I'm glad I found your blog. I enjoy it. You seem like a rational & honest person and I was hoping you might let me ask some questions surrounding reproduction. I'm 29 and never want children. I don't like children. Do you think I'm nuts? My theist relatives claim children are my duty to god. You appreciate reason, right? How do you explain having four kids? Biology would say that we only need one copy of ourselves. Would you agree? Having more than a copy of yourself strains the environment. We are over-populated. I've researched count less articles where right wing Christians claim that bring in more children is a duty. How do you feel about that? Atheists if I understand atheists right are scientific minded and so I would think having four kids is unusual. Are you honest enough to admit that you're leaving a large footprint on the environment from your family of six? Taking out the religion, what is the reason for having more than one child? With four kids, do you hate childfree people? I don't want you to be mad for me asking so I guess you don't need to answer if you don't want. I want to know your ideas on the matter.
Childfree and happy about it,
Trojanman, I'll happily answer your questions. It takes a lot to make me angry: this is, pardon the pun, kiddy stuff. :) No anger here. I'm going to take your questions one at a time. If you want to leave a message here, instead of e-mailing, then please do so.
I'm glad I found your blog. I enjoy it.
Well, I'm glad you're enjoying it.
You seem like a rational & honest person and I was hoping you
might let me ask some questions surrounding reproduction.
I'll do my best. Although, I must confes that - at first glance - I'm not sure I follow some of the implications of your questions. Feel free to ask further questions if I'm not getting the gyst.
I'm 29 and never want children. I don't like
I have friends in your position and I can respect that. Children aren't for everyone.
Do you think I'm nuts? My theist relatives claim children are my
duty to god.
Not at all!! Children are an immense responsibility. I'm actually quite impressed with individuals who have enough self-knowledge, and concern, to seriously evaluate their desire to reproduce. I think if more people examined their motives for childbearing, we'd have fewer social ills. I think it's the epitome of mental health and sanity for a person to admit what their limits are. I see having children as a choice. Just as I wouldn't find a person who chooses not to marry crazy, I don't see anything wrong with passing on having children. Your theist relatives, however, need their heads examined. Not because of their beliefs in God, but because they see childbearing as a biblical obligation and can't respect your decision. What benefit could there possibly be to encouraging someone who doesn't like children to reproduce? And, even if a deity existed, what bearing would that have on your decision to skip parenting?
You appreciate reason, right? How do you explain having four kids?
I wish you'd elaborated on this question. I'm not sure what being reasonable has to do with having four kids. But, I will answer the question anyway. I don't know that I've ever thought I needed to explain why I had four. I suppose the simplest answer is that I wasn't opposed to having them and, after having P1, I discovered that I really liked being a mom. Oddly, I'm not a huge fan of other people's children. And, as a child, I never wanted any! LOL There was a certain amount of pressure to have children when I was a Catholic, but I can't say with any relevancy that I had them because it was what Catholics do. I might have been influenced in the choices I made, but ultimately,...P1 and P2 are here because I wanted them to be. P3 was born after we lost three pregnancies to miscarriages and stillbirths. We wanted a third because we didn't feel like our family was complete. P4 was a wonderful "oops". :) I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy when I found out I was pregnant with him. Ultimately, I had four children because I wanted them more than I wanted anything else and, in the end, I think that's a good enough reason.
Biology would say that we only need one copy of ourselves. Would you
I'm not entirely sure that that's the conclusion we should draw from biology. And, I suspect you're really referring to evolutionary theory in asking this question. From what I understand of evolutionary psychology and biology: all living things respond to inevitable mortality by attempting to pass on their genetics to the next generation. I don't kow that I would say this attempt is "desired" or set in stone...and, I'm not even sure that the "desire" is made by every species as a "thought" or "goal". I think it's simply what organisms do. That said, I know people who don't have this desire and I don't think they're "broken" or bucking science because they choose not to reproduce. I think the unspoken goal of any species is to make sure there's a next generation - for some humans, that means having children. For others, that might mean making the earth a better place so the species is better prepared or situated to continue going forward. Childfree people have just as much impact as those of us with children. It would be ridiculous to think that every pair of humans needs or wants to reproduce. I think the human species is pretty well situated from the perspective that there's not a lot of chance that we're going extinct in the near future. I think, possibly, our numbers as a species trigger a physiological 'knowledge' in some that assures them that maybe they don't need to reproduce becuase of this perception of numbers. But, to go back to your question, I don't see that biology dictates a cut off at one child. Biology tells us that there are many, many threats to pregnancies, healthy fetal development, and infancy/childhood. I think, in the past, having numerous children was a defense mechanism to help adjust for the high infant mortality rates we used to have and to increase one's chances for passing on some DNA. Has this need for more than one copy changed? Perhaps. But, I still think you could make the argument that, biologically, multiple offspring increases your chances of continuing your genetic line.
Having more than a copy of yourself strains the environment. We
I can't argue with this. You're likely correct. It would be foolish to pretend that I wasn't aware of the ramifications of having four children. It likely strains the environment. I can make efforts to reduce our impact, but I can't think of any reason why your hypothesis is unsound.
Atheists if I understand atheists right are scientific minded
and so I would think having four kids is unusual.
I think it's unusual for most couples to have four children in this day and age. I'm not sure I understand what being an atheist has to do with this point. If you'd care to clarify, then I'd be more than happy to respond to this in a more pointed and considered fashion.
With four kids, do you hate childfree people?
Absolutely not! The choice is up to the individual or the couple. As a childfree person, do you hate people who have four kids? ;)