Re: [SanghaOnline] Ethical grounds for the parenthood decision
- How can you justify that the new borns bring suffering to the already-borns?
There are people who are better off because of the late comers. It is not
reasonable to generalise like this. It could be seen as justifying the
advantage of those who have already been born.
China which has only 7% of the world resources can fit 1/5 of the world
population. It is about greed on the part of a few, that things look insufficient.
Some want to have many cars, say for example Elton John has many cars that he
rarely uses. It costs the world a lot to build a car. He spends thousands of Pounds for flowers each year. Rich people often demolish their old house to build a new one. Not that the old one is too old but because they think they can afford it. Many trees go wasted!
It is about the problem of sharing and distribution. Buddhism that emphasises
sharing (dana) makes some contribution but it cannot stop every one's greed.
Life, including that of human, has both advantage and disadvantage. Depending on the factors you take into consideration when you make a decision, you can
either come to regret or joy for being born. But as far as the Buddha is
concerned, not many people regret for being born into this world. In other
words, although people do not ask to be born, they are happy when they are
born. Hence gratitude towards parents.
Every one treasures life, declares the Buddha. And as we believe in the going
round in the samsara, to go round and round in human world is certainly
better than wandering in other realms, because of the opportunity it can offer.
Just as the nature takes care itself, human world will have a way to balance
itself in terms of population. Evolution and devolution of the physical world
is what Buddhists believe.
While we are talking about concern over the possible over-populated world,
some countries are worried that they do not produce enough. Japan is one of them. They have more aging population than children. This will be a problem in some western world too in a few decades from now.
Parenthood is an individual decision. It is not a religious duty as far as the Dhamma practice goes. The only thing as a Buddhist you need to know is that once you decide to become a parent, there are duties and responsibilities coming along. If you can accept that, there is no doctrinal problem on the issue.
I hope you can see a wider picture when taken into consideration the other
issues related to this question.
- Dear Peter
I don't see that a problem for the west.
Other sountries have to deal with it the best they can. As always it's a
case of balance.
It is you initial dilemma - to bring another being into a world of
suffering - that was off mark!
Really what you as a male have to decide is - do you want to be a father
with all the responsibilty that brings. Or do you want to remain single! If
you're partner wants a child, for her happiness decide soon. Yes or no! Such
indicision can cause untold misery.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Bubala" <pbubala@...>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 7:08 PM
Subject: Re: [SanghaOnline] Ethical grounds for the parenthood decision
> Dear Venerable Bodhidhamma,
> Thank you for your response. But how does this approach relate to the
problem of overpopulation of earth? If everyone would exercise his or her
compassion by bringing as many children into this world as possible, soon
the earth would be overpopulated and people would be starving for lack of
food and pollution of environment.
> In some sense bringing another human being to earth causes that existing
limited resources (water, air, food) have to be shared by more people. This
normally wouldn't be a problem, but when the numbers get high, one can
reasonably say that bringing another human to earth adds to suffering of
> In this respect, wouldn't it be more proper (ethical) to adopt children
rather than bring them to life and escalate existing civilization problems?
> Metta, Peter
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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