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Confessions of an Antinatalist Paperback – April 20, 2010


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Paperback, April 20, 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Nine-Banded Books; First edition (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616583452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616583453
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,750,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Jim Crawford writes engagingly, persuasively, and (despite the grim topic) humorously. I hope that Confessions of an Antinatalist will enjoy the wide readership it deserves. --David Benatar, author of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence

In a world where few people side against the wisdom of producing children, Jim Crawford has done it for them, and done it well. The title of his book is Confessions of an Antinatalist, but it could just as well be Memoirs of a Humanist, for what could be more human than outrage at human suffering. Honesty, intelligence, and the courage to entertain us with the foibles of his own life are the prime markers of Crawford's book. Even if one loathes the idea of antinatalism on its face, the questions that Crawford raises are such that everyone would be well advised to confront, for someday they may be called upon by their offspring to answer them. And Confessions of an Antinatalist dares them to come up with answers they can stand by in good conscience. --Thomas Ligotti, author of The Conspiracy against the Human Race

Jim Crawford wishes he'd never been born. If that makes him sound like a bitter, angry misanthrope, he's not (at least, not all the time). Confessions of an Antinatalist is a wry, honest, and open-eyed introduction to a philosophy most people simply refuse to consider. After all, what could be wrong with human existence? Crawford answers clearly: Everything. --Mikita Brottman, author of The Solitary Vice: Against Reading

--Mikita Brottman, author of The Solitary Vice: Against Reading

In a world where few people side against the wisdom of producing children, Jim Crawford has done it for them, and done it well. The title of his book is Confessions of an Antinatalist, but it could just as well be Memoirs of a Humanist, for what could be more human than outrage at human suffering. Honesty, intelligence, and the courage to entertain us with the foibles of his own life are the prime markers of Crawford's book. Even if one loathes the idea of antinatalism on its face, the questions that Crawford raises are such that everyone would be well advised to confront, for someday they may be called upon by their offspring to answer them. And Confessions of an Antinatalist dares them to come up with answers they can stand by in good conscience. --Thomas Ligotti, author of The Conspiracy against the Human Race

Jim Crawford wishes he'd never been born. If that makes him sound like a bitter, angry misanthrope, he's not (at least, not all the time). Confessions of an Antinatalist is a wry, honest, and open-eyed introduction to a philosophy most people simply refuse to consider. After all, what could be wrong with human existence? Crawford answers clearly: Everything. --Mikita Brottman, author of The Solitary Vice: Against Reading

--Mikita Brottman, author of The Solitary Vice: Against Reading

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Customer Reviews

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In this case, you are advised to read Confessions of an Antinatalist.
CM
The author addresses this and other arguments and intuitions about the ethics of reproduction, all in a very accessible manner.
glorified lungfish
Needless to say this is not the book to get someone as a present for their baby shower.
Harry N. Tormey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By CM on June 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you've ever heard of people who think coming into existence is always a serious harm, and no one should ever reproduce, statistical probability suggests that you are wondering what planet such absurd and monstrous beings come from. They must be the epitome of "otherness". In this case, you are advised to read Confessions of an Antinatalist. You'll be surprised by how relatable Jim Crawford's experiences are no matter what your age or cultural background. The description of his life, done in an intimate and moving manner, evokes profound empathy, and you might find yourself agreeing with him that there is a common ground between most pro- and antinatalists - what he calls a universal humanistic sensibility. It is a significant bonus that Jim Crawford has a very entertaining writing style, and you will find several striking poems of his own creation throughout the book that give an emotional facet to his logical arguments about the ethics of procreation.

What makes the book still more interesting is the fact that the author has tried both commonly used methods of avoiding existential despair (or, in other words, a realistic outlook on life): religion and reproduction, so he speaks from experience when he concludes that these methods 1)fail to compensate for our own mortality and suffering and 2)encourage, rationalize and/or result in inflicting even more suffering and death on those we care about most - our children.

Confessions of an Antinatalist is a hybrid between a memoir and a philosophical essay. There is the path from the author's premises to his conclusions; he offers his own arguments and revisits those of such proponents of antinatalism as David Benatar and Arthur Schopenhauer.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By glorified lungfish on June 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Anyone thinking of becoming a parent needs to read this book.

Confessions of an Antinatalist is a tragic book. Like books about childhood cancer and the Holocaust, readers would almost certainly be more comfortable NOT reading it. It's heartbreaking. But anyone considering whether to bring a child into the world owes it to the child to at least consider the author's argument.

Does it seem insane to you that it could be WRONG to have a baby? You're happy to have been born, so it must be okay, right? The author addresses this and other arguments and intuitions about the ethics of reproduction, all in a very accessible manner. The author's humility is perceptible in every section. This is a great popular alternative and/or supplement to the more formal treatment of the antinatalism question in David Benatar's book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Felix Oupopote on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
A beautiful and truly philanthropic example for those of us whose horror at the callousness with which mombies and dadbies throw their dolls into the abyss threatens to turn us less than generous.
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17 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Harry N. Tormey on July 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the title suggests this book concerns itself with antinatalism, a philosophical school of thought that is against human beings reproducing. In a nutshell the book contends that the human race should voluntarily become extinct by not producing more children.This viewpoint is explored through various short essays relating directly or indirectly to the authors less than idyllic life. The book is similar in tone to Jim Goads the redneck manifesto or some of Henry Rollins writings on the less savory aspects of working class American life. As such most of these essays come across as a caustic blue collar rant about why life sucks for most people and hence why bringing more people in to the world is a bad idea.

Needless to say this is not the book to get someone as a present for their baby shower. Setting writing style and the fact that this book is ninety percent navel gazing polemic aside for a moment lets attempt to distill the main perspectives the author puts forward to justify this position:

1) Buddhism or rather his take on one of the "four noble truths". AKA, the first one: All life is suffering.
2) The work of David Benetar a south african philosopher who advocates antinatalism.
3) The authors experiences and subsequent disillusionment with being a christian fundamentalist.

Position number one pretty much consists of the authors condensed version of the early life of Siddartha told in an extremely mocking tone, stopping at the realization of the four noble truths where upon a brief commentary is provided on each of these aforementioned truths.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Legarda on October 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my boyfriend and he loved it because it tackles the anti-natalism belief in the person's own perspective and feelings. There's a book out there about anti-natalism that is too technical too read, this one is very catching to one's attention.
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