This article will be divided into 10 sections:
What are Antinatalists?
Antinatalist solutions to overpopulation problems
Arthur Schopenhauer's Universal Pessimism Philosophy
Liberal Principles with Antinatalism
Nietzsche, Amor Fati and Antinatalities
Better to never be - David Benatar
Children are not tools to fill the void in our lives
Antinatalists are philosophical ethical positions that give negative values to procreative activities. Antinatalists are a completely new school in my country. People are used to thinking that childbirth is a common thing and is even a very important function for a woman.
Like the Anarchism movement, the idea of anti-natalism has been around for at least 2,500 years, but I think the term 'anti-natalist' is a fairly recent creation to describe this philosophy. It seems that some scattered individuals have thought about it thousands of years ago, and even recorded their ideas; call it the misanthropic philosopher "Arthur Schopenhauer" and the blind poet "Abu Al-Ma'ari".
Many Greeks tragedies and Hindu-Buddhist texts talk about so many ideas that give a negative value to birth, it is not new but unfortunately fails to return.
Within Christianism, there are church movements that openly condemn procreation as the work of Satan; let's just say: Gnosticism, Catharism, Bogomils, and Marcion.
Thomas Robert Malthus on June 7, 1798, published an essay entitled, "Essay on the Principle of Population"
In the essay, Malthus criticized William Godwin's future utopia of society that if one day it will come. An era where there was no war, where technology in agriculture and industry developed rapidly. There is food and drink available to everyone and sex is no longer a priority so it does not cause high birth rates.
Malthus wiped out the beautiful "Godwin's daydream". By arguing that food resources for survival are produced very slowly and very limited, while the human desire for sex (reproduction) will continue to increase as a result of the instinct to conserve species. This will result in a high rate of human population growth while the available food resources are not able to cover all of them.
Malthus argued that the growth rate of the human population followed a series of measurements which when measured in numbers would read 1,2,4,8,16, and so on. Meanwhile, the food resources that are produced will follow a series of measurements which when measured in numbers will read as 1,2,3,4,5, and so on.
In other words, this condition will result in one day the available food resources are no longer sufficient for human needs.
Godwin's “daytime sweet dreams” completely collapsed.
Overpopulation is a serious problem. Although some online scholars don't believe it. On the contrary, believe that Man can get out of any situation he faces. That doesn't justify continuing to breed. Just a belief that we can get through everything. The problem is that the Malthusian disaster has not erupted.
I believe each of us must take concrete steps. But it seems most don't think too much of it, instead deny it. I know denial is a human psychic mechanism when faced with dangers whose solutions are so undesirable.
So what are all the governments of the world doing? They only talk about education, condom distribution, and high taxes for having children. While nothing serious.
Some people interpret a pandemic like Covid-19 that is happening to us today as a natural mechanism for population balance. You are serious? Nature never cares for you. Your species survive because your species adapts and not Nature tries to adapt to you.
We find many facts in evolutionary biology that it is common for species to become extinct due to overpopulation. Then, you think that amid an epidemic like this, the rate of reproduction is decreasing? You may need to read the statistics for births during the outbreak.
Even though we are a species that has an above-average level of intelligence, the reality is that breeding is another matter. Due to the combination of lust, fear of loneliness, and the need for meaning, Humans continue to reproduce no matter what the facts are.
Based on the description above about Malthusian thinking and the problem of Overpopulation, I have one solution to this problem. Yes, especially if it's not anti-natalism!
Amid the fact that the human population is increasing, it becomes a very laudable attitude if some individuals are willing to take an inactive role in reproduction to suppress the number of the human population.
I realize that Malthus's opinion is gray (still unclear; still raises pros and cons). Some scholars believe that the available food resources are sufficient to fulfill the entire population of mankind, but because of the unfair distribution in the Capitalism system which allows investors to harvest as many resources as possible. So that the problem of food resource crisis arises.
Therefore, my writing will not only touch on the problem of overpopulation but also the problems of life which are more dominated by suffering and pain. We will discuss this in the next section.
Arthur Schopenhauer was a misanthropic philosopher who was deeply influenced by Immanuel Kant and Buddhism. He wrote a book called, "The world as will and representation".
He's thinking that the World as Representation was influenced by Kantian Phenomenology. Kant argued that we cannot access objects according to what they are (noumena) but always objects according to observers (phenomena). Whereas with this world it is never understood based on what it is but always based on the subject who observes the world. On what basis does the subject interpret the world as A and not as B? will.
The thinking of the world as Schopenhauer's will was influenced by Buddhism. According to Buddhism, life is dukkha (suffering) and that suffering is produced by tanha (will). To end suffering is to end will. Will is always feeling lack (never enough) and that is what creates suffering.
With the same understanding, Schopenhauer argues that life is suffering because the essence of life is only driven by various desires. There are two blind wills; First, the will to suffer self-suffering, and second, the will to carry out the suffering of the species through Reproduction.
All of this will only end in death! But paradoxically, death may end our suffering but life will nourish our children and grandchildren in suffering and pain. Is there "Nibbana" for all creatures? Schopenhauer would argue that there is only one way, namely to kill the will of reproduction itself.
But what about happiness? Isn't their happiness in this life? Yes, but let's understand one thing; happiness is only temporary relief of pain that ends in boredom.
Let's take the analogy of eating delicious toast, how do you feel when you are given the most delicious piece of toast in the world? You will be happy but, what if you give it every day, every hour, every minute, every moment. You will only eat good toast, all day long (morning to night), how would you feel on the hundredth day eating the same delicious toast in the world? Yes, you will be bored.
So, happiness is transitory and life then is just a 'back and forth' between pain and boredom. Where you are pulled by your will here and there.
This is the central notion of Arthur Schopenhauer that life is suffering and utterly unworthy, we carry on with the absurd comedy of reproduction.
But what if the potential child wants to suffer himself? Aren't anti-natalists inconsistent with the principles of Liberalism? I will discuss this in the next section.
I am a Libertarian. For me, Libertarian always means go along with Antinatalists. Libertarianism certainly implies anti-natalism. This is debatable. Libertarianism promotes freedom and is active against slavery, so the two are linked.
Existence is slavery. When I was the first 18 years of my life, I and maybe some of us all had to become servants working for the people who brought us into this existence to satisfy their selfish desires.
We have to do whatever and everything they ask for without payment. Then now as an adult, after turning 25 this year, I find myself a slave to industry.
All of these are forced by one, namely to feed biological needs to continue to survive. By extension, we are all slaves to our imperative biological drives - hungry, thirsty, etc.
Freedom? You cannot have a good moment in bondage to existence.
The principle of non-aggression does not allow the use of force against others. All actions, exchanges, etc. must occur between parties who agree. Since what existed never gives consent to be brought into existence, reproduction is, therefore, an act of aggression. Reproduction is a violation of the principle of nonaggression.
Given that existence is slavery and that reproduction is a blatant violation of the principle of non-aggression, it follows that, if we are to assume libertarianism is true, then anti-natalism is certainly a consequence of it. There is no other way than that.
But then is not Antinatalism a concept that is not amorphous? The destiny of birth in this world must be accepted! I will discuss this in the next section
Earlier, I would like to remind you of a quote from Nietzsche himself about life as a Human in this world.
At the beginning of his book, "The Birth of Tragedy," Nietzsche tells an ancient tale of King Midas hunting in the forest, looking for the wise Silenus, Dionysus' best friend. Finally, after all these years, the King caught him and asked what was the best and most desirable thing for humans. Silenus maintained a sour silence until provoked by the King, he burst out with a disdainful laugh and said, “Oh, wretched fleeting race. why are you forcing me to tell you what is wisest for you not to hear? What is best of all is completely beyond your reach: not being born, not becoming, becoming nothing. But what's best for you is - die soon. "
I accept this life, I celebrate it and that means I rebel against absurdity. I didn't run to religion or kill myself. I am Sisyphus! I killed all the values that were forced on me and chose my path. I'm trying to be a Nietzschean Ubermensch, that I'm amorphous and that I say, 'yes' to life! but in my opinion, it is still unjustifiable to force a non-existent person to fill the solitude of our lives, or to throw unsolicited babies into cosmic horror.
That I alone suffer like this and that it is not appropriate for me to impose it on nothing, whatever the argument that Natalis makes, still imposing something cannot be justified even if something is good. Because we cannot gamble on the life and fate of our children.
I chose an antinatalist apart from being absurd and there is no contradiction between the two. I choose to preach against procreation even though I know my actions are absurd because people will continue to reproduce whether I preach or not. I am only concerned about the future of children and that something has to stop this absurd reproductive comedy. I don't care about you who don't care about other people's suffering and children. But I care for myself.
Some people think that Antinatalists are only in line with Atheistic thinking. Antinatalists are more in line with their main theistic thinking which has the doctrine of the duality of power: the power of God and Satan.
We take the example of Gnosticism, Catharism, Bogomils, Marcion, etc. who have the central idea that there is an eternal battle between the good powers called 'God' and the evil powers called 'Satan'.
This world where suffering predominates over pleasure is the 'World of Fall'. The Fall from Sin. According to Christian doctrine, Sin causes Man to procreate. Sin is also what makes people cursed through suffering and pain.
The world and all its pleasures must be rejected because this World is the product of Satan's deception. We must support the power of good overcoming evil by doing good and by rejecting procreation.
There is a joke about the Hell problem. Of course, this is just a joke. If you try to keep your child from going to hell. You have to think that not including your children in existence means that they also survive the torments of Hellfire.
Some Atheists consistently argue that God does not exist by pointing out the argument of the Trilemma Epicurus. That there cannot be a personal God who is so good and powerful suffering. This is called the Theodicy problem. It is saved in the Dualistic Theistic concept but a little difficulty in the Monotheistic Theistic concept (where there is only one single ruler who has power over everything)
If God is unable to prevent evil, then he is not all-powerful.
If God is not willing to prevent evil, then he is not all-good.
If God is both willing and able to prevent evil, then why does evil exist?
Based on the above description, a figure like God who is all-powerful and all-loving does not exist because the world still has suffering and evil.
But unfortunately, even though it is based on these arguments to deny the existence of God it does not make an atheist jump to the Antinatalist conclusion. It seems that the power of reproduction is stronger than feelings of empathy for the suffering of posterity.
Before ending this long article, I will slightly offend the figure who has popularized the idea of anti-natalism in the world. It's David Benatar with his book, "Better never: danger enters existence"
"It is surprising that while good people go to great lengths to save their children from suffering, some of them seem to notice that the only guaranteed way to prevent all their children's suffering is not to bring them into being. first place"
Benatar wrote in, "Better Never Have To Been"
David Benatar is one of the figures who popularized Antinatalism with the concept of asymmetry of pleasure and suffering.
The existence of suffering is bad.
Having happiness is good.
The absence of suffering is good.
The absence of happiness is not bad.
With this logic, Benatar argues that it is unethical to bear children in this world.
9. Children are not tools to fill the void in our life
Parents bring their children into the world because, for them, children give meaning, reason, and purpose to their lives. Yes, it's for their life. But what about the child's life? Are children just Zuhandenes (tools)? nonsense is Zum-Su (for something)?
Potential children are human or dasein potential. As potential daseins, they exist thanks to a throw (geworfenheit); that means they 'do not exist in Zum-Su' but, 'just exist without knowing the cause and for what purpose' .. manipulating potential children to give meaning to our lives is ontologically Heideggerian.
Children did not come into this world. Children are not gifts, gifts. We are the ones who force them to come here to bear the burdens of existence which we are fed up with.
Burdens such as looking for work, suffering from hunger, illness, being bullied, experiencing calamities, losing loved ones, and various other problems of existence.
When we bring children into this world, we never think for a moment; why brought them here? Even if we think, the reasons we find are always selfish reasons, never for the sake of the child. So that someday there will be a helper who takes care of our old age, to strengthen our marriage relationship, so that we are not lonely. We never consider the pain and every tear of the child that must be shed on the ground because existence hurts everything.
"Again, you may look upon life as an unprofitable episode, disturbing the blessed calm of non-existence. And, in any case, even though things have gone with you tolerably well, the longer you live the more clearly you will feel that, on the whole, life is a disappointment, nay, a cheat. "- Arthur Schopenhauer
Finally, I have to close my long writing with an offer from me.
The number of Orphans in the World has increased dramatically. Meanwhile, many of us who continue to reproduce create new creatures to experience new tribulations in the world.
If you have the good financial ability. It is better if you decide to adopt orphans rather than continue reproducing: creating overcrowding, potential sufferers, or new slaves of slaves.
You have to end it and it can be started from us !!