For a long time now I have wanted to elaborate on why I believe the unpredictable and spontaneous fertility between opposite-sex couples is a facet of freedom. My thoughts are not well developed. But I thought that by writing them down, it might help me develop them further.
I see a spectrum in regards to fertility. The spectrum goes from what I call Control, to Marriage, to Chaos.
Highly controlled and mechanized fertility amounts to a demand, a command, for somebody else to be conceived. The person doing the demanding, the commanding, has more freedom. After all, they are freed from the constraints of marriage, and can will another person into existence. But this level of control comes at the expense of the one being conceived. They are not conceived in freedom, they are conceived by the demand of another. Often money is part of their conception. Some are calling it slavery. I share this sentiment.
If we swing to the other end of the spectrum, we arrive at uncontrolled fertility. This is chaos. For example, conception in rape or children in poor communities without fathers. We acknowledge the full humanity and dignity of anybody conceived in any manner, but we must also acknowledge that not all forms of conception should be dignified. Some lead to much sorrow, confusion, and violence.
Control and chaos are both seen as ways for people to exercise ever-increasing amounts of freedom. But it’s a trade: both seem more free than the restraints imposed by marriage, but those children are less free than their parents. The net result is that freedom decreases throughout the culture.
I see a middle ground between Control and Chaos. It is called marriage, where new lives spring up spontaneously, as the result of two people expressing their love for one another. They are conceived in love, without a demand to exist, without ever being rejected, connected to both halves of who they are. They are a gift, a free gift. Free as in, conceived without the demand to be conceived, without the perpetual burden of a fractured family.
When humans spontaneously emerge from the love inside marriage, that is something that is never directly controlled, nor is it chaotic since their ontological wholeness is respected and reflected in the one-flesh union of the father and the mother. This spontaneity is a feature of human freedom, not a bug. The one-flesh union of a man and a woman is the middle ground that respects the freedom of the next generation. It seems to me that people conceived and raised like that are the freest of us all.