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If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:36 am
by mddrill
Wouldn't that be bringing a child into an existence which is suffering?

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:43 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings,

It isn't just suffering, or else we wouldn't be here, because we'd have all committed suicide.

The fact we're having this conversation now suggests we've decided life is worth living, and by virtue of that, it renders your premise moot.

Metta,
Paul. :)

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:53 am
by DNS
Continuing with what retro said, it's the unenlightened life that is suffering. We can greatly reduce the suffering or even eliminate it, as we progress on the Path.

If you believe in or accept rebirth, then one argument that goes with that belief is that one is giving the opportunity for awakening to another sentient being. However, this does not mean or suggest that one must have children; the Dhamma doesn't require that or even marriage, the way monotheistic religions typically do (calling it a sacrament or commandment).

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:13 am
by DooDoot
DNS wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:53 am
the Dhamma doesn't require that or even marriage, the way monotheistic religions typically do (calling it a sacrament or commandment).
In five ways, young householder, the parents thus ministered to as the East by their children, show their compassion:

(i) they restrain them from evil,
(ii) they encourage them to do good,
(iii) they train them for a profession,
(iv) they arrange a suitable marriage :| ,
(v) at the proper time they hand over their inheritance to them.

Sigalovada Sutta
A sacrament is a Christian rite recognised as of particular importance and significance.
1 Corinthians 7:8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried...

Matthew 19:10 The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
Celibacy- is marriage obligatory in Judaism?

All Jewish men are obligated to marry because they need it both physiologically and spiritually in order to keep them focused on life itself (rather than being preoccupied with their sexual gratification).... This clearly set the tone and norm for the family life which is so basic and elementary to anyone who knows anything about Judaism (the celibacy found in the Essene, Catholic and other religions was always mocked and ridiculed by Judaism as if inferring that a perfect God “made a mistake” (!) when He created the exceptional attraction between men and women!).

http://www.yeshiva.co/ask/?id=7302

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:17 am
by SarathW
Having a child is a responsibility.
If you have a child and do not take the responsibility then it is unethical.
If you believe in Buddhism and rebirth, becoming a human is the greatest of all being.
Only a human can realise Nibbana so giving a being to become a human is a greatest giving.

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:22 am
by DooDoot
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:17 am
If you believe in Buddhism and rebirth, becoming a human is the greatest of all being.
Then why don't arahants & other enlightened Buddhists have children?
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:17 am
Only a human can realise Nibbana so giving a being to become a human is a greatest giving.
Where does Dhamma say this?
This is the best of gifts: the gift of Dhamma. And this is the best of friendly speech: to teach again and again Dhamma to those who wish for it and who listen attentively. And this is the best of helpful acts: to arouse, instil and strengthen faith in the unbeliever; to arouse, instil and strengthen virtue in the immoral; to arouse, instil and strengthen generosity in the niggard; to arouse, instil and strengthen wisdom in the unwise. And this is the best bestowal of equity: if a stream-winner becomes equal to a stream-winner; a once-returner equal to a once-returner; a non-returner equal to a non-returner; and an arahant equal to an arahant. AN 9.5

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:35 am
by DNS
DooDoot wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:13 am
1 Corinthians 7:8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried...
A widow is someone who was married, it is just that her husband happened to have passed away. Full context of that passage here:

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried[a = widowers] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Matthew 19:10 The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
Full context of that passage:
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

(it was about divorce, not that one should not get married, according to Christianity)

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:38 am
by SarathW
DooDoot wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:22 am
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:17 am
If you believe in Buddhism and rebirth, becoming a human is the greatest of all being.
Then why don't arahants & other enlightened Buddhists have children?
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:17 am
Only a human can realise Nibbana so giving a being to become a human is a greatest giving.
Where does Dhamma say this?
This is the best of gifts: the gift of Dhamma. And this is the best of friendly speech: to teach again and again Dhamma to those who wish for it and who listen attentively. And this is the best of helpful acts: to arouse, instil and strengthen faith in the unbeliever; to arouse, instil and strengthen virtue in the immoral; to arouse, instil and strengthen generosity in the niggard; to arouse, instil and strengthen wisdom in the unwise. And this is the best bestowal of equity: if a stream-winner becomes equal to a stream-winner; a once-returner equal to a once-returner; a non-returner equal to a non-returner; and an arahant equal to an arahant. AN 9.5
Your liberation come first.
Yes, Dhamma is the highest gift. Becoming a human is rare.

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:43 am
by DooDoot
DNS wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:35 am
Now to the unmarried

... there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
Revelation 14.4

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=NIV
:alien:
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:17 am
Becoming a human is rare.
7 billion homo sapiens on earth does not appear rare. But living 'humanely' according to the Dhamma seems rare.

Sooner, I say, would that blind turtle, coming to the surface once every hundred years, insert its neck into that yoke with a single hole than the fool who has gone once to the nether world would regain the human state. For what reason? Because here, bhikkhus, there is no conduct guided by the Dhamma, no righteous conduct, no wholesome activity, no meritorious activity. Here there prevails mutual devouring, the devouring of the weak. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, they have not seen the Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn56.47

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:44 am
by SarathW
What is unique in human compare to an animal?


viewtopic.php?f=13&t=15139&p=218255&hilit=

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:48 am
by DooDoot
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:44 am
What is unique in human compare to an animal?
Definitely not sexual intercourse, procreation & reproduction... ;)
Then the Gracious One after seeing that the Koliyan lady Suppavāsā was elated, gladdened, joyful and happy, said this to the Koliyan lady Suppavāsā: “Suppavāsā, do you long for another such son?”

“Gracious One, I long for another seven such sons.” Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“The disagreeable in an agreeable form, the unlovely in a lovely form,
The painful in the form of pleasure, overcome the heedless one.”

https://suttacentral.net/en/ud2.8

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:54 am
by DNS
DooDoot wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:43 am
Revelation 14.4
These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
Again, you left out the context, that this passage was referring to the 12,000 that are to be saved from each tribe (according to Christianity):

12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

Only 144,000 out of over 7 billion people.

Which tribe are you from? ;)

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:57 am
by DooDoot
DNS wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:54 am
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, Which tribe are you from? ;)
Zebulon :)
DNS wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:54 am
Again, you left out the context, that this passage was referring to the 12,000 that are to be saved from each tribe (according to Christianity):
Galatians 3:28 - There is neither Jew nor Gentile....for you are all one in Christ Jesus. :roll:

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:01 am
by DNS
Galatians 3:28 - There is neither Jew nor Gentile....
Revelations comes after Galatians, so Revelations trumps...
DooDoot wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:57 am
DNS wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:54 am
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, Which tribe are you from? ;)
Zebulon :)
I need proof, I need to see some genetic evidence. :D

:popcorn:

Re: If life is suffering, then wouldn't it be unethical to have children?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:02 am
by DooDoot
DNS wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:01 am
I need proof, I need to see some genetic evidence. :D
Blasphemy... antisemitism... its been my nickname since I was 16 years old... ask my mates :thumbsup: