Atroxology/Neganthropology

[Excerpt from my book ANTINATALISMUS. Ein Handbuch, translated into English by Dr Alexander Reynolds]

The concept “atroxology” derives from the Latin term “atrocitas”, meaning “the horrible”, “the repellent”, “the hard to bear”.

The concept was coined by Karl Georg Zinn. In his book “Cannons and Plague. On the Origins of Modernity in the 14th and 15th Centuries”  Zinn uses the term “atroxic” to designate the intensity of destructive events and activity especially around the beginning of modernity in the 14th Century in connection with the invention and the first utilization of firearms and later, worldwide, in the course of the 20th Century. Zinn calls for the development of an “atroxology” as “the doctrine of destructive human action”. His own writings can be read as “an introduction to the atroxology of the 14th Century”. Zinn justifies his neologism “atroxic” by pointing out that the German language (in which he wrote his book) contains no word adequate to the naming and conceptualizing of “the temporal concentration and the extreme atrociousness and inhumanity of the orgy of destruction” in question (Zinn).

In terms of the conceptual apparatus of antinatalism Zinn’s atroxology would be classed as a neganthropology. Antinatalists make the case for an atroxology/neganthropology being made a compulsory component of all teaching of history in public educational institutions. Schoolchildren must be informed and enlightened regarding all the horrendous costs and losses which have hitherto inseparably accompanied our stubborn prolongation – from individual to individual and from generation to generation – of the experiment “Man”.  Enlightened polities require citizens informed enough to make mature decisions – i.e. citizens who have been familiar since their schooldays with just what it means to prolong for even a minute longer the experiment “Man”.

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