Saturday, 30 June 2012

4 Reasons 'Free Disposal' is Incorrect

1. Tall buildings are often cordoned off
2. Suicide is incredibly hard to perform because of instinctual survival mechanisms, and because of love for one's family, friends etc.
3. There is always a chance of rescue, no matter how slim, and some people, like me, cannot afford to risk becoming paralysed with an even worse quality of life
4. Just because someone kills themselves does not mean all the suffering in their lives is negated. In fact, none of it is. In the immortal words of E.M. Cioran: "It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late". 

The fact that suicide does not mean suffering is cancelled is one of the many things antinatalism is based upon - because people should not be forced to suffer just because happy people exist. What would those happy people be deprived of had they not existed? Nothing, because non-existent people cannot be deprived of anything. What are depressed people deprived of? A lot.

Eat this, Bryan Caplan. 

EDIT: Super Duper Extra Bonus Reason: Suicide is often painful, which means you have to pay your way in suffering to actually get out of this horrible place. Which isn't exactly 'Free Disposal', is it, Bry-Bry? Was that in your plan, Caplan? Sorry, can't help myself.


  1. You forgot the most important point: jumping off heights, hanging and most other widespread ways of commiting suicide are painful.

    Give me instead a lethel dose of heroin or barbiturates and I'll do it in an instant at the next moment of despair, which I have no doubt will come again.

  2. #4 is very important and most people seem to miss it. Kicking someone in the balls and then handing them a free ice pack with your condolences is not ethically equivalent to just letting them be. Nice post.

  3. Equal Opportunity Troll1 July 2012 at 06:47

    Sister Wolf keeps deleteing my comments, so here goes...

    In this discussion, pronatalist scumbags Sister Wolf and Max Wolf tell antinatalists they are just depressed and they should kill themselves. When his father explains to him he is just a drug-addicted low-life loser, Max Wolf then proceeds the very next day to jump off a cliff. He FAILS, suffering horrible injuries, requiring surgery and painkillers.

    Bryan Caplan, are you paying attention? ROFLCOPTER!!!

    (Oh, and remember, don't torture children, m'kay?)

  4. To Anonymous: Thanks for the comment, I'll add the reason later. HOWEVER, NOTE THAT JUMPING FROM HEIGHTS AS LONG AS YOU DO IT FROM HIGH ENOUGH DOES NOT I REPEAT DOES NOT CAUSE PAIN. This is because the brain is destroyed long before any pain can be registered. I read about this a while ago and still can't get over how life-affirming it is. You probably need to jump head-first, though.

    Thanks Todd!

    Equal Opportunity Troll, I don't know what to say. I'm glad they're talking about antinatalism though, even if it's all bad. Thank god I'm not well known enough though for people to start slandering me (closest I've got is "depressed teenager venting" - paraphrase from some forum where they were talking about me. Not even cruel, just accurate! Score!). Poor Max Wolf. I suppose it's better that he lived since his wish probably wasn't all that accurate if he did it on impulse, but it's still horrible.

    1. Estnihil, jumping from heights is seriously gross. Do you really think we can place complete faith in "scientific" studies saying we won't feel pain after such a gross thing? We have some idea how scientists (don't) think.

  5. People like Caplan and other natalist fundies don't realize that EXISTENCE CANNOT BE ERASED. Being born is IRREVERSIBLE. There is no "freedom" there. A

    Also, asking people to kill themselves betrays a fundie mind with no compassion. But we already knew that.

  6. Sascha Vongehr is an interesting fellow. Thanks for the link! Here he talks briefly about procreation in the comments:
    And here he writes the following "I introduced here maybe two and a half novel criticisms that should cool the high hopes of transhumanists, and I have not even addressed the main point, namely that truly advanced intellects will likely soon seek nirvana anyway." (
    He also has Asperger's according to one article.

  7. Suicide doesn't erase pain, but it does prevent future pain. The relatively low rate of suicide seems evidence to me (and Caplan) that for most people life does not entail so much suffering that non-existence seems preferrable. That could still be the case even if some minority, possibly even including yourself, life does.

  8. Extra reason: Free disposal leads to the reductio ad absurdum that would permit any injustice as long as the victim prefers living afterwards.

  9. There´s no free disposal indeed. And when I see this, I just remember that phrase from Cioran as well. Good catch!

  10. What about the credence of a sort of mental nightmare after suicide? I mean, the poor fellow want to escape his horrible condition but find himself trapped in all his suffering amplified. That's the buddhist ojection against suicide. The moment of death time cease to flow, and if one dies in despair (which is the common condition of suicide) despair DON'T cease. Life remains trapped in the condition in which was at the moment of death.
    It doesn't sound very scientific, i'd like don't believe in that sort of hellish device, but to me is the first obstacle when i think about kill myself.
    We simply don't know how it works death. In violent, suddenly death, it seems, to a outside observer, that ego and coscience disappear in a blink.
    But we don't know how does it feels who is really dying. A blink, for him, can last one million years, in which he relives his dispair. This scares me from take any action
    There's in no way free disposal. It's true: being born is irreversible.
    Sorry for my english. I really enjoy all antinatalist stuff in Internet, which is strange for an Italian. Prolife in Italy is the only thing possible. We are Vatican influenced. No way out.

  11. ATT. MASSIMO: Did I not read a few years ago that Italy actually had the lowest birth rate of any country in the world?

  12. Sorry if I don't get around to replying to everyone, most of my replies would sound pretty much the same if I did things that way. Thanks if you've commented.

    To TGGP: I don't know what you're trying to say here. Both your arguments are going against a Strawman Antinatalism. As if most people preferring to be alive matters at all to antinatalism. Antinatalism: gambling with welfare, any harm done is parents' fault doing harm is morally wrong, bla bla bla. Nothing to do with people preferring to be alive. Also I'd point out that unborn people do not prefer anything, while existing people can not want to live. You don't gain anything from making happy people because no needs were fulfilled but you lose by making depressed people.

    Anonymous: Yeah that was pointed out by Sister Y's article on the subject, wasn't it? I'll link that too.

    Massimo: I'm sort of scared of that too now you mention it, but I've been assured by Stacy that since consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, it will end as soon as we are dead. As in, once our neurons peter out, that's it. Also if that happens when we die, then what's the difference? We're going to die eventually anyway, so the mental nightmare will happen then too. If it's worse than living life, then sure I guess you could argue you shouldn't kill yourself. But if it's the same or less than living life, then suicide is probably preferable.

  13. @ anonymous

    In Italy today, births are increasing because of immigration. Immigrants make children. Italians too, have started, in the last ten years, to have more children. You can see on TV 90 % ads of children's stuff, toys, food, markers of pregnancy, and only a 0,001% ads of contraceptives. It's quite amazing.
    The are some laws which helps family with many children: they can more easily find a popular house (house of the government) ecc, ecc. Large families are those of immigrants.
    The problem is that Italy is a small country overpopulated and no one seems to notice this real difficulty. We built houses more or less illegal in 75 percent of our coasts. We are crazy.

    @ Estnihil
    I should have said that mental nightmare is THE consequence of suicide. Who dies in a more "natural" way, not necessarily has "afterlife" nightmares. It is a sort of law-of-life punishment for the suicidal act. It would be very annoying if it were true ... you would have to live until natural death. Only who dies peacefully can avoid "nightmares". How can a suffering brain, dies peacefully?
    The problem, the REAL problem is not suicide, or antilife or prolife, but SUFFERING. I know that you guys know very well all this stuff. But to me, knowing or not, this is the point.
    Buddhism search for enlightenment, nirvana relief from all the pain ... it could be nice. But the mystery remains. Fear remains. I guess it's quite hamletic.