30. Should we all stop having children?

If having children leads to some percentage of them ending up in hell, is it still reasonable to continue having them? Possibly.

I wish I had been buried like a baby who never saw the light of day.
~ Job 3:16 

Should all children be left behind?

Controversial philosopher David Benatar argues in his book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence that since life begets pain, there is a moral imperative not to procreate:

“We infrequently contemplate the harms that await any new-born child—pain, disappointment, anxiety, grief, and death. For any given child we cannot predict what form these harms will take or how severe they will be, but we can be sure that at least some of them will occur. None of this befalls the nonexistent. Only existers suffer harm.”
~David Benatar

I don’t know if I agree with David, but it’s certainly true that the unborn will never have to endure awful things like sickness, hunger, bullies, depression, disappointment, disease, divorce, poison oak, confusion, cancer, canker sores, rejection, miscarriage, migraines, the macarena, incontinence, hemorrhoids, paralyzation, plagiarization, disabilities, heartaches, toothaches, flu, traffic jams, vomiting, colonoscopies, stress, seizures, strokes, surgery, sunburn, STDs, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, amputations, chemotherapy, the loss of loved ones, grieving, aging, dying, male pattern baldness, and all the other horrors that can plague mankind.

It’s also true that the unborn won’t experience any of life’s pleasures, but we cannot reason that the unborn are being deprived of these pleasures, any more than we can reason that a rock is being deprived pleasure. As long as the atoms that would’ve gone into making a new life remain unassembled, these souls remain oblivious and at rest.

But if hell exists…

If hell exists, the situation becomes infinitely more dire. Now, not only are we sparing the unborn from the pain of this life, but potentially eternal pain in the next. If hell exists, we should all stop procreating immediately, lest we risk adding one more soul to hell.

As Balise Pascal might have reasoned, if there’s even the slightest chance of our ending up in hell, then it is in our best interest to never be born.

Even if 99 people out of 100 go to heaven, it’s still not worth the risk. We needn’t concern ourselves with the 99 who enter paradise, as they are in no pain. But for the 1% who must suffer eternal torment, it would’ve been better had none of them been born, as the sum total of those in torment would’ve remained zero.

So while it’s true that the unborn will never have the opportunity to enter heaven, we could reason that it doesn’t really matter, since: 1) the unborn are oblivious to this opportunity, 2) the odds of getting in were slim anyway (Matt. 7:13), and 3) bringing souls into existence only increases the total amount of pain in the universe.

So should Christians stop having children? Surprisingly… no.

If Christianity is true, then the above argument begins to fall apart when we factor in the unsaved.

Currently, 2000 years after Christ, roughly 2/3rds of the world remains unconvinced by Christianity. If all Christians were to suddenly stop procreating, it’s a safe bet that the beliefs of the other 2/3rds would take over, and Christianity might even disappear.

Christians, then, can logically argue that it’s better for 1/3 of each future generation to be “saved” than none at all. (They might even reason that Christians should try to have as many offspring as possible, to push out other faiths in future generations.)

The same argument could be made against Christians killing their young. While killing your young might ensure they get into heaven, if all Christians killed their children, then few would remain to carry the torch.

Should God stop creating children? If hell exists, yes!

How could God, at present, stand idly by while 2/3rds of every generation enters hell? Why let such a travesty continue? If He’s going to end the world anyway, why not do it now, before more souls can enter hell?

This harkens back to the problem of evil. If, in the beginning, God knew the majority of us would go to hell, then why create us at all? And why ask us to be fruitful and multiply, when He knows damn well the majority of these souls will go to hell?

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” 
~ Genesis 1:28 

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.
~ Matthew 7:13 

The Bible tells us that God ultimately wins the war against Satan, but how can God declare Himself the victor when Satan has collected the most souls? God may win the final battle, but Satan appears to have won the war.

Should atheists stop having children? It’s debatable.

Without heaven to look forward to, Christians will sometimes ask “Why don’t atheists just kill themselves?” I think most atheists would answer that their life is not filled with so much sorrow that suicide is the most attractive option. Even when there is pain, there is almost always something to look forward to (e.g. love, laughter, music, movies, food, books, art, games, friends, family, travel, weekends, etc.). Life will end soon enough on its own, and we will have the rest of eternity to be dead. So right now, during our few short moments here, we might as well have a look around.

If you are fortunate enough not to be one of the millions of people who suffer in severe poverty or the horrors of some war, life can be a fantastic ride with or without gods.
~ Guy P. Harrison, 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God 

For these reasons, many atheists assume their children will also conclude that life is, overall, a worthwhile experience. But as Guy Harrison points out, quality of life is definitely an important factor to consider when having children.

Personally, I find there are very few days in which I can honestly say that I would prefer not to exist, (though, there are many days when I wish other people did not exist). My personal philosophy is that suffering and death are simply the price we pay for the opportunity to be alive.


If Christianity is true, then there are good reasons for Christians to continue procreating (which they seem to enjoy doing, anyway). But I don’t find any good reasons in the Bible for why God would want this experiment to continue (especially if there is a hell), or why He should desire it in the first place.

If God doesn’t exist, then the question of whether or not to continue procreating becomes more complicated. If there are no gods, then we are forced to occupy their roles. Nature has essentially made us by mistake, and we must now ask ourselves, “Is it right to continue bringing life into existence, even if it means creating more pain?”

Earlier today, I pondered this difficult question as I walked with my 9-year-old son. I asked him point-blank, “Are you glad you’re alive?” He answered (as if it wasn’t a totally ridiculous question), “Yes. I love my mom and dad, not only because they love me, but also because they chose to have me when they didn’t have to.” Both my children seem to be enjoying their life experience, at least for now. And while I hope that they will experience far more pleasure than pain in life, I also realize that there are no guarantees. Life is a gamble, but the odds are good that a person will find life worthwhile, and that life’s pleasures will outweigh any suffering. Still, we owe it to our children to carefully consider what kind of environment they will be raised in before subjecting them to it.

After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings. 
~Richard Dawkins 

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28 Responses to 30. Should we all stop having children?

  1. Larry says:

    Great Dawkins quote. Nice post.

  2. rautakyy says:

    Hell is a somewhat primitive concept. If “Jesus conqured death”, what was it that he did? Where did he go after his alledged death on the cross? To Heaven, or Hell? Or did he just lie dead in his grave waiting to be reincarnated? If that is the case, how did he know, that he was dead, and not just in a coma? He could not even have the slightest clue if he was dead, or not. He gave no “eyewittness account” of either Heaven, or Hell, but alledgedly he is the only guy who has returned from the death. In effect, we have no knowledge wether these “places” are actual, or simply metaphors for good and bad living. Christian theology seems to assume them as actual places, though. Why? To frighten people to join the club and pay their share?

    It seems not even all Christians are so convinced about the idea of Hell. For example according to a Norvegian Christian magazine Vårt Land (“Our Land”), only 12% of Norvegians believe in the concept of salvation from Hell. In the the recent poll some 15% said they honestly do not know what happens after death. Fifth of those who answered reconned, that everybody gets to Heaven. 5% said that some few will be saved to a good place and the rest will simply ceace to exist. Almost half of those who bothered to answer – 48% said that there is no afterlife what so ever. People who lived in countryside seemed to be a bit more traditional in their thinking, but “not much”.

    Now, why would any of the 48% see themselves as Christian is a bit beyond me. Exept perhaps, simply because of a tradition. Norway is considered a Christian nation, but things are generally quite well there. They have the oil to pay for social security, free education and such. People whose lives are in order, feel the need to summon supernatural powers much less than those who are in constant disstress. Norvegians also have a good quality education, so they are less ignorant about many things, than many people in more religious societies.

    • “Where did he go after his alledged death on the cross? To Heaven, or Hell?”

      Legend has it he went to hell…

      I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. ~Rev 1:18

      “Christian theology seems to assume them as actual places, though. Why?”

      The Bible…? I personally suspect that the afterlife was an unavoidable necessity. Without it, people would’ve eventually realized there’s no point in serving God, even if He does exist, because He provides no tangible benefit in this life. But an afterlife, well that’s just pure genius! Now, God can remain absolutely indifferent, because you’ll get your reward later! And since the afterlife is not a falsifiable claim, it can never be disproved. It really is genius. Once again, religion evolves to deal with a difficult problem.

      “…only 12% of Norvegians believe in the concept of salvation from Hell”

      Much different here, where 70% believe in hell and 80% believe in heaven.

      • rautakyy says:

        Few years back there was a survey, that compared the basic values of people, and the researchers claimed their results as more, or less surprizing. They said that the people in Islamic countries and in the US held more similarities in their values than Europeans did whith either. Naturally, when values are an issue, religion and attitude towards it was one of the main factors. Of course, the religions are different, but the values people thought their own respective religions presented were more similar between US population and that of most islamic countries. Should we assume, that god enlightens some nations more than others? Like a god alledgedly did with the ancient Hebrews and alledgedly a nother god did with the Arabs. Could there be a nother reason for this phenomenon.

        What else do these people have incommon in the US and in the Islamic countries and what makes Europeans different in this respect? Is it, that a large number of Europeans are deranged and decadent, or that the simple god fearing people in both the Islamic countries and in the US are less educated? As I said before humans are prone to ask for divine help when they are in trouble. Could differencies in safety of living make that difference? What also divides the world in this respect is the gap between the very richest and the masses of poor. Could the answer be there?

        I have no answer to this, nor do I have any link to the survey either (I read it in Finnish, from a newspaper).

        Anyway, what is interresting about the Hell as a concept, is that the division line of who goes and who does not seems to be a mystery even to the adherents of the religions that endorce the idea. Some say that little babies automatically go to heaven, but others claim that a human being is born whith the primal sin. So, which is it? Is the sin added to humans at the moment of conception, as so many Christian “pro-life” people claim a human being begins at that very moment, or is it only when we are born? If it is the latter, and Heaven and Hell are true, aborting children is the greatest favour they can recieve. Or is it later, that we come part of the “sin” when we do our first selfish and vile deed at the age of two or so? But can a two or three year old be accountable for some “sin” to be punished by an eternal torture? Is that not disproportionate for a seven year olds misbehaviour? What about a teenager, who all do stupid things in fit of suddenly raised hormone levels, or what about someone on the treshold of adulthood who is still trying to cope in to the adult world? Who anyway is accountable for anything for an eternity of pain?

        • There are a lot of unknowns about hell. I think the catch-all answer is “have faith that God will be fair.” In other words, stop thinking, and stop trying to reason it out in the Bible, just believe that God will handle it.

          “Who anyway is accountable for anything for an eternity of pain?”

          In the interest of treating others they way I would want to be treated, I’d say no one. Heck, even God should be moral enough to see this — would He want to be in hell forever? Of course not, so why would He inflict that pain on others? Even Hitler deserves an eventual reprieve, otherwise his pain exceeds the pain he inflicted on others.

          • rautakyy says:

            Hitler is so often used in this particular issue. I do not think he was not punished simply because he escaped legal punishment by committing suicide. He had years, from almost the beginning of the war, to see his dream slowly deteriorate. When he finally killed himself the Soviets were practically knocking on his bunker door. It took them several years to get there from Stalingrad, and the German army had very few successes in between. Even Hitler himself was reported to have said, that the Germans were not worthy of him. Since his entire life and ideology was based on the lie how the Germans are this supposedly higher race, it tells the tale of a man who had lost all his dreams and was totally crushed. I’d say he did pay in full for his crimes.

            We could find some other historical character who died totally unaware of the reprecussions of his evil deeds, but why do people do terrible things? Most often it is because they allready have tormented minds. What is then more important? That there was no vengeace, or that the evil he did finally ended? The knowledge of Hell has done very little to stop people from evil deeds. Most people who do something truly horrific, actually believe they are doing good. For example Hitler believed so to the very end. It might even be, that he expected to end up in Heaven. Maybe he repented at the very last moment of his life and was forgiven. According to the Biblical logic he would then end up in Heaven while some Chinese ordinary everyday loving parents, sons and daughters end up in Hell, just because what they heard about a foreign and strange religion called Christianity did not make any sense at all to them.

      • ASkepticalChristian says:

        I think we need a bit correction here:

        Hades IS NOT “Hell”, but “The world of the dead”/”Grave”
        If we look into HNT (Hebrew New Testament) version of Revelation, Hades (ᾅδης) is translated as “Sheol” (שאול)
        * Strong’s entry for “Sheol”: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7585.htm

        Gehenna (γέεννα) IS THE TRUE “HELL”.
        * Strong’s entry for “Gehenna”: http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm

  3. I n I says:

    Very interesting conversation. What would you say to the Christian that sees Hell as a timeless point of realization that Life was within grasping, if only you would have believed in it? I believe that the choice set before us by God is between eternal Life and eternal Death, In this manner, both the believer in Jesus and the believer in atheism are rewarded according to their faith.

    • Howdy I n I,

      Hummm… I suppose I’d ask about the difference between a “timeless point of realization” and “eternal Death”. To me, “eternal Death” sounds like a total lack of consciousness, while a “timeless point of realization” sounds like an eternal waiting room, where you sit and bemoan your poor choice forever.

      But neither really sounds like the fiery pit I was promised in Matt. 5:22, Matt 18:9, Luke 3:9, Mark 9:43, John 15:6, Jude 1:7 and Rev. 21:8. If we are to discuss hell, I’d have to insist on sticking with the Bible’s description as best we can, otherwise we risk traipsing into red herring territory. But I’ll grant you that it’s an ambiguous description that doesn’t give us much to go on.


      • I n I says:

        “Timeless” is just a reference to the fact that eternity does not include it, since time is a property of the physical universe. Death is the cessation of life and eternal death is the second death that revelation talks about. As one who has accepted the gift of Jesus I am looking forward to life eternal. As an atheist, you do not believe that you will continue upon death ,so you too will be granted the object of your faith. Hell resides in the after life understanding that you could have had eternal life had you believed (hence the weeping and gnashing of teeth). I really appreciate your amicable tone! I can assure you that I bear no judgement on you or your position since I am not your judge. I am merely sharing what I have gleaned from the scripture with reference to Hell and God’s judgement which as you can see is not the Orthodox view, but is scripturally sound nonetheless. I would like to invite you to read some of my posts, since I find your work very engaging.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interesting blog. Douglas Adams wrote something very a propos to this post in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I haven’t been able to find it. In a similar vein is this quotation: “Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.” But there’s one that’s even better. If I find it, I’ll pass it along. If you haven’t read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I highly recommend it.

    • Please do, would love to hear it. I haven’t read it since I was a little kid, maybe I’ll read it to my kids. Loved the latest movie version, have been thinking I need to watch it again.

  5. Tyler says:

    Life is pretty stupid any way you slice it. I was born happy, after 37 years on this planet I’m as bitter as a lemon. Leave souls on the other side by not procreating, trust me, they’ll thank you for it. Not only am I not happy in my own life, my kids are unhappy in theirs. Once you realize this planet is a pile of steaming bullshit it stops being enjoyable here and we want to leave. I’ve wanted to leave for about 20 years now but if I take it upon myself to leave I’m not only breaking the law (LOL) there’s a chance I’ll be sent to hell for an eternity to suffer even more. Hallelujah!

    • Hey Tyler,

      Ya, I agree, life certainly can suck sometimes. It makes me wonder what people would do with eternal life, even if it did exist.

      For me personally I find it comes and goes. Some days I hate life and curse the day I was born, other days I’m happy as a clam. But would I mind if I was never born? Nope, not one bit.

      I’ve probably continued to ponder this question more than any of the others. I can’t honestly refute the idea that a life that doesn’t exist is better off than one that does. My atoms were perfectly at rest before they turned into me, and at no risk of damnation (if such a thing exists).

      Life is a nice place to visit, and I’m going to try to enjoy the shit out of it while I’m here, but I wouldn’t want to live here forever.

  6. Peter says:

    Dear 500Q,

    1. I know you count yourself among the lucky ones (being born in the USA, in the 20th century, male, educated, healthy, financially able, etc. instead of being born in Ethiopia, female, raped, uneducated, abject poverty)
    2. You only have two children not 12 because there are birth control devices available to you; you and your spouse were given the idea to have only two children and not 12, and thus enabled you to have the time and resources to do what you are doing
    3. Your two children are also counted among the luckier ones (#1). They only have one sibling instead of 10. They didn’t have to work at an early age. No health problems. No abuses.
    4. It is a no-brainer, then, for the haves to say that it’s better to be born than not (e.g. your son’s response)
    5. Even so, if your children were asked to choose between you and your spouse as parents or Bill and Melinda Gates as parents (given that they too love their children as much as you and your spouse do), I would think your children would choose Bill and Melinda (I would too). Your children were never given the options (like all of us)
    6. Very few people ever put themselves in the shoes of the unborns and ask the #5.
    7. Even fewer ever asks the question – what’s so great about this form of human existence (you have to eat, defecate, study, grow up, work, get sick, laid-off, have menstruals and hot flashes (for females) mourn the death of loved ones, and face your own mortality finally) ?
    8. Why would you pass on the defects of this form to others? They didn’t ask for these. They didn’t deserve them.
    9. If you were a manufacturer, you would be held liable for producing harmful/defective products. You would be out of business quickly.
    From what you have written, I can see you are a kind person. I just have not seen anyone written on these points.

    • Hi Peter,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but I somehow overlooked this question.

      Honestly, having spent much time pondering this question, I’d have to say I’m now squarely in the “antinatalist” camp.

      While I’d like to think that the good experiences in life tend to outweigh the bad (in most cases), there is no denying that there will ALWAYS be more risk involved in creating life than not creating life. No matter how small the risk of “failure” may be, it will ALWAYS be greater than ABSOLUTE ZERO (the amount of risk faced by the non-existent). Thus, the only truly safe position is not to procreate.

      That said, I don’t think creating life is the most horrible thing one can do, as the good will likely be perceived as outweighing the bad in most cases. BUT… life is NOT ideal, life is risk. Each child is a roll of the dice, and while we all hope for the best, the truth is that “the only winning move is not to play.”

      But again, that doesn’t mean we can’t have enjoyable lives, it just means we should accept that the safest existence is none at all, and we should carefully consider the welfare of our offspring before having them. (Perhaps the very best parents, are not parents at all.)


  7. 500Q, always interested how you respond to all the comments from your formal questions. Hope to hear what you have to say in response to Peter’s ponderings and musings? As you mentioned in talking to your son when he was 9 (now at age 11 I assume). Is it better to exist in an earthly life or not? Do we have a choice? Do we even have a choice in regard to propagating our offspring? Are there a finite number of souls floating around in space waiting for bodies to get attached to? Somewhat of a lottery on how each persona/soul ends up materially in an earthly world. When this whole God’s plan is all played out isn’t it pretty much a matter of pre-destiny? I mean it says only a few will enter through the gate. Isn’t it a necessity that most of the multitudes perish in a hellish eternity? You can’t have a heaven without a hell or good without evil?

    Would expect most people in our own western world environment to say yes at the age of 9 to 12 in regard to existing. I think I would have thought so at that age. I can remember sometime around the age of 13 pulling in front of a semi on my bicycle and almost being run over. Had I been killed I think my chances would have pretty good I would not have ended up in hell. After that time period and entering my adulthood not so sure if there is a hell. Now in my late 60’s with both my two children grown and on with their own lives I think all in our family would still yes to being glad that we had a chance to live. I don’t know if reflecting on things in my past and regretting them is enough to get me out of hell though. Just before going into the Marine Corp in 1967, I was in Daytona Beach during spring migration and a Campus Crusade for Christ person (fullback on Alabama football team) got me down on my knees to make the sinners prayer. I can remember feeling embarrassed the next day as I all I wanted to do on this trip was keep drinking beer and try to hook up with cute girls before going to Boot Camp. Bummer. Month later I was in the Marines where the chances on going to hell were too much.

    This whole dilemma on literal interpretation of the Old Testament Bible seems absurd that an educated population would take it as gospel. What is perplexing is how Jesus and the New Testament intertwines with the old and forces us to question the meaning of life and reconciling our actions as we reflect upon our past, present and future.

    I never grew up as a church going Christian but married into the tradition. Old Testament seems absurd in relation to facts of science and reality. Yet there are examples that seem to draw me in for reflection. The absurd rants of the TV evangelists on their knowing all attitude and antics are a real turnoff. Wherever you are in life, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, and Agnostic. Try to do no harm.

    If you ever want to view a real challenging documentary, I suggest viewing the “Redemption of General Butt Naked”. Quite a story of a genocidal commander during the strife in Liberia later admits to a tribunal his responsibility for the killing of thousands of people. During one segment he talks to the mother and daughter whose husband/father were murdered and the daughter as an infant was blinded in one eye after being struck by a rifle butt. Really powerful stuff.

    • Peter says:

      Hi Fluffypeanutcat,

      Yes, it’s all about luck or un-luck. You and I and 500Q already won the ovarian lottery according to Warren Buffett.

      And “try to do no harm” or “be still and know that I AM.”

      In the final analysis, the kindest answer to all this craziness that I can accept is that none of this is real and/or all is illusion. Hence, Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God (ACIM).


  8. trogod-lite says:

    In the beginning (big inning?) god created the universe. This was widely considered a bad move and has made many people very unhappy. Seriously. why did god even BOTHER???? But we wouldn’t expect him to be too sympathetic…with all his majesty vs our puny broken-ness? What bothers me is why do WE bother? By now we know the score, and we still ‘strongly recommend’ the human conditio to our offspring. Dafuq guys. Evolution is blind, god is a douche, simple advice.

    • I must admit, of all the questions I’ve pondered, the whole “why do we bother” question continues to haunt me the most.

      I can only speak for myself, and most days, I feel life gives me far more than it takes away: the sights, the smells, the foods, the movies and music, new technologies, joy and love, and all that great shit. Even life’s challenges can be entertaining to overcome. I believe the human condition continues to improve with time, and humans will find ways to make it even better. However, that said, there are certainly times when life takes more than it gives. On those days, all one can do is hope tomorrow will be better. All in all, the Universe is an interesting place to visit, but I still don’t think I’d like to live forever (everything gets boring after awhile).

      But I don’t think we could ever objectively argue that it’s important to bring new human life into existence. It’s not. But as long as life is generally more pleasant than unpleasant, I don’t think we need to demand that it be stopped. (Besides, I don’t think we’d have much luck with forced sterilization, anyway.)

      Still, an interesting question to ponder.

      • MyAvatarIsAPygmyAtheistAlien says:

        It would be cool to be able to live for an extended time, with youthful healthy bodies, and be able to learn as much about the universe’s mysteries as we can, with the option to cease to exist once we’ve had enough… To be able to “check out” so to speak, instead of being forced to remain in existence forever.

        Heaven might initially hold some appeal but an eternal afterlife does sound like it would get boring after the first few thousand years, especially if the only thing you’d be doing was being worshipful and constantly singing praises to some god on a throne. Hell, even hell itself would get boring after a while too… people who’ve been held captive and tortured for long periods seem to develop coping mechanisms after a while. Imagine how much suffering they could take, considering how adaptive and resilient people are.

  9. Jake Mono says:

    You are a terrible, shitty person.

    • Me? I’ve done my best to sincerely reason the reality of our situation, and I’m sorry if you disagree with my conclusions. I do hope you’ll elaborate on exactly why you think I’m wrong, so that we might learn from each other.

      Take care,

  10. philocipher says:

    A good attempt to be fair, overall, but still some special pleading. Specifically about the Christian progeny ‘carrying the torch’. FIrst, it’s that sheer narcissism of yuppies (hippies who sold out) who have kids who will ‘save the world’, while awarding themselves gas guzzlers, caribbean cruises tract homes etc. DOn’t fob this off on the next generation! Your use of fractions muddies the waters. ON an inDIVID(E)ual basis, those non-christians are getting born regardless. If you have a 100% salvation rate for christians it detracts from their predicament not one jot. It merely means that God, from running an ant-farm (and being a quick-draw with the magnifying glass, yadigg?) is now running a puppy mill. BUt we’re not concerned here with what is best for God/is god good; purely on the benefits of existence. Christianity is only the strongest horse in the glue factory-or the horse that makes the strongest glue? Granted if everyone got with the Paradise Found /Salvation bound program it would be better than what we have now, because there would be no gap between individual and group dynamics.

    I won’t go into a lot of your other stuff, I just recommend you read up on the ‘negative ontology’ of most of our ‘beneficial’ things in life. THe good things are frivolous and derivative of the bad. Manolito Gallegos has a great dissertation on this, only 11 pages. Is life bad? Well, it’s pointless, difficult,risky and the best-case is breaking even. It’s good for nothing, confounding to navigate and expensive/cumbersome to maintain. It’s absurd. Can we derive a value judgement from such observations?

  11. Hi philocipher, thanks for commenting.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on the first point. Purely from a Christian perspective, I still think a Christian could argue that it’s better for him/her to have and raise Christian children than to not; not only because God has ordered them to “be fruitful and multiply,” but also because more individuals would surely end up in hell if Christians were to completely stop procreating.

    With regard to Manolito Gallegos, I would agree that some happiness is derived from the absence of suffering (perhaps more than we realize). But I don’t think I would go so far as to say that happiness is ONLY the absence of suffering, or even if it were, that it can’t be fulfilling.

    Regardless of how “real” happiness is, I think the best argument for antinatalism is the simple fact that there will ALWAYS be more risk to existence than non-existence. With life, there is always the possibility of “failure” (however one cares to define it). Many have been born who later wished they hadn’t, but NEVER have the unborn cursed their non-existence. Because of the sheer absoluteness of non-existence, it will ALWAYS be the safest bet.

    That doesn’t mean life is all bad, or that people can’t enjoy it, it only means that with winners will come losers, and the only sure-fire way to mediate all risk is to stop creating new life.


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