To me, it seems as though population control isn’t an issue that can be dealt with independently. In order to discuss the issue, we must take a couple of other things into consideration. Namely, sustainability and environmental-friendliness. By sustainability, I mean the ability of our world’s population to maintain its practices in a sustainable manner, and by environmental-friendliness, I mean the practices in which we take part in to achieve, or not achieve, said sustainability.
In Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, he brings up an interesting idea that I feel is worth repeating here: Say the worlds population is 100, and we have a law in place that allows each person to give off 1 unit of pollution per year. (Remember, this is hypothetical so I am using simple numbers to make it easy to follow) The world is a clean place and all is well with the current level of pollution. Now, the population rapidly increases to 200 people, so even though we have a law that keeps people from polluting very much, we have twice the amount of people, and therefore, twice the amount of pollution.
This is a very straight forward example, and obviously things are much more complicated that this, but it makes a good point: when dealing with popullation, we must also think of the environment. I feel that as long as we make advancements in green technology and alter our practices so that we can live sustanibly with many people, there is no reason for popullation control. If we continue to pollute and do not make any advancements, it may be a good idea to lessen the strain on ourselves and the Earth by limmiting popullation. If we lcontrol popullation for this reason, I do not think it is morally wrong, but rather, it is morally wrong to treat the Earth without the same respect that we would treat ourselves.
I do not think it is wrong for a country to ‘control’ population; it is essential to the health and sustainability of our planet. I do however, think it is wrong to cohersively control the number of children a woman will birth, e.g., China’s one child policy. At the same time I think it is wrong for a woman/couple to have lots of children, everyone needs to take some responsibility for the future of the planet – having 5,6,7… in my opinion is selfish and immoral.
It’s a very tough issue. Every country should have a population “department”, and the population should be managed. Education is key. There needs to be constant attention focused on it, the media needs to report on the issues (presently they are silent about it because it is such a hot-button issue). Overpopulation is such a critical issue.
It’s a tough issue: if you say it’s okay to control population, you are basically agreeing with China’s one-child policy, at least in general theory. To control population and not control birth would mean somehow doing away with people who are already here. Perhaps it’s just a product of living in a country where so much personal freedom is allowed, but I do think it is immoral for a country to impose its will on every family as to how big they will grow. Being able to have children is a natural right, one I don’t think a law should take away.
That being said, I agree with jeffb that curbing population growth will make it much easier to make our planet a sustainable one. But instead of trying to force people to change with laws (if this worked there would be no criminals), why not convince them by explaining this very concept? The more people who understand and agree to voluntarily limit their own family size, the more our actions are cancelling out the few families who decide to have, I don’t know, 18 kids.
This effort has to be a global one, because if one nation decides to stop population growth and the rest continue to grow, that just means the eventual end of that people. Some ways to help other countries slow their population: support education programs in developing nations (they will better understand sustainability, and also educated people tend to be more career-driven and have fewer children); support programs that spread condoms and birth-control education throughout the world; join an organization like Zero Population Growth to get the word out!
I think it is a moral right to control the population. And although China’s policy seems to be very criticized here, I believe that it is a perfectly valid and simple approach – if all else fails. Most developed nations already have a near zero growth rate or even a declining population, so you could say that a combination of eduction, birth control availability, and economic incentives did their job. So, hopefully, as those spread to other nations, they can achieve similar results.
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