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38carrots

Childless late twenties, 30 somethings asserting themselves by saying how awful kids are.

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Yes, I get jokes. I also have a belief that everyone can live their life however they please. There is a point though where you have to remember children and teenagers (who are more likely to see facebook posts) are people with feelings too.

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Leaving aside for the moment every single generation has blamed the degradation of the world on the generation behind them, ignoring the idea that the generation before them accused them of the same thing, the poster suggested a generation and a half has been raised to be somewhat narcissistic and think the world revolves around them. This isn't about delivery of a joke, or about sharing the humor. It's about identifying young people as narcissistic, egotistic, and clueless. Ironically, it's about identifying young adults as being, dare I say, awful.  ;-)

 

Huh? You asked if people got the joke. I don't understand how this is the response to my reply.

 

Louis CK has probably said worse about being a parent and I find him much more tolerable. This guy just rubbed me the wrong way.

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I think it's the delivery. If someone like Chris Rock said it, I might laugh. This guy comes across as, "I'm a socialite and I don't have time for kids. Ick, get them away."

 

I think comedically, this guy doesn't have a well-tuned delivery. I can picture Seinfeld saying that line and it would totally make me laugh. Or Paul Riser.

 

I actually think that is one disadvantage of present-day instant publishability. There's this expectation of constantly fresh content. Well, it's unrealistic. Even the best comediens require time to craft their acts.

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I think comedically, this guy doesn't have a well-tuned delivery. I can picture Seinfeld saying that line and it would totally make me laugh. Or Paul Riser.

 

I actually think that is one disadvantage of present-day instant publishability. There's this expectation of constantly fresh content. Well, it's unrealistic. Even the best comediens require time to craft their acts.

 

Spot on. It is in the delivery. If I picture Seinfeld performing from this script, I can see myself laughing. This guy did nothing to me. Personal preferences. Or generational gap. Seems like many find him really funny.

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I do see people on FB sometimes vent about kids. I have watched a video by this guy before. I don't think he's a person I would enjoy being around. I didn't find him funny in either of his videos.

 

Just this week I ended up in a conversation that got ugly regarding smoking near building exits. I mentioned that I especially don't like it where kids are involved and/or they have asthma. This person started complaining about kids and referring to parents as "breeders." She said she didn't want kids to be within a certain radius of her. She got even uglier as the conversation progressed (not all directed at me). I don't like the trend of calling parents "breeders" because you hate kids and don't plan to have any. I don't think all children are wonderful to be around, but I just don't get the level of hostility.

 

Has anyone watched the show Master of None on Netflix? I just watched it and there was an episode about kids. It made parenthood look really awful. The main character is childless, but agreed to babysit. Even though parenthood is difficult, the behavior in the show was so extreme and ridiculous. No wonder the main character got scared about having kids. The parents weren't doing much to correct their children's behavior. It was like they shrugged everything off as, "well no one is dead, so we're good." Makes you wonder what angle the writers are coming from...

 

 

I watched the first episode.  It is based on the star's stand up routine (Aziz Ansari), and while I did laugh, it does seem to represent a certain segment of that age group's perception on parenting and children in general, which is a little sad.  I think that it is the prevailing attitude especially among the more urban upper middle class.  

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I don't have this on my FB and I would unfriend people who mach such comments regularly.  I don't think there is any growing population of people who express this sentiment.  There have always been jerks & assholes.

 

I have several friends who are child-free.  Some by choice (of those, a couple regret it), some by nature (and they all mourned & are now "over it" for all intents and purposes).  None of them have ever been rude about kids - some of them volunteer to watch children at church and they are wonderful and kind.

 

I do have an older sister who (along with her roomate at the time) told me that having kids was selfish (I only had 2 at the time, I now have 4 lol, I'm so selfish) and later suggested that my other sister's children should have been aborted.  Needless to say, I have chosen to not have contact with such an "authentic" person.

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I think having children is selfish. It's just more of your own genes to suck up the world's resources. I mean, we have four kids, so I'm not judging. My genes, grow corn and wheat for my genes! Me! Me! 

 

We all want the best for our own genes. It's very unusual for an animal not to procreate. I don't think childfree people are selfish to want to enjoy their own lives. How is that more selfish than me wanting my kids (my genes) to enjoy their lives?

 

I don't get it.

 

I suppose from a religious point of view, each soul is equally distinct. But I don't believe that. I think my kids are kind of like little branches off the same tree, coming from me. We're part of the human organism. And I don't think it's particularly virtuous to support one's own children. On the contrary, a lot of selfish and hateful decisions are made ostensibly for children.

 

None of this excuses people berating children of course. I just don't think it's selfish to want to enjoy your life, or rather, not more selfish than having children. Having bio children is the most selfish biologically; staying single, second most; and then after that you have people who just want company or somebody to love. Still somewhat selfish but aren't we all?

 

Curious as to why you think staying single is the second most selfish choice.  :)

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I begin to wonder what "selfish" really means.  By a broad definition I guess most of what we do all day is selfish.  I mean I brushed my teeth this morning.  MY teeth.  Unless I'm planning to breathe on other people, that's a pretty selfish act.  I am drinking a cup of coffee right now.  That's about as selfish as it gets.  Imagine, I could have used that money for charity and saved the environment.

 

I am a mom because I was born with a strong maternal instinct, and I found a way to act on it.  Having taken on the responsibility of raising 2 kids, I try to make the best of it.  I don't need to tell you guys that it's not all sunshine and roses.  But if I had not become a mom, I would have felt I was missing something big in my life.  To me, it's like getting some food to eat when you're hungry, only bigger.

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I begin to wonder what "selfish" really means.  By a broad definition I guess most of what we do all day is selfish.  I mean I brushed my teeth this morning.  MY teeth.  Unless I'm planning to breathe on other people, that's a pretty selfish act.  I am drinking a cup of coffee right now.  That's about as selfish as it gets.  Imagine, I could have used that money for charity and saved the environment.

 

I am a mom because I was born with a strong maternal instinct, and I found a way to act on it.  Having taken on the responsibility of raising 2 kids, I try to make the best of it.  I don't need to tell you guys that it's not all sunshine and roses.  But if I had not become a mom, I would have felt I was missing something big in my life.  To me, it's like getting some food to eat when you're hungry, only bigger.

 

Selfishness explains a lot of human behavior. Richard Dawkins explains this in his book, The Selfish Gene. We're hard wired to preserve our life and well-being at just about any cost (which is why martyrdom is often viewed as a most virtuous act). But we're also hard wired to preserve the life and well-being of our genetic kin, and to a lesser extent, our community. So yes, you brush your teeth for selfish reasons. You don't want the cost and hassle of cavities, and you don't want to lose friends and social connections through bad hygiene. But you also teach your children to adopt this same practice, even though you won't feel their cavities and their loss of friends won't affect you in the same way. It affects you in a different way, and so you're actions - teaching them to brush their teeth - can be attributed in no small part to your desire to preserve your well being. After all, you'll feel better knowing your family is safe and happy.

 

The idea that not having children is selfish sounds to me more of a personal rationalization for one's own circumstances (I don't mean to imply a judgement here, just an explanation). It does take a tremendous amount of time and effort to raise children. As anyone who has, or knows a parent of a special needs child, they know we don't know just what we're signing up for when we first imagine the sweet nursery set-up in our homes, and picture holding a smiling babe in our arms. Special needs kids have, well, special needs. Above and beyond the already significant needs any child has, as children are born completely dependent and thus vulnerable. Some of them are vulnerable for life. Perhaps the idea of not taking on that sacrifice is understood as a selfish act because it's hard to conceive one's life without that sacrifice as a major component that gives it meaning and worth. I dunno, just guessing here. And I agree that answering the "call" of the maternal instinct is selfish, in the same way denying it is selfish. It's all selfish as it's all geared towards preserving our life and our well-being, and we get to decide how to define our well-being to a large extent.

 

The social pressure we put on one another (in this case, to have children or the push-back, to take pride in not having children), is a part of that selfish gene as it plays out in the community. Altruism is the concept that one promotes the well-being of another at cost to themselves. This is for the security of the community, that body that is the best chance these genes have to pass on their info, their "worth" to the next generation. But there's another social behavior at play, and that's like a negative altruism. It's the pressure we put on one another at cost to them without gain to us. I think this whole concept illustrates that pressure in both ways. The OP talks about the "pushback," or the negative altruism coming from her facebook feed. She talks about the pressure to "punish," for lack of better word those who demand everyone embrace adulthood as parents ("punish" as opposed to "pleasure," the potential emotional responses). This thread illustrates why that push-back developed. Assumptions in this thread, and no doubt pervasive throughout society, include such claims as being childless is selfish, joking about children in a negative light is obnoxious, these people are hostile, even hateful. Making jokes diminishes the force of these accusations. It chips away at the pedestal that suggests these people are somehow missing the moral boat. 

 

And posters here are responding to a buzzfeed clip! Buzzfeed, as lighthearted as one can get. They have a similar post called 27 Reasons Why Kids Are Actually The Worst. I suspect most people would consider that cute, but in the context of protecting one's well-being (the emotional "reward" of rationalizing one's choices and circumstances), I wouldn't put it past people to dislike it. I find that particularly interesting in that our society generally has no problem saying how awful kids are when they get in their teens. Kids who are not generally compliant are also fair game with regards to identifying them as awful. Parents of special needs kids fought hard against this assumption, as conditions like autism, add/adhd and other common challenges affect kids in the skills of compliance. Some of us have even given up on demanding that, opting instead for a culture of cooperation. In response, we're called "unparents." How awful. Kids who are crossing over the threshold to young adulthood are super awful. Narcissistic even. But don't talk about how awful kids are? Unless I do it first? In the context that keeps me comfortable? Bah. It's a self-centered, dare I say, selfish way to look at it. And it's perfectly natural. :-)

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Curious as to why you think staying single is the second most selfish choice. :)

Well, I think adoption is caring for a child who is already in the world and giving your resources to them. I don't think of it as charity but expending that parental energy on other genes, on the species as a whole, that's not too selfish.

 

I think with over-population having more kids, planned anyway, is most selfish because you're just making more of yourself to love. I mean my kids aren't me, but genetically, they are half me. I'm choosing my genes to expend precious resources over those of others, those of a bobcat, etc.

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I begin to wonder what "selfish" really means. By a broad definition I guess most of what we do all day is selfish. I mean I brushed my teeth this morning. MY teeth. Unless I'm planning to breathe on other people, that's a pretty selfish act. I am drinking a cup of coffee right now. That's about as selfish as it gets. Imagine, I could have used that money for charity and saved the environment.

 

I am a mom because I was born with a strong maternal instinct, and I found a way to act on it. Having taken on the responsibility of raising 2 kids, I try to make the best of it. I don't need to tell you guys that it's not all sunshine and roses. But if I had not become a mom, I would have felt I was missing something big in my life. To me, it's like getting some food to eat when you're hungry, only bigger.

Well yeah. Brushing teeth is self-preserving but coffee is selfish. I drink coffee. I love it.

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I don't see the biological need or urge to reproduce as anything similar to the "selfish" that I'm talking about.  When my sister sneered at me that I was selfish to have a child, not only once but TWICE, I'm pretty sure she wasn't referring to my biological urges.  She didn't mean "wow, your biological need to reproduce is strong". It was a moral judgement.  

 

There is no denying that reproducing to continue on your genes is also "selfish" - that is a fact.  But it isn't the same kind of selfish.  

 

ETA:  Somehow I'm reminded of my friend who had trouble conceiving & so she & her partner decided to pursue adoption.  The she decided that having biological children was selfish when there were so many orphaned children in the world.  Then as soon as she got pregnant herself it was OK again.  No longer selfish.

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Yeah, I mean morally blameworthy.

 

I guess I don't see myself as a praiseworthy person. I know just how horrible my impact is on the earth and what the IS is doing.

 

I know who is suffering due to my eating meat several times a week, which lands are being farmed to dust.

 

I know who is suffering from oil wars and getting on boats so I can ferry one not child around to chess lessons.

 

I'm selfish in a bad way.

 

It is less selfish to live a life of a single person, all else being equal. But if you then spend that on a lavish, fuel-guzzling lifestyle while wars wage in the oil lands and eat more meat And use your wealth to fuel conspicuous consumption of electronics needing rare metals, that's ALSO selfish.

 

Everybody does it but it's not different because of that.

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Yeah, I mean morally blameworthy.

 

I guess I don't see myself as a praiseworthy person. I know just how horrible my impact is on the earth and what the IS is doing.

 

I know who is suffering due to my eating meat several times a week, which lands are being farmed to dust.

 

I know who is suffering from oil wars and getting on boats so I can ferry one not child around to chess lessons.

 

I'm selfish in a bad way.

 

It is less selfish to live a life of a single person, all else being equal. But if you then spend that on a lavish, fuel-guzzling lifestyle while wars wage in the oil lands and eat more meat And use your wealth to fuel conspicuous consumption of electronics needing rare metals, that's ALSO selfish.

 

Everybody does it but it's not different because of that.

I guess we will have to disagree on what selfish means.  I am raising kids I love and who love and care for the earth and who will hopefully make it a better place.  I don't see that as selfish.  I see raising kids just to tote them around as accessories to be selfish as you are not thinking about them or the world. I guess if you think the only morally appropriate answer to life is to live a life of stark asceticism, then you should probably not be on the internet using the resources (oil, gas, nuclear, rare minerals).  This is the modern world.  We can try to do better, but pointing fingers at who is most selfish like it's some sort of competition doesn't help anything. It's some sort of jacked up elitist argumentation.

 

ETA: The only time I see this argumentation is in some sort of one upmanship about how wrong someone else is because you obviously care for the earth more.  It's bull hockey.  Totally.  Are you out there helping find alternatives and voting with your conscience and doing better or are you posturing yourself as great?  We are humans.  We are animals.  We are of this earth.  The earth will be there even when we're gone (for at least a few billion years).  It's pretty good at taking care of things that hurt it.  I do not see it as selfish to be alive or to have children, but individual actions may be selfish. 

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Yeah, I mean morally blameworthy.

 

I guess I don't see myself as a praiseworthy person. I know just how horrible my impact is on the earth and what the IS is doing.

 

I know who is suffering due to my eating meat several times a week, which lands are being farmed to dust.

 

I know who is suffering from oil wars and getting on boats so I can ferry one not child around to chess lessons.

 

I'm selfish in a bad way.

 

It is less selfish to live a life of a single person, all else being equal. But if you then spend that on a lavish, fuel-guzzling lifestyle while wars wage in the oil lands and eat more meat And use your wealth to fuel conspicuous consumption of electronics needing rare metals, that's ALSO selfish.

 

Everybody does it but it's not different because of that.

 

I don't think that merely existing as a human being is selfish.

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Well, I think adoption is caring for a child who is already in the world and giving your resources to them. I don't think of it as charity but expending that parental energy on other genes, on the species as a whole, that's not too selfish.

 

I think with over-population having more kids, planned anyway, is most selfish because you're just making more of yourself to love. I mean my kids aren't me, but genetically, they are half me. I'm choosing my genes to expend precious resources over those of others, those of a bobcat, etc.

 

I still don't get it.  The part about staying single being the second most selfish choice.

 

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When you say "single," are you really meaning "childless"?  Or are you including single people who have children?

 

A single (as in not-married) person can be selfish / wasteful or the opposite.  Just as anyone else can.

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Well yeah. Brushing teeth is self-preserving but coffee is selfish. I drink coffee. I love it.

 

And they are finding out that drinking coffee promotes greater longevity.  So it's even more selfish, knowing this will cause me to be alive using up the world's resources even longer.  :p

 

I guess I thought selfish was a term we use when someone is more full of herself / careless of others than the norm in our society.  A person who eats a piece of the birthday cake is not selfish, but one eats half of the birthday cake probably is.

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I don't see any posts like that on my fb feed. If I did, I would unfriend them, or at least unfollow them. People like that forget, that, their mother picked up their throwup as well, and cleaned up their sticky hands. :( so so sad. 

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I don't think that merely existing as a human being is selfish.

 

No, but being human requires selfish acts. There's no getting around that. I think Tsuga is just pointing out examples, not making judgement calls. 

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Well maybe we mean "self-serving," which doesn't have the same negative connotation as "selfish."

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Hey you guys, I just realized we can now delete our own posts.  (Nothing to do with kids or selfishness.)  (Just trying to be a little selfless here.)

 

ETA: Wait, then I got a notification that a moderator deleted it.  Does that mean I am a moderator of my own posts?  Or did I just bother a moderator for no good reason?

 

ETA again:  now the delete button is gone.  And there is a new notification after I edit a post.  And my typiing in this program is really slow.  I guess they are working on stuff.

Edited by SKL
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No, but being human requires selfish acts. There's no getting around that. Yup, I agree.  Self-preservation.  It's biological.   I think Tsuga is just pointing out examples, not making judgement calls. 

 

Doesn't seem to be the case.

Yeah, I mean morally blameworthy.

 

 

I don't believe that our biological impulses are moral or immoral.  They just are.

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Doesn't seem to be the case.

 

I don't believe that our biological impulses are moral or immoral.  They just are.

 

The impression I get from Tusga's comments is that our behaviors do have moral ramifications, good and bad. It's good to be aware of them, even if we know we cannot or will not change. At the very least, we can raise children who are more cognizant of their moral footprint in this increasingly global community in which we all live (not that she said this, but it's on my mind). 

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Hey you guys, I just realized we can now delete our own posts. (Nothing to do with kids or selfishness.) (Just trying to be a little selfless here.)

 

ETA: Wait, then I got a notification that a moderator deleted it. Does that mean I am a moderator of my own posts? Or did I just bother a moderator for no good reason?

You can delete your own content within a post, but surely you knew that before. I don't think we can erase all evidence that we posted; only mods can do that I think.

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The impression I get from Tusga's comments is that our behaviors do have moral ramifications, good and bad. It's good to be aware of them, even if we know we cannot or will not change. At the very least, we can raise children who are more cognizant of their moral footprint in this increasingly global community in which we all live (not that she said this, but it's on my mind). 

 

Of course we can & I struggle with how to best do this myself.

 

But there is no way that having children can be considered selfish outside of the definition of selfish being satisfying biological urges that we all have for our survival.  Using that definition, the only way to be not selfish would be to kill myself and my offspring.  It isn't selfish to not do that.  It isn't immoral to be alive.  The selfishness that gets thrown around in child-free/child-full(?) circles is a moral one.  The biological definition doesn't apply here - it can't.  Because survival isn't immoral.

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You can delete your own content within a post, but surely you knew that before. I don't think we can erase all evidence that we posted; only mods can do that I think.

 

There is an option to "delete" next to the edit option on my posts - it hasn't been there in the past but I don't know when it appeared.  I just noticed it now when SKL posted.

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I am 100% supportive of reproductive choice. If you choose to be child free, that's fine with me. Plenty of awesome women out there without kids.

 

But I loathe the language of what I'd call the militant childless, who refer to mothers as 'breeders' and seem to wish for a world where children are neither seen nor heard. 

 

It's misogynistic b/s, this desire to segregate mothers and children from the wider world. 

 

But hey, if kids just aren't for you, but you still treat mothers and their children with respect, it's all good as far as I'm concerned. I certainly reciprocate.

 

 

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You can delete your own content within a post, but surely you knew that before. I don't think we can erase all evidence that we posted; only mods can do that I think.

You can now. :D

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The selfish for having kids thing makes me laugh. The logical end point is that people are content to see the human race die out. Also, our kids are the tax payers of tomorrow. 

 

Many militant child free suggest that immigration can solve all our woes, and I don't even know where to start with that one. Brown breeders whose children are imported as needed to service wealthy childless white people ?  Ugly.

 

 

 

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The impression I get from Tusga's comments is that our behaviors do have moral ramifications, good and bad. It's good to be aware of them, even if we know we cannot or will not change. At the very least, we can raise children who are more cognizant of their moral footprint in this increasingly global community in which we all live (not that she said this, but it's on my mind). 

 

So we produce these lives and then saddle them with the guilt of having biological needs and natural wants?  That doesn't seem fair.  Maybe we should apologize to our kids for putting them in such a position.

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Of course we can & I struggle with how to best do this myself.

 

But there is no way that having children can be considered selfish outside of the definition of selfish being satisfying biological urges that we all have for our survival.  Using that definition, the only way to be not selfish would be to kill myself and my offspring.  It isn't selfish to not do that.  It isn't immoral to be alive.  The selfishness that gets thrown around in child-free/child-full(?) circles is a moral one.  The biological definition doesn't apply here - it can't.  Because survival isn't immoral.

 

I agree with you that "selfish" refers to biological urges that we have for survival, survival for ourselves and our kin (and community, and ideally this biological drive can be directed to consider our species without consideration of border or religion, and all inhabitants on the planet, but I digress). I don't agree with you that killing oneself and one's children isn't an antidote to selfishness. I agree with you it isn't immoral to be alive. I agree with Tsuga there are stronger moral reasons to limit family size and population growth in general than there are to have large families. 

 

So we produce these lives and then saddle them with the guilt of having biological needs and natural wants?  That doesn't seem fair.  Maybe we should apologize to our kids for putting them in such a position.

 

That's taking it to unnecessary, illogical, and silly lengths. We as a species are hard wired to want to reproduce. Mothering instincts and biological clocks are real biological impulses people have (in different measure of course). I don't think that translates to saddling children with guilt for being born human, with all its biological components. However, I do not think it translates into supporting willful ignorance of one's effect on the community around them and the global community in general. 

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But that isn't what's been talked about. The statement has been made that having children at all is selfish. That also just being alive is selfish. If that is the kind of selfish we're talking about - biological selfishness - then it isn't relevant. Because the only way to not be selfish is to die.

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But that isn't what's been talked about. The statement has been made that having children at all is selfish. That also just being alive is selfish. If that is the kind of selfish we're talking about - biological selfishness - then it isn't relevant. Because the only way to not be selfish is to die.

 I ignore those who carry on about the ecological selfishness of breeders, unless they have made adequate adjustments to their own lifestyles  - you know, no o/s flights, no car - that sort of thing. If they haven't, they are hypocrites of the first order. If they have, good luck to them, and maybe they could consider putting all that righteous energy into things that actually work to reduce world birth rates - education for girls, and access to contraception being the most effective.

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I watched the first episode.  It is based on the star's stand up routine (Aziz Ansari), and while I did laugh, it does seem to represent a certain segment of that age group's perception on parenting and children in general, which is a little sad.  I think that it is the prevailing attitude especially among the more urban upper middle class.  

 

Oh ok. I'm not familiar with his stand up. I noticed him from Parks and Rec. The first episode was hard for me to get through. They seemed quite casual about picking up Plan B. I think I only laughed at the randomness of apple juice. Other episodes were better. And yeah, I do think it represents a certain group.

 

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But that isn't what's been talked about. The statement has been made that having children at all is selfish. That also just being alive is selfish. If that is the kind of selfish we're talking about - biological selfishness - then it isn't relevant. Because the only way to not be selfish is to die.

 

Why does death keep coming up here? 

 

 I ignore those who carry on about the ecological selfishness of breeders, unless they have made adequate adjustments to their own lifestyles  - you know, no o/s flights, no car - that sort of thing. If they haven't, they are hypocrites of the first order. If they have, good luck to them, and maybe they could consider putting all that righteous energy into things that actually work to reduce world birth rates - education for girls, and access to contraception being the most effective.

 

Do you think an argument should stand or fall on the merits of its own structure, or on the behavior or character of the individual presenting the argument? An individual's hypocrisy doesn't nullify an argument.

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Hypocrisy makes me less likely to consider an argument on the basis that a person who is taking international flights is in no place to lecture mothers about their carbon footprint. Lack of authority, I suppose. I would be more likely to listen to someone who had already reduced their own footprint to its minimum, partly on the basis that they might know what the heck they are on about, due to their commitment and experience.

 

I think lecturing individual mothers is a very ineffective way to make a point anyway. Girls education has been shown to reduce birth rates. Contraception and good sex education reduces birthrates. Even social security for old age can eventually reduce birthrates. If I was to consider an argument against birthing children to be valid I would merely suggest there are better ways to achieve the goal.

 

What doesn't reduce the birthrate ? Hectoring women about their family size, being anti-mother or anti-child.

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Why does death keep coming up here? 

 

 

If we are selfish because we drain the earth's resources, and having children simply puts more strain on the earth, the only way to stop being a drain is to not have children & no longer exist.  It's following that thought to it's conclusion.

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I know a lot of people who have chosen to not have kids, some because they can't stand small children. None of them posts like this on FB that I have seen. Maybe I just don't have assholes on my friend list.

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Hypocrisy makes me less likely to consider an argument on the basis that a person who is taking international flights is in no place to lecture mothers about their carbon footprint. Lack of authority, I suppose. I would be more likely to listen to someone who had already reduced their own footprint to its minimum, partly on the basis that they might know what the heck they are on about, due to their commitment and experience.

 

I think lecturing individual mothers is a very ineffective way to make a point anyway. Girls education has been shown to reduce birth rates. Contraception and good sex education reduces birthrates. Even social security for old age can eventually reduce birthrates. If I was to consider an argument against birthing children to be valid I would merely suggest there are better ways to achieve the goal.

 

What doesn't reduce the birthrate ? Hectoring women about their family size, being anti-mother or anti-child.

 

We're not talking about sharing jokes on facebook anymore, I take it.

 

I agree with you that persuasion can be more or less successful depending on the circumstances with which any particular information is shared. 

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If we are selfish because we drain the earth's resources, and having children simply puts more strain on the earth, the only way to stop being a drain is to not have children & no longer exist.  It's following that thought to it's conclusion.

 

It's one conclusion, and a rather drastic one no one is actually supporting at that. But I understand now. Thank you for explaining for me.  

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It's one conclusion, and a rather drastic one no one is actually supporting at that. But I understand now. Thank you for explaining for me.  

 

What other conclusion would there be?

 

We've been told that all humans are selfish simply by existing because they are a drain on the earth's resources.  Those who don't have children are the least selfish, those with children more selfish.  

 

So how, then, does one become un-selfish? 

 

And another question: So if someone who has chosen to not procreate says to me, knowing that I have children, that having children is selfish... are they simply making a statement about my family using too many resources or telling me I shouldn't have had children or something else?  Is there a possible meaning to this statement that doesn't involve moral judgement?  What is it?

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We're not talking about sharing jokes on facebook anymore, I take it.

 

I agree with you that persuasion can be more or less successful depending on the circumstances with which any particular information is shared. 

 No, sorry, I should have made it clear that I'm talking about the type of people who hate kids and call mothers 'breeders' and then spout ecological nonsense as a justification for their misogyny and misopedia.

 

A FB joke is a FB joke.  I still really dislike jokes at children's expense though. Especially when they come from people who are openly anti-child and anti-mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not only did I discover the world misopedia today ( hatred of children ) but apparently the anti-breeder lot are called antinatalists. Who knew ? Not me. Taken to the extreme, there exist antinatalist groups such as the Voluntary Human Extinction movement. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Head dude of antinatalism:

 

“If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence, or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood?†
― Arthur SchopenhauerStudies in Pessimism: The Essays

 

I think this is a very gloomy way to look at things, but I guess he was writing studies in pessimism. 

 

Anyone else think Arthur just needed meds ?

 

At least it's better than this one:

 

“A pregnant woman is a frightful object. A new-born child is loathsome. A deathbed rarely makes so horrible an impression as childbirth, that terrible symphony of screams and filth and blood.†

― Hjalmar SöderbergDoctor Glas

 

 

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What other conclusion would there be?

 

Humans act for selfish reasons naturally. We've evolved to be selfish in many ways. Our species' survival depends on it. There are different measures of selfishness, and some of these [selfish] behaviors are more morally justified than others. 

 

We've been told that all humans are selfish simply by existing because they are a drain on the earth's resources.  Those who don't have children are the least selfish, those with children more selfish.  

 

The definition of selfishness isn't being a drain on earth's resources. I think humans are selfish because in order to survive, one must put one's own needs first from time to time. When comparing the needs of a family of 19 vs the needs of a family of 6, or a family of 2, surely it's clear the more people included, the more resources needed, don't you agree? Having said that, I don't think a large family in Nepal holds a candle to the sheer resource drainage habits of one average family in the US, all things considered. Having children isn't the qualifier for selfishness. Tsuga gave examples that have nothing to do with children, examples such as fuel consumption habits, purchasing goods and services that disproportionately provide negative consequences, and things like this. A satellite view of Kim Kardashian's mansion shows unjustifiable selfish habits in order to provide a lush environment in the midst of California's worst drought ever. Her child isn't what makes her ecological footprint problematic, kwim? 

 

So how, then, does one become un-selfish? 

 

I don't think humans can be un-selfish. It's like asking how humans can stop noting patterns, or stop being empathetic. Selfishness is a natural and integral part of human behavior. However, in answer to your question, I suspect for each person, the answer to increasing morally justifiable behavior and decreasing morally unjustifiable beahavior will look differently. 

 

What doesn't reduce the birthrate ? Hectoring women about their family size, being anti-mother or anti-child.

 

I totally agree with you, but in this thread, we're talking about why people may share jokes about kids or share memes that celebrate life without having children, not the most effective way to convince people to limit family size. I didn't interpret Tsuga sharing her opinion as having the intent of hectoring, but rather as sharing examples of what I thought was her general point. As I'm often accused of having nasty intentions based solely on the idea people don't like my opinion, I'm a bit sensitive to this kind of accusation. In any case, I'll stop though, and wait for her to comment in case I've misunderstood her.

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Doesn't seem to be the case.

 

I don't believe that our biological impulses are moral or immoral.  They just are.

 

I don't think we have a biological impulse to mine petroleum from poor countries and destabilize them in order to obtain petrol cheaply, though.

 

Bringing a child into the world is one thing.

 

Bringing a child into this lifestyle is entirely another.

 

 

 

If we are selfish because we drain the earth's resources, and having children simply puts more strain on the earth, the only way to stop being a drain is to not have children & no longer exist.  It's following that thought to it's conclusion.

 

Well yes, exactly.

 

Instead, if one wanted to be a truly unselfish person, they should dedicate their lives to creating a more eco-sustainable world.

 

I think the main difference between your perspective and mine on this discussion is that I have no problem thinking that I'm a very selfish person actively engaged in the destruction of the environment, by choice, and you seem concerned that that is a logical outcome of thinking through the consequences of the act of procreating.

 

I don't find it disturbing at all. When I was a Christian I believed we were all sinners anyway; now I simply think that nobody's perfect and I can't make the world into this perfect place so I might as well enjoy some of it.

 

That said, I don't think just not procreating is a solution. If you're going to spend all that money on yourself in consumables and travel you really haven't saved the earth any trouble at all. You've just front-loaded the consumption rather than spreading it out like we breeders do.

 

 

 

So how, then, does one become un-selfish? 

 

Why... live the life of a saint. There are such people, who are vegan most of the year, who have no children, and who dedicate their lives to the poor.

 

Or just be selfish and stop trying to pat one's self on the back for having children as if that's something virtuous.

 

I think the problem is not that people are said to be selfish (we all are very selfish and the human race is actively engaged in a huge game of brinksmanship with the environment), but that everyone is trying to deny that they are one of the selfish ones.

 

Look in the mirror. Polar ice caps are melting. Yes, it's our fault.

 

I think everyone should feel that way. Maybe then they'd stop whining about income taxes and high gas prices and think about making some more personal sacrifices to change things.

 

The problem is not that people say we're selfish, but that we don't believe them and therefore do not take radical measures to make it better.

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In a religion class I took the idea that we do pretty much everything for a selfish reason was brought up. The good feeling you get from doing a good deed, etc. Really, I think we could call anything selfish if we wanted.

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I personally think that it's at least as destructive to diminish and divide people with words (rational-sounding or not) as to emit gases that theoretically might melt a few snowflakes in the arctic.

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I think we agree more than disagree about human effect on the environment. I'm not sure how any of this has anything to do with child-free people calling people who have children selfish because of those children. Any way you slice it, the act of having children and raising them is NOT selfish. It isn't morally wrong - which is what people actually mean when they say selfish. They done mean to comment on biological urges. It doesn't mean it's virtuous either (did someone say that? Not me), but selfish, it isn't.

 

You seem to be trying to move this thread into a completely different direction so you can rant about the environment. I think that's strange.

 

I don't think we have a biological impulse to mine petroleum from poor countries and destabilize them in order to obtain petrol cheaply, though.

 

Bringing a child into the world is one thing.

 

Bringing a child into this lifestyle is entirely another.

 

 

Well yes, exactly.

 

Instead, if one wanted to be a truly unselfish person, they should dedicate their lives to creating a more eco-sustainable world.

 

I think the main difference between your perspective and mine on this discussion is that I have no problem thinking that I'm a very selfish person actively engaged in the destruction of the environment, by choice, and you seem concerned that that is a logical outcome of thinking through the consequences of the act of procreating.

 

I don't find it disturbing at all. When I was a Christian I believed we were all sinners anyway; now I simply think that nobody's perfect and I can't make the world into this perfect place so I might as well enjoy some of it.

 

That said, I don't think just not procreating is a solution. If you're going to spend all that money on yourself in consumables and travel you really haven't saved the earth any trouble at all. You've just front-loaded the consumption rather than spreading it out like we breeders do.

 

 

Why... live the life of a saint. There are such people, who are vegan most of the year, who have no children, and who dedicate their lives to the poor.

 

Or just be selfish and stop trying to pat one's self on the back for having children as if that's something virtuous.

 

I think the problem is not that people are said to be selfish (we all are very selfish and the human race is actively engaged in a huge game of brinksmanship with the environment), but that everyone is trying to deny that they are one of the selfish ones.

 

Look in the mirror. Polar ice caps are melting. Yes, it's our fault.

 

I think everyone should feel that way. Maybe then they'd stop whining about income taxes and high gas prices and think about making some more personal sacrifices to change things.

 

The problem is not that people say we're selfish, but that we don't believe them and therefore do not take radical measures to make it better.

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