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License to have children?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by The Sum of Awe, Dec 5, 2022.

  1. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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    I know it'd be difficult to get society to agree to it, but how would you feel about the idea of enforcing a law for people to require a license to have children?

    This would ensure two things:

    1) Population control. - If we limit the right to have children to responsible people, it would help prevent human overpopulation. The population growth would likely still be on the up rise, but at least it'd be more in control.

    2) Better parenting. - In order to obtain a license, the parents would have to prove themselves responsible to have a child. They would have to prove that they would be suitable parents to raise a child, beneficial to the child's upbringing and mental health. Creates a better life for the child, and in turn it creates a better adult, and in turn of that it creates a better society full of better adults.

    Those that have children without having a license, unfortunately, would have their child taken away to adoption. If they want a child, they should work to get that license in the first place. And if there was something preventing them from getting that license, maybe they should've thought more about if having a child would've been a good idea in the first place.
     
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  2. The Hammer

    The Hammer Wyrd Wide Web
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    While I don't completely disagree, and have brought this up before as a positive thing, I do have a question as to who gets to decide who is and is not suitable to be parents, and by what criteria?
     
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  3. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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    That is a tricky one. But I would say there are some obvious factors: financial stability, mental capability, passing a test of some sort in regards on how the parent will go about educating the child and disciplining them etc., there should be a way to determine if the parents will prove to not be neglective of the child’s mental emotional and physical health.
     
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  4. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Exactly. The idea sounds good until it comes down to who decides and by what standards. What if you had evangelicals deciding, for example?
     
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  5. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't disagree more :D

    I can already imagine the number of issues that would rise as a result of that like women going to get abortions outside a hospital, would now get a child without the best help they can get.

    The mere idea that someone or an institution or whoever should decide who is responsible enough or not sounds like something straight out of Nazi Germany during WW2 :(

    I can only imagine a couple wanting a child and then having to face their friends and family to tell them that they are not found responsible enough to have one.

    Children growing up not knowing who their parents are in even greater numbers than now and the issues this can have for them.

    Besides that in a lot of countries people rely on having many children due to many reasons. Typical this is the poorest countries, so if we look at some countries from around the world:

    The average number of children (tends to be the poorest countries in the top and then we move down the list):
    1. Niger - 7.03
    82. India - 2.55
    128. Ireland - 2.01
    170. Denmark/Finland - 1.73
    187. China - 1.55
    231. Singapore - 0.79


    Countries Compared by People > Total fertility rate. International Statistics at NationMaster.com

    Now take into account that the average need to be 2 to simply maintain the population.

    All evidence points towards women (people) having fewer children when especially women are allowed to work and get an education and as wealth increases. Because they start focusing more on their career and therefore the need for children to secure their future goes down, especially in countries with a social security system this helps reduce it as well.

    If you want to reduce the population, the absolute best way is to increase the wealth of the poorest and make women able to educate themselves and work. :)
     
    #5 Nimos, Dec 5, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
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  6. Shaul

    Shaul Well-Known Member
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    How about we require a license for freedom of speech for misanthropes that think requiring a license to have children is a good idea instead?
     
  7. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Veteran Member
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    Regulations like this invariably become a series of fines against poor people who can't afford eval or licensing, especialy if they have low access to contraceptives. And drain on state manpower to hold up a false meritocracy, where the wealthy lobbying agents will invariably have more sway on what constitutes 'deserving' qualities.
     
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  8. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Instead of a license one could limit the number of children. If one wanted more then there could be ways to do so. Paying for the privilege is not a bad idea. And enforced sterilization might be needed for some. We cannot keep growing in number indefinitely. When it comes to land mammals by mass over 90% of land mammals are either humans or our livestock. The planet can only support a certain number. By the next doubling there will be far fewer livestock animals and people would be mostly vegetarian We can keep delaying Dr. Malthus but that might mean that it will end in a crash rather than a controlled descent.
     
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  9. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Hard pass.
     
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  10. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Can't say I'm a big fan of eugenics, or creating a significant underclass of the 'unworthy' with no stake in the future of society.
     
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  11. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein I'm not deaf, I'm just a real bad listener
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    I've been partial to this before but not now - it's basically eugenics. It's not for any human to decide who is worthy of existence. We have dignity beyond financial and health problems.
     
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  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    What do you think should be a requirement to get that license? I think the first requirement should be to be married. That would certainly reduce the number of children from unwed mothers who are having to raise children alone. I think children need two parents, a father and a mother.
     
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  13. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    Yep. And rightfully so. This touches on so many rights and is technically hard to enforce that won't fly.
    A great idea if you can get people to agree to it.

    If you have some place, let's say a permanently inhabited space station, where living space and resources are scarce, you could let only those on who agree to that kind of birth control.

    Come to think about it, you could do it with a patch of land you own on earth. If it is otherwise beneficial to live there people would agree to the regulation.

    And could the inhabitants of a city democratically decide to put up a law like that?
     
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  14. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    This sounds horrible.

    And I'm also reminded of the book series Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix, which features a government trying to control population growth with a Population Police.
     
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  15. JDMS

    JDMS Academic Workhorse

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    The problem with ideas like these is that it (hopefully un-)intentionally leads to eugenics. By requiring people to obtain a license, you are allowing a controlling body to decide who is fit to reproduce (and by extension, who is important in society) based on whatever standards they've agreed to. People of different backgrounds would effected unequally by this. Because of modern income disparities between minorities in 1st world countries, you could basically kiss diversity goodbye.

    Not to mention the fact that it's impossible to decide what counts as a mental illness that would prevent folks from having children. What's the line... would autistic people be allowed to raise children? People with bipolar disorder? What about an amputee?

    Forced abortions and unsafe emergency abortions, skewed gender ratios, babies thrown to the streets in secret because they were born disabled and the parents don't want that as their only legacy... there are many, many issues with legally limiting the number of children that would need to be very carefully addressed before implementing anything like this.

    There's also the problem that poorer/underdeveloped countries are the ones with high fertility rates, whereas highly developed countries are seeing a decrease in fertility rates. Some are even incentivizing couples to have children.

    In other words, you'd have to impose limits on poorer countries that may not be equipped for policies like this. Those countries would have to change and modernize completely for this to be possible.

    I'm sure there are workarounds... but I think we should start enforcing tried-and-true environmental policies on modernized countries first before we start limiting the fertility rates of the global population.
     
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  16. VoidCat

    VoidCat Pronouns: any and all including it/it's and neo

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    This reminds me of my someone implying because of my family genetics i should never have children. And that because im autistic I wouldnt be able to raise a child well anyway. And yet i work in childcare caring for kids on a daily. Who gives anyone the right to decide if someone can or cant have children?
     
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  17. VoidCat

    VoidCat Pronouns: any and all including it/it's and neo

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    Because of me being disabled and knowing the US history regarding eugeneics this to me is a really good point.

    When a population decides who can or can't have children it never ends well.
     
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  18. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    I take a "let's wait and see if evolution can naturally handle it" approach to population control. Basically, an increase in LGBT+ people could stabilize the rate of births, as well as providing homes for existing children without a home in child shelters, via the process of adoption.
     
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  19. VoidCat

    VoidCat Pronouns: any and all including it/it's and neo

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    This is another good point. The last time the US played around with deciding who should and shouldn't have kids it lead to a eugenics movement where blacks, native americans, and the disabled were sterilized. And that movement inadvertently inspired Nazi Germany.
     
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  20. VoidCat

    VoidCat Pronouns: any and all including it/it's and neo

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    Another point: it's ridiculously easy to have kids. Like all you got to do is to have sex. Are we going to sterilize those who are deemed unworthy to have a child? Because that's the only way to prevent this law from being broken. You can say oh requiring a license to have a kid wont lead to sterilization thus eugenics but it's the only way to prevent the unlicensed from having children. Are we going to punish those who have unprotected sex or have protected sex but it failed and they had a kid anyway? Are we going to ban certain people from intercourse because they might have a child? What do we do in the case of rape and a person was unable to have protected sex? They did not intentionally break the law if a pregnancy occurs do they get fined or go to jail or punished?
     
    #20 VoidCat, Dec 6, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2022
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