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Featured The moral issue of population growth

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Wild Fox, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Malthus wrote "Essay on the Principle of Population" in 1798. He predicted that population growth would lead to starvation and that increasing food production would only increase the population growth until it again reaches to the issue of starvation. Poverty is inescapable and related directly to population growth.

    In early 2000 a professor of the University of Texas predicted humans had already reached the carrying capacity of the earth and increasing problems related to population and signs of the stress were already developing. He was then condemned as an abortion proponent when all he was saying was something had to be done to slow down population growth without mentioning abortion.

    The city of San Antonio is reaching the limits of the gigantic underground Edwards aquifer that supplies the city with water. They are now considering pumping water from lakes to the north.

    Despite what we know will eventually happen the population of the world is growing faster with only disaster ahead. Despite this we are advancing medicine to save lives and let people grow older and increasing the demand on the earth for more food and water.

    Is uncontrolled population growth a moral issue and if so how can we respond?
     
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  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Suffrin' Succotash
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    Currently we reproduce at slightly more than replacement levels, but when the population reaches a certain amount the replacement will again equal the death rate. Only then will we know for sure what limitations we must all accept on food, water, manufacturing, energy and transportation.
     
  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    It's a huge issue.
    We'll only respond when conditions are far worse than today.
     
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  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    Here's the problem....
    The limit will be at a population level which sees far more denuding of the
    land & oceans than now. Will our quality of life get better with more people,
    or get worse with loss of natural environment, & mass extinctions?
     
  5. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Suffrin' Succotash
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    I always just say "AI will fix it" when people make this objection. You should know that by now.
     
  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    I did not know that.
     
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  7. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Poverty isn't the only thing directly related to population growth. Virtually all the challenges faced by human cultures in this day and are are related to it on some level. More critically, the sixth mass extinction, global ecocide, and climate change are directly caused by human overpopulation in conjunction with the "progress" called affluence and technology. For the situation to be reconciled, levels of affluence, use of technology, and human population all need to be addressed. The only one of these three that politicians seem okay talking about is technology, and that's usually in the naive context of "technology will be our savior (never mind that it's a huge part of what got us into this mess to begin with)."

    Given the problems associated with human overpopulation are already well underway, it's already apparent that the general human response to this is to... not respond to it and ignore it. In the meantime, there are plenty of things a regular human can do to help that aren't particularly onerous. Simple things like supporting women's rights, lobbying to tear down the red tape for adopting, or simply speaking out as pro-childless in a world were people are still stigmatized for refusing to be breeders.
     
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  8. bobhikes

    bobhikes infinitologist
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    Only to Humans, in the scheme of things whether we exist or not has little consequence. Animals and plants have no problem with unlimited growth something always develops to balance it. There will be something that will fix the population growth of humans eventually.
     
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  9. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    Population growth is leveling off and even going below replacement levels at least in some places: Japan, Russia, USA, China.

    The issue to me is not population but resources. The world overall can't be as wealthy and wasteful as the USA is today. The question is thus "how can the world improve the standard of living in a sustainable way?"
     
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  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    Just looking at one source for Ameristan.....
    U.S. Population (2019) - Worldometers
    ....I don't see what you claim.
    The fertility rate looks good, but population growth continues unabated.
     
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  11. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Only to humans? Are our numbers not affecting all other species; the whole ecosystem?

    Animals and plants rarely have unlimited growth. There are checks and balances, but when the checks and balances are interrupted, as in the case of invasive species or eutrification of waterways, things go South fast.

    Something will fix overpopulation? Sounds like pie-in-the-sky thinking to me.
    We may already have passed the tipping point, so even if growth stopped today there would be no stopping the ecological collapse.
    We've already been living beyond the planet's carrying capacity for some time. Consumption has long outstripped replacement rates. All natural systems are in decline.
     
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  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    Aye, a solution which smacks of almost-passive voice is no solution at all.
    To avoid unacceptable environmental & quality of (human) life degradation,
    we'll need most major countries to actively pursue population control.
     
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  13. We Never Know

    We Never Know Active Member

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    On the bright side of things, over population is helping push advancements in science.
     
  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    Aye, like studying extinctions in the anthropocene era.
     
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  15. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Suffrin' Succotash
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    You can try active population control like China, but I have doubts that will be implemented where it is needed. Will it be traded like carbon credits? So will I get some kind of perk for not having kids?
     
  16. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    But aren't these often used to enable people to support more children?
     
  17. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    If the population grows, this is the problem, not the mechanism behind it.
    The site I linked shows us growing to almost 400 million by 2050.
    Is this situation made any better by the newly added people being immigrants?
    Nah.
     
  19. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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  20. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    I think it is, yes.

    I would recommend that people only have 1 or 2 kids if they do reproduce or really consider adoption, use birth control responsibility if they don't want kids (get sterilized if you can), support reforming adoption laws to cut down the red tape, support reproductive rights and equal education and employment opportunities for girls and women everywhere around the globe.
     
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