login about faq

Is it not more rational to leave genetic legacy than leave none?

asked Jan 26 '13 at 15:05

Adeikov's gravatar image


edited Jan 26 '13 at 16:15

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

If someone wants to leave a "genetic legacy" so be it; IMO as long as he or she makes an honest attempt towards responsible parenting that is his or her right.

But personally I don't see it as "rational" at all; why work like a dog for something that will materialize after one is dead?

The above is just my opinion, of course; individual people can be equally rational and yet have completely differing goals.

(Jan 27 '13 at 20:11) Louise Louise's gravatar image

I assume Rand didn't bear children because she didn't want children. And I don't see the rationality in leaving a "genetic legacy." Rand left a legacy of ideas which, in my opinion, is more important than a legacy of genetics.

(Jan 29 '13 at 11:43) JK Gregg ♦ JK%20Gregg's gravatar image

Ayn Rand's parents left a genetic legacy and that had a lot of value (at least to many on this board). Ideas come from people not from puddles or rocks so there is clearly some connection.

(Feb 15 '13 at 15:09) Danneskjold_repo Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image

The reason as to why Ayn Rand never had any children has been taken to her grave. Nobody could truly tell you why she didn't have any kids. It would be an assumption if someone said she didn't want any children. My point is, you can't really know what goes on in a person's mind unless they tell you.

(Feb 15 '13 at 22:09) Collin1 Collin1's gravatar image

But don't you think it is possible that Ayn Rand really did need to use 100% of her cognitive capacity and productive ability for her goal to be a writer, with major, world-changing ideas to express, and that children would have been a huge distraction for her and even may well have made her career goals impossible for her to achieve? I certainly can't visualize Ayn Rand being able to do nearly as much as she did in literature and philosophy if she had needed simultaneously to learn about raising children and apply it rationally to her own children (if she had had any). There is only so much that one person can do in one lifetime. Dr. Peikoff managed to combine child raising with career, although he presumably had a lot of help from his daughter's mother; but he did not originate the philosophy of Objectivism or the monumental novel, Atlas Shrugged, either.

(Feb 16 '13 at 00:50) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image
showing 2 of 5 show all

Having children has a profound impact on one's life. It can bring many values, and prevent (or hamper) the attainment of others. Leaving a genetic legacy is merely one of many possible values an individual can hold. Ayn Rand clearly stated that she wanted all of her time and energy to focus on her work, and that value was clearly of much higher importance to her than any values which might have been obtained through having children (including leaving a genetic legacy).

I would also argue that leaving a genetic legacy is fairly dubious as a rational value. The root of value as a concept is something you act to gain or keep with the end of improving your own life in the long-term. By definition, the goal of leaving a genetic legacy (as contrasted with enjoying being a parent) is necessarily something which is only relevant once you're dead. By the nature of what a value is, it's hard to consider it a rational value at all.

answered Feb 04 '13 at 00:41

Andrew%20Miner's gravatar image

Andrew Miner ♦

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: Jan 26 '13 at 15:05

Seen: 996 times

Last updated: Feb 16 '13 at 00:50