who knew

There was a direct link between anti-natalism and atheism.

The author of Ecclesiastes (my favorite book of the bible) wrote

4 Next, I turned to look at all the acts of oppression that make people suffer under the sun. Look at the tears of those who suffer! No one can comfort them. Their oppressors have all the power. No one can comfort those who suffer. I congratulate the dead, who have already died, rather than the living, who still have to carry on. But the person who hasn’t been born yet is better off than both of them (emphasis mine). He hasn’t seen the evil that is done under the sun.

And Nietzsche in the Birth of Tragedy writes

There is an old legend that king Midas for a long time hunted the wise Silenus, the companion of
Dionysus, in the forests, without catching him. When Silenus finally fell into the king’s hands, the king
asked what was the best thing of all for men, the very finest. The daemon remained silent, motionless
and inflexible, until, compelled by the king, he finally broke out into shrill laughter and said these
words, “Suffering creature, born for a day, child of accident and toil, why are you forcing me to say
what would give you the greatest pleasure not to hear? The very best thing for you is totally
unreachable: not to have been born, not to exist , to be nothing. The second best thing for you, however,
is this — to die soon.”

Since I find nothing odd in the observation of Silenus and Qoheleth, I am inclined to argue they make a lot of sense and while an argument can be made that all of us who write in support of anti-natalism do so only because we have been born, this argument doesn’t defeat the arguments for anti-natalism. And whether those who support anti-natalism are atheists or agnostics is not an argument against the position. It proves nothing. It is neither an argument against atheism nor against anti-natalism.

Allowing for a moment that most of those who support anti-natalism are atheists, is this an argument against any of the two positions?

Maybe, just maybe, we are like Kirilov in the Possessed who commits a logical suicide.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

43 thoughts on “who knew

  1. Arkenaten says:

    Ah … Michael. Another of my favorite fundy half-wits who doesn’t even rank a quarter in fact, and another on the list of cowards who’ve banned me.

    I have two kids so that puts me outside of the anti-natalist fold.
    I know Jim also has a few ”rug rats”.
    My sister has four!
    Carmen has some.
    Ben has.
    John Z has never declared but then he’s Australian so it might be best.;)
    I’ll wager most of the married atheist on-liner regulars have ankle biters and I’ll also wager there are several single parents out there among our atheist community.
    All my ”real life” friends have children and none are what one could ever consider religious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I should probably block him before he makes me faint with a lot of stupid.

      Liked by 1 person

    • john zande says:

      I have 16 animals, all four-legged. A proud anti-natalist I am.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Judyt says:

      no kids, but lots of cats. We are both only children, and I agree life would have been very different if his sibs had lived, or I had had any, but not having kids doesn’t mean not liking them, it just is.
      But while I cannot see bringing up children in any way religious, that also doesn’t mean not giving them the benefit of the doubt. If one of them had wanted to try for religion, it would not have been a deal breaker.
      Usually it’s the parent who ‘abandons’ the child, not the other way around.


  2. john zande says:

    I’ve never considered anti-natalism to be atheistic in nature. One could argue it is sympathetic to humanism, but one could just as easily argue for it from a theistic position.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. keithnoback says:

    Anti-natalism is a bit of a fad. Its popularity has waxed and waned over many years, and it has been espoused by a number of Christian sects.
    Of course, those sects would be ‘cults’ according to the Catholics, to be purg…, I mean brutally suppre…, I mean “corrected”. As gently as is feasible. As brothers and sisters in Christ.


  4. Judyt says:

    ‘anti-natalism’ is a guilt trip phrase, isn’t it. It implies a whole range of negative thoughts about kids, or child rearing. “oh, you don’t have kids? You must HATE children…”
    And don’t you wonder about all those poor young women who are churning out children “for the glory of god”, not because they WANT five kids, but because they’re supposed to have them. Not a lot of choice in that one.
    Choosing to have or not have children (and the magic word there is ‘choosing’) implies independent thought, having a child because ‘god willed it (and your husband insisted) implies Ste[fordwife-ism…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The modern anti-natalist movement is a circumstantial expression of humanism, and humanism is closely associated with secularism; so, I can see why religious fanatics’ panties are in a bunch over this. However, the linkage results from the very worrisome condition of today’s world (most notably climate change) and not because of some fundamental philosophical alignment. If secular humanists thought that their offspring would have a promising future, then I think they would be reproducing just as prolifically as religious people.

    In the early 1980s, I decided against having children because I wasn’t yet financially secure. Later on, when I was financially secure, I decided that I wouldn’t have children because I feared for their future. In retrospect, I made the right choice; and, I offer the example of Greta Thunberg as justification.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought about pointing out the flaw in dude’s reasoning over on his blog, but I noticed some missing comment threads. Basically he’s resting his conclusion on a questionable Reddit poll. That poll only reached a subset (368 people) of a subset (24k anti-natalist subscribers) of the subset of Reddit’s population. The methodology also doesn’t do it any favors.

    But really the whole point of his argument is to frighten people with the idea that atheists are monsters who disproportionately talk about terrible things. To his credit, at least he doesn’t argue that atheists go out and do these things. If he did, it would become relevant to mention Southern Baptist and Catholic Church problems with child rape and felon religious affiliation.

    It’s just a bogeyman. Since he’s just talking to religious people, he’s yelling at a crowd that’s already walking away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I realised too late he takes pride in putting up absurd arguments.
      I didn’t even bother with that poll. And even if it were correct, it doesn’t demonstrate that either position is wrong or unwarranted

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Man, as an atheist, I LOVE babies! Why? Well, they are effing delicious! Gonna go cook one up right now!


  8. Ron says:

    Don’t apologists routinely argue that atheists reject God so they can justify committing the most heinous sins? So if that’s the case, why would we then turn around and concern ourselves about the pain and suffering of others?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael is one of the dumber Christians I’ve encountered. He’s quite the coward too. He does make Chrisitans and Christianity look as bad as possible, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. jim- says:

    I’ve interacted with this guy before and wasted my time. I’d forgotten…til I remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

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