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Thread: The Antinatalism & Efilism Thread (VHEMT.org)

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    The Antinatalism & Efilism Thread (VHEMT.org)

    After noticing that there really is a good number of childfree people here, I've wondered what their stance on antinatalism would be. I've also noticed that this philosophy also seems to be very taboo, controversial, offensive, disrespectful, or even bleak and depressing to parents, or to people that would like to be parents, with some reasons far more obvious than others. I'm not here to argue though, but I'm just curious to see what the childfree think of antinatalism and efilism.

    It was also hard for me to argue against antinatalism even though I don't believe that everything in life has to be about meaningless suffering, but the idea of having no more future descendents in my family tree doesn't disturb me one iota. I also apologize if this topic is a downer as well, because I too have felt that some of its arguments were depressing even though I can accept them. Anyway, I was just wondering if any of the childfree members here had gone as far as to consider antinatalism and efilism. Did you agree with all of i? Some of it? None of it?

    If anything, the positive reminders I can get from antinatalism would be to appreciate life while I still can, do what I've got to do in order to progress and sustain myself, and to avoid trouble and becoming an imposition to myself and others. I also wouldn't want to impose a life on somebody else if I wasn't sure of having children either. I noticed that they used the word impose when it comes to giving birth as well. And even though I can see exactly why they do it, I can sort of see why even that would be an offensive way to put it for some, or even lots of people.

    I really should've made this thread just right after I made The Childfree and/or Unmarried Thread, and just thought of doing it right now before I keep obsessing over making it again. I also remember having such thoughts long before I realized what childfree and antinatalism was as early as ages 11-13, but didn't think of it and rediscovered it by the time I turned at least 16 or 17 years of age. Looking into this lifestyle and philosophy has also helped me get over being completely depressed at the idea of not having children, and is also why I tend to perceive life in the way I currently do. (I'm still unsure about having children, but it really seems highly unlikely as of now. I can see and make some positives for not procreating as well if it really turns out that I can never procreate for whatever reason. I don't see why that has to be the end of any happiness, hope, purpose, or security I might obtain.)

    -I just wanted to point out that I just learned that antinatalism seems to often get combined with misanthropy.-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antinatalism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Schopenhauer

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunta...ction_Movement

    http://www.vhemt.org/
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-25-2019 at 09:26 AM. Reason: Just realized misanthropy is very much connected to antinatalism.

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    Well, I am by no means hoping for our extinction or antinatalist, but I am personally vehemently against my contributing to our population. Nope.

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    Imagine how lonely and painful it would be for the last remaining elderly people were this to happen without anyone young to look after them though?

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    Not lonely at all.

    Ainít no guarantees that those young people are gonna look after those elderly.

    Nursing homes are full of abandoned elderly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by playwithfire View Post
    Well, I am by no means hoping for our extinction or antinatalist, but I am personally vehemently against my contributing to our population. Nope.

    olololol yeah, I'm an antinatalist.

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    So to clarify, being antinatalist means you believe that no one, ever, should have kids, and that having kids is inherently bad in all circumstances. I feel that to be antinatalist you either have to be hypocritical (you're cool with having been born yourself, but you don't think others should be allowed to be), or self-deprecating and an overall statement that humanity shouldn't exist.

    I'm more of what I would describe as a "controlnatalist" - that is, there should be some measure of control over who should actually be allowed to have kids. Think about it. Can't drive a car without a license. Can't buy cigarettes if you're under 18. Can't buy a beer if you're under 21. Can't rent a car (at many places) if you're under 25.

    But if you're 14 and you wanna fuck your friend at a party (consensually - I'm not even touching rape in this thread), then as long as your body has said it's ready, then congrats - you're allowed to have a kid. And that is so fucking unfair for the baby, not to mention just a really bad idea for the now 14-15 year old parent.

    I don't deal well with kids. To me, they're just small drunk people. You can't understand them and they can't understand you, and that drives me mad. I HATE not being able to establish clear communication with someone. Top off the fact that we're on track to have way more people than the planet can support, and I'll never earn enough money to give a kid the life they deserve, and yeah, I'm 100% not having kids myself. But that doesn't mean that I believe no one should ever have kids and that we should let the entire population die in the next ~100 years and give the planet back to the rest of the animal / plant kingdoms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theimage13 View Post
    So to clarify, being antinatalist means you believe that no one, ever, should have kids, and that having kids is inherently bad in all circumstances. I feel that to be antinatalist you either have to be hypocritical (you're cool with having been born yourself, but you don't think others should be allowed to be), or self-deprecating and an overall statement that humanity shouldn't exist.
    The one hypocritical thing that really got me, even though there are still some points I agree with on antinatalism was when veganism was brought up. For a lot of antinatalists I've seen on Reddit and YouTube, they've also pointed out that being a vegan is a part of it since they're trying to reduce, if not eliminate suffering from all sentient beings. With their points, according to their standards, I fail since I'm not a vegan.

    I've also been questioning it as well, and it's always interesting to see points that also disagree with it, especially from the childfree. Whereas with parents or future parents, the disagreements are obviously just to be expected. I have mentioned this is the life/death/afterlife shit thread, and not to speak up for antinatalists as a whole, but that I stumbled upon this way before I even knew of this world as a child, and it stemmed from low self-esteem/worth, depression and anxiety and just feeling like many things/people would've been actually either far better off without my birth, or would do just fine without it, along with death having the last word, even without suffering.

    https://www.echoingthesound.org/comm...afterlife-shit

    https://www.echoingthesound.org/comm...411#post441411

    I still see a peace to nothingness though, ideally say if I grow old and childless, but die comfortably in my sleep in good/decent health after getting by with a full life, yet also accept that nothingness can also be deemed depressing in comparison to continuing/propagating family units for generations to most people, whereas most people find joy in that. Assuming that happens and I find somebody to love and remain childless with, it doesn't seem all that bad at all. And after I'm gone leaving no descendants behind, everything can just move on and the rest of my family can just look at that chapter fully closed for good. Admittedly, there are no guarantees as with other aspects of life, but it's something I've always considered ever since I questioned the right reasons to procreate. (Which I know I can subjective depending on who you speak to.)

    The least I could do is just life my life and do what I got to do and be careful. (But you can sometimes never be too careful either. But anyway, yeah, just one day/step at a time.)

    Quote Originally Posted by theimage13 View Post
    I'm more of what I would describe as a "controlnatalist" - that is, there should be some measure of control over who should actually be allowed to have kids. Think about it. Can't drive a car without a license. Can't buy cigarettes if you're under 18. Can't buy a beer if you're under 21. Can't rent a car (at many places) if you're under 25.
    I'm easily with you all the way there as well. I've thought about this ever since I've heard about early pregnancies for the very first time in my life on talk shows back in the late 1990s.

    -Shit. I was rushing through this post as I was reading/responding to it at the time. It's better for those who are prepared and ready, but it slipped me mind of this entering into eugenics, which I've also questioned. My bad. However, I am still with your post most of the way.-

    @Mantra - Based on what you said on the life/death/after life shit thread, I know you're not going to like this, but I can still see where you're coming from.

    https://www.echoingthesound.org/comm...390#post441390

    I can't/won't deny it either. This particular philosophy has also fucked with my mind so much too in spite of agreeing with some of it's overall points/beliefs/values, so in that instance, I absolutely agree with you on some levels.
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-14-2018 at 05:09 PM. Reason: I overlooked something.

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    Hmmm, well, I don't think I can get behind a belief system like this, although I can somewhat empathize with the idea of not wanting to subject new people to pain.

    But the thing is, severely declining birth rates aren't necessarily going to ease suffering. If enough people ever really did adopt this belief system, I think we would experience some pretty serious economic and poltical crises.

    I also tend to believe that people's ethical belief systems should have at least some grounding in what is "natural." I realize that that idea in and of itself is kind of complicated and leaves a lot of things open to interpretation. There are also gaping holes in that idea, like the fact that violence appears to be a "natural" phenomenon, and yet we generally regard violence as ethically unacceptable in most circumstances. Nevertheless, I tend to believe that the observance of naturally occurring pro-social behaviors can serve as useful guide for how to live. I do not have children and don't know if I ever will. But the idea of categorically rejecting this entire biological process and even regarding it as unethical, well, that just doesn't quite make sense to me, and it doesn't seem healthy to me, particularly not on any kind of mass level.

    Now, I fully admit that I don't know shit about this movement, so take anything I say with a grain of salt, but I suspect that a large reason for the existence of this movement is rooted in a sense of sadness and disillusionment with the world, which relate to 1000%. but I don't know if this particular response is something I can relate to on an emotional level. It seems very dark, and that would make me feel worse about things. I long for a sense of life and a sense of healthiness in the world. That doesn't mean that I myself have to have kids or anyone else, but I'm glad that it is going on.
    Last edited by Mantra; 12-09-2018 at 06:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    I also tend to believe that people's ethical belief systems should have at least some grounding in what is "natural." I realize that that idea in and of itself is kind of complicated and leaves a lot of things open to interpretation. There are also gaping holes in that idea, like the fact that violence appears to be a "natural" phenomenon, and yet we generally regard violence as ethically unacceptable in most circumstances.
    Ah, but is HUMAN violence natural? The overwhelming majority of non-human "violence" appears to be based on survival. Humans have a unique penchant for violence for the sake of vengeance, "justice" (capital punishment), overwhelming food production (no other animal "farms" animals as a food source as far as I know). We shoot people over parking spaces. We crash planes into buildings over religious beliefs. We keep hundreds of millions of animals in cages that are roughly the same size as the animals themselves. None of this is for necessity. It's for desire. Sometimes it's a convenience-based desire. Sometimes it's a desire to punish. But none of that seems even remotely natural to me. A whale swallowing a penguin? Normal. A lion tearing into the flesh of a gazelle? Natural. A plant that eats bugs? Freaky as hell, but natural.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theimage13 View Post
    So to clarify, being antinatalist means you believe that no one, ever, should have kids, and that having kids is inherently bad in all circumstances.
    No, not exactly. It means that someone with those beliefs assigns a negative value to birth, which I do. Inflicting death knowledge on someone who didn't consent to it is one of the big things for me. I'm *not* opposed to other people having kids (because I think the importance of individual choice and happiness is pretty much the whole point to a life that beautifully lacks any other point), but on a personal level that is absolutely an underlying value around my own feelings about reproduction.

    Quote Originally Posted by theimage13 View Post
    I'm more of what I would describe as a "controlnatalist" - that is, there should be some measure of control over who should actually be allowed to have kids.
    A younger me felt similarly. Except we will never exist in a society where this doesn't just open up a door for eugenics. And eugenics are bad. I oppose this pretty strongly at this point.
    Last edited by playwithfire; 12-09-2018 at 10:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by playwithfire View Post
    No, not exactly. It means that someone with those beliefs assigns a negative value to birth, which I do. Inflicting death knowledge on someone who didn't consent to it is one of the big things for me. I'm *not* opposed to other people having kids (because I think the importance of individual choice and happiness is pretty much the whole point to a life that beautifully lacks any other point), but on a personal level that is absolutely an underlying value around my own feelings about reproduction.

    A younger me felt similarly. Except we will never exist in a society where this doesn't just open up a door for eugenics. And eugenics are bad. I oppose this pretty strongly at this point.
    Eugenics is a pretty large leap from a licensing test that says "hey, you're smart enough to know things like 'don't shake a baby' and 'if you have guns, fucking lock them up', right?"

    I'm not suggesting anything even remotely close to eugenics (which is literally selective breeding based on "desirable" genetic code.) I'm saying it would be nice if there were some way of weeding out objectively bad / dangerous parents before some poor kid had their life doomed from the start. Alas, I realize that there is literally no logistical way to do that, so we just need to count on CPS to do their thing.

    And literally the second line in the definition linked above says "Antinatalists argue people should refrain from procreation because it is morally bad". So I mean, that sure sounds like a belief that no one should have kids...

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    Quote Originally Posted by theimage13 View Post
    Eugenics is a pretty large leap from a licensing test that says "hey, you're smart enough to know things like 'don't shake a baby' and 'if you have guns, fucking lock them up', right?"

    I'm not suggesting anything even remotely close to eugenics (which is literally selective breeding based on "desirable" genetic code.)
    Yes, I know what eugenics is.

    I'm saying it would be nice if there were some way of weeding out objectively bad / dangerous parents before some poor kid had their life doomed from the start. Alas, I realize that there is literally no logistical way to do that, so we just need to count on CPS to do their thing.
    We don't live in a society where that can be ethically done. It ends up solving against people living in poverty and with poor access to education, which is way more likely to be marginalized people. It's reasonable to conclude that you aren't trying to make eugenics happen, neither was I when I had stances like that, but it absolutely opens the door for it.

    http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/b...united-states/

    https://theintercept.com/2018/07/01/...n-immigration/

    Blockers to implementation aside, there is no ethical way to enforce something like that in the world we live in.

    And literally the second line in the definition linked above says "Antinatalists argue people should refrain from procreation because it is morally bad". So I mean, that sure sounds like a belief that no one should have kids...
    You're talking about a philosophical stance. Its application is going to differ. There is a difference between having an ethical stance that considers the actions of humans as a whole ("eating meat is wrong because _____ , when I weigh the pros and cons of it I feel that this is a decision people shouldn't make, so I will not") and trying to take the choice of others away or just being really actively moralizing against others choices (NOBODY SHOULD EAT MEAT EVER). But like, I'm an antinatalist, and you're not, so maybe it's worth considering that I have spent more time around these ideas than you have? And that you seemingly sought clarification? Again, it's a philosophical position.

    Veganism is actually a really great working concept to contrast it to, because you can see folks with a stance that the consumption of animals is bad, but who also respect the choice and autonomy of others in most cases. You also get a great example that veganism still needs to account for ethical concerns like how the agricultural industry oppresses people of color, etc, within the choices they make and recommend to others.
    Last edited by playwithfire; 12-10-2018 at 09:10 AM.

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    It's not necessarily that the human species is incapable of being better and making the world inhabitable for future generations and other living things, we'd be perfectly capable if all we set our minds to working together on it, but everything in recent memory and recorded history tells me that we WON'T be able to if we don't immediately and completely remake the fabric of our fucked-up society, like, tomorrow. I will do my best to hopefully steer things in the right direction for the rest of my life, but when I zoom out and look at possibilities in the next 100 years, I don't like what's coming and would spare as many people as possible that pain, including any of my potential future offspring.

    I'm really going through it emotionally with this conversation right now, and I'm pretty sure it's also agonizing for my partner of five years to actually figure out that I've never wanted to have kids, the mere thought of making it happen sends anxiety signals all up and down my body, and this is right as she is entering the "make a baby inside me right now!" phase of her life. So this conversation isn't just philosophical anymore. I hold my partner and myself to very high standards, and I think we'd make good parents, is that a good enough reason to justify what it would mean ethically for me to make more people? We'll see.

    FUN THREAD, GUYS.
    Last edited by botley; 10-17-2019 at 10:09 AM.

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    I dunno, when we compare today to, say, medieval times or whatever, we are far better off. Hey, look, somebody compiled a list!

    I think it all comes down to people wanting the choice. For, like, EVER, we didn't have a choice, we got pregnant. And we were expected to procreate, the idea of a choice to have children was absurd. And men were (and still ARE, in certain cultures) judged by the number of children they sire, their social virility was/is dependent on the number of children they sire.

    Then modern birth control arrived, women were provided with educations and jobs.

    Now, couples are putting off starting a family for so long that IVF is becoming an issue with insurance coverage, and women are choosing to freeze their eggs.

    Women who decide NOT to have children are still, in this day and age, constantly questioned about their choice.

    "What about grandchildren?" "Who will take care of you when you're old?" "Who will you leave everything to?"

    I get these questions all the time. I don't have the answers to all of these questions. I didn't even make a conscious decision NOT to have kids.

    I have a mug that has a picture of a woman with a cat, that says "I can't believe I forgot to have kids." LOL LOL

    Bottom line is, whatever, if we don't have kids, we don't. But, the Earth doesn't give a fuck.

    The entire Roman Empire collapsed and here we are today.

    I agree with @Mantra , "severely declining birth rates aren't necessarily going to ease suffering."

    A few people here and there, even hundreds of thousands of people, deciding not to have kids isn't going to make one bit of a difference.

    Not when there are 1.339 billion people in India, and 1.386 billion in China, etc.

    And there's the argument that if Mozart's parents had decided not to have kids ...

    Or Jonas Salk's parents ...
    Last edited by allegro; 12-12-2018 at 01:11 PM.

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    I suffer from no illusion that me personally choosing not to have kids would be the one thing that reverses the climate devastation that humanity is incurring globally. Just saying that: 1) we're changing the climate more rapidly than has ever happened in the history of our species, and 2) the last time things warmed up this quickly (particularly the oceans, which are being DEVASTATED by the amount of our carbon dioxide emissions they have had to absorb) nearly all life on the planet was wiped out. Our activity is setting the stage for another mass extinction event, and there's no plan to reverse the deep marine anoxia and other oceanic disruptions caused by anthropogenic global warming. This shit is about to seriously devastate every part of the world in a huge, HUGE way, and bringing more people into a cataclysmic crisis like that is... not my idea of an ethically sound proposition.
    Last edited by botley; 10-17-2019 at 10:11 AM.

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    How do we get India to get on board with climate change? Russia?

    How do we get people in the U.S. to understand how factory farming is negatively impacting the climate?

    How do we get palm farmers to stop doing that, and stop burning their crops?

    We look at all this from a local, regional or national standpoint, but we have to get the whole WORLD involved.

    This goes beyond just “babies” and “people.”

    It’s people not being responsible stewards.

    Ultimately, the PLANET will survive.

    Climate change will cause weird and adaptive behavior changes in both flora and fauna. It’s already happening.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...ter-evolution/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.8774e7211cc5

    The humans are the least adaptive.

    Before it gets to true catastrophic levels, most humans will already be killed off, which will serve as an automatic slowdown to carbon emissions.
    Last edited by allegro; 12-12-2018 at 07:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by botley View Post

    FUN THREAD, GUYS.
    Ugh, that sucks, I'm sorry. Not wanting children was a big factor in what led to the end of the relationship I was in for my early/mid twenties (thank god) because we knew there wasn't any future there for us (thank god).

    Is adoption totally off the table for y'all?

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    ^ I'd like to adopt, one day. The problem is that she wants to carry at least one kid to term with both of our genetic material, and I'm not sure about that. But I'm prevaricating, and maybe we'll have a kid anyway, then adopt more later if we can handle the first one. I guess that's still a net loss of one person after we both die, haha.

    Anyway, there are still good things happening on the conservation front, aside from the carbon crisis. Humanity just needs to get its act in gear and PRICE POLLUTION off of the market.
    Last edited by botley; 10-17-2019 at 10:12 AM.

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    Our goal is to have two kids, either naturally or through adoption. I'm getting closer to my mid-30s and she's in her early 30s, so adoption is on the table due to age, but also due to other genetic factors based on our family histories. It's not due to overpopulation or whatever - it's mostly because IMO, having more than two kids is a goddamn fucking nightmare both emotionally and economically.

    Is that what this thread is about? :-P

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    Quote Originally Posted by botley View Post
    ^ I'd like to adopt, one day. The problem is that she wants to carry at least one kid to term with both of our genetic material.
    Woof, that's hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by ltrandazzo View Post
    Our goal is to have two kids, either naturally or through adoption. I'm getting closer to my mid-30s and she's in her early 30s, so adoption is on the table due to age, but also due to other genetic factors based on our family histories. It's not due to overpopulation or whatever - it's mostly because IMO, having more than two kids is a goddamn fucking nightmare both emotionally and economically.

    Is that what this thread is about? :-P
    Nope! It's not even about being childfree. I'm glad y'all are at such a great place and planning a future and all that though. <3

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    Also like, while I do have Planet Feelings about my choice not to have a child, it really doesn't inform my anti-natalism much? Like it's in there but I wouldn't say it's the majority for why I consider myself one.

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    Right. We were having a more personal discussion in the unmarried / child-free thread, I just felt like the political/philosophical context of this movement or ethos had had an impact on my thinking. Didn't mean to side-track the discussion.

    Plastic use though, right? Definitely going to have to completely reconsider the potential lifespan of all consumer goods waste materials, in order to balance out the impact our population size is having on the planet.

    Oh wait, everything is more disposable than it ever has been. Hmmm...

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    Merry Christmas to all... after a lot of talk therapy and family discussion, I have fully reversed my position and my partner is in the third trimester now. Natalist Santa won out (hope you find this cartoon as brilliant as I do)!




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    I just wanted to say that I've been lurking Antinatalism on Reddit and it made me realize that it was very much connected to Misanthropy.

    After learning that, it helped me understand the types of responses and reactions discussions of antinatalism causes, aside from it calling procreation immoral/unethical or the claim that suffering and death always wins in the end.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/antinatalism/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/misanthropy/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/childfree/ - I figured that I might as well include this subreddit as well.

    I also can no longer deny that it's all pessimistic either, but I still see myself relating and agreeing to most, if not all it. (And not that I really could according to some of their beliefs, since I'm not even a vegan either.) There's also a tremendous cross-over between antinatalism and veganism as well. I've also always noticed that parents are generally optimistic of the future more often than those who deliberately chose not to breed, even without going to the extent of antinatalism and just being childfree.

    If anything, as this decade ends, it makes me realize not to be so quick to subscribe to certain beliefs and schools of thought, not just because of gullibility/incredulity/deception/corruption, but also because I could simply also be a colossal liar and hypocrite to myself.

    I don't think I'll give up antinatalism, misanthropy and childfree views all the way, but I have taken many steps back to reconsider my stances and opinions, since I catch my own thoughts, emotions and opinions contradicting themselves a lot more than I thought they would.

    Oh, and while antinatalism doesn't advocate suicide, I can't also deny that there are actual antinatalists that have expressed desires to commit suicide, or wished that they could get euthanized legally on Reddit.

    I've always seen Reddit as a shortcut introduction to certain views, people, etc.

    And more than ever, learning more about misanthropy in addition to antinatalist philosophy and the childfree movement had further educated me as to why it's best to never bring up these topics with parents. (Aside from the overall "common sense" reasons, like it would akin to to vegans about liking to cook and eat meat.)
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-25-2019 at 09:44 AM.

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