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Old 09-24-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
Reputation: 6081

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Life also entails joy. By procreating and taking care of your offspring, you are bringing them happiness.

Someone who believes they are nothing but a "congenital sufferer" for having been born seems to fit the description of someone who is depressed. The balance of your life may have been more suffering than joy, meaning that you are not depressed but rather realistic, but you should recognize that this is not true for everyone else.

How can you count death as a negative if you count life as majority suffering? Death would be celebrated as the end of suffering. Since the majority of people do not welcome death, this would indicate that they enjoy and appreciate their life.
I don't think you understand the antinatalist point. It is not that life is 100% suffering or even that most lives are mostly suffering. It is that there is a great deal of suffering in the world, it is not possible to guarantee that the level of suffering of any random child will ultimately be acceptable to that child, and therefore, bringing a child into such a scenario is inherently done for one's own reasons and not for the benefit of the child.

I don't believe it follows from this that it's immoral to have children. Having a child is a very personal choice and it's also immoral to second guess the highly personal decisions of others.

What I believe does follow is that a good deal more awareness should be brought to the process of having a child, than typically is -- and that a lot more care should go into the decision itself. Children are too often conceived with practically zero thought put into whether the parents can afford it, are mature enough to do a good job, and with minimal planning. In affluent societies, people get lazy and assume that some combination of luck, pluck, and social safety nets will carry the day. In poor societies, having many children can often just become a survival strategy. Either way, no thought goes into it.

As for embracing death as an end to suffering ... don't discount that as you get older, this tends to be more and more the stance, whether you cast it in a positive light as "calm acceptance" or are open about it by saying that you're weary and you've had enough. That's not at all the same as being depressed, although to the extent you have regrets and/or disappointments you might be reactively depressed about those -- which, in turn, is still different from clinical depression.

It is possible to draw conclusions that aren't all bright sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, and do it because of a rational assessment. It is possible to regard something as unfortunate for reasons other than "being depressed". Beyond a certain point all this tsk-tsking about depression becomes a cop-out.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,107 posts, read 24,907,607 times
Reputation: 11146
No it is in no way selfish, some people just aren't cut out to be parents and a lot wiser than some of the boneheads out there who should not be parents but are.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:11 AM
 
41 posts, read 39,075 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Life also entails joy. By procreating and taking care of your offspring, you are bringing them happiness.

Someone who believes they are nothing but a "congenital sufferer" for having been born seems to fit the description of someone who is depressed. The balance of your life may have been more suffering than joy, meaning that you are not depressed but rather realistic, but you should recognize that this is not true for everyone else.

How can you count death as a negative if you count life as majority suffering? Death would be celebrated as the end of suffering. Since the majority of people do not welcome death, this would indicate that they enjoy and appreciate their life.
I don't deny life entails joy. My life is not only suffering, and I don't believe I am only a congenital sufferer. The point is that morality places a higher value on suffering prevention. Thus we don't have a duty to create happiness and joy but we only have a duty to prevent suffering.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:19 AM
 
41 posts, read 39,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
By what measure does the universe define itself without self-aware life forms to appreciate it? The uniqe ability of the human animal to distinguish itself from its environment is the means by which all beauty, art, love, (as well as uglyness, destructiveness, and hate) are created. Without minds to appreciate the universe, it is nothing but a gigantic clockwork in an empty room, winding down to a pointless entropic end.

Having evolved (or been created) as self-aware beings able to look at a sunset and declare it beautiful (have you seen your cat do this?), or hear birdsong and call it musical, we have a duty to perpetuate our species as the yardstick against which the universe can be measured and declared to exist. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, it does not matter if it makes a sound. If the universe exists but no one appreciates it, it does not matter if it exists.
Certainly the universe does not "care" about humans. The universe does not need observation, and we don't make it a meaningful place. If we went extinct today, the universe wouldn't be missing anything.
Humans only have importance to humans.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:11 PM
 
878 posts, read 775,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorees View Post
Certainly the universe does not "care" about humans. The universe does not need observation, and we don't make it a meaningful place. If we went extinct today, the universe wouldn't be missing anything.
Humans only have importance to humans.
Right the ***k ON!!!
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:37 PM
 
Location: NJ, USA
70 posts, read 76,573 times
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The problem with the argument of "there is also joy in the world" is that no amount of joy fixes what is wrong with the world. I do not like that I live in a world where poverty, starvation, homelessness, thugs, rapists, murderers, thieves, abuse, and suffering in general exists. Choosing not to bring another person to see and live in this world is one of the most humane decisions a person can make, if not the most humane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil75230 View Post
Because of these two factors, I would say suicide is legitimate only when there is no realistic hope of ever again being minimally able to endure life for the sake of others.
I might be misunderstanding here, but I don't agree that somebody should decide against suicide simply because other people don't want them to do it. If the feelings of others is a genuine concern for them, yes, but if they've come to the final decision and have made up their minds, I don't like the idea of them being made to feel guilty for it. I think a person should have the right to end his or her life if the person chooses so.

It's one thing to let a suicidal person know that they are loved and will be missed, but using other people's emotions to guilt that person is selfish in my opinion.

Last edited by Kaye Star; 09-24-2013 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:20 PM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,677 posts, read 3,059,252 times
Reputation: 3132
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
I'm not sure about the first sentence, but I've never heard a non-selfish reason for having children:
1) I want to be a parent
2) I want to experience childbirth
3) I want a family
4) I want someone to care for and nurture and see grow
5) I just feel it is something I'm meant to do
6) I don't want to be alone in my old age
7) They think they could be good parents and raise good children and the world needs more good people
etc.

Nothing wrong with any of those inherently, but it is hard to see that they are not selfish.



You do realize that every point here involves the words, "I want", right? When a person says "I want" they're not really doing it for anyone, BUT themselves. Well, except for 5 and 7, but they still imply the person wants something.

1) Wanting to be a parent is selfish. They're doing it for themselves, not for the child.
2) Experiencing childbirth has got to be even higher on the selfish reasons. Why not adopt instead? To me, that's not selfish.
3) You have a family (your mom/dad, siblings, cousin, etc). Oh, you meant you want a family "of your own". Selfish, yet again.
4) You want someone to care for? OMG. Go care for the elderly. They'll appreciate it more than a child. Go care for animals. Having a child so you can care for it? Really?
5) So, you want to have a kid to fulfill some empty void in your life. If I felt like I needed to kill people, does that make it right or unselfish? I doubt it.
6) This is the WORST and MOST selfish reason out there period. To have a child, so someone will take care of you and you won't be alone. HOw are you even keeping a straight face saying this isn't selfish?
7) I'll give this one the benefit of the doubt. However, many people who think they are good parents, aren't. All you have to do is look at their children and know the truth.



Everything you wrote screams of selfishness of the parents. I hope you can see that, because it is VERY hard to see that those 7 items are NOT selfish. That's because they ARE selfish.

(I really hope the original post I quoted from was supposed to be sarcastic)
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:39 PM
 
19,078 posts, read 21,923,667 times
Reputation: 13432
Psichick, I think you are misunderstanding him. You two are saying the same thing as far as I can tell.

Anyhow, sponger, you are an intelligent and insightful soul. Thank you for posting.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:27 PM
 
2,759 posts, read 3,426,026 times
Reputation: 3087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorees View Post
Certainly the universe does not "care" about humans. The universe does not need observation, and we don't make it a meaningful place. If we went extinct today, the universe wouldn't be missing anything.
Humans only have importance to humans.
Well, if today's U.S. society is any indication, SOME humans only have importance to SOME humans.
The media is full of what humans do to each other - and it ain't pretty.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,912 posts, read 2,548,946 times
Reputation: 3200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorees View Post
Certainly the universe does not "care" about humans. The universe does not need observation, and we don't make it a meaningful place. If we went extinct today, the universe wouldn't be missing anything.
Humans only have importance to humans.
Exactly. An asteroid or quasar could wipe us out at any given moment. We have also done more harm than good to this planet. Insisting that people procreate is BS considering how overpopulated this planet is.
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