I've had a lot of discussions with people who think that our philosophy goes "too far" lately. One argument that keeps coming up is the "it's all relative and you can't really be sure if you're right" argument. In my opinion the naked truth of evolution and life is enough to prove antinatalism to be the right philosophy in the grand scheme of things, even though it of course takes some overcoming to accept that truth. Furthermore, in my opinion the very fact that it's "all relative and subjective" at the end of the day, no matter how rational it gets, is an argument against life, because it just adds to the futility of it all. I'm convinced that antinatalism is the most rational and consequent philosophy ever (that means antinatalism in it's radical form, also known as efilism). But still, when everything is said and done, it's just an opinion and there is no clear sign, like the universe actually telling you, that you are absolutely right. If the world would be a good place, designed by an intelligent being, the absolute truth would exist and would be avaiable for everybody. Only in a chaotic, unintelligently designed nonsense-universe like this, there is even the need for philosophers at all. If there would be any sense and meaning to the world, it would be obvious to everyone!
So, obviously I am absolutely convinced that antinatalism is the perfect philosophy - in theory. My doubts are concerning the practical side of it. First of all, we are just a very very very small movement by now - and I can't see real indication that our movement will abruptly grow anytime soon. Second of all, our philosophy is absolutely anti-life and most people will always be pro-life, that goes even if they decide not to procreate. There are some antinatalists who are still pollyannas in my book and they are representing the philosophy in a compromised way, which i can't really comprehend, because in this case it's obviously "all or nothing" for me. It's the affirmation of the will to live or the denial of it, no in-between, in Schopenhauers words. So even inside the antinatalistic movement there is a seperation between the hesitant and the radical members, which slows down the growth of the movement aswell.
My biggest doubts however are concerning the practical implementation of the radical solutions like forced sterilization and/or ending all life on earth. It's always nice to talk through these things behind a computer desk, but at the end of the day there are a lot of problems here to consider:
- The actual possibility of implementing these solutions for real tends to zero - all our plans are pretty much science fiction, and even if they aren't: How will we even start up all this? This is were the most rational philosophy of the world tends to become irrational, because it's solutions fail on reality.
- Wouldn't we cause more suffering than redemption, if we "tried out" a way to end all life on earth? What if we would kill just 70% of all life and the rest would keep living in a contaminated environment, creating new life in a world that will be far worse than ours today. Then we would have achieved the exact opposite of what we wanted - we would be the cause of suffering. And most importantly: The government(s) would stop us before we could do anything!
- I have to mention one last thing concerning the forced sterilization-aspect. This is really a point where things become creepy sometimes. Again, in theory it's all nice, BUT: Would you want to be the person signing the orders for forced sterilizations? Or even the person who practically implements them on people against their will? For some reason I have more problems with that scenario than with the end-all-life-by-nuclear-weapons-scenario for example. The only exception would be if we would find a way to contaminate earths biosphere with a sort of poison that will sterilize all humans or also all animals in an absolutely painfree way - but again: that's science fiction.
Sometimes I feel like we tend to the radical solutions because we are so frustrated about the fact that we can't really do anything about the whole life-problem right now. I am including myself here, because the more depressed I get, the more I tend to radical statements etc. I'm just wondering how the practical-solution-part fits to my moral standards, especially when it comes to scenarios like forced sterilization. This is simply a point, where, no matter how rational the conclusion might be, the emotional or moral side overwhelmes me sometimes and leads me to the question: Is this philosophy, in the practical outcomes, really the best way to reduce the sufferings of the world - or not?