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Should We Have Children?

April 7, 2021 at 6:00 pm EDT

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On April 7, Taylor Pullinger returns to lead a discussion on the meaning and merits of having children in light of all it entails. 
How did you come to exist in this world? In all likelihood it’s because your parents had a child, and their parents had a child, and their parents had a child… you get the picture.

Should we keep this family tradition going?

In the modern day, with contraception so widely available, many people choose to structure their lives around loftier goals than the domesticity of child-rearing. Women in particular have many more opportunities than ever before. We climb the corporate ladder, build companies that will change the world, and tackle problems so much greater than just ourselves. Who has the time or energy to spend singing The Wheels on the Bus with a snotty toddler for the 487th time?

What about resources?! Children are expensive! And the last thing our straining Earth needs is another mouth to feed, another human spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Is it even ethical to bring a child into a world soon to be ravaged by the effects of climate change?

If you really want a child that badly, why not adopt? What’s so special about any of our genes that they should be the ones to propagate to the next generation? Anyway, childbirth is generally considered quite unpleasant and even today can be risky for the mother’s health—you could just skip that part.

Sure, parents will tell you having a child was the best decision they ever made and that helping a small human discover the wonders of the world is a delight. That’s all good and well, but what if you have a child who ends up having a life of misery, wishing it had never been born? Are you sure you want to subject someone to the trials of existence without their consent?

But then again… without our own parents committing that very act, where would any of us be?

If you’ve had a child, are wondering if you should have a child, or once were a child yourself, we look forward to hearing your perspectives in this Interintellect Salon hosted by Taylor Pullinger.

Reading List

Cover image: Mother and Child by Mary Cassatt ca. 1889


April 7, 2021
6:00 pm EDT
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