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On Procreation

135

Posts

  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Well it's done at the expense of the kid.

    To experience hunger, cold, sickness, and death.

    Sure you might get love, happiness, comfort, and joy, but those first four are guaranteed and you're rollin' the dice with a life that isn't your own.

    RT800 on
    _J_MrVyngaard
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    Well it's done at the expense of the kid.

    To experience hunger, cold, sickness, and death.

    Sure you might get love, happiness, comfort, and joy, but those first four are guaranteed and you're rollin' the dice with a life that isn't your own.

    This is not an accurate view of human experience.

    No, I'm sure any child of mine gets love, happiness, comfort and joy. Babies are easily impressed. Holding your finger can delight them for hours.

    I don't know what to say without being rude, but you have an extremely negative view of human experience, and I wouldn't say you've had much experience of children? Mine is dancing around the living room right now after playing Puzzle Craft with me, and enjoying teasing her grandmother by kissing her an irritating amount. This is pretty much the norm for her every day.

    I figure I could take a bear.
    MentalExercisetestsubject23
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

    As I said before, I don't think either term is usually applicable.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    RT800 wrote: »
    Well it's done at the expense of the kid.

    To experience hunger, cold, sickness, and death.

    Sure you might get love, happiness, comfort, and joy, but those first four are guaranteed and you're rollin' the dice with a life that isn't your own.

    This is not an accurate view of human experience.

    No, I'm sure any child of mine gets love, happiness, comfort and joy. Babies are easily impressed. Holding your finger can delight them for hours.

    I don't know what to say without being rude, but you have an extremely negative view of human experience, and I wouldn't say you've had much experience of children? Mine is dancing around the living room right now after playing Puzzle Craft with me, and enjoying teasing her grandmother by kissing her an irritating amount. This is pretty much the norm for her every day.

    Did she get immunization shots? Did she ever have an illness?

    Life seems to manifest situations of both happiness and sadness. I would agree with RT that suffering / pain seems to be the guaranteed normalcy while genuine happiness and joy are the exceptions.

    Said another way: Your daughter's life won't only be playing Puzzle Craft and teasing her grandmother for the next 70 years. For one thing, her grandmother is going to die, and she'll get to deal with that. My suspicion is that her reaction will not be one of euphoria.

    That, to me, is a significant question to consider: Is it justifiable to subject an entity to that sort of existence?

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

    As I said before, I don't think either term is usually applicable.

    That seems strange.

    "I'm going to have a kid because I want to have a kid." seems like something people say...and it doesn't seem selfless. Or when you ask someone why they want to have a kid, and they list a bunch of things they would enjoy about it.

    That's what "selfish" is.

    Just as I'm sure there is a couple, somewhere, who had a child so that it could be sacrificed to the harvest good in order to benefit their community.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

    As I said before, I don't think either term is usually applicable.

    That seems strange.

    "I'm going to have a kid because I want to have a kid." seems like something people say...and it doesn't seem selfless. Or when you ask someone why they want to have a kid, and they list a bunch of things they would enjoy about it.

    That's what "selfish" is.

    Just as I'm sure there is a couple, somewhere, who had a child so that it could be sacrificed to the harvest good in order to benefit their community.

    'I'm not going to have a kid because I don't want to have a kid'

    Isn't that equally selfish/selfless?

    Having desires to do things is not selfishness!

    And I still disagree with your claim that pain and suffering are the main parts of the human condition.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Not "main"; "guaranteed", inescapable.

    On a related note, even parents who do their best can mess children up. They're not all assholes.

    PLA on
  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    You guys are splitting hairs on the selfless-selfish thing. It's not really important to the argument being made.

    Bad things might happen to your kid. This is a slightly a neurotic and paranoid argument to be making. Doubly so when you say that daughter has to deal with the death of a grandmother. That's not exactly famine, death, disease and hunger.

    Dunno how to say it, but the whole "is it just to bring a person into the world" question is . . . mealy? Thin? It lacks the proper hutzpah. Justice is abstract, and arguably the justice of this act is indeterminable.

    Pragmatically, I'd be worried about what I'd do if I suddenly had to be responsible for a child or what I could do avoid that fate (beside using a condom).

    Twenty Sided on
    Quid
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    Well it's done at the expense of the kid.

    To experience hunger, cold, sickness, and death.

    Sure you might get love, happiness, comfort, and joy, but those first four are guaranteed and you're rollin' the dice with a life that isn't your own.

    That's not logic, it's depression.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • Andy JoeAndy Joe The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

    As I said before, I don't think either term is usually applicable.

    That seems strange.

    "I'm going to have a kid because I want to have a kid." seems like something people say...and it doesn't seem selfless. Or when you ask someone why they want to have a kid, and they list a bunch of things they would enjoy about it.

    That's what "selfish" is.

    That's "self-interested", not necessarily "selfish."

    XBL: Stealth Crane PSN: ajpet12 3DS: 1160-9999-5810 NNID: StealthCrane
    Pokemon Moon Name: Moon
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    Well it's done at the expense of the kid.

    To experience hunger, cold, sickness, and death.

    Sure you might get love, happiness, comfort, and joy, but those first four are guaranteed and you're rollin' the dice with a life that isn't your own.

    That's not logic, it's depression.

    Or it's sort of the underpinning philosophy behind a religion nearly 400 million people on earth adhere to.

    What is this I don't even.
    _J_MrVyngaard
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    If you don't want a child, don't have one

    The inverse is more complex but I am fairly firm on this as a useful, simple rule

    Hacksaw
  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime FiresideWizard Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    If you put this much thought and analysis to having children, you probably shouldn't have children.

    I couldn't imagine my life without my daughter. I'd probably have more video games, and be really fat and lazy.

    MagicPrime on
    BNet • magicprime#1430 | PSN/Steam • MagicPrime | Origin • FireSideWizard
    Critical Failures - Havenhold CampaignAugust St. Cloud (Human Ranger)
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

    As I said before, I don't think either term is usually applicable.

    That seems strange.

    "I'm going to have a kid because I want to have a kid." seems like something people say...and it doesn't seem selfless. Or when you ask someone why they want to have a kid, and they list a bunch of things they would enjoy about it.

    That's what "selfish" is.

    Just as I'm sure there is a couple, somewhere, who had a child so that it could be sacrificed to the harvest good in order to benefit their community.

    'I'm not going to have a kid because I don't want to have a kid'

    Isn't that equally selfish/selfless?

    Having desires to do things is not selfishness!

    And I still disagree with your claim that pain and suffering are the main parts of the human condition.

    Not having a kid purely because one does not want kids is selfish, sure. If one does not have a kid because one discerns that existence is fundamentally painful / problematic, and so they refrain from having children, despite their desires, in order to save the child from that pain, then the act would be selfless.

    Again, the label of selfish / selfless has to do with motivation, rather than the act.


    I guess your existence has been far more pleasant than mine or RT800's. That's keen for you, but I doubt that everyone is able to achieve your pain-free lifestyle. Perhaps having children, in your case, is less problematic given that you've found a way to avoid the painful, hurtful aspects of reality with which others find themselves in conflict.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    You guys are splitting hairs on the selfless-selfish thing. It's not really important to the argument being made.

    Bad things might happen to your kid. This is a slightly a neurotic and paranoid argument to be making. Doubly so when you say that daughter has to deal with the death of a grandmother. That's not exactly famine, death, disease and hunger.

    Dunno how to say it, but the whole "is it just to bring a person into the world" question is . . . mealy? Thin? It lacks the proper hutzpah. Justice is abstract, and arguably the justice of this act is indeterminable.

    Pragmatically, I'd be worried about what I'd do if I suddenly had to be responsible for a child or what I could do avoid that fate (beside using a condom).

    "justice" may be the wrong word, or a notion of the "just" may be improperly articulating what I'm going for.

    Is procreation good, moral, virtuous, beneficial, proper, permissible, praiseworthy, admirable, rationally defensible, etc.? As Kant might put it, can I articulate "have children" such that it is a universal moral law?

    I'm trying to get beyond base emotive inclinations and discern reasons both in favor of procreation and against it. Because two people yelling emotions at one another isn't helpful or productive. Two persons rationally discerning the costs / benefits, the relevant practical factors, the economic factors, and general critiques of reality and human existence seems far more productive.

    Those considerations do not, to me, seem mealy and thin. They seem like the sorts of things that a rational being would do.

    "I want to have kids, so I'm going to have kids" is not rational. It seems to be an excellent example of irrationality: Acting based upon naught but emotion.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    MagicPrime wrote: »
    I couldn't imagine my life without my daughter. I'd probably have more video games, and be really fat and lazy.

    You seem to be capable of imagining your life without your daughter. You did so in that second sentence.

    Hacksaw
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    MagicPrime wrote: »
    I couldn't imagine my life without my daughter. I'd probably have more video games, and be really fat and lazy.

    You seem to be capable of imagining your life without your daughter. You did so in that second sentence.

    Pedantic, yet condescending

    I give it a 9.6

    DarkewolfeSpeed RacerzagdrobMuddypawsCaedwyrtestsubject23
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quoth wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    MagicPrime wrote: »
    I couldn't imagine my life without my daughter. I'd probably have more video games, and be really fat and lazy.

    You seem to be capable of imagining your life without your daughter. You did so in that second sentence.

    Pedantic, yet condescending

    I give it a 9.6

    Damn. I didn't mean to be condescending.

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    I think that Kant is not helpful here because how can you treat an unborn child as an end in itself, how can it have autonomy in the act of its own creation

    At best, the law could be, "have children if you want to have children" which is sort of a tautology

    What criteria for child-having could be created that would not impede a person's autonomy

  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    So let me see if I grasp your "logic"

    Premise: Existence is fundamentally painful / problematic -> Conclusion: One should refrain from having children in order to save them from such an existence

    Corollary: One should also end one's own existence, in order to save their future self from a fundamentally painful / problematic existence

    Given that you (hopefully) do not appear to be contemplating ending your own existence, it would appear that your premise lacks merit. Never mind that the idea of somehow being able to weigh the totality of a person's existence on some sort of cosmic scale and come to a definitive conclusion as to whether it was "fundamentally painful" is patently ridiculous. What objective measures would you propose we use? Time spent happy versus time spent sad?

    Note: I am not advocating anyone actually kill themselves. If anyone is dealing with severe depression I hope they seek professional help and furthermore I hope they don't seriously consider having kids until they have reached a better point in their lives.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
    Quothtestsubject23
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    Skynet: Should I design my own Terminator y/n?

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    So let me see if I grasp your "logic"

    Premise: Existence is fundamentally painful / problematic -> Conclusion: One should refrain from having children in order to save them from such an existence

    Corollary: One should also end one's own existence, in order to save their future self from a fundamentally painful / problematic existence

    Given that you (hopefully) do not appear to be contemplating ending your own existence, it would appear that your premise lacks merit. Never mind that the idea of somehow being able to weigh the totality of a person's existence on some sort of cosmic scale and come to a definitive conclusion as to whether it was "fundamentally painful" is patently ridiculous. What objective measures would you propose we use? Time spent happy versus time spent sad?

    Note: I am not advocating anyone actually kill themselves. If anyone is dealing with severe depression I hope they seek professional help and furthermore I hope they don't seriously consider having kids until they have reached a better point in their lives.

    It's possible that, once born, a person is subject to the possibility of post-death experiences that are more painful / problematic than the experiences that occur in life. Non-existent, non-born entities are not subject to the possibility of those same post-death experiences. I suppose one could argue that non-born entities exist in a realm of torment and suffering, and embodying them in this reality is an overall decrease in their pain and torment...but persons don't seem to be making that argument.


    It doesn't seem riciculous to maintain that life involves pain, and that instances of pain and non-happiness seem to occur more regularly than instances of euphoria and happiness. Seems like we could self-reflect on any given day and assess what percent of time was spent being happy as opposed to sad or non-happy. Then combine those self-reports, find the averages, and discern a general assessment of the pain to pleasure ratio of human existence. Most adults I know do not experience euphoria from their jobs, and spend about 1/3 of their adult life in that job. Another 1/3 is spent asleep. The final 1/3 may be pleasant, or kinda tolerable.

    One could focus on just the negative or just the positive. But ignoring either seems problematic. I think the best one could do, if trying to give an unbiased assessment, is that human existence is, at best, generally tolerable for the majority of persons.

    Subjecting an entity to an existence that is generally tolerable, in which it may get a few blowjobs, and will likely get a few papercuts, doesn't seem like a great idea.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    MagicPrime wrote: »
    If you put this much thought and analysis to having children, you probably shouldn't have children.

    I couldn't imagine my life without my daughter. I'd probably have more video games, and be really fat and lazy.
    I wish that more people would put more thought and analysis into whether or not to have children.

    Too many people seem to do it just because it's what you do, or because the church tells them to.

    Thanatos on
    _J_IncenjucarPLAGennenalyse RuebenHacksawMrVyngaard
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Man, dude, you are bumming me out. Where you at in maslow's hierarchy? Cuz, if it is self actualization, I don't want it anymore.

    You're probably mostly right though, so that sucks. BUT, I still feel it is not morally objectionable to have a baby or two.

    davidsdurions on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quoth wrote: »
    I think that Kant is not helpful here because how can you treat an unborn child as an end in itself, how can it have autonomy in the act of its own creation

    Now I'm trying to remember Kant's position on procreation. The best I can do, at the moment, is a quote from the Metaphysics of Morals:

    "The end of begetting and bringing up children may be an end of nature, for which it implanted the inclination of sexes for each other; but it is not a requisite for human beings who marry to make this their end in order for their union to be compatible with rights, for otherwise marriage would be dissolved when procreation ceases."

    So, there's that.

    As to how an unborn child can be treated as an end in itself...we can likely agree that as an unborn entity it is not an end in itself. However, some time after it is born it would be an end in itself. It has the potential for end-in-itselfness. We cannot treat the potential as actual. We can, however, acknowledge the potential, and recognize that in creating a human life we're manifesting a situation in which it shall eventually be an end in itself, responsible for itself. Ignoring that seems problematic.

    Problematic in the sense that one needs to not only focus upon years one to eighteen. When I talk to persons about having kids they seem to only talk about those years, and don't seem to consider their potential offspring's well-being after 18.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Man, dude, you are bumming me out. Where you at in maslow's hierarchy? Cuz, if it is self actualization, I don't want it anymore.

    You're probably mostly right though, so that sucks. BUT, I still feel it is not morally objectionable to have a baby or two.

    I am so at the top of that hierarchy, raining down truth.

    As to whether or not it's morally objectionable...I find that sort of talk problematic. "Morality" seems to occupy this very strange position with respect to emotion and reason, and contains all these pseudo-religious relics of shalls and shall nots. It's not a very helpful vocabulary.

    Instead, I try to focus upon reasons and objective discernments of what having a child involves. It might not be morally objectionable or morally praiseworthy. It may be morally inert. And that's fine.

    But procreation is definitely not consequence-free. You're creating an entity that will likely be self-conscious, and will likely experience both pleasure and pain. Unless it's poshniallo, its life will probably not be > 51% awesome happiness and bliss. It will probably get sick, be disappointed, experience sadness, etc. It will also likely experience happiness, fall in love, have an orgasm, etc.

    Those seem to be relevant facts to one's consideration of whether or not procreation is a thing to do. Would it be keen to give birth to a future president? Yeah. Would it be awesome to give birth to an entity that dies of cancer at age 12? Not really, no. Would it be keen to be an entity born to parents who raise it through childhood, and then toss it out on its own? Well, that depends on the child's disposition, which is an unknown.

    Ignoring all of those questions seems silly.

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    Ignoring those questions may be silly, but basing your decisions on a bunch of random theoretically possible life outcomes is also pretty silly

    I don't think there is a way to statistically determine whether a child will be happy enough to merit bringing said child into this world... You'd have to, I guess, sit down and determine the relative likelihood of particular events happening, and then assign each event some kind of happiness point allocation based on... What? Personal preference? Averages through a survey of a statistically relevant sample size? How many life events are you going to include in this vast happiness calculus?

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2013
    Quoth wrote: »
    Ignoring those questions may be silly, but basing your decisions on a bunch of random theoretically possible life outcomes is also pretty silly

    I don't think there is a way to statistically determine whether a child will be happy enough to merit bringing said child into this world... You'd have to, I guess, sit down and determine the relative likelihood of particular events happening, and then assign each event some kind of happiness point allocation based on... What? Personal preference? Averages through a survey of a statistically relevant sample size? How many life events are you going to include in this vast happiness calculus?

    All of them, ideally.

    Perhaps there is a middle ground to be found between:

    1) I'm having a kid because I want to have a kid.
    2) Let's determine the universal calculus by which we can discern whether the child to be produced shall live a life that is 51% preferable.

    I'd be interested to know what that middle ground is. Because it seems like most people stop at #1.

    Edit: And #1 plus economic considerations doesn't cut it.

    _J_ on
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    "it is not a requisite for human beings who marry to make this their end in order for their union to be compatible with rights, for otherwise marriage would be dissolved when procreation ceases."

    This is absolutely true, and no one should feel that they MUST have children in order to be whole or socially accepted or whatever

    People should have children because they like children, and want to have one, in order that they might do things with the child that are customarily done with children in some form or fashion

    If you do not like children, and do not want to do things that are typically involved in the raising of children, then do not have a child

    I think maybe it is much easier to come to the decision NOT to have them, honestly

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Within the space of this conversation, a question is my mind. Who decides for the potential new human if it is a good idea to come into existence or not? Is it prudent to make that choice for them before they have even a chance to experience living for themselves? Making the statements here that life sucks more than it rocks is precarious. Maybe for some people, the suffering is worth it to get to the bliss.

    Again, I'm going to preface here that I'm speaking within this conversation, shouldn't each individual be given the chance to decide if this life is worth living or not, rather than we make that choice with our personal experience possibly tainting the choice for them? (remember now, especially for this next sentence, I am not an advocate for violence, including self violence) And if they don't like the choice of giving them their own choice, there are methods of getting back to nonexistence.

    Just some thoughts. I'll check back ler to see if I spurred any further ideas. By the way, I find this conversation fascinating, especially in our current status of trying and failing to procreate so far.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    _J_
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    Most people stop at #1 because #2 is virtually impossible to determine

    Even if I sat down and tried to retrospectively decide whether my life up to this point has been over 51% happy, I could not do it in a way that would be remotely objective, and I would be dealing with known variables because my past is fixed

    Attempting to do such a thing while taking into account a near-infinite number of UNknown variables strikes me as somewhat nuts

    testsubject23
  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    I'm not going to even touch the paragraph where you speculate wildly on one of the infinite possibilities of an afterlife and prelife that may or may not exist.

    Do you wish you had never been born? Does anyone on these boards? If someone you love were to suddenly pass away, would you wish that they would have never been born, so that you could be spared the anguish and pain of loss?

    Re: Your assertion that pain and non-happiness occurs more frequently than euphoria and happiness. Even if that's true, so what? How many stubbed toes and days with the flu are worth my wedding night, or seeing my son's face light up when I come home from work? It's a fruitless endeavor. It seems to me that you are dealing with things that are inherently subjective and trying to coat them with a veneer of "rationality" so you can come to your own pre-determined conclusions on the value of existence.

    Does the fact that the vast majority of people fear death above all other things not indicate that most people do, in fact, find value in their own existence?

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    Fearing unlife does not necessarily mean you value existence, I think, just that you fear not existing more than you fear the future and dislike the present

    _J_
  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I must say, I do fail to see the distinction in "justice" and the description of Kant's virtue given by _J_. Personally, I'm more of a Nietzsche guy than a Kant guy. (Will to power and all that.)

    I'd argue that, it's irrational to try and justify not having kids on he the basis of moral philosophy when it basically comes down to, "I don't want kids." That isn't to say there aren't perfectly rational arguments to be made, but the motivation itself doesn't seem terribly rational. Particularly if you're overreacting by going, "I'm-not-ready-for-this-and-oh-my-gawd-what-if-the-kid-dies-horribly!" You don't need the aegis of Kant or some mantle of rationality to decide that you don't want kids.

    Forgive my presumption, but I'll assume some things about _J_ here for a moment. He has a girlfriend. I assume he's a heterosexual male with a fertile partner and that he enjoys sex a non-zero amount of the time. That's an existential problem, not a moral-ethical one. It all comes down to how much you're willing to sacrifice to stick by your convictions, especially if your significant other is unwilling to compromise very much.

    Twenty Sided on
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

    As I said before, I don't think either term is usually applicable.

    That seems strange.

    "I'm going to have a kid because I want to have a kid." seems like something people say...and it doesn't seem selfless. Or when you ask someone why they want to have a kid, and they list a bunch of things they would enjoy about it.

    That's what "selfish" is.

    Just as I'm sure there is a couple, somewhere, who had a child so that it could be sacrificed to the harvest good in order to benefit their community.

    'I'm not going to have a kid because I don't want to have a kid'

    Isn't that equally selfish/selfless?

    Having desires to do things is not selfishness!

    And I still disagree with your claim that pain and suffering are the main parts of the human condition.

    Not having a kid purely because one does not want kids is selfish, sure. If one does not have a kid because one discerns that existence is fundamentally painful / problematic, and so they refrain from having children, despite their desires, in order to save the child from that pain, then the act would be selfless.

    Again, the label of selfish / selfless has to do with motivation, rather than the act.


    I guess your existence has been far more pleasant than mine or RT800's. That's keen for you, but I doubt that everyone is able to achieve your pain-free lifestyle. Perhaps having children, in your case, is less problematic given that you've found a way to avoid the painful, hurtful aspects of reality with which others find themselves in conflict.

    Actually I was abused as a child and have suffered from an incurable disease giving me chronic pain for the last 20 years. Plus, as I mentioned in one of my posts made of English words, my wife suffers from severe post-natal depression.

    What I don't have is a mental health problem resulting from this, luckily. And your attitude, or RT800's, to people and life comes across as that, denialed into a philosophy.

    And now I'm irritated enough at your smug assumptions that I'm out.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quoth wrote: »
    People should have children because they like children, and want to have one, in order that they might do things with the child that are customarily done with children in some form or fashion

    If you do not like children, and do not want to do things that are typically involved in the raising of children, then do not have a child

    I'd agree with those, but think them incomplete. I think we need to consider the child's concerns, as well as the individual's abilities to be parents independent of their desires.

    Another issue is something SKFM mentioned on page one, that nobody seemed to take up: What if the two parents have a genetic disease they pass on to the child? That seems like a relevant non-emotive factor to consider.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Within the space of this conversation, a question is my mind. Who decides for the potential new human if it is a good idea to come into existence or not? Is it prudent to make that choice for them before they have even a chance to experience living for themselves? Making the statements here that life sucks more than it rocks is precarious. Maybe for some people, the suffering is worth it to get to the bliss.

    Again, I'm going to preface here that I'm speaking within this conversation, shouldn't each individual be given the chance to decide if this life is worth living or not, rather than we make that choice with our personal experience possibly tainting the choice for them? (remember now, especially for this next sentence, I am not an advocate for violence, including self violence) And if they don't like the choice of giving them their own choice, there are methods of getting back to nonexistence.

    Just some thoughts. I'll check back ler to see if I spurred any further ideas. By the way, I find this conversation fascinating, especially in our current status of trying and failing to procreate so far.

    @davidsdurions

    That's interesting: Afford the child the opportunity to decide for itself, and then remove the stigma of suicide so that if the child doesn't like existence it can opt out.

    That would go along with the notion that it's good for the child to be able to decide for itself. The problem then arises of the nigh-infinite number of non-born non-entities that never have the opportunity to decide for their self. Even the quiverfull folk wouldn't have enough children to give EVERY potential child the opportunity to decide for itself.

    Hmm...Am I obligated to procreate for the sake of affording a non-born entity access to existence so that it can decide if it wants to exist?

    That's a fun question. Thanks!

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I'd argue that, it's irrational to try and justify not having kids on he the basis of moral philosophy when it basically comes down to, "I don't want kids." That isn't to say there aren't perfectly rational arguments to be made, but the motivation itself doesn't seem terribly rational. Particularly if you're overreacting by going, "I'm-not-ready-for-this-and-oh-my-gawd-what-if-the-kid-dies-horribly!" You don't need the aegis of Kant or some mantle of rationality to decide that you don't want kids.

    To be clear, it's not that I am outright opposed to procreation at all times, in all ways. If that were the case I wouldn't be bothering with all these questions.

    I discern that there are some enjoyable and non-enjoyable aspects of parenting. I discern that there are some enjoyable and non-enjoyable aspects of life.

    I'm trying to find a way to factor all of that into the decision making process, so that the decision of whether or not I spawn is based upon something more significant than an emotive disposition. Because there seem to be many more factors involved than merely my emotions.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think it's very odd to call it a selfish act. You're creating another human, which the world, despite overpopulation, does need a continuous supply of. And you're creating a person who you will then sacrifice a lot for, which seems to make the idea of selfish or not a moot point.

    I'm not saying it's altruistic either - just that using the word 'selfishness' is a category error. Like calling the act of procreation 'purple'.

    "selfish" has to do with motivation. Player A could have a child selfishly, and Player B could have a child selflessly.

    I happen to be able to think of more instances of "selfish" procreation than "selfless" procreation.

    As I said before, I don't think either term is usually applicable.

    That seems strange.

    "I'm going to have a kid because I want to have a kid." seems like something people say...and it doesn't seem selfless. Or when you ask someone why they want to have a kid, and they list a bunch of things they would enjoy about it.

    That's what "selfish" is.

    Just as I'm sure there is a couple, somewhere, who had a child so that it could be sacrificed to the harvest good in order to benefit their community.

    'I'm not going to have a kid because I don't want to have a kid'

    Isn't that equally selfish/selfless?

    Having desires to do things is not selfishness!

    And I still disagree with your claim that pain and suffering are the main parts of the human condition.

    Not having a kid purely because one does not want kids is selfish, sure. If one does not have a kid because one discerns that existence is fundamentally painful / problematic, and so they refrain from having children, despite their desires, in order to save the child from that pain, then the act would be selfless.

    Again, the label of selfish / selfless has to do with motivation, rather than the act.


    I guess your existence has been far more pleasant than mine or RT800's. That's keen for you, but I doubt that everyone is able to achieve your pain-free lifestyle. Perhaps having children, in your case, is less problematic given that you've found a way to avoid the painful, hurtful aspects of reality with which others find themselves in conflict.

    Actually I was abused as a child and have suffered from an incurable disease giving me chronic pain for the last 20 years. Plus, as I mentioned in one of my posts made of English words, my wife suffers from severe post-natal depression.

    What I don't have is a mental health problem resulting from this, luckily. And your attitude, or RT800's, to people and life comes across as that, denialed into a philosophy.

    And now I'm irritated enough at your smug assumptions that I'm out.

    @poshniallo

    I apologize.

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