Antinatalism and Death: A Quick Answer

A common question posed to antinatalists is: If you think life not worth living, why not kill yourself?

Sister Y replied to a commenter (on my column at 3quarksdaily), who asked this question. Sister replied by saying:

Two birthdays ago, my friends had a surprise party for me. I was in a very antisocial mood at the time, and it was a very unpleasant experience – but I suffered through it because I didn’t want to hurt my friends’ feelings. I didn’t just walk out and leave the party (though I feel I morally could have done, if it were bad enough for me). But mostly I wish they hadn’t had a party for me in the first place – I would have been better off if they hadn’t.

Thus others’ considerations are taken into account, but show that if they had never had a party for her in the first place, there would be no reason to maintain one’s attendance at all. ‘Ditto my mom giving birth to me,’ Sister says. ‘I wish she hadn’t, but my family and friends would be very sad if I peaced out of the party (though I still have a moral right to commit suicide).’

I think Sister provides an excellent analogy in her answer, though she doesn’t pretend it covers all questions. Furthermore, it at least begins an answer that need not pretend to be all-encompassing.

I’ve heard the party analogy used by Christopher Hitchens, too. As Hitchens indicates, it’s bad enough having to leave the party (called ‘life’) early; it’s worse still leaving and knowing it is continuing without one attending. It seems a good reason to defend the voluntary extinction of the human species: If there is no one continuing the party, if everyone leaves at the same time or closer to one’s own leaving, then dying isn’t as hard since there will be no human person that will miss or yearn for us, or be continuing ‘the party’ at all. I would hate to die knowing that people are continuing enjoying life. I would be more comfortable with death if I knew everyone, the entire human species, was ending itself at about the same time voluntarily.

A Further Challenge to Procreators

In my so-called controversial pieces at 3quarksdaily.com, where I defended antinatalism and progressive adoption, I challenged readers to offer compelling arguments for creating new people. Unfortunately, none have been forthcoming. I was called a racist, elitist, colonialist, etc., for defending my views that those who exist matter more than those who do not. People, I’ve discovered, are more willing to invest in children who do not (yet) exist over children who do; indeed they brush over existing children who require that same parental attention, love and care.

I have found no reason why we should procreate. I will briefly outline my argument again: Continue reading