Sunday, 8 May 2011

Young women - Why not get married, have children?

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Why should young women at the peak of their reproductive potential aim to get married and have children and care for them?

What are the answers of modern secular society?

That marriage and kids are a big risk - and this is perfectly correct: many things can go wrong, and some of these things are devastating.

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So, if you want to avoid the risk of being very unhappy, don't get married, don't have children - and if you do make such choices - then make sure (legally and psychologically) you can walk away from them quickly and easily and without being blamed: otherwise they are is too great a risk.

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Or if you must aim at marriage and children - then at any rate wait.

Our society says, implicitly, 'youth is for getting more education - not for marriage and children'.

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The secular, psychological, biological arguments for getting married and having children when a young adult are weak and unconvincing to modern individuals.

And rightly so - they are weak and unconvincing arguments.

If your life is defined by optimizing gratification (minimizing suffering, increasing enjoyment) then it makes no sense to have children.

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The only compelling reasons to choose to get married, have children and care for them when a young adult are transcendental/ supernatural/ religious reasons: the essence of human life must be conceptualized as other than (and more than) the psychological/ biological/ economic.

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Nowadays, the only groups who choose to have more than two children per woman on average, whose women marry and begin childbearing when young, who generally stick by these responsibilities, are devout adherents of orthodoxly supernaturalist religion: whether Jewish, Christian/ Mormon, or Islamic.

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Indeed it is either dishonest, incompetent or unfounded speculation to propound a materialist, secular, hedonic basis for having marriage and children as the basis of society.

Because if knowing and understanding the actual world is to have any effect on beliefs and aspirations - then it is crystal clear (as clear as it ever will be, as clear as it ever can be) that the rationality of mainstream modernity implies not getting married, not having children, and making the state of marriage and sustained childcare a matter of choice - a lifestyle option to be discarded (like a house, a car or an insurance policy) if or when they interfere with the main purpose in life - which is to avoid suffering and to increase gratification.

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In sum: there is no coherent positive reason to choose marriage and children as an organizing principle in life except on the basis of religion.

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[Note: This argument ought to have the force of a reductio ad absurdum against secularism - however, mainstream modernity instead prefers to embrace the absurd as the basis of human existence. Hence the nihilism of the West.]

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