Friday, August 27, 2010
Overpopulation, education, and responsibility
While people cite many reasons both for and against having children, when it comes down to it, it's unethical to have children if you can't muster up the resources and responsibility to care for them. Money cannot buy love, but money can buy comfort, especially in terms of the basics, like food, clothing, shelter, and especially education.
Overpopulation puts a huge strain on our planet's limited resources. Recently, Your Call on KALW had a show on the controversy of population control. Clearly, population control is controversial because people don't like their genital functions controlled by some third party. Population control also brings up the nasty idea of eugenics. Another interesting and obvious point, education plays a huge role in population control, for birthrates drop and family sizes shrink when women are educated.
Yup, birth control is fantastic. The Vatican is not a fan of birth control. Lack of birth control easily leads to unwanted pregnancies, perhaps abortion, perhaps child neglect, etc. It's easier to deal with the upstream causes than the downstream effects, isn't it?
I just generally feel that it is unethical to bring a child into an environment where he/she will not be cared for. That includes homeopaths and anti-vaccination freaks; those irrational behaviors endanger public health, and that's just downright unethical. Perpetuating bigotry (e.g., racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc.) is also unethical.
Well, it looks like education fixes a lot of things here, and not necessarily advanced education, either. As I mentioned above, an educated society has a low birthrate. Come on; we all learned sex ed when puberty hit, right? I sure hope so, anyway. Theoretically, the homeopaths and anti-vax freaks could mend their ways with one high school science class. In an ideal world, a high school history class could fix the bigots, too.
I guess the resources and responsibility of caring for children should really go towards the classroom, just like UC Berkeley's Michael O'Hare wrote in a letter to his students, on fixing California's woefully broken system.