Updated: Jul 30
Below are a few reasons people have given me to have children and why these are not good reasons:
1. To continue one’s lineage/bloodline. First, there is nothing special about one’s lineage. Second, does it matter? Once we die, we won't know what happened to our lineage.
2. To pass on property. Well, you don’t have to have children to pass your property to. It is insane to raise a child just to pass down your property. You should not have wasted your life collecting property to begin with. Also, you are ruining your children by giving them free stuff.
3. To have someone to care for me when I am old. Well, that is selfish.
4. To continue the human population. Well, there are more than 7 billion people to do it.
The real reason to raise a family appears to be personal and societal growth. We know from the work of Phillip Zimbardo (Spielman et al, 2014, p. 413-414) that the roles we play change us deeply. It is the role of parents that society needs the most. When a young man becomes a father, a lot of things change. He has to be a good role model for his children. Suddenly, the bikini-clad model on the billboard, whom he once enjoyed looking at, starts to concern him. Suddenly, cussing and drinking sound like bad ideas to him. He wants television programs to be free of sexual and political references. He wants society to be free of crimes. He cares about the education system more than he did when he himself was in school. The role fundamentally changes him, from an indifferent passive character to a protector of societal values. The same can be said about his wife. Singles have nothing invested in society. Parents, however, have everything to lose if society becomes immoral. Children give parents a reason to grow up, yet parents think they are the ones doing the raising.
There is something to be said about Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z & Super. Having a son made him responsible. Having a daughter in Super made him more responsible. When Bulla was to be born, he rejected a chance to train with Beerus and Whis; the guy once begged Whis to train him. He was the man who once killed the Z fighters and was ready to destroy the earth. He was not only irresponsible but also reckless. His family raised him and I must say raised him right. And I am not talking about King Vegeta.
It doesn't necessarily mean that people must raise children to grow up. They can adopt without getting married if they want to take on a responsibility. Some can develop virtues without going through the normal path. For most, however, raising a family is a reasonable course of action that develops them and eventually develops society through them.
Spielman, R. M. et al. (2014). Psychology [Oct 02, 2019]. Retrieved June 20, 2020,