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Saturday, July 2 - 9:03pmSanction this postReply
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I chose "Other" and this is my explanation.

 

With birth control options "mutually agreed desire" regarding parenthood isn't logically mandated.  But it should be discussed for two reasons:

 

1.) It doesn't make much sense to begin what might lead to a long term relationship without know if both parties are on the same page on something so fundamental.  If both parties are only interested in a sexual relationship, then they only need to discuss how they would handle an unwanted pregnancy.

 

2.) There might be a possibility that the birth control wouldn't work and one or both parties are opposed to abortion and they don't both want to be parents.  That is the kind of situation that would tell them not to play sexual-roulette.

 

With the young, a measure of the maturity they should have to be sexually active includes being able, willing, even insistent on talking about birth control, abortion, and protection against STDs before jumping in bed.  Unfortunately there are a lot of grown adults that don't display this kind of maturity.



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Sunday, July 3 - 3:13amSanction this postReply
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Steve lamented:

Unfortunately there are a lot of grown adults that don't display this kind of maturity.

This was what I was thinking when I posted the poll.  Such chronological adults (including so-called "Objectivists") continue to disappoint with their psychological childishness.  Thanks for posting.

 

I answered "Yes" because I like to keep things simple.  The main problem I have seen, though, is that even well-intentioned people who marry with mutual plans either to become parents eventually or to remain childfree permanently can still have one party change his or her mind over a number of years.  This is problematic.  I have no easy answers.



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Post 2

Friday, August 12 - 7:03pmSanction this postReply
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I answered no. My justification was that tow people may enter into a relationship with different views on having children (or something else), but may come to agree sometime in the future (hopefully while having children is still an option!).

 

I understand that entering into a relationship on the premise that your partner will change in some way to conform to your view does no make much sense. Your essentially entering into a relationship not with who your partner is today, but who they might be in the future.

 

But, I would argue, that as long as both parties agree on the objective value of children, but disagree on whether or not that value applies to their circumstances, then it is perfectly rational to assume that they will come to some agreement in the future. Assuming both are rational people of course.

 

I'll use this analogy. If a couple can't decide if they want to live in New York City or Houston, but they both know all the relevant facts (taxes, quality of life, closeness to family, etc.) and share the same values (the girlfriend dosen't jump for joy when property taxes double), then I think it is safe to assume they will probably agree sometime in the future.



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Thursday, August 25 - 3:50amSanction this postReply
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The first three replies were excellent individual expressions.  I voted "Other" because it is an individual choice, not a matter of "should."

 

"...should serve as a fundamental "make or break" requirement ..."

 

Before you can prescribe for all people in all contexts, you need to really define your assumptions and show how they are tested for correctness.  In other words, why would having children be more important ("fundamental") than your choice to be business partners?

 

Laurel and I began not wanting children. Then one came along. It happens.  We have been married 38 years. We knew each other eight weeks when we got married.  (First date was Star Wars on Halloween. We got married on the 30th of December because we were both working New Year's Eve. She was a waitress. I was a cab driver.)

 

About February, on a white matchbook cover, I drew out our first logo: "T-Square & Flowchart."  We have had several names over the years. Right now, it is "Intentional Privacy" (and I am michael.marotta@intentionalprivacy.com) Last night, Laurel ended five days of bitch-slapping the customer support people at SANS Digital Forensics (http://digital-forensics.sans.org/).  Meanwhile, the Texas State Guard assigned me to the Joint Force Plans section of the Texas National Guard. Sometimes it is like Mr. & Mrs. Smith here: "Rough day?" "Can't talk about it."  Last year, Laurel and I produced a video as a proposal to South by Southwest Interactive.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYwg4HVjU_U

 

... and our daughter is 36 and long gone to Miami Beach half a lifetime ago.  The kids leave the nest. You always have each other.  Kids are unimportant to the marriage.  I never believed that while raising our daughter, but I do now.

 

And I want to keep the context clear: "... unimportant to the marriage..."

 

Long before I met Laurel, I already books sold by NBI on how to raise children. I was pretty clear on the fact that developing the childl's intellect, moral compass, and market skills are the important tasks in parenting.  How you raise a child is important, but not primary to the marriage relationship.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 8/25, 4:01am)



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Thursday, August 25 - 5:58amSanction this postReply
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Is the pleasure of intercourse with someone you would definitely not want as a co-parent worth the risk of making this person, by accident, into a co-parent of your child, e.g. a one-night stand with a "hot" but otherwise incompatible partner?

 

That is the question I was exploring.



Post 5

Monday, August 29 - 6:49pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,

Is the pleasure of intercourse with someone you would definitely not want as a co-parent worth the risk of making this person, by accident, into a co-parent of your child, e.g. a one-night stand with a "hot" but otherwise incompatible partner?

In today's world, an intelligent person can have intercourse with almost no risk of pregnancy. Birth control, condoms, alternative positions and abortion make involuntary parenthood unlikely even for the male partner. The key is not to find someone you would have a child with but someone who hates children as much as you do (sarcasm).

 

It takes a long time before most men meet someone worth having children with, if they ever do. And abstinence is as much an answer as pacifism is to war.



Post 6

Wednesday, August 31 - 9:35amSanction this postReply
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LJT contended:

And abstinence is as much an answer as pacifism is to war.

False analogy.

 

Sex urge = war

Abstinence = pacifism

 

I fail to see the correlation, unless by "pacifism" you mean total abstinence even from masturbation, wherein the masturbation amounts to a way of appeasing the enemy, versus conquest of the enemy, i.e. "getting laid."

 

We need a better analogy to convey your point.

 

There is a whole movement called MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) in which the straight men in question have essentially shunned the pursuit of women in favor of other pursuits with more guaranteed payoffs than those realized from pursuing the current crop of flighty, flaky, self-entitled, third-wave feminist, postmodern flibbertigibbets dominating First World Western culture.



Post 7

Saturday, September 3 - 8:16pmSanction this postReply
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"...the current crop of flighty, flaky, self-entitled, third-wave feminist, postmodern flibbertigibbets dominating First World Western culture."

"I know all about your standards

and if you don't mind my sayin' so

there's not a man alive

who could hope to measure up

to that blend o' Paul Bunyan,

Saint Pat and Noah Webster

you've concocted for yourself

out o' your Irish imagination,

your Iowa stubbornness

and your liberry full o' books!"

-- Mrs Paroo to Marian (the Librarian) Paroo in

The Music Man by Meredith Wilson

 

Myself, it was only many, many years later, watching A Beautiful Mind that I learned about the value in my own choice, the Nash Optimal Choice.  A thousand years earlier, when I was about 13 or 14, my mother counseled me to start with the smartest girl in the class and work my way down... "Just remember, Michael, you got the girl who was dumb enough to date you."  It worked out well enough (though not mythically perfect) for me.

 

There's maybe 3 billion women on Earth -- and you cannot find the perfect one. I suggest that the fault lies not in the stars that the women are not desirable. 

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Fortuna fortibus favet was the personal motto of Pliny the Elder who was fascinated by the eruption of Vesusvius which he rushed to study first hand. While at Pompeii, he ordered his ship to rescue fleeing people, but died himself.

 

Luke, you have a Franklin Planner approach to life.  It works for you. It is not a universal truth.  "By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you will be happy. Otherwise, you will become a philosopher." -- Socrates.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 9/03, 8:18pm)



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Post 8

Sunday, September 4 - 5:32amSanction this postReply
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MEM's point is taken, but I will not fault the MGTOW people for the path they have chosen since, as MEM might say, "It works for them."

 

I still await an answer from LJT regarding his analogy of the sex urge as a need to fulfill with another person as urgently as a nation needs to defend itself against an attacker.

 

Given the repeated snubbing of Don Juans, sluts, hedonists, and other "non-romantic" approaches to sexuality in the Objectivist literature, I am consistently surprised by real-life Objectivists who hew to these approaches to intercourse, and this explains my motivation for this poll.

 

My understanding of the history of sex suggests that ancient edicts against adultery and fornication in favor of marriage aimed at assuring accountability for any offspring that might result from conjugation.  That strikes me as quite reasonable.  Who wants to be responsible for other people's bastardy?  Since no contraception is perfect, the risk still exists even today.  This is just something I cannot get past in discussions about this topic.

 

I am continually disappointed by people's willingness to take stupid risks in this arena by "crossing their fingers" about contraception, or lying about its use.  One study I saw suggested that 42% of women would lie about their use of contraception for the express purpose of getting pregnant regardless of the wishes of their partners.  Idiotic men who count on their women for birth control rather than wearing condoms get forced into involuntary parenthood.  Supposedly even a man who uses a condom can be held accountable for child support if the woman fishes the used condom from the trash and fertilizes herself with its contents.  One court case that convicted an older woman of rape of a minor boy still held the boy accountable for child support of her resulting offspring after he turned 18.  I could continue, but you get the point.

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 9/04, 6:27am)



Post 9

Sunday, September 4 - 7:34pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Luke, and BTW, we see things from our perspective as men, of course, but in truth, my wife chose me and in particular, it was she, not I, who completed five semesters of calculus through differential equations.  Just sayin'... you never know who the dumber partner may be.  You think it is she, but have you ever asked her?

 

I also await LJT's response.

 

On the subject of ancient taboos, monogamy, etc., I point out that the Jews are not alone in being matrilineal: the father might be in doubt, but the mother is always known.  I have in the past taken a hard line on the woman's responsibility for her own outcomes.  Yes, if men got pregnant this or that would be different, but we do not. Bottom line. 

 

This discussion has given me a lot to think about.  I appreciate your starting it and contributing.  We Objectivists know that you have no right to pollute your neighbor's property.  Your property rights cannot violate theirs.  So, how about having children?  Does not the procreation of inferior humans pollute the environment?  If we license cars -- and yes, private roads and all that -- then why not license parenting?  

 

Yes, some political conservatives will claim that they have a God-given right to increase and multiply, but an objective legal theory may suggest a different answer.

 

Also, just in closing, I appreciate the questions raised and answered (or not) by various court cases, but lacking an objective standard of law, courts here and there will find all kinds of things.  The Supreme Court is the highest court in the USA, but I am pretty sure that we agree that they erred in Dredd Scott and Plessy vs. Ferguson.  So, too, in the two cases you cited about the adult woman and underage male and the other with the used condom.  You should never buy a television set lest some court hold you responsible for giving your neighbor cancer.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 9/04, 7:44pm)



Post 10

Monday, September 5 - 3:21amSanction this postReply
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MEM queried:

If we license cars -- and yes, private roads and all that -- then why not license parenting?

I have asked myself the same question, and I have yet to find a satisfactory answer that does not involve solutions worse than the identified problem, e.g. universal involuntary sterilizations from birth, politicized eugenics, coercive "in loco parentis" laws, etc.

 

Thanks for participating.



Post 11

Monday, September 5 - 10:33amSanction this postReply
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There are many people who are willing to set aside liberty in some area, if only because they cannot tolerate some behavior that liberty permits.  In their minds, the right kinds of regulations, license requirements, laws, etc., will sort out that intolerable behavior.

 

As Objectivists we maintain a sharp line where liberty is protected by property rights and invocations against the initiation of force.  But no matter how tightly we adhere to our line, it won't give us the emotional serenty of accepting behavior we don't approve of.  People will do things that we disapprove of, that we don't want to see, and that we could often show to be self-defeating.... whether it is the abuse of some intoxicating substance, or having kids out of wedlock (out of any stable relationship), or covering themselves in tatoos, or just behaving in rude way or dressing to offend. 

 

Well... Too bad. 

 

A real free market place will, over time, provide a way for people to separate such that they don't have to confront with those whose lifestyles they are repelled by... for a price.  Until then, the best thing they can do is learn the art of being more self-accepting, which, strangely enough, has the side effect of being more accepting of others, which in turn leads to more enjoyable life.



Post 12

Thursday, September 8 - 3:50amSanction this postReply
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Ayn Rand claimed that a factory owner has no right to maintain unsafe working conditions. These are not just things we disapprove of like tattoos.  Even if I could prove that I am expert marksman, I would have no right to stand in the middle of a residential neighborhood shooting squirrels out of trees.  People who have children but who are not qualified to be parents threaten your life and property, ... perhaps...  However, like Luke, I have no answer.  



Post 13

Thursday, September 8 - 3:05pmSanction this postReply
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Ayn Rand claimed that a factory owner has no right to maintain unsafe working conditions.

 

I'd have to see how she worded that and the context.  There are a great many unsafe working conditions right now.  Fishing in the Bering Straits, mining, operating many kinds of heavy equipment, working high steel, fire fighting, etc.  I'd say that the only requirment a factory, or business owner, owes a potential employee is an honest description of the working conditions ahead of time, and to not change the level of safety without advance notice.

-------------------

 

...unsafe working conditions. These are not just things we disapprove of like tattoos.  

 

But the question is about where do we draw the line when choosing what government should forbid, and what it shouldn't.  And the issue I was addressing is that there are some things that should NOT be addressed by government, even though we have a negative emotional reaction to it.  In otherwords, to be a whole-hearted supporter of liberty asks that we also be more accepting or at least toleratant of things we don't like.

-------------------------

 

Even if I could prove that I am expert marksman, I would have no right to stand in the middle of a residential neighborhood shooting squirrels out of trees.  

 

Moral right or legal right?  Who owns the squirrels?  Whose land are you one?  What are the current laws regarding the discharge of a fire arm?  Sorry, but I can't make heads or tails out of this squirrely argument.  What's the point?

-------------------------

 

People who have children but who are not qualified to be parents threaten your life and property, ... perhaps...

 

Not qualified?  By what standard are these parents not qualified?   How does this unspecified lack of qualifications threaten my life and property?

 

Makes no sense.

--------------------------------



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Post 14

Friday, September 9 - 7:13pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,

Sex urge = war

I was not making that kind of analogy as much as I was making a comparison in the ridiculousness of the answer. Pacifism is as much a silly answer to issues of foreign policy as abstinence is a silly answer to real sexual and spiritual desires (Spiritual in the sense of a man's spirit needs an equal partner). Maybe I should have chosen my words better to make my point more clear.

I still await an answer from LJT regarding his analogy of the sex urge as a need to fulfill with another person as urgently as a nation needs to defend itself against an attacker.

That is not what I was suggesting by my analogy, so I can't answer that. If I did believe that, I would implicitly be justifying rape in some cases ("men need to rape innocent people to satisfy sexual desire just as nations need to put innocent people at risk to defend themselves from aggressors"). I hope It is obvious that I do not believe that.

 

Here is a better analogy:

 

Remaining abstinent and waiting until you are ready for children is as much an answer to sexual desire as saving money is to poverty. It might solve the problem for some who can wait, but other legitimate solutions exist (work harder for a higher income).

 

And no, not all of these men are , many desire a close intimate connection for very legitimate life service values. The sexual desire might arise not from whim worshiping hypersexuality but from a desire to be close to another person who is your equal. And they might find someone who satisfies those needs who they have no desire to have children with, and not because they despise them. A desire for children and a desire for an equal partner do not always go hand in hand.

Given the repeated snubbing of Don Juans, sluts, hedonists, and other "non-romantic" approaches to sexuality in the Objectivist literature, I am consistently surprised by real-life Objectivists who hew to these approaches to intercourse, and this explains my motivation for this poll.

Implicit (intentionally or not) in what Luke is saying is that to satisfy sexual desire outside of childbearing is to commit whim worship/emotionalism. I strongly disagree. A hedonist desires sex in much the same way a thief desires wealth. Is the pursuit of wealth irrational in an Objectivist understanding? Not if that desire has a foundation in reality and in life serving values. It seams to me that your creating a false dichotomy when you suggest that you either accept the hedonist/non-romantic view of sex or you suggest that the purpose of sex is primarily ties to children.

 


 

 

Sorry if my answer is not very elegant or well worded, the interface of rebirth of reason (and most forums for that mater) is not conducive to easy writing.

 

(Edited by Liam Joseph Thornback on 9/09, 9:11pm)

 

(Edited by Liam Joseph Thornback on 9/10, 8:58am)



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Post 15

Sunday, September 11 - 9:28amSanction this postReply
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Thank you, LJT, for answering my questions satisfactorily.

 

I think we are in much closer agreement now about your main point in light of the profound psychological need for emotional intimacy we both acknowledge.



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