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Natalism

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"Natalism (also called pronatalism or the pro-birth position) is a belief that promotes human reproduction."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalism

 

What is the Objectivist take on this?

 

One the one hand, you could do a cost-benefit analysis to determine the optimal number of children that would provide happiness and fulfillment.

 

On the other hand, it seems like a pretty basic application of the virtue of productivity.

 

On the other hand, the modern welfare state has pretty much rendered children a tragedy of the commons. (Taxes support the aged.)

 

What are your thoughts.

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Kids can be a huge value and being a parent can be very satisfying. However, there are all sorts of values people can pursue, and its legitimate to decide to choose to do other things with one's time. There are an endless number of ways to be purposeful and productive. 

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Let's go with that analogy for a moment. Suppose having kids is like owning a car.

 

Now compare two contexts:

 

A) Living in the city with subways and busses, short commutes, and expensive parking, and

 

B) Living in the suburbs with no public transportation, long commutes, and free parking.

 

Seems pretty obvious that people in situation A would value car ownership less than those in situation B entirely apart from any hierarchy of values. There is an objective difference in owning a car in each situation.

 

This comparison, though, is not exactly analogous to having children, though.

 

Consider another comparison:

 

C) Cars are a shared resource (i.e. communism).

 

D) Cars are private property (i.e. capitalism).

 

In context C you'd be an idiot to buy and maintain a car since anyone can take it at anytime and you can claim any other car. But you know where that will lead. That's the short term, rational choice. But you can see that, longer term, C is not a stable situation.

Edited by hernan
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I would say that "Natalism" is a manufactured concept that doesn't pass Rand's Razor.  I believe this is what whYNOT means.  It's a phrase that has an "-ism" added to it in an attempt to give it some scholarly validity.

 

Having children is "Natalism" ?  Really?  We need a separate, unique concept to define reproduction?  Sounds rather academic to me....

Edited by New Buddha
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