Is It Ethical To Have Children?
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Is It Ethical To Have Children?

In the wake of modern crises, a growing number of people have chosen to abstain from what many would call "life's greatest gift."

Is It Ethical To Have Children?
Photo from Pixabay

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, all of existence has been called into question. Life seems more fragile than ever, and at the hands of a seemingly insignificant virus. With no vaccine in sight, who know how long we'll be in "COVID mode." On top of that, the economic troubles we now find ourselves in could leave as many as 28 MILLION Americans homeless if nothing is done (and I assure you congress will do everything in its power to continue to do nothing). This economic crisis, like COVID, could be many, many years away from a full recovery- if it ever does. Racial tensions are at an all-time high as police brutality has been shown all across America, and collective lessons have been learned that we have far and away not escaped racism.

And, of course, the changing climate offers the largest threat of all, and it is closer than ever. Even now its devastating effects can be felt as temperatures climb past 100 degrees Fahrenheit- in the Arctic.

So, I think it's a fair question to ask. Are you willing to bring up a child in a world like this? As someone who long considered it a lifetime goal of mine to raise a family, ultimately I have had no choice but to reconsider my dream. Considering the current state of the world (and the fact that, as it stands, things are only going downhill from here), I'm not sure that I can choose to bring another person into this world for them to suffer so greatly.

Of course, this isn't a new idea. Dating all the way back to the teachings of the Buddha, life has often been identified to be the main source of suffering. Most major belief systems agree on this. Christianity posits that we live in a broken world where suffering is the norm, and Islam and Judaism tend to agree. Buddhism considers that life is the root of all suffering. And in philosophical positions, such as stoicism and nihilism, life's inherit unfairness is seen as a given.

Consider, for example, what some philosophers call the "impossibility of consent." Essentially, this means that no one can consent to being born. After all, no one bothered to ask me if I was willing to be born. Not only that, if you could show yourself the great lengths of suffering weighed against life's pleasures you would endure, could any person consent? Since presumably you were not shown such options prior to your birth, one cannot consent to being born, and therefore, no one should choose to have children.

I don't completely buy the argument, but a growing population of folks online do. The subreddit /r/antinatalism has a steadily growing community of 70k+ members, and you'll often see folks expressing online that they won't be having kids. Many millennials approached the idea, but Gen Z is fully embracing it.

I'm not saying you're a terrible person if you choose to have kids, but I am saying it's a moral dilemma that must be considered prior to conception. Scientists agree that the biggest effect you can have on your carbon footprint is to have less children, and once again- are YOU willing to bet on the world being a better place for your kid to grow up in? Because at this stage, it's not looking good.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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