Wednesday, January 28, 2009


In a world of great tragedy and overwhelming need, where millions if not billions of children are inadequately cared for, the most irresponsible and narcissistic thing you can do is bring yet another life into the world.

Now, I am a product of childbirth myself, so I have some sympathy for those who do it. I recognize that children who have already come out of the womb can't be put back in, but if the choice is yours and has not yet been made, the only moral option is to not produce children at all.

It is noble to care for children who are already here but not to create a whole new obligation where none previously existed. It seems the ultimate exercise in vanity, like ordering a luxury full-course meal when all the people around you are starving. It is an insult to the under-served children in your own neighborhood, never mind the millions in needier parts of the world.

Childbirth is also extraordinarily risky, far more so than anything else you can do, like skydiving or driving drunk. The chance that something will go wrong between conception and adulthood is statistically huge. There are genetic defects, birth complications, childhood illnesses, etc. Add it all up and there is a substantial risk that you will be burdened for life with a child who is not fully functional. This is an obligation that would never had existed had you not made the choice to have a child, so it is your responsibility.

You could also raise an Einstein, but the chances of this are statistically low, even if you perceive yourself as being genetically superior. The most likely outcome is that your kid will be, well, ordinary, not disabled but not excelling in any particular way. In other words, you're going to devote a major portion of your own resources—20 years or more—raising one new child, at the expense of all the others already here, and the results will just be one new number added to the already bloated world population.

I don't mean to diminish the role of parents who are now caring for children who are already here (be it by birth, adoption or informal means). Parenting is a noble and necessary duty. But if you created the obligation yourself, there is a certain sense that you are filling in a ditch that you yourself dug. There is no net improvement to the world.

Do you have a "right" to procreate. No! You don't have the right to do anything in this world without considering its real effects and risks. If the human population were dying out or you truly believed that your genes were superior to everyone else's, childbirth could be seen as a service to mankind. Otherwise, it's just a vanity, an invented need. It is something you are doing selfishly because you've hit a wall and have no other direction.

You may think raising "just one little baby" will be no problem at all, but it's going to take almost every discretionary resource you have. There will be very little left to pursue your own goals or for good works elsewhere.


  1. Yes, I totally agree - see letter below.



    Abstinence, Contraception and Sterilisation

    I am writing to you as leader of the world’s …….. most populous country and also to 21 others just to include the UK, which is 22nd in the population stakes. There are too many people in the world - both in developed and developing countries. I would have thought this patently obvious, but it escapes many people’s attention, or they just want to ignore it. Either we regulate our numbers - Abstinence, Contraception and Sterilisation are the key actions here or nature will do the job for us - through climate change, disease and famine.

    The consequences of overpopulation and environmental degradation are clearly there for all to see as ancient civilisations crumbled to dust. Mesopotamia in Asia, Mali and Songhai in Africa, the Anasazi and Mayas in the Americas and the more recent and profound Easter Island calamity. Are we to trash the entire world (now that civilisation is globalised) in the same way with the mass destruction of species and eco-systems? The human experiment has hardly been a success story - for us or the planet.

    At present in the UK as with many other countries, the childless are ignored and stigmatised - economically, financially, socially and psychologically. And procreation is glorified by media and government alike - especially with multiple births when it’s presented as some kind of miracle. Meanwhile we are punished for our beliefs instead of being rewarded for our prudence. It must be remembered that people become parents not for the world, society and certainly not for the child, but to satisfy their own desires and urges.

    STOP exists to bring this issue to the public at large and to encourage people not to procreate. This can be done by education, legislation, financial incentives and economic, political and social pressure. I would like to know what your country is currently doing to control population growth - the most pressing problem facing the world today. For it is from that head of Medusa that all other horrors arise. Fewer people mean fewer problems. It is as simple as that. Thank you for your time.


  2. oh bs.

    I guess we should ban sex too?

  3. There is a difference between responsibly parenting your future progeny versus just creating another mindless consumer of the world. I would like more of the former and less, much less of the latter.
    Unfortunately, the vast majority are doing just that; raising the next generation of zombies that will eat and consume their way through the world without making it appreciably better... in most cases, they leave it worse off than previous generations.

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