Sunday, 22 July 2012

I don't particularly care if you believe me about antinatalism

Oh god would that it were true. I care so much what people say about antinatalism it has become a nervous compulsion like picking scabs for me to search on the internet for people badmouthing us. I don't mind people saying we're wrong (oh god I do, I really do), but when they start ad homineming all over the place I get all jittery. I am a horrible person. I say this because it's generally true - I do not meet the standards that most people would put on others to qualify as a true human being. That's mainly because of autism and hatred and depression and bla bla bla you know the drill. But when someone else says not only I, but everyone in this community are horrible people I crawl into a ball inside myself and don't come out for ages. And it's happened before. Once, but there's a lot of hostility in general towards us.

I like to think I'm a polite arguer. I'm not in real life, but on the land of the internet, I am quite mild-mannered. But as far as I can see we've got something of a reputation for being not open-minded and not listening to 'reason', and we use emotional arguments ALL THE TIME. I don't understand how that could be true. I've certainly never seen that going on. Is this all a case of "What you're arguing scares us/violates our most sacred truths, so we will subconsciously view you as a cunt"? Maybe the middle path is best. Maybe we've been a bit too ferocious? I doubt it. But if we have, it's hardly undeserved. I'm not a fan of tit-for-tat, but still, we get regularly abused in forums all the time. You get at least one insult per thread, minimum. And usually there's a lot more than that.

In any case what it comes down to is this: we have a bad rep. How do we fix it? Antinatalist Charity Campaigns? I don't really think we'll be able to fix it until the clouds clear and antinatalism becomes more well known - well known enough for us to stop being called a cult or deluded. Which may not ever happen. But in case it does, I'd say as soon as people stop subconsciously vilifying us, then involvement in actions to prevent human suffering (that aren't assisted suicide or sterilisation) might help our cause. But for the moment we can do NOTHING. est nihil (There is nothing) we can do.


  1. I think it's just because people know the antinatalist argument is logically watertight. The majority live by feelings and emotions and, dare I say, fear. Everyone is desperate to believe life in general, and their own lives in particular, have meaning and are, ultimately, for the best. When it's spelt out in basic, clear terms why this may not be the case, they become defensive and then hostile. It's only to be expected. The ultimate irony is that it's the pro-lifers who resort to emotional rhetoric, not the ANs.

  2. People often react in a very hostile way to anything that is a fundamental threat to their worldview. The same type of defensive and hostile reaction can be seen in discussions about politics and religion. There is also a tendency to dehumanize people who have a different worldview, and that further contributes to the hostility.

  3. I couldnt agree more with K and S above me.

    You are fine, estnihil. =)

  4. Thanks Karl, Stacy and Shadow for your comments!

    Karl - I don't think it's much of a choice whether you live by your feelings or not, since 'rationalists' such as Bryan Caplan don't even bother to look into the arguments behind antinatalism, but simply cast it aside because it doesn't coincide with their almighty worldview. I think you can try though, though sometimes your best attempts, as we can see by the most logical people not joining us, can still fail. And I love that irony now you've pointed it out for me!

    Stacy - I definitely agree with your worldview theory.

    Shadow - Thanks!

  5. "Don't fuck with my rose-colored glasses!"

    -Everyone, at some point