On not having children

I’m a grampa and I enjoy it but I cleverly managed to get there without procreating.  Let’s hear it for having grandchildren without going through all the muss and fuss of raising kids!  I don’t desire offspring, for reasons that are both rational and selfish, and, frankly, I have a hard time understanding those who do want to burden the planet with their spawn.

If it’s because you think you’ve got a lot of love to give, there are plenty of children already in existence who don’t have someone to love them.

If it’s because you want someone to look after you in your old age, isn’t it kind of ethically sick to bring someone into being for the purpose of making them indebted to you?

If it’s to make the world a better place, let’s just say that you don’t appear to suffer from self-esteem issues.  Are your DNA or your parenting skills really such that the world cannot and should not do without them?

If it’s to ensure the continuation of the species, let’s just say that there are more than enough people taking care of that without you getting in on, too.

You might find this hard to believe, but some people have actually told me that I owe it to the future of humanity to pass on my genes.  Well, guess what: the future of the species is not my responsibility.  And why should it be?

8 Replies to “On not having children”

  1. Wrong, it is because that is the natural meaning of Life – Surviving.

    Future’s generation will afford to live forever trough stem cell therapy or cybernetic issues – anyway, from this point on Humans will be forced to avoid procreation and begin to die from sickness & other happenings – then, and only then will Humans be exactly as much as there should be.

    So let me ask you two Questions –

    why do you care about what others do?
    What if Procreation is the meaning of someone’s Life?

    1. it is because that is the natural meaning of Life – Surviving.it is because that is the natural meaning of Life – Surviving.

      First, meaning is personal. There is no inherent meaning. For more on that, see my blog entry titled Meaning

      Second, that something is natural tells us nothing about whether or not it is good. Let me offer an example. For most of our species’ existence, it was natural to die of injuries and diseases that are now little more than an inconvenience. Would it be better to go back to those times or would you prefer to continue to receive the benefits of modern medicine?

      why do you care about what others do?

      I’m not sure that I do care much, except where what others do affects me. Whether it affects me or not, I think it’s an interesting ethical question and that’s the main reason I wrote this entry.

      What if Procreation is the meaning of someone’s Life?

      In such a case, I’d like to invite them to examine their reasons from a rational and ethical perspective.

      1. I’ve already read that Article and thank you for publishing it, it was kind of helpful to me.

        In such a case, I’d like to invite them to examine their reasons from a rational and ethical perspective. ( Excuse me if quoting this did not work )

        Do you know about the greatest Wish of Humanity since their Beginning? Eternal Life, which can unfortunately not be achieved at this time so we need some alternatives – which is to achieve eternal life trough work.

        I could write a Book – plant a Tree – OR – pass on my Genes as a Child.

        Writing a Book could end up with the Result that no one reads it. Planting a Tree doesn’t really keep your Name in History. But a Child includes the Half of your Genes, pass on a Quarter then and keeps you two more Generations living.

        Sounds irrational, right? Sure, but did you ever heard of the Terror-Management-Theory?

        1. Are your DNA or your parenting skills really such that the world cannot and should not do without them?

          That is ethical sick – it is called Birth Control.

          Should only scientists like Albert Einstein or people with a High-IQ procreate? Do you even believe that being a smart person your own affects the genes of your Child being automatically smart?

          1. Should only scientists like Albert Einstein or people with a High-IQ procreate?

            No, I’m not saying anything like that, which should be obvious if you read that sentence in context.

        2. ( Excuse me if quoting this did not work )

          You need to use the end tag as well. I’ll give you an example, but I’ll put extra spaces before and after the angled brackets so that the tags will be visible:

          < blockquote > ( Excuse me if quoting this did not work )
          < /blockquote >

          But a Child includes the Half of your Genes, pass on a Quarter then and keeps you two more Generations living.

          I’m aware that many people find that meaningful but it doesn’t make sense to me. After I have ceased to exist, it is not possible for the continuation of some of my genes to have any meaning for me.

          Terror management theory may offer some reasons for people wanting to reproduce but it doesn’t make those reasons rational. Your progeny is not you. You don’t live on in them in any sense that can have meaning for you once you have died.

          1. It is unavoidable for some people to not have Children – there is something about Procreation that makes people feel great – just like they’ve won something.

            By the way – do you then want us to stop until we do not exist any?

            ( I know, since there happens to be Overpopulation my Question sound stupid )

            Things irrational people do aren’t rational – but isn’t it rational to assume that they are doing it believing it is rational? *confused*

            1. By the way – do you then want us to stop until we do not exist any?

              No, I don’t have strong desires one way or another regarding the continued existence of our species.

              Things irrational people do aren’t rational – but isn’t it rational to assume that they are doing it believing it is rational?

              I don’t know if they believe it’s rational. They might. Or they might value instinct and emotion over reason. I suspect it’s likely that most people probably haven’t given a lot of thought to the question of whether or not they should procreate or to the reasons for doing it or not doing it.

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