Is having children really the moral thing to do?

  • December 16, 2013 · 7:00 PM

We take for granted that it is desirable, and moral, to have children. But the authors of this controversial article in Think magazine would like you to reconsider some of your underlying assumptions...

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  • Gregg


    sorry, stuck at work this eve unexpectedly. wouldnt be able to get down there until ~8p+. so ive un-rsvp'd. hope somebody might be able to grab my slot

    December 16, 2013

  • Berto

    Here's an article from The Stone that came out about a year ago that seems relevant to the topic, for anyone interested:

    December 16, 2013

  • William C.

    I think the logical flaw is that it is possible to to know wether you do have ANY experience after this life experince. You can philosphically give reasons to support such a claim. But I do not think you can scientifically provide sufficent evidence for the existence of an afterlife. Then there is the problem of what it is that is experincing the experience. There is a claim that if a child dies before the "age of majority" i.e. before it can be held accountable for its moral choices, then it goes to heaven. It is an UNPROVEN, if not UNPROVABLE claim. However if a person "believes" this claim then it "could" be reasoned that killing a child assures the child of going to heaven.

    November 22, 2013

  • William C.

    What not being able to disprove the existence of hell does mean is that its existence is at best an hypothesis at worst an act of faith.
    What is perceived as HEAVEN may be and thus may be a place that is NOT great. And how do you know the potential baby would like HEAVEN. Not to have a baby would deprive them of the opportunity to experience heaven which it would NOT like, which could be considered moral. I think that the general consensus is that heaven is a place that is a positive experince and hell is a negative experince.

    November 22, 2013

  • Bill

    I remember thinking once that hell is infinitely bad. The possibility of hell cannot be eliminated (even if someone mathematically proves the non-existence of hell, there may have been a flaw in the logic). And vast numbers of people believe very strongly in hell. Once you're alive, there is no sure-fire course of action for avoid hell, especially since many mutually contradictory religions all insist that people who subscribe to any religion except their own will go to hell; so the only safe course of action is to have never been born.

    Therefore, inflicting existence, and with it the possibility of hell, on someone else is a grave disservice to them.

    However, this logic holds up in ANY universe, no matter how wonderful and beneficial to its inhabitants. So I rejected this logic since barbarians writing scare stories about hell can ruin the fun of everyone and the best course of action is to ignore them.

    November 20, 2013

    • Pat G.

      Couldn't we likewise worry that everyone who goes through the difficulty of existence escapes hell, which is reserved for potentials that never come into being?

      November 20, 2013

    • Bill

      I guess that's a possibility, but not one that is widely broadcast.

      November 20, 2013

  • Dorothy K.

    Where is the payment button?

    November 20, 2013

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