ASK A QUESTION

RECENT RESPONSES

CONCEPT CLOUD






  • Panelist Login

Do we have a right to procreate?

Life can be a pretty difficult journey. What right do we have to decide that another person should go through it? Even if in good faith we wish our children health and happiness, we know that some suffering is inevitably part of life. If for example I know that my child will inherit with 99% probability a very painful disease: can I be held responsible for his/her suffering? What if the probability is 50%? what about 1%? What about the 100% certainty of death: aren't I responsible for the effects that I know will surely result from my actions? Life can also be quite unpredictable, who knows what will be of our world in 80 years. Isn't having a kid placing a bet (hopefully benevolent) on someone's else life? Does it even make sense to say that I do something for the well being of someone who doesn't exist yet? Isn't having a kid a very selfish thing, something we do out of our present desires (or fears) which will cause the suffering of another human being?

I hope somebody will tackle these (many!) question (or at least some of them).

Thanks

October 3, 2009

Response from Oliver Leaman on October 8, 2009

There is a Jewish joke that suggests that it would be better never to have been born rather than to live and then die, but who is so lucky? Many issues are raised here, but for most people it might be hoped that there are more pleasant than unpleasant aspects of life, and so playing a role in bringing them to that life is not such a grim choice as is suggested here. The fact that some suffering will occur does not mean that there will be so much that life itself becomes unbearable. Unless one has any special reason to think that one's child will be subject to special problems of this kind, procreation is not necessarily going to be as grim as you suggest. In fact, if you are going to concentrate on suffering you might want to look not so much at the child as at the parents!


Print PRINT Send2friends E-MAIL
E-MAIL THIS ENTRY

Recipient's e-address: required
(separate multiple e-addresses with commas)
Your name: required
Your e-address: required

Track TRACK

TRACK THIS ENTRY

If you provide your e-mail address, you will be automatically notified whenever this question receives a response. Your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose, and it will not be given or sold to anyone.

E-mail:

SHARE
SHARE THIS ENTRY

del.icio.us
Digg! Digg
Facebook
Twitter
reddit
StumbleUpon