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Antinatalism or anti-natalism is a family of philosophical views that are critical of reproduction — they consider coming into existence as bad or deem procreation as immoral. Antinatalists thus argue that humans should abstain from having children.[1][2][3][4][5] Antinatalist views are not necessarily limited only to humans, but may encompass all sentient creatures, claiming that coming into existence is a harm for sentient beings in general.[6]:2–3,163[7][8][9][10]

Arthur Schopenhauer is notable for expressing antinatalist sentiments in his works, such as in The World as Will and Representation (vol. 2) and Parerga and Paralipomena (vol. 2).

There are various reasons why antinatalists believe reproduction is problematic. The most common arguments for antinatalism include:

  • Life entails inevitable suffering.
  • Death is inevitable.
  • Humans are born without their consent—no one chooses whether or not they come into existence.
  • Although some people may turn out to be happy, this is not guaranteed, so to procreate is to gamble with another person's suffering.
  • There is an axiological asymmetry between good and bad things in life, such that coming into existence is always a harm.

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