Missed You?

‘Missed You?’ might be a good idea for a song to listen to, but read for yourself:

“Look back also and see how the ages of everlasting time past before we were born have been to us nothing.” (Lucretius, as quoted yesterday)

Had our parents not acted in such a way that we eventually began to exist, we wouldn’t have missed ourselves. Nor would anybody.

Make an ethical argument out of this: If NOBODY acts in such a way that someone eventually begins to exist, there will be no one there who would be left out. There are no selves out there on whose behalf we are to procreate.

The foundations for this insight are old. Lucretius is one of its philosophical harbingers.

Horribile apparet?

respice item quam nil ad nos ante acta vetustas temporis aeterni fuerit,

quam nascimur ante.

hoc igitur speculum nobis natura futuri temporis exponit post mortem denique nostram.

numquid ibi horribile apparet?

num triste videtur quicquam?

non omni somno securius exstat?

(Lucretius, De rerum natura)


Look back also and see how the ages of everlasting time past before we were born have been to us nothing. This therefore is a mirror which nature holds up to us, showing the time to come after we at length shall die. Is there anything horrible in that? Is there anything gloomy? Is it not more peaceful than any sleep?


Antinatalism and ETI

We would rejoice at the disvovery of extraterrestrial (intelligent) life, wouldn’t we? Wait a minute, the circumspect antinatalist will tell us. Rather than jubilate we should feel sorrow. Why? Well, because other life forms, however alien they may be, will be in need of some kind of conscious alert system to prevent the single living beings from self destruction. Alien living beings, strange though they may be, will be able to feel what we call pain. This is the reason why the full grown antinatalist will not jubilate at incoming radio signals from Alpha Centauri or other regions of space and time.

Ever more inhabitable planets that are being discovered are a strong indicator that there will be much more suffering out there in space than people were generally inclined to assume only a few decades ago.

For more see “Should Extraterrestrials Exist?” (Sollen Außerirdische sein?, chapter 15 of my book ALIEN INTRODUCTION INTO PHILOSOPHY / AUSSERIRDISCHE EINLEITUNG IN DIE PHILOSOPHIE, 2002).