Poll

Scenario - your adult child tells you that they have come to the conclusion they will not be having children.  What is your response and why?

You have my full support for this decision
I respect your decision but disagree with it
I completely disagree with your decision and think you will live to regret it
I want to talk with you more about this (secret internal dialogue "I can get you to change your mind.")
Good!  I wish more people felt this way!
Attitudes like this will be the end of civilization as we know it
None of the above - let me explain in the comments

Author Topic: Child Free By Choice  (Read 3811 times)

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Offline Lethean

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2023, 09:29:23 PM »
Let me start by saying I don't have kids and I have told my parents I don't want kids. 

So I chose option 1 because that's how I wish my own parents would treat me and in theory, I'd like to think if I had kids that I would respect their decision.


But sadly, my parents are somewhere around option 3/4.  They are not happy about it and constantly try to change my mind or say things like it's not right and that I am letting my family name die to shame me for my decision.  But funny enough, my mom usually turns it back around on herself "what have I done to raise you this way???" and some of that comes down to being in a family with 4 children, life was hectic as a child and for me, personally, I was always the left out child in the family.  There may be some truth to the way I was raised made me not want to have kids.  Seeing my parents stuggle with it.  I mean, seeing my own friends life with kids does little to sway me to want to have kids either.  IN the end, I don't blame my parents for my decision, it's just my personality and life choices don't make me see having children as something I want to do.

The bolded is me as well.  The rest of your post is fortunately not me.  My parents and I didn't have a deep discussion about it; my dad kind of shrugged and thought it was a little unfortunate. but there's been 0 guilting or really any comments about it at all.  My dad is great with my cousin's kids and would be a great grandparent, so I'm sure he's a little disappointed about it, or maybe even a lot disappointed, but to his credit it's never been an issue at all. 

Well, Harmony, I've been fortunate to not ever have been subject to motivation by guilt. Even at a very young age. My mother knows this, but due to her...um, religious notions, she helplessly wishes for me to fit into a mold I can't even imagine. By every other metric I'm as successful, kind, and well adjusted as any parent could hope for. I don't really take any offense for her attitude. It's more amusing than anything.

Wow, this sounds a bit similar.  I'll never be the perfect Christian boy my parents wanted me to be.  I don't think my parents don't love me or anything like that, my parents are great, but there is a bit of a feeling of disappointment from them and a feeling I'll never be their favorite child.  It's OK, I've long ago accepted that to be the case and I don't hold it against my parents for favoritism as they are just humans too.  But the comment I used as an example is something that doesn't go unnoticed. And also relating to not wanting to have a child, the feeling of disappointment always comes out.  The funny thing, my older sister, the one who my parents love the most, also doesn't want to have kids.  But she rarely ever (or maybe it's just not in front of me) gets the same comments from my parents.  It may tie into what my father guilts me about, passing on the family name.  But I don't get why I'm guilted on that, I have a brother who is getting married soon.  He's got a good chance to keep the family name going.  I don't see it as my responsibility or my burden to bare.
Your sister could, if she ever does have children, decide to keep her own name and pass it down that way. It's happening a little more often now.  But continuing the family name shouldn't really anyone's responsibility, so I'm with you on that.

Offline bout to crash

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #71 on: May 18, 2023, 09:40:53 AM »
Quote from: cramx3

Wow, this sounds a bit similar.  I'll never be the perfect Christian boy my parents wanted me to be.  I don't think my parents don't love me or anything like that, my parents are great, but there is a bit of a feeling of disappointment from them and a feeling I'll never be their favorite child. 

So much of this, and how you described your childhood. I'm the youngest of four, so I grew up surrounded by chaos and often being the left out one, but also having all these crazy expectations thrown on me because I was a girl. I was told I was going to get married and have kids from a very young age, not ever given the option. So when I started to tell my mom I didn't think I wanted that stuff it was always "you'll change your mind someday." But not because she thought it was an experience I would enjoy, because she felt entitled to grandkids and expected me to live the same life as her. Fortunately two of my brothers ended up having kids, but there was still this pressure on me as the only girl for a long time. It took me literally having my fallopian tubes removed for her to stop saying that shit. But she still occasionally says stuff about how I would be a good mom (just like she still sometimes says one day I'll believe in Jesus again).

What drives me crazy is that how I feel and what I want don't seem to matter at all to her. Because some parents treat their kids like property or extensions of themselves who aren't supposed to have their own personalities, and this has led me to feeling very alienated from my family for a very long time.

So moral of the story for the actual parents out there is to have whatever feelings you want, but if you push back on your kids for stuff like this and don't actually respect who they are, you are just going to push them away. Don't make it all about you, because it isn't.
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Offline dparrott

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #72 on: May 18, 2023, 12:07:25 PM »
Not to pivot this thread but do you have a source for this? I see this claim all the time and I personally disagree (Washington Post backs it up here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/). We have near instant dissemination of world wide news through various outlets which might make things appear worse than they really are. On a completely micro level when I was a kid (I'm 36 now) you could get nabbed by a stranger and my parents wouldn't notice for hours until I was supposed to be home. Now kids have phones, or in my nieces case have gps tracked watches, and there are cameras everywhere recording everything that isn't to mention the safer cars, better medicine etc.

It's as simple as this: you never know when your kid's school, your local store, your business, your restaurant, your concert is going to get shot up next.  People are also getting randomly attacked and sometimes killed for no reason.  I'm not saying to live in fear, but to say this world has never been safer is laughable. 
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #73 on: May 18, 2023, 12:50:43 PM »
Not to pivot this thread but do you have a source for this? I see this claim all the time and I personally disagree (Washington Post backs it up here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/). We have near instant dissemination of world wide news through various outlets which might make things appear worse than they really are. On a completely micro level when I was a kid (I'm 36 now) you could get nabbed by a stranger and my parents wouldn't notice for hours until I was supposed to be home. Now kids have phones, or in my nieces case have gps tracked watches, and there are cameras everywhere recording everything that isn't to mention the safer cars, better medicine etc.

It's as simple as this: you never know when your kid's school, your local store, your business, your restaurant, your concert is going to get shot up next.  People are also getting randomly attacked and sometimes killed for no reason.  I'm not saying to live in fear, but to say this world has never been safer is laughable.

Well, laugh away (I'm kidding, not being dismissive), because you HEAR about these events all the time, but the actual numbers are not that great.  40-some odd thousand PEOPLE - not kids, but of all ages - die of gunshots each year in the US.  Over 55% of them are suicides.  So we're down to about 20,000 that aren't self-inflicted.   The majority of those are NOT kids, but people OF ALL AGES and most of them are crime related.   In 1900, the leading causes of death were all related to health (TB, diarhhea, etc.) and something like 40% of those were kids under the age of 5.  The chances that a newborn survives childhood was about 50% in 1900, and now - GLOBALLY - it's over 96%.

It isn't even close that it's overall safer to be a kid today than 100 years ago.  Perhaps more threats (even that is arguable), but less likely for them to be fatal.

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #74 on: May 18, 2023, 01:16:15 PM »
Not to pivot this thread but do you have a source for this? I see this claim all the time and I personally disagree (Washington Post backs it up here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/). We have near instant dissemination of world wide news through various outlets which might make things appear worse than they really are. On a completely micro level when I was a kid (I'm 36 now) you could get nabbed by a stranger and my parents wouldn't notice for hours until I was supposed to be home. Now kids have phones, or in my nieces case have gps tracked watches, and there are cameras everywhere recording everything that isn't to mention the safer cars, better medicine etc.

It's as simple as this: you never know when your kid's school, your local store, your business, your restaurant, your concert is going to get shot up next.  People are also getting randomly attacked and sometimes killed for no reason.  I'm not saying to live in fear, but to say this world has never been safer is laughable.

Well, laugh away (I'm kidding, not being dismissive), because you HEAR about these events all the time, but the actual numbers are not that great.  40-some odd thousand PEOPLE - not kids, but of all ages - die of gunshots each year in the US.  Over 55% of them are suicides.  So we're down to about 20,000 that aren't self-inflicted.   The majority of those are NOT kids, but people OF ALL AGES and most of them are crime related.   In 1900, the leading causes of death were all related to health (TB, diarhhea, etc.) and something like 40% of those were kids under the age of 5.  The chances that a newborn survives childhood was about 50% in 1900, and now - GLOBALLY - it's over 96%.

It isn't even close that it's overall safer to be a kid today than 100 years ago.  Perhaps more threats (even that is arguable), but less likely for them to be fatal.
You're bringing up reasons why this is a great time to be alive. Some I get and some don't. I'm not sure about your metrics, though. They might be a little too concrete for my tastes. There needs to be some personal reflection in there. Perhaps another thing to consider is whether or not it's worth being alive. People might be safer, and they might live longer, but are they happier or depressed? Will they be optimistic or full of dread? Americans are typically not a happy lot, either compared to the rest of the world or Americans of the past, and we're damn sure pessimistic about the way things are going and that's only getting worse. People might have more personal wealth, adding to their ability to care for a child, but they might not, or might see their wealth dwindling with no sign of restoration. Moreover, watching that happen they might, quite reasonably, fear that their child will see his potential for wealth, of vital importance in capitalist America, diminish. When choosing if this is the right time to drop a new person into the world I'd suggest that wealth, safety, and length of life are no more or less important than the quality of that life it might endure, and that's something we each have to evaluate for ourselves.
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Online cramx3

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #75 on: May 18, 2023, 01:40:10 PM »
So when I started to tell my mom I didn't think I wanted that stuff it was always "you'll change your mind someday."

Yup, I still get that even as I approach 40 even when nothing of my fundamental feelings on the matter have changed.  ???  I believe you are italian? That would put us pretty similar of growing up in an italian family with 3 other siblings in NJ. 

Offline Skeever

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #76 on: May 18, 2023, 01:47:15 PM »
I really think it has to do with consumerist culture, more than anything.

Every prior generation had the fear of God put in them that, with small exception, committing to godly monogamy and child-rearing was the correct thing to do, even before career and vocational callings.

I'm not saying we've got to run back to religion. But clearly, our new religion of consumerism doesn't really care about kids. As an acolyte of late stage capitalism, your job is to prioritize a career, so you can make money so that you can have a nicer life, and thus greater cultivate your identity by way of consumption choices and kids, never a good financial decision, just get in the way of that.

I'm thinking that, unless we start coming up with some humanistic, broadly accepted reasons why people should have kids, we're just going to continue in this direction. Some real energy needs to be put into discerning why family life is important for the younger generations, and we're never going to see that from our corporate overlords.

I do think we'll see some really wild things if the demographic collapse of the developed world is a serious as some things make it sound. I've got this, perhaps wacky, vision of the next Greta Thunberg, 30 years from now, urging women to become teen moms on the TOK to help abate the human population crisis. I know, I need to lay off the sauce.

Offline dparrott

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #77 on: May 18, 2023, 01:52:09 PM »
Maybe the line has to be made between the US and the world.  Most of the mass shootings are in the US, so maybe the world is safer, but the US is not?

And that Washington Post article is from 2015, there has been a lot more violence since then.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #78 on: May 18, 2023, 02:11:07 PM »
Maybe the line has to be made between the US and the world.  Most of the mass shootings are in the US, so maybe the world is safer, but the US is not?

And that Washington Post article is from 2015, there has been a lot more violence since then.

As far as the US goes, I think there's a way to look at the problem relatively.
A couple hundred active shooter deaths per year is the story of this generation and it's something the rest of the developed world may not have to deal with as often.
But there are also things that make this country safer than other places in the world, including the past version of itself.

For example, we drafted for Vietnam in the 70s and like 50k Americans wound up getting killed there. I'd take my chances in the decade of active shooters over the decade of draft eligibility. This is one way being a young person in America today is way better than being a teenager in America a generation back.

Another example - adolescent fatality due to sickness. You're far less likely to have a child die of a respatory infection in America than most other places in the world.

If you were a homunculi floating around getting to pick where you were born, perhaps you would not chose to be born in the US, but I'm not sure the gun deaths really would count as much as you might think when all the different variables are on the table. There is certainly a spiritual toll that is taken and hard to quantify by having to see these stories in the news every day. But it's not necessarily one that has an impact on life expectancy, and the risk it happens to you here in the states is still far less than the risk you could have your life cut short by something else that's a problem somewhere else in the world.

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #79 on: May 18, 2023, 02:37:28 PM »
I really think it has to do with consumerist culture, more than anything.

Every prior generation had the fear of God put in them that, with small exception, committing to godly monogamy and child-rearing was the correct thing to do, even before career and vocational callings.

I'm not saying we've got to run back to religion. But clearly, our new religion of consumerism doesn't really care about kids. As an acolyte of late stage capitalism, your job is to prioritize a career, so you can make money so that you can have a nicer life, and thus greater cultivate your identity by way of consumption choices and kids, never a good financial decision, just get in the way of that.

I'm thinking that, unless we start coming up with some humanistic, broadly accepted reasons why people should have kids, we're just going to continue in this direction. Some real energy needs to be put into discerning why family life is important for the younger generations, and we're never going to see that from our corporate overlords.

I do think we'll see some really wild things if the demographic collapse of the developed world is a serious as some things make it sound. I've got this, perhaps wacky, vision of the next Greta Thunberg, 30 years from now, urging women to become teen moms on the TOK to help abate the human population crisis. I know, I need to lay off the sauce.
This is a good post, and I'm not trying to give you grief about it. Also, I'm really not as misanthropic as I often come across. I do ask questions, though, and one of them has to be whether or not humanity is actually worth propagating if this is what we've amounted to? We are not Gene Roddenberry's future humans, nor are we destined to be. From where I stand we're the same backwards savages we used to be with greater knowledge and nicer toys, which we are not using for the greater good. There are certainly good people out there, but as often as not they seem to be the ones getting nailed to trees, sometimes literally. They are not the future.
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Offline ProfessorPeart

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #80 on: May 18, 2023, 02:57:42 PM »
No way I would personally want to bring another kid into this world, which is why I stand by the fact that I don't care what my kids do. After seeing what my kids went through in school and seeing what is happening to school boards across the country, no way. All this book banning and all these policies that the party of 'limited government' keep putting in all over, I can't imagine being a parent let alone a child in the current climate. Just find the story on that school board in Colorado that has completely lost the plot. Couple all of that with cyber-bullying and whatever new methods they keep coming up with to bully. We're just a broken society.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #81 on: May 18, 2023, 03:27:15 PM »
I really think it has to do with consumerist culture, more than anything.

Every prior generation had the fear of God put in them that, with small exception, committing to godly monogamy and child-rearing was the correct thing to do, even before career and vocational callings.

I'm not saying we've got to run back to religion. But clearly, our new religion of consumerism doesn't really care about kids. As an acolyte of late stage capitalism, your job is to prioritize a career, so you can make money so that you can have a nicer life, and thus greater cultivate your identity by way of consumption choices and kids, never a good financial decision, just get in the way of that.

I'm thinking that, unless we start coming up with some humanistic, broadly accepted reasons why people should have kids, we're just going to continue in this direction. Some real energy needs to be put into discerning why family life is important for the younger generations, and we're never going to see that from our corporate overlords.

I do think we'll see some really wild things if the demographic collapse of the developed world is a serious as some things make it sound. I've got this, perhaps wacky, vision of the next Greta Thunberg, 30 years from now, urging women to become teen moms on the TOK to help abate the human population crisis. I know, I need to lay off the sauce.

On general terms I'm not diasgreeing with you, but since on social media you can't avoid even if you want to gossip celebrities, you see rich and famous people having children all the time. So when money suddenly is not an issue, people DO still have kids.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #82 on: May 18, 2023, 06:13:57 PM »
I really think it has to do with consumerist culture, more than anything.

Every prior generation had the fear of God put in them that, with small exception, committing to godly monogamy and child-rearing was the correct thing to do, even before career and vocational callings.

I'm not saying we've got to run back to religion. But clearly, our new religion of consumerism doesn't really care about kids. As an acolyte of late stage capitalism, your job is to prioritize a career, so you can make money so that you can have a nicer life, and thus greater cultivate your identity by way of consumption choices and kids, never a good financial decision, just get in the way of that.

I'm thinking that, unless we start coming up with some humanistic, broadly accepted reasons why people should have kids, we're just going to continue in this direction. Some real energy needs to be put into discerning why family life is important for the younger generations, and we're never going to see that from our corporate overlords.

I do think we'll see some really wild things if the demographic collapse of the developed world is a serious as some things make it sound. I've got this, perhaps wacky, vision of the next Greta Thunberg, 30 years from now, urging women to become teen moms on the TOK to help abate the human population crisis. I know, I need to lay off the sauce.
This is a good post, and I'm not trying to give you grief about it. Also, I'm really not as misanthropic as I often come across. I do ask questions, though, and one of them has to be whether or not humanity is actually worth propagating if this is what we've amounted to? We are not Gene Roddenberry's future humans, nor are we destined to be. From where I stand we're the same backwards savages we used to be with greater knowledge and nicer toys, which we are not using for the greater good. There are certainly good people out there, but as often as not they seem to be the ones getting nailed to trees, sometimes literally. They are not the future.

Yeah, these are good points, and I only have a few ideas for a response.

First one is just a statistical point. Yes. Most of us suck, and always have. More of us increases the chances that one of our luminaries comes along to help launch us closer to enlightenment.

Second is the idea in the classical philosophical sense of what makes a man good as opposed to a savage. And for some like Confucious and Aristotle, the conclusion on what man's best and most dignified life entails hits close to family life. I haven't read enough about this to say anything more about it.

Third idea is that, yes we suck, but whether it's worth being here is kinda subjective. For example, you may think that it sucks, but if you still think it's worth being here, chances are the next guy will too. I personally figure that life's worth living beyond whenever my familial duties are done for at least as long as I could imagine myself getting out to a show and having a pint in my hand. We, collectively, don't get to make the call when the party ends.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #83 on: May 19, 2023, 07:11:19 AM »
Not to pivot this thread but do you have a source for this? I see this claim all the time and I personally disagree (Washington Post backs it up here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/). We have near instant dissemination of world wide news through various outlets which might make things appear worse than they really are. On a completely micro level when I was a kid (I'm 36 now) you could get nabbed by a stranger and my parents wouldn't notice for hours until I was supposed to be home. Now kids have phones, or in my nieces case have gps tracked watches, and there are cameras everywhere recording everything that isn't to mention the safer cars, better medicine etc.

It's as simple as this: you never know when your kid's school, your local store, your business, your restaurant, your concert is going to get shot up next.  People are also getting randomly attacked and sometimes killed for no reason.  I'm not saying to live in fear, but to say this world has never been safer is laughable.

Well, laugh away (I'm kidding, not being dismissive), because you HEAR about these events all the time, but the actual numbers are not that great.  40-some odd thousand PEOPLE - not kids, but of all ages - die of gunshots each year in the US.  Over 55% of them are suicides.  So we're down to about 20,000 that aren't self-inflicted.   The majority of those are NOT kids, but people OF ALL AGES and most of them are crime related.   In 1900, the leading causes of death were all related to health (TB, diarhhea, etc.) and something like 40% of those were kids under the age of 5.  The chances that a newborn survives childhood was about 50% in 1900, and now - GLOBALLY - it's over 96%.

It isn't even close that it's overall safer to be a kid today than 100 years ago.  Perhaps more threats (even that is arguable), but less likely for them to be fatal.
You're bringing up reasons why this is a great time to be alive. Some I get and some don't. I'm not sure about your metrics, though. They might be a little too concrete for my tastes. There needs to be some personal reflection in there. Perhaps another thing to consider is whether or not it's worth being alive. People might be safer, and they might live longer, but are they happier or depressed? Will they be optimistic or full of dread? Americans are typically not a happy lot, either compared to the rest of the world or Americans of the past, and we're damn sure pessimistic about the way things are going and that's only getting worse. People might have more personal wealth, adding to their ability to care for a child, but they might not, or might see their wealth dwindling with no sign of restoration. Moreover, watching that happen they might, quite reasonably, fear that their child will see his potential for wealth, of vital importance in capitalist America, diminish. When choosing if this is the right time to drop a new person into the world I'd suggest that wealth, safety, and length of life are no more or less important than the quality of that life it might endure, and that's something we each have to evaluate for ourselves.

I don't argue with any of those, really, but I'm sort of sticking to things that are objective on purpose.  I'm not always in subjective lock-step with everyone on the forum, and I don't want this to turn into the "life" version of the Lars Ulrich conversation.  HAHA.   I don't really share the "pessimism" and "depression" of America today.  You know I've written a lot about that; I don't think it's as cut and dry as "CAPITALISM!", though that's a part of it.  I think we're too big, frankly.  But aside from that, for me, I AM glad to be alive. I have EVERY SONG I OWN on a devise the size of a pack of cigarettes.   I have a car that will go 100 miles an hour and you won't even pause your conversation.   I have a device where I can talk with you - and the other fine folks on this forum - on a daily, hourly, maybe even a minutely (is that a word?) basis and I'm sitting at my kitchen table in my underwear (more, or less :)).  I have - and many other people do too, whether they realize it or not - access to someone who has over 8 or more years of high level experience to talk and walk me through my depression and pessimism if I'm feeling it.   When my parents were declining, I could go to the airport, and in four hours, I was sitting in a car outside their assisted living facility.  My cousin has MS; she is receiving a sort of gene therapy in an effort to live a more comfortable life; even just 20 years ago, she would have been essentially resigned to a wheelchair and crutches.

The new... I think it's Xfinity, commercial ends with a young man, I'd guess 20-ish, sitting on the stairs watching his family and saying "What a time to be alive."  And I think it's right.

My dad - may he rest in peace - was the smartest person I know.  And increasingly, for the last five or so years of his life, the pace of advancement was so great that it became not a matter of "being informed", but actually CONCEPTUALLY he couldn't always get his arms around what the world - both the people and the technology - could do.  Things that my 15 year old takes for granted, at times my dad couldn't even CONCEPTUALIZE. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #84 on: May 19, 2023, 07:54:44 AM »
Maybe the line has to be made between the US and the world.  Most of the mass shootings are in the US, so maybe the world is safer, but the US is not?

And that Washington Post article is from 2015, there has been a lot more violence since then.

But the NUMBERS haven't changed materially, at least in terms of total numbers increasing; they have DECREASED drastically.  On what basis are you saying we're not SAFER?  Maybe, as El Barto suggests, less HAPPY, certainly more FEARFUL, but those are not the same thing.  Even if you're right, and kids are twice - or even three times, pick a number! (though the reality is: there were only about 1,000 more fire-arm homicides in 2020 (19,384) than there was in 1993 (18,253)) - more likely to be SHOT, it's still not that big a number compared to all the other buckets that have gone down drastically.  No one wants to hear it, but PART of the reason that the anti-gun lobby can claim "more kids died from a gun than anything else" is because they're NOT dying as much from anything else.   (Bear in mind, too, that COVID HAS contributed to a spike in gun deaths, so while we can't assume, it's not clear yet whether numbers will return to pre-COVID levels over time). 

It's hard to parse, because the categories are all sort of intertwined, but in 1991, a total of 22,145 kids died of accidents and homicides (leading cause, motorvehicle accidents, about 9,200 total); in 2020, about 3836 kids died of the same causes.  Think about that: those categories presumably include firearm deaths.  EVEN WITH the supposed (and percepted) increase in firearm deaths (will remind again that most of those stats include SUICIDES, which have to be parsed out to find harm to innocent bystanders) the rest of the causes have decreased so dramatically that the entire categories are a fraction of what they were 30 years prior (the vast bulk are motor vehicle deaths).

Read a book called "How Risky Is It?" or something close to that, by Dave Ropeik (a Harvard professor/researcher).  Humans have historically SUCKED at the assessment and quantification of risk, and the internet age - with the selective dissemination of information - has only exacerbated that problem.

Offline SwedishGoose

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #85 on: May 19, 2023, 08:00:53 AM »
Sure there are things that are better today than before although for how long is another question.

That the potable water around the globe has reduced significantly makes at least me a bit worried.
https://edition.cnn.com/2023/05/18/world/disappearing-lakes-reservoirs-water-climate-intl/index.html

Or take the glaciers in the Himalayas that are the source of drinkig water for billions of people all arond them. They are shrinkig significantly.

https://e360.yale.edu/features/himalayas-glaciers-climate-change

What will happen in the future when millions or even billion people have to migrate because their water sources have dried up?

This is just one of the huge problems exacerbated by overpopulation and our consumerist life style.

Having a car or flying in an airplane is nice yes.... but for how long can we go on living like we had 4 or 5 mother earths to sustain us?

Offline Stadler

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #86 on: May 19, 2023, 08:06:16 AM »
No way I would personally want to bring another kid into this world, which is why I stand by the fact that I don't care what my kids do. After seeing what my kids went through in school and seeing what is happening to school boards across the country, no way. All this book banning and all these policies that the party of 'limited government' keep putting in all over, I can't imagine being a parent let alone a child in the current climate. Just find the story on that school board in Colorado that has completely lost the plot. Couple all of that with cyber-bullying and whatever new methods they keep coming up with to bully. We're just a broken society.

Well, this is something that we haven't talked about.  It is UNDOUBTEDLY safer for kids, in terms of dying, today, in the US, regardless of any perception. It's not even close.   BUT: to El Barto's point, there are other factors and I think the Professor notes at least one of them.   Kids were just as cruel back when I was in school (I was 10 in 1977, and 15 in 1982) and there was bullying, but it was... I don't know what the word is, "personal"?   Someone calls me "short", and the only people that know or hear are those in the immediate vicinity.  Someone calls a girl "fat" and same, or maybe it spreads by word of mouth to others in the school.    Someone in my family had an experience with bullying in her senior year of high school, and it was the UNIVERSE, because it was in part on Twitter and Snapgram or whatever.  The police got involved, and in the conversation she was asked if there were any photos floating around, and they put her in room - with her mom - to look at what is actually a WEBSITE that collects nudes of school kids (obviously, mostly girls) divided by school/town/state. Are you fucking kidding me?  Some perv can Tor or whatever his way to an FTP site and search by towns for stolen and hacked nudes of high school and middle school kids?  I can't even get my arms around what that's doing to the collective psyche on both sides of the matter.  All I had to deal with is a kid bigger than me puffing his chest out on the playground and potentially knocking my dick in the dirt.

I still stand by my point that it's on the whole better, but I do agree that the traditional metrics and standards have to be re-evaluated or at least re-calibrated. 

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #87 on: May 19, 2023, 10:11:28 AM »
I really think it has to do with consumerist culture, more than anything.

Every prior generation had the fear of God put in them that, with small exception, committing to godly monogamy and child-rearing was the correct thing to do, even before career and vocational callings.

I'm not saying we've got to run back to religion. But clearly, our new religion of consumerism doesn't really care about kids. As an acolyte of late stage capitalism, your job is to prioritize a career, so you can make money so that you can have a nicer life, and thus greater cultivate your identity by way of consumption choices and kids, never a good financial decision, just get in the way of that.

I'm thinking that, unless we start coming up with some humanistic, broadly accepted reasons why people should have kids, we're just going to continue in this direction. Some real energy needs to be put into discerning why family life is important for the younger generations, and we're never going to see that from our corporate overlords.

I do think we'll see some really wild things if the demographic collapse of the developed world is a serious as some things make it sound. I've got this, perhaps wacky, vision of the next Greta Thunberg, 30 years from now, urging women to become teen moms on the TOK to help abate the human population crisis. I know, I need to lay off the sauce.
This is a good post, and I'm not trying to give you grief about it. Also, I'm really not as misanthropic as I often come across. I do ask questions, though, and one of them has to be whether or not humanity is actually worth propagating if this is what we've amounted to? We are not Gene Roddenberry's future humans, nor are we destined to be. From where I stand we're the same backwards savages we used to be with greater knowledge and nicer toys, which we are not using for the greater good. There are certainly good people out there, but as often as not they seem to be the ones getting nailed to trees, sometimes literally. They are not the future.

Yeah, these are good points, and I only have a few ideas for a response.

First one is just a statistical point. Yes. Most of us suck, and always have. More of us increases the chances that one of our luminaries comes along to help launch us closer to enlightenment.

Second is the idea in the classical philosophical sense of what makes a man good as opposed to a savage. And for some like Confucious and Aristotle, the conclusion on what man's best and most dignified life entails hits close to family life. I haven't read enough about this to say anything more about it.

Third idea is that, yes we suck, but whether it's worth being here is kinda subjective. For example, you may think that it sucks, but if you still think it's worth being here, chances are the next guy will too. I personally figure that life's worth living beyond whenever my familial duties are done for at least as long as I could imagine myself getting out to a show and having a pint in my hand. We, collectively, don't get to make the call when the party ends.

Ahh...The good ol' days when my people were called Savages because we were considered "primitive" by the standards of that culture.

Look, if I wasn't happy with life, I would've offed myself already. But I am not unhappy with my life, it could be better, but also, I am content with where I am at right now. I also can do what I could to better myself and this starts with me acting upon those beneficial thoughts and actions. I can be the change I want to be, or I can mope and continue to wither away as a hopeless human being. Yes, there are problems with the world, but there always has been problems that humans have faced since human creation.

There has never been a time when humans were as connected to each other as today. We humans are able to connect with another human from across the world, and gain insight into their lifestyle and way of life by not having to travel. We humans are able to observe the differences in our human lifestyles and how every culture does not perceive life the same way. Remember, the Christian/Catholic/Bible culture is just one perception for how humans perceive the world. There are many other cultures and perceptions that are vastly ignored when we talk about philosophy, it intrigues me how people don't realize that there are other perceptions to consider when we talk about life.

The perception of children is entirely cultural. How the children are treated and how they are raised is also based on culture. Catholic Children are raised based upon those Catholic cultural values, traditions, beliefs, and morals. My native cultures also view children differently. For us, since our entire culture is Matrilineal, we were more excited and grateful when we had a girl because our clans are based around the mother, and the girls/women are how we continue these clan lines. Now that we have the integration of this "western culture", this entire perception of our culture has changed. Most people today perceive life based around those "western culture" ideologies more so than our own traditional cultural perspectives.

I do agree with you Skeever, it's the Consumerist/Capitalist culture which does have an effect on how humans perceive life. How humans perceive life and the world has entirely changed. The entire world is based on money. Without money, you can't enjoy life. Money does mean happiness, due to this happiness involving the many things that make us humans happy. We need money for shelter, money for food, money for water, and even money for air. All these things were once freely available to us all. All these things were also well taken care of because it's a valuable resource that I place more value in than minerals, such as Gold/Silver.

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #88 on: May 19, 2023, 12:14:37 PM »
So when I started to tell my mom I didn't think I wanted that stuff it was always "you'll change your mind someday."

Yup, I still get that even as I approach 40 even when nothing of my fundamental feelings on the matter have changed.  ???  I believe you are italian? That would put us pretty similar of growing up in an italian family with 3 other siblings in NJ.

Haha yup exactly, Italians expect their kids to be Catholic babymaking machines
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Online Adami

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #89 on: May 19, 2023, 12:16:50 PM »
So when I started to tell my mom I didn't think I wanted that stuff it was always "you'll change your mind someday."

Yup, I still get that even as I approach 40 even when nothing of my fundamental feelings on the matter have changed.  ???  I believe you are italian? That would put us pretty similar of growing up in an italian family with 3 other siblings in NJ.

Haha yup exactly, Italians expect their kids to be Catholic babymaking machines

And to be fair, you ARE a Catholic baby making machine.

Your babies just happen to be more akin to the Golgothan.
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Offline Herrick

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Re: Child Free By Choice
« Reply #90 on: May 20, 2023, 01:45:34 PM »
I chose "Good!  I wish more people felt this way!" Not everyone should breed.

I do not have kids (because I didn't & still don't want any) but I have kids. The Wife came prepackaged with two. If they didn't want kids I'd be more than fine with that. Anyway one already had a kid and even though they were nowhere near financially stable or in a good relationship, I did not discourage them from hatching The Child. Thus Herrick became Grandpa Herrick at the age of 37.
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