Food consumption and procreation are two aspects of the human condition that need to be challenged. What would become the vegetarian movement started to scrutinize meat consomption as a behaviour pattern responsible for unspeakable suffering. After hundreds of years of dietary enlightenment those of us who still eat meat will have to tolerate that they are called RUTHLESS: They continue their complicity with animal suffering in spite of their being well aware of the cruel pictures.
The case for our procreative habits is analogous but different inasmuch as anti-procreative enlightenment has just begun. Cruel pictures of suffering humans are all around us. But there is no comparable movement revealing the link between suffering humans and procreation. And, of course, the majority of all people who’ve come into contact with the antinatalist moral theory will just carry on as before. Proving their ruthlessness: Complicity with future human suffering. The majority – but not all. And every single revoked pronatal decision counts.
Four grown ups and one baby around a dinner table. At some point in time they are talking such nasty things as Altzheimer’s and the necessity to take care of one’s ailing parents. Later at night the couple with the baby express their wish to have yet another baby a few years from now.
As a matter of fact they do not grasp the connecting line between today’s babies and tomorrow’s Altzheimer patients. Is there really no insight, not the slightest feeling of guilt or comprehension of the fact that they as parents are acting in such a way that a few decades from now one more person will suffer from diseases of ageing? Actually, this should be a no-brainer.
It looks like a claim might be admitted in Louisiana against a woman named Sofia Vergana on behalf her own deep frozen (fertilised?) eggs. This opens up an odd metaphysics of non-existence. Hitherto courts did hardly ever allow any reasoning from the viewpoint of non-existence: As a rule, a person could not sue her parents because they acted in such a way that the person began to exist, simply because that ‘person’ was not better off before she began to exist.
Deep-frozen eggs are no living human beings (even though some people might dispute this). If it is now possible to sue somebody because he or she failed to act in such a way that a new human being begins to live, then this is a pronatal judgement from the vantage point of non-existence. By the same token it would then be possible for a person who never wanted to exist to sue her parents because ‘they forced existence upon her as a non-exister’.
The compensating self underwent a series of attacks:
Along with waning faith came the dismantling of paradise. A future void of paradise means there’ll be no afterlife compensation for yesterday’s and today’s grievances, and perhaps no remuneration for ethically good deeds.
The next trauma for the compensating self was the dismantling of history: With the shipwreck of the Russian and the Chinese Revolution, at the latest, it became clear to the compensating self that there would be no better future for all.
Hereupon the compensating self restricted itself to its own children saying: ‘My children and grandchildren will lead a better life!’ We all know that this is a rather ambitious projection against the backdrop of global warming not to mention dwindling resources such as arable land.
Today the compensating self is depleted and exhausted. But it carries on with its business even though – because of its emptiness – it has become ruinous.
In order to propagate non-propagation antinatalists may want to point out the nowadays ruinous character of the compensating self.
Is it all right if the serene antinatalist propagates non-propagation? For many a contemporary it is not. Many people seem to conceive of antinatalists as fundamentally messed up characters. An antinatalist in their view will have to be someone who is completely dissatisfied with his life, someone for whom life is an ordeal. However, an antinatalist might be satisfied with his or her personal life and still think it would have been better to never have begun to exist. There is no contradiction in this from the viewpoint of the logic of morals (an important point made by Julio Cabrera in his CRÍTICA DE LA MORAL AFIRMATIVA and later on by Saul Smilansky in his 10 MORAL PARADOXES).
In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, after the Fall and before the expulsion from paradise, it becomes clear to Eve that all future generations will have to suffer as a result of the first parent’s sin. In the face of future suffering, she suggests to Adam to either refrain from procreation or to commit suicide:
If care of our descent perplex us most,
Which must be born to certain woe, devoured
By death at last, and miserable it is
To be to others cause of misery,
Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring
Into this cursed world a woeful race,
That after wretched life must be at last
Food for so foule a monster, in thy power
It lies, yet ere conception to prevent
The race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
Childless thou art, childless remain: So death
Shall be deceaved his glut, and with us two
Be forced to satisfie his ravenous maw.
But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
From love’s due rites, nuptial embraces sweet,
And with desire to languish without hope,
Before the present object languishing
With like desire, which would be misery
And torment less then none of what we dread,
Then both our selves and seed at once to free
From what we fear for both, let us make short,
Let us seek death, or, he not found, supply
With our own hands his office on ourselves;
(Tenth Book, 979-1002)
Milton ’s Eve is promoting here either abstention from procreation or suicide to escape from the suffering of existence. In the face of wrongful existence for the future members of the human race, Eve first suggests the antinatalist option, then suicide.
Most parents presuppose the principle of primortality. They start a new life from the tacit assumption that they will die well before their child since for most parents loss of a child would be the biggest catastrophe they can think of.
When deciding to procreate most parents don’t seem to be aware of the fact that for most children loss of a beloved parent is among the biggest catastrophes they can think of. At the same time most children are doomed by their parent to be still around when their parents pass away.
In order to progagate non-propagation antinatalists might talk about the immorality of the principle of primortality wherever they meet people prone to procreate.