Published: Thursday, Feb. 7 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Hans Rosling sums it up in his "Religions and babies" talk as follows
(and he has tons of great data to back it up). Across the entire globe babies
per woman decrease when:1. Children survive2. Many children are not
needed for work to support their families3. Women get education and join
the labor force4. Family planning is accessibleIt has nothing
to do with how religious people are and whether they feel like they need to
sacrifice their own interests to bring children into the world. There is tons of
data to back up his claim. Give it a google.
Last ignores the exponential factor.When he sees a family with six
children, I'm guessing he sees only six children and thinks, "Great,
that will help our birth rate."When I see a family with six
children, I think, "If each of those kids has six kids themselves,
we've got 36 more kids out of one family. If *those* kids each have six
kids, we now have 216 more kids out of one family. And what if many other
families did the same?"Remember that encouragement to save, that
goes something like (I don't have the exact figures), "If you save one
penny the first month, then save double that the next month, then keep doubling
each month's total, within (a surprisingly short period of time)
you'll be a millionaire. That's the magic of compounding."Well it works the same for families, only in this case that's the
*terror* of compounding.Have children, yes, but not "many."
And if you don't want any, don't let anyone lay a guilt trip on you
for feeling that way. No child should be born as "obligatory," only
because s/he's loved.
I read Mr. Last's book. He is dead on right. If you think overpopulation
is a problem, you are a complete fool.
I've lived in a very progressive part of the country where people
don't marry, are very career oriented, don't want children, and those
that do have children have two at the most and those children are to be
super-star overachievers if they are to be anything.It was hard to
raise five kids in a place like that because everyone had advice about how best
to parent, but no one had any kids, so they'd make it their business to
parent yours. One of the most refreshing things about moving to Utah
was that five kids wasn't an anomaly to be rectified. The whole culture was
turned more to sensible ways to help children succeed. I found the whole
cultural regard for children, handicapped, elderly and underpriveleged to be
much more engaged and effective. When we ignore the youngest in our
society in practice (not political stunts, but actually HAVING children) the
society as a whole benefits.
Our current food chain requires large amount of oil to be used in fertilizer and
fuel. If the author truly believes we can support more billions he should be
promoting energy research and renewable investment.
Religions start with conclusions and any thinking is about finding ways to
support those conclusions, no matter how irrational they prove to be. This
article illustrates the problem and shows how dangerous it is. Belief in "Be
fruitful and multiply" keeps the band playing, even as the ship sinks.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments