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Do You Have Children?

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Do you have children? How young?  

214 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have children? How young?

    • My youngest is 3 or less
      20
    • My youngest is between 4 and 5
      10
    • My youngest is between 6 and 8
      7
    • My youngest is between 9 and 10
      1
    • My youngest is between 11 and 13
      2
    • My youngest is between 14 and 18
      6
    • My youngest is over 18
      8
    • Married, no kids
      16
    • If pets count, count me in!
      42
    • None of the above
      68


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I'm with Felipe on this one. Humans don't HAVE instincts. (We do have reflexes.)Since when is humility a good thing? And children don't teach, although they can draw your attention to things you don't know and haven't thought to study.

I suspect Robert intended all of that in a benevolent fashion, but still.

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Depends what "teach" means. If teach means: "is an element of reality from which the parent learns", that would be true. Being a parent teaches patience and an benevolent openness to the mistakes of others. One can also learn what "tabula rasa" really means :) . One is able to really chew on how a human being develops into a thinking, rational being.

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Depends what "teach" means. If teach means: "is an element of reality from which the parent learns", that would be true. Being a parent teaches patience and an benevolent openness to the mistakes of others. One can also learn what "tabula rasa" really means :) . One is able to really chew on how a human being develops into a thinking, rational being.

Having children is an inherently selfish act in the Objectivist sense. It's neat for you and your spouse to make little yous. It brings a great sense of joy and fulfillment. As to their upbringing, I have found that if you let them think on their own (with some guidance and discipline, of course) rational thought seems to come almost naturally. Sometimes it did not seem that way when they were teenagers(see discipline comment above), but I couldn't be more proud of them now. Most of you are probably are about the same age as my children and I suspect that many of you were raised in a similar way. I am proud of you ,too.

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I consider that child rearing is probably THE most important productive activity that human dose – to produce another independent and productive human being. Though not everyone it well suited for this endeavor.

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His name is Ethan Aaron & because I am a very annoyingly doting father I am going to provide a link to some pix of him right here:)

I think it's great that you are getting him started on the "axe" early! :D I wish I had.

My son is 17 and he's a rather good trumpet player. While he has little interest in learning guitar, he does want to learn to play a bass.

A couple of my son:

Portrait

Indy Parade

[Edit - Added Pic Links - RC]

Edited by RationalCop

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i'm a bit late on this post...just wanted to say about all the children's pics...

AAAAWWWWWW...... all i have right now are two cute hamsters ...Nina and Hammie....while i consider them my little darlings ...i look forward to having a human baby someday...not for a few years though.

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While he has little interest in learning guitar, he does want to learn to play a bass.

Smart kid who values being able to get a gig over being able to get a date. So few of us . . .

[ducking to dodge the bottles being hurled at me by guitar players]

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Smart kid who values being able to get a gig over being able to get a date.  So few of us . . .

[ducking to dodge the bottles being hurled at me by guitar players]

The argument would be that once you get gigs, the dates naturally follow... :thumbsup:

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Here are a bunch of my 3 1/2 year old, mostly vacationing in China.

A.West, I remember seeing those pix! Your daughter is absolutely beautiful.

I think it's great that you are getting him started on the "axe" early! :)  I wish I had.

It's fun. I did promise myself I wouldn't force my optional values on him; just give him the tools & opportunity & let him decide. I will probably make him take piano lessons; but that's a good general education thing regardless of whether or not he pursues music more seriously.

So far he has 2 guitars, a uke, a drum set, & a piano. & of course he usually wants to play my guitars & piano. It's hysterical to watch him climb up on the bench, bang on the keys & sing "The Alphabet Song". :lol:

My son is 17 and he's a rather good trumpet player.  While he has little interest in learning guitar, he does want to learn to play a bass.

Thanks for sharing the great pix! Good stuff; it's wonderful he is in the marching band!

Smart kid who values being able to get a gig over being able to get a date. So few of us . . .

[ducking to dodge the bottles being hurled at me by guitar players]

OK, wise guy!!! :P (Hurls virtual bottle) :lol:

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Not sure what you mean by "important". If child-rearing is of great significance or value, then why is it so.. i.e. how does one derive this from one's heirarchy of values and is it an optional value.

Good question. I guess collectively (ha) as human race, reproduction is probably THE most important thing. But for each individual, the highest value can be different.

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... for each individual, the highest value can be different
More than "can be", I'd say "would usually be". Child-rearing is a very specific activity. When it comes to productive life-long passions, there are many other optional choices that are equally challenging or more challenging, while being productive. The choices are too many to list: discovering a cure for a disease, figuring how to extract oil from shale for $1 per barrel, building a company, writing a novel, etc.

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So far he has 2 guitars, a uke, a drum set, & a piano.  & of course he usually wants to play my guitars & piano.  It's hysterical to watch him climb up on the bench, bang on the keys & sing "The Alphabet Song".  :lol:

Thanks for sharing the great pix!  Good stuff; it's wonderful he is in the marching band!

I started learning guitar opposite most guitarists. I started on an electric and then an acoustic. I love my Martin DM and especially my Martin 000CX-1E. Consequently, I don't spend much time on the Strat anymore.

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My wife and I chose to have a child, after several years married without children.

For me, marriage came late in life, and that complicated the decision to have children, in addition to the ethical matter of whether this kind of world is one in which I would want to subject a new human. There is no certainty that I'll be around to see my daughter graduate high school, but we thought long and hard about the ethics and came to the decision that our daughter just might contribute something of value to humanity, whether it be political, artistic or science-related.

Regardless, we are pleased that we have a little girl now. Amanda Rose is the cutest, most adorable child and she makes me laugh a hundred times a day. Just to pick her up and cuddle her warms my heart. The wife and I sometimes bicker a bit over feedings and cleaning up her mess, but overall, we both realize she is good for us. I'm glad we chose to have a child.

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Good to see a few others with kids in the same age-group as our 7-year old.

When my son was born, I thought it would be nice to keep some record of his early years, but not something that we would never look at later. For instance, when I use video, I try not too shoot too much -- or if I do -- I edit it down to the basics.

Another idea I hit upon was to tape-record important things. It turned out to be a record not just of events in his life, but things happening to all of us in the family. I chose tape because it is easy to implement. I keep a recorder in my car. Every few months I might record something. To listen is equally easy.

Now, I've been toying with another medium: blogs. "My son should have a blog", I thought. It would be a to share things with friends and family than a record for the future. Of course he won't do it. I'd like to write in his "voice" as far as possible. Anyhow, I started it today. Not sure if I'll have the enthusiam to continue it. I wondered if any other parent finds the idea interesting. We could have a kids blog... just for fun!

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This isn't entirely relevant but your post reminded me of an interesting movie with Robin Williams, The Final Cut.

** Spoilers Follow **

The essence of the movie is the idea of parents having a special high density digital chip implanted in their children's heads shortly after birth that records *every* perception that they have, which can be used after their deaths for a "this is your life" kind of video. Because of the obviously sensitive nature of the data, only specially trained individuals are permitted to see and edit this information.

A scary idea and not one I'd endorse, but I figured that other science fiction fans could appreciate the irony of it - recording a life pushed to the extreme.

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Moved here, from another thread.

I don't understand your logic. As an Objectivist, you should embrace homosexuality as the ultimate ideal. I'm not gay, nor am I an Objectivist, but if you are an Objectivist, it seems to follow that, 1.) having children is an altruistic act to further the human race, 2.) by not having children, one is able to pursue their own, pure, self-interest, without the burden and responsibility brought on by having them, 3.) the function of heterosexuality is to have children, 4.) therefore, heterosexuality, for the purpose of having children, lacks any kind of self-interested value (and only holds value as a selfless act). If you're not heterosexual for the sake of having children, then there's no reason for heterosexuality. Of course, at the same time, there's no reason for homosexuality either, but that just makes them rationally equal. If you argue that it's in ones nature to pursue the opposite sex then 1.) reality seems to indicate otherwise, 2.) isn't that an argument for determinism?
Not only is this not true for an Objectivist, but I haven't actually met a non-Objectivist who wanted to have children "to further the human race". Edited by softwareNerd

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To elaborate on WHY it isn't true, there is no reason why child bearing and self-interest are mutually exclusive. The idea that they are seems to suggest that there is no possible universe in which children can be wanted by both parents which is just silly. A LOT of children are wanted by their parents and a lot of people want children as evidenced by fertility clinics, adoption agencies, etc.

Assuming that a person wants a children for X reason is also silly. Do some people harbor the disgusting altruistic idea that they want to have children for the good of the tribe or some such primitivist nonsense? Sure. I'm sure some wackos hold that view. Do some people want children for purely selfish reasons? Sure.

Do some people hold a mix of altruistic and selfish feelings? Sure. There isn't anything indicating that a person must want a child for altruistic reasons by nature of holding that desire, however. A variety of premises are possible so assuming that child rearing is inherently a self-less act ignores the many potential reasons that go into the decision calculus that people use when deciding whether or not to have a baby.

Edited by Evan

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Very funny.

What about this one:

The Shining

But back to the issue at hand:

The idea that they are seems to suggest that there is no possible universe in which children can be wanted by both parents which is just silly. A LOT of children are wanted by their parents and a lot of people want children as evidenced by fertility clinics, adoption agencies, etc.
Just because something is wanted doesn't mean that it is justified. You can't say, "A LOT of people want cocaine and a lot of people want it as evidenced by the prices they are willing to pay."

Assuming that a person wants a children for X reason is also silly.

So there are no reasons for wanting children? Or some people just don't have reasons? The don't have a choice? They simply must reproduce?

Do some people harbor the disgusting altruistic idea that they want to have children for the good of the tribe or some such primitivist nonsense? Sure. I'm sure some wackos hold that view. Do some people want children for purely selfish reasons? Sure.
Ok, so those who want children for purely selfish reasons... what are their selfish reasons? To create someone in their likeness? To spread their seed? To bring joy into their life? If it's to bring joy into their life, how will that child bring joy? By acting like them? By their subordination? By creating life? By making parents proud? By having someone to take care of them when they get older? What could those parents have done if they didn't have the responsibility of children? Tahiti every year for 2 weeks? Travelling across the world? Doing whatever the hell they wanted? Writing a novel? Chasing their own, selfish dreams? Ask any parent, having a child is an enormous sacrifice.

Do some people hold a mix of altruistic and selfish feelings? Sure. There isn't anything indicating that a person must want a child for altruistic reasons by nature of holding that desire, however. A variety of premises are possible so assuming that child rearing is inherently a self-less act ignores the many potential reasons that go into the decision calculus that people use when deciding whether or not to have a baby.

I've named some "self-interested" reasons for having children and I believe all of the reasons I've mentioned are either 1.) irrational or 2.) outweighed by the value of not having children.

Ayn Rand chose not to have children. This is HER philosophy. If you are a true Objectivist, then we wouldn't be in disagreement. (I'm poking fun here, because it seems that a lot of individuals on this forum (whether it be the philosophical principles or the application of philosophy) find it convenient to say one thing ("This is Ayn Rand's philosophy and you cannot ammend it or act any differently than she would have acted") and at times, say another ("Having children is a rational choice for an Objectivist").

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I'm poking fun here, because it seems that a lot of individuals on this forum... find it convenient to say one thing ("This is Ayn Rand's philosophy and you cannot ammend it or act any differently than she would have acted") and at times, say another ("Having children is a rational choice for an Objectivist").
As you know, Objectivism was Ayn Rand's creation and given that she is now dead, nobody can ammend Objectivism. You could start another philosophy and call it something else, but that wouldn't be Objectivism. Concerning your assertion that individuals on this forum say that you can't act any differently from how Ayn Rand would have acted..... well, I've never heard an Objectivist make that statement. Maybe you can show me an example?

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As you know, Objectivism was Ayn Rand's creation and given that she is now dead, nobody can ammend Objectivism. You could start another philosophy and call it something else, but that wouldn't be Objectivism. Concerning your assertion that individuals on this forum say that you can't act any differently from how Ayn Rand would have acted..... well, I've never heard an Objectivist make that statement. Maybe you can show me an example?

Well, I think this is one. I realize that different individuals are able to value different things, but every designation of value is tied ultimately to reason. And you may say that Ayn Rand's environment led to her rational decision to abstain from having children, and that your own environment allows for an equally rational decision to have children, but having children is an enormously important decision. This isn't deciding between whether you value soccer or football more. This is reproduction. This is one of the most fundamental qualities of life. This was an enormously important decision and I think it speaks volumes.

I'd still like someone to point out a situation that shows how one is able to do more by having a child or point out where one has more freedom as a result of raising a child?

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I'd still like someone to point out a situation that shows how one is able to do more by having a child or point out where one has more freedom as a result of raising a child?

"Do more": Well, many things one can do with one's kid (not all) is the "more". That is the end, not the means to something else. So, you make the commitment, change the diapers, etc. because of all the other good stuff that comes as a package deal.

"Freedom": :D Kids are a big commitment. That's why it's so important to be sure about your choice. If you agree to go to a movie with friend, that "curtails your freedom" in the extremely narrow sense that you have made a commitment of your time. Does that mean you should not make such a commitment?

Of course, having a child is a many orders of magnitude above that!! The principle is similar, though.

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