From Karl White, esteemed cybernaut:
I found this topic from an online group interesting:
"I tried sharing and discussing my antinatalist beliefs with a Christian Anarchism group I'm a part of. My antinatalism comes directly and exclusively from my Christian faith, and I believe that any Christian who does not become an antinatalist after Bible study on the topic is an inconsistent, divided person. I wasn't met with any hostility. Most understood my stance, but likened my tone to depression (which might be the case).
Any Christian who brings life into this world while believing in the existence of hell and our need for salvation is a MONSTER."
Without denying that there are anti-natalist tendencies in Christianity that surface in some of its exponents, the late Kierkegaard for example, it cannot be maintained that orthodox Christianity, on balance, is anti-natalist.
Ask yourself: what is the central and characteristic Christian idea? It is the Incarnation, the idea that God became man in Jesus of Nazareth. Thus God, or rather the second person of the Trinity, entered into the material world by being born of a woman, entering into it in the most humble manner imaginable, inter faeces et urinam nascimur.
The mystery of the Nativity of God in a humble manger in a second-rate desert outpost of the Roman empire would seem to put paid to the notion that Christianity is anti-natalist.
Christianity blends motifs that are not obviously compatible. One is Platonic-Plotinian-Gnostic. Nietzsche was on to this when he remarked that Christianity is "Platonism for the people." (Beyond Good and Evil, preface) But if the central theme of Christianity is the Incarnation, then this implies a counter-Platonic valorization of this material world of time and change in which men are born and die. God entered this material world as a man, not as a purely spiritual redeemer. Born as a man among men, he valorized birth into a material world for all men. God is one of us, "a slob like one of us" in the words of a '90s song.
"Any Christian who brings life into this world while believing in the existence of hell and our need for salvation is a MONSTER."
I feel the young man's pain, but this is a sentiment that can be reasonably resisted.The Christian idea as I understand it is that by procreating, man participates in the divine creation of souls that have the capacity to share in the unending bliss of the divine life. Apart from the optional doctrine of predestination, souls are free to avoid hell.
Admittedly, my somewhat glib answer leaves us with questions. One is this: if God wanted to manifest his super-eminent glory and goodness, why didn't he create only angels? Why the need for this beautiful but horrifying meat grinder of a world? As Schopenhauer said, "The world is beautiful to behold, but terrible to be (a part of)." And as Kerouac asked, "How can one be clever in a meat grinder?' (Bang on the last link.)
I wrote above that Christianity blends motifs that are not obviously compatible. One is Platonic-Plotinian. The other is Jewish-Aristotelian. Brushing with broad strokes we can say the the first motif is other-worldly while the second is this-worldly.
Theses motifs are pretty clearly in tension even if, in the end, they are not contradictory.
We find one indication of this tension in the Thomistic synthesis. Thomas adopts and extends Aristotle's hylomorphic constituent ontology according to which form and matter are not (primary) substances in their own right, but 'factors' or 'principles' invoked in the analysis of primary substances. Socrates, then, is a primary substance composed of substantial form and signate or designated matter (materia signata). But the dude is also alive and conscious. So we have the formula: Anima forma corporis: the soul (life principle) is the form of the body. Soul is to body as form is to matter. This is anti-Platonic. On the Platonic scheme a person is (identically) his soul, and his body is an accidental adjunct. If so, the death of my body is not the death of me. On the Aristotelian scheme, a person is a composite of two 'principles,' soul and body. If so, the death of my body is the death of me. Aristotelian forms are not substances in their own right. They are thus incapable of independent existence, existence apart from the thing of which they are the form.
Thomas adds a strange anti-Aristotelian twist in the case of humans: their souls, without ceasing to be forms, are capable of independent existence after the death of the human bodies of which they are the forms. For this and other reasons there is truth to the quip that Aquinas is an Aristotelian on earth but a Platonist in heaven. Thomas makes this move because he must somehow secure the identity and continuance of souls after death as they await the Resurrection of the body. But then, at least for a time, human souls are substances in their own right.