“Is having children selfish?”
That was the question of the day in my Human Person philosophy class today. To add more context, we’ve been recently reading several passages related to kindred, love, cousin, friendship, and family.
Having children can be a selfish act if driven by selfish motives.
There is this theory presented in Plato’s Symposium that man loves beauty, and thus wishes to both possess and preserve beauty forever. To achieve this form of immortality is then to birth generations of beauty and pass it down through your offspring.
Man’s love of his offspring is then based on his love for immortality.
Although an incredibly cynical way of viewing procreation, it does bear some (very little) merit, in my opinion.
In a way, biologically, humanity wishes to preserve their own legacy, and having children is a very logical and biological move.
So are we having children to preserve our legacy? Do we project ourselves too much on our children?
What makes having children selfish?
I think if you have the mindset of being too controlling, or somehow having the mindset of objectifying your child, then it can be selfish.
But often, no, it’s not selfish, because unconditional love is often the strongest between parent and child.
Either way, I plan to both adopt and have my own biological children.