Ever had one of those days when you wish you’d never been born? Mumbai businessman, Raphael Samuel, has them all the time. The 27-year-old Indian man is so fed up with life, he plans to sue his parents for allowing him to be born.
There are only two cast-iron certainties in life: birth and death. And it goes without saying that we have no choice in either. Yet Samuel believes he is entitled to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent.
Asking a fetus for permission may sound like a tall order, but Samuel believes he has a rock-solid case.
He understands that our consent cannot be obtained before birth. Nevertheless, he believes “It was not our decision to be born.” For Samuel, forcing a child into the world is akin to slavery. For he believes humanity has no future. He stresses that our planet would be far better off if we were extinct. For humans are an unnecessary burden on the Earth’s resources.
Although he never wanted to be born, Samuel is not unhappy with his life. He compares it to a nice room. Yet he insists he doesn’t want to be in that room.
Samuel’s parents are both lawyers. His mother said if he can provide a valid reason how they could have asked for his consent before being born, she will accept full responsibility. Samuel concedes that his case will be thrown out by any judge worth their salt. He said he wants to file the case just to make a point.
Samuel’s belief is rooted in the philosophy of anti-natalism; a school of thought which believes people are so full of misery, they should stop having babies.
According to the United Nations, by the year 2100, there will be 11 billion people on Earth. It’s predicted the strain on the planet will be immense. Anti-natalists believe the only solution is for people to stop being born. However, some believe the grim predictions of future over-population are way off track.
A new book called Empty Planet states that in three decades the global population will start to decline. And it will keep declining indefinitely. The reason? Education. The authors interviewed women all over the globe, from the slums of Delhi to New York penthouses. And their conclusion was a stark one: the single biggest effect on fertility rates is the education of women.
The authors write that the most important reproductive organ is the mind. If you can change how someone thinks about reproduction, you change everything.
And while suing your parents is not going to save the planet, perhaps universal education can win the day.