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Billy_Strauss's avatar

With the global overpopulation explosion (now 7 billion humans on Earth), I wonder why anybody would ever have more than 1 child?

Asked by Billy_Strauss (118 points ) October 28th, 2011

I am not referring to how much raising children costs, nor how much one stands to gain from welfare (This question is, however, inspired by nikipedia’s similar question from earlier today).

Why on Earth with the overpopulation problem we seem to be experiencing globally would anyone have more than 2 children?

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17 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’ll have to go with the same answer as the other question because they want to (personal answer that could be different for anyone) or believe they must (internal and/or external pressures).

What ought they/we do? That’s the big issue.

janbb's avatar

More than one or more than two? Your question and the details don’t match. More than one to provide a sibling for the first; more than two is more sketchy morally.

tom_g's avatar

Yep. I mentioned this in @nikipedia’s thread. I think it’s a legitimate question. There are people who argue that what we have here is more of an over-consumption problem – not overpopulation. While I sympathize with this position to some degree, I really think that it’s both.

I also feel that when discussing overpopulation, it might be wise to see if there are other human activities that have increasing human population as its goal. Modern medicine – we are pouring time and resources into finding cures for diseases. How is this affecting the population, and what is the goal here – to cure all disease and death?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Most people don’t want the kids anymore to help in businesses or around the house but since modern people are more socially isolated, not knowing their neighbors or seeing extended families much then maybe there’s a new feeling of needing to make immediate little pods of people they can feel close to?

Blackberry's avatar

How many people do you think actually know and care lol?

wundayatta's avatar

Why do you think there is an overpopulation problem? Why does everyone take this for granted? Has anyone every looked at future world population projections made by serious demographers?

Population trends start long before we see the net results. Already we have serious underpopulation problems in most of Europe, Japan and we would have a problem in the US if it weren’t for immigration.

A decreasing population is catastrophic for the economy. Talk about consumption issues. If you think the current economic decline is a problem, wait until you see the economy between 2050 and 2100. I’ll be in my 90s and 100s by then. I’m going to be wanting some serious continuing care. There will be so few workers (unless we drastically increase immigration), that I won’t be able to afford the care I will need.

I don’t think you need to worry about overpopulation. A wealthy planet will take care of that, and then some. Wealthy people can’t afford kids. You better be thinking about repopulation, especially if you are under the age of 30.

Hibernate's avatar

I’m not at speed with natality and mortality… I do know that every few seconds someone dies .. do we have so many new born ?

wundayatta's avatar

The United Nations median projection shows world population topping out around 9 billion in 2100.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@wundayatta Why do you think there is an overpopulation problem?
Because at seemingly every turn humanity finds a way to inadequately* deal with local, national, and world issues. Perhaps it would be better to say we have a mismanagement problem rather than an overpopulation problem. Either way it would be easier to address if people slowed down with the procreation a bit. Get a handle on the processes before we open up the floodgates as it were.

*as defined in terms of rapid, sustainable, repeatable, responses that don’t simply relieve one burden to add another or shift it from one group to another but genuinely make life better in the long term.

wundayatta's avatar

@wonderingwhy How do we know when we have adequately dealt with these problems?

wonderingwhy's avatar

@wundayatta When the numbers of people with those problems are consistently declining after adjusting for deaths, when we start to see fewer and fewer incidence of the same problems reoccurring over time, and when we have greater capability to be more proactive and less reactive in response. Those seem like good places to start. What should those statistics be to decide when to grow or retract and at what rate? I don’t know, but that’s the problem. We (as a world) should have some sort of considered consensus on what they should be given our capabilities, rather than just moving blindly ahead.

SpatzieLover's avatar

They are Catholic.

wundayatta's avatar

@wonderingwhy I think the point is that we don’t have to do anything. We don’t have that kind of control. Maybe China’s one-child (one child if it is male) policy can make a difference, but except for N Korea, which has the opposite problem, I don’t see where else that could be done.

Fortunately, people change reproductive behavior all on their own without a central government trying to enforce it. So I believe things will change, and in the direction most people want, without any intervention. In fact, I believe that not only will things change, they will change too far. This is a good news, bad news situation. Yes, we will reduce our footprint on the planet, but we may do it so much that we destroy our ability to keep ourselves going in the style to which we have become accustomed.

Blondesjon's avatar

‘Cuz I likes to fuck.

Luiveton's avatar

It’s either the cheapskates don’t want to buy condoms but are nontheless sex crazed.
Or they love the feeling of seeing their newborn baby smile at them for the first time. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you can adequately provide for them why not? If you can’t take care of them it’s ridiculous to bring them into the world. But that reasoning doesn’t seem to be true in the real world.

wundayatta's avatar

I would like to point out that we just hit 7 billion a few days ago. It was on NPR.

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