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Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), famous exponent of the antinatalist position

Quotes about Antinatalism.


Philosophical quotes[edit]

  • “If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence, or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood?” ―Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism: The Essays[1]

Quotes by literary and artistic figures[edit]

  • “I could have done even better, miss, and I'd know a lot more, if it wasn't for my destiny ever since childhood. I'd have killed a man in a duel with a pistol for calling me low-born, because I came from Stinking Lizaveta without a father, and they were shoving that in my face in Moscow. It spread there thanks to Grigory Vasilievich. Grigory Vasilievich reproaches me for rebelling against my nativity: 'You opened her matrix,' he says. I don't know about her matrix, but I'd have let them kill me in the womb, so as not to come out into the world at all, miss.” ―Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  • “It is best not to have been born at all: but, if born, as quickly as possible to return whence one came.” ―Sophocles, in his play Oedipus at Colonus[2]
  • “Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” ―Mark Twain, in the ironic novel Pudd'nhead Wilson

Religious quotes[edit]

  • “I further observed all the oppression that goes under the sun: the tears of the oppressed, with none to comfort them; and the power of their oppressors—with none to comfort them. Then I accounted those who died long since more fortunate than those who are still living; and happier than either are those who have not yet come into being and have never witnessed the miseries that go under the sun.” ―The Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, 4:1-3[3]
  • “By rights we should issue a decree not to get married and have children, and let the seed of Abraham come to an end of its own accord.” ― The Talmud, during the Hadrianic persecutions, as quoted in: Peter L. Berger, The Desecularization of the World, 1999


  1. On the Sufferings of the World, Arthur Schopenhauer.
  2. J. Michael Walton (1996). The Greek sense of theatre:Tragedy reviewed (2 ed.). Amsterdam: Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 9783718658527. Retrieved on 2009-08-08. 
  3. Ecclesiastes 4:1-4:3. Hebrew-English Tanakh (first pocket ed.). Philadelphia-pa, usa: Jewish Publication Society. 2003. p. 1770. ISBN 978-0-8276-0766-8. 

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