Rafa\’s Corner of Nonsense, Part Deux

… where Rafa\’s thoughts see the light of day…

Having children: the most egoistic act in the world


Many people believe, for whatever misguided reasons, that having children is one of the more selfless and ennobling acts a human being can undertake; that it is the deposition of the self for the sake of another. The way I see it, having children is the single most egoistic, self-centered thing a person can do.

You may ask parents why they had children: reasons will vary from “I wanted to bring a child into the world so he or she could grow up to be a good person,” to “I wanted to have a piece of me and my husband/wife to give to the world.”

While these may sound altruistic at first glance, they are innately egoistic reasons: the truth is, having children makes the parents happy, it satisfies their desires to be good parents, to “give to society,” to have a part of them live on in the world.

In fact, bringing innocent life into this shitty world is probably the cruelest act a human being can inflict on someone else; this world is teeming with misery, full to the rafters of unloved, uncared-for children that will never know a happy existence, and yet people, in their self-centered ignorance, deem it necessary to bring forth more life into this hapless planet. Why? What is the use?

In my opinion, adopting children is the more noble act; while you may argue that people’s motivations for becoming parents are still pretty much due to self-satisfaction, it is inarguable that Man is a hedonistic animal and in its roots, even the most seemingly altruistic act is done to bring some degree of pleasure to the doer. However, in the realm of self-serving acts, adopting a child means removing him or her from an environment where he or she is probably unloved, or not taken care of as he or she should be; it means introducing a child into a home of full of love, of people who are willingly take on the responsibilities of parenthood and who will probably improve that child’s life tenfold, and thus help in reducing some of the crappiness that prevails in the world.

If the world were even half-way decent, there would be a moratorium on having children until after all abandoned and orphaned children had found themselves a loving home… but, alas, the world is yet far, far away from being even half-way decent.


Sorry I didn’t bring the funny today; I just had to vent. 🙂


October 4, 2004 - Posted by | Rant


  1. Well, your suggestion of a moratorium on the birth of children until every single one of them has been taken care of is interesting and in an ideal world, worthy of consideration.

    However, the instinct to procreate is too powerful. The procreation of children is the most basic of all instincts in the animal world. Our DNA wants to replicate, to preserve itself, and I think that even if we tried what you say, it would somehow feel wrong to most people. Our DNA has hardwired us in such a way to replicate, that it would take a really disciplined couple to control this urge.

    If you think about it, having a child is the greatest of all responsibilites: to take care of another human being. You are right, people make babies, and they don’t even stop to consider the big daunting task ahead of them. I mean, do you really think the idea of cleaning the shit out of a baby, not getting any sleep because of the crying, the pressure of thinking that something may happen to the child and all those things are the idea of fun? No, I did not think so. But I believe our instinct to procreate is so powerful that it makes us forget about those things, and even rationalize why we want any children.

    My girlfriend insists that she does not want any children. Ever. I agree, and I don’t have a problem with it. I’m just curious to see if we’ll ever change our opinion, and what our justification would be…

    Comment by Cesar | October 4, 2004 | Reply

  2. Hehe, well, the idea of the moratorium is obviously a “Wouldn’t it be great if…?” type of idea, like for instance, “Wouldn’t it be great if Céline Dion stopped singing about her baby?”, or “Wouldn’t it be great if George Lucas hadn’t directed a single Star Wars movie?” In other words, a nice wish that is nonetheless unlikely to be realized.

    In any case, my main objection was not against parenthood or child-rearing in general, it was about having children: the responsibilities, the worries, and the shit-cleaning, are factors even adoptive parents have to contend with. We definitely need more parents: what we don’t need is more babies.

    If Man ever stopped for one second and put the whole society’s well-being before his own, I might get my wish… but, as you said, the instinct to procreate is too strong: Nature is probably set against us in this plight.

    Oh, and regarding your girlfriend saying she never wants to have children, tell her that when she says that all you hear is: “Blah blah blah blah blah blah.” 😉

    Comment by Rafa | October 5, 2004 | Reply

  3. I believe many parents do not have children out of selfishness. If it is planned parenthood, the know what they are getting into. There are many sacrifices: personal time, income, freedom, etc.

    The problem is when they realize they can “use” their children to live out their dream. It is not about what is best for the child, but what is best for the parent. From religion to hobbies, they will try to mold their child into what they wanted to be.

    Comment by Omar | October 13, 2004 | Reply

  4. Hi Omar, and welcome to the Blogosphere! 🙂 I hope this will be the first of many posts I’ll see from you. 😀

    Well, regarding your post, note that I never said parenthood was intrinsically “bad”; I have a problem with having children in a world that’s already overpopulated, overextended in its resources, and where there are many who suffer and go without. The reason people want to bring even more babies into this world are purely selfish: it’s because they want to have babies who look like them, because they want to go through the “miracle of childbirth.”

    In any case, my overlying argument is that even those parental sacrifices you mention are eventually self-serving: people take them on gladly because of whatever personal satisfaction they derive from being parents, not because of some purely altruistic sense. Even the seemingly self-sacrifing act of carrying a baby to term and going through childbirth is taken on because “it’s a wonderful feeling to be a mother” or because they want to “experience the miracle of life,” like I said.

    I doubt there has ever been a truly self-sacrificing gesture in the history of mankind, to be honest.

    Comment by Rafa | October 13, 2004 | Reply

  5. Rafa is a hypocrite!! As his sister I know for a fact he really wants to be an uncle. The nieces and nephews will have 25% of his DNA and he won’t have to do anything. Having children is a selfish act, … bullshit… how selfish is it to wish further fatness and stretch marks on your sister just so 25% of you DNA can get passed on, huh? Why don’t you go “uncle” some uncleless kids in the park? Oh, no … you are afraid of being arrested, you are afraid of being that creepy childless guy in the park. Chicken!! 

    Comment by Anonymous | December 2, 2004 | Reply

  6. I‘m a chicken, Ms. “Anonymous” (if that’s even your real name)? And I’ll have you know that I’ve been the creepy childless guy in the park plenty of times, missy! Wait… never mind…

    PS. Get your own blog and post from your account!

    Comment by Rafa | December 2, 2004 | Reply

  7. Actually, in as much as love can be measured, a very long scientific study into twins included a very thorough study in guaging how much we love the different people in our lives.

    The outcome was not all too surprising and almost entirely went along with what relative carried the highest % of our DNA. The greatest love was between identical twins (we strive to preserve our own 100% DNA!) even those who seemed to not be close. However, the surprise (and offense to some biological parents) was that second only to twins was the amount of love between parents and their adoptive children. They do have ‘more’ love for their adoptive kids than parents have for their biological kids. This include situations where parents had both biological and adopted kids. I can only imagine that it is partly because they have chosen these children and also because there is a need in any decent person to try and make up for the bad start in life that the adopted child may have had.

    Fromt 3rd place on the study reverted back to levels of DNA (bear in mind that your partner is that person that facilitates you carrying on your DNA and so you love htem very much as well.

    I know people with adopted and biological kids and once their biological kids are old enough to understand the parents can admit that they love the adopted kids ‘more’. More is not the right word but there’s just something extra with an adopted child, and the biological siblings feel it as well.

    Comment by Lorna | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  8. Your views sound like VHEMT (www.vhemt.org).

    Comment by Pili | May 10, 2008 | Reply

  9. Hehehe… I think VHEMT’s goals are wholly more altruistic than mine. 😉

    Comment by El Rata | May 10, 2008 | Reply

  10. I know it seems like we have an instinct to breed, and cultural conditioning is so strong it may as well be biological, but strictly speaking we have no instincts, just drives — urges, if you will, and most of us will.

    An instinct is a complex pattern of behavior, present at birth, invariant in the species, which can’t be unlearned. We have urges to engage in activities which sometimes result in procreation, similar to other animals, but birth is nine months removed from sex, so the connection has to be learned.

    A squirrel has an instinct to bury nuts to dig up later, and often new trees are the result. The squirrel doesn’t have an instinct to plant trees, though it may look like it.

    Natalist indoctrination begins early in our lives and permeates our societies so much that we hardly notice it. I think most people have never considered not breeding, and don’t realize it’s an option, not a requirement.

    Fortunately, we can all overcome our programming with a little effort if we want to. Pressure to breed is great, but in most regions of the planet we have the right and the responsibility to make reproductive choices.

    Hundreds of millions of women don’t have a choice — a serious violation of human rights. More progress is needed toward reproductive freedom.

    Comment by Les U. Knight | May 10, 2008 | Reply

  11. Hi Les! Your distinction between “instinct” and “urges” is interesting: I hadn’t thought of it that way.

    I do think in most people something just “clicks” and they want to have children. Societal pressure may be the reason in some cases, but many people who swore they’d never have children turn a certain age and suddenly really want to have kids… as though something in their brain chemistry changes and their previous point of view is erased.

    Comment by El Rata | May 10, 2008 | Reply

  12. Fascinating article. Thanks for posting

    Comment by MikyzGzs1 | May 11, 2010 | Reply

  13. While I genuinely like this publish, I think there was an punctuational error close to the finish with the third sentence.

    Comment by news | June 3, 2012 | Reply

  14. Thanks for the kind words, but I don’t see any punctuation or grammatical error near the end of the third sentence — perhaps you could be more specific?

    Comment by rafaeln | June 3, 2012 | Reply

  15. I don’t want children maybe for the same reasons you mention; though they seem pretty pessimistic and VHEMT is probably right (hehe). I still think that if I found the right partner I would want to have children. It’s just happiness and love we’re looking for. Having a baby bath full of shit seems not so bad compared to being lonely and defeatist.

    Comment by äxl | September 14, 2014 | Reply

  16. Thank God I don’t think alone Rafa! I have felt for decades that making another person walk on this planet is the most cruel and selfish act we can do as humans. The world is truly a shit sandwich – eat it and then die.

    Even most proponents of the kid-free zone don’t take into consideration the real reasons why making babies is the ultimate evil deed that it is. No one dies healthy and in between birth and death everyone suffers on a daily basis, even when they have it better than most. The majority of the world lives in impoverished situations, has little money, suffers under oppression, doesn’t have enough food or clean water, has little or no access to electricity or sanitation and lives in or near a toxic soup. OK, so that seems bad, and it is, but on top of that these people also deal with the following, just like everyone else in the world does:

    – everyone gets sick from viruses, bacteria and diseases that are either annoying, painful, cause death or a combination of all three. what goes up must come down and in between you don’t usually enjoy the ride. why create a person who can come out of the factory with horrible defects and diseases? no one has a “healthy” baby even if they appear fine at birth.
    – we all need to eat, drink and as a result go to the bathroom, all of which gets old long before we do. these basic needs of survival are not cheap either! the madness only ends when we do.
    – humans are the most vicious creatures on the planet and we can never trust anyone as a result.
    – not only do people disappoint each other all the time but we disappoint ourselves throughout our lives. if we can’t depend on ourselves to do the right thing how can we expect others to?
    – no matter what good people create there are always people who make it bad.
    – the world has not improved despite the billions of brains there are on the planet right now. the world has always been a shit pile and will always continue to be, no matter how much the selfish, deluded parents believe their junior will make a positive difference. their junior comes out of the factory just as physically and mentally flawed as all other products on the assembly line, no better, no worse and certainly not as a new and improved upgrade.
    – humans don’t have a reboot button or an undo icon. damage can’t be undone, past mistakes are current and future headaches.
    – the biggest reason why making a baby is cruel and selfish? there are NO guarantees where the person will end up in the afterlife and to bring someone into the world only to have them spend eternity in hell is the height of lunacy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you have the urge to see yourself in another human being, adopt a child who is already here instead of committing an unborn one to the slavery of living.

    Comment by lizardlips | November 26, 2015 | Reply

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