AuthorTopic: Why I don't want kids  (Read 14609 times)

Offline Fenixor

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Why I don't want kids
« on: October 15, 2015, 05:50:00 AM »
I try to stay away from "fakebook" since it's a waste of time, but sometimes I go in to read my messages, and so I have seen that over the past 2 years almost every female friend in my own age has had or is having a kid (1 or more). They all expect that the future will be better than the present and so having a kid seems like a good idea. Also, most would argue, that life wouldn't be worth living otherwise. I find this point of view very disturbing. Especially since having a kid is probably the worst thing you could ever do in terms of environmental impact. What about all the other species on Earth?

Personally, with everything that I know about the world we are living in, I cannot find a single reason to why having a kid would be a good idea. Only selfish reasons, like "because it would be nice" etc. Of course humans have, like any other animal, a drive to reproduce but that biological drive is usually lower in countries were women are more equal to men. However, I think the social benefits, free schooling and daycare etc actually encourage people to have kids here (in Scandinavia).

I was watching a swedish news segment about the refugee crisis in which they interviewed a Syrian woman who had fled to Lebanon, living in a camp with her 3 daughters and unemployed husband. Now, she said that she only had one kid at the time they fled (some 2-3 years ago) which means that she had 2 more while on the run, living in the refugee camp in Lebanon. She was complaining that it was crowded... Sure, it might not have been her choice but still, why do people keep on having kids when prospects for a decent life is awful? The journalist did not ask any such questions.

How come the blind spot for population-environment is so huge that even the people who should know better, in the rich countries like Sweden, have it as an ultimate goal in life? My old professor goes around talking about planetary boundaries, flying to useless international climate meeting, has 3 kids, a car and a nice villa out in the archipelago. A bit incoherent, no? Still, people think Im the weird one when I say I don't want kids. Many seem to feel sorry for me but I feel sorry for them, or rather, for their their kids who will inherit a crappy world and most likely will suffer in some way because of the previous generations decisions.

Paul Ehrlich opinion is that its morally wrong to have more than 1 kid if you live in a rich country, and I must agree. I would even say that it might be morally wrong to have a kid at all. Im sure most people will disagree with me on this one.   

Offline RE

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 07:48:55 AM »
Well, if you want the species Homo Sap to continue onward, SOMEBODY has to have kids.  You also have the problem of getting the kind of demographic shift toward an aging population for a while, at least until all the old fogeys die off.

If it is a monogamous couple, 2 kids just replaces them.  So that's not too bad either, as we are going to see most die off in older people, infirm people and those who live in marginal environments or highly overpopulated regions.  AKA, of the 30M people currently living in Saudi Arabia, if there are still 500K living there in 30 years I would be very surprised.

Sweden is one of the least over populated regions around and probably could support its current population if an intensive permaculture system was implemented along with Hydroponics Grow Domes.  Not a whole lot different than Alaska actually.  Although I don't think the fishing is as good in Sweden.

So my plan for Sweden would be the same as my plan for Alaska.  KATY BAR THE DOOR.  Don't let anybody new in until you are 100% self sufficient and determine the carrying capacity of the land you occupy for Homo Sap plus the rest of the species inhabiting for good biodiversity.  Then maintain population at a steady state with judicious reproduction.

Far as the people who didn't make it in before you shut the door?  Sorry, you didn't make your Bugout in time.  This is why it's better to be a decade early than a minute too late in a Bugout situation.

RE
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Offline Fenixor

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 08:04:48 AM »
There are plenty of kids so don't think we have to worry about that. Also, my argument was about morals. Furthermore, that scenario you paint up seems very unlikely to me, that we somehow keep everyone out while sitting down and having a sane discussion about carrying capacity. Perhaps after plenty of folks already have died off, but then your kid could have been one of these victims. So no, still seems selfish to me.

Offline RE

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 08:17:31 AM »
There are plenty of kids so don't think we have to worry about that. Also, my argument was about morals. Furthermore, that scenario you paint up seems very unlikely to me, that we somehow keep everyone out while sitting down and having a sane discussion about carrying capacity. Perhaps after plenty of folks already have died off, but then your kid could have been one of these victims. So no, still seems selfish to me.

There are plenty of kids, but they are not distributed out properly.  Obviously, Sweden can't absorb 25M Saudis.

Agreed, it will be a LOT harder to keep migrants from making it to Sweden than for migrants to make it to Alaska.  Sweden lacks one thing Alaska has in Spades.

Mountains.  REALLY BIG MOUNTAINS.   The Great Wall that God Built to Protect the Independent Souls of the World.


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Offline RE

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r/overshoot
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 09:19:08 AM »
The Diner is now the Proud Owner of a REALLY GOOD subreddit name.  :icon_sunny:


The very FIRST Link posted on r/overshoot is Fenixor's thread here in the Diner Forum, Why I don't want kids.

I can't believe nobody registered the r/overshoot sub before me.

Once again folks, it needs CONTENT!  Post any links to population overshoot problems, which obviously is just about everything collapse related from drought to energy issues, but try to make the links pretty obvious for a while.

r/globalcollapse looks very good with many pages of good links now.  I encourage more Diners to use that reddit sub also, and also to go to the other collapse subs and subject area subs and post links as well.  We need to develop some BUZZ!

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Offline Fenixor

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 09:45:47 AM »
 :emthup:

Offline MKing

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2015, 09:50:34 AM »
There are plenty of kids so don't think we have to worry about that. Also, my argument was about morals.

Really? So fulfilling a biological function, procreating, is immoral? Don't tell THAT to the Pope. Or every species on the planet, that nature has apparently designed, in your ethical world view, to be "immoral".



Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
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Offline MKing

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2015, 09:52:12 AM »

Agreed, it will be a LOT harder to keep migrants from making it to Sweden than for migrants to make it to Alaska.  Sweden lacks one thing Alaska has in Spades.

Mountains.  REALLY BIG MOUNTAINS.   The Great Wall that God Built to Protect the Independent Souls of the World.


RE

And what quality of citizen does this great wall protect? RE's neighbors!!


Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
-Dalai Lama

Offline Fenixor

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2015, 11:56:44 AM »
Firstly, there is a difference between a human with the ability of foresight, planning ahead, and a rabbit. Moreover, we do think it's morally wrong to inflict harm on others (religion per se has nothing to do with it). So  if you accept that premise then you would come to the conclusion that having kids actually could lead you to break that moral code since that kid most likely will have a crappy life without any real prospects. Just another number among the millions of unemployed youth angry at the system.

People are more often called upon to justify the choice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. But, in my mind, the choice to have children calls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to.

If you are a hard core determinist, then yes, you wouldn't care about morals or values since you don't believe in freedom of choice.

Offline RE

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2015, 12:55:34 PM »
Firstly, there is a difference between a human with the ability of foresight, planning ahead, and a rabbit.

I think you overestimate the abilities of the average Homo Sap, much less the abilities of the below average Homo Sap.  Remember, by definition 50% of the 7.2B people currently walking the earth are below average.


Now, let us say that the 68% of Homo Sap within 1σ and the high performers 2σ above the mean all have more foresight and ability to plan than a rabbit, and choose not to procreate.  This means the Low Performers on the foresight and ability to plan ahead scale 2σ or 16% will eventually overrun the earth!  So this is a recipe for breeding more Homo Saps with the same foresight as a rabbit, thus overrunning the earth with them!

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2015, 01:23:05 PM »
The decision on whether to have children or not, in the face of Limits to Growth related collapse, is a pretty thorny issue.

There are even people my age on some of these more radical doomer sites (like Nature Bats Last) who brag about their own decision not have kids thirty years ago, and want to claim the moral high ground and complain about people like me, who had lots of kids. (I have four.)

Here's the position I took then, and what I want you to think about now:

The world does not need so many children. Everywhere you look now you see children living in poor circumstances with parents who can't take care of them, and ultimately, unless we reach a stable or declining population, the future of the human race is really bleak.

But, the world needs some children. And unless some enlightened young people, like yourself, choose to reproduce, the ONLY children will be the children of the refugees, the illiterates, the Hasidic Jews, the Catholics, the poorest Muslims and the inner-city permanent underclass.

I for one, decided that it would be better if the world had more people in it who were smart, educated, tolerant, thoughtful, and kind. So I had kids and raised them to be that way, as best I could. So I have four kids who are quite unusual in their peer groups and they stand out, wherever they go, and whatever they do.

You are like that. Not one woman in a thousand, anywhere, of your age, is as conscious as you are. You have been raised,  I'm pretty sure, in an environment of nurture and love and care and opportunity. And it's obvious that you're a sharp cookie.

So, to me (and possibly to your own parents, I would guess), people like you are the last, best hope we have, for any future at all. Without your kind making some kind of ascendancy into positions of authority, the whole world is absolutely without hope of any kind. And if you choose not to bring any children into the world, it isn't just our own family lines that will end, it will be the end of all people like us.

Is that elitist? Racist? I don't think so.

Now, you might feel that it is immoral to bring a child into the world who is sure to suffer. I get that. But please do remember. Human life comes with suffering.

Although I have been lucky, and probably you have been lucky that you have lived in a time and place and environment where suffering hasn't been much of a problem, many people are born into suffering, and yet they live lives that are worth living, and at times even transcendent. They sometimes die young, and yet often still feel that life was completely worth it.

Before you make up your mind, I would suggest that you might read one or two of Mattie Stepanek's books, if you've never done so. Mattie's thoughts and words have been an influence on me, on my thinking about these difficult issues.

Sometimes my body wakes me up and says 'Hey, you haven't had pain in a while. How about pain?' And sometimes I can't breathe, and that's hard to live with. But I still celebrate life and don't give up.

The doctor said, 'He can't last a week.' And I did. And they said, 'There's no way this kid's going to last a month.' And I did. And so they said, 'Two years. He's not going to make it.' Two years. 'Five years. He can't do that.' I lived to be five years. 'He's never going to hit double digits.' And here I am, a new teenager.

I think I may have to grow up without growing old. I think we're going to have to define differently what I'm going to be. We're going to have to define my growing up differently.

Mattie Stepanek


The truth is that even though we know the future is apt to present some extreme hardships, famines, wars, harsh climate, you name it, you know already the handwriting on the wall...still, we (none of us) are at all capable of judging...is someone's life worth living. That is not a knowable thing for humans.

And, this might seem trite, but I keep saying it, and I think this is very key.

We do not live in the future. We do not live in the past. We only ever have today. Be present. Live in your "now" and make the best of it you can. The future never comes. It is an illusion.

You should not live a life completely controlled by your fears of future scarcity, no matter how absolutely certain it might seem.

So that is my POV, and my advice, given for free, and so at least worth as much as you paid for it.

 (And my children have not chosen to reproduce either, as of yet, and I do understand. You ultimately must  make your own decision there, and live by it.)



« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 01:28:14 PM by Eddie »
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Offline MKing

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2015, 01:42:38 PM »
Firstly, there is a difference between a human with the ability of foresight, planning ahead, and a rabbit.

I am inclined to disagree. What you view as foresight, planning ahead, is meaningless when WE DON'T. Isn't one of your primary points that we aren't planning ahead, that we the Swedes are going to starve because they choose to be dependent on machinery based food rather than some other method?

If the ability to plan delivers an ecosystem not capable of supporting the species, the very PREMISE negates the idea that we are any better than rabbits.

Quote from: Fenixor
Moreover, we do think it's morally wrong to inflict harm on others (religion per se has nothing to do with it).

Again, you are incorrect. The very examples provided in another thread of the good old fashioned fun, plundering and enslaving others that Scandinavian forbearers inflicted on others would seem to contradict this claim. Gang members in the US, the Nazi's, Stalin, hell YOU might think something is morally wrong, but when entire countries are busy doing all this plundering and enslaving and killing, someone might be SAYING it is wrong, but their actions indicate otherwise.

Quote from: Fenixor
So  if you accept that premise then you would come to the conclusion that having kids actually could lead you to break that moral code since that kid most likely will have a crappy life without any real prospects. Just another number among the millions of unemployed youth angry at the system.

Because I don't accept your version of morality, or even its application, no, I need not come to your conclusion. And I have mentioned before, not only did some of us HAVE crappy lives once, but we were told in 1970 that our lives would SUCK. And it turns out that people making the same claim you are currently aiming at have been wrong for at least half a century. How is your idea any different from theirs? Because following the same path, and expecting to arrive at a difference location, is illogical.

Quote from: Fenixor
People are more often called upon to justify the choice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. But, in my mind, the choice to have children calls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to.

It is, as you say, your choice. Choices don't even require logic, they can just BE. And your choice will be negated by those living in the under developed world, pumping out babies as fast as they can. Would you venture an opinion on the morality of you passing along your Developed World, thoughtful, intelligent genes, your morality, your contribution to the diversity of the gene pool is better rather than some Tutu tribal woman who only wants her child to learn to wield a machete against her neighbors properly?

Would the world be a better place with your contribution, or without your contribution, knowing that the Tutu tribal woman doesn't hesitate for a second in providing her genes to the human condition?

Quote from: Fenixor
If you are a hard core determinist, then yes, you wouldn't care about morals or values since you don't believe in freedom of choice.

I am a stochastic modeler par excellence, and reject every part of anyone's deterministic estimates or views of anything. And I care deeply about morals and ethics, as a father and husband how can they be avoided? And I am completely aware of why morality and ethics are situational and relative, and there is ZERO requirement that I have yours, or you have mine. As far as freedom of choice, I will defend that one for myself, and you, with Gods Own Weapon directly. I do not have much tolerance for individuals forcing their point of view upon others, through direct means, and perhaps even indirect means. But freedom of choice? Absolutely. Women have the absolute right of choice over their own bodies, including murdering their near term children prior to actual birth. I will defend your right to have children, or not, just as strongly as I will your right to murder them, prior to birth. Those are the rules, and they seem reasonable, and it is YOUR choice. I am a big fan of personal choice, and others not interfering with it, regardless of someone else's version of morality, ethics, religious beliefs, or whatever.
Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
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Offline g

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2015, 01:44:17 PM »

                  "A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on."
 
 ― Carl Sandburg, American poet

Offline Fenixor

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2015, 01:58:06 PM »
RE: hahah yes perhaps it is inevitable, like in the movie Idiocracy, so I apologize to all rabbits out there

Eddie:Thank you for that thoughtful reply. To be completely honest, I don't want kids right now but it might change, who knows. Nothing is written in stone.

It is a difficult topic and that's why I wanted to introduce it here on the Diner, to see what kind of response I would get from people who are aware of limits. I agree that we should try and live in the now and I don't look down on people because they decide to have kids. I'm sure both my brother and my sister will have kids someday, and so I will probably have kids around me even if I decide not to have any myself. I like kids, it's not that, rather the opposite. It takes a village to raise a kid. Many families are already struggling, massive debt and unemployment etc, and I know people who get a second child to fix a broken relationship.

GO: I don't believe in God so that's a no go for me

So my point is rather that we should stop assuming that more is better, and that goes for having kids as well.

Offline JoeP

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Re: Why I don't want kids
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2015, 04:01:00 PM »
Somewhere deep in bowels of The Diner there is a comment (or blog article?) from LD explaining rationalizing the reason he and GM had chillens.

Full Disclosure:

I have zero children.

I have been "fixed".

I will not talk about the abortions that I had a hand (or other appendage) in.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 04:15:44 PM by JoeP »
just my straight shooting honest opinion

 

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