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Birth is inherently bad

I have seen this idea of anti-natalism put forward, where life is an never ending cycle that you have to escape. That it is better in most cases to avoid birth, because it is likely to lead to suffering and enlightenment is unlikely.
I don't consider that true, though I do consider things like overpopulation in the world of today and certain sorts of limitations suffering should be taken into account, birth and death feel neutral overall at least in some circumstances.

David

Comments

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Snakeskin said:

    @Carameltail said:
    I have seen this idea of anti-natalism put forward, where life is an never ending cycle that you have to escape.

    That seems to equate enlightenment in the sense of liberation from the cycle of birth, aging and death with antinatalism. I found a similar position in the antinatalism entry at Wikipedia:

    The teaching of the Buddha (c. 400 BCE) is interpreted by Hari Singh Gour (1870-1949) as follows:

    Buddha states his propositions in the pedantic style of his age. He throws them into a form of sorites; but, as such, it is logically faulty and all he wishes to convey is this: Oblivious of the suffering to which life is subject, man begets children, and is thus the cause of old age and death. If he would only realize what suffering he would add to by his act, he would desist from the procreation of children; and so stop the operation of old age and death.

    “[Birth] is thus the cause of old age and death”; therefore, don’t procreate. If this is the kind of interpretation to which you’re referring, I’d say it’s flawed. It overlooks the Buddha’s teaching on the cause of birth: craving. From a samsaric viewpoint, antinatalism might succeed only in preventing some rebirths as a human. Since a human birth is most favorable to enlightenment, preventing human births would, from this perspective, perpetuate instead of reduce suffering.

    Exactly. I'd wager this is why Buddha got up from that tree to spread the dharma instead of just rotting away which would be the logical choice if an aversion to life was the way to go.

    BunksBuddhadragonSnakeskinKundo
  • Thank Buddha and Fish Gods I was born semi-human. :o

    Now wot? Be more humane ... in this very kindness, in the very bodhi, in this very momentous ...

    CarameltailSnakeskin
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Birth is not inherently bad, though it kickstarts the DO process.

    Nobody asked me if I wanted to be born, and I did not ask my son if he wanted to come into this world.
    Birth happens, and will continue to happen.

    And since we are here, let's embrace this wonderful mystery and make the most of it <3

    HozanCarameltailSnakeskinlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Yet we are responsible for putting more humans onto the planet. I think while humans may be most suited to finding enlightenment, they are also very damaging to the planet as a whole in how they express greed.

    It’s the major reason why I decided not to have children. And I’m not sure that any race which isn’t able to manage the continuation of its home ecology is suitable to survive as a species.

    We struggle with garbage and fish stocks while we still burn down the rain forest at a huge rate every year and manage to avoid doing anything about climate change.

    Snakeskin
  • @Kerome, I would agree if we distinguish between humans and the technologically advanced civilizations of humans. Some still live harmoniously with their environment. When climate change crosses culling level thresholds for us this time, my then worthless money will be on those tribal societies with the skills and resilience to find greener pastures. We have always been catastrophically too smart for our own good, but some humans have been wisely doing the same thing for a couple hundred thousand years and, to date, no amount of stupidity has deterred them. Whatever a person's societal circumstances and their eventual outcome, each still has the individual opportunity to develop wisdom.

    KeromeBuddhadragon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 27

    Birth is inherently bad

    @Carameltail said:
    I have seen this idea of anti-natalism put forward, where life is an never ending cycle that you have to escape. That it is better in most cases to avoid birth, because it is likely to lead to suffering and enlightenment is unlikely.
    I don't consider that true, though I do consider things like overpopulation in the world of today and certain sorts of limitations suffering should be taken into account, birth and death feel neutral overall at least in some circumstances.

    If by bad you mean unsatisfactory then yes...this being the First of the Noble Truths :)

    This it would seem is displayed by your question... :)

    BuddhadragonHozanlobster
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