(LifeSiteNews) — “Stop having kids!” That’s the message from the antinatalist group aptly named Stop Having Kids.
Its site explains its beliefs, saying: “Stop Having Kids acknowledges that there is an unconscionable amount of needless suffering, injustice, and death in the world — with birth serving as the catalyst for it all. As a result, it is a moral imperative that we strive to minimize and prevent (not through coercion, pressure, or force) as many new lives as possible.”
A moral imperative? I don’t think that phrase means what they think it means.
Antinatalists see life not as a gift or a blessing, but as a burden — on parents, on the environment, or on communities in general. Some who ascribe to this belief argue that the sufferings that human beings endure are so terrible that it would be better if people never existed in the first place.
The site goes on to say that the group exists to “normalize antinatalism” and that it believes that “there are no reasons for having children that aren’t self-focused (besides through force) and that having children is unethical and irrational.”
It’s difficult to comprehend the disdain for babies that permeates the Stop Having Kids website. This mentality goes far beyond a calling to single life, to celibate life, or to a lack of a personal desire for children. Antinatalism is something deeper and more insidious.
So, it raises the questions: Where does a world view like this come from? How is it that people have developed such disgust for babies?
I believe it comes from a misguided sense of self, out-of-control hedonism, and a misplaced sense of utility. Society tries to tell us that we should do what we want when we want and that, if anyone gets in our way, we can stomp on them, push them away, or simply discard them.
We see this disturbing mentality in a story out of the U.K. Ben Seal is a father of three who has taken to TikTok to show the world the beauty of children with disabilities. Of his three children, one is autistic and one has Down syndrome. Ben uses the social media platform to advocate for children. He says that most people are kind, but he does get cruel messages such as “Why keep bringing more disabled people into this world?” or “Stop having kids if they keep coming out sick.” Ben rightly says that these messages come from a “place of ignorance” because “they think a person with a disability has nothing to live for.”
Society wants “perfect” people, and instead of viewing another’s suffering or need for help as a cause to lift him up, they see him as a burden who should have never been born. Value to them comes from what a person can give. They don’t understand that value is something we all inherently have.
And so, these people give voice to evil, to disgust, and to unkindness.
We are in danger of losing the voice of reason, of love, and of charity. When we allow disdain to take over, we become a society ruled by anger.
People may think that internet trolls and small groups like Stop Having Kids have very little impact on society, but their voices are loud — and they’re becoming louder every day. And just like water that seeps into the cracks of a road and breaks it apart, these voices have caused and will continue to cause not only cracks, but an erosion of society.
So what do we do? How do we combat this? We begin with education, and we teach the importance of moral courage.
It’s all too easy to look at groups like Stop Having Kids and dismiss them. It’s all too easy to see heartless comments online and scroll past without commenting. But if we don’t speak out and give voice to the vulnerable and speak to the beauty and wonder of all people — no matter what their ability or whether they are born or preborn — those spewing the vitriol will win.
It is not a moral imperative to tell society to stop having children. It is not a moral imperative to tell people that anyone suffering is a burden. It is a moral imperative to foster a love for children, to care for those with disabilities, to build people up, and to put others’ needs before our own. Only then will we create a society that truly understands the value and dignity of all people.