March 05, 2007

On being ugrateful for having been born

Several times I've encountered the following argument from people who are pro-repro tech: "If you are against reproductive technologies, then you are saying that the people born with the use of these technologies would have been better off never having been born."

The same argument is used to silence the children of egg and sperm donors, if they happen to question the goodness of their conception. Are they saying that despite living happy and fulfilled lives, they would rather not exist? How ungrateful and how very sad.

The presumption in this argument is that as long as you are alive, you should be grateful and happy about the circumstances of your conception, because after all, it created you.

The absurdity of this argument becomes visible when it is transplanted into other circumstances:
  • If the children of rape say they are against rape, are they saying they would rather not exist?
  • Do the children of incest, pedophilia and prostitution have a duty to support incest, pedophilia and prostitution?
  • Must the children of one night stands support random hookups and unprotected intercourse?
of course we are always grateful to be alive. However, it would be absurd to have an obligation to support the way we were conceived, not matter how unethically it happened.

Despite the fact that it gave us life, we can recognize that the way we were created was unethical and has caused us and others great pain. We can be against hurting others in the same way that we were hurt.

It is thus no contradiction to be glad for one's life, and yet against the perpetuation of this failed experiment upon other children in the future.


Anonymous said...

If you're so miserable that your in the world there's a way to fix that. However I'm not sure that's ethical either. There's lots of kids in the world born to mothers who don't know who the father is and wouldn't recognize him if they were in the same room. Then there are the children who know their parents and wish they didn't. All of the people are not happy all of the time. This area is no different.

Unknown said...

I love your blog and am so grateful someone is willing to look at these harmful pactices for what they are, and aren't just focused on adult desire at the expense of the child

Anonymous said...

excellent points!