20 Nov | Antinatalism

Antinatalism is a philosophical position that assigns a negative value to birth. Antinatalists argue that people should refrain from procreation because it is morally bad (some also recognize the procreation of other sentient beings as morally bad). Is it ethical to bring more people into this already overpopulated world, given that many children are brought up in non-ideal circumstances? David Benatar is a famous proponent of this view. In his book, “Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence”, Benatar argues that there is an asymmetry between pleasure and pain, which means it would be better for humans not to have been alive. Philosopher Thomas Metzinger says that our species suffers (?) from existence bias. Ancesters that didn’t have the will to live obviously didn’t make it. Will we see through this bias with rational thinking and scientific findings? On the other hand, our world is becoming a better place to live in: longevity is increasing, poverty is in decline. Can science help us in making this world free of suffering, where instead we experience only “gradients of bliss”, in the words of transhumanist David Pearce? Would this future be desirable, or does suffering serve a higher purpose? What strategies might we employ to make the best of our lives?

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