Published: Thursday, Feb. 7 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Consider two island nations:Population in Madagascar - about 22
million.Population in Japan - about 127 million.Madagascar has
more land, many more natural resources, and more of its land is suitable for
agriculture. It should be very prosperous, but isn't.Japan,
however, has thrived with little agricultural land and no other natural
resources except for fish. And people.It's not how many
people or how many resources. It's behavior.I bet the future
belongs to those who value their children.
It's no surprise to me that the birth rate in the US is dropping. Look at
the recession. Look at how expensive student loan debt is. Look at how
expensive housing is and ever stagnating wages. Look at how we don't value
mothers in society. Young women who want to have children are expected to work
(especially in Utah with our above average participation of mothers in the
workforce) and maternity leave is unpaid and short! Is it any wonder young
couples aren't having children? I keep hearing they are selfish, but I
think it has to do more with college loan debt, troubling economic times and
maternal policies in the US that aren't very fair to Mother's. It
takes two families working to pay the bills these days. There are a lot of
exhausted young people out there today. Having children is out of reach for
them and they are smart enough not to bring a child into the world they cannot
What is this? Like the 5th editorial on this subject in the past 2 days? I'm so glad the Dnews is spending time on this issue instead of
focusing on real issues that really matter to Utahns. You folks are doing a
fantastic job of ignoring our state's pitiful education spending, ethics
laws, and the ongoing investigation of John Swallow.
Two things come to mind that might be exacerbating the problem for families
trying to make ends meet, and thus putting downward pressure on the birth
rate:1. Many of us in the US have expectations of a high standard of
living. We don't want to go without cable TV, smart phones, newer cars,
larger homes, etc. Higher taxes aren't helping, either. Money management
seems to be a lost art. As jrgl pointed out, stress over $ is a disincentive to
bearing children.2. The supply curve may also be working against us.
As women who would have been stay-at-home mothers have instead entered the
worforce, the supply of workers has gone up. This would put downward pressure on
wages, meaning fathers earn a little less or can't get a job, so the mother
has to help earn $. I am in no way blaming women here: only pointing out that
the transition to two-income households may have had this unintended side
This believing member of the dominant Utah faith finds no small irony in the
accusation that being concerned with overpopulation is pushing a
"theological belief." Even LDS teachings have gone generally silent on
birth control for the past generation.Malthus wasn't wrong, he
just had no way to know of technological advances in agriculture that would
alter his predictions. But those advances haven't eliminated the
earth's carrying capacity - just elevated it. The next advance may be
right around the corner. Or it may not. The trouble with technological leaps
is their unpredictability.The article rightly points out the impact
of falling below the replacement rate. But trying to correct that issue carries
its own set of consequences that cannot be so easily dismissed.
Res Novae,I think your comment is the best one so far on this thread.
Nicely written and lacking the irritation that characterizes my posts. To people like Mr. Evensen, there are no negative consequences of increasing
population. This ignorance is the product of a lifetime of unquestioning
adherence to a religious/cultural practice, combined with isolation from the
impact that a growing consumption-oriented population has on human health and
the planet's ecosystems. Apparently it is not enough to point out the
specific economic difficulties associated with a rapidly aging population. The
entire concept of carrying capacity, resource scarcity, quality of human life,
and right of other species to exist must be dismissed out of hand.
bandersen blames the lowered fertility rate on atheists?Give it a
rest. Such an attacking, angry, and false diatribe is unbecoming.
The athiest. I wasn't angry at all. I believe that an athiestic view of
the world leads to false conclusions about the future, including
'overpopulation.' Athiests, despite an intellectual curiosity, are
burdens to society, much like uncharitable welfare recipients. Rather than
becoming productive members of society, athiests spend their days thinking about
'their' universe and not much else. The future of a society depend
upon those who believe in a future, not a dead end! Athiests, therefore, are to
be pitied and reminded, perhaps without sublety, that coexistence requires a
belief in something, rather than nothing. Those who believe in nothing are a
burden to those who believe in something. Calmly stated, without anger, and
with reasoned clarity.
If we look at demographics, probably the largest percentage of atheists (by
profession) would be found in the scientific community. If we include being an
agnostic in the mix, the percentage is well above 90%. Are these the
“burdens to society” you were referring to?And contrary
to your bizarre assertion (atheists believe in nothing), most atheists and
agnostics I know believe in a whole range of things – like logic, reason,
compassion, good will, peaceful co-existence, not to mention future oriented
things like knowledge, science, human achievement, the ability to better
ourselves and the world, the list is quite long actually…What
they don’t believe in is, magic, the supernatural (and beings who can
suspend it), superstition, dogmatic thinking of all kinds (religious being
perhaps the most dangerous), exclusive ways of knowing (seers, prophets,
etc…), sacred books, and perhaps most important, that the world is somehow
bad & temporary and the faster it is destroyed (in a
“prophesized” apocalypse) the better. Not sure those are
the sorts of beliefs that will promote the coexistence you claim atheists are
Tyler, How can logic, reason, compassion, good will, peaceful co-existence,
knowledge, science, and human achievement mean much when all of the
aforementioned attributes aren't relevant to athiesm? If there is no God,
there is no compassion, reason, or logic? Logically, if my neighbor has
something I want, why would I stop myself from taking it? I want it? If I am
being compassionate, wouldn't taking from him/her be the compassionate
thing to do, sense all it does is make him/her cranky, ornery, and possessive?
The long trail of human existence informs me of the need to not steal? Says
who? This is about my definition of logic, reason, and compassion, is it not?
Compassion, logic, reason, peaceful coexistence come from somewhere, but they
certainly don't originate with an athiest!
@ bandersen – “If there is no God, there is no compassion, reason,
or logic”Prove it.And don’t put the question
back on me. You are the one making a positive assertion (not me) so the burden
of proof is entirely on you (just like it would be if you believed in Santa
Claus and I did not). I could not make sense of anything else you
wrote, and in fact while reading it felt like I had fallen down a strange
Wittgensteinian rabbit hole where it is possible to meet creatures who adhere to
completely different laws of logic & reason.Last response…
reached my comment limit.
bandersen is using the unfounded belief that only those people who believe in
mythology can possibly embrace basic human morality. Like many adherents to
mythology, he also believes all good in humanity originated solely in his belief
system. Just because you have a story of stone tablets etched with ten
commandments doesn't mean that many of those moral principles began and
ended with your religion. He believes his own caricature of atheists
even though it has no grounding in reality. All those positive human attributes
are not relevant to atheism? What is he talking about? How are they relevant to
God, then? There is no coherent thesis, no respectable logic, only wandering
through the rhetorical desert, casting aspersions at straw men.
merich39. Pyramid scheme you say? Welcome to Social Security.
If I am a Christian, then I can either be compassionate or not compassionate,
but I can always turn to Christ for the attribute. If I am an athiest, where do
I turn to define compassion? I have no doubt that athiests have many admirable
traits, perhaps just as much or more so than a Christian. However, those traits
did not come from the athiest theology, where ever that springs. It is purely
humanity an athiest depends on, without principle or standard, except for
whatever private interpretation that may be! Not the future I want for anyone.
@banderson"I believe that an athiestic view of the world leads to
false conclusions about the future, including
'overpopulation.'"I don't need to be an atheist
(and I'm not, I'm a Christian) to realize that our increasing conflict
with Nevada over limited water resources suggests that overpopulation can become
a problem in parts of the world that don't have the resources to support
such a population (arguably there are parts of the world where it already is,
like Bangladesh)."Athiests, despite an intellectual curiosity,
are burdens to society"Well that's just rude..."Logically, if my neighbor has something I want, why would I stop myself
from taking it? "One can be moral without being theist. New
Hampshire is the most atheist state in the nation but has the lowest crime rates
(I pick crime because that's a nationwide standard that everyone is subject
to). That wouldn't be the case if atheism made people completely non-caring
about basic morals. "If I am an athiest, where do I turn to
define compassion?"Role models. Same as Christians do.
Christians consider Jesus (among other things) to be a role model.
Faith is fine, but please refer to science when commenting on a scientific
matter. There are more then 297000 google listings and over 300000 Bing listings
for studies and materials regarding over population. To imply that there are few
credible studies and that we are all going to be ok is to ignor imperical
evidence and mock the god that gave you our earth.
If we had no such thing as crp ( goverment paying farmers not to grow.) No one
in any country should starv. Look around and see.all the farms just sitting .
The planet can grow enough to support all .its just goverment got to big. 70%
of the farms here are in crp. Who does the help? When i was growing up my
family were all farmers and ranchers from both sides.my family felt crp will be
the demise of our country. We were growing to much food. That they could not
sell it .So the goverment payed them not to grow. dont sell it then.store it
or have the goverment pay the farmers to grow it and give it to the needy.
All.would be helped those who are hungry, and those who have land will have a
purpose. Stored wheat and grain can last years.
Crime rates remind me of too many fish in a fish bowl.
Last is up in the night trying to light a fire without a match, using nothing
but hot air.Although today's fertility is lower, at 1.93, it is
higher than it was in the mid-’70s (bottomed out at 1.74), and has mostly
risen since then.Immigration and "demographic momentum" (a
large proportion of the population in prime reproductive years) are projected to
offset lower fertility rates.But Last does not like immigration.
What he is ultimately arguing for is more homegrown American babies! It is
difficult to hide Last's racial innuendo, as well as partisan
propaganda.Last blames declining fertility on increasing levels of
higher education (which delays marriage and makes it more costly to raise a
child); the liberation of women; the spread of contraception; and shifting
social norms related to premarital sex and cohabitation (which have broken the
religious link between sex, marriage and childbearing).In short,
Last is subtly arguing for turning back the clock on these advances, and
offering pathetic quixotic Band-Aids instead. His blindness comes from staring
with inflated nostalgia into the rear-view mirror of our history.
Look at all the people who are gay - They're not producing children through
natural means (generally. Those couplings usually lack some neccesary
equipment.)Look at the number of children in third world countries
who don't live to see the age of five. Look at all the people
in China who are only allowed 1 child. The trend in the US is for
women to start having kids in their 40's - once fertility starts to
decline. Simple mathmatics would prove the world is certainly
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