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Thread: Why have children?

  1. #1

    Question Why have children?

    In thread, we have dead-locked and it belatedly occurred to me that we'd all missed a fundamental element there.


    Why have children?

  2. #2


    The fundemental issue is the survivel of the human race, and the procreation of your family.

    I'd like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realised that humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. Instead you multiply, and multiply, until every resource is consumed. The only way for you to survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern... a virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague, and we... are the cure.
    by Agent Smith from the film the Matrix
    It is true, though i wouldent exactly word it like that, just as a virus has a need to survive, so do human beings. this is why we have children. It is the Fundemental reason and the driving force behind evaloution, if we did not have children then we would become extinct. Humans would no longer be a species on the planet earth, and just as technology and science would not have evolved to its current state of development, we would not have moved from caves to huts, or learnt how to craft a bow and arrow to hunt food with, or weve cloth to make cloths with all those millions of years ago before time keeping was invented, before the calender was invented. Children not only enshure the survivel of the human species and the procreation of the family, but they help to pass down knowledge from generation to generation. Evaloution would not work with out them.

  3. #3


    For welfare checks~
    I guess mostly people want to mark the world with some kind of legacy. I guess it also has to do with a lack of contraception/failed contraception.

  4. #4


    I second the wanting to leave a legacy, but I also think it's possibly because from a very young age most girls are programed that they have to grow up, get married and have babies. And probably some little boys, too.

    I don't want children, which always seems to shock people. I don't usually get along with them for some weird reason...I've never been able to explain that. Babies love me, though. I've had them stop screaming, stare at me and then start laughing and cooing. I don't even do anything. (I usually just tell their mystified parents, 'I must be funny looking today.') I have little interest in being married, either.

  5. #5


    With me, it wasn't wanting, but happening
    I though I was just getting fat, because I wasn't sick or something, just getting a tad bigger.
    And then, well, ya know what I mean lol
    Not that I didn't want a child, just not so soon...
    But once she was there, I never had one moment of regret! ^^
    And look at me now, I'm still young... Well... A little bit lolz
    And my daughter already takes care of herself
    Don't want her to move out, though, which she is going to do next year, after she graduated
    I'll be all alone! *sadface*

  6. #6


    The simple answer here (if we are considering the species as a whole) is to state that having children is necessary to ensure the future of the human race. I think there is a strong genetic component to why we wish to have children. The life cycle of nearly every organism on the planet consists of: grow, reach sexual maturity, find a mate, produce offspring, die. In some cases they live in groups to protect each other, or help to raise their young and specifically protect them. They develop the use of tools to better find food, or weapons to fend off attackers, but the end cause is always the same, to ensure there is a next generation. No consideration for killing other species, no hard feelings for stealing another animal's food, no sense of duty to protect what's not their own - just reproduction.

    It is only us humans that seem to have risen above this endless fight for supremacy, and let's not kid ourselves we have completely, wars are essentially the same thing. Only we have asked the questions "Why are we here?", "What is the point of it all?" and other attempts to attach some sort of philosophical significance to the natural cycle of things. Maybe there is no point, nature cares not, if we fail to reproduce then other organisms will take over the place we once held.

    Those are the biological factors, but our race is now so large and soon to be running out of enough resources that whether there is a need to have children is something we can viably consider. Obviously everybody can't choose to do that or we'd die out, but a significant number could choose not to have children and we'd not come to too much harm in the end.

    I find to show why you might want to have children, it helps to look at the situation that would arise if you didn't.
    It is a fact that we live longer than we would do naturally, either through advances in healthcare and sanitation, or the fact that we care for our elderly and ill and don't just leave them out to die like a lot of animals would do. When you get to a certain age it's likely you're going to need some sort of care. You can go into a residential home, or be checked up on by a regular carer, but initially these people are strangers to you. If you have no children then there is no one to come and visit you, talk to you regularly, nobody to tell of all your lessons and experiences for others to hear in the future. I'd imagine life like that could become dull and unexciting rather quickly if you can't do anything anymore and have no one close to you.
    Throughout your lifetime you've (hopefully) worked and earned money, bought a house, and have several other possessions of some value that are yours. Sometime you will die and those things are not yours anymore, you can give them away to anybody if you have no family, but a lot of people would like to think that what they have worked for should be passed on for the benefit of future generations.
    Those are both practical reasons for having children, but those types of factors arenít the only ones at play.
    At the end of the day many of us are rather self-centred, i.e. we identify qualities in ourselves that we donít view as highly in other people. It seems because of this people want to pass on their genes not just for the sake of keeping the cycle going, but because they are Ďgood genes.í When you think about it, this term is rather meaningless; you can attempt to justify it by saying you donít have any genetic diseases (even though you probably arenít sure youíre not carrying one) which makes them Ďgoodí but then neither do most other peoplesí so they are in fact average. You could claim that traits such as intelligence and aptitude at sport are genetic as they often run in families, but there is an equally large contribution from the environment and youíre back to the nature vs. nurture debate again.
    Another reason could be a sense of duty. For hundreds of generations before you your ancestors have married and produced children, eventually leading to you. Social conditioning is still quite strong in some families today where the job of a woman is to get married and have children. On top of that there is the expectation of your parents that you will give them grandchildren, it seems you are letting someone down if you chose not to carry on the long line before you.

    Finally, it is because people like raising children and what it brings. Being male, I will never know, but I am told that as a woman it is a wonderful feeling to have brought a new life into the world. Then for both parents, sure itís a lot of work (and money) bringing them up, but also rewarding in the sense of pride it gives people, and the life and energy that all children seem to radiate where they go.

    Youíll have gathered that this is not a personal account of why Iíd have children. It is more of a list of reasons other people give for having children, and is by no means exhaustive. Because of the individualisation within each point, there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should have children. Perhaps the most important thing is what you feel before looking at any reasons Ė if you donít find the idea of children attractive to start with, then no amount of reasons are truly going to make you want them in the end. Given the commitment involved, itís not something you should push anyone into Ė what they feel is whatís right for them.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Rissy View Post
    For welfare checks~

    on a more serious note: because its our natural urge to want to, beyond anything we are animals with primordial instincts.
    We want a legacy, to continue our family and whatnot
    and well its what sociaty tells us to do,

    the typical person does get married and has kids, and our natural desire to fit in goes right along with this

  8. #8


    I believe this differs between each person, but I do agree the creating a legacy plays a big part with anyone. But personally for me, even though it sounds ridiculously egotistical, I feel it is my duty to the earth to produce highly intelligent and capable offspring.

  9. #9


    Some people might say:

    Having children seems to be a worthwhile pursuit. Raising a child takes a lot of effort and expense, and so doing so is a generous action, and is a sign of great character.

    Perhaps you can swap the question around: why not have children?

    If you're answer to this is that you're busy doing something else worthwhile, then that's fair enough. If you've devoted your life to a worthwhile career or whatever, and having children would mess with that, there's nothing wrong with not having children.

    If however you are not doing anything worthwhile, you simply do not want to suffer the inconvenience of child rearing, then you are doing something wrong. Perhaps you do not understand the value of raising a child, the value of being generous and caring, the value of selflessness.

    I think this view is unfair on those who just don't want children. I don't think that simply not wanting children makes you selfish or vicious, it's perfectly understandable that some people would not find it appealing. If somebody has all the skill required to become a doctor, but decides against the career because they believe the work would be tedious, we wouldn't judge them for choosing a different job that they actually wanted to do.
    Plus having children feels somewhat random, or at least out of our control. It seems highly reasonable to insist that you would not rear a child unless you did so with the right person and for many people the right person may not come along, nor the right circumstances for that matter.

    That said, is there a grain of truth in the idea that not raising a child is somewhat selfish? Say person X decides to raise a child because they believe doing so is worthwhile, they want to experience love between a parent and a child and want to bring a child into the world and make it happy, whereas person Y decides against having children because they'd rather not lose some of their income, preferring to spend it on hedonistic pleasures instead. Is not doing something that benefits others in favour of self interest always selfish, is it definitely not selfish in this case?

  10. #10


    Simply put....because there is no greater love in the world then that between a parent and a child.

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