if you dont have kids, you don't have a use.
Debate Rounds (3)
Living and life are two separate things. By living you can have meaning through others. As mankind's survival is based on making new life if you do not have children then you are of no use.
I would like to make my opening statement short and fast. Sadly, my entire argument I had was deleted and I can not retrieve it. So, I will make it quick. Also, thank you for the topic and the chance for an interesting discussion, Makaveli83.
I will be arguing that the meaning of life is not one determined by the mass, but rather the individual. I want to ask Makaveli, as well as the viewers, to ask themselves this: if you have no kids nor plan to have children, are you going to consider yourself fruitless and no benefit to the species and having no meaning really exist? To argue we have one meaning, and that is to procreate, making anyone who has no kids, seemingly worthless, would be to undermine everything about the human species, and actually all species in general. If there was to be one objective meaning, it would be evolution. The advancement of the species. However, one can argue we have reached a point in evolution that we can self evolve ourselves via technology as we have the brain capability to do wonders already.
For one, I think that if we deem anyone with no offspring or current motive to procreate as "useless" we are deeming children of all ages, teens and young adults, and even adults and elderly as useless (who can not do it). Are we to deem a scientist like Isaac Newton as someone with no benefit to the human species on the bases he never had sex? I think that alone shows the silly notion of the topic. It is far better to argue ignorance makes one useless verses not having kids.
Another point I want to make before I finish is that are extremely populated to the point that it's fine for people to not procreate as there are plenty of humans currently and that the best thing to do is to make life better and easier for the humans, like in Africa who need it, so as to advance us further to explore the Cosmos.
Someone like Isaac Newton is far better in usefulness to the human species and a better means to life than a family in Texas who think the earth is six thousand years old and that homosexuals should be killed. And people should not be deemed useless the moment they have children and stop having kids. The meaning of life is what you make it and far more than sex. Procreation is no meaning of life, it is simply the means to keep the species around. A mechanism for the meaning to even exist by keeping us here.
This is my first post so forgive my rambling.
I find your response more to do with living on a spiritual level. I agree with your views though.
My counter arguments are as follows.
With regards to having no meaning to really exist I would say that through time, no one has meaning in the scale of life. An ant has no meaning but it has a purpose. Newton had a meaning to people but a meaning to life i don't think so. When humans are no more will newton still be important. No. The only meaning people have is the meaning other people give them (not including the sperm lol).
With regards to evolution that could on theory be the destruction of humans. Where's our ancestors. So that meaning would again be worthless as humans could cease to exist.
Again with newton. The point you make is merely a meaning given through living and nothing to do with life. Newton did a lot for our understanding of our science (science changes with time) so we give him meaning. Unless he had siblings his genes will not be passed on. He has not created life.
We on a grand scale are nothing. Humans have existed for how long. To think we have meaning in life is to hold us above any other life. Humans are a different form of life from animals and insects etc but still a life. The whole point for animals, fish, insects etc is to reproduce. Some are designed soley to reproduce. Shown here. http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
With regards to evolution. The strongest will survive. How will they survive?through procreation.
Your population point is nothing to do with having a meaning in life. A nice life has no more or no less meaning than a bad life. The only point i can see against is that those who make life that's flawed also had no meaning. Thats a whole new debate though which will offend many people. If we progress to exploring the cosmos that still has no meaning in the grand scale of things unless you procreate on other planets spawning more humans thus a meaning in life not just living.
Newton does have more meaning to some in living terms. But that family in texas are happy believing what they do and still have a meaning too someone ie friends. So both have a meaning to people but the teams genes are still thriving. Who knows one of these teams may go onto to inventing your spaceship that's going to travel the cosmos.
If procreation isn't the meaning of life as it's only a means to keep the species around then I fail to see how you can't agree that's it's the meaning of life. Without sex there is no more humans.
Because after humans, his importance is nulled by the eternal twilight that is the cosmos and the vast properties of it and life it has. Here is the issue; if this was the case, then the reproduction of the species as the objective meaning of life completely falls apart. It makes humans only valuable because, while they are around, they must reproduce, something we have over exceeded at the point where there is plenty of us that reproduction isn’t our main goal, or shouldn’t. Upon us vanishing, that goal fades, making it really a non-objective goal. In fact, even right now the goal makes no sense because we are quite fruitful as we speak. That makes almost every human worthless because the human species will keep going even if we had only 1% of the population reproduce.
If the meaning is only what people give them, then even the notion of the topic itself would fall under the microscope of a subjective view of meaning to life. For me, the goal is humans, or meaning, is what that individual person wants and stands for. My personal goal is to leave a footprint behind for either humans, or any other intelligent, including artificial intelligence, something to go on that might help them. Something that is there in all the means you might think one might be to be considered a legacy for all life.
Newton was important to any intelligent mind that can use his legacy because it allows us to better study the world around us with mathematics. And I feel I can say that before humans go, if we don’t fade within five hundred years, we will be alongside AI’s and they alone will help drive us to further exploration and likely be here even when humans leave the cosmos.
Where is the meaning of our life then? Is it to reproduce or just a catalyst to achieve the other means, the creation of a nigh-perfect being?
And I do not see the theory of evolution having a negative effect on humans, because, if we take the AI example to heart, it is what lead us to this current point of magnificent proportions we take for granted that eventually lead to the wrought of other beings or things for other intelligent being (dogs, cows, whatever happens to become the next ‘human’ in intelligence) a means of knowledge. Cease to exist or not, humans are without a doubt leaving behind a footprint in the very cosmos for others beings to possible use. So our very presence and drive to improve would be a better meaning of life than simply reproducing which is more of a means to continue to do what we are doing, like breathing is for you to even live. A simply means to an end.
Yes, Newton did not pass his genes on as he arguably never even had sex. He is the real life version of the forty year old virgin, but older. What he left, you say, is more a meaning to living and not to life, but him passing his genes are worthless. What he passed for our species is greater than the genes he could have passed. What would have happened should he had kids? He might have a kid who was similar to him or not; a simple vessel to reproduce into a constant line of simply making humans that only exist to have another humans so they can exist to have kids. Giving humans in all zero value but to reproduce like a virus for what? Simply reproducing to exist is not a true meaning but just living. This is why you would have more value than a complete vegetable Tom Cruise who has absolutely no chance of ever recovering; you actually have a chance at shaping the world.
Sir Isaac Newton's genes that he passed are that of the brain. He gave us calculus. If you are a Christian, Jesus gave you morals to live by. Instead of simply being a link in a long chain of mundane beings whose only true meaning is to have an offspring to only exist to do what you did and so on, life itself becomes too monotonous that the ‘true meaning’ itself is no meaning. It has no real use. That is why, if we wanted to ,we can argue that species having a meaning of simply reproducing to exist never had true meaning because they do not exist. If their meaning to exist was to be the means to allow our reality to be how it is now, then the same applies to us, making the reproduction of life to be the meaning false and only an illusion.
The issue with the source your link is that it applies to very minute amounts of mammals and applies more to fixed life, like plants. Humans are animals, and if you say, and the article, that animals only exist to have sex and die, then it applies to us. The illusion of us making our choices’ is what makes us unique to the type of life that only has sex. They are limited and can’t really go out and solve problems of the universe such as we can. However, we as humans were once arguably the very type of animal that did just as the little critter in that article does. Meet the Darwinius masillae. This is an ancestor we as humans have that we also share with Lemurs. 
I mean, to be rather blunt, we have no destiny nor a meaning of living or life. The only meaning we have is what we make it. There is no objective true guide or meaning for life or living that humans live to exist and thus any who do not reproduce are useless. Because, as I have explained, that theory that makes others useless becomes, in itself, useless because the very notion is nonsensical to the entity of all I have explained. Humans, with what I have said, have no real meaning for simply reproducing. If there is more than simply reproducing, then the topic itself makes no sense to deem those with no kids or gene passing to be useless.
And while yes, evolution says the strongest survive. But they can’t survive without the variables that allowed it. But evolution simply explains the diversity of species and that the ones that survived had the means to adapt to change to survive. But, again, how is just narrowly living through catastrophic events only to reproduce or couch sitting only to simply procreate any meaning? It’s really not. Nor does the universe or anything have to have a meaning. We simply exist and existing doesn’t imply that we have some inherent goal to simply procreate.
As I have stated, Newton passed on his very mind and in itself is a benefit to mankind. Science alone has already begun changing genes to prevent kids being born to have these diseases or birth defects that would make them possibly a living from-man, or anencephaly. So a scientist who, like Newton, has no kids or plans on it would have no use or benefit to the species even if he unlocked the capability to even allow people to be born and thus actually reproducing, and in a manner that is actually safe. That would be the premise of the topic. Regardless what you do or have done or will do, unless you have kids, you are absolutely worthless to the species and provide absolutely no benefit.
“If procreation isn't the meaning of life as it's only a means to keep the species around then I fail to see how you can't agree that's it's the meaning of life. Without sex there is no more humans.”
“If having kids isn’t the meaning of life, how can you disagree it is the meaning of life?” That is what I read, but I could just be slow this morning as I didn’t have my coffee. However, how can simply having sex be a meaning? By definition of the Cambridge University dictionary, meaning would be either “The meaning of something is what it expresses or represents” or “importance or value”.
So, life having a meaning, or the meaning of life, isn’t, by what I have all said thus far, be represented by simply creating new life nor is the importance of life having a meaning stemmed via sex/procreation/conception. A meaning of life is, and always will, be what you make it if any. If there is no “what you make it” then there is no inherent meaning as nothing truly needs to have meaning. I have run out of room, so I will extend anything else I need to add in my closing statement.
But, of course, we don't experience the world from a gene's eye evolutionary perspective. One experiences the world as an individual person, not as a gene dispenser (fun as that may be). The joy we get from parenting comes not from some abstract generic idea of gene propagation, but from specific love and interaction with our own children -- making your own baby giggle uncontrollably when you make ridiculous animal noises. We care about ourselves and others as persons, not as a gene menagerie. Humans create our own meanings.
But -- reproduction as the answer to life's meaning cannot be dismissed. Genetic evolution is the meaning of biologic life, in that it is the why and how of it, as well as the stock of future biological existence. The genes that survive -- and in turn the organisms they make -- are the winners in the existence game. Can we just dismiss this when considering the meaning of our own individual human lives? Sure, evolution itself does not have a specific direction or teleology, and genes themselves are not conscious, so there is not meaning in that sense. But evolution cannot just be shrugged off as something apart from us, take it or leave it. It is the biological explanation of who we are, how we got here, and the diversity of life. Over billions of years, life left the oceans, stretched limbs to cover the earth, raised wings to fly. Underlying it all are the replicating molecules that continue to copy themselves even now. We owe our existence to this process, and our future depends on it. Perhaps the meaning of your life as a biological creature is to make babies and help ensure the survival of life.
By making babies, we continue life's pageant. In children, we cheat death.
Yet something seems fundamentally very wrong, or incomplete, with this idea that making babies is the .eaning of life. Do we laud the parents of extremely large Mormon, Hasid, Catholic, and Muslim families as public exemplars of a meaningful life? Do we honor the most popular sperm donor as humankind's greatest philanthropist?
Even if our genes get perpetuated, our genes are not us. After a few generations of genetic mixing and shuffling, there's unlikely to be anything unique or identifying about us in our offspring. If your great-great-grandchild has your brown eyes and your blood type, but no other personality or physical traits uniquely identifiable to you, how much of "you" has really lived on? Further, if the idea is to perpetuate our genetic lineage, what if we have children, but no grandchildren?
Fundamentally, as humans, the problem with identifying the meaning of life with having children is this -- to link meaningfulness only with child production seems an affront to human dignity, individual differences, and personal choice. Millions of homosexuals throughout the world do not have children biologically. Millions of heterosexual adults are unable to have children biologically. For many adults, not having children is the right choice, for themselves, the world, the economy, or for their would-be children. Socrates, Julius Caesar, Leonardo da Vinci, George Washington, Jane Austen, Florence Nightingale, John Keats, Vincent van Gogh, Vladimir Lenin, and Steven Pinker as far as we know did not have biological children. Would we deny the meaningfulness of their impact or existence? The meaning of life for childless adults -- roughly 20% of the population in the U.S. and U.K. -- has nothing to do with fame, but everything to do with what makes life meaningful for everyone: experiencing pleasure, personal relationships, and engagement in positive activities and accomplishments.
From a moral perspective if you are giving of your life for an adopted child, a parent, creative production, teaching, volunteer work, or anything that helps others, adds to happiness, and makes the world a better place -- then an evolutionary genetic perspective seems irrelevant. It is from such bedrocks that human meaning springs. Human meanings are worthwhile regardless of long-term, universal, final consequences, because they are meaningful now.
Also, it's not just the seed alone that produces bountiful produce, it's the entire garden and all it takes to nurture it. The environment is a critical part of the equation. Evolution by natural selection occurs by differential survival and reproduction of genes in a population as a consequence of interactions with the environment. There is also the danger of overpopulation, which could result in famine, disease, and environmental catastrophe, perhaps jeopardizing the future evolutionary success of the entire species. So, ironically, perhaps not having children is the best way to ensure longevity of the human genome. Unlike other animals, we can be conscious stewards of the future.
So is making babies -- and having genes survive through the generations -- the meaning of life? The answer is yes -- from an evolutionary gene's eye view. Making babies, and also other actions and social structures that result in the survival and reproduction of one's gene, such as protecting one's relatives. Differential reproduction is a process which, in conjunction with environmental interactions, has led to all life as we know it, with all its diversity and grandeur, including conscious experience itself. This is modern knowledge that is not to be taken lightly, and has impact on how we view our own meaning.
But from almost every other perspective -- individual, group, moral, environmental, or concern for life as a whole -- the answer to the question is no. Meaning from these perspectives -- from life as it is actually experienced -- is up to us. Reproduction and genetic survival may be the meaning of Life, but it is not inescapably the meaning of your life.
Richard dawkins states:-
it is a mistake to assume that an"ecosystem"or a"species"as a whole exists for a purpose. In fact, it is wrong to suppose that individual organisms lead a meaningful life either. In nature, only genes have a utility function"to perpetuate their own existence with indifference to greatsufferings"inflicted upon the organisms they build, exploit and discard. genes are the supreme lords of the natural world. In other words, the"unit of selection"is the gene, not an individual, or any other higher-order group as championed by proponents of"group selection..individual organisms are not masters of themselves. If an organism had a utility function, it would have chosen to remain young forever and not to die of"old age.Mayflies"would very much prefer to have guts so they would not starve to death within hours of emerging from water and completing copulation."Pacific salmon"would rather not die a certain death just days after their first spawning. But this is not what happens in nature. Women lose"calcium"to babies duringpregnancy"and in"milk"production, a lesser form of sacrifice for the sake of their children.
Above dilemmas can be resolved, if one thinks of utility functions from the perspective of DNA and genes. As long as an organism survives its childhood and manages to reproduce thus passing its genes down to the next generation, what happens to the parent organism afterwards does not really bother genes. Because an organism is always at the danger of dying from accidents (a waste of investment), it pays for the genes to build an organism which pools almost all its resources to produce offspring as early as possible. Thus we accumulate damages to our body as we age and harbor late-onset diseases such as"Huntington's disease"which have minimum impact on the evolutionary success of our gene
Berend forfeited this round.
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