Childless & Crueless
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Having children was never a priority for me, most of all because I knew I would make a horrible parent (too flighty and unpredictable, even to myself, and completely unmotivated to attain mounds of money and material wealth), but also because I've not been at all impressed with the direction the human race has been heading ever since I became aware of the direction the human race is heading. That awareness sparked at age six within the first few minutes of the first day I was shoved into a public school and life experiences since then have steadily solidified this personal assessment, convincing me that having children would be a selfish, senseless act of incomparable cruelty on my part.
Holding my first great nephew in my lap a couple of decades ago I clearly recall thinking about this staunch conviction at that very moment. I can see it in my eyes and facial expression in this photo now. And as much as I have enjoyed interacting with children, I still believe our society offers very little of value to anyone born into its chronic societal insanity–a malady the human race seems not at all inclined to remedy.
I don't consider myself antinatalist, having no argument against other people bringing children into existence. In fact I marvel at the confidence and expertise some people bring to bear in their childrearing efforts. I just know without doubt that it would be a mistake for me to try to do any child raising due to steadily degrading confidence in life quality as our society inexorably destroys the only home we have, centuries before we have any chance of migrating to other worlds offering fresh supplies of resources we can consume at ever-increasing rates while our population swells to critical mass proportion.
I also do not harbor any leanings toward voluntary human extinction. I want the human race to survive and spread throughout the universe before it all contracts to singularity and ignites (again?) or continues flying apart until atomic cohesion is no longer possible or whatever the ultimate state of everything will be. To give up and sit still while the end of all things inevitably happens is a dreamless existence I can't even imagine. But we are just not able to exist in any sustainable form or fashion to survive long enough to expand beyond this tiny planet. We just don't have enough self discipline to accomplish that.
I hope I'm wrong and that there will be no tipping point for the human race. I'm convinced we will always have people brilliant enough to discover ways to extend existence of our speicies, eventually, with enough time. And I hope to live long enough to at least see fusion power plants come online to provide electricity to us all in never before quantities and cleanliness. That might spark hope. With such boundless supply of clean power we may discover how to convert energy to matter in ways which prevent loss of rapidly dwindling resources and planetary overheating. But it only seems more and more obvious that our collective appetite is insatiable and that we are simply unwilling to curb it even a little bit for the sake of our collective survival extending far enough into the future for us to invent and develop ways and means to accomplish that, or to move from this world of limited resources to colonize other habitable, resource-rich worlds somewhere out there in the vast universe surrounding us before it's too late.
Another deciding factor for me has been rapidly mounting prenatal accumulation of chemical compounds. A recent article (Suspect Screening, Prioritization, and Confirmation of Environmental Chemicals in Maternal-Newborn Pairs from San Francisco) detailing study of this subject is as disheartening as it is disgusting. I suspect the unwise importation of food products from China and other jinky producers more concerned with turning profit than exercising any form of quality assurance will turn out to be sources of the 55 never-before-detected chemical compounds. Societal insanity aside, bringing a child into existence carrying such a considerable harmful chemical load at the moment they breathe first lungful of already pollution-tainted air turns my stomach and would certainly provide fodder for related nightmares thereafter.
Finally, any children I might have had would have eventually become commodity in this obscenely commercialized society of ours. And without potential for maturing into productive members of a race of beings capable of ultra-extended survival to venture out into the universe unimpeded, they would have been nothing more than just another commercialized item with only one purpose in their meaningless lives: to be consumed by their fellow human beings. By consumed I don't mean "eaten" in the literal sense, but in every other conceivable sense because that's what creatures attempting to survive in an ever-increasingly hostile environment trapped on a world providing ever-decreasingly adequate resources for a population which never stops growing will end up doing as society totally collapses.
Feeling this way about society, I can't imagine committing a greater cruelty than irresponsibly bringing a child into its intractable, rapidly worsening, and apparently irreversible, mess.