I've several married friends (all Hong Kong locals) chose to have pets over kids, and that's also my preference - except I don't want to have pets either.
By the way, there are 150 mainland Chinese migrating to Hong Kong, daily . That means "original" Hong Kongers will be rare eventually.
There are over 7 million people in Hong Kong. I think it's going to take a while for Mainland Chinese to swamp out "original" Hong Kongers at that rate...
"Moreover, three of four children in the city under the age of six had immigrant backgrounds.": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt#Immigration
"Even if all migration into Europe were to immediately and permanently stop – a “zero migration” scenario – the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from the current level of 4.9% to 7.4% by the year 2050." : http://www.pewforum.org/2017/11/29/europes-growing-muslim-po...
https://www.esf.edu.hk/school-fees/ - and it only goes up from there for the international schools.
The way I see it, there are two ways out:
1) We accept that the population cannot keep growing forever, and prepare ourselves for a society where older people are going to be increasingly common.
2) We coerce, or force young people start breeding. I don't really know how that could be done without massive human rights violations.
There is, of course, the idea of vat-grown children, but that seems somewhat far-fetched.
A lot of countries subsidise child care to some extent. That seems reasonable way to enable people to have children despite having jobs. Although obviously jobs shouldn't take up too much time either; 40 hour work weeks should be the max, and I'd really prefer to move to shorter work weeks. Otherwise what's the point of our increased productivity?
But beyond that, I think it's a good idea to prepare for a smaller population; the world population is pretty big. Figuring out a way to live here with less people doesn't seem so bad, it's just the transition we need to get used to.
Replacing local customs and traditions with crappy Hollywood blockbusters and the US music industry is something that people have managed on their own, and it's been going on since WW2.
We coerce, or force young people start breeding.
I don't really know how that could be done
without massive human rights violations.
For example, house prices are extremely high in areas with good employment prospects. In London there are literally people in their late 20s and early 30s who can't even afford to rent a flat to themselves. Let alone buy a property with a spare bedroom.
Interventions like lowering house prices in high-demand areas would allow younger couples to start having children with no human rights violations needed.
3) Reverse the changes that led to the arrest of the population growth.
We won't. Preachy, US-centered source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE
No, I'm not being funny or sarcastic. Humans pollute a lot. Also for the 99%, it doesn't so much matter if the world GDP continues to skyrocket. As long as we can keep productivity going up (no idea how), the 99% should be ok.
No, I'm not talking about a ban on having children or a lottery system or a qualification/licensing (at least not yet). If voluntary restraint works (and so far it looks like it), there won't be any need for coercive action.
What's good for the macro is not good for the micro. For communities, we need a strong work force that enjoys entertainment, that takes care of their elders, and raises the next generation to do the same.
If you bring macro policy to the micro, you end up with desolation, a shrinking economy, decreasing home values, and nobody to do anything.
Seeing that made me rather uncomfortable, and contributed to my doubt of the West.
I mean, I don't really understand how we got to this point, but now that we're here we really need to take a look around and go "Hey, is this what we're really an about?"
"People are shit", well, you see, not all, of course not, but a majority of shitty, poorly educated, selfish, "dishonest by default"(constantly lie to themselves and others) people are reproducing at great rate, raising further awful human beings.
Sadly at a greater rate than families to be composed of empathic people with innate positive moral bend in them are. And such people are already largely outnumbered, raising their reproductive rate will not allow outpacing the others.
They would bring positive influence to the world through their children, assuming the general ambient corruptions/experiences around them do not overpower the parents influence (do these parents even have time to impart enough of "them" to their children to make "good" people ?)
A lot of terms in "" by which I wish to indicate these are massively grey concepts that can be debated at length, but I hope to convey my general gist.
And then, maybe some people are getting put off by the exposure to negative human behavior around them and wish to surround themselves with purer creatures they cannot fault - a popular one of these beings being dogs among other pets :D
The more familiar one gets with them the more one is struck in awe at the absolute sweetness and "goodness" present in many creatures of the animal kingdom, a concentration of which through breeding is highly present in pets)
How else are by example are some religious societies so far from the teachings of the books they venerate ?
I am talking about the human condition all round, not to specific first world cases. Picture countless struggling working poor, right out poor, and yes also more or less financially successful people.
Usually I would venture growing up poor, working poor, or in other forms of struggle imposed by lets say, a corrupt government regime will tend to put many of those people through a nasty time, this is not conducive to bringing the best out of people or letting good sentiments develop.
An effect of the hardship and stress of these life situations beget substance abuse and other psychological problems which get carried on down to the children through traumatic upbringing.
Most large families are by far to be found in struggling communities, for good and bad reasons...
(n.b. Of course I hope I’m wrong, and I’m doing what I can to make sure I am, buti it is a truly monstrous challenge.)
One of these things is not like the others. Can you spot it?
How do you justify your own existence if you "know" the earth eventually won't be habitable. I have the answer for you: you hope. There's plenty of that left, it's what keeps us all going.
You don't justify your own existence; that was never your own decision. You justify your decisions, and having children is a decision.
Just picking that one nit. I do agree with the importance of hope, and I chose to have children. Though I totally respect people who make a different decision.
Also, when I was a kid I believed I would die within 20 years because of some natural disaster (hole in the ozone layer, nuclear war where the fears of the day). People at all times seem to believe that the end of the world is just around the corner.
I know, I know - this time it is for real...
Ultimately, we all die no matter what we do, so why do anything at all?
That is true in South Korea as well.
"Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most - and left the intelligent to become an endangered species"
Edit: For those that seem to think I'm calling people who have children stupid - idiocracy is a satirical movie. I would suggest you actually watch the link i posted (i.e. at least "read" the comment before you reply to it...)
As a species, it isn't particularly intelligent to not reproduce.
I can tell you who our natural predators are: it's other people, who compete with us over wealth, resources, choice of ideology. Feeling smart and acting smart (as a group) doesn't seem to be the same thing.
Give me one good reason to have kids other than stupid "it's the miracle of life" bullshit, tell how it's a smart move ?
In simple terms saying people having children are not that intelligent, is like saying people preferring pizza over pasta (or other way) are dumb.
(And yes, I do think that those who think the is–ought distinction is bullshit are not that intelligent...;)
1. you propagate your genes
2. you likely have a backup kidney and liver for your old age
3. you have a human being that is legally required to help you out financially upon coming of age,
4. you have another person in your life that oxytocin makes you fall in love with deeply and unconditionally, and if you don't fuck it up, that love is reciprocated.
Then again, it is a lot of work, stress and there are no guarantees, but it's still as stupid as to join/found a startup (lots of work, stress, no guarantees, it basically changes you) - the main trade-off being is that your child is more likely to grow up well than your startup will become a unicorn, but you can't sell your child for a billion currency units (and i can assure you, if you're not a sociopath or mentally ill, you will not want to). So there's that.
The solution is to discourage the "idiots" from having kids in the first place -- not to compete with them.
Being overfocused on imaginary problem is not solution to existing problems.
Eugenics have been tried several times, all over the world, and both produced terrible abuses - especially of disenfranchised social groups - and also failed miserably.
Please, let's not.
People had kids all through the worse times -- not just accidentally as some implied here, they actively wanted and had kids.
The "climate change" etc excuses are just excuses (the same could have been said in the 10s after the Spanish flu toll, in the 30s about the unstable world politics, in the 50s to 80s about the possible "nuclear holocaust", and so on).
Or does somebody believe the billions having kids today are "bad people" and they're some kind of enlightened figure?
This is absolutely false if you live north of the poverty line and are educated and wealthy (by world standards), which if you're commenting here, you probably are.
Have kids or not, but don't delude yourself into thinking that it's bad. Rich people not having kids is literally the worst thing you can do with regards to children-based decisions on the effect of the state of the world.
The West hasn't really grappled with this question yet, but give it 15 years - when climate breakdown starts seriously affecting quality of life - and I expect the birthrate to crash.
Suffer from what exactly? In my family, half of my father's siblings and cousins died from war and hunger, the rest also had to hide from constant bombing and assaults, in fact my grandmother's village was wiped completely from the map. Yet they have tried their best to build the country so that now I can type this comment, safe from any kinds of harm. I consider it is my duty to do the same for the next generation. IMO the society should support families with kids more, as they are nurturing the future of mankind, literally.
Now we live with the threat of server climate change, that many people believe is likely to lead to war, famine, and infectious disease.