Confessions of an Antinatalist | Jim Crawford
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 doesn’t believe it is. In Confessions of an Antinatalist, Crawford reflects on what it means to exist in the belly of a ravening serpent-life whose only prey is itself, and whose teeth are very, very sharp. Excerpt: Hope is my enemy. She is a succubus who descends upon sleeping humankind, whispering in their collective ear that there IS a future. A bright future, as a matter of fact; as long as we persevere in extending our essences through the lives of our children, and through their children. She is a liar, a snakeoil peddler bartering chimera for generative fluid, which she sucks out of us before casting our withered husks onto the fire. And so we fall, row upon row like seasons of corn, but not until we relinquish our seed into her exploitive hands. For in the end, we all die, and only Hope lives on. And we rot, sometimes mourned for a season, but presently forgotten. Ultimately, and like it or not, we are the future’s dirt. THIS is the state of affairs we choose to subject our children to.
Jim Crawford writes engagingly, persuasively, and (despite the grim topic) humorously. I hope that Confessions of an Antinatalist will enjoy the wide readership it deserves. –David Benatar, author of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence
In a world where few people side against the wisdom of producing children, Jim Crawford has done it for them, and done it well. The title of his book is Confessions of an Antinatalist, but it could just as well be Memoirs of a Humanist, for what could be more human than outrage at human suffering. Honesty, intelligence, and the courage to entertain us with the foibles of his own life are the prime markers of Crawford’s book. Even if one loathes the idea of antinatalism on its face, the questions that Crawford raises are such that everyone would be well advised to confront, for someday they may be called upon by their offspring to answer them. And Confessions of an Antinatalist dares them to come up with answers they can stand by in good conscience. –Thomas Ligotti, author of The Conspiracy against the Human Race
Jim Crawford wishes he’d never been born. If that makes him sound like a bitter, angry misanthrope, he’s not (at least, not all the time). Confessions of an Antinatalist is a wry, honest, and open-eyed introduction to a philosophy most people simply refuse to consider. After all, what could be wrong with human existence? Crawford answers clearly: Everything. –Mikita Brottman, author of Thirteen Girls