Antinatalism

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Layt
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Antinatalism

Post by Layt » Sun May 06, 2018 4:21 pm

Hi, so just as the title suggests, I'd like to talk about antinatalism.

In case you don't know what it is... antinatalism is a point of view that assigns a negative value to birth. Antinatalism may be philosophical, ethical, religious and even political (like ecological antinatalism). Antinatalists aren't supposed to procreate, though they can still adopt children.

Now remember : the doctrine of Theravāda buddhism aims at stopping the rebirth process of the saṃsāra. In many sutta the Buddha clearly says that birth/existence is unsatisfactory/stressful/suffering, which is why he searched for a way to stop the rebirth process. Of course the Buddha never said that procreating was unethical, but that's because of the saṃsāra concept according to which kammic imprints cause the emergence of life, whether people stop procreating or not, thus there will always be birth (in this world or in another) unless nibbāna is realized.

So... can we call buddhism a saṃsāric antinatalism ?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Sam Vara » Sun May 06, 2018 4:51 pm

There was a long thread on this topic a few years ago, when David Benatar's book was more in the public eye:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23194&hilit=antinatalism

Layt
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Layt » Sun May 06, 2018 4:59 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 4:51 pm
There was a long thread on this topic a few years ago, when David Benatar's book was more in the public eye:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23194&hilit=antinatalism
Can't we discuss the subject on my thread though ? I mean I don't think people enjoy reading several pages before posting. Also sometimes it's better to start from scratch, just my opinion...

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Sam Vara
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Sam Vara » Sun May 06, 2018 5:03 pm

Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 4:59 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 4:51 pm
There was a long thread on this topic a few years ago, when David Benatar's book was more in the public eye:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23194&hilit=antinatalism
Can't we discuss the subject on my thread though ? I mean I don't think people enjoy reading several pages before posting. Also sometimes it's better to start from scratch, just my opinion...
Yes, of course - go ahead! I merely meant to indicate another source of material on the topic if you were interested, and if other people wanted to get more information before they commented.

:anjali:

Layt
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Layt » Sun May 06, 2018 5:14 pm

Oh ok well thanks, I'll try to read everything (if I don't fall asleep before reaching the end) !

I'm not used to helpful moderators so I misread your intention ~

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DooDoot
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by DooDoot » Sun May 06, 2018 8:39 pm

Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 4:21 pm
So... can we call buddhism a saṃsāric antinatalism ?
No because Buddhism contains teachings for both monks & laypeople. Therefore, it appears the teachings for monks might be antinatalism but not the teachings for laypeople. Refer to the 1st sermon:
Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone forth from the house-life. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good; and there is devotion to self-torment, which is painful, ignoble and leads to no good.

The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes; it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nymo.html

Layt
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Layt » Sun May 06, 2018 9:34 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:39 pm
Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 4:21 pm
So... can we call buddhism a saṃsāric antinatalism ?
No because Buddhism contains teachings for both monks & laypeople. Therefore, it appears the teachings for monks might be antinatalism but not the teachings for laypeople. Refer to the 1st sermon:
Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone forth from the house-life. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good; and there is devotion to self-torment, which is painful, ignoble and leads to no good.

The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes; it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nymo.html
The Buddha didn't really teach anything to lay people, he just gave them a bunch of moral codes, these could've been advised by any respectable ascetic.

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DooDoot
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by DooDoot » Sun May 06, 2018 9:53 pm

Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:34 pm
The Buddha didn't really teach anything to lay people, he just gave them a bunch of moral codes...
The Buddha said:
"It is not thus, young householder, the six quarters should be worshipped in the discipline of the noble."

"How then, Lord, should the six quarters be worshipped in the discipline of the noble? It is well, Lord, if the Exalted One would teach the doctrine to me showing how the six quarters should be worshipped in the discipline of the noble."

"Well, young householder, listen and bear it well in mind; I shall speak."

"Very good, Lord," responded young Sigala.

DN 31
:alien:
Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:34 pm
These could've been advised by any respectable ascetic.
This is obviously not true given the moral teachings of the Buddha are not found in many other religions.

Layt
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Layt » Sun May 06, 2018 9:58 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:53 pm
Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:34 pm
The Buddha didn't really teach anything to lay people, he just gave them a bunch of moral codes...
The Buddha said:
"It is not thus, young householder, the six quarters should be worshipped in the discipline of the noble."

"How then, Lord, should the six quarters be worshipped in the discipline of the noble? It is well, Lord, if the Exalted One would teach the doctrine to me showing how the six quarters should be worshipped in the discipline of the noble."

"Well, young householder, listen and bear it well in mind; I shall speak."

"Very good, Lord," responded young Sigala.

DN 31
:alien:
Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:34 pm
These could've been advised by any respectable ascetic.
This is obviously not true given the moral teachings of the Buddha are not found in many other religions.
Have you ever heard of jainism ? It was like the other big ascetic movement along with buddhism at that time, and it had a way more refined ethical code.

Anyway this 6 quarters thing has nothing to do with the Dhamma, you ain't gonna reach nibbāna by paying hommage to your parents, your teachers etc.

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DooDoot
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by DooDoot » Sun May 06, 2018 10:11 pm

Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:58 pm
Have you ever heard of jainism ? It was like the other big ascetic movement along with buddhism at that time, and it had a way more refined ethical code.
Why don't you quote the Jain teachings to support your unsubstantiated trivial post? Thanks
Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:58 pm
Anyway this 6 quarters thing has nothing to do with the Dhamma, you ain't gonna reach nibbāna by paying hommage to your parents, your teachers etc.
The 6 quarters won't reach Nibbana but they do provide a foundation for reaching Nibbana. It is highly related to Dhamma because if the 6 quarters thing is not followed by laypeople, there will be lots of suffering. Also, of a monk does not understand the 6 quarters things, they cannot see kammic reality clearly, which hinders Nibbana. Please remember one of the Three Knowledges that lead to the Buddha's Enlightenment is the knowledge of kamma. In MN 6, the Buddha taught if the precepts are not followed there will be no attainment of Dhamma.

:group:

Layt
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Layt » Sun May 06, 2018 10:31 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 10:11 pm
Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:58 pm
Have you ever heard of jainism ? It was like the other big ascetic movement along with buddhism at that time, and it had a way more refined ethical code.
Why don't you quote the Jain teachings to support your unsubstantiated trivial post? Thanks
Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:58 pm
Anyway this 6 quarters thing has nothing to do with the Dhamma, you ain't gonna reach nibbāna by paying hommage to your parents, your teachers etc.
The 6 quarters won't reach Nibbana but they do provide a foundation for reaching Nibbana. It is highly related to Dhamma because if the 6 quarters thing is not followed by laypeople, there will be lots of suffering. Also, of a monk does not understand the 6 quarters things, they cannot see kammic reality clearly, which hinders Nibbana. Please remember one of the Three Knowledges that lead to the Buddha's Enlightenment is the knowledge of kamma. In MN 6, the Buddha taught if the precepts are not followed there will be no attainment of Dhamma.

:group:
Your "foundation" is good kamma, good kamma can be gained by anyone, even those with wrong views, so it doesn't have anything to do with buddhism.

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DooDoot
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by DooDoot » Mon May 07, 2018 9:27 am

Layt wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 10:31 pm
Your "foundation" is good kamma, good kamma can be gained by anyone, even those with wrong views, so it doesn't have anything to do with buddhism.
It is component of the Noble Eightfold Path. According to the Pali suttas:
The Lion's Roar

61. And the Blessed One spoke, saying: "In whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, there is not found the Noble Eightfold Path, neither is there found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, or fourth degree of saintliness. But in whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline there is found the Noble Eightfold Path, there is found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness. Now in this Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, is found the Noble Eightfold Path; and in it alone are also found true ascetics of the first, second, third and fourth degrees of saintliness. Devoid of true ascetics are the systems of other teachers. But if, Subhadda, the bhikkhus live righteously, the world will not be destitute of arahats.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .vaji.html

Layt
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Layt » Mon May 07, 2018 3:14 pm

If a Theravāda country had had a sudden development like the one in Western Europe, religion would've turned into some kind of ethical and atheistic antinatalism.

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Grigoris
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Re: Antinatalism

Post by Grigoris » Mon May 07, 2018 8:57 pm

There's too many "woke" people posting on this thread for my liking... :tongue:
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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