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With just a single exception, the non-Muslim population of every country in Europe now has a birth rate at below replacement levels. (The exception is Malta, and God bless it.) Why do Europeans refuse to have children?

Because, replies the author of Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide, “children are expensive. They require you to sacrifice your time and your interests and your own comfort. If your highest good is pleasure, if your highest good is a sophisticated life, then children get in the way. Why would you spend so much money and so much energy on children if your highest good is simply material well-being? That’s sort of the spiritual dimension of the problem.”

“The spiritual dimension of the problem.” There are so few children in Europe, in other words, because there are so few believers.

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