login about faq

So, objectivism and many other philosophies, condemn suicide, for example, but it is still a choice that can be made. But at least in objectivism, suicide is a bad thing. But there are other things, like the choice to have children, that can be somewhat dangerous and objectivism accepts it.

Now, I know this it's ridiculously unlikely but it can happen. Now, let us imagine a happy, worldwide, objectivist community (it could be other types of community, not necessarily this one). And, as an exercise of ones freedom it turns out that everyone on earth has decided that they won't be having any children. It could be all of the sudden or a long process. But the point is that children are no more to be found. Now nobody, not even the state, could do anything about it. And, as it goes, mankind will soon become extinct.

How is it possible that a choice that could end human life on earth be moral? And as Ayn Rand believed, it doesn't matter that much, concerning yourself, what happens after your death. So, there it is, the last human on earth, maybe regretting, maybe not, but knowing that in the end in the objectivism philosophy, he didn't do anything wrong.

asked Dec 02 '12 at 16:41

Juan%20Diego%20dAnconia's gravatar image

Juan Diego dAnconia

edited Dec 03 '12 at 01:19

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

But it is not true that Objectivism simply "condemns suicide" or asserts that "suicide is a bad thing". Under certain conditions suicide is rational and moral, and other times it is not, so it depends. See pp.247-248 of Dr. Peikoff's book Objectivism for some discussion of this.

(Dec 03 '12 at 01:08) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

"How is it possible that a choice that could end human life on earth be moral?"

I guess it would be possible if life on Earth got so unbearably bad that the benefits of children (including, for instance, the fact that they grow up into adults) outweighed the detriments, for everyone.

(Dec 03 '12 at 07:11) anthony anthony's gravatar image

It's not something that would happen under life on Earth as we know it. If the youngest people on Earth were 20, surely they'd realize that none of them having children would mean there would be no one around to take care of them (1) when that youngest generation hit 65. So they'd either have children themselves, or they'd pay other people to have (and raise) children (2).

If the Earth became barely inhabitable or something, so those 20-year-olds were under the impression that life at 65 wouldn't be bearable anyway, they might all morally choose to not have children.

(Dec 03 '12 at 07:13) anthony anthony's gravatar image

(1) By "take care of them" I don't mean to imply that the younger generation would do so for free. I only mean that a world where 65 is the youngest would likely suffer from a relative lack of ability to perform physical tasks. The benefits of division of labor come in part from having people of all different ages. Wisdom, verses youth.

(2) I hope it is clear that I in no way mean to imply that the payers would in any way own those children. They're paying simply for the benefit of there being 20-year-olds in existence when they are 40, 40 year-olds when they are 60, etc., to trade with.

(Dec 03 '12 at 07:20) anthony anthony's gravatar image
showing 2 of 4 show all

This is a question about the purpose of morality, and it seems to suggest that the purpose is to assure the perpetuation of the human species. But if no one wants children, how would such a moral code change anything, assuming (perhaps wrongly) that such a code would not be backed by physical force? I wonder if the questioner believes that humans should be forced to have children. If no one wants children, how would physical force accomplish anything except to turn the human population into slaves, and how would it be even remotely good for the children, having to endure parents who never wanted them? What kind of world is this question implicitly hypothesizing?

Even if the human population ever did shrink to just a handful who want children, why couldn't they proceed to have them, assuming they act while still of child-bearing age and/or assuming the necessary biological factors are present (either for natural childbirth or artifical insemination or test tube incubation of suitable biologically active ingredients)?

Actually, it is the morality of altruism (self-sacrifice as a moral ideal) that is self-annihilating if followed fully consistently, not the philosophy of Objectivism.

answered Dec 03 '12 at 03:22

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

But there is no intention of sacrifice. It's just that no one wants kids. And that's perfectly justifiable from objectivism. There is no force. There is no sacrifice.

(Dec 03 '12 at 07:42) Juan Diego dAnconia Juan%20Diego%20dAnconia's gravatar image

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Share This Page:



Asked: Dec 02 '12 at 16:41

Seen: 731 times

Last updated: Dec 03 '12 at 07:45