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Having children as an atheist is cruel?
Posted: 17 September 2012 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Since most people have fear of death (handled by ignoring death all together), suffers from time to time etc how can you morally justify having children?
I have not encountered any argument by Sam Harris, Dawkins etc on this issue.
When you have faith(some of them) then you have some sort of reassurance of your offspring.
How does Harris, Dawkins etc justify having children in a godless, meaningless, universe?
If no humans are born they cannot suffer. As an atheist is it indeed cruel to force existence upon another?
Shouldn’t the atheist agenda at least in part be about birthcontrol and the extermination of the human race through childless old age?

PS
I know some may say, there is no “other”, “self”, “soul” etc. And logically/in actuality that may be correct but that does not do away with the feeling that there is one. Cannot through logical reasoning alone stop feeling or experience something that is so ingrained into our very experience of existence. So the “self” do indeed suffer, fear, have anxiety etc.
I know Harris propagates living in the moment. but that is in practice just another form of ignoring death.

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Posted: 17 September 2012 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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ninjin - 17 September 2012 12:34 PM

Since most people have fear of death (handled by ignoring death all together), suffers from time to time etc how can you morally justify having children?
I have not encountered any argument by Sam Harris, Dawkins etc on this issue.
When you have faith(some of them) then you have some sort of reassurance of your offspring.
How does Harris, Dawkins etc justify having children in a godless, meaningless, universe?
If no humans are born they cannot suffer. As an atheist is it indeed cruel to force existence upon another?
Shouldn’t the atheist agenda at least in part be about birthcontrol and the extermination of the human race through childless old age?

PS
I know some may say, there is no “other”, “self”, “soul” etc. And logically/in actuality that may be correct but that does not do away with the feeling that there is one. Cannot through logical reasoning alone stop feeling or experience something that is so ingrained into our very experience of existence. So the “self” do indeed suffer, fear, have anxiety etc.
I know Harris propagates living in the moment. but that is in practice just another form of ignoring death.


I am an atheist.
I love my son and his babies.
Sometimes, when they hug me, I feel like I am disappearing.
I find it far more cruel to tell children that there is a God that created them who will either let them live in his love forever or suffer for eternity based on how well they are able to suppress their god given urges.
That appears like insanity here.

 

 

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Posted: 17 September 2012 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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ninjin - 17 September 2012 12:34 PM

Since most people have fear of death (handled by ignoring death all together), suffers from time to time etc how can you morally justify having children?
I have not encountered any argument by Sam Harris, Dawkins etc on this issue.
When you have faith(some of them) then you have some sort of reassurance of your offspring.
How does Harris, Dawkins etc justify having children in a godless, meaningless, universe?
If no humans are born they cannot suffer. As an atheist is it indeed cruel to force existence upon another?
Shouldn’t the atheist agenda at least in part be about birthcontrol and the extermination of the human race through childless old age?

PS
I know some may say, there is no “other”, “self”, “soul” etc. And logically/in actuality that may be correct but that does not do away with the feeling that there is one. Cannot through logical reasoning alone stop feeling or experience something that is so ingrained into our very experience of existence. So the “self” do indeed suffer, fear, have anxiety etc.
I know Harris propagates living in the moment. but that is in practice just another form of ignoring death.


I am an atheist who has children.  I wouldn’t do it any other way.  Consider our species as it’s own organism.  It is doomed as surely as is each of us.  Is that any reason not to pursue our highest endeavors in the time we have?  My life’s work is now on a 20 year horizon in which I am to produce two fully educated and debt free individuals in their mid twenties.  Who can contribute to our little star trek more than that?  There’s no limit to what I could have accomplished had that been my starting point.  There will be no limits for my children.


If I may quote Emerson: “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task”


This doesn’t change whether we are free or whether we are not.  In case I haven’t charged this post with sufficient sentimentalism, let me add:


The challenge, Mr. Hofmanhouse, is to improve yourself; to enrich yourself. Enjoy it.

~Captain Jean-Luc Picard

 

 

 

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Posted: 18 September 2012 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I find it far more cruel to tell children that there is a God that created them who will either let them live in his love forever or suffer for eternity based on how well they are able to suppress their god given urges.

Well not all religious parents tells their children that. Only certain faiths. In Sweden the hell was eliminated years ago in the state church. Its a quite nice religion really. Protestant based faith has in general a doubtfull attitude towards hell.
Still regardless children still suffer and die don’t they regardless?
Is it any less cruel to tell children that they will cease to exist, explain that there is suffering and they will both cause and be subject to it? Can’t really see that is any less cruel really. Or is it less cruel since they find it out themselves?

I am an atheist who has children.  I wouldn’t do it any other way.  Consider our species as it’s own organism.  It is doomed as surely as is each of us.  Is that any reason not to pursue our highest endeavors in the time we have?

But thing is your endeavor is their forced existence. Thats my point. Just because something always has been done does not equate it to be morally just.

Still wondering if Harris, Dawking et al has written anything on the subject. Or are they going by the biological imperative, must propagate since we are just animals without free will?

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Posted: 18 September 2012 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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ninjin - 18 September 2012 02:06 AM

But thing is your endeavor is their forced existence. Thats my point. Just because something always has been done does not equate it to be morally just.

Still wondering if Harris, Dawking et al has written anything on the subject. Or are they going by the biological imperative, must propagate since we are just animals without free will?

“forced existence”  hmmm.  I have a label for the idea that life is a losing proposition becuase suffering is possible: cowardice.  I have no questions about the morality of having children responsibly.  If you do then you would do well to try to learn something here.


I am not aware that Dawkins has said anything on the topic of free will, so I am a little worried that your criticism is just against atheists.  Again, that is a position that will put you at odds with reason.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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“forced existence”  hmmm.  I have a label for the idea that life is a losing proposition becuase suffering is possible: cowardice.  I have no questions about the morality of having children responsibly.  If you do then you would do well to try to learn something here.

But how can it be cowardice to argue against having children if they will suffer? Is it better to exist than to not exist?
Heard of David Benatar and the advocators of anti-natalism?

I am not aware that Dawkins has said anything on the topic of free will, so I am a little worried that your criticism is just against atheists.  Again, that is a position that will put you at odds with reason.

I’m an atheist. And I was just speculating since I’ve not gotten any references to where they discuss the subject. For sure I thought Sam Harris would have written something on the subject.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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ninjin - 18 September 2012 02:06 AM

I find it far more cruel to tell children that there is a God that created them who will either let them live in his love forever or suffer for eternity based on how well they are able to suppress their god given urges.

Well not all religious parents tells their children that. Only certain faiths. In Sweden the hell was eliminated years ago in the state church. Its a quite nice religion really. Protestant based faith has in general a doubtfull attitude towards hell.
Still regardless children still suffer and die don’t they regardless?
Is it any less cruel to tell children that they will cease to exist, explain that there is suffering and they will both cause and be subject to it? Can’t really see that is any less cruel really. Or is it less cruel since they find it out themselves?

I am an atheist who has children.  I wouldn’t do it any other way.  Consider our species as it’s own organism.  It is doomed as surely as is each of us.  Is that any reason not to pursue our highest endeavors in the time we have?

But thing is your endeavor is their forced existence. Thats my point. Just because something always has been done does not equate it to be morally just.

Still wondering if Harris, Dawking et al has written anything on the subject. Or are they going by the biological imperative, must propagate since we are just animals without free will?

A sugar coated life is a…........sugar coated life.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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toombaru writes:

A sugar coated life is a…........sugar coated life.

So life is only worth living if you suffer or? If you don’t suffer you haven’t really lived? Or what do you mean?
It sounds cruel:- Good news, your/parents/chidrens death, rape, torture, accident, illness is what makes (your/their) life worth living.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 09:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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ninjin - 18 September 2012 09:40 AM

toombaru writes:

A sugar coated life is a…........sugar coated life.

So life is only worth living if you suffer or? If you don’t suffer you haven’t really lived? Or what do you mean?
It sounds cruel:- Good news, your/parents/chidrens death, rape, torture, accident, illness is what makes (your/their) life worth living.

 

Life it full of great pain and great joy.
Lying to our children will not soften their experience.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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ninjin - 18 September 2012 08:14 AM

Is it better to exist than to not exist?

You sound suicidal.  My wife is a counselor.  Would you like some resources to help you address these unhealthy attitudes?

ninjin - 18 September 2012 08:14 AM

I’m an atheist. And I was just speculating since I’ve not gotten any references to where they discuss the subject. For sure I thought Sam Harris would have written something on the subject.

Not that I am aware.  He’s smart, so he probably considers the question to be beneath him.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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TheCoolinator - 18 September 2012 10:21 PM
ninjin - 18 September 2012 08:14 AM

Is it better to exist than to not exist?


You can’t not exist.

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Posted: 19 September 2012 01:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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toombaru writes:

Life it full of great pain and great joy.
Lying to our children will not soften their experience.

No, but if they werent born they wouldn’t suffer. Or you disagree with that perfectly logical statement?

TheCordinator writes:

You sound suicidal.  My wife is a counselor.  Would you like some resources to help you address these unhealthy attitudes?

So being a skeptic equals being suicidal? Thats a new one. If one questions the morality of bringing new life into existence does not mean that one think life already born should be ended. Its totally different things. When you exist you do not want to seize to exist (when your health, cronically ill/ depressed people have another perspective).

Not that I am aware.  He’s smart, so he probably considers the question to be beneath him.

So speculating on the nature of life and whether its better to be born than not be born is stupid and not a worthy topic for debate?

From you guys statements it seems that life is always worth living. So parents choosing to have children (they know the child will suffer and day but choose not to have an abortion) with medical issues that will cause the great pain and suffering is doing a good thing because life is always to be preferred?
Or where do you draw the line? How much suffering is an acceptable prize?

Toombary writes:

You can’t not exist.

From a everyday experience perspective of course you can. You and your children didnt exist before they were born or you claim otherwise? Perhaps you claim they don’t exist now either? So then who is it that you love?
But not really interested in a sunyata debate.

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Posted: 19 September 2012 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Toombary writes:

You can’t not exist.

From a everyday experience perspective of course you can. You and your children didnt exist before they were born or you claim otherwise? Perhaps you claim they don’t exist now either? So then who is it that you love?
But not really interested in a sunyata debate.


If you search for the ultimate meaning of life….......you search in vain.
There is no purpose in being.
No one exists as a separate autonomous entity.
There is no self and no free will.
There is, however, this most amazing awareness that has evolved to be aware of itself.
And that understanding as close at it can get to peace of mind.
It is difficult to be a human being.
Life filtered through the human mechanism is full of emotions.
It experiences the highest highs and the lowest lows.
And yet it possesses the broadest spectrum of experiential potential of any organism that has ever evolved.
It is the greatest show on earth and most piddle it away trying to protect it or figure it out.

 

 

 

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Posted: 20 September 2012 01:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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toombaru writes

Bunch of generated nonsense with regards to the topic at hand

If you have nothing to say on the topic of suffering children vs non-existence don’t write anything. Your writings remind me of the postmodernism generator: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/
Inconsistency and everything is abundant in your ramblings. Get the feeling you have taken neo-advaitan ramblings and run them in a meatgrinder so they make even less sense.

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Posted: 20 September 2012 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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ninjin - 20 September 2012 01:10 AM

toombaru writes

Bunch of generated nonsense with regards to the topic at hand

If you have nothing to say on the topic of suffering children vs non-existence don’t write anything. Your writings remind me of the postmodernism generator: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/
Inconsistency and everything is abundant in your ramblings. Get the feeling you have taken neo-advaitan ramblings and run them in a meatgrinder so they make even less sense.


To take on the suffering of children is a self imposed form of suffering.

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Posted: 20 September 2012 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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toombaru writes:

To take on the suffering of children is a self imposed form of suffering.

Again nothing on the topic at hand.
I’m speculating on the right to inflict suffering onto others.
By your reasoning. (not that there is a you that reasons)
To take on the suffering on other lifeforms is selfimposed suffering so we should not care about/empathise childabuse, torture, murder, rape, bullying, animal cruelty, gruesome medical tests, horrible breeding conditions etc. Why care about others suffering, empathy is a form of selfimposed suffering.

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