Becoming a parent doesn’t make you a good person.

Childfree Talk points out that becoming a parent doesn’t make you a moral person, and not being a parent doesn’t make you immoral.

Let’s test this: someone kidnaps your child and forces you to make a choice. Either they die, or some other random stranger out there in the world dies. I imagine most parents won’t even ask for details of who that random stranger is. It’s a no-brainer.

But let’s push it and say that choice is between your child or five strangers – fifty strangers – a thousand strangers. At what point would you decide the life of your child is less worthy than all those other lives? Would there even be a point? Screw other people, right? Your kids have to come first.

But if you’d condemn someone else’s child to death ahead of your own (let alone a thousand or more ‘someone-else’s-children’) then… you can’t claim you’re a paragon of decency and compassion anymore.

7 thoughts on “Becoming a parent doesn’t make you a good person.

  1. John Doe January 25, 2017 at 18:54 Reply

    I’m just as responsible for perpetuating the cycle of abuse as anybody else. My own father would get royally steamed whenever I did something wrong and he spank me hard. When my nephew was growing up, I ended up taking out my pent up frustrations towards my father on him. Now I wonder if my own abuse contributed to his autistic diagnosis.

    I feel horrible. :(

    • Francois Tremblay January 25, 2017 at 18:59 Reply

      Unfortunately, what’s done is done. You have nowhere to go but forwards.

  2. sbt42 January 26, 2017 at 15:43 Reply

    Becoming a parent?

    I didn’t even know I was OBVIOUS.


    (sorry, I couldn’t resist)

  3. Dogtowner January 29, 2017 at 11:06 Reply

    John Doe, children do not become autistic due to abuse, though this is what Bruno Bettelheim tried to claim (blaming mothers, of course). Is there any way you can connect with your nephew? Is he frightened of you?

    I would hope that if I had become a parent, I would not have thought my child’s life was worth the life of an elephant (a woman told me if ivory could cure her child of a deadly disease, she would use it — of course ivory does not cure anything, but she let me see her selfish limitations quite clearly) or another human being. This is the attitude of the upper classes: one of their lives is worth a thousand? a million? other, meaningless, unimportant lives (such as mine, a nobody).

    I still like your blog, Francois, but I am becoming more and more disgusted with left-wing politics. My mother, who was very radical, told me not to spend my energy in political activity, and at my age (63) I’m thinking she was very right and I should devote myself to my many other interests!

    • Francois Tremblay January 29, 2017 at 16:59 Reply

      Don’t worry about it. We all have different interests. I don’t expect readers to agree with everything I say.

  4. Dogtowner January 31, 2017 at 09:00 Reply

    I do agree with much of what you have to say and don’t worry about much of anything at all except our destruction of other species and their habitats. I may not want to listen to Democracy Ow! but you seem amazingly consistent in your analyses, which is very refreshing.

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