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Having kids in the future


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#1
StanleyAlexander

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So I had a conversation with my girlfriend today about having kids, and I of course had to bring up some future shit like I always do... been thinking about it since then, so I wanna put a question out there for you guys and gals. Given the way our world is right now and the direction it seems to be heading in (and I'm thinking about climate change, geopolitical tension and of course the singularity), would you want to have children right now? Why or why not? If not now, when? Ever? This question is very subjective, so (if you don't mind) please include your age and country in your response. Or don't. :p
Humanity's destiny is infinity

#2
Italian Ufo

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lol i think just last week we were talking with SG1 in this forum about this issue. In my personal opinion it is too early for me to decide...lol well kind of...when it comes to these things you need to find the right person fist. anyway, i feel like i am betting with time... science is my faith and i hope to live for very long...in that case i would prefer to have my children in centuries for now. there is so much violence in this war, taxes, stress, very little time to enjoy ourself...there is also not so much love among humans begins.. so would you put your child in a world like this? i dont know...life is still beautiful but it could be better later on when we solve many social problems...so I may just wait. on the other hand...are we sure that medical science will improve very fast that will give us the opportunity to live much longer? i don't know i feel i am playing with time...so for now i wait to finish my PhD, by then I hope to decide... Also i would love to choose the sex of children...i want one male and one female.. and i think i may have to wait for that... I am also undecided to select or not the genes of my future children. Diversity and contrast can be nice at times in a family..but sometimes it can harm harmony in the family... how many parents do we see or children arguing and screaming all the time because they are so different from their parents? sometimes you hear big offences and there is lots of tension.. At times I think that it may be nice to select the genes of your kids... so for example i am intrested in science and sport and music...i will try to have a child who is also intrested in that... and the house will be in harmony...and we can love each other more.. but will see...I still didn't decide on this issue either.. this will also be a big ethical debate in the future.

#3
Alric

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I don't believe in having a child until you are fully prepared, both mentally and physically. You need to be able to feed and care for it and have the resources for them, and you need to be in a state where you are not going to stress out over minor things. To many people have children and they already got stress in their life and when you throw a child on top of it, it is just to much. Personally I hope we have technology where people can have children at much older ages. People shouldn't really be having children until their like 40.

#4
Italian Ufo

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Personally I hope we have technology where people can have children at much older ages. People shouldn't really be having children until their like 40.


Well such technology already exhists somehow. Artificial insemination (AI) could provide help for elderly couples in their 40-50s..
Recently a famous italian actress had a child at 53 thanks to this technique...
the problem is ..imagine when her son will be 18...she will be in her 70s..
how can you keep up with this huge age gap?
physicial strenght is not longer the same in your 70s.
plus if you have children at that age you must have lots of money, at least when you die your children can at least support themself..

so the problem is the same...we should find a way to stay always biologically young and active thanks to regenerative medicine so we can work and follow mentally and physiciall what children do

#5
hellgorama

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Having children at such a late age will also mean higher chance of the child having some disorder like autism. Look at all the mental and physical problems and deformities that are starting to pop up in children in western nations. I'm sure there are multiple factor that affect this, but I'm also sure having children at a late age is one of the contributors. SO it all boils down to making tradeoffs. Even if you can manipulate genes, you will end opening up another can of worms (which is what usually happens with most scientific advancements). My opinion is the following: People should either choose to have kids (at their late 20s or early 30s) and live a family oriented life OR career-oriented or bachlor(ette) for life. Problem comes when people want to do both (IE have the cake and eat it too). I would prefer that people (EVERYONE IN THE WORLD) choose to have as few kids as possible unless we get the space industry up and running.
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#6
Italian Ufo

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Having children at such a late age will also mean higher chance of the child having some disorder like autism. Look at all the mental and physical problems and deformities that are starting to pop up in children in western nations. I'm sure there are multiple factor that affect this, but I'm also sure having children at a late age is one of the contributors. SO it all boils down to making tradeoffs. Even if you can manipulate genes, you will end opening up another can of worms (which is what usually happens with most scientific advancements). My opinion is the following: People should either choose to have kids (at their late 20s or early 30s) and live a family oriented life OR career-oriented or bachlor(ette) for life. Problem comes when people want to do both (IE have the cake and eat it too). I would prefer that people (EVERYONE IN THE WORLD) choose to have as few kids as possible unless we get the space industry up and running.


I absloutely agree...thats why i give a few more years..
but there are also many difficulties right now...i will probably stay single..
but never say never

#7
Lily

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Right know, I am pretty much sure I don't want to have kids. When my classmates and friends talk about how many children they want, how they are going to live, what they want to offer their offsprings and how nice it would be to have a little baby, I feel disconnected. I seem to lack the desire for having a child myself, and I can't really describe why. It is something frowned upon, at least that's the impression I always get when I see their reactions once I told them my point of view. It's just that I can't picture myself as a mother, and I don't think I would be good at it, too. My interests lie somewhere else, and I don't see that changing in the next decade. I will not rule out children entirely, for I don't know if I may change my mind in the future, but as of now, I am quite determined to stay childless. I want to pursue a science career and devote my life to learning, discovering and exploring new things - I don't see how a child fits into that. Additionally, while other girls my age seem unable to get their minds working when they see a cute baby or a crying one at that, I often feel, like I said, disconnected. Usually, I don't feel such strong emotions as they seem to towards little toddlers.

"All scientific advancement due to intellegence overcoming, compensating, for limitations. Can't carry a load, so invent wheel. Can't catch food, so invent spear. Limitations. No limitations, no advancement. No advancement, culture stagnates. Works other way too. Advancement before culture is ready. Disastrous."

There's definitely truth in that...


#8
Italian Ufo

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On the contrary i love children so much..but it is not easy to be a parent, especially at this socio-historical time. but of course everyone has their own thought on that.

#9
StanleyAlexander

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I think what's going on right now is a paradigm shift so fundamental and powerful that the meaning of life itself is changing. For the entire history of biology, the name of the game has been to reproduce and give your offspring the best shot at life that you could. Now (nowISH, soon), due to the unique power of the human brain and all the culture and history and society it's produced, that's not the bottom line anymore. Now one can legitimately question the necessity of procreation. Earlier in humanity's history, having a meaningful yet childless life was harder, but still possible. We could still leave a legacy with our works and our words, even change the course of history without having children at all. That's a unique attribute of our species. A dolphin that fails to reproduce is nothing more than a genetic dead end. But a human can produce an incredible amount of lasting, significant information in a lifetime. Moreover, the amount and significance of that information is increasing exponentially over time. I'd argue that post-singularity life will involve so much (and such powerful) information production that having a child will only make sense as an ancillary life choice, rather than the centerpiece of life it represents today. And raising children does represent the meaning of life. I believe that today, if you're going to have kids, your job is to live your life for them, pure and simple. Chasing your own dreams while sidelining your children's welfare is no less than an act of evil. However, I don't think it's going to be that way for very much longer.
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#10
Alric

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I have already decided that I am not going to have children until I am like 100 years old. Either the technology will greatly improve and make that a healthy and good time to have children, or I just wont have them ever. Right now age is a problem but in the future it might not be. I can understand people rushing to have children today because their options are limited but it might not always be that. I don't want to ruin my life or lower my standard of living so I am not having children until I am at a point in my life that I can take care of them completely without stress and without effecting my life style. Which is when I am very much older.

#11
hellgorama

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It isn;t just older, but you and your partner should be good financial, emotion, and physical position to so. Anything less is careless and leads to abuse, mentally ill kids, delinquents and whole host of other problems.

#12
Alric

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It really isn't about age at all. Just in general people don't have a home, a career and everything financially squared away until they are older. If you plan to go to collage, and have a career then you need to go through school, then pay off any school debt you have before having children. Then after all that work most people probably want to advance some in their career before making a child their top priority. They might want to buy an own a house too. So you should do all this first, having a child at the same time makes it all hard. Personally I think when you are retiring, is the time to have children, assuming your not retiring because you were forced to because your to old. At that time you got all the resources to live years and years without working, so what better time to raise a child?

#13
Zeitgeist123

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id say if you are poor and you have kids, you are a child abuser.

“Philosophy is a pretty toy if one indulges in it with moderation at the right time of life. But if one pursues it further than one should, it is absolute ruin." - Callicles to Socrates


#14
Antevorta

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Having children at such a late age will also mean higher chance of the child having some disorder like autism. Look at all the mental and physical problems and deformities that are starting to pop up in children in western nations. I'm sure there are multiple factor that affect this, but I'm also sure having children at a late age is one of the contributors. SO it all boils down to making tradeoffs. Even if you can manipulate genes, you will end opening up another can of worms (which is what usually happens with most scientific advancements). My opinion is the following: People should either choose to have kids (at their late 20s or early 30s) and live a family oriented life OR career-oriented or bachlor(ette) for life. Problem comes when people want to do both (IE have the cake and eat it too). I would prefer that people (EVERYONE IN THE WORLD) choose to have as few kids as possible unless we get the space industry up and running.

 

I was actually just talking to my boyfriend last night about having children in the future. He had originally mentioned that he wanted to have kids when he was 65. And at first, the idea irked me because I didn't think it to be a possibility in any way. But then I figured with all of the medical advances that maybe we could have kids at a later age. I still think 65 would be a bit too late to have children (at least for a woman, since her eggs are limited in supply and begin to atrophy at an accelerating rate after age of 35 causing disorders and mutations), but as my boyfriend mentioned, there are existing technologies to aid this process. You could possibly preserve eggs when you're young to save for when you decide you want children, and maybe do the whole test tube baby thing.

 

However, this made me look into life expectancy rates in the future and I came across this.

 

http://data.un.org/D...f=variableID:68

 

By the time I am 65 (in 2055), life expectancy is only 84.1 years. I don't exactly know how they are coming up with these figures, and I don't know to what degree they are accounting for advances in medicine and technology, but I gotta say, I was a little shocked at how slow life expectancy is rising (the filters I have applied are only for America). 

 

 

I think what's going on right now is a paradigm shift so fundamental and powerful that the meaning of life itself is changing. For the entire history of biology, the name of the game has been to reproduce and give your offspring the best shot at life that you could. Now (nowISH, soon), due to the unique power of the human brain and all the culture and history and society it's produced, that's not the bottom line anymore. Now one can legitimately question the necessity of procreation.

Earlier in humanity's history, having a meaningful yet childless life was harder, but still possible. We could still leave a legacy with our works and our words, even change the course of history without having children at all. That's a unique attribute of our species. A dolphin that fails to reproduce is nothing more than a genetic dead end. But a human can produce an incredible amount of lasting, significant information in a lifetime. Moreover, the amount and significance of that information is increasing exponentially over time. I'd argue that post-singularity life will involve so much (and such powerful) information production that having a child will only make sense as an ancillary life choice, rather than the centerpiece of life it represents today.

And raising children does represent the meaning of life. I believe that today, if you're going to have kids, your job is to live your life for them, pure and simple. Chasing your own dreams while sidelining your children's welfare is no less than an act of evil. However, I don't think it's going to be that way for very much longer.

 
 
When do you think the singularity will occur?
 

Edited by Antevorta, 28 January 2013 - 07:58 PM.

The future is a revolution against the present

 

#15
Alric

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There is already technology in development to create artificial eggs and sperm. In the future it is likely that two men or two woman could even have children using that technology. They just create it using a sample of your DNA, and in that case age isn't really going to be a factor at all. Especially if they also develop artificial wombs so you can grow a child outside of the human body.



#16
Antevorta

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Sure, but age will still be a factor if immortality isn't achieved. Like I said, at this point, if I were to have a kid at 65, I would die when my kid is about 20. And that is long enough to raise my child to be independent, but it's still pretty young. 

 

The future is a revolution against the present

 

#17
StanleyAlexander

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When do you think the singularity will occur?
 

I think the singularity will happen sometime from 2045-2060.

 

I also think that before then we'll have a much better idea about how realistic it is to plan for immortality.


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#18
Russell's teapot

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Personally, I don't want children - and I can't imagine myself wanting children at any point in the future either. My feelings about this may however change with time, but I highly doubt it. Kids would drastically decrease my quality of life, and greatly interfere with the activities that I enjoy.

 

There are several reasons why I don't desire offspring. One is that I simply won't have the time to take care of kids any time soon because of my studies and hobbies. Then I need to get a job, and pay down a bunch of loans. Once that is done, I wish to do some travelling and other interesting stuff. It is possible, of course, to pursue hobbies and travel to places while having kids. The problem is that having kids costs a lot of money, which I would rather use on other things which I consider to be more important. Also, if you wish to raise kids properly, you need to devote a lot of time to play with them and educating them. This is simply not one of my priorities. If my life-expectancy eventually shoots up because of future medical advances, I might decide that using 20 years of my life to take care of kids is a good idea. I also have a fear that potential kids may end up getting sick, physically and/or mentally. What if a future kid suddenly has a mental breakdown and kills me while I sleep, and then proceeds to eat my brain? Or deletes my video games? That would be horrible. If I ever decide to have kids, I hope that it is by then possible to use genetic engineering to make sure that the kid/s doesn't get born with any genetic defects and that they are not predisposed to any illnesses etc.

 

I'm not antinatalistic (I used to be when I were younger and depressed, however), but making kids is a pretty "big" choice. It's a harsh world out there. A kid may end up getting beaten up every day at school, or he/she may end up sustaining serious injuries in some way. At this point, many illnesses are stil incurable, and it is not yet possible to fully repair the damage caused by many injuries and diseases (necrotizing fasciitis causing a double arm-amputation for example). If we had better technology to fix injuries etc, having kids would to me seem like a more rational choice than it does today.

 

In addition, creating kids at the moment requires a healthy female that I can inseminate. Because of my social incompetence, entering a relationship with one is for all practical purposes impossible (that, and I think I actually prefer to live alone). Donating semen is always a possibility, but then I don't get to raise the kids my way.

 

Oh, and I just don't like kids very much. Using my DNA to create new sentient beings still seems relatively appealing though - but I try to transcend that feeling in order to do what I deem most rational. Like others have mentioned, I would wish to be a lot older than the typical 20-40 year olds who have kids, If I ever want to reproduce. 80-120 seems like a good age-range, when it comes to aquired knowledge and general life-experience.


Theorem: It is always too soon for despair. Proof: We do not know our fates.

- Robert C. W. Ettinger


#19
Kombaticus

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I'm way too awesome not to reproduce.  I seriously want little mes running around...their fine genes plus a great upbringing will allow them to work wonders.

 

Many people seem to think that having kids is selfish, or that you are somehow trying to "preserve" yourself in some sense...I personally don't see it this way.  I really just want more people to love in my life.  Plus I'm looking forward to the adventure of fatherhood.

 

 

On Children  

Kahlil Gibran

 

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,  For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,  which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them,  but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,  and He bends you with His might  that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies,  so He loves also the bow that is stable.


"Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and I am content." -Conan the Cimmerian


#20
zEVerzan

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I'm way too awesome not to reproduce.  I seriously want little mes running around...their fine genes plus a great upbringing will allow them to work wonders.

 

Many people seem to think that having kids is selfish, or that you are somehow trying to "preserve" yourself in some sense...I personally don't see it this way.  I really just want more people to love in my life.  Plus I'm looking forward to the adventure of fatherhood.

 

 

On Children  

Kahlil Gibran

 

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,  For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,  which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them,  but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,  and He bends you with His might  that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies,  so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

I read that poem while imagining your avatar say it. Needless to say I chuckled a little.

 

FREEEEEEEEEZZZZYYYYYPAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHP


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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