Yeah, in all seriousness though, the 2016 US presidential election is a prime example of the badness of existence and why it would have been better for all of us (human and non-human) to have never existed at all. Two god-awful candidates who will make the already terrible existences of the American people even more terrible. Of course, you do have the minor parties but they won’t do a goddamn thing.
Now, in all REAL seriousness, there is only one clear choice for antinatalists in America, namely the candidate who supports late-term abortion (which is still preferable to live birth), gay marriage (which is procreation proof) and physician-assisted suicide (which should be legal across the board for whatever reason including simply “my life sucks and I want to die”). That candidate is Hillary Clinton, which is why she officially gets my endorsement.
“Welcome to your life, there’s no turning back.” – Tears for Fears; Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
Well, not often do I introduce a blog post with a song lyric, but this one is particularly fitting and true; once we exist there’s no turning back.
Which is kind of the point of this blog post: Mother’s Day. My issue this year is not with my mother. My mother has come to an understanding of my position of life and procreation and respects me enough to not expect me to honor her. No harm, no foul there.
Where the bullshit is is somehow she expects me to honor my sister who is a (relatively) new mother. Well, for one my sister is not my mother. I have nothing to do with this. Two, my sister is Casey Anthony all over again. She couldn’t give a shit about her kid. She’s always out partying and shit and not giving a fuck about her spawn. Talk about a real winner. Number three, I feel it is wrong of her to expect me to celebrate a choice that goes against my personal moral convictions (sort of for the same reason I feel it is wrong to expect Christians to participate in gay marriages, whether it be the ceremony itself or providing goods or services for that ceremony).
Whatever the case, I will not be celebrating my sister’s choice. That’s all there is to it. I don’t celebrate anyone’s choice to procreate, because procreation is the supreme act of evil in my view.
Fuck you, mom(s). I resent your sorry asses for cursing new, non-consenting individuals with the unfortunate state of existence.
So the looming question a lot of people seem to have been wondering is am I still alive? Well, obviously I am, but I do notice my health deteriorating steadily. Basically I’m on heavy doses of narcotic pain pills in order to manage the pain. As I am still greater than 6 months away from my projected date of death, I am not yet eligible for physician assisted suicide and I don’t dare try to take matters into my own hands with a less-than-certain death that will leave me suffering even worse than I am now. In short, I am ready for the pain to be over.
However, one of my childed, pro-natalist friends recently challenged my world view in light of my newest hobby. I was tempted to dismiss it at first, but I think it’s a challenge that is worthy of a serious look. In taking this serious look, I will discredit the notion, but I will grant that it is a notion that can’t just be dismissed willy-nilly.
As I have not written here in awhile, most of you are probably unaware of my newest hobby. The past few months I’ve become really into body art. Yes, folks, I mean tattoos. I’ve had three tattoo sessions in the past two months (a small first tattoo on the wrist, phases 1 and 2 of a large shoulder piece) with a fourth session scheduled for just six days from now (final phase 3 of said shoulder piece). I actually enjoy the process (for me it’s almost meditative) and the artwork at the end is icing on the cake.
So my friend seems to think that my affection for tattoos seems to be an example as to why the Benatarian asymmetry is false. I will show why this is not so and why it is still consistent with the Benatarian asymmetry.
First of all, make no mistake about it. Tattoos hurt. Period, end of story, do not pass go, do not collect $200. There is a lot worse pain one can feel mind you, but the point being is that getting a tattoo will involve some level of pain (depending on where you get the tattoo it can either be mildly annoying or excruciating). As I enjoy even the process of getting a tattoo, does this mean pain can actually be a good thing in and of itself? This is what my friend is calling into question, and this is what I will demonstrate to be false.
In the case of existent beings, pain is a fact of existing. There’s just no way around that. Pain in and of itself is a bad thing. However, for beings that already exist, enduring some pain might be worth it if the benefits from said pain will save some pain and/or suffering later. A perfect example of this would be vaccinations. Much like tattoos, shots hurt (and IMO they actually hurt worse than getting a tattoo in a less sensitive location!). However, I (and most people, I think) would argue that the pain of a shot is minuscule in comparison to the pain of pertussis, diptheria, polio or a whole host of other vaccine-preventable diseases. I would agree with this statement, which makes vaccines in and of themselves a net benefit despite the pain of the vaccine at the outset.
I view tattoos in the same light. When I am getting a tattoo, sure the pain of the needles piercing my skin hundreds of time per second cannot be ignored. It is there. However, with that pain comes a massive adrenaline and endorphin rush. I’ve tried a number of drugs over the years, and none of them give me a high quite like the tattoo process does. That high allows me to escape the world for a time being because despite being in pain, I actually feel GOOD. At the same time, the mental endurance and focus required to get through the pain of the tattoo process really helps to center me and in a way it’s almost meditative at the same time. High + meditation = ecstasy. Of course, the resulting artwork at the conclusion of the process is the icing on the cake. Not going to lie, I admire my tattoos in the mirror for a moment when I get dressed in the morning. In such a way, the pain of the tattoo process is tiny compared to the rush and meditation of the process and the satisfaction the resulting artwork gives me.
Now, the only reason either of the two examples I have provided matter is because I am an extant being. If I did not exist, that does not matter. In a non-existent state, I would be unaware of the pleasures that tattoos bring. So for non-existent me, not having the experience of getting and/or having tattoos means jack shit. Existent me craves that rush and meditation constantly because existent me benefits from it (and I would argue not being in that zen state is actually a greater harm to me than the pain inflicted by the tattoo machine). Non-existent me does not suffer from not having this experience because non-existent me is not consciously aware of the rewards, but non-existent me avoids the pain of the tattoo process (and every other type of pain for that matter). Hence pain is still a net negative and the Benatarian asymmetry still holds.
In conclusion I should say I harbor no ill will toward the friend who challenged me on these grounds. It definitely made me step back and think of an adequate justification. However, I remain stedfast in my agreement with the great antinatalist philosophers (both modern and ancient) that it still is better never to exist.
I just wanted to say thank you to all my readers for your support and non-judgment of my decision to forgo treatment and just let nature take its course. I’m sure you all understand totally where I’m coming from and why I made the decision I did.
As far as how I’m spending my last couple of years? Well, I just got back from a huge bell ringing event. Admittedly I haven’t been able to ring as much as I otherwise would have and I’m sure not able to do it for as long anymore before I get fatigued, but I plan to ring as much as I can and as my strength will allow. My loss of strength is very noticeable, but I’m still totally independent. When I can no longer be, that will be my time.
I doubt I’ll be writing much here. I have no need to. I’ve said all that needs to be said and need to focus on the things that bring me pleasure as much as possible. Again, I know the pain will come eventually. I still don’t have any real pain to speak of, but do notice that I get winded a lot quicker.
Again, rest assured I am totally at peace. Please don’t be sad for me. I’m not.
This is in regards to my (now confirmed) lung cancer.
After the first biopsy, I was rather disappointed that the test came back negative. I thought I had cheated death again, so needless to say I was incredibly disappointed. I desire nothing more than sweet death. Alas, in the past few weeks I noticed changes in my body that made me wonder if I had a false negative result.
Well, I went on a business trip last week and knew something was very awry when a walk up a hill left me wheezing like an emphysemic. I decided at that point that when I got back to my hometown I was going to see a doctor again. So I made an appointment with the local ER as that’s all I can afford and the doctor who saw me had a quick listen to my lungs and was absolutely shocked at what he heard. He asked if I had any problems and I told him I was suspected of having lung cancer a couple of months ago but that the biopsy came back negative. He pulled up my records and had a look at the x-ray and shook his head and immediately ordered a PET scan.
Today, he called me into his office with the results: it is in fact cancer. Given the extent of the cancer, I have probably around 2 years to live. Of course, I refuse to live long enough for the cancer to completely take over and make me miserable.
So where do I go from here? Well, I’m stuck at my job for another month while I wait for my 60 day probationary period to pass so I don’t have to repay the company for pre-employment screening. From there, I’ve yet to decide if I should continue working there for awhile or go ahead and resign. I haven’t any money to really do much anyway. Regardless, this past year has been one of the best for me so it’s OK either way. My will does need to be updated and I already removed myself from the organ donor list as it goes against my philosophical convictions to “save a life.” From there, I’ll just have to see what happens. I do know I will be ending my life before the pain really sets in though (and it is going to at some point). Of course, I’m doing no treatment.
All I ask is that nobody feels sad for me. I’m not in the least bit sad! Rather, I’m at peace as I write the final pages on the book of my life. It’s a book that’s gone on far too long. Regardless, I will die at peace knowing I stood up for what was right and knowing I did not selfishly continue this hellhole that is life.
The more I live, the more I’m so glad I never subjected any new, non-consenting individuals to the unfortunate state of existence.
So I was recently offered another job without basically even trying. Of course, being downright broke I felt compelled to take it, even though I know I’m going to fucking hate it. Of course, I’ve hated every job I’ve ever had, so why should this one be any different? The notion of loving one’s job is foreign to me, and I’d be willing to bet that everybody on the face of this planet hates their job. Work is something we have to do rather than want to.
Compound this fact with the fact most of us spend most of our waking hours at work and that results in the fact that very little of our time is spent pursuing those things which we derive pleasure from. Now tell me again how exactly pleasure outweighs pain? Oh that’s right, IT FUCKING DOESN’T!!!!!!
This is just another real-world example of Benatar’s second argument in favor of antinatalism, and is further evidence why it is unethical to bring new, non-consenting individuals into the unfortunate state of existence.
If there is a sliver lining to this, well, maybe in a few weeks on this new job (they are paying me quite well) I’ll be able to walk into my local indoor gun range, buy a gun and eat it. Oh that option sounds so lovely right now. I know it’s not 100% guaranteed to work, but a fairly big caliber in the mouth has a 99+% chance of being fatal so at this point in my life that small of a risk is one I’m willing to take.
I stumbled across this today. I feel like this guy could have taken the words right out of my mouth: http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Wish-I-Was-Never-Born/393907.
This is the kind of thing I wish people would take into account before engaging in the act of reproduction. Of course, selfish ass breeders don’t give a shit.
Procreation is the supreme act of evil.
When it comes to winning the antinatalism debate (which, if you look at any of them, the antinatalist always wins the debate), I’ve come up with a new strategy to shut down pretty much ever pronatalist argument and use that to further imply why antinatalism is true.
Situational antinatalism is simple and profound enough that pretty much everyone agrees with it. The only ones who I have found reject it are individuals who are suffering from the most severe forms of the most common mental illness on the planet (namely religion). Basically, almost everyone I’ve ever encountered can agree that there are certain life forms that would have been better off being spared existence. Those with extreme mental and/or physical disabilities, animals raised solely for meat or other animal byproducts, among others qualify as such. There’s effectively no argument that these individuals would have been better off being spared existence. I’ve not personally met anyone who will disagree with these (though, most of them in their hypocritical ways continue to consume meat and/or animal byproducts, go figure).
That said, it is very easy to see how situational antinatalism implies general antinatalism. Given the level of uncertainty about what kind of existence awaits a potential individual, it is always best not to procreate. Nobody knows if a new, pre-sentient individual will be one of the many individuals cursed with severe mental/physical handicap. Since it is pretty much universally agreed upon that such individuals would be better off never existing, and given the fact that there is a statistically significant chance that any new individual will be afflicted with such a malady, we see that the risk heavily outweighs any potential benefit.
In short, the element of uncertainty and risk is the nail in the coffin for the pronatalist argument. Note I did not even invoke the Benatarian asymmetry here. While an elegant and watertight argument in favor of antinatalism, it’s practically impossible to convince anyone of the truth value of it. That said, when I argue for antinatalism from this argument, very rarely does the other person walk away not agreeing with me. I’ve even managed to convince my own mother of it, who has since apologized to me for bringing me into existence. No joke. Go figure, one’s own offspring turning his own mother to antinatalism. I never thought I’d see the day.
If only we could all move to Belgium. Suicide is a civil right, period, end of story. As none of us were given any choice as to whether or not to come into this world (and the fact that it would have been better never to have been born), we all have the right to leave if we so choose. I’m glad to see a government somewhere out there honoring this right.
Well, about this time last year I sent off my registration for Dignitas along with a request for assisted suicide. They denied me. Well, now it turns out I might not need to travel halfway across the world for assisted suicide after all.
This is something I haven’t told anyone who knows me IRL about, because I don’t want them interfering with my own bodily autonomy, and as such I will never tell them. Of course, none of you know me IRL, and all only a few of you know my true identity (namely my fellow members of the Facebook group “Living Hell” who have already heard this news and support my decisions), so I trust that you will not leak this information to anyone who knows me IRL.
Anyway, I went to the walk-in clinic a few weeks ago for what I believed to be an upper respiratory infection. Doctor had a listen and just knew something was amiss. Doctor ordered a full-on work-up, including a chest x-ray. Guess what the chest x-ray showed? If you guessed multiple masses you would be correct.
In short, there is probably about a 90% chance that I have lung cancer. I’ve not had a biopsy to confirm or anything of that sort, but that will come soon enough. If it is cancer I won’t get treatment anyway so it’s whatever. The nice thing about this is that given that I have a terminal illness, I now qualify for death with dignity in the United States. I no longer have to go to Switzerland to have my wishes carried out. In that light, I am very grateful that I will soon have an escape.
Though my doctors consider me highly unlucky to have lung cancer (especially since I’m only 28 years old and I don’t have a super long history of smoking) I find myself very fortunate to be in such a situation. If it comes to fruition that I do in fact have probably the deadliest form of cancer in men, it won’t be long until I am relieved from the unfortunate state of existence.