The Rise of Antinatalism


This post is by Rohit Bhargava from Influential Marketing


There is a growing movement of people who believe that having children is unethical—which is known as antinatalism. A feature in Harper’s magazine this week explores what may be a growing number of people looking at all the “polycrisis” in the world and deciding that the logical conclusion is to advocate for bringing no more children into the world. 

A South African philosopher named David Benatar first introduced the term of antinatalism in 2006:

“Existence contains both benefits and harm, whereas non-existence contains neither. The most ethical choice, given this asymmetry, is to avoid harm. In fact, he argues, each of us has a duty to keep from increasing the world’s net suffering, a responsibility that procreation necessarily violates.”

The entire philosophy seems mainly driven by a single prevailing mindset: pessimism. When you believe things will turn out for the worse, you may also likely see children as something to avoid … which may also explain why so many optimistic people find the beliefs of antinatalists so hard to understand.

You cannot turn a pessimist into an optimist by telling them they are wrong. And maybe they aren’t wrong. It’s hard to logically argue that everyone needs to have children.