It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


I am curious

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 07:06 PM
Why does it not make sense, since we have math, and all sort of good tools for analysis, to figure out how many people can live sustainably in a given geographic area at a certain standard of living, and then using birth control voluntarily, slowly, humanely and in a way that did not discriminate against any "group" of people, lower our population to fit the area?

Why is this idea so very distasteful to people? It seems so completely logical to me. I have x amount of square footage in my home, it seems perfectly logical to tailor how many things I bring into it to the square footage rather than to try and devise endless ways to cram more stuff into it. Why does it make less sense when it is a nation? Or the world?

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 07:12 PM
Perhaps people are against it because it is the polar opposite of our instinct to procreate. Instincts are far more powerful than logic and we are driven by the need to keep our species going.

The idea of controlled population strikes fear into our very core for this reason.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 07:53 PM
Maybe that is the problem, why it makes so little sense to me. I do not have this overwhelming urge to procreate. I love little kids, but I am perfectly happy giving time and affection to anyones children. I dont feel any overwhelming desire to have them be MY children.

Is it really an innate drive? Of my 5 closest friends, only 2 have children. And both of them are male. My two closest female friends, and one male friend like myself, simply got passed over by that biological urge to procreate. It seems that there are quite a few of us raised after the whole birth control thing have decided to delay or not participate at all. Evolution doesnt work that quick, in one generation, so maybe the desire to BEAR children isnt the actual drive.

After all, the innate drive that biology would have to build into us would be the sex drive. Not the "desiring children" drive. Children being the natural consequence of sex, one would also have to be equipped to feel responsible to take care of them if they are present. I DO have that drive. If someone dumped one on me, I would be a great parent. But many, many people seem to be sorely lacking in even that basic drive.

Could the "I have to have my OWN children" be a cultural thing? Maybe the reason I do not feel that way is that I was raised by people not my own parents. So to me, it doesnt matter if a child shares my DNA or not.

If it is just a cultural thing, and the real drive is "love the children you have" (think about it, we even express this on our pets) and the sex drive, would it be possible to change our culture enough to stop imposing the idea that the children you love have to be your own?

Maybe the reason it strikes fear into so many people is that they see it as an attempt to eliminate THEM from the world. Like a war thing, with someone else saying "YOU, no kids, you dont deserve to be here. Out of the gene pool." I can see why that would upset. But if everyone cut down to two voluntarily, with those of us who do not breed either on purpose as a choice, or by act of God, (infertility) or by accidentally dying before you procreate, this would happen very naturally and pretty painlessly. It wouldnt have to be some horrible thing at all. If someone could not be satisfied with having only two natural children to make the world a better place for ALL the children, I would have a hard time feeling sorry for them. They can always adopt if they really, really want more than two, there will always be children in foster care or orphaned that will need someone.

I dont know. Not being one of the people that have this drive to have my own children, nor really knowing any that have this insatiable drive, (many of my friends with children stopped at one) I really cant understand it at all.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 08:23 PM
I fe veryone cut down voluntairilly some jerk wouldn't and his kids would ill your kids and take their crap.

So have alot of babies and concentrate on terraforming and expanding off the planet

there's a whole universe out there we just have to start the process

Underwater cities, Island building, artificial mountains to create rivers, space stations mars colony...

One asteroid on avg has about 17 trillion in resources, we have all the room we need people like prior to the discovery of america stay in their boz alot that's all...get doomsdayish

There is really given our rate of technological progression no need for any of this, oil wars, water wars, starvation...we are well... WELL ahead of the curve we need to be in to do just fine with plenty of solution and tons of room for strong terraforming solutions to double and double yet again here on earth...

lord knows we have a giant space colony to hollow out that floats by right over our heads every night....

But no one will stop having babies, or very few will and they get pissed when told to... I'd rather fight the next guy and make room for my own sorry, survival of the fittest

people either need to get real do something to jog our civilization into expanding or get ready for the fight that is obviously coming ...

me I'm a westerner but I'll reproduce plenty to keep up with everyone else... i'm not into the 1.7 kids thing

who wants .7 of a kid anyway?
what is that a faled abortion? Jk

Seriously though I'm not going against my nature for any peaceful ideals, I'll Work hard to do the things to make the room... but in a world where noone else wants to do those things there is a fight coming

Frankly at 10 Billion a week... any idea how much hardware we could have sent to space? The cost of our total military output, just America.. since 2001 we could have:

a couple thousand of those probes, a new fleet of modern shuttles a large fully operational space station a moon base with a permanent pressence ansd regular manned missions to mars underway with a permanent base camp and people coming and going...

if not more

So I should stop having kids? when these other people are this damn stupid? No, that's called regressive evolution, let them fight and kill lots so we evolve because some how the smart ones will survive...

I am not stoping having babies when those that bow to rokcs and wear no shoes are having them by the bucket load, extinction isn't my thing

Better to fight than to die off, one way I'll keep half my kids, the non baby way i'll loose them all for sure

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 11:00 PM
Well, that was enlightening.

I think that just about summed it up for me.

Essentially, although you did not use the term, your line of reasoning conforms to game theory.

"The prisoners dilemma."

The only way to win is for the parties to agree not to compete, but because you cannot be certain that others will not compete against YOU, you feel compelled to compete yourself.

In case you are not familiar with game theory, (aside from your own use of it)

Wikipedia the Prisoners Dilemma

In this game, as in all game theory, the only concern of each individual player ("prisoner") is maximizing his/her own payoff, without any concern for the other player's payoff. The unique equilibrium for this game is a Pareto-suboptimal solution—that is, rational choice leads the two players to both play defectly even though each player's individual reward would be greater if they both played cooperately.

In the classic form of this game, cooperating is strictly dominated by defecting, so that the only possible equilibrium for the game is for all players to defect. In simpler terms, no matter what the other player does, one player will always gain a greater payoff by playing defect. Since in any situation playing defect is more beneficial than cooperating, all rational players will play defect, all things being equal.

You are essentially saying that in your mind your odds of winning are greater if you "cheat" the system by competing, rather than by agreeing to cooperate. You are assuming that most others would think like you do. And, perhaps you are right. But because the odds are slightly skewed in favor of the cheater, most people cheat, hence the outcome is most often lose/lose.

Your assumptions about our current ability to colonize space are incredibly flawed. We cannot even build a closed self sustaining environment here on Earth. Much less in space in an alien atmosphere with no possibility of emergency intervention. (Bear in mind before you say "space station" that it is NOT a closed and self sustaining system, it relies on supplies from Earth)

I love science fiction, but it is just that at the moment, a fiction to think that we have the capability to inhabit other worlds, OR that that will ever be an option for poor schmoes like us. If we DO destroy the environment here, do you really foresee a mass exodus of all the worlds, (or even the first worlds) peoples and their children? Or do you see only the very wealthy and some of the worlds most gifted intellects getting in the lifeboats much like the passengers of the Titanic when it sank?

I foresee the latter should it ever come to that.

You could be right, that some technological miracle will occur to make it possible to survive here even if we continue to reproduce at the current rate. But in my opinion, it is just poor planning to have "Do nothing and hope for a miracle" as your game plan.

Thank you, however, for providing the insight I needed. That fits much more with the sense I had, I just needed to hear it stated by someone who felt that way so that I could examine the underlying logic. It is MUCH more consistent with what I actually see around me than the supposition that some people just love children that much.

(Though I do not doubt that some genuinely do, Alora.)

Now that I understand the nature of the problem, I can resign myself to hopelessness. Lol.

Or try to figure out a way to make it a repeating game. Hmmmmmm.

Edit to try to repair the link, finally, after several tries.

[edit on 26-8-2008 by Illusionsaregrander]

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 11:27 PM
Well to be honest, the reason I dont want to adopt is because they aren't my kids. When I say that I mean half of me, half of the significant other I decided to have kids with.

Many things are a result of genetics. As a result of that, I would prefer procreating to adoption.

As far as population control goes, it really does solve much imo. The problem is peoples unwillingness to let life take its course, aka, death. People want to live as long as possible. Over population isn't a result of too many people screwing, trust me. People have been going at it since the dawn of our species. Nothing has really changed except our technology to prevent death.

Nature has always been the best population control.

oh, and as for logic, when has humanity ever acted in a group effort logically? If so, it was by pure coincidence. When it comes to groups, people run on emotions and nothing more. What appeals best to their senses. Who comes off as strong is their leader, not he who makes the most sense. Most people fail horribly at making logical connections, and therefore, they really don't see the world the way you do. They may not even be able to make the logical connection that there is a forthcoming disaster because overpopulation.

The only thing harder than imagining a vastly superior/more logical species, is imagining the life of one that is illogical beyond all measure. It baffles me sometimes, the absurd connections people make, and how little sense they used to come to such conclusions.

[edit on 28-8-2008 by grimreaper797]

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:54 PM
Great thread -- I love the "game theory" post. I really think that's a big part of why this can't work in our current world. Too much fear that if "we" don't keep up in reproductive terms, "they" will rule the world in the future, not enough realization that if we all try to outreproduce each other, there won't be much of a world left.

I confess to being a woman who has not experienced the "biological clock" phenomenon in the same way that I've seen some (not all) of my friends feel it. And like the OP, I think that if I became responsible for a child (through adoption, procreation, or -- please no -- because a loved one was unable to care for their own), I would step up to the plate and be an excellent parent. For what it's worth, I was raised by my biological parents, who were also excellent (though hardly faultless) parents.

I'm not convinced that the desire for children couldn't be genetic -- either directly in terms of what is in our genome turning it on or off, or indirectly in terms of level of expression of a gene or genes at some point in our lives.

But I do think that a lot of it is cultural. Until the post-baby boom generation (in the U.S -- I suspect that these things vary a whole lot according to where you look) women were pretty much expected to reproduce or give themselves selflessly to be caretakers for others. Even those of us who were raised hearing that we didn't have to be that way, watched our own mothers do so. I think it takes way more than a single generation for this kind of change to permeate both words and actions enough that children don't get mixed messages.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 10:25 PM
Really the only places with population density problems seems to be China, India and some African countries. Simplistic yes but many of the industrialized countries seem to have a steady increase to population or even a project decline in such parts as Germany and Japan. A lot of the younger Americans don't seem to be too thrilled with having children either. Much of Americas increase in population is projected to be from immigrants and minorities.

So America won't need population control, the land mass is huge for one thing. Will other countries need it? Maybe, but it doesn't really concern us imo.

About what you were saying earlier about it being genetic to procreate or if it was something else, Erickson's stages of development go over that a little bit. There's a stage that involves giving to the next generation and leaving your mark called Generativity vs. Stagnation. So the ability to fulfill generativity could be met with or without genetic offspring, of course generativity can be met with a wide variety of things.
It's number 7 btw

[edit on 6-9-2008 by ghaleon12]

new topics

top topics


log in