile, and most of all a vast sense of humility, which is stronger than the stupidity it is going against. The AN philosophy has to bypass this 'clever' vs 'stupid' conflict.....

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    1. Benatar has plenty of humility, but he's exceptional. Most ANs are arrogant and condescending if Facebook is anything to go by. The good ol' days of Jim Crawford's blog are long gone, alas....

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    2. I understand what you mean: the masses should be "nudged". It is a subtle way of behaviour control.
      It is used on highways against speeding to example.

      The word "nudging" is used in german for this kind of behaviour influence, i dont know if it is a general term in psychology or just a "made up" word.

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  11. Antinatalism, could, possibly, be in a better state in these depressing times had it spent less time trying to court the "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children" crowd, which is a foolish goal in the same way that trying to court oil company CEOs to join your clean energy movement is a fool's errand and more time doing literally anything else.

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    1. Antinatalism is a codeword for Anti-White.

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  12. English isn't my first language, so I apologise if my phrasing is a bit off.


    I would like to say I enjoy reading your blog, but this would be slightly inaccurate; I read it more as one would an obituary than the Daily Mail. This is intended as a compliment.

    A recent article prompted me to write this comment. It was about mothers regretting having their children, and was very much celebrated by the childless crowd. It struck me however as rather tasteless - I find the antinatalistic view should be that if one decides to procreate, you owe a debt to your children that can never truly be repaid. I found the article about mothers being overjoyed about their children moving out made a mockery of this and instead encapsulates narcissistic behaviour far more than simply procreating.

    I hope you're doing well, despite all

    Best regards
    Karl M

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