The Most Selfish Act Of All

We’re all selfish to some degree. In certain ways selfishness isn’t really a bad thing. I’ll even go so far as to agree with Ayn Rand and say that selfishness can be a virtue. I won’t say it always is good or always is bad, but it can be good and it can be very bad. Hell, there can even be selflessness in totally selfish acts (an example of this to come later). The way I look at it is does your selfishness directly cause harm to another person? If the answer is yes, then it’s a bad selfish by default. If not, then it’s not necessarily good but not necessarily bad either. However, there is one action that is supreme ruler over all the other selfish acts one could commit, and it is really a bad selfish act. That action? Reproduction.

The bottom line is that no matter how you play it up, there is absolutely nothing selfless about reproducing. I dare anyone to try to name me one way in which reproduction is a selfless act. You can’t do it, can you? You can name the sacrifices you make after you reproduce and perhaps those are in fact selfless, but that has nothing to do with the fact that the act of reproduction itself is the most incredibly selfish thing one can do.

When it comes down to it, sentient beings (and not just human beings, I should say, but sentient beings of all species) reproduce for very selfish reasons. Continuing the species? Selfish (sorry, but there ain’t anything special about us or any other life form that absolutely necessitates the perpetuation of that type of life form). Because you want someone to wipe your shit-smeared asshole when you’re too fucking old and decrepit to do it yourself? Selfishness in the highest! Because you want somebody to love? Give me a break, if you’re that desperate for love go adopt a damn dog or even a child for god’s sake. There’s no reason to force life on another sentient being (and thus all the suffering that awaits said being in an earthly life) just because you need to feel all warm and cushy inside. Give me a fucking break.

So, conversely, is childfreedom selfish? In my mind there is no question. The answer is absolutely. Both childfreedom and choosing to reproduce are inherently selfish acts. No matter what you choose about whether to bring life into this world or not, you will make a very selfish choice. That said, the ethics of each choice is totally different. Childfreedom, in contrast to breeding, is a good and moral selfish act, because that selfishness actually benefits others. It benefits the already existing by not adding to the population that will invariably increase competition for jobs, resources, capital, among other things necessary for survival. It also benefits potential persons by sparing them existence on earth and therefore all the pain and suffering that comes with it. In that light, childfreedom is also the most selfless choice one could make. In the entire selfishness of childfreedom is a deep-rooted selflessness. That’s what differentiates childfreedom from breeding.

Say what you will to make yourself feel better about subjecting a poor soul to life, but choosing to bring that soul into life is the most selfish thing you ever did. No amount of justification, semantics, or feel-goody bullshit changes that absolute fact, and I think you know it too. Why else would you people get overly defensive when we call you out for the crap we have to deal with from you?

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About coolchildfreeguy

Childfree guy living in Mexico City. Professional pilot by day, all-around fun guy by night.

Posted on December 22, 2012, in Childfree, Life, Parenting, Philosophy, Religion. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great post. How can one be selfish to a child that has not even been born? Childfreedom is defintely selfless, not bringing another life to suffer! 🙂

  2. Brilliant post, I couldn’t agree more.

  3. turncoatArbitrator

    Oh thank you! I’ve asked a few parents why they chose to reproduce and when I brought up these points, they said they never even thought about it.

    Even if you could magically guarantee that your child would live a happy, perfect, painless life, they would eventually die. Dying is scary and the most primal fear in all sentient beings. Why would you subject someone you profess to love to that? By willingly reproducing, you are implicitly granting them a death sentence. Is it okay because by the time they die they (probably) won’t be children anymore? Which is somehow less tragic because “children are the future/hope/pure/bring light to the world”, and are thus just symbols not actual people?

    Everyone acknowledges that the world is a terrible place, that there are horrors that cannot be fought or hidden from, so why create someone to suffer alongside you? If you’re lonely, post a Craigslist ad. Reproduction is the ultimate cruelty.

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