And now here come all the religious fundamentalists to tell us how declining
birth rates will doom society… wait for it…
“The idea that women don’t have babies because they are
‘selfish’ is not only reductive, in so many cases, it is simply
incorrect,” I think she needs to lookup the definition of the
word 'selfish'. According to Dictionary.com Selfish means "devoted
to or caring only for oneself, concerned primarily with one's own
interests, benefits, welfare, etc." If you are not taking care
of someone else and their needs then aren't you only caring for yourself?
Not saying you can't be selfish, lots of people are. By definition, if you
choose to only take care of yourself then you are selfish. So she
don't care for the negative connotation? Sorry but you don't get to
play the non-selfish card here.
No, children cost an incredible amount of money. I'll be more then able to
provide for myself through the money I'll save by not having children.And no, God doesn't care if you have kids or not.
The problem in society is not childless couples but terrible parents.
Old testament, Genesis 1:28 "...be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish
the earth, and subdue it..."As far as I know, anyone who
believes the Old Testament will see this verse as the first commandment given to
us: a commandment to multiply. I think that means "have some kids."
@ Tyler D:Couples having less children means less financial support
for retiring baby boomers. Also, a lower birthrate means more economic decline
(look at Europe and Japan). Look at the research next time buddy.
Some folks don't have children, but it doesn't mean they don't
Having children without the ability to provide for their physical and emotional
needs is more selfish than not having children at all. The world does not need
more unwanted children.I've seen neighbors who get a dog on Day
1. They play with and take care of their new dog on Day 1 and Day 2. On Day 3,
they buy one of those backyard, chain-link kennels and the poor dog spends the
rest of it's life ignored in that kennel.I've seen parents
who take essentially the same approach with their children. They decide to have
a child for some unknown reason and spend the rest of that child's growing
years trying to keep the child away.We should not coerce children
onto those who do not genuinely want them.
It does matter whether you have children or not. On occasion you hear folks
complain about others having too many children. But unless you die young,
we're all going to get old. Having someone to care for you when you are
old isn't the only reason to have children, but is a pretty good reason to
have them or as a society to be willing to assist those who do have them and do
want them. It may be selfish to not have children, but may be just as selfish to
neglect your parents. So then it becomes just as necessary for society to care
for the sick and elderly whether they've had children or not. Ideally,
parents should care for their children as children should care for their
parents. But because things don't always work as they could or should, be
kind to children and those who have them, because they are raising those who we
will eventually need to help us. Those lucky enough to have children be good to
them and do right be them so they'll be willing to look out for you and a
few of the rest of us.
One problem with the decline in birthrates is that we end up like many countries
in Europe - in a state of negative population growth. When the population cannot
replace itself, that leads to huge problems. There are some people who probably
should not have kids (I've seen a few in my career working in public
schools), but for many people who are emotionally stable and are able to have
kids and choose not to, it can be selfish.
For people who don't want them, not having children is the best thing they
can do and we should applaud them for it.
"...if childlessness is something Americans should worry about."Not unless we create foolish social programs that depend on the young to
support the old via taxes...oh wait!
Why do so many people let others define their goals for them?Having
it all very simply means having everything you consider important - everything
you want.If your goal in life is a large family - than when you have
that large family, you will have it all.If money is your goal - than
having money means you have it all.This ridiculous back-and-forth
over whose life is better is a waste of time and the height of absurdity. The
only person who needs to be happy with your life is you. And you will be a lot
happier if you stop waiting for everyone else to sing your praises.
I agree with "Hutterite" and applaud all those who don't have any
children they don't want.On the other hand, I found the comment
by Carolina A. Miranda in her article, “Childfree Adults Are Not
‘Selfish.’ ” worthy of a chuckle.She said,
“My husband and I chose not to have children for myriad reasons. I’d
say selfishness is not among them. First and foremost, neither of us was ever
keen on the kid thing. I’ve never felt a desire to get pregnant or give
birth. If I have a biological clock, it’s on mute.”I
agree that the fact they don't wish to be biological parents doesn't
necessarily argue that they are selfish, per se. However, the
"Childfree" moniker seems to denote a desire to not parent children at
all. That is, to not personally care for or provide any nurturing for children.
Her argument then becomes, "Just because I don't want to care for
others doesn't mean I'm selfish."For me, it is the
wish to not be encumbered by the care of others, especially children, that
places someone, firmly, in the "selfish" category.
Are these the same group that say your children belong to the State?
I do not think that people should go out and have 10 children just for the heck
of it, but even if you do not want to raise a kid, have one and give it up for
adoption. There are hundreds of people who want children and cannot have them.
Some may not call the refusal to have children selfish, but that is pretty much
what it boils down to at the end of the day. The need to have at least some
children being birthed is basic social science (not just Bible thumping
fundamentalists understand this by the way. It is called being well educated
with social issues).
If I've never had children what do I really know about having children. I
can observe those with children as being "oppressed" or whatever word I
deem right, but I don't know how they feel when they tuck their child in at
night or what they feel in their heart when their child takes their first step.
Conversely, I don't how they feel when their child commits a heinous act or
the worry they feel when their child is missing. I only see what I see, but I
never know. Being a parent is no cake walk and if that is what you want then I
certainly wouldn't recommend having children. "Happiness," if it
could be measured, isn't the material result or even outcome of parenting.
For those that choose to be parents whether for hardwired biological, moral,
religious, economic (ridiculous) reasons the result is experience. What does it
mean to climb Mount Everest? I really don't know and never will. But, I am
a parent. You can gain a lot of happiness in this lifetime without being a
parent, but you will not gain the ultimate experience of life without being a
I one time dreamed of driving a Porsche 911. Instead, I traded the Porsche for
5 children and 24 grandchildren. The Porsche would by now have worn out and
been discarded. My family has brought me joy from the moment I laid eyes on our
first born, now 45, and that joy continues to grow exponentially. I still love
Porsches but my family is a treasure beyond worth.
Tyler D is trying to manipulate us into not responding in favor of children. We
don't have to be Fundamentalists to love having children. Only
those who have had children know how very unselfish you must become to do a good
job raising those children. They take a lot of time, but they become your
greatest treasures. If you raise them to be unselfish, they will grow up giving
back to you and society. Raising a child imprints them upon your heart in such a
way that there are none who could take their place. I cannot imagine
not wanting to have children. What is a greater service to mankind than to
spend one's time molding and creating success for another human being? No
one is in a position to do this more than a parent. It's the hardest job
there is, yet it is the most rewarding - even though there can be a lot of
sorrow involved also. I can't imagine happiness without my family - my
children (grown now) and husband. It gets even better when they have
grandchildren. So good to see your kids go through the same things you did.
It was someone else's kid that later became my wife and brought me lots of
happniess. It was someone else's kid that served me at the restaurant
and gave good service. It was someone else's kid that worked in a
factory that built the car I drive. It was someone else's kid that
worked on a farm so I could have groceries.It was someone else's kid
that works at the power plant and constructed power lines so I could lighten my
own home.It was someone else's kid that taught me about the gospel of
Jesus Christ during Sunday school.And so on...Kids bring a lot
more good into the world than evil. We need more of them!
As an atheist who circulates in "progressive" circles I've heard
some of my fellows complain about people who have "too many kids." My
own sister has "chosen" to not have them. I think this is a memetic
disease of the left. There's a certain anti-having-kids ideology from the
1960s and 70s which continues today: "Because there's overpopulation in
third world countries that means I should have no kids myself." It's a
false analogy, and it's about the same type of thing as saying "eat
your peas because there's starving children elsewhere." This ideology
robs people of a key part of life: reproduction! But biology & evolution
will have the last laugh. Who will care that you lived in 100 years?
Make a contribution. Be a great artist or a great scientist or have kids. And if
you have kids, teach them the value cutting edge art and science.So
yes you do have the right to "choose to be a zero," but that
doesn't mean you deserve more respect, and in the end all you'll get
is a lack of access to the only real flesh & blood immortality we will ever
Choosing to have children is a very difficult and frightening prospect, and does
mean putting off a lot of material and economic security sometimes, but there is
no substitute for the strong relationships and feelings that sprout within a
family centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Children keep the
world, young, happy, and innocent.
This isn't really an issue of religion at all. I work with several people
who CHOOSE to not have kids, and there's a real difference in their overall
attitude. Some of them act like spoiled brats whenever they don't get
their way. They're often selfish because it's all about them. They
live to work, and they have nobody else that requires their attention or care.
Often these people have dogs and treat them as if they were children, usually
referring to themselves as the dog's "daddy" or "mommy".Newsflash: Dogs aren't kids.
Not everyone is childless by choice. Some are not able to have children. So if people want to be considerate, they should watch what they say around
@Chris B, "And no, God doesn't care if you have kids or
not."Somehow the irony of the Catholic taking veiled shots at
the Mormons on the subject of God and children is completely lost on you,
@Epinephrine – “Tyler D – “a lower birthrate means more
economic decline (look at Europe and Japan). Look at the research next time
buddy.”You’re confusing population growth with economic
growth. The later can be related to population growth but it is mostly a
function of productivity gains and advancing technology. And in a
world of scarce and limited resources, the belief that continuous population
growth is necessary to stave off societal decline simply fails the logic test.
And does anyone really believe India and China are better off
because of their geographically dense populations?
The greatest thing a man can do is find a woman to marry. The second is to hold
his child in his lap if the couple can have children. Not having a child is
to me very dumb. What selfishness. They will rue the day they do not have
children when they are seniors. We love and adore our children and they seem
to like us. we are so proud of them. We feel God has blessed us immensely.
People will be most happy when they build their lives on principles of God
rather than when they build their lives ontheir feelings. I have found
this to be true in my life, and as I have watched the lives of those around
me.Children are a treasure and a gift from God. God says happy is the man
whose quiver is full of them. I have 7 children and couldn't be happier!!
It does take effort, work, and the right attitude. Raising children in
love with guidance blesses the child with joy and polishes us along the way with
a luster that is not replaceable .
I realize that many people reading this paper are part of a religion that
promotes having kids, that's fine, if you're able to provide for them
and properly raise them of course.Not having kids can be the more
responsible, less selfish thing to do too though. I know of many young women who
pop out kid after kid, because they're "baby hungry" and can't
control their primitive desire to reproduce, and because having kids in many
areas of America, particularly Utah, is a very popular, "in" thing to
do. So choosing not to have kids because you feel you may not have the resources
(financial, emotional, etc...), or because you have some other situation that
might cause major problems for you and the child, seems like a very responsible,
unselfish thing to do!It's too bad many of the comments here,
as usual, have to come to down to name calling, and political and religious
bashing / promoting. My gosh, there has to be more to Utah than that!