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One category is survival. Anything to do with keeping oneself alive in a society (work, consumption, trade, production, hunting, gathering, etc..) is something which is a form of suffering that we all must deal with. We toil, struggle, go through small and large unpleasant annoyances to maintain ourselves. Next, is the category of boredom. We become bored when we are not engaged in some activity or thought, and we must find an arbitrary goal to keep us out of boredom. Because of our inherent need to escape boredom when we are in that feeling of voidedness we are usually not in it too long. Finally there is the entertainment, or ways we find to kill time to escape the boredom. These fleeting entertainments are temporary solutions to try to escape the boredom of human existence. It could be any arbitrary goal of making a new business, dancing around the tribal fire and making jewelry out of bone to meditating or reading a book. The fleeting entertainments we use to fill the voidedness of boredom is endless. For these three reasons we are inherently suffering.
Besides the inherent suffering there is the external sufferings we are born into and which we may or may not experience at some point in our lives. That is emotional trauma, physical trauma of some sort resulting in clashes with other people, clashes with mental illness, clashes with natural phenomena, clashes with disease, clashes with small anoyances of daily activity.
For all these reasons, our moral imperative should be to act in the best interests of the not yet born generations of humans, the potential humans if you will, and not "cast" them into the world by the act of procreation. By not procreating you are not creating sources for more suffering in the world. It is too late for those who already exist (suicide is a different matter as it deals with the subject of whether it is better to keep existing, this is about whether it is better to start an existence).
In a similar vein of the anti-procreation stance, a philosopher named David Benetar wrote a book titled "Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence". Briefly paraphrasing his premise, he states that: the presense of pleasure is good and the presense of pain is bad. However, while the absence of pain is good, if a non-existent potential person is deprived of a non-existent pleasure, than that is not bad. In other words, a non-existent "potential being" will not be deprived of the good of existence as he doesn't exist to be deprived of it.
To understand more about what I'm saying or to see a little more about where I'm coming from. Please go to: condemnedtoexistence.blogspot- This site is more of a real essay on what the anti-procreation movement is all about. A second site is anti-procreationmovement.blogspot - this is more of a rant that is unedited, but has the same basic idea. Ok, feel free to criticise and critique my argument. It is philosophy afterall. But feel free to agree.
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Your belief that the absence of pain is good, while the absence of pleasure is not bad, would make suicide the most rational course of action for you to follow. By staying alive you are being inconsistent with your beliefs.
The problem is that you are trying to pass off your opinion (that life is sh*t) as objective fact. If you did have children they might live to hold the opposite opinion, as I do.
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Should we deny theoretical children the right to they choice to enjoy life? These people exist in our minds, in the abstract world,and if it can be concieved it can exist (even if not concieved, it may be in existance). this opinion seems to draw more to a belief of all the percieved pain in the world, without an equal interest in the beauty and pleasure. It isn't a balanced theory, nor very sound--I object to ceasing the human race because its hard to exist. But if you wish to abstain, that just means more room for my own children.
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First, you would deny your own place in a beautiful, albeit, at the same time, tragic, struggling, groaning Universe?
The Universe and life would not have come into existence if there were not a higher/deeper meaning to it that we can't fathom as human beings. There have been multitudes of men and women who are brilliant but in many ways the human mind is finite -- at the same time the human mind is "infinite" -- perhaps a contradiction in terms. We cannot really conceive of God's/the Universe's greater plan for us because of our finite minds. We cannot see the End, so we cannot have all the answers -- all we can do is philosophise -- that is also part of the beauty of the human mind which God ordained for us.
If the choice/the burden was yours, would you destroy the human race, the whole of the universe -- [just in case there is life on other planets]? You say that procreation is immoral -- if you take that concept to its end -- what do you have left? On some level, I have always believed that humanity would not have been created, had not God/the Universe needed us. I seem to have run off at a tangent here.
Had your parents thought it was "immoral to procreate", you would not have the freedom or the existence to make that statement.
What about Einstein, Scweitzer, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Martin Luther King, Jr., Maximilian Kolbe (the priest in Auchwitz who stepped forward and gave his life for another man who survived Auchwitz -- does that other man wish Kolbe had not existed?
What about the unborn children who are aborted? Whether their life would be a happy one or a sad one, if they were able to make a choice, do you think they would feel "immoral" and have their existence denied?
My life has at times been existentially speaking, a living hell, but at the same time, it has also been at times a heaven on Earth. But, for me, I would always choose LIFE, LIFE, LIFE.
We all have the choice to procreate or not. But to procreate is not immoral -- that would be denying the existence of GOOD in the world and would be espousing EVIL. There is both.
Someone said that the only way for evil to thrive in the world is for good men to do nothing. Why I said that I know not why.
LIFE, LIFE, LIFE TO ALL OF YOU.
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- Joined: February 16th, 2009, 5:43 am
A lot of people see a child as a gift from God
which is a good way to look at it
I am of the belief in opposites
without feeling the bad emotions we can not experience the great things life has to offer fully
I hope that all here find ultimate sadness - at some point
because then - and only then - can we feel alive!
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One is argument for not procreating for the sake of lessening the burden on natural resources.
Two is arguing for not procreating to save possible beings the inevitable suffering that existence includes.
Any individual who lives according to ethic number One is more responsible than most people who apparently reproduce with no view to future shortages.Including me, my excuse is that I reproduced many years before future shortages were aired and we had enough money to provide for babies.
If everybody behaved according to Two, there would soon be no more human beings. While this would be good for the natural environment, the good that humans can and do do would be lost and lost forever.This course (and this is the point that #1 makes)would save untold sufferings, and would therefore be good. Perhaps this suicide of our species is what will happen to us unless individuals' natural selfishness wins the day.
Has it ever happened that an animal species or a human group commits suicide because of shortages, epidemic, or threat of war?
(Dylan, you make me hope the human race continues)
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antiprocreation wrote:It is my premise that it is immoral for any human to procreate.
If it is immoral to procreate, then it is also immoral for me to procreate the idea that it is immoral to procreate.
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- Joined: June 11th, 2009, 10:18 am
However, having children before being prepared to have them, will likely have harmful results, and therefore would be immoral. Having too many children, stressing the environment and creating excessive competition for what the environment can provide, is harmful, and therefore, immoral. The morality of procreation is relative to the conditions.
The answer to your question Belinda, is yes. Unfortunately, I do not remember the details, but a religious group decided life is suffering and the whole group decided to end their suffering by not reproducing. As I wrote that- several groups that committed group suicide came to mind. The most recent are the group suicides that are occurring in Japan. Here the most common method is to meet other suicidal people on line, and the get together in a car and burn coal, causing death by carbon dioxide. Japan is already suffering a low birth rate, and can not afford to loose individuals. On the other hand, I have read competition in Japan is excessive. Their drive for excellence may be having a negative impact?
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- Joined: October 22nd, 2009, 2:49 pm
Coming from an atheist and Darwinist who see life as unjoyous and difficult, the argument that procreation is wrong makes good sense to me. However, there are atheists and Darwinists who believe a short, relatively meaningless life (when compared to the beliefs of those who believe in eternal life in which a sort of paradise is obtainable) is better than no life at all.
Any one who believes in God or in a greater purpose for our existence on earth would disagree. There are many religious groups who claim life has a greater meaning than can be defined by the life of any one individual through the course of one lifetime.
Christians, I think, would tend to say every life is sacred because it is a gift from God. Christians and others who believe in reincarnation, as I do, would say that a birth is just the continuation of the journey of a soul in obtaining spiritual enlightenment. If you adhere to this belief, you may also adhere to the belief that each and every birth has been planned or arranged by parents and the child while existing in a spiritual state, prior to the actual event.
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"Ephemeral wretch, begotten by accident and toil, why do you force me to tell you what it would be your greatest boon not to hear? What would be best for you is quite beyond your reach; not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. But the second best is to die soon!"
I'd like to hear how Apollo would reply to such a claim, but that seems beyond our reach presently as well.