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106

I think you have the logic of this backwards. In theism (and some other religious doctrines) life continues after the death of the physical body. They believe euthanasia is a negative act that can impact that ongoing spiritual life in unpleasant ways, so they have a motivation to endure even the worst suffering during their physical lives. Atheists do not ...


81

I think it's important to note that in cases where this is considered, death is already approaching. It isn't a choice between life and death. It's a choice between dying now or going through a few months of agony and then dying. To most people those months of agony are quite undesirable, where they will be in terrible pain and without hope of recovery. ...


36

Just to offset some of the negative comments, here are some arguments in favor of having children (at least conditionally / depending on one's worldview): Besides overall population size, there are questions about the distribution of the population that results from such decisions. Some groups are likely to continue to have large numbers of children, such ...


33

I have personally known two friends who, when faced with incurable cancer, elected to end their own lives at a time and in circumstances of their own choosing. Both made this choice when it was abundantly obvious that death was near and inescapable, and their suffering had become unbearable. In one case, the victim's pain was so great that the sheer ...


30

Check out http://old.reddit.com/r/antinatalism. The FAQ is a good start. Reasons for Antinatalism (My attempt at a simple introduction to the subject) : antinatalism Reducing Suffering: Arguably the most common motivation of antinatalists is the fact that one creates suffering by having a child. If you reproduce, you can be certain that your child will ...


24

There's a lot of popular misconceptions about population growth. I strongly recommend Our World in Data, some particular conclusions reproduced below: One of the big lessons from the demographic history of countries is that population explosions are temporary. For many countries the demographic transition has already ended, and as the global fertility ...


23

I upvoted niels nielsen's answer, but I'd like to expand on it. Yes, death is an individual choice! I, too, have known people who have been forced to suffer for years with problems that could only have been cured by miracles (which never happened). Death is inevitable. Therefore, whatever follows is inevitable, whether it's an eternity of shopping in some ...


17

What are the ethics of having children today? The ethics are the same today as they have been since people were people. It is good to raise children who are healthy, happy, and able to remain so in the face of all the challenges in the world. My wife and I have raised two children. Have we succeeded? Not sure yet. So far, so good. I'll give you my best ...


16

Where's the illogic in preferring (1) not to exist to (2) existing and suffering in agony? It's true, from an atheist standpoint, that after euthanasia I will not know that that I have ceased to exist and that I am no longer suffering in agony. But again, where's the illogic in preferring (3) not knowing that that I have ceased to exist and that I am no ...


14

As a potential parent, you personally should primarily be concerned about your potential children's well-being. If you don't have what it takes to be a good parent, don't like children or cannot adequately support your potential offspring, it's better not to have any. You may think it's impossible to know those things beforehand, but it's actually quite ...


13

Life is a constant struggle for limited resources When we talk about life on this planet (and perhaps on others, but that is a different topic), first thing we notice is that nature is cruel. Different species, as well as individual beings, are constantly fighting each other in order to survive. Plants are limited for herbivores, hunting grounds and prey is ...


12

Atheists supporting euthanasia might argue the following: Death is inevitable. Living simply for the sake of trying to avoid death is illogical. Death is timeless / infinite. Dying tomorrow instead of today wouldn't "extend" the nothingness after death. When you die everything just stops. Death is neutral. There is no joy or suffering in nothingness. At ...


10

Death is inevitable. Dying in indignity and pain is not. If you have never experienced the indignity of lingering, painful death I understand why you would not see what is wrong with your relative value equation for some people. If you really want to understand more volunteer to visit a terminal hospice to do good things like read to the people or ...


9

I won't address your feeling that the world is heading toward some great disaster. I don't share this opinion, but I don't have the energy to discuss it in details here. Instead, I would say there is what Spinoza calls the conatus, which I think should prevail. I don't think disappearing in the void is a solution to any problem. I also think that seeing the ...


9

In addition to some excellent answers I would question a fundamental part of your question that assumes there is a hierarchy from the atheistic point of view. Death is not seen ubiquitously as better than suffering but that individuals are granted the choice free from judgement or punishment. The theistic point of view, in some religions, may state ...


8

These are my neccessary and sufficient conditions for suicide. I'm a two-pronged atheist (Any Holy Books are non-predictive, inconsistent nonsense; the Standard Model is the best description of reality so far - there is no God effect). Warning: Absolute honesty is required. My life is unacceptably bad. There is insufficient (or No) hope of improvement. I ...


5

Well, I think we do have to consider the elephant in the room, here: do you want to keep these people as friends, are are you willing to sacrifice their friendship for the sake of your principles? Because that seems to be the dilemma you are facing. People who have reached the point where they want to be addressed with alternate pronouns are going to be ...


4

The main texts as you probably know are: Adorno, T.W. 1973. Negative Dialectics, translated by E. B. Ashton. London: Routledge. Adorno, T.W. 1991. Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged life, translated by E. F. N. Jephcott. London and New York: Verso. Adorno, T.W. 1998a. "The Meaning of Working through the Past", in Critical Models: ...


3

This is explained in his book If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him! (1972), where the shortlist of eternal truths first occured. Before he first uses the sentence, there is the following paragraph: When we lay claim to the evil in ourselves, we no longer need fear its occurring outside of our control. For example, a patient comes into therapy ...


3

Having children of your own is neither right or wrong - you need to figure out what you really want in your life and then make the best out of it that you can. It sounds to me like you are idealistic and thoughtful, that you want to contribute to making the world better; these are very good traits, that the world needs a lot more of. My recommendation is ...


3

Traditionally, there are three kinds of absolute modal statements: statements about necessity and possibility; statements about obligation and permission; and statements about wishes (including counterfactuals, fictions and beliefs, on the basis that prefer to be right.) This is expressed in Lacan's three worlds, but it is also the most common ...


2

I'm going to have to challenge the Question quite a bit here. What are the morals of not having children? By not having children, you miss out on all the good things, the fun times that children bring to a family and a parent. You also miss out on the personality of the child as it grows. What if your child is the genius that solves all the world's problems,...


2

Retributive justice is rooted in the primitive concept of 'fairness.' Its intrinsic value is something that every school-kid knows instinctively: "If you punch me, I get to punch you, then we're even." Of course, there are tremendous issues with determining what's 'fair' in adult contexts, and in particular it is difficult to distinguish the desire for ...


2

I think this phrase comes from belief in the idealism of goodness, as for example in Plato and Confucius, at least as concerns human conduct, meaning that in the context of composite beings such as nations, cities, various associations and, significantly, the single person with his own will and action, evil is confusion as to how composite beings function ...


2

I don't know if anyone can really justify their relative level of fear of death and pain. But since we're looking at this from an atheist viewpoint, we should consider the effect of evolution. There's nothing intrinsically scary about the concept of nothingness, or a big spider, or the roar of a tiger. Whether we find them scary or not is probably based on ...


2

Animal Suffering If you were walking through the forest, and you came upon a wild animal that was seriously injured but might not die for several days, do you think it is ethically superior to euthanize the animal right then and there, or let it live out its last days in agony and terror? What options do you think the animal might prefer, if it could ...


2

I think you are wrong that "atheists support euthanasia". (taken as a large general group). Instead, atheists support the right to self-determination of ones own fate, which includes euthanasia. The situation is not merely living in agony, it is being forced to live in agony without hope of recovery within ones own body, against ones own will. I don't ...


2

Your example of anesthesia during surgery is a good one. For most people, the trade off between the suffering incurred during surgery versus giving up a few hours of consciousness is an easy one: they take the anesthetic. This is a rational choice that people are making that non-experience is better than a bad experience. So you could naively continue this ...


1

The foundation of the basis of euthanasia views is that a patient should have a right to decide on his own medical sustenance or his assisted end of life, if he is incapacitated while suffering an incurable condition which promises them an agonizing or miserable end to their life. The foundation of the view is not that suffering is better or worse that ...


1

A full answer to your question would be very difficult here but there is a reasonably straightfoward account in the Ethics of how one type of 'adequate knowledge' is possible. This account is not dogmatic in my view. Three grades of knowledge The three grades of knowledge are readiy set out. There is knowledge: From signs; as for example when we ...


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