Childfreedom and Antinatalism
There’s no doubt in my mind that a very large percentage (probably a much larger percentage than the general populace) of childfree people also identify as antinatalist. Of course, that percentage still probably represents the minority of the childfree community, I’m just talking a large minority percentage.
The two terms are definitely not synonymous. Childfreedom, of course, is just the status of not having children by choice. Antinatalism is more of a philosophical stance that deems that birth has an overall negative value. In that light, it’s entirely possible, I think, to be childfree and completely pronatalist. Likewise, I also think it’s entirely possible to have children and yet be antinatalist. It’s probably a bit of a stretch, but it’s definitely possible.
Basically, the whole position of antinatalism argues that to be born is bad or has a negative value. Reasons for this vary, but I think the strongest argument in favor of antinatalism (and why I’m an antinatalist myself) revolves around harm. That is, only those who have been brought into existence suffer harm, and all people will suffer at some point in their lives. Had they never been born, they would have never had to suffer, and therefore it’s better not to exist than it is to exist. Makes perfect sense to me, though some of you might disagree.
I just wonder how many of my readers actually identify as antinatalist as well as childfree. I know several do as they have said so in the comments, and it was actually the handful of you who introduced me to the philosophy of antinatalism. I never knew such a philosophy existed until one of my regular commenters mentioned she was and recommended that I read Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence by David Benatar (excellent book, by the way, I can’t recommend it enough and it’s the book that completely sold me on antinatalism). In light of that, I would assume that so few people identify as antinatalist because they just don’t know such a philosophical position exists, and if it were more widely known many, many more people would subscribe to it.
So what do you think? Do you identify as antinatalist? Why or why not?