Friday, June 10, 2022

On Medium: What is Civilization’s Impact on Manliness?

Here's an article about Stone Age nomads, workaholics, posthuman outcasts, and how men's role in civilized society shows that macho manliness is a trap and an illusion.


  1. Democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies. The more people there are, the less one individual matters. -Isaac Asimov

  2. Hello, I hope that you have been doing great. My discussion with EG is still ongoing. There's something he said that I found to be interesting (and disturbing, but that's par for the course for efilism). He wrote:

    "I don’t think that negative utilitarianism leads to unintuitive conclusions when there is a plan to end the existence of suffering. For example, if we had to kill all sentient beings alive now by some kind of brutal method, then there would be justification for doing so when considering the sheer scope of the suffering to be prevented (namely, if we don’t kill those alive now, then the chain of suffering is going to be extended indefinitely and the number of harmables will multiply exponentially, so economically, there’s no reason to prioritise those alive present over those who would be alive in the future."

    There are a few things I would like to say about this:
    1.He says that negative utilitarianism doesn't lead to unintuitive conclusions. However he then immediately begins talking about how ending all life is ethically justifiable. I fail to understand how he doesn't think that this is very much an unintuitive conclusion for the vast majority of people.

    2. This single-minded focus on eliminating suffering, aside from being fundamentally flawed due to its inability to recognise the value of the goods that life has alongside the fact that nothingness cannot be good/bad for someone who doesn't exist, also appears to be strangely lifeless. Everything is reduced to mere statistics devoid of any diversity or emotion. Also, the possibility of this final mission going horribly wrong and causing more harm is scarcely discussed publically. Complete annihilation of sentience and absolute bliss both appear to be distant goals, so why exactly is the latter nothing more than a pipe dream but the former is a realistic goal worth striving towards? In reality, absolute happiness seems to be much better than annihilation, but even if we assume that both have a value of 0, I find it peculiar that only one of these alternatives is really considered deserving of achieving. To me, utopia seems to be more probable than eliminating all life due to the fact that the former idea already has many sympathetic eyes and ears.

    3. Lastly, I remember reading an article of yours a while ago on AN. A part of its title was called, if I am not mistaken "Unmasking of Misanthropy". I wonder, and I am not saying that this is necessarily true for all or even any antinatalist/efilist, that supporting views such as annihilating all life (ostensibly because one wants to eliminate suffering) when equally good (if not better!) alternatives exist is a sign that one actually hates life as a whole. Shouldn't a person who cares about others display more care or understanding when talking about reducing/eliminating suffering instead of merely saying that happiness isn't worthwhile and everyone should be wiped out?

    Here's the link to EG's article:

    Thank you for your invaluable work!

    1. If you're Cosmic Lifeist (and I think you said you were), your discussion there was just referenced by another commenter on my blog. I replied today to one of EG's assumptions in that thread of yours (link below). EG seems to be overlooking the possibility of surprising pleasures.

      As for what EG's saying about the intuitiveness of antinatalism's gross utilitarian implication, he seems to be just conceding the validity of the reductio ad absurdum, but denying that the conclusion is absurd. But it's certainly self-contradictory. You can't say on the one hand that you love all living things so much that you're obsessed with preventing their suffering, and on the other hand accept the outcome of that obsession, which is that all life needs to be destroyed (to end suffering for good). That "love" of life is quite bogus and plainly villainous.

      There are interesting comparisons to make here to the Eastern kind of renunciation or to Schopenhauer's ethics of withdrawal. But for Schopenhauer, the withdrawal is motivated not by the alleged love of life, but by contempt for the Will that drives all living things to sacrifice themselves. Likewise, Buddhist renunciation is motivated by the supposed realization that living things don't really exist in the first place (as independent substances). So they avoid the contradiction, whereas antinatalists like Inmendham overcompensate for their gross resentment by pretending to be saintly altruists.

      That article of mine you're talking about was a commentary on Jordan Peterson's dialogue with David Benatar (second link below). I don't recall the context of the exact point you're making there, though.

    2. Yeah, that's me. Thank you for your reply.

      Personally, I find it bizarre that ending all sentience wouldn't be considered unintuitive by someone, but that's what EG's comment seems to suggest.

      I agree that the idea that one loves people so much that they want to remove them from existence appears to be self-contradictory. I suppose that the efilist could avoid this problem by claiming that ending all life is not good, but is the least bad outcome. However, considering that they believe that the negatives and the positives are fundamentally interconnected, the least bad outcome would also be the best outcome—and I would guess that most people wouldn't be too keen to give their stamp of approval to the idea that the unethical cessation of the lives of innocent lives is a good.

      Buddhism talks about the presence of suffering, but it also suggests that a cure that benefits people is possible.

      I wasn't particularly concerned with the subject matter. I just thought that the title of your post was pertinent to what I wanted to express regarding the nature of extreme pessimism.

  3. EG's reply to someone asking him to respond to your article on him:

    "Sorry, I did start typing up a response to him on this blog, but never got round to finishing it. Thank you for letting me know that he has submitted further posts. I will look into those. I’m going to be releasing a new post on the right to die soon, so I’ve mainly been focusing on that."