Thread: Abortion
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:04 AM   #217
Stephen Kahn
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Confused Who says there are too many humans?

Thank you, Michael for your interesting and informative reply. We live in an age where we are hugely ambivalent among conflicting memes such as “the right to have privacy” and “information wants to be free” and we have the right to have freedom as individual agents and the desire to have society protect us against natural threats (earthquakes, storms, volcanoes, epidemics [ebola] and human threats (criminals, political and religious threats, dangerously insane people). I now lean toward “transparency,” so I will tell you that I live on a large populated island off the West Coast of Washington state. I am 70 years old, retired from a variety of jobs (in education more than anything else), married for 49 years, and now participate in Toastmasters (as I once taught high school public speaking) and volunteer for the local law enforcement agency (as I've had a lot of experiences with crime and criminals, including having my life impacted by three murders). Which is probably far more than you wanted to know, so please don't think about what I told you ever again.

You sensibly probably don't want to tell me anything more about yourself than “Michael” as a first name. Perhaps judicious; for all I know you are the head of a Buddhist “sleeper terrorist cell” from Myanmar (aka Burma).

One of the great puzzles of human life is “nature” (our genes) vs. “nurture” (our social conditioning from parents, personal circles, and culture) as the 2 main ingredients of our identity.

My memory is that at the age of 10, I read the entire Judeo-Christian Bible (getting stuck at Revelation and saying, “This is crazy talk” and closing the book.) I then said to myself (or so I delude myself into remembering), “This is either the product of the entity known as “God,” or it is something invented by human beings. It sure seems to have the fingerprints of human beings all over it.”

About the age of 35 I came to the realization that I have the “spiritual makeup” of a religious fanatic. Except I don't believe in “God.” So I am a fanatical atheist.

From what you have written, I would say that you belong to a slightly different “denomination” of atheism than I do. Just as I know a zealous Lutheran minister who is on friendly and argumentative terms with a Catholic priest, atheists of different flavors can communicate on friendly terms without getting “bent out of shape” about differences of opinion. It would be boring if we all thought alike, would it not!?

Population limitation is an interesting and difficult puzzle. It's obvious to me that there are “too many” human beings. As it was obvious to the 18th Century English cleric Malthus, who wrote "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man"

I recall having a vigorous argument with some evangelical Christians. First they told me that abortion is a reprehensible sin. “Worse than murder?” I asked them. “Yes!” They vehemently responded. They could not articulate a reason. I said, “About a third of human pregnancies end by miscarriage. Isn't that an “Act of God,” a murder inflicted by the God you say is loving and kind?” They began to sputter with incoherent rage. I learned that most people decide what they want to believe at a fairly early age and then spend the rest of their lives rationalizing and defending their beliefs. The Evangelicals were also vehement that arguments for limiting human population were absurd.

I came to some conclusions about why they wee so emotional. First, some of them had desperately wanted to have children and failed in their attempts, often by miscarriage. As they loved a “God” [who to me is obviously and fortunately imaginary because if “IT” existed, it would be clearly EVIL] rather than hating God for causing their miscarriages they DISPLACED their emotions into hating people who enjoyed sexual frolicking without begging permission from God (i.e. by becoming fanatical Christians and marrying another Christian) to enjoy sex.

Second, while Karmic religions are mostly “genetic” (inherited by being born into a Hindu/Buddhist family); Abrahmic religions are mostly “viral” spread by memes. Spreading ones favorite memes can easily become an addiction. Compared to other religions, strange as it seems, Christianity and Islam have some advantages over a lot of other popular religions (everything, even nonsense, is relative). The “easy pickings” of viral religion spreading are now gone, so most Christians are limited to indoctrinating their children. It's a natural drive to reproduce, but sensible people limit it. My wife and I have only one child, and she and her wife have only one child (with two homosexual “daddies” naturally). So we are doing our bit to limit population.

Even here, there are problems. If you limit population growth to aggressively, as both China and Japan seem to have done, you then get out of balance population cohorts, with lots of elderly people and not enough young people to support them. I've probably put you to sleep, so I will stop and hope you reply.

I will finish with one warning. I am going senile. The politically correct term is “demented.” So if nothing I write makes any sense, you are certainly correct.
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