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On Procreation

124

Posts

  • r4dr3zr4dr3z Registered User regular
    If the idea of raising a child doesn't excite you then you probably shouldn't do it. A lot of people are forced into thinking that they should have children or need to. There is no rational explanation for why, so just listen to what your emotions tell you. Anecdotally, women tend to have a stronger emotional desire for children then men, but not all women are wired that way. Do consider whether you need to have children and possibly grandchildren in your old age. Also keep in mind that if you're successful at raising your children, they will most likely move away in pursuit of their careers. And if you're unsuccessful, they will refuse to keep in touch with you.

  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Well the thing about John Stuart Mill's utilitarian calculus is that it's terribly circumstantial and dependent on having good information. Your ethics classes don't go out of their way to say it, but that's basically a logical conclusion.

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    I would argue that an unborn entity does not have agency, does not have the ability to make decisions, and thus does not get a choice in the matter by virtue of not existing

    You are not obligated to do anything for something that doesn't exist, and the idea that you might is very strange to me

    Like... Are you obligated to call someone "Mr. President" because they may eventually become president? Are you obligated to treat your girlfriend as if you are married because you may someday become married? Are you obligated to buy everyone in the world a Christmas present because they may at some point become good enough friends with you to merit you giving them a present? I feel like this could quickly spiral into unreasonable places

    In terms of considering the child's concerns, I think it's not unreasonable to worry about providing for what we might call the basic necessities... Food, clothing, shelter, that sort of thing

    If you can't do that, you probably shouldn't have children, but even then we can debate what qualifies as "providing" and I would say that it would be presumptuous to argue that impoverished people are morally wrong for having children

    Again, I don't think any kind of categorical imperative would function here... Each person must decide for him or herself the conditions that are sufficient for them to feel comfortable with raising a child, given the time commitment and expense associated

    And in the end, that often becomes an emotional rather than coldly rational decision, because how much money is enough? How much time? It's all pretty subjective, no matter how much you think about it and try to create parameters and definitions

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    Do consider whether you need to have children and possibly grandchildren in your old age.

    These hypotheticals are problematic.

    Q: How will you feel about children when you are 70 years old?
    A: I am not 70 years old.

    I can imagine myself as 70, and imagine myself feeling a particular way about children when I'm 70, but that imagined hypothetical doesn't necessarily relate to how things shall actually be if I make it to 70.

    That's a further level of complication on the decision. And when my lady friend says that she'll want kids in five years I want to ask how, absent a time machine, she knows that. Because she doesn't *know* it. She's imagining herself in the future desiring kids. Just as I can imagine myself in the future liking kids, or imagine myself not liking kids, or imagine myself as a pirate.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2013
    Quoth wrote: »
    I would argue that an unborn entity does not have agency, does not have the ability to make decisions, and thus does not get a choice in the matter by virtue of not existing

    You are not obligated to do anything for something that doesn't exist, and the idea that you might is very strange to me

    Like... Are you obligated to call someone "Mr. President" because they may eventually become president? Are you obligated to treat your girlfriend as if you are married because you may someday become married? Are you obligated to buy everyone in the world a Christmas present because they may at some point become good enough friends with you to merit you giving them a present? I feel like this could quickly spiral into unreasonable places

    Yeah...the potential / actual component of this is quite problematic.

    I'll agree that it's strange to consider the well-being of a non-existent entity...but that's part of the conversation.

    At the moment I'm trying to figure out why an expectant mother's attitude towards the well-being of her zygote is different from the attitude towards....let's go with "that which shall become the zygote". Persons anthropomorphize zygotes all the time, and posit attitudes and personalities onto fetuses. I'll agree that there are material differences between a fetus, a zygote, and a non-instantiated potential...but those are all stages of potentiality. Though, the materialized fetus and zygote have particular concerns for their biology well-being that uninstantiated non-persons lack.

    It seems problematic to not consider the potential / hypothetical well-being of the child in one's decision...and yet at the same time fixating upon potential hypotheticals is also problematic.

    hmm

    _J_ on
  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    Do consider whether you need to have children and possibly grandchildren in your old age.

    These hypotheticals are problematic.

    Q: How will you feel about children when you are 70 years old?
    A: I am not 70 years old.

    I can imagine myself as 70, and imagine myself feeling a particular way about children when I'm 70, but that imagined hypothetical doesn't necessarily relate to how things shall actually be if I make it to 70.

    That's a further level of complication on the decision. And when my lady friend says that she'll want kids in five years I want to ask how, absent a time machine, she knows that. Because she doesn't *know* it. She's imagining herself in the future desiring kids. Just as I can imagine myself in the future liking kids, or imagine myself not liking kids, or imagine myself as a pirate.

    Probably what she means is that she wants to have children, but she wants to enjoy her life as it is for a few years first. Or she doesn't feel that she's in a situation where having a kid is a good idea, but she thinks that will change in five years or so.

    By the way, a few people have commented that one reason to have children is so that someone will support you in your old age. You have no guarantee that your kids will be willing or able to support you; and even if you have the most loving family ever, the odds are good you'll still die alone. Whereas if you don't have kids and save your money instead, you can pay for end-of-life care yourself. Make a point of making and keeping friends as you get older, so you won't end up a lonely shut-in.

    Also, as others have said, parenting lasts longer than 18 years. My parents put me through college. My sister's education was paid for by the army, but my parents helped with her rent and living expenses for a year or two after she graduated, because she was in the awkward position of not being able to get a full-time job because of being in military limbo.

    It seems to me that an attempt at analysing the logic/ethics of having children is most likely to favor not procreating. So: do you want to be a parent? If so, proceed with your analysis. If not, you can stop because having a child you don't actually want is a terrible idea.

    Trying to decide things purely rationally seems like a good idea, but humans aren't rational creatures. We act on emotion first and logic second. Making a major life decision if your heart isn't in it is a recipe for disaster, as any number of divorcees can tell you.

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
  • r4dr3zr4dr3z Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    Do consider whether you need to have children and possibly grandchildren in your old age.

    These hypotheticals are problematic.

    Q: How will you feel about children when you are 70 years old?
    A: I am not 70 years old.

    I can imagine myself as 70, and imagine myself feeling a particular way about children when I'm 70, but that imagined hypothetical doesn't necessarily relate to how things shall actually be if I make it to 70.

    That's a further level of complication on the decision. And when my lady friend says that she'll want kids in five years I want to ask how, absent a time machine, she knows that. Because she doesn't *know* it. She's imagining herself in the future desiring kids. Just as I can imagine myself in the future liking kids, or imagine myself not liking kids, or imagine myself as a pirate.
    You never can with any major life decision. What's worse, you can't go back in time and try to see what life would have been like if you made a different choice. All you can do is go with what you feel is right at the time, and roll with the punches as life throws them at you.

  • MuddypawsMuddypaws Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Our language could use a word that covers "selfish" without the connotation, but our culture tends to heap connotation onto words like whoa.

    Selfish acts are not inherently bad. It just means that the act is done for yourself rather than for another. Playing video games is selfish. Eating tasty food is selfish. Enjoying a sunny day is selfish. You can be selfish without being Mr. Scrooge. For the sake of this thread, we should at least stick with that definition of the word so that the thread can move on.

    I like the Collins dictionary definiton for 'self-indulgence' as a good way to describe my attitude to childbirth. One might argue wether it's 'essential' in an individualistic sense but certainly at the global scale it's not. Just to note I have a child and he's the person I love most in the world and who brings me most joy. Is he essential to me now? Certainly. Was he essential as a hypothetical being? No.
    self-indulgence-the act or an instance of allowing yourself to have or do things you enjoy very much but which are not essential

    Muddypaws on
  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    Do consider whether you need to have children and possibly grandchildren in your old age.

    These hypotheticals are problematic.

    Q: How will you feel about children when you are 70 years old?
    A: I am not 70 years old.

    I can imagine myself as 70, and imagine myself feeling a particular way about children when I'm 70, but that imagined hypothetical doesn't necessarily relate to how things shall actually be if I make it to 70.

    That's a further level of complication on the decision. And when my lady friend says that she'll want kids in five years I want to ask how, absent a time machine, she knows that. Because she doesn't *know* it. She's imagining herself in the future desiring kids. Just as I can imagine myself in the future liking kids, or imagine myself not liking kids, or imagine myself as a pirate.

    So you are dismissive of your lady friend for an imagined hypothetical of "knowing" what she wants in five years, yet you are here in this thread using a completely hypothetical life of an unborn child to make a decision on whether or not to procreate?

    Never mind that you seem to be stubbornly insistent on dismissing emotions, yet your entire metric for the desirability of the hypothetical child's existence is a net-sum evaluation of the said child's emotive state.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    I think no one is saying that you shouldn't consider the future child's well-being, but that, as you noted, fixating on hypotheticals is fairly pointless

    I could hypothetically get in a car accident on the way to work, but I still get in my car every morning and go, because that risk is outweighed by my desire to pay for my house and food and occasional fun times

    You could hypothetically have a kid who is unhappy for some reason at random points in time, but is it worth the risk for the hypothetical happiness he and you might also have

    You are literally the only person who can make that decision for you, and there is nothing rational about it

    The rational part, as I think someone else mentioned, is determining what timing you find appropriate, and even that is only slightly more rational because it's still highly subjective

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    The costs are physical and logically quantifiable. The benefits are emotional and fluffy. That in no way stops the benefits outweighing the costs.

    Plus have you seen the kind of other people out there who are pooping out babies? It's like my duty to the human race to put a few decently raised moral human beings in to the future population mix.

    TingleSigBar.gif
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    In most cases, procreation boils down to the simple philosophy that has always guided mankind.

    It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
    furlion
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    OK, having read through the thread I'm pretty sure I have a the flow chart _J_ needs:
    1) Do you believe life to be by default a miserable and unending cruelty?

    NO: Move on to further considerations on having kids or not.

    YES: Do not have kids.

    Because this is a subset of the greater question,
    Do you think that (within reasonable bounds of probability) you can give your unborn child a happy life?

    For most people that's a question of the physical practicalities. For you that seems to be a philosophical problem where you are unsure any life can be classed as happy.

    And to preempt you, yes, thinking has to be good enough because nobody can know the future for sure. Without some gambles in life none of us go anywhere, either individually or as a whole species.

    TingleSigBar.gif
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    You win sometimes, and lose sometimes. I'm staying alive for the reason any gambler stays in a casino.

  • BogartBogart Because I hate you Registered User, Moderator mod
    _J_ wrote:
    Recently, my lady friend and I talked about having children. She expressed an emotive inclination towards children, and I expressed emotive ambivalence and indecision.

    This is my favourite post all year. It is so exactly you.

    spool32_J_PLADread Pirate Arbuthnot
  • G RolG Rol Registered User regular
    My father's side of the family carries a genetic marker for Fatal Familial Insomnia . The bulletpoints: a prion protein in the brain stops working properly which results in chronic insomnia, hallucinations, severe weight loss, dementia and ultimately death. The whole process takes between 7 to 36 months upon onset (the average I've observed in my family is about one year). Onset occurs anytime between the ages of 18 to 60, though my cousin passed from it at the age of 17.

    We were unable to receive the proper diagnosis until my dad's autopsy (he made it to 55). His brain matter was flown to the Cleveland Clinic and studied for months before we received solid confirmation. Until that point, we just knew that various members of our family would stop sleeping, "go crazy", and die.

    Our family was informed that a blood test is available to determine if one has the genetic marker for this particular prion disease. A child has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the marker from a carrier parent. If one carries the marker, it will become active at some point; a true genetic time bomb. Should one carry the marker, he/she will die from the disease at a rate of 100%.

    I elected to get tested because I have a 13 year old daughter. I had to know if I needed to inform her of this issue so that she could make an informed choice regarding getting tested herself and procreation in the future. I wouldn't have mentioned it until she was 18, the hospitals will not test minors for this disease. Luckily, my test was negative. I have zero chance of ever contracting FFI and zero chance of passing it along to my children.

    During the course of my dad's disease and ultimate diagnosis my wife and I were discussing having a child (my daughter is from a previous relationship and was a "surprise"). Had I been positive for the genetic marker we absolutely would not have had a child together. I couldn't imagine putting my kid in a situation where they would have to watch my slow death with the knowledge that they may share the same fate. Did that logic make me selfish? Selfless? I didn't regret being born prior to testing, nor did I regret having my daughter. Would it have been the right thing to do to deny a life solely based the on the promise of a 50/50 shot of at ugly death? I'm immeasurably fortunate I didn't have to ultimately face these decisions.

    My wife and I had a boy on 11/23/12. Please recognize that I hate being this earnest, but the ability to have children is a gift that biology, circumstance, and luck (yes, luck...my daughter was a complete surprise after all) that is not granted everyone. If you have even the smallest predilection toward having children, fucking go for it. Have a loving wife/husband/partner? Make that shit happen. It's worth every sleepless night, silly teenage argument, and time strain.

    spool32
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    PLA wrote: »
    You win sometimes, and lose sometimes. I'm staying alive for the reason any gambler stays in a casino.

    "Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities." -Tyrion

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
    PLA
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    If you are aware you are a carrier, wouldn't you kinda have the option of getting amniocentesis, and if it is positive, not carrying that particular child to term? I'm being a bit blunt and insensitive in a sort of hypothetical way, but if you are a carrier, can't you pretty much ensure that none of you offspring ever suffer from it again? Abortion isn't a great thing, but removing a genetic defect from your branch of the family tree is kinda a thing we can do now, isn't it?

    I guess there is still some question of should you have a kid if you know they are going to have to watch you die in what sounds like a horrific manner at some unknowable point in time. But from a purely genetic procreation point of view... is there any reason for things like this to still be a major hindrance?

    This machine kills threads.
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    As terrified of uncertainty as you are there is no way you should have a kid.

    AlanF5shryke
  • G RolG Rol Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    redx wrote: »
    If you are aware you are a carrier, wouldn't you kinda have the option of getting amniocentesis, and if it is positive, not carrying that particular child to term? I'm being a bit blunt and insensitive in a sort of hypothetical way, but if you are a carrier, can't you pretty much ensure that none of you offspring ever suffer from it again? Abortion isn't a great thing, but removing a genetic defect from your branch of the family tree is kinda a thing we can do now, isn't it?

    I guess there is still some question of should you have a kid if you know they are going to have to watch you die in what sounds like a horrific manner at some unknowable point in time. But from a purely genetic procreation point of view... is there any reason for things like this to still be a major hindrance?

    That was something we discussed at the time, but we weren't comfortable with coin flip odds of having to determine if we should terminate a pregnancy.

    Let's say that was our plan...how many time do we try? Once, twice..and on and on hoping the test came back negative? For us, that wasn't a feasible option.

    G Rol on
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Man G_Rol. That is a proper horror story. I'm so sorry for your family and relieved to hear that you aren't a carrier.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    QuothShadowfireAlanF5_J_PLA
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    As terrified of uncertainty as you are there is no way you should have a kid.

    I think this is a corollary to the more general "if you are unsure whether you want one, don't have one"

    It is also okay not to want one NOW, or to say you are not sure that you will ever want one but be open to changing your mind at some point

    This is not something that needs to be decided for ever and ever right now, in this particular case

    At the same time, it's good to ask yourself the question because if you legitimately decide that you do NOT want kids, and your significant other does, then you may want to think about breaking up before it becomes a more serious issue

    It's one of those fundamental things that, if you are not on the same page, or at least in the same book, you are doing your relationship a disservice by continuing, I think

    AlanF5
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Calica wrote: »
    It seems to me that an attempt at analysing the logic/ethics of having children is most likely to favor not procreating. So: do you want to be a parent? If so, proceed with your analysis. If not, you can stop because having a child you don't actually want is a terrible idea.

    @Calica: If the logic / ethics indicate that having children is not justifiable, or problematic, then why would an emotional inclination to have children trump that analysis?

    It's the first premise from the OP: Our reactions to serial killers are not usually, "Oh, you wanted to kill people? Well, go ahead, then." There are other factors to be considered than the agent's disposition towards the activity. With serial killers we get the handy legal appeal of "X is illegal, so it's impermissible." but there are times when laws are considered to be immoral / unethical, and so one engages in illegal acts or refrains from legal acts due to some other ideal.

    It seems strange that procreation would not be subject to that same level of critique and analysis. It's legal to procreate. Some persons want to procreate, while others do not.

    Great.

    Is it a good thing to do? Is it justifiable / permissible?

    Or, what makes procreation so fundamentally different from every other human activity that it is somehow only subject to emotional inclination?

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    _J_ wrote:
    Recently, my lady friend and I talked about having children. She expressed an emotive inclination towards children, and I expressed emotive ambivalence and indecision.

    This is my favourite post all year. It is so exactly you.

    @Bogart

    And we're only 11 days into the year!

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Calica wrote: »
    It seems to me that an attempt at analysing the logic/ethics of having children is most likely to favor not procreating. So: do you want to be a parent? If so, proceed with your analysis. If not, you can stop because having a child you don't actually want is a terrible idea.

    @Calica: If the logic / ethics indicate that having children is not justifiable, or problematic, then why would an emotional inclination to have children trump that analysis?

    It's the first premise from the OP: Our reactions to serial killers are not usually, "Oh, you wanted to kill people? Well, go ahead, then." There are other factors to be considered than the agent's disposition towards the activity. With serial killers we get the handy legal appeal of "X is illegal, so it's impermissible." but there are times when laws are considered to be immoral / unethical, and so one engages in illegal acts or refrains from legal acts due to some other ideal.

    It seems strange that procreation would not be subject to that same level of critique and analysis. It's legal to procreate. Some persons want to procreate, while others do not.

    Great.

    Is it a good thing to do? Is it justifiable / permissible?

    Or, what makes procreation so fundamentally different from every other human activity that it is somehow only subject to emotional inclination?

    Because analysing the future life worth of an as yet unborn being is filled with so many unknowns as to defy any attempt at analysis other than the emotional.

    TingleSigBar.gif
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    G Rol wrote: »
    During the course of my dad's disease and ultimate diagnosis my wife and I were discussing having a child (my daughter is from a previous relationship and was a "surprise"). Had I been positive for the genetic marker we absolutely would not have had a child together. I couldn't imagine putting my kid in a situation where they would have to watch my slow death with the knowledge that they may share the same fate. Did that logic make me selfish? Selfless? I didn't regret being born prior to testing, nor did I regret having my daughter. Would it have been the right thing to do to deny a life solely based the on the promise of a 50/50 shot of at ugly death? I'm immeasurably fortunate I didn't have to ultimately face these decisions.

    The motivations you articulated were related to the well-being of your offspring, rather than yourself. You wanted to protect your potential child from that pain. This would seem to be a selfless act.

    To the "deny a life" notion: This is something I'm trying to figure out. If I refrain from having children am I denying a life? That would seem to require that there be a specific potential life that would occur were I to procreate, and my abstaining from procreation is actively denying that particular specific potential life. That notion seems, initially, kinda silly. There probably isn't a line of potential human beings / souls waiting to be implanted into a zygote. But maybe I'm wrong, and there is a line, and there is a specific particular potential life that is just waiting for me to not use a condom so it can be born and cure AIDS. It would be quite problematic for me to deny that AIDS-cure-potential-human access to this realm of existence.

    I can imagine a reality in which procreation allows those waiting non-beings into existence. I can imagine a reality in which abstaining from procreation denies a potential AIDS-cure-potential-human from accessing this reality.

    I'm just not sure which of those is the actual reality in which we live.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quoth wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    As terrified of uncertainty as you are there is no way you should have a kid.

    I think this is a corollary to the more general "if you are unsure whether you want one, don't have one"

    It seems that there are times when persons are urged to do things they do not want to do for the sake of some larger ideal. For example, persons are sometimes convinced to join the military or run for political office or take a particular job for the sake of their country, their family, their particular group. One of the other replies on this page mentioned the notion of "duty" towards humanity.

    Those sorts of concerns seem relevant, too. Does a human being have some duty to the human species such that procreation is something to be done? Or is procreation significantly different from other instances of duty to humanity?

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    My reference to my duty to humanity to procreate was entirely flippant and based on my huge ego :P

    TingleSigBar.gif
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Duties are a choice.

  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Rationality gives you not a destination, but a compass. If we do not involve emotions or whims there is no reason to do anything. People do not indulge in a desire of theirs only when doing so allows them to either fulfil a greater desire or get into a better position to fulfil a more valuable set of desires in the future. We owe the values common to most of humanity to evolutionary coincidences. Rationality just gives you the tools you need to reach your (arbitrary) goals. You cannot divorce the emotional aspect from the equation because it is the catalyst.

    This, of course, does not invalidates the discussion so long as everyone are on the same page. The problem is that you can't really reach an understanding with people who do not share enough of your values to create a common language. What can you say to change the mind of someone who, from their own perspective, plays optimally because their victory condition is different?

    I may be wrong here, but I think that what you hold as valuable is often rather different from what most of the other posters here find valuable. Thus the most common answer will come down to 'I value this more than you do, so under the same conditions this reasoning is enough for me'.

    Grey Paladin on
    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    My reference to my duty to humanity to procreate was entirely flippant and based on my huge ego :P

    Alright, then.
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Duties are a choice.

    That's an odd notion of duty / obligation.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Rationality gives you not a destination, but a compass. If we do not involve emotions or whims there is no reason to do anything. People do not indulge in a desire of theirs only when doing so allows them to either fulfil a greater desire or get into a better position to fulfil a more valuable set of desires in the future. We owe the values common to most of humanity to evolutionary coincidences. Rationality just gives you the tools you need to reach your (arbitrary) goals. You cannot divorce the emotional aspect from the equation because it is the catalyst.

    This, of course, does not invalidates the discussion so long as everyone are on the same page. The problem is that you can't really reach an understanding with people who do not share enough of your values to create a common language. What can you say to change the mind of someone who, from their own perspective, plays optimally because their victory condition is different?

    I may be wrong here, but I think that what you hold as valuable is often rather different from what most of the other posters here find valuable. Thus the most common answer will come down to 'I value this more than you do, so under the same conditions this reasoning is enough for me'.

    Hi, Hume.

    I'll agree that different people place value in different things. However, given that we are all human beings, there would seem to be some commonality inherent in our being human that isn't merely biological. Presumably there are some universal considerations that are applicable to all persons. We may each give a different answer, but we each ask the same question.

    What's odd is that I just had this conversation with lady friend. I was talking about trying to find those general rules and she was talking about how every person's considerations are different. So, if you have some genetic problems those need to be considered, but if you don't have genetic problems they aren't a factor. To which I replied that she'd articulated a general rule for all humans: Consider what genetic conditions, if any, can be passed on to your offspring.

    So far in the thread we seem to have 3 general things to assess with respect to procreation:

    1) Genetic issues
    2) Economic issues
    3) One's emotive disposition

    There are, presumably, other considerations that a reasonable person would make. It seems that most people only do #3 and, as Thanatos mentioned, that's fucked up.

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    I don't think "most" people do it one way or another, but it's entirely possible that statistics exist to back that contention

    But for your purposes, does it really matter? You're trying to decide whether YOU should do it

    Why would there be a duty to procreate? For what reasons would it be compulsory

  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    _J_ wrote: »
    Rationality gives you not a destination, but a compass. If we do not involve emotions or whims there is no reason to do anything. People do not indulge in a desire of theirs only when doing so allows them to either fulfil a greater desire or get into a better position to fulfil a more valuable set of desires in the future. We owe the values common to most of humanity to evolutionary coincidences. Rationality just gives you the tools you need to reach your (arbitrary) goals. You cannot divorce the emotional aspect from the equation because it is the catalyst.

    This, of course, does not invalidates the discussion so long as everyone are on the same page. The problem is that you can't really reach an understanding with people who do not share enough of your values to create a common language. What can you say to change the mind of someone who, from their own perspective, plays optimally because their victory condition is different?

    I may be wrong here, but I think that what you hold as valuable is often rather different from what most of the other posters here find valuable. Thus the most common answer will come down to 'I value this more than you do, so under the same conditions this reasoning is enough for me'.

    Hi, Hume.

    I'll agree that different people place value in different things. However, given that we are all human beings, there would seem to be some commonality inherent in our being human that isn't merely biological. Presumably there are some universal considerations that are applicable to all persons. We may each give a different answer, but we each ask the same question.

    What's odd is that I just had this conversation with lady friend. I was talking about trying to find those general rules and she was talking about how every person's considerations are different. So, if you have some genetic problems those need to be considered, but if you don't have genetic problems they aren't a factor. To which I replied that she'd articulated a general rule for all humans: Consider what genetic conditions, if any, can be passed on to your offspring.

    So far in the thread we seem to have 3 general things to assess with respect to procreation:

    1) Genetic issues
    2) Economic issues
    3) One's emotive disposition

    There are, presumably, other considerations that a reasonable person would make. It seems that most people only do #3 and, as Thanatos mentioned, that's fucked up.
    On that I can agree. There is certainly a conflict between the tendency of some people to state that they value the prevention of suffering and skipping the questions you outlined in order to fulfil their urge to procreate. What I am suggesting is that many simply care more about 3 than 1 or 2 (and any of your other questions) combined, and give ambiguous answers that focus on their feelings because it is the most socially acceptable way to state that.

    EDIT: That is not to say that these people do not value the prevention of suffering, but that they value 3 more. People can hold similar values but prioritize differently.

    Grey Paladin on
    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quoth wrote: »
    Why would there be a duty to procreate? For what reasons would it be compulsory

    Continuation of the species, or one's particular genetic heritage. If I never have a kid then my particular genetic composition is never passed on, and ends with me. That may be good or bad, I'm not sure. But there is a consequence of my procreating or not procreation with respect to humanity as a whole. One may have a duty to recognize that consequence, and then act in a particular way depending upon what the consequence is.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Rationality gives you not a destination, but a compass. If we do not involve emotions or whims there is no reason to do anything. People do not indulge in a desire of theirs only when doing so allows them to either fulfil a greater desire or get into a better position to fulfil a more valuable set of desires in the future. We owe the values common to most of humanity to evolutionary coincidences. Rationality just gives you the tools you need to reach your (arbitrary) goals. You cannot divorce the emotional aspect from the equation because it is the catalyst.

    This, of course, does not invalidates the discussion so long as everyone are on the same page. The problem is that you can't really reach an understanding with people who do not share enough of your values to create a common language. What can you say to change the mind of someone who, from their own perspective, plays optimally because their victory condition is different?

    I may be wrong here, but I think that what you hold as valuable is often rather different from what most of the other posters here find valuable. Thus the most common answer will come down to 'I value this more than you do, so under the same conditions this reasoning is enough for me'.

    Hi, Hume.

    I'll agree that different people place value in different things. However, given that we are all human beings, there would seem to be some commonality inherent in our being human that isn't merely biological. Presumably there are some universal considerations that are applicable to all persons. We may each give a different answer, but we each ask the same question.

    What's odd is that I just had this conversation with lady friend. I was talking about trying to find those general rules and she was talking about how every person's considerations are different. So, if you have some genetic problems those need to be considered, but if you don't have genetic problems they aren't a factor. To which I replied that she'd articulated a general rule for all humans: Consider what genetic conditions, if any, can be passed on to your offspring.

    So far in the thread we seem to have 3 general things to assess with respect to procreation:

    1) Genetic issues
    2) Economic issues
    3) One's emotive disposition

    There are, presumably, other considerations that a reasonable person would make. It seems that most people only do #3 and, as Thanatos mentioned, that's fucked up.
    On that I can agree. There is certainly a conflict between the tendency of some people to state that they value the prevention of suffering and skipping the questions you outlined in order to fulfil their urge to procreate. What I am suggesting is that many simply care more about 3 than 1 or 2 (and any of your other questions) combined, and give ambiguous answers that focus on their feelings because it is the most socially acceptable way to state that.

    EDIT: That is not to say that these people do not value the prevention of suffering, but that they value 3 more. People can hold similar values but prioritize differently.

    They may care more about 3 than 1 or 2. Once again, though, their emotive disposition isn't necessarily the best justification, or indicative of the right / proper / best action.

    1) Player A is emotionally inclined to procreate.
    2) Player A is emotionally inclined to privilege its emotional attitude towards procreation over other reasons.

    Ok, great. We know how Player A feels. Fantastic. Now let's put those emotions aside, and discern all of the other factors.

    Because, again, a serial killer's desire to kill isn't adequate justification for killing. A child's aversion to vegetables and preference for ice cream isn't a sufficient reason to permit the child to only eat ice cream.

    Rational human beings consider factors other than their emotional dispositions.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    My reference to my duty to humanity to procreate was entirely flippant and based on my huge ego :P

    Alright, then.
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Duties are a choice.

    That's an odd notion of duty / obligation.

    You accept or do not accept a duty. Lots of people try to apply a duty to others, but it's ultimately a choice whether or not you accept it. A lot of people none of us have ever met are very certain that we have a duty to X, Y, or Z, but it doesn't matter unless we accept it and internalize it.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2013
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    My reference to my duty to humanity to procreate was entirely flippant and based on my huge ego :P

    Alright, then.
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Duties are a choice.

    That's an odd notion of duty / obligation.

    You accept or do not accept a duty. Lots of people try to apply a duty to others, but it's ultimately a choice whether or not you accept it. A lot of people none of us have ever met are very certain that we have a duty to X, Y, or Z, but it doesn't matter unless we accept it and internalize it.

    1: All human beings have duties X, Y, and Z.
    2: As a human being, Player A duties X, Y, and Z.

    If Player A does not accept those duties, then Player A is not dutiful. In not accepting the duty Player A is not somehow immune from having it. Rather, Player A is denying a duty it has.

    Duty is about obligation. If one can choose to not be obligated to X, then there's no actual obligation involved. It's just choice. Similarly, if one chooses to have duty-X, then they don't really have a duty to X. Rather, they just chose to do X.

    Duty and obligation go together.

    Choice and non-obligation go together.

    Screwy things happen when those are mixed.

    _J_ on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Person A says "It is your duty to have children." Person B says "It is your duty to not have children."

    Incenjucar on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Person A says "It is your duty to have children." Person B says "It is your duty to not have children."

    If they're saying that to different people it's fine.

    If they're both saying that to Player C? Then, obviously, one of them is mistaken.

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