April 18, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Jonathan V. Last reviews Bryan Caplan's Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids in the WSJ: 
In study after study, researchers find that parents are consistently less happy than non-parents. ... Mr. Caplan bravely acknowledges this problem but is never able to say clearly what, exactly, the benefits of parenthood really are. Kids, he says, are "ridiculously cute" and "playful," and "they look like you." And in any case, everyone loves grandchildren. Maybe. Maybe not. Your mileage may vary. 
It would be better for all of us if Americans had more children than they currently do. (The average college- educated woman today has just 1.7 babies over the course of her life, which is not enough to sustain America's population in the long run.) But the fundamental challenge for natalists of any stripe is building a convincing rationale for why otherwise contented adults should atomize their lives to bring children into the world. And here "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids" falters. The best argument for children isn't that they will make you happy or your life fun but that parenthood provides purpose for a well-lived life. Selfishness, in the end, is not sufficient.


Peter Robinson objects here. Last replies here.

61 comments:

Lucius Vorenus said...

You're wasting your time trying to convince these nihilists to breed.

In another generation or two, they all will have gone extinct.

Forget about them - they're already ancient history - walking, breathing ghosts - instead, we need to be moving forward, and planning for the world as it will exist for the progeny of those of us who did bother to make babies.

Nanonymous said...

Caplan's book title was very off-putting to me. People who need selfish reasons to have kids are a little--what's the word?--unhuman. Well, unnatural, at the very least.

Thursday said...

One thing that Caplan has noted at his blog is that married parents seem to be made happier by being parents. It seems that single parents are the ones dragging those happiness scores down. Being a single parent just really sucks.

Also, having fun as a parent seems to depend a lot on what kind of kids you have. If you're a nice, agreeable person and you're wife is a nice, agreeable person then chances are you're kids will be pretty nice, agreeable kids. On the other hand if you and/or whoever you have kids with are crazy assholes, then guess what kind of kid you're going to get. Adoption, of course, is a crapshoot.

ben tillman said...

In study after study, researchers find that parents are consistently less happy than non-parents.

The question isn't whether parents are happier than non-parents; it's why happiness is supposed to be our primary goal.

In fact, our goal is to maximize our inclusive fitness, and happiness is either a spandrel or a product of the successful pursuit of that end.

Anonymous said...

You're wasting your time trying to convince these nihilists to breed. In another generation or two, they all will have gone extinct.

Besides, would those nihilists have been good parents at all? I for one admire their honesty and self-perception in doing the world a favor and not breeding and burdening the world with their offspring.

Thursday said...

The question isn't whether parents are happier than non-parents; it's why happiness is supposed to be our primary goal.

For all the (often deserved) dumping conservatives do on utilitarianism, all else being equal people will tend not to do things that tend to make them significantly less happy.

Thursday said...

Caplan's book title was very off-putting to me.

It does stink of all those simplistic models of human nature so beloved of many economists. Caplan can be a bit of weird one.

Underachiever said...

"In fact, our goal is to maximize our inclusive fitness"

Speak for yourself. This is not my goal.

And people's happiness is important, in and of itself.

Anonymous said...

Why is the opposite of 'selfless' 'selfish'? Shouldn't it be 'selfmore'?
People should have kids for selfmore reasons. More people that are like you. More people to love you and for you to love. More people to appreciate you. More people to bring meaning into your lives.

Anonymous said...

I think part of the reason for lowbirth rates is the hangover from Malthusianism. For a long long time, we thought the world would be over-populated--and that is still a problem in some parts of the world. But it isn't for whites folks, so white folks should stop worrying about overpopulation and have kids.

Anonymous said...

People should have kids cuz they get to re-enjoy and re-experience the joys of childhood, youth, etc.
After one reaches a certain age, christmas aint fun anymore. And highschool and college mean nothing. But christmas was wonderful when you were a kid. And entering highschool, graduating from highschool, entering college, and graduating from college were all very eventful and meaningful. It is through one's kids that one can re-experience those joys. A lone adult doesn't get much out of a zoo, but if he/she takes his/her kid to the zoo, there's joy in the kid's face and you get to re-experience the the excitement of youth.

Also, stuff we collect have no life of their own: Books, records, movies, stories of aour ancestors and our heritage, etc. If you have no kids and die, everything you own and know end up as garbage and turn to dust. But if you have kids and turn them onto your interests, hobbies, passions, skills(with tools and instruments), knowledge, ancestral memory, etc, all that stuff continue to have meaning after you die. Your movies, photo albums, books, memorabilia, and cd collection won't simply be junk after you die. They continue to have meaning through your kids.
It's amusing that so many people fervently collect all sorts of stuff--as if that stuff will have some permanent value--when, in fact, one only lives so long. If you really value all you know and have, only your kids can preserve and appreciate them. It's like with the BOOK PEOPLE in FAHRENHEIT 451. Books have no value unless there are people to read and appreciate them. So, the book people pass down knowledge of books generation to generation.

Also, while it may be great to be young, youth doens't last forever. Who wants to grow old and die surrounded by no one but strangers? If you have kids and grandkids, they'll stand over your deathbed. Something in the world will continue to remember and honor you. But if you have no kids, you as an old person is nothing but a professional annoyance for some Filipino or Nigerian nursing assistant who 'takes care of you' only because she's being paid(and when you die, she'll think 'good riddance').

Maybe only 'great' and 'famous' people can die happily without kids cuz they'll still be remembered and appreciated. Kafka had no kid but people around the world revere him.

Anonymous said...

Our society puts great emphasis on INDIVIDUALISM. Maybe we need to put equal emphasis on INDIVISIBLE-ISM. Individualism is useful as a political, economic, and social idea--to some extent anyway--, but it is absolutely useless as a biological idea. An individual may 'make oneself' into a successful artist, lawyer, athlete, or whatever, but no individual literally made oneself biologically--not even Ayn Rand. One was made and raised by one's parents who were made by their parents who were made by their parents and so on.
So, every 'individual' is a link in a long line that goes back to the beginning of life.
We function as social individuals but we exist because of the biological indivisibility that links us back to our ancestors. And it would be arrogant to act as though we are the LAST in the link. If we exist cuz of the billions of yrs past linkage of life, we owe it to the billions of yrs future linkage of life.

Maybe we are victims of our own success. We take ourselves for granted since there are so many people. We figure, 'if we have no kids and die, other humans will have kids, and besides, there are too many people anyway'.
But people didn't think or feel this way when there were far fewer people. Back then, having kids had great value, and it made sense to have more kids to create a community. And if Earth were to go kablooey and if 1000 survivors had to inhabit another planet, I'll bet people will again learn to appreciate what life is all about again.

I guess it's like money. For some people with too much money, they feel no need to make more since they figure all that money will never run out.

ben tillman said...

And people's happiness is important, in and of itself.

How?

Anonymous said...

ben tillman:

And people's happiness is important, in and of itself.

How?


How not?

Shouting Thomas said...

Bewildering post, Steve.

Raising my kids was the best part of my life. Tough... of course?

I had a great time raising my kids, and I'm glad it's over, too.

Had two kids. In retrospect, wish I'd had four to six. Of course, everything looks different retrospectively.

Franklin C said...

1000 years from now, what else of you other than your progeny will be of any significance?

Polistra said...

Ditto Thursday, with one addendum.

People will end up doing what they like and what they do best, but only if they're not forced otherwise. If society sends overwhelming false messages like "everyone loves children", many people will spend much of their lives being miserable.

It's important to spread the truth about human variety to avoid this sort of error.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I went all through this rationalistic calculus when I was still of child bearing age. I could not come up with a *socially approved* answer that was not all selfish and solipsistic. And everyone knows that is wrong! And here I had these good health, good genes including upper decile IQ.

The reason to have children is because God said be fruitful and multiply. The organs you were born with should be enough of a clue if you don't believe Genesis. It is our destiny, if we can do it properly. We are meant to generate progeny, hopefully improving with each generation. But I was too smart for all that and thought it was all about my moment to moment happiness.

Funny thing, if you try to be happy you won't be. If you try to be holy you will end up happy.

Sideways said...

Robinson's post was pretty (unintentionally) funny if you're aware of the studies showing that men with children are happier while women with children are not.

munch said...

Well, two factors have to be (1) economic incentives; other people's children will be forced to support you when you get old and frail so you don't have to raise children of your own; and (2) societal prestige; you gan get people to drive around in powerless tiny unsafe cars that fail to consume fewer resources than bigger cars if you give them a dose of approval. For some reason the Baby Boomers mildly disapproved of large families. Maybe because family is an institution in competition with the state.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Why is the opposite of 'selfless' 'selfish'? Shouldn't it be 'selfmore'? People should have kids for selfmore reasons. More people that are like you. More people to love you and for you to love. More people to appreciate you. More people to bring meaning into your lives.

They're nihilists - not only do they not believe in the very existence of meaning [or meaningfulness, or "meaningmoreness", as you might say], but they very fervently believe in its nonexistence.

And Love?!?

Fuhgeddaboudit!!!

Anonymous said...

The answer is simple.

Imagine Vito Corleone without kids. No Sonny, no Michael, no Connie, no Fredo. Okay, things didn't turn out so well, but there would have been no drama without them kids. And to whom would the Corleone empire have gone to?

Or imagine SANDFORD AND SON without the son.
Imagine ALL IN THE FAMILY without the girl. No girl, no Meathead marrying the girl, and no fun stuff between Archie and Meathead. And if Meathead's parents hadn't had him, no Meathead. Meathead may be a pain in the ass but he's funny.

Or what about ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES? Imagine if Cornelius and Zera didn't have the kid. It would have been end of the line of them. But it's because they have the kid that Caesar becomes ruler of Earth.

Since everything we love was done by people, and since people were created by parents, we need people to have kids to produce more Picassos, Peckinpahs, Welleses, Hitchcocks, etc. etc.

People look at famous people and think, 'gee, I wanna be like them. So free and individualistic and living for one's dreams', but they forget that all those individuals were products of parents.

Anonymous said...

You're quoted in the first 5 pages or so.

Anonymous said...

I think feminism has taught women that having kids and being a wife/mother is LIVING FOR AND THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE instead of living for one's own self or self-fulfilment.
Even so, if feminists decided to forgo marriage/motherhood/wifehood for total devotion to career, that wouldn't be so bad. They really become headaches when they want the best of both. They want equal success in career and all the time to raise their kids. So, if a professional woman has a kid and doesn't spend as much time at work as a male, she wants equal credit and benefits and advancement. Feminists are not for equality but special privilege.

Anyway, this whole 'living for oneself' is pretty meaningless unless one has a really good or interesting job. Most women, like most men, have dreary jobs as workers or drone. TAKE YOUR DAUGHTER TO WORK day is cool only for rich successful women. What factory worker, nanny, waitress, or maid wants to take her daughter to work? It's cool only if you're a Hollywood producer, doctor, lawyer, professor, etc.

For most women, being a mother/wife offers great freedom, away from the drudgery of boring work. At home, you can play cards with friends, visit the library, read, visit the museum--while kids are at school--, learn painting, etc. In fact, many women work to make ends meet and cuz their men don't make enough. And why not? Cuz many good jobs have been taken away from men by women(in many cases, less qualified).

Another thing... there is really no such thing as 'living for oneself'. Everything we do is living for and through others. A factory worker produces goods to be bought, used, and enjoyed by others. Why would a worker make a 10,000 dolls a year when he/she doesn't need them? Cuz others want them.
Auto workers make cars used by other people.
Lumberjacks produce wood to be used by others.
Farmers produce food to be eaten by others.
Even in upper professions, doctors find meaning through their patients. Though they charge enough(!!), a doctor is nothing as a mere doctor. He lives for his patients.
Policemen live for and through lives they protect.
Firemen live for and through the lives they save.
Accountants live for and through their clients.
And writers write for readers.
Filmmaker makes movies for moviegoers. Why would anyone spend $50 million to make a movie just for himself?
Of course, there are rewards for all this kind of labor in the form of money. There's also pride in work.

But what is more meaningful? Producing a 10,000 dolls or a car or another human being? And is it better to work for and live through total strangers than to live for and through one's own blood and flesh?
An auto worker may take pride in the auto he built, but it's just a lifeless machine that will be sold off to some stranger.
But a parent produces something of much greater value: human life with thought, knowledge, feelings, etc. And so much more can be done with the mind of a child than with any machine or pile of paper.

Since we all work for and live through other people, one could say a mother is a manufacturer and designer of life. And developing a decent human being may be worthy of greater pride than developing a new line of yogurt or wallpaint. In fact, people who develop a new line of yogurt or wallpaint prolly had good parents.

Underachiever said...

" 'And people's happiness is important, in and of itself.'

How?"

I never thought I would have to explain to someone that people's happiness matters. Perhaps you would prefer if women were chained like farm animals and had to supply the country with a yearly litter to increase inclusive fitness.

I think people, as opposed to genes, matter.

Carol said...

Lucius, actually some still believe in "love" though they don't believe in God, because they can't "see" Him etc.

Svigor said...

The best argument for children isn't that they will make you happy or your life fun but that parenthood provides purpose for a well-lived life. Selfishness, in the end, is not sufficient.

Ultimately this is what I tell people who look for selfish arguments for ethnopatriotism. Purpose, not sensation, is the reward. Though I find there definitely is a sensational reward for doing your duty, rather than shirking. Maybe we shouldn't be trusting people's self-reporting so much? Having kids does introduce a lot of worry about the future that the childless lack, but we should be careful about introducing that into a minus column based on survey answers.

Svigor said...

Adoption, of course, is a crapshoot.

Tell me about it. So many adopted kids turn out to have serious issues, IME.

Svigor said...

For all the (often deserved) dumping conservatives do on utilitarianism, all else being equal people will tend not to do things that tend to make them significantly less happy.

Maybe going back to the social perception that having kids is a duty would help? As I mentioned above, doing one's duty gives people a buzz. Going back to considering kids a duty might give 'em back the buzz.

kurt9 said...

My experience has been that those who wanted kids and had them were happy. Those that did not want kids and did not have them also are happy. The people who are unhappy are those that wanted kids, but for whatever reason, were not able to have them and those that did not want kids but ended up having them.

I noticed a mental masturbation fest occurs every few months or so on the net about "to breed or not to breed" with people on both sides of the argument trying to "convert" each other to the other side. These arguments are tedious and pointless because its nobodies business but my own what choices I make with my life.

I say, if you like kids and can make a good parent, don't let anyone stop you from having them. Likewise, if you're not into kids, then don't have them at all. However, this obsession with trying to "convert" others into having kids or visa verse is just plain stupid. Please don't be stupid.

kurt9 said...

The best argument for children isn't that they will make you happy or your life fun but that parenthood provides purpose for a well-lived life. Selfishness, in the end, is not sufficient.

This is a good point. Having kids is roughly a 20 year commitment.

Ideally one does not make this kind of commitment lightly. But, rather with a lot of forethought and deliberation. After all, I would not commit to a start-up business venture where I had to relocate and live in, say, Taiwan for 5 years without carefully considering the upsides and the downsides. It would be silly for me to jump into the 20 commitment of marriage and kids without AT LEAST an equal amount of careful forethought and deliberation as I would for joining the start-up.

Caledonian said...

Since correlations are so easily and frequently abused:

Is there any reason to think that the happiness in these studies arises as a result of having children, instead of the other way around?

Perhaps people who have the most children have them because they are happy, or because some third factor is related to both happiness and having kids.

Anonymous said...

Whining that whites don't have enough children is blaming the victims. The problem isn't the number of children they have, the problem is that their elites are running policies of racist colonialism against them, with an eye toward erasing them from history.

Dutch Boy said...

Nothing in my life has surpassed the pleasure of procreating my little kingdom of love populated with little Dutchboys and Dutchgirls. I pity those who forego accepting this gift.

Anonymous said...

My experience has been that those who wanted kids and had them were happy. Those that did not want kids and did not have them also are happy. The people who are unhappy are those that wanted kids, but for whatever reason, were not able to have them and those that did not want kids but ended up having them.




Agreed.

Anonymous said...

"Adoption, of course, is a crapshoot."

So is having kids.

Dahlia said...

Kurt9,

It is easier to have children (or not have them) if other people behave likewise thus the interest in proselytizing.

As a parent of more than five in a world where the average white woman has fewer than two, the biggest thing I deal with on a daily basis is economic inflation: my counterparts push up the prices of everything from a house to a can opener because they have more discretionary income. My children observe this reality, so I have to inculcate values in them that will offset the reality that fewer children is more fun and materially better at least in the short term.
And then there is the cultural landscape: I can tell you that for now, parents such as myself have to bend and deal with the world as is. For example, those "adult" billboards and businesses aren't going anywhere anytime soon and my children will have to just keep averting their eyes. And averting when the t.v. is on, radio, etc.
And then there's what politicians prioritize, taxes, etc.

Things will get bad for the baby-boomers, and will be even worse for gen-x, when these people become elderly and infirmed. I don't see how any savings can purchase the kind of care that children and grandchildren provide. And I think much of this savings will be inflated away making the problem even worse. The baby-boomers with few children have their siblings to at least provide companionship, but their counterparts in generation x will have even less support.

Anonymous said...

Maybe going back to the social perception that having kids is a duty would help?

It sure helped Ceausescu.

Anonymous said...

Here's the bottom line: if we don't have our own kids, no-one else will have them for us and we will disappear. Therefore, it is a duty.

Anyone in the US who thinks this is hysterical should travel a bit in Europe.

For those who can't, or simply won't have kids, you owe the rest of us, who do have kids, money. A lot of money. Whether you like it or not, you are going to depend on our kids to hold the line. So you must pay for it, one way or the other.

In other words, use the tax system; it is a powerful carrot and stick. The governments know this but refuse to use it, for one very cogent reason: they are against us.

The "elites" who rule the West are intent on diluting the white race out of existence. This is beyond obvious. The best way to fight back against their extinctionist agenda is to breed. Soon, it will be the only way.

If you want to donate to charity, and are able, find a way to give it to your own people, especially to promote families. There is enough money in the rest of the world for them to look after themselves. Especially if they are so wonderful as the MSM keeps reminding us.

It's time for the white race to go Galt. No hate, no aggression, just turn inwards, circle the wagons, and repair ourselves.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"My experience has been that those who wanted kids and had them were happy."

Not always. Some kids turn out rotten and/or marriages can break up.

"Those that did not want kids and did not have them also are happy."

When they're young. But when they're older, their parents are dead, their friends are living their own lives or dead, they're too old to hang out and have fun like young people, etc.

"The people who are unhappy are those that wanted kids, but for whatever reason, were not able to have them and those that did not want kids but ended up having them."

Too many variables. It's like cats and dogs. Suppose you don't want one but you see a stray, feel pity, and bring it home. It grows on you.

Anonymous said...

"Whining that whites don't have enough children is blaming the victims. The problem isn't the number of children they have, the problem is that their elites are running policies of racist colonialism against them, with an eye toward erasing them from history."

What? Spanish elites oppressed indigenous Mexicans for centuries, but the latter still had lots of kids.

Anonymous said...

"This is a good point. Having kids is roughly a 20 year commitment."

It aint no commitment. It's a drama and circus. And a riot too.

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem is our standards have gone up. It's not that people don't wanna have kids but that they wanna have kids with the best kind of people. What woman wouldn't want to have kids with a smart rich guy who looks like Sean Connery? What man wouldn't want to have kids with a smart supportive woman who looks like Monica Bellucci. The problem is lots of guys are dorks or schmorks or thugs or schmugs, while lots of women are uglyass hos, fatass hos, or bitchass hos.

Fake Herzog said...

Steve and gang,

My two cents are over at my new blog. I basically agree with Last and you (and all the commenters who agree with us) that individual "happiness" is not the best measure when it comes to figuring out what to do with our lives. I'm with the religous anonymous -- first serve God and everything else (including joy) will follow.

Anonymous said...

Agree with top comment from lucius.

Nature simply sheds the genetic lines of the faulty homo sapien units which choose not to reproduce.

That's right: faulty. As in defective. As in loser.

Loser dna dies out and winner dna keeps on trucking. Mother Nature ain't no leftist. She's a radical right wing bitch.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Loser dna dies out and winner dna keeps on trucking. Mother Nature ain't no leftist. She's a radical right wing bitch.

Our problem is that Aristotle and Plato and Socrates and Euclid and Archimedes and Cicero and Cato and Marc Antony and Caesars Julius & Augustus all had "loser DNA".

I.e. when the fish starts rotting at the head, the rot very quickly spreads to the entire civilization [which can then take upwards of a millenium to reconstruct].

The West hasn't seen such a nihilism-induced collapse in population [the likes of which we are now experiencing] since the mid-fifth century, when Rome fell, after which we got about 600 years of Dark Ages as a replacement.

Which gets back to my original point - those of us who are intent on surviving need to be putting some serious thought into the kind of hellish world our progeny will be asked to inhabit - and what we can do [in the here and now] to try to ameliorate some of that future hellishness for them.

Isaac Bickerstaff said...

"Researchers find that"....

Unless the finding is something that is obviously and empirically verifiable, and especially if it about a social issue, whatever follows this phrase is just whatever opinion is currently fashionable in the academic hive-mind. That is, its probably pernicious nonsense.

On this particular subject, if you think you are a "contented adult" and don't have any kids, you're either not contented or not an adult.

And you probably believe there's truth to be found in newspaper articles that begin "Recent studies have shown..."

TGGP said...

Thursday, I don't remember seeing such claims at EconLog. I thought the analysis was always restricted to married couples.

AmericanGoy said...

What is my selfish reason to

1) get married and
2) make babies?

I work 8-10 hours per day, spend additional 2.5-3.5 hours in traffic.

I am not getting a dog because I cannot spend enough time and I don't want to be cruel to an animal...

Explain to me please, with the pro women laws on the books and the huge bias against men in the courts, point 1?

Explain please, to a single guy living in the city, with the life wasted in a cubicle and in the car, point 2?

AmericanGoy said...

Also,

http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

Enjoy

Anonymous said...

The "elites" who rule the West are intent on diluting the white race out of existence. This is beyond obvious. The best way to fight back against their extinctionist agenda is to breed. Soon, it will be the only way.

In a couple generations all those pesky cynical smart people will die off and be replaced by Aryan baby-making automatons whose brains light up when they hear cooing noises.

Anonymous said...

Our problem is that Aristotle and Plato and Socrates and Euclid and Archimedes and Cicero and Cato and Marc Antony and Caesars Julius & Augustus all had "loser DNA".

Huh? Plato, Socrates & Augustus I'll give you, but Aristotle had a daughter, Cicero and Cato each had a son and a daughter, Antony had plenty of children (legitimate and otherwise), and we suspect Julius Caesar had some illegitimate spawn who lived to adulthood. We have no historical evidence one way or the other about Archimedes and Euclid, but there seems no reason to think they didn't marry and attempt families as was customary in their day and age.

Anonymous said...

TGGP:

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2009/11/the_effect_of_c.html

Thursday

kurt9 said...

It is easier to have children (or not have them) if other people behave likewise thus the interest in proselytizing.

Read my previous comment about careful forethought and deliberation as a basis for making major life-changing decisions. The notion that mere proselytizing can substitute for such thought and deliberation is not worthy of comment.

Things will get bad for the baby-boomers, and will be even worse for gen-x, when these people become elderly and infirmed.

The aging process is a matter of bio-engineering, nothing more. I prefer to deal with it directly (with biotechnology).

To others, as I said before:

My experience has been that those who wanted kids and had them were happy. Those that did not want kids and did not have them also are happy. The people who are unhappy are those that wanted kids, but for whatever reason, were not able to have them and those that did not want kids but ended up having them.

This may not be true 100% of the time. But it is most certainly true at least 90% of the time.

Anonymous said...

It is also interesting to know that Abraham, Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, and Confucius had living descendants. Jesus did not, at least none known to history. Does that mean he also had "loser DNA?"

And if you accept the theory of Immaculate Conception, it means that Mary and Joseph also had loser DNA.

Anonymous said...

It must be said one of the turn-offs for having babies is the rather unpleasant biological processes surrounding pregnancy.
Before visual media, sex education, and health classes, most women got to know about childbirth by what they heard from their mothers or what they saw in women with babies. They knew that the baby came out of 'there' but didn't think too much of it. They knew it would be painful but had no real idea how powerful.

But then came movies like BRINK OF LIFE by Ingmar Bergman where a woman giving birth to a child screams for what seems like forever. And in sex education classes, health classes, and on PBS, kids were shown what really happens during childbirth.
I still remember seeing a 16 mm film in highschool about childbirth and it was like a horror movie. It was the most digusting thing I ever did see. Like a Cronenberg film in fact. It was gross enough to see the baby squeeze out of the hole, but did the baby have to all squishy and oozing with slime? Worse, after the baby came out, a bucketload of liquid burst out of the hole. I could swear it was worse than the EXORCIST. I'd rather see a girl vomit pee soup or oatmeal than see a monster baby squeeze out and spew goo all over the place. I always wondered if the subtext of EXORCIST was about the anxiety surrounding puberty on the formerly 'innocent' psyche of a 'pure' girl. This could be a bigger psychological problem in Catholicism, with its adoration of the Virgin Madonna as the ideal of spiritual and physical purity. If the purest ideal is to give birth to the Son of God without having had sex, then all sex with men must be kinda 'impure'. So, puberty could be more frightening to Catholics than to others.
Not suprisingly, some clever exploitation horror-director ran with this idea and made BEYOND THE DOOR where a woman is impregnated by the devil.

Maybe they shouldn't show films showing actual childbirth. Guys don't wanna go to war after seeing actual photos of war wounded and fallen, with torn off limbs, scarred facial tissue, missing eyes.
And many people don't wanna eat meat after seeing what really happens in animal farms and slaughter houses. I certainly eat less meat as a result--just the bare minimum for protein requirement but never for mere pleasure.
If a society needs a lot of fighting men in a time of war, it makes little sense to show grisly images and footages of war wounded. It lowers morale. And if we want people to eat more meat, we wouldn't show slaughterhouse films to consumers.
So, if we want more women to have kids, we shouldn't show all that gooey-ooey films and videos about childbirth. They are really gross.

Anonymous said...

Rick Detorie's ONE BIG HAPPY used to be a pretty loving celebration of family life but became mediocre after a few yrs.
Even so, the compilation SHOULD I SPIT ON HIM? is a minor classic of its kind.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Big-Happy-Should-Spit/dp/1561631728

Nortius Maximus said...

It is also interesting to know that Abraham, Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, and Confucius had living descendants. Jesus did not, at least none known to history. Does that mean he also had "loser DNA?"

And if you accept the theory of Immaculate Conception, it means that Mary and Joseph also had loser DNA


People unecessarily generalize Catholic belief of Mary's virgin birth of Jesus to mean that Jesus didn't have any siblings or family. This is not necessarily true.

Although Jesus' best-known brother is referred to in English as "James" out of tradition, in ancient Greek documents this brother of Jesus is always identified as ᾿Ιάκωβος, or Jacob (Antiquities 20.9.1, Galatians 1:19), which was also a fairly common name, after the Hebrew patriarch. According to Mark 6:3, the other brothers of Jesus are named Joses (Joseph), Judas (Judah), and Simon (Simeon); these are three of the twelve tribes or sons of Israel. In Hebrew, the names of the brothers are Yaakob, Yosef, Yehudah, and Shimeon.)

Wiki has a good explaination why there is confusion about Jesus' family:

Jesus had "brothers and sisters", as reported in Mark[23] 6:3[59] and Matthew 13:55-56.[60] However, whether the verse literally meant brother or another close family member is still debated to this day. Prior to the 4th century, the standard theory was that they were Jesus’ "brothers" who were sons of Joseph though not of Mary. According to this view, Joseph was a widower at the time he married Mary. He had children from his first marriage (who would be older than Jesus, explaining their attitude toward him). This is mentioned in a number of early Christian writings. One work, known as the Proto-evangelium of James (A.D. 125) records that Joseph was selected from a group of widowers to serve as the husband/protector of Mary, who was a virgin consecrated to God. When he was chosen, Joseph objected: "I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl." Today, the most commonly accepted view among Catholics is that they were Jesus’ cousins.[61] According to Robert Funk of the Jesus Seminar, the Catholic doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity has long obscured the recognition that Jesus had siblings.[62] After Jesus' death, James, "the Lord's brother",[63] was the head of the congregation in Jerusalem[23] and Jesus' relatives seem to have held positions of authority in the surrounding area.[64]

dcite said...

"Explain to me please, with the pro women laws on the books and the huge bias against men in the courts, point 1?"


What state do you live? Most divorced people I know have to split everything 50/50 and share custody. I know a couple women who had to sell their businesses because they made more than their ex-husbands and had to be pay the guys to divy things up equally.
It depends on who make more money usually, and most courts favor joint custody. I can't know your personal experiences, but this is not 1968 any more.

David said...

>1000 years from now, what else of you other than your progeny will be of any significance?<

Significance to whom? Nothing will be of any significance to me one second after I flatline.

I might - while alive - get a small glow from daydreaming about making a mark 1000 years hence. But that is so abstract that it's like daydreaming about vacationing in the Alpha Centauri solar system. I won't ever do that; so I had better turn my attention to my earthly business.

A realistic reason for choosing to have children is that one simply likes that kind of lifestyle and likes the richness and rewards of the challenge. This motivates humans.

Greatly helping the perception that a parental lifestyle can be likeable and that the challenge of parenthood has worthwhile richness and rewards are: 1. the possibility of "affordable family formation" (an iSteve topic); and 2. the example of stable families within a stable culture. If that positive context is a given, then the question "Why should I have children?" will occur to a numerical minority only.

The problem of declining birthrates lies in the absence, the destruction, of that context. That's what we should address. To the extent that parenthood is made to be a total self-sacrifice, people won't have children, no matter how much Kant is quoted at them. Certain leaders knew this and successfully stimulated population growth mainly by provision and the convincing promise of more of it to come.

Anonymous said...

Set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the devil.