Kids vs No Kids: What signals your investment in the society?

Recently, Elon Musk made news with a tweet.

Now this is something I completely disagree with.

I will even go to the extent of saying that this is the fundamental difference between Western Philosophy and Eastern Philosophy!

There are millions of Gods in India and thousands of sects, yet according to a majority of these philosophies, being a Brahmachari (someone who does not indulge in sexual intercourse and in reproduction in particular) is a higher being.

Every person who started a community/sect within the Hindu framework of thought has propagated the idea of non-indulgence in sex.

Even someone as recent as Mahatma Gandhi promoted the idea of Brahmacharya.

Brahmacharya was a wider concept than mere celibacy or continence. It constituted an entire philosophy and a moral imperative to be observed in thought, word, and deed.

Mahatma Gandhi.

Apart from being a higher being, all those who wish to become monks and thus philosophers (the religious counterparts of academic philosophers) in any of the Hindu/Jain/Buddhist sects HAVE to become Brahmacharis by default.

So according to the Hindu Philosophy, you have to give up your personal family, all the personal desires including the desire for sex and children, desire for marriage and companionship (of spouse) to be accepted as a philosopher for who thinks for the society. And you have survive by begging for food by going door to door.

Now at first glance this concept might look completely wrong or weird.

You might ask:

Can someone help develop a better product if they are never going to use the product themselves?

Can Rohan be entrusted with the development of a new and better mobile phone if he has vowed to never use a mobile phone?

But look at this:

  1. If you have no personal family and you are taught to look at every person in the society as a member of your family, would you not think in the best interest of everyone?
  2. If you are dependent on members of the society to give you food, would you not think in the best interest of the society?
  3. If you have no children of your own, will you ever think of accumulating any of the resources in the economy knowing fully well that you have no one to pass it on to neither you are allowed to use it in your lifetime as you have already chose the path of Monkhood?

This helps us create a corruption free system of administering society and helping choose the philosophers and law makers for that specific community.

But this opens the door to two new problems:

  1. What if these philosophers start looking at themselves (the group of monks) as superior beings and start making laws that benefit the monk community at the expense of the society they come from and they work for? — I believe this is what happened with the Indian society and it’s caste system.
  2. The other problem is that once the people of the society trust these monks for all the philosophical thinking and law making, they themselves start becoming dumb over generations because they think: as they have tasked these monks with the thinking, they themselves don’t need to do it or validate it. This creates a dumb majority population.

Given these are very real problems, still this system of creating Brahmachari Monks have worked well for the Jain and Buddhist populations for over 2000 years.

I have only talked about Indian philosophies till now, even though I called it the difference between Eastern and Western Philosophy. So let’s cancel what I said earlier and call the difference between Indian and Western Philosophy.

(I could go on length about many different eastern philosophies, but the truth is most of them don’t really emphasize on celibacy as much as the Indians do, so let’s forget about it.)

So, it is clear to us that the Western Philosophy as presented by Elon Musk is to look for evidence of direct skin is the game while Indian philosophy emphasizes on embedding the skin so deep in the game, that you create a whole new culture of societal management out of it.

And as we all know, culture is the only sustainable moat of any large human congregation or organization.

So there we are, I don’t know which will outlast the other, but I do think that the Indian way has a huge potential if put to correct use after removing all the religious corruption.

Thank you.


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