Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

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

Postby Mukunda » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:19 am

meindzai wrote: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.

Exactly. Each being's kamma is their own responsibility. There is Buddhist tradition that places great emphasis on being responsible for saving other beings, but it isn't the Theravada.

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).


This isn't an anti parent argument? :thinking:

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.


Is it your view that one who places more value on liberation from suffering than pursuing worldly concerns is anti-family? Does one have to create a family in order to respect and cherish the institution? And thinking that "90% of the population should be spayed or neutered before their teens" isn't " world negating and cynical"? :jawdrop:
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby ground » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:36 am

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?

As already said you are choosing how to see things.
"Society" may also be seen as sentient beings living together and - at least most of them - contributing to the welfare of all under conditions that are as they are. Some of them contribute being motivated to attain their own personal goals, some of them contribute through just doing what has to be done and some of them contribute being altruistically motivated. And of course some of them work against the welfare of all due to selfish motivations.

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

Postby Wind » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:13 am

The whole of Buddha's teaching is to lead to cessation, ending of craving, which in turn ends clinging, which will end becoming, which will end birth, and all the suffering that follows. If our hope is all beings come to cessation, to be liberated from the rounds of births, from samsara, we can logically assume giving birth will come to cessation as well.
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby ground » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:21 am

Wind wrote:If our hope is all beings come to cessation, to be liberated from the rounds of births, from samsara, we can logically assume giving birth will come to cessation as well.


This strongly depends on your understanding of "birth" in the context of this thread and your understanding of "birth" in the context of "cessation of birth". As we can see from discussions about 12 links of dependent origination the understanding of "birth" in the context of "cessation of birth" is variable.

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

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:18 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
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. :)

I'm glad, too. But how could they, they didn't know about the dhamma. Kamma-vipāka is unthinkable, incomprehensible, impenetrable. Astonishing, amazing and inconceivable what possibly could be the outcome.
Suddhodana first wasn't very pleased about his son eventually going forth and not becoming a king. How much trouble he had trying to avoid the forecasting and what suffering it must have been as he lost his wife. Okay in the end he became an arahant, but birth still brought suffering. What about Maha Maya, she died seven days after the Buddhas birth. It is said that she was reborn in Tusita, but did she ever became an arahant, I don't know.
The whole thing seems to be a quite complex and a somewhat odd issue... :rolleye:
meindzai wrote:
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.

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.

You're right but I didn't say that we're responsible for one but not for the other, because I'm not talking about the being's suffering. As you can see I said: "... the kamma of other beings is not our business."
acinteyyo wrote:All the suffering starts with birth and in my eyes the parents are at least partially responsible.

I'm not talking about the child's suffering here. Don't get me wrong.

best wishes, acintyyo
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)

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

Postby meindzai » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:58 pm

Mukunda wrote:
meindzai wrote: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).


This isn't an anti parent argument? :thinking:



No, it's just really bad humor. Sorry. :tongue:


Is it your view that one who places more value on liberation from suffering than pursuing worldly concerns is anti-family?



It's not anti family, but if one is thinking that they don't want kids becuase it will interfere with their goal of liberation, one is clearly thinking selfishly. It may be a necessary paradox, at least initially.

Does one have to create a family in order to respect and cherish the institution? And thinking that "90% of the population should be spayed or neutered before their teens" isn't " world negating and cynical"? :jawdrop:
[/quote]

As I said, more of a joke, but yes, definately cynical. Not as sure about world negating. I work on a helpdesk so I tend to think most people are idiots. As I said, Buddhism attracts cynical people and I am certainly one of them. I am being perfectly honest about that, and about my own conflicts on this issue. The problem is how not to read our cynical and world negating views into the Dhamma, which is very easy to do, given that Dhamma teachings go against the stream.

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

Postby alan » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:36 pm

Why DO you want to have kids?
They take time, money and energy. And then you get...what?
I've never understood the whole kid thing.
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:32 am

alan wrote:And then you get...what?

This is the selfish perspective (what do I get for?). But the selfish perspective is one that causes dukkha.

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

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:36 am

What a busy thread.

I'm not sure whether it's been mentioned already but as modern westerners we are in a unique position where the question of having children is considered optional.

In most non western cultures having children is still considered very important. In Thailand for example your children are your superannuation, you are reliant on them to look after you in your old age, I think to most Thai people it's inconceivable that you wouldn't want to have kids unless you are a monk or gay. I think a lot of non-western cultures are the same, and even in the West there are religious denominations that encourage their followers to go forth and multiply. Also probably as little as 50 to 100 years ago in the west it was pretty much assumed everybody would want to have kids.

So I think we should be grateful if we are born in an age and culture where we have the choice.

I didn't really want to have kids as I knew my practice would suffer but my wife did, and yes I don't get to do as many formal retreats as I used to. However what I have learned is also valuable. Kids really take you out of your comfort zone and force you to learn to be unselfish, to learn that you can't control everything in your life, so you learn a different mode of practice. This mode of practice I see is very similar to that used by Ajahn Chah, he was always pushing people against the grain, trying to get them out of their comfort zone, so I think there is wisdom to be gained if you're open to it.

I think there is valuable learning in being a parent just as there is in being a monastic, if you are lucky you'll get the opportunity to do both in your lifetime.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Clueless Git » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:43 am

Goofaholix wrote:I think there is valuable learning in being a parent just as there is in being a monastic, if you are lucky you'll get the opportunity to do both in your lifetime.

Nice post Mr Holix .. :bow:

I agree and would go as far to say that parenthood can be a whole lifetimes practice on it's own.

In most non western cultures having children is still considered very important. In Thailand for example your children are your superannuation, you are reliant on them to look after you in your old age,

In any culture care for the old falls upon the young.

Western society simply allows for people to escape the sacrifices of having their own children in the sure and certain knowledge that they will be supported in old age by the children of those who did.
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Clueless Git » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:02 am

alan wrote:Why DO you want to have kids?
They take time, money and energy. And then you get...what?
I've never understood the whole kid thing.

'Lo Alan :)

I had kids so as there is someone to change your incontinence pads and wipe the gravy off of your chin when you get old and flakey, m' matey.

Please PM me for my Paypal address if you would like to send me your thanks ...

(Just joshing there :tongue: but can you at least kinda see what I mean?)
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby alan » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:19 pm

If you are raising your kids as nurses who intend to help me out when I'm old, I thank you.

More than 6 Billion people on the planet, folks. Not sure if it is necessary to add too many more. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7974995.stm[url][/url]
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:08 pm

Greetings,

Subjects like this demonstrate that no matter what you do, someone will always find fault with it!

The Buddha taught about eight worldly conditions (Atthalokadhamma) and they come in four opposing pairs which make the world go round...

Gain/Loss, Praise/Blame, Fame/Disrepute, Pleasure/Sorrow

There is a good article about them at http://www.bps.lk/bp_library/bp_102s/page_43.html and a good sutta about them at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html (AN 8.6 Lokavipatti Sutta).

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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

Postby Guy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:25 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Subjects like this demonstrate that no matter what you do, someone will always find fault with it!


Well said! :twothumbsup:
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

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

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:24 pm

Clueless Git wrote:Western society simply allows for people to escape the sacrifices of having their own children in the sure and certain knowledge that they will be supported in old age by the children of those who did.


Yes, and I suspect as a result in a few decades Western Society will be heading towards extinction, or as is already the case our society will be kept populated by immigration from cultures that are still having a lot of children.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby suriyopama » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:28 am

Goofaholix wrote:In most non western cultures having children is still considered very important. In Thailand for example your children are your superannuation, you are reliant on them to look after you in your old age, I think to most Thai people it's inconceivable that you wouldn't want to have kids unless you are a monk or gay. I think a lot of non-western cultures are the same, and even in the West there are religious denominations that encourage their followers to go forth and multiply. Also probably as little as 50 to 100 years ago in the west it was pretty much assumed everybody would want to have kids.


Hi Goofaholix.

I've found the exception :smile: My Thai wife, her two sisters, and some of their friends do not want to have kids.
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby Clueless Git » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:47 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Clueless Git wrote:Western society simply allows for people to escape the sacrifices of having their own children in the sure and certain knowledge that they will be supported in old age by the children of those who did.

Yes, and I suspect as a result in a few decades Western Society will be heading towards extinction, or as is already the case our society will be kept populated by immigration from cultures that are still having a lot of children.

Kind of a Darwinian natural selection thing going on there, innit?

Those who don't breed will be removed from the gene pool.
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:56 pm

Many developed countries, such as those in Western Europe and Japan are having an annual decrease in population due to so many people not having children. Now Japan is offering money for couples to have more children:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/0 ... index.html

Immigration could easily solve a country's population problem, but there are always some people in every country who look down on immigration as a threat to the dominant culture.
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Re: Reasons why you do not want to have kids?

Postby meindzai » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:37 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Many developed countries, such as those in Western Europe and Japan are having an annual decrease in population due to so many people not having children. Now Japan is offering money for couples to have more children:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/0 ... index.html

Immigration could easily solve a country's population problem, but there are always some people in every country who look down on immigration as a threat to the dominant culture.


As I understand right now - the U.S. actually has a negative population growth in terms of reproduction, but positive population growth due to immigration. Some people (especially very conservative types) see this as a threat.

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

Postby Clueless Git » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:39 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Many developed countries, such as those in Western Europe and Japan are having an annual decrease in population due to so many people not having children.

'Lo David :)

Does anyone think that is because both wealth and low birth rates AND poverty and high birth rates are linked?
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