6 points

this comment section is a hell of a ride, but i’ll just state what seems to be a pretty significant thing that everyone just merrily sails past:

Y’all remember that saying of “it takes a village to raise a child”? That’s why modern parenting sucks, we don’t tend to have villages to help raise our children anymore. We’re not meant to raise kids with maybe at best our partner and some assistance from their grandparents and kindergarden/school, we’re meant to share that load and responsibility among like at least a dozen people and kids are meant to constantly have access to other kids to play with and collectively learn what boundaries are.

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64 points

you do understand that the joker is in the wrong here, right? like in this scene he’s a mentally i’ll man saying that killing people is funny.

if you genuinely believe that existence has an inherent negative value then i strongly suggest you seek help, and i don’t mean that to be facetious. antinatalism is depression turned into a moral philosophy, it posits itself as a solution to suffering by offering an unrealizable future, but really it’s an excuse to not even attempt to make the world better.

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14 points

Memes are generally divorced from their original source. This format is only used to show the creator has a controversial idea.

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7 points

antinatalism is depression turned into a moral philosophy

Not necessarily. Antinatalism and other pessimistic points of view can be held by non-depressed people. On the internet, it seems like psychological pessimism is the same as philosophical pessimism as many depressed people do adopt these points of view and flood the forums. Adding to that, they often abandon their philosophical pessimism when their depression lifts, leaving a testimony that it is true: only depressed people defend these ideas. But we need only an example of a person that is not depressed and still values antinatalism on its own to demonstrate that your statement is not the case, and I think I might be that example. Many other examples might be found in universities. I hope one day we get a formal social study so that I do not have to give anecdotal “evidence” and personal information.

Now, I’d add to defend those I know that are indeed depressed, we should be debating and trying to refute the philosophy itself. Even if depression is leading them into these kinds of thoughts, we cannot say that this disproves their ideas. Many brilliant discoveries and inventions were reached in what we classify as pathological states. The manic researcher and crafter is an archetype for a reason (e.g., mad scientist, mad artist), and we have not fewer examples of depressed people that made valuable work, such as author F. Dostoevsky. There are two books that are coming to my mind that explain why (specifically) mood disorders are pathological but still let people do great things: A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illnesses and Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament. So, as I was saying, the fact that someone is clinically depressed does not inform us about how true or how solid their ideas might be. Discrediting them just because they suffer from depression would be an ad hominem, and, in the moral part, ableism. We need to listen to/read their ideas and discuss the ideas instead.

it posits itself as a solution to suffering by offering an unrealizable future

This is a very misunderstood part of antinatalism. Almost no antinatalist is utopic in their views, that is, few antinatalists think that the point must be to cease all reproduction and that antinatalism fails if they don’t. That would be an ideal scenario; there’s no suffering without existence, but that is a dream. There are no goals for many antinatalists, just the idea that bringing children into this world is not ethically correct. They might follow antinatalism and not have children or adopt, but not preach much about it because they know practically no one will listen. I, for instance, bring this problem to people that might have not thought about it before. If they go ahead and have children, I’d still think that was not correct, but well, nothing to do but to help take care of this new life. It can be as pragmatic as that.

but really it’s an excuse to not even attempt to make the world better.

No. In my case, I try to help in other ways. This right here is an example as I’m trying to broaden the discussion around these topics in a healthy way because I know Reddit has sadly damaged these debates with a lot of insults and bad attitudes from many sides. They insult people, so these people go to their subreddit and insult them back… It is not a good way to first learn about these topics, and many are learning what antinatalism is first on Reddit. I hope Lemmy will be slightly better.

Anyway, I also try to better the world in the ways I can. Still, as a person that values philosophical pessimism, I think we are only saving lives from a neverending fire, or giving palliatives for an incurable disease. I enjoy my life and I try to help others enjoy theirs as much as this existence lets us.

If anything, philosophies around negative utilitarianism, preference utilitarianism, overall pessimism, etc. tend to respect others a lot and value their suffering negatively. That’s usually their point. Suffering is not a “necessary side for pleasure” or “a trial from which we gain something” or “something not that bad” or any explanation different cultures have given. Suffering is bad; in a better world, it wouldn’t exist like this. It is tragic, but it is reality, so we must face it and combat suffering as best as we can. I’d say these ethical paths inspire protection of others more than others less centered on sentience.

Finally, it is good advice to seek professional help, but not on the sole basis of someone being an antinatalist. If our OP here is depressed, I do recommend visiting a professional.

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8 points

when i say that it’s depression turned into philosophy i mean it in the sense that it is a philosophy that will inevitably lead to depression, or at the very least a skewed world view (think you’ll see a red car and you’re going to spot a lot of red cars, think existence is suffering and you’ll probably focus on suffering a lot).

interesting breakdown tho, i’m glad that you still have hope. i dislike antinatalism and similar philosophies mostry due to their “doomerism” and belief that experiences are somehow cumulative

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3 points

Oh! That’s a complicated consequence, yes. I cannot lie and say that studying sad things won’t ever make one sad. It’s… hard.

I don’t think it is a rule that it is going to warp one’s vision, but I’ve seen people getting depressed and definitely biased when studying philosophical pessimism. It seems like something that only happens in jokes or memes, but no, reading Arthur Schopenhauer or whoever can be dangerous if one is already vulnerable to depression, isolation, etc.

I definitely advise discretion. And it’s not because they’re dark monsters, monks of death dressed in black robes. There’s nothing too morbid about the books; that’s probably just the myth time has created around them. In reality, their danger is just pondering on dark aspects of life that can be disheartening if one is not prepared. Even when the reading is for high school or university, or for curiosity, I think these authors should be picked with an open mind and a serene “heart”.

Thank you for reading and answering.

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2 points

You claimed that a person doesn’t have to be against all reproduction to be antinatalist but … yes they do?

Being ethically against having kids but not believing that’s a universal ethical rule just means you’re a person who doesn’t want kids.

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1 point

You claimed that a person doesn’t have to be against all reproduction to be antinatalist

No, I said antinatalists believe that procreation is not ethically correct, but that not every antinatalist advocates for the same thing on a political level or acts the same about these ideas.

I think you are talking of this: ‘few antinatalists think that the point must be to cease all reproduction and that antinatalism fails if they don’t’.

I meant to say that many antinatalists do not see AN as a political movement which fails if the goal of human extinction is not achieved. They see it more as an ethical stance which thinks reproduction is incorrect. You could argue the next step should be doing something about it if we really believe this, but that’s the variety of personalities and strategies that I meant to bring to the table. Some will go to the streets and indeed try to convince every single person not to reproduce. But, for example, I do not try to convince but my closest social circle because I feel my responsibility ends at giving the small guidance I can give over the internet or wherever. Some simply believe that an antinatalistic agenda would be unattainable, unrealistic, utopic. Some antinatalists are only antinatalists under certain circumstances that they think might change in the future (so they do not think human extinction or similar things are desirable, they just want a pause in reproduction).

There are a lot of flavors, I guess. The explanation was for the person that said that antinatalism is always to expect human extinction. Sorry for the confusion.

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69 points

Antinatalism is the first law of robotics, reduced to absurdity. It answers the question by forgetting why you asked it in the first place.

Yes, it does eliminate human suffering. However, it does so in the same way that a bullet to the head cures a headache.

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7 points

Yeah, a nuclear exchange would be a faster way of achieving what antinatalists would achieve if they got their way.

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1 point

Which is why we need to keep antinatalists away from power.

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82 points

Crazy take: people get to choose if they have children.

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19 points

I wish I got to choose if my parents had children.

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1 point

Such decisions are based on the Toyota Method

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12 points

… without being judged for it, I hope?

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6 points

Yes… But should they get that choice?

If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make it so every 12 year old that could make sperm (trans, cis, whatever) gets a reversible vasectomy automatically. Then, if/when they ever want and plan for starting a family, they can take the class on childhood development and how to be a good parent who raises not shitty humans. If they pass, great! They get to undo the vasectomy and try for a family. If not, oh well, no one wanted to have to support your shitty kids in the first place.

I have no idea how something like this could ever actually be implemented in a fair way… Hense the need for the magic wand

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41 points
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How about we fix the fucking society, so raising children isn’t so fucking volatile instead of thinking up some wand of eugenics +2?

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-1 points

Well, yeah, that would be the best way to go… I’d still think people should have to pass a class before they’re allowed to be responsible for another human beings entire life

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21 points

Ah, genocidal eugenics, there you are. How I didn’t miss you.

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1 point

Neither of those words apply here.

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3 points

Yes… But should they get that choice?

Should anyone else be in a position to grant or deprive them of that choice?

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1 point

I think as a society we could restrict ourselves… That’s basically what laws are

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11 points

Yes. Ultimately, the reason we should let people choose isn’t to prevent people who would be bad parents from becoming parents. That’s an issue that couldn’t be solved directly, but could be indirectly addressed by providing comprehensive sex ed. The real reason we should let people choose is so people aren’t forced to do or not do something they don’t or do want. People may choose the wrong option for themselves and regret it, but outside forces aren’t going to know what they want better than they will.

Magical thought experiments can often mislead, as ethics cannot exist outside of our uncertain, unmagical reality.

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1 point

But in this case the “wrong option” means a human being will suffer terribly (assuming we’re talking about parents who wouldn’t pass the test)… Do we not ethically owe it to children/humanity to take some level of precautions against allowing them to grow up in hell?

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2 points

I think there is a compelling logic to this idea. You could even make passing the class attendence based in terms of “passing” and make it extremely basic with ideas like, “don’t shake babies” being the core syllabus.

I suppose there are two problems with it. Firstly, the practicalities/logistics of implementing it are so far fetched that even the most authoritarian country like China would struggle to implement it. If it is completely impractical then it becomes a mere thought experiment and the only real action you can take after considering it is voting for a political party which prioritises education so more parents are prepared and informed.

The second issue is that - even if you managed to implement such a policy - it is literally eugenics and you would quickly see the genetic makeup of society change and skew towards wealthy people. I don’t think we can judge what groups should get the right to exist even if in theory the test is egalitarian.

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1 point

I don’t disagree… Which is why this is definitely a thought experiment… But why would it necessarily skew towards rich people? Some of the least qualified/worst parents I’ve ever known were rich people. Are you saying poor people are less capable of learning or passing a class? I guess you would probably need to make it a paid program and illegal to fire someone who’s taking the class. Gotta make it accessible to everyone.

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2 points

Yes, they should get that choice, you fucking eugenicist. Fuck off and die nazi :3

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0 points

Why? Should literally everyone have that choice? Should we allow someone like 1944 Hitler to have kids… Just because he WANTS to?

None of it matters since there’s no way to implement anything like this… But for this thought experiment, WHY should every narcissistic asshole who feels like it be allowed to bring a life into this world, when we know full well they aren’t going to take care of it?

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7 points

I wish they did but the governments are intent on taking that choice away

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4 points

Of course. You can, and it’s your right to do so. But that doesn’t mean it’s ethical.

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9 points

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7 points

How about don’t have kids so you can work more and more flexible hours on demand in aspiration of a fabricated idea of a career

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