Monthly Archives: September 2014
I just want to make a quick clarification to the previous post, in case some misconstrue my words.
Please don’t assume that I’m saying there’s insufficient evidence to absolutely prove that it’s better never to exist. As far as I’m concerned the Benatarian Asymmetry effectively dismantles any and all arguments in favor of pronatalism and there is an abundance of other evidence that clearly demonstrates non-existence is preferable to existence. That said, even if such a thing didn’t exist (or, as is the case, that many people don’t find it convincing), it’s still up to the pronatalist to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that existence is better than non-existence. If this were a statistics problem, the statement “better never to have been” is the null hypothesis, and the null hypothesis is always assumed true until proven false. Hence it’s up to the life-affirming individual to demonstrate why existence is a benefit over non-existence, and not the other way around.
Think of it this way: in the whole theism/atheism debate, it is up to the theist to prove the existence of god, rather than the atheist to prove the non-existence of god. “No god” is obviously the null hypothesis. Yes, there’s an abundance of evidence that outright suggests the non-existence of god, but even if there wasn’t, it’s still up to the theist to absolutely prove god exists.
I hope that clears things up.
Interesting discussion with my sister.
It’s no secret I’m morally opposed to the creation of new life. Everyone who knows me and even most who don’t know me but have read my letters to the editor and such know that. The way I see it it’s better to never exist at all than to exist and have any part of that existence, however small, be unpleasant (for the record: I also disagree with Tennyson, I believe it’s better never to have loved at all).
That’s when it occurred to me, however, that the burden of proof doesn’t lie with me or any of the other antinatalist philosophers or lay people. The burden of proof lies upon the pronatalist camp. It’s not up to us to definitively prove that non-existence is better than existence, but rather it is their task to definitively prove that it is better to exist and therefore justify the imposition of life upon another new living being (life is an imposition since we were given no choice in the matter).
Alas, that is a burden of proof that is impossible to meet. Simply being Pollyanna-ish and saying “well I’m glad to be alive” doesn’t cut it. That’s not definitive proof. That’s emotional appeal. There are just as many (if not more) people out there who don’t particularly enjoy being alive, and further even if you do enjoy being alive that’s no guarantee your offspring will.
It seems to me the safest course of action is not to impose life upon any new beings. Non-existence can’t possibly be bad. At worst non-existence has a completely neutral value. On the other hand, existence can’t be definitely proven to have any sort of positive value.
.,.why rapists in Belgium apparently have more rights than law-abiding citizens?
So a brutal rapists who by all means deserves prolonged suffering for his transgressions gets to be euthanized, but someone like me who’s done nothing wrong and is tired of existing can’t be? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, BELGIUM????
Oh well, I say give him what he wants anyway. Life is shit and I believe it’s the right of all individuals, regardless of what kind of life they’ve lived, to die a peaceful and painless death. It’s not this man’s euthanasia I oppose, but rather the fat that they won’t grant the same thing to law-abiding citizens.