Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Gearshaag

Anti-Natalism and Existence

30 posts in this topic

Well, I've been thinking about this for quite a while now and I've been wanting to have a discussion about it for a while. In our modern society, having kids is pretty much something that's just automatically expected of you. You start your family and whatever, raise some kids and help guide them along a pathway to 'success' (whatever the hell that means to you :P). I can't and won't speak for anyone else, but at least in my experience not wanting kids is strangely enough somewhat frowned upon. Sometimes it's more implicit, but there are a few occasions where it's openly criticized and bashed. But I must ask, why is that? I understand that there are definitely reasons to reproduce and have kids (help facilitate the continued survival of the species, having someone to replace the older people after they're gone, growing society, etc) but at the same time, when I sit and think about it long and hard, I can't see any good reason why I myself as an individual should bring a child onto this planet. Hell, I think I may have some moral issues about it as well just from my own perspective and beliefs about the world. Just look at animals, look at all of their suffering and struggles and their continued labor just for them to survive. And what do they get out of it in the end? Continued survival...that is, until they eventually die, in which case everything that they struggled and suffered for is null and void. Even just sitting down and watching Animal Planet's documentaries on certain wild cats just makes me question the point of it all to a greater extent. Watching what some of these animals go through really does make me shake my head. These animals don't really have a conscious choice in this matter, either, because they lack the mental capability to just up and say 'No, I won't do this, I won't reproduce and bring these cubs onto this planet just to suffer and face the same fate as I will eventually.' It's ingrained into their system and they pretty much can't do much about it, they basically have little to no choice. Humans, on the other hand, have a choice. For some, it may be the easiest choice they'll ever make in their life. For others, it may be a serious and pressing issue. Either way, majority of us have a choice in this matter.

I have a lot of jumbled thoughts on this, so a lot of my ideas in this thread may seem a bit...directionless and all over the place. Anyways, continuing on; when I step out of my own skin for a minute and objectively look at humanity as a whole, not just from our modern days but taking the past into account as well, I don't ever want to bring a kid onto this planet at all. Think about all of the horrible things that humanity has endured in its history; all of the atrocities, the disease, the famine, the starving, the needless cruelty and everything else that I failed to mention (some if not most of these things are a result of other people, too, which is an important thing to note). Think of all of this and then face the somewhat disturbing and disheartening fact that it was all ultimately completely pointless and, in some cases, totally accidental and beyond anyone's control. What purpose does all of this serve? None, and that is what I think just drives this point in harder for me. You could give birth to a child who has a wonderful life and grows up happy and maybe even makes accomplishments that live well beyond his/her own lifetime. On the flipside of that coin you could also give birth to a harlequin fetus, maybe give birth to a mildly autistic kid whose life will most likely be a major pain in the ass, you may give birth to someone who ends up just having awful luck or many other horrible permutations of these things that may or may not occur. You may be thinking that, yeah, sure, these things could happen, but they probably won't. Well, you have to keep in mind that all of these things are a very real possibility. That's what I think people often fail to recognize. They don't think to consider what sort of potential misery that their offspring could face and assume that, because they are in a relatively prosperous and favorable position, their offspring will most likely end up in that position as well. In reality, you really can't know that for sure. Sometimes these circumstances are in full control of the person, and I won't deny that some folks' misery is brought upon by their own failures. However, you also have to consider that, not only was this child's existence completely beyond his control (especially those with diseases/disabilities that happened beyond their control) but that sometimes that kid's circumstances are beyond their control as well. The pursuit of happiness is something that is common among all people, and I think that happiness is something that's very achievable, but at the same time it often times isn't something that is achieved. Sometimes it's just a wishful thought or a forbidden fruit of sorts. I once worked at a middle school and just seeing the people in special education was enough to make me pretty saddened. Here are kids who have problems that are completely beyond their control. They can't do anything about it, their lives are a pain in the ass. They can't do the things we can do, they suffer and go through so many frustrations, and it's all completely accidental, beyond their control. Nature didn't intend for them to be this way, it didn't intend for anyone to be any way, it doesn't intend for anyone to be any certain way, it just ends up that way. They're often subjected to the bullying of their peers, those who 'fit-in' more. Often times those who are subject to bullying aren't even disabled or have diseases. Often times these folks are just a little bit different than everyone else, they break the mold a bit and don't just stick to the status quo. Maybe they follow a different religion, maybe they like different music, maybe they dress differently. It all matters not, the point is, these kids are subject to these bullies for lame reasons and, often times, they and their parents in some cases have to deal with this completely avoidable and pointless bout of suffering. If a child commits suicide, it's often asked why that happened, or why the kid didn't just talk to someone or some sort of question like that. Honestly, I can sympathize with some child who commits suicide. Of course it's sad, I am not saying that is isn't. It's a horrible experience for the people who are left in the wake of such an event and sometimes can leave irreparable scars. I just wish sometimes that I could be there before the decision was made so I can talk to the child and ask them why myself just out of curiosity. I will say, this, though; I think suicide isn't the answer often times and that a better solution can be reached in some cases. However, just being the devil's advocate for a second, I can see why one would commit suicide. Maybe these kids have been going through things that led up to that suicide, maybe it just wasn't that one thing that caused it. Maybe that one thing was in fact just the straw that broke the camel's back. You don't know what could have really been going through that person's mind. You can't know, they're dead and gone. If they seek help and continue to live and overcome their obstacles, why? Just to suffer some more and have more crap to overcome? It seems like something in life that's almost as certain as death itself. For all the good times there'll be even more suffering and pointless misery to come. Now of course it's good to cherish the good times that you have in your life as a contrast to all of the nonsense that you must deal with, but to deny that which all humans experience at some point is dishonest. All of the good times can definitely make life worth living, but it really isn't certain as to how many of those experiences one will have. A starving child in Africa may experience good times and experience good things in his/her life, but that doesn't excuse the fact that that's still a starving child in Africa. Occasional good experiences does not a happy life make. Really, I think that a good life is subjective, but I don't think that there's much room to be subjective when it comes to suffering and what not. There are lots of people that say life is a gift or that life is precious. I can agree with the latter, because life is short and precious and should be cherished when it comes into fruition. The former, though, I think is definitely wrong. For some people, life is not a gift at all.

When I think about all of the stuff that people put each other through, all of the pointless suffering, even in our modern world, I understand sometimes why people choose to believe in religion. But often times, those religious beliefs can be harbors for causing suffering as well. I don't know but it seems to me that I have a moral obligation to not have any kids or bring any offspring into existence simply because of all of the nonsense that I mention above plus stuff I am not even going to get into now because I don't want to make this longer than it already is. I must ask, why would you potentially subject people you supposedly love to this sort of potential pointless suffering? What is it supposed to really accomplish? There are already enough of us as it is, and we aren't animals, so we absolutely do not have the same circumstances that they have. Even if our accomplishments while on earth continue to live on beyond us, our names most likely will not. I don't think that I could live with myself if I made the decision to bring a person onto this planet knowing just what kind of potential suffering awaits that person.

If you yourself want or have kids, what is your motivation? Why do you want kids and what do you seek to accomplish here?

/ramble, and thanks for reading my ridiculously long musings.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I can't honestly say what gives me that want to have a little girl, but it's just there. Sometimes when I'm just about to fall asleep or right as I'm waking up in that twilight state, I fantasize about spending time with my little love.

The part of me that says I shouldn't have a child is the rational part of me that knows I am too selfish and immature to raise a new human. But then I wonder if having my little girl would be what teaches me how to become unselfish and more mature.

Then I get sad because I fear I'll never find a girl who will love me enough to make my little girl with me. I don't want a good time. I want the love of my life. But that is getting off point and slightly embarrassing.

edit: But my personal feelings I don't fully understand aside, if everyone shared your opinions about bringing new life into the world, life would cease to exist. The fear of undesirable life would cancel the opportunity for new enjoyable life. This is why it's probably best that we have the personal perceptions to see the glass of life as half empty or half full.

Edited by _Only
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with everything you said, and I don't plan on bringing kids into this world

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't honestly say what gives me that want to have a little girl, but it's just there. Sometimes when I'm just about to fall asleep or right as I'm waking up in that twilight state, I fantasize about spending time with my little love.

The part of me that says I shouldn't have a child is the rational part of me that knows I am too selfish and immature to raise a new human. But then I wonder if having my little girl would be what teaches me how to become unselfish and more mature.

Then I get sad because I fear I'll never find a girl who will love me enough to make my little girl with me. I don't want a good time. I want the love of my life. But that is getting off point and slightly embarrassing.

edit: But my personal feelings I don't fully understand aside, if everyone shared your opinions about bringing new life into the world, life would cease to exist. The fear of undesirable life would cancel the opportunity for new enjoyable life. This is why it's probably best that we have the personal perceptions to see the glass of life as half empty or half full.

thing is, at some point, there will cease to be life anyways. This is inevitable. Chances are our species will eventually go the way of 99% of all species that have ever existed. Also, note that I'm speaking from my own perspective and said multiple times that I can't speak for anyone else but myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never had kids and ya kinda regret it but what is, is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect it is based on selfishness, perhaps unconsciously. Having offspring gives one the hope of a piece of immortality. From one of Richard Dawkin's earliest books The Selfish Gene;

"I have been a bit negative about memes, but they have their cheerful side as well. When we die there are two things we can leave behind us: genes and memes. We were built as gene machines, created to pass on our genes. But that aspect of us will be forgotten in three generations. Your child, even your grandchild, may bear a resemblance to you, perhaps in facial features, in a talent for music, in the colour of her hair. But as each generation passes, the contribution of your genes is halved. It does not take long to reach negligible proportions. Our genes may be immortal but the collection of genes that is any one of us is bound to crumble away. Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. Yet it is quite probable that she bears not a single one of the old king's genes. We should not seek immortality in reproduction.

But if you contribute to the world's culture, if you have a good idea, compose a tune, invent a sparking plug, write a poem, it may live on, intact, long after your genes have dissolved in the common pool. Socrates may or may not have a gene or two alive in the world today, as G.C. Williams has remarked, but who cares ? The meme-complexes of Socrates, Leonardo, Copernicus and Marconi are still going strong."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thing is, at some point, there will cease to be life anyways. This is inevitable. Chances are our species will eventually go the way of 99% of all species that have ever existed.

That you just can't say any better than I can. But I know we can't say it is inevitable. 'Chances are' looks much more accurate. But again, it is unknown, and not reason to give up procreating with a 'well it's almost over anyway' attitude.

Also, note that I'm speaking from my own perspective and said multiple times that I can't speak for anyone else but myself.

Yeah, that didn't need reiteration. I was just giving a hypothetical to flesh the negative side of your opinion out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect it is based on selfishness, perhaps unconsciously. Having offspring gives one the hope of a piece of immortality.

If it's anything unconscious, it's furthering of the species as an evolutionary beneficial trait. But that is the opinion of those who feel everything we do is tied down to instinctive survival. But like I said before, selfishness is what keeps me from truly wanting a little love, but I see that it is love that is making me desire her so much. I just can't put it into the correct words to express. Well, I guess the best I can use is simply 'love'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

As someone who is incapable of having kids and knowing this my whole life, the biological imperative to reproduce is sometimes a hard switch to turn off. I know I can't have kids, realistically and rationally don't want any, in the sense that if I could there is a chance of passing on my birth defect to any offspring I might have, not to mention where I am as a person in life it wouldn't be good. Having said all that as I just turned 40 my biological alarms are going off at times and it is overwhelming. I tear up around pregnant women and I can feel this sense of expiring fertility in myself that I never knew was there. I am at peace with not having kids in my logical and rational mind, I love being an Aunt and soon to be Great Aunt again. But that deep hard wiring to reproduce came as a shock to me. I have no doubt it will fade as I get older but don't ever discount the instinct to reproduce, it exists sometimes beyond our thinking to someplace deeper in ourselves, at least it did for me.

Edited by darkmoonlady
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It'd be interesting to do a poll of whether people think having children is necessary and/or wanted, and then ask the age of the person taking the poll.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most children come about from people getting horny and not using birth control.

I think most people don't think of the consequnce of having children.

A good example are some of my realtives...

they have to many children and are poor. ANd the children suffer in poor conditions.

Now why would you have tons of children if you are poor?

I say if people produced money how they produce children they would be rich!

I would not have children as my DNA gentetic code will give the child a 50 50 chance..

of having surgery... so .. yeah not going to happen.

Persoanally for this reason I would never have children..

the 2nd reason is I will never fall in love or get married..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear, I wouldn't want one. noisy little things.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first one wasn't planned. Guess what, if a woman on birth control gets the flu it can fail. She didn't ever know she was getting sick until morning. The second, she wanted a girl, it was a boy. That was when I got fixed. Enough was enough of that. That way if she ever really wanted another one she could, but I was done having kids. I am glad I got them. When they are little kids they are fun, when they are teenagers they were a nightmare, when they are adults they are fun again. I get to be the teenager this time. Revenge is sweet.

There are a lot of little kids out there that need homes, if you don't want to have one or can't you can adopt one or foster.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first one wasn't planned. Guess what, if a woman on birth control gets the flu it can fail. She didn't ever know she was getting sick until morning. The second, she wanted a girl, it was a boy. That was when I got fixed. Enough was enough of that. That way if she ever really wanted another one she could, but I was done having kids. I am glad I got them. When they are little kids they are fun, when they are teenagers they were a nightmare, when they are adults they are fun again. I get to be the teenager this time. Revenge is sweet.

There are a lot of little kids out there that need homes, if you don't want to have one or can't you can adopt one or foster.

If I ever did get married.. i would like to Adopt one.

teach him how to be a tiny wizard lol

But i just wouldn't want to take the chance of my own child being born with heart problems..

and having painful surgery and suffering later. No way not very nice

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect it is based on selfishness, perhaps unconsciously.

There is nothing selfish about NOT wanting to have kids. In fact it shows great responsibility to abstain from it when you know you don't want them and you cannot afford it.

There is nothing noble about bringing children into a loveless family.

There will always be procreation so we don't need to worry about human life ceasing.

Life is life, in order to help pretend that it is worth it we end up defining it by semantics not reality.

In the end it doesn't matter WHO does what as long as a condition is set up so the new crop of people aren't burdened by the results of the mistakes made in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I' can understand the need to reproduce being a survival instinct type of thing but humans also feel pleasure when in the act of sex, now only a few animals actually do it for pleasure and most just do it to carry on there species. I wonder what number of the population are just accidents, because the people having sex didn't take the time and precautions to think about the consequences and what the end result could be.

Edited by R4z3rsPar4d0x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone of us say it had been better if our parents hadn't made us?

That said, I dont think a lot of people should make children, because we already got more population than what's good for us. The most annoying thing is that you dont get peace from other people, there's always some other representative of your species or their bigotry rules preventing you from being a hermit and living more at your own whims. Every day I walk to station to work, there's always a lot of cars on the road, and just me walking there. Everyone likes to be in their little boxes and get to their meaningless jobs faster so they can live more comfortable lives. I dont think this world needs any more of that. Not any more of busybody people who live in their makebelieve-lives with their makebelieve-values, and it's all good because we have family, we have jobs, we have friends, we're accepted by society. I'm not a nihilist but I think that if you decide to make babies, you should seriously think twice about how you raise them regarding these points. Will you support the idealism of zombie-society where you just fit in or will you support their making of independent observations and solutions?

There's a lot of excuses not to make children. But I think only one good reason: if you think your children would only contribute to making society as bad or worse than what it is today. What's the point to see all that trouble and in your deathbed when you're at your most sincere state realise you did all that crap, and a feeling of regret gives you the final push to see what's on the other side, because at this side you obviously didn't do much real good and you know it. You'd like to think otherwise, but the feeling you just can't shake off, lingers.

If you have a clear conscience, what I say shouldn't make you feel bad. But if it does, can you blame only me? Though you can blame me for saying it, that was my choise. I'm a hypocrite, but if no one broke these things out, where would it leave us?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are actually good points. As a father of three I often dwell on the real possibility that my kids will have to face something horrible.

My take is one of a zen attitude. Each moment is its own and worth the trouble. It's better to have existed.

On a grander scale I do believe life on earth is evolving and in an embryonic stage that may evenchualy evolve into a higher being. in this context every life is important.

Who knows your child could have been the super genius that changes the universe.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

child a super genius that changes the universe. come on isn't that giving humans a little to much credit. The fact that a human could change other planets Ok Ill give you that because as a group the whole human species has changed this planet. But the universe, isn't that a tad bit arrogant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My infant daughter died many years ago and I was never fortunate enough to have another... It is the greatest tragedy in my life - and to some extent I will never get over it...

While I can intellectually accept that some people never want to have children, emotionally I can not grasp the concept....

To those who say "Well, we'll all be dead and gone eventually anyway - so why bring a child into the world just to die", I say " Every species fights to survive and to keep surviving. Humans are fast becoming the only

Earth species to ever WANT to die. Excuse me if I wish the species to continue."...

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My infant daughter died many years ago and I was never fortunate enough to have another... It is the greatest tragedy in my life - and to some extent I will never get over it...

While I can intellectually accept that some people never want to have children, emotionally I can not grasp the concept....

To those who say "Well, we'll all be dead and gone eventually anyway - so why bring a child into the world just to die", I say " Every species fights to survive and to keep surviving. Humans are fast becoming the only

Earth species to ever WANT to die. Excuse me if I wish the species to continue."...

Who says as a species we want to die?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

child a super genius that changes the universe. come on isn't that giving humans a little to much credit. The fact that a human could change other planets Ok Ill give you that because as a group the whole human species has changed this planet. But the universe, isn't that a tad bit arrogant.

No, it isn't arrogant. I don't think you have at all the same perspective of the universe as White Crane Feather does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've been thinking about this for quite a while now and I've been wanting to have a discussion about it for a while. In our modern society, having kids is pretty much something that's just automatically expected of you. You start your family and whatever, raise some kids and help guide them along a pathway to 'success' (whatever the hell that means to you :P). I can't and won't speak for anyone else, but at least in my experience not wanting kids is strangely enough somewhat frowned upon. Sometimes it's more implicit, but there are a few occasions where it's openly criticized and bashed. But I must ask, why is that?

You can save the rest of your meandering message and stop right there.

Having kids is both a biological desire built into us and a necessity for survival for any society.

A society that does not produce children stops to exist. Period.

So there is absolutely nothing wrong or strange about a society promoting the creation of families and rearing the young.

In fact, the reason that Western societies in general are on the way to extinction is that we don´t produce enough children (in favour of material pleasures) are thus being gradually replaced by those cultures who do. But the result will be the end of our civilization as we currently know it.

Nothing more to say, really.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it's a matter of taste there. If you like what western culture has done and have confidence in it, yeah... I've lost confidence in people's ability to both accurately discern reality as well as make pressing, responsible decisions. So can't share your sentiment there. Nothing makes up for the warmth of a family, and while lack of it can produce people who are as cold as me on this, many people from broken families, that warmth can drive us too towards a family. I just can't even fathom it as something desirable yet, I've been let myself be disappointed far too much for that, though I'm no angel either. But that's just a matter of personal experiences.

Mars is in Cancer now so you could expect more people stand up for traditional family-values and for the warmth of the family.

In the end, I dont think it's really that much about what kind of values your children would receive, those reasons shouldn't be obstacles, because with your values you anyhow influence other people, and your children will anyhow in the end adopt the kind of values they feel better about. It's not about making good soldies for your cause or fearing that your children become members of the enemy camp. But I can understand if someone sees their own values so dear they couldn't watch their children go against them. But that's just the thing. If you make children, they're just one of the few billion people with values of their own, a drop in the ocean, but they're the few people in this world you'll feel better about. And parents tend to influence their kids, in better and worse.

To me, it's really more a matter of life-situation really. To get my life and myself in order, and maybe find someone I can actually trust in this world, which isn't happening, but someone who I can let myself trust with a good feeling at least, even if it might not last to the end. And children can be a lot of work, though no parent should say that to their kids. Pets alone can be a lot of work, you need to have your life in order if you want to be a proper parent. And I wholeheartedly recommend practising with taking a pet so you might be able to conceive what kind of investment it is in that sense, having children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can save the rest of your meandering message and stop right there.

Having kids is both a biological desire built into us and a necessity for survival for any society.

A society that does not produce children stops to exist. Period.

So there is absolutely nothing wrong or strange about a society promoting the creation of families and rearing the young.

In fact, the reason that Western societies in general are on the way to extinction is that we don´t produce enough children (in favour of material pleasures) are thus being gradually replaced by those cultures who do. But the result will be the end of our civilization as we currently know it.

Nothing more to say, really.

Ah, the argument from emotional blackmail. "It is your Moral Duty to Reproduce because if you don't Western civilisation will die out and we will be overrun by the Islamic hordes".

Very similar, really, to the exhortations commonly used by totalitarian states throughout history, and indeed the argument that was a basis for all those instructions about sexual morality in the Old testament.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.