Procreation

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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thrifty++
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Procreation

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:05 am

In this day and age I am questioning the notion of procreation. Is it virtuous? If so why? Or why not? What value does procreation add to the modern world?

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chenda
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Re: Procreation

Post by chenda » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:42 am

Continuation of the species...

But see this: http://www.vhemt.org

black_son_of_gray
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Re: Procreation

Post by black_son_of_gray » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:02 am

thrifty++ wrote:Is it virtuous?
Is anything that you have a natural compulsion to do virtuous?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Procreation

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:57 am

I suppose it depends on whether you believe you have any particularly useful genes or memes to pass along, and whether you believe that procreation is an efficient system for achieving this transmission. I had the bizarre experience of being herded into an auditorium at the age of 14, with a large group of other youth who had been labeled "gifted", and lectured on the topic of the high rate of suicide and the low rate of reproduction in the high IQ population. I didn't buy what they were promoting then, and I'm not trying to sell it now, but...my two adult children are smart, funny, attractive and in possession of very good social manners. They were also smart, funny and attractive when they were 2 and 4, but far less knowledgeable and capable of extremely poor behavior at times. So, I kept locking them in their rooms with nothing but books every evening at 8 PM and it seems to have worked. YMMV.

OTOH, I do feel some degree of guilt for being a breeder, so I am using the last of my life energy to sequester and steward a good deal of carbon and pass along useful memes to other babies not of my making. Evil old gentlemen with yachts keep trying to lure me away from my purpose into a life of useless leisure, but I persevere!!!

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Re: Procreation

Post by jacob » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:38 am

Here's a long related thread:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4878

Did
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Re: Procreation

Post by Did » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:28 am

Wife laughed the other day when she saw a quote along the lines of "I'm sorry - i can't hear my biological clock ticking over the sound of your screaming children"

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Dragline
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Re: Procreation

Post by Dragline » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:13 am

Yes, I would refer back to the other thread. But your question will probably answer itself after you define "virtue", and will likely be different for others who do not define that term in the same way.

I tend to view personal preferences or choices regarding natural behaviors, like what to eat, what to poop in and whether or not to procreate, as pretty inconsequential on the personal virtue scale (meaning you don't get any virtue points for those choices most of the time, but you don't get any taken away either), but I recognize that others often attach enormous significance to them and use them as a measuring stick to judge the virtue of others. And that, too, is a form of personal preference.

The scaled question -- whether societies should force or encourage people to procreate or not procreate -- is more interesting, but I think its covered adequately in the other thread.

workathome
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Re: Procreation

Post by workathome » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:57 pm

It's funny that this is a question, considering without it the person asking would be unable to.

JL13
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Re: Procreation

Post by JL13 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:55 pm

There's a lot of good discussion on this in How to Be Alive.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Alive-Guid ... 0062236709

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chenda
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Re: Procreation

Post by chenda » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:23 pm

@7wannabe5 what were they selling, encouraging you all to produce more gifted offspring ? :)

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BlueNote
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Re: Procreation

Post by BlueNote » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:27 pm

@7Wannabe5

I've worried a little about the relatively recent trend of smart people having very low procreation rates while the dumbasses generally seem to breed at twice the rate. In the not so distant past the only way to avoid procreation was basically abstinence which was difficult in a traditional society. This can't bode well for civilization...

In the book Methuselah's children theres an rich guy who dies and leaves a fortune dedicated to creating long lived people. The trustee's of the fortune decided the best use of the money is to create contracts to disburse funds to people to breed that had long lived parents and grandparents. I won't ruin the rest of the book... Maybe some billionaire could consider a similarly crazy arrangement to help geniuses marry and procreate for the sake of future generations :D

workathome
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Re: Procreation

Post by workathome » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:07 pm

It's not just contraceptives, but primarily and most importantly lower mortality rates. The vast majority of evolutionary genetic mutations would be necessarily harmful, not helpful. Intelligence is, of course, linked to your ability to plan, etc. So everything was "downward mobility," and a large percentage of children who survived to adulthood all came from the upper classes, or most intelligent, because of food access, less disease, etc.

I don't think anyone is going to, at least in the West, start pushing for eugenics, so the problem, if you consider it one, seems unsolvable - or will be solved "naturally" if a widespread technological/societal collapse happens.

Or maybe if all the more intelligent among us miraculously became devout Catholics and started having large families again. Perhaps conversion to Islam and acceptance of polygamy could have a similar effect, and if the current leaders have their way could realistically happen in Europe within a few generations.

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Dragline
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Re: Procreation

Post by Dragline » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:19 pm

workathome wrote:It's not just contraceptives, but primarily and most importantly lower mortality rates. The vast majority of evolutionary genetic mutations would be necessarily harmful, not helpful. Intelligence is, of course, linked to your ability to plan, etc. So everything was "downward mobility," and a large percentage of children who survived to adulthood all came from the upper classes, or most intelligent, because of food access, less disease, etc.

I don't think anyone is going to, at least in the West, start pushing for eugenics, so the problem, if you consider it one, seems unsolvable - or will be solved "naturally" if a widespread technological/societal collapse happens.

Or maybe if all the more intelligent among us miraculously became devout Catholics and started having large families again. Perhaps conversion to Islam and acceptance of polygamy could have a similar effect, and if the current leaders have their way could realistically happen in Europe within a few generations.
No, those experiments in eugenics were already done and largely prove to be failures. The most famous was the "Terman study" that tracked a cohort of smart children throughout their lives. While they marginally did better education-wise and economically, they did not produce a higher proportion of distinguished or accomplished people than the rest of society. See https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/ma ... e_id=40678

The idea that religious affiliation itself in modern society dictates fertility is a pernicious falsehood that should be eradicated, because it leads to erroneous prejudices and fear-mongering. What predicts fertility is the relative emancipation of the women. So in Syria before the war for instance, fertility was very high in traditional rural areas but close to or below replacement rate in developed areas where women were treated differently: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria ... FS20100603

There is no reason to believe your last sentence -- the opposite is so likely that its practically a certitude. As long as Europe treats its women more or less equal with access to education and contraception, fertility rates will trend low, regardless of religious affiliation.

The exceptions tend to prove the rule. I come from a large Catholic family on my mother's side with families of 14, 12, 9, 8, and 7 children. We were under-producers at 5. (All direct descendants of my avatar.) But only a few of my cousins chose to have large families themselves, even though most are still Catholic. I have a mere 19 nieces and nephews -- but you can mostly blame or credit DW's family (all 6 of them) for that.

workathome
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Re: Procreation

Post by workathome » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:44 pm

I certainly wasn't saying we should try eugenics! I think any attempt to artificially replicate natural factors will likely not work well, or miss something. Introducing artificial sterilization seems like a horrible idea, though we're already introducing artificial environmental factors and controls that are altering the general population and will, eventually, lead to increased mutation accumulations among the broad population. This will eventually be visible in lower intelligent levels and increasing levels of health problems.

I meant it probably would never be politically feasible in the West anyway. I've read some things suggesting China is very interested in eugenics and genetic research though.

I'm not sure what you mean implying high fertility leads to prejudice, etc.? Do you mean that you think high fertility is bad? In the US, Mormon fertility far exceeds the general population. On the personal level, the devout (read, not just "Catholic", but active, attending weekly mass, sending their kids to religious school, etc.) Catholics I know have far above the average fertility rate of the US.

This also appears to contradict your point: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20 ... ous-group/

You say "As long as Europe treats its women more or less equal..." and my previous point was that, yes, that will probably change within a few generations as the current liberal, low fertility rate population is replaced by one with a different worldview.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Procreation

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:30 am

@chenda; Yes, they were quite obviously encouraging us towards higher levels of reproduction. This was sort of early days in the development of mandated educational programs or resources for "gifted" children, and somebody made, IMO, a bit of a false step in choice of speaker.-lol. Being terrible 14 year olds, my friends and I were more interested in predicting who in the group would be most likely to commit suicide. Also, to the best of my recollection, none of the people who were sparking my precocious-proto-procreation interest at that age were present at that meeting. One being, although intelligent, much too old (the totally cool/cute, long-haired, sandal-wearing Boomer who taught my "Science Fiction as Literature"class ), another being quite clever, but much too "bad" (looked and dressed like young Mick Jagger, jumped out of trees, bit me on the arm and laughed), and the last being the stolidly, solidly above-average, significantly shouldered member of the football team who was madly in love with my rather dull-witted, giggly, tiny cheerleader friend Anne-Marie.

My point being that the purpose of sex is to mix 'em all up. IQ is a simple measure of a complex property within a very complex process. IMO, it would likely prove a mistake to f*ck around with sex. Anyways, contrary to the popular misconception of the unattractive nerd or member of the "bluestocking" guild, all other things being equal, people will tend towards choosing mates with higher IQ measures, so it is unlikely to be completely bred out of the population. The measure obviously represents something of value, whether or not it correlates with measures of conventional success, because few people would voluntarily give up 20 points.

ShriekingFeralHatred
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Re: Procreation

Post by ShriekingFeralHatred » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:37 pm

blah
Last edited by ShriekingFeralHatred on Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dragline
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Re: Procreation

Post by Dragline » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:28 pm

Something relevant to this topic that popped up on one of feeds recently. At some point it looks like we'll be paid or forced to breed more again. Or maybe just create an army of clones.

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/fertili ... g-economy/

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