Aristotle Was An Antinatalist

It seems like a big misconception people have about antinatalism is it’s some sort of new philosophy conjured up by depressed people to rationalize their depression. Well, the fact of the matter is that this claim is simply not true. Antinatalism is not new nor is it necessarily only depressed people who subscribe to this theory.

The reality is that antinatalism has been around for millennia and many of the most respected philosophers in history were antinatalists. This club includes none other than Aristotle, whose antinatalism was so strong that not only did he claim that life was not worth starting, but also that life was so bad that it was not worth continuing!

“Wretched, ephemeral race, children of chance and tribulation, why do you force me to tell you the very thing which it would be most profitable for you not to hear? The very best thing is utterly beyond your reach: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best thing for you is: to die soon.” – Aristotle

It seems as though he’s not only promoting antinatalism, but also suicide in the same breath. One can only wonder then why Aristotle didn’t commit suicide himself, or maybe if he did but we’re unaware of his method of death. Who knows, he lived so long ago it would be hard to know exactly how he died.

So there we have it, Aristotle, probably one of the top 3 most respected philosophers (along with Socrates and Plato) shows himself to be an antinatalist. A man regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of all time managed to figure out even in his time that it’s better never to have been. So much for the notion of antinatalism being a modern invention.


About coolchildfreeguy

Childfree guy living in Mexico City. Professional pilot by day, all-around fun guy by night.

Posted on March 27, 2013, in Childfree, Life, Philosophy, Religion. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Wow. You are the first AN I’ve seen quoting this. What a discovery!

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