Sunday, March 1, 2009

The time may be ripe for a human race vasectomy

Everywhere I look, listen, smell, touch, taste and proprioceptionize, someone seems to be telling us what a screwed up world we will be leaving our children and our children's children. In a way, I imagine these people are right. With pollution, changes in weather, national and personal debt, overuse of Earth's resources, ozone layer, overpopulation, diseases, war, terrorism and all; it's hard to imagine things will ever get better.

So why keep having children? It certainly seems like a valid question. The obvious first answer is that we really like having sex! The less obvious second answer is that we are genetically programmed to have children; in essence it is our only real reason for living. The "going out on a limb", not politically correct third answer is that, at least in Western societies, having children is the thing one does after having bought the BMW and the house with the 3-car garage to ensure one doesn't grow old alone. Are any of the reasons important enough to keep having children? What if we decided to vasectomize every male on the planet by some mean or other? What if we could ensure every man is sterilized before reaching his reproductive years? This way we could go out with a bang, consume like mad without having to think of the future.

Something inside me is saying that it would be morally wrong to do this but then, isn't it morally wrong to bring a baby in this world knowing what the future holds? Maybe that's the answer. Do we really know what the future holds? Can we, with certainty, say there is no hope? What if people facing the Black Death century had stopped having children? How about after WWI or when Genghis Kahn was knocking at our doors? Throughout our history, there are hundreds upon hundreds of periods where we could have decided to stop going but we did not because of one reason alone: hope.

When it comes down to it, I think in every generation there are people concerned with the world we will be leaving behind for the following generation. We need to listen to them and make sure we try our best but, in the end, there is always hope.

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