5. Quotes

“A coin is turned around before it is handed to the beggar, yet a child is unflinchingly tossed into cosmic bruteness.”
~ Peter Wessel Zapffe

“Life is a mixture of good and bad, or so they say. Trouble is, there’s no way to determine where a particular life might fall along fortune’s spectrum. For every child born into the lap of luxury, there’s another born on the point of a knife. There are no guarantees as to what may transpire as the immediate present unfolds into the uncertain future. Things change in an instant. Two things, however, are certain. Everyone will suffer. And everyone will die. Back to where we came from. Knowing this, and understanding full well that any particular life embodies the potential for experiencing extreme pain and unhappiness unceasing in some cases is procreation really worth the risk?” ~ Jim Crawford

“It disturbs me no more to find men base, unjust, or selfish than to see apes mischievous, wolves savage, or the vulture ravenous.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

“We can regard our life as a uselessly disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“Nonexistence never hurt anyone. Existence hurts everyone.” ~ Thomas Ligotti

“Why create a need that there is no need for?” ~ Inmendham

“Transmitting one’s flaws [through procreation] to someone else is a crime. I could never consent to give life to someone who would inherent my ailments.” ~ E. Cioran

“Sleep is good: and Death is better, yet. Surely never to have been born is best.” ~ Heine Heinrich

“I never thought I was doing anyone a favour by bringing children into the world. With people as cruel to each other as they are, it’s a terrible proposition. The best of lives are sad and tragic. The best of them. My general conclusion is that it’s not a nice thing to do. The world doesn’t need it. The kid doesn’t need it.” ~ Woody Allen

“Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth – look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard

“Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.” ~ George Orwell

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“Coming into existence is always bad for those who come into existence. In other words, although we may not be able to say of the never-existent that never existing is good for them, we can say of the existent that existence is bad for them.” ~ David Benatar

“Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty five years and you pay it back and then one day you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then one day you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe.”
~ Denis Leary

“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” ~ Wesley- ‘The Princess Bride’

“Man is a tragic animal. Not because of his smallness, but because he is too well endowed. Man has longings and spiritual demands that reality cannot fulfill. Man requires meaning in a meaningless world”. ~ Peter Wessel Zapffe

“I am strongly convinced that not only too much consciousness but even any consciousness at all is a sickness.” ~ Fjodor Dostoevskij

“The most merciful thing in the world . . . is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”
~ H.P. Lovecraft

“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others” ~ Unknown

“Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.”~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
~ William Shakespeare

“A: There is no grand scheme of things.
B: If there were a grand scheme of things, the fact – the fact – that we are not equipped to perceive it, either by natural or supernatural means, is a nightmarish obscenity.
C: The very notion of a grand scheme of things is a nightmarish obscenity.” ~ Thomas Ligotti

“Notice, by extension, that in a democracy those committed to non-procreation could never, in the long run, prevail politically against those committed to procreation.” ~ David Benatar

“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.” ~ Woody Allen

“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence, or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood?” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“Life has no meaning the moment you loose the illusion of being eternal.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

“I could have done even better, miss, and I’d know a lot more, if it wasn’t for my destiny ever since childhood. I’d have killed a man in a duel with a pistol for calling me low-born, because I came from Stinking Lizaveta without a father, and they were shoving that in my face in Moscow. It spread there thanks to Grigory Vasilievich. Grigory Vasilievich reproaches me for rebelling against my nativity: ‘You opened her matrix,’ he says. I don’t know about her matrix, but I’d have let them kill me in the womb, so as not to come out into the world at all, miss.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“Creating new people, by having babies, is so much a part of human life that it is rarely thought even to require a justification. Indeed, most people do not even think about whether they should or should not make a baby. They just make one. In other words, procreation is usually the consequence of sex rather than the result of a decision to bring people into existence. Those who do indeed decide to have a child might do so for any number of reasons, but among these reasons cannot be the interests of the potential child. One can never have a child for that child’s sake.”
~ David Benatar

“For optimists, human life never needs justification, no matter how much hurt piles up, because they can always tell themselves that things will get better. For pessimists, there is no amount of happiness—should such a thing as happiness even obtain for human beings except as a misconception—that can compensate us for life’s hurt.”
~ Thomas Ligotti

“The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.” ~ Martin Heidegger

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.”
~ James Branch Cabell

“Hi. My name is Jim, and I am an antinatalist. An antinatalist is someone who believes that the human race should stop breeding and go extinct. Seems pretty far out there right, huh? I mean.. thats people do right? They have children. They do it, and their children do it and their children do it.. and so on and so on and so on.. Right? But did you ever asked yourself why we do it?” ~ Jim Crawford

“Frankenstein took some flesh and bones and blood and made a man out of them; the man ran away and fell to raping and robbing and murdering everywhere, and Frankenstein was horrified and in despair, and said, I made him, without asking his consent, and it makes me responsible for every crime he commits. I am the criminal, he is innocent.” ~ Mark Twain

“All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives — all that was over. As the darkness thickened, the eddying flakes grew more abundant, dancing before my eyes; and the cold of the air more intense. At last, one by one, swiftly, one after the other, the white peaks of the distant hills vanished into blackness. The breeze rose to a moaning wind. I saw the black central shadow of the eclipse sweeping towards me. In another moment the pale stars alone were visible. All else was rayless obscurity. The sky was absolutely black.” ~ H.G Wells

“One cannot bring children into a world like this. One cannot perpetuate suffering, or increase the breed of these lustful animals, who have no lasting emotions, but only whims and vanities, eddying them now this way, now that.” ~ Virginia Woolf

“Question: If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Answer: My birth. I agree with Sophocles: the greatest luck is not to have been born – but, as the joke goes on, very few people succeed in it.” ~ Slavoj Zizek

“We come from an inconceivable nothingness. We stay a while in something which seems equally inconceivable, only to vanish again into the inconceivable nothingness” ~ Peter Wessel Zapffe

“The idea of bringing someone into the world fills me with horror. I would curse myself if I were a father. A son of mine! Oh no, no, no! May my entire flesh perish and may I transmit to no one the aggravations and the disgrace of existence” ~ Gustave Flaubert

“To Live signifies to believe and hope – to lie and to lie to oneself.” ~ E.M  Cioran

“Faith: not wanting to know what is true.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” ~ Mark Twain

“Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad—and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.” ~ David Benatar

“We infrequently contemplate the harms that await any new-born child—pain, disappointment, anxiety, grief, and death. For any given child we cannot predict what form these harms will take or how severe they will be, but we can be sure that at least some of them will occur. None of this befalls the nonexistent. Only existers suffer harm”  ~ David Benatar

‘If you try to imagine, as nearly as you can, what an amount of misery, pain and suffering of every kind the sun shines upon in its course, you will admit that it would be much better if, on the earth as little as on the moon, the sun were able to call forth the phenomena of life; and if, here as there, the surface were still in a crystalline state’ ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“As for procreation, no one in his right mind would say that it is the only activity devoid of a praiseworthy incentive. Those who reproduce, then, should not feel unfairly culled as the worst conspirators against the human race. Every one of us is culpable in keeping the conspiracy alive, which is all right with most people.” ~ Thomas Ligotti

“Well, you know, you want some kind of relief from the agony and terror of human existence. Human existence is a brutal experience to me…it’s a brutal, meaningless experience—an agonizing, meaningless experience with some oases, delight, some charm and peace, but these are just small oases. Overall, it is a brutal, brutal, terrible experience…” ~ Woody Allen

“To my mind, a well-developed sense of humor is the surest indication of a person’s humanity, no matter how black and bitter that humor may be.”
~ Thomas Ligotti

“Any philosophy worth taking seriously would have to be built upon a firm foundation of unyielding despair.” ~ Bertrand Russell

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” ~ Philip K. Dick

“The more a human being in his worldview approaches the goal, the hegemony of love in a moral universe, the more has he become slipshod in the light of intellectual honesty.” ~ Peter Wessel Zapffe

“Since all life is futility, then the decision to exist must be the most irrational of all.”  ~ E.M Cioran

“Mankind ought to end its existence of its own will.” ~ Peter Wessel Zapffe

“Pleasure is never as pleasant as we expected it to be and pain is always more painful. The pain in the world always outweighs the pleasure. If you don’t believe it, compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is eating the other.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“Comedy is tragedy that happens to other people.”
~ Angela Carter

”Personally, I’m afraid of suffering and afraid of dying. I’m also afraid of witnessing the suffering and death of those who are close to me. And no doubt I project these fears on those around me and those to come, which makes it impossible for me to understand why everyone isn’t an antinatalist, just as I have to assume pronatalists can’t understand why everyone isn’t like them.” ~ Thomas Ligotti

“When every man has realized that his birth is a defeat, existence, endurable at last, will seem like the day after a surrender, like the relief and the repose of the conquered.” ~ E.M Cioran

“It would be better if there were nothing. Since there is more pain than pleasure on earth, every satisfaction is only transitory, creating new desires and new distresses, and the agony of the devoured animal is always far greater than the pleasure of the devourer” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of ‘saving’ the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence.” ~ Peter Wessel Zapffe

“I am under no illusions. My position, no matter how clearly stated, is likely to be misunderstood.” ~ David Benatar

”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 Ligotti

“Human life must be some kind of mistake. The truth of this will be sufficiently obvious if we only remember that man is a compound of needs and necessities hard to satisfy; and that even when they are satisfied, all he obtains is a state of painlessness, where nothing remains to him but abandonment to boredom. This is direct proof that existence has no real value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life? If life—the craving for which is the very essence of our being—were possessed of any positive intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom at all: mere existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“Better to be an animal than a man, an insect than an animal, a plant than an insect, and so on. Salvation? Whatever diminishes the kingdom of consciousness and compromises its supremacy.” ~ E. M. Cioran

“There is no doubt that life is given us, not to be enjoyed, but to be overcome — to be got over.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“It is unlikely that many people will take to heart the conclusion that coming into existence is always a harm. It is even less likely that many people will stop having children. By contrast, it is quite likely that my views either will be ignored or will be dismissed. As this response will account for a great deal of suffering between now and the demise of humanity, it cannot plausibly be thought of as philanthropic. That is not to say that it is motivated by any malice towards humans, but it does result from a self-deceptive indifference to the harm of coming into existence.” ~ David Benatar

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. “
~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Thanks to the antinatalism-group on Facebook and http://voicesofantinatalism.blogspot.com for many of these quotes.

49 Responses to 5. Quotes

  1. “Death is more perfect than life.”

    – Larry Clark in his book ‘Tulsa’

One Response in another blog/article

  1. […] Antinatalism discourages human reproduction. I discovered that word a few weeks ago. Here’s some antinatalist quotes from this website, Knunst.com. […]

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