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Antinatalism is the view that it is ethically wrong to procreate any sort of sentient beings, be it human or otherwise because to exist means also to experience pain, pleasure, suffering, bodily deprivations and psychological frustrations.

None of the above obviously is inflicted upon the non-existent.

My question is: (i) What is the Buddhist view of this way of thinking; (ii) Why create further imperfect human beings who are capable of experience any sort of dukkha, need, want, deprivation, frustration etc., when these kinds of dukkha (and ills) could've been prevented in the first place?

Even in the most ideal case, where a parent brings a child into existence that becomes an enlightened being, it is still ethically indecent to do so because (i) one is gambling with the life of that child; (ii) one is using that child as a means to an end; (iii) that "need" or desired outcome to attain enlightenment is only relevant for existent beings.

It seems that Buddhism has some Antinatalist undertones, because although not mentioned in the scripture, if everyone followed the ideal, everyone would strive towards arhatship, and thus stop procreating.

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Wikipedia defines antinatalism as follows:

Antinatalism, or anti-natalism, is a philosophical position and social movement that assigns a negative value to birth. Antinatalists argue that humans should abstain from procreation because it is morally bad (some also recognize the procreation of other sentient beings as morally bad).

In respect to Noble People, Buddhism may possibly appear antinatalist, when it says:

Monks, there are these two searches: ignoble search & noble search. And what is ignoble search? There is the case where a person, being subject himself to birth, seeks [happiness in] what is likewise subject to birth. Being subject himself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, he seeks [happiness in] what is likewise subject to illness... death... sorrow... defilement.

And what may be said to be subject to birth? Spouses & children are subject to birth. Men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to birth. Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth

MN 26

However, for laypeople, Buddhism appears not antinatalist. It says:

To support one's father and mother; to cherish one's wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

Maha-mangala Sutta

Buddhism says the pleasant feelings from renunciation, meditation & enlightenment are superior to the pleasant feelings from the household family life. Refer to the Sukhavagga in AN 2.

There are, mendicants, these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness of laypeople and the happiness of renunciates. These are the two kinds of happiness. The better of these two kinds of happiness is the happiness of renunciates.

There are, mendicants, these two kinds of happiness. What two? Sensual happiness and the happiness of renunciation. These are the two kinds of happiness. The better of these two kinds of happiness is the happiness of renunciation.

There are, mendicants, these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness of attachments, and the happiness of no attachments. These are the two kinds of happiness. The better of these two kinds of happiness is the happiness of no attachments.

It follows it appears Buddhism is not 'antinatalist' because it appears to never say having children is "morally bad". Buddhism appears to merely say (for those capable of entering the Noble Path) not having children brings more happiness when compared to having children.

In conclusion, my personal view is Buddhism is not antinatalist. My impression is Antinatalism is merely another regressive ideology held by psychopaths, similar to Marxism and Feminism.

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