As a budding psychologist with little restraint and plenty of opportunity, I’ve found myself irritated with answers to several questions that I feel warrant more consideration than they are given when I ask.
Some people brush them off as unsettling, if harmless, ‘what if…’ type questions. Others have given me answers quick while getting progressively more angry with each one. A woman I asked got so upset that she had her husband threaten to beat me up for asking her about the ‘psycho-baby question.’
Even I’ve spent much time agonizing over all the possible meanings of the answers that people give, everyone from my mother, to some close friends, to random strangers. The conclusion I’ve reached is that people are selfish, but in a way that they aren’t accustomed to.
Think about this: Why did you have children? Barring a mandate from god, I’m willing to bet it was because you wanted to, because you wanted a family.
I’m not saying that child-rearing isn’t a noble endeavor, but it seems that the motives are less than altruistic. Be honest, do we really think our children are going to cure cancer? To decipher time travel? To answer the question of existence?
Now think about this: What if you knew with absolute certainty that your first child is going to be murdered before he or she is twenty-five. The specifics only dictate that it’s the most agonizing and excruciating death you can imagine. You don’t know where or when, only that it will occur in the future. Even if you have more than a single child, the first born will be dead. Will you still have the child?
If so, why? I’ve heard parents say they would die for their children, but would you willingly send someone into a death you wouldn’t wish on someone else?
Now consider this: Your first born child is going to grow up to be a serial murderer. Regardless of how you choose to raise the child, he or she is going to horribly kill 17 or more people before age forty. Would you still have the child?
If so, why? Would you be willing to face his or her victims in court and tell them that you knew this was going to happen, but allowed it anyway?
I’m interested to hear how you all answer.