Population growth

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Helen, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    In order not to hijack the birth control thread, and because I was challenged on the idea that the world's population is NOT increasing the way the doomsayers would have us believe, I am starting this thread.

    Here are some quotes and their sources:

    In fact, we are not experiencing unlimited population growth. The rate of world population increase has declined since 1963, with the greatest slowdown happening since 1990. The UN projects world population will peak at around 9 billion in 2075, declining then leveling off thereafter.

    Practically all current (and future) population growth occurs in the poorest countries, yet even those growth rates are falling. In the 1950s, according to UN data, the average woman in the less developed world had 6.2 children. Today that's down to 2.9 children per woman. The rate of natural increase (births minus deaths, per hundred people) averages less than 2 percent in the developing world. While this is acting on a very large population base, the important fact is that growth is slowing. Fertility rates in all European countries are below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. Without immigration, they will soon lose population -- Italy and most of Eastern Europe already are. The U.S. is hovering right around the replacement rate.

    http://www.aworldconnected.org/article.php/1096.html

    Julian Simon set out to explain what happened to real population in the real world, not what happens in abstract models or popular hysteria. In the real world, as he demonstrated with masses of facts and in-depth analysis, we are nowhere near to running low on food or natural resources.

    Professor Simon made a famous bet with the leading hysteria-monger of our time, Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University. Simon had offered to bet anybody that any set of natural resources that they claimed were running low would in fact be cheaper in the future than today. Professor Ehrlich took him up on it. Simon allowed Ehrlich to pick which resources and which period of time.

    Ehrlich and his fellow hysterics chose a bundle of ten natural resources and a period of ten years. At the end of the decade, not only was the real cost of that bundle lower than at the beginning, every single natural resource that the Ehrlich camp had picked had a lower real cost than when the decade began.

    If we were really running low on these resources, they would be getting progressively more expensive, instead of progressively cheaper. This is elementary supply-and-demand economics. But those addicted to overpopulation hysteria are no more interested in economics than they are in evidence.

    What overpopulation theory provides is far more emotionally satisfying than facts, logic or economics. It is one of a whole family of theories which depict other people as so dangerously thoughtless that imposing the superior wisdom and virtue of some anointed social missionaries is all that can save us from disaster.

    This vision inspired the eugenics movement in the early decades of this century, the recycling movement today and innumerable other heady crusades in between. Contrary facts mean absolutely nothing to the true believers. Those who insist on talking about those contrary facts encounter only hostility and demonization.

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021298.html

    It is an article of faith that the world suffers from overpopulation. This alleged problem surfaces in many contexts: poverty in the developing world, global warming, environmental degradation, and so on. It has been said over and over again: we won't ever get a handle on the myriad problems plaguing human society until we get control of population growth. And while many people would like to think that population growth could be controlled in ways that do not conjure up dark images of 1984 or Brave New World, the realistic leaders of the control, or antinatalist, movement would agree with their guru, Paul Ehrlich, who believes that population growth must be controlled by "compulsion if voluntary methods fail." (These self-proclaimed human rights advocates are ominously tolerant of China's program of compulsory birth control.)

    Why do people believe there is a population problem? It is really quite understandable that, at first blush, a person unfamiliar with basic social and economic principles would fall victim to what later should be seen as an obvious fallacy. As more and more people vie for what at any given moment are scarce resources — land, food, water, breathable air, minerals — one should expect the condition of each person to worsen. Underlying this picture of the world is the notion that people have a fundamental conflict of interest — and that the conflict may be held in abeyance as long as population is below a certain level. But once population exceeds that level, the conflict asserts itself, and life threatens to become, as Hobbes put it, "nasty, brutish, and short."

    One can be forgiven for adopting this world view initially — and for perhaps five minutes. But some very obvious problems with it should come crashing into one's consciousness shortly thereafter. It is rather hard not to notice that life in the developed countries, in terms of material amenities, seems to have continuously improved despite a growth in population. To be sure, the population growth rate in the West has fallen to below replacement rate, but that is a recent development. The standard of living steadily improved all through the baby boom after World War II.

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/0793c.asp

    When the actual figures are looked at, the population growth hype is just that -- hype. And to use it as an excuse to not have children is an excuse born out of ignorance.
     
  2. Ed Edwards

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    Sounds better then the argument I heard
    from the Pulpit of my church back in
    the late 1970s:

    We should not use birth control so we can
    have lots of Kids so American can
    have lots of soldiers, be strong, and
    win lots of wars.
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    Do we have to have an excuse not to have children? Oh wait, that's another thread altogether!

    I agree that population overgrowth should probably not be a primary concern in the decision not to have more children for us in the USA.

    In other countries where the political and economic situations are so extremely unstable population overgrowth should be considered in ones personal decision.

    Government should never be allowed to make these decisions. The abuses in China should give ample warning of that.
     
  4. Gina B

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    A couple of weeks ago I commented on women having less children. Let me go see if I can find what I wrote and see if it's suitable for this board...

    Hrm, I'll take out a few phrases and then explain. (I was explaining a story but the ideas in it really fit this topic!)

    Now a further explanation.

    I feel this relates, because whether it's by abortion or by birth control, women have bought into the idea that taking control of these matters is good and proper, and it started based on the concept that we needed to do something to balance out the supposed "unequality" between women and men. What better way to show power over man than by taking control over the power of his seed?

    I am continually suprised when I think about men buying into this, but I believe that in part, it was because some turned it around and realized they could control women with the new options. Don't want to support a family? Tell her to get an abortion. Unable to trust God for your needs? Use birth control.

    Now, these are just some thoughts, seriously. I don't know what point I go to in believing them. I am glad I used birth control, or I'd have had a kid every 9 months and Lord knows I couldn't handle the ones I had on my own! But...was that distrust of God being able to take care of my needs? I don't know. Maybe it was, and maybe it was wrong. I try not to think about it because I know whatever it was, it's over now.
     
  5. Hope of Glory

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    Unless I missed it, there is no date for this wager. However, sometimes these things are affected in ways that don't seem obvious. For example, which is more valuable: gold or silver? Well, if you said gold, you are correct. For the moment. However, silver is actually used for many things other than decorations, and it is becoming somewhat short in supply, and the predictions are that it will become more valuable because of its usefulness.

    Aluminum, on the other hand, used the be the most precious metal around. (That's why the Washington monument is capped with it.) It's not found in it's metal form in nature. Once they figured an easy way to convert it, the cost dropped drastically.

    The cost of lead is increasing drastically, for various reasons, even though there's not a shortage of it.

    Phone service is dirt cheap compared to the early 70's.

    Comparing costs of items is not necessarily indicative. Also, predictions of change are more soothsaying than predicting.

    In the recent past, when the world population was merely a billion or so, it was predicted that the world could not support more than 3 billion people. However, although the population growth was a constant (fairly constant, at least), the exponential growth of man's knowledge permitted us to increase production drastically.

    When does that exponential growth of production ability end?

    Our world has seen many "predictions" that are based on variables. Congress made an official declaration that man would never achieve powered flight. (They made this declaration three days after it was achieved.)

    Look at stocks and mutual funds. You can look at a mutual fund with a 15 year track record and you can be fairly assured that it's going to continue that way. You can also take penny stocks, and you just might hit it rich.

    I've seen UN predictions and UN programs, and I give them almost zero credibility. However, I can look at the past and the predictions science made about population and how those predictions have come true, with a track record of many, many years. This is a track record that is not based on "what if" theory.

    But, beyond that, "what if" population growth dropped to .5%? It would simply take longer.

    At the current rate, by 2075, the world will have much more than 9 billion people, BTW. It would be about 25 billion.

    All of this is assuming that better medical care does not inrease longevity. (This has been one contributing factor to our population explosion in the recent past.)

    It's important to remebmer that about 11% of all people who have ever lived are alive right now, at this very moment. When that keeps doubling every few years...
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    "Overpopulation" is a propaganda myth propagated by those who worship the creature more than the Creator. Sadly too many of God's people have swallowed the myth. Here are two sources of many:

    http://www.globalissues.org/EnvIssues/Population/Hunger/FoodFirst/Control.asp
    http://www.prb.org/Content/NavigationMenu/PRB/Educators/Human_Population/Population_Growth/Population_Growth.htm

    This article claims that even the New York Times declared the population explosion over back in 1997.

    Don't you think God knows how many people His creation can take and is able to control the population?
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    Many natural resources are not commodotized and traded. Air quality, water quality, diversity of animal and plant life, etc.

    As for overpopulation being the rationale behind birth control, I don't think it plays a factor in north america. Concern about finances usually play a greater role.

    Overpopulation was definitely a factor in China's one child policy which can account for a significant portion of the global birth rate decrease since the 50s.
     
  8. Pete Richert

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    This is a very interesting sendoff thread from birth control. The reason the fertility rates have declined in the West is BECAUSE of birth control. Likewise, as more modern technology and education enter into third world countries, their population growth will decline as well.

    BTW, I agree that the standard of living has increased everywhere and am optimistic that trend can continue.
     
  9. Hope of Glory

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    Well, I would agree with that, as I don't think that 1.5% can be called an explosion. At 1.5% growth, it takes 47 years to double the population. At 3.5% growth, it takes 20 years. If I'm not mistaken, earlier in the century it was at 3.7%. Now, that, is an explosion.
     
  10. Johnv

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    No, but it is increasing, and doing so steadily. Regardless of that topic, the fact is that scripure does not forbid, nor reqire, birth control. It's something each couple is permitted to decide for themselves.

    There is no scriptural mandate that requires couples to have children. There is no scriptural mandate that tells them how many children to have. There is no scriptural mandate that tells couples when to have children (well, except after marriage, of course).
     
  11. Helen

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    And what other blessings from God are you choosing to refuse?
     
  12. Johnv

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    It's rather selfrighteous for you to make that statement, and quite honestly, I'm surprised that you made it. It's not in your normally demonstrated character.
     
  13. DeadMan

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    Oh no, this thing is GROWING!!!! Run for your lives!!!
     
  14. DeadMan

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    Enough said!
     
  15. Hope of Glory

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    Absolutely! That's why he gave us the knowledge and ability to prevent pregnancy.
     
  16. Helen

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    that's one way of avoiding answering, John. Ad homs are the refuge of those with no reasonable response.

    In the meantime, GOD knows how many people his creation can handle, those who practice birth control haven't the slightest, actually, unless they are claiming they have the mind of God or a personal communication from Him on the matter!
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    I have always taken this post-flood promise as a statement that the world would continue on its natural course until the Lord brings His judgment against it.
     
  18. Hope of Glory

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    And those who take insulin haven't the slightest idea of what God's plans are for them either. For that matter, do you have any idea what God's plans are for you tomorrow? No? How did you decide that you are going to work, or clean the house, or fix a meal? Oh, did you look around you at the facts that God puts in front of you to make such decisions?

    Shouldn't you just trust God to plop food on your table? Perhaps you should just trust him to fill your bank account, so you don't have to trust him to plop food on your table!
     

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