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Basic argument against having children

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Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/15/15 4:31 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Eric M W 2/15/15 5:31 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/15/15 6:00 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Matt 2/16/15 11:00 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 2/17/15 10:56 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 3:54 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Change A. 2/17/15 6:53 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Not Tao 2/17/15 12:24 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Alin Mathews 2/17/15 4:17 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 4:25 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Not Tao 2/17/15 6:02 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 6:10 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Not Tao 2/18/15 1:10 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 3:15 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Not Tao 2/18/15 2:18 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 4:52 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children John Wilde 2/17/15 6:10 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 6:11 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children John Wilde 2/17/15 6:22 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 6:25 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children John Wilde 2/17/15 6:33 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 6:45 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/17/15 6:57 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 7:17 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/17/15 7:30 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 7:45 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/17/15 7:59 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 3:27 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/18/15 9:13 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 9:35 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/18/15 10:11 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 2/18/15 2:21 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 4:44 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 2/18/15 8:20 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/19/15 7:05 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Alin Mathews 2/17/15 7:46 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Alin Mathews 2/17/15 6:21 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 6:33 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 2/17/15 9:13 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 3:23 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 2/17/15 10:10 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 2/18/15 12:01 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 3:17 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children John Wilde 2/18/15 3:31 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/18/15 3:44 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children John P 2/15/15 6:14 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/15/15 9:58 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/16/15 2:18 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children John Power 2/16/15 4:50 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/16/15 11:50 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/16/15 12:21 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/16/15 12:26 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/16/15 12:50 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Alin Mathews 2/17/15 7:19 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/17/15 4:50 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 5:13 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/17/15 5:44 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 6:03 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Jason Snyder 2/17/15 6:17 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Psi 2/17/15 5:13 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/17/15 5:20 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Not Tao 2/18/15 7:56 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/19/15 7:05 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Vijay V 2/19/15 1:17 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 2/19/15 2:05 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Omar 3/3/15 6:38 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/4/15 12:54 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Not Tao 3/4/15 9:01 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/5/15 1:01 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Piers M 3/5/15 10:14 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/5/15 10:49 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Matt 3/5/15 1:44 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/5/15 2:01 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Matt 3/5/15 8:54 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/6/15 1:26 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/6/15 3:16 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/6/15 3:29 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Matt 3/6/15 12:13 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 3/7/15 1:26 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/7/15 2:39 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children SeTyR ZeN 3/8/15 1:33 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/7/15 2:29 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children CJMacie 3/5/15 9:38 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Matt 3/5/15 9:50 PM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/6/15 1:55 AM
RE: Basic argument against having children Andreas 3/6/15 1:52 AM
Since I somewhat highjacked Potters thread I thought it prudent to post a new thread instead.
There seems to be some emotional reactions regarding my argument regarding birth and suffering.
I will just write a breaf summary of the most basic argument. Its essentially based on the first noble truth. I assume a position of not believing in souls, reincarnation, rebirth etc.
People in general will suffer, be it physically or psychologically. The person will experience loved ones suffer and see them dying and the pain that comes from that. The person might get cancer, be raped, mutilated, get chronic pain illness, etc etc.
This is all true if you are born. If you are not born you will not experience this.
So question then becomes will the happyness outweigh this? Well what kind of happyness compensates for the examples I listed above? Icecream in the summer is better or compensates for the pain of loosing a close friend? Having dinner with friends compensates for getting ones legs chopped off? Having had sex compensates for being burned alive?
You can also when arguing these point not argue from your own experience, all arguments saying "well I like life therefor the child will like it to" is false since this presupposes an idea to a non-existent being. You also have to compare it to non-existence. Since the comparison is essentially between existence vs non-existence.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/15/15 5:31 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Sounds like you need to successfully navigate the DN before making up your mind on this one.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/15/15 6:00 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
My state of being as no bearing on the argument it self. I can be in a state of utter bliss and it would still be valid.
The argument is not about this life but if one should create new life. When you are born, you like life for the most part and dont want to die. We have a innate drive to survive and live, regardless of circumstance, up to a point anyway which differs for us all. If you are born you should make the best of it. However if you are not born you neither like or dislike life. Its a non-state. So the suffering in life always outweighs. That is the argument anyway. So far no one has actually argued against it. Since you cant.

Whatever the amount of suffering its always more than zero. Im trying to get a reply on what amount of happiness compensates or negates what amount of suffering. People in the other thread argued that the potential happiness outweighed the potential suffering. Would be interesting to see exactly what experience negates another.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/15/15 6:14 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Just a reminder:
Saying that a disadvantage of having a child is that they will experience a non-negligible ammounts of suffering is different than saying "don't have kids because they will suffer" (which Andreas really did not say).
In the end, to have a child or not is a personal choice, and each person will have to consider not only the normal pros and cons, but also their own circunstances.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/15/15 9:58 PM as a reply to Andreas.
I was trying to break down your argument but it's a bit tough since you didn't really make the argument that clearly. For example, everything in your quote is essentially two statements: "There is suffering. If you're not born, you won't suffer." It doesn't then use those two statements in order to conclude that you shouldn't have children. Could you make the argument a bit more clearly? Is the 3rd statement just: "Therefore, you shouldn't have a baby, because if you do, the baby will suffer."? 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/16/15 2:18 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Im working on the assumption that you dont want people to suffer. So if you dont want people to suffer the only way to prevent that is to stop making new people. If you dont mind or can live with continuing potential suffering then go ahead and have children.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/16/15 4:50 AM as a reply to Andreas.
I think that In essence the life of an person with ignorance and clinging is a life of suffering but at a deep level of experiencing experience. In my experience it doesn't depend only on the actual experience that we categorize as 'positive' or 'negative', suffering is also going in both experiences we call 'good' and 'bad'.  Because of clinging, we want to control everything, when we experience 'happiness' we want it to stay, when we experience 'suffering' we want it to go away. So the deep suffering is inhibited in the relationship we have with experience, on top of that in a more superficial way, there are experience we categorize as suffering or happiness. I am not enlightened but when I think about it, a fully enlightened person would have eliminated the deep way of suffering, so the relationship with experience. This enlightened person however will still have all sorts of experiences. 

Then the rebirth topic:
1. Believe in rebirth
An argument can be made that when you choose for a child, that this child would have a father that can help him reduce suffering by introducting him/her to the dharma and meditation. You give the child an opportunity to reduce suffering in this life.

2. Don't believe in rebirth
Then it is simple. When you can't experience anything, there can't be suffering in the relationship with the experience and there can't also be suffering because of the categorization of the experience.

The above are just my thoughts, I hope it can contribute to the discussion. I wish you all the best and a fruitful practice!

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/16/15 11:50 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Im working on the assumption that you dont want people to suffer. So if you dont want people to suffer the only way to prevent that is to stop making new people. If you dont mind or can live with continuing potential suffering then go ahead and have children.

Okay. Then by that logic:

1) You should prevent suffering.
2) There is suffering in life. That is, if you exist, you suffer.
3) The only way not to suffer is to not exist.
4) If you have a baby, the baby will exist, and it will suffer.
5) Thus, to prevent the baby's suffering, you shouldn't have the baby.

That is logically sound given the premises. However, if you continue:

6) You currently exist.
7) You are currently suffering.
8) Because you should prevent suffering, in order to prevent your own suffering, you should stop existing.
9) Thus you should end your existence now.

For what is the difference between the potential baby's suffering in the future, and your suffering in the future?

Yet you aren't ending your existence now - and I don't recommend you do by the way - so either you don't believe your own premises, or you do and are being irrational. Which is it?

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/16/15 12:21 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
You are presenting a false dictonomy. You are mixing two different arguments. Part 2 does not follow from part 1.
The first one is wether one should have children.
The second one is wether one should commit suicide.
That is two completly different questions with totally different premises. The first is comparison between "never being born vs being born". The second is in essence about what to do after you have been born. So that question is "living life vs ending life".
You cannot just conflate the two because they are totally different.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/16/15 12:26 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
You are presenting a false dictonomy. You are mixing two different arguments. Part 2 does not follow from part 1.
The first one is wether one should have children.
The second one is wether one should commit suicide.
That is two completly different questions with totally different premises. The first is comparison between "never being born vs being born". The second is in essence about what to do after you have been born. So that question is "living life vs ending life".
You cannot just conflate the two because they are totally different.

Which part doesn't follow?

1) Is it true you should prevent suffering?
2) Is it true that if you exist, you suffer?
3) Is it true that the only way not to suffer is to not exist?
4) Is it true that you currently exist?
5) Is it true that you are currently suffering?
6) Is it true that because you should prevent suffering, you should prevent your own future suffering? And the only way to prevent your own future suffering is to not exist?
7) Is it true that therefore you should end your existence now?

Which of the steps is invalid, and why?

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/16/15 12:50 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Your premises are essentially flawed. The premise 6 is the big one. Or point 8 in the first attempt. Basically I reject most of your premises since they are flawed.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/16/15 11:00 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Whatever the amount of suffering its always more than zero. Im trying to get a reply on what amount of happiness compensates or negates what amount of suffering. People in the other thread argued that the potential happiness outweighed the potential suffering. Would be interesting to see exactly what experience negates another.

I looked forward to having a child, my life has been much more interesting and rewarding for having the child. He's a healthy boy and once he was able to suck teat he clearly was enjoying life.  Temporary downturns seem to be no more than healthy adjusting to reality as it pops up.  So, long story short, life worked for me.  It seems to be working for him.

Do you have experience that would lead you to be pessimistic about the balance of joy and suffering?

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RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 10:56 PM as a reply to Matt.
Lots of you and I in here emoticon

Before wondering if one should "have" a child (i hate that aggregate.) .. i'd like to say that not everyone can procreate; basically, technically, who is sure he or she physically can, is fertile, then has the environment , then has the "guts", and the mind for it  ?   nobody. because there is nobody there to pilot anything.

Its not that simple and given a fact.
its not in the reach of everyone in this very life emoticon

Also, there is no universal pro or con answer. it is karma driving , no one else

Also ,  wisdom and compassion should be the sole guides to act or not as a father ;  note that there is no "have" or "be"

Last but not least .. "WHO" is "on board" ? and decides ? nobody .. because you are in no way in control, only the one that pretends to be you is, and still , itself has no control over "having" or not, a child emoticon 

Is that cryptic enough arguments ? does it sound a bell ? emoticon

More simply, i'd like to ask you : Should one have sex anytime,  with, or without "having" a child ? (why have sex ? do you practice sex ? why ? etc etc.. )


edit: wrote "love" instead of "wisdom", besides compassion. error corrected.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 3:54 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
Thats just pseudophilosophical nonspeak. Utterly without any value in the given context. In practical matters and in relative reality acts are performed choices are made.

And your last point is also irrelevant to the topic at hand.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:53 AM as a reply to Andreas.
There is no meaning to life even if balance tilts in favour of happiness vs. suffering. As to why not commit suicide if there is no meaning to life, the answer is that there is no meaning to death either. So why bring more life if there is no meaning to it?

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 12:24 PM as a reply to Andreas.
This thread would be way more fun if you guys would use some logic, haha.  I'll continue Beoman's thread since he laid it out clearly.

I think the fallacy is number 3: The only way to avoid suffering is to cease existing.  Suffering is a tricky word, though.  It's highly contextual.  For example, in my broody teenage years, I used to like feeling sad because it was better than feeling anxious.  When I was sad I would say, "This is such a relief, I feel so much better."  But the reality of it was that I was still feeling negatively, it was just less negative than the anxiety.  Non-existence is a "hard" fact in that it's truely impossible for suffering to exist if there is nothing in existance to suffer.  (As an aside - I don't think the non-dual idea of non-existance, or no self, could be compared here, since there are still aggregates to percieve suffering.)

So the argument is messy.  We're comparing subjective experience - the experience of suffering - to a hard fact - there is definately no suffering for a non-existant person.  From my own subjective experience I know that there are states of mind where there is no suffering, but this "knowing" is based on a limited perspective - I may be suffering horribly in these states compared to some other person who has found a subjectively better state.  The Buddha actually had a story about this.  He compared sensual pleasures to a burning fire.  He said a leper, suffering from oozing sores, would think of the fire as blissful relief from suffering - whereas a healthy person would see the fire as horribly painful.  Sometimes I get this itch on my leg that feels so good to scratch that my skin gets all raw - it feels amazing, but is it really just suffering in disguise?

As a response to my own argument - the states I refer to above as free from suffering are subjectively perfect - which is to say, there is nothing I could imagine being better while in the state.  This is a "proof," if you will, that the state can't be surpassed.  It's subjective, and the subjective judgement is that it's perfect, so this has to be "believed."  In the same way that there's no real definition of beauty, but everyone knows what beauty is.  The idea about what is beautiful might change over time for a person, but that doesn't negate past experiences of beauty.  Because of the subjective nature of the phenomena, all experiences of beauty that are considered "perfectly beautiful" must be seen equally.  Or, to put it more simply, the feelings of wonder I experienced watching cheesy kid's television when I was 5 are no different from the feelings of wonder I experience watching whales swim by in the omni theater as an adult.  My reaction to those kid's TV shows might be different now, but the childhood feeling is in no way diminished - it's just been channeled into different objects.  In the same way, worrying about being called names on the playground as a kid is no different from worrying about paying rent as an adult.  It's the subjective judgement that creates the suffering.

So, while non-existance is sure to prevent all suffering, it is not the only way to be without suffering.  The question, then, is whether the subjective experience of happiness or perfection outweighs the suffering experienced in life.  This is easy enough to measure in theory, just ask a set of people how content they are each day of their life and average it out, but it's further complicated by what our experience actually IS.  Subjective experience is always a judgement of "the now," and the current subjective experience always takes precidence over previous or future subjective experience in our minds.  This makes it seem impossible to judge, in my mind.  For example, let's say a man suffers horrible pain for 1000 years, then he is suddenly released from all pain and is in a state of perfect contentment and happiness.  If you asked him, "Would you like to continue living or die right now?"  He would probably choose to continue living.  If you asked him a few moments before, he would probably choose to die.  You could complicate this further by giving him various amounts of information about his experience, such as telling him that in a few moments he will be released from all pain, or telling him before his period of suffering that he was about to endure 1000 years of pain before feeling perfect contentment, and then giving him the option to live or die.

I guess my conclusion, then, is that it's impossible to logically compare subjective experience to non-existance, and the premise of the argument, that it's better not to exist than to live a life with suffering, doesn't have support.

EDIT: Put another way, because non-existance is not a subjective experience, it can't be compared to one.  This on the grounds that subjective experiences can only be judged subjectively, or though experience, and non-existance is a non-experience.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 4:17 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
This thread would be way more fun if you guys would use some logic, haha.  I'll continue Beoman's thread since he laid it out clearly.


To anyone,

Actualists are experimenting with the possibility of deleting (via the new self reflective neurons that animals have not developed) all psychological suffering. Such that although the body will always be capable of experiencing pain for beneficial reasons, that pain will not be doubled by a 'subjective sufferer' claiming the pain as it own then lamenting "woe is me" or fabricating a subjective pain when the body is painless. If what AF claimants report is possible and children can be encouraged not to develop (or over value) the qualia of being a Feeling Being, it would free them of ever experiencing the senselessness and not sense of subjective suffering and make years of dharma practice unecessary.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 4:25 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not tao
There is suffering, what constitutes suffering might differ between people but there is suffering. So the different subjective experience of suffering does not matter. That there are states of no suffering does not matter either. That there is possibilty of releaf from suffering does not matter either because you cannot guarantee that the person is born in such a state or will reach it during its lifetime.


I guess my conclusion, then, is that it's impossible to logically compare subjective experience to non-existance, and the premise of the argument, that it's better not to exist than to live a life with suffering, doesn't have support.

No its not impossible to compare.  And what you state there after is not the actual argument. The argument is thats it better to not have existed. Ie never been born in the first place. Then there would be no suffering person.

That its better to commit suicide after have been born is not what the argument is about in any manner at all. The thread and argument is not about if one should commit suicide or not. Why ppl continue conflating the questions I do not understand.
Can you guys please for the love of God understand that the question at hand deals with what is known pre-birth. If you should create life ie introduce a new human to the fold or rather the ethical conundrum of doing so. What you should do after having been born is a whole other topic and philosophical question.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 4:50 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Since I somewhat highjacked Potters thread I thought it prudent to post a new thread instead.
There seems to be some emotional reactions regarding my argument regarding birth and suffering.
I will just write a breaf summary of the most basic argument. Its essentially based on the first noble truth. I assume a position of not believing in souls, reincarnation, rebirth etc.
People in general will suffer, be it physically or psychologically. The person will experience loved ones suffer and see them dying and the pain that comes from that. The person might get cancer, be raped, mutilated, get chronic pain illness, etc etc.
This is all true if you are born. If you are not born you will not experience this.
So question then becomes will the happyness outweigh this? Well what kind of happyness compensates for the examples I listed above? Icecream in the summer is better or compensates for the pain of loosing a close friend? Having dinner with friends compensates for getting ones legs chopped off? Having had sex compensates for being burned alive?
You can also when arguing these point not argue from your own experience, all arguments saying "well I like life therefor the child will like it to" is false since this presupposes an idea to a non-existent being. You also have to compare it to non-existence. Since the comparison is essentially between existence vs non-existence.

By choosing to have a child, you are exposing them to suffering that they wouldn't have if they didn't exist. True. But by choosing to not have a child, aren't you denying them the opportunity to experience joy? Why, in your mind, does the potential distribution of suffering outweigh the potential distribution of joy over a lifetime? 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 5:13 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Since I somewhat highjacked Potters thread I thought it prudent to post a new thread instead.
There seems to be some emotional reactions regarding my argument regarding birth and suffering.
I will just write a breaf summary of the most basic argument. Its essentially based on the first noble truth. I assume a position of not believing in souls, reincarnation, rebirth etc.
People in general will suffer, be it physically or psychologically. The person will experience loved ones suffer and see them dying and the pain that comes from that. The person might get cancer, be raped, mutilated, get chronic pain illness, etc etc.
This is all true if you are born. If you are not born you will not experience this.
So question then becomes will the happyness outweigh this? Well what kind of happyness compensates for the examples I listed above? Icecream in the summer is better or compensates for the pain of loosing a close friend? Having dinner with friends compensates for getting ones legs chopped off? Having had sex compensates for being burned alive?
You can also when arguing these point not argue from your own experience, all arguments saying "well I like life therefor the child will like it to" is false since this presupposes an idea to a non-existent being. You also have to compare it to non-existence. Since the comparison is essentially between existence vs non-existence.

Perhaps humanity will breed like locusts and devour not only this planet but neighboring star systems as well, such is our nature.

http://www.census.gov/popclock/

Psi
 
It's the Final Countdown....

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 5:13 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
By choosing to have a child, you are exposing them to suffering that they wouldn't have if they didn't exist. True. But by choosing to not have a child, aren't you denying them the opportunity to experience joy? Why, in your mind, does the potential distribution of suffering outweigh the potential distribution of joy over a lifetime? 
The question here is who is denied experience? One premiss in the argument is that there is no existence before birth therefor there can be no denying of experience. For there to be any denying someone/something needs to be denied of it.
Potential suffering is always more than no suffering. Its pretty straightforward. And like I wrote in OP which joy outweighs the examples of suffering. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 5:20 PM as a reply to Psi.
Very OT:
Psi there is two good books, Last and First Men and Star Maker, on what becomes of mankind and the universe by Olaf Stapledon. Have not read them fully just started them. Last and first men is about the 8 iterations of mankind from our beginning to our and the universe end if I recall correctly. It starts with a world war between european countries, (the book itself is published before the start of ww2 in 1930, its eary in its descriptions of what to come very  accurate). Star Maker is about the entire universe and what becomes of it and various species etc. They are very good books. Although I have missplaced them so I have not finished them yet.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 5:44 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
By choosing to have a child, you are exposing them to suffering that they wouldn't have if they didn't exist. True. But by choosing to not have a child, aren't you denying them the opportunity to experience joy? Why, in your mind, does the potential distribution of suffering outweigh the potential distribution of joy over a lifetime? 
The question here is who is denied experience? One premiss in the argument is that there is no existence before birth therefor there can be no denying of experience. For there to be any denying someone/something needs to be denied of it.
Potential suffering is always more than no suffering. Its pretty straightforward. And like I wrote in OP which joy outweighs the examples of suffering. 
Fair enough. Let me re-formulate my question. By not having a child you are preventing potential suffering. Lets flip this. By having a child you are enabling potential joy. Why is the prevention of suffering more important than the enabling of joy? 

I am not interest in going through examples of suffering and joy, as they will vary dramatically for each person. Sometimes suffering just is, and sometimes joy just is, independent of the outward circumstance. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:02 PM as a reply to Andreas.
I never mentioned suicide in my post.  You're saying that non-existance, i.e. never having been born, is better than existing with suffering.  I tried to point out that it was impossible to compare the two, as one is a subjective state and the other has no subjective value.  Can you explain to me what non-existance is like?  I can't comprehend it, so I can't say whether never having existed would be better than existing with suffering.  How do you make the comparison?  What is your support for the idea that never having existed is better than existing and suffering?

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:03 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Fair enough. Let me re-formulate my question. By not having a child you are preventing potential suffering. Lets flip this. By having a child you are enabling potential joy. Why is the prevention of suffering more important than the enabling of joy? 

I am not interest in going through examples of suffering and joy, as they will vary dramatically for each person. Sometimes suffering just is, and sometimes joy just is, independent of the outward circumstance. 
Well it does not matter if you flip the question. When not born there is no lack of joy either since there is nothing that is lacking. The joy is not missed so there is no need to enable it. The argument on potential joy is like giving presents no one asked for or needed =).

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:10 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:

No its not impossible to compare.  (...) The argument is thats it better to not have existed. Ie never been born in the first place. Then there would be no suffering person.

For whom is that better?

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:10 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
I never mentioned suicide in my post.  You're saying that non-existance, i.e. never having been born, is better than existing with suffering.  I tried to point out that it was impossible to compare the two, as one is a subjective state and the other has no subjective value.  Can you explain to me what non-existance is like?  I can't comprehend it, so I can't say whether never having existed would be better than existing with suffering.  How do you make the comparison?  What is your support for the idea that never having existed is better than existing and suffering?
You cannot explain something you have not experienced since there was no you then as you well know. Therefor your request is pointless. The closet thing we can come to it is deep sleep. Again same issue as before.

The whole point is that the other has no subjective value. Since there is no subject there. Therefor if born everything is more than that.The argument is that its better not to have suffered. Since suffering is bad. If you do not think death of loved ones, murder, rape, cancer, sickness, old age and death is bad then the argument falls flat. Since you reject the premiss. The argument only holds if you agree that suffering is bad.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:11 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Andreas:

No its not impossible to compare.  (...) The argument is thats it better to not have existed. Ie never been born in the first place. Then there would be no suffering person.

For whom is that better?
Which is exactly the point. Which you can see right there in the last sentence in the quote you made. The answer is right there. There is no whom. Therefor no suffering.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:17 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
Fair enough. Let me re-formulate my question. By not having a child you are preventing potential suffering. Lets flip this. By having a child you are enabling potential joy. Why is the prevention of suffering more important than the enabling of joy? 

I am not interest in going through examples of suffering and joy, as they will vary dramatically for each person. Sometimes suffering just is, and sometimes joy just is, independent of the outward circumstance. 
Well it does not matter if you flip the question. When not born there is no lack of joy either since there is nothing that is lacking. The joy is not missed so there is no need to enable it. The argument on potential joy is like giving presents no one asked for or needed =).
 Sure, there is no need to enable joy (since it is not missed), but once it is enabled, how wonderful! 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:22 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
John Wilde:
Andreas:

No its not impossible to compare.  (...) The argument is thats it better to not have existed. Ie never been born in the first place. Then there would be no suffering person.

For whom is that better?
Which is exactly the point. Which you can see right there in the last sentence in the quote you made. The answer is right there. There is no whom. Therefor no suffering.

Right, there is no whom... therefore no beneficiary of your "better" option... which makes your argument that it's "better" incoherent.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:21 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Not tao
There is suffering, what constitutes suffering might differ between people but there is suffering. So the different subjective experience of suffering does not matter. That there are states of no suffering does not matter either. That there is possibilty of releaf from suffering does not matter either because you cannot guarantee that the person is born in such a state or will reach it during its lifetime.


I guess my conclusion, then, is that it's impossible to logically compare subjective experience to non-existance, and the premise of the argument, that it's better not to exist than to live a life with suffering, doesn't have support.

No its not impossible to compare.  And what you state there after is not the actual argument. The argument is thats it better to not have existed. Ie never been born in the first place. Then there would be no suffering person.
you're not offering an argument you're making a closed statement as though no other option than your "its better to not have existed. Ie never been born in the first. Then there would be no suffering person" is possible. your closed statement offers no proof that no children have ever been born that cannot suffer or feel pain, and that no adult exists that no longer suffers. so far no matter what reasoning anyone offers as long as it doesnt agree with your premise you concider their offering moot.   theres no way to argue a one sided discussion.    
That its better to commit suicide after have been born is not what the argument is about in any manner at all. The thread and argument is not about if one should commit suicide or not. Why ppl continue conflating the questions I do not understand.
Can you guys please for the love of God understand that the question at hand deals with what is known pre-birth. If you should create life ie introduce a new human to the fold or rather the ethical conundrum of doing so. What you should do after having been born is a whole other topic and philosophical question.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:25 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:

Right, there is no whom... therefore no beneficiary of your "better" option. So what makes it better, and who's to decide?
There is no need for there to be a reciever. The premiss is that its better not to suffer. If you reject the premiss that no suffering is better than suffering then the argument does not work. As I have written repeatedly.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:33 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
John Wilde:

Right, there is no whom... therefore no beneficiary of your "better" option. So what makes it better, and who's to decide?
There is no need for there to be a reciever.


Since when? Can you think of any other line of argument where the "better" outcome does not require a beneficiary?

The premiss is that its better not to suffer.

Provided there's a beneficiary of not-suffering, yes. In this case, there isn't.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:33 PM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Alin Mathews:
you're not offering an argument you're making a closed statement as though no other option than your "its better to not have existed. Ie never been born in the first. Then there would be no suffering person" is possible.

There is no other conclusion given the premisses.
your closed statement offers no proof that no children have ever been born that cannot suffer or feel pain, and that no adult exists that no longer suffers. so far no matter what reasoning anyone offers as long as it doesnt agree with your premise you concider their offering moot.   theres no way to argue a one sided discussion.    

It does not have to offer any proof the conclusion follows from the implied premises since I did not write all of them out. It was just a summary. One premiss is that you cannot guarantee that the child being born will not suffer. Its mute if there somewhere has been born a human that cannot suffer since that is not applicable to the potential child being born. Its even mute if 99.99% of all children being born will not suffer since there is still a chance of suffering and you cannot guarantee not suffering. Another premiss is that suffering is bad but people seem to skip that in out debate.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:45 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:

Since when? Can you think of any other line of argument where the "better" outcome does not require a beneficiary?

It doesnt matter. Its used here for explanation purposes. Language is not equipped with dealing with non existent states so I make due with what I have.
Its like working with infinites in math. We have a tendency to be a little confounded.

The premiss is that its better not to suffer.

Provided there's a beneficiary of not-suffering, yes. In this case, there isn't.

There is no need for there to be a beneficiary when its used in this argument. The whole point is that there is no beneficiary, that there is nothing lacking. Everything is more than nothingness.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 6:57 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
John Wilde:

Right, there is no whom... therefore no beneficiary of your "better" option. So what makes it better, and who's to decide?
There is no need for there to be a reciever. The premiss is that its better not to suffer. If you reject the premiss that no suffering is better than suffering then the argument does not work. As I have written repeatedly.
I reject the premise that no suffering is better than suffering - if the price of no suffering also means no joy. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 7:19 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Im working on the assumption that you dont want people to suffer. So if you dont want people to suffer the only way to prevent that is to stop making new people. If you dont mind or can live with continuing potential suffering then go ahead and have children.

i guess i too am having difficulty see just what youre getting at. okay i get that all this assumes we don't want other people to suffer.

lets look at that then. i'm pretty sure youre not advising we meditate into a state that is numb to physical pain which has it's merits so i gather youre referring to subjective mental emotional suffering which, if we are learning anything here, we now realise is self inflicted, which makes the ending of my subjective suffering my responsibility. so although it's very sweet that people don't 'want' me to suffer, their wanting is useless to me. ultimately 'I' have to deal and end my own suffering. 

not having children will be the only way to end subjective suffering *if* we are incapable of passing onto our children what we are learning here. but if we are only playing here year after year then sure don't have kids because it's all amounting to zilch for every child you meet and their childrens children. you will have failed to be an exemplary example of a homososapien that finally rid himself of the senselessness and 'self' inflicted cruelty of subjectively jerking the innocent body's nervous system around, which just makes the reason for writing here day after day even more useless.

sure as animals we are born with an amygdala relaying fear to the thinking brain faster than thought can stop it 'for the moment'  but there's no reason to assume that self reflecting neurons will never be able to epigenetically silence that response and replace it with an even faster intelligence that after many generations maybe permanently encoded in the DNA of future children born free of even the potential to feel knee jerk fear.   

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 7:17 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
John Wilde:

Right, there is no whom... therefore no beneficiary of your "better" option. So what makes it better, and who's to decide?
There is no need for there to be a reciever. The premiss is that its better not to suffer. If you reject the premiss that no suffering is better than suffering then the argument does not work. As I have written repeatedly.
I reject the premise that no suffering is better than suffering - if the price of no suffering also means no joy. 
There is nothing that knows it lacks. The no suffering is about "prebirth states". In your reply you are basing the opinion on an after birth subjective state. When you are born you like joy, before birth there is no liking, wanting etc.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 7:30 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
John Wilde:

Right, there is no whom... therefore no beneficiary of your "better" option. So what makes it better, and who's to decide?
There is no need for there to be a reciever. The premiss is that its better not to suffer. If you reject the premiss that no suffering is better than suffering then the argument does not work. As I have written repeatedly.
I reject the premise that no suffering is better than suffering - if the price of no suffering also means no joy. 
There is nothing that knows it lacks. The no suffering is about "prebirth states". In your reply you are basing the opinion on an after birth subjective state. When you are born you like joy, before birth there is no liking, wanting etc.
It doesn't matter there there is nothing that knows that it lacks. I am comparing nothingness with suffering mixed with joy. I choose the latter. And anyway, that point is irrelevant to the fact that you based your argument on the said premise ("that no suffering is better than suffering"), and I rejected it. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 7:45 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
It doesn't matter there there is nothing that knows that it lacks. I am comparing nothingness with suffering mixed with joy. I choose the latter. And anyway, that point is irrelevant to the fact that you based your argument on the said premise ("that no suffering is better than suffering"), and I rejected it. 
Yes when you exist you choose the latter, but this is not about "you". You rejected it for yourself, essentially saying "i dont want to commit suicide". Not for the potential being. Essentially your rejection if applied to the potential is I dont mind suffering, so you wont mind either, therefor "let there be life". Very presumptuous indeed.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 7:46 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
John Wilde:

Right, there is no whom... therefore no beneficiary of your "better" option. So what makes it better, and who's to decide?
There is no need for there to be a reciever. The premiss is that its better not to suffer. If you reject the premiss that no suffering is better than suffering then the argument does not work. As I have written repeatedly.
I reject the premise that no suffering is better than suffering - if the price of no suffering also means no joy. 
There is nothing that knows it lacks. The no suffering is about "prebirth states". In your reply you are basing the opinion on an after birth subjective state. When you are born you like joy, before birth there is no liking, wanting etc.
It doesn't matter there there is nothing that knows that it lacks. I am comparing nothingness with suffering mixed with joy. I choose the latter. And anyway, that point is irrelevant to the fact that you based your argument on the said premise ("that no suffering is better than suffering"), and I rejected it. 

exactly, we exist so it's too late, it's not possible to "know whether there is nothing that knows it lacks" that therefore nonexistent suffering is better.  the argument is a mental fabrication. we can only work with what we experience. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 7:59 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
It doesn't matter there there is nothing that knows that it lacks. I am comparing nothingness with suffering mixed with joy. I choose the latter. And anyway, that point is irrelevant to the fact that you based your argument on the said premise ("that no suffering is better than suffering"), and I rejected it. 
Yes when you exist you choose the latter, but this is not about "you". You rejected it for yourself, essentially saying "i dont want to commit suicide". Not for the potential being. Essentially your rejection if applied to the potential is I dont mind suffering, so you wont mind either, therefor "let there be life". Very presumptuous indeed.
I choose it for potential beings also. If you think that is presumptuous that's fine, that's your opinion. But I still reject your premise. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 9:13 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Thats just pseudophilosophical nonspeak. Utterly without any value in the given context. In practical matters and in relative reality acts are performed choices are made.

And your last point is also irrelevant to the topic at hand.


Hi Andreas ;

With all due respect, indeed, i asked you if my reply was cryptic enough , and you see it exactly like that because you are high on your ego horse pseudo thinking rationaly like would the tv Buddha.

But ask Buddha, the real one, anyone of them, if they would have liked not to be born and not to be able to achieve "liberation" at some point ? that is if you believe in rebirth, which i assume you do by the way you seem to talk Dharma

You are thinking about your question with a total self centered mindset / view.

As for my last question, it was a hint for me to see how old you might be, and how much experience you have dealing with love and the people opposite to your gender.  emoticon

Also, i have to add that i've been meditating really hard on this question for a least 8years, and have been stuck thinking like you do for a while, as it has been the center drama of my life , because of the love and compassion i have for my wife who was "denied" pregnancy, even after multiple heavy medical protocols, for totally unknown reasons .  In the same fashion, really recently , "Magic" happened, totally by it self . (am still inbetween non-father and father ;) )

Its even the reason why i started dabbling with Buddhist concepts of life and death at that time until today and am continuing.

To finish with my unhabitual loggorhea,  i'll be clearer  : if you ask your question for a monk , the answer is : all is a reason to not "having" children;  but i guess you are not a monk , so all my say is about lay men and women for you to consider.

ps: sorry, English is not my native language.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/17/15 10:10 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Well thinking a little further, it reminds me of the basic schism separating Mahayana and Theravada  .. to be or not to be a Bodhisatva... that's for your actual mindview Andreas.( thought for later). Why do you practice, whats your intent

In this context,  either ways, being against having children is actually simply denying others human living, and to be born, a chance of possible liberation.  Yourself, are you sure you will attain liberation in this very life ? wouldn't you be more glad to have the right to try again ? say thanks to your possible futur Mom. And for the bodhistava part , if you share that view , you de-facto can't be against

Basically, your question is irrelevant in budhhist context, there is no pro or cons having children, there is only intent and karma. And if your intent is to lower suffering in this world, having or not having children does not have a straight answer. it will be a one by one case ; and for the mahayana view, its mandatory.

try googling : "should i have a child" with buddhist context, i did it long ago .. you will find letters from women and men written to llamas and their answers. one would be highly recommended to have children, others would be totally discouraged; it all boiled down to perceived intent and percieved human being / social class/ written expression / grounds for the letter etc.. the llama could meditate and answer on.

is that more pseudorational-mathematical for an answer ? emoticon    Oh just kidding ! don't take it personnally,  emoticon

Back to basis : Wisdom and Compassion, Venerable Robina Courtin : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nasIq4E9nNg

multiple edits: typos, typos, typos + yt link add
 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 12:01 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
My apologies i read you too quickly,  it still is right even if you assume a position of "not believing " (that is a funny word on a Dharma board) which i just read ;

As in that case, the question is just answered by a diverted egal right view i think :  others may attain liberation by giving birth and/or raising a child, maybe even help him attain liberation if he does not himself, and maybe even better he could help others liberate themselves in better ways than his mother. This is the true logic of the Dharma: wisdom and compassion. yours lack compassion, well, and wisdom in this lack of compassion. 

Any other conditions or would be irrelevant to this board subject; again the question has no point or has one, but only in a non-truely verified conditions of yours only, and thats all right in some way considering it is your thread .. but i feel the question has no inherent value then  and i just lost 2hours worth of my valuable time in this life (no i don't think so, really =) , but Eric might be a bit right  ;)

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 1:10 AM as a reply to Andreas.
The question isn't whether or not suffering is bad - it's whether suffering is better or worse than non-existance.  Since it's impossible to know what non-existance is like, I just concluded that there was no real argument to be made.  You can imagine anything you like, but there is simply no way to say non-existence is "this" or "that," so there is no way to say if it's better or worse than suffering.

EDIT: This thread has actually got me thinking about non-existance.  There's something I keep trying to type out, but I can't quite form the thought.  It's like, is considering the concept of a future child and its potential suffering even a realistic exercise?  Since the child doesn't actually exist, we have to invent one first in our head, and then we have to decide whether it lives or doesn't.  So we can't even imagine a non-existant child having no suffering - we have to create the child first, and then give it the attribute of "not suffering" because it doesn't exist.  So what we're doing is creating a child without suffering and saying it's better than a child with suffering.  A more accurate comparison is, how did you feel about the idea of the child suffering before you imagined the concept?  The point being that you didn't feel anything because the argument didn't exist yet in your head.  There is no child in the first place, so any judgements would have to come from a false representation of a child.  By not having children, a person isn't preventing suffering - there just is no child at all, and no suffering or lack of suffering - neither one nor the other, just non-existance  If a person does have a child, it isn't logical to say their suffering could have been prevented by never having been born - they WERE born.  It's the idea of a potential child that's the problem.  Ths potential child doesn't exist, so it's lack of suffering is also non-existant.  It's not that there is no suffering, it's that there is nothing there at all, so any level of suffering can't be compared to it.  It's not "no suffering" as in 0% it's "no suffering" as in, not applicable.

Bah I'm just rambling.  It makes sense to me but I can't spit the damn thing out. emoticon

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 3:15 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Im not saying non existence is either this or that really. non-existence cannot by definition have any properties not even non-existence, since here the concept is non existence it cannot have the propery non-existence. its not like debating a non-existing "concept of a thing that exist" like santa clause.

As you write in your edit. When people argue against this argument they always create an entity. Im working on the assumption that there is none. There is neither no suffering and lacking of suffering, nothing is lacking since there is no thing that lacks. Language as I wrote earlier have trouble expression such null states. Closest thing we have is deep sleep. Describe your experience of deep sleep. You cannot. since you are not there. "you" have for all intent and purposes seeized to be.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 3:17 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
SeTyR ZeN:
My apologies i read you too quickly,  it still is right even if you assume a position of "not believing " (that is a funny word on a Dharma board) which i just read ;

As in that case, the question is just answered by a diverted egal right view i think :  others may attain liberation by giving birth and/or raising a child, maybe even help him attain liberation if he does not himself, and maybe even better he could help others liberate themselves in better ways than his mother. This is the true logic of the Dharma: wisdom and compassion. yours lack compassion, well, and wisdom in this lack of compassion. 

Any other conditions or would be irrelevant to this board subject; again the question has no point or has one, but only in a non-truely verified conditions of yours only, and thats all right in some way considering it is your thread .. but i feel the question has no inherent value then  and i just lost 2hours worth of my valuable time in this life (no i don't think so, really =) , but Eric might be a bit right  ;)
Its not really my idea im just introducing the most basic argument. There are entire books devoted to it. Can lookup antinatalism. Schopenhaur, Benetar, Ligotti etc.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 3:23 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
SeTyR ZeN:
Andreas:
Thats just pseudophilosophical nonspeak. Utterly without any value in the given context. In practical matters and in relative reality acts are performed choices are made.

And your last point is also irrelevant to the topic at hand.


Hi Andreas ;

With all due respect, indeed, i asked you if my reply was cryptic enough , and you see it exactly like that because you are high on your ego horse pseudo thinking rationaly like would the tv Buddha.

But ask Buddha, the real one, anyone of them, if they would have liked not to be born and not to be able to achieve "liberation" at some point ? that is if you believe in rebirth, which i assume you do by the way you seem to talk Dharma

You are thinking about your question with a total self centered mindset / view.

As for my last question, it was a hint for me to see how old you might be, and how much experience you have dealing with love and the people opposite to your gender.  emoticon

Also, i have to add that i've been meditating really hard on this question for a least 8years, and have been stuck thinking like you do for a while, as it has been the center drama of my life , because of the love and compassion i have for my wife who was "denied" pregnancy, even after multiple heavy medical protocols, for totally unknown reasons .  In the same fashion, really recently , "Magic" happened, totally by it self . (am still inbetween non-father and father ;) )

Its even the reason why i started dabbling with Buddhist concepts of life and death at that time until today and am continuing.

To finish with my unhabitual loggorhea,  i'll be clearer  : if you ask your question for a monk , the answer is : all is a reason to not "having" children;  but i guess you are not a monk , so all my say is about lay men and women for you to consider.

ps: sorry, English is not my native language.
There are plenty of orphans in the world. So can always adopt if one wants a child but not bring one into existence =). Im leaning this way myself. That would potentially decrease the amount of suffering of the children adopted as well. Unless you are an total ahole of a parent but thats another issue. 
The need for blood relations is a strange one. Be a good boddhisattva and adopt instead =).

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 3:27 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
It doesn't matter there there is nothing that knows that it lacks. I am comparing nothingness with suffering mixed with joy. I choose the latter. And anyway, that point is irrelevant to the fact that you based your argument on the said premise ("that no suffering is better than suffering"), and I rejected it. 
Yes when you exist you choose the latter, but this is not about "you". You rejected it for yourself, essentially saying "i dont want to commit suicide". Not for the potential being. Essentially your rejection if applied to the potential is I dont mind suffering, so you wont mind either, therefor "let there be life". Very presumptuous indeed.
I choose it for potential beings also. If you think that is presumptuous that's fine, that's your opinion. But I still reject your premise. 
So following that line of thought you are actually against abortion and contraception since you write suffering/joy is better than not having been born ;).

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 3:31 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Its not really my idea im just introducing the most basic argument. There are entire books devoted to it. Can lookup antinatalism. Schopenhaur, Benetar, Ligotti etc.

Nietzsche's response from Twilight of the Idols:

1

Concerning life, the wisest men of all ages have judged alike: it is no good.
Always and everywhere one has heard the same sound from their
mouths -- a sound full of doubt, full of melancholy, full of weariness of life, full
of resistance to life. Even Socrates said, as he died: "To live -- that means to
be sick a long time: I owe Asclepius the Savior a rooster." Even Socrates
was tired of it. What does that evidence? What does it evince? Formerly
one would have said (-- oh, it has been said, and loud enough, and
especially by our pessimists): "At least something of all this must be true!
The consensus of the sages evidences the truth." Shall we still talk like that
today? May we? "At least something must be sick here," we retort. These
wisest men of all ages -- they should first be scrutinized closely. Were they all
perhaps shaky on their legs? late? tottery? decadents? Could it be that
wisdom appears on earth as a raven, inspired by a little whiff of carrion?

2

This irreverent thought that the great sages are types of decline first
occurred to me precisely in a case where it is most strongly opposed by
both scholarly and unscholarly prejudice: I recognized Socrates and Plato to
be symptoms of degeneration, tools of the Greek dissolution,
pseudo-Greek, anti-Greek (Birth of Tragedy, 1872). The consensus of the
sages -- I comprehended this ever more clearly -- proves least of all that they
were right in what they agreed on: it shows rather that they themselves,
these wisest men, agreed in some physiological respect, and hence adopted
the same negative attitude to life -- had to adopt it. Judgments, judgments of
value, concerning life, for it or against it, can, in the end, never be true: they
have value only as symptoms, they are worthy of consideration only as
symptoms; in themselves such judgments are stupidities. One must by all
means stretch out one's fingers and make the attempt to grasp this amazing
finesse, that the value of life cannot be estimated. Not by the living, for they
are an interested party, even a bone of contention, and not judges; not by
the dead, for a different reason. For a philosopher to see a problem in the
value of life is thus an objection to him, a question mark concerning his
wisdom, an un-wisdom. Indeed? All these great wise men -- they were not
only decadents but not wise at all? But I return to the problem of Socrates.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 3:44 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Andreas:
Its not really my idea im just introducing the most basic argument. There are entire books devoted to it. Can lookup antinatalism. Schopenhaur, Benetar, Ligotti etc.

Nietzsche's response from Twilight of the Idols:[...]


“Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness.” 
― Thomas LigottiThe Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror

“The point that in the absence of birth nobody exists who can be deprived of happiness is terribly conspicuous. For optimists, this fact plays no part in their existential computations. For pessimists, however, it is axiomatic. Whether a pessimist urges us to live “heroically” with a knife in our gut or denounces life as not worth living is immaterial. What matters is that he makes no bones about hurt being the Great Problem it is incumbent on philosophy to observe. But this problem can be solved only by establishing an imbalance between hurt and happiness that would enable us in principle to say which is more desirable—existence or nonexistence. While no airtight case has ever been made regarding the undesirability of human life, pessimists still run themselves ragged trying to make one. Optimists have no comparable mission. When they do argue for the desirability of human life it is only in reaction to pessimists arguing the opposite, even though no airtight case has ever been made regarding that desirability. Optimism has always been an undeclared policy of human culture—one that grew out of our animal instincts to survive and reproduce—rather than an articulated body of thought. It is the default condition of our blood and cannot be effectively questioned by our minds or put in grave doubt by our pains. This would explain why at any given time there are more cannibals than philosophical pessimists.” 
― Thomas LigottiThe Conspiracy Against the Human Race

“Perhaps the greatest strike against philosophical pessimism is that its only theme is human suffering. This is the last item on the list of our species’ obsessions and detracts from everything that matters to us, such as the Good, the Beautiful, and a Sparking Clean Toilet Bowl. For the pessimist, everything considered in isolation from human suffering or any cognition that does not have as its motive the origins, nature, and elimination of human suffering is at base recreational, whether it takes the form of conceptual probing or physical action in the world—for example, delving into game theory or traveling in outer space, respectively. And by “human suffering,” the pessimist is not thinking of particular sufferings and their relief, but of suffering itself. Remedies may be discovered for certain diseases and sociopolitical barbarities may be amended. But those are only stopgaps. Human suffering will remain insoluble as long as human beings exist. The one truly effective solution for suffering is that spoken of in Zapffe’s “Last Messiah.” It may not be a welcome solution for a stopgap world, but it would forever put an end to suffering, should we ever care to do so. The pessimist’s credo, or one of them, is that nonexistence never hurt anyone and existence hurts everyone. Although our selves may be illusory creations of consciousness, our pain is nonetheless real.” 
― Thomas LigottiThe Conspiracy Against the Human Race

“For better or worse, pessimism without compromise lacks public appeal. In all, the few who have gone to the pains of arguing for a sullen appraisal of life might as well never have been born. As history confirms, people will change their minds about almost anything, from which god they worship to how they style their hair. But when it comes to existential judgments, human beings in general have a unfalteringly good opinion of themselves and their condition in this world and are steadfastly confident they are not a collection of self-conscious nothings” 

― Thomas LigottiThe Conspiracy Against the Human Race

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 9:13 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
It doesn't matter there there is nothing that knows that it lacks. I am comparing nothingness with suffering mixed with joy. I choose the latter. And anyway, that point is irrelevant to the fact that you based your argument on the said premise ("that no suffering is better than suffering"), and I rejected it. 
Yes when you exist you choose the latter, but this is not about "you". You rejected it for yourself, essentially saying "i dont want to commit suicide". Not for the potential being. Essentially your rejection if applied to the potential is I dont mind suffering, so you wont mind either, therefor "let there be life". Very presumptuous indeed.
I choose it for potential beings also. If you think that is presumptuous that's fine, that's your opinion. But I still reject your premise. 
So following that line of thought you are actually against abortion and contraception since you write suffering/joy is better than not having been born ;).

Nope. All about family planning dude. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 9:35 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
So following that line of thought you are actually against abortion and contraception since you write suffering/joy is better than not having been born ;).]

Nope. All about family planning dude. 
Yes if being born is better than nothingness then prevention of birth is bad. Since that does not bring that potentiality to its fruition. Given what you wrote is that sex is only for reproduction and abstinence(and or non vaginal intercourse etc) is the only valid birth control. Like the catholic practices since all other forms are prevention of potentiality.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 10:11 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
So following that line of thought you are actually against abortion and contraception since you write suffering/joy is better than not having been born ;).]

Nope. All about family planning dude. 
Yes if being born is better than nothingness then prevention of birth is bad. Since that does not bring that potentiality to its fruition. Given what you wrote is that sex is only for reproduction and abstinence(and or non vaginal intercourse etc) is the only valid birth control. Like the catholic practices since all other forms are prevention of potentiality.
I didn't write that. You are projecting onto me. Speaking for myself, I'm all about recreational sex (with my wife) and having kids when my family is stable enough to support them (and, yes, making the choice for them to experience suffering/joy instead of nothingness). It is a personal choice for each person. Not everything is a philosophical absolute (i.e., nobody should ever have kids ever at one extreme, and nobody should ever prevent conception at the other extreme). Both extremes sound horrendous and distopian and completely impractical. Context, circumstance, and personal preference matters a lot. 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 2:21 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
yeah, Andreas, you think its that easy to go and adopt. You go and try it ; Adopting is nearly more difficult than birthing yourself naturally or being scientifically helped for that, on every level of the process. yep, you need to go study what adoption asks for, what it really is. Its not like going into a shop , because today you concluded its the best thing to do "for the world" . the guys at the other end will ask you much more , in practical terms, than just your point of view about having or not children. And that is exactly the same reason why i tell you your question is quite immature in fact , i mean immature in the sense that you seem to not have had enough reallife experience with what wisdom , and what compassion is, and what children are.  thus you play around the mathematical axiom actually in your head.  My father would say that you address the question clearly as a youngster and are not mature enough to access the real debate in question. wisdom is one thing, but its all cold and dangerous. A thieve got to have wisdom to do his job.

Adopting is not a given easy fact. you seem to think about life and death, as if you where not concerned or as if anything you decide you can have or not will happen just because you perfectly know the theory and needs only action/snap of finger; but the map is not the territory emoticon   thus i say you lack true wisdom and true compassion;  Here, you ask a question which has no practical life value, even if you got an answer, what will you do with it ? (yes, not having children, i understood ^^ )

it seems obvious you are in deep doubts about why people  have children in this frigthening  world. you'll get it with experience, true life experience, not disconnected, online theorical experience and debates without going experimenting "life and death" of human beings , rubbing your face with its gravel

As for the bodhisatva (beeing a good bodhisatva is, by the way, a tautology) , i think you don't understand what it is otherwise you got to recontext your question (and "believe" ^^ ) ;   By telling me this, you de-facto have to admit that rebirth is then mandatory .. you got to first liberate yourself, then decide to go Bodhisatva, and then this is when you will need other women and men to copulate so one of these couples gives you the possibility to come back again as a bodhistava and continue helping others, and again another rebirth and so on.  oh you might maybe tell me one can be a Bodhisatva only for this life and then stop .. this is not bodhisatva, this is selfcentered egocentrical "I"  flawed mindset . so either you are debatting with a strong I , or you admit there is no I , then the question becomes irrelevant.

Again, if Bodhisatva is a possible way according to you, then you can't ask for an answer for your question AND precising that you want that answer in a non believing context. If you believe one can and one should be a Bodhisatva, then the question is again futile, non relevant, has no straight given answer, its case by case . A Bodhisatva will help relentlessly, with no discrimination or general view of how the world should be to conduct himself,  or how to help anyone (by adopting or giving /helping giving birth and he might as well adopt AND give/help birthing) . It will only be on case by case basis, driven by the 2 dharma wings : Wisdom (pre-plato, plato, and friends..) AND Compassion ; without one or the other .. you are bound to failure, either suicide or deep attachment  ; no liberation on the horizon at all.

It is not a question of optimist or pessimist , either side is already a non-free position thus non usefull and non true.
the true position would be :  lets have a child if it is wise AND compassionnate, lets adopt a child if it is wise AND compassionate, whatever happens, we will manage, it not only my little self, my little liberation goal;  In any ways, there will be suffering. thats certain; now its up to your intent and action (karma again) .. wanna just get rid of suffering , for "yourself"? , then you will never get rid of it. neither would the rest of the world if we all acted the same .. so much for lowering suffering in the world, result would be opposit emoticon

Because in the end is the intent and karma, no one else is deciding anything (only the non-free thinks he is certain deciding correctly or not something.. aka needs mortal "tangible/earthly logic" reasons )  the question is thus futile again in all ways. why then even ask the question ; its obvious ; if the goal is ending my little's me suffering only, yes, why bother have childs, why bother have sex, why even bother eat , or pay attention not to be run over by a car. ; So you can die quickest possible and leave room to other truely suffering but who will still be ok to help each other get out of this all together. I tell you, the way you conduct your  philosophy and debate around some unfathomably deep question like this one (in fact, the deepest, with death) , reveals profondly how self centered and far away from liberation you are; you are totally grasping onto "personnaly not suffering anymore" and "the others should think more like me" , a deeply flawed view, how can you then believe your logic is correct and practically appliable in this world

Having or not a child, is as everything else.. its dependent arizing .. today, its not arising , it might never; but thinking about it for the other human beings is already denying them the choice, or judging them,  because of your flawed view about life and death and because you recently are stuck with the simplistic idea that if everyone stopped have children this would lower suffering in the world. It would not emoticon

Oh such a pity this is not my native language, i have some frustration now , arhh , i know you will try sweeping the whole thing by getting back to a  0 1 0 1 young speech .. but truth is you waste precious time thinking empiricaly like you do .. or are you in the real position of deciding if you should go for it ? emoticon

I could just develop for hours but my time is up, i got to stop give  compassion in this virtual place for now, and instead go give some to my 8 month pregnant wife who is really suffering for a child which is about to come   =)

Same could go for you, stop asking irrelevant questions and go help some kid, or have one to experience what it is , then you can come back and maybe answer the question with great wisdom and great compassion emoticon 

ps: so , how old are you ? =)

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 2:18 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Im not saying non existence is either this or that really. non-existence cannot by definition have any properties not even non-existence, since here the concept is non existence it cannot have the propery non-existence. its not like debating a non-existing "concept of a thing that exist" like santa clause.

As you write in your edit. When people argue against this argument they always create an entity. Im working on the assumption that there is none. There is neither no suffering and lacking of suffering, nothing is lacking since there is no thing that lacks. Language as I wrote earlier have trouble expression such null states. Closest thing we have is deep sleep. Describe your experience of deep sleep. You cannot. since you are not there. "you" have for all intent and purposes seeized to be.


Aren't you giving it a concept and a form by saying it is better than something else though? That's the crux of the issure to me. In order to even make the argument you're making, you first need to conceptualize non-existance in order to give it a value judgement. You're saying it's better not to have children because it will prevent suffering. But there is no child, and thus no suffering to prevent - it's nothing at all. To prevent suffering, you need to have a possibility of suffering in the first place, and then do something to stop this suffering. You can't say that not having a child has prevented suffering because there simply is no child. In order to make the comparison, you have to imagine a suffering child, and then decide not to create this suffering child. Of COURSE this is better than having a child that suffers, but it's actually not the argument you're trying to make. In your mind, you are saving a child from suffering, and this seems like a good thing, but because there is no child, there is nothing to save. The argument doesn't mean anything at all.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 4:44 PM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
yeah, Andreas, you think its that easy to go and adopt. You go and try it ;

SeTyr I've never claimed adopting was an easy thing to. I am quite aware of what adoption entails.


And that is exactly the same reason why i tell you your question is quite immature in fact , i mean immature in the sense that you seem to not have had enough reallife experience with what wisdom , and what compassion is, and what children are.

I'm quite aware of what compassion is. So far im about the only one in this thread that actually seem to have any.

My father would say that you address the question clearly as a youngster and are not mature enough to access the real debate in question. wisdom is one thing, but its all cold and dangerous. A thieve got to have wisdom to do his job.

And my father would say your father sounds very condescending and full of himself, thinking that age has anything to do with wisdom. What does that prove? The argument is not even mine to begin with but made by those that has come before me and also are older than me. Does an argument validity depend on who presents it? Does age make an philosophical argument more or less valid?

it seems obvious you are in deep doubts about why people  have children in this frigthening  world. you'll get it with experience, true life experience, not disconnected, online theorical experience and debates without going experimenting "life and death" of human beings , rubbing your face with its gravel

People have kids because they want to have kids (those that can actually choose) for one reason or another that always concern their wants and desires.

As for the bodhisatva (beeing a good bodhisatva is, by the way, a tautology) , i think you don't understand what it is otherwise you got to recontext your question (and "believe" ^^ ) ;   By telling me this, you de-facto have to admit that rebirth is then mandatory

To uphold boddhisattva ideals no rebirth is actually required as I see it. It depends on literal rebirth or moment to moment rebirth etc. But that is another thread, I was just talking in jest with that comment.

I could just develop for hours but my time is up, i got to stop give  compassion in this virtual place for now, and instead go give some to my 8 month pregnant wife who is really suffering for a child which is about to come   =)

I know you have vested interest in proving me wrong ;). But good luck with it and I hope the pregnancy goes well for all parties involved.

Same could go for you, stop asking irrelevant questions and go help some kid, or have one to experience what it is , then you can come back and maybe answer the question with great wisdom and great compassion emoticon 

The nature and cause of suffering is not irrelevant, being a buddhist as I get the impression you are you should know that. And I am helping kids and adults for that manner. Not that it has anything to do with the point of the thread. You just seem to say I lack compassion and wisdom because the argument that I presented does not reach a conclusion that you like. I have nothing to do with the argument. What I think or feel about the argument has no merit. The argument is not me. Life is what it is regardless of how I or you or anyone feels about it.

PS
I am a little over 31 years old. Born in cold december after my mother having eaten to much pancakes I think it was. And as to why "I" was born, my parents wanted to have a little toddler who would jump in puddles of water dressed in raingear. Which I did and still do because its fun.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 4:52 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Aren't you giving it a concept and a form by saying it is better than something else though? That's the crux of the issure to me. In order to even make the argument you're making, you first need to conceptualize non-existance in order to give it a value judgement. You're saying it's better not to have children because it will prevent suffering. But there is no child, and thus no suffering to prevent - it's nothing at all. To prevent suffering, you need to have a possibility of suffering in the first place, and then do something to stop this suffering. You can't say that not having a child has prevented suffering because there simply is no child. In order to make the comparison, you have to imagine a suffering child, and then decide not to create this suffering child. Of COURSE this is better than having a child that suffers, but it's actually not the argument you're trying to make. In your mind, you are saving a child from suffering, and this seems like a good thing, but because there is no child, there is nothing to save. The argument doesn't mean anything at all.
Like I wrote language fails us to acturatly describe non-existence. WHen we talk about it we objectify it. All you are writing has already been covered.
You get stuck on things that does not actually matter for the argument itself. Prevent suffering, call it introduce suffering, create suffering, morph suffering into being, give birth to suffering, make suffering, mold suffering into being, materialize suffering, whatever you want to call. You know exactly what I am talking about.
The is no saving a child from suffering since there is no child to be saved from suffering if its not born. Suffering is introduced when the child is born. If its not born no suffering is introduced.
But thats the last I will reply to your replies on that specific topic because its a red herring. If you want to delve deeper into this read Benatar, Schopenhaur, Ligotti etc.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 8:20 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Thank you Andreas for your kind reply ;

I'm now quite sure the thread is pointless;  A buddha would stay silent i think

Can i ask you to deeply analyse why you posted ? what was your intent ? 

you say your arguments are essentially based on the first noble truth; but that truth doesn't go alone, it goes with the 3 others, inseparable.   which i try to introduce in the debate, but you don't want to hear .  One corrolary of them is "nothing is permanent", even dukkha or non-dukkha, thus even if you manage to litterally stop all suffering , it would only be for a while .. having or not having a child will have no effect in itself.

i think you aim too low in fact, or falsely  emoticon, only for ending physical/earthly suffering, you should instead aim for liberation, and liberation for others, which is absolutely not the same.   that would stop all suffering from destabilising you and others, and make that state permanent ; its not called the way of the middle for nothing ; 

Also again,meditating, thinking, philosophy alone, itself, alone is not the reality, the territory .. this is not me saying , its Alfred (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Korzybski) a contemporary philosophe, who read as you and  i did all the classic others  : plato, shopy (a contemporary to him) or onfray . this is the actual state of (western) philosophy today, limited, its stuck with the fact that you got to experience to confirm or infirm theory  , otherwise its only .. talks and ifs , no practical value, and no truth (because not verified) ;  And herein comes the age factor (or number / amount of experience)  and buddhism with the semantics and approach to go further .. but you restricted the subject so it can't be brought into the discussion emoticon

It would be easier if you simply clearly stated that we can answer, but only using first noble truth and any non-buddhist philosophy.
Which is like the saying goes : with "ifs", you could put Paris in a bottle.. pointless unless you want autosatisfaction by forbidding any other view than a pure theorical intellectual view to be , thus impossible to truely answer and maybe have you think it further. what lacks is compassion in the thinking

ps: do you really think that age has nothing to do with experience ?, or being able to meditate and attain definitive answers on some complex subject ?  this is exactly what childs and teens are about .. thinking they don't need a teacher, a guru, a father or mother to explain them. then they hurt themselves and come running back to mom, and acquire experience, and thanks to mom and her exerience, they will survive better   (note :in the territory itself, not virtualy, or with a map) ; Mommy will ease the suffering again, explain things and condescently warn you , and next time you might listen , ask, search for advice, like you actually do with schopenhauer and others (and Dho emoticon )

if you don't have a mom anymore, and keep on being stuborn thinking about useless things until the whole point leads you to nihilism or some totally screwed worldview ; it will be more suffering, not less, neither for you ,nor the others .. because you will be carrying around that skewed child view

pps: If i may ask : how can a bodhisatva be a bodhisatva if he cannot be reborn as much as necessary? it is the core definition of a Bodhisatva : wanting to be reborn and help other liberate, until all other beings are , for eons if necessary .   Ok you have the right to define a Bodhisatva as you like, but it won't be the buddhist definition, it will only be yours for you all alone.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/18/15 7:56 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas, I hope I'm not making you frustrated, but I'm wondering if you'd be willing to try humoring me on this idea of existance vs. non-existance a bit more.  I don't think you've seen exactly what I'm trying to say.

Earlier, someone asked you why you wouldn't commit suicide and you drew a line between this and making a decision not to have children.  Could you support that argument for me? 

Here are some things that come to mind for me:
Scuicide is a personal decision - you're deciding whether YOU live or die as opposed to whether future suffering will be created for a potential person - but can you really say that the future you is still you?  Are you the same person you were when you were 10?  Is giving birth to a child really different from giving birth to future selves by continuing to exist?  We take ownership of that future self because it's connected to us, but so is a child - a piece of your body buds off to form a new autonomous individual.  At this moment, that piece of your body is you, but later it will no longer be you.  The same could be said for your brain cells, their connections, and the piece of software that is running on it and will change in the future. Because the thing that is your future child is currently a part of you, then the decision to keep living right now is equal to the decision whether or not to create a child.

EDIT: BTW, I think you're suffering from the same thing that used to plague all my philosophical conversations with people in the past - I was never quite interested in the arguments they presented, which made the conversations disappointing to me.  Sorry to do that to you here, haha. emoticon

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/19/15 7:05 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
Can i ask you to deeply analyse why you posted ? what was your intent ?
There was a thread about why people had children. And I thought it would be interesting to post why not to have children and see how people would react to it. Reaction is similar to other places. People cant handle it and become defensive etc. It struck a core against their biological imperative.
you say your arguments are essentially based on the first noble truth; but that truth doesn't go alone, it goes with the 3 others, inseparable.   which i try to introduce in the debate, but you don't want to hear .

Im saying the provided solution is not a guarantee so it cannot be used to refute the argument. The likelyhood of a lifetime of suffering is still high. Allmost noone are awakened etc, and until they are they suffer.

One corrolary of them is "nothing is permanent", even dukkha or non-dukkha, thus even if you manage to litterally stop all suffering , it would only be for a while .. having or not having a child will have no effect in itself.
The suffering here is not your own suffering. Unless you are born there is non-suffering.

 
i think you aim too low in fact, or falsely  emoticon, only for ending physical/earthly suffering, you should instead aim for liberation, and liberation for others, which is absolutely not the same.   that would stop all suffering from destabilising you and others, and make that state permanent ; its not called the way of the middle for nothing ;  

If fewer humans are born then there is fewer people who will need to be liberated. Making the task much easier.

And herein comes the age factor (or number / amount of experience)  and buddhism with the semantics and approach to go further .. but you restricted the subject so it can't be brought into the discussion
Age has nothing to do with the argument itself.
If you are buddhist etc you agree with the first noble truth regardless of how old you are. The solution however is not a guarantee. And easing the suffering there is still suffering.

It would be easier if you simply clearly stated that we can answer, but only using first noble truth and any non-buddhist philosophy.

Use whatever you want to argue against it as long as you can verify it and its logically congruent. If you make metaphysical claims I will reject those as unverifiable.


do you really think that age has nothing to do with experience ?

Age has nothing to do with wisdom.

or being able to meditate and attain definitive answers on some complex subject ?

We are using logical arguments here that is not dependent on subjective realisations. Its not a koan.

if you don't have a mom anymore, and keep on being stuborn thinking about useless things until the whole point leads you to nihilism or some totally screwed worldview ; it will be more suffering, not less, neither for you ,nor the others .. because you will be carrying around that skewed child view

Buddhism itself is nihilistic. Read up on nihilism on wikipedia and you can check everything off against buddhism. Nihilism isnt negative or life-rejecting etc. Its the opposite, its freedom and life-rejoicing of a sort.

Ok you have the right to define a Bodhisatva as you like, but it won't be the buddhist definition, it will only be yours for you all alone.
Definitions changes, things evolve. Nothing is permanent. Things depends on which sect is putting forth the definitions.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/19/15 7:05 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Earlier, someone asked you why you wouldn't commit suicide and you drew a line between this and making a decision not to have children.  Could you support that argument for me?  

Well I didnt write you wouldnt commit suicide per sé. I wrote that the premisses presented were not true and could be rejected. So if you can reject the premisses then the conclusion is false. 

The main thing difference here is that childbearing is a "creation" of another life. you are making yourself "god" in a manner of speaking forcing existence on a being, the one born never had or could have any say in the matter. So childbearing is all about the child comming forth. Its a descission that mainly affects someone else. It really has nothing to do with you.

Suicide however is all about you yourself and how you view things etc. When you have been "created" you have a choice in how you want to react to it, how life is to be lived for yourself. If you want to find a cure for the suffering that has been thrust upon your or reject it all together and so forth.

Is giving birth to a child really different from giving birth to future selves by continuing to exist?

How many parents have exactly the same subjective experience as their child? None. The child is a separate subjective experience, its separate from you as parents. Even if parents feel rejoice, or feel suffering in reaction to the childs experiences, the child experiences etc is still its own.

We take ownership of that future self because it's connected to us, but so is a child - a piece of your body buds off to form a new autonomous individual.  At this moment, that piece of your body is you, but later it will no longer be you.

The child is no more you than the dump you took this morning. The child is its own thing. Its own subjective experience.

brain cells, their connections, and the piece of software that is running on it and will change in the future. Because the thing that is your future child is currently a part of you,

The child is not part of me currently. Unless you say that mutated DNA is the same as child.

BTW, I think you're suffering from the same thing that used to plague all my philosophical conversations with people in the past - I was never quite interested in the arguments they presented, which made the conversations disappointing to me.  Sorry to do that to you here, haha.

Im very interested its just that allmost all arguments are not very good and people are prententious and condesending.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/19/15 1:17 PM as a reply to Andreas.
I do agree with your basic argument Andreas.

From a gene centered view of evolution, the goal of the genes is to replicate/proprogate. They just don't care if you as an individual/group are happy or not, suffering or not. However, it is a different question if an individual or self has the freedom/choice to not reproduce. If one can escape this cycle, all power to them emoticon

Thought this was relevant http://vhemt.org 

Metta,
V

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
2/19/15 2:05 PM as a reply to Vijay V.
Ive seen that before vhem. I always find it to be satirical. Many of the arguments they put forth are so inane.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
3/3/15 6:38 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Interesting topic that I've been pondering myself.

Question:  How do you account for varience in painful, non-painful, and neither painful or non-painful events that each individual expeiences in their life?  Do you believe in karma?

OT:  If suffering can be removed from existance by future technologies (i.e. mind uploadingblocking pain receptors) does that make it more favorable then non-existance?

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
3/4/15 12:54 AM as a reply to Omar.
How do you account for varience in painful, non-painful, and neither painful or non-painful events that each individual expeiences in their life?

The argument compares the totalities. That there are variations has no bearing on the validity of the argument.  Though one can argue that the possibility of extreme suffering is in favor of the arguments conclusion. You cannot know if things will be good or bad, if the being will be grateful for existence or suffer the thought. Not everything can be handle with mental training and reprogramming of sorts. Its not unlikely that there is a genetic predisposition in outlook etc.

 If suffering can be removed from existance by future technologies (i.e. mind uploadingblocking pain receptors) does that make it more favorable then non-existance?

Nope not according to the argument it self. Its a little difficult to use the word "favorable" in this context. Favorable only applies if you already exist. It can help those that already exist but its just crutches and denial. The practice of meditation etc could also be considered a crutch in that sense.



RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
3/4/15 9:01 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas, have you thought of possible arguments against your own that might convince you?  Over the course of this thread, you've been very set on the solidity of your argument, so I'm just wondering where you might think a crack exists or what you were hoping to get out of this conversation.  Mostly you just seem to think our arguments are irrelivant, so it seems like you've already made it concrete in your mind.  There isn't much point in talking about it if that's the case, haha.

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 1:01 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao. Have you thought about the arguments against the first noble truth?
Have you thought about the whole point of jainism, hinduism and moksha, buddhism and realization? All those are suppose to end the cycle of rebirth and suffering.
What I have written is just a variation of the fundamental beliefs and philosophy inherent in those religions.

The only thing that could really invalidate the argument would be proof of prebirth and after death existence.

My point was just to offer an argument as to why one should not have children and see how people would react to this.

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 10:14 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas,
1. This thread is helping you to root out greed, hatred and delusion how exactly?

2. There seems to be a basic misconception here that 2 people are creating a life. On the convrntional level it looks that way. The fact is a being is born in any realm because it has the Karma to be reborn. It has not eradicated the fetters of becoming. In some of the higher planes of existence a being is not even born from a womb. It materialises spontaneously. In humanity, probably more than half of pregnancies occur not because either human wants a child but they want to have sex. In these cases, the being ready to begin a new round of becoming does just that.

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 10:49 AM as a reply to Piers M.
1: What now? If anything the argument would help root out other peoples delusions and greed =).
2: This is a secular thread without unfounded beliefs. So karma, realms etc has no bearing. That pregnancy is unintented does not equal a child being born. But is in some countries a cause to great suffering and even death. So unintended children causes suffering not just for the child but for the parents as well. But this is not a thread about sterilization, abortions etc =).

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 1:44 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
...My point was just to offer an argument as to why one should not have children and see how people would react to this.


My reaction is to wonder if you have any experience in this area of reproductive choices? Banter about thousand year old text only can get me so far.  What really moves me is sharing personal expeience with people.  So that's what I'm asking for from you.

Edit: trying to make my question clearer

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 2:01 PM as a reply to Matt.
Well thing is the argument has no bearing on wether on not I have had children, been in a position to have chilren or cant physically reproduce or have chosen celebacy. I dont even have to act according to the argument. Things are as they are. Personally though I lean towards adopting children from my cultural/ethnical sphere if I ever end up in a family expanding endeavor. But one is not alone in that adventure. Its also not a topic suitable for first dates maybe the fourth =).

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 8:54 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Well thing is the argument has no bearing on wether on not I have had children, been in a position to have chilren or cant physically reproduce or have chosen celebacy. I dont even have to act according to the argument. Things are as they are. Personally though I lean towards adopting children from my cultural/ethnical sphere if I ever end up in a family expanding endeavor. But one is not alone in that adventure. Its also not a topic suitable for first dates maybe the fourth =).
You're asking complete strangers about their opinion about this, yet you seem confident that you know the answers.  I wonder why?

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 9:38 PM as a reply to Andreas.
re: Andreas (3/5/15 1:06 PM as a reply to matthew sexton.)
"Experience in what area? Posting stuff to see how people respond to the subject matter? Quite often. Its mostly how forum works and so forth."

The statement above was later edited-out. That, and the tone of many statements (some cited below) in this thread help explain why this thread gets more than twice as many posts as the earlier one – "Intellectual Honesty as Right Speech."

"There is no other conclusion given the premisses."

"Very presumptuous indeed."

"I'm quite aware of what compassion is. So far im about the only one in this thread that actually seem to have any."

"But thats the last I will reply to your replies on that specific topic because its a red herring."

"Im very interested its just that allmost all arguments are not very good and people are prententious and condesending."

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/5/15 9:50 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
re: Andreas (3/5/15 1:06 PM as a reply to matthew sexton.)
"Experience in what area? Posting stuff to see how people respond to the subject matter? Quite often. Its mostly how forum works and so forth."

The statement above was later edited-out. That, and the tone of many statements (some cited below) in this thread help explain why this thread gets more than twice as many posts as the earlier one – "Intellectual Honesty as Right Speech."

"There is no other conclusion given the premisses."

"Very presumptuous indeed."

"I'm quite aware of what compassion is. So far im about the only one in this thread that actually seem to have any."

"But thats the last I will reply to your replies on that specific topic because its a red herring."

"Im very interested its just that allmost all arguments are not very good and people are prententious and condesending."
I just glanced back to one of Andreas earliest posts, only a few months ago http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5620286#_19_message_5620935 and found this statement: "But intellectual understanding have never brought me anything useful."

I get the feeling that some people here, like Andreas, are playing a game that they don't want anyone else to understand.

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/6/15 1:26 AM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
You're asking complete strangers about their opinion about this, yet you seem confident that you know the answers.  I wonder why?
Im just presenting the argument, dispelling the delusions. And part of it is curiosity. ANother part I suppose is intellectual development of myself and others. Logical arguments structured properly and with sound premisses only have one conclusion. The way you question logical arguments is to show that the premisses are wrong most of the time. Since usually the conclusion follows from the premisses, so you invalidate the conclusion if you can disquality the premisses.

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/6/15 1:52 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
re: Andreas (3/5/15 1:06 PM as a reply to matthew sexton.)
"Experience in what area? Posting stuff to see how people respond to the subject matter? Quite often. Its mostly how forum works and so forth."

The statement above was later edited-out. That, and the tone of many statements (some cited below) in this thread help explain why this thread gets more than twice as many posts as the earlier one – "Intellectual Honesty as Right Speech."

"There is no other conclusion given the premisses."

"Very presumptuous indeed."

"I'm quite aware of what compassion is. So far im about the only one in this thread that actually seem to have any."

"But thats the last I will reply to your replies on that specific topic because its a red herring."

"Im very interested its just that allmost all arguments are not very good and people are prententious and condesending."
Matthew changed and expanded upon his post so I changed my reply accordingly. It would have looked very stupid otherwise.
And you should check the actual 10 points that is mentioned in that other thread. And what the quotes you have posted actually responds too. You should keep in mind that Im not a native english speaker so my choice of words might not always corresponds directly to what I try to say. Some might be wrong choices etc given the context.
The following points I think have bearing on the discussion and how it evolves. The others I think is covered already.
"Be willing to publicly acknowledge and question one’s own assumptions and biases."
"Address the argument instead of attacking the person making the argument. "
"When addressing an argument, do not misrepresent it."
"Show a commitment to critical thinking."
"Be willing to publicly acknowledge when a point or criticism is good."

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/6/15 1:55 AM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
I just glanced back to one of Andreas earliest posts, only a few months ago http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5620286#_19_message_5620935 and found this statement: "But intellectual understanding have never brought me anything useful."

I get the feeling that some people here, like Andreas, are playing a game that they don't want anyone else to understand.
That quote has a specific context. Taking it out of context gives the wrong impression. Outside of that context intellectual understanding has indeed been very usefull.

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/6/15 3:16 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
matthew sexton:
You're asking complete strangers about their opinion about this, yet you seem confident that you know the answers.  I wonder why?
Im just presenting the argument, dispelling the delusions. And part of it is curiosity. ANother part I suppose is intellectual development of myself and others. Logical arguments structured properly and with sound premisses only have one conclusion. The way you question logical arguments is to show that the premisses are wrong most of the time. Since usually the conclusion follows from the premisses, so you invalidate the conclusion if you can disquality the premisses.
I'm going to have to suggest to bring this thread to a more practical bearing. No explicit suggestions yet but eventually, philosophisizing will not have the same effect as practicing. 

So, to bring this more in line with the DhO's mission: what practical effects[1] does discussing this bring? How does it tie into "beneficial, fundamental mental, perceptual, and emotional transformations"?

Claudiu, moderator
---
[1] "The Dharma Overground is a resource for the support of practices that actually lead to beneficial, fundamental mental, perceptual and emotional transformations. It is a place where everything related to the support of practice may flourish, including where to go on retreats, what techniques may lead to what, an in depth look at the maps of possible states and stages, discussions about how to determine what experience was what, and in general anything that has to do with actually practicing rather than what typically occurs in, for example, standard meditation circles and forums."

"pragmatism over dogmatism: what works is key, with works generally meaning the stages of insight, the stages of enlightenment, jhanas, freedom from suffering in what ways are possible, etc."

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/6/15 3:29 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
So, to bring this more in line with the DhO's mission: what practical effects[1] does discussing this bring? How does it tie into "beneficial, fundamental mental, perceptual, and emotional transformations"?

Is this a serious question? Really? What practical effects? Evaluating ones motives, improving ones logic and rational thinking, looking at ones ego, thinking about the concept of compassion and what it can entail in practice among other things. But that just how I view it. Others might find it totally pointless and irreleveant. If you do not understand logic you can never actually understand buddhist philosophy or any philosophy, and if you cannot understand the philosophy how can you ever really practice it? How can you evaluate anything that the Buddha and other people say. The argument itself hits right smack in the middle of most peoples life. It targets their very core. Questioning reproduction is like questioning the fundamental behavior of the human race.
Whats the sound of one mouth blabbing =).

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/6/15 12:13 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
... Questioning reproduction is like questioning the fundamental behavior of the human race.
Whats the sound of one mouth blabbing =).
Yes.

You're drawing upon dogma to try to prove we should not reproduce, esentially kill off the whole human race?  It's only an inclination to try to help you with what seems like an obviously bad idea that gives you any company.

The only interesting part of this for me, is the question of why you feel this is a helpful way for us to spend our time?  If you don't want to kill off the race, why spend time on the question?   Do you have an answer for this question, like, we should erradicate suffering before we have kids?

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/7/15 1:26 AM as a reply to Matt.
Oh my, still stuck in that samsaric view.

Hi Andreas,

I have a question: can you definitely prove anyone being born human will suffer, and have his suffering outpass his pleasures, and also please when does one measure this, at which point in life, how does he titrate etc etc.. to be most objective ? 

Fact : how many people in this world want to die ? Not that much .. really, nearly nobody, if we take the whole 7billions ..  why ? thats the fundamental question

Now imagine empirically presenting this very important amazingly strange fact, and your actual logic today..  to a non-born which has the right to choose to be born or not :

Do you think, based on my fact and yours, that he will choose to not be born?

I don't think so .. unless you can garantee him his suffering will outpass his pleasures .. and even then , he will choose to be born , and i'll tell you why : because he will think, rightfully so, that he can experience life with the suffering and with the pleasures and not be bothered at all. 

That is being liberated from suffering and/or the way to end all suffering ..  Now, he is so wise, he will experience life totaly free from the day he gets born. Can you definitely prove nobody can possibly be born and have that kind of life experience ? absolutely not
 

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
3/7/15 2:29 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Andreas:
... Questioning reproduction is like questioning the fundamental behavior of the human race.
Whats the sound of one mouth blabbing =).
Yes.

You're drawing upon dogma to try to prove we should not reproduce, esentially kill off the whole human race?  It's only an inclination to try to help you with what seems like an obviously bad idea that gives you any company.

The only interesting part of this for me, is the question of why you feel this is a helpful way for us to spend our time?  If you don't want to kill off the race, why spend time on the question?   Do you have an answer for this question, like, we should erradicate suffering before we have kids?
What dogma? The first noble truth? That is just for reference to buddhist philosophy.
There is nothing good or bad with humans as a species. Nothing is added nor taken away from us as species being here. Species come and go and eventually everything will go.

I just present the argument. There really is no answer to it. Either you act according to the conclusion or you dont. You cannot eradicate other peoples suffering, just your own. You cannot eradicate your childrens suffering, the children are the ones who have to comes to grip with their own life and suffering/joy etc. We are all children here we all know that our parents didnt eradicate our suffering.

RE: Basic argument against having children
Answer
3/7/15 2:39 PM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
SeTyR ZeN:
Oh my, still stuck in that samsaric view.

Hi Andreas,

I have a question: can you definitely prove anyone being born human will suffer, and have his suffering outpass his pleasures, and also please when does one measure this, at which point in life, how does he titrate etc etc.. to be most objective ? 
 
The thing is you cannot know that the child joy will outweigh the suffering, you cannot know its reaction. Thats one of the premisses of argument. You do know that the child will suffer in one manner or another. Also how many suffering children do you think is acceptable? 1 in 2, 1 in 10, 1 in 100, 1 in 1000, 1 in 10000 etc?

Fact : how many people in this world want to die ? Not that much .. really, nearly nobody, if we take the whole 7billions ..  why ? thats the fundamental question
Now imagine empirically presenting this very important amazingly strange fact, and your actual logic today..  to a non-born which has the right to choose to be born or not :

Do you think, based on my fact and yours, that he will choose to not be born? 

I don't think so .. unless you can garantee him his suffering will outpass his pleasures .. and even then , he will choose to be born , and i'll tell you why : because he will think, rightfully so, that he can experience life with the suffering and with the pleasures and not be bothered at all. 
What is the true color of the easter bunny?

RE: Basic argument against having children
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3/8/15 1:33 AM as a reply to Andreas.
You still miss the point :

"You do know that the child will suffer in one manner or another. Also how many suffering children do you think is acceptable? 1 in 2, 1 in 10, 1 in 100, 1 in 1000, 1 in 10000 etc?"

no suffering is acceptable, but only inevitable if no clarity is there. And its not permanent either. you refuse and pretend not acknowledging  and count that fact, because its pivotal and undermines your intellectual position

you pose as a fact , according to your short experience of reality, that life is/will automatically be only suffering, or if one pity i encounter suffering once, he will then continue suffering for ever. wrong. i know that as a fact, from experience. don't you ? if still not, you better get down from your high horse, because else indeed, you will suffer the rest of your life, and continue that suffering-not suffering nightmarish  pingpong emoticon  been there and i feel for you

 Go back to "what is suffering ?" "what is not suffering ?" "who suffers ?" "is it permanent ?" if it was , it would have been long ago since people would have stopped having children.. you know, many are clever, many lived and died before you emoticon  If you wanna relly go further , truthfully : suffering doesn't exist. it has no inherent existance . so no child can possibly suffer. It is their I which suffer

So again please , what is suffering according to you ? 

am not kidding, you cannot just jibe from a personnal generality to posing axioms of yours without answering these yet to be truths, more over on a forum of this kind i guess.

ps: the answer is either 42, or , if you ask me : DDDDDDDIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggggggggggggg......

pps: don't get it yet ? emoticon im adressing the fear of life and death behind your original post, because the post itself has no importance , really  ;)