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Thread: Would you give up having children?

  1. #1

    Would you give up having children?

    An article in today's UK Guardian newspaper:


    Would you give up having children to save the planet? Meet the couples who have.

    The environmental toll of having even one child is enormous - 58.6 tonnes of carbon each year. So is going child-free the answer to our climate crisis?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...climate-crisis


    Any thoughts?



  2. #2
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    Like I say on the climate change thread, human activity is accelerating climate change, but it will happen anyway if we don't do something about it.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    No. Buddha explained that the probability of being born in the human state of all possible animal, vegetative, and mineral states is rarer than the probability of a "blind" sea turtle ascending from the depths of a vast ocean and rising with his head in the center of wooden yoke floating and drifting upon the water's surface purely by chance. The benefits of this human state are manifold, the most beneficial of which is being exposed to and capable of penetrating and understanding the significance of The Dhamma.

    source for further study: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/.../wheel147.html

    Excerpt:

    More difficult is it to rise
    from birth as animal to man,
    Than for the turtle blind to see
    the yoke upon the ocean drift;

    Therefore, do you being a man
    practice Dhamma and gain its fruits.

    — L.K. 59 ("The Letter of Kindheartedness" by Acarya Nagarjuna, in "Wisdom Gone Beyond", Social Service Association Press of Thailand, Phya Thai Road, Bangkok,
    Last edited by Olderon; 20 Jun 18 at 17:07.

  4. #4
    Although I'm fond of other peoples children, I've never wanted to have any myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    No. Buddha explained that the probability of being born in the human state of all possible animal, vegetative, and mineral states is rarer than the probability of a "blind" sea turtle ascending from the depths of a vast ocean and rising with his head in the center of wooden yoke floating and drifting upon the water's surface purely by chance. The benefits of this human state are manifold, the most beneficial of which is being exposed to and capable of penetrating and understanding the significance of The Dhamma.
    Not much point in holding out for something said in Iron Age India 2,500 years ago when people believed in a flat world, and continuing to produce more and more humans on this planet, if they're all going to die out in unnatural ways because they can't live in the increasing extremes of heat, cold, flooding, hurricanes, horrors of war etc in the 21st century and onwards, though.

  5. #5
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Aloka: Not much point in holding out for something said in Iron Age India 2,500 years ago when people believed in a flat world, and continuing to produce more and more humans on this planet, if they're all going to die out in unnatural ways because they can't live in the increasing extremes of heat, cold, flooding, hurricanes, horrors of war etc in the 21st century and onwards, though.
    Interesting opinion, but decidedly defeatist. Humans have overcome superior speed, fangs, and claws. Humans have researched and come to understand a significant amount regarding our universe, are learning to understand how it was created and operates. We have come to discover the nature of mind, physics, and chemistry. We have discovered and most importantly admit how much more there is to know and how much we don't know. Humans have migrated to every niche on our planet and are now setting out to expand our migration into the balance of our universe. There seems to be no limit to our adaptability and our capacity for intellectual progress.

    Call me an optimist, but I am absolutely certain that we humans can solve the problem of global warming and muster the will and where-with-all to do so. Not sure we will ever discover the nature of dark matter and dark energy, though.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon View Post
    Interesting opinion, but decidedly defeatist.
    From the link in the OP #1 :

    The UK-based organisation Population Matters wouldn’t call for human extinction – even in jest – but it does campaign against population growth which, it says, contributes to environmental degradation, resource depletion, poverty and inequality. To its list of influential patrons, which already includes David Attenborough, Chris Packham, Lionel Shriver and the primatologist Jane Goodall, it has recently added the racing driver and environmental activist Leilani Münter
    Somehow I don't think someone like Sir David Attenborough, in being part of a campaign against population growth, is being"defeatist".


  7. #7
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Aloka: "Somehow I don't think someone like Sir David Attenborough, in being part of a campaign against population growth, is being"defeatist"."


    Well, let's just say that he and his like associates don't have much faith in humans, who have been overcoming myriad forms of adversity for over two million years. This is no mean accomplishment for our species, and does not even account for the primary adaptation mechanism for our considerable progress provided by Mother Nature: "evolution" , about which all of the clan you cited have bragged as the primary argument against the existence of a Creator (G)od. Mankind not only has benefited though evolution with a massive brain, which has allowed this species rise above all other animals known to him, but is now capable of adjusting and designing his own DNA, the blueprint for all of life on this planet. (Can't speak for all the other planets, which mankind will no doubt shortly be touring en force once he develops the technology and biological modifications necessary for light speed velocities allowing light year travel distances. Perhaps it is just a matter of adjusting a few genes on human DNA, or the syngamy of (gene splicing) of a few as yet undiscovered viruses with human DNA. Whatever the case, mankind is capable of discovering it, perfecting it, and implementing it for his and even all of life's benefit. This is the mankind of the unlimited future-world in which I have faith. All actions within the capabilities of Buddha's.


    Please don't misunderstand my meaning here. Humans have screwed-up royally in the past with the development of the internal combustion engine and smoke-stack technologies meaning no ill intentions toward Her Majesty, The Queen, or any of her progeny. But, that is what evolution is all about. Life's variations are only allowed to thrive to reproduce when they prove worthy of the result. All the rest are eaten by highly evolved wolves, which in this case may well be the consequences of anthropogenic climate change and over-population.


    Now, I must retire. Diagnostic surgery this morning . Hope I survive, although no chance of me entering into a social contract for human reproduction as a result at my age.
    Last edited by Olderon; 21 Jun 18 at 08:02.

  8. #8
    Forums Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    I might forego having children. Partly to reduce my footprint and partly for the sake of maintaining a high degree of personal freedom and mobility. I think it would be cool to have one genetically engineered child (if I fall in love enough to want a life partner) but I’m not sure that’ll be on the map within the next decade which is the time slot that I’d have kids, if at all.

    I agree with Olderon that we have a good chance of learning how to slow and eventually reverse climate change and that we may spread out into space someday and genetically engineer ourselves. But I think we might in this century and perhaps even into the next continue human population explosion, plastic pollution, massive habitat destruction, deforestation, and the pumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere resulting in most species to go extinct including virtually all major iconic ones. I envision a world of new silent lifeless forests and grasslands and clean oceans three hundred years from now being slowly repopulated by extinct and extirpated species grown in artificial wombs in laboratories and slowly reintroduced into the wild over generations of ecosystem recreation.

    I believe we should prepare for the almost complete destruction of the natural world by harvesting DNA, sperm, and eggs from all species we value and that are crucial to healthy ecosystems. Call it Project Noah’s Ark and pray that mankind in the future promises to every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by the flood of greed and ignorance.


  9. #9
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    I have already foregone having children. I never wanted them, never had any. At age 63, it ain't going to happen now, and I am good with that.

    Overpopulation is a real thing. The birth rate is, fortunately, coming down, but it still has a long way to go. It has been estimated that the Earth could sustainably support about 2 billion people. Sure, technology is currently supporting 7.5 billion, and may have to support 9 or 10 billion soon, but it can't be done indefinitely.

    So, I see not having kids as a good thing.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

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