Immorality of Conception

Ill Bill – War is My Destiny

Having a child is simply immoral. The obvious exception being adoption of a previously conceived child, which is among the most noble actions one can take. Conception is immoral for three simple reasons.

First, it’s forcing a person into existence without their permission. No, we can’t get their permission, but that doesn’t invalidate the point, you pedant. Everything that happens to that child is entirely resulting from the parents’ choice to create them; would you allow anyone that degree of influence over you? Would you support a society, wherein someone can merely choose to, without requirements, have that degree of influence over someone else?

Second, consider the state of the humanity. Nearly all of humanity’s problems are of our own creation – people deciding to do whatever the fuck they want. More of us will add to the overall burden to humanity. Willingly adding to that mess reveals a depth of thoughtlessness and selfishness that is blatantly animalistic.

Third, a child will influence every person they come in contact with. The people they influence will influence others – ad infinitum. Then, a child may have children of their own; those new children will also influence others. Gambling with the course of so many lives, merely because someone feels like having a child, is so immoral that its probably a qualifier for insentience.

All of this taken into consideration reveals a gargantuan force molding humanity as a whole. If choosing to have children requires thoughtlessness, selfishness, immorality, and likely insentience, then those parents are unfit for parenthood. Consider the implications.

Maybe those parents eventually understand the gravity of their action, and decide to make up for it by being the best possible parent, and nurture their child into becoming the best possible person. Maybe their kid will do nothing but positively influence everyone they meet, maybe that kid’s possible offspring will do the same.

Maybe every person was born to immoral, thoughtless people, whom were incapable of raising responsible adults. Maybe that’s a major contributing factor to the overall state of humanity. I can’t recall his name.. some bald psychologist in a blue suit, with a blue bow tie, did a study once. This study showed a correlation between birthrates and IQ – can you imagine what that correlation was?

Truth hurts. If you’re a parent, it’s time to quit fucking around and take responsibility for your actions. Or give me that much control over you.

Paradigm / Philosophy Hub



~ by Louis Naughtic on August 2, 2016.

3 Responses to “Immorality of Conception”

  1. I have always thought that parents who burden their children to take care of them in any way are extra selfish. On the flip side, I am grateful for the chance to give life a go. I have, however f’d things up pretty good and as you might guess I have children who are paying for their parent’s shit more or less. I don’t believe they regret existing but it is certainly a viscous cycle. It seems we are all growing and trying to improve– building character all the while. My heart has grown for others.

  2. Ah, well. I’d welcome having a parent to care for, if they were decent people. People are great. We all make mistakes. But owning up to them is how we fix them.

    Good for you for acknowledging so many of your deficiencies – thus allowing yourself to overcome.

  3. Louis,

    Your response to my essay has been addressed here in the “Comments” section: I would like to make my critique explicit on the actual essay, though, and so I re-printed relevant material here.

    “Having a child is, simply, immoral. The obvious exception being adoption, which is quite possibly, the most noble action any person could ever enact. Conception is immoral for three simple reasons. First, you forced a person into existence without their permission. No, you couldn’t have gotten their permission, but that does not invalidate the point.”

    First, what do you mean by “immoral”? Do you mean contrary to social stability or progress? If so, why think this true? If not, how are you using this term? It seems to me that asides a cultural relativistic theory of ethics—which is flawed on many accounts—you are stating that it is “wrong” without justification. For there are, too, prominent reasons to reject what you argue based on a theory of ethics which suggests that God is the foundation for objective moral values and duties (I will provide the reference below) [1].

    Secondly, you say that those engaging in sexual intercourse “force[] a person into existence without their permission.” My question: Why think that permission must be given? I suspect you are begging the question in favor of atheism inasmuch as on theism existence of finite creatures (like ourselves) is a tremendous blessing and gift. God was under no obligation to create us, and He did so freely out of love. On an atheistic framework, existence is agonizing i.e., Russian novelist Dostoevsky “If God does not exist, then everything is permissible” to which atheistic existentialist Sartre says “Indeed, if God does not exist, and man is consequently abandoned, for he cannot find anything to reply on—neither within nor without”. Even atheist Bertrand Russell “[man’s] origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms”. So, sure, on atheism existence is a bad thing, but on theism it is enriched with value, meaning and purpose—I am not sure how procreative activity is bad, on this model?

    Here is my argument against your claim summarized:

    1. If theism is true, existence is worth having.
    2. If atheism is true, existence is not worth having.
    3. Theism is true. (For justification of this premise, see the work of William Lane Craig [2], Alvin Plantinga [3], J.P Moreland [4], Richard Swinburne [5], Tyler Journeaux [6] and myself [7]).
    4. Therefore, existence is worth having. (From (1) and (3)).

    So, if you presuppose atheism, your argument may or may not work. On theism, though, your argument simply does not work. Here is what Tyler Journeaux, an MA student of philosophical theology at Oxford has to say about God’s love (he wrote this via. email correspondence):

    “In the doctrine of the Trinity one finds the idea of God whose love is shared between the persons of the Godhead; each person loves the others with a sort of outpouring of love, a self-giving love. The kind of love which is the precondition of, and makes sense of, Kenosis (κένωσις). Why would such a God want to create a world? Well, He has an internal source of motivation: to love (with all that entails). Why did he create a world of rational free agents who can choose to enter into relationships with him? So that he could love, could pour Himself out (Kenosis) in love, et cetera…His nature, exemplified by the outpouring and self-giving love of the three persons, gives God a plausible motive for creating other persons with whom He might enter into a love-relationship. He creates out of, and as an expression of, that love which characterizes his Nature as a community.”

    Since there are good grounds for accepting theism, I see no reason to accept your thesis (especially in light of the theist’s conception of existence as a great good, as Journeaux pointed out). My second point about this passage is when you say “adoption…[is] the most noble action any person could ever enact.” This is an assertion—not an argument. Why do you think this? While I agree that adoption is a wonderful option (especially for those contemplating having an abortion), on what ethical grounds can you make this assertion?

    “Second, have you seen the state of the world? Your children will add to the overall burden to humanity. You know all those problems we have? They’re of our own creation. Think more of us is a good plan? You’re essentially throwing more gas on a flame, expecting it to somehow diminish the blaze.”

    Your argument here is that children will add to the burden of humanity and that therefore the more children, the more problems. I have two responses. First, this is, indeed, incorrect. Children are a great blessing, not a burden. (As an anecdote, one of the happiest fathers I know has seven children, all of whom are tremendous blessings who will, I suspect, contribute very positively to our world; but, their worth is not constituted by their “social productivity” on theism, it is their intrinsic moral worth endowed on them by God). I am not sure why you think as you do (and I invite you to provide justification for this claim); however, I suspect that your argument (assertion) is inherently one-sided. If you mean by “burden”, “contrary to social progress”, I would argue that the purpose of life has no reference to social progress. If you mean “contrary to happiness”, I would argue that the purpose of life is not even happiness. If you mean “contrary to flourishing of finite creatures”, I would ask “why is flourishing finite creatures a good thing?” If it is good, why not create more human life so more persons can enjoy it, and fix the problems you mention in the mean time? This would falsify your argument that conception is wrong. Basically, it seems you are committing a logical fallacy called the “false dichotomy fallacy” (which says “a v b” with no reference to “c”). You are saying: Either there are more children and the world will be worse-off, or we do not have children and we will be better off. There is a third alternative: why not have more children and keep the traditional conception of conception as is, give them the blessing of existence, and meanwhile fix world-wide problems. This is more promising, in my view. Secondly, you cannot falsify the claim “conception is not immoral” by appealing to its sociological implications. Even atheistic philosopher Nietzsche recognized this in his Beyond Good and Evil (1886): “Something might be true while being harmful and dangerous in the highest degree.” So, I think you are simply mistaken.

    “Third, that child will influence every person they come in contact with, those people will perpetuate the cycle – ad infinitum. And your child may have more children, further perpetuating the cycle. You, aware of this or otherwise, choose to have a child nevertheless. That you would gamble with so many lives, merely for your own pleasure, is immoral.”

    I have two replies. First, this is self-defeating. You say “you would gamble with so many lives” when, indeed, you think you are doing something good i.e., by your blog, when your parents would have had to “gamble” in having you. “Possible badness” to “actual badness” seems self-defeating and incorrect, modally speaking. You speak of a “perpetuating cycle” and I am not sure its relevance. Maybe if Hinduism is true then this might work. But if Hinduism is true I see no objectivity of values—and your argument would then collapse. On theism, though, the “perpetuating cycle” (finitely, of birth) is a great thing. Especially in Christianity this is true; think of the value persons must have if the second person of the Trinity died on the cross for us—clearly we must have been worth something! Secondly, though, procreation is not “merely for your own pleasure”, since, as Karol Wojtyla argues, the marital act is a loving, unitive and procreative act. (See his seminal text Love and Responsibility). To my mind, this is correct. (And I will say no more in defense of Wojtyla’s view, since much of what I say before serves as a preliminary justification).

    “And, it proves you being unfit for parenthood at time of birth. Maybe you started to understand the gravity of your choice, and decided to make up for it by making the best possible person out of your kid. Maybe your kid will do nothing but positively influence everyone they meet, maybe their kids will do the same. Maybe every person ever born, was born to immoral people. Maybe that’s a major contributing factor to the overall state of humanity. I can’t recall his name.. some bald psychologist with a bow tie, did a study once. This study showed that people with lower IQ’s had more children than people with higher IQ’s.”

    I would agree that having a child solely out of pleasure is immoral and therefore those engaging in the marital act would be doing something immoral. But do not confuse cause and effect. The effect, the child, is not itself immoral—it is the process of that child coming about i.e., immoral sexual intercourse. I honestly fail to see how conception, from this argument, is wrong. Your last statement about “some bald psychologist” is (i) an appeal to authority (a logical fallacy), (ii) not cited at all and (iii) almost necessarily false. (How many people did the survey fill out? Who was surveyed? When was the survey taken place? What are the credentials of the psychologist in question? Why think IQ is an appropriate, truth-apt method of determining intelligence? Even if you are right, how does this make conceiving a child immoral?). These are questions which your paragraph does not do justice to—at all.
    “Truth hurts. If you’re a parent, it’s time to quit [f***]ing around and take responsibility for your actions – and theirs.”

    On an academic level, swearing does not help an argument. I am most suspect of persons who make grand claims and support them by swear words. While taking responsibility for actions is important and moral, I am not sure your ethical foundations can make this true, nor can your argument against conception stand as an attestation to it.

    My conclusion is that you have not provided any good reasons for thinking conception is wrong.

    Two last comments: (1) I am sorry for the length of this response, but if you are putting in the work to write the post, I will do the same since I think truth, especially about these issues, is important. (2) I am more than happy to reference you the quotes made by Sartre, Wojtyla, Dostoevsky, Russell and Nietzsche (so do not be shy to ask for them). [8]

    [1] See, for instance, a video of the moral argument for God’s existence: Accessed August 8th, 2016.
    [2] Here is a summary of arguments which he uses in his debates (typically): Accessed August 8th, 2016.
    [3] See Alvin Plantinga’s essay on natural theological arguments, too: “Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments,” Lecture presented at the 33rd Annual Philosophy Conference, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, October 23-25, 1986.
    [4] J.P Moreland has developed an argument for the existence of God from the existence of consciousness which can be found here: J.P Moreland, Consciousness and the Existence of God (New York: Routledge, 2008), Chapter 2.
    [5] See his The Existence of God, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. Print.
    [6] See “Math, therefore God” by Tyler Journeaux. Accessed August 8th , 2016.
    [7] I have defended the argument Moreland gives here: Accessed August 8th, 2016. The video is here:
    [8] The reader familiar with William Lane Craig will know that I have used his apologetical model implicitly. So, I should make explicit that my argument that (i) “happiness is not the meaning of life”, (ii) meaning, purpose and value failing to exist on an atheistic framework and (iii) natural theological arguments (especially the moral argument) are all original to him. References available upon request.

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