Why it is necessary to have children.

I must have children – it is not a matter of choice. Why? Because I myself am a child – to not have a child is to act in contradiction with my own existence. Because my generation does not exist independently of the previous one, because we continue the previous generation and intimate the next (intimation in the classroom and the bedroom).

I must have children because it is upon the next generation that the decisions of history rest. Our task, if we have a task, is to further the mechanization and organization of the world such that it can sustain it’s own ordering and securing indefinitely – in other words, be equal to the idea of itself. This task is essentially simple and requires not the power of thought but the power of inquiry and persuasion. This task has been given to us by the previous generation, who could only produce indefinitely, but who could not produce indefinite production itself as such.

The task of the true philosopher in this age is not to “aid with the saving of the Planet” (the production of indefinite producibility), or rather it is not only in this. The philosopher can become technocrat, and may perhaps be commended for this, but this is not a becoming-other in which the philosopher remains a man of Works and of Stillness – rather he contradicts his essence by entering the sphere of production and hubbub.

The task of the true philosopher in our generation is to grasp and hold the seed, to be the rare and the few who do not merely enact other thinking (the true artists of our generation do this), but comprehend it in its truth – and comprehension of other thinking, or the enactment of other thinking is never something like securing a series of propositions or performing an argumentative method.

When the Danger becomes absolute, in other words, after the transcendent danger of world catastrophe is passed and the danger as such becomes immanent (the danger that being will never be grasped otherwise than as an object), then the hermeneutic task of the philosopher will become social – the philosopher/poet/politicien will enact otherwise thinking in stillness and quell the hubbub of objective-determination. This task can never become social while the hubbub continues to produce its own extermination, but only when it becomes absolutely everyday and not threatened by anything at all.

Question of the day: If history in the West since Hegel is determined as the thesis structure of abstract becoming concrete, in other words, having a telic orientation towards its own fulfillment, does the overcoming of western history itself have that structure? Does the grounding question (not “what is”, but “how is?”) gather as a logos towards a futural projection of unity? Or need it not have this telic gathering structure at all – might it have the de-centering sinuous line of physis? Or, does physis gather only futurally?

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3 thoughts on “Why it is necessary to have children.

  1. Confusing.

    At the beginning of the post I was convinced you were talking literally. At the end, when you were talking about different historical ideals, I was wondering if you meant metaphorically. I directly asked you, the answer is literally.

    The Practical Question

    Having children is a matter of choice. Remember kids – exercise safe sex. Or you could always go the Bush route and save yourself for life. Aside from that, we have unprecedented control over our reproductive faculties and reproductive rights granted by new technologies. Even in the face of contingency, you have the choice (to varying degrees) on whether you should have a child or not. Since you are not a woman, it is possible that prior to your vasectomy, a condom malfunctions, and the ideals of your partner clash with yours so strongly that you are left with no choice but to have a child, but the accident situation clearly is not the type of choice you are talking about. You are talking about a pressing need that makes you feel like you must have a child.

    The Idea Of Children

    (1) “Because I myself am a child” If you feel like a child, and that in turn leads you to desire children of your own, so be it. I am not sure that feeling like a child is a good reason to bring children into the world. I would suggest that feeling like a parent might be a better one. At the very least, you must realize that your subjective whims aren’t universalizable.
    (2) “to not have a child is to act in contradiction with my own existence.” The more likely explaination is you are advancing some form of naturalistic fallicy. Rather than feeling like a child, you mean you were once a child, so you must have a child, because it is the natural order of things. It’s not, and if it is, it doesn’t have to be. (Clarification. It is natural that people do need parents to have children to come into existence. However, everyone in existence having a child isn’t the natural order of things. There are plenty who are unable or choose not to reproduce. Your mistaking the majoritarian practice for natural teleology. Secondly, natural order arguments are subject to critical arguments. Just because it does happen doesn’t mean it is good, and it seems that if the majoritarian changed its practice – by deciding not to have children, which is the very issue being debated here – then we would have a new natural practice.)
    (3) “Our task, if we have a task” The operative word in the sentence is ‘if’. What if we just don’t see, or we reject, your high minded teleological order for more practical considerations, such as a desire not to have children.
    (4) Your argument can be modified into a more acceptable form. We might say that the continuation of the human race, particular societies, whatever you want to break it into, is a desirable goal that stands up to the scrutiny of critical evaulation. Rather than a teleological claims, you could affirm the current order as desirable and work from there. This fits well with your continued development, duty of a philosopher, turning social, etc. Unfortunately this doesn’t speak to why I must have a kid. Once again we must give room for ambiguity. The post says, “Why it is necessary to have children.” This could mean, it is necessary for some children to be born, or for everyone to have children. The first line says “I must have children”, which is specific claims relating only to yourself, but it is supported by a general argument about the need for children to continue society, or whatever goal you extract from your claims about history. If you meant, some children must be born (a statement I have already questioned) [to continue society], and you will be bearing one of them [for entirely personal] reasons, then it is (A) not particularly interesting, and (B) far less offensive than insisting everyone must have children. However, it is still not correct, you (particularly) do not need to have children. You advance the need to continue society as your reason for doing so, rather than subjective motivations. Society can contine quite aptly, although perhaps at somewhat of a loss, without your child.
    (5) Your quasi subjective reason of being a philosopher turned social can be fulfilled without having children. You can work for the betterment of society without having children of your own. You will have fulfilled your obligation, and assuming enough other people have children, society will continue to exist, without you having children.

    To sum up, I think you have completely disjointed the issue when you start talking about the overcoming of history having a structure. Having a child is a personal a choice. I am going to assume you still want to have a child, and say, bully for you. However, the naturalistic argument fails to create a general obligation to have children. Even the more critically resistant (but not entirely) goal of the continuation of the species doesn’t necessarily provide you with an particular reason to procreate. Given overpopulation, it is safe to assume that the human race will not disappear if you, or a great many people decide not to have children. As for a particular obligation that you hold as a philosopher to better society, or some form of historical process or goal, it is plausible, but maybe discharged without having children.

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