Originally Posted by Piobaire
Then you can see it is also silly to invalidate the concept that those without kids have no idea what it is they are missing. Intellectual beings have the ability to concieve of things outside the realm of experience. It might be a total replacement for experience, but it certainly does not leave one in the total dearth of knowledge.
Strawman. Setting aside the obvious typo above, I did not say "total" dearth of knowledge. Nor did I say, pace Mr. Dawson, that he was incapable of speculating and drawing speculative conclusions about what it would mean to his life, his marriage, etc. I merely said what is indisputable and should be obvious to all: You cannot know what having kids will mean to your life until you have them.
I, by the same token, cannot know what my life would have been like without children. My wife and I even talk about that sometimes--regret, or doubt, over some of the choices we make is inescapable. On the other hand, I was once childless, so parents do have at least a marginal advantage in range of experience over those who have never been parents--a point worth thinking about.
I know, for myself, that children have given my life direction, they have given me motivation and they have enriched my marriage. I do not doubt that on the other side of the ledger, I've missed out on some experiences as a result. The balance of that ledger is imponderable because unless we're in an obscure Nicholas Cage movie, we never glimpse the road not taken.
I don't think everyone should have kids, or that those who don't are monsters, or any of the silliness that Mr. Dawson seems to be projecting onto us breeders. But those who are committed to remaining childless as a matter of choice might bear in mind that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their visions of stinky diapers and expensive babysitting. That's all. I'm done.
EDIT: Kids, like marriage itself, connects you to something outside yourself in a way that is incommensurable with anything else we can experience in our lives.