One From the Grandfather of Antinatalism

If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence? or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood.

                                                                                                                               Arthur Schopenhauer

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9 Comments

  1. John
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Loved the quote. Leads you to other philosophies you hadn’t taken a look at. Enjoy the website. I think we should license breeding…for people that is. We have to have a license to do just about anything in life, why not procreation?

  2. isaywhattheywont
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Well, licensing would certainly be a start!

    Thanks for visiting, John; and for your comment. Drop by any time!

  3. Sunday'sMourning
    Posted May 28, 2008 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    John you are so right. We need a license for damn near everything else we do, why not the most important/monumental thing?!

    I believe at the very least parents-to-be should be required to take early childhood development, basic neurology, and a general psychology course. Maybe some type of standardized test which would allow them to demonstrate their knowledge of the MANY parenting styles that exist. I don’t think child rearing is an area where you want to wing it. Of course you can’t completely control everything, but you should have a general idea about what you hope to accomplish and how you’d like to go about it.

    Another thing, we really need to change the terminology. “Having a baby” is too cutesy and they don’t stay babies! It completely trivializes the whole thing. It should be referred to as exactly what it is – CREATING A NEW PERSON.

    “Reggie and I have decided to have a baby” vs. ”Reggie and I have decided to create a new person.”

    Which one sounds more serious?

  4. isaywhattheywont
    Posted May 28, 2008 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I like your point about the terminology, Sunday’s. We so often use euphemistic language in our efforts to subtly obfuscate what we’re really talking about. IMO, it’s all about evading the hard truths inherent in the choices we make.

    Thanks for the clarity.

  5. Belgrave Ninnis
    Posted August 23, 2008 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    “… have decided to create a new person.” What an excellent, excellent point. An immeasurably more truthful representation of what is being contemplated.

  6. dark chocolate
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    “creating a new person” vs. “having a baby” makes a difference, but i think referring to it as “creating another person” may even be more honest, since what really is “new” about people?

  7. Rspec mah Arthuritah
    Posted March 8, 2014 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    There can be no higher title than ‘grandfather of antinatalism’. You know, I often get stunned at the response antinatalists get out in the wild wooly web, being called childish, weak, narrow minded, whiny, soft, emo, suicidal, disturbed, cheerless etc as if the messenger is the message. This is actually a very mainstream thread. Did you know that Schopenhauer was the 19th century most influential philosopher? Add that to ecclesiastes/job, buddha’s observations, buddha/christ’s example….really it’s a spectrum. Occidentals think Orientals hate life, Nietzche thinks westerners have a slave morality, Orientals think Nietzche is blinded by blind drives to the point of venerating them, and so it goes. I think Nietche admired Islam, or at least Mohammed, possibly the most fecund and poltical founder of a major religion. Iguess Appollonian ‘control over matter’ doesn’t really matter compared to fanaticism and drive. So leaving aside a tribal religion that rejected the civilising influences of the greeks, babylonians and egyptians, and from Al-Ghazali on discounted rationality, causal thinking, external influence etc, thinking people generally agree there is nothing outside the present moment. If it doesn’t justify itself you don’t get the balance at a latet date, ergo suffering is the great injustice. Nothing glorious in it, rationality says avoid suffering at all costs, even if trading it for lesser suffering. I am irrational enough to not put up with the brief pain of thorough suicide, but no way I am passing this on. Unless global culture gets gripped by a fear of reincarnation and we make a species projecto f drestroying this reality. I could sing my kids up for that.

  8. Eddie
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    We need to give the world back to the animal kingdom. We humans evolved by chance proving how imperfect and unintelligent the universe really is. All of those filthy, cretinious, creationists can take a flying fu@@ off of a narrow ledge just as their minds are, too.

    • Daniel
      Posted January 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Even though I realize that antinatlism is more a philosphical position than an actual program that could be successfully implemented, I’m an antinatalist regarding all life…not just human life. There is probably more suffering in the animal kingdom than in human civilization. Animals eating each other is just brutal and it happens constantly. What’s the point?? There is none. Sentient life in all forms is a mistake and is accomplishing nothing of importance in the universe. All we’re doing is consuming and leaving waste behind. I sometimes picture the earth totally void of all sentient life…no sounds except the wind blowing through the trees and it makes me happy. No suffering, no illness, no cancer, no animals being devoured, no natural disasters, not terrorist attacks, no plagues, no starvation, no pandemics or epidemics, no war, etc.

      Stop creating life and you stop creating suffering. Simple as that.


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