The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

We shouldn't have children.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 748 times Debate No: 45479
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Children are problematic because in truth they care about themselves. Therefore, it's not really a benefit having them. We have to dedicate ourselves to things we love to do. You are sacrificing yourself if you decide to have children because you'll have to give away your money, time, and stress into them. It's better not to overpopulate the earth in order to reduce pollution and global warming. The children might suffer a lot too. If you are alive you are alive already, but why make someone alive. Because if you are alive you have to struggle and anyway you'll die. Though children can bring happiness, and they can be happy too, it's a lot of work.


I thank the Pro for proposing an interesting topic.

First of all, the term children generally refers to those in the age span from birth to adolescence. Expecting altruism from these young children is simply ridiculous. As studies of renowned psychologists Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg have indicated, children are not capable of thinking beyond themselves.

In Piaget"s theory, he proposes that children aged roughly between the ages two and seven are in preoperational stage. Piaget used the "Three Mountain Task" to observe children displaying a strong sense of egocentrism. In this test, Piaget discovered that children almost always chose the scene showing their own perspective. Piaget theorized that children simply are not developed enough to grasp the idea that different people have different point of views. [1]

Similarly in Kohlberg"s stages of moral development, children are in premoral or preconventional stage. In this stage, Kohlberg theorized that most children are motivated by either pleasure or pain. Their actions are generally based to avoid punishment (negative reinforcement) and gain rewards (positive reinforcement). [2]
Labeling children as burdensome because they don"t care about the others while in fact they are simply not old enough to care for others is inane. No parents expect their 5 year old to care for others. In addition, don"t all human being young or old care for themselves? Isn't this care for oneself called survival instinct?

I believe that Pro has a very different view towards the purpose of reproduction. Nowadays, it is generally accepted that all living things live to reproduce and continue on their species. This also applies to humans. No matter how advanced we are, the instinct to spread our genes still exists. Although parents still experience joy of watching their children grow and integrate into the society, the aim of having children is not to derive pleasure from them, but to fulfill our duty as a species.

It is undeniable that nurturing children takes a tremendous amount of resources. However, if we don't have offsprings, where will we use these resources? Using the pro's word, this is ultimately 'problemic' because we are using the resouces we have to take care of ourselves.

As for pollution and global warming, simply stop reproducing will not solve these problems. Even if, for some reason, we do not reproduce, the harmful effects of pollution and global warming will remain for centuries. A world where children do not exist will still struggle from these problems.

Lastly, I believe what the pro was saying at his conclusion is that there is no purpose of living or even attempting to live in fear of death. This statement is like saying going to school or to work is pointless as we will eventually end up back in our homes. There will be no development or advancement of any kind if people were to cease all activities in fear of some consequences that will happen. Since death is inevitable, why not make the most of it by contributing to our species and living as best as we can?

Also, can pro please explain further on how children will suffer?

I am looking forward to pro's arguments.

Debate Round No. 1


I thank the Con for a very detailed and relevant response to my argument. I'll discuss each point that was brought up.

Indeed, it is not the fault of children to be unable to help around as others do. They are helpless at that stage, and should only be of use later on. I believe that con's argument is that when children grow into fully functional human beings is when they can be a rewarding presence. Or maybe con is just saying that it is important to be selfless because having children is just a part of our nature. Animals live to reproduce and continue their species.

The former is the claim that children need to become adults in order to not be a burden. I acknowledge that Con is aware that even adults care for themselves to some extent because of their survival instinct. I am aware of the fact that children are blameless for having a limited perspective. That is the very reason that they are problematic. They can be very difficult to take care of. They can be extremely spoiled and demand a great deal of effort from you.
Until they become adults, they will get in the way of your own survival instinct. According to sociological theory, as people gain more time for themselves, they pursue a vocation. In urban times, this is seen more greatly. Children can get in the way of a career which demands your skill to be used greatly. As Con acknowledges, even adults care for themselves to some extent. In many cases, when children grow into adults, they will use you to establish their life. In addition, their ideas of a happy life may vary from yours and they will rebel. This can make you very unhappy. It's an investment that did not pay off. In extreme cases they will abandon you and in milder cases they may not succeed in certain ways. All those negative factors are excellent reasons for not having children.

The latter argument is the claim that having children is just a part of our nature. I actually happen to agree to this point. But I argue that since we are intelligent enough to be self aware, we should choose to not follow our instinctive needs for important reasons. Firstly, children can suffer because they require mature parents in order to be raised correctly. An immature parent can trigger mental issues later on in their lives [1]. Secondly, what I was claiming in my conclusion is not that the fear of death is a reason of which someone should not exist. I was speaking of a possibly controversial philosophical idea of how it's better to not exist then to exist. When someone is alive, he should definitely live on and make the best of it. But to bring another person to life is to make him have to move and work and survive. Anyway that person will die again and not have to face all this. Why bother bringing someone to life and make him work? Thirdly, global warming and pollution can be reduced by having less children. I believe that Con is not acknowledging that. Fourthly, it can be argued that since having children is a part of our nature we have to spend our time on them because it's important to us. I believe that there are other ways of being happy in life and for all those important reasons I have discussed, it's worth choosing to be happy in other ways. One way to be happy is pursuing a vocation as I've stated. A different way is having a romantic love. Yet another way is to explore one's curiosities.

I hope that I answered many of the topics that Con spoke of. If I missed a point, I'll be glad to touch on it more.



I thank the con for his explanations.

First of all, children do not necessarily have to be adults in order to not be a burden. There are numerous cases of children born to families in unfortunate conditions maturing quickly to assist their families' survival. Some children work in hazardous conditions to prevent their loved ones from dying from starvation.

Secondly, I believed that children are not born spoiled. I believe that children are spoiled not because of their loathsome innate quality but because of poor parenting. As famous and highly revered philosopher John Locke described, children are born with "blank slates." It is the society and their environment that influences the children's behaviors. [1]

Third, I also agree with Pro that children pursue certain vocations. However, this does not impede with the adults' survival instincts. In fact, it can be argued that the occupations the children will hold in the future enable parents who will be nearing the age of retirement and cannot work as efficiently. In first world nations such as Canada and the US, more parents are having their children later in their lives. It is now uncommon for parents to have children in their late thirties or even in their early forties. [2] If humans no longer reproduce, not only will our species face extinction but our industries will also come to a halt. Eventually, the current generation of work force will age and leave for the next younger and more energetic generation to take over. That has been the cycle of humanity since the ancient times and has proven to be successful. The development and advancement of humanity indicates the effectiveness of this cycle. The children indicate the future labor force that will receive and carry on the production needed for growth and survival of others until their times are up. In a few decades, the children be the one's taking care of us whether their are our own or not.

Fourth, I do not understand by what Pro means as 'rebel.' In the context of the word, it seems like the word refers to choosing one's own future. How is this 'rebelling?' As part of humanity, children possess the same rights as the rest of us except for few exceptions such as the right to vote and the right to consume alcohol and etc. However, right to pursue their interests is not included in the exception. According to the Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states that:
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. [3]

Since children are not considered as the parent's properties, parents do not have a right to decide on their children's futures. Parents may advise and assist in the preparation of children's futures, but they shouldn't think of themselves as the dictators of their children's lives. Although I acknowledge pro's point that some parents may be disappointed in their children's career choices or their life styles, parents shouldn't intervene unless the activities or the choices are harmful to themselves or others.

I believe that having children is an investment that pays well considerably in most cases. Although I am only 16 and does not have any kids, it is apparent from observing different parents that they find having kids satisfactory most of the times. In the research of Angus Deaton of Princeton University, people most likely to be parents (adults between the ages of 34 and 46 who live with a child under the age of 15) reported a higher sense of life-satisfaction than people in the same age group who did not live with children. [4] Ask any parents their thoughts and emotions of the time when they held their very first child in their arms. Having children contributes to one's overall happiness.

Fifth, I disagree with pro's statement that people should stop reproducing because their are aware of its instinctive nature. Pro has not back his points very well for this argument. Why shouldn't people reproduce? If people can see the instinctive nature of reproducing, surly they see the reasons why they are embedded into our systems. Also I would like to question pro's word choices. He stated that "children can suffer because they require mature parents to be raised correctly." First of all, children do not require mature parents to become stable adults. Some children are strong enough to endure abuses with help from others. Most abused children do not end up as abusive parents. Secondly, I ask the pro what he means by being raised "correctly." I do not think there is a guideline as to how children are raised correctly. Although some methods are better than others, there is not answer key as to how children should be raised.

Six, Pro brought up an interesting point. Although life can be hard sometimes, there are also much joys to living. Having a child is one of many moments of happiness to many parents. Denying people's rights to live and enjoy the fruits their lives may bear is immoral. Parents bring infants to this world so they can be strong and survive. As pro mentioned, I am not acknowledging this argument because I believe that it is unfair and foolish. Though this may be slightly critical, pro's argument is basically the same as saying that murder is justified because in the end, people die. Parents do not give life to their child thinking about how he or she is going to die. They do it for the child to experience some of the things life has to offer.

Next, proposition brings up some of the "happier" options. I ask the pro the following questions: is pursuing one's vocation truly the definition of happiness? Are people happy when they are at work? If yes, will they still be after 30 - 40 more years of same jobs? Isn't the whole purpose of romantic love is to select one's mate whom one can produce a child with? Are people will happy when they study more after nearly two decades of schooling? Regardless of the list of options pro provides, having children brings happiness and joy that compare to no other activities. I'm sure many parents will agree to my assumption.

As to pro's argument that global warming and pollution can simply be reduced by not having children, pro has not backed his point up by any solid evidence. He merely restated his position. Please provide us with how reduced number of children lead to global warming and pollution.

To conclude this round, I would like to bring up a quote that sums many of my points.

"Life is C between B and D: Choices between Birth and Death."

This is a quote I keep close to my heart and I see the truth in it everyday.

The lives of children can only be decided by the children themselves through their choices. No matter how strict parents may be, children are "the master of their souls." [5]

I await Pro's response.

[4] 20140114,0,6208398.story#ixzz2szYmvLTT
Debate Round No. 2


lalatapala forfeited this round.


The proposition failed to provide any answers to my questions nor any arguments in the third round.
Despite his forfeiting the last round, I applaud the Pro for his engagement in this intriguing debate.

I will conclude my arguments in this round.

People should and must have children. Reproducing is the ultimate goal of all life forms whether they are able to recognize the process. Like Pro stated, humans have the cognitive ability of realizing their instinctive needs. However, this is not a reason to stop furthering our species.

In addition to fulfilling the purpose of all lives, reproducing also provides numerous benefits to many. Children are given the opportunities to enjoy their lives and given chances to contribute to the society. Parents are able to taste the joy, happiness and pride of nurturing and watching their children mature. Humanity benefits by being able to further its existence on Earth and the society benefits by increased number of strong, dedicated citizens.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by lalatapala 3 years ago
Sounds good! Good attitude, debates should not get emotional. I'm glad I inspired you, and I apologize again.
Posted by sewook123 3 years ago
Oh okay.
Thanks for the interesting debate anyway.
I don't really judge people through debates because often times people just play devil's advocates and some are just assigned certain positions regardless of their opinion (eg. highschool debate tournaments).
Your arguments made me think about things that I have not contemplated before.
Thanks once again for the thought-provoking debate!
Posted by lalatapala 3 years ago
sorry something came up. In my opinion the arguments were not directly answering what I was stating.
I did not mean to state what I've stated in extreme forms if that was the misunderstanding.
Good debate anyhow. Thank you.
Posted by lbj123 3 years ago
You need help
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Bannanawamajama 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used sources, where Pro did not, and Pro forfeited a round, resulting in a loss of conduct point. Otherwise both used fairly reasonable arguments for their positions and remained professional in their presentations.