Thoughts on Antinatalism Part 5: Antinatalism Without Human Extinction

So this post, which may or may not be the final post in this series will outline an idea for how Strong Antinatalism can be accepted without leading to the extinction of the humans.

WARNING: the idea is extremely futuristic and is obviously not something that could even be attempted with current technology, however it seem theoretical possible if humans advance to a sufficient point.

The basic idea is, instead of creating a new person from scratch by choosing a possible configuration that a person could be and the creating that person, instead take an already existing person, and with their full consent, split them into two people, each an identical copy of the other. Next let each copy go into separate environments and slowly grow into different people, in the same way that a person between the age of 20 and 60 grows into a different person. As time goes on these people will be as distinct as I am from my neighbour. Thus, there are now two distinct, individual happy people instead of one, no one’s consent has bee violated. In this Hypothetical Future Society death would only occur if people chose to die, so as long as this splitting happened at the same or higher rates than people choosing to end their lives, the society would maintain a stable or expanding population.

So like I said, this idea at firs glance seems insanely futuristic. And it requires us to accept a certain theory of personal identify, that a person is a certain configuration of matter rather than the exact atoms they are made of. This implies several counterintuitive outcomes, for example if I take apart the atoms a person is made of, and then on the other side of the room I make an exact copy with different atoms, I have not killed their person and created another person but have instead moved that person from one side of the room to the other.

This is counterintuitive but is strongly implied by our current understand of physics. I am not confident in my understanding to try to explain this my self but basically the concept of “the same atoms” doesn’t actually make sense. For a long detailed explanation you should read: http://lesswrong.com/lw/r9/quantum_mechanics_and_personal_identity/ [for some reason wordpress isn’t letting me make links]

So as I have said this is a very futuristic scenario, but it is only intended to show that is theoretically possible for a society with widespread anitnatalist values to not lead to extinction.

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