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Is it ethical to have children if you believe their lives will suck?

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's personal reflections on the decision to have children, particularly in the context of concerns about the future, such as the housing crisis, global warming, and the consequences of late capitalism. It explores the ethical dilemma of whether it is right to have children if the future is expected to be bleak.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The decision to have children

1. What are some of the reasons people in the author's friend group have for not wanting to have children?

  • Lack of money
  • Not having a proper house
  • Not feeling ready
  • Belief that the future is going to be bad

2. How does the author view the decision to have children?

  • The author believes having children is a deeply personal decision.
  • The author acknowledges that the uncertainty of the future is an important factor to consider when making this decision.

3. What thought experiment does the author present to explore the ethics of having children in a bleak future?

  • The author imagines a scenario where a child would live an absolutely miserable life, with endless suffering and no joy. The author questions whether it would be ethical to bring such a child into the world.

4. What insight does the author gain from this pondering?

  • The author realizes that even though the future may be worse than the present, it would still be better than some past eras, and the author would choose to live those worse lives over not living at all.

5. Does the author plan to have children?

  • No, the author says they can't afford it.

[02] The ethics of having children in a bleak future

1. What is the key question the author grapples with?

  • At what point does it become unethical to have children if the future is expected to be bleak?

2. What are the author's thoughts on this question?

  • The author admits they couldn't reach a satisfying intellectual answer to this question.
  • The author notes that even without the future uncertainty factor, the ethics of having children in a bleak future is still a very personal decision.
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