Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby PeterB » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:14 pm

I dont think so Anna dear... :smile:

But it would grow again...

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby alan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:22 pm

1)They take away time, energy, and resources which can be used more effectively in pursuit of a higher goal.
2) They are not "yours" anyway. And even if they were, what bigger ego trip is there than making little people who are just like you?

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby meindzai » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:48 pm

Just curious - what are people's opinions on adoption? More altruistic or just as selfish?

-M

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Mukunda » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:00 pm

TMingyur wrote:To sustain society and its welfare - just to mention an example aspect of focusing on others in the context of one's own life.


Sustaining society is sustaining samsara. If one's focus is sustaining samsara, how does one escape from it?

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Mukunda » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:05 pm

meindzai wrote:Just curious - what are people's opinions on adoption? More altruistic or just as selfish?


I think there is a greater possibility for altruism in adoption, as it is meeting a need that already exists, as opposed to creating more needs and bringing forth more sufferring. But adoption isn't necessarily altruistic, it depends on the adoptive parents intent and motivation.

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby meindzai » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:28 pm

Mukunda wrote:
TMingyur wrote:To sustain society and its welfare - just to mention an example aspect of focusing on others in the context of one's own life.


Sustaining society is sustaining samsara. If one's focus is sustaining samsara, how does one escape from it?


Again what's missing here is the understanding that whether you have kids or not, these beings will be born into samsara based on their own kamma. So if I don't have kids, a being will be born into samsara, if I have kids, that being will still be born into samsara, but with the possibility to encounter the Dhamma (based on that being's kamma). In such a case you are providing conditions for escape - though again - much is dependent on that beings kamma.

-M

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Mukunda » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:55 pm

meindzai wrote:
Mukunda wrote:
TMingyur wrote:To sustain society and its welfare - just to mention an example aspect of focusing on others in the context of one's own life.


Sustaining society is sustaining samsara. If one's focus is sustaining samsara, how does one escape from it?


Again what's missing here is the understanding that whether you have kids or not, these beings will be born into samsara based on their own kamma. So if I don't have kids, a being will be born into samsara, if I have kids, that being will still be born into samsara, but with the possibility to encounter the Dhamma (based on that being's kamma). In such a case you are providing conditions for escape - though again - much is dependent on that beings kamma.


I understand that regardless of my decision to have children or not, beings will be born. That doesn't mean I have to participate in it, nor does it mean participating is beneficial. And as I see it, thinking that by having children I am providing an avenue for beings to escape samsara is egotistical, delusional rationalization covering a more selfish desire, namely the desire to continue through my offspring
Last edited by Mukunda on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby altar » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:58 pm

I think people are missing something about reality versus selfish intentions.

What I mean is that, people might have some intention based on ignorance, that they want to have kids, and go ahead with it. It seems people here are condemning that sort of behavior at least some. But the Buddha even okayed this kind of behavior, in some cases, when its in relation to the dhamma: the person who overcomes conceit by conceit, and overcomes craving by craving.
Some people take up the dhamma because of conceit and craving, and over time it just wears out the conceit and tires the craving...
Parenting, while I'm no parent, I imagine could be similar... One might become a parent out of craving. It might not be the same as the dream to become an arahant, but it could still cause a lot of humility and patience over time I would think.
One thing I've come to learn is that while quality of intention is very important, especially as it is a khammic factor, it doesn't seem to always correspond, at least at the perceptible level, with the actuality. For instance you could be thrilled to do something, then when you get around to it... it's not such hot stuff. That's a kind of disenchantment, which the Buddha praised. That could happen with having kids, I imagine. Of course, you're then stuck with them for another 10 or 20 years, at least, but that's the way it is with dhamma practice...
So while I would be mortified if, like in those movies and spoofs, an angel whisked me away to see my future, and said, "that's you," showing me 25 years from now sitting at the sideline of my kid's soccer game, that's the kind of mortification that might help get you out of samsara... bleak... and funny...

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby meindzai » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:26 pm

Mukunda wrote:
I understand that regardless of my decision to have children or not, beings will be born. That doesn't mean I have to participate in it, nor does it mean participating is beneficial. And as I see it, thinking that by having children I am providing an avenue for beings to escape samsara is egotistical, delusional rationalization covering a more selfish desire, namely the desire to continue through my offspring


You don't seem particularly open to other interpretations.

-M

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:17 pm

Hi M

meindzai wrote:Just curious - what are people's opinions on adoption? More altruistic or just as selfish?

-M


I think it depends...
I've certainly seen some wonderful examples of selfless acts of adoption. However, as recent events have shown us, the ugly side of adoption all too easily grabs the media spotlight.
Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Mukunda » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:06 pm

meindzai wrote:
Mukunda wrote:
I understand that regardless of my decision to have children or not, beings will be born. That doesn't mean I have to participate in it, nor does it mean participating is beneficial. And as I see it, thinking that by having children I am providing an avenue for beings to escape samsara is egotistical, delusional rationalization covering a more selfish desire, namely the desire to continue through my offspring


You don't seem particularly open to other interpretations.

-M


Certainly not interpretations based in self delusion.

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Mukunda » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:13 pm

bodom wrote:To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing. - Snp 2.4

:anjali:


To cherish them, not to create them is the greatest blessing.

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Mukunda » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:16 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Mukunda wrote:How come no one asks "Why DO you want to have kids?" :thinking:
I think we should have as many as possible to raise little warriors for the Buddha's cause. It is war out there.


Just as "hate is not dispelled by hate", wars are not ended by creating more combatants.

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby meindzai » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:01 am

Mukunda wrote:
meindzai wrote:
Mukunda wrote:
I understand that regardless of my decision to have children or not, beings will be born. That doesn't mean I have to participate in it, nor does it mean participating is beneficial. And as I see it, thinking that by having children I am providing an avenue for beings to escape samsara is egotistical, delusional rationalization covering a more selfish desire, namely the desire to continue through my offspring


You don't seem particularly open to other interpretations.

-M


Certainly not interpretations based in self delusion.


My mistake. I wasn't aware you were completely free of self delusion.

-M

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:18 am

meindzai wrote:Again what's missing here is the understanding that whether you have kids or not, these beings will be born into samsara based on their own kamma.

I already tried to point out that the kamma of other beings is not our business.
meindzai wrote:So if I don't have kids, a being will be born into samsara, if I have kids, that being will still be born into samsara, but with the possibility to encounter the Dhamma (based on that being's kamma).

If you have kids, a being will be born into samsara, based on the being's kamma and this wouldn't be your business.
If you don't have kids, a being will be born into samsara, based on the being's kamma and this wouldn't be your business either. In both cases there would probably be the posibility to encounter the Dhamma, based on that being's kamma, which still wouldn't be your business.

I think one should always ask himself: "Will this action by body, speech and/or mind, create more suffering?"
If the answer is "yes", one shouldn't do it and I don't think that anyone here will seriously tell me that birth won't create suffering. The first noble truth says "birth is suffering" how can someone seriously consider to have kids, that is to say to undertake (volitional) actions which will lead to birth, as right action?
It is not my intention to offend anyone. From my POV things just present themselves this way.
Probably there are unimaginable many circumstances which finally will lead to another birth and in general there's absolutely no problem in having kids but IMHO to have sex with the intention to have kids, I mean the volitional act of making kids itself isn't right action.
best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:51 am

acinteyyo wrote: I mean the volitional act of making kids itself isn't right action.


I'm sure glad Suddhodana and Maha Maya didn't agree with that view. :)

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby appicchato » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:05 am

Annapurna wrote:Would I be allowed to keep my hair?


Sure...

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby meindzai » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:12 am

acinteyyo wrote:
meindzai wrote:Again what's missing here is the understanding that whether you have kids or not, these beings will be born into samsara based on their own kamma.

I already tried to point out that the kamma of other beings is not our business.
meindzai wrote:So if I don't have kids, a being will be born into samsara, if I have kids, that being will still be born into samsara, but with the possibility to encounter the Dhamma (based on that being's kamma).

If you have kids, a being will be born into samsara, based on the being's kamma and this wouldn't be your business.
If you don't have kids, a being will be born into samsara, based on the being's kamma and this wouldn't be your business either. In both cases there would probably be the posibility to encounter the Dhamma, based on that being's kamma, which still wouldn't be your business.

I think one should always ask himself: "Will this action by body, speech and/or mind, create more suffering?"
If the answer is "yes", one shouldn't do it and I don't think that anyone here will seriously tell me that birth won't create suffering. The first noble truth says "birth is suffering" how can someone seriously consider to have kids, that is to say to undertake (volitional) actions which will lead to birth, as right action?
It is not my intention to offend anyone. From my POV things just present themselves this way.
Probably there are unimaginable many circumstances which finally will lead to another birth and in general there's absolutely no problem in having kids but IMHO to have sex with the intention to have kids, I mean the volitional act of making kids itself isn't right action.
best wishes, acinteyyo


If the kamma of a child is not our business, then we have no part in either it's liberation OR it's suffering. You can't say we're not responsible for one but we're responsible for the other.

I'm not really putting forth a pro or anti parent argument here. I've been on both sides of the fence and I'm trying to keep an open mind. (Though deep in my heart I still feel that 90% of the population should be spayed or neutred before their teens). But if I have a kid I would indeed take it as a blessing. If not, I will enjoy the blessings of disposable income. What I suspect here is that Buddhism seems to attract those with world negating and cynical views about family and parentage which seem to be justified by a certain interpretation of the Suttas. The contradictory views here seem to confirm that. "Having kids is selfish and not having them is better becuase I have a better chance of getting liberated." I've not seen any truly altruistic views on the site of either having kids or not having them.

-M

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:34 am

meindzai wrote:What I suspect here is that Buddhism seems to attract those with world negating and cynical views about family and parentage which seem to be justified by a certain interpretation of the Suttas. The contradictory views here seem to confirm that. "Having kids is selfish and not having them is better becuase I have a better chance of getting liberated."

Excellent observation. I couldn't agree more.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Mukunda » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:15 am

meindzai wrote:
Mukunda wrote:Certainly not interpretations based in self delusion.


My mistake. I wasn't aware you were completely free of self delusion.


I seem to have forgotten making, and now can't find, the post where I made that assertion. Perhaps you can point it out for me.


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