Amit Varma introducing antinatalism on The Hindu Business Line.

Amit Varma writes about antinatalism on a mainstream Indian site. It’s not a great article, but public discussions of antinatalism are pretty rare, so this is a good find.

Let me start by stating three principles that I think you would agree with. One: We should not cause suffering to others. Two: We should not kill anyone. Three: Consent is all-important, and we should do nothing to others without their consent.

Do you agree with those three principles? Well, then, consider that when you have a child, you are basically bringing a person into this world without their consent, where they are guaranteed to a) suffer, and b) die. You are breaching all three of those principles. How can this possibly be ethical?

As my friend, the writer and podcaster Naren Shenoy once said, “If you really love your children, you won’t have them.”

16 thoughts on “Amit Varma introducing antinatalism on The Hindu Business Line.

  1. Deep Thinking March 10, 2018 at 03:32 Reply

    How to measure suffering; if doing nothing to another is likely to cause them suffering and they do not agree, is doing nothing to that other consensual, or unethical?

    • Francois Tremblay March 10, 2018 at 05:00 Reply

      They do not agree with what?

      • Deep Thinking March 10, 2018 at 08:29 Reply

        They do not agree with the proposition that doing nothing to them is likely to cause them suffering.

        • Francois Tremblay March 10, 2018 at 15:36 Reply

          Okay. What they believe is not relevant to reality. Beyond that I can’t really say anything because I don’t know enough about the situation.

          • Deep Thinking March 11, 2018 at 03:22 Reply

            What knowledge about the situation would enable you to say one thing rather than another?

            • Francois Tremblay March 11, 2018 at 04:25 Reply

              What is not being done?
              What is the suffering that is caused?

              i.e. if for instance, the person has cancer, and the thing not being done is treatment, then I’d say that not treating them is not necessarily the bad thing to do. There are situations in which the treatment can medically be worse than the disease.

              • Deep Thinking March 11, 2018 at 04:57 Reply

                That’s true. In situations in which the lack of treatment is likely to be medically worse for the person than the disease, is not treating them not necesarily the bad thing to do?

                • Francois Tremblay March 11, 2018 at 05:29

                  No. They might be suicidal, for example. There are many reasons why some action or inaction might be desirable or undesirable, and you won’t really get to any conclusion unless you specify a context.

  2. Deep Thinking March 11, 2018 at 05:53 Reply

    What is the reason not treating a suicidal person, if the lack of treatment is likely to be medically worse for the person than the disease, is not undesirable?

    • Francois Tremblay March 11, 2018 at 14:42 Reply

      Treating a suicidal person for what?

      Seems like you keep turning around the pot. Just state what your point is willya.

  3. Deep Thinking March 12, 2018 at 02:15 Reply

    Why is what they are being treated for relevant – that’s the point? Or part of it; I’m interested in telling the difference between ethical and unethical is all.

    • Francois Tremblay March 12, 2018 at 03:42 Reply

      Well, ethics, as I define it, is the study of how groups and societies should organize themselves, as an extension and amplification of the moral rules that the individuals find true and support. For example, egalitarians will tend to support near-flat or flat systems, while authoritarians will support highly stratified systems, and so on.

      • Deep Thinking March 12, 2018 at 05:05 Reply

        Which moral rules, under which what they are being treated for is relevant, do you find true and support?

        • Francois Tremblay March 12, 2018 at 14:38 Reply

          Your questions are too abstract. I’ve got no answer for you. If you want to read about my meta-ethics, sbt42 already posted the relevant entry.

  4. sbt42 March 12, 2018 at 07:39 Reply

    Presuming you still ascribe to ethical intuitionism, perhaps you can direct your reader here:

    https://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/what-is-ethical-intuitionism/

    • Francois Tremblay March 12, 2018 at 14:35 Reply

      Yea of course, although that doesn’t really answer his question.

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