I have a hard question to ask the dedicated parents of this forum. I think it is a fair question but as a disclaimer: I would understand if you do not want to consider it. Please don’t think that I am trying to make a political statement or asking a rhetorical question. This is something that I would like your input on, for my own life planning.

I will have to decide soon with my wife, whether or not to have children. We have been married almost 10 years already, and we are in our early thirties. We are in the process of deciding whether or not to have children, and I have a burning question for people who are parents already…who know the visceral bond of parenthood:

How will you feel about having children, if the world comes to an end in your lifetime? With accelerating climate change, plummeting land fertility, and nuclear arms proliferating to every nation, the world’s annihilation is starting to look not only possible but likely in the coming decades. It could be tomorrow for all we know.

I do not have a child, but I have always wanted one and felt that my life would be incomplete without fatherhood. I don’t want to die without knowing the joys of parenthood. But I fear that if the world comes to an end in our time, I will feel the pain of it more acutely with a child in my arms.

And I worry that it is unethical for me to bring a new person into the world when I can’t promise them a future, a chance to live a full life of their own…that it would be selfish. The world is degrading so rapidly, they have little chance to know it as I have known it. But maybe the opposite is true? Maybe I owe myself and my family the limited time they have left to exist.

You may dismiss me a pessimist, but please consider and answer my question. Will you be happy or regretful to have had children, if the world you brought them into goes away?

This is an existential question and I understand that it’s profoundly uncomfortable for most to consider. I feel guilty asking an audience of strangers to answer this, after all I am afraid to ask my own kin. I am sorry to ask you, reader, but I am desperate to know someone else’s thoughts…I have mulled it over with my wife and by myself for years.

Please help if you’re willing. Thanks and regards,