Wednesday, 22 June 2011

How could you possibly counter Antinatalism? Part I

Upon reading about Antinatalism for the first time, I felt it just click into my brain like a missing cog. I knew that my world, specifically, contained more pain than pleasure. I knew that other people too, although maybe not so much, with their tedious jobs, ephemeral love and their slow decay into dust, were most likely not entirely all that happy themselves. But at no point did I think that life being so detestable meant having no children. It's such a simple idea, yet it's also such a brilliant one. Personally, I never wanted children. Aside from the fact that I find them quite annoying, I really could not cope if a child of mine acquired my mental illness - I would feel personally responsible for their pain. What I never realised, however, was that I would always be responsible for my child's pain, regardless of what genes I had passed on!

     But I know you know all the arguments for it, so I shall not bore you with my paraphrases and meandering - you can read about this on Jim's or Sister Y's blogs. What I would like to talk about in this post and the next, is just how, for funsies, any opponent of Antinatalism could even try to counter it at all. But there are two things they could be actually arguing for, so I'll get into that now:

1.That having a child is a completely neutral action morally, so even if parents have them for selfish reasons (fulfilling their own unfulfilled desires, finding the 'meaning of life', keeping up with the Joneses etc.), they can just claim that they aren't hurting anyone
2. That having a child is a morally sound action - that people should have as many children as possible, so more people exist to feel the absence of sadness.

I'll go into more depth, if I can, later, but for the moment, in summary, I shall say that if we take the first stance as being truthful, then it ultimately leads to only few people having children if they look at things reasonably - that child-rearing may not actually be all it is cut out to be. The second stance, on the other hand, I believe, leads to the Repugnant Conclusion. If this all works out, perhaps I shall have proven myself an antisocial adolescent not entirely worthy of his life, but if not, no big deal - I can always start a new blog!

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