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Thread: *Stopping the Human Virus: Population*

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    *Stopping the Human Virus: Population*

    gIfd like to share with you a revelation, Ifve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species that I realized you arenft actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are plague, and we...are the cure.h -- Agent Smith, The Matrix

    We sure do act like a virus, don`t we? Multiplying at breakneck speed, invading lands -- moving out of Africa, to Europe, Asia, America etc... destroying, displacing fauna, causing extinction in our wake.

    Can we voluntarily stop our destruction to the Earth and cease our ballooning numbers? Should we just maintain our numbers? Or, should we decrease or even possibly voluntarily self destruct through breeding down and out?

    Could we be The Terminator of our own selves?

    gYou must lower me into the molten steel, John.h -- The Terminator

    Do viruses sometimes eat themselves and commit suicide? The fictional Terminator was a living tissue machine, and like it, we as living beings employ our machines (extensions of our selves) which result in devastating destruction to surrounding echo systems like viruses do so to other cells and organisms. Should we and could we turn ourselves and our machines on ourselves with the expressed purpose to self destruct -- if not totally, then in some limited manner?

    Is our logic or future knowledge of higher logic enough to reason ourselves out of existance or reign us in to keep us at the mercy of natural forces? Could logic, knowing that we are a destructive species overcome our urge to propagate?

    Do you think we should roll back our population, maintain it, or increase it to the Earth`s maximum carrying capacity? In case of the first two, what would be your suggestions to effect those goals?

    I believe we should roll back our numbers significantly. I will go into more detail on this in later posts. What are your initial thoughts on population growth, policy, or control?
    [up]"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
    --Albert Einstein[/up]

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    As to human nature as a whole, a lot will not make the necessary drastic changes to their lifestyles, and demand the necessary drastic changes that will cause a turnaround to the destruction of our environments in the near future. Most of it now is lipservice. People hardly look into what personal changes they could make, and even when they are aware of what they can do, they don't care to change.

    At least I believe that the necessary and drastic changes as a whole will not take place until people as a whole associate more pain than pleasure from their choices (or their grandparent's choices), and decide to set new priorities. That's just the way people are. I couldn't stop doing some things till I really had reason to, such as, I quit smoking cause I want to be around to watch my grandchildren growing up. I then associated a lot of pain with checking out early due to smoking (the trigger for making a change is different for everyone). I tried on a lot of different perspectives, trying to generate enough pain to quit smoking.

    As to birth control (the only palatable option I can think of now), without having given much thought to it, I think it would be difficult to implement. How does one convince some that they shouldn't have their seven children?
    "The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness."
    --H.H. the Dalai Lama

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    Like I said above, I am for drastically decreasing the population of the human race. Except for sexual predators, I am for making policies that encourage people to do something for their benefit with a positive reward available, rather than coercing people to do something out of fear for negative consequences arising for actions done.

    Here are some policy recommendations (some more draconian than others) that I think would be effective in realizing that goal:

    1. Government pays for all sterilizations that people volunteer for. The younger age it is done at could even have some extra bonuses such as cash payments.

    2. All those convicted of sexual crimes are forcefully sterilized.

    3. Any inmate in jail (except those without eligibility for parole) may have a few years shaved off their sentences if they volunteer for sterilization while incarcerated.

    4. Anyone who volunteers to be sterilized before having any children would have their college (4yrs) paid for in full by the government. If anyone reverses the procedure they will have to pay back the costs plus interests and a penalty for violating the contract.

    5. Anyone who volunteers for sterilization after one child would be elgible for 2 years of payment for college.

    6. A high school drop-out who volunteers to be sterilized will be elgible for the government to co-sign for a loan for purchase of a house at a special government subsidized interest rate on the loan.

    These are just a few to encourage volunteers. I will think of more and search around for other ideas on it. Perhaps negative inducements are a good tool also, eventhough intuitively I feel an aversion to that route. But, I may list some just for the sake of throwing ideas out.

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    I don't know how well that will go over. I think most people have some desire to see their own grandchildren.

    I should clarify on my former post. When I said that most people won't make the necessary and drastic changes necessary to change their environment until they associate more pain than pleasure to the current priorities, I was more saying that people won't change until the natural consequences will begin manifesting themselves (more birth defects due to contamination, less safe resources, etc). There will be a few people who make these changes beforehand, and that due to perspectives they take on.
    Last edited by Revenant; 04-06-06 at 06:47.

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    Hi Revenant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant
    I don't know how well that will go over. I think most people have some desire to see their own grandchildren.
    Yes, I understand and agree with that to some extent. However, that is why in those suggestions above I made it a volunteer based incentive (except for sexual predators).

    Keep in mind, too; many young people are idealistic and those who are who also want a head start in life with benefits that focus on one's self, deciding to get sterilized may appeal to them. In any event, just having those programs in place with incentives would increase the rate of those opting for sterilization to some extent. It may even be more attractive to those in countries that are in abject poverty. Of course, those programs then would have to be paid for by the UN or some other international organization -- for it is likely that that government would be too poor to foot the bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    Like I said above, I am for drastically decreasing the population of the human race. Except for sexual predators, I am for making policies that encourage people to do something for their benefit with a positive reward available, rather than coercing people to do something out of fear for negative consequences arising for actions done.
    Here are some policy recommendations (some more draconian than others) that I think would be effective in realizing that goal:
    1. Government pays for all sterilizations that people volunteer for. The younger age it is done at could even have some extra bonuses such as cash payments.
    2. All those convicted of sexual crimes are forcefully sterilized.
    3. Any inmate in jail (except those without eligibility for parole) may have a few years shaved off their sentences if they volunteer for sterilization while incarcerated.
    4. Anyone who volunteers to be sterilized before having any children would have their college (4yrs) paid for in full by the government. If anyone reverses the procedure they will have to pay back the costs plus interests and a penalty for violating the contract.
    5. Anyone who volunteers for sterilization after one child would be elgible for 2 years of payment for college.
    6. A high school drop-out who volunteers to be sterilized will be elgible for the government to co-sign for a loan for purchase of a house at a special government subsidized interest rate on the loan.
    These are just a few to encourage volunteers. I will think of more and search around for other ideas on it. Perhaps negative inducements are a good tool also, eventhough intuitively I feel an aversion to that route. But, I may list some just for the sake of throwing ideas out.
    Glad to hear that you are at least not for coercing people into population control. That is good to hear.

    However, if you really want people to stop reproducing government is not the answer. Government interference in anything always ends up with lower quality anything. This includes reproduction control.

    If you want people to do such things you need to raise awareness yourself by starting your own organization, ect. The problem with government handing out rewards, ect. is that it still costs tax money on something a lot of people will disagree with. So at the root of your plan there is still coercion.

    Now for my opinion on the issue. I think it is good mankind increases its population. You can't forget the fact that we are animals, the higher population our species has the greater our chances of survival in a horrible situation. Now that may seem a bit silly, especially considering the fact that we have around 6.5 billion of us. But the truth of the matter is we are vunerable to many things such as astroids from space, super volcanoes, ect.

    The ultimate goal of life is to survive and reproduce. So I see reproduction as a fundemental natural right. No government institution should force their view on reproduction.

    You can't compare a virus to a human. A human is a highly evolved animal with culture and society ;). In any case being the dominant species we deserve to do as we please with our enviroment and other species. HOWEVER, you will find that most of us want to protect the enviroment and want to animals to survive into the future. So I am not too worried at things. There is still a chance all this can backlash later on and if it does it is our fault. But I doubt humans will become the ultimate destruction of this planet :).

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    Hi Silverbackman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbackman
    Glad to hear that you are at least not for coercing people into population control. That is good to hear.
    At the moment I don`t think coercion is necessary. Incentives could do the trick to convince some to get sterilized. Also, since China went the coericion route, the term "population control" has gotten a bad rap. I prefer "population policy" -- which I feel the world should have one -- a concerted effort to reduce reduce reduce.

    However, if you really want people to stop reproducing government is not the answer. Government interference in anything always ends up with lower quality anything. This includes reproduction control.
    I wouldn`t say that government ends up with lower quality in everything. Besides, orgs just cannot put in place the kinds of financial incentives that would be needed to move whole populations of countries.

    If you want people to do such things you need to raise awareness yourself by starting your own organization, ect. The problem with government handing out rewards, ect. is that it still costs tax money on something a lot of people will disagree with. So at the root of your plan there is still coercion.
    I disagree that that would be coercion when it is a voluntary program. If you are going to include all taxes as policies of coercion, well, then -- I guess we are heavily coerced in everything we do. In that case the term "coercion" loses its meaning if it becomes the norm.

    I wouldn`t say that farmers who choose to join a government program and who are paid to let a field go fallow for a season so that it can rest is coerced into doing that, would you? But, taxes pay for that field not producing.

    Now for my opinion on the issue. I think it is good mankind increases its population. You can't forget the fact that we are animals, the higher population our species has the greater our chances of survival in a horrible situation. Now that may seem a bit silly, especially considering the fact that we have around 6.5 billion of us. But the truth of the matter is we are vunerable to many things such as astroids from space, super volcanoes, ect.
    Do you think we have a higher chance in the near future of being hit by an astroid, killing many of us -- or a population crash or war as countries feel perhaps forced to fight for natural recourses as they dwindle and must take care of their populations? I can imagine the latter being more possible than ther former -- seeing that mass extinctions from a cataclysmic catastrophe hasn`t occurred on a worldwide scale since man began civilization and agriculture about 10,000 years ago.


    The ultimate goal of life is to survive and reproduce. So I see reproduction as a fundemental natural right. No government institution should force their view on reproduction.
    If someone wanted to get sterilized -- or that the incentives for a free college education weighed more in their head than having children and the government was offering the procedure for free, why do you think that is "forcing their view" on someone?

    You can't compare a virus to a human.
    Sure you can. In fact, The Matrix did with Agent Smith`s sit down talk with Neo. The mechanics of reproducing are different, but the principle of spreading and destroying is quite similar. There is the "micro" and the "macro." We are the "macro" virus of the world.

    A human is a highly evolved animal with culture and society ;).
    We are just a different kind of virus -- a virus with culture and society. We like to say, "we are animals but animals with a culture, civilization," so why can`t we say, "We are a virus with culture and society"? Is it just because we do not like the negative baggage of what a virus conjures up -- more so than what an animal image does?

    In any case being the dominant species we deserve to do as we please with our enviroment and other species.
    This is the "might makes right" argument and looking at history you will find that many have been on the brutalized receiving end of this reasoning. If you reserve a particular defunct logic rather than sweeping it away, then it sits there waiting for its chance to rear its ugly head again.

    But I doubt humans will become the ultimate destruction of this planet.
    Oh, I think the Earth will survive, but will we make it inhospitable for our species? I am sure the lowly cockroach won`t miss a beat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbackman
    In any case being the dominant species we deserve to do as we please with our enviroment and other species.
    We have the power to do as we like, I wouldn't say we deserve to do whatever we like though. A pregnant woman has the power to smoke loads of crack, but does she have the right to cause her unborn a hard life? How do we have the right to give our grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc a life of unnecessary pain? Some of the minor birth defects, to which most of us live with even though we aren't aware of them are the direct result of industrial waste making it's way into the environment. This is just the beginning, as our species, with it's increased needs for material, will also have an increase of waste to dispose of. How does a corporation, who in competition with other companies, and needing to keep costs down, get rid of some chemical waste? What if there is an increase of waste due to a population explosion?

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    I disagree that that would be coercion when it is a voluntary program. If you are going to include all taxes as policies of coercion, well, then -- I guess we are heavily coerced in everything we do. In that case the term "coercion" loses its meaning if it becomes the norm.
    Yes, coercion is basically what government does, directly or indirectly. However we know that in order to prevent anarchy and ensure peace we need some coercion in our lives. We need a government to coerce people into not killing, rob banks, ect. I think most logical human beings believe coercion is okay in this case. These fundamentals are agreed by nearly all of humanity.
    But something like reproduction is a very relative issue. By creating financial incentives for people to not reproduce is basically forcing people who don't agree with population control to pay their hard earned money for something they don't support. Is that right? Would you life it if someone forced you to pay taxes for something you didn't support (such as experimentation on animals)? I wouldn't think so.
    Sure you can. In fact, The Matrix did with Agent Smith`s sit down talk with Neo.
    You mean Morpheus? Anyway I am not surprised that Agent Smith said because he is EVIL . And he himself ends up becoming a virus himself in the third movie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant
    We have the power to do as we like, I wouldn't say we deserve to do whatever we like though. A pregnant woman has the power to smoke loads of crack, but does she have the right to cause her unborn a hard life? How do we have the right to give our grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc a life of unnecessary pain? Some of the minor birth defects, to which most of us live with even though we aren't aware of them are the direct result of industrial waste making it's way into the environment. This is just the beginning, as our species, with it's increased needs for material, will also have an increase of waste to dispose of. How does a corporation, who in competition with other companies, and needing to keep costs down, get rid of some chemical waste? What if there is an increase of waste due to a population explosion?
    Yes, humanity must change in many ways. Pregnant women should not take any drugs. And corporations should stop some of their pollution. People can protest at corporations and eventually boycott them if they don't do anything. Either way you look at it, we as a people must do something, not the government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbackman
    Yes, coercion is basically what government does, directly or indirectly. However we know that in order to prevent anarchy and ensure peace we need some coercion in our lives. We need a government to coerce people into not killing, rob banks, ect. I think most logical human beings believe coercion is okay in this case.
    Yes. And those examples you have given are negative incentives/consequences. Positive reward for behaviour modification is an oft overlooked strategy. But, when applied correctly, volunteers to do something comes out of the woodwork. Look at the U.S. military. It is not just the base pay that gets volunteers into the ranks -- neither is it just the need to crave the spirit of adventure. Many persons see the benefits of a college tuition pay system from the government as a big inducement to volunteer -- besides the other benefits that come along with volunteering for something that may prevent you from "reproducing" -- death; due to war or military accident.


    By creating financial incentives for people to not reproduce is basically forcing people who don't agree with population control to pay their hard earned money for something they don't support. Is that right?
    Leadership is not always about doing what is popular. Sometimes when the boat is sinking, the captain or person in charge will have to make hard decisions on who goes into the lifeboat -- regardless of who paid for their tickets and what price they paid. But, if the captain made an announcement and asked for volunteers to stay with the main ship as it sinks, knowing it will take three hours to sink and that coast guard vessels would be there for them in 2 hours and then offered some large financial incentives, I would bet the gamblers amongst us, who may be hard pressed for cash, would calculate their odds and consider volunteering to stay -- especially if it were a gambling cruise ship -- lol.

    You seem to be talking about "reproducing" as if since it is some kind of "natural right," and that it is also the choice of action for common sense. It isn`t, and "reproducing" is a behaviour that is quite maliable.

    Would you lif[k]e it if someone forced you to pay taxes for something you didn't support (such as experimentation on animals)?
    That is a reality, so the question should not be posed as a conditional. Our taxes "do" support animal experimentation. The military is one of the largest users of animals for experiments and tax funds provided to researchers in the form of grants are quite common.

    Of course, I don`t like that so I lobby against it. That is democracy. We can use our arguments to try and convince our reps to adopt certain policies. If the government were to ever adopt policies that did not irk someone, then the government would probably cease to exist. "Not likeing" something in government is a given from at least some members of society. It all depends on which one wins out.

    As for human population, Earth is just too taxed with us scurrying around in almost every crivice. If the logic of thinning a deer population in a particular region is used and given for the benefit of the environment, why shouldn`t population reduction be applied to humans as well in regions where overpopulation is a problem? Are you saying logic is prejudicial? -- or like sexism and racism, speciesism is quite ok to use the same logic of "us vs them" to let us run rampant pushing all other lives and ecological systems to the brink of destruction?

    You mean Morpheus?
    lol. Yes, probably so. Been a while.

    Anyway I am not surprised that Agent Smith said because he is EVIL . And he himself ends up becoming a virus himself in the third movie.
    Doesn`t matter who said it or what he was. The analogy is quite right. As a whole on this planet, we are a species that do not find a healthy equilibrium within our population. Look at many low income large populated countries. Look at their environment which they have impacted on. Even in countries that are not so overly populated with larger incomes, you will still see a lot of destruction by our species not living in harmony with the natural ecological systems of the region. We invade, displace, and destroy.

    A population policy would be the appropriate shot in the arm we need to reign in our virus selves. Roll back the desiese if you will so that the Earth and all her creatures could live within the chronic presence of us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    1. Government pays for all sterilizations that people volunteer for. The younger age it is done at could even have some extra bonuses such as cash payments.
    2. All those convicted of sexual crimes are forcefully sterilized.
    3. Any inmate in jail (except those without eligibility for parole) may have a few years shaved off their sentences if they volunteer for sterilization while incarcerated.
    4. Anyone who volunteers to be sterilized before having any children would have their college (4yrs) paid for in full by the government. If anyone reverses the procedure they will have to pay back the costs plus interests and a penalty for violating the contract.
    5. Anyone who volunteers for sterilization after one child would be elgible for 2 years of payment for college.
    6. A high school drop-out who volunteers to be sterilized will be elgible for the government to co-sign for a loan for purchase of a house at a special government subsidized interest rate on the loan.

    I'm sorry but these policies are simply inhuman and un-natural. They sound like proposals of one of those weird junky extreme radical one-issue groups. You can't prevent people from fulfilling their duty and one mission in life...procreation. Not even China is proposing such policies and lets face it they have a pretty bad human rights record. You are even classifying people here, giving some more worth than others...and even worse you are trying to buy people off....something that is already preventing desirable birth rates in europe.

    Do you know that Europe is already getting dangerously close to very low birth rates...that means an aging population that won't be able to carry the weight of the nations and their respective economy. I wouldn't sterilize myself for any monetary value in the world. In fact circumstances permitting I'll try to have as many kids as I can.


    I don't beleive the human species are a virus. Sure we have done incredible damage to our planet but there are many of us who are on the right path of realizing our mistakes and trying to make amends and assume new ways of life...the EU in my view has taken a good attitude towards environment protection, for example....just be recently making it illegal to burn or bury used car tires, and many such other policies.

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    Hi Duo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    I'm sorry but these policies are simply inhuman and un-natural.
    How is ...

    1. Government pays for all sterilizations that people volunteer for. The younger age it is done at could even have some extra bonuses such as cash payments.

    ...inhuman? Also, what does "natural" have anything to do with what man does? It`s unnatural for us to create skyscrapers, but we do. It is unnatural for us to not be in equilibrium with our environment, but we are.

    They sound like proposals of one of those weird junky extreme radical one-issue groups.
    Of course, I see your point. But, anything that changes the status quo is often looked upon as "weird, extreme, and radical." Those few voices that called for the end of slavery had the same words in one form or the other hurled at them, too. The same with those who felt that women should have rights equal to the same as men. Being "extreme" or "radical" however, does not mean that they are inherantly wrong -- particularly when they are trying to stem a problem that is sinking the ship.


    You can't prevent people from fulfilling their duty and one mission in life...procreation.
    It is not about "preventing" -- it is about encouraging behaviour modification. If it is not "preventable," then the policies I have outlined above should not even be protested against coming into effect. After all, if "preventing" procreation on some meaningful level is impossible, then the "voluntary" system I suggested would fail. But, I think we know that there are those amongst us who would consider the benefits offered for voluntary sterilizations.

    btw, why do you think "procreation" is our "one mission" in life? For centuries, man and great philosophers have been trying to answer the riddle of life, "What is man`s purpose?" and "Why are we here?" and many great philosophers have never come to a consensus on that.

    Are those, who due to health reasons and who cannot procreate failures in the so-called "one mission" right from the starting gate?

    Not even China is proposing such policies and lets face it they have a pretty bad human rights record.
    I don`t think China used the right mix of incentives. I think mostly, they concerned themselves with negative incentives and not positive ones based on voluntary participation.

    You are even classifying people here, giving some more worth than others...
    That is already done in society. Nothing new, and in the voluntary sense of this population policy, except for the taxes needed to do it (which already taxes are collected for unpopular policies deemed so by certain groups), nothing directly averse to any person or group.

    and even worse you are trying to buy people off
    Farmers are "bought off" to let their fields go fallow to give the land a rest. People are bought off with tax breaks if they install energy saving utility devices or installing solar panals. Do you consider positive voluntary incentives as "buying off" people?

    ....something that is already preventing desirable birth rates in europe.
    "Desirable" to what? Man-centric world, or an ecological Earth-centric world?

    When a friends come over and we slice a pizza, I always notice that my pizza slice and number of slices (finite recourses) is much thinner and fewer when more friends come over than when fewer friends come over. Invariably, with the larger crowd, one will say, "hey, I got only two slices but John got three -- he took an extra one when I went to the bathroom." (Conflict arises over too few recources for too many consumers). Now, while more friends may be an enjoyment to have around at times due to the more colorful personalities involved in the dynamics of the group, the constant fighting that always breaks out at one time or the other is not good for my living room. When only a few friends come over and we each get 4 pieces of pizza and our bellies are few, the harmony of my living room stays in tact. I am willing to exchange some extreme swings in dynamics (despite the occassional fun from them at times) for a more harmonious one of fewer people and satisfied stomachs.

    Do you know that Europe is already getting dangerously close to very low birth rates...that means an aging population that won't be able to carry the weight of the nations and their respective economy.
    Adjustment is painful, that is for sure. But, adjustment nevertheless comes. Why not do it in a measured and controlled manner of expecting it?

    btw, what is the wolf population of each individual country in Europe? How about the bear? How about humans? Seems pretty unbalanced, doesn`t it? Do you value an ecological system in balance (equilibrium) -- or is one out of balance to be valued? How many species from the fauna of Europe are now extinct from particular regions or are in danger? Do you think the Amazon basin and other equatorial rainforests should adopt the same policies as Europe?

    Do you think a region`s land mass supporting its population is what nature intended?

    I wouldn't sterilize myself for any monetary value in the world. In fact circumstances permitting I'll try to have as many kids as I can.
    That is fine, and I know there are those who feel that way. In the recommendations I listed above, I am not concerned with those who would not consider the incentives to sterilize -- only with those who would.

    I don't beleive the human species are a virus.
    In the physiological way as we classify it and us -- we are not. But, in general our behaviour pattern seems to mimic it.

    Sure we have done incredible damage to our planet but there are many of us who are on the right path of realizing our mistakes and trying to make amends and assume new ways of life...the EU in my view has taken a good attitude towards environment protection, for example....just be recently making it illegal to burn or bury used car tires, and many such other policies.
    As a whole, is the EU population expanding or contracting and at what percentage pace? Also, my question on bears,wolves, and other fauna of Europe addresses the above.

    Thanks, Duo. Hope to see you add more to the thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    We sure do act like a virus, don`t we? Multiplying at breakneck speed, invading lands -- moving out of Africa, to Europe, Asia, America etc... destroying, displacing fauna, causing extinction in our wake.
    Just a question, do you consider mice/rats, crows, pigeons, bees, flies, mosquitoes and other species found almost all over the world to be virus as well ?

    I believe that numerous species have been extinct just because of climatic changes or the appartion of new species. Humans are the worst because they are the only ones so far to use tools and weapons. Modern weapons are so good that not a single animal, not even a lion, a crododile or an elephant, can stand a chance against an armed human (that can handle a weapon properly).
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  15. #15
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    Like I said above, I am for drastically decreasing the population of the human race.
    I agree. I think that once all countries will have reached a certain level of development, their population will all decrease (following the trend in Japan and Europe now) because people will care too much about their own selfish well-being, their career, material goods, etc. to have many children. What's more, it has proven more difficult and "love-marriage" societies for some people to find a partner. The idealisation of love comes along with material and intellectual development and comfort. People are getting more exigent, and therefore find it more difficult to find "the one". When a relation is too much about physical attraction, it often ends up in a separation or divorce.

    It is actually a vicious cycle, as the less children people have, the richer those children get (by inheritence, as there is less division of wealth), the better educated (parents have more time to educated single child than 8 children), and thus the more these children will become exigent in their choices to find a partner. So I am fairly confident that in time the human population will stabilise itself. The only problem is timing, because what is going on now is that rich countries (about 20% of the world's population) have stable or decreasing populations, while poor and developing countries (except China because of the one-child policy) have a booming population.

    That's why the number of proportion of rich to poor in the world is in fact decreasing, despite economic progress. Even in quickly developing countries like India, rich people have less children and poor people more. Actually it is even true for Europe; poor imigrant families have much more children than the rest of the population. Without the high birth rate of immigrants, the population of France and the UK would be decreasing.

    Here are some policy recommendations (some more draconian than others) that I think would be effective in realizing that goal:
    1. Government pays for all sterilizations that people volunteer for. The younger age it is done at could even have some extra bonuses such as cash payments.
    2. All those convicted of sexual crimes are forcefully sterilized.
    3. Any inmate in jail (except those without eligibility for parole) may have a few years shaved off their sentences if they volunteer for sterilization while incarcerated.
    4. Anyone who volunteers to be sterilized before having any children would have their college (4yrs) paid for in full by the government. If anyone reverses the procedure they will have to pay back the costs plus interests and a penalty for violating the contract.
    5. Anyone who volunteers for sterilization after one child would be elgible for 2 years of payment for college.
    6. A high school drop-out who volunteers to be sterilized will be elgible for the government to co-sign for a loan for purchase of a house at a special government subsidized interest rate on the loan.
    Volunteer sterilisation would only work in countries with a fast growing population, i.e. in poor and developping countries. Usually those people have many children because:
    1) they do not have access to proper contraception
    2) they are typically uneducated and unemployed people whose only occupation in life is to have and raise children. As they do not have much to teach them (given their own lack of education) and because the death rate in these countries is much higher, they want to have more children as a way of occupying themselves and hoping as many as possible survive.

  16. #16
    Southern Sun Duo's Avatar
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    well SVF biologically speaking the only way that a person and living creature is "fit" according to darwin's principles is if it is able to procreate and pass the genes down into the next generation. That is our sole "biological" mission in life...and it's why we were born. Having a big variety of genes passed through is important to the process of evolution...as we saw new epidemics can strike anywhere at anytime so having a large pool of genes available out there means more chances of a gene combination strong enough to resist a certain epidemic or able to adapt better to a changing environment or what have you.
    It's true that in some countries...ie china and india overpopulation is a problem but there are those nations where an aging population is a problem. Perhaps smarter pro-creation policies should be put in place like trying to avoid teenage pregnancy and such things...

  17. #17
    I'm back. strongvoicesforward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Just a question, do you consider mice/rats, crows, pigeons, bees, flies, mosquitoes and other species found almost all over the world to be virus as well ?
    No, because they do not displace species causing them to go extinct and do not cause the main body (i.e. Earth) environmental damage.

    I believe that numerous species have been extinct just because of climatic changes or the appartion of new species.
    Would you know of any examples where a species, besides man, has caused an animal species to go extinct?

  18. #18
    I'm back. strongvoicesforward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Volunteer sterilisation would only work in countries with a fast growing population,
    I don`t think voluntary sterilization alone would be enough for a successful policy to rollback population. It would only be one of a different number of things.

    I will add a few more ideas, and if you or others have some other suggestions to roll back the population, I would be interested in reading them. I think the policies should be proactive.

    I don`t agree with a passive stance that as the economies of the world get better and people get richer, they will have fewer and fewer children. To me that is an assumption that that time will arive before the environment is so overtaxed that ecological disaster and or war takes place. Those are the two things I think a small population base would help us avoid. And even if they did occur with a smaller population base, the impact will be more contained, isolated, and probably much smaller in scale.

    We should be proactive in combating the population growth and rolling it back.

  19. #19
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Be very careful about the direction that these type of thoughts can go.
    The first question I have in where would you have these sterilisation rules? Not in Japan, as it suffering from a low birthrate and has a negative population growth. Not within Europe as many European countries are also suffering negative growth or are just above positive growth. In the US? I doubt it very much. Americans like their freedoms and this would be seen as aginst their rights, no matter how many times you say voluntary.
    Second question: If you enforce sterlisation on criminals what is to stop you from saying the same for mentally handicapped? Someone who is barely capable of looking after themselves shouldn't be allowed to have children. Or people who have genetic defects such as downs syndrome. They might not suffer from it, but any offspring might. Is this right? Hitler went down this route.
    Thirdly: What about limiting poeple to one or two children per family? We have seen how this turned out in China. Spoiled children who are now incapable of looking after themselves, female children babies abandoned because the Chinese still prefer male children.
    Ideas like this can sound good, but governments would take control and impose more restrictions on the population and with modern technology only the genetically 'pure' might be the only ones allowed to breed. The Eyes of Heisenberg is just around the corner (Frank Herbert book for anyone wondering)

  20. #20
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Second question: If you enforce sterlisation on criminals what is to stop you from saying the same for mentally handicapped? Someone who is barely capable of looking after themselves shouldn't be allowed to have children.
    It would make more sense to sterilise the mentally handicapped... Letting them have children would be irresponsible for their offspring.

    Hitler went down this route.
    Hitler was also against smoking and drinking alcohol, he liked painting and German folk music. Does that mean that because these are all bad because they can be associated with Hitler ?

  21. #21
    I'm back. strongvoicesforward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    The first question I have in where would you have these sterilisation rules?
    Anyplace where the result wouldn`t be zero people within 50 years. Obviously, I would not expect Indonesia to offer it to an outlying isolated island with a population of only 200 people -- if that island`s recourses are self supporting. Jakarta, however, would be a different story.

    Not in Japan, as it suffering from a low birthrate and has a negative population growth.
    Japan is a fine target for the policies. Like I said before, the goal is to roll back population. That would require a negative birthrate for some time. I think the prewar population of Japan was about 65,000,000 people. Now it is approx 124,000,000. The prewar number seems like a reasonable target and the only way to get there is to keep a negative rate. Stopping at 65,000,000 however, is arbitrary. Even lower is fine -- perhaps to 50,000,000 or so.

    Not within Europe as many European countries are also suffering negative growth or are just above positive growth.
    Europe, too, would be a good target. Negative growth rate is preferred to roll back the population. In fact, only with a negative growth rate can the population be reduced (barring war).

    In the US? I doubt it very much. Americans like their freedoms and this would be seen as aginst their rights, no matter how many times you say voluntary.
    That is the point of bringing controversial issues like this up for debate and discussion -- to convince people to move into a new direction. Admittedly, it is hard. But over time a debate can cause a need for change to be accepted. As for freedoms, many Americans really fought against the freedom to drive without a seatbelt -- but eventually the facts of them saving lives allowed for politicians to legislate the use of them.

    In reality, freedoms are bargained away in bits and pieces for the good of society as society evolves. Our world population has "evolved" to such an extent that now it is time to begin the debate on how we are going to bring it back to a level that allows for a large slice of recources for all of us.

    Second question: If you enforce sterlisation on criminals
    I suggested that only sexual crimes/predators would be forced to be sterilized. Other criminals would not be forced to so but only given the choice to voluntarily opt for the procedure as a means of shaving some times off their sentences.

    what is to stop you from saying the same for mentally handicapped?
    The ability to consent with the full faculties of reasoning. If a person is deemed to not have this ability, then they should not even be permitted to have the operation even if it appears to be that they are volunteering for it.

    Thirdly: What about limiting poeple to one or two children per family? We have seen how this turned out in China.
    I have not suggested negative coercion (though perhaps some mix of it could be effective).

  22. #22
    I'm back. strongvoicesforward's Avatar
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    Adding to the list of policies that could help roll back population:

    7. All abortions in the first trimester are subsidized by the government to greatly reduce the costs or given free. Perhaps, all pregnancies occuring in kids under 18 years old should be free. Under 25, 75% off. Under 30, 50% off. Under 40, 25% off. Any pregancy above 40, free.

    8. All birth control given free.

    9. All birth control (non medicinal) made available in public schools in a manner so that they can be picked up anonymously by all students.

    10. In areas where high drop-out rates occur in schools, birth control made available at community centers where teens may gather for sports or socializing. Perhaps more dispensing machines in other places where teens gather on a regular basis.


    11. The Morning After drug given free upon request.

    *all these suggestions are not for developed western nations only. Poorer nations would have to have funding support through the UN or other aid programs directly from countries in order to pay for these.

    Some may say that it would be too costly. In the short run, yes. But, if priorities are set for the world environment, the 100 billion dollars spent on warring in Iraque or a few fighter airplanes per countries produced by those countries, could go far in paying for these.

    In addition, when motherless teenage children are giving birth to children and they have not graduated from highschool with a decent education, this kind of breeding has an indirect cost to society. Dependency on the government and crime often mark the socio economic class of people who reproduce in such way. They are a drain on the tax recourses of a state. To pay for an abortion by the government, which may cost tax payers $500~$1,000 is much cheaper than supporting this mother and child on welfare for years to come or paying for incarceration for desperate acts of survival that they may commit as they try to make ends meet.

    In the long run, to not prevent babies that are born out of no thought for the future, is much cheaper when paid for by society by preventing them, rather than supporting them later.

  23. #23
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    I agree almost unconditionally with points 7 to 11. The only thing needed for that is money ! People should be responsible and mature enough to understand the consequences of their acts, and realise as you said that buying contraceptive or even aborting is much cheaper in the long run than supporting an unwanted child later. So education is almost as important (if not more) than government funding of these things. That is all the truer in the US where a big chunk of the population is still against abortion (and interestingly the same people are typically pro-war ).

  24. #24
    I'm back. strongvoicesforward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    well SVF biologically speaking the only way that a person and living creature is "fit" according to darwin's principles is if it is able to procreate and pass the genes down into the next generation. That is our sole "biological" mission in life...and it's why we were born. Having a big variety of genes passed through is important to the process of evolution...as we saw new epidemics can strike anywhere at anytime so having a large pool of genes available out there means more chances of a gene combination strong enough to resist a certain epidemic or able to adapt better to a changing environment or what have you.
    That is all fine, Duo. I won`t debate that a large gene pool allows for better survival of a species. But, I will say that carrying a population of any size in any species that overtaxes the recourses of an environment is not healthy for the environment and in the end could threaten the species that has done the damage. I am one, and I am sure there are many, who would not like to have to live during a population "crash." In addition, seeing the violent nature of our species and her civilizations, a "crash" or a "fight for precious recourses" could be brought about by the pressures of population.

    As a species, we also have evolved to form concepts compassion and altruism. To suggest that the human species should just have continuous positive growth is to condemn many to a viscious cycle of abject poverty -- for within their region the recourse slice per person is just too small to fullfil everyone.

    It's true that in some countries...ie china and india overpopulation is a problem but there are those nations where an aging population is a problem.
    An aging population in some countries is only a problem to the economies in the short run. In the long run as the older generation dies out, the young base would not be overburdened with an inverted tax pyramid of support.

    As for the environment, a smaller population is best for it will have a smaller impact.

  25. #25
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I agree almost unconditionally with points 7 to 11. The only thing needed for that is money ! People should be responsible and mature enough to understand the consequences of their acts, and realise as you said that buying contraceptive or even aborting is much cheaper in the long run than supporting an unwanted child later. So education is almost as important (if not more) than government funding of these things. That is all the truer in the US where a big chunk of the population is still against abortion (and interestingly the same people are typically pro-war ).
    Actually, the majority of Americans are pro choice (myself included). As well as in favor of sex education, it's more true to say that people are against the act of abortion. But most people feel that a woman has the right to choose weather she wants an abortion or not and believe the government shouldn't intrude on a woman's privacy and believe that abortion should be legal in most cases. It just seems that way to you. In fact, there are a number of religious organizations who support the woman's right to choose an abortion. Since I had the oppertunity to volunteer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America just in the past few days we are in a fight to keep Roe v. Wade from being overturned. They are one of the few organizations in this country who believe the population is the reason why abortion should be allowed. We are also involved in promoting sex education. Just thought I'd let you know that.
    Last edited by Ma Cherie; 09-06-06 at 20:52.
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