Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reasons people have children -- 1

This is first of a series of (maybe three to five) posts. In this series, I will assess reasons for which people decide to have children.

1) The "Creationistic" / somewhat Non-Atheistic Reason
In this, we all are understood to be part of some Grand Plan by the Creator.

This reminds me of a saying, which (ironically) comes from Spencer W Kimball, the twelfth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church): “Love people, not things; use things, not people.”

While I find nothing wrong with loving things, "using people", of course, is a less-than-noble thing to do. When it comes to "using people", an extreme example, of course, is slavery. A little lower down will come dictatorship ... and I'll put domestication of animals somewhere nearby. Also nearby is getting others (domestic help -- people from very developed countries may not relate -- one's children?) to do one's errands. Eventually we'll have very mild examples of using people -- corporates and elected governments.

Our examples illustrate that as our societies became more liveable for all, we have begun "using people" in milder ways. Slavery to corporate structures and domestic help (some developed countries have done away with domestic helps too -- though I'd expect people still get their children to help them there). Autocracy to elected governments. Domestic animals, however, have been replaced with mechanisation. Why was mechanisation possible here? Because domestic animals were/are used for tasks that require significantly less (if any) intelligence.

Mechanisation as against use of domestic animals has been better in two ways: it has improved our speed and efficiency (engines can move vehicles way faster than horses -- probably the fuel costs less than fodder). Secondly, it has also arguably reduced animal cruelty.

Now, let us go back to our Creator. If the Creator indeed had a Grand Plan, and if the Creator is indeed Noble and Intelligent, then the Creator should have created a MECHANISED universe. The current version "uses people". LITERALLY. And it's actually "creating people for use". Isn't it just plainly abhorrent?

I find creating people for use even more abhorrent than using existing people. To use an existing person, we can employ means ranging from making them our friend to less respectable ones like fighting with them and finally having them in chains. Even in this crude chaining-people option, they at least have a choice, a way to prevent being chained -- even if it means fighting unto death. There is no choice, nothing, when we create them for use.


Shadow said...

Nice post man. Nice to see you gettin down and writing stuff. Makes me proud. Do continue!

estnihil said...

I like how you imply to some degree that using people is almost unavoidable by saying we use people by making friends with them. The quote is a good one, but it is ultimately unrealistic: when we talk to someone, we are using them, deep down as a means to improve our own emotional state. If we weren't, we wouldn't talk to them at all - or if we felt pressured into doing so, they would be using us. Almost everything in this world involves suffering - when we step on grass we kill thousands of life forms, for example. The only way to stop causing suffering that is effective is to not have children - living causes the suffering of others, dying causes the suffering of others. Almost everything we do hurts someone else or uses someone else, and all that is in our power is to pick the routes that cause least suffering, rather than those that cause no suffering, which are non-existent.