Children: To Have Or Not To Have
Should you never have children?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Being childfree is a lifestyle choice – and a logical one. The act of having children effectively e...
Being childfree is a lifestyle choice – and a logical one. The act of having children effectively ends life being lived for oneself. Why would any person rationally live in order to aid another? Children limit our ambitions and aspirations, damage our careers, and take up our time. Women's bodies suffer from the stresses of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Couples have their social life ruined, and their conversation becomes limited to the doings of their offspring and the state of the local schools. Their sex lives also suffer terribly. The lives of plenty of people are fulfilling without having kids.
Having children is the most fulfilling and rewarding experience possible. There’s a reason that people become so distressed when they can’t have them – it’s because they complete us, explain to us who we are and why we are here. Parenthood is the fulfilment of our biological purpose. Many would argue that motherhood makes women's bodies more beautiful, not less, and medical research indicates that not having children (or having them late in life) substantially increases women's chances of developing some cancers.
Children are the biggest expenditure most people ever undertake. Are the massive sacrifices needed ...
Children are the biggest expenditure most people ever undertake. Are the massive sacrifices needed to raise a child and to put it through school, and perhaps university really worth it? For women in particular, having children often leads to the end of their education or career aspirations. Even for women in cultures in which their security in later life really depends on having children, the benefits must be weighed against the dangers of childbirth which are significant.
Children provide for us in our old age, or should. They are an investment – especially in societies that feature subsistence agriculture, but also important in the many countries with little or no adequate state support for the elderly. Strangers or the state will never care for us as our own flesh and blood will.
Individuals have no moral imperatives beyond behaving properly towards those around them and keepin...
Individuals have no moral imperatives beyond behaving properly towards those around them and keeping society’s laws. Furthermore, the notion that parenthood is somehow a duty or the completion of one’s social existence has been the prime weapon in the repression of women throughout history. Overpopulation is the real crisis facing humanity and anyone determined not to contribute to this problem should be celebrated, not criticised.
Individuals owe it to the society that nurtures them to provide for its future by the provision of children. Human society brought them into the world and protects them – they have a responsibility to ensure its continuation. Falling birth rates in Western countries show how real the threat is from failing to live up to this responsibility.
Children are the most ungrateful people ever to come into our lives. Ambitions are limited, lives b...
Children are the most ungrateful people ever to come into our lives. Ambitions are limited, lives become smaller – and the reward is to have the person you have brought into the world and on whom you have spent your best 20 years spit in your eye and take off to live with people who snigger at you when you drop them off at the start of college term.
Part of parenthood is patience through the perils of one’s child’s adolescence. Part of it is letting go. Undeniably that is painful. But it is worth it for the joy of having brought someone into this world and loving them. Ultimately, parents must let their children go as part of the process of the children growing up and having children of their own.
The world’s too full of weeping… why would anyone want to bring children into this world? It is a v...
The world’s too full of weeping… why would anyone want to bring children into this world? It is a violent, dark place, full of human misery and suffering. It would be an act of cruelty to have a child, knowing that this is what is waiting.
There is so much still to be enjoyed. Doom-mongers always hark back to some golden day that never really existed, or ignore the great pleasures that can be enjoyed even despite the problems humanity faces. Having a child is always a statement of optimism and faith in the future, as well as a commitment to ensure that the future is better than the present.
The world population has exploded in the last two centuries, to the point at which it is irresponsib...
The world population has exploded in the last two centuries, to the point at which it is irresponsible to add to its number. Apart from famine, urban squalor, disease and other crises of overpopulation, we have also damaged our planet’s environment immeasurably. Adding to the population will only worsen this situation: more consumers equal more pollution.
Population has risen, and indeed will continue to rise, because there is space and surplus provisions to provide for more people. Improving methods of production and distribution mean that even as the population rises, fewer people will go hungry. And in some countries, birth rates are down, not up – see point 3. Estimates of pollution inevitably exaggerate damage – those that produce them make a living from the ‘problem’ after all. Furthermore, a higher population living in a more eco-friendly manner would be less harmful than the current level of population – and that’s what most governments are trying to achieve.
Only the Vatican officially rejects contraception, but in practice many Roman Catholics ignore papal...
Only the Vatican officially rejects contraception, but in practice many Roman Catholics ignore papal teachings on this and choose to avoid having children - and why shouldn't people have this choice in a matter of belief? While some cultures value children and oppose contraception, these views do not have full religious authority and are usually part of a social structure that oppresses women in other ways. Overall, those who would deny couples the choice of contraception are responsible for many of the problems of overpopulation, as well as for the unnecessary spread of sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS.
Many religious people (for example, Roman Catholics) believe that contraception is wrong and that married couples who use it to avoid having children are sinful. Denying the possibility of life by preventing conception is the rejection of one of God's most precious gifts and a misuse of sex.
What do you think?