Applied Antinatalism: Life’s Biggest Pleasures

So I just got done arguing with a delusional Pollyanna friend of mine who claims life is worth living because of all the good things in life. Sure, that’s fine and good, but when you look at the most pleasurable things in life, you quickly find out they’re all the worst for your health!

Let’s take a look at some of the “best” things in life. Smoking, drinking, high fat/sugar foods, among others. These are probably some of the most universally pleasurable things in this world. I’ve yet to meet the person who will turn down rich, flavorful food (which rich and flavorful usually translates to high calorie/fat/sugar). Likewise, alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug in the world, but damn it tastes so fucking good (and the euphoric feeling from its use is also nice). Although I personally finds cigarettes to be just downright gross, cigars are a totally different animal – they taste and smell great and there’s nothing like chillaxing on a calm evening with a cigar and a glass of Scotch – again, alcohol comes up. Interject in other risky behaviors that adrenaline junkies thrive on and I think the case is pretty well cut and dry.

So what does this all boil down to? Well, given that the most pleasurable things in life are the worst for our health, I think that just makes the case for antinatalism from a practical perspective. If we were really all about survival and living longer, these dangerous activities would bring us pain instead of pleasure. Alas, they simply do not. In fact, living a “healthy” lifestyle is one of the most emotionally painful experiences imaginable!

Given this information, it’s clear that we weren’t meant to live that long, if we were even meant to live at all. Since all the most pleasurable things in life will no doubt kill us eventually, it’s easy to conclude that it is in fact better never to have been born. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be so fucking awesome.


About coolchildfreeguy

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

Posted on April 18, 2015, in Antinatalism, Efilism, Life, nihilism, Philosophy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Ah, I’ve thought about this a lot. I don’t have time right now, but I’d like to comment more about this soon….

  2. Another example is the exercise part of a healthy lifestyle. If you choose not to do it, you’ll go through life sluggish, more depressed, & with an unattractive physique. If you do workout consistently, you have way less free time, a much stricter schedule, & let’s face it, a lot of misery both before & after you finish. I’m convinced the latter is the best route, but I would describe it as very strenuous & not pleasurable either. In other words, as you wrote above, what we really want to do (binge watch Netflix/YouTube, relax by the beach, & chill all day) is exactly what’s the worst for us.

  3. What baffles me is that even living the healthiest of lifestyles is no guarantee that ne will live a long life. I knew someone who did no drugs, didn’t smoke or drink, exercised and ate right and still died from a brain aneurysm at 33. Another thing is even if you do all the self-destructive things such as drinking, drugs, smoke, eating unhealthy foods & live a relatively long will more than likely deal with the consequences of those actions but you will just suffer longer, even if you treat the problems that arise from a “pleasurable” lifestyle,sometimes those treatments can be costly and even painful. Even sex is risky given the STD’s & unwanted pregnancies. I guess life is all about trade offs and just deciding wich sucks less!

  4. Well there seems to be one rebuttal against antinatalism that is based on the idea that we in fact should embrace hedonism. Of course given the limitation of this lifestyle (ie pleasure can lead to pain) this would only work if suicide is universally accepted and celebrated as much as birth. I kind of suspect that this is the problem in a nutshell. Sure, life is an imposition. But it wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t cling to it and make others feel obligated to stick around just because we think it means something beyond what we decide. So I think it’s probably far more practical to attempt to change social views on suicide. Definitely need to go after religion since it is the source of this tyranny. If life is a “gift”, shouldn’t one at least like it? Besides don’t most knee-jerk responses to antinatalism entail recommending suicide? If only it was said sincerely and with compassion instead of mockery and contempt.

  5. ShaggyDaggyDoo

    Except for the fact that the things you list are not pleasurable: the chemical responses they induce are, responses that are most usually triggered by things that are not harmful.

    Fatty/sugary foods are pleasurable because eating is good for survival: in the natural world humans rarely had enough fat and sugar for food to make them unhealthy. We have not evolved to find ‘unhealthy’ foods unappealing.

    Alcohol is also not bad in vast quantities, it’s when people have too much that real damage occurs. Same thing happens if you ingest too much of most ‘good’ things.

    Cigarettes also stimulate the production of ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain, same with all drugs. Our minds can’t tell the difference between receiving unhealthy items which produce these effects, or whether it receives them from healthier sources.

    To state the fact that these ‘harmful’ products (often artificially created) cause reactions in the brain is proof that we are not supposed to live for very long is ridiculous, especially since they can be induced by other non-harmful products.

    Consider other things the brain finds pleasurable: Eating fruits (sugar), learning, playing, exercising, accomplishing goals, spending time with friends/family, creating, romantic interactions, and a great deal more that can also be listed.
    Surely I could make a little blog post and state that since all these things cause pleasure to the brain, there is proof that we are supposed to live long, healthy lives, and that this is proof that humanity should continue.
    That wouldn’t make my point true.

    • “Consider other things the brain finds pleasurable: Eating fruits (sugar), learning, playing, exercising, accomplishing goals, spending time with friends/family, creating, romantic interactions.” <– Quite frankly I find none of these things pleasurable. If anything, a lot of the things you mentioned just suck my soul out (most notably exercise and family interaction). Goals mean nothing in the long run so I have none.

      Quite frankly drugs/substances are the only things I derive pleasure from….

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