I was discussing with a friend yesterday the act of having children. He said it was selfless, I disagreed. It’s an argument that a lot of people use for biologically procreating. Look: I’m not begrudging most of the human world for procreating or having the desire as it’s what we’re biologically programmed to do so there’s nothing wrong with that. I know people with kids and lots of my friends want kids. That’s totally cool! Great even! I’m just saying look at it for what it really is.
Calling it selfish has an immediately negative connotation, right? But why? Selfishness is acting out of self-interest, says my friend, but isn’t 95% of what we do every day out of self-interest? And who are you having a child for if not for your own self (and your partner)? You’re not having a child for your friends, or your boss, or the mailman, or the dude that sits at the end of the bar at your favorite pub every day. You’re doing it for yourself. And presumably so you can raise a child in the way you think is right (more self-interest) and impress your set of beliefs upon him or her (self-interest?).
If a person was really being selfless they would adopt one of the many of thousands (millions?) of children without homes. But most people make the (not bad or wrong but) selfish decision that they want a child from themselves who looks like them because anything but isn’t really their child.
And they call it a selfless decision.