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Is having children selfish?

2

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  • smcgiff wrote: »
    It is a great thing, but it's also irrelevant to this discussion.

    Human's are able to weigh up the ramifications of bringing life into the world in a way no other animal can.

    What about people in poor countries having lots of children in the hope that enough will survive to provide them with support in their old age. Is this an example of hard wired behaviour?

    Why is adoption as an alternative to reproduction irrelevant to the discussion.
    Surely the question "Is it selfish to have a child" hints at the adoption alternative. I know a local family that adopted a baby from China. And they seem like a happy family.




  • Why is adoption as an alternative to reproduction irrelevant to the discussion.
    Surely the question "Is it selfish to have a child" hints at the adoption alternative. I know a local family that adopted a baby from China. And they seem like a happy family.

    Hints ? I read it as the thread being about creating life not taking care of someone already born which is entirely different.




  • Joe1919 wrote: »
    But there is a desire to reproduce. This 'desire to reproduce' not only applies to our desire to reproduce children but also applies to our desire to reproduce ideas, works, art etc. This is seen as part of a greater mechanism of nature. Ideas actually compete with one another etc. Dawkins talks about 'memes' but some of this idea can also be traced back to Plato (Diotima's speech in the Symposium).
    Ah but that's a different thing altogether. When Dawkins talks memes and the propagation of ideas, he discusses their tendency to unconsciously propagate, without a guiding intelligence or wilful force. In exactly the same way that genes do.

    The desire to have children in itself may arguably be a meme, in that many possess this desire due to the same unconscious processes which cause us to say "Fnck" when we injure ourselves, or sing a catchy tune in our heads.

    But biologically we cannot be urged to reproduce because biologically we are one step separated from the process itself. Our bodies know how to encourage us to begin the procreation process, but cannot instinctively implant the knowledge of how that process works in our intelligence. Animals desire to mate. They do not instinctively understand that mating leads to reproduction. Hell, many humans don't even understand that.




  • seamus wrote: »

    But biologically we cannot be urged to reproduce because biologically we are one step separated from the process itself. Our bodies know how to encourage us to begin the procreation process, but cannot instinctively implant the knowledge of how that process works in our intelligence. Animals desire to mate. They do not instinctively understand that mating leads to reproduction. Hell, many humans don't even understand that.

    Perhaps I don't follow your reasoning but as far as I can see (and from talking to females), the desire for sex and the desire for children can be separated and can be considered as two separate things. But they may be linked subconsciously as for example in the report that women are most likely to want to commit adultery when they're ovulating. If this is true, then it would suggest that there are background (perhaps hardwired) desires to have some type of productive sex when good quality fresh genetic material is available.




  • Without a doubt people wanting kids is for all their own reasons, like a lion in a circus with its tamer standing there looking all proud and taking credit for the lions actions, even though the lion never asked to be there in the first place.


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  • egghead. wrote: »
    Without a doubt people wanting kids is for all their own reasons, like a lion in a circus with its tamer standing there looking all proud and taking credit for the lions actions, even though the lion never asked to be there in the first place.

    Imo we're such an amazing species in so many ways - the world is overall worse off because of us but there's some pretty incredible things within that - yet yeah, bunch of weirdos really :pac:




  • Is having children selfish? Hardly.


    Raising children is bloody hard work. If anything it's selfless. In todays society of 'ignore your neighbour.' It's even more difficult.


    SD




  • StudentDad wrote: »
    Is having children selfish? Hardly.


    Raising children is bloody hard work. If anything it's selfless. In todays society of 'ignore your neighbour.' It's even more difficult.


    SD

    I don't really think that the question posed has a black and white yes or no answer. Selfless isn't the one I would give if there is. You're saying people have kids as some sort of act of martyrdom are you? no one makes anyone have kids!




  • OP I think you probably got a bad reaction on your first thread because to be honest, the way you come across in it is shocking. To say that you get shipped off at 18 because of all the agro but oh its ok because they brought it on themselves, is just asking for trouble in my opinion. (Can I also say, my youngest brother is 24 and is still living at home, and does not have any intention of moving out so not all parents

    I personally cannot get my head around your way of thinking. Firstly, you say you think it selfish to have kids but yet say at the end that you would like your own one day....does that make you selfish then? Ok, I do understand your adoption point and yes, ideally it would be great if everyone could adopt the kids currently in orphanages. But I don't think you realise how difficult and expensive it is! So because of the cost alone, this option is simply out of the question for many people.

    Plus, I think its a beautiful thing to have a child with the man or woman you love. I myself think it is the must UNSELFISH thing to have kids. I don't have any kids myself but I know they are in my future no questions. And like you said, if I cant have kids, I would love to adopt or even foster! I do however have two young nephews who I am extremely close to. I lived with my eldest nephew for the first two years of his life and I can tell you, the things that parents do to protect their children and give them a happy life is more than anyone can do for another living person.

    I think until a person has their own kids, you just cannot comment properly on this subject.

    Also wanted to say, I gathered from the other thread that you are a man. I don't want to be sexist at all, and I apologise if I come across that way, but I do think the desire to have children...especially their own children...tends to come more from women than men which might explain your views on having kids. Do you have a partner? I would be curious as to what they think on the subject. I know that I personally cannot wait till the day I have my own children, my boyfriend on the other hand is not fussed much. Yes, he would like to be a dad one day but he doesn't have the desire like I do.




  • 1. I didn't say that the get rid of them at 18 thing goes for all parents. You obviously didn't read properly.

    2. You seem shocked I would call myself selfish. I might do, but tbh how do you know for sure what my actual opinion is? Was I trying to gauge opinion? For sure...hence the question mark.

    3. You didn't come across at all sexist.


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  • fr336 wrote: »
    1. I didn't say that the get rid of them at 18 thing goes for all parents. You obviously didn't read properly.

    2. You seem shocked I would call myself selfish. I might do, but tbh how do you know for sure what my actual opinion is? Was I trying to gauge opinion? For sure...hence the question mark.

    3. You didn't come across at all sexist.

    I agree I don't know what your actual opinion is but in your original post you say "is it selfish to have children?....I obviously think so". Your second quote in response to NomadicGray is "I have made my opinion" so you cant blame me for assuming that is your opinion when you stated it twice!

    I do admit that because I want kids so much, I do find it hard to see where you are coming but its a good topic and something I never considered! :)




  • fr336 wrote: »
    1. I didn't say that the get rid of them at 18 thing goes for all parents. You obviously didn't read properly.

    2. You seem shocked I would call myself selfish. I might do, but tbh how do you know for sure what my actual opinion is? Was I trying to gauge opinion? For sure...hence the question mark.

    3. You didn't come across at all sexist.

    1) you didn't write it properly if that's what you meant. Stop blaming other peoples lack of comprehension for your bad sentence structure.


    The idea seems to be that having your own kids, being an extension of yourself, is selfish. That's an argument with some ( if little) merit. However society as a whole needs to reproduce. We could probably agree that having too many children for the reasons of reproductive success is indeed selfish from an individual point of view. It's good for society to reproduce.

    Not much need for discussion.




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  • Ashbx wrote: »
    I agree I don't know what your actual opinion is but in your original post you say "is it selfish to have children?....I obviously think so". Your second quote in response to NomadicGray is "I have made my opinion" so you cant blame me for assuming that is your opinion when you stated it twice!

    I do admit that because I want kids so much, I do find it hard to see where you are coming but its a good topic and something I never considered! :)

    So you admit you want kids so much, so it's a personal satisfaction reason.


    Is that not kind of saying it's a selfish act, something to make you happy ?




  • egghead. wrote: »
    So you admit you want kids so much, so it's a personal satisfaction reason.


    Is that not kind of saying it's a selfish act, something to make you happy ?

    Oh good god, this thread is getting seriously finicky between you and the "society doesn't reproduce..individuals do"

    Yes, technically it would be considered selfish but then nearly everything could be considered selfish. I treated myself to dinner last night even though there is people dying of hunger all over the world....I suppose that is considered selfish too! It reminds me of the episode of friends when Phoebe is trying to find a selfless good deed....they dont exist because you always end up feeling good about yourself after your good deed!!!!

    Look I was asked a question...do I think its selfish....no, PERSONALLY (which I have said personally, or in my opinion many many times) I dont think it is selfish ...that is my answer, you wont change my mind regardless how you put it!




  • Ashbx wrote: »
    Oh good god, this thread is getting seriously finicky between you and the "society doesn't reproduce..individuals do"

    Yes, technically it would be considered selfish but then nearly everything could be considered selfish. I treated myself to dinner last night even though there is people dying of hunger all over the world....I suppose that is considered selfish too! It reminds me of the episode of friends when Phoebe is trying to find a selfless good deed....they dont exist because you always end up feeling good about yourself after your good deed!!!!

    Look I was asked a question...do I think its selfish....no, PERSONALLY (which I have said personally, or in my opinion many many times) I dont think it is selfish ...that is my answer, you wont change my mind regardless how you put it!

    I never mentioned society ?

    No need to shout through your keyboard i can read it perfect as it is!




  • Sorry, another person mentioned society and I meant between your comment and their comment, this thread is getting to be a bit of a joke!

    Unfollowing now because this thread is clearly going no-where! Adios!!!




  • Babooshka wrote: »
    I don't really think that the question posed has a black and white yes or no answer. Selfless isn't the one I would give if there is. You're saying people have kids as some sort of act of martyrdom are you? no one makes anyone have kids!



    Really? You've never heard of the family pressure on couples to have kids? Married five minutes and everyone chants, 'okay where are the grandkids?' Etc. Etc.


    Having kids isn't an act of martyrdom. The realities surrounding them have to be taken into account. I've seen too many kids raised in an atmosphere where they are made feel about as important as a new car or other trophy. People going, career - check, house - check, husband/wife - check, dog/cat - check. Oh dear time's a ticking better have a few children and neither parent is willing to be a parent!


    In that scenario it is selfish to have children. Otherwise in my opinion it is not selfish. Where a couple are willing to bring children into the world or adopt and concentrate their lives on raising said children, it is not selfish.
    It is a natural extension of life.


    SD




  • Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Of course one can use the term "society needs to reproduce" to mean "the individuals in society need to reproduce". Factless pendantry aside.




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  • Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Except in places where there are limited or no reproductive rights.




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  • Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Try follow the elementary logic of my simple sentence structure before channelling thatcher's views of society like a quasi religious cult.

    I said society needs to reproduce. You pedantically said society couldn't reproduce, only individuals could. I pointed out that the individuals in society needed to reproduce for society to reproduce, that the phrase "society needs to reproduce" is synonymous with "the individuals in society need to reproduce" which anybody of average intelligence would understand. It was a remedial enough explanation I thought. Not so.

    You now think I was saying that individuals need to reproduce without regard to society. That I was suggesting that there are "legal and political obligations" for them to do so.

    Do keep up




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  • Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Doesn't that eventually mean bye bye Japan?




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  • Permabear wrote: »
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    So I would conclude that for society to continue to exist, it depends on the choices the individuals make to reproduce.




  • I'm not sure what's going on with this individual/society discussion. Seems a bit like the chicken and the egg argument.

    As I see it society exists because people exist. People don't have to reproduce, its a choice. If they don't reproduce then society will shrink and inevitably cease to exist. But the fate of society should be irrelevant in terms of reproduction. Its a consequence of it not a reason for it.

    And to answer the OP I think it is selfish. And while I know everything is ultimately a selfish act I think its more noteworthy than other acts as it has serious consequences. You're talking about bringing another conscious being into existence. As I said in that AH thread if you can conclude that having a baby in an environment ill suited for it like during a war or famine is wrong then you accept the fate of the child is more important than your want or urge to have it.

    So why is your want or urge to have it enough justification to have it at all ? The child wont be free from suffering, it will have to grow and learn and deal with life which is no easy thing, it may die horribly, suffer disease of impairment or any number of things. And it will have to be aware of the fact its going through all this. Simply because you want a baby.

    I personally cannot justify it. Its too much to put on another being simply to appease my own paternal instincts or want to have a family.




  • Think people are going slightly off topic here! The OP did not ask about the population in Japan!!!


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