Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

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Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#1  Postby Alan B » Jan 21, 2019 6:05 pm

The world population: here
In 1760 it was 770 million
In 1900 it was 1.6 billion
In 1951 it was 2.6 billion.
Today it's about 7.7 billion.
Towards the end of this century it could reach and level off at 11 billion - according to Hans Rosling. Convincing. But...

The above assumes that the drive to have children will somehow, world-wide, be gradually reduced to replacement level at the time when this 11 billion is reached. The desire to have three or more children is not just to counter infant mortality, as is necessary in some countries (at present), but a real desire, in some cultures, to have as many babies as they can afford or because they just like having babies.
So, when this '11 billion' is reached, how will this 'magic figure' curb the desire for excess 'baby making'? Or will there have to be strict regulation and enforced birth control in every country?

Distraught woman denied IVF treatment on NHS because husband has child from previous relationship

Sign of things to come?
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#2  Postby romansh » Jan 21, 2019 6:20 pm

I miss Hans Rosling

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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#3  Postby felltoearth » Jan 21, 2019 6:34 pm

By refusing IVF because of so-called overpopulation, you are basically saying that those who can have children do so by genetic lottery.

I don’t like where that type of thinking leads.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#4  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 21, 2019 7:13 pm

felltoearth wrote:By refusing IVF because of so-called overpopulation, you are basically saying that those who can have children do so by genetic lottery.

I don’t like where that type of thinking leads.


Well, you know how people are. Even if they can't even afford to pay attention, having children for fun is still possible. Once you're alive, there should be a guaranteed minimum amount of fun for everybody. Everything's cool: If you don't survive to adulthood, chances are reduced you wlll suffer the misery of seeing your children starve.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#5  Postby tuco » Jan 21, 2019 7:44 pm

We've been here before in iirc 2 other threads and I have not come up with anything new since so let me reiterate some.

If the question is a right or a privilege, I do not think such a hard question is on the table yet. The important number here is .. how many people can Earth sustain?, which unlike population growth is impossible to predict mostly due to technologies and black swans and whatnot.

IF everyone lived like me .. was the catchphrase behind one of the first carbon footprint web calculators. That is all I can say.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#6  Postby felltoearth » Jan 21, 2019 7:51 pm

Bob Geldof pretty much proved in the 80s that famine wasn’t a food supply issue.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#7  Postby Alan B » Jan 21, 2019 7:56 pm

romansh wrote:I miss Hans Rosling


I didn't know he had died. And only 68 :(
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#8  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 21, 2019 9:10 pm

tuco wrote:The important number here is .. how many people can Earth sustain?


Well, if we're asking what's possible, that's just curiosity; or, it could be a warning against testing the limit. No argument in favor of testing the limit has been proposed. It may be that testing the limit is inevitable, and so we may find an eventual answer, or there may be horrible disasters waiting that prevent testing the limit.

It's clear that treating it as a privilege has led to lots of unhappiness. Treating it as a right has led to lots of unhappiness. Sounds like a silly question to me.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#9  Postby tuco » Jan 21, 2019 9:20 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
tuco wrote:The important number here is .. how many people can Earth sustain?


Well, if we're asking what's possible, that's just curiosity; or, it could be a warning against testing the limit. No argument in favor of testing the limit has been proposed. It may be that testing the limit inevitable, and so we may find an eventual answer.

It's clear that treating it as a privilege has led to lots of unhappiness. Treating it as a right has led to lots of unhappiness. Sounds like a silly question to me.


I have no clue to be honest but that is how I think about the issue.

For example, we are seeing efforts in moving from linear to a circular economy, usage of renewable resources, more efficient energy consuming machines, skyscrapers etc so there seems to be a trend of pushing the answer to the silly question further. It was said in the other threads, the term overpopulation can be looked at from different perspectives. At the end its an equation, people vs resources. To point at a number of populace to assume a problem is not necessarily the only number to consider. As Kafka puts it, some deny the existence of misery by pointing to the sun; he denies the existence of the sun by pointing to misery ;)

The question itself cannot be computed I think.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#10  Postby Ironclad » Jan 21, 2019 10:27 pm

felltoearth wrote:By refusing IVF because of so-called overpopulation, you are basically saying that those who can have children do so by genetic lottery.

I don’t like where that type of thinking leads.
There was a young woman here in the UK who was demanding the health service allow her to take sperm, she wanted a child but would not take or try the conventional method. She did not want a partner. She argued it was a human right.
I don't know how she got on.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#11  Postby laklak » Jan 22, 2019 3:35 am

You gotta have a license to drive a car, but anybody can pop out a mewling, puking cabbage (thanks to Bill Hicks for that one). IMO you want a kid, you got to trade in an old person. One for one. Otherwise it's the nutrient processors for the lot.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#12  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 22, 2019 5:09 am

tuco wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
tuco wrote:The important number here is .. how many people can Earth sustain?


Well, if we're asking what's possible, that's just curiosity; or, it could be a warning against testing the limit. No argument in favor of testing the limit has been proposed. It may be that testing the limit inevitable, and so we may find an eventual answer.

It's clear that treating it as a privilege has led to lots of unhappiness. Treating it as a right has led to lots of unhappiness. Sounds like a silly question to me.


I have no clue to be honest but that is how I think about the issue.

For example, we are seeing efforts in moving from linear to a circular economy, usage of renewable resources, more efficient energy consuming machines, skyscrapers etc so there seems to be a trend of pushing the answer to the silly question further. It was said in the other threads, the term overpopulation can be looked at from different perspectives. At the end its an equation, people vs resources. To point at a number of populace to assume a problem is not necessarily the only number to consider. As Kafka puts it, some deny the existence of misery by pointing to the sun; he denies the existence of the sun by pointing to misery ;)

The question itself cannot be computed I think.


Well, at any rate, one can pursue efficiency for its own sake, without reference to population. This goes back to thermodynamics, again, where efficiency gets a hard limit. I can look at striving for efficiency without looking at the population problem; I still don't know what's at the core of focusing on the population problem. Working out how to solve it is wrapped up in a lot of wibbly social sciences. We have the technology to achieve intentional sterilization, but a lot of moral questions about it that have no answers. People look in the other direction and hope that we can at least fit a few more into the mix.

Certainly some people are adapted to overcrowding better than others, The ones that aren't will sometimes do nutty things: Don't forget them and their unpredictability from any 'science' you know about. The more people we have, the more nutty people we have. I'm not the one denying the existence of anything; when you focus on the promise of technology, don't forget all the shit that isn't going to be solved by technology, or dream that it's solved by waving your hands at it.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#13  Postby surreptitious57 » Jan 22, 2019 6:34 am

The problem here is the disparity between the personal and political so those who want or have children tend to see it in terms of creating a family for themselves and nothing else. Not actually realising that they re directly contributing to the biggest problem affecting our species. This is further compounded by the fact that in the West the birth rate is relatively stable so we can think it is not our problem but someone elses where birth rates are relatively high. Short of telling child bearing women exactly how many they can have nothing is going to be done about this until it has to be as not enough are seriously contemplating the bigger picture. Given that one is talking about the most natural thing in the world then that is understandable enough. However the prospect which has already come to pass elsewhere may at some point too extend to the West [ albeit beyond our life time ] And then the question shall be asked : at what point is it necessary for the state to legislate what you can and can not do with your vagina ? Now I know what the answer to that is but it should never have to get to the point where the question has to asked in the first place

I myself have zero children so am doing my bit to minimise the problem albeit in a rather insignificant way as I am only one person on a planet of seven billion plus. But that niggle aside the single biggest thing anyone can do to reduce their carbon foot print is not to propagate. Forget about not flying or driving or eating junk food or buying plastic bags to put it in every time you go to shop if you REALLY want to make the best impact possible on the health of the planet doing only one simple thing it is by not spreading your genes. Nothing else comes anywhere near this in terms of keeping your carbon print at bay

I have absolutely no problem with any woman having as many children as she wants because what she does with her vagina is none of my business. But it is nonetheless undeniable that global increase in world population will simply carry on till it is too late to stop. Now a hundred years from now we shall all be dead but who seriously wants this particular problem wished upon their great great grandchildren ? I know that I wouldnt if I had any
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#14  Postby juju7 » Jan 22, 2019 7:22 am

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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#15  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jan 22, 2019 10:05 am

What would grandparents talk about?
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#16  Postby Ironclad » Jan 22, 2019 10:36 am

The war?
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#17  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jan 22, 2019 10:38 am

They were not around then.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#18  Postby Alan B » Jan 22, 2019 10:58 am

I have two Sons in their 50s and neither have reproduced (as far as I know :whistle: ).
This makes me sad on the one hand and pleased on the other.
Sad because there will be no one to 'carry on my line' which is, I think, one of the main driving forces behind having children - hoping you will have grandchildren.

And pleased because there will be zero contribution to over population - minuscule compared to the world birth-rate though that may be.

Edit.
laklak wrote:You gotta have a license to drive a car, but anybody can pop out a mewling, puking cabbage (thanks to Bill Hicks for that one). IMO you want a kid, you got to trade in an old person. One for one. Otherwise it's the nutrient processors for the lot.

No grandchildren - so I'm OK, then... :snooty:
Last edited by Alan B on Jan 22, 2019 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#19  Postby Fallible » Jan 22, 2019 11:01 am

I doubt my daughter will have children. Absolutely fine by me. Being a grandmother has never been something I was particularly interested in.
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Re: Having Babies. An Endless Right or an Abused Privelege?

#20  Postby Alan B » Jan 22, 2019 11:08 am

tuco wrote:At the end its an equation, people vs resources.

Define 'resources'.

I would suggest that will include the Earth's ecosystem, the biosphere, including what we can 'dig out of the ground' or grow for our consumption.
Last edited by Alan B on Jan 22, 2019 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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