Best 23 of Antinatalism quotes - MyQuotes
Here I've been living along, year after year, forty of them behind me, with a wife and children, and not a soul in the world to talk to. Come moments when I think I just have to pour out my soul to somebody, to say all there is to say, and — no one to say it to! If you tell it to her—the wife, that is — it don't reach her. What's it to her? She's got her children, the house, her cares. She's outside my soul. Your wife's your friend till the first baby comes ... that's how it is. And in general, my wife—well, you can see for yourself—no fun with her—just a lump of flesh, damn it all! Ah, brother, what a heartache!
On all of us was forced life; and, on almost all of us, the desire to remain alive.
Parents have a child, and in doing so they bring into the world a monster that kills everything it comes in contact with.
Peter Wessel Zapffe
A coin is examined, and only after careful deliberation, given to a beggar, whereas a child is flung out into the cosmic brutality without hesitation.
We celebrate life and mourn death. Yet life create death, and death create life. Every cradle is a grave. Why not celebrate death and mourn life?
A premature death does not only rob one of the countless instances where one would have experienced pleasure, it also saves one from the innumerable instances where one would have experienced pain.
Not having children derives not from dislike, but from love too great to bring them into this world, too limited, too vain, too cruel.
There is a further (non-distributional) consideration that can affect an assessment of a life’s quality. Arguably, once a life reaches a certain threshold of badness (considering both the amount and the distribution of its badness), no quantity of good can outweigh it, because no amount of good could be worth that badness. It is just this assessment that Donald (‘Dax’) Cowart made of his own life—or at least of that part of his life following a gas explosion that burnt two-thirds of his body. He refused extremely painful, life-saving treatment, but the doctors ignored his wishes and treated him nonetheless. His life was saved, he achieved considerable success, and he reattained a satisfactory quality of life. Yet, he continued to maintain that these post-burn goods were not worth the costs of enduring the treatments to which he was subjected. No matter how much good followed his recovery, this could not outweigh, at least in his own assessment, the bad of the burns and treatment that he experienced.
He seriously thought that there is less harm in killing a man than producing a child: in the first case you are relieving someone of life, not his whole life but a half or a quarter or a hundredth part of that existence that is going to finish, that would finish without you; but as for the second, he would say, are you not responsible to him for all the tears he will shed, from the cradle to the grave? Without you he would never have been born, and why is he born? For your amusement, not for his, that’s for sure; to carry your name, the name of a fool, I’ll be bound – you may as well write that name on some wall; why do you need a man to bear the burden of three or four letters?
Some anti-natalist positions are founded on either a dislike of children or on the interests of adults who have greater freedom and resources if they do not have and rear children. My anti-natalist view is different. It arises, not from a dislike of children, but instead from a concern to avoid the suffering of potential children and the adults they would become, even if not having those children runs counter to the interests of those who would have them.
It is not the case that one can create new people on the assumption that if they are not pleased to have come into existence they can simply kill themselves. Once somebody has come into existence and attachments with that person have been formed, suicide can cause the kind of pain that makes the pain of childlessness mild by comparison. Somebody contemplating suicide knows (or should know) this. This places an important obstacle in the way of suicide. One’s life may be bad, but one must consider what affect ending it would have on one’s family and friends. There will be times when life has become so bad that it is unreasonable for the interests of the loved ones in having the person alive to outweigh that person’s interests in ceasing to exist. When this is true will depend in part on particular features of the person for whom continued life is a burden. Different people are able to bear different magnitudes of burden. It may even be indecent for family members to expect that person to continue living. On other occasions one’s life may be bad but not so bad as to warrant killing oneself and thereby making the lives of one’s family and friends still much worse than they already are.
Quentin S. Crisp
As a movement (rather than a preference), the goal of antinatalism is that no humans should have children. What ambassadors, then, are we to send to the Brazilian Amazonian Pirahã people to persuade them to stop reproducing? According, at least, to Professor Daniel Everett, here is a people who have no knowledge of regret, depression or suicide. Are we to enlighten them in order to appease a group of discontented intellectuals in the first world? The Pirahã would appear to be one pocket of humanity to whom the sickness unto death does not apply, and this reveals a crack, which may grow, in the antinatalist edifice.
It is not only the ratio of pleasure to pain that determines the quality of a life, but also the sheer quantity of pain. Once a certain threshold of pain is passed, no amount of pleasure can compensate for it.
Being a person is not nearly as overrated as having played a part in the initiation of the process that has led to the being of a person.
In countless cases, parenthood has been the worst attempt to contribute something positive to the world.
Free Shoes The pairs of shoes stand in rows, polished and jet, like coffins for small pets, lined with off-white. Evacuated children sit in rows eyeing the pairs, child after child after child, no parents anywhere near. When it's their turn, they get a pair of new shoes and the old ones are taken away. Of course it is kind of the nice people to give them the shoes. Of course it is better to be here in the country, not there where the buildings explode and hurl down pieces of children. Of course, of course. This life that has been given them like a task! This life, this black bright narrow unbroken-in shoe.
Many of us are failed secret attempts to keep our parents together.
Parenthood is some people’s subconscious revenge for having been brought into existence without their consent.
But it's a curse, a condemnation, like an act of provocation, to have been aroused from not being, to have been conjured up from a clot of dirt and hay and lit on fire and sent stumbling among the rocks and bones of this ruthless earth to weep and worry and wreak havoc and ponder little more than the impending return to oblivion, to invent hopes that are as elaborate as they are fraudulent and poorly constructed, and that burn off the moment they are dedicated, if not before, and are at best only true as we invent them for ourselves or tell them to others, around a fire, in a hovel, while we all freeze or starve or plot or contemplate treachery or betrayal or murder or despair of love, or make daughters and elaborately rejoice in them so that when they are cut down even more despair can be wrung from our hearts, which prove only to have been made for the purpose of being broken. And worse still, because broken hearts continue beating.
This is not to offer a general recommendation of suicide. Suicide, like death from other causes, makes the lives of those who are bereaved much worse. Rushing into one’s own suicide can have profound negative impact on the lives of those close to one. Although an Epicurean may be committed to not caring about what happens after his death, it is still the case that the bereaved suffer a harm even if the deceased does not. That suicide harms those who are thereby bereaved is part of the tragedy of coming into existence. We find ourselves in a kind of trap. We have already come into existence. To end our existence causes immense pain to those we love and for whom we care. Potential procreators would do well to consider this trap they lay when they produce offspring.
I could have done even better, miss, and I'd know a lot more, if it wasn't for my destiny ever since childhood. I'd have killed a man in a duel with a pistol for calling me low-born, because I came from Stinking Lizaveta without a father, and they were shoving that in my face in Moscow. It spread there thanks to Grigory Vasilievich. Grigory Vasilievich reproaches me for rebelling against my nativity: 'You opened her matrix,' he says. I don't know about her matrix, but I'd have let them kill me in the womb, so as not to come out into the world at all, miss.
Mr. Reese had told him that life, at its core, was a cruel burden because we had the knowledge that we were born to die. We were born with innocent eyes and those eyes had to see pain and death and deceit and violence and heartache. If we were lucky we lived long enough to see most everything we love die. But, he said, being honorable and truthful took a little of the sting out of it. It made life bearable. Mr. Reese said liars and cowards were the worst people to know because they broke your heart in a world that is built to break your heart. They poured gas on an already cruel and barely controllable fire.
It is impossible to bring a child into this world for its own sake.