View Poll Results: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

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  • Yes. Having children is a moral obligation to God/society/family/etc.

    9 3.93%
  • No, they are free not to have children. They don't have to answer to anybody

    161 70.31%
  • Not if they have reproductive problems.

    2 0.87%
  • Yes, even if they have reproductive problems. They can adopt, you know.

    1 0.44%
  • They should get a medal for lowering world population.

    44 19.21%
  • Other

    10 4.37%
  • I don't know.

    2 0.87%
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Thread: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

  1. #171
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    sounds like one of my threads...lol...

    is there really an obligation to have children if you can....

    thats strange...

  2. #172
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Well then that is a fascinating claim. I would love to see you statistically break down between the "childfree" and "childless" by productivity; especially given the heavy shifting between the two camps even as you describe them.

    Instead what you seem to have provided thus far is A) the claim that the two groups are distinct by intent (which is possible) and B) your unsubstantiated belief that the child-free are inherently more productive than the childless.
    Dude. I just posted 2 links. One which identified the childfree as socially unique, and one was a medical study that identified the childfree (childless by choice) as an ENTIRELY unique demographic on most metrics. It is not my fault you didn't read it.

    What I actually said is not that the childfree are necessarily more productive; what I said is that the childless have a huge variety of other things going on, depending on why they are childless, that the childfree do not. For example, expenses on remedying their childlessness, or lower paid work due to young age, or divorce due to disagreements over children.

    On the contrary, an adult citizen is a fairly valuable thing. Interestingly enough, one useful metric here comes out of the medical fields. Standford Researchers say that the value of a year of life is $129,000. The British Transport Department says it's 30,000 GBP (about $45,000). Split the difference for $87,000 and multiply by the (say) roughly 55 years that a 22 year old college graduate can then expect to live once he or she has left his parents' protective wings and you get a rough worth of an adult raised citizen of $4,785,000. Heck, the low-ball estimate is still the value of a raised child at $2,475,000.

    And while any individual child may be above or below that particular financial value to society, as a group they remain absolutely critical, and it remains absolutely critical that they exist in certain numbers. Societies that slip below replacement fertility rates slowly die. Or, sometimes, not so slowly. The point remains - raising a child produces a public good (a productive citizen) at private expense. Provision of a public good compared solely to its' lack is a relatively higher level of social benefit.
    The US is at replacement. So I don't know why you're worried.

    A child is a public good. So are any number of others things a person may choose to do with their life. You can't simply ignore every other facet of life.

    Also, societies that go below replacement do not "die." They experience temporary discomforts until the population stabilizes.

    some, perhaps. However, I would be willing to bet, given the lower average lifetime productivity of those who fail to form families and produce offspring, that the careers of the childfree do not in aggregate top those of parents greater than the benefit of raised children. Some of the childfree may indeed dedicate their lives to others. In which case (again) they are replicating the decision of parents, not surpassing them.
    Once again, you are lumping the childfree and the childless together, and ignoring the fact that many childfree are in permanent relationships. Most that I know who are over 30, actually.

    It is nothing more than your unsubstantiated opinion that their contributions don't "top" those who simply manage to not use birth control. Reproducing by itself is simply not impressive. Being an excellent parent might be. But the biological act itself is not.

    Dedicating your life to others is not "replicating" parenthood. Parenthood is parochial. Much of the service work I and other CF people do is much broader -- for people we never have and may never meet. It comes from an entirely different desire and an entirely different social view. We may not have as much impact on each individual person as a parent has on their child, but such work influences the lives of a vastly greater number of people.

    They certainly are. Devotion of much of ones' life to the service of others is precisely the parental role. To put this into the same terms as you have used, my unmarried / childless buddies spend lots of time playing video games (spending time on ones'self). I spend lots of time playing with or teaching my children (spending time on others). They spend their money on themselves. I spend mine on providing for my kids.
    See above. This is simply patronizing ridiculousness.

    Also, I find that kind of funny, considering a lot of work-from-home parents are getting laid off from places like Yahoo because they spent their work hours basically playing Farmville.

    see above. The Malthusian argument that additional citizens represent a net drain on a society has been disproven constantly since he made it.

    Ask yourself the questions - do you intend to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits in your life? What generation do you suppose is going to pay for them? Are you bearing the burden of raising that generation? I'm willing to bet that the answers are yes, the ones behind you, and no.
    I'm not arguing Malthus -- just facts.

    Depends on what I make. Who is going to pay them? ME, after working for decades for the kind of hours most parents never will once they have children.

    I am currently ensuring that generation has access to culture and social cohesion. I am anything but a "burden" to them.

    FICA?
    Sometimes just unwillingness and no need to work.

    You have argued for a distinction without a difference, as you cannot demonstrate a difference in the relative productivities of the classes you have argued for.
    I have demonstrated the difference between the groups already multiple times.

    Now, I'll get around to productivity, even as you continue to claim I haven't.

    Career commitment, measured either directly or inferred from high levels of
    education and occupational status, consistently has been found to be related to
    voluntary childlessness for women (Bachu 1999; Jacobson and Heaton 1991;
    Nason and Poloma 1976). Intentionally childless men appear to have more varied
    levels of career commitment than their female counterparts or than fathers (Jacob-
    son and Heaton 1991; Veevers 1980).
    Studies have shown that overall, compared to parents, the voluntarily childless
    are more educated (Abma et al. 1997; Bachu 1999); more likely to be employed in
    managerial and professional occupations (Bachu 1999; Crispell 1993); more likely
    to have both spouses earning relatively high incomes (Abma and Peterson 1995;
    Bachu 1999); less religious (Heaton, Jacobson, and Fu 1992; Mosher, Williams, and
    Johnson 1992); more likely to be only children or rstborns (Nason and Poloma
    1976; Ory 1978); and less traditional in gender role orientations (Baber and Dreyer
    1986; Callan 1986).
    The entire thing is very interesting and it also explains -- AGAIN -- the childree and the childless are different.

    Computing rates of voluntary childlessness is dif cult, complicated by the need
    to distinguish voluntary and involuntary statuses, expected versus actual child-
    lessness, and the existence of different marital statuses. The childless population
    includes those who are physically unable to have children, those who are tempo-
    rarily childless, and those who are childless by choice.
    http://www.westminster.edu/staff/kpa...yChildless.pdf

  3. #173
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surtr View Post
    No. If anything they contribute more by not giving society more mouths to feed with tax money.
    Society is feeding them? I thought it was the parents that were working their butts off to raise children and pay taxes along the way (consumption tax, VAT, etc)

  4. #174
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    Dude. I just posted 2 links. One which identified the childfree as socially unique, and one was a medical study that identified the childfree (childless by choice) as an ENTIRELY unique demographic on most metrics. It is not my fault you didn't read it.
    No,

    Your first link demonstrated through polling that some women wish to have children less than other women, to the point of virtual nil. This is not exactly groundbreaking astonishing research.

    Your second link argues that women who choose infertility are A) distinguishable by their actions (they have had their tubes tied or taken some other form of birth control on a permanent/as-necessary basis) and B) are fine with their choice. Again, this is not exactly a huge surprise.

    NEITHER of your links is able to indicate in any way a method (other than directly asking on an individual basis) out the "childfree" from the "childless" when taking a look at relative productivity of the citizenry.

    What I actually said is not that the childfree are necessarily more productive
    Forgive me if I have misread this, but that seemed indeed to be what you were suggesting, as you seem to be arguing that not only are they more productive, but that they are so more productive that they have equalled the lost production of child-rearing.

    I would agree on an individual basis they are not necessarily more or less productive, which is why I prefaced my argument with "all things being equal". The evidence suggests that they are not, but you are insisting on teasing out a granularity that the data (as far as I have seen) cannot support.

    The US is at replacement. So I don't know why you're worried.
    in a general sense, firstly because we are falling. The numbers of "childless" or "childfree" as a portion of the populace are increasing, not decreasing. So this is a trend with long-term damaging effects.

    And secondly, because our social systems are set up in a pyramid scheme fashion. If we do not produce children above the replacement rate, we cannot sustain our transfer of wealth from the young to the old. This threatens both young and old - the old with reduced benefits, and the young with reduced opportunities.

    A child is a public good. So are any number of others things a person may choose to do with their life. You can't simply ignore every other facet of life.
    I would agree. That is why I prefaced with "all things being equal".

    Also, societies that go below replacement do not "die." They experience temporary discomforts until the population stabilizes.
    That is incorrect. Societies which dip below replacement have to see an increase in birthrate if they are to survive. In the meantime, many fewer young people have to take care of many more old people, which in turn reduces the ability to recover. Which does not happen as neatly as the original fall. As I understand it, no major society has ever recovered from a dip below 1.8. Though that is a measure that is about to be much more rigorously tested - Japan is facing a major crisis in the next 10(ish) years, and following them is most of Europe and China.

    Once again, you are lumping the childfree and the childless together, and ignoring the fact that many childfree are in permanent relationships. Most that I know who are over 30, actually.
    The number referenced (1/3) was of men age 30-49.

    It is nothing more than your unsubstantiated opinion that their contributions don't "top" those who simply manage to not use birth control. Reproducing by itself is simply not impressive. Being an excellent parent might be. But the biological act itself is not.
    I'll leave that decision to those who have actually gone through pregnancy and child birth. I rather suspect most of those women might think that your dismissal of what they go through is.... uninformed.

    However, child-rearing, yes, is a socially positive act.

    Dedicating your life to others is not "replicating" parenthood.
    No, it is replicating the focus and service of parenthood. You are arguing that CF people can represent greater social value to the extent that they serve others - I am merely pointing out that that is precisely what parents do.

    Parenthood is parochial. Much of the service work I and other CF people do is much broader -- for people we never have and may never meet. It comes from an entirely different desire and an entirely different social view. We may not have as much impact on each individual person as a parent has on their child, but such work influences the lives of a vastly greater number of people.
    oh, S&M... i'm sorry but the breathtaking arrogance of this is.... well, it's the college know it all hippy episode.

    Okay, look, this is a stupid game, because breadth of impact is not the same as depth of impact is not the same as raw total impact, and really I would bet that in those three variations the ability to differentiate between CF and CL is (just like productivity) nigh on nil, just as the idea that parents don't do those things as well is... well...

    Okay, as a parent I have put a couple of dozen mass murderers in jail, and helped to secure a city of approximatley 300,000 people from a major terrorist insurgency. Hundreds of school children could travel back and forth from their houses to school safely whereas before we came on scene they couldn't as one metric. We went from 200 attacks a month with a casualty rating of about 1-3 per to 2 attacks a month with one casualty between them. I've done humanitarian assistance in Thailand, trained security forces in Kuwait, dammed up the Mississippi to protect Amish communities, aided flood victims in the Philippines, increased the ability of the South Koreans to protect certain portions of their populace, and helped the Japanese when a Tsunami wiped out their nuclear reactors. So I would put forth that I've had some breadth - my impact has been literally global. I would say that I've had some depth - people are alive today partly because of me. This isn't to be braggadocious, or try to paint some kind of awesome picture of myself - I'm not particularly unique in these regards. Lots of the vets in here will tell you similar stories. MANY have had greater impact. But if you want to try to tell me that "your world is much bigger" because you don't have kids? That you "influence a vastly greater number of people"?

    I call BS, and BS of the most self-centered, ridiculous, hippyesque sort. This is the kind of ridiculous thing that people say right before they talk about how they are going to change the world through their drum circle, and it's crap that you, frankly, are much too smart to take seriously.

    See above. This is simply patronizing ridiculousness.
    no. Smarmy ideas about how people who don't have kids are living on some kind of higher plane where they have greater impact and live in a "wider world" than parents is patronizing ridiculousness. The fact that parents spend time and effort on their children is simply reality.

    Aso, I find that kind of funny, considering a lot of work-from-home parents are getting laid off from places like Yahoo because they spent their work hours basically playing Farmville.
    you'll get no argument from me that people are basically lazy. In fact, that rather underpins one of my points - that people are less likely to seek self improvement when they lack the motivation of having to provide for others.

    I'm not arguing Malthus -- just facts.
    On the contrary - you have demonstrated zero factual evidence supporting your implicit claim that people are not socially net-beneficial. The argument that they are not is indeed Malthusian.

    Depends on what I make. Who is going to pay them? ME, after working for decades for the kind of hours most parents never will once they have children.
    wrong. You pay for your parents. That's they way our system works. Each generation gets its' retirement income from the generations behind it. You don't pay yourself a dime of Social Security or Medicare benefit.

    I am currently ensuring that generation has access to culture and social cohesion. I am anything but a "burden" to them.
    I would agree that you are probably a net benefit to society. As are most folks. However, when you do start drawing on that generation, you will be a burden on them, a burden which you have not matched with your own effort. You (broadly speaking, not you particularly, but the CF who expect to receive retirement benefits) are expecting me to underwriting raising the next generation so that my kids can support your retirement. (shrug)

    Sometimes just unwillingness and no need to work.
    Which the CF are more likely to have than parents. Which is why we see such incredible divergence in productivity especially among men between those who raise children v those who do not.

    I have demonstrated the difference between the groups already multiple times.
    See above.

    Now, I'll get around to productivity, even as you continue to claim I haven't.
    I am interested to see it. :-)

    The entire thing is very interesting and it also explains -- AGAIN -- the childree and the childless are different.
    It is interesting, and I appreciate how you also cite the authors' admission of the complexity and difficulty in drawing out the differences between the two. I'm not terribly surprised at the divergent results between men and women.

  5. #175
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Society is feeding them? I thought it was the parents that were working their butts off to raise children and pay taxes along the way (consumption tax, VAT, etc)
    As I've identified, it's the old Malthusian fallacy that people are net drains.

  6. #176
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    No,

    ...
    CP, if you are simply going to ignore or lie about the evidence I provided -- as you so often do with what little you provide of your own -- I am not going to spend any more valuable minutes of my life pulling apart any more of your absurdity.

    And incidentally, now I feel a little like I imagine a parent does at times.

  7. #177
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    Why? Those people who don't put their time into children may have a lot more time to... ya know... do something important to humanity, perhaps. Actually, most of the other CF people I know do some rather important things. The most common one, in my personal experience, is actually medical careers. All types. Research, EMT, surgeons, vet care, elderly care, and even care of disabled children. Personally, although I don't work in a medical field per se, I do work for the deaf.

    How are you going to tell me that we are "doing less?" People without children work more hours, and in my experience, have a tendency to work for humanity. Maybe you put in more at home, but we put in more in the world.

    Not to mention that not every person who simply manages to reproduce really deserves the title of parent. Reproducing doesn't mean someone will be loving or attentive or care about their child's future. Many don't, and it shows in their resultant children. And what exactly are they contributing?

    It's a hardship you choose, and you have no right to make other people's lives more difficult because of what you chose. If it's such a hardship that you resent people for choosing otherwise, then DON'T DO IT.
    I didn't say reproduce, I said raising children. I said that on purpose to killed all the gay bull**** (and other) arguments that I knew would pop up in here. Everyone can choose to raise a child, even if they adopt. So now that ALL the excuses are gone, maybe those who don't choose to raise children can have their social security reduced to compensate those people who raised tax payers and made the financial sacrifices for 20 years. Don't forget, future tax payers pay your benefits, you don't produce tax payers you get less.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

  8. #178
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I didn't say reproduce, I said raising children. I said that on purpose to killed all the gay bull**** (and other) arguments that I knew would pop up in here. Everyone can choose to raise a child, even if they adopt. So now that ALL the excuses are gone, maybe those who don't choose to raise children can have their social security reduced to compensate those people who raised tax payers and made the financial sacrifices for 20 years. Don't forget, future tax payers pay your benefits, you don't produce tax payers you get less.
    Parents get tax credits and take much more time off. People without children put more time in. They also support the world your children live in as much or more as their childed counterparts do, as I shown above. And actually, in terms of things like SS, I pay for my own benefits over the course of my working life.

    If anyone should have their benefits reduced, it isn't the childfree.

  9. #179
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    I don't estimate worth on income either.
    I didn't say anything about income. Value is a subjective standard, and in capitalism value can mean many things. Basically, it's what you get from someone or something. People don't have value to me based on what I can get from them.

    But you're the one implying the childless/childfree have less value.
    People who do not live a life dedicated to service live a life dedicated to themselves. And before you give an example of a person working at, say, Greenpeace, what is the difference between taking a paycheck from Greenpeace and taking a paycheck from a factory? "...when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."
    The morality of abortion is not a religious belief, any more than the morality of slavery, apartheid, rape, larceny, murder or arson is a religious belief. These are norms of the natural law of mankind and can be legislated even in a completely religionless society.

  10. #180
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    Re: Should childless couples be considered inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    CP, if you are simply going to ignore or lie about the evidence I provided -- as you so often do with what little you provide of your own -- I am not going to spend any more valuable minutes of my life pulling apart any more of your absurdity.

    And incidentally, now I feel a little like I imagine a parent does at times.
    I cited and linked each of your sources in my reply. If the best you can do is accuse me of lying without support...

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