Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day from a non-Mother

"Childless by Choice" is an expression I haven't heard in years, but I still say it occasionally when I talk about my life choices. 

As a baby boomer, I grew up under the threat of nuclear annihilation, with the Doomsday Clock ticking right alongside my biological clock.   I was a bright enough child to understand just how stupid our world leaders can be, but also to extrapolate from the Saturday afternoon scifi films of the 50s that replayed in the 60s.  One of the biggest questions of the post- World War II generation was:  Could the concept of mutually-assured destruction prevent the use of nuclear weapons?

From 1945 until now the answer is perhaps "yes."  We also have the examples of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima to remind us that even local nuclear damage is devastating.

The other doomsday clock of my time was world overpopulation.  When it was first presented to me, the world population was 3.5 billion.  It's now over 7 billion.  How many people can the Earth sustain?  Will we find out the hard way?

Well, we seem to have survived both threats... so far.  We turned out to be smart enough not to nuke ourselves, and we developed high-yield grains to feed ourselves.   Now our greatest threat now seems to be global warming.  Do the children of today think, like I did as a child, "Why bring a child into this world only to watch it die in a horrible man-made disaster?"
They don't seem to be thinking this way.  I was apparently the minority to think this way in my generation, too.  (It didn't help that many of the men I dated were scarred from their Vietnam experience or that my family's gene pool isn't really a source of pride for me)
In hindsight, I realize there was another influence on me:  the Bible.  I was a weekly church-goer for almost all of my childhood.  I sat through the readings and sermons barely paying attention, but what child isn't a sponge?
Reading Bart Ehrman's books brought up the issue of Christ as an apocalyptic preacher, which puts Paul's advice into context.
1 Corinthinans:  What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
Is it any surprise that a church-going impressionable child should have apocalyptic fears?

The whole concept of humanity's "last days" being within our sights is a form of child abuse.  Will global warming wipe us all out at once?  Of course not.  We would experience mass starvation, mass drowning, and mass murders but the population as a whole will dwindle, perhaps to a more manageable proportion.  I'm more optimistic than I used to be, but still glad that I didn't bring any children into the world.  They would now be having grandchildren whose task would be to undo the damage of Republican obstructionism and anti-environment legislation.  Their offspring should be the ones to clean up their mess.
 Oh yeah, and I have time to write a blog.


L.Long said...

The problem with that are the dimwitted are out breeding and passing on their low intelligence while someone using intelligence is not doing so.
But I understand your choice.
My wife and I choose to only breed enough to replace ourselves...only 2 kids. And my daughter says she will have more then 2 kids when men can get pregnant. Of course on te day men can get pregnant is the day the Ahole republicans will legalize abortions and contraceptives.

Infidel753 said...

"Dim-wittedness" is far more a matter of poor education than of genetics. One does more to combat it by spreading enlightenment than by trying to out-breed the dummies (and the latter is a very poor reason for having children). Note similarly how the prevalence of atheism keeps increasing even though religious people have more children.

Lady A does more to fight dim-wittedness by blogging than by breeding.

L.Long said...

753 I know about the 'dimwittness' I was just putting the xtian statement of 'we need to out breed the secularists to keep their power'..i.e. the quiverfull silliness into a twist. I guess it is too obscure to be used as a bad joke.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Interesting to stumble in here on one of my blog-wandering nights. I like the posts I have read so far (although I call myself agnostic rather than atheist, but I recognise comfortable wishful thinking nonsense when I see it)

LadyAtheist said...

Labels are ridiculous. Not believing and not knowing are two different ideas. Either way, it doesn't lead a person to the lawd. Welcome to the blog!