Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

With automation eliminating jobs, and the price of everything going through the roof, why are people still encouraged to breed like rabbits?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (20670points) November 20th, 2017

Some people are going to be offended by this question.
But please think about it, with all that is happening do we really need to keep growing the population of the planet at the rate we are?

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21 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

They are not. You are presenting a false premise. There are not specific “don’t have more than two children” messages being baldly promoted, but the awareness of overpopulation is high, and most of the subliminal messages in our society indicate that having one or two offspring is the norm. In fact, in normal conversations, if a couple has three or more children it is now considered to be a lot, as opposed to when I was growing up and most of my peers had at least two, often more, siblings.

Maybe if you live in a fairly rural area, this doesn’t apply as much, but families are definitely shrinking.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I still get from family and church ,that go fourth and breed like rabbits message.
I would like to think that people are getting the message that don’t have more than two in this day and age, but you yourself that message is being badly promoted, why is it being badly promoted?

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canidmajor's avatar

No, @SQUEEKY2 , I said baldly promoted. not “badly”.

canidmajor's avatar

Where are you @SQUEEKY2? Is your church in a more rural or a more urban environment?
(I covered that in my first post). A church is less likely to take a discretionary viewpoint on family planning, unless it is very progressive.
If you notice popular TV and advertising you will see that the two child model is prevalent.

As for your family, you have repeatedly said that they disapprove of your decision to remain childless, which indicates to me that they may be of an attitude that promotes larger families. However, they are not a good sampling of the general attitudes in developed areas.

seawulf575's avatar

The poor have bred prodigiously throughout history. I think, sometimes, it is that when you have no money, you cannot afford hobbies so you have sex. Some churches believe that all life is sacred…it is a gift from God, not to be tampered with. So they present it that way. Birth Control is a way of interfering with God’s plan, so to speak. This isn’t a new phenomenon though.

JLeslie's avatar

Some religions and religious sects and/or specific clergy still very much promote having bunches of babies. It helps to ensure the ongoing life of the church. Keeps the “business” going, and jobs intact. It’s not that sinister for all clergy promoting it, most probably believe it is thevway God wants it. One priest told my friends congregation that the best thing you can give your children is siblings. Better than college or more material things. Actually said college. I’m pretty sure most Catholic Priests wouldn’t word it that way, but this particular one did.

The state likes babies to be born (who are not on welfare) because systems like social security rely on young people paying in to be able to pay older people who are collecting. Zero or negative population growth is a big worry for many countries. That’s part of the reason Western Europe is so generous with their maternity leave policy—they need more babies born.

Having said all of that, I really don’t feel an overall push in America to have children, especially not lots of children. The typical set up is two children in most places I’ve lived, and I think people who have 3, and especially 4 or more, are often viewed as having “a lot of children” and stereotyped.

I remember a Q where a jelly was upset that everyone assumes her family is Catholic or military, because she was one of 4 kids I think? I don’t remember the exact count. Might have been more. She hated the assumption, but her family was Catholic and military! I’m not sure why she was so upset about fitting into the stereotype? Before that Q I didn’t know that was a stereotype of the military, I only had that stereotype for Catholics.

Not to mention Christianity in general is obsessed with the pro-life schtick, and they have gone from shaming pregnant girls to being all hearts and rainbows that a new life is coming into this world. I think part of the result is a cultural shift towards more children in certain circles, or at least the message that children are wonderful. They are wonderful, but deliberately planning them in today’s world makes more sense than just letting things happen.

Muad_Dib's avatar

You may be happy to know that it’s recently been reported that Millennials are causing a “baby bust” – we’re breeding at below-replacement rates.

I count in that – our family is at net 50% replacement.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Wrong assumption on your part.
Everything after the assumption is MEH !

LostInParadise's avatar

The threat posed by automation is independent of population size. The jobs of a small population can be automated just as easily as the jobs of a larger population. In general,

I find the specters of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering to be rather frightening. They will force us to think about who and what we are in ways that we may not be prepared to handle.

Population growth strains our resources. At some point we are going to run out of something. It may be fresh water or just living space. One way or another the world population will reach a maximum. It would be nice to have a plan in place to reach a point below the theoretical maximum, which would allow people to live comfortably.

kritiper's avatar

I think this is a very good question! I’ve pondered possible answers myself…

SQUEEKY2's avatar

When people say I am wrong in my post, and the message out there now is to have less children, I have heard that message, but if that is the case, than why in the last thirty to forty years has the earths population doubled ?
I have no doubt some people have gotten the message and have had only two or less children,but again why is the planet’s birth rate still upwards of around 90 million or so?
When the death rate isn’t even near that.
So to say we are not encouraged to breed like rabbits, fine but again why are we then?

canidmajor's avatar

Obviously no message is going to be received by people who do not have the ability to receive it. The destitute in Mumbai are not receiving the message. The groups that are breeding so rampantly are not the ones being educated as to the problems of overpopulation.
Thanks to advances in medical care, people in developed countries are living much longer, thus skewing the equation.
Overpopulation is quite a new concept in the grand overview of 10,000 years of civilization.

Your use of the all-encompassing “we” is inappropriate.

kritiper's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 My father was born in 1928. In 1930, the world’s population was said to be 2 billion. When he died in 2006, the world’s population was nearly 7.5 billion. It more than tripled in 75 of his years! Consider where it would be, if it continued at this rate, for the next 250 years??? (I am agreeing with you, not dissing you. Just so you don’t misunderstand…)

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@canidmajor When the planet’s birth rate is 90 some million I don’t think encompassing “WE” is inappropriate at all.
I am not arguing that some do get the message about smaller families, but that is it.
Overpopulation might be a new concept, but it is a very real one.

canidmajor's avatar

@SQUEEKY2, I think you missed my points. First, who’s going to tell the vast majority of grossly undereducated masses who do most of the rampant breeding about the problems of overpopulation? And second, my point in mentioning the newness of the concept of overpopulation in human history is that we have been biologically programmed, as a species, to reproduce. The drive is strong. Overcoming it with logic and reason is not a natural function of our biology.

kritiper's avatar

@canidmajor and @SQUEEKY2 Forward, mankind, into the abyss!

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, is this question about the whole world? Or, just the US? If you are talking about the world then I double down on religion as being the main group that reinforces lots of babies. Also, add in the terrorists, and those fighting for power. More numbers gives you military strength and voting strength. Look at Israel. If it stays a democracy, over time the Arabs living in Israel will have bigger and bigger numbers, and more and more representatives in government.

Look at armies and rebels around the world who grab young boys and make them fight in wars. You gotta produce these boys to enlist them in your cause. You need the women to produce them too, so girls do have some use also. You know, birthing babies, cooking, cleaning house, sex.

Pinguidchance's avatar

Lettuce not forget that conspiracy theorists rabbit on at least as cogently about the less than squeaky clean motives of robotic hutch manufacturers.

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