On Antinatalism

I’m not exceptionally well versed on “antinatalism“, the belief that it is morally wrong to procreate. Some antinatalists make the argument that procreation is morally wrong because it is nonconsensual as far as the offspring is concerned. Other antinatalists make the argument that because there is suffering in life (some times and places more than others), it is morally wrong to create a life that you know is going to suffer. I have no sympathy for the first argument, and some for the second. Consent presupposes existence, and unless the antinatalist is able to prove some sort of spiritual pre-existence, then making an argument concerning consent of the offspring is nonsensical. As for procreating into a life of suffering, this argument is much more powerful for me in times and places were suffering was guaranteed, eg. under slavery and under Communism. But then again, who are we to decide how others may feel throughout their life? That seems arrogant, does it not? You may just procreate someone who grows up to have a significant influence on ending said suffering, after all. Parents should not be the direct source of suffering for their children, in any event. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Skyler J. Collins (Editor)

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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Freespirit
Freespirit
2 years ago

Deliberate twisting of LOGIC by collectivists, designed to CONFUSE -“Divide and Conquer” ! Read “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” Not-with-standing that conception, itself, is considered by those who think thus, is evil, and by extension that Life is Evil, HOW can there be any concept of “CONSENSUAL” before a conscious being with that ability, is created, even by the uniting of the HUMAN Sperm and Egg??? That “thinking”( I use the word loosely) is the destructive result of teaching individuals that just because they can talk ( or write) , means that they necessarily KNOW what they are talking… Read more »

Antinatalist
Antinatalist
2 years ago

You are amoral at best if you place your own wants to have a child ahead of their interests in being born or not. In that line of thinking there is no morality at all – just doing what you want to do if you can get away with it.

Antinatalist
Antinatalist
2 years ago

In your blog post above you admit that one may have an interest in not being born into slavery, or some other kind of torment. If you concede that an unborn being may not have an interest in being born, then by breeding you are discounting that interest (of which any breeder is ignorant) in favor of your own interest – might makes right style. And inability to consent, to you, really means that no consent is necessary? By this logic it is morally permissible to rape infants and the severely disabled. I guess you would have recommended mass suicide… Read more »

Antinatalist
Antinatalist
2 years ago

If you think that there is no difference in being born into torment and bliss, there’s no basis for continuing. We don’t share any premises. Your ethics are, as stated, just selfishness without empathy or conscience.

Tejas Gokhale
Tejas Gokhale
2 years ago

You have conveniently overlooked the fact that every being brought into existence never had a chance to give consent. Even though it is nonsensical to talk about consent from a non-existent being, it is fact that no body consented to be brought into existence. This of course is different from a consent after one has come into existence since the strong evolutionary existence bias plays a big role in the decision let alone the other psychological biases like optimism bias etc. Secondly, your second argument is wrong. How one “feels” about suffering is never a basis for antinatalism. The fact… Read more »