Saturday, April 07, 2007

Survival

We all know that the instinct for survival is one of man’s strongest instincts, but only on an individual basis. Collectively the human race doesn’t do so well. During the first half of the last century Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher and prolific writer, warned of the overpopulation of the earth. In 1922 he gave a lecture on Birth Control and International Relations and I quote:
“--- the one real remedy is birth control, that is getting the people of the world to limit themselves to those numbers which they can keep upon their own soil ----.” And in 1951 he wrote, “At present the population of the world is increasing at about 58,000 per diem. War, so far, has had no very great effect on this increase, which continued throughout each of the world wars --- War --- has hitherto been disappointing in this respect --- but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full --- The state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of it?”

Unpleasant is hardly the word. It would be absolutely tragic when we have been warned and have the means to stop the population explosion. Attention to limiting global warming and to protecting natural resources is essential, but without tough national policies on birth control working side by side, they will never be enough to protect our planet. Education about the necessity of birth control and the availability of products to practice it is the first step. Stringent laws that make having large numbers of children uneconomical wouldn’t hurt either. Wars, bird flu, HIV Aids, malaria, TB, and other disease killers may take their toll, but enormous numbers of people will continue to be born unless there is a conscious effort to put some effective controls in place. How many thousands of babies have been born into this world during the few minutes that it took you to read this blog? In Jordan one is born every three minutes!

ASH

7 Comments:

Blogger joladies said...

One has to ask why the Roman Catholic church has long fought against the practice of 'safe sex' - ie condom use ... not only has this nonsensical policy exacerbated the AIDS crisis, but has also led to uncontrolled population growth ... China was the first to implement birth control twenty years ago, but was heavily criticised for it by the West - a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't ... otherwise I agree with you! J

Saturday, April 07, 2007  
Anonymous Emily said...

People should be free to have as many children as they choose and are able to take care. There are many blessings in a large family. As long as the children are well taken care of, why shouldn't parents be able to have as many as they wish?
Also, no glory needs to be given to China's birth control plan. It's mandatory and has caused countless baby girls and children with disabilities to be put in orphanages!! It is cruel that a baby should be tossed in an orphanage simply because of its gender or birth defects. Many Chinese have been forced to have abortions that would never have had otherwise. I don't think China was criticized for trying to reduce their population, but for the actual plan itself (one child, sued if you have more, encouragement of abortions, etc).
Also, many countries with lower birth rates are realizing that they won't have the workforce needed to support the aging population.
The Roman Catholic Church uses Natural Family Planning. I have several friends using this method and they don't have "uncontrolled population growth". In fact, one friend has been married 6 years and has 1 child (and she was a planned pregnancy).

Saturday, April 07, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

Dear Emily - apologies for including you and your friends within the scope of people who don't use Natural Family Planning ... you are obviously blessed with common sense and intelligence .... pity the rest of the world doesn't think like you .. maybe we should start another crusade of missionaries to convert the uninitiated.

Yes, we have aging populations ... of capable, agile and very effective people ... and yet we still practice agism, and enforce a retirement age of 60-65 .... that makes no sense!

Finally, Emily can you answer my question: why does the Roman Catholic Church not support condom use? J

Sunday, April 08, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

It is not just lack of knowledge that stops family planning it is the means by which to practice it. Birth control costs money whether by pill, condoms, or IUDs. Emily is right that there are many blessings in a large family as long as the children are well taken care of. But unfortunately it is the economically deprived who usually have the largest families and they cannot afford to care and educate their children. T

Sunday, April 08, 2007  
Blogger Yazan Ashqar said...

In Egypt, a baby is born every 23 seconds!
Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6523597.stm

Sunday, April 08, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

Freedom without responsibility can damage oneself or others. If you choose to eat as much as you want, you will get fat. If you choose to drive as fast as you want, you can hurt yourself and others. Having as many children as you want, may be a freedom, but should not be exercised with disregard to the realities of the world we live in.
ASH

Sunday, April 08, 2007  
Anonymous Emily said...

JoLadies,
My friends do use NFP, with success. The Church believes that artifical methods of birth control are not God's plan for husbands and wives. Most of my friends and family (the Catholics and Christians) do not support any birth control in which an egg and a sperm are united and then left to die, although this is not the full Catholic plan. I think (but I can't speak perfectly for the Church) that the idea is that if sex is used only between an man and a wife (and both are faithful), and NFP is used, that there is no need for artifical use. Used correctly NFP boasts a very high accuracy rate.

I think you probably see more large families that are unable to support their children than I do. I teach at a Catholic school and my students have an average family size of 4 children. I have several with 5-7 kids. I think that some of the most well-adjusted teenagers are those with large families. They have so much support from their siblings. I think that freedom includes, however, people's ability to choose what is best for their families.

Sunday, April 08, 2007  

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