is a philosophical position that asserts a negative value judgment towards birth
, standing in opposition to natalism. It has been advanced by figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Paul Ehrlich, Heinrich Heine, Emil Cioran, Philipp Mainländer, Philip Larkin, Chris Korda, David Benatar, Matti Häyry, Thomas Ligotti and Richard Stallman. Groups that encourage antinatalism, or pursue antinatalistic policies, include the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement and the Club of Rome.Arguments for antinatalism
Supporters of the position assert that antinatalistic policies could solve problems such as overpopulation, famine, and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some countries, such as India and China, already have policies aimed at reducing the number of children per family, in an effort to curb serious overpopulation concerns and heavy strain on national resources. Paul Ehrlich, in his book The Population Bomb, argued that rapidly increasing population would soon create a crisis, and advocated that coercive antinatalistic policies would have to be pursued on a global level in order to avert a worldwide crisis. Although the crisis he predicted did not occur in the timeframe he expected (his predictions, coming in 1968, anticipated disaster by the late eighties), he stands by the book and maintains that without future depopulation efforts the problem will worsen.
Other proponents of antinatalism appeal to the ethical side of the issue. David Benatar, for example, argues from the hedonistic premise that the infliction of harm is generally morally wrong and to be avoided. Therefore, he asserts that the birth of a new person always entails nontrivial harm to that person, creating a moral imperative not to procreate.Criticism of antinatalism
Some parents hope that their children will provide for their parents in old age; this opinion is viewed by antinatalists as extremely selfish. Criticism of antinatalism may also come from views that hold value in bringing potential future persons into existence, but there are also views holding that there is no such obligation.http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Schopenhauer.jpgArthur Schopenhauer
(1788–1860), famous exponent of the antinatalist positionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antinatalist