Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is overpopulation a possibility? (question 1 of 3)

Mother Theresa once asked, "How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers." While this is a loving and sweet perspective, it has always evoked to my mind images of vast fields of flowers choking all the crops and starving the world. There could be too many flowers, it seems to me. There could be too much of anything - even of a necessity like food - if the excess of one good led to the scarcity of another equal or greater good. The world operates on balance and it's occupants would do well to approach all things with moderation.

It strikes me as irresponsible, for example, for a man making $25,000 a year to keep a harem and father hundreds of children. There can be too much of a good thing.

That said, those children, once fathered, are good. Their humanity is equal to the humanity of any person. Wherever there is human life, all are obliged to love and provide for that life to the extent they are able, regardless of the circumstances in which that life was created. Which begs the question: is it even possible to speak of an overpopulation of humans?

We speak of an overpopulation of deer when the deer become so numerous they begin to strip other species of their livelihood, particularly if that species is human. We - humans that is - are mainly concerned with controlling deer population because of their potential threat to us and our livelihood should they become too numerous. A deer does not think that there are too many deer - nor is it willing to die to keep deer numbers down. We have to go out and kill them. Lemmings would be an exception to this instinct of self-preservation over and above species preservation, but humans would not.

You'll notice that those arguing for a reduction in human population are seldom volunteering to die for the cause. No, they want to kill other people or prevent them from being conceived. Makes sense - they're looking out for number one.

This fact does not make them wrong, however. It is possible, it seems to me, to speak of an overpopulation of humans. If humans became so populous as to deprive other humans of food, drink, clothing, or shelter, what else could this be called?

The human body is the greatest material good thing. Therefore, a number of human bodies could only be considered excessive when it reached the point of depriving life from human bodies.

1 comment:

Karen Howes said...

Hey John,

Most of those complaining of overpopulation are elitists, because of what you describe-- they're not willing to be part of the solution they propose (to reduce human population).

Is overpopulation of the world POSSIBLE? Well, yes, but that's not the problem. Rather the problem seems to be population distribution.

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