Is raising one's own children egoism or altruism?

Nowadays contraception is so effective that having children or not is purely a personal decision and since it takes considerable time,energy and money for an individual to raise his/her children,is the decision to have children egoism or altruism?

Cioran would have called having children an act of immeasurable selfishness and a sin.

To damn another existence to the consciousness of its own slow demise, just so as to cope with your own, exemplifies a human mind forever trapped in its own solitude.

As we know,a portion of humans now choosing not to have kids.Are their decision egoism or altruism?

One of the few romanians i respect… :slight_smile:

I’d figure it’s altruism. Poor people are having too many chilren as it is and they should stop.
There are poor families here in romania living in a 1/2 rooms apparment and some have 8+ children and they can’t afford to send them to school or even feed them properly so they end up either begging on the streets or working for close to nothing from a very young age (10~12).

I posted something about having children here before; basicly i think the right to have chilren should be earned.

Poor families should be allowed nothing over 1 child (and if very poor then none);
It should be illegal for poor couples to have more than the number of children they can provide for.

Moreover the gipsy women here (and probably everywhere) commit a monstruous number of crimes every year and they cannot be sent to jail because they’re always pregnant; Some gipsy “couples” have 14~15 children even though they live out in the open air with their “clan”.

Gipsy women are forcefully married as young as 11~12 with males 20~30 years older than them and are forced to start sexual life at the same age.
It’s not uncommon for a 13 y old gipsy girl to be pregnant.

Why would it be altrusim?

Anything which brings pleasure to the senses and a sense of height to the self is egoism. Raising children is a matter of pride and love, and thus is egoistic. It is also sacred, as it is the means by which we continue our species.

I seriosuly doubt that…

Nor pride nor love are in any way egoistical;
Pride is a noble feeling - Read Nietzche.
And love, well love should be by definition “lack of egoism”.

The fact that it is the way we propagate our species doesn’t make it sacred, it only makes it useful.

Your entire argument sounded too much like what a christian would say. :expressionless:

I have read Nietzsche - he was a philosopher of life. All feelings which are noble stem from the Will in some form or another. Did you not read any of N’s many critiques of asceticism?

So far i’ve read Genealogy of Morals and i just bought Beyond Good and Evil but i dont have the time to read anything right now.


Dude gotta cheer up a little.

As to the question itself - more fun with paired opposites.

Seems to me that before the kid actually exists, the decision to have a child would have to be egotistical, if either- you decide to have a child for reasons that appeal to you entirely- there may be cases when choosing NOT to have a child could be done out of consideration for the kind of life the child would lead, but choosing to have a child is done for the self.

However, it seems to me that the successful raising of the child is relying on a great deal of altruism to enter into the picture, when the parents start acting for the child’s best interest.

It’s usually horniness coupled with (but not neccessarily) alcohol. Definitions like altruism and egoism are only rationalizations we come up with after the fact (‘Oh crap, how I’m I going to support this kid?’ ‘What was I thinking?’ ‘Where are my under garments?’ ‘Who’s house is this?’ …you get the idea). Nature is sneaky that way. Slaves to the passions I tell you, slaves to the passions.

Altruism and egoism need not be anthithetical to one another.

if you live in a situation with no contraceptives or shitty knowledge of them, then it is neither altruism or egoism, it is just biology.

If you live in a situation with contraceptives and knowledge of it, then it depends on the situation, and it is probably both, some weighing more on the altruism or egoism side than the other.

In some parts of the world, having a kid gives someone to take care of you later in life, so it could be argued that it is egoism, but I think neither altruism or egoism works for that situation, it is more security, survival and necessity.

Altruism is probably more common to spiritual people, who feel various desires to help new people into the planet. But it is how they treat the child as it grows up that determines whether they are altruistic or egoistic in regards to the nuturing of the child.

Truely altruistic people take in children (when possible) who are not theirs who needs a home. (From my perspective they are probably also the most spiritual.)

Why is it that most people have a dialectical view of egoism and altruism?

Both are complicated enough to be differing aspects of the same thing.


You’re a fast learner. It’s all about paring opposites; just like they do it on the discovery channel.

But altruism and egoism don’t strike me as opposites. There is always a bit in both.

because that is how most humans think. I agree they are so complicated that they are beyond a few sentenses. basic generalization has to happen to some degree, or we would be having to write a 200 page explanation with footnotes and research for many of the posts here in ILP, and I for one have no time for that.

dialectical views are not so bad, as long as we realize that they are not complete reflections of objectivity.

The postmodernists might be right in a sense, then.

Then the Dinks(double income no kids)are certainly altruism since the world is over populated.

actually with science and its knowledge the world is under populated. People are now starting to look at real estate under the water. which covers most of this planet. This earth could comfortably fit a few trillion mor humans in all the open land and water if science caught up.

Having kids is just having kids most kids are accidents. to kill that accident is considered murder by alot of people. Or to kill that accident would be a form of selfishness by others. Plus other moral reasons.

Having kids is niether egoism nor altruism. It just is. Most people just have the critturs with out thought other then giving it what they did not get or just plain love. Why label such a natural act? Sure having kids can be stupid 90% of the time, but 90% of the time the good outweighs the stupid. Piffle Every time a kid is born there is a chance that the kid will improve the world and everytime a kid is born, there is more chances that it won’t survive to middle age or even adulthood. Birth vs death. whats the score card on that one?