Do you have an obligation to the human species?

Inspired by this poll about the last two humans being brother and sister.

I want to remove the incest yuck factor from that question and ask more simply – would you feel any kind of obligation to try to continue the human species if you and some other fertile person of the opposite sex survived and everyone else died?

And to make the choice clearer – you are both reasonably attractive by each others’ standards, and you have enough working birth control to last beyond your years of fertility. Oh, plus you have some handy suicide pills for when you decide to end it all.

So, do you have sex and try to procreate, or have sex and try NOT to procreate, or kill yourself at some point? These choices are not mutually exclusive, of course.

Absolutely the last 2 people? If so I feel it is over, and will just keep on keeping on until I too am done. Sex with no children for me. Of course how the other person feels about it could make me change my mind about kids.

I am definitely having sex. I don’t care if we have kids or not. Assuming we have enough resources that their lives would not just be miserable.

And they somehow magically know that they are the last two?

I would think that unless I magically knew that the world was capable of supporting a human race again, and / or I knew that human screwed the pooch & caused the almost perfect, pretty damn close extinction event, would be very important information in regards to any decision by me.

But what if one or the other of these two, felt the opposite?

Childbirth is way more dangerous than most people remember and if we were in out 20’s would I take the chance of killing my sex partner ( since I’d be the male half of this ) for the almost impossible chance of saving the human race?

Hummm … Nope, from what I know about humans, easy decision, birth control and enjoy while trying to refraining from killing each other. on one of those days you will both have.

Lot of what if’s not covered yet.

Fuck the sex :D. It’s not worth spending years listening to the same person yammering on and on. First chance I get I’m ditching that bozo and wandering around the world alone looking at stuff. Imagine all the cool stuff there would be to look at!

I’ll try and have as many kids as possible and let nature work the rest out. If you’re talking about the very future of mankind then any inconveniences I might experiance are pretty niggling in context.

I don’t know if you’re make or female, but if you are female you would be ok with spending the rest of your fertile life popping out babies?`

From where does this sense of duty emanate?

Male and are you seriously bewildered that someone would strive to give humanity a chance rather than kick back without raising a finger and let it die out? I like family and, for once, there’s plenty of resources. Hopefully we learned a thing or two from the generations past.

I don’t feel any particular obligation to continue the species, and I highly doubt any effort towards that end would be successful, anyway. The children would have to commit incest to produce a third generation.

Absolutely, and while there’s not many responses yet, your attitude seems to be a minority one.

On this board that comes as no surprise whatsoever. It’s hardly statistically representative of a true cross section of society. You weren’t planning on publishing or commercially exploiting the results of your little survey were you?

I answered other, but maybe more just because the other options don’t seem to do it justice. Let’s just summarize my answer as “Live long and prosper.”

I wouldn’t feel any particular obligation to the continue the species. So much of that would be out of my hands anyway, and I honestly would have no way to confirm whether survivors were living somewhere else. It’s just not something I could control and wouldn’t be worth putting that pressure on myself.

On the other hand, I would try to settle down and make life as enjoyable as possible. Suicide is out. Sex is in (other partner willing). As for kids, I doubt that we’d have reliable contraception after all the leftover pills and condoms start expiring, so it’s virtually guaranteed that a fertile woman would eventually be pregnant. Plus, I could see wanting to have kids if only for the company and the source of labor/support they’ll provide when we’re old. The end result is that I’d have kids - probably a lot given the lack of birth control - but not for the express purpose of continuing the species.

By a fortunate coincidence, their is a fully automated condom factory in your area with robotically harvested, er, rubber trees.

By a further seeming miracle, moments before the global collapse, birth control pills are developed the have a shelf life of 100 years, and the entire world’s supply is just up the street from you because there hadn’t been time to distribute them.

You will have relaiable birth control for the rest of your life.

#4. You have an obligation to be a reasonable, law-abiding, PRODUCTIVE member of society to your highest ability to do so (not your “if I feel like it” your ACTUAL ability).

You understand that, whatever the future might be, it’s very unlikely there will be anything even remotely resembling your society, at least the one you grew up in.

Also, how mnay children do you have NOW? Aren’t you just as obligated to society now as you would be in this theoretical future? Should you feel obligated to a society that apparently contributed to the downfall of your entire species?

All of the things I mention are broad enough to be applied to future versions of society (even reduced ones). Or maybe even especially reduced ones. Because one’s actions in a radically reduced (size wise) society will affect one’s fellow citizens much more.

Did you notice in the OP that “society” consists solely of you and one other individual that you are capable of breeding with?

for your plan to work, though, your children are going to have to warm up to incest.

Not me. If I was a survivor, the species is out of luck. Let the dolphins, or maybe the ants (or whatever), have a shot at being top of the food chain.

Seriously, I would feel no obligation toward continuing the species. If anything, that fact that we had virtually destroyed ourselves (or failed to save ourselves) means that we’ve forfeited whatever survival rights we might have had.

Presumably, you’d raise your children with the notion that incest was good, and in fact desirable. You’ve already experienced such a huge genetic bottleneck that chances are the taboo wouldn’t do much good for many generations, anyway. Here’s hoping you don’t have anything recessive and deadly.