by Mike Butler
Most people plan to have children during the course of their lives. I am not one of them.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that I think I’m barely capable of taking care of myself, let alone a son or daughter. Another portion of that decision pertains to the fact that I relish my independence and ability to do what I want when I want. But the big part of this decision, and the subject of this week’s article, is that I honestly believe that children are evil.
Like always, I back my claims with evidence. In a story from Florida’s Sun Sentinel, an 8-year-old boy was arrested for throwing a neighbor’s cat into a yard containing three large dogs, knowing without a doubt that the cat would be killed. The boy was upset with the cat’s owner because she kept chasing him out of her yard and thus decided to exact his revenge by executing the neighbor’s 2-year-old Persian cat. He also admitted to police that he watched the cat die and then fled. But the real kicker to this tale is that the boy already has a juvenile record for crimes such as burglary and arson. And let me reiterate that this kid is only eight years old.
Some people will claim that this kid is a product of our ever-increasing violent world. Others will blame the media. I disagree with both of those opinions. I submit to you the idea that this kid, and other children in this world, are just malevolent creatures to begin with.
Think back to when you were a child. Think about the bullies in your school that mercilessly terrorized and beat up other kids. Think about all the gossiping and talking behind people’s back there was. Think of all the mean things that children say and do to each other. And why? No reason at all. And that, my friends, is what evil really is; doing something wrong for no reason or just because you can.
I remember writing a paper for my SEM 300 Problem of Evil class about humans being inherently evil. The main argument in the paper was that evil was an instinctual impulse that fed on our natural senses of self-interest and that good was learning how to control those impulses for the sake of the common good. Children have major problems controlling their impulses and that is why they do things for no reason, or if they do have a reason it is a very selfish one, like revenge.
Of course, most people who have kids or want to have kids will retort to my claims with a statement like “We will teach our kids right from wrong and how it’s not good to do bad things.” I have nothing against fighting the good fight, but there’s one variable that you probably haven’t accounted for: will your child care about what is right and what is wrong? You can read your child the Bible every day-hell, you can beat your child with the Bible every day-but it won’t do a lick of good unless that child learns to care about right and wrong. And that is something that a parent, teacher or anyone else cannot teach. It is something that children must learn themselves and these days it doesn’t look like children are learning this essential lesson. If they were, schools wouldn’t be instituting irrational rules like banning students from having backpacks for fear of them packing guns or expelling students for having negative thoughts about their teachers and classmates.
Yes, I know full well that I am a cynic. I also know that my opinions are rarely popular (except for ones about banning the Bible and religion. Apparently those opinions were so popular that I received only one letter of dissent between the both of them). I know that there are exceptions to pretty much everything in this world, and I know that everything we do in this world has a risk factor attached to it. I like to take my fair share of risks, but I’d rather not play the Three-Card Monte game of bringing a child into this world.
I am aware that not all children execute cats or burn down houses and I am also aware that without having children the human race will become extinct. But I know this world is in no danger of running out of people and so my decision to bring a child into this world is made even easier with the knowledge that the human race does not depend on my seed. If you want to contribute a fresh human life into this world, that’s fine with me. It’s just not my glass of Bailey’s. And to those other people out there who know that being a parent isn’t their thing either, I salute you for knowing yourself as well as you do.
And as for that 8-year-old cat executioner, I’d like to see him take a spin on Mr. Toad’s Wild Electric Chair Ride. He’s only eligible for a three-year turn in a juvenile institution, but I figure since President Bush’s cousin is governor of Florida, this would be a feasible option considering the President’s execution record in Texas.