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1920Making cultural taboos or laws to limit breeding

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  • beth_h8
    Feb 27, 2014
      In the VHEMT group, we have been discussing the possibility of laws limiting breeding, how infrequently they've been tried, and how badly it has worked where it has. China is about the only country with an official "one child" policy. Theirs hasn't worked so well, because there are exceptions, such that the average woman gives birth to 1.55 children there. Even at that, they have a small - <1% GROWTH rate. There is a small net emmigration from China. The problem, as always, is that the birth rate exceeds the death rate.

      Non-coercive measures were discussed. They're pretty much not feasible in the short term. The idea is to get enough of society to realize that creating another human being now - even ONE - dooms that person to a life filled with chemicals, polutants, lack of fresh water, lack of food, less oxygen to breathe, less fuel to burn, less opportunities in life.

      Even the people who agree that overpopulation is a problem - which seems to be a minority - they feel that they "need" one child or more for some of the typical reasons (carry on the family name, care for (me) when I grow old, keep the economy moving, their religion forbids birth control, it's the purpose of a woman to be a mother....) A big one that is heard when making any of these points is that "the wrong people are breeding (having babies)", with the unspoken idea that "you and me" are "right people" and it's "our duty" to have babies. This was the whole notion of eugenics - that there ARE "right people" - and almost everyone thinks they are in it. That is delusion of grandeur on a socially-acceptable level. Even more delusionally, they believe that because they have such great genes, have so much to offer the child as far as opportunities, that their child might be the one discovers the "tech" that is going to get out of this mess we're in. Let's face it: Even some new technology is not going to get rid of what's already been produced. Stilll, some people who see that there's a serious problem appeal to "Tech" as if it were a God. Functionally, there's no difference in hoping that some undiscovered technology will save us from ourselves than there is in believing that some all-powerful deity will save us from ourselves.

      A cultural taboo could be created, but that would take generations of concerted effort. It's not going to happen in a culture where children spend most of their time with parents who believe that they are owed grandchildren, assume that their children will also someday be parents. All of the education in the world cannot overcome that. Education will have a hard time overcoming the education which is more supported by their family of that given by religion, which teaches that humans were put on this earth to reproduce - and spread the religion. Religions often come complete with rewards and punishments for failing to do what it says. That will greatly hamper all attempts at actual education that this world is not a fit place to add another human being to.

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