• Swedneck@discuss.tchncs.de
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    7 days ago

    this comment section is a hell of a ride, but i’ll just state what seems to be a pretty significant thing that everyone just merrily sails past:

    Y’all remember that saying of “it takes a village to raise a child”? That’s why modern parenting sucks, we don’t tend to have villages to help raise our children anymore. We’re not meant to raise kids with maybe at best our partner and some assistance from their grandparents and kindergarden/school, we’re meant to share that load and responsibility among like at least a dozen people and kids are meant to constantly have access to other kids to play with and collectively learn what boundaries are.

  • Twentytwodividedby7@lemmy.world
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    9 days ago

    No, you’re a fool if you truly believe this. Every generation has had some form of this feeling. Imagine considering having children during WW1, or WW2, or during Vietnam or Korea? Then after that we had McCarthyism and the Cold War - all seemingly hopeless days. Yet there is still so much beauty in the world, and there is so much that makes life worth living.

    My son will turn 2 in a few months. It’s tough being a parent, but it is entirely worth it. You cannot give into myopia - every time I hear him laugh, I am reminded that there is good in the world and it is worth fighting for. He will have his own challenges to face in life, but it is our job as a society to equip him, and all of the next generation, with the tools they need to succeed.

    I’m troubled about the future, but you cannot make that stop you from striving for better days. As Marcus Aurelius said, never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

    I’ve been re-reading the Lord of the Rings lately, and there is a lot there on this topic, but I always think back to Sam. We all should be so lucky to have a friend like that, but what he says when all hope seems to be lost is truly striking:

    “It’s like the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad has happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer. I know now folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something. That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

    Tolkien wrote this after his experiences fighting in The Somme. If he could find hope and found the courage to keep striving for better days, then so should we.

      • randomname01@feddit.nl
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        9 days ago

        That’s fair, and not an unreasonable choice. What I can’t get over is people acting like that’s the only reasonable choice, and that people who have children are idiots.

        Just look around in this thread and you’ll see some smug ass attitudes. It kind of reminds me of those 14 year old kids who feel immensely smart because they’re atheist, you know?

        • Lucidlethargy@sh.itjust.works
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          9 days ago

          You’re awfully judgy for someone who doesn’t like other people judging you for having kids.

          Just let people have a difference of opinion to you. It’s okay if some people look down on your choices. This is inevitable in life.

          • randomname01@feddit.nl
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            9 days ago
            1. I don’t even have kids lol
            2. Calling people out for being condescending is not the same as being condescending. This reeks of the same mentality that people who unironically say hating racists makes you hateful and therefore just as bad as racists have.
    • Thrillhouse@lemmy.world
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      9 days ago

      I’d say you can find things that make life worth living if you’re already here. But if someone’s not “here”, why drag someone you’re supposed to love the most into this mess when we can’t even properly look after the children that are already here.

      I’m not anti-child - I’d consider adopting if it didn’t cost like $20k. I’m anti-new child for myself, and yeah I get sad when I see other people have kids, especially now. It’s like having another kid when you lived in the middle of the dust bowl and people were actively dying from starvation and the dust. Probably not the best time to have kids, similar to now. They just couldn’t easily make the choice to not have kids back then.

      There are tons of arguments in favour of having kids like what if they cure cancer etc.

      However, for myself, I truly believe there will be an ecological collapse due to climate change if not during my lifetime, in the immediate next generation. And we’re still not doing enough. I don’t want to flee natural disasters with a child in tow. One of best things you can do for the climate is not have kids. I’m privileged enough to make that choice so I did, but it’s not my only reason. You got late stage capitalism and the accelerating concentration of resources with the hyper wealthy, war / nuclear war, and the fact that pregnancy is one of most risky things I can medically do. Social media, the toxic drug supply, the rise of fascism (again), microplastics in literally fucking everything. I don’t even think we’ll have social healthcare or social security in Canada by the time I die because they’re gutting our programs so badly.

      I get that people have a strong reaction to their choices being called immoral. Morality looks different for everyone. However, the counterargument of “Well I have children and they’re great and bring me so much joy etc” falls on deaf ears, because it truly does not sound like joy to me and when I say I am anti-child for myself I am telling you that. It’s like trying to convince someone skydiving is the greatest thing - some people love it, but not my cup of tea. It is so foreign to me that whenever I hear parents say this it feels like they are trying to convince themselves that they made the right choice.

      • ebc@lemmy.ca
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        9 days ago

        Have you watched Idiocracy? I consider myself a smart guy, and having children is my way to fight against the world getting stupider.

        Also, it is a joy. Yeah, it’s expensive, and yeah, it’s a ton of work. But it’s like working on a very big project that you know you’ll be proud of when it’s done. I didn’t understand it before because I only experienced other people’s children, but it’s different with your own children in a way that’s hard to explain.

        • CommanderCloon@lemmy.ml
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          9 days ago

          What I don’t get is, why not just adopt? Instead of creating more potential for misery, why not reduce it while still being able to enjoy parenthood?

          • yuri@pawb.social
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            9 days ago

            It’s usually exceptionally expensive, especially considering insurance won’t be any help.

            What I don’t get is why people pretend fostering isn’t even an option!

        • Orygin@sh.itjust.works
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          9 days ago

          Idiocracy is eugenics propaganda. People don’t get dumber because of their genes but because of worse education.
          Like the other commenter said, adopt if you want to improve the world (and not just your own life), but that’s harder without the biological attachment that comes from your own kids.

          (Not trying to be rude btw, just noting generally my thoughts)

    • theonyltruemupf@feddit.de
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      9 days ago

      I don’t want to have kids simply because I’m miserable and never consented to being born. I am not suicidal but I would have rather not been born in the first place.
      Most people grow up happier than me, so I can’t really make a philosophical argument out of my own experience. All the best to you and your family!

    • Femcowboy@lemm.ee
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      9 days ago

      I’d have to disagree from the angle that, you cannot philoshpy your way out of ecology. If you actually look at a population graph for any species which experiences a massive spike in birthrates, and what comes for them afterwards, you would probably come to a conclusion that the rate at which we’ve been producing kids is very unsustainable, and while we probably shouldn’t tell people not to have kids completely we should probably begin to consider how to transition towards more sustainable population numbers. A given ecosystem can only sustain so much of one species before it begins to break down. Our Eco system is the entire world and it is very much breaking down as we hit record temperatures year after year. There were lights at ends of tunnels during every war as they’ve always like, ended with a winning side that could rebuild/regrow, and even ecological collapses have been recovered from by humans but we’re not going to get to be the humans that recover, and it doesn’t look like our kids will be either. So, if we want to have kinda okay lives we should maybe consider minimizing the impact from what is about to happen, and also not bringing children into a world that has pretty much no chance of being better for them than it was for us.

      • Prunebutt@slrpnk.net
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        9 days ago

        You’re conflating population growth with capitalistic and exploitative growth. the fact that we’re destroying our ecology does have little to do with the population and everything to do with capitalist overextraction.

            • Thrillhouse@lemmy.world
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              9 days ago

              I’m being a little snide but yeah supply and demand right? If the population reduces it impacts the demand for products and also the supply of workers.

              Capitalists aren’t going to stop ruining the earth out of the goodness of their hearts or anything.

              • randomname01@feddit.nl
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                9 days ago

                I get that less workers would mean more power to the workers, but avoiding having kids to limit the supply of workers seems, idk, fucking weird and also weirdly passive?

                You can protest, join a union, start a workers co-op or organise in different ways, but that takes effort. Or you could not have kids, which takes less effort than having kids, and say it’s praxis? Idk, to me this feels like packaging your own personal choice as a grand political stand, as if you would jump at the opportunity to have kids if we lived in a socialist society.

                Also, to counter your point, historically a lot of protest and unrest came from a dissatisfied populace with not enough job opportunities. So by that logic you should just pop out kids so they’ll be a part of the revolution. I don’t believe this, to be clear, but I mention it as a way to illustrate that basing your decision to have kids on how it will affect the supply and demand of labour is really fucking weird, and also not even something with a predictable outcome.

                • Thrillhouse@lemmy.world
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                  9 days ago

                  Oh my heavens no it’s not the only reason not to have kids and it’s not even factor #1 for me as a reason to not. Just one factor among many.

                  But this part of the thread started with a claim, as I understood it, that population growth wasn’t the problem - that the problem was instead capitalistic exploitation.

                  I’m just pointing out that limiting one could solve the other. Because I don’t think the oligarchs who rule the world will ever let us protest/unrest in a meaningful way again. People are kept just comfortable enough with fast food, Starbucks, entertainment, etc and just tired enough from selling labour that the vast majority of people wouldn’t care or engage with any sort of meaningful reform to the system.

                  We can’t even get people to engage in not electing King Fascist (US) and far-right populist Milhouse (Canada). For what reason??? Our other alternatives are middling, one is too old and in Canada I think they’re just tired of the tone and the tone deafness of our current guy. Seems like pretty lame excuses peddled by media that is owned by the very same oligarchs who stand to benefit the most from far right governments. The recent news in the UK and France makes it sting a little less, I guess.

                  How bad are we prepared to let things get? It’s gonna have to get pretty ugly at a local level for any meaningful change to happen.

        • Femcowboy@lemm.ee
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          9 days ago

          Socialism would no doubt increase the planets carrying capacity for humans, but not make it limitless. It is also nowhere near close to being implemented so I am assessing the world that we have, not the one I’d like it to be. Also, even if we did away with capitalism tomorrow we’d probably still need to discuss reasonable population growth and come up with a reasonable estimate for our planet’s carrying capacity which could be weighed against quality of life, human happiness, etc as we transition our economy away from late stage capitalism.

          • Prunebutt@slrpnk.net
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            9 days ago

            I’d argue that it’s more likely that capitalism is abolished tomorrow than any government having a proposed solution to population control that’s not fundamentally evil.

            • Femcowboy@lemm.ee
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              9 days ago

              I wouldn’t. Really all post industrial countries need to do is stop trying to directly insentivize having kids and maybe provide access to free/low cost contraceptives. I think that’s a lot easier than having socialism implemented in enough countries for it to matter.

    • TotallynotJessica@lemmy.world
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      9 days ago

      I agree that having kids can be awesome, but the idea it’s foolish to see it as a waste of time is shitty as well. OP is perfectly reasonable to find it terrible, because for many people, it is. People are less happy after having children on average, as alien and counterintuitive as it may seem to you. It’s a spectrum, with many people actually being happier, or at least more content with their life after. However, many people don’t.

      The problem is that people make the mistake of seeing children as a means rather than an end. If they knew the truth, that raising children is the end goal for a parent rather than a step to something else, they wouldn’t want to do it. Those people shouldn’t be mislead. If you won’t get satisfaction out of nurturing your kid, it’s better for both you and your potential offspring that you live your own life. The kid might grow up and love life, but both of you will suffer for it.

      Someone else, someone who really wants to change diapers and deal with tantrums to see a human grow, can raise the next generation just fine. If you want to pass on genes or whatever, but see no purpose beyond that, then have someone adopt them and be on your way. It’d be a win-win for us both.

      • randomname01@feddit.nl
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        9 days ago

        OP is claiming having children is wrong, in other words that people who have children are wrong. They’re not saying that it’s not for them but might be the right choice for others, but rather that their own choice is the right one.

        • KyuubiNoKitsune@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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          9 days ago

          Life is a painful mess, no matter what you do, you can’t guarantee that your child won’t have the most horrid existence imaginable, rolling the dice on someone else’s life due to your own selfish need to procreate is what they’re saying is wrong. I regret that my mom had me, life has been a living hell, nothing short of her not having me would have changed that.

          • randomname01@feddit.nl
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            9 days ago

            Your life is a painful mess and you’re generalising that to everyone. I’m sorry you’re unhappy about your life, but that really isn’t an argument about other people having children.

            Life can be painful, it can be beautiful, it can be dull or exciting, or anything in between. It’s not inherently negative or positive, as you’re claiming.

            • KyuubiNoKitsune@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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              9 days ago

              The point is lost on you. I genuinely hope your kid has a good life, but I personally would never gamble someone else’s life for my own selfish wants, and I can’t reconcile others decisions to do so either.

              • randomname01@feddit.nl
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                9 days ago

                But you’re basing that on your own negative experiences in life, and you’re acting like they’re objective and universal.

                Also, by that logic you shouldn’t do anything that could potentially cascade into making someone else unhappy, which would be absolutely debilitating.

                Don’t get me wrong, I get that you should think twice, thrice and even more about having kids, especially if you’re not in a position to give them a good life and/or if you have certain heritable issues. But your overall position seems overly negative and, idk, somewhat misanthropic? In your worldview humanity should just stop existing because people can be unhappy in life. It’s overly reductive and negative to me.

                • msage@programming.dev
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                  8 days ago

                  Everybody is basing their opinions on their own experience.

                  I find it hilarious that you can argue your own experience is any different.

                  To better explain the argument: they are not saying “it’s 50:50 the child will suffer”, they mean “there is obviously a non-zero chance that children will suffer”, which is absolutely true. It’s up to the individual to consider their situation (money, time, temper, parental knowledge, genetic diseases etc) to gauge how much more may their children have it worse than average.

                  And I would say that many children do indeed suffer, and many don’t have the conditions that I personally would consider ideal.

                  But having a child is always on their respective parents. Morality won’t change their minds.

        • TotallynotJessica@lemmy.world
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          9 days ago

          And OP is wrong to claim that. Both of your gut feelings about what is correct for you are valid, but you’re both talking past each other emotionally. Your comment sounded condescending to me, and I actually wish I could have kids.

  • madcaesar@lemmy.world
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    9 days ago

    Ah yes, it’s not the billionaires, corrupt politicians and massive industry inefficiency that’s causing our problems, it’s children!!!

    I swear to God, reading stupidity from people I expect to be on my side of the political divide hurts especially bad.

    • NegativeInf@lemmy.world
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      9 days ago

      Just think of all them empty mines, sad and alone, only wanting to be filled with the sound of children coughing themselves to death from black lung.

    • sexy_peach@beehaw.org
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      9 days ago

      People have children because they want to, not for growth. In a relatively stable society most people don’t even have many children…

      • u/lukmly013 💾 (lemmy.sdf.org)@lemmy.sdf.org
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        9 days ago

        “If I didn’t have children, who’d take care of me when I get old?”
        “If we didn’t have children, who’d work for our pensions and keep society running when we retire?”
        “I want to live a happy life after I retire, and you (young people) are obliged to provide that.”

        Real words I heard.
        A lot of people have kids mostly for future-proofing themselves.

      • Zacryon@lemmy.wtf
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        9 days ago

        India: “I need many children to support my everyday life and me when I’m old.”

        Germany: “wtf are children?”

        (A bit exaggerated of course, but should illustrate your point.)

      • belated_frog_pants@beehaw.org
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        9 days ago

        Access to opportunities and birth control drop birthrates.

        Lots and lots of poor countries have large populations because poor parents are hoping many children can work. Also lack of access to birth control and far right groups insisting children are a religious necessity.

    • EfreetSK@lemmy.world
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      9 days ago

      I’m sure that big bad capitalists will be sad of you not having kids and spending all your time and money on movies, games, traveling, …

    • Lucidlethargy@sh.itjust.works
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      9 days ago

      Lol, I’m not far-left but I do love comments like these.

      It’s important to note that capitalism is far from the only major exploitative system in the world. This said, I’m part of that particular system, and yes… It truly does feel like we’re just cogs in an ever-hungry, broken system.

    • Wes4Humanity@lemm.ee
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      9 days ago

      Yes… But should they get that choice?

      If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make it so every 12 year old that could make sperm (trans, cis, whatever) gets a reversible vasectomy automatically. Then, if/when they ever want and plan for starting a family, they can take the class on childhood development and how to be a good parent who raises not shitty humans. If they pass, great! They get to undo the vasectomy and try for a family. If not, oh well, no one wanted to have to support your shitty kids in the first place.

      I have no idea how something like this could ever actually be implemented in a fair way… Hense the need for the magic wand

      • Prunebutt@slrpnk.net
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        9 days ago

        How about we fix the fucking society, so raising children isn’t so fucking volatile instead of thinking up some wand of eugenics +2?

            • Wes4Humanity@lemm.ee
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              8 days ago

              Nah… Not sure what you think those words mean, but no one’s talking about genetics or the eradication of a race of people.

              • Umbrias@beehaw.org
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                7 days ago

                Ah of course, my mistake.

                Eugenics certainly couldn’t be checks notes deciding who can have kids, and humans arent checks notes people.

                Absolutely ridiculous. Imagine actually being pro genocide.

      • TotallynotJessica@lemmy.world
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        9 days ago

        Yes. Ultimately, the reason we should let people choose isn’t to prevent people who would be bad parents from becoming parents. That’s an issue that couldn’t be solved directly, but could be indirectly addressed by providing comprehensive sex ed. The real reason we should let people choose is so people aren’t forced to do or not do something they don’t or do want. People may choose the wrong option for themselves and regret it, but outside forces aren’t going to know what they want better than they will.

        Magical thought experiments can often mislead, as ethics cannot exist outside of our uncertain, unmagical reality.

        • Wes4Humanity@lemm.ee
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          8 days ago

          But in this case the “wrong option” means a human being will suffer terribly (assuming we’re talking about parents who wouldn’t pass the test)… Do we not ethically owe it to children/humanity to take some level of precautions against allowing them to grow up in hell?

          • TotallynotJessica@lemmy.world
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            8 days ago

            We do owe them protection, but not only do we owe ourselves reproductive rights, there are other ways to protect those children. We can give people the knowledge and resources to be better parents while taking kids away from those that still suck. How many parents largely suck because of poverty? How many never got the chance to learn how to parent or what the experience will be like?

    • spujb@lemmy.cafe
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      9 days ago

      correct. i would have no problem if this post and the subsequent comments defending it didn’t use the words “wrong” and “immoral.” but they do and that’s fascist territory.

      • Katrisia@lemm.ee
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        8 days ago

        It is discussed with those words because it has been transformed into an ethical question. It is a personal freedom, but it can be asked how ethically correct or incorrect that action is aside from our current laws or [cultural/social] morality.

        It’s about wonder, ponder. I think that’s always important, even for things that seem taboo at first.

    • CriticalMiss@lemmy.world
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      9 days ago

      I guess each person has a different approach to antinatalism. I don’t want to bring children into the world because unlike many people who outright lie, I do not think it will bring me joy. I’m also scared that if I bring a child into this world and it will suffer as much as I currently do, I won’t be able to live with the blame.

      • OBJECTION!@lemmy.ml
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        9 days ago

        Antinatalism isn’t just a personal decision to not have kids, it’s an ideological belief that having kids is morally wrong.

        • Arkaelus@lemmy.world
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          This is an overgeneralisation which completely misses the nuance. Antinatalism does not postulate that it’s morally wrong to procreate, only that it is morally wrong to bring another human consciousness into a soup of suffering, which… yeah, kinda’! I mean, is the world not presently a soup of suffering, with extra helpings on the way?

          Personally, I doubt most people who subscribe to Antinatalism would do so if society weren’t literally a hell hole right now.

            • Arkaelus@lemmy.world
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              9 days ago

              The world as it is now, yes. But this is far from the only option, thus the world is not an inevitable soup of suffering. So, no.

              • Katrisia@lemm.ee
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                8 days ago

                Unless you’re both an antinatalist and a philosophical pessimist and believe that the world will always be that soup. But yeah, that’s not the case for all antinatalists. A friend of mine calls himself a “temporary antinatalist”.

                • Arkaelus@lemmy.world
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                  8 days ago

                  True. I guess the distinction, though semantically redundant, seems to be contextually necessary nowadays…

          • JoeBigelow@lemmy.ca
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            9 days ago

            The problem with that argument is that the world has ALWAYS been a terrible place for the vast majority of people to live, at least since the industrial revolution and arguably since the agricultural revolution. The now vanishing middle class, an artifact of post war economic boom, was about the only time ever it was “morally right” to have a child because chances were very good that they would lead a life of even less suffering than their parents. I chose not to have kids because I agree that the world is headed in a bad direction, but more so because of my financial situation as a working class person, and my mental health as a result of a decade working check to check. If I were in the situation my parents were when I was born, I truly think the equation would work out differently.

            • Arkaelus@lemmy.world
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              I have to disagree with the idea that the world has always been a terrible place. Actually building upon what you’ve said subsequently, the world itself isn’t terrible, it’s just a rock with some moss and critters on it, the systems we’ve created for ourselves are terrible. That’s exactly the nuance to which I was referring in my initial comment, Antinatalism isn’t universally applicable to all existing and potential existential contexts.