So as is appropriate, I am starting a discussion rather than posting comments. I was going to go back and look at the original comment that started all the controversy but it has mysteriously disappeared. I would be curious to know if the author is the one who deleted it. It seems to me that he was not treated with respect from the beginning.

Maybe it is unpopular, but I thought he made valid points. I believe the first was a question about why have biological children rather than adopt. The second was concerning respect for children and treating them like people rather than inferior people. I apologize if my summary is inaccurate as the original post disappeared.

My husband and I chose to have two children of our own rather than adopt. I admit that we made that decision for selfish reasons, but my justification is that we are just replacing ourselves. Which is weak, I admit. I would, however, be open to adoption should I want any more children or perhaps under the right unforeseen circumstances.

I think he made several other good points regarding parenting. I do agree that children can learn to control their emotional reactions. After all, how do adults learn it? Hopefully they begin learning it from their parents when they are toddlers.

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No. You stated that people that reproduce biologically are not rational and don't have a grasp on reality. Not inferred. And since we here don't deserve your respect can you tell me how one can be worthy of the consideration of the great rational one?

Actually, that is not at all what he stated. Not to be redundant, here is the quote


how can any rational person with the slightest grasp of the state of the world reproduce biologically instead of adopting?


If you consider yourself to be rational and to have a grasp of the state of the world, then he is asking you how you made the choice to bear your own children instead of adopting. His word choice or tone may not be polite but how could he ask that and not offend people?

the whole reason i ask questions is because i can be persuaded by argument. maybe this isn't something many people here can relate to...
That was as retorical a question as I have ever read on the Nexus.   

no, i don't see the difference, other than that that phrasing fails to convey the reasons for my view or the feeling behind it. the best phrasing was dawn's "not only irrational, but down right irresponsible", but i would have rejected that as too judgemental and not very open to feedback, and i was trying to ask a question after all.

let me tell you what i do to try and maintain my objectivity in interpreting my or someone else's words. i use a control, i switch the subject matter to a neutral subject which all parties might agree upon, and see if the phrasing still stands up. like this:


"how can any educated physician with the slightest grasp of his field of study smoke tobacco or marijuana?"


still objectionable?

Or go to gas stations and ask "how can anyone with the slightest grasp of our oil crisis drive a car?"

Or go to a burger joint and ask "how can anyone with the slightest grasp of what it means to be compassionate eat a hamburger?"

Or even at a birthday party ask "how can anyone with the slightest understanding of biological health eat cake?"

Nerd--right on!
an invalid comparison. this is like walking into a university physics department and asking how somebody can understand physics and believe in the bible. there's a fundamental contradiction between those things.
And it is part of why wwe love you so dearly Nerd!
Egan, many of us have been trying to answer your initial question, so it would be helpful if we could move past the accusations. I can tell that you care a great deal about being rational--as I do, too--but the issue here is that we are also trying to be realistic. We can all be as rational as humans can possibly be and we'll still be humans with human emotions, human drives, etc. I think that many of us have answered your initial question. If we were non-emotional robots, we probably would not have had our own children but would devote every second of our lives to making the world a better place. In reality, though, no one does this. I mean that--no one. Because the ONLY way to have no impact on the world would be to not live. Everything I use in my life--from this computer to my car to the food I eat and the toothbrush I use--is used selfishly, because I want to live and I want to live well. Every single one of us makes choices every day between what is best for us and what is best for the world. We recycle, try to use less fuel, turn off the air conditioning, etc., but I still drive my car, I still buy produce that wasn't grown in my own backyard, and I still eat red meat when I know I shouldn't. It's different that being irrational and believing something when you know it's wrong. You won't hear me say that I believe that our resources are infinite, because they're not; THAT would be irrational. In reality, though, we have biological urges to reproduce and have our own children. Whether we should or should not is an issue that should be addressed--I agree--but it's very unrealistic to call people "irrational" for not living up to a specific set of standards. Like I tried to point out yesterday, it's irrational to expect a bunch of parents to respond kindly to a loaded question. IT'S NOT THE QUESTION THAT IRRITATED US, but the approach and the continued negative attitude. I am for population control; I am for education. It's difficult to discuss it, though, when we can't speak honestly without having it thrown into our faces. Do you want answers or do you want us to admit that we're selfish and irrational? If having children makes me selfish and irrational, then so does driving a car, using electricity, using plastics, not producing all of my own food organically, living in a house, wearing makeup--ANYTHING that I do to make my life better.

Frankly, I had my own children because I wanted them. I wanted to have my genes joined with my husbands, go through pregnancy, childbirth, etc. And I wanted OUR genes in our children. There is a difference. Props to people who adopt, because I find it very admirable. Truly. But--and here I'm being very honest--a child with my genes and my husband's will be more likely to be like us. We have very smart children, very creative children--and, as studies have shown, that is largely do to genetics. Sure, environment plays a role, but it's not even close to be everything. And as someone already said, my children are happy and are treated well. I believe that sharing genes with them and having personality similarities makes it easier to get along with them and teach them, too.

Really, this is for the rest of you who are as frustrated as I am!

Great post Ida. 

Thanks, John and Dawn! :)

you should reevaluate your definition of "better". everything you just said is used as a defence for believing in gods. it's just an excuse.


as for genetics, if a rationalist can be born to religious parents, then genetics are simply not the issue. self-discipline can overcome almost every aspect of behaviour, as can habits acquired from a community.


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