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PoiPoi's avatar

Why do us humans have to reproduce, since it's causing overpopulation?

Asked by PoiPoi (274points) May 20th, 2008

I’m thinking about having children when I’m an adult in the future. But after watching videos about the horrible effects of overpopulation on earth at Youtube, I’m having second thoughts about it. Should we not have children, so the earth can thrive along with other living organisms, accept us? Should we all commit suicide or abort our children for the the survival of the earth and not the human species? I can go on forever about this MAJOR issue about humans if we were meant to be created or not meant to be created in the first place. Why be alive, if we only ruined everything we ever discovered, consumed it for our own sustenance, and never reciprocated anything back, that would REALLY BENEFIT THIS PLANET?! I seriously hate being a human right now! What is your opinion on this?

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19 Answers

sndfreQ's avatar

IMHO, you may be watching too many videos…

Seriously, that’s sounds like a lot of frustration and anxiety; realize that knowledge is power; the best thing you can do to come into knowledge is to learn a variety of viewpoints and perspectives about the world and its problems. College may be a good source for this kind of information gathering.

Hopefully, there isn’t a serious dogma that is at the source of that negativity, but aside from education, I believe it’s important to seek advice from experts in a variety of fields to gain clarity.

Lastly, consider the possibility that there may be some underlying cause for your anxiety that may be closer to you (on a personal level) than the ‘universality’ of your concern over the human condition.

Perchik's avatar

In nature, species that overpopulate run out of food/room and eventually the large numbers die off, until there’s an equilibrium. Humans are animals too.

marinelife's avatar

To answer the actual question posed: Biological imperative (or it’s all in the genes).

To respond to the attached rant, whew, consider a chill pill. There is good with the bad. If you don’t reproduce, it does not help problems of overpopulation in poorer nations. Rather than commit suicide, why not work for the causes you support? Why not work to educate people to care for the planet? I don’t believe the situation is hopeless. There is a lot of good in human beings. Your great caring about these issues at a young age is an example of that.

DJM's avatar

We are programed to reproduce. In biological terms, it is the primary reason for our existence.

Mtl_zack's avatar

i agree with perchick. everything will balance out in the end. now, with so many diseases spread around the world, even more so that we have more options to travel to different places. the other organisms also help: the mad cow disease, or the bird flu are good examples of this because humans have caused these infections and now its biting us in the ass. we thought it would benefit us, without us giving anything back but we were so wrong. people are learning slowly, but still its progress.

nikipedia's avatar

Humans don’t “have” to reproduce. We choose to. If you don’t want to participate, don’t. I don’t think I will.

As for humans ruining the earth etc—why is the earth so great, anyway? I mean that as an honest question. Why is it “wrong” for us to harm the earth? What makes anything “wrong”?

These are big questions you’re grappling with—keep asking them—I hope you find some answers that satisfy you eventually.

marinelife's avatar

@poipoi Off topic, but I love your avatar pic.

Mtl_zack's avatar

well, i believe that there are always 3 options to answer a question, not just yes and no. so, one person might say its bad to hurt the earth because its the only one we have within our grasp. another person might say its bad to hurt the earth because their belief system says that a higher being put us here for a reason. someone else might say that this reason that the other guy is talking about is to be distructive. some people might think its good to take advantage of the planet because they say that its here for us to take from.

as for the reproduction, i believe it to be necassary because if every person thinks that they dont have to, then who would continue this species? would there be controlled test tube babies that scientists make a certain amount every month?

believe it or not, humans are smack in the middle of the food chain. if we die, then there would be a surge in the population of cows and livestock and edible plants. the cows would require more grass to graze and then certain insects will die, then birds will fall from the sky and then everything spirals out of control. if everyone on earth had this idea to commit suicide to save the earth, the earth would be in much greater danger.

jstringham21's avatar

Humans will never stop having unprotected sex. It’s just too awesome.

susanc's avatar

kevbo is crafting a response and it will be excellent. It always is. That’s why I lurve him.

Like Niki said, we don’t have to reproduce. Most people do, but lots of us don’t. I never did.
Instead I helped raise some children who needed an additional adult. I didn’t do that good a job,
but I didn’t do that bad a job either. They grew up and they’re great. One of them has
a great little baby. I can’t control what she decides to do in 20 years or so. I hope there’s a beautiful world for her when the time comes. I hope it’s not just a rotting
panorama of cow corpses. But I don’t think cataclysm happens that quickly.
Things are changing. We’re stupid, we don’t know what to do, and the “things” will probably kill a lot of us. So? Everyone that’s born will die sometime.
Yes, it’ll “balance out” somehow. We can take all the personal responsibility we want, and we’ll still never be in control. But it’s better to take the responsibility anyway.

kevbo's avatar

If I can add one thought to your internal debate, it is this: if you listen to your heart and do what you feel is fulfilling for you, the world will benefit; if you act out of fear, anger, pessimism, or cynicism, the world will suffer.

Two ways (not the only ways, mind you) of looking at the world are through the lenses of scarcity and abundance. Scarcity means there isn’t enough air, water, food, clothing, shelter and love. Abundance means there are plenty of those things to go around. Obviously, we are bombarded by messages of scarcity. Scarcity sells; it’s hard to make a buck when there’s abundance. Is scarcity real or perception? Is abundance real or perception? I don’t know. I do know which feels better and makes me a happier person. When you personally encounter a happier person, how does that affect you? How nice would it be if you were like that for someone else.

You say you feel hate about being human. Is it fair to say you are angry? A quote I don’t remember often enough is “anger is fuel.” Anger is one emotion that drives you to recognize changes that you need made and gives you the determination to do
it. From your question, you pose a couple of solutions. But will any of those solutions bring you happiness and a sense of purpose? Or, can you believe that there are other solutions that would feel better to pursue, perhaps those that will make use of your talents and gifts. Can you think of something you can do on a small scale to make a difference or research possibilities?

In Buddhism, there is a concept of taking refuge in the Buddha. In Christianity, it’s putting yourself in God’s hands. Another option is to choose abundance. It’s okay to offer up your concerns to a higher power in order to feel better. In return, it is right to do your best to bring this sense of peace to others, both through your example and your works.

delirium's avatar

I want to have children. But I believe in zero population growth so two kids is my maximum.

susanc's avatar

But del. If you have 2, and the person you have them with has, say, 1 from his previous marriage, and….. his ex goes on to have 2 with someone who already had 3…..

Be practical. Real zero population growth requires people who can imagine it to have no children, and also to kill as many horrible people as possible. And
adopt their children.
... And sterilize them.
See jstringham21 above. Everyone else is just going to keep on breeding
as fast as they can, because it’s true – it’s the best.

delirium's avatar

Well, if my partner had already had kids I’d ammend my plan appropriately. :)

I’m all for forced sterilization after five kids or so…

kevbo's avatar

I read somewhere that 2.2 is the sustainable total fertility rate, although maybe it’s just for industrialized nations. The wiki page on worldwide total fertility rates by country is pretty eye opening.

Zaku's avatar

It is entirely possible for humans to stop threatening to wipe themselves and many other species out, if we transform our thinking so we’re centered on having all species survive, and not on the pattern of constantly increasing production of everything including ourselves.

Note that another major function of population growth is how old people are when they reproduce, also since people don’t die when they reproduce.

If you can raise children to be responsible and committed to a wonderful healthy world for all species, rather than how to consume as much as possible, and who will pass on that tradition, I’m all for you doing so… though not too many, too soon, please.

stephen's avatar

thats all right if ur not interested in baby but just baby-produced things :] like u cant force a gay couple to produce a baby!

JLeslie's avatar

If you want to be a mom, but don’t want to add to the population, adopt.

TheCreative's avatar

Maybe you should adopt?

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