you have a highly inflated sense of what traits are heritable, which reveals a lack of an evolutionary perspective. humans are unusual among animals in that we're so similar to each other. behaviourally, without some actual brain disorder, we have the same range. if i were to have a child now, they'd be far more likely to inherit my family history of heart conditions, diabetes, and vision problems than any aspect of my personality. besides, which would they inherit, my personality as it is now, or my personality as it was when i was a kid? these are totally different things.
ideas are simply more important traits for humans to inherit than genes, doubly so considering the costs of overpopulation
Egan – you might be very interested in the extensively well researched book by Alfie Kohn – Unconditional Parenting – which basically talks about how punishments and rewards – extrinsic motivations are detrimental to child development – he promotes reasonableness to encourage a child’s natural altruism.
It’s normal for comments such as yours to induce guilt in others – which is an uncomfortable emotion. I’ve prided myself in knowing what I’m meant to do and doing what I feel like doing anyhow… : )
Besides having just read Dawkins book on Evolution the greatest show in town – it clearly states in there that the ones that are most successful – will survive – meaning that there is no natural selective benefit in refraining to have children – it’s a competitive world out there and you have to be in it to win it – hell we’re all going to be start dust in a couple of billion years any how – so what the heck! Pump out 10 of them if it makes you feel good : )
I love stirring the pot… my life is otherwise so mundane – washing, dishes, floors, shops,…
Anyhow – good luck in your journey and may be find much compassion in your heart as life goes along…
I too have suffered at the hands of nature in my upbringing – life is cruel and harsh – as is natural selection…
It seems Egan that you are in need of support and crisis counselling from some sort of horrific childhood yourself.
"child's natural altruism". that sounds dangerously close to the "noble savage" school of behavioural science.
you should read dawkins more closely. the biggest threat to human survival IS human survival. we're populating ourselves to extinction.
yeah, heard that one before. "if i believe you're simply an emotionally damaged person, i don't have to consider your viewpoint". where was it i heard that? oh right, theists.
Well that first post from me was just the initial response to the first few posts – but now I’ve read the whole thing I have a slightly different take on it. I’m surprised that I’m the only one it seems that has taken Egan’s initial comment with much humour and hilarity!
I think I must be quite detached from notions of ‘doing good’ in the world – I spend most of my childhood in pain and having compassion with others and so have spend a large part of my life thinking desperately how I might help and save others from this pain.
At the end of the day, you can’t save the world! And in light of evolution and natural selection – and even the heat death of the universe.
From all this I’ve come to quite a simple place. Life is hard and painful – anyone who has given birth can attest to this! Therefore – enjoy your life – do what you will to enjoy it.
Some recommendations – which you can study further in the group on here Compassionate Connection (CC)– consider my own and others basic needs (see discussion on CC) –
In fact here are the 4 I like best:
Be mindful of our own feelings and needs – now and into the foreseeable future – with equal consideration of others feelings and needs – again into the foreseeable future. Use protective force where others lack tools to consider others need for safety – and be mindful to show appreciation of self and others as a matter of course.
What this basic ‘philosophy’ amounts to is this – if you can successfully care for a child into the foreseeable future IYO – then have one, foster or adopt one – what ever you deem most appropriate. If you can’t then don’t.
If you find it hard to gain happiness in life – seek and seek some more – that’s what I’ve had to do – I’ve had many times in my life when I wish I hadn’t been born, been angry with my parents – none stop almost – for having me – and have wished that I wasn’t here any more – not much of an existence – but I’ve very recently found much more happiness in life – it took me 32 years but hey at least I’ll have the rest of my life in reasonable happiness – hopefully : ) my main problems consisted of mental health problems and minor related physical health problems that I’ve been able to fix essentially through changing my diet and changing my attitude.