Is Population Control Ethical?

Is Population Control Ethical?
Belgarath
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Posted Nov 2, 2009 - 12:45 PM:
Subject: Is Population Control Ethical?
I read a post earlier and a few gems that caught my attention appeared. Obviously the title is one of those gems. What do you think people? Personally, I do not see it as unethical. On the other hand, if a country does not have population control and then decides it is going to slam it down peoples throats without the slightest say, then I would see that as unethical. Anybodies dream of so many children above the limit will be ruined on the spot. And so on.
atightropewalker
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Posted Nov 2, 2009 - 3:22 PM:

Well it is certainly not universally ethical because I for one don't believe it ethical. That's more because I don't like the idea of a state interfering with your own personal constitution and because it seems inherently unfair that we would trap many people in this state system and then just by their own bad luck they are in a country with a one-birth policy. And that's not to mention the many unethical events that happen after. Now I know states are not even but pragmatism is something to aim for - a faulty system is not something to recreate elsewhere. But presumably some people do find it ethical, or ethical in certain instances so what preumably matters is the strength of the argument of the minority against the majority.
Ionakani
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Posted Nov 2, 2009 - 3:45 PM:

I don't see how any instance of population control could be ethical...
because who decides how many people are too many?

I dislike the fact that a forest was cleared out near my home to make way for apartments and if I had my way I’d send them all elsewhere. Replant the forest and bring back the deer. But that wouldn’t be an ethical decision just a selfish one...
jsidelko
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Posted Nov 2, 2009 - 3:46 PM:

For many reasons, I think coercive birth control is unethical. However, I do approve of a reward system of birth control. For example, promising couples that they can have a nice 42” flat screen TV and unlimited cable TV plus Internet service as long as they desist from having children. Promise the husband he can have a five dollar refund for every used condom he submits for a refund. Promise the wife free cosmic surgery and a clothing certificate for every year she remains unpregnant. Or find other rewarding things they can have if they don't have children. These rewards could even be doubled for low IQ people.

atightropewalker
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Posted Nov 2, 2009 - 7:01 PM:

jsidelko wrote:
These rewards could even be doubled for low IQ people.




I really dislike this bit. (In fact I dont like the idea of incentives: give people the necessary evidence and, as there is no right answer, let them choose for themselves.) Firstly it seems you are treating them as if they are less human, should high IQ people receive fewer incentives. Where do you draw the line? For me IQ has no bearing on your wish to have children. Increasing the incentive for those with a low IQ goes from discouraging them to buying them off. If they can't understand the implications of having children then what gives you the right to use that fact to coerce them into your way of thinking? This is a personal matter: it must apply equally to everyone, so they can decide for themselves, not someone else for them.

Edited by atightropewalker on Nov 2, 2009 - 7:07 PM
keda
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Posted Nov 2, 2009 - 7:59 PM:

Everyone can individually choose their own limit, that is how many children they decide to have. The question of sustainability is an individual one: how many children can I sustain? If person A has more resources than person B then person A could potentially support more children than person B. If you are low on resources it would be prudent of you to not have many children, in general, people have incentive to not have more children than they can support as well as incentive to find better ways to support more children. These are however eliminated when the issue is seen from a social perspective rather than individual; If the society will take care of the children you can't, then there is no incentive to restrict the number of children you have. What is the solution to the problem? Respect and enforce private property laws.
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Posted Nov 3, 2009 - 10:16 AM:

Ionakani wrote:

because who decides how many people are too many?


That isn't the problem, the problem is how many is too many? At what point will humans have had to many children and not enough food to feed them all?
What is Earth's carrying capacity for humans? There doesn't need to be anyone to decide, the decision will have been already made when the problem is beyond handling, when people will have to starve to death because there isn't enough food to go around.

No one knows but we may find out in our lifetimes. Of course though there are estimates of the carrying capacity of earth, but nothing is certain. When the answer is attained, I have a feeling people wont mind population control so much anymore, but by that time the Earth will have changed dramatically in many other ways I would think.


As for addressing the problem now, I say address it where it is a problem. Don't worry about the birthrate of industrialized nations, worry about population control in Africa and Asia.
I think the best way to solve the issue is to educate people and to give them contraceptives. Let them know why having too many kids will be harmful to themselves and others; give them the alternative with contraceptives. I think this proactive step can easily be taken without government intervention if it were taken as a serious cause, and it already is a serious cause and is already happening independently within multiple charity organizations, just not with the kind of money behind it that you may find UNICEF has (especially now that USAID has stopped providing contraceptives).

Edited by felixthecat on Nov 3, 2009 - 10:27 AM
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Posted Nov 3, 2009 - 10:24 AM:

Well, humans use population control with other animals on this planet and often claim it is ethical. If this is ethical, where is the difference? Aren't humans just another animal species?

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GREG
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Posted Nov 3, 2009 - 10:30 AM:

atightropewalker wrote:
Well it is certainly not universally ethical because I for one don't believe it ethical. That's more because I don't like the idea of a state interfering with your own personal constitution and because it seems inherently unfair that we would trap many people in this state system and then just by their own bad luck they are in a country with a one-birth policy. And that's not to mention the many unethical events that happen after. Now I know states are not even but pragmatism is something to aim for - a faulty system is not something to recreate elsewhere. But presumably some people do find it ethical, or ethical in certain instances so what presumably matters is the strength of the argument of the minority against the majority.


the idea of a state interfering with your own personal constitution....
It would irreversably mean that the state can use you in any way to make sure you can be as productive as possible, meaning your state would be supporting space flight, even sacrifice people for the greater good, which in this case is productivity/procreation.

that would eventually solve your second point : a state inherently unfair trapping many people in one-birth plicy or people control
But what if politics can't or doesn't want to make that choice, you as farmer are trapped and will adapt your ethics accordingly

And I'm not mentioning the many unethical events that will happen to reach this flight into space goal either.
If you as farmer can't choose a, you will choose b or a b+ as the strength of the argument of the minority against the majority will influence you to do so.
atightropewalker
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Posted Nov 4, 2009 - 8:15 AM:

longfun wrote:


the idea of a state interfering with your own personal constitution....
It would irreversably mean that the state can use you in any way to make sure you can be as productive as possible, meaning your state would be supporting space flight, even sacrifice people for the greater good, which in this case is productivity/procreation.

that would eventually solve your second point : a state inherently unfair trapping many people in one-birth plicy or people control
But what if politics can't or doesn't want to make that choice, you as farmer are trapped and will adapt your ethics accordingly

And I'm not mentioning the many unethical events that will happen to reach this flight into space goal either.
If you as farmer can't choose a, you will choose b or a b+ as the strength of the argument of the minority against the majority will influence you to do so.


I firstly want to make clear that I don't want such a state.

So if a state can interfere with your personal constitution then the state can use you in any way? We assume the greater good is productivity/procreation? But these are not exclusively linked. Too much procreation and productivity can drop for a number of reasons.

So we assume the state wants more procreation? In which case there presumably isn't a one-child policy? So if you are in a state with a one-child policy would you change your ethics accordingly? Some may but many ethics are not based on the decisions of my state - nor did I even consider my states stance in many cases. Now I know in many much-less liberal states (as I see it) there isn't the same freedom of ethics but that does not mean people do not object. Nor does it make the will of the majority or minority ethically acceptable.

For this imaginary state to acheive space flight will come at great cost? As will the other results of such a state presumably? Am I to assume that a state without such interfering policies wont make the great cost to acheive these things so won't acheive them? In any case in this imaginary state if people can't choose an ethic that fits that of the state then they will choose another based on the arguments of the minority against the majority? This as I said may be true but I don't think most people choose their ethcis acoording to majority or minority favouring. I do realise I was a bit unclear on the last sentence but I mean the state as I see it will proceed with the majority (whatever that may be) unless the minority can provide a strong enough argument. Do I think it fair that we are essentially trapped in our respective states (nations)? To have things forced upon you that you don't agree just because your are in the borders whereas if you could go elsewhere it isn't so. Not really.
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