I Say What They Won’t

You are going to die. I’m not telling you this to depress you. It’s just a simple fact…everybody dies. Everything living dies, period. Always. And along the way, we suffer. Oh, not all the time, and not equally. But suffering is part of what life is all about, and some people suffer horribly. Disease. Accident. Starvation. Abuse. And then, sooner or later, there comes death. To all of us. Always. Of course, we all know this, right? Right.

 Still, we try to ignore the facts, and there are many ways in which we do this. Little games we play with ourselves and others. We invent magical beings who tell us what to do, and who promise to protect us. We imagine fairytale places to go to after we die, so it all won’t seem so bad. Of course, these are lies, but lies invented with the best of intentions; to make us less afraid. And then, there’s the biggest, and most harmful lie of all. We have children, imagining that we somehow live on through them…a kind of fake immortality. But make no mistake; our children, each and every one of them, will suffer and die, and no one will really live on at all. The only thing that lives on is the fear, and the story…the lie.

 With modern birth control methods, nobody needs to have children anymore. The world is over-populated, but I’m not going to ask you to save the world. I’m simply asking you to save a child; your child. A child who is never brought into this world will never suffer, nor do harm, nor die. An unborn child will never fear, or lose anyone close to him. But, you might ask, doesn’t an unborn child also lose out on all the good stuff life has to offer?

 Close your eyes. Now, imagine a little boy or girl in your head; any color or shape you choose. Now, open your eyes, and let the image fade. Did your imagined child lose out on anything? Of course not…he or she was an imaginary being, after all, and never existed even one little bit. The same goes for an unborn child; it never misses out on anything at all. However, a real child brought into the world can be made to suffer in all the ways you can imagine, and probably many ways you’d really rather not think about. Of course, any single child’s life might turn out relatively well, though everyone suffers somewhat. But are you really willing to take the chance that your child MIGHT be one of those who suffers terribly through life? Even if you think that chance is somewhat small? It’s a dice throw, after all. Why take the risk?

Of course, many people will pressure you throughout your childbearing years to ‘have kids’. That’s because of the pretend game I mentioned before; and also, because they want your kids to work, and pay taxes, and help to support them when they get old. If fact, until very recently in history, most people had children for this exact purpose, as many still do today. Oh, and in the past, lots of people owned or worked on farms, and every child was an extra hand to help do the chores. Children as farm tools…does that sound right to you? Well, anybody who tells you to have children, so that your children can contribute to the ‘future’, is basically saying the same thing. “Have a kid! You owe us!” Does anybody else find that idea upsetting?

 If you really feel a need to have a child, adopt. There are plenty of already existing kids who need good homes. The world doesn’t need any more of them. Or volunteer somewhere; there are lots of organizations where you can help kids and adults get through life a little bit easier. I’m just trying to get the point across that there is absolutely NO need to have children, besides the obviously selfish ones. And that’s another thing- don’t let people accuse YOU of being selfish for refusing to breed. There is nothing more selfish than breeding, especially considering what a child might go through. And of course, no matter how good a particular child’s life is, in the end it must die. In a very real way, to have a child is also to condemn that child to death. Now, do you really want to do that?

Think about it.



  1. Posted March 5, 2008 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Hey, just found your site through the Hoover Hog. Do you read the Antinatalism Blog?

    Also, the young supporting the old is new. The flow of resources was always the other way in the past. As people age and contribute less, they also come to consume less. They’ve measured the calories of hunter-gatherers and its pretty universal.

  2. isaywhattheywont
    Posted March 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for just now responding to this; my comments weren’t reaching me, and I hadn’t checked.

    I’ll have to disagree with your point. From my view of history, bearing large families for support in the areas of income and labor, as well as for security in old age, has been a pretty universal motif, at least through recorded history; which, of course, continues in many parts of the world today. Unless you’re talking pre-agrarian peoples; even then, the young become the hunters, as the aged simply get too old to do the job. Not saying the older folks absolutely cease to contribute anything…knowledge and experience, for instance. But now we’re simply talking about the pragmatic functions of the various members, and are getting away from the question of continuuing this cyclical behavior in the first place.

    Thanks for the links, and yes, I’ve read both of them.

  3. Posted March 17, 2008 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have to disagree with your point. From my view of history, bearing large families for support in the areas of income and labor, as well as for security in old age, has been a pretty universal motif, at least through recorded history; which, of course, continues in many parts of the world today.

    I’ll find some links later, but throughout most of our history humanity was in a Malthusian trap and population was limited by food. The young provide some support, but it’s less than they receive from the old, and as the old become less able to provide they ALSO consume less so that their contribution remains positive on net. The youngest of children are unable to provide anything at all, and as they get older and provide a little it is still less than they take until they are considerably aged themselves.

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