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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I listened to a podcast the other day by a guy who used to be a vendor here on TAM who calls himself Dad Starting Over. He has had a couple podcasts lately where he questions whether the current decline in marriage and birth rates is a good thing or a bad thing.

In his most recent podcast, he was interviewing Dr Robert Gover the author of the famed "No More Mr Nice Guy."

They had a brief mention of the declining marriage and birth rates and whether that was good or bad, but I found it an interesting topic that I think deserves a little more dialogue.

Now my ultra conservative, religious grandmother would think that today's declining marriage rate is the final sign of the apocalypse and that society and the world we know and love is doomed. Doomed doomed doomed.

But is it? Is this actually a correction and things are getting better?

Now those that are more conservative and religious in nature are probably going to see this as moral decay and the fall of society and this this will all be a return to Babylon and Sodom and Gomorra and that there will have to be another cleansing either by fire from the sky or another great flood so we can return to the stone age and start over again.

But is this moral decay and heathenism, or are we just entering into a period of time where people are getting to be allowed to be themselves and do what they actually want and what they think is the actual best course of action for them?

Will the world actually be a better place with LESS marriage and children etc?

Will it be murder and hayhem in the streets as we have been lead to believe?

Or will the world actually be a happier and saner place where people are actually able to do what they want to do?

Will there actually be LESS miserable and sexless and abusive marriages if only the people who truly want to mate with someone long term in marriage are the ones getting married, rather than people just going along with famial and social expectations who really would rather not?

Will there actually be less divorce and less infidelity and less marital discord, if the people who would rather not be tied down with spouse and family are free to live as they want?

Will there be less child abuse and child neglect and abandonment and children growing up in alcoholic and dysfunctional if only people who actually want kids and are actually willing to put in the work and effort are the ones having them?

Will there be fewer people feeling trapped in abusive and dysfunctional marriages staying "for the children" if there are fewer mouths to feed and less of a child support and custody burden?

I was raised up in a very small, very conservative, farming village in the midwest where the closest street light was 25 miles away. That was a culture where it was believed everyone HAD to marry and HAD to bear offspring and most people married their senior prom date because...... well,,, that was just what you were expected to do. It was your duty to your family, your church, your peer group, your community and for the well being of society as a whole.

- but was it right? Is it really the best way?

Is everyone cut out to be a spouse and a parent? Should there be a social expectation for marriage and parenthood for the masses? Is it bad for a social order to have too many single adults? Should people that may be on the fence about whether marriage and parenthood is right for them be compelled to marry and raise children if they are ambivelent?

Or should we be shifting gears and telling people that they should NOT be marrying and NOT having children unless they are 100% on board and yearning for and ready, willing and able to put in the reps and do the heavy lifting of marriage and parenthood and leave the masses to do their own thing?
 

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Lower marriage childbirth rates is a bad thing. When we men are not working to lead, support, and protect a wife and family, we get very destructive. Which you can see by what’s been happening throughout the West the last 15 years.

As for child abuse, a major cause is divorce and single parents. The main abuser of kids is a man that is NOT the father of the kid. Yes, I know there are fathers who abuse their own kid but that is not the majority. That is the secret that is hardly mentioned because no wants to discourage women from breaking up their families.
 

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Birth rates have been declining since 1968 and we are now at around +1.1% in birth rates. At the same time since 1900 death rates have declined such that in the last 40 years death rates have declined 1 - 2%. So over all there is no significant decline in the human population (rather is has risen, slightly). The only thing that has shifted is the age demographics, we are headed toward a reverse pyramid where we will be older generationally than younger folks. We see this already in places like Japan and China is heading in that direction. Older generations tend to be lonelier for lots of reasons that have always been there.

The question, does this result in a moral decline? I don’t know if I would see it that way. What I do think is bigger issue, is the decline in human connectedness. With fewer people (slowing birth rates) in their age group (younger generations) and growing social media, younger generations are not likely to have quality lives. This is not because of less economic opportunities or fewer opportunities to build power, wealth or decline in morality. It is because they (younger generation) are less likely to have any meaningful relationships. Statically, with larger selection of people in one’s age group there will always be opportunities to build meaningful relationship. The lower population among this group lessens that opportunity along with the trappings built into social media.

We will grow lonelier, less satisfied and sicker in this situation.
 

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I guess @oldshirt you are asking about rates in the decadent western culture. Lower marriage rates, lower childbirth implies lower rate of family formation which is a feature of our self-absorbed decadent and dying western society.

The rest of the world arent having these discussions and will happily watch us become irrelevant.

Regarding encouraging marriage. In my youth living together was considered a scandal. People who lived that way were ostracized. Girls who slept around were classified as “easy” and ostracized too.

Society gets what is tolersted, us humans are prone to live far below our potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As for child abuse, a major cause is divorce and single parents. The main abuser of kids is a man that is NOT the father of the kid. Yes, I know there are fathers who abuse their own kid but that is not the majority. That is the secret that is hardly mentioned because no wants to discourage women from breaking up their families.
OK but lets work this backwards though. Why are these 'parents' splitting up in the first place and then why are these single mothers getting with guys that don't like kids and don't want to be a family unit in the first place?

Could it be that none of these people were ever cut out to be spouses and parents in the first place? I've personally known some of the people you speak of in real life, none of them ever should have gotten together and had kids in the first place. None of them were marriage/parent material, they were just doing it because that was their family and societal expectation. They were party chicks that hooked up with party dudes and players, neither had the sense to use proper birth control, they got knocked up, tried to do what was supposedly "The right thing" and got married. They both sucked at marriage and parenthood, split up. Paid some child support, she went back to hooking up with players and party guys who wanted a piece of ass but didn't like kids around etc etc etc

If only the people that truly wanted to be married and have kids were the ones that were getting married and having kids, then doesn't it make sense that their divorce rates would be less and that they would be more inclined to remain together and nurture the children in a more functional and healthy manner.

I can't help but wonder if many of these train wrecks and bad environments were the result of families and churches and society trying to force people who weren't marriage and parental material into being something that they simply weren't.
 

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Contrary to popular belief, almost every region of the world is experiencing a decline in fertility rates (number of live births). Sub Saharan countries in Africa lead overall in fertility rates but they also have the poorest, least developed countries - some with the highest mortality rates.

Eastern countries like Japan, Korea, China, and India have also seen significant drops in fertility rates so this is not a "Western" issue.

I'm not worried about civilization going belly up however @Ikaika is correct. We're looking at an inverted pyramid situation where the world population will be made up of much older people. Long term care of the elderly will be an issue we need to address.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not worried about civilization going belly up however @Ikaika is correct. We're looking at an inverted pyramid situation where the world population will be made up of much older people. Long term care of the elderly will be an issue we need to address.
So what your saying is people need to have more babies so those babies can wipe our butts in nursing homes. I think that is going to be kind of a hard sell for the younger generations LOL
 

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So what your saying is people need to have more babies so those babies can wipe our butts in nursing homes. I think that is going to be kind of a hard sell for the younger generations LOL
Lol no, not at all. I'm actually happy the fertility rates are dropping. No, I just think we need to start thinking about how we, as a human race, plan on addressing this issue now versus later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Society gets what is tolersted, us humans are prone to live far below our potential.
Is society getting what it's tolerating or is it getting what people WANTED?

We need to keep in mind that what was not tolerated were things like people choosing their own mates, choosing how many children they had, even choosing which gender they wanted to be with.

I'm a few weeks shy of 59 years old, these discussions aren't new. There were people saying society would fall with Roe vs Wade. There were people saying society would fall if laws against homosexuality were taken off the books and gays could no longer be arrested and incarcerated. There were riots and bombings and lynchings and communities burned to the ground when places were striking down laws preventing people of different races from marrying and striking down laws saying that children of different races had to be in different schools. Women were locked up and tortured and subjected to drowning and induced hyper and hypothermia and even electro shock treatments for "nymphomania because they had sex with someone they didn't intend to marry.

This wasn't just protests and violence in the streets by people trying change the laws to allow more freedom, there were bombings and burnings and lynchings and murder by people who were trying to not allow freedoms of people to choose what lifestyles and what family and sexual dynamics were best for them.

So what is more decadent and destructive, someone who wants to have the ability to live and love as they choose and to choose who they marry or even if they marry?? Or the people who will burn down neighborhoods and bomb clinics and hang people in their own front yards in front of their children if things are changing in a manner they don't like or agree with???

Who has the most blood on their hands here??? Have the gays burned down and shot up any straight nightclubs?? Have the abortion activist bombed any OB clinics, birthing centers or nurseries? Have the lesbians locked up heterosexual women in asylums and drowned them or subjected them to shock treatments and lobotomies? Have the transgendered dragged cis gendered straight men out of their homes and beat them and murdered them? Have mixed race couples burned down churches that perform weddings for people of the same race?

Where does the real fall of the "civilized" world come from? The people that want freedom and ability to choose their own sexualities and family dynamics? Or the ones that want to prevent it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lol no, not at all. I'm actually happy the fertility rates are dropping. No, I just think we need to start thinking about how we, as a human race, plan on addressing this issue now versus later.
This is just my own humble opinion, but I think before we worry about who will wipe our asses in the nursing home, we better worry about where any of us will be getting food and water that is safe to eat and drink and air that is safe to breathe otherwise none of us are going to live long enough to need someone to wipe our butts.

And to even live that long we need to stop destroying and polluting the planet and the more people there are, the more the resources will be depleted and the pollution and toxins.

Declining reproduction rate is good.
 

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Oh no, we taught women to read and now society is going to collapse. :ROFLMAO: Women have gained access to education in lots of places within the last few decades and in all of those cases (Europe, Asia, Americas, Africa) the birth rate has gone down. Once they have some future of their own and the knowledge of how to prevent it, a lot of women don't want children or want to put off children until they've established a career. Allowing women access to education and career opportunities is only fair and if the consequence of that is fewer of them have children then that's just what we'll have to deal with as a society.

No population of anything can grow indefinitely. Whether it is bacteria, rats, or humans. In America we'll probably have some nursing / caregiving issues as the elderly numbers swell and the working population doesn't but it's likely to be just some temporary growing pains as society adjusts to a new normal. I don't know why demographic shifts would lead to societal collapse since we're going to have years and decades to shift resources. The main one that comes off the top of the head would be that all of the resources focused on educating children would likely have to (/ should be) shifted to caring for elderly if there aren't going to be that many children to educate.

Another reason not to expect society to collapse is that we've already had populations lower than we have today and society / civilization functioned just fine. I mean our population is now 8 Billion and if it drops to 7 Billion we know that we can function at that level of population because we already have. We haven't ever had a population of 9 or 10 billion so that's uncharted territory. Until we do reach and support that population we don't know that the can.

In a very real sense a shrinking population would be easier to deal with. There are several kinds of finite resources on planet Earth and the fewer people there is, the easier it is to make sure that everyone gets what they need and optionally what they want. There's a limit to the amount of arable land and number of fish that can be taken out of the sea sustainably for instance. If the population gets lower, then it is easier to feed everyone. Fewer people would mean that we would need fewer houses, fewer cars, fewer resources.
 

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This is just my own humble opinion, but I think before we worry about who will wipe our asses in the nursing home, we better worry about where any of us will be getting food and water that is safe to eat and drink and air that is safe to breathe otherwise none of us are going to live long enough to need someone to wipe our butts.

And to even live that long we need to stop destroying and polluting the planet and the more people there are, the more the resources will be depleted and the pollution and toxins.

Declining reproduction rate is good.
That maybe the equalizing solution. Before the 20th century, there were a number of rise and dips in populations - a natural disaster, disease or congested areas that were unsustainable. Modern engineering has erased a number of these issue, but in the end nature always seems to win. This of course does not address whether this is a moral issue.

It is more of a natural processes issue.

Until that time, it likely in the best interest of folks who are older to take care of themselves to extend the time to which they need long term health care. There may not be enough workers to deal with this crisis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That maybe the equalizing solution. Before the 20th century, there were a number of rise and dips in populations - a natural disaster, disease or congested areas that were unsustainable. Modern engineering has erased a number of these issue, but in the end nature always seems to win. This of course does not address whether this is a moral issue.

It is more of a natural processes issue.

Until that time, it likely in the best interest of folks who are older to take care of themselves to extend the time to which they need long term health care. There may not be enough workers to deal with this crisis.
Yes engineering and medicine and public health and agriculture etc has absolutely made tremendous strides in safety and well being and done much to reduce suffering and premature death etc etc.

I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember the old Mary Tyler Moore show on TV, but in that show there was a misfit character named Ted Baxter (played to perfection by the late Ted Knight). In one episode in the early 1970s when the earth's population was 1/2 of what it is today, they were having a discussion amongst coworkers on what was called the "Population Crisis" at that time and everyone was talking about ways people could help reduce the population growth.

Then Ted Baxter blurted out that everyone needs to start having as many babies as they can.

Everyone turned and looked at him dumbfounded at what he just said and asked him why on earth of there was too many people, why everyone should have even more babies.

His reply was, If everyone starts having a lot of babies, one of them might be smart enough to figure out the solution." :ROFLMAO:

But on the issue of morality, we must beg the questions of what is more moral vs immoral - To control our numbers so that we do not exhaust all our resources and contaminate the planet?

And also whether we should mandate conformity to certain theological tenets and previous generation's social and sexual constructs, or allow more individual freedom and choice of their sexual and family planning dynamics?

In other words which is more and which is less moral - for society and religious organizations and families to try to strive for conformity in marriage and child bearing? Or to embrace the freedom and agency of the individual to determine their own sexual and family dynamics?

Is one more and one less moral than the other?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh no, we taught women to read and now society is going to collapse. :ROFLMAO: Women have gained access to education in lots of places within the last few decades and in all of those cases (Europe, Asia, Americas, Africa) the birth rate has gone down. Once they have some future of their own and the knowledge of how to prevent it, a lot of women don't want children or want to put off children until they've established a career. Allowing women access to education and career opportunities is only fair and if the consequence of that is fewer of them have children then that's just what we'll have to deal with as a society.
Here is what I don't get -

I understand that when women are given agency and free will over their own bodies and their own reproductivity and have access to safe and reliable contraception, that they will on average have fewer offspring than women who do not have agency over their own reproductivity and do not have access to contraception. That is chrystal clear to me.

What I don't get is why isn't this being embraced if not actually driven by men?

Now as a man, I most certainly understand being horny and wanting to have sex. Lord In Heaven knows I get that.

But why all the kids? Don't kids actually reduce sexual access for men in general? What woman on the planet is more sexual and more DTF after she has kids than she was before? (yes, I know there are outliers and exceptions, but y'all know what I'm talking about) Why aren't the men demanding contraception factories be built in their communities? Why aren't men the one's leading the charge in reduced birth rates and lessening the economic and financial burdens and depletions of resources that high birth rates bring in these areas??

That's what boggles my mind.

I grew up in middle class, middle america and I basically devoted my teens, 20s and most of my 30s to preventing the occurrence of pregnacy so that I could preserve my financial and economic independence and my preserve my sexual access.

Do other men not get that or am I the one that is missing something? Why aren't men the ones leading the charge on things like reduced birth rates, proactive family planning, safe and reliable contraception, abortion etc etc?
 

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Falling birth rates = significant consequences for productivity and economic growth


Promotion of individualism is one of the leading causes of decline in Falling birth rates in US:


Productivity is of profound importance to any organization (and society) for it to flourish and compete. Productivity comes from "productive citizens" in large part. And "productive citizens" come from stable family units in large part.



Family units are the building block of any society, right? The institution of marriage coupled with family friendly laws provides a strong moral foundation for creating stable family units in any society. And heterosexual coupling works best for the mankind. Children raised by both father and mother (as husband and wife) are very likely to understand intricacies of both genders and how to create healthy relationships.

Homosexuality coupling = Unproductive (these couples cannot reproduce; more likely to develop health problems; more violent)




Hookup culture = Unproductive because it promotes individualism



Factors promoting individualism and decadence = Falling birth rates = significant consequences for productivity and economic growth = superpower status on the line

Where does the real fall of the "civilized" world come from? The people that want freedom and ability to choose their own sexualities and family dynamics? Or the ones that want to prevent it?
This realization is a recurrence of ancient forms of decadence. Sodom, Gommorrah, and Pompeii are well-known examples. These cities collapsed due to destructive events. But history is a solid reminder of the fact that decadence never works for any civilization:



Sir John Glubb captured this phenomenon in his literary masterpiece:


– The Age of Decadence

After a long period of wealth and power, empires will start to decline. This is the stage where people choose to behave in unsustainable ways and unaware of their consequences. Historians often refer to this stage as the decline in religion, but Glubb shows more than religion.

The empire will suffer because of excessive consumption. Absurdly wealthy elites will emerge where the masses will admire them. People will relate increased consumption to happiness. These values will permeate the public: frivolity, aestheticism, cynicism, narcissism, fanatics, and fatalism —and all negative behaviors affect the population.



Refer back to information provided above the quoted statement to understand the problem.
 

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But on the issue of morality, we must beg the questions of what is more moral vs immoral - To control our numbers so that we do not exhaust all our resources and contaminate the planet?
Eugenics? Who then gets to decide who and how many babies one should have?

And also whether we should mandate conformity to certain theological tenets and previous generation's social and sexual constructs, or allow more individual freedom and choice of their sexual and family planning dynamics?
Well in an oligarchy or dictatorship, you could attempt to control conformity and some would consider this immoral in process but not in the outcomes. But freedoms come with a cost and yet others would consider this immoral based on the outcomes (not the process)
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Eugenics? Who then gets to decide who and how many babies one should have?
I am talking about THE INDIVIDUAL having or not having however many babies they want.

Eugenics is still people’s reproductivity being determined by an outside social or political construct.

That is like when Jerry Falwell supported China’s forced abortion policies after spending decades and millions of dollars of other people’s money on overturning Roe Vs Wade in the US.

People called him out for being contradictory, but he wasn’t. He was consistent in that he did not believe that the individual woman should be able to determine her own reproductivity.


What I am talking about is whether the declining marital and birth rates are a positive sign or a negative sign.

My personal presumption is the cause of the decline is in large part that the individual (both male and female) have more agency in determining their own marital status and reproductivity than in days past.
 

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I think it's a sign the species is just adapting slowly to it's circumstance, which is incredibly positive. We can't keep breeding and expanding until there's no room for anyone to lie down.

And as far as @Ikaika ragging on Japan, so what if their economic growth is slowing. They have so much work over there that everyone is valuable again. You can keep working until you're 90 if you want. You can find a place to live that isn't going to take you 30 years to pay off. That's how it's supposed to be. This hyperfocus we have here in the states on economic growth and ROI, to the point people become a burden instead of an asset, is a sickness that needs to be cured.
 
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