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Old 30th July 2019, 12:45 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't have kids because I don't want them.
And that should ideally be the end of the discussion.
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Old 30th July 2019, 01:18 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
So some combination of older fathers, sperm banks, and one-night stands.

You forgot this one - unless you consider it a one-night stand with an older guy.
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Old 30th July 2019, 01:29 AM   #83
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I've just come back from four days at WOMAD. If ever there was a place that should attract childless Europeans, that would be it but the place was teeming with children (much to my chagrin when the babies started going off like air-raid sirens at 6 am - we didn't get to bed until after 3).

This year Extinction Rebellion were much in evidence telling all of us that we had to save the planet by not flying or driving, by consuming much less and by adopting an exclusively plant-based diet immediately otherwise the entire world's ecosystem would collapse tomorrow (or it may already be too late).

I was interested to note that there was absolutely no mention about the number of people on the planet - I guess it's verboten because it smacks of eugenics and/or racism.

As an actual childless European, I feel that I'm doing my bit for the planet by not breeding but it seems that the vast majority of Europeans disagree with me.
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Old 30th July 2019, 01:31 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
2007?! I knew it! Obama's to blame!!!
You can almost see the exact point in the chart at which American women stopped having children with their husbands and started holding out for a dream-night with Obama.
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Old 30th July 2019, 01:51 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
Easy to access information clearly states the 2007 US birth rate was above the replacement rate of 2.1 lives births per woman. EU member states have not been above 2.0 in several decades

https://i.imgur.com/80K1lf8.png
Yes, and the same easily accessible information shows that that was a blip over about 2 years.
The prior 30 years, and the succeeding decade, it was below that level.
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Old 30th July 2019, 02:42 AM   #86
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I keep misreading the title as "Childless (((Europeans)))", though I suspect that's not a million miles from Baylor's original point.

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Old 30th July 2019, 02:55 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Spoiled? Greedy? Don't want the cost of child rearing to put a crimp in their style- new car, bigger house then any two people need, all the toy. vacations, expensive evenings? Which attitude is why they went to college, up the ladder too? The "ME" generations? Don't expect it to get better with all the helicopter moms spoiling their only child.
Are you a commie, son?
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Old 30th July 2019, 03:43 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by rustypouch View Post
To take that one seriously, I think it's an absurd extreme position.

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The author then argues for the 'anti-natal' view---that it is always wrong to have children---and he shows that combining the anti-natal view with common pro-choice views about foetal moral status yield a "pro-death" view about abortion (at the earlier stages of gestation). Anti-natalism also implies that it would be better if humanity became extinct.
I'm all for people having fewer children, or none at all, if they prefer. But this goes to far in that direction. People who want to have children and are capable of providing a good home for any children who they bring into this world are just fine too in my book.
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Old 30th July 2019, 03:54 AM   #89
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So far, no one has ever made a coherent argument for anti-natalism beyond "I hate humans".
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Old 30th July 2019, 06:26 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
So far, no one has ever made a coherent argument for anti-natalism beyond "I hate humans".
I don't hate lemon pudding pie (in fact I love it) but I understand there can be too much of it. I wouldn't want to eat a serving every day. And seven billion servings is way too much. If I had seven billion servings of lemon pudding pie already and you announced you were making more I would suggest hey, maybe we should slow down a bit.
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Old 30th July 2019, 06:28 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
So far, no one has ever made a coherent argument for anti-natalism beyond "I hate humans".
Well I think the fact that we're expected to make a coherent argument beyond "I don't want to" is sort of the problem.
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Old 30th July 2019, 06:32 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Actually there are lots of good explanations, but no single good explanation. Attitudes to childbirth have culturally depended on a lot of factors, not the least of which is the fact that before quite recently it was common for children to die of disease or misadventure before reaching maturity. It was therefore seen as necessary to have many children, hoping that some survive to adulthood. There is also the Christian command to "go forth and multiply" which people have taken very seriously for a long time. There is the economic issue where an economy cannot grow while population growth is stagnant (this is why immigration is so important to America (and Australia) right now).

Lots of factors, all interacting in complex and confusing ways, leads to an attitude that people who do not have children are morally inferior to people who do. Fortunately, those attitudes are changing in most developed countries right now.
All true no doubt but when I said there is no good explanation, "good" was meant to be a part of it.
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Old 30th July 2019, 06:35 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't hate lemon pudding pie (in fact I love it) but I understand there can be too much of it. I wouldn't want to eat a serving every day. And seven billion servings is way too much. If I had seven billion servings of lemon pudding pie already and you announced you were making more I would suggest hey, maybe we should slow down a bit.
Anti-natalism, though, is more akin to you stating that lemon pudding pie is in all circumstances a bad thing, and everyone would inevitably be better off if they had never encountered the concept of lemon pudding pie. It's not a personal choice not to have children, but rather the philosophical standpoint that bringing children into existence is unambiguously a harmful act.

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Old 30th July 2019, 07:12 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I've just come back from four days at WOMAD. If ever there was a place that should attract childless Europeans, that would be it but the place was teeming with children (much to my chagrin when the babies started going off like air-raid sirens at 6 am - we didn't get to bed until after 3).

I envy you! But I saw Juan De Marcos & The Afro Cuban All Stars here in Copenhagen a few months ago, in March, and Orquesta Akokán in November 2018.
Both of them at evening concerts. No babies (but a lot of babes).
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Old 30th July 2019, 07:15 AM   #95
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If there are already too many people on the planet then bringing children into existence is unambiguously a harmful act, at least until we are down to where there are not too many people any more.
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Old 30th July 2019, 07:19 AM   #96
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Question

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well I think the fact that we're expected to make a coherent argument beyond "I don't want to" is sort of the problem.
Anti-natalism tries to make the logical argument that No One should have kids. Which can't be made coherently.


Not wanting to have kids is just the psychological equivalent of not being able to have them.
There are other ways besides genes to pass something about you on to the next generations.
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Old 30th July 2019, 07:34 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
If there are already too many people on the planet then bringing children into existence is unambiguously a harmful act, at least until we are down to where there are not too many people any more.
The problem is more complex than that: we don't have too many people overall, planet-wide. But we do have too many people in some parts of the planet, and for cultural, political, social, historical, and just plain logistical reasons it's not feasible to simply redistribute the population more evenly.
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Old 30th July 2019, 07:35 AM   #98
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I'm not sure where all these "nobody should have kids" people are at and I think the idea that we're anywhere close to a level where having kids is such an unpopular stance it risks hurting the population (of non-white Europeans or not) is fairly absurd.

We're always going to have enough kids because sex is fun.
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Old 30th July 2019, 07:36 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'm not sure where all these "nobody should have kids" people are at and I think the idea that we're anywhere close to a level where having kids is such an unpopular stance it risks hurting the population (of non-white Europeans or not) is fairly absurd.

We're always going to have enough kids because sex is fun.
Excuse me, but my wife assured me that's not the case.

I mean, unless you're implying we've been doing it wrong. heh...er, wait. Have we been doing it wrong?
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Old 30th July 2019, 07:38 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Excuse me, but wife assured me that's not the case.

I mean, unless you're implying we've been doing it wrong. heh...er, wait. Have we been doing it wrong?
Are you using three or four shaved weasels? Four's the minimum. I don't know who started the "Oh you can use only three to save money and nobody can tell the difference if you just swap out where #2 is at halfway through" lifehack but he was full of crap.
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Old 30th July 2019, 08:17 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Are you using three or four shaved weasels? Four's the minimum. I don't know who started the "Oh you can use only three to save money and nobody can tell the difference if you just swap out where #2 is at halfway through" lifehack but he was full of crap.
That's the problem. We didn't shave them to save on time. Dammit.
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Old 30th July 2019, 08:26 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Anti-natalism tries to make the logical argument that No One should have kids. Which can't be made coherently.
I'll bite. Why can't it be made coherently?
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Old 30th July 2019, 08:55 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
I'll bite. Why can't it be made coherently?
The philosophical argument is based on the presumption that we, now, are able to tell that all future human life will contain more suffering than happiness.
That requires an awful lot of unprovable assumptions.
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Old 30th July 2019, 09:04 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The philosophical argument is based on the presumption that we, now, are able to tell that all future human life will contain more suffering than happiness.
I think it's a bit more subtle than that. The argument is that a nonexistent being cannot experience the loss of positive experiences, therefore there cannot be any benefit to existence over nonexistence, whereas bringing a being into existence causes that being to experience suffering, which is a cost. Simple cost/benefit analysis therefore mandates that we should not bring beings into existence.

It seems to me, though, a classic example of special pleading. One could quite simply interchange the concepts of positive experiences and suffering to produce an argument that is no less valid; nonexistence therefore offers no benefit over existence because a nonexistent being cannot experience the loss of suffering. Overall, the whole argument seems to me the philosophical equivalent of multiplying both sides of an equation by zero to manufacture a spurious inequality.

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Old 30th July 2019, 09:07 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The philosophical argument is based on the presumption that we, now, are able to tell that all future human life will contain more suffering than happiness.
It isn't. It's based on the idea that life isn't worth living in the here and now. Benatar would respond (I think) that the potential for a future world where the scales change doesn't justify all the real, contemporary misery.

Quote:
That requires an awful lot of unprovable assumptions.
Stipulating that this is true, it doesn't render the argument incoherent. Unprovable assumptions show up everywhere.
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Old 30th July 2019, 09:10 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I think it's a bit more subtle than that. The argument is that a nonexistent being cannot experience the loss of positive experiences, therefore there cannot be any benefit to existence over nonexistence, whereas bringing a being into existence causes that being to experience suffering, which is a cost. Simple cost/benefit analysis therefore mandates that we should not bring beings into existence.
...unless of course current humanity can grow into something that can experience so many positive things that it cancels all suffering up until that point.

Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
It seems to me, though, a classic example of special pleading. One could quite simply interchange the concepts of positive experiences and suffering to produce an argument that is no less valid; nonexistence therefore offers no benefit over existence because a nonexistent being cannot experience the loss of suffering. Overall, the whole argument seems to me the philosophical equivalent of multiplying both sides of an equation by zero to manufacture a spurious inequality.

Dave
that is another valid refutation of anti-natialism.
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Old 30th July 2019, 09:13 AM   #107
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Anti-natialism isn't a thing that exists to be refuted.

People choosing not to have children themselves isn't going to unmake children from the world.

I'm exactly sure what is being so aggressively defended and what exactly it is being defend from.

Nobody is going to run into your bedroom and prevent you from having children (at least within the context we're discussing here.)

Child-less people are treated like second class citizens enough without being pawns in some imaginary war against the very concept of having children.
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Old 30th July 2019, 09:13 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
It isn't. It's based on the idea that life isn't worth living in the here and now. Benatar would respond (I think) that the potential for a future world where the scales change doesn't justify all the real, contemporary misery.
but he isn't actually talking about contemporary suffering (except possibly his own), he is talking about the suffering he expects the next generation will have to endure.

Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Stipulating that this is true, it doesn't render the argument incoherent. Unprovable assumptions show up everywhere.
the assumption isn't just unprovable, it flies in the face of daily experience (unless you are clinically depressed).
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Old 30th July 2019, 09:20 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Anti-natialism isn't a thing that exists to be refuted.
Yes, it is, though I doubt it's a widely held point of view. Follow rustypouch's link from post #74.

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Old 30th July 2019, 09:51 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
but he isn't actually talking about contemporary suffering (except possibly his own), he is talking about the suffering he expects the next generation will have to endure.
Well, yes, but the only way to empirically ground such an argument is in terms of contemporary and prior suffering. I tend to think such developments are far enough away that we can discount them for the sake of evaluating the likelihood that a child born next year will lead a life sufficiently good to overcome Benatarian objections. But if we're going to consider them, we also have to consider the possibility that things will get much worse in her lifetime.

Quote:
the assumption isn't just unprovable, it flies in the face of daily experience (unless you are clinically depressed).
I think there's probably something to the idea that the clinically depressed can have a more realistic view of things, stripped of positive delusions. I certainly don't discount them, simply because they are clinically depressed. But "flying in the face of our daily experience" is not a strong counter to a well-grounded argument. Lots of true things do that.

Anyway, even if he's wrong about that, it just means that he's wrong. If you say that the argument is incoherent (or that it can't be made coherently), you're making a much stronger claim than that.
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Old 30th July 2019, 09:53 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Yes, it is, though I doubt it's a widely held point of view. Follow rustypouch's link from post #74.

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Old 30th July 2019, 09:53 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Excuse me, but my wife assured me that's not the case.

I mean, unless you're implying we've been doing it wrong. heh...er, wait. Have we been doing it wrong?
I had this problem for a while, but found that I was not doing "it" wrong, but rather doing it with the wrong person. The cure for this is, alas, drastic and expensive.
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:02 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I keep misreading the title as "Childless (((Europeans)))", though I suspect that's not a million miles from Baylor's original point.

Dave
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:14 AM   #114
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Not everyone is cut out to be a good parent. You have to learn to share even the yummiest treats.

good parenting.jpg
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:16 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post

Anyway, even if he's wrong about that, it just means that he's wrong. If you say that the argument is incoherent (or that it can't be made coherently), you're making a much stronger claim than that.
with sufficient amounts of baseless presumptions, everything can be made coherent.

I just can't be made coherent for me.
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:17 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
with sufficient amounts of baseless presumptions, everything can be made coherent.
Yes. Although I don't think Benatar's presumptions are baseless.

Quote:
I just can't be made coherent for me.
That's not really a thing, anymore than "true for me" is.
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:23 AM   #117
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Yes. Although I don't think Benatar's presumptions are baseless.
it's not baseless, it is based on him being able to make a moral and experiential judgement on all humanity, present and future.
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:26 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The problem is more complex than that: we don't have too many people overall, planet-wide. But we do have too many people in some parts of the planet, and for cultural, political, social, historical, and just plain logistical reasons it's not feasible to simply redistribute the population more evenly.

It always makes me uneasy when I hear people talking about "too many people."
Are you thinking of Scrooge's (Malthus's) "surplus population" or something else?
Some of us, in particular the 0.1 percenters, consume waaaaay more resources than everybody else, so maybe we should start out by eliminating those. I mean, get rid of just one Trump, and the Earth can probably accommodate 10.000 more ordinary Americans and 100.000 more ordinary Africans.
And that is when we only consider his golftrips with Air Force One:

Vox's advice for reducing your carbon emissions: don’t be rich

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 30th July 2019, 10:35 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
it's not baseless, it is based on him being able to make a moral and experiential judgement on all humanity, present and future.
We're all capable of making moral judgments, so that doesn't seem like a problem.
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Old 30th July 2019, 08:34 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Well, yes, but the only way to empirically ground such an argument is in terms of contemporary and prior suffering. I tend to think such developments are far enough away that we can discount them for the sake of evaluating the likelihood that a child born next year will lead a life sufficiently good to overcome Benatarian objections. But if we're going to consider them, we also have to consider the possibility that things will get much worse in her lifetime.


I think there's probably something to the idea that the clinically depressed can have a more realistic view of things, stripped of positive delusions. I certainly don't discount them, simply because they are clinically depressed. But "flying in the face of our daily experience" is not a strong counter to a well-grounded argument. Lots of true things do that.

Anyway, even if he's wrong about that, it just means that he's wrong. If you say that the argument is incoherent (or that it can't be made coherently), you're making a much stronger claim than that.
Yep.

To me, the it's not just the issue that things might be unpleasant for any future human. There's also the whole consent thing. No one can consent to being born. When you are, you're expected to be grateful, do your best, and enjoy it. If not, there's something wrong with you. There's always the chance for any individual to lead a life of suffering, which they didn't agree to, and have no recourse.
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