R H
  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

Should potential parents, in an enlightened and advanced society, be licensed to have children?

So many children are left unattended because the parents are unavailable, either through both working, exhaustion, or combined. Many parents do not have adequate skills to raise children to be productive and prosperous in our society, and the schools cannot do it for them. 'Child rearing' is not even a required course in secondary school. Rampant drop-out rates, teen drug use, adolescent violence, teen pregancy and more are symptoms of the inabilty of parents to give children the tools necessary to survive and prosper in the society we've given them. These who are now criminalized and/or ostracized become adults, and put further stresses on society for their inability to perform functions needed and valuable. We therefore spend billions in police, court systems, rehab, retraining, re- everything. Should an enlightened and advanced society therefore 'screen' potential parents for their potential as parents, and regulate reproduction in society, and why? Of course there would be training for those who wish to be licensed...

  • May 18 2012: Part 1 of 3

    The answer to this question is: Look to nature. For if one considers looking to nature from the start, most questions/answers become better clarified. Please note that I did not say to look at what mankind has done to infringe upon that which is natural in nature, which is tantamount to what is being suggested here in this "question," framed within what is appropriate for an “enlightened and advanced society.” Contrary to what the media keeps proposing, humanity is a part of nature, and not above nature and its laws, thus, we all need to learn together what nature's laws are in order to flourish.

    There is nothing enlightened nor advanced about a person or society that believes nature and its processes should be legislatively regulated. In particular, what has been proposed for discussion here is on the topic of the most basic desire within, and driving force of nature-that of the processes involved in giving birth, which forms the building blocks of life. ( here is one beautiful TED presentation you may wish to view on the subject: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/louie_schwartzberg_the_hidden_beauty_of_pollination.html "I realized that nature had invented reproduction as a mechanism for life to move forward, as a life force that passes right through us, and makes us a link in the evolution of life.")

    An enlightened and advanced society operates from love and empathy, from giving to the care and concern of others, over and above any care or concern for one's self. Egoism (a force of reception) is inverted in its use from taking for self, to receiving in order to give to others, so that egoism transforms to being necessary only as it serves altruism (a force of giving). Science has observed that the mechanisms of nature operate in constant search of homeostasis-balance and harmony within ebbs and flows, giving and receiving, everywhere.

    Enlightened and advanced people's and societies live their lives in service to others, in empathy ...

    Part 1of3
  • May 18 2012: Part 2 of 3

    … with and compassion for the human journey that each and everyone is a part of, and that each and everyone is actually composed of, for we are all interconnected and completely entangled and unified with everyone and everything. Science-particularly physics, but not only physics-has been talking about this for decades now. (I refer you to a great movie by Tom Shadyac called "I AM" which, in an entertaining and educational way, speaks to some of the science of this topic of our interconnectedness-the full movie is on youtube.)

    The enlightened and advanced do not look at what is outside of them in order to seek to change that which is perceived there, but instead, look outside in order to check if the changes one is working on making on the inside, are affecting all for the best beneficial good of the collective whole, seeking to become equivalent to the level of nature, which always gives everything in loving abundance, and shines the sunlight and rains the rains on all without prejudice.

    In another comment, the proposer of this topic said, "Often these people hide behind 'their right' to raise their children the way they see fit - like they 'own' the child. Like a pet. Then, we as a society, have to deal with the fall-out when they attend school, become adults, and try to function as self-providers. We then invest in 'remedial assistance' because we believe 'they had a hard life and need help'. It's backwards to me. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm sick of it."

    Isn't this the true topic for this TED Conversation? So this is the one to be further addressed. Check the language used here. "these" people, "their" right, "their" children, "they" see fit ~versus~ "we" as a society, "we" invest in 'remedial assistance,' "I'm" sick of it.

    Please understand that no disrespect to the questioner is intended here, for we are all, if we are paying attention, faced with these kinds of questions in all areas of our lives on a daily basis.

    Part 2 of 3
  • May 18 2012: Part 3 of 3

    I'd like to encourage us all to consider that what families need the most is someone like this questioner to reach out and give personal touch and connection of love, care, and concern. (I'm not talking about money here.) Imagine how the world would change instantly if we all started looking after one another with the same care and concern for others as that of a mother for her children and family!? In advanced and enlightened people and societies, there is no "us and them." There is only one collective global human family where everyone is as your closest family member, and every perceived problem is actually an opportunity and a challenge for all to seek unity in its solution, and to rise from ourselves and draw closer to each other in guarantees of mutual reciprocity and love.

    Our relationships with each other determine everything in our world, and are really the only thing we all need to work on. In the same way the cells of the human body function to work cooperatively for the best benefit of the entire body, so too must humanity come together in mutually reciprocal cooperation for the best beneficial good of each and everyone, and of the planet that we share. After all, why are we all here, and what is the purpose for this life? All the best to each and all, as we continue together to answer these vitally important questions. Our human species and our world are at an evolutionary tipping point, and each and every person holds a piece to the puzzle that unlocks the solution for humanity's next level of evolutionary advancement, where love is the law. :)

    Part 3 of 3
  • thumb

    Josh S

    • +1
    May 7 2012: R H,
    Between your last comment and a previous one, i felt a change in the argument. In your above comment you say that the women, couples, are deciding to have children or not. This i do agree in and support, if one isnt able to rear a child they shouldnt. However, where i feel differently is whether the government should get involved in this process. You say the term 'licensed' in your question, which is given out by the government so instead of giving parents the right to choose to have children, you are giving it to the government. This i have a problem with.
    I do believe that adults should use their own intuition on deciding whether or not to have children, but the government should not be involved.
    Lastly, your analogy to driving is a good analogy but fails in the sense that driving is a privilege, procreation is not. Procreation is one of the few things that is not a privilege, but a basic human right; while driving a car is not.
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 9 2012: Thanks again Josh. Ok. Point taken. Everyone that has responded feels the gov't influence of 'licensing'. Ok. I'm not making a case for it, I just asked the question with the backdrop of how procreation effects society - and the negative attibutes I cited are nowhere near the 'full' effects of procreation. The postive ones aren't mentioned. I guess the question, now that I've seen some responses, really isn't about 'licensing'. It's about neglect. It's about raising children, making children, dealing with children, and what children mean to us. For many people, I've come to realize after being closely associated with publice schools for many years, they do not have the ideal-love-my-child-enough-to-sacrifice-for mentality that many other people naturally have for their children. For many, I've seen children 'in the way', a hindrance, something that has to be dealt with, something 'the gov't should assist with, a toy, like a stuffed animal, or a psychopathic outlet of dispicable disgust. Often these people hide behind 'their right' to raise their children the way they see fit - like they 'own' the child. Like a pet. Then, we as a society, have to deal with the fall-out when they attend school, become adults, and try to function as self-providers. We then invest in 'remedial assistance' because we believe 'they had a hard life and need help'. It's backwards to me. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm sick of it.
  • May 6 2012: If it were an enlightened and advanced society there would be not need to license them. They would know if they are prepared or not.
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thanks for responding. I see your point. Ok. So let me take it a step further. In such a society we could speculate that it would be highly specialized and complex. As we see even today, many people are consumed with their jobs/careers/dutys and choose parenting by default. Parenting let's say, in the e&a society, would not be part of their daily routine or interest - until they became interested. In this same society their history had shown that certain skills were required for an optimum success rate of individual happiness and contribution to the whole. Under these circumstances, is it reasonable/beneficial for the individuals themselves to desire that the society they live and contribute in are managing the quality of life and march of progress to the best of their ability - being enlightened and advanced?
      • May 9 2012: I don't see what would be enlightened and advanced about such a society.

        In our own societies, I don't think that most people should have any children, but I am allergic to government intervention. I have hopes for enlightenment. That's the way to go. But it takes lots of effort, and might not really be attainable. But trying to solve everything with licenses and laws is futile and brutal. There might be no escape though. Just notice. Now we have to take care that others don't make something stupid in our homes, or else they sue us for not thinking that somebody would be sufficiently stupid to come and jump from the top of our highest tree and die.
        • thumb

          R H

          • 0
          May 9 2012: I hear you, my friend. I too have hopes for enlightenment. Thanks for responding.
  • thumb
    May 19 2012: We can not depend on legislative measures to correct all human failings. It is common in the 21st century life for people to expect government to finance and support irresponsible lifestyle. Taking care of children is not something that is complex or complicated; humanity has been doing it successfully from prehistoric times. It is our world of selfish ambitions and desperate drive for profits that is robbing us of our humanity.
    So, I dont believe such a license will do any good.
  • thumb

    Josh S

    • 0
    May 6 2012: I am sorry , you' re right:
    i meant to say that by reading those books, you will have an answer and generally the reader obtains a very negative connotation. However, books like 1984 pose more intrusive technology then we have even today, like TV's that have 2 way vision. No it does not have internet and cell phones, but the concept is the same.

    Now with the literature in mind, ill display my own views. To prohibit procreation- which is part of what your question is goes against the most fundamental rule of nature, to procreate. Lets say that anybody is allowed to have kids, but those kids are given away at birth to 'fitful parents'. We can look at our own adoption studies and see that for the most part, it doesnt work out well, atleast not as well as when the children are raised by their natural parents.
    What you suggest seems much to intrusive, against all freedom , against the fundamentals of biology, and a very scary thought.
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thanks Josh. No need to apologize. That's what TED is all about for me. The free exchange of ideas in conversation. Sometimes our 'buttons can get pushed'. It happens to me. I agree, this question does seem very intrusive to our sensibilities. But in an 'enlightened and advanced society' I believe these very fundamental issues would be addressed. Many will offer different means of tackling problems. Using literature, you mention "1984". I will refer to the movie "Precious". Both are extreme examples. When I read more and more women's responses on birth control, and see many TED talks regarding the same, I'm watching how intelligent, educated, and thought-provoking their opinions are regarding the rearing of children. They often talk about 'happiness' and 'prosperity'. They are self-regulating their births already (those that can), and making those decisions with the background of the society they live in. Lastly, I compared in another response this concept to getting a driver's license. No one 'chooses who' can get a driver's license. You just have to be capable to drive.
  • May 6 2012: @ R H

    When I mentioned to look deeper meant for you to study human nature. Human nature is inclined to resist anything imposed. All ideas, good and bad, are great to aid in advancing humanity, however if an idea must be imposed instead of accepted does not substantiate the idea. We cannot alienate others to advance an idea, though as humans we occassionally will, no matter how hard we try not to. Look at an idea from this perspective. How can I market my idea so that it educates others without sounding rightious or contemptuous.

    I miss wrote when I said embraced. Rather, I should have said accepted. (Their acceptance is based on what they are told and believe the law is for.) There are many ways that central design over procreation are destructive. One way it could destroy would be those in power would get the "bright idea" as to whom they want to "breed" based upon their standards. Those standards are at the descretion of those in power. Are those standards based on race, IQ, work ethic, hygeine, physical characteristics or whatever inclination?

    Think your ideas through.

    Good Luck,

    W.P. Baldwin
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thanks W, but it's not an idea, it's a question. And where does the question mention that 'someone' would decide who gets to procreate? It is clearly included in the question the context of an 'enlightened and advanced' society. It could be assumed that the worn-out, antique totalitarianisms are well-documented. Regarding the concept of a license, it is merely that you have demonstrated ability to perform the task desired, with full knowledge of how it's done successfully and the repurcussions if those methods are not used. No one 'chooses' who gets a drivers license, medical license, real estate license, insurance license, teaching license, or any other kind of license. You decide what you want to do, get the training, pass the exam, get the license. The society is protected because you've been trained and demonstrated ability. So I hope that clarifies the concept of the question. Now human nature, that's the real interesting point. What is that? Could we say it's human nature to kill at will, to take what we want when we want, for men to demand sex from a woman, to pee on the sidewalk? I could go 'deeper' but I'm too tired. Thanks again for responding.
      • May 6 2012: @ R H

        You said, "And where does the question mention that 'someone' would decide who gets to procreate?" and "Regarding the concept of a license, it is merely that you have demonstrated ability to perform the task desired, with full knowledge of how it's done successfully and the repurcussions if those methods are not used."

        I still argue someone with authority must decide the standards by which a lisence is issued.

        You said, "No one 'chooses' who gets a drivers license, medical license, real estate license, insurance license, teaching license, or any other kind of license." Well, if you do not abide by the standards decided upon you then lose the license. Many times the standards are B.S..

        You said, "The society is protected because you've been trained and demonstrated ability." Again, people are killed every day by licensed drivers and doctors, cheated by real estate agents and insurance agents and get horrible educations by licensed teachers.

        I am a "licensed" builder and I will guarantee you I have seen as many incompetent builders that are licensed as there are competent builders who are not licensed.

        You said, "Could we say it's human nature to kill at will, to take what we want when we want, for men to demand sex from a woman, to pee on the sidewalk? I could go 'deeper' but I'm too tired." to deflect from having a discussion. Human nature is good, evil and everything in between. This is why your idea will not work. People will always find a way around the "law", whether they break it or know the right person.

        To the context of an enlightened and advanced society. With the type of discussion you and I just had do you really believe that either one of us is capable of being part of it?

        TedTalks is a great place where knowledge can be shared openly. If a person does not want to take advantage of that and expand upon their knowledge, that is fine; there always will be a need for people in the bottom eighty percent.

        Sincerely,

        W.P. Baldwin
        • thumb

          R H

          • 0
          May 7 2012: Ok W. Three strkes you're out. I asked a question to an on-line conversational community with the highest standards of exchange. This particular community is also dedicated to comments regarding our future. Your responses are about fear of totalitarianism and cheating. I tried to clarify. This whole last comment is about those who disregard and 'work-around' the efforts of those trying to organize an effective society, and that those efforts are 'BS' anyways. You finish with insults. I think you're right in that one of us is not capable of being part of this discussion. You think it's me, I definitely think it's you. So we're done here.
      • May 7 2012: Totalitarianism and cheating are always going to be a part of society. To think otherwise would be unrealistic. A better question would have been, "Can there ever be an enlightened society where evil will never lurk within its shadows?" Then you could of had a discussion about the possibilities of this ever happening.

        By the way, another poster made the best point that in the utopia of an enlightened society there would be no need for licensing requirements, which is what your question was about, "Should potential parents, in an enlightened and advanced society, be licensed to have children?"

        I am sorry that we could not have discussed my point that to license someone there must be someone setting the standards of licensing. Your point that nobody is giving the licenses means that there will not be any licenses issued.

        Have a good day.
  • May 5 2012: RH,

    What do you think the parenting standards should be?

    I did not even realize that the perfect method or system of parenting had been invented yet.

    Every method that has been promoted, so far, has had unforeseen consequences.

    Has the thought ever occured to you that there are too many different types of people, cultures, (sub-cultures) and so on for there to ever be a realistic standard of licensing?

    Good luck figuring it out, but I would suggest you look a lot deeper before you continue this conversation, because what you suggest is more than dangerous. It would destroy the society that embraces it.

    W.P. Baldwin
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thanks for responding, but what do you mean that I should 'look deeper' before continuing this conversation, and how would it 'destroy the society that empbraces it'?
  • thumb

    Josh S

    • 0
    May 5 2012: Why dont you read 'the Giver' or '1984' or any other dystopia and tell me what you think after?
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thank you for responding, but I didn't tell you what I thought, I asked a question. '1984' was written well over 30 years ago as science fiction, I think before cell phones existed, certainly before the intenet and impending singularities. I hardly think that can serve as a basis for a 'reasonable' response regarding a question for an 'enlightened and advanced society'. I guess your answer would be 'no', but you don't say. If so, why not - if you care to discuss it.
  • May 5 2012: i find your proposal really dangerous.
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thank you for responding, but it's not a 'proposal', it's a question. So, how would it be dangerous?
      • May 6 2012: because it's the waiting room of prejudice. who should be licensed? who should define the standards? which standarts? wealth? are well off parents better than poor ones? how much should one earn to grow up a child (and two)? based on beliefs, opinions, culture (i.e "communists" are bad and would teach bad values to their children who would ruin the nation? freaky people either? fundamentalists? )? based on iq? should people with genetical deseases be allowed to procreate? could be continued. what should we do with those who don't fit the standards? do we sterilize them (as it has already been done to limit ethnical minorities)? do they belong to jail if they procreate?
        "Many parents do not have adequate skills to raise children to be productive and prosperous in our society, and the schools cannot do it for them."
        "Rampant drop-out rates, teen drug use, adolescent violence, teen pregancy and more are symptoms of the unabilty of parents to give children the tools necessary to survive and prosper in the society we've given them."
        these are very questionable statements. i think you're proposing an easy solution for very complex problems, and this doesn't work. never. this kind of logic has been used by nazis (don't want to say you're nazi) in the '30 and '40 where "unproductive" people where either convicted or killed, and they put it under a commonsense looking like policy.
        • thumb

          R H

          • 0
          May 6 2012: There we go. Thanks for that. Again, I'm not 'proposing' anything. It's just a question. Let me counter with this: You are using historical precedents as non-changing components of this consideration. Let's just say that in an enligtened and advanced society, it is reasonable to assume that they have 'learned from the past' and have overcome the prejudices and sociopathic tendencies that their history had demonstrated - similare to the road that we're on here with TED and other efforts of like minded people currently. It is also reasonable to assume that they had learned that many people did not have the 'natural' skills that were assumed to be had by everyone to be successful and happy raising children. As far as who would decide who gets the licence, who decides who gets a driver's license (to use a current analogy)? No one. You take the training, you get insurance to protect those around you, you pass the test, you get the license.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thanks for responding. You said 'yes', you think people should be licensed to have children in an advanced and enlightened society. Then I think we lost something in the translation. If you care to, please tell us why you think they should be licensed instead of being free to procreate at will. Thanks again.
  • thumb
    May 5 2012: No!
    • thumb

      R H

      • 0
      May 6 2012: Thanks for responding. I guess my question was rather closed ended. If you care to elaborate as to why not, I would be grateful.
      • thumb
        May 6 2012: Because you never know who'll turn out to be a good parent.
        Parenting is a relationship, it grows and changes. Most people become parents during the nine months of expectation.

        So it's the regulation about it that I don't think to be a good idea.

        However, there are universals in education that people should know about when they're having a child. And I suppose it'd be of great help if governments paid for a few days of parenting school, for anyone who was interested and expecting a chid.
        • thumb

          R H

          • 0
          May 6 2012: Ok. Thanks for that.
        • May 6 2012: The problems with government subsidized parenting school are many. Here are a couple off the top of my head:

          What is the proper method of parenting?

          What else are they going to teach or not teach?
      • thumb
        May 6 2012: WP,
        I believe there are basic and universal rules about parenting, just as there are universal human rights.
        Do you disagree with that?
        • May 7 2012: The only universal rule is a parent should teach their child how to take care of themselves without purposely stepping on the throat of another. How they accomplish this is where the disputes start.

          The only human right we have as adults is the OPPORTUNITY to freely take care of ourselves and our families as long as this does not DIRECTLY infringe upon another's right to do the same. Again, this is disputed because the weak side of human nature wants to get as much as it can for doing as little as possible.