Wednesday, February 27, 2013

To Propagate, Or Not To Propagate?

I sometimes think there's something wrong with me. I don't quite understand why I have absolutely no interest in kids - either having my own, or other people's kids. I've never even had  the desire to have my own. I actually find kids to be very annoying, and I find almost no pleasure in being around them. Why is this? It goes against everything biology and evolution is supposed to give us. The desire for kids is supposed to ensure the survival of the species, but I somehow lack it. Perhaps evolution also ensures that some of us will not desire kids in order to mitigate potential overpopulation, which mankind clearly faces. I don't know for sure what may be the causes of my lack of desire for kids, but I know it has caused some rifts in my interpersonal relationships.

I am already passed that age where my family is putting pressure on me to marry and have kids, and there have been many women I've dated who were less than enthusiastic when they discovered my desire to remain childless. I try to justify my stance by appealing to the fact that there are many bad parents out there, and bad parents often give us bad kids who grow up to become bad adults who are responsible for much of the world's problems. Therefore, the only those who truly desire and can care for their kids and who are responsible enough to do so should be having kids. The rest of us should simply refrain from doing so. Of course this won't happen for most of us, but the evidence shows that the more educated women get, the more likely they are to reduce the number of kids they have to what they feel is necessary.

This eludes to a moral concern: is access to contraception a universal human right? Perhaps. I'm not going to engage in such a debate here, but withholding access to contraception would seem about as immoral as withholding access to a desperately needed medicinal cure.

A few people have asked me why I wouldn't want to live on through my children after I'm dead. First of all, having kids in no way guarantees that they'll be anything like you. My father and I are so different on so many levels, that with me the apple fell very far from the tree. Indeed it rolled down a hill and over a river. Second, I am not merely concerned with my genes living on in other people, that's based on a naturalistic egotism. I'd much rather have my words, thoughts and ideas live on beyond me. I find that much more satisfying. If I can contribute something positive to the ideas I'm passionate about, then I could really die a happy man. I wish I could, in some small way, leave this world with a better impression that when I lived in it. The things I am passionate about - freedom, reason that is free of dogma, scientific education and literacy, and morality, are all things that will best aid humanity in the problems we face. Merely spreading my seed when compared to this most worthy of goals, I don't feel is comparable.

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