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On Procreation

_J__J_ PedantRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
edited January 2013 in Debate and/or Discourse
Recently, my lady friend and I talked about having children. She expressed an emotive inclination towards children, and I expressed emotive ambivalence and indecision. To work out my thoughts, I produced a version of what follows. I'm curious about what others think about the larger issues of Procreation, and attempts to justifying it.

Premise 1: The desire to do X, or the desire to not do X, alone, are not adequate justifications for doing or not doing X. A serial killer's desire to kill, and a child's opposition to green beans, are not adequate justifications for either killing people or not consuming vegetables. Rational human beings assess other factors than emotional dispositions when discerning whether or not a particular act is right, good, proper, virtuous, moral, ethical, beneficial, or to be done.

Given that procreation is an act that has many significant consequences, and that emotive inclination is not an adequate justification for action, one needs to assess numerous questions regarding the act prior to pursuing or avoiding it.

Question 1: For whose sake is the child being spawned?
1: The child.
2: Someone other than the child.

If 1: We must discern which of these two situations is the case:
1A: The child exists in a non-born, non-biologically-concepted state.
1B: The child does not exist in a non-born, non-biologically-concepted state.

If 1A: We must discern the nature of this non-born, non-biologically-concepted existence with respect to the non-born entity's preferences. If the entity prefers to be born, then it seems sensible to consider that preference of the non-born entity and spawn it, unless there are compelling reasons to act against its preference. If it prefers to not be born, then it seems sensible to act in accord with that preference, and so abstain from spawning it, unless there are compelling reasons to act against its preference.

If 1B: If the spawning is to occur for the sake of the child, and the child does not exist in a non-born, non-biologically concepted state, then that non-existent entity would lack preferences. In this case, we can only be acting for the sake of that child in a hypothetical imagined sense. We cannot properly say, in this case, that the child is spawned for its own sake. Rather, we must maintain that the child is born for another's sake, and hope that the child does not mind this once it is born.

If 2: This seems to treat the child as an object. When an individual creates a child for the sake of appeasing their own desires, or for the sake of acting in accord with some reasoned justification for procreation, this act privileges the individual's desires, or the sequences of reasoned justifications, over the child's own preferences. One treats the child as a means to someone else's end.

Generally, if Player A were to treat an entity as an object without due consideration for the preferences of that entity, then we would consider Player A to be acting inappropriately. The question is how one can spawn a child for the sake of someone other than the child, and insodoing not be engaged in an act of domination against the child that treats the child as merely a means to some end.

After considering Question 1, there seem to be two general conclusions.

1C1: Non-born, non-conceived entities exist that prefer to be born. Birthing these entities recognizes and actualizes their desires.

1C2: Non-born, non-conceived entities do not exist, or have preferences. Birthing these entities is an act that forces the entity into an existence for which it had no desire, for the sake of appeasing either the desires of another, or some other end. This reduces the entity to a means for some other's end.

1C1 seems silly. 1C2 seems problematic.

Question 2: Is existence better than, or more preferable than, non-existence?
If existence is better than non-existence, then the question of whether the non-born entity prefers existence irrelevant. The entity either prefers the intrinsically preferable existence or the entity's preference for non-existence is mistaken. Again, there are two possible answers:

2A: Existence is not inherently better. So, we're stuck at the conclusions from Question 1.

2B: Existence is inherently better, and we now must explain situations such as suicide and self-sacrifice, as these seem to offer stark conflicts with our conclusion.

Suicide: Suicide seems to indicate that there are situations in which non-existence is preferable to existence, and so reduces the inherent preferentiality of existence to a particular "some" claim, rather than a universal "all" claim. Some existences are preferable to non-existence, while other existences are less-preferable than non-existence.

Self-Sacrifice: Numerous individuals sacrifice their own life for the sake of some notion of a greater good. Yet if existence is inherently better than non-existence, what sense would there be in praising an act that removes an individual's existence? As with suicide, praiseworthy acts of self-sacrifice indicate times when non-existence is preferable to existence.

Given the two examples of suicide and self-sacrifice, the claim that existence is inherently better than non-existence is shown to be fallacious. Instead, it is the case that some existences are preferable to non-existence. With respect to procreation, we must ask whether the transition from non-existence to existence is, overall, preferable. While there are enjoyable aspects of existence, there are also painful, miserable, terrible aspects of existence.

In my estimation, subjecting a particular entity to a state of suffering is problematic, insofar as suffering is problematic. Since the majority of lives involve suffering, the majority of births are acts that subject a previously non-suffering entity to suffering.

One might respond that there is a tolerable level of suffering, and that a life that is 60% pleasurable may be preferable to non-existence. This is fine, but we must then ask a version of Question 1: Does the child to be born prefer a 60% pleasurable life? If so, how do we know this? If not, then it seems problematic to force the child into an existence it does not desire. We could state that the preferences of unborn-entity-B are irrelevant, but then we're back at Question 1.

Question 3: Is the existence of humanity inherently good or preferable, such that its continuation is necessary?
3A: Humanity's existence is inherently good / preferable, and so continuing said existence is inherently good / preferable.

3B: Humanity's existence is not inherently good / preferable, and so continuing said existence is not inherently good / preferable.

3C: Humanity's existence is neither good nor bad, preferable nor non-preferable.


To 3A: If humanity's existence is inherently good, then spawning a child for the sake of maintaining the existence of humanity can be considered to be inherently good as well. The qualifier is that the spawned child needs to foster the existence of humanity, rather than damage it.

To 3B: If humanity's existence is not inherently good / preferable, then its continued existence is not inherently good or preferable. Any particular individual can be considered to be naught but a perpetuation of the problem of humanity, a component of our collective blight on existence. In this case procreation would not be permissible.

To 3C: If we maintain that humanity is not inherent good or preferable then the question is meaningless.

Question 4: Is procreation / parenting actually beneficial and enjoyable, for the parents?
Suppose we ignore our answers to the previous three questions, and adopt the mentality that procreation for the sake of appeasing an individual's emotive desire is inherently justifiable, itself. In this case, we need to ask whether having children actually manifests the intended pleasure or sense of emotional fulfillment the individual seeks. Human beings are notoriously inept at discerning what will actually make them happy, and so it seems reasonable to ask if parenting is an act that, generally, increases the overall happiness of the parent.

A quick googling supplies many empirical studies that indicate parents may be lying to themselves about the actual joy they experience in parenting. For example, this article indicates that when parents are presented with the economic facts of child-raising, they embellish the emotional gratification of parenting as a means of justifying their decision. Were children inherently emotionally gratifying, the two groups in the study would have reported the same quantity of emotional gratification from parenting.

Another article indicates that adults with children experience more stress and depression than childless adults. Given the economic impact of children, and the increased obligations children place upon adults, the results of the study seem reasonable. The question is whether that increased stress and depression is ultimately worth it, given the benefits one might experience from parenting. However, those perceived benefits need to be assessed in light of the previous article, which indicates that parents tend to embellish their emotional pleasure in order to mentally justify their having children when confronted with the detrimental aspects of parenting.

This last article assesses the economic cost of children with an appeal towards the greater societal impact of children with respect to the continuation of the species. While this is a way of undermining the impact of the cost to a particular family by appealing to the notion of a greater social good, it places us back in the conversations of Question 3.

Given this data, it seems reasonable to conclude that parenting manifests both pleasant and unpleasant situations. The question is one of the ratio of pleasure to pain, the economic consequences, the impacts upon the parent's health, etc. It also seems reasonable to assess all of this with respect towards person's general inability to know what will actually make them happy, and so seek out ways to test one's emotive disposition towards parenting prior to spawning the child. One's imagined pleasures or imagined pains may differ from the actual pleasures and actual pains one experiences while parenting.

My Conclusion
Once we dismiss one's emotive disposition, I think the most important question is the one with which I started: For whose sake is the child being spawned?

A person who desires to be a parent is generally obligated to be a parent for 18 years. The child spawned for the sake of appeasing that desire is burdened with its existence for, on average, about 80 years. Given that the child is responsible for itself for a far greater amount of time than the parent, it seems sensible to weigh the child's preferences as more significant than the parent's, with respect to its own existence. It seems quite unfair to burden a child with 62 years of personal responsibility in order to appease one's own desires for 18 years of parenting.

I think the question of suffering, and exposing one's offspring to suffering, is also relevant. It's the notion found in this Penny Arcade strip:

i-M4NZ5Tk-950x10000.jpg

Parents seem to wish the best for their offspring. They desire to protect it and shield it from pain and suffering. Yet as the third panel indicates, growing up, itself, involves pain and suffering. One may strive to minimize the suffering, but it still occurs.

It would seem that the only way to ensure that one's child does not suffer is to refrain from exposing it to situations of pain and suffering. If one never has the child, then one never exposes the child to any suffering, at all. So, it would seem to be the case that if one seeks the least possible suffering for said child, then one would refrain from spawning the child. A non-existent child suffers less than an existent child.

That being said, a non-existent child also never experiences any pleasure. One could argue that refraining from procreation is an act that denies a particular non-existent child access to the pleasures of life. While true, I think this places us back in the question of what the child wants, Question 1, with respect to a desirable pain / pleasure ratio, and whether existence, itself, is preferable to non-existence, Question 2.


Those are the four questions that I think most important to the decision of whether one ought to procreate. I'm curious about what others think. Do any of the questions seem needless? Are there other important relevant questions? How did you decide to procreate, or not procreate?

_J_ on
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Posts

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    While the non-existant entity in 1C2 doesn't desire to be granted existence, it doesn't desire not to be granted existence, either.

    Procreation is always a selfish act, for some definition of 'self'. On the part of the parent, or the parent's culture, or the parent's species. The child is entirely neutral to the act, being as it doesn't exist. But there's also nothing inherently wrong with selfish acts.

    I'd say that the more important question to replace 1 with is whether the child is being born out of an internal desire of the parent(s) or out of the parent(s)' sense of obligation to another party. Do you want kids because you want kids, or because your parents' want grandkids? Or because your society says that good people reproduce?

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    Question 1: For whose sake is the child being spawned?
    Spoiler:
    1: The child.
    2: Someone other than the child.
    False dichotomy and ignores
    2B: Existence is inherently better, and we now must explain situations such as suicide and self-sacrifice, as these seem to offer stark conflicts with our conclusion.

    Suicide: Suicide seems to indicate that there are situations in which non-existence is preferable to existence, and so reduces the inherent preferentiality of existence to a particular "some" claim, rather than a universal "all" claim. Some existences are preferable to non-existence, while other existences are less-preferable than non-existence.

    Self-Sacrifice: Numerous individuals sacrifice their own life for the sake of some notion of a greater good. Yet if existence is inherently better than non-existence, what sense would there be in praising an act that removes an individual's existence? As with suicide, praiseworthy acts of self-sacrifice indicate times when non-existence is preferable to existence.
    Presumes that the decision to commit suicide or sacrifice oneself is rational and correct.
    Question 4: Is procreation / parenting actually beneficial and enjoyable, for the parents?
    Cherry picking.


    This isn't really a rational examination of the decision making process so much as an avoidance mechanism because having kids is fucking scary.

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    QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
    Xenogear_0001Honkspool32JacobkoshKanaCaveman PawsHakkekageSCREECH OF THE FARGEdith Upwards
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I question the entire enterprise of trying to determine whether or not one should have children devoid of the emotive aspect. I think that emotion is the entire point.

    As to Mrs. SKFM and I? We knew we wanted kids, but the timing was vague. . . until we got married and she suddenly wanted them immediately. I was not ready then, but about 2 years later I was, and we started trying. Or, more accurately, she went off the bcp and we started waiting for the time when it would even be possible to try, and after a few months of that time never coming, we went to see a reproductive endocrinologist. Long story short, we have gone though nearly 4 years of infertility, including a second trimester loss and three first trimester losses (one was triplets). After the last loss we went for many second opinions and then started pursuing surrogacy, which, despite costing us a ton of money and time, did not pan out. On a whim, we went back to the doctor that we liked the best from the second opinions, and he found that the year off from trying while we were pursuing surrogacy had resolved one of our main issues, and now we are cautiously optimistic, because my wife is pregnant with twins! :)

    If I am being honest, when we first decided to have kids I was not 100% sure I was ready to. After the first loss (the late second trimester loss) I wanted things to work out more than anything in the world.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
    FrankiedarlingV1mArithon32HonkSmrtnikGandalf_the_Crazed
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    While the non-existant entity in 1C2 doesn't desire to be granted existence, it doesn't desire not to be granted existence, either.

    Procreation is always a selfish act, for some definition of 'self'. On the part of the parent, or the parent's culture, or the parent's species. The child is entirely neutral to the act, being as it doesn't exist. But there's also nothing inherently wrong with selfish acts.

    I'd say that the more important question to replace 1 with is whether the child is being born out of an internal desire of the parent(s) or out of the parent(s)' sense of obligation to another party. Do you want kids because you want kids, or because your parents' want grandkids? Or because your society says that good people reproduce?

    If the entity is ambivalent, then I think we could move to questions 2 and 3.

    In addition to the internal desire of parents / felt obligation of parents notion it might also make sense to present a question of: Do the parents want to have a child, be parents, or both? Since it seems like in contemporary society we have many individuals who want children, but don't seem to want to be parents, given the degree to which they unload those parental duties onto others: Daycare, babysitters, nannies, etc.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I question the entire enterprise of trying to determine whether or not one should have children devoid of the emotive aspect. I think that emotion is the entire point.

    As to Mrs. SKFM and I? We knew we wanted kids, but the timing was vague. . . until we got married and she suddenly wanted them immediately. I was not ready then, but about 2 years later I was, and we started trying. Or, more accurately, she went off the bcp and we started waiting for the time when it would even be possible to try, and after a few months of that time never coming, we went to see a reproductive endocrinologist. Long story short, we have gone though nearly 4 years of infertility, including a second trimester loss and three first trimester losses (one was triplets). After the last loss we went for many second opinions and then started pursuing surrogacy, which, despite costing us a ton of money and time, did not pan out. On a whim, we went back to the doctor that we liked the best from the second opinions, and he found that the year off from trying while we were pursuing surrogacy had resolved one of our main issues, and now we are cautiously optimistic, because my wife is pregnant with twins! :)

    If I am being honest, when we first decided to have kids I was not 100% sure I was ready to. After the first loss (the late second trimester loss) I wanted things to work out more than anything in the world.

    Would you agree that there are some factors, in addition to emotional disposition, that are relevant?

    Say a cocaine addict really wants to be a parent, and their offspring is likely to be born addicted to cocaine. Or someone with a genetic disease who is likely to pass the disease on to its offspring. Or suppose a homeless / impoverished person who could not support the child on its own, and so would rely upon government assistance, or allow the child to starve. Or an individual in an impoverished nation whose offspring would be subject to poverty, starvation, etc.

    I think those non-emotive considerations are significant and relevant to the decision making process.

  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    Why did we decide to have kids?

    Ultimately, it was because at some point we made the decision that this was a unique life experience that we wanted to share together.

    It wasn't necessary for the survival of the human race. It is almost certainly a net-drain on our finances. No pro-con lists were done. No cost-benefit analyses.

    It's either something you want to do or you don't.

    Obviously it would be irresponsible to have kids without the means/support system in place to ensure that they have a stable and healthy upbringing, but the bar for this is a lot lower than most people imagine.

    I don't go around telling people they should have kids, nor do I look down my nose at those who don't. But for me anyways, it's been an amazing, challenging and rewarding life experience, second only to developing and growing in a lasting relationship with the woman I love.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
    spacekungfumanMortious
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    I question the entire enterprise of trying to determine whether or not one should have children devoid of the emotive aspect. I think that emotion is the entire point.

    As to Mrs. SKFM and I? We knew we wanted kids, but the timing was vague. . . until we got married and she suddenly wanted them immediately. I was not ready then, but about 2 years later I was, and we started trying. Or, more accurately, she went off the bcp and we started waiting for the time when it would even be possible to try, and after a few months of that time never coming, we went to see a reproductive endocrinologist. Long story short, we have gone though nearly 4 years of infertility, including a second trimester loss and three first trimester losses (one was triplets). After the last loss we went for many second opinions and then started pursuing surrogacy, which, despite costing us a ton of money and time, did not pan out. On a whim, we went back to the doctor that we liked the best from the second opinions, and he found that the year off from trying while we were pursuing surrogacy had resolved one of our main issues, and now we are cautiously optimistic, because my wife is pregnant with twins! :)

    If I am being honest, when we first decided to have kids I was not 100% sure I was ready to. After the first loss (the late second trimester loss) I wanted things to work out more than anything in the world.

    Would you agree that there are some factors, in addition to emotional disposition, that are relevant?

    Say a cocaine addict really wants to be a parent, and their offspring is likely to be born addicted to cocaine. Or someone with a genetic disease who is likely to pass the disease on to its offspring. Or suppose a homeless / impoverished person who could not support the child on its own, and so would rely upon government assistance, or allow the child to starve. Or an individual in an impoverished nation whose offspring would be subject to poverty, starvation, etc.

    I think those non-emotive considerations are significant and relevant to the decision making process.

    Fair enough, and there are more mundane issues as well like you being able to afford child care. Let's call the emotive aspect a necessary condition but not a sufficient consideration. If all the numbers and rational factors line up, but you do not actually want a child for emotional reasons, I do not believe that you should have one.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    I question the entire enterprise of trying to determine whether or not one should have children devoid of the emotive aspect. I think that emotion is the entire point.

    As to Mrs. SKFM and I? We knew we wanted kids, but the timing was vague. . . until we got married and she suddenly wanted them immediately. I was not ready then, but about 2 years later I was, and we started trying. Or, more accurately, she went off the bcp and we started waiting for the time when it would even be possible to try, and after a few months of that time never coming, we went to see a reproductive endocrinologist. Long story short, we have gone though nearly 4 years of infertility, including a second trimester loss and three first trimester losses (one was triplets). After the last loss we went for many second opinions and then started pursuing surrogacy, which, despite costing us a ton of money and time, did not pan out. On a whim, we went back to the doctor that we liked the best from the second opinions, and he found that the year off from trying while we were pursuing surrogacy had resolved one of our main issues, and now we are cautiously optimistic, because my wife is pregnant with twins! :)

    If I am being honest, when we first decided to have kids I was not 100% sure I was ready to. After the first loss (the late second trimester loss) I wanted things to work out more than anything in the world.

    Would you agree that there are some factors, in addition to emotional disposition, that are relevant?

    Say a cocaine addict really wants to be a parent, and their offspring is likely to be born addicted to cocaine. Or someone with a genetic disease who is likely to pass the disease on to its offspring. Or suppose a homeless / impoverished person who could not support the child on its own, and so would rely upon government assistance, or allow the child to starve. Or an individual in an impoverished nation whose offspring would be subject to poverty, starvation, etc.

    I think those non-emotive considerations are significant and relevant to the decision making process.

    Fair enough, and there are more mundane issues as well like you being able to afford child care. Let's call the emotive aspect a necessary condition but not a sufficient consideration. If all the numbers and rational factors line up, but you do not actually want a child for emotional reasons, I do not believe that you should have one.

    I think I would agree that the emotive aspect is necessary but not sufficient. I'm wondering what other factors are necessary, and what, if anything, counts as the sufficient condition for justifying the act of procreation.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    I'd say that the more important question to replace 1 with is whether the child is being born out of an internal desire of the parent(s) or out of the parent(s)' sense of obligation to another party. Do you want kids because you want kids, or because your parents' want grandkids? Or because your society says that good people reproduce?

    Agreed that this is the most important question. You can question the rationale behind feeling one way or the other all you want, but first make sure that it's how you yourself are feeling. No one wants to be the kid of a parent who didn't really want them in the first place.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    The LadyFromEarth and I go back and forth on the having kids eventually thing.

    The only certainties we have is that we aren't doing it for at least five more years and even then not until we can afford to ensure it wouldn't have the same poverty stricken rearing that we did.

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  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Ultimately, it was because at some point we made the decision that this was a unique life experience that we wanted to share together.

    Yeah, I'm not sure what to do with this.

    I will agree that making another human being is a unique life experience, and raising that created human being, or adopted human being, is also a unique kind of responsibility.

    What troubles me is the degree to which some persons take that uniqueness to indicate an inability to rationally critique the consequences, costs / benefits, etc. of procreation. That given the uniqueness of procreation, the emotive inclination, itself, is adequate justification.

    It seems that the emotive inclination is significant. As SKFM said, it's a necessary condition. But there are plenty of other factors that merit consideration. I may be incorrect in the questions I suggested, but it seems that economic considerations, the ability to be an adequate parent, the sort of life the child will have, the sort of world into which the child is being born, etc. all play a role in the decision.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I'd say that economic considerations come into play more with the decision of "when" to have the kid, not "whether" (unless the question is whether to have a kid now). E.g. I know I want a kid, but don't want one right now because of economic considerations. If a person really wants a kid, they might wait until later when they're better off, but being poor isn't going to make that desire go away, any more than someone who doesn't want kids will suddenly have the urge to start making babies once they become rich.

    KalTorak on
    AManFromEarthspacekungfumanMortioussaint2eArithon32
  • cptruggedcptrugged Time Dilated Registered User regular
    I'll bite on this one.

    I've been married 10 years and still remain childless. Among the reasons are that I'm very uncomfortable around children. I don't care to be around them.

    However, one of my biggest reasons is that I just can't fathom my life with them. I have worked hard over the years to get to a point were life is moderately secure. I'm happy, and I get to do the things I enjoy when I want to enjoy them. I can see no reason for myself to then take part in an event that will destroy most of what I've built for myself to have. Now, I understand that its not really a destructive force as much as it is a reformation. But I just don't see the appeal.

    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.

    Quid
  • Xenogear_0001Xenogear_0001 Registered User regular
    Bottom line: Do you want kids? You, personally? If not now, do you see yourself ever wanting kids down the line? Because I see a lot of people claiming that life is happier if you abstain, but then there are those twilight years where the lack of offspring becomes... well, it seems to be depressing.

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    cptrugged wrote: »
    cptrugged wrote: »
    I'll bite on this one.

    I've been married 10 years and still remain childless. Among the reasons are that I'm very uncomfortable around children. I don't care to be around them.

    However, one of my biggest reasons is that I just can't fathom my life with them. I have worked hard over the years to get to a point were life is moderately secure. I'm happy, and I get to do the things I enjoy when I want to enjoy them. I can see no reason for myself to then take part in an event that will destroy most of what I've built for myself to have. Now, I understand that its not really a destructive force as much as it is a reformation. But I just don't see the appeal.

    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.
    Same. But I have the benefit of nearly a dozen nieflings.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I'd say that economic considerations come into play more with the decision of "when" to have the kid, not "whether" (unless the question is whether to have a kid now). E.g. I know I want a kid, but don't want one right now because of economic considerations. If a person really wants a kid, they might wait until later when they're better off, but being poor isn't going to make that desire go away, any more than someone who doesn't want kids will suddenly have the urge to start making babies once they become rich.

    Yeah, the hypothetical nature of the conversation is also troubling. If X, Y, and Z occur then having a kid is the desireable reaction. But we're not in a position to discern whether or not X, Y, and Z will ever occur at the same time.

    So it's a purely emotive conversation, beholden to hypothetical situations in an undetermined future.

    Which is levels of bizzare.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2013
    cptrugged wrote: »
    I'll bite on this one.

    I've been married 10 years and still remain childless. Among the reasons are that I'm very uncomfortable around children. I don't care to be around them.

    However, one of my biggest reasons is that I just can't fathom my life with them. I have worked hard over the years to get to a point were life is moderately secure. I'm happy, and I get to do the things I enjoy when I want to enjoy them. I can see no reason for myself to then take part in an event that will destroy most of what I've built for myself to have. Now, I understand that its not really a destructive force as much as it is a reformation. But I just don't see the appeal.

    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.

    I find myself in agreement with your mentality. In order to be fair, thought, I'd like to also discount my emotive inclination just as much as I want to discount other's emotive inclinations, in order to assess the decision rationally and not unfairly bias my preference over another's. So, the fact that I'm not inclined to have children oughtn't be considered more significant than the other's desire to have children.

    As a few other posters have indicated, having a child when one does not want to have a child is problematic for the child, and that seems like a relevant consideration.

    But it seems like one could engage in a rational conversation about children, their costs, their benefits, the fundamental nature of humanity and existence, as well as other factors could be discussed, and the conclusions reached by that discussion may impact one's emotive inclination.

    That's something I'm trying to figure out: Is it possible to junk the emotive inclinations, and just talk about procreation. Then after the procreation conversation happens, assess it with respect to one's emotive inclination in case the conclusions reached via reason alter one's emotive disposition.

    Edit: That, by the way, is why I put this in D&D rather than H/A. I'd like to discern the questions relevant to procreation and its justifiability, and then muck about with emotions afterwards.

    _J_ on
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    cptrugged wrote: »
    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.

    by giving up an absurd amount. nobody can really fit children into their life in the way they imagine - everything is more complicated than you plan, and children are like that times eleventeen.

    obF2Wuw.png
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    If one had children based purely on an analysis of the risk/reward ratios present, the human race would be extinct in a century.

    Which isn't to say that children aren't absolute marvels to behold.

    Just that everything I've heard says that they are expensive as hell.

    Also, I fear this will go in the same direction as the thread regarding communication. It appears to be attempting to seperate something very complex with a wide variety of interwoven factors into something logical boardering on robotic.

    ... here's where I'm tempted to just put up a picture of a 3D printer creating a copy of itself and flee the thread.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    NightDragonMuddypaws
  • dporowskidporowski Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    cptrugged wrote: »
    I'll bite on this one.

    I've been married 10 years and still remain childless. Among the reasons are that I'm very uncomfortable around children. I don't care to be around them.

    However, one of my biggest reasons is that I just can't fathom my life with them. I have worked hard over the years to get to a point were life is moderately secure. I'm happy, and I get to do the things I enjoy when I want to enjoy them. I can see no reason for myself to then take part in an event that will destroy most of what I've built for myself to have. Now, I understand that its not really a destructive force as much as it is a reformation. But I just don't see the appeal.

    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.

    I find myself in agreement with your mentality. In order to be fair, thought, I'd like to also discount my emotive inclination just as much as I want to discount other's emotive inclinations, in order to assess the decision rationally and not unfairly bias my preference over another's. So, the fact that I'm not inclined to have children oughtn't be considered more significant than the other's desire to have children.

    As a few other posters have indicated, having a child when one does not want to have a child is problematic for the child, and that seems like a relevant consideration.

    But it seems like one could engage in a rational conversation about children, their costs, their benefits, the fundamental nature of humanity and existence, as well as other factors could be discussed, and the conclusions reached by that discussion may impact one's emotive inclination.

    That's something I'm trying to figure out: Is it possible to junk the emotive inclinations, and just talk about procreation. Then after the procreation conversation happens, assess it with respect to one's emotive inclination in case the conclusions reached via reason alter one's emotive disposition.

    Edit: That, by the way, is why I put this in D&D rather than H/A. I'd like to discern the questions relevant to procreation and its justifiability, and then muck about with emotions afterwards.


    Yes but no. It is ENTIRELY possible to assess in a rational manner the cost/benefit issues inherent in procreation, and in doing so assess the suitability and viability of the act of bringing a child into the world.

    However, I don't give a damn how suitable and possible it is, you can't make me have one of the little buggers 'cause I don't want it.

    Without the emotional impetus, all the suitability and feasibility is for naught.

  • cptruggedcptrugged Time Dilated Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    cptrugged wrote: »
    I'll bite on this one.

    I've been married 10 years and still remain childless. Among the reasons are that I'm very uncomfortable around children. I don't care to be around them.

    However, one of my biggest reasons is that I just can't fathom my life with them. I have worked hard over the years to get to a point were life is moderately secure. I'm happy, and I get to do the things I enjoy when I want to enjoy them. I can see no reason for myself to then take part in an event that will destroy most of what I've built for myself to have. Now, I understand that its not really a destructive force as much as it is a reformation. But I just don't see the appeal.

    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.

    I find myself in agreement with your mentality. In order to be fair, thought, I'd like to also discount my emotive inclination just as much as I want to discount other's emotive inclinations, in order to assess the decision rationally and not unfairly bias my preference over another's. So, the fact that I'm not inclined to have children oughtn't be considered more significant than the other's desire to have children.

    As a few other posters have indicated, having a child when one does not want to have a child is problematic for the child, and that seems like a relevant consideration.

    But it seems like one could engage in a rational conversation about children, their costs, their benefits, the fundamental nature of humanity and existence, as well as other factors could be discussed, and the conclusions reached by that discussion may impact one's emotive inclination.

    That's something I'm trying to figure out: Is it possible to junk the emotive inclinations, and just talk about procreation. Then after the procreation conversation happens, assess it with respect to one's emotive inclination in case the conclusions reached via reason alter one's emotive disposition.

    Edit: That, by the way, is why I put this in D&D rather than H/A. I'd like to discern the questions relevant to procreation and its justifiability, and then muck about with emotions afterwards.

    You know what. I just don't think you can take away the emotive response. The reaction to the idea of children is just too big. To much of an event in life that it can be truly be reduced to logic. Hell, we can barely reduce smallest life decisions into matters of objective logic period.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Forar wrote: »
    If one had children based purely on an analysis of the risk/reward ratios present, the human race would be extinct in a century.

    Which isn't to say that children aren't absolute marvels to behold.

    Just that everything I've heard says that they are expensive as hell.

    Also, I fear this will go in the same direction as the thread regarding communication. It appears to be attempting to seperate something very complex with a wide variety of interwoven factors into something logical boardering on robotic.

    ... here's where I'm tempted to just put up a picture of a 3D printer creating a copy of itself and flee the thread.

    Having children, and supporting them to 18, is not complex.

    The emotions involved are incredibly mind-numbingly complex.

    To me, it seems like most persons start with their emotions, and then try to dump the rational, economic factors on top.

    I'd like to sort out the rational aspects, and then dump the emotions on top.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    You simply can't get rid of the emotions here, J. They're just as important as the "rational" arguments when it comes to this.

    Lh96QHG.png
    HenroidSir LandsharkcptruggedShadowfireNightDragonYogoshrykeEdith Upwards
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    cptrugged wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    cptrugged wrote: »
    I'll bite on this one.

    I've been married 10 years and still remain childless. Among the reasons are that I'm very uncomfortable around children. I don't care to be around them.

    However, one of my biggest reasons is that I just can't fathom my life with them. I have worked hard over the years to get to a point were life is moderately secure. I'm happy, and I get to do the things I enjoy when I want to enjoy them. I can see no reason for myself to then take part in an event that will destroy most of what I've built for myself to have. Now, I understand that its not really a destructive force as much as it is a reformation. But I just don't see the appeal.

    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.

    I find myself in agreement with your mentality. In order to be fair, thought, I'd like to also discount my emotive inclination just as much as I want to discount other's emotive inclinations, in order to assess the decision rationally and not unfairly bias my preference over another's. So, the fact that I'm not inclined to have children oughtn't be considered more significant than the other's desire to have children.

    As a few other posters have indicated, having a child when one does not want to have a child is problematic for the child, and that seems like a relevant consideration.

    But it seems like one could engage in a rational conversation about children, their costs, their benefits, the fundamental nature of humanity and existence, as well as other factors could be discussed, and the conclusions reached by that discussion may impact one's emotive inclination.

    That's something I'm trying to figure out: Is it possible to junk the emotive inclinations, and just talk about procreation. Then after the procreation conversation happens, assess it with respect to one's emotive inclination in case the conclusions reached via reason alter one's emotive disposition.

    Edit: That, by the way, is why I put this in D&D rather than H/A. I'd like to discern the questions relevant to procreation and its justifiability, and then muck about with emotions afterwards.

    You know what. I just don't think you can take away the emotive response. The reaction to the idea of children is just too big. To much of an event in life that it can be truly be reduced to logic. Hell, we can barely reduce smallest life decisions into matters of objective logic period.

    You may end up being correct. I'm not at the point of accepting that the emotive response can't be placed on the back burner, so to speak, in order to allow the cost / benefit analysis to occur.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I now kind of want to start a flow-chart of pros and cons for having kids. "Pro: 6'3"; good height genes." "Con: overweight." "Pro: financial situation permits, even accounting for maternity leave." "Con: have you seen the price of daycare? Seriously WTF?"

    And then show it to my girlfriend the next time she brings up the topic.

    I mean, assuming I want to sleep on the couch for the following week.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    _J_
  • cptruggedcptrugged Time Dilated Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    If one had children based purely on an analysis of the risk/reward ratios present, the human race would be extinct in a century.

    Which isn't to say that children aren't absolute marvels to behold.

    Just that everything I've heard says that they are expensive as hell.

    Also, I fear this will go in the same direction as the thread regarding communication. It appears to be attempting to seperate something very complex with a wide variety of interwoven factors into something logical boardering on robotic.

    ... here's where I'm tempted to just put up a picture of a 3D printer creating a copy of itself and flee the thread.

    Having children, and supporting them to 18, is not complex.

    The emotions involved are incredibly mind-numbingly complex.

    To me, it seems like most persons start with their emotions, and then try to dump the rational, economic factors on top.

    I'd like to sort out the rational aspects, and then dump the emotions on top.

    And this is where I think a very basic disagreement from your premise will stem. At least for me. A child isn't a program that will run and logic will assert its values. We're dealing with another human being. A human being with all the same real world environmental pressures that keep you and I from being able to always make logical decisions, if those even are the right decisions. On top of that you have figure out how to present the world to this new person. All while being a person who has to worry about their own shit already. Nossir. I disagree. This seems to be the very definition of complex to me.

    MortiousSir LandsharkNightDragon
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    i think that, from a utilitarian perspective, the amount of pure joy I would derive from hearing stories of how _J_ raised a child would make it a worthwhile enterprise

    it would also be concretely good for the economy because of the lifetime of psychological expenses that would ensue.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    FeralAManFromEarthdurandal4532Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud_J_Zombie GandhiMentalExerciseHacksawHonkJacobkoshGandalf_the_CrazedCaveman Pawsshryke
  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning Dig if you will, the pictureRegistered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    edited January 2013
    Finding the various consequences either beneficial or objectionable are emotive responses.

    Tiger Burning on
    Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
    FeralPLA
  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    What is the non-emotive benefit of having children in a first world country?

    Do you run a small-family owned farm that needs a constant source of cheap labor? Did you somehow figure out if your child is likely to be the next president of the United States and usher in a New Age of World Peace and Order?

    It seems to me like you are trying mightily hard to do a cost-benefit analysis where you focus on the cost and throw away the benefit. There's nothing rational about this.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    "I want a cookie!"

    "But do you really, or are you simply interpreting the signals from your subconscious in a fashion that leads you, Player 1 in this aside, to believe that a unhealthy concentration of carbohydrates would satisfy you in a way that a more nuitritious choice like this apple wouldn't?"

    ".... MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!"

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    AManFromEarthFeralHenroidPLANightDragonMentalExerciseHacksawHonkYogospool32Caveman PawsTofystedethshrykeEdith Upwards
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    What is the non-emotive benefit of having children in a first world country?

    Do you run a small-family owned farm that needs a constant source of cheap labor? Did you somehow figure out if your child is likely to be the next president of the United States and usher in a New Age of World Peace and Order?

    It seems to me like you are trying mightily hard to do a cost-benefit analysis where you focus on the cost and throw away the benefit. There's nothing rational about this.

    Frankly? Having someone to take care of you when you're older so you don't end up in one of those crooked homes on W5.

    Also, though it is still emotive, no one wants to be alone when they're older, and if you don't raise a shitty kid they will grudgingly spend time with you as you wheeze away the last rattling breaths of your geezerdom

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    I'm thinking that the assertion that being a parent lasts only for 18 years is incorrect. My mother is still doing parent-like activities 30 years past my birth, and I suspect she will until one or the other of us dies. My dad got away with only having that duty of parenting for 26 years, lung cancer decided he had paid his dues I guess (and beyond the scope of this particular post, having had a child helped ease this process for him I think, I might post more about that later).

    Just wanted to point out that procreating is more than an 18 year commitment, if you're doing it right. Think more along the lines of from now until you die most likely.

    My wife of 7 years and I haven't had children yet, just started trying to think that perhaps we will. My motivation has to do with a desire to raise a child with my wife, impart our knowledge, watch him/her grow to an adult, then hound this fully fledged human to procreate themselves so I can have the pleasure of grandparenthood.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    spacekungfuman
  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    What is the non-emotive benefit of having children in a first world country?

    Do you run a small-family owned farm that needs a constant source of cheap labor? Did you somehow figure out if your child is likely to be the next president of the United States and usher in a New Age of World Peace and Order?

    It seems to me like you are trying mightily hard to do a cost-benefit analysis where you focus on the cost and throw away the benefit. There's nothing rational about this.

    Frankly? Having someone to take care of you when you're older so you don't end up in one of those crooked homes on W5.

    Also, though it is still emotive, no one wants to be alone when they're older, and if you don't raise a shitty kid they will grudgingly spend time with you as you wheeze away the last rattling breaths of your geezerdom

    Right, I thought of that too but like you said it's still emotive. If you put the $200k or whatever it is to raise a kid to 18 towards retirement you could afford a pretty nice end of your life.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    To be honest, I don't think the non emotive factors can be easily catalogued. There are people who have the means to have children, but would not make good parents. There are people who will be loving and supportive parents, but the children will grow up poor and face difficulties because of that. Ultimately, I think that all you really need to justify the choice to have children is (1) the emotional desire and (2) to not be manifestly unsuitable parents based on all other factors, taken as a whole.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
    dporowskiAManFromEarthFeraldavidsdurionsMentalExerciseHacksawspool32Jacobkoshshryketestsubject23
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Having children, and supporting them to 18, is not complex.

    This is the falsest thing ever said. Sure, when you distill it to "make sure the kid is in good health and educated and knows the tools they need to make it on their own," it doesn't sound complex. The reality is that all of those things are horribly complex, and this isn't even counting the many curveballs life will throw at you, your spouse, the child, and the people who are in your lives frequently. And let's not forget outside influences.

    I'm really just pointing at the tip of the iceberg here. But man, raising and supporting a kid is very complex.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
    davidsdurionsQuidcptruggedCorehealerMentalExerciseKana
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Although this is somewhat outside the original mandate of the thread, what do people think about situations where the parents (who sincerely desire to have a child and will be loving parents capable of supporting him or her) know that there are serious risks of complication, such as both being carriers for a horrible genetic disease (this can be resolved through genetic testing, but that requires IVF plus expensive genetic testing which insurance does not cover) or taking extraordinary measures to get pregnant at an older age? Sitting in the waiting rooms at dr's offices, we would sometimes see older women who were undergoing treatments, and I'm not going to lie, it did strike me as somewhat irresponsible. It also aggravated me that people like this were making use of fertility services under medical plans, thereby driving up the cost of such coverage for people who are undergoing infertility through no fault of their own (as opposed to people who are perfectly fertile but for being too old to carry naturally). It strikes me that in a situation like this, adoption may be the more responsible route, but at the same time, it is hard to fault someone for wanting a biological child.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    It's hard to engage with your OP because there are so many off-kilter approaches. For example, is procreating selfish or not? Why does it have to be either/or? Many activities are good both for ourselves and others. Or your attempt to divorce rationality from emotion, which I personally believe to be impossible and wrongheaded.

    But I'll try. I had a child, mostly, because it seemed like one of the great experiences of life, to be a parent, and my wife was 37 when we started to talk about it, so we knew our chance was now or never. And I realised I would regret it tremendously if I never tried to have that experience. So it was an understanding of my own emotional state that started me on this path.

    As to whether a child is desirable for the world or not, I swiftly decided that was a non-issue. Other people are going to keep having children whether I do or not. And I decided I would probably be a good parent. So better for my kid to be in the world, being happy and bringing happiness (or utility) to others, than for her to never exist at all. Do you think you would be a good parent? Make your child happy, productive, philosophically insightful?

    As to costs and benefits, there was one of each that I could not have anticipated. One cost was my wife suffering from terrible post-natal depression and knock-on mental health issues triggered by that. The surprise benefit was the love I feel for my daughter. It is so intense and abiding that it has transformed my entire world. The experience of adoring someone that much is a truly life-altering experience. And that's a benefit that I couldn't have predicted was coming, but rationally is a huge part of why I am glad we had her.

    I don't think you can balance stress, economic cost and depression against pure joy. They're different qualities. We've never regretted having her, even for a moment.

    I'm wittering because I'm on the way to work and it's tremendously early, but my basic point is that your analysis of the situation is not the kind of analysis you need to be doing. You need to analyze, using a rationality that acknowledges and respects emotion, how this decision would affect actual you and the actual world, not a hypothetical human. And this analysis has to be done while acknowledging that there is a world around you that is going to keep having children whether you think it is justified or not. And finally, acknowledging that there are unpredictable possibilities and costs to having or not having a child (e.g. regrets).

    But then we are getting into deontology again, which happens every time I talk to you...

    I figure I could take a bear.
    spacekungfuman_J_Jacobkosh
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Well again, that's pretty much an emotional response situation. I haven't given it much thought because I have yet to partner with the right person and have a stable enough situation in life to consider having kids. And even if I could provide my perspective on the situation, the views of my spouse would have to come into play very much. My last long-term relationship, she was against the concept of abortion (and I wasn't about to let that drive a wedge between us, whatever, it's a disagreement and the practicality of it actually coming up in our lives would have been the rarest of things). But then it's like, what would THAT situation have been like if we found out our would-be infant was going to be born into a brief, tortured life? The reality is no matter what option is taken, we'd be in for a world of hurt. And that is scary as fuck.

    But that hurt would be worth the risk, because then we'd have a family.

    You wanna talk about complex,

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    cptrugged wrote: »
    I'll bite on this one.

    I've been married 10 years and still remain childless. Among the reasons are that I'm very uncomfortable around children. I don't care to be around them.

    However, one of my biggest reasons is that I just can't fathom my life with them. I have worked hard over the years to get to a point were life is moderately secure. I'm happy, and I get to do the things I enjoy when I want to enjoy them. I can see no reason for myself to then take part in an event that will destroy most of what I've built for myself to have. Now, I understand that its not really a destructive force as much as it is a reformation. But I just don't see the appeal.

    I've been told this is a selfish opinion and I should be thinking of my family and how my parents will never have grand kids as I am an only child. And I have to say I have heard some decent arguments about being alone when you are elderly. But I still just can't wrap my brain around how I would fit a child or multiple children in my life.
    Yeah, I think this is a more and more common attitude. I'm also an only child, and my mom really wants grandchildren, but I have zero interest in having children. While I thought my mind would change as I got older (and pretty much everyone told me it would), I'm now 31, and have no more urge to have children than I did when I was 20.

    I don't like children, and I don't like the idea of having one. I have cousins who have them, and until they turn about 8 or so, they're just a pain in the ass. I have trouble with the idea that I should have children just to make my mom happy (in that she would have grandchildren). I feel like it would be horribly irresponsible of me to have a kid just to make somebody else happy, and bad for not only me, but also the kid.

    If there were a risk of humanity being wiped out or something like that, I might feel more compelled to reproduce, too; but the only threat to humanity's existence at this point are threats of our own creation, and having kids is only going to add to that threat. Especially when you're talking about having a kid in the industrialized world.

    I mean, I don't judge people for wanting to have kids, provided they keep it reasonable (I don't really see any reason for any couple to have more than two biological children). I personally think we should create a larger tax incentive to adopt or foster children (even moreso for special needs children), and fund that by eliminating any tax incentives for having more than two biological children.

    HacksawMrVyngaard
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    What is the non-emotive benefit of having children in a first world country?

    Do you run a small-family owned farm that needs a constant source of cheap labor? Did you somehow figure out if your child is likely to be the next president of the United States and usher in a New Age of World Peace and Order?

    It seems to me like you are trying mightily hard to do a cost-benefit analysis where you focus on the cost and throw away the benefit. There's nothing rational about this.

    I can understand farmers having children. They need free, cheap labor, and children offer that. Then as the parent gets older and isn't able to work the child takes over the farm, and the parent gets to reap the benefits of its labor, so to speak. That system of procreation / family economics makes sense to me.

    I don't own a farm, though. So the benefits I would gain are:
    1) Vague sense of immortality.
    2) Excuse to buy toys.

    I'm not sure what other actual benefits there are.

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