Anti-natalism is based on the simple concept that reproduction brings humans into the world, and humans will suffer and die, ergo, “breeding” is ethically evil in all respects. We’re not going to go into how this system trips all over the Naturalistic Fallacy with evolutionary ethical claims or go full abstract into how positing that suffering is evil requires you to believe in a metaphysical ethics system in the first place. Instead, let’s hoist anti-natalism with its own petard.
*By asserting that we *should prevent suffering, and that humans suffer and cause ecological “damage”, the anti-natalists and voluntary human extinction crowd are being incredibly short-sighted. They never actually seem to be conscious of what happens AFTER humans voluntarily vanish from the planet, which seems strange since most of them have probably read Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael” at least once. Essentially these childlike intellectually bankrupt nihilists just assume that with no humans, the earth goes back to being a verdant Eden-like paradise, free of the nastiness of homo sapiens putting down shopping malls and strip mining everything. The actual reality is,* the earth will go back to remaining a paradise right up until the NEXT species in line achieves sentience*, then you’re right back on track for more suffering, ecological damage, and internecine warfare among whichever animal species figures out written language first.
If, ethically speaking, anti-natalists were at all concerned with preventing suffering, they’d logically investigate two options: Find a way to destroy the entire planet so thoroughly life could never exist on it, or become transhumanists and take very seriously the idea of immortalizing and improving humans. By any logical calculation, the second option is more conducive to providing pleasure for all species, while the first one simply removes the possibility for suffering. If we agree that ending suffering for all sentient species is a goal, humans have a moral obligation to discover how to end mortality and develop into a post scarcity utopian society capable of shepherding the next species in line towards a future free of death and pain. Ethically speaking, the anti-natalist position is one of irresponsibility and short-sightedness. Clearly the sacrifice of some human lives in the goal of eventually discovering an end to suffering and mortality is more noble than nuking the planet or committing mass suicide. Anti-natalists are pretending that the goal of ending suffering is worthwhile, and then shirking from their responsibility by making this goal the problem of the next sentient creature, when humans are clearly closer to solving the dilemma than chimpanzees. It would be an ethical travesty to give up and self select for voluntary extermination when your species is so much closer to evolving beyond mortality and the constraints of biology than any other life-form.
In short, anyone who seriously believes in anti-natalism is actually condoning the future suffering of new sentient species, and deserves to be dismissed as a shortsighted crank.