BlackMita's Page
Archiving my best posts from INTJ Forums.

From 2007-2013 I would browse INTJf and bluntly state my opinion in various threads. Searching for those old posts on the forum yields limited results; old stuff becomes nearly impossible to find without me recalling specific phrases I used. This page is basically a scrap-booking of my oldest shoutings into the wind, which gives you an idea of where I was intellectually in my early 20s. Oldest content is listed first. Youngest content listed bottom most.

What is an appropriate punishment for these two oxygen thieves? - Sept 21, 2010.

"[Even at a young age, I really didn't want to have anyone in my house. Just too embarrassing. By the time I was in middle school and high school, I wanted no one to ever see where I lived.]"

This is one thing about my childhood that, looking back, I occasionally feel cheated out of by unkept living conditions. I sometimes wonder how much more willing I'd have been to make friends if I wasn't so paranoid that they might want to come over one day, end up telling others about it, leading to someone calling child services on us. I judged anyone I invited over, on some level, as needing to have as messed up a home life as myself so it wouldn't be such a culture shock just for them to visit. By high school, I just decided it wasn't worth the effort, and nobody should come over.

Besides the introversion, this is probably where my habit of carefully weight the cost benefit of letting people 'in' to my private life came from. I have to remember to make a conscious effort to turn this part of my character 'off' when I finally have somewhere that isn't such an intimate broadcasting of my history to meet people.

Goes without saying though, the filth itself never bothered me, except for the dead mice. But those were rare discoveries proceeding bi-annual clean-ups. The expectation that everyone's place needs to look like on TV bothers me. I remember watching CSI, where they analyze crime scenes in otherwise pristine living spaces, and thinking "If a crime happened here, they'd have a lot of work cut out for them..."

Food Production - Sept 22, 2010.

There's always a best place to grow a certain kind of food, but you can't just make any place the best place without arranging other resources in an unsustainable way. People who want foods which cannot be grown or found locally have no choice but to be cooperative with neighbors and neighboring communities in an obvious unbureaucratic way that nobody feels cheated from or left out of the loop.

Anyone settled anywhere would be responsible for having some part in producing food in the same way you're obligated to mow your lawn... except this would be like anti-mowing your lawn; essentially doing what the land is telling you to do. eg: You're currently staying in an abandoned warehouse that is great for a certain kind of weed that is good for indicating disease that harms another food plant; so now just because you're staying there, you have no choice but to specialize in growing that kind of weed and making it known to everyone in your line of sight, and also keep track and anticipate gang raids in your neighbourhood well enough to circumvent unsustainable distribution.

This steals attention away from ego-centric careers, getting rich, leisure, etc, so nobody is going to be motivated to do it all until after the apocalypse: when truckers are fed up with 24 hour shifts necessary to beat the ever doubling traffic and city planners cannot widen roads fast enough, or manufacture cars small enough to not be redundant in comparison to walking or biking.

The Astrology Challenge: "Ask me as many questions as you want to determine my star sign." Oct 09, 2010.

The challenge doesn't make sense, mostly because you don't have one sign, but many signs and their relationship to one another; none are insightful in isolation. The sun sign stuff you see in newspaper would be like the MBTI equivalent of only giving your dominant function, without mentioning weather it's introverted or extroverted, and then only describing how you behave when your extremely happy. The resulting profile would obviously look retarded.

You reach a conclusive profile in MBTI with guided questions. Those guided questions need strategies, like "find the dominant" or "find out weather their auxiliary is introverted or extroverted" etc... The practitioners are suspect because they are also participants, but the system itself can claim to be airtight.

Astrology reaches a conclusive profile with only two facts: birth date and location. Nothing else. In this case, the system is suspect, but not the practitioners, whom are just "following the rules/measurements" as informants, not participants.

Your challenge asks astrologists to be participants. But that's no longer astrology. This is probably why nobody is trying to defend or make a case for it. That's like making a case for a fact or religious text.

MBTI is utilitarian (it's basic function is job placement). Astrology is a game (it's basic function is scholarly knowledge). All that stuff Jung wrote (sometimes confused with MBTI) is mostly reiterations of Astrology for the purposes of analytical psychology, not merely for understanding, which is why Jung had to make a new system that included his participation as an analyst (the new system's function being to assist the individuation of others... which is not astrology.)

Approach / Be approached - Nov 10, 2010.

I'd rather do the approaching even though I'm rejection averse. It's a matter of choosing between having the wiggle room to self sabotage my approach if I change my mind mid-way through it, or being caught totally unprepared by someone that wasn't even on my radar. The former leaves me much less anxious, the latter means I risk agreeing to what I don't want just to avoid declining anything ungracefully.

"I wasn't planning on it."
*grumble grumble; goes on to spread my unwanted reputation for being an asshole*

The trouble is I'm very good on putting up with things I don't like. And knowing that, I've since resolved to compensate in the extreme by wearing my feelings on my sleeve - especially if they're negative. The alternative is to basically have a tactful, sugar coated debate with them.

What if you see a woman drugging a man? - Nov 10, 2010.

If I saw a woman drugging a man I would do nothing. If I saw a man drugging a woman I would still do nothing.

The assumption always seems to be that the person drugging the drink is working alone, and that they could get in serious trouble if they were caught. Maybe in an ideal world. Here is what I imagine would actually happen:

"That person just drugged your drink!"
*they look at you strange; you have ruined their evening*
"No really!" *you draw attention to yourself*
*the 4 people who were depending on that person being drugged follow you when you leave and beat the shit out of you*

Here's some advice: Don't give advice - Dec 22, 2010.

I think this is good advice unless you're dispensing it on the internet. Anyone who acts on "internet advice" without filtering it through reality is already a hopeless case, so I just publish a caricatured version of what I'd tell someone I didn't like very much. People inclined to research seriously are the only ones deserving of help, and most, if not all, are more than able to discern bullshit and network posturing from substance and nuggets of wisdom.

Advice is best given locally, so it's internet version is naturally a parody; lacking a precise context to justify the sources dispensing it. You imagine that agreeable individuals "walk into your thread" and attain inexplicable interest in your personal affairs to such an extent, that you could actually be in a better position to make an informed decision? Some may be lying. Others may be literally pressing play on their programming, which may have no bearing on your situation at all. Pancakes and cannonballs, oranges, etc.

Feel really bad on message boards!

Old Age: unhealthy INTJ and RCOEI - Dec 28, 2010.

I agree that hobbies aren't enough. By definition, they're preoccupations of auxiliary importance. So what then is the fundamental reason for living?

These types make the mistake of looking to other like them for the answer. But only idiotic damaged people publish reasons for living, and it's only ever been possible to do it effectively post printing-press/TV/internet, systems which themselves only grew out of mindbendingly fucked up circumstances. Thus, only idiotic / unhealthful advice / philosophies / morals are available in the place of wisdom; which you used to figure out by engaging the world directly, and maybe having fragmented bits articulated by your elders.

This is part of the real reason the world is crap to a misanthrope. The sensors/masses/whatever don't control jack: they're basically carriers embodying the most addictive intuitive ideas, but just 100 years behind. That means if something gets fucked up, it was the fault of an intuitive. Period.

All misanthropes unconsciously know this--that it's smart emotionally inept people like themselves, making half-assed ironic attempts at engagement by shipping off their hobbies for the sake of "progress" that are most at fault for keeping the world shit. Any positive change can only come from people a side step from their own disposition, and since they aren't going to do anything courageous, they'll just keep punishing themselves by behaving like assholes and acting astonished when people utilize their faux contribution / engagement for mediocrity and evil.

tl;dr: Self fulfilling prophecy 101 caused by incestuous ideations between fools.

We need more hugs IRL. [crying smiley]

To Hate Art - Jan 16, 2011.

I spent two semesters learning how stressed I would be "making art" since I'm such a people pleaser and very "left brained". To not be stressed drawing and painting, I need to answer "Who am I doing this for?" It can't be an abstract audience, otherwise I want to give up and go play video games.

I can make pictures for myself, and I can make pictures as gifts for people I know well. Any form of publishing more complicated than giving away the original or being a show off makes me want to draw insincere crap on purpose.

If I had reason to hate art, it would be the fact that it "broadcasts you". This is a nightmare to me because, not lacking in self awareness, I hate seeing the bad parts of my personality and circumstance appear in my work. What if people with the same quirks or influences try to contact me, or are motivated to duplicate the worst parts? Gross.

If I were making a living drawing and painting, it would be in my nature to make watered down crap that nobody could dislike (hence boring shit in a world with more than enough of that already). When it's just me alone in my room, I end up creating what I want to see. It's just that what I want to see is fucked up, embarrassing, not original, and not sophisticated by any measure (except maybe the skill needed to execute it).

tl;dr: I avoid stress via not making a living off it and my aversion to networking with people in some artificial context. I know why I draw and paint: it ain't to make Art, but I'd still call my best work Art just to aggravate prudes and give my ego a pat on the back.

Poor people should be banned from having children.(to cut the debt) - Jan 19, 2011.

As much as I love the idea of a smaller human population, how is this not a ban on unprotected sex and/or an excuse to track people to such an extent that it's no longer within their rights to resist being kidnapped and taken to an abortion clinic prison camp? This can't be enforced, especially since the elite want the planet overpopulated, as it's harder to kill the system when there are more people to buffer and rebound it's inevitable failures.

This sort of thing only appeals to burned middle class folk, or other poor people that want an excuse to dominate others. I don't really see how implementing this could not be more of a drain on taxes than the actual poverty, unless you use slaves and the poor themselves to enforce it. Ultimately, you just give yourself away as wanting to fuck things up for people that have an easier life than you.

I would just ban debt. Easier and funnier to watch.

Is it art? - Jan 31, 2011.

Artist's learn their craft by copying others. Originality is a publishing concern best procrastinated in favor of developing the skills you want to be second nature.

The medium is just the "delivery system" and is never why people consider it art. The expression associated with its existence is what holds something in high regard. When people encounter things they value in that expression, then it's art to them.

Those who condemn unoriginality are actually condemning a lack of expression from the artist. If an artist copies something completely, chances are they haven't paid any mind to what they're expressing, because they're too busy learning, or wrongly believe the expression lies in the art object, and not their willing it into being.

It's the same reason "How are you?" sounds insincere. Nothing is being asked. Someone who cares about you might ask something specific that is a cause for their actual concern. Nothing means anything until it means something.

You never see 3 movies with the same title come out within the same decade. That is because differentiation is necessary to have money flowing in the desired places, even though people can obviously just make up nick names for them and talk about it themselves. Some people might get initially confused or accidentally see the wrong movie, but why is that the end of the world? Because competing livelihoods depend on profit.

Apply this name principle to any other "self evident" aspect of any work of art: the medium, the size, the duration, the subject matter, the colors, the instruments, the actors, the director, the price, the location, the characters, the plot, etc... Only these superficial things have to be original relative to each other, and only because money has to go where its expected to go.

I'm one of those people that believes in there being only x number of stories or emotions in existence. People seek out the same thing repeatedly all the time, so it makes no sense to ever create anything new unless some aspect of the culture has gone unanswered or unfiltered in an emotionally meaningful way to give the "new" problems and conflicts proper context. That slight tweak to apply to those x number of stories and emotion comes when it comes.

Living in the Woods - Jan 31, 2011.

I plan to live in the wild... in cramped quarters with very annoying people I barely know in an urban city, doing stuff nobody else wants to do as my niche for making ends meat. I'll find ways to have fun without getting ostracized: the internet proves the existence of people more fucked up and unpleasant than me who manage to not be constantly suffering.

Canadian Internet users are Screwed! - Feb 1, 2011.

I don't really care if the internet gets so expensive that I can't keep using it for entertainment. Web 2.0 uses as many bells and whistles as possible, and unfortunately, more and more freedom affirming information and art is being published to sites like youtube, blogger, invision boards, word press, etc... that use cookies, background software, and download stuff without telling you. Search engines almost never touch "your dad's HTML pages" anymore.

It may just be a matter of having to make liberal use of your browser's "Offline Mode" to combat sites that try to refresh your page every 4 seconds. Besides that, I don't see how a petition would permanently stop something like this, so I didn't bother filling it out.

When things get so bad that search engines become an expensive luxury, we'll just have to figure out how to learn things by having conversations in real time again. I'm still trying to read as much scholarly non-garbage on the internet as I can so I don't have a hard time finding or adding to newer databases on future overcharged local severs that become the only affordable option for other loner people that want to know things without living them.

But I think the most important websites will be ones that scream at you to get off the computer so you can at least see your personal apocalypse coming.

The Amish - March 22, 2011.

I think the Amish are mistaken for have work ethic. I'm hoping this is an embellishing sentiment from outsiders that can't articulate how physical labor can bring meaning and happiness (thus not requiring ethics as a motivator). Hard work is only hard if you get the meaningless kind that gives you no influence over the end result or reason, like with factories, assembly lines, and warehouses. Contrast that with building and repairing the home you've lived in forever, taking care of the livestock that feeds your family, or teaching the actual individuals that will be running your community in 40+ years. The local dealing-with is a much closer experience to reality than the lifestyles that reflexively develop around industrial factories.

Do you respect your parents? - April 04, 2011.

I was pretty disrespectful in this regard. I recall complaining about having been born on three separate occasions, one of which, during a semi-related argument, I demanded an explanation as to why I hadn't been aborted. My mom's answer was that she was scared the abortion would make her look bad, and scared of the procedure itself.

I know I'm projecting, but I think all parents made a mistake, but since its such a huge commitment, your ego can't allow you to feel that it was a mistake completely. I respected my mom in a way that had nothing to do with that mistake, which had to do with the fact that she was the only person who knew me 100% whereas almost everyone else in my life (other family included) gleans about 55%. Most of the intimate moments in my life consist of evening hours talking (and arguing) with my mom in the living room.

Not sure if I want to be understood that fully again. She died two years ago, so that relates. I also don't understand how people can like their parents so they can treat them like friends or something. So I get to miss out on that too, if it's not just a forced social behavior.

In defense of PUA - April 09, 2011.

After typing and deleting a bunch of stuff I was going to post, I can maybe condense everything I wanted to say, but it'll still be kind of wrong.

Being in defense of something like PUA makes no sense. For one, you wouldn't tell the person you're using PUA on that they shouldn't judge you for using PUA tools. Second, it doesn't make sense to justify your tool use to people that aren't of any consequence to what you're hoping to bring about, unless you're using the wrong tools. Thirdly, PUA tools are imitative tools that you can never own. If you claim to own them, you aren't using PUA tools, you're using your tools: the ones that naturally bud out of who you are at present.

That means the entire package depends on the conviction that you can change who you are. PUA is basically just the story "You can change who you are!" but with sudo-rational arguments allied to facts of evolutionary psychology as the vehicle for the story. This works because socially awkward people grok emotionally meaningful stories by osmosis and abstractions, not directly through actual social interaction. That system can sneak the story in like a parasite.

It goes with the idea that smart people are easier to brainwash, because they're essentially programming themselves through their id, and denying it with their superego. All the success stories never needed PUA to begin with, but its absurd to say that, so you have to say "Oh well PUA helped me." which is basically a wrong way of saying "My ego maintained its conviction that I could change who I was." Which is probably easier if your conception of self is small and retarded like in most western cultures-oh shit that wasn't supposed to come out insulting. I wanted to say: Give yourselves more credit, and understand that "being yourself" has never failed anyone ever.

Meaningless people - April 27, 2011.

People aren't wired to care about people. What happens is you interact meaningfully with others and develop memes assimilated to their particular forms. So naturally, when you observe people in some empty context less way (like over the internet or random strangers on the street) they're just animated meat things by default. This doesn't mean you're a horrible person, it means you've run out of communal sorting capacity from being exposed to too many irrelevant bipedal forms everyday (which is totally unnatural).

Humans First - April 30, 2011.

I agree with George Carlin. “The Planet is fine. The People are fucked.” BUT...

Avoiding natural disasters is not really possible without making life almost as hellish as surviving the natural disaster. Never mind the asteroids: What about the sun? Eventually it's going to swallow the earth. The whole idea behind dodging asteroids is so people can focus on building sustainable planets to live on. How do you do that under a deadline? By making life entirely focused on staying alive, even when life isn't enjoyable or meaningful. This is why I'm serious about voluntary human extinction. It's not about hating the human race or some nonsense. It's about living now, and not projecting some illusion of how we hope to live in a non-existent future.

Everything about human behavior points to how feeble we are as skeptics, and yet (all the good parts) of a modern progressive society depends upon non-stop skepticism when observing and experiencing reality, otherwise we fail to react in ways that secure the survival of our institutions. Notice how I didn't say the survival of our cells or vibrations. Not even the bones, muscles, and tissue of your loved ones--especially not the animals and plants.

The conflict is: we develop to live well and die, not to sorta-live and never die. So on some level, I don't care if an asteroid causes mass famine and disease, if it means humans get a meaningful exit. An asteroid blasting mind depends upon resources that aren't sustainable. The asteroids are themselves resources for the earth, but the mind is jealous of this because it has no control over it, and especially resents property damage; any vibration it's not controlling.

It always seems like the mind just wants control, not a safe heaven for living well, and it doesn't care how hellish things become for life forms while it's trying to undo reality. It's not going to get generous one day and decide “OK this is harmless enough, I'll just leave x amount chaos and danger in the universe, to be meaningful.” The mind has decided it doesn't want to be with nature, but since that's impossible, it's goading anything and everything to kick it in the teeth so it has an excuse to destroy stuff. “I built all these things that can only exist in spite of you! Yeah! You'd better not take it from me or I'll blast you.”

If I heard an asteroid knocked out a continent, killed 30% of the human/animal population, making food, clean water, and medicine five times as scarce, this is what my reaction would be: a wide grin on my face as I watched people begin to get their shit together and start enjoying themselves. That would be something to contemplate on my death bed. Nothing as banal as “Golly gee I wonder if asteroid blaster 12 is up and running yet?”

I'd better finish this straight: I think the mind is only good for interference, but at the same time, the relics it leaves behind are not automatically damaging. I'm optimistic about rationality getting into paradise. I'm not about to single it out as the easiest thing for nonsense to hijack. Ignorance does worse. Then again, there was never this much shit to be ignorant about, and there's no sign there's going to be any less... unless asteroids land on them.

Libertarian Debate - May 11, 2011.

"[I don't think the state is coercion if you are allowed the choice of either staying and paying taxes, or leaving and going elsewhere where you don't have to pay the American government anything.]"

Maybe I'm stretching this too broadly (outside America) but I thought the reason moving was a moot point was because you're basically still within influence of the state rationalization for sanctioned violence no matter where you go. If you find a random uncharted island, and officially "sign out" of your country (whatever that means or entails) that still doesn't guarantee soldiers won't kidnap you back home for some improvised reason, or just occupy the island through force so you're under permanent house arrest or slavery. I say uncharted island because if it's charted, it's a state. When we colonize Mars, it's a state. Anything in the universe your feet can touch will just be the state.

Basically, the state is like a 2 meter squared plot of land that follows any grunt where ever they happen to be at that moment, backed up by other people, geographically anywhere, that are also under duress about staving off this asshole from their own affairs, which means sending him away to harass an underdog. I know this is a crappy analogy, but I sort of think of it like a hot potato. There is no reason to keep passing potatoes, but everyone is trained to believe they don't even have a hand unless they feel it being burned gripping the potato, and will wax nostalgic over the 1st degree burn as if they were more competent at life now. Nope. It's just an injury that didn't need to happen.

You're better off sidestepping potatoes hurled your way. If you accidentally sidestep onto hot burning coals, that doesn't mean the potato was your savior, and that you were oh so naive and foolish to believe you could live in a world without hot potato juggling. You were burned, get over that, and check out this plasticine, or pet this furry kitten, or finish that lego set you always procrastinate in anticipating of having to catch a bloody potato, etc.

Socionics and MBTI - June 13, 2011.

Socionocs is actually more closely aligned with Jung's sketches than MBTI. When they talk about judging functions, they mean Fi, Fe, Ti, and Te. When they talk about perceiving functions, they mean Si, Se, Ni, and Ne.

Judging and perceiving functions are sometimes also referred to as rational and irrational functions; Thinking and Feeling are said to only be utilized in rational decision making, whilst Sensing and Intuition passively store information on bare bones reality, and so irrationally insist on their own importance by design.

Part of the problem is that when people check out Socionics, they come at it from the standpoint of the MBTI profiles. This is bad, because what Socionics has is a system that improves upon Jung's sketches, and then uses profiles to help explain that system. The MBTI is not a new system, it's just more fleshed out profiles that implicitly draw from Jung's original sketches. So the specifics of Socionics turn self-help people off, because you can't just willy nilly interpret what the profiles suggest, there are actual right and wrong answers.

Finding out your type also has way way more to do with how you react and appear to other people, not the way you feel on the inside about your own personality, so there's almost now room for self typing, meaning all the profiles lack that appeal of “oh that sounds like me” because it's talking about interactions, and not a soul. The profiles are written in the context that you are going to be typing and identifying others as a practitioner, not so that you can pick something that's a best fit for you to feel good. More hilarious is that, if we assume most people are basically fucked up, the most useful profiles are also the least flattering in Socionics. I remember lurking one of the forums and finding mostly insults other types were making about each other, except everyone was citing sources and using diagrams, lol.

They seem to really insist on avoiding self typing in Socionics, partly because it would undermine the system to back up their choices, which requires being typed by others, essentially, so they have admittedly weird stuff like being able to type someone based only on their appearance, with the idea that your preferences for interacting with others is determined by early nurture and thus reinforced quickly in your physical structure and present wear... ethnicity and culture bias be damned.

All of this because less weird though when you remember the direction any typology starts at is just arbitrarily that way, when it could be 64 other ways. Eg: and INTJ is now an ESFJ, because now we're in a magical typology called Orange Rind. Orange Rind classifies people based on they're self regarded enigmatic characteristics – since an INTJ groks Te easiest, groking Fe is the hardest, thus a dominant Fe ExFJ embodies this, and the least common ground is in regards to ESFJ. Now we type the profiles up as something which imparts the story of some bastardization of the shadow that exists as you in an alternate dimension that shows up during the moments you are under the most duress.

Also Orange Rind becomes popular in the year 2089, which is almost a decade into WW3, meaning everyone is harassed so often, it is actually morally justifiable to test people through torture. So now when you get tortured by the FBI, you know how you'll behave and can better play along to hide information like where you work and where your family is. So Orange Rind takes off as something that people are thankful for, and will blog about how knowing their type allows them to stay safe and continue to find work in a totalitarian government or something.

Trust "issues" - June 16, 2011.

I don't have trust issues. The idea that everything in your head has to be expressed verbally is absurd. Communication is 90% non-verbal. It is very difficult to live a lie unless you're surrounded by delusional enablers. In those cases the issue is you're keeping awful company and denying it. You could call that "not trusting yourself" to build relationships, but that's moot if you're surrounded by idiots that will literally go crazy if you start speaking the truth (up to and including any expression that you desire better company).

Ethics of Cloning Hominids - June 20, 2011.

Ignoring my antinatalist stance... it makes no sense to call what would be created a neanderthal. It's just going to be a really stupid person or animal raised in a sterile controlled environment. The following will not happen: Scientist realize it's as smart and emotionally complex as modern humans, and immediately forgo experimenting on it.

Basically it's a dick move, because as soon as they create it, they have an excuse to abuse it since it cannot or won't give consent. So cloning hominids is just a form of animal testing that isn't saving lives. It probably isn’t even possible to bring extinct species back from the dead, it'll just be a new species adapted to a non-environment, like livestock. So if this does happen (beings as intelligent and emotional complex as modern humans being born from laboratories) that just means they're mutilating a set of modern human's development at conception and enslaving them.

So then the question becomes what subset of people can we farm for the benefit of another subset of people? I don't feel like supporting the elites, so I'm against cloning hominids politically and morally, since I know they are the ones most likely to benefit from something like this.

Life and Death - July 04, 2011.

Nobody experiences death. They experience dying: the degradation of things they value. They can also experience the presence of things they value, and might call it the experience of living, but I would say the presence of anything and everything is also the experience of living, not just the parts they value.

It makes sense then, that you experience living and dying simultaneously. Death is not-experience, so you can’t prefer it over experience, since you don’t and won’t ever know what non-experience is like. This also makes it impossible for death to be good or bad, unless one regards non-experience as having anything to do with the degradation of things they value.

What's the point? - July 21, 2011.

This is what prevents me from talking about MBTI irl. I just accept it as a system I project onto others to feel like I get the random things they're doing that are otherwise inconsequential. Asserting the credibility of the profiles to someone is almost as hard as asserting the credibility of a dream you had last night. Unless they're already disposed to an interest in typology, it's just going to be a waste of time, and you'll be conflated with those people that obsess over their astrological sun sign.

True or false: most people are unhappy - Sept 05, 2011.

I think happiness is one of those all permeating emotions that is only ever influenced over the long term. It's like depression, except you see the sum total of your emotional states as leading you in a meaningful direction, rather than seeing them as a stream of nags to fulfil or tolerate.

In other words, it's a judgment about the history of your emotional states. I think because circumstances are pretty bad, people have lowered the bar for happiness to include not making a sum judgment at all, thus "most people" are happy. I'd argue most people haven't decided yet.

It's possible to not make a sum judgment either way unless its in the context of another decision concerning a change in lifestyle. Nobody really makes huge lifestyle changes, so it's only in being asked "are you happy?" outright that prompts consideration (the superficial answer is yes, because answering otherwise implies needing some sort of assistance). If you want something, you ask for it specifically, and maybe you'll get it.

Any fellow INTJ anarchists - Sept 14, 2011.

I subscribe to the worldview of anarchism, but would probably use the word volunteerism if I'm trying to convince people I know IRL that the direct or sanctioned use of force is immoral. It's harder to be dismissed as an idealist that way because voluntary association, by definition, cannot be enforced beyond concrete relationships and contractual agreements. So presuming anarchy a failure because any given contract isn't agreed upon by every human being on earth makes them look like the unrealistic idealist, or at least draws attention to how statist vocabulary confuses the reality: Decentralization is already how we do 99.9% of anything worth doing.

- 2 days later -

Anarchy doesn't contradict the colloquial sense of authority: There would still be educators and leaders in the sense that they're directing others who otherwise don't even have an opinion or preference about how to conduct themselves by default in a certain sphere or mutual goal (like younger inexperienced people).

Furthermore, anarchy isn't a hypothetical system that can or cannot work. It's an observation that people interact more productively and ethically when that interaction isn't coercive. Giving permission for police, soldiers, gangs, and assassins to exist isn't any different, in principle, than letting heavily armed brainwashed people threaten and pillage from people you don't happen to agree with.

So the real life "application" of anarchy is basically a personal choice to refrain from using the police, soldiers, gangs, or assassins to secure comfort for yourself (since it is necessarily at the expense of someone else being harassed by the state) and not to maintain meaningful discourse/commerce with those who do endorse those things. That's not a political system, that's just ethics all the way. You learn not to hit in kindergarten, though you never take it to heart, because most adults don't lead by example... (ie: required schooling is only enforceable by the barrel of a gun, thus the intuited hypocrisy).

In a very real sense, you can't have an "anarchist society" because as soon as you say "society" you're implying the enforcement of making sure "we all agree" without actually defining who the "we" is... which isn't going to be everybody you personally want to agree. Only those who voluntarily or contractually agree to your mutual goals and relations. This exact thing happens transparently every day, despite threats of violent retaliation from proportionally larger competing groups (ie: the mere fact that "criminals" break laws proves they're just guidelines that don't curb socially destructive behavior as claimed).

No reasonable person would voluntarily contact Obama every day and ask him how they should spend their wealth and time if they had even a slight guarantee everyone else wouldn't endorse aggressive action against them just for going against the grain of the president. Government is incompetent at what it claims to uphold because it was always obsolete, even when it wasn't particularly harmful or blatantly doing the opposite of what it claims to uphold.

Letting a Child Die - Sept 23, 2011.

I was so side tracked by the stupidity of a statement in the article posted earlier, that I ended up replying to that before expounding directly on the thread topic, though I feel it's relevant enough to include:

["Pro-life advocates have warned for years that widespread acceptance of abortion will open the door to greater societal acceptance of infanticide, beginning with the euthanizing of disabled newborns. Infanticide proponent Peter Singer, a top ethicist at Princeton University, has said, for example, "there is no sharp distinction between the foetus and the newborn baby."]

Reliance on the umbilical cord for sustenance is a pretty damn clear distinction to me. The act of severing the umbilical cord outside the womb is distinct from just another means of terminating the fetus, because it presupposed a favorable judgment of a new person's well fare against the new conditions outside the womb. This is the same judgment reflected when one willingly substitutes the stewardship of the mother's health via the umbilical cord (prior to its guaranteed degradation outside the womb) with the parental role in service of the child.

When the fetus is outside the womb, and we have serious doubts about the quality of its future welfare, it becomes a matter of deciding weather one is going to euthanize that person, or wait for that person to consent to ending their life. I don't imagine the passive sustenance provided by the umbilical cord can be extended to the length necessary for someone to develop the cognition to make that choice, short of enslaving the mother and child to umbilical-proximity which cannot be broken ethically until the child comes of age and agrees to severance.

After severance, the stewardship of the person's well being is no longer proportional to the stewardship of the mother's physical health, it remains intellectually honest to assign the role of parent as morally necessary. However, that obligation is immediately voided when we're talking about a future potential child who's welfare is the pregnant woman's welfare. A pregnant woman does not a parent make. Same goes for the male recipient. Thus, no parental obligation can be imposed before birth.

Stating otherwise would be the exact same as obliging people, by force, to fulfill the needs of anyone around them. The logical extension of forcing people to steward children is enslavement on two fronts:

(1) Children must be owned by their parents in order to pin exclusive responsibility onto them. So children become commodities disallowed from basic liberty and rights in order to be properly protected and monitored (this is pretty true already actually).

(2) The goal-post of what makes a child will simply be moved up and obfuscated to indenture as many people to the state as possible; expanding adolescence, regarding fetus as children, regarding pregnant women as children since they are part-child, or regarding anyone who even expresses a desire to procreate as a crucial component of a nonexistent potential child in need of preemptive control as protection to its welfare.

Personally I am much more concerned about most people's current attitude to having babies and the rights of children, which is pretty much the fucking cause of infanticide, on top of the slavery stuff.

But to answer the actual OP, the scientist has already created an atrocity by merely inventing the technology. Bringing sentient life into existence is wrong, but forcing the scientist to be the exclusive steward of 1000 unanticipated babies is also wrong. This is a good example of how procreation is an imposition.

It is unethical to leave those 1000 babies unaddressed, and yet they're so preposterously difficult to address by matter of their unplanned existence, that euthanasia could be the moral choice for the worst faring of the 1000, especially if the process can be achieved instantaneously or painlessly. A simpler way to state my position: forcing a man to pay child support is more ethically questionable than the man's own failing to take the role of responsible parent.

Choice to be born - August 11, 2011.

I'm convinced it's wrong to procreate, even if the world becomes paradise.

As a youth I never imagined having kids. I don't buy that there's any natural urge to do so that isn't socially engineered and irrational. The legitimate natural urge is stimulation of the sex organ, not making babies. The only worthwhile task in the world is parenting, not perpetuation of the species.

Life un-obfuscated is essentially the problem of fulfilling needs and diminishing suffering, at least for sentient beings. It is wrong to outsource the problem to non-existent sentience that can't consent to being born. Empathy 101: You consider any non-blissful moment in your life, and realize it can be experienced by a sentient being. The only reason you would want that experience imprinted on another is so they understand what you do for the utilitarian purpose of working to mutually fulfill each other needs, and diminish each others suffering... But non-existent beings don't need to understand anything: they don't exist, have no needs, suffer no deprivation, and cannot interact with the existing in any way (let alone help).

The most concrete rational objection I've heard that had any merit whatsoever is the problem of the “last human” or “last sentient being” who is cheated out of this reciprocal help from others to fulfill their needs and diminish their suffering. My counter objection is that procreating is merely the procrastination of this problem, in the hopes of some future time where we invent the cure for suffering itself or something, which is not to mention ridiculously unlikely, but probably an easier task in the context of a dozen or so sentient beings working purely to that end, as opposed to a dozen billion working to grow into a dozen trillion.

Oh yeah, and suicide isn't an escape, because you have to exist to experience the escape. Life is that unfair.

Read up on Antinatalism. I've heard the best arguments come from David Benatar.

- ManWithNoName quoted in italics -

If there was no natural urge to have kids and it was all about the stimulation of the sex organs then why are there so many middle aged women trying so hard to have children (in vitro etc.) most of these procedures and operations aren't fun and very expensive.

It doesn't surprise me when people are willing to do unfun costly things in order to fulfill a perceived deprivation. I'm arguing that refraining from procreation isn't even a deprivation. I acknowledge a vague need for sentient beings to have contact with each other, but not the need for producing sentient beings.

You can't argue from non-existence or base your augment on it. It's unknowable. You're using the lack of knowledge that we have on before we are born to postulate a scenario that makes it seem favorable. This argument is moot as just as you can postulate a scenario so can I. I could postulate that before we are born that we are trapped in an incredibly painful hell far worse than this world could ever be. You cannot determine if one state is better than the other if we don't know what both states are like. You can only speculate and never truly compare. Trying to argue that non-existence or existence before we were born is better than existence is pointless and all conclusions and beliefs reached equally pointless.

The argument isn't based on the unknowable. I'm aware that a comparison cannot be drawn between existence and non-existence. The whole reason I brought it up is because the common rationalization for bring a human being into existence, as is commonly understood (bringing a fetus to full term) is that “it's better to be alive than dead, to exist than to not exist” etc... I actually don't need to make a value judgment about non-existence in order to point out that suffering is unavoidable and built into life, and that your basic empathy should kick in when you understand the argument that procreation is basically an imposition inflicted the born due to the inevitable suffering. The most apt analogy is putting children on a roller coaster ride that ends hitting a brick wall, or docking into a gas chamber.

How would a utopia, a world without suffering, be better than what we have now? Suffering and bliss only exist in contrast. To stop people from suffering you have to stop people from causing it and to do that you pretty much have to get rid of free will. In this way utopia is akin to slavery. The potentiality for suffering allows for the potentiality of freedom.

Suffering isn't the opposite of bliss, in the same way hot isn't the opposite of cold. What you have in the universe impermanent gas giants and energy sources produce heat in a default, all encompassing setting that constantly depreciates the heat. It's only our language that obfuscates sufferings to be a “part” of existence, when it really frames 99.9% of the experience. I've read a few compelling arguments that pleasure, bliss, or even just contentment, are basically just conditional highs of temporarily avoiding pain and suffering. But you implied knowing this already when you said “potentiality for suffering allows for the potentiality of freedom”. So I'm confused how that is somehow an argument in favor of imposing this on others.

I'm also not proposing a paradise without suffering, but only because it's an absurd impossibility. If it were possible, then sure... but even then, you couldn't govern such a world without imposing on the freedom of others. A world where procreation is seen as wrong is basically a world where we've solved every other problem in the universe: physical pains, mental pains, degradation, personal existential crap, etc, and would be necessarily anarchistic.

Although I would say it's near impossible to avoid suffering entirely there are plenty of people who get by in life and are happy and content. Procreation does not automatically mean immense suffering for the born.

I agree with you because I'm one of those people. The difference is that I don't extrapolate that my experience is normative in any way. It's probably the exception. It's not productive or admirable for a lottery winner to say anything except “It's a big dis empowering sham.” even when they're the winner. It's not good to assume life is going to be great for anything brought into existence by default, especially given all the compelling evidence for the exact opposite conclusion.

Suicide is a confession that life is too much for the individual and that they cannot handle it. Life is neither fair no unfair. You think the Universe which has existed for billions of years cares enough about you to act in an unfair or fair manner towards you? That's a very, very self-centered viewpoint.

It's your definition against mine: I think suicide is basically the closest thing I can imagine to free will (being a determinist myself). Nobody can really handle living, and yeah, some people decide they want to make certain choices that don't include the experience of their rudimentary functions and abilities slowly degrading (ie: the ability to make any choice). If anything, I can at least understand that justification for suicide (though any more complicated reasons are pretty far from what I can understand, and are probably not rational).

Not sure where I'm projecting that I believe the universe is caring. The declaration of unfairness was basically a hyperbolic afterthought to better get a specific point across on an otherwise tedious subject that's only incidentally related to why procreation is wrong, and irresponsible at best, even with the best intentions.

The universe and life are what they are. In order to be fair or unfair they have to judge and the universe doesn't judge, it is us humans that do. We judge, we measure, we try to find meaning in everything. The universe contains nothing of this nor did it ever pretend to: there is no actually inherent fairness or unfairness to life. It is simply you who finds life to be unfair.

That sounds like a great manifesto for antinatalism. I concede to finding life to be unfair only because I have the ego and sentience to make that value judgment... but you're mistaken when you say that the value judgment I'm making is one directed at the universe or life itself. I'm an atheist, so I'm not even emotionally invested in the idea of any divine power concerned with human or sentient affairs. What I'm actually doing is acknowledge a fact of life, and making a value judgment on a very specific set of human behaviors in the context of this fact. Mainly, the behavior of bringing fetuses to full term, breeding or cloning animals, and arguing that it's wrong to do that for many reasons, though the main one is, it will suffer. As I've tried to explain above, you can't NOT suffer and exist at the same time unless your a rock or something. So the only legitimate rational objection you can make to the argument “procreation is wrong” is to either prove that suffering doesn't exist, or that the suffering is the cost for some more exceptional work that makes it worth the price.

People have been saying the world is overpopulated since the very beginning. Resources exist to be consumed and consumed they will be. Limitation breeds innovation.

I don't value innovation in and of itself, though. If I express any value in anything, it's to the end of fulfilling needs and diminishing suffering. The perpetuation of suffering cannot be justified by the promise to elevate that suffering if the people you're making that promise to don't fucking exist! That's why I kind of get pissed when I hear people say that we have to put up with shit now in order to have happy people 1000 years from now in some unspecified intangible paradise.

- Purgatid quoted in italics -

So what you're saying is basically that since there's a possibility that someone would dislike being alive, you'd deny them the choice in general? Excuse me but... That's like telling someone they're better off starving than risking eating something they might not like. If one does not want to live, one does not have to. There's barely any situations where you cannot die, if you're really miserable. At least birth gives them the option to choose if they enjoy it or not.

No it's not like telling anyone anything, because you can't tell non-existent people anything! The choice to commit suicide is NOT a choice to “leave” because “you” CAN'T LEAVE! Not existing is not the same as existing! It doesn't matter how you act in life, you were never “you” before or after “your” existence.

I've got one of the most fucked up disorders there is; dysthymia. It's a crapalicious disorder that basically means "you won't ever be genuinely happy." Still, I enjoy living. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I enjoy living too. This doesn't contradict antinatalism in any way. The reason for the negative value judgment toward creating new life is because you're taking an unnecessary risk with the welfare of someone else, not your own. It's that simple.

I've had times when I have thought "I'd prefer being dead."
Then again, I've had times when I have thought "this is what makes all the suffering worth it."

I've had similar moments... seriously. I think the reason anyone would be against it just because they don't understand the argument yet. Its basically something called the asymmetry argument, that I sort of failed to put across proper with my hot cold analogy. The whole purpose for the observation is that, in light of it, you can't justify procreation unless it's out of ignorance. It's not a condemnation of enjoying life or having a vendetta against people who made children under circumstance that they couldn't think logically (or basically understand the argument).

Kind of have to be propaganda-ish about it since it's a philosophical argument that actually gets in the face of most people's IRL aspirations in a very abrupt way. It's not that abstract of a problem with no bearing on what happens in the “real world” so I kinda have to say good on anyone who even brings it up. It also doesn't help that, yes, there are a lot of retards that bastardize the argument as basically a big life is unfair emo rant.

- 1 day later -

- Purgatid quoted in italics -

To me, it seems irrational to assume people will be miserable. When HPI meassures Life Satisfaction, there's hardly anyone in the world who reports they're less than 6-7 on scale of 1-10. Only ones doing so is living in problem areas with extreme starvation, thirst or war. Not even people having their freedom oppressed, like the Chinese, report being very unhappy (though still more unhappy than western countries).

I don't want to assume all people are miserable all the time. But I am convinced all people suffer, and that happiness, by its very nature, is experienced in the context of the suffering endured and avoided. I value my life in the sense that I consider it > 7, but at the same time, discriminate between “my life” and “a life”, the latter of which cannot, on principle, be intrinsically good, or even good most of the time.

It's very hard to argue this frame of reference because so many interpret it as taking the wind out of ones existential sails. But it's besides the point, since the argument is not “it is wrong to be happy or find meaning in life”. To prove a premise for the argument: suffering can't be “taken out” of the cost of existence. It is only through never having come into existence in the first place that the cost is voided.

Another way of phrasing the argument could be: “A life” is not “your life”. Procreation creates “a life”. Because “a life” is not “your life” procreation is an imposition on “a life”. Implicitly: any value judgment of “your life” cannot justify the imposition on “a life”. Therefore, procreation is wrong.

There doesn't seem to be a correlation between suffering and happiness either. A man who's lost his legs and a man who's won the lottery jackpot, report being equally happy after a year. Only when the immediate problem or benefit occurs do they deviate. And if this is true, then perhaps the Life Satisfaction index only reports unhappiness because those who report being unhappy is in immediate danger at the moment.

A correlation between suffering and happiness cannot be made in regards to potential people. Life Satisfaction measurements (value judgments) cannot justify the imposition. When people say the words “I'm glad I was brought into existence” it cannot justify bringing anyone else into existence, for the same reason “I like pain” cannot be used to justify inflicting pain.

So baring that few (none that I have ever heard of) studies show people to be generally miserable, it's a pretty far fetched assumption that people are generally unhappy. They're not. Do they experience suffering? Why of course they do. But apparently, suffering is not enough to diminish happiness. One could then assume that positive things in people's lives (say friends, family) has a higher positive value, than negative ones (injuries, poverty).

The only part of this I disagree with is when you say there aren't studies and evidence to show anything except generally happy people. One has to go out of ones way to find either (the generally happy and the generally miserable). Which ones is going to be more productive to look into, and thus be in a much wider abundance? The generally happy, so you can study the conditions necessary to fulfill needs and avoid suffering. But we don't pretend the other group doesn't exist at all.

Why I agree that you may very well cause suffering, you'd also cause joy, and more joy than suffering if HPI is any indication of the truth. I don't see how I would have the right to make a decision for someone else anyway. Especially when it seems like people are generally happy. Of course, one could argue that people don't know what they're reporting, or that they don't understand the question. But I feel that is just an attempt to validate the assumption that people are unhappy.

Well again, I don't need to poll everyone about how happy they are in order to make the argument that coming into existence is a bad thing. Even if I did such a poll, and got 70% saying they wish they'd never been born, it says nothing about what in existence and nature actually causes that value judgment. The consensus seems to be (and I can only guess since I do not properly understand the argument myself) the inherent asymmetry of having needs to be fulfilled vs. having no needs at all.

Other points are basically just IRL examples of this asymmetry truth in other aspects of life. Again, it's analogous to the “hot and cold” asymmetry: there is only impermanent instances of hot, and overwhelming default of not hot. Or the asymmetry of vibrations, matter, and chemistry requiring a particular speed to be pleasurable vs harmful: can't digest diamond as well as green vegetables, can't be comforted by sudden exertions that break bones and damage organs. On some level, you already know everything in nature acting upon sentient beings cannot be anything except degrees of harm. Insofar as we know, the non existent cannot be sentient, so there is good in not imposing existence.

The fact is, needs don't need to exist. Stating this can't be in error. A narrative that perpetuates a need for needs is in error. Nothing experiential, spiritual, or of psychological necessity is deprived just by refraining from creating life, unless you are “the last being”. But again, that issue actually casts a shadow on pronatalist positions, not antinatalist ones, because it can only be solved “alone” or merely procrastinated by means of procreation. The paternal instinct, as far as I'm concerned, is nothing more than the unconscious procrastination of being “the last being”. After all, you don't literally have to be the last being in the universe, just a perceived circumstance where, short of imposing life on another who will imprint to your situation, nobody will have the means or desire to voluntarily tend to your needs. Even if a pronatalist won't concede to this, they're still obliged to be a dedicated virtuous “parent” else the entirety of their justification is revealed to be purely exploitative, much like slavery.

Not sure I can make the argument clearer. I confess to intuitively agreeing to this stuff before discovering the terminology for it. I sometimes worry that's the only circumstance for recognizing the issue... like... there will never be a rational philosopher who is turned off by the conclusion with every fiber of their being, but will still concede that it's undeniable. So anyone who brings it up will just be dismissed as a suicidal nihilist fear monger.

- Purgatid responds tl;dr: "I get it" -

- 5 days later more rebuttals from -
- ManWithNoName quoted in italics -

Your ignoring what I stated. If there was not such a need to produce sentient beings than why would people who do In vitro fertilization and all that other not really fun stuff because they want to have children? If you ask them why they do it, it's because they want to have children and feel a really strong need to. Are you trying to tell me that what they feel and what they do is false somehow and that they really don't feel the need they do?

I'm still convinced that's mostly social pressures at work... but I can't be certain about the why's in other people's head. When someone says they want children, that isn't actually saying a lot. If I asked them to write a few paragraphs justifying their choice, I wouldn't get answers as intelligent as say yours.

I agree with you that refraining from procreation isn't exactly a deprivation but I wholly disagree with you when you say that "I acknowledge a vague need for sentient beings to have contact with each other, but not the need for producing sentient beings." as reality seems to state otherwise.

If they want to be nurture young people, why not adopt? The fixation on a clean slate (which doesn't actually exist imo) associated with a newborn seems like the product of a disordered psychology to me... not something to be apologetic about.

Suffering may be unavoidable so are many other things such as love, joy, happiness, and a bunch of other feelings and states.

There is strong evidence of a fundamental asymmetry regarding these things. Suffering is proportionally greater than all those other things combined... I'll try to explain why this is true as I continue responding.

None of this is built into the universe. The universe makes no promises. These things are built into the human condition which we are trapped in but unlike the universe we have control over our condition. To a large degree we may not be able to control a lot of what happens to us but it is us who decides what to make of it.

I can agree with this.

If we loose are arm or come down with a disease we may regret and suffer and lament about what could have been but in a way it is a false lamentation as we are lamenting over what we think could have been. The universe did not promise what could have been and in fact there is no real way of knowing that what we think could have been could have actually come to be. We are simply acting like children lamenting that we did not get our own way. The universe can every only act in a neutral manner. It is us who judges it and decides that it has acted in a good or bad way, it is us who has judged and decided that the universe has given us suffering or joy.

If something painful happens, you suffer regardless of your beliefs about why it's happening. This strikes me as a non sequitur.

We create the rollercoaster not the life nor the universe. And at the end of it we are not destined to dock in a gas chamber we are destined to die. Death is neutral. Death comes to us and takes us. It is us that has/doesn't have regrets.

The roller coaster analogy is a commentary on the conditions that are linked to sentient existence. Sure, the universe isn't actually a deadly roller coaster, but the condition one must accept for both is guaranteed suffering and death. Forcing children onto the ride is analogous to procreating; you make that decision on the child's behalf; you make that decision on the non-existent's behalf. The analogy gives voice to the potentially for a non existing person to object to a proposal to existence, in the same way someone will look at the ride, and tell you “No fucking thanks.”

And why could a child brought into the world not also be one of those people? If there is no destiny, if the universe is truly random doesn't it stand an equal chance in becoming one of those people?

It's not 50/50 because suffering is proportionally greater than any other sentient experience. Suffering is not pain, per say. It's the condition for degrees of harm upon a sentient being. This is why we don't say plants suffer. Classifying suffering as the opposite of happiness or pleasure or anything like that is an oversimplifying of the issue.

It's also not good to assume that life is going to be worthless for anything brought into existence by default which is what you really seem to be trying to do. The truth of the matter is that you simply don't know and are essentially arguing that because suffering exists, and because it is largely unavoidable that we are destined for it and to continually suffer to the point where we are better off not being born.

This is not true. You cannot claim the universe to be this impersonal thing and then say we are destined for anything. You can say that some things are largely unavoidable (the most unavoidable thing of all being death but once again death is neutral) but you cannot say that we are destined for them nor that they will totally invalidate our lives and that no matter what we do, that no matter what path our life takes, it would be better off if we were never born.

Life is not worthless, but it is unnecessary. I'm arguing that procreation is wrong, not that anyone in is existence is better off having never existed, though that is probably also true and just happens to help my case. We're not destined to suffer. We suffer unconditionally to varying degrees. There is no evidence of a state of non-suffering short of not existing.

How is suicide the closet thing to free will? Suicide is removing yourself from life so you no longer have the burden of having to make decisions. Isn't free will all about being able to make decisions? I fail to see how you can do this if you are dead and have removed your ability to do so (at least in terms of this world). Also if the universe is truly deterministic than wouldn't suicide itself be just another action that has been determined for you already? If the world is truly deterministic it would be impossible for suicide to be an action of free will as nothing could be an action of free will.

You can't remove yourself from life. Suicide is not your death insofar as it exists from your point of view. All that can be said about it is that it's regarded as a decision by others that draws attention to the problem of suffering. As a determinist, I would basically say the cause of suicide is suffering. It's the closest thing I can imagine to free will because I best understand it as making a choice in anticipation of having no choice. Even if I believed in free will, I'd have a lot of trouble believing someone in the advanced stages of alzimers has free will, or that someone on fire has free will. There comes an undeniable threshold of depreciation where you have to concede that free will is always inevitably fragile in proportion to some other blind set of conditions. If you believe you have free will unconditionally, a ton of the premises for antinatalism can seem unreal and backwards.

Procreation is a neutral act. Sure a child may know suffering but in all probability he will know joy. Does joy negate suffering? You could answer no to this, but since you seem to be arguing that all suffering no matter how much is wrong and since joy is a state in which suffering is absent I would say yes, joy in a way does negate suffering as you have defined it. Does prolonged suffering make fleeting joy worth it? Or should we suffer immensely just for short moments where we know joy? No. But in terms of a unborn child how can you say with any certainty that he is destined for prolonged suffering?

There is strong evidence that all those good emotions and sensations are fundamentally just depreciating periods between the higher degrees of suffering—so they're the fulfillment of perceived deprivations. Deprivations that I've already covered as being unnecessary, and more or less guaranteed to escalate until we die. The conditions of existence is clearly an imposition, even in light of the potentiality for good emotions and sensations. Procreation can't be neutral given the costs of existing, and even if it was, how is that an argument for it being necessary or desirable?

What matters is what happens after and as a parent you are largely responsible for this. It is true you cannot shield your child from all suffering no more than you can shield him from all joy but you can teach him how to avoid prolonged suffering, and in a way should also teach him to avoid prolonged joy as that hapless pursuit of prolonged joy tends to only to prolonged suffering.

This is why you should not bring new life into existence. This is a call to responsibility “before” the “after”... it's as though your saying once you've created new life, you can't be held accountable for all the bad reasoning beforehand because “Well now I have to focus on raising this kid, not mourning past mistakes, lol.” which is basically a position denying accountability. Antinatalism is expanding the accountability, so you can't use the same excuse when your kid dies or something “Excuse me but I'm mourning the needless death of my kid, how dare you hold me accountable for it, when I should be focusing on not suffering.”

It's not a great manifesto to antinatlism, it's a great manifesto to life itself. The universe is a random uncaring thing filled with both suffering and joy and a bunch of other stuff and at the end of it we die an in time everything we are and everything that we have done will be forgotten.

Life is largely a blank canvas. There is no meaning, no higher power, no set path, and the only thing that is fore sure is experience and death. However it's near impossible to say what we will experience, be it suffering, be it joy, or in what proportionality we will experience these thing. We can speculate, we can say that those born in poor conditions are doomed to suffering but if you go to some small African villages you learn quickly that there exist a lot of happy and content people in them.

The only thing that we can really say about life is that we will probably experience a lot and then at the end die. This is essentially the human condition. A thing wholly different from the universe that we are born into and trapped in as we can only experience the universe from the human perspective. However we should not despair because of this even though it seems like something to despair about.

Life may be a blank canvas without meaning or order but because it is this we can paint on it whatever picture we want. We may not be able to control what is done to us to a large degree but we can control what we are going to do about it and what we think about it. There is no inherent meaning to be found in life. This is a good thing because then we are free to grant it the meaning of our choice, the meaning that is right for us. This is ultimate freedom.

Yeah no... we're free to do everything except not exist in the first place. You can't have a manifesto for something so fundamentally involuntary. You can have a manifesto about ethics and calls to action concerning your circumstance.

Why insist that suffering and joy are proportionally two sides of the same coin? That's only true in the flawed averaged out history of our subjective experience. Natural drives are, in a way, makes blindly optimistic distinctions, since that's evolutionary advantageous for propagating the species. This is of no condolence to an individual sentience however... because of the huge disproportion of deprivations and needs that frame the fulfillment of such, plus the disproportionate risk of being born into poverty or the third world.

You seem to be rallying for contrary manifesto which gives some absurd respect or reverence to sentient perpetuation for it's own sake. What else would justify the thing you already concede to being a “neutral” act (which is actually a negative one in light of the cost)? Your right that to despair is a sort of futility, but this is why not having babies can be considered a goodness, as it to spares future sentient beings, that don't need to exist, from undignified pointless suffering and despairing.

Just as you can't NOT suffer and exist I'd say it's impossible to exist and NOT feel joy or a bunch of other stuff. There is no proportionality to you're argument. Your mind is rigid and you are seeing things in black and white terms wholly devoid of reality. You are essentially saying that the only way life is worth living if it contains absolutely no suffering and that even the smallest amount of suffering is able to render it worthless. I don't see how a small amount of suffering is enough to negate the rest of human experience and render it all worthless and not worth getting into.

The reality is that disproportionate in regards to suffering vs joy. The evidence for such an asymmetry is very strong, even if we're only talking about empirical evidence in day to day observations, and not the laboratory conditions required to validate very specific demonstrations. I see things in black and white because of my sentience and ego (thus judging the value of suffering vs joy proportionally, even though they aren't proportionally that way in reality). The seemingly infinite capacity for degrees of harm and pain, vs the concrete tangible but depreciating specifics allowing for moments of joy, is sort of a hint that the perception of symmetry doesn't apply to the wider universe by default. This also doesn't kill the argument against procreation, since procreation occurs in the non-abstract real world subject to empiricism and rational analysis, and doesn't ride on comparing itself to non-existence, or even pondering the possibility of a before/afterlife.

Off tangent: did you ever wonder why the idea hell is so easily described and specific while heaven is the exact opposite? It's like the unconsciously recognizes the lack of capacity for suffering in a hypothetical non-existence existence. Even religion can't make a complete 180 turn from the issue without basically lying about it with a made up story.

Prolonged suffering I would answer yes and yeah in some situations like in the midst of war or in utter poverty I'd say yeah your probably better off not bringing a child into the world but even then it is impossible to tell beforehand if an unborn child will see prolonged suffering in it's life as the universe is random and constantly changing. I don't see how you can make such a blanket statement that no one should have children ever mainly because I don't see how you could know that the child is destined to the type of prolonged suffering that would make invalidate all other experiences he might have and make it better off if they had never been born.

It's near impossible to tell when if or how someone will encounter prolonged suffering. Tomorrow I could enter into a world of prolonged suffering, or in ten years it could happen, or it could never happen at all. There is no way for me or anyone else to be able to tell to any real likelihood.

OK, so you accept being born into poverty and war is unacceptable. At present, those are the regular state of affairs for most of the human population. Even if they aren't directly caught in an explosion, there is a reverberation: being in the proximity of those situations (ie: being on earth) basically robs you of any illusions that you have control over the course of your life, unless you're invested in a story that denies this can be verified.

You're essentially trying to make the case that because suffering is unavoidable that life is not worth living. This is akin to saying that because life is not perfect that it is not worth living. There was never any promise that life would be perfect nor is it nor has it ever been. We exist in spite of our imperfections and many people, myself included would say that yeah, we are glad to have been born. If we can live in spite of our imperfections, how does the imperfections of life render it not worth living? Could not the unborn child also find life to be worth living despite the imperfections it might encounter?

The argument can also be phrased “Bringing any fetus to full term is wrong.” The premise requires an understanding that suffering vs joy is fundamentally asymmetrical, despite our linguistic perception to the contrary. The conditions of coming into existence includes ipso facto degrees of suffering, not destined “high enough” instances of suffering, although that is also very likely. Likely enough to consider existence a “risk”. Someone can be born under conditions where “high enough” is “more likely” for them than any person justifying their procreation, which means they're essentially rolling dice with the welfare of others. It's rational to call this irresponsible and wrong.

I agree with you. One should not be deceived by hope. One should never willingly enter into prolonged suffering or slave away in prolonged suffering in hopes that it will lead to something better or that it will all be worth it as that something better is never guaranteed and more often than not is found to be an empty promise as just as unspecified intangible paradise's are impossible. Innovation is useful because it grants us meaning. The very act of not putting up with shit is the act of rebellion which more often than not leads to innovation.

We agree here... but I also want to add that a voluntary diminishing of the human population (only possible through not having babies) is a technological innovation in practice. It's efficient because it takes almost no effort, since it's just refraining from a particular set of actions that result in new people, thus allocating more time and resources toward things like curing cancer, or feeding the hungry.

How can't you leave? How is not existing the same as existing? I don't understand how you could make this statement as in order to do so you have to know what not existing is like. If you know this I'd like to know how you found out or came across this knowledge. The only thing that matters (as far as our time on earth is concerned) IS our time on earth because we (as far as I know) cannot know what we were like before or what we will be like after.

I didn't say existing and not existing were the same. I said “existence is not the same as non-existence!” to prove value judgments regarding the non existent are always void. Life cannot be a gift to a sentient being, but it can be an imposition. That asymmetry is a condition of reality, not a judgment of non existence vs existence.

In life you continually take on the unnecessary risk of the welfare of other people. Like every time I drive to work I am responsible for the welfare of every person I come across and vice versa by the mere fact that I don't crash into them and have to actively avoid it. By buying food and eating it I am putting my safety and welfare in the hands of whomever inspected it that they did their job right and that the food will not kill me. Every day you rely on thousands upon thousands of people to have done their job right just so something doesn't end up killing you. This is unavoidable. I could try to avoid to minimize this risk but it's impossible.

Creating life doesn't have to be an unnecessary risk. It's always going to be a risk but you can minimize the risk by actually raising your child right. Having a child could be seen as an unnecessary act but all acts could be seen as unnecessary. You could rationalize the need away for anything if you view it from an impersonal universal enough level. Like why do we need to live at all? The planet was fine before humans came along and will probably be fine after? Eating and breathing is an unnecessary risk as if we eat and breathe we live and there is no inherent purpose to life and thus no reason to live and should not eat and breathe. See how easy it is?

The disconnect between that first paragraph and the one below it is huge. We already don't need to live. Life isn't the things of value. Fulfilling needs and diminishing suffering is the value. It's only “so easy” because it's true... antinatalism taken to it's logical conclusion is not a call to action for everyone to kill themselves and each other, because that action is in blatant denial of existence having no escape, thus the suffering required in having to kill yourself and others is unjustified. Only never having existed voids the problem of suffering, so no more new sentient beings please.

Nothing is really necessary, nothing is really unnecessary when it comes to the universe. However from the human viewpoint what is necessary is that which continues our existence and gives our life meaning. Needs might not actually need to exist as you put it but I see no reason for them not to exist. If there is no reason for them not to exist then why not let them exist?

Creating a need should be judged negatively because a need cannot always be fulfilled, and nobody wants to need (not that they have the option) they just have needs. The human viewpoint isn't the cause of procreation, its DNA that generates procreation.

Another tangent: Consider the archetypal Zombie: It more or less appears around the same time humans have favorable enough conditions to apply a value judgment to new people coming into their group. When I hear someone saying we have to do what the DNA is doing, I imagine that's what a zombie would say to justify its behavior: but it applies the excuse not just to creating new life, but to satiating all it's other hungers, irregardless of weither it's good or dignified for the sentient being it's subjected the needs to. In a tragic way, needs basically rob you of your sentience having any greater use. There is only value in the capacity for a zombie to just aimlessly wander around not eating brains, which is what they're going to be doing anyway when the world is all zombies. A human brain farm run by zombies (or human sacrifices to stave off zombies) has the same level of wrongness as procreating and justifying the sentience through the blind needs of DNA molecules.

What we need above all else is for life to have meaning. If having children is going to give somebody's life meaning than it is necessary. If not having children is going to give someone's life meaning that it is also necessary. Contrary to what you say: "Nothing experiential, spiritual, or of psychological necessity is deprived just by refraining from creating life" how do you know this? If someone feels that having children will grant meaning to their life how can you say to them that by not having children that nothing spiritually or psychologically will be lost.

Essentially what you are saying with this whole stance is that for those who want to have children and are able to raise them right that they should not because there doesn't appear to be any meaning (and thus reason) to do so. For you maybe not but from them there could be profound meaning in having and raising children. In not seeing this reason or meaning of course your going to find no reason to do so and only see reasons not too!

That argument is more appropriate for why not to create life since you can't know if someone will want to need and suffer, not as an excuse for others to create life because they're short sighted enough to imposing suffering as means to lessen their own. Yes I mad, because it's not the same as causing someone grief by breaking up with them or having to split a meal with them, because those imply voluntary associations. You can't voluntarily come into existence and consent to its conditions, thus it's like an imposition on somebody that isn't you, who will be forced to impose to a lesser degree on others that aren't them.

You can't justify procreation out of inaction, not ignorance. Of course a child will see prolonged suffering if you do not take action in it's life to teach it and help it avoid it.

Until the arbitrary moment you decide it isn't a child anymore and don't “have to” help them.

In this way risks are only seen as unnecessary when they have a high chance of failure. Because as I said before you can minimize the risk of the child encountering prolonged suffering by raising it right you are no longer taking that much of a unnecessary or unsafe risk, you will never be able to remove all suffering but unless you want to make an argument with no proportionality (and thus no bearing on reality as things only exist in proportion in reality and never exist in total perfection) I highly doubt that experiencing a little bit of suffering is enough to invalidate the entire human experience to the point where one wishes they were never born and is in fact better off never having been born (assuming not being born is a neutral state which I have pointed out already we have know way of knowing (of if we do please tell me exactly how you came across this knowledge)).

If you can do this why not have children? As you have said besides continuing the existence of the human race (a biological need which is strong for many) there are no real reasons to have children, I also don't see any real reasons not to have children. Well, that's not totally true, prolonged suffering is the only proportionality which I think can make life not worth living and thus the only real reason for not having children. Let me rephrase this, I see no reason, not to not have children, but I see no reason to never have children.

Ugh, I'm just going to try to write out the argument one last time as clearly as possible:

A life is not your life. Procreation creates a life. Because a life is not your life, procreation is necessarily an imposition on a life. Implicitly: any value judgment of your life cannot justify the imposition on a life. Therefore...

Procreation is wrong.
Having babies is wrong.
Breeding animals is wrong.
Bringing a fetus to full term is wrong.
Cloning sentient beings is wrong.

And the major premises that back up the argument:

Overwhelming evidence that suffering is not inversely proportional to joy/happiness/comfort/feeling-fine/etc... Suffering is every degree of harm, and an unresolvable condition of sentient existence. Suffering can't be zero unless sentient existence is also zero.
(This point in particular seems to be the crux of most disagreements).

Existence and non-existence cannot be compared. People cannot consent to existence before existing, and the existing cannot consent on behalf of non existent potential people.

Other somewhat related arguments that help the main argument seem more convincing:

The problem of the last sentient being cannot be solved with procreation. It has to be solved by the last being alone. Thus procreation is largely an abandoning of accountability regarding the fulfillment of ones own needs and diminished suffering.

The problem of fulfilling needs and diminishing suffering is easier with less people, because all the attention and energy normally paid to account for larger numbers of people is efficiently redirected towards fulfilling the needs and diminishing the suffering of those whom already exist.

Why am I human? - August 12, 2011.

I think it has to do with language. Without language, the concept of an ego, or consciousness "on top" of a nervous system is redundant. The "on top" part is basically a device for interpreting certain vocalizations and symbols as events, which manifests as actions abstracted from the environment enough to define the behavior as being more plugged into a language response system than a nervous system. Our feeling of "I" comes from the language response system, but there is a broader "I" or "concern" that isn't differentiated by anything except the history of events occurring on the nervous system.

My idea of how it happened is based on what I read. A very poor summary: tree inhabiting monkey like mammals found themselves in a not-many-trees environment, and a few evolved to scavenge plain lands. They sometimes ate stuff growing in cow dung that chemically unfolded their nervous system in a clear enough way to transfer happenstance into repeatable skills through basic basic language. The groups who did this best didn't die, and evolved to transfer skills specifically for taking out animals that would have dominated them otherwise. More evolution of a handful of plains apes that can associate land bases as tools better or worse for survival. Deliberate territorial behavior accelerates, and most species kill each other off, except the ones with the best skills, tools, and land. Some of these species re-encounter the forest, but can compare it to plain consciousness easily enough to eventually lead to rudimentary agriculture: assembling their own environment to not require nomadic practices. Everything after this is "history" as it's conventionally known; language gets to the point where territory is abstract and not explicitly environmental and concretely experienced. "Humans" can now anticipate and promise the use of force when behavior crosses an abstract border, producing an evolutionary reason to plug "concern" more into the language instead of the environment.

INTJ Visual Artists - September 1, 2011.

I've committed to amateurism at this point. Deliberating a social function to garner non-internet eyes would just make me uncomfortable. A lack of interest in gallery showings or formalized commissions makes it hard to want to competently execute compositions. I use software to crop happenstance 95% of the time. I can count the number of times I've published to the internet on one hand.

Drawing is my cathartic reflex, not my seductive one. I think with less effort, I have more artistry in written persuasion than visual storytelling. There's no refinement to my emotional expression when every part of it depends on brute mimicry and pastiche. I have an archivist instinct and prefer a successful transcribing of an other over broadcasting me. Me? I'm boring... though I do have preferences for things that need to be said, which are so important, they should outlast the sayer. If nobody is nurturing a value I love, I could be moved to compose a series for it, if I was any good at art (not yet).

Nature vs Nurture; Temperment vs Personality - September 14, 2011.

I'm taking your clumsy questions as permission to give clumsy answers.

The distinction between nature and nurture makes talking about this too complicated. Nature is just the point you decide to examine nurture.

Personality is a story about yourself told to others, and temperament is the average of your moods and actions in relation to a prediction, which doesn't matter outside it's predictive power.

There can't be anything normal if you're trying to examine a person's psychology. Everything in their history should be approached as having been the first time that's ever happened in history (one, because this is technically true, and two, because that method helps you to discard hubris and projection).

I think determinism is the true nature of reality. I always intuited that before learning the term. When ever I try to develop a coherent story about myself (an answer to "What's your personality?") I have no idea where to begin, and I just feel like saying "What I did." because I'm not invested in telling the story to myself in the abstract. I've been and viewed myself in so many ways, that how I describe myself is determined 100% by what I want to achieve in doing so, or how I want to persuade the listener.

People seem to confuse self knowledge with having an elaborate story about yourself. It can be considered cheating, but I always subscribe to the idea of the present moment: I am what I do right now, not my thoughts about what I did, or what I will do. So much of this sounds really pretentious. I have some awareness that an-other can now write "pretentious" as one of my attributes, because that's what I'm doing by imparting this scatter-shot of ideas.

I consider myself to be very well adjusted. I'm not a stoic, or emotionally balanced, and regard the world as a horrible place with endless problems... but I see what I need to adjust to as something happening now. That's the only manageable kind of endlessness.

When you say you have a preference, and refer to a temperament of yours, the points is to be forgiven for failing an infinite amount of other means others can be assisted. Temperaments (expressed as preferences) exist so you don't get harmed, and can get your needs met, regardless of what you are, as a fail safe against people that think other people are just like them (with the same needs--a wrong assumption).

Important Question for Fellow INTJ's (How do we fix the world?) - October 31, 2011.

I think one should drop the idea of humanity. Humanity is nobody. You at least want to help somebody. If you develop technology along the way, then all the better. Inventions of necessity are always warmly welcomed.

But imo, the hardest tasks for improving lives involve uncomfortable conversation. The kind that test the legitimacy of your relationships. This can be parsed down to the worst case scenario, where you have to say: “Stop doing that, or we're not friends anymore.”

The challenge is implied: You have to be valued for your actions for that declaration to hold influence. Lead by example, because you can't succeed alone. If everyone does this, the best associations stand out, and everyone else follows because (for a time) that's the best way to be.

Just remember you cannot universalize preferable behavior. Geographic variation necessitates variation in preferable behavior. The local and sustainable is the only smart move... Governing outside yourself will worsen the situation.

I've also argued before that the only worthwhile 'end' is 'The end'... on purpose[link to antinatalism wiki].

I Miss Feeling Suicidal - November 1, 2011.

Full disclosure before I respond to OP:

I think people have the right to die, and that suicide is only a harm when it's taboo. Anyone ending their life has to do so in secret to avoid being detained. They can't even announce their planned exit to others without fear of being turned in like a criminal, or accused of emotional blackmailing (by threat of your absence). The taboo even prevents safe techniques from being humanely developed and easily accessed.


I detect a lack of appreciation in this thread for the fact that people can have circumstances they find intolerable. I regard thinking about suicide as perfectly sane, and should say there is some sense in missing that feeling of wanting to commit suicide, because it can potentially clarify how you really plan to live, what you're really going to do, etc. It doesn't strike me a less sane response than laughter. The laughter is perhaps a reminder that your situation is improved or something.

I probably sound really depressing right now. I'm not so much advocating humorlessness as I'm saying you usually have a good reason for being depressed. It's not always some form of mental laziness or "chemical imbalances". Like you also mentioned, it can be a signal to re-evaluate the company you keep, the roles you're fulfilling, etc.

You often come across those who'd probably be less messed up if they gave themselves permission to say "this is fucking terrible" and were given the space and support to do something about it. I'm not saying suicide is the first option, I'm saying it's the last option (lol) and that we shouldn't limit others options because we find it distasteful.

Watching yourself shrivel up bed ridden... I'm sure it'll be great. No worries right? I mean... if you're that optimistic about being provided for in a profound state of immobility and dependence, maybe you'll still have really capable friends and relatives then. Maybe.

Judge beats his daughter for using the net. - November 2, 2011.

The fact that corporal punishment even occurs is proof that it doesn't fucking work. If it taught anyone right from wrong, they would know what happened to them was wrong, and wouldn't inflict it on children. All the examples that supposedly justified corporal punishment can be parsed to parent fail or society fail. It's not the kids fail because the world they are forced into is designed to exclude any real consideration for their preferences.

Also, I have to laugh at this idea that children are inheritance stupid, when they're constantly having to learn and navigate new cognition (learning language, how things work, etc) whereas adults are barely using their minds even some of the time.

Resurrecting My Ego - December 14, 2011.

My objectivist senses are tingling from some of these replies... Just say it people. Altruism will magically cure all OP's problems, he just has to surrender his mind, rationality, and compromise all his values, then certainly somebody will love him, lol.

Dating makes no sense. Its a band-aid for a horrible truth about present society: We are all politely coercing one another to fulfill our needs. You can't state it in clear english because the ethical imperative following that is to dramatically change our behavior in a way that gets rid of the violence inherent in our institutions and everyday interactions. That doesn't sound like fun to most people.

Ignorance is bliss. The trouble is you don't agree. People dislike the truth because it makes for uncomfortable conversation. When you don't speak in lies, you reveal your principles. It is a known fact to others that principled people are "trouble makers" who are bound to drudge up the shit just in time for the fan. They're not sane enough to turn off the fan, just sane enough to know they SHOULD turn off the fan, and react irrationally to being told the fan exists.

You want like values in a partner, otherwise you wouldn't care about honesty. Most people only want to be "perfect" in the sense that they can steer others away from calling out their imperfections, not because they're rationally motivated to be perfect. Perfect is poor choice of words actually... I would say Ethical (objectively--not merely in a cultural context, which is perhaps why one would feel inclined to use the word perfect instead).

As for being mission driven... relaxation and fun is parallel to that. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Choosing the wrong mission is a separate issue altogether. In that situation, it's completely rational to go about it half-assedly, constantly breaking to mingle with people in a like situation; there's at least a slim chance they'll wake each other up. Hell... that's probably 80% of what makes people "fall" in love. You, however, probably can't "fall" into anything anymore without being stupid on purpose.

The UnCollege Movement - December 26, 2011.

Generally, I think higher education (college or university) is pointless unless you need instructors or access to specific tools and literature you can't find outside that environment. The sensible choices seem to be either apprentice in a trade or attend courses with the presence of experts that work in the field, be they professors or other students.

The point of befriending or having that mutual presence is you need to leave an impression of competence in certain people before you get into fields where the consequences of doing it wrong mean people dying, being injured, unfairly incarcerated, or causing grief for society (doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc..)

The same isn't true for professions where anything imperfect is simply regarded as a unique feature of that service (art, teaching, retail, start-ups, entrepreneurship, etc..) But because there is less constraint in those fields, you can more easily "move up" as you're free to make mistakes without harming anyone besides yourself and immediate colleague. Some entry positions in larger institutions fall under this category, though there are way less today.

The internet pretty much takes care of education and networking for those positions, because everyone involved generally has a public email. It's a matter of resolving why they should reply to you at their expense... which is another topic (how to be known as helpful or productive instead of merely promising to be with a diploma or certificate).

Thoughts on other people who have no friends? - January 17, 2012.

Being friendless by choice is basically a luxury afforded to people that don't have to negotiate to get their needs met. This is my situation right now. Having to make friends, in my mind, is connected with preparing for my life to become shittier. Some context: I have to move out for the first time this spring. There is no way to be independent without friends. It sounds paradoxical, but it's true. I am not looking forward to appealing to people with values different from my own just to tolerate existence.

If someone I consider a friends tells me they don't have a friend, it makes me nervous, because now it's like I have to be their friend or something. If I don't know them personally, but somehow know they don't have any friends, I would try to be their friend in some way, even if I didn't “want” to. I am literally a friendly person. I'm just intimate averse, and figure maybe someone would describe themselves as having no friends, when they mean what I mean here.

Basically my idea of what a friend is has no charm to it. It basically comes down to respect and lack of delusion about why we're associating. Someone who says they have no friends, I still don't know what that means, because on some level, you probably have friends, you just don't call them friend because you can't share your deepest secrets with them or something.

This probably made no sense at all... but to add to the confusion; I don't think you can be friends with “all” of someone. Only parts of them in specific situations. Also, the idea of having “online friends” makes no sense to me either. They have no agency to do anything for you but validate values over 1010101 communication. An online friend is like saying a book is your friend, or a long dead author is your friend. Just call it something else to be less confusing.

I really dislike this word and the way people use it, anyway.

Liscense To Procreate - January 23, 2012.

You should have more people to answer to if you plan on adding to their number. I'm not comfortable with state enforcement, or coercion, but I'm fine with making it socially acceptable to get up in peoples face about why they want to have kids and what they're hoping to accomplish by doing so. Birthing people is a liability to your community--it's the opposite of being productive.

What is your view on straight edge people - January 23, 2012.

I don't identify as straight-edge, though I'd fit the description if I were vegan (I'm not). Never done drugs or sex and I plan to avoid both on purpose.

It looks like it's about not wanting to be addicted to anything you don't need to be addicted to. There's also an undercurrent of paranoia in regards to maintaining self control. If you don't need or even desire something from others, that's one less currency you can be coerced with. It doesn't surprise me that the culture probably originates from conservative snootiness or something. Sounds like a match for my disposition minus my habit of constantly unwrapping my prejudices.

I probably have more in common with people who did drugs in the past who then went straight-edge, in the sense that I don't think there are any real benefits to altered states at all. Any insight one can get from altered states that can be applied to non-altered states, I have already understood second hand from other people's accounts or just having an interest in philosophy.

There is less commonality with people who've had sexual relationships though. Things like kissing or PIV are literally turn offs for me. But I have the feeling straight edgers are more like "waiting 'till marriage / someone special" as opposed to deliberate avoidance.

How to Learn Empathy - February 2, 2012.

It can be simple...

You just have to realize we are meat...

No one is made of anything else...

Meat suffers in similar ways.

When we separate ourselves and see others as other empathy is hard...

When we see others as we see ourselves or our creations... empathy comes naturally.

I want to elaborate on this a bit, because I think it's the closest to explaining empathy.

Meat is always animated by deprivation. Ask yourself how much sense it makes to empathize with someone in a state of bliss or contentment. Once upon a time, Bob was just fine... the end. Bob has no story, so we pass over him.

Empathy is built in, but you can be taught out of it. Some call it dehumanizing, or being desensitized. Shutting off the senses is what happens when you are wrapped up in a particular story, and project that on others irregardless of it actually being true.

Basic example is prejudice: "All [x] people are/do [y]." When you read a person as being [x] you shut off your senses to their a story, because you're already overwriting everything they communicate as [y].

Prejudice (anti-empathy) is easier the further away you get from the fact that we're all animated meat. It doesn't matter how racist you are, you cannot deny that everybody shits, or bleeds, must sleep, or needs to drink water.

You can get away with straying a bit farther in term of cultural experiences that have to do with breeding. I'm reminded of an anecdote where a black guy is trying to diffuse nightly harassment against his home by white KKK members or something. He goes up to some in a bar and asks "Do you guys have babies?" they say "Yeah so?" and he goes on to explain their harrasment in the night wakes the babies, which forces them to empathize under the common experience of how difficult it is to lull babies back to sleep, etc, and that diffuses the situation so they stop harassing his home at night.

Empathy gets harder the more trivial the cause of someone's suffering. The problem people have with empathy is that most of the things that upset us are actually trivial. But we're so tuned into this trivial space that we overlook obvious struggles we share. This is often cured by living in shit.

I'm now saying go out of your way to live in shit and jump head first into experiences, because then you'll have the problem of people who are "experience connoisseurs" that only do what they do because they have a fallback/escape. There is no point in empathizing that a deviously rich guy wrecks his car. There is a point in empathizing that he's been diagnosed with cancer, or that he's acclimated to using money to avoid relating to others.

There is a reason sociopaths are only abundant in this culture; they simply could not have survived in any other without immediately being ostracized. Industrial automation can meet a good portion of people's needs (at many more people's expense obviously) so some can lead a life with no pressure to empathize with anyone. Half of it is choosing the easier path at every turn, the other half is literally lacking the experience of common deprivations due to a relatively privileged existence.

Minimalism - February 17, 2012

- Dislike having to look for things, but prefer clutter to organized space.
- Avoided having more possessions than I can remember.
- Not interested in living "off the grid" in any independent way besides helping others create food gardens.
- Raised in an extremely cluttered "Hoarders"-tier household, contrasting heavily with my grandparents neurotically tidy one.
- I worked out the exact middle ground between the two: which housekeeping practices are arbitrary fluff and which are necessary.
- I want to live in a small apartment in the city. Claustrophobically small, so I'm compelled to go outside unless I'm sleeping, eating, or working privately.

The Legitimacy of Government - February 22, 2012.

Is the government legitimate? My knee jerk reaction is no. To me it looks like a belief system with two rules:

- There is such a thing as an agency with a literal monopoly on force.
- This agency's actions are ethical in all conceivable conditions.

This contradicts anarchism, a more accurate description of reality: constantly changing conditions that need to be examined ethically as they come up. Government attracts people that do not want to adapt to changing conditions, or do not wish to be held accountable for unethical actions.

The government is not a social contract, plots of land, specific buildings, specific political figures, specific capitalist elites, police officers, soldiers or generals. It's God in different garments.

The state, as I understand it, relates to my first bullet point: An actual "state" of force being imposed to make something happen. I do not think it's possible to have a literal monopoly on this unless you're omnipotent. Only in the context of short lived moments.

For example, you can use force resist arrest and "win" ... until more police arrive with "more force" than you can over turn. The point is it's possible, but inadvisable in the presence of people who believe in the government at any given moment to "respawn" that state.

So this idea that you should "move" if you don't like the government only works if you can clear enough distance between you and any one person who believes in the government, which obviously is impossible unless every single person in the universe is non-violent/non-statist. Even harder when statists sometimes go out of their way to use of force for its own maintenance, feeding off free market activity and non-coercive relationships.

As for whether the hand of the free market can do harm, I'm pretty sure this question makes no sense. There is nothing inherently maternal about it, but expecting as much means you don't know it's an anthropomorphism of how human beings relate in non-coercive situations. So fine: humans relating can be manipulated for malevolent purposes. The obvious example being the state and belief in government or god.

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