There are some strange philosophies out there. Always have been. But perhaps none as bizarre as “anti-natalism.” Anti-natalists believe that life is a harm and an imposition, human existence is totally pointless, and no one should procreate. I will admit that, when I’m listening to AOC or Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for example, life can appear pointless at times. However, the feeling quickly passes, and I wouldn’t recommend inviting many anti-natalists to your next party.
Sadly, this anti-life “philosophy” appears to be gaining mainstream acceptance. Last February, a 27-year-old man from Mumbai named Raphael Samuel announced he had plans to sue his parents for bringing him into the world, because he believes it is wrong to bring new people into the world without their consent. Since it is impossible for one to give one’s consent unless one is already alive, to anti-natalists like Samuel, this means that no one should ever be born. (By the way, wouldn’t this line of reasoning mean that parents should get their offspring’s consent before aborting them, as well, no matter the other aspects of their belief?).
According to anti-natalists, the question of whether to have a child is not just a personal one, but an ethical one, and the correct answer is always no, rendering the question no question at all. This makes them the ultimate, perfected leftists/progressives. There is—or should be—no free will! Or human beings! Wouldn’t that be a Godsend to our Mother Earth?! (Except that She wouldn’t be our mother in that case, and there is no God according to many on the left).
Though differing from them in degree, anti-natalists join abortion-rights activists and a growing number of climate change alarmists in essentially touting the “right not to be born.” Combined with the right to die movement and population doomsayers, they comprise a culture of death—and an illogically large group of people who don’t think there should be… nearly as many other people. (Or, as the writer P.J. O’Rourke titled one chapter in his book All the Trouble in The World, “Just Enough of Me, Way, Way Too Many of You). Consider: if you are an anti-natalist and still yammering (i.e. alive), you are a fraud.
Of course, there is also the group Zero Population Growth, one of whose members founded the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement ((VHEMT) with the lofty goal of “phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed,” or so states the group’s website. Hey, at least it’s voluntarily!
Anti-natalists are not to be confused with “denatalists.” The latter group only opposes procreation in certain circumstances, such as between people with genetic disabilities that would likely be passed on to their offspring. Still, this sounds a bit too Third Reich-ish for my liking. Anti-natalists are opposed to any and all births, period. They rightly believe that all life involves at least some suffering, therefore bringing life into the world guarantees the introduction of at least some pain or harm. From that, however, they extrapolate that it is best not to bring any life into the world. They say, since it is obviously too late to prevent our own miserable existence, the least we can do is to prevent the existence of potential future beings. How magnanimous of us.
Died-in-the-wool anti-natalists, the true believers, think their “values” apply not only to humans but to all sentient beings. David Benatar is the author of a book titled, “Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.” He wrote, “It would be better if humans (and other species) became extinct.” This belief is apparently why most anti-natalists are vegans. That said, momentary pain aside, wouldn’t it be better if anti-natalists put “other sentient beings” out of their misery by killing and eating them? Wouldn’t they be doing them a service? Anti-natalists say that “living things can be harmed, non-living things cannot be harmed, therefore it’s best if there are no living things.” It would be best if there were no plants then, either, Vegans. After all, some people claim plants can feel pain, too, and they do respond to various stimuli.
To recap, anti-natalists think the best-case scenario is a complete lack of life, a permanent state of non-consciousness. An empty universe. An infinite void. If, in fact, there has to be a universe, or a void, at all.
Benatar, a South African philosopher and academic, goes even further. He avers that both life and death are, for the most part, awful. He says that together they constitute “an existential vise—the wretched grip that enforces our predicament.” Therefore, he argues, it’s better not to enter into the predicament in the first place. A couple of questions for Benatar: does he remember what it was like before he was born? Maybe that was awful, too. Moreover, since he assumedly hasn’t died yet, how does he know the afterlife is nothing to write home about? Is it possible his progressive bitterness and disdain for life—his anti-natalism itself—makes him feel life is more painful and unrewarding than it otherwise would be?
His statement reminds me of a quote from Woody Allen: “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” (To Benatar, that choice is an easy one: head towards extinction).
Mankind does face a crossroads. One path leads to darkness, privation and totalitarianism. That path is marked by despair and utter hopelessness. And we well know how to get there. We take the same path that the U.S.S.R., North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela took. The path that the Democratic-Socialists are beckoning us to go down now.
The other path? This path reconnects us with our founding principles. Limited government of, by, and for, the people. Free markets. Natural Law. The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Life. Happiness. Speaking of the Creator, Genesis tells us: “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’”
God is the ultimate pro-natalist. But what does He know? He’s not an academic.
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