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Posts: 1591/1637
(02-May-2012 at 05:02)
Reproduction is Irrational

Putting energy into our replacement is not rational. If not for hormones, emotions and feelings compelling us, and if we were purely rational about it, we would not reproduce.

Discuss.
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(Posted as Black Aurora)
Posts: 446/469
(02-May-2012 at 06:55)


Re: Reproduction is Irrational

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
Putting energy into our replacement is not rational. If not for hormones, emotions and feelings compelling us, and if we were purely rational about it, we would not reproduce.

Discuss.
Thing is, we are a slave to our genes. And genes have the tendency to steer us towards reproduction.

Figures though, any lifeform without a distinct need to reproduce would not be around today.

So here we are, built according to a blueprint that gives our concious selves pleasure from sex, and a whole lot of supposedly positive effects from having/raising children that I'm about to find out about myself when my son will be born about a week from now.
Is it rational? Depends. Could make the point that the strictly egoistic thing would be to not reproduce. But if the most egoistic thing to do is to get as much pleasure and enjoyment in your life, and our body and mind are hardwired towards providing a boatload of pleasure and enjoyment from seeing our offspring grow up, there's still a rational basis for reproduction.
#2  
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(02-May-2012 at 10:56)
Good point, BA.

It is (ir)rational depending on what you think you want to achieve.

From the survival of the species point of view, there is no question. But in the perspective of the individual, survival more likely when you only have to cater for yourself.

Clutching for survival is hardly relevant in todays world, but in an abstract sense I figured it is interesting to think about.

P.S. Congratulations and good luck for your unborn child.
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(24-May-2012 at 03:21)
Re: Reproduction is Irrational

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
From the survival of the species point of view, there is no question. But in the perspective of the individual, survival more likely when you only have to cater for yourself.
Ah, but survival in an evolutionary sense has always been about survival of genetics, not survival of an individual.

So from the point of view of survival of genetics, reproduction is crucial.

From the point of view of the individual, you may have a point. I think that there is a lot more to it than a binary "more likely to survive/not more likely to survive" paradigm.

Congrats Black Aurora - hope everything has gone well
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(28-May-2012 at 01:04)
Re: Reproduction is Irrational

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
Putting energy into our replacement is not rational. If not for hormones, emotions and feelings compelling us, and if we were purely rational about it, we would not reproduce.

Discuss.
The same argument can be made for eating a delicious meal, and it is just as wrong.

Reproduction is only irrational if you ignore the way we have evolved, because this is where all the benefits of reproduction come from. In exchange for a (fun as hell) gene swap and a few years of effort, you get decades of joy and fulfillment that comes from watching your progeny grow.

Yes, all of this comes from our genes. Without these genes we would not exist. It doesn't seem very rational to me to completely ignore them.
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(29-May-2012 at 06:00)


Re: Reproduction is Irrational

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
Putting energy into our replacement is not rational. If not for hormones, emotions and feelings compelling us, and if we were purely rational about it, we would not reproduce.

Discuss.
I disagree, reproducing is perfectly rational if you look at as an investment in to your retirement. Eventually you will need someone to take care of you in old age

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
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(01-Jun-2012 at 03:29)


Re: Reproduction is Irrational

Originally Posted by Saint Sinner: View Post
I disagree, reproducing is perfectly rational if you look at as an investment in to your retirement. Eventually you will need someone to take care of you in old age
What if your child ends up disabled and you have to support them for your entire life? What if your child comes up alright, but they don't want anything to do with you when they grow up? What if they do want you in their life, but have no means to take care of you? What usually happens is that they put you in a house, and use your money to pay for it.

If you're looking at it as an investment for the future, then if you weight all those risks plus all the money, time and physical efforts that you spend on them during childhood, the logical conclusion is that it is much cheaper and safer to save up all this money and use it when you're old to pay for help. You could also be more successful in your career and make more money to support yourself later, without the burden of children.

So I agree that reproduction is essential for the survival of the species, but irrational for the individuals. This is true for all species by the way. A stray female cat where I live got pregnant. During the pregnancy and lactation she lost weight and suffered more than usual while caring for her kittens (life on the street is a survival every day). One day an Amstaff approached her whereabouts a little too close, and in an act of protecting her kittens she jumped at it. Needless to say she was torn apart, and had to be put down by a veterinarian. For her individually, reproduction was counter-effective, and cost her her life, ending it in imaginable agony and pain. But for the species it was effective: losing one individual in order to gain four more is a good deal.

Brother Green, Utopia Angel creator.
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(Posted as Black Aurora)
Posts: 447/469
(03-Jun-2012 at 00:11)


A good point, but we must take into account that in general we don't get torn to pieces trying to protect our children.

Although I wouldn't be able to say a word on the success rate of offspring. Perhaps the general distribution of wealth and level of poverty in your surroundings would be a general indication of the chance your offspring has to eventually be able to support you, but that wouldn't take into account emotional and relational issues.


Thnx for the congratulations, my little boy is doin well

Last edited by Black Aurora, 03-Jun-2012 at 00:16.
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(03-Jun-2012 at 14:58)


Originally Posted by Brother Green:
So I agree that reproduction is essential for the survival of the species, but irrational for the individuals. This is true for all species by the way.
It is also true in many ways. Animal alarm calls are another example. The zebra that yells "lion!!" attracts the attention of the lion, thus putting itself at greater risk.

This shines an interesting light on the usefulness of rudimentary human language, when the act of communicated that supposedly give humans an edge would also attract the attention of predators or prey.

The current preferred answer to language origin is the niche construction theory of evolution - our human ancestors created an evolutionary niche that required language. Maybe the same thing applies to reproduction, and the human niche requires an ever-expanding population.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self- interest.

Last edited by Voice of Reason, 03-Jun-2012 at 14:59.
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(18-Jun-2012 at 22:19)


A young generation is needed so the older generation can survive, there has to be someone that is willing and able to do the labor, to provide food, old people cannot do that. If a few people decide not to reproduce and simply save money and concentrate on their career then it is fine, but if many do it then there wouldnt be enough people to farm the fields and provide food in other ways that would meet the needs of the population, that is not to mention the other jobs needed for survival that old people cannot do.

If you take into account how the world used to be with the constant wars and conquering armies, if there is a nation of old people they would simply be invaded, slaughtered and have their riches and land taken. Without constant reproduction there wouldnt have been enought men to fill the ranks of the army and many nations would have been wiped out.

Death Before Dishonour

When the righteous lose this battle, it is because they, in a wrongful society, exist as individuals whereas the materialists gang up. The Quran suggests the righteous get together and form an alliance against the wrongdoers.
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(21-Jun-2012 at 11:58)
Re: Reproduction is Irrational

Originally Posted by Saint Sinner: View Post
I disagree, reproducing is perfectly rational if you look at as an investment in to your retirement. Eventually you will need someone to take care of you in old age
If you do the numbers, it's cheaper to put on a full time carer for 10 years than it is to raise 2+ children from birth to 18.
#11  
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