Childfree movement

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If you’re so pro-life and you’re so pro-child, then adopt one that’s already here that’s very unwanted and very alone and needs someone to take care of it, to get it out of a horrible situation. People say, “Why don’t you do that?” and I say, “‘Cause I hate fuckin’ kids and couldn’t care less.” Couldn’t give a fuck.
Bill Hicks explaining why he's ineligible to be a parent[1]

The childfree movement is a grassroots social movement advocating childlessness by choice. People who chose to be childless by choice are known as childfree. The movement was started during the 1970s. Two of the most notable childfree organizations that were established during the 1970s were the National Organization for Non-Parents and No Kidding! The childfree movement is becoming increasingly popular.[2]

Contents

[edit] Reasons to be childfree

The international childfree movement does not share any unified political view, but many political ideologies associated with childfree interests are increasingly becoming associated with the movement. The arguments for childfreeism are classified into the following categories:

[edit] Arguments from parents' point of view

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer contributed to antinatalist philosophy.
  • People have the right not to have children.
  • A child may violate a couple's right to privacy, perhaps by popping in on them when they are inconveniently busy making him a sibling.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth disrupt a woman's career. Many feminists support birth control partially for this reason.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth are physically dangerous, and have lasting effects on a women's health.
  • When children grow up, they may become a disappointment to their parents.
  • The State and/or "society" have no right to impose parenthood and child-bearing on people.

[edit] Arguments that a child may be harmed merely by its own birth

  • If a parent is financially unstable or low-income, this may cause misery for the child. Since the child has nothing to do with the financial breakdown of the couple, it is unethical to give birth to a child only to cause it misery.
  • A slightly more broad version of the above argument goes that to live is, by definition, to suffer, and so to have children is merely to perpetuate suffering.
  • If a parent has a genetic disorder, the child may inherit it.

[edit] Philosophical arguments

  • People have a responsibility toward the environment. Thus to prevent overpopulation and other environmental problems, they should choose not to have children.
  • People have a responsibility to help those already here. Having children deprives people from helping them fully due to the extra burden of child-rearing and further draining resources to aid them.
  • Childbirth is an act of selfishness that only serves to boost people's ego and/or is done solely as a means to benefit those who birth them.
  • It is immoral to birth children into broken and/or unfree societies that will coerce them to obey and shall be exploited unfairly as long as such societies are thus maintained.
  • Antinatalism is a philosophy which holds that giving birth to a child is a negative value, thus it is immoral to have a child for a specific or multiple reasons which includes reasons given above and below. In fact, technically speaking, the refusal to birth children at all is antinatalist meaning the childfree movement itself is an offshot of this philosophy.
  • Anyone who believes in an eternal Hell should surely realize how inexcusably reckless and immoral it is to bring into existence a being who has even the slightest chance of ending up there. Curiously, this conclusion is lost on many religious people.

[edit] Other questionable arguments

It is fairly probable that at least some of the childfree individuals who utilize one of the arguments listed above are just quacking bullshit as a smoke-screen to avoid voicing one of the following pro-childfree arguments:

  • A baby keeps a person awake at night.
  • A baby makes its parents into horrible-looking frumpy people in serious denial about what is really important in life, such as (pick one: fancy cars, lofty ideals).
  • A baby consumes money, thus (pick one: depleting the fancy-car fund, requiring the compromise of the lofty ideals).
  • Children are worthless parasites who do nothing to contribute to society.
  • They smell.
  • "I wish those stupid breeders would keep their damned crotch droppings out of my sight!"

It's probably for the best that such people, or those adamant to directly give the above reasons, don't have children anyway. Such statements should be proof enough they're not fit to be parents.

Expecting or encouraging them to have children is about as logical as asking John Wayne Gacy to babysit or asking Ayn Rand to start a parental advice agency. It's just not a good idea.

[edit] Also

Laws that explicitly or effectively require individuals to procreate (e.g., laws permitting marital rape) are generally frowned upon as violating civil rights. Certainly many adults would be found in violation of such laws, whether they be perpetual Babylon 5 fans virgins, confirmed bachelors, homosexuals, developmentally-disabled (where an individual wouldn't be physically or mentally capable of taking care of a child) or infertile. Still there have been taxes on childlessness and awards for big families.[citation needed]

Many countries have taken very pronatalist polices going further than soft penalizations. This is done usually by enacting very strict abortion laws to compel women to give birth even if they've no desire to have children.

Ireland is a prime example of such a country. Their anti-abortion stance comes mainly from immense pressure emanating from the Roman Catholic Church who still exercise a very strong influence on Ireland's government. As such, the government maintains very strict abortion laws with anyone caught getting being heavily penalized unless it is absolutely required to save women's lives.

Such restrictions have resulted in ire from the childfree and those in the pro-choice movement. They argue such laws making childbirth compulsory is not only legalized coercion to drive people into having children but it encourages pregnant woman to find under the radar ways to get abortions. The latter often results in very unsafe venues that result in injury or even death.

China's limitation of families to one child is one of the most prominent examples of legal limits on reproduction. Examples of total antinatalist policies include forced sterilization upon criminals (such as rapists) as either a penalty for a crime or a condition of release.[citation needed]

[edit] Organizations

There are several childfree organizations throughout the world. No Kidding! is a prominent international organization, active in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. Its membership grew after it launched a website in the 1990s.[2]

[edit] Critics

Given the growing popularity of the decision to not have children, a number of critics, especially pro-life advocates, have begun slinging stones in response. These individuals often include, unsurprisingly, mostly right leaning people who are often militant in believing humans have an obligation to have children. Often this is due to religious reasons, worship of money economic motivations, support of keeping political systems intact or just plain ignorance.

Examples of more eyebrow raising reasons opposed to not having children include that there's a plot to depopulate the planet of people of a certain ethnic ancestry, a diabolical government plan to depopulate the human race or that there is no inherent right to not have children and that, if need be, people should be strongarmed and/or forced to have children.[3]

The following people are notable opponents of the childfree movement each representing the three main vocal critics of the childfree movement: economists, the religious and, of course, the conspiracy theorists.

[edit] Bryan Caplan (Economists)

Bryan Caplan is an anarcho-capitalist, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and economics professor at George Mason University (three huge warning signs) who has taken issue with people's choice to remain childfree. His response is the book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think.

Besides having a huge-ass title, is his attempt to counter-argue points made by the childfree. It's also become something of a Bible used by militant, captalism loving natalists like himself to justify their selfish behavior in having children.

Bryan, in the book's intro, says arguing against reasons against having children is "as productive as nagging a brick wall." That statement sets up the rest of the book's tone and keeps its promise to justify people's selfishness in having kids.[4]

To save people some reading here are some of the main arguments he makes and his counter-rebuttals summarized.

  • Don't want kids? Have them anyway.
  • Hate kids? Have them anyway.
  • Don't have any urge to be a parent? Have them anyway.
  • Too busy to have kids? Have them anyway.
  • Don't have the money to take care of children? Have them anyway.
  • Don't agree with any of my obviously faultless reasons to have kids? Go fuck yourself. (Metaphorically of course. If you must fuck, do it with somebody of the opposite sex.)

Every reasonable excuse not to have children in the book is waved off as wrong when they obviously have merit. Caplan even attempts to put a little cherry on top of his arguments in trying attract people with a scheme he claims will allow people to have more children for less money and worry. The scheme is nothing more than typical woo. The reality is that it will still cost lots of money to have kids and that will come with its share of unavoidable burden and worry.

Caplan's obsession with making more babies mainly for economic reasons results in him devoting only one chapter to things such as the negative environmental consequences of having children which includes overpopulation. To say the least, his arguments and solutions end up ranging from weak to very absurd.

This is explainable as Caplan already devoted much of his energy to discussing overpopulation before the book's publication in an online article for the Cato Institute. It torpedoes Caplan's credibility for giving sound parental advice saying that the overpopulation can be fixed... by having more children to benefit the economy[5]. One word immediately springs to mind in describing the soundness of that plan.[6]

There is also an elephant in the room. Caplan is supposedly, and claims to be, an anarchist. Like his supposedly anarchist kind in the anarcho-capitalist movement, he has stated he wants to shrink and inevitably eliminate the government.

However, in the book, his arguments actually support and require the existence of government. One notable example is in the aftermentioned chapter where Caplan tries to offer solutions to negative environmental effects resulting from too many children. His solution: that a carbon tax should be instituted and enforced.

No, you didn't just imagine that: Caplan is an anarcho-capitalist believes that it's okay for the government taxing people.

As if that's not enough, the question of why he wants people to have more children considering his position as an anarchist. After all his idealistic anarcho-capitalist society hasn't been established yet. Birthing children at the moment will keep the government alive with more people to support it and will result in it growing to accommodate its expanding population.

In fact, considering he's had children who will be made to keep it going, it's obvious Caplan isn't quite hateful of the government as he appears to be if he's happy to birth more people into it.

So way to go and fight the power by provided more wage slaves to keep it going, Caplan!

[edit] Mike Huckabee (Religious)

Mike Huckabee, with his talent for making new friends, showed dislike with the childfree movement during a panel on Fox News on August 2013 regarding a recent featured article in Time Magazine about it. A shame too because the first sentence he reportedly made about it seemed like he was going to make a good point.[7]

Well of course you can [have a good life without children], and I recognize it for some people that's maybe the best decision. Especially for people, ugh, maybe who write articles like this. It's a good thing they didn't have kids, seriously. But on the other side, I don't want it ever get to the point where we diminish the idea of not only creating the next generation, but training them to be our replacements, which is the highest particular calling that I think that we have as human beings, is to create an ongoing process of humanity and then to train it to be better than we are.

Huckabee, despite obviously trying hard not to let slip his true reasons why he feels people have an obligation to have children, let the cat out of the bag when fellow panelist Alisyn Camerota jokingly referred indirectly to Genesis 9:7 in saying Huckabee should go forth and multiply. Huckabee responded saying " I will do... yeah, I've already done it."

Here's the Bible verse in question as taken from the King James Version when God famously addressed Noah after the Great Flood:[8]

And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Huckabee's answer is tell-tale evidence he holds to the standard Christian fundamentalist view that it is an imperative people have children. Of course, had he and his fellow believers actually read the Bible from page to page they'd no doubt know Jesus Christ, in response to the subject of divorced, mentions, among other kinds of folk, that he was fine with people choosing not to have children specifically to better practice their faith.

As Matthew 19:12 of King James version puts it:[9]

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it [the word of God], let him receive it.

You read that right, Jesus, the most important figure in the creation of Christianity, said it was perfectly okay for people not to have children. In fact the Bible has no mention of Jesus ever having children during his life. This would make him childfree: an irony Christians like Huckabee are totally neglectful to realize.

Of course, as he himself said that it's okay not to have children, not only is he off the hook but others would be also. If there was a command ever given by God, which is very slim to none, Jesus nullified it.

[edit] Alex Jones (Conspiracy Theorists)

Alex Jones has said that people have an obligation to have children, citing its importance in populating his ideal theocratic society the ongoing fight with the evil NWO[10]. He has taken very rude shots at the childfree movement, calling people who refuse to have children control freaks for criticizing people like him for having too many (because, of course, it is not at all controlling of him to say people have an obligation to have children.) He furthermore considers it a cult.

As to the widespread overpopulation that idea will obviously cause, Alex justifies it saying overpopulation is a myth to help to carry out a massive plot by governments to enact a depopulation plot.[11]

The most memorable moment Jones took on the childfree movement came during an interview with libertarian comedian Doug Stanhope. Stanhope, being vehemently childfree himself, has advocated people not to have children at all though has reluctantly said he'll tolerate people giving birth to two at most.[12] Besides justifying his refusal to have children due to his intense dislike of them, Stanhope states not having children will help to curb overpopulation and thus better curb global warming. Unlike many other libertarians, Stanhope admits that both are huge problems that must be dealt with.[13].

During the aforementioned interview, Jones deflected or ignored the counter-arguments and facts Stanhope gave, and instead opted to rudely demean Stanhope's decision to not procreate, saying that if he felt that way, he ought to kill himself. Stanhope stood his ground and refuse to relent. As the interview came to a close, Alex, in a very rare confession, admitted that his negative attitude towards Stanhope's positions is driven by his Christianity, which Stanhope should give his life over to. Stanhope, an atheist, declined, although he was visibly amused at Alex's surprise attempt to convert him.[14][15][16][17][18]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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