A stupid question

A very stupid question, no doubt, but it’s been bothering me for a while, and neither through books nor conversation have I found much to answer it. I’m v ignorant of philosophy so I’d like an indication of which books u folk out there think I should best read to best answer it.
My question: are there any good reasons for having children?
My (probably childish) conception of ‘good’ equates ‘good’ with general rather than personal happiness. I find it difficult then to see how “bringing another child into the world” brings about any good - I cannot see how it gives happiness either to the child or to the general population. Is reproduction merely a horrible and selfish form of accumulation? I hope not, but I haven’t encountered many good contradictory arguments. Any suggestions? I’m sure this is a common rant, so please relieve me of it. Cheers.

But doesn’t your question implicity accept that there are good reasons not to have children?

This generalizes children, it makes everyone equal, or if you want,
all things being equal, should we have children?

But all things aren’t equal (I’ll probably have to show that at some point).

Because of that the question becomes whether one will take the risk of hurting or helping the general good and that means a choice in either direction can help or hurt the general good.

It’s a risk either way.

I accept the risk. I have daughter. The point I’m trying to make, however, is that the decision not to have children doesn’t mean you’re not taking a risk in terms of the general good. You can’t get out of it.

People have children. Its just something new to do. Change of scenery. Why not

I can’t but help relating people having kids to people wanting pets. I always hear people say they had kids for a reason that I can compare to someone wanting a pet. Not to say that it’s the only reason it’s just a concept that I don’t like being applied to children. The idea of wanting a kid for the purpose of having a material item to interact with. I’d also like to read a good reason for having kids as well though. I’m curious and I haven’t thought of any. Sorry once again for sounding pessimistic. :imp:

People should have children because it’s our nature to have children.
Why exhist unless you at least prolong life?
Wouldn’t all progress of mankind be useless?

Children are often described as gifts and I see no reason why we can’t say that it is a gift to society as it is to the parents. As Nikola pointed, the greater good of a society would simply cease to exist if we all stopped having children. :laughing:

The problem is that this gift is an unopened box, you can never know if this gift is good or bad unless you open it. By then, of course, it’s too late. :angry:

I agree with the above. For people to exist in society we need people to reproduce. It conitunes the cirlce of life.

On a more individual level, people have kids for different reasons.
Not everyone should have kids though. Its your choice

In my opinion, this world is populated enough so I don’t think we need to work on quantity. But we should try and work on the quality of the people. I reckon it’s favourable to adopt since there’s kids out there without proper care. But apart from some unconscious need to spread our genes across the globe, I think that to spread ideas is better. I think that if you are a person who has worked on themselves to become better people, then it would be good if you could teach other people your understanding of life. Just as you live life and gain experience, then it would be like taking an apprentice who could learn from your gained wisdom.

Are thoughts in any way genetic? What about learning techniques? I’m just curious.

I know this is kind of a radical idea but do you think people should have a license to have kids? And honestly think about it. Or atleast give me some form of yes. I know everyones going to say no… but o well.

society has a nasty way to deal with populations. many governments do limit the number of children a couple can have. personally i find some cultural practises horiffying. :imp:

but putting that asside, there are many other factors that will keep things in a natural equilibrium anyways. in a middle class household a faqmily will have only enough children that will fit within thier economic means. im sorry but im just gonna have to say no about the liscensing, it would raise to much objection within the society.

i agree with nomen, the idea of quality is truly a noble one. but is it truly selfish to want your own genepool to survive? many habits and traits are thought to be genetic. would adopting destroy a very unique part of ourselves? nah…

Heh! In Australia, there’s people who have way too many kids for their economic means and survive through the welfare system. Though, the birth rate in Aus is low, so it’s a funny situation…

Don’t know about thoughts being genetic. I heard of such a thing as ‘cell memory’, though as I think science understands it, it’s more involved with understanding survival rather than something as lofty as morality. This calls for a study of ‘what is the mind?’

As for licensing, I would like to say yes, but it’s difficult to impose your good ideas on other people and expect good to come of it. So I’d have to go with no, because people need to make and learn from their own mistakes. Though instead of licensing, I reckon education would be better for prospective parents.

hah… Before I got to the end of your paragraph I was thinking education would be a good idea. It would though. People end up reading a whole bunch of books on how to raise kids. Might as well have a class for it.

yeah, I was reading ‘the road less travelled’, and in that book they say that some people get screwed later on in life because of poor childhoods. But that’s also modified by the individuals insight or awareness into life. The books make it sound like a psychologists job is to fix up what the parents screwed up in.

peterr, is there a good reason for you to be in this world? that should answer your question

do you think people should have a license to have kids?..whatever way you look at it “no”…who would you trust to set up the guidelines for allowing who gets the liscense and who doesn’t…i don’t trust my government do you trust yours?..in fact i don’t trust anyone enough to give that kind of power…christ theres enough bloody file filing going on as there is…you can hardly poo without a form…jesus! are you a loony?

I agree there are no good reasons to have children, Peter, please don’t have children.

the child itself is the best reason to have children. can you find any interesting thing about a child, something that could fill you out? if so, go ahead… if you feel them to be nerve-bombers, better don’t, it really all depends on what a child is to you, so is there any good reason for having children? well do you see anything “good” in a child?

Dittos to Ally-Sofie.

It seems to me that part of the meaning of life is creation. Raising a child to adulthood can be the best form of transcendence for many people.

As for books, I recommend Fatherhood by Bill Cosby. It will make you laugh, which you probably could use in this discussion, getting you centered before you begin to analyse the theoretical stuff.

you gotta have kids so you can pass on your inheritance to another generation, like that special oak chest, and that old 50’s cuban cigar box.

Having children is like having sex to most people. You don’t think about it, ya just do it. It is just like continuing living, why do you do it? . . . well just because.

I think some of us are programed to feel more secure and more fit if we have children. I think there might be something biological in us that enjoys just watching our children grow and progress thru growth stages. So many parents express joys when their children learn to walk, talk etc. Why? I dunno, maybe biology, maybe nay.

… but if we all stoped having children, then the survival of the planet might have a chance.

If we all stopped having children, then no one would survive on the planet, and the drama would be over.