Basically, I'm struggling to arrive to a conclusion on this matter on my own. And in these situations I like discussing the topic with other people so I can see other sides that I have not considered and can submit my arguments for review and see if my logic follows or is faulty.
I apologize in advance for the disorganized ramble format, it's just a very messy subject for me. I guess I could tidy it up better and present it like a mini essay, but it would be somewhat dishonest or misleading to pretend that I have a hold of this horse when I absolutely don't. So, I think the stream of consciousness is a more honest and appropriate –even if messy– approach.
With that said, here it goes:
The way I understand it, the main reason for supporting antinatalism is that there's always pain in life.
There are varying amounts of it, of course, but you have no way of knowing what kind of pain your child will be exposed to. Thus, you're sort of taking a gamble with someone's life. And that, antinatalists say, is immoral.
I used to deeply agree with that sentiment. Now I don't agree with it so much, but I still cannot debunk it. I feel emotionally and irrationally, that it isn't quite right. But, I cannot defend these feelings rationally.
I think, if you're serious about antinatalism, that you are against creating life. Since life always comes with the possibility of pain. And, you cannot just end all the life forms that can feel pain and call it a day; on the contrary: you'd also have to end all the forms of life that cannot feel pain too, since, even though they cannot feel pain, they can create other life forms that can feel pain.
I guess a point could be made to only apply the antinatalist values to humans. Since only we have concepts of morally right and wrong, and animals don't know what they're donig. But we do know what they're doing, and why would you try to prevent other humans from creating life that can suffer but leave other animals able to do it? It's all suffering for innocent creatures, is it not?
I guess we could also imagine a form of life without pain. For example, a future with very advanced technology and medicine, artificial meat, etc. But getting there would mean subjecting a lot of people to a lot of pain. And even in that future, the possibility of pain is still there, which is what makes creating life immoral. It's not just the certainty of pain, but also the possibility of it alone.
So, in the end, the way I see it, being antinatalist means being anti-life. Sure, you can just be an antinatalist to yourself and not impose your values on other people. But if you're consistent with the antinatalist argument, then if it's wrong for you to have kids because they can suffer, it's also wrong for other people and even for animals.
And this doesn't seem right to me. Because, I mean, it's life. And I think ridding the world of life woud be a very sad thing, would it not?
But, again, this is just feelings. If I think about it rationally, the world and the universe are completely indifferent to the existence of life. A world without life, what does it matter? Specially if there's no one there to see it. Nothing makes life inherently better than no life. Since ethics doesn't really exist in the physical world.
It's neither right nor wrong for life to exist. But bringing life into a world of pain does certainly feel wrong from a morality standpoint.
But why is it wrong? We didn't create life. We didn't create pain. The injustice of it all exists not because of us.
But, we do have the power to end that suffering. And if we have the power to end suffering, shouldn't we end suffering? Isn't that what the moral values taught to us say (except for religious communities, I guess)?
You could always say, “well, it's not my fault that life is unfair, and it's not my responsibility to tackle that issue” or “the joy compensates for the pain”. Which might be valid points, but they don't take away the selfishness of having kids, do they? You're just ignoring the issue.
On the other hand, however, there are a lot of people who were born (which is an unfair act), but they aren't mad about it, they don't resent their parents, and they're happy and they wouldn't choose not to have been born. But does this make it okay? I think that it makes it not so bad, but at the end of the day it's still wrong, just “forgivable wrong” if that's even a thing.
Also, isn't it going too far? Applying morality to something so primitive, so abstract, so before morality, something that isn't even human?
But we also say murder, torture and rape are wrong, yet murder, torture and rape have been happening forever since they were first possible, for far longer than we humans have existed. So, how are they any different? If they can be wrong, so can life.
Furthermore, don't we have a right to follow our primitive instincts and reproduce? Allowing someone to “bring a life into a world of pain” is wrong, but so is taking away their right to fulfill their “naturally unjust” life.
I guess, if I was forced to give a conclusion, it would be something along the lines of: Creating life is wrong and selfish, yes. But it's okay because most people don't mind it and it's not really our fault that it exists nor our responsibility to end it. So, tough luck and YOLO?
I'm not too happy about that conclusion but it's the best I can come up with.
And as a corollary: to diminish the unfairness of birth, we should facilitate euthanasia and accept self-check-outs as a fair decision.
So, what do you think?
Is antinatalism right? Is my antinatalism right? Is it wrong? Is mine wrong? Why?
Is creating life fair? Is it not? Is it not but still okay? Why?