Sunday, September 12, 2010


IMPORTANT: Click on this link first 

Antinatalism, as distinct from being merely “child free”, is the view that humanity is best served by (perhaps even deserves) its own extinction. This view is rare, yet has a long pedigree, possibly going back to Sophocles. It has at least four rational bases: ecological, philanthropic, teleological, and  pessimistic; the latter itself is dividable into “soft, genteel” and “hard, genteel” and "hard, non-genteel" subforms.

My personal belief in antinatalism stems ultimately from the philanthropic and the pessimistic bases, with the teleological basis as supplementary evidence reinforcing both bases but particularly the philanthropic one.  I do not find the ecological basis convincing, although I do see its adherents as natural allies in pursuit of a common goal - the prevention of otherwise inevitable suffering for living things through voluntary extinction of humanity via non-coercive non-procreation.

I concede that antinatalism's ultimate core claim, "suffering prevention is of primary importance", is based more in metaphysics than anything else; though pronatalism's core claim "the human race and/or my line must continue regardless of what happens", fares no better, even in its moderate forms.  The former claim stems from the, as far as I know, axiomatic belief that we should not force others to undergo pointless suffering under any circumstances.  The latter stems from human survival instincts arising from our brains, and ultimately our genes that program us to assume "we have to live, no matter what"; thereby creating an inherent bias in our thinking. 

In the end, the issue boils down to "Should we stop suffering or should we continue to exist?" I decide in favor of the question's first clause because (a) there's no need to make anyone suffer if they don't have to, and (b) it's hard to find any objective reason why humanity must continue. 

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