On Antinatalism and Depression

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Antinatalism is the view that procreation is morally wrong. Its most well-known current defender is David Benatar, a professor of philosophy at the University of Capetown, who explicated this moral position on procreation in his 2006 book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. However, antinatalism long predates Benatar’s work. Antinatalism has roots in Buddhism and ancient Greek thought, and was later defended in the pessimistic writings of Arthur Schopenhauer. Other philosophers since Schopenhauer also went on to argue that we should desist from procreating, including Norwegian philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe and Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran, as well as contemporary proponents alongside Benatar, such as Tina Rulli and Julio Cabrera.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on June 1, 2020.

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