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Author Topic: What's So Terrible About Kids?  (Read 22999 times)

TinPenguin

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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #50 on: 06 Jan 2013, 03:21 »

In a world where the overpopulation of our species is destroying the stability we need to sustain ourselves, it is to the detriment of the species to have more than one child. To have none at all is beneficial.

Unfortunately, those with the foresight to acknowledge this tend to be members of society whose removal from the gene pool might also be detrimental.

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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #51 on: 06 Jan 2013, 04:30 »

Hence eugenics - but if you want to discuss that further, please find the already existing thread in Discuss! rather than continuing here.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #52 on: 06 Jan 2013, 04:39 »

I was reading this article/blog post this morning, and coming back to this reminded me of it:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-questions-you-need-to-ask-to-avoid-ruining-your-life/

Read through it if you like, but point #3 (bottom of the first page) should be insightful.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #53 on: 06 Jan 2013, 05:25 »

I haven't got a great deal to contribute to this discussion, but I wanted to share an anecdote: the ten year old (he might be eleven - I can't work out how the Korean age numbering works, and he couldn't explain it well) I tutor just spent an hour discussing economics, the market economy, and the inequality of the British taxation system. Not all ten year olds are impossible to talk to.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #54 on: 06 Jan 2013, 22:10 »

Man as I recall I was pretty impossible to talk to meaningfully at 10. Some of that was purposeful smokescreen, mind, but not nearly all of it.

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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #55 on: 07 Jan 2013, 00:36 »

At age 25, I am only now discovering all the nuances of taxation, economics, world politics, etc.

When I was 10, I was focused on how fast I could bike downhill. That's about it.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #56 on: 07 Jan 2013, 07:50 »

Some completely reasonable babies and toddlers on the train this trip. Parental supervision seems to be adequate. Inadvertent movie reference from yesterday: mother warns "Logan, don't run!".
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #57 on: 07 Jan 2013, 08:54 »

"Not until you're 30!"

I've decided fairly recently (past year or two) that I do want kids at some point (as opposed to not knowing) but not until I'm established in my career. However, I'm not sure I could say why. So I definitely wouldn't criticize sounding for not wanting kids.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #58 on: 07 Jan 2013, 09:09 »

I might be convinced to adopt. Maybe. If it was really important to my partner, and I thought that I was going to be with her for the rest of our lives. Other than adoption, my only other choice would be artificial insemination, and I see no point of that. Plus, fuck my genes. My current girlfriend's genes are pretty solid,  granted.

I personally consider it selfish to procreate when we are already overpopulated AND there are so many kids who need a good home.  Adding more humans to an already fucked up situation just be cause you want your own seems like the height of selfishness.  But, that's just me.


I am a godparent to the daughter of two friends of mine,  if anything were to happen to them I would step in and take care of her.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #59 on: 07 Jan 2013, 10:48 »

I'd have to agree it's selfish, but many things are. Having a car is selfish. Drinking alcohol is selfish. Buying nice clothes is selfish. Being a relatively wealthy citizen in a first-world country when there are people starving is elsewhere, well, selfish on some level. If you think students are poor here, go ask how much a lawyer makes in Georgia. I don't believe that me getting a kid is detrimental to the world in a larger perspective, however. But that's another discussion..
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jwhouk

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What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #60 on: 07 Jan 2013, 12:18 »

...Which "Georgia" are you talking about?
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #61 on: 07 Jan 2013, 15:25 »

The one the Russians bombed the hell out of.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #62 on: 07 Jan 2013, 18:40 »

. I don't believe that me getting a kid is detrimental to the world in a larger perspective, however. But that's another discussion..

You, personally, perhaps not, but aggregated from all the people who choose to  so, it is. One could just as well argue that one person polluting isn't detrimental to the world in a larger perspective.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #63 on: 08 Jan 2013, 06:20 »

Having a kid = Polluting the world?

Sorry, I'm done with this discussion. I respect your view but we obviously won't see eye to eye.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #64 on: 08 Jan 2013, 06:50 »

Having a kid = Polluting the world?

You could argue that both lead to a degradation of the planet's remaining resources.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #65 on: 08 Jan 2013, 07:46 »

That's true, Hodges...but I believe/hope that with further advances in science, we'll be able to not only curb and possibly reverse the state of global pollution, but also increase the the earth's biological threshold for the human species. (Here's where everyone berates me for promoting GMOs, but that's a separate subject)
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #66 on: 08 Jan 2013, 08:28 »

We still grow exponentially, and the world iis still finite...

It's a problem. 
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #67 on: 08 Jan 2013, 08:37 »

Actually the world population isn't growing exponentially. Our growth has been steadily declining for decades now. This isn't to say that we aren't growing population, but the global birth rate trends has us topping out and then declining by 2080 somewhere around the 12 - 15 billion point.

The decline is actually likely to cause some problems of it's own, but it'll clearly be good long term.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #68 on: 08 Jan 2013, 08:41 »

Exponentially no, but birth rates still exceed death rates. If you look at it mathematically, something needs to be done. Natural resources aren't infinite...but we as humans are innovative by design. Personally, I'd like to see martian terraforming take humanity and spread it out more widely...large space colonies a-la Gundam Wing are also an option...I know, I'm getting a little off-topic, but I'd like to think that humanity will preserve itself along with its host environment...unless the earth disagrees, and goes all "The Happening" or "Day the Earth Stood Still" upon us. Yeesh.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #69 on: 08 Jan 2013, 08:45 »

I think you might have posted as I was editing.

But yes, clearly stuff needs to be done, but we're well on our way to dealing with many of them, including the issue of resources. The actual birth rate issue can only really be dealt with with time unfortunately.

Basically, it's likely that if we make it to the end of the century, as far as species survival goes we're golden.

Edit: That "if" in the last sentence is important.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #70 on: 08 Jan 2013, 08:52 »

Having a kid = Polluting the world?

Sorry, I'm done with this discussion. I respect your view but we obviously won't see eye to eye.

My point was simply that while one person doing something might not have a significant effect in the large scheme of things, it is never just one person doing it. The effects of millions of individuals making the same decision do aggregate. Pollution was just an example, it was not meant as a direct comparison.  Although, one could certainly argue that adding additional humans is, in a round about way,  polluting the world, that was not the point I was trying to make.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #71 on: 08 Jan 2013, 09:05 »

Actually the world population isn't growing exponentially. Our growth has been steadily declining for decades now. This isn't to say that we aren't growing population, but the global birth rate trends has us topping out and then declining by 2080 somewhere around the 12 - 15 billion point.

The decline is actually likely to cause some problems of it's own, but it'll clearly be good long term.

I'd like to see how that works... Yes, the rate is slowing, but it's still an exponential rate.  Death also grows as the population does, but getting the total growth rate to hit 0 and then go negative just doesn't seem likely; at least, not as soon as it needs to happen. 

Not without a pandemic or two thrown in...
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #72 on: 08 Jan 2013, 09:35 »

Not without a pandemic or two thrown in...

Considering the speed at which diseases adapt to current methods of eradication, as compared to the speed at which we develop pharmaceuticals to combat resistant organisms...I'd say that plague and pestilence is a distinct possibility.

All the more reason to vaccinate those kids y'all may or may not be havin'.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #73 on: 08 Jan 2013, 09:54 »

Quote from: John R. Snead, some 17 years ago,
The basic facts are that the rate of decrease of the population growth
rate has been falling for decades, at an ever increasing rate.

I honestly think he meant it.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #74 on: 08 Jan 2013, 10:07 »

Quote from: John R. Snead, some 17 years ago,
The basic facts are that the rate of decrease of the population growth
rate has been falling for decades, at an ever increasing rate.

I honestly think he meant it.

Graphed, that would be similar to y=(-√x)+⅓x

Wait...no, that would be the rate of growth over time. The actual population over time would look more like y=4/(3√x).

I think....wait, maybe it's just y=x2

I...don't know anymore. :psyduck:
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #75 on: 08 Jan 2013, 10:46 »

Having a kid = Polluting the world?

Sorry, I'm done with this discussion. I respect your view but we obviously won't see eye to eye.

My point was simply that while one person doing something might not have a significant effect in the large scheme of things, it is never just one person doing it. The effects of millions of individuals making the same decision do aggregate. Pollution was just an example, it was not meant as a direct comparison.  Although, one could certainly argue that adding additional humans is, in a round about way,  polluting the world, that was not the point I was trying to make.

Hm, I see. In that case I'll have to answer that of all the things we could do to make the planet a better place, I believe that "not having a kid" is pretty far down on the list. Raise the kid to be environmentally aware. Teach it to think critically. Show it what the world looks like outside the city limits. It doesn't have to grow to be a polluting little carnivore.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #76 on: 08 Jan 2013, 10:56 »

"Not until you're 30!"

I've decided fairly recently (past year or two) that I do want kids at some point (as opposed to not knowing) but not until I'm established in my career. However, I'm not sure I could say why. So I definitely wouldn't criticize sounding for not wanting kids.
Don't take this the wrong way, but don't wait. I know it's in vogue to have a career and then settle down. But to anyone who thinks they want children, I advise, don't wait. (Well, be in a committed relationship with someone who also wants children.) But once you are out of school, soon is the time to have children. You can always want to accomplish one more thing before you'll be ready to have kids. Do it too often and you'll be in your late 30s and wondering if you should have kids.

But the real reason to so sooner rather than later is that in your 20s you still have an abundance of energy and a child can suck that dry in an instant. Young people are designed for the rigors of child rearing. It will also be easier for you to identify with the trends that will fascinate your child when you are closer to their age.

And for those who think they won't want kids, that's fine. The last thing a child needs is a parent who regrets the decision to have kids, right?

Finally, I'd like to address some of the fears in this thread. Fear of the unknown is normal. Overcoming fear is also normal. Do it. There is no reason to fear "I might screw up some child's life." Odds are the child will mess with your head just as badly as you mess with its. :) I find it painfully ironic that the people who generally don't want kids are the smarter people who over think everything. I'm not saying having kids should be a thought-free endeavor. But analysis paralysis tends to be the geek way to avoid parenting.

My son can be a royal pain in the ass, and he's only seven. But I love him like I've never loved before. And you can't place a value of that kind of love.

YMMV, VWPBL, and several other disclaimers.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #77 on: 08 Jan 2013, 11:42 »

The "not until you're 30" was actually in response to "Logan, don't run!", not when I plan on having kids, just so everyone's clear. Although...I'm 25 right now, and I'll be starting law school this fall when I'm 26 and taking the bar when I'm almost 29.  Having kids while still in law school is not going to happen, but I suppose any time after that is fine, as long as I have a job.  So...yeah, 30 probably is the earliest I'd have kids, but probably not that long after that, for biological reasons, if anything else, since the further you go into your 30s the more risk you have.  (My girlfriend and I are the same age)
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #78 on: 08 Jan 2013, 11:51 »

idontunderstand, sitnspin: Have either of you heard of the tragedy of the commons?
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #79 on: 08 Jan 2013, 12:06 »

On what is only a vaguely-related note, I will point out we have all that Moon with all its Moon-Dollars we could exploit if we'd just get on that shit better than we have been.

Just sayin'...

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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #80 on: 08 Jan 2013, 12:08 »

idontunderstand, sitnspin: Have either of you heard of the tragedy of the commons?

You're drawing a very small picture. A person is not a meat factory, pumping out pollution.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #81 on: 08 Jan 2013, 12:29 »

idontunderstand, sitnspin: Have either of you heard of the tragedy of the commons?

You're drawing a very small picture. A person is not a meat factory, pumping out pollution.

Pilchard has a point, though. Without some sort of intervention or action, we will deplete many natural resources without exchanging them for other useful resources. That's why I like goats more than I like cows, as one example.

On what is only a vaguely-related note, I will point out we have all that Moon with all its Moon-Dollars we could exploit if we'd just get on that shit better than we have been.

Just sayin'...

If Congress ever got their act together, I'm sure we could apportion a higher budget for NASA to begin work on lunar colonies. But that's a big IF.
« Last Edit: 08 Jan 2013, 12:46 by Bluesummers »
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #82 on: 08 Jan 2013, 12:30 »

Hm? Oh.

I wasn't trying to say that they were, just that that article was kinda relevant. Like you said, if raised 'correctly' (quotes because no two people will agree exactly what that means) a child may well be a boon to the planet.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #83 on: 08 Jan 2013, 12:47 »

It is relevant, but it's nothing I'm not aware of. I hold that there are many better ways of saving our planet than not having children. But then this is a side-track. I think most people who choose not to have children have other, likely more personal, reasons for not doing so.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #84 on: 08 Jan 2013, 13:02 »


If Congress ever got their act together, I'm sure we could apportion a higher budget for NASA to begin work on lunar colonies. But that's a big IF.

Kills me having to agree with Newt Gingrich (sp?) on something as awesome as extra-terrestrial colonization, but space makes strange bedfellows!

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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #85 on: 08 Jan 2013, 14:29 »

If Congress ever got their act together, I'm sure we could apportion a higher budget for NASA to begin work on lunar colonies. But that's a big IF.
Um, going to the moon and making friggin' colonies is a sure way to destroy the earth's ecosystem. The moon has NOTHING. Let me repeat that. The moon has NOTHING. No air, no water, no food, no building materials, NOTHING. All that stuff has to be torn out of the ground on earth and shipped to the moon. How much energy does it take to launch a ship carrying these material to the moon? Not just orbit, but to the moon, that's much farther away and it's not that simple to make sure all the supplies land next to each other. How often do you need to resupply a colony of 100 people? 1000 people? 10000 people? How many days worth of food and water and air do you think can be easily dumped on the moon in a single trip?

The carbon footprint of a man on the moon is astronomical. No one who is into conservation should want to put man on the moon.

Now the ice moons of Jupiter on the hand... At least there is water there. But the costs in terms of fuel and TIME are even worse than going to the moon. But at least there might be something there to help with the building of a colony.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #86 on: 08 Jan 2013, 14:37 »

Might want to read up on the water studies and the feasibilty of manufacturing needed materials on site from regolith. In fact, that's one of the standard arguments for a presence on the moon in the first place: A supply base and staging area in a not-so-deep gravity well.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #87 on: 08 Jan 2013, 14:37 »

I wasn't aware we had managed enough geological surveying to determine that the Moon's resources were too limited to be of use.

Very well, FURTHER INTO THE VOID!   :mrgreen: 8-)

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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #88 on: 08 Jan 2013, 18:25 »

Um, going to the moon and making friggin' colonies is a sure way to destroy the earth's ecosystem. The moon has NOTHING. Let me repeat that. The moon has NOTHING. No air, no water, no food, no building materials, NOTHING.
....
Now the ice moons of Jupiter on the hand... At least there is water there. But the costs in terms of fuel and TIME are even worse than going to the moon. But at least there might be something there to help with the building of a colony.
Very well, FURTHER INTO THE VOID!   :mrgreen: 8-)

Ugh...so depressing, the both of you... :psyduck:
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #89 on: 08 Jan 2013, 18:43 »

Well in my defense I meant the void of space, not the void of entropy and annihilation that constantly hangs over our heads as an ever-vigilant companion, keeping the pace with us as an amoral and uncaring universe slowly digests our hopes and dreams and selves, crushing us between its gears of the cold laws of science and the hopeless futility of striving to be more than the barest hint of a drop in the vast wellspring of time.

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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #90 on: 08 Jan 2013, 19:19 »

You do that very well. Psychiatrists should pay you to build their practices by inducing depression :-)
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #91 on: 08 Jan 2013, 19:24 »

I would argue that no matter how much you teach the kid to not be a pollution producing machine, the mere existence of an increase population is a resource drain. No matter how efficient we get, the presence of this many people on the planet is rapidly depleting valuable resources. Having one kid, not  a big issue. If everyone just had one kid, fine, but that is simply not the case. We have people popping out eight kids like a damn clown car. And, like I said, there are millions of kids growing up with no family. Given the situation, I see very little justification for having children.


As for moving off world, the reason to do that has little do with saving the planet. The reason to move off world is to avoid having the species wiped out by a cataclysmic event. Don't have all your eggs in one basket. The more spread out we are in the universe, the less vulnerable the species is to extinction.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #92 on: 08 Jan 2013, 20:15 »

Actually, having a kid isn't necessarily a resource drain. If that kid is not only efficient himself, but convinces others to be efficient as well, the resources he saves could easily be more than he consumes himself.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #93 on: 08 Jan 2013, 20:50 »

Actually, having a kid isn't necessarily a resource drain. If that kid is not only efficient himself, but convinces others to be efficient as well, the resources he saves could easily be more than he consumes himself.


Theoretically possible, granted, but highly unlikely.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #94 on: 08 Jan 2013, 22:02 »

Also not very scalable.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #95 on: 08 Jan 2013, 23:01 »

Well in my defense I meant the void of space, not the void of entropy and annihilation that constantly hangs over our heads as an ever-vigilant companion, keeping the pace with us as an amoral and uncaring universe slowly digests our hopes and dreams and selves, crushing us between its gears of the cold laws of science and the hopeless futility of striving to be more than the barest hint of a drop in the vast wellspring of time.

I....wow. Yeah, I know you meant space, but the realization of the time and resources it will take just makes me want to get back into bed, hide under the covers, and think that maybe I'll wake up somewhere in the future, where the time's made up and the resources don't matter. Thanks, Drew Carey.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #96 on: 09 Jan 2013, 01:29 »

Might want to read up on the water studies and the feasibilty of manufacturing needed materials on site from regolith. In fact, that's one of the standard arguments for a presence on the moon in the first place: A supply base and staging area in a not-so-deep gravity well.
One could also set up a small colony on the Moon and start mining resources from the asteroid belt. By the time we have a lunar colony, we probably would also have autonomous mining vehicles.

Oh, and some light reading on the possibilities of lunar water: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/ice/ice_moon.html
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #97 on: 09 Jan 2013, 02:46 »

We have people popping out eight kids like a damn clown car. And, like I said, there are millions of kids growing up with no family. Given the situation, I see very little justification for having children.

I know what you're saying, I just feel it's a narrow perspective. "Very little justification", what, I need a justification to have children, but you don't need one to not have one? If we're not free to do what we want with our bodies, our society is not worth saving and we can just give it all up right now.

Also on a less serious note... with your logic, the best thing we could do right now is probably to go out and try to kill as many people as possible and then end our own consuming, dirty existence..  :mrgreen:
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #98 on: 09 Jan 2013, 02:59 »

In some respects, yes!  But it's a matter of balance, really.
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Re: What's So Terrible About Kids?
« Reply #99 on: 09 Jan 2013, 08:02 »

Also on a less serious note... with your logic, the best thing we could do right now is probably to go out and try to kill as many people as possible and then end our own consuming, dirty existence..  :mrgreen:


I do not disagree. One could make the case for it quite well. A sudden massive drop in the population of the species might be just what we need.
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