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On Procreation

1235»

Posts

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Or they both are.

    Lh96QHG.png
    Incenjucar
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Or they both are.

    At least one is mistaken.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Or they both are.

    At least one is mistaken.

    Or both of them, as there is at least one other option, that it is not your duty to have children or not have them.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Or they both are.

    At least one is mistaken.

    Or both of them, as there is at least one other option, that it is not your duty to have children or not have them.

    "at least one" allows for both.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Or they both are.

    At least one is mistaken.

    Or both of them, as there is at least one other option, that it is not your duty to have children or not have them.

    "at least one" allows for both.

    Then a better post would have been "yes, that is also an option."

    Talking about "duty" when it comes to children seems kind of dumb, since we aren't facing a negative population growth crisis and I'll assume no one in here is a member of a royal family.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • 101101 Registered User regular
    What is happening on this page

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    The duty to continue the species can't be universally required because we have plenty of people already, and even if each couple had only one child, the species as a whole would not suffer numerically

    Qualitatively, you could make the subjective determination that your particular gene set is superior to the average and thus that perpetuation of it would inherently benefit humanity, but as previously noted, this would be a subjective determination, because which qualities are worth preserving and how would you determine superiority

    But even then, is it your moral duty to reproduce? If you're good at math, is it your moral duty to become a mathematician? If you're attractive and charismatic, is it your moral duty to be a model? If you have a large penis, is it your duty to be a porn star? Does genetic superiority convey with it the duty to transmit said genes until such time as they may be deemed inferior? And on the other hand, if someone is determined to be genetically inferior, are they obligated to refrain from reproducing?

    This argument smells like eugenics to me, and I am not a fan

    And the problem with making decisions based on consequences is that you have no idea what the consequences are going to be... At best, you can make vague guesses based on things we've already talked about, like genetics and economics, but none of us has a crystal ball to see the future

    Even saying, "I am genetically and financially sound at the present time" will only get you so far, because there is no guarantee that there still won't be something wrong with the kid, or that you won't lose your job and go broke within months of birth

    So the only thing you can hope to honestly know is whether you want kids or not, and once you've answered that, the rest is logistics

    Not morals or duties, just details

  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    There are a spectrum of philosophical positions on procreation.

    The most pessimistic holds that life tends on the whole to be bad. So one ought not bring that on anyone. This position strikes me as implausible: life is not mostly bad.

    A less pessimistic but still conflicted position says that life is mostly good, but at the same time, you're responsible for the wrongs that you inflict in a way that doesn't balance with the benefits you cause. So: by conceiving you may bring someone into the world who has a mostly positive life, but by causing them to exist you assume responsibility for the bad things in their life. This position says that life is good, but that it still may be wrong to have children. It may be wrong because you are uniquely responsible for the wrongs in a way that isn't compensated for by the benefits. This view is also, I think, implausible, but it's buttressed by reference to cases in intuitive morality where we seem to make such a distinction.

    As far as what actually tends to move me, as I see it the hardest cases in procreation are as follows:

    1) You could have child who you know has a (as above) inherited disease that will make them die young--but if you wait, you will have a normal child instead. It seems natural to say that you ought to wait. But for whose sake? Not 'the child's' Because the child will be different in each case. No one will be harmed by making one choice rather than the other. Instead, whether you conceive now or later, in each case you will be benefiting whomever you conceive.

    2) You want to refrain from having children. You only have the means to support the people in your family who are already alive, at least at a comfortable level. But: if you had more kids, you could support them at a level that still made their lives worth living. Why aren't you obligated to keep adding more people to the world, if each is a valuable subject? This is the hardest question for utilitarians (toward whose theory I incline) and hence the question that I find most troubling. The utilitarian calculus seems to formally be disposed toward adding more and more people at a subsistence level, and hence increasing the aggregate utility, but yet that seems intuitively to be wrong. I have no idea how to answer that problem.

    MrMister on
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    MrMister wrote:
    But: if you had more kids, you could support them at a level that still made their lives worth living.

    Is this an assumption of yours about reality, or a hypothetical condition?

    PLA on
  • juggerbotjuggerbot Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    There are a spectrum of philosophical positions on procreation.

    The most pessimistic holds that life tends on the whole to be bad. So one ought not bring that on anyone. This position strikes me as implausible: life is not mostly bad.

    A less pessimistic but still conflicted position says that life is mostly good, but at the same time, you're responsible for the wrongs that you inflict in a way that doesn't balance with the benefits you cause. So: by conceiving you may bring someone into the world who has a mostly positive life, but by causing them to exist you assume responsibility for the bad things in their life. This position says that life is good, but that it still may be wrong to have children. It may be wrong because you are uniquely responsible for the wrongs in a way that isn't compensated for by the benefits. This view is also, I think, implausible, but it's buttressed by reference to cases in intuitive morality where we seem to make such a distinction.

    I would describe it more like this: In life, you will almost certainly experience both good and bad. The question is whether the good will outweigh the bad overall.
    MrMister wrote: »

    2) You want to refrain from having children. You only have the means to support the people in your family who are already alive, at least at a comfortable level. But: if you had more kids, you could support them at a level that still made their lives worth living. Why aren't you obligated to keep adding more people to the world, if each is a valuable subject? This is the hardest question for utilitarians (toward whose theory I incline) and hence the question that I find most troubling. The utilitarian calculus seems to formally be disposed toward adding more and more people at a subsistence level, and hence increasing the aggregate utility, but yet that seems intuitively to be wrong. I have no idea how to answer that problem.

    This also depends on what kind of obligation you feel you have to your family. I will never have children, but even if I did, I wouldn't obligate them to need to provide any sort of support to me. That is up to me and, depending on personal political views, the state.

    My family owns a farm. However, if neither my brother nor my sister's as-yet-unborn children decide to take over the farm, it will mean that our farm will be sold after four generations of family operation. Should that affect my own procreation decisions? I can't think of a good reason why. If that makes me a bad person, then I'm afraid we have a fundamental disagreement.

  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Wow.

    I didn't think I could comment further here, but, it's simply possible that it's impossible to be either right or wrong.
    "Duty" is a nebulous and arbitrary valuation and Player C may or may not be motivated by a sense of duty at all.

    Twenty Sided on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quoth wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    The duty to continue the species can't be universally required because we have plenty of people already, and even if each couple had only one child, the species as a whole would not suffer numerically

    Qualitatively, you could make the subjective determination that your particular gene set is superior to the average and thus that perpetuation of it would inherently benefit humanity, but as previously noted, this would be a subjective determination, because which qualities are worth preserving and how would you determine superiority

    But even then, is it your moral duty to reproduce? If you're good at math, is it your moral duty to become a mathematician? If you're attractive and charismatic, is it your moral duty to be a model? If you have a large penis, is it your duty to be a porn star? Does genetic superiority convey with it the duty to transmit said genes until such time as they may be deemed inferior? And on the other hand, if someone is determined to be genetically inferior, are they obligated to refrain from reproducing?

    This argument smells like eugenics to me, and I am not a fan

    And the problem with making decisions based on consequences is that you have no idea what the consequences are going to be... At best, you can make vague guesses based on things we've already talked about, like genetics and economics, but none of us has a crystal ball to see the future

    Even saying, "I am genetically and financially sound at the present time" will only get you so far, because there is no guarantee that there still won't be something wrong with the kid, or that you won't lose your job and go broke within months of birth

    So the only thing you can hope to honestly know is whether you want kids or not, and once you've answered that, the rest is logistics

    Not morals or duties, just details

    Really, the whole thread is about eugenics. Unfortunately, eugenics got a bad rap after Hitler took it to a problematic place. Considerations about procreation are generally categorized as "eugenics".

    To your last point, you can't even know if you'll want kids or not. One can know if they want kids at this particular moment, but the question of whether they will want kids 15 years in the future is the same sort of hypothetical guesswork as all the other issues.

    Of course, any sort of future predictions are hypothetical guesswork. The significant difference, I think, between decisions regarding procreation and decisions of buying a car or obtaining a cat is that procreation involves the creation of another human being. It has a degree of permanence and consequence that car or cat acquisition lacks. One can sell a car, or take the cat to a pound / toss it outside. It's legally problematic to do those sorts of things to a seven year old human being.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    The most pessimistic holds that life tends on the whole to be bad. So one ought not bring that on anyone. This position strikes me as implausible: life is not mostly bad

    Life is mostly bad for some people. Life may not be mostly bad for others. Even if we could get life to be mostly good for most people, there's no guarantee that one's offspring will be in that group of mostly good.
    MrMister wrote: »
    1) You could have child who you know has a (as above) inherited disease that will make them die young--but if you wait, you will have a normal child instead. It seems natural to say that you ought to wait. But for whose sake? Not 'the child's' Because the child will be different in each case. No one will be harmed by making one choice rather than the other. Instead, whether you conceive now or later, in each case you will be benefiting whomever you conceive.

    The premise to your conclusion is that being born is a benefit. This premise seems to be unproven, and is one of the key points of tension in the thread / discussion so far. Is being alive a good thing? Is exposure to life / existence a good thing? I don't know the answer, and it seems that anyone who would answer is alive and existing. So any answers we get come from a biased point of view.

    Additionally, one will be harmed by making one choice rather than the other. Whichever child is born will be harmed. Life involves being harmed.

    Moreover, it seems problematic to consider being born with an inherited terminal disease a benefit. I wouldn't walk into St. Jude and say to the patients, "Hey, at least you were born, though. Right?"
    MrMister wrote: »
    2) You want to refrain from having children. You only have the means to support the people in your family who are already alive, at least at a comfortable level. But: if you had more kids, you could support them at a level that still made their lives worth living. Why aren't you obligated to keep adding more people to the world, if each is a valuable subject? This is the hardest question for utilitarians (toward whose theory I incline) and hence the question that I find most troubling. The utilitarian calculus seems to formally be disposed toward adding more and more people at a subsistence level, and hence increasing the aggregate utility, but yet that seems intuitively to be wrong. I have no idea how to answer that problem.

    This is only a problem if you don't consider life to be inherently harmful, which it is.

  • juggerbotjuggerbot Registered User regular
    Coincidentally, the Star Trek: TNG episode where Data creates a daughter was on BBC America today.

    _J_PLAAManFromEarthNamrok
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    The most pessimistic holds that life tends on the whole to be bad. So one ought not bring that on anyone. This position strikes me as implausible: life is not mostly bad

    Life is mostly bad for some people. Life may not be mostly bad for others. Even if we could get life to be mostly good for most people, there's no guarantee that one's offspring will be in that group of mostly good.

    It is possible that one's offspring will live a life that is mostly bad, or not minimally worth living. But I take that to be unusual (I'm just stating this; I haven't argued in defense of it). So, the expected value of one's offspring's life is positive, and it is typically expected, not actual, value which is relevant to rationally making decisions.
    _J_ wrote:
    Moreover, it seems problematic to consider being born with an inherited terminal disease a benefit. I wouldn't walk into St. Jude and say to the patients, "Hey, at least you were born, though. Right?"

    In an extended sense, we're all born with an inherited terminal disease--which is just to say that our life expectancies are finite. So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    To be fair, not everyone does want to say that. Some people think that it doesn't make sense to call being born a benefit, because they think that to say whether something is a benefit or not requires comparing how doing and not doing it would effect you; they think benefits are just the things that make you better off than you would have been had they not occurred. But that comparison is problematic in the case of being born, for it is natural to think that if you hadn't been born you would not have existed at all and hence that the comparison cannot be carried out. I think, however, that if we reject these sorts of comparisons on principle then it will wind up undermining important features of our moral theory, and hence that rather than reject them we ought figure out how to make them work.
    PLA wrote: »
    MrMister wrote:
    But: if you had more kids, you could support them at a level that still made their lives worth living.

    Is this an assumption of yours about reality, or a hypothetical condition?

    It's a hypothetical condition, but one I believe to hold fairly often.

  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Unless _J_ is using a definition I'm unfamiliar with, that is not what eugenics is about. It's about creating a genetically better population, for a given value of "better." It's not about whether it's okay to have babies when there is some potential for those babies to experience negative utility or unhappiness (or whatever).

    In a stricter sense of the term, Quoth is referring to the social attitudes that prevailed when pseudoscience about race was still a thing. Superior individuals ought to breed while inferiors ought not to breed. In this sense, it's not simply genetic engineering or screening for congenital diseases, but an ethical attitude concerning race/class.

    Quoth is being a bit melodramatic, since _J_ is talking about minimizing harms to offspring, rather than trying to breed a race of supermen. I do otherwise agree with Quoth's general assessment that morality is a dim concern here, at least, after a certain point.

    I sense that _J_ is searching for some sort of "objective" morality or an ethical mathematics that doesn't really exist. The search for this sort of certitude always puzzles me. In this, I believe irony is the best cure. If it isn't evident by now, I think _J_ has a tendency to too much formalism.

    Twenty Sided on
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    Hey, come on, I'm not being melodramatic

    I'm being hyperbolic

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    That's likely the tension. I'm trying to remove the consideration for whether persons want being born to be considered a benefit, or not, and simply assess whether or not being born is, itself, beneficial.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    That's likely the tension. I'm trying to remove the consideration for whether persons want being born to be considered a benefit, or not, and simply assess whether or not being born is, itself, beneficial.

    How do you propose doing this?

    I mean, it doesn't seem clear that there is way that you can do such. Unless you get really clear on what you precisely mean by "beneficial." I would hazard a guess that it is neither due to the fact that any possible benefit or lack of benefit that one gains requires having been born. It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing, or to have one's well being negatively impacted. So it might be the case that it is neither beneficial nor detrimental. It simply is the neutral precondition to any state of benefit or detriment.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    _J_ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    That's likely the tension. I'm trying to remove the consideration for whether persons want being born to be considered a benefit, or not, and simply assess whether or not being born is, itself, beneficial.

    If you remove all parties capable of forming opinions about the goods involved, then there simply is no benefit or harm. There is no "objective" good. Perceived benefit is subjective by its nature. It requires a subject actor.

    I'm trying to make you grok that there are no intrinsic goods. The universe does not have any inherent sense of justice. These things are manufactured.

    Twenty Sided on
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    The universe at large doesn't give a damn. A few, fleshy bits of the universe might care a little.

  • CalicaCalica 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 doesn't. My point was that before you have kids, you should have both emotion AND logic on your side, not just one or the other.

    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.
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    This is only a problem if you don't consider life to be inherently harmful, which it is.

    In your opinion.

    And if that is your genuine opinion then yes, you really should not breed. Please.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    Quid
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    My wife and I aren't going to have children and its because we don't think we can handle the responsibility in any shape way or form, nor do we want to imperil another person with that, much less ourselves.

    Also, parents are insufferable to be around, as are their kids.

    mrt144 on
  • chuck steakchuck steak Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote: »

    Also, parents are insufferable to be around, as are their kids.

    As are people with this attitude.

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  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    mrt144 wrote: »

    Also, parents are insufferable to be around, as are their kids.

    As are people with this attitude.

    Luckily not having kids doesnt come up much unless someone prys into your life. Parents on the other hand have kids as the single most imporyant thing in their life and will let you know unsolicited.

    mrt144 on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    mrt144 wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »

    Also, parents are insufferable to be around, as are their kids.

    As are people with this attitude.

    Luckily not having kids doesnt come up much unless someone prys into your life. Parents on the other hand have kids as the single most imporyant thing in their life and will let you know unsolicited.

    They're proud of those dirty rugrats. They think those little shitlings are the center of their universe. Bastards' photos are in the parents' wallets, on their desks, their Facebook pages, cubicle walls... everywhere! It's almost like they love their children and are proud of what they do.

    And that's only a small number of those parents. Not every parent thinks their child farts roses and shits ice cream. Many don't even talk about them much. Your generalization is incredibly out of line with reality.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Some people are Bronies. Some people fly cheap Chinese-manufactured American flags outside their cars.
    They're very open and theatrical about what they like. It's a form of overacted public drama. Or maybe they're really just that shallow.
    But not everybody is like that.

    The same goes for parents. You have the ones that go out of the way to rub your face in their slavish affectations and the ones that don't.

    Twenty Sided on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »

    Also, parents are insufferable to be around, as are their kids.

    As are people with this attitude.

    Luckily not having kids doesnt come up much unless someone prys into your life. Parents on the other hand have kids as the single most imporyant thing in their life and will let you know unsolicited.

    They're proud of those dirty rugrats. They think those little shitlings are the center of their universe. Bastards' photos are in the parents' wallets, on their desks, their Facebook pages, cubicle walls... everywhere! It's almost like they love their children and are proud of what they do.

    And that's only a small number of those parents. Not every parent thinks their child farts roses and shits ice cream. Many don't even talk about them much. Your generalization is incredibly out of line with reality.

    Bullshit it's a small amount and that's not the only interaction. You get "oh, you'll understrand when you have kids" and you get "you'll change your mind one day" when you say you aren't having kids, and you get "why aren't you having kids". when you dont have kids work gets dumped on you because they figure, "hey, nothing important going on in his life". people with kids fundamentally don't respect people that don't have kids and it is made known subtly, every day.

    To pretend this flows both ways is the height of privilege and societal normalcy.

    mrt144 on
  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    That's totally not what he's talking about. He has a problem with you saying that everybody is obnoxious and in-your-face about being parents. They're not. Maybe you happen to deal with a lot of the obnoxious type. Okay, sucks for you.

    Privilege is a different sort of bailiwick entirely though.

    Shadowfire
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    That's likely the tension. I'm trying to remove the consideration for whether persons want being born to be considered a benefit, or not, and simply assess whether or not being born is, itself, beneficial.

    How do you propose doing this?

    I mean, it doesn't seem clear that there is way that you can do such. Unless you get really clear on what you precisely mean by "beneficial." I would hazard a guess that it is neither due to the fact that any possible benefit or lack of benefit that one gains requires having been born. It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing, or to have one's well being negatively impacted. So it might be the case that it is neither beneficial nor detrimental. It simply is the neutral precondition to any state of benefit or detriment.

    @LoserForHireX

    It wouldn't be difficult once one had a telos or human essence up and running. Benefits could be defined as that which improved one's status with respect to the human essence or telos. Then we discern whether existence / life improves one's status with respect to the essence / telos.

    What's more troubling to me is the question of how to discuss a potential life, and all of the potential / hypothetical aspects of this conversation. Specifically, your "It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing", that existence is a necessary condition for benefits, and benefit talk.

    Suppose we're living in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested nuclear winter shitstorm reality that approximates the bastard offspring of Fallout meets Walking Dead, with better story structure. Saying, in that reality, "It's not beneficial / good for a child to be born into this." makes sense. One imagines the sort of life the child would probably lead in Fallout-Walking Dead world, and it seems objectively problematic. So, one abstains from procreation for the sake of the well-being of the non-born non-entity.

    That makes sense to me, but it's also problematic given that it's discussing the well-being of a non-born non-entity.

    Maybe a better way to say it is that non-born non-entities do not suffer, insofar as it doesn't do anything, because it is-not, and the Fallout-Walking Dead reality is suffering. So, were the entity to be born, then it would suffer. We're not discussing the well-being of the non-born non-entity itself, since that's problematic. Instead, we're discussing a hypothetical born entity, discerning that its existence is objectively problematic, and so abstaining from creating those born entities.

    It's not that my non-born non-entity offspring is floating around in space playing yahtzee. Rather, it's that every existing thing is a locus of suffering, and I have no offspring (that I know of, winky winky) that are loci of suffering. Then we can discuss whether increasing the number of loci of suffering is good, and the conversation, presented in that way, seems to be adequately skewed to privileged non-existence over the suffering existence.

    Maybe.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    That's likely the tension. I'm trying to remove the consideration for whether persons want being born to be considered a benefit, or not, and simply assess whether or not being born is, itself, beneficial.

    How do you propose doing this?

    I mean, it doesn't seem clear that there is way that you can do such. Unless you get really clear on what you precisely mean by "beneficial." I would hazard a guess that it is neither due to the fact that any possible benefit or lack of benefit that one gains requires having been born. It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing, or to have one's well being negatively impacted. So it might be the case that it is neither beneficial nor detrimental. It simply is the neutral precondition to any state of benefit or detriment.

    @LoserForHireX

    It wouldn't be difficult once one had a telos or human essence up and running. Benefits could be defined as that which improved one's status with respect to the human essence or telos. Then we discern whether existence / life improves one's status with respect to the essence / telos.

    What's more troubling to me is the question of how to discuss a potential life, and all of the potential / hypothetical aspects of this conversation. Specifically, your "It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing", that existence is a necessary condition for benefits, and benefit talk.

    Suppose we're living in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested nuclear winter shitstorm reality that approximates the bastard offspring of Fallout meets Walking Dead, with better story structure. Saying, in that reality, "It's not beneficial / good for a child to be born into this." makes sense. One imagines the sort of life the child would probably lead in Fallout-Walking Dead world, and it seems objectively problematic. So, one abstains from procreation for the sake of the well-being of the non-born non-entity.

    That makes sense to me, but it's also problematic given that it's discussing the well-being of a non-born non-entity.

    Maybe a better way to say it is that non-born non-entities do not suffer, insofar as it doesn't do anything, because it is-not, and the Fallout-Walking Dead reality is suffering. So, were the entity to be born, then it would suffer. We're not discussing the well-being of the non-born non-entity itself, since that's problematic. Instead, we're discussing a hypothetical born entity, discerning that its existence is objectively problematic, and so abstaining from creating those born entities.

    It's not that my non-born non-entity offspring is floating around in space playing yahtzee. Rather, it's that every existing thing is a locus of suffering, and I have no offspring (that I know of, winky winky) that are loci of suffering. Then we can discuss whether increasing the number of loci of suffering is good, and the conversation, presented in that way, seems to be adequately skewed to privileged non-existence over the suffering existence.

    Maybe.

    It's also plausible to just invoke some sort of fiction when talking about your potential-child. Something like playing a game, and for this game we will pretend that there is this actual child, now what would it's life probably be like? I think, in fact, that this is what we do when we talk about potential people, we invoke some sort of fictional scenario. Within that scenario we can talk about what the effects of this fictional object might be. It keeps our ontology a bit sparser, because we don't have to have all of these weird pseudo-people running around. We don't have to have "non-born entities" we just have characters in a sort of story. A very realistic sort of story.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Fucka you double post...

    LoserForHireX on
    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    That's likely the tension. I'm trying to remove the consideration for whether persons want being born to be considered a benefit, or not, and simply assess whether or not being born is, itself, beneficial.

    How do you propose doing this?

    I mean, it doesn't seem clear that there is way that you can do such. Unless you get really clear on what you precisely mean by "beneficial." I would hazard a guess that it is neither due to the fact that any possible benefit or lack of benefit that one gains requires having been born. It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing, or to have one's well being negatively impacted. So it might be the case that it is neither beneficial nor detrimental. It simply is the neutral precondition to any state of benefit or detriment.

    @LoserForHireX

    It wouldn't be difficult once one had a telos or human essence up and running. Benefits could be defined as that which improved one's status with respect to the human essence or telos. Then we discern whether existence / life improves one's status with respect to the essence / telos.

    What's more troubling to me is the question of how to discuss a potential life, and all of the potential / hypothetical aspects of this conversation. Specifically, your "It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing", that existence is a necessary condition for benefits, and benefit talk.

    Suppose we're living in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested nuclear winter shitstorm reality that approximates the bastard offspring of Fallout meets Walking Dead, with better story structure. Saying, in that reality, "It's not beneficial / good for a child to be born into this." makes sense. One imagines the sort of life the child would probably lead in Fallout-Walking Dead world, and it seems objectively problematic. So, one abstains from procreation for the sake of the well-being of the non-born non-entity.

    That makes sense to me, but it's also problematic given that it's discussing the well-being of a non-born non-entity.

    Maybe a better way to say it is that non-born non-entities do not suffer, insofar as it doesn't do anything, because it is-not, and the Fallout-Walking Dead reality is suffering. So, were the entity to be born, then it would suffer. We're not discussing the well-being of the non-born non-entity itself, since that's problematic. Instead, we're discussing a hypothetical born entity, discerning that its existence is objectively problematic, and so abstaining from creating those born entities.

    It's not that my non-born non-entity offspring is floating around in space playing yahtzee. Rather, it's that every existing thing is a locus of suffering, and I have no offspring (that I know of, winky winky) that are loci of suffering. Then we can discuss whether increasing the number of loci of suffering is good, and the conversation, presented in that way, seems to be adequately skewed to privileged non-existence over the suffering existence.

    Maybe.

    It's also plausible to just invoke some sort of fiction when talking about your potential-child. Something like playing a game, and for this game we will pretend that there is this actual child, now what would it's life probably be like? I think, in fact, that this is what we do when we talk about potential people, we invoke some sort of fictional scenario. Within that scenario we can talk about what the effects of this fictional object might be. It keeps our ontology a bit sparser, because we don't have to have all of these weird pseudo-people running around. We don't have to have "non-born entities" we just have characters in a sort of story. A very realistic sort of story.

    The problem is when persons try to link that fictioned imagining back to reality. That's why talking about possible worlds is slightly better, when discussing hypotheticals. Our ontology is more populated, but relating enties in other possible worlds to this reality is less difficult than relating non-existing fictional entities to this reality. I think. It's all very confusing.

    I do agree that, in general, persons primarily imagine fictional people when they talk about procreation. When my friends were preggers they kept talking about their non-born kid, and the things it would do, and it was all very confusing. That's fine for entertaining one's self. It's not entirely helpful when discussing the actual consequences of procreation, with respect to the well-being of the offspring.

  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I'm a little confused by you're saying, so clarify for me as you see fit. As I understand it, you find "non-born entities" easier to think about than fictional scenarios which are constructed entirely of your own imagining. If you knew for a fact that unborn persons were just hibernating in the aether, then you would at least have some way of comparing this state to present reality or whatever else.

    LoserForHireX isn't talking about constructing a fiction for the purposes of entertainment, like your pregnant friends are doing. He's talking about it as you making your best prediction about the future and evaluating risk. Of course, there are no for-sure guarantees in life, but the idea is to make best use of limited resources and knowledge. You're constructing a hypothesis about what the future is like and taking steps to improve the kid's chances based on that projection.

    And yeah, I agree, that's really fucking hard. Doubly so if you have a last-minute surprise dumped in your lap.

    Twenty Sided on
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    _J_ wrote: »
    Rather, it's that every existing thing is a locus of suffering

    You've moved from baffling me to really scaring me.

    You need to see that you are Mr. glass is half empty here. Why is every existing thing not also a locus of joy as well? Or rather a locus of potential experience that could go either way so can't really be used as a judgement factor.

    Jam Warrior on
    TingleSigBar.gif
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Scaring you?

    Oh no, half-empty glasses, what do we do?

    Baffling sounds about right, though.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    So I think that we already have to say that being born with an inherited terminal disease can be a benefit, at least if we ever want to say that being born is a benefit.

    That's likely the tension. I'm trying to remove the consideration for whether persons want being born to be considered a benefit, or not, and simply assess whether or not being born is, itself, beneficial.

    How do you propose doing this?

    I mean, it doesn't seem clear that there is way that you can do such. Unless you get really clear on what you precisely mean by "beneficial." I would hazard a guess that it is neither due to the fact that any possible benefit or lack of benefit that one gains requires having been born. It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing, or to have one's well being negatively impacted. So it might be the case that it is neither beneficial nor detrimental. It simply is the neutral precondition to any state of benefit or detriment.

    @LoserForHireX

    It wouldn't be difficult once one had a telos or human essence up and running. Benefits could be defined as that which improved one's status with respect to the human essence or telos. Then we discern whether existence / life improves one's status with respect to the essence / telos.

    What's more troubling to me is the question of how to discuss a potential life, and all of the potential / hypothetical aspects of this conversation. Specifically, your "It is simply impossible to be benefitted without existing", that existence is a necessary condition for benefits, and benefit talk.

    Suppose we're living in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested nuclear winter shitstorm reality that approximates the bastard offspring of Fallout meets Walking Dead, with better story structure. Saying, in that reality, "It's not beneficial / good for a child to be born into this." makes sense. One imagines the sort of life the child would probably lead in Fallout-Walking Dead world, and it seems objectively problematic. So, one abstains from procreation for the sake of the well-being of the non-born non-entity.

    That makes sense to me, but it's also problematic given that it's discussing the well-being of a non-born non-entity.

    Maybe a better way to say it is that non-born non-entities do not suffer, insofar as it doesn't do anything, because it is-not, and the Fallout-Walking Dead reality is suffering. So, were the entity to be born, then it would suffer. We're not discussing the well-being of the non-born non-entity itself, since that's problematic. Instead, we're discussing a hypothetical born entity, discerning that its existence is objectively problematic, and so abstaining from creating those born entities.

    It's not that my non-born non-entity offspring is floating around in space playing yahtzee. Rather, it's that every existing thing is a locus of suffering, and I have no offspring (that I know of, winky winky) that are loci of suffering. Then we can discuss whether increasing the number of loci of suffering is good, and the conversation, presented in that way, seems to be adequately skewed to privileged non-existence over the suffering existence.

    Maybe.

    It's also plausible to just invoke some sort of fiction when talking about your potential-child. Something like playing a game, and for this game we will pretend that there is this actual child, now what would it's life probably be like? I think, in fact, that this is what we do when we talk about potential people, we invoke some sort of fictional scenario. Within that scenario we can talk about what the effects of this fictional object might be. It keeps our ontology a bit sparser, because we don't have to have all of these weird pseudo-people running around. We don't have to have "non-born entities" we just have characters in a sort of story. A very realistic sort of story.

    The problem is when persons try to link that fictional imagining back to reality.

    We do this all the time though. Whenever we talk about things being different than they are. Now, you might say that we're talking about possible worlds here, but I don't know if we have to be. It might just be the case that whenever we imagine the world being different than it is, and talking about what would be different, we're just inventing some sort of fiction. Within that fiction, we treat those differences as being real, but we don't assume that they are in fact real. I think that this doesn't have to relate to modality. We don't have to bring in any of those concepts.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    The way you've laid out reasons for having a child so methodically indicates to me you're just not ready for children.

    I'm 30 now, in a pretty committed relationship and while I don't plan on having kids in the short term, I definitely want them. For awhile I wasn't sure, being a DINK (double income no kids) was alluring. However, after my baby sister had a baby of her own, my desire for having a kid increases by the day.

    Regardless of what your philosophies on kids are, your baby is a miniature version of you. It's beyond profound just how much they are like you when you were a child. They change your perspective on life. They make you feel older and wiser but at the same time younger, because they will draw you into their world. You get to experience much of the fun of being a child again through them.

    I could go on but, there's really no need. You're thinking about this way too logically. Maybe you're still young... or maybe you're just overtly pragmatic. Regardless, when you're ready, you're ready. Until then, the thought of having a child is the most frightening thing.

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    davidsdurions
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