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We need more babies – it’s a stark economic fact

Priests must combat ‘over-population’ agenda by preaching on marriage and openness to new life

By on Wednesday, 26 June 2013

'Politicians have bought in to the over-population agenda for too long'

'Politicians have bought in to the over-population agenda for too long'

The headline for Charles Moore’s latest column in The Telegraph read: We need more babies if we’re to bounce back. He has written on this subject before – as have I. It is hard to avoid it as a rather stark economic fact of our society (and throughout Europe), though our politicians maintain a studious silence on the topic. Why is this? Probably because they have bought in to the “over-population” agenda for too long, as well as being cowed by the militant feminists who would shout out, “Who are you to tell us to stay at home and have babies when we could be out in the workplace, enhancing our careers?”

Moore was reviewing a book by Stephen D King titled, When the Money Runs Out. At first I thought this was the horror writer Stephen King, producing a new kind of horror story; actually Stephen D King is group chief economist and global head of economics and asset allocation at HSBC. Nonetheless, he is describing a kind of demographic horror story, not as dramatic and page-turning as his namesake’s, but probably worse in the long run. “In the long run we are all dead”, observed another economist, Keynes. Christians, naturally enough, reject this pessimism and believe that in the long run (the short run for some of us) we will all fall into the hands of the living God. This can be a terrible thing; we human beings on this planet need a wake-up call.

King’s gloom, Moore writes, is justified by factors that are longer-term than current policy errors; “Perhaps the most important of these is the refusal of the West to breed. The baby boomers…convinced themselves that over-population threatened the health and wealth of the world.”

Moore goes on: “For 50 years now, European culture has developed the idea that the problem is too many people…In cultural terms, the celebration of contraception, homosexuality and euthanasia all represent this trend…So do the Greens, who see the productions of mankind as the enemy of the earth, and attack economic growth without seeming to realise that they are thus advocating impoverishment.”

Moore comments that King’s analysis of our economic situation is “as bleak as anyone dare be who wants to hold down a job in a bank.” He suggests mordantly that if King lost his job, “he would walk round the streets with a sandwich board, saying ‘The end of the world is nigh; flee from the wrath to come.’” It’s a joke – but a black one. Moore doesn’t include abortion in his trio of deadly cultural attitudes, but it should be there as part of the culture of death in which we now live. Also, in a lapse of good taste, he uses the word “breed” – which plays into the hands of the anti-natalists who used to speak of Catholics dismissively as “breeding like rabbits.” Humans are not like animals, which do indeed “breed”. Men and women are endowed with dignity; they “procreate” – that is, they participate in the creativity of God himself, who gave them the wise and loving directive to “Go forth and multiply.”

What is to be done in this dire situation? Catholics should already know the answer from the magisterial teachings of Humanae Vitae and other encyclicals such as Evangelium Vitae. Our bishops and priests need to preach, and preach often, on marriage and openness to new life, and to oppose the contraceptive mentality which is as pervasive among Catholics, sadly, as among the general population. If we are to have the popular staple of justice and peace homilies, let them be on the justice owed to the next generation, already struggling to support a growing aged population, and on the peace that will follow a renewed recognition that we are meant to be a vigorous sign of contradiction to the culture surrounding us – not a pale and weedy imitation of it.

  • Jonathan West

    As was pointed out to you, the populations of mammalian species are
    self-regulating in their size relative to available resources

    That I’m afraid is pure baloney. Mammalian populations are not “self-regulating”, they are regulated by means of such things as the young dying of starvation.

    furthermore the world population is set to stabilise in about 2050, and to start declining in about 2070.

    Even if that were so, (and if you even look at the wikipedia entry in the subject you will find that there a range of different estimates) it can only come about by more deaths from natural or unnatural causes, or by people deciding to have fewer children.

    Since you are apparently not in favour of the latter option, then I can only presume that you are comfortable with the former.

  • Isaac

    So you think posting a definition of a word, with a quote from a medical article is rubbish? That it confuses things?

    I think it confuses YOU!!! It pushes against that cozy fact-free bubble you live in.

  • TreenonPoet

    My first two paragraphs were directly relevant to Irenaeus of New York’s first paragraph apart from the bit about relativism which was half relevant and half attempting to stifle an anticipated future objection. My third paragraph was directly relevant to Irenaeus of New York’s second paragraph. So your accusation of irrelevancy is not relevant to my comment.

    The verbiage seemed necessary because the accusations that were raised in Irenaeus of New York’s first paragraph are basically stock anti-atheisms that have been raised and refuted again and again on this site. If you dispute the refutations, present a logical argument. “Verbiage” is not an argument.

  • TreenonPoet

    The question was ”…what should the succeeding regime do if they cannot immediately secure sufficient food?”.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    then I can only presume that you are comfortable with the former

    Massive numbers of baby boomers dying of old age ?

    There’s nothing unnatural about this.

    … and …

    That I’m afraid is pure baloney

    Nope, lack of resources typically leads to a decreased rate of birth in typical mammalian species. Apparently.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    My point was … “hypothetical suggestions about what might happen in certain scenarios can only be seen as valid where there appears to be a strong link between these scenarios and the contents of reality

  • TreenonPoet

    I would never have guessed that that was your point. There is a strong link between the hypothetical scenario and reality, and I said what that link was, and I’ll expand on it a little because it is relevant to the relationship between population and the economy. Mao encouraged population growth. The population nearly doubled, but agriculture lagged behind, causing food shortage. After Mao, the one-child policy was introduced for economic reasons, including unemployment and the availability of natural resources. There has been an increase in agricultural production, but at the expense of water resources.

    Perhaps I could ask a different question since you evade my previous question: What effect do you think the removal of the one-child policy would have on China’s ground water problem?

  • $24570317

    Thanks Isaac. You have absolutely nothing about which to apologise.

    I’ve heard of the SN website and must dip in more.
    It’s important to do our best about some things if we can – particularly if we think we have some little knowledge about it – even if we’re mistaken about that.

    I don’t think I can go on spending nearly as much time here as I’ve done recently (partly because I’m a bit immobile at present). It’s giving me nightmares.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The definition of “contraception” and the definition of “natural family planning” are, unsurprisingly, non-identical.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Are you surprised that the implementation of overtly atheistic politics on a large scale is productive of such humanitarian disasters ?

    Both of these extremes are incompatible with the teachings of a humanist Catholicism that I would cleave to, and frankly you’re just trying to start discussion of yet another silly strawman argument.

    I condemn both Maoism and the one-child policy, as well as the majority of Chinese Communist Party implementations of policy, as being directly productive of human and humanitarian misery, oppression, and suffering.

    If you liked, I could draw some gratuitous comparisons between your positions and those of the German Nazi Party, and then ask you to defend them. Would you like me to do that ? Bearing in mind that this is exactly what you expect me to do with regard to the policies of communist, atheist China ?

  • Isaac

    Periodic abstinence, which catholic endorsed NFP uses, is a form of contraception.

    Offhand can I ask what that bubble you’re in is made of? You could make a fortune if you patented it. The military are always looking for impenetrable materials.

  • Isaac

    “Natural Family Planning is ALWAYS open to childbirth ; contraception seeks to actively prevent it.”

    So no woman who used NFP has had an abortion? No woman who used (your personal and rather unique definition of) contraception has carried a pregnancy to full term?

    I not surprised you’re getting confused. You’re forgetting to add to your caveats, such as….

    NFP…. when practised by catholics, who perfectly fit my idea of catholics, so of course exactly follow catholic dogma….is always open to childbirth; contraception…. despite the actual meaning of the word and the fact that it has no relevancy to pregnancy beyond preventing it….seeks to actively prevent it.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    So no woman who used NFP has had an abortion?

    This would indeed be a contradiction in terms.

    A woman who uses natural family planning and becomes pregnant is a woman who will give birth, because accepting the possibility of pregnancy and childbirth is part and parcel of natural family planning.

    (your personal and rather unique definition of) contraception

    LMAO

  • TreenonPoet

    (1)
    Just what is atheistic about a policy to expand population? (Don’t try telling me that because Mao was an atheist, all his policies must be a result of atheism. I repeatedly ask this sort of question on this site and nobody can give a satisfactory answer. The ‘logic’ seems to be that Mao was bad, Mao was an atheist, therefore all atheists are bad, or Mao’s policies were bad, Mao was an atheist, therefore atheistic policies are bad!) I am an athesist and I do not want to expand the population. Not only does one not contradict the other, but both are based on rational thinking. Mao’s policy was irrational, and as such was more closely aligned with religious thinking.

    (2)
    ‘Humanist Catholicism’ is an oxymoron.

    I am trying to discuss one of the greatest threats to civilisation (over-population). Catholicism exacerbates that threat, not only by irresponsibly dismissing that threat as a strawman (in effect), but by encouraging the proliferation of humans, encouraging complacency, opposing science, and so on.

    (3)
    You say that you condemn the one-child policy, yet you do not say what your alternative would have been at the time it was introduced.

    (4)
    My comparisons are not gratuitous. They are real-world examples that illustrate a blindingly obvious basic principle (obvious to rational people that is) that a population cannot use finite resources at a faster rate than it replenishes them forever. You just can’t face this fact because it conflicts with Catholicism. Catholicism outlaws authoritarian, coercive measures by the state to control population. Since, as I explained, it is only the state that can be effective in controlling population, Catholicism implies a preference for mass starvation or war.

    However much you disagree with the policies that brought about the shortage of ground water in China, the situation is as it is. To say that one particular policy is wrong because you attribute the policy to Communism, or to atheism, is blind prejudice. But to not be able to accept that the ground water problem would be helped by authoritatively limiting the population is blind Catholicism.

  • Isaac

    You really are an interesting fellow.

    You do know that NFP can and is also practised by non-catholics and pro-choice couples? It’s only a contradiction in YOUR terms.
    Hope after this post you can re-attach your A, after it falling off again :)

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    You are confusing certain techniques as being the substance of natural family planning, whereas its substance is non-contraceptive and non-abortifacient by definition.

    Any woman resorting to abortion is a woman who has abandoned natural family planning, as well as being a woman deciding to murder a naturally conceived child.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

    That certain non-Catholics might decide to falsely describe as “natural family planning” such practices as are abhorrent to its most basic, underlying moral and spiritual principles is unsurprising given the extreme lack of Faith, Reason, and Ethics that is pervasive in our modern secularist and God-denying societies.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Just what is atheistic about a policy to expand population?

    The very notion of “population expansion” belongs to a political sphere that is foreign to religion — but you’re just (willfully) misreading my comment, aren’t you.

    The ‘logic’ seems to be that Mao was bad, Mao was an atheist, therefore all atheists are bad, or Mao’s policies were bad, Mao was an atheist, therefore atheistic policies are bad!

    Ludicrous, and I have no desire to discuss such puerile suggestions.

    ‘Humanist Catholicism’ is an oxymoron

    Oh, what a load of rubbish !!!

    You say that you condemn the one-child policy, yet you do not say what your alternative would have been at the time it was introduced.

    The alternative would have been NOT to engage in forced sterilisations, NOT dragging pregnant women out of their homes and forcibly performing abortions on them and their babies, NOT imprisoning or executing those rebelling against forced sterilisation and forced abortion, and otherwise generally speaking NOT treating the population like so many cattle.

    My comparisons are not gratuitous

    Of course they are, and they are not effectively defended by reference to pro-abortionist propaganda that seems to have the Rothschild Foundation as its original source.

    Catholicism implies a preference for mass starvation or war

    What a load of complete pole-dancing orchids !!!

  • Jonathan West

    So, starving women have fewer (live) children. And that is the measure you think is appropriate for controlling the population.

  • TreenonPoet

    (1)
    You wrote earlier

    Are you surprised that the implementation of overtly atheistic politics on a large scale is productive of such humanitarian disasters ?

    The main humanitarian disaster that is relevant to the discussion is the famine that followed Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’, and the consequent unrest. You claim that this is a product of overtly atheistic politics. The policies that caused the famine were the deliberate attempt to expand the population coupled with idealistic interference with agriculture. Neither of these policies have anything to do with atheism, but they have a lot to do with blind pursuit of ideology. How can you write that the notion population expansion is foreign to religion when Francis Phillips, and many other Catholics, assert that God still wants us to go forth and multiply? I am not willfully misreading your comment.

    (2)
    Oh, what a load of rubbish !!!” is not an argument.

    (3)
    If you are saying that you would implement a one-child policy more humanely, then I would agree with you.

    (4)
    I have no idea what you mean by ”reference to pro-abortionist propaganda”. As I say, it is a blindingly obvious basic principle that a population cannot use finite resources at a faster rate than it replenishes them forever. That is not even the the latest scientific position, it is a mathematical fact that any intelligent person ought to be able to work out for themselves. It is an inconvenient fact for Catholics, and I realise that religious belief entails the rejection of inconvenient facts, but that does not give Catholics the right to help bring about the destruction of civilisation (a humanitarian disaster for Catholics and non-Catholics alike).

    To ”Catholicism implies a preference for mass starvation or war” you respond with the non-argument ”What a load of complete pole-dancing orchids !!!” rather than addressing the reasons I gave for that conclusion. For your version of Catholicism I think that Jonathan West’s post (”So, starving women have fewer (live) children. And that is the measure you think is appropriate for controlling the population.”) backs up my assertion and I look forward to reading your response to him in the hope that you actually try to address his point.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I don’t think ANY measures whatsoever are “appropriate” for “controlling” the population, but it is foolish to try and replace the realities of Nature with whichever ideological fantasy.

    If you don’t want, can’t afford, etc., to have children, then don’t have sex.

    It’s not rocket science.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Neither of these policies have anything to do with atheism

    I see, so policies devised by atheists in an officially atheistic régime designed within the purpose of spreading an atheistic world-view and of killing off religion have “nothing to do with atheism” …

    … but they have a lot to do with blind pursuit of ideology

    That’s right : atheist ideology.

    when Francis Phillips, and many other Catholics, assert that God still wants us to go forth and multiply

    The fact that you have simply decided that one literalistic interpretation of this is the only valid one is as unsurprising as it is wrongful.

    The Catholic Church does NOT teach and has NEVER taught that everyone should get involved in some kind of sexual free-for-all for the purpose of giving birth to as many babies as is humanly feasible.

    The Church has ALWAYS taught that children should be born into environments where they can be properly taken care of ; this involves those not living in such environments, for whichever reason, to refrain from pregnancies by refraining from sex.

    But the Church also teaches that where pregnancies may occur, then everything must always be done to ensure the health and prosperity of the child, including intra-utero.

    True Catholicism meanwhile is intrinsically Humanist, in that Catholicism is ordered towards the welfare of each human individual, NOT towards the blanket concepts of modern technocrats who treat human populations like cattle.

    ”Oh, what a load of rubbish !!!” is not an argument

    Nor is the rubbish that it was a response to — as always, I refuse to discuss any blatant, rubbishy falsehoods as if they could be taken seriously.

    If you are saying that you would implement a one-child policy more humanely, then I would agree with you

    You will not succeed in engaging me in conversation by stubbornly pretending not to understand exactly what I mean, which is the exact opposite of the above BTW.

    I have no idea what you mean by ”reference to pro-abortionist propaganda”. As I say, it is a blindingly obvious basic principle that a population cannot use finite resources at a faster rate than it replenishes them forever. That is not even the the latest scientific position, it is a mathematical fact that any intelligent person ought to be able to work out for themselves.

    The ideology that you are defending is the invention of the Rothschild Foundation in the late 19th or early 20th century, and this Foundation has been spreading this propaganda throughout the world ever since — in every little detail, including the unreasoned praise of the barbaric Chinese one-child policy, and in the promotion of contraception, abortion, and homosexuality as positives.

    It is NOT “a blindingly obvious basic principle”, it is a series of false proposals whose only underlying goal is to ensure that there can continue to be enough resources available to provide for the continued existence of the wealth and privilege of those that have created this propaganda in the first place. Read Plato, Republic.

    Book II : But, said Glaucon, interposing, you have not given them a relish to their meal.

    True, I replied, I had forgotten; of course they must have a relish-salt, and olives, and cheese, and they will boil roots and herbs such as country people prepare; for a dessert we shall give them figs, and peas, and beans; and they will roast myrtle-berries and acorns at the fire, drinking in moderation. And with such a diet they may be expected to live in peace and health to a good old age, and bequeath a similar life to their children after them.

    Yes, Socrates, he said, and if you were providing for a city of
    pigs, how else would you feed the beasts?

    But what would you have, Glaucon? I replied.

    Why, he said, you should give them the ordinary conveniences of life. People who are to be comfortable are accustomed to lie on sofas, and dine off tables, and they should have sauces and sweets in the modern style.

    Yes, I said, now I understand: the question which you would have me consider is, not only how a State, but how a luxurious State is created; and possibly there is no harm in this, for in such a State we shall be more likely to see how justice and injustice originate. In my opinion the true and healthy constitution of the State is the one which I have described. But if you wish also to see a State at fever heat, I have no objection. For I suspect that many will not be satisfied with the simpler way of way They will be for adding sofas, and tables, and other furniture; also dainties, and perfumes, and incense, and courtesans, and cakes, all these not of one sort only, but in every variety; we must go beyond the necessaries of which I was at first speaking, such as houses, and clothes, and shoes: the arts of the painter and the embroiderer will have to be set in motion, and gold and ivory and all sorts of materials must be procured.

    True, he said.

    Then we must enlarge our borders; for the original healthy State is no longer sufficient. Now will the city have to fill and swell with a multitude of callings which are not required by any natural want; such as the whole tribe of hunters and actors, of whom one large class have to do with forms and colours; another will be the votaries of music –poets and their attendant train of rhapsodists, players, dancers, contractors; also makers of divers kinds of articles, including women’s dresses. And we shall want more servants. Will not tutors be also in request, and nurses wet and dry, tirewomen and barbers, as well as confectioners and cooks; and swineherds, too, who were not needed and therefore had no place in the former edition of our State, but are needed now? They must not be forgotten: and there will be animals of many other kinds, if people eat them.

    Certainly.

    And living in this way we shall have much greater need of physicians than before?

    Much greater.

    And the country which was enough to support the original inhabitants will be too small now, and not enough?

    Quite true.

    Then a slice of our neighbours’ land will be wanted by us for pasture and tillage, and they will want a slice of ours, if, like ourselves, they exceed the limit of necessity, and give themselves up to the unlimited accumulation of wealth?

    That, Socrates, will be inevitable.

    And so we shall go to war, Glaucon. Shall we not?

    Most certainly, he replied.

    Then without determining as yet whether war does good or harm, thus much we may affirm, that now we have discovered war to be derived from causes which are also the causes of almost all the evils in States, private as well as public.

  • Jonathan West

    I don’t think ANY measures whatsoever are “appropriate” for “controlling” the population

    Yes you do. You’ve just described the measures you think are appropriate a mere three hours ago in your reply to TreenonPoet. Allow me to quote you.

    The Church has ALWAYS taught that children should be born into environments where they can be properly taken care of ; this involves those not living in such environments, for whichever reason, to refrain from pregnancies by refraining from sex.

    So your answer is to have less sex. Specifically for poor or starving people to have less sex.

    In terms of preventing population growth, what is the difference between less sex and more contraception? And of there is no practical difference (as I think you will agree) what other reason is there for requiring less sex?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Yes you do

    NOPE

    Sexual abstinence is NOT a technique of “population control”.

    And of there is no practical difference (as I think you will agree)

    Wrong, and wrong.

    Sexual abstinence is an ascetic spiritual discipline NOT attempting to artificially inhibit fertility, NOT murdering the unborn, NOT seeking so-called “consequence-free” sexual gratifications.

  • Jonathan West

    Catholic teaching as you have quoted it specifically states that if you don’t want babies, then don’t have sex. In what way is “a technique of population control” not an appropriate term for both the means and the end being described?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Because it is a teaching ordered towards individuals, NOT “populations”.

    WHY does EVERY single little detail need to be explicitly explained to you ?

  • Jonathan West

    In just the same way a decision to use contraception or to have an abortion is an individual decision.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    RUBBISH — the decision to implement policies and infrastructures enabling contraception, sterilisation, and abortion (or, indeed, enforcing them upon the unwilling) are massive undertakings involving tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

    Population control is intrinsically ordered towards large populations, and it is perfectly hypocritical to pretend otherwise.

  • Jonathan West

    And the Catholic Church isn’t isn’t an infrastructure “involving tens or hundreds of thousands of people” telling them not to have sex?

  • TreenonPoet

    I see, so policies devised by atheists in an officially atheistic régime designed within the purpose of spreading an atheistic world-view and of killing off religion have “nothing to do with atheism” …

    We were not discussing spreading an atheistic world-view or killing off religion. The policies that you described as atheistic in your earlier comment had nothing to do with atheism. If particular atheists have policies that have nothing to do with atheism, those policies do not magically become atheistic. You are committing a logical fallacy similar to one that I accused you of earlier (an accusation that you dismissed as ”Ludicrous”).

    That’s right : atheist ideology.

    Not only is this committing the same logical error, but it is also wrong in that atheism corresponds to the latest knowledge (that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of any deities). You seem to be trying to define an ideology which you call ‘atheism’, even though ‘atheism’ already has a different meaning, and trying the old equivocation trick to make out that atheists follow your invented ideology.

    The fact that you have simply decided that one literalistic interpretation of this[go forth and multiply] is the only valid one is as unsurprising as it is wrongful.

    I have decided no such thing, but those Catholics who use the directive in a literal sense have (and I criticised Phillips’ use of the directive as if it was literally from God in my earliest post on this thread).

    The Church has ALWAYS taught that children should be born into environments where they can be properly taken care of ; this involves those not living in such environments, for whichever reason, to refrain from pregnancies by refraining from sex.

    Where does the Church teach that? If that is just your opinion of waht it teaches, please see my paragraph below beginning ”Belatedly…”.

    True Catholicism meanwhile is intrinsically Humanist, in that Catholicism is ordered towards the welfare of each human individual, NOT towards the blanket concepts of modern technocrats who treat human populations like cattle.

    Wiktionary defines humanism as ”3. An ethical system that centers on humans and their values, needs, interests, abilities, dignity and freedom; especially used for a secular one which rejects theistic religion and superstition” and ”4. Humanitarianism, philanthropy.”. I assume you use humanist in sense 4. Wiktionary defines humanitarian as ”Concerned with people’s welfare, and the alleviation of suffering; humane or compassionate.”. In the Milwaukee affair alone, the Catholic Church fails on all of these, but in its opposition to state control of population and its opposition to realistic humane methods that will help achieve it (artificial contraception), it is showing no concern for the welfare and suffering of future generations and of those who are already affected by over-population.

    You will not succeed in engaging me in conversation by stubbornly pretending not to understand exactly what I mean, which is the exact opposite of the above BTW.

    I guessed that you did not mean to support the principle of a one-child policy, but you implicitly supported it by failing to offer an alternative way of preventing the suffering that would result from the lack of resources to support normal fertility levels, suggesting instead improvements that could be made to the existing policy.

    Belatedly, you now declare that your alternative is for people to naturally behave in a way that it has already been shown they do not behave (aquire trustworthy knowledge about the environment and population predictions in the face of prolific religious/corporate misinformation, and somehow proportionately limit family size, whilst avoiding artificial contraception). I should have asked whether you have a realistic alternative.

    The ideology that you are defending is the invention of the Rothschild Foundation in the late 19th or early 20th century

    I am not defending an ideology unless you regard the idea that we should try to avoid mass suffering as an ideology. I try to base what I write on facts. If you apply flawless logic to the same set of facts, you reach the same conclusions.

    Phillips is arguing for a greater fertility rate on the basis of an economic model of continuous growth. For the moment, ignore what the UN population prediction would be for that scenario; you have elsewhere quoted a population prediction based on an optimistic scenario as if that scenario corresponded to Phillips’ proposal. Her proposal does not suggest that her arguments only apply up to a certain population level above which the arguments become invalid. Even if the population prediction did show a levelling off and the start of a decrease, that could only be an inflexion in an ever-upward trend. That is what the mathematics predict. Mathematics is not an ideology, and there is nothing sinister about mathematicians coming to the same conclusion.

    It is NOT “a blindingly obvious basic principle”, it is a series of false proposals whose only underlying goal is to ensure that there can continue to be enough resources available to provide for the continued existence of the wealth and privilege of those that have created this propaganda in the first place.

    What series of false proposals? Where, in anything that I have written, have I suggested that resources be directed at the privileged? Much of the West already has more than enough. The aim should be for everyone to have enough, not more than enough. That would be my ideology, but it is not what I am arguing about on this thread.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The Catholic Church does NOT “teach people not to have sex”, the Church provides a detailed moral framework of teachings to allow each individual make up their own mind within the religious reality that the Church provides, in Communion with the Lord Christ.

    This is just your latest strawman, isn’t it, so it’s obviously pointless trying to debate this with you.

    It is irrational to attempt to portray Catholic teachings as providing “policies” (/giggle/ ; as if the Church were some sort of political party in the first place …) that directly contradict the contents of those teachings.

    It is NOT my fault if you do not understand the ascetic spirituality of sexual abstinence, in its several manners, purposes, and effects. This is because you are trying to reduce it to the level of your own fleshly concerns. These concerns have NOTHING to do with the reality of the Catholic Faith, so that your representations are entirely false.

  • Jonathan West

    The “ascetic spirituality of sexual abstinence, in its several manners, purposes, and effects” is not relevant to the current discussion, which is on the subject of how (if at all) we take action to stabilise the global population.

    If you think that having less sex is not the answer to this issue, then I do wonder why you have been going on about it so, and I wonder what (if any) answer you do have on the subject.

    In fact, come to think of it, I have stopped wondering. If you haven’t been able up to now to provide a straight answer to what was a perfectly straightforward question, then I see no reason to think things will change any time in the future.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    You are committing a logical fallacy

    No I jolly well am NOT, and I am not responsible for your failure to understand the structural nature of ideologies and belief systems within human consciousness, cognition, and rationality ; despite my best efforts to avail you of the basics of such knowledge.

    However, given that your opinions are therefore based on a lack of knowledge that can only possibly warp your own conclusions away from the reality of things, there can therefore be no point carrying on this discussion.

    Wiktionary defines humanism as ”3. An ethical system that centers on humans and their values, needs, interests, abilities, dignity and freedom; especially used for a secular one which rejects theistic religion and superstition” and ”4. Humanitarianism, philanthropy.”. I assume you use humanist in sense 4

    No, the phrase “especially used for a secular one which rejects theistic religion and superstition” is simply inaccurate, but what can you expect from a dictionary that is written by non-professionals ?

    That is an ideological position that does NOT belong in any competent dictionary definition.

    To re-write it, more neutrally (and yes I’ve received some training on how to do this) :

    “An ethical system that centers on human individuals and their values, needs, interests, abilities, dignity and freedom as providing the most desirable focus of philosophical, religious, and moral order”

    In the Milwaukee affair alone, the Catholic Church fails on all of these

    This statement, for example, is a direct violation of Humanist principles, in that you have focused on a vast entity including hundreds of millions of people, instead of the actual individuals involved. Notwithstanding that those individuals also failed to provide any sort of Humanist action in response to the scandal.

    it is showing no concern for the welfare and suffering of future
    generations and of those who are already affected by over-population

    scare-mongering, based on abortionist propaganda

    you implicitly supported it by failing to offer an alternative

    Rubbish, and please refrain from inventing opinions for me, this will NOT be conducive to the furtherance of any discussion.

    you now declare that your alternative is for people to naturally behave in a way that it has already been shown they do not behave (aquire trustworthy knowledge about the environment and population predictions in the face of prolific religious/corporate misinformation, and somehow proportionately limit family size, whilst avoiding artificial contraception)

    Nor is your unacceptable habit of deliberately warping the contents of my statements into something else entirely different.

    If you want to discuss MY opinions, then STOP trying to constantly mutate and misrepresent them. I will NOT put up with such intrinsically immoral debating tactics.

    I am not defending an ideology

    As is obvious, you continue not to understand the cognitive structures of ideologies within the human mind, including your own acquired ideologies inside your own mind.

    Phillips is arguing for a greater fertility rate on the basis of an economic model of continuous growth

    Nope, she’s arguing for a greater fertility rate on the basis that the current rate is FAR too low in the UK, and on the basis that an agèd population is harder to sustain than a more youthful one.

    Economic models of continuous growth are not even MENTIONED in her article, you’re just engaging in your habit of inventing opinions for others again …

    Mathematics is not an ideology

    Nor are they accurately representative of reality.

    But again, you’re just violating basic Humanist principles, by trying to treat people like numbers in an equation. You’re not just violating them, it is the exact antithesis of Humanism to propose anything so utterly inhumane.

  • TreenonPoet

    Ah! So you were using your own definition of ‘Humanism’, one that does not make sense to me, particularly in allowing humans and God to be simultaneously at the centre of things, and thereby removing the moral basis that I thought was the whole point of Humanism. (Please note that I am not repeating your definition here, which would be a waste of time, but commenting on it by saying what I think your definition implies.)

    You also seem to be using your own definition of ‘atheistic’, which may explain why you do not seem able to understand my criticism of your use of the word.

    If individuals such as Ratzinger and Dolan do not represent the Church, then I don’t know who does.

    Perhaps your definition of ‘scare-mongering’ is something like ‘presenting scary assertions’. I admit to presenting scary factual assertions. I do it partly to try to overcome the notion that, because we have not yet run out of a commodity, we never will, and partly to try to break through the notion that some deity will make sure we are alright (despite evidence to the contrary). You don’t seem to have read my explanation of why the facts are not based on someone else’s propaganda.

    How do you expect ordinary individuals to make procreational decisions based on the environment without the skills and knowledge to do so? (You did not directly say that you expect this, but you imply it when the assumption that individuals all have such skills and knowledge forms part of your solution regarding over-population. The issues are quite complex, and I maintain that expert advice must be sought by the state.).

    The Oxford definition of ideology is ”a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy” and ”the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual”. I do not need to understand the cognitive structures of ideologies within the human mind to know that groups and individuals are not entitled to their own facts.

    Are you suggesting that when Phillips quotes Moore’s criticism of the Greens attack on economic growth, she is not actually intending anyone to think that she is using it as part of her argument? Don’t waste my time.

    Mathematics sufficiently represent reality in this case. The model to which they are being applied does not take into account, for example, the number of people that might be killed as the result of the impacts of objects from space, but we cannot rely on such impacts making much difference to the figures.

    Who is treating people like numbers? It is not against Humanist principles to count people; in fact, there are good humane reasons to do so. Your suggestion that it is utterley inhumane leaves me wordless.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    So you were using your own definition of ‘Humanism’, one that does not make sense to me, particularly in allowing humans and God to be simultaneously at the centre of things, and thereby removing the moral basis that I thought was the whole point of Humanism

    Christ is both Man and God.

    There is NO contradiction, given that Jesus is as Human as He is Divine.

    There is NO contradiction given that the ethical system of Humanism was devised by Catholics.

    It is NOT “my own definition”, it is a neutral expression of what Humanism is, devoid of the ideologised revisionist notion that it excludes religion as “superstition”. Atheist Humanism might claim such, but this does not impose upon Christian Humanism.

    Furthermore, ethics are NOT central to the Catholicity in the first place, despite your great difficulty, apparently, in accepting this as a fact.

    You also seem to be using your own definition of ‘atheistic’

    HOW many times must it be presented to you that atheism constitutes a belief system like any other, physically present in individual human brains as discrete structures ?

    You can seek to deny this as much as you like, but such denials can only be incoherent with the entirety of psycholinguistics and cognition itself.

    If individuals such as Ratzinger and Dolan do not represent the Church, then I don’t know who does.

    ???? At this stage, I no longer have interest in your non sequiturs.

    Perhaps your definition of ‘scare-mongering’ is something like

    AGAIN with the double-think — my patience with your extremely annoying habit of trying to redefine every single sentence to be in accord with your own prejudice, instead of simply accepting what each sentence actually says is worn down to virtually NIL.

    “scare-mongering” is NOT a difficult word.

    How do you expect ordinary individuals to make procreational decisions based on the environment without the skills and knowledge to do so?

    In reality, you don’t need a PhD to work out how much money and living space is available to you.

    Your “ordinary individuals” phraseology is QUITE revealing BTW

    the set of beliefs characteristic of [an] individual

    “set of beliefs” = “belief system”

    This is all pretty basic, you know …

    Are you suggesting that when Phillips quotes Moore’s criticism of the Greens attack on economic growth, she is not actually intending anyone to think that she is using it as part of her argument?

    Moore does NOT mention economic models of continuous growth either. Instead, he writes that “Europe is a dying business”.

    Moore’s article is NOT about “the Greens attack on economic growth”, it is partially a review of a book on economics by the group chief economist and global head of economics and asset
    allocation at HSBC, but it is also an expression of that author’s own opinion on one particular aspect of the economic crisis in Europe.

    He also writes “one of the great errors of human nature … is the belief that a prevailing trend will continue indefinitely” — so much for your silly notions about mass starvation and indefinite population growth.

    Mathematics sufficiently represent reality in this case

    RUBBISH — mathematics cannot provide accurate representations of non-existent future populations, but only of populations existing in the past or present.

    Who is treating people like numbers?

    You are.

    ———

    My patience with this conversation and your non-stop misrepresentations and/or misunderstandings is frayed almost to breaking point.

  • TreenonPoet

    I am sorry to say that I have lost patience with you on this branch of the thread. I am happy to let others judge your response. I would just like to highlight this nugget:

    In reality, you don’t need a PhD to work out how much money and living space is available to you.

    as an indicator of which parameters you think should control procreation rates.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The “ascetic spirituality of sexual abstinence, in its several manners,
    purposes, and effects” is not relevant to the current discussion

    YOU falsely claimed that sexual abstinence was a form of “population control”.

    You now blame me for correcting this false statement.

    Whatever …

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    It’s the typical Treenon tactics when faced with a demonstration of his forcible misrepresentations.

  • TreenonPoet

    I will leave others to judge whether I have misrepresented you, or merely stated the implications of what you wrote.

  • Jonathan West

    So you didn’t say earlier “If you don’t want, can’t afford, etc., to have children, then don’t have sex.”

    And you didn’t say earlier “The Church has ALWAYS taught that children should be born into environments where they can be properly taken care of ; this involves those not living in such environments, for whichever reason, to refrain from pregnancies by refraining from sex.”

    No. Definitely not. And the fact that those comments appeared under your name is a glitch of the system. Nothing to do with you at all.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    That is NOT “population control”, no matter HOW many times you provide posts claiming the opposite.

    And now I most definitely AM fed up with your willful refusal to engage with anything that anybody actually says.

    Ta-ta

  • Jonathan West

    Having less sex certainly has the effect of having less babies. And you said that if people don’t want babies they shouldn’t have sex.

    You know perfectly well that not having sex in this context has the intended effect of not having babies and yet you say that this is not a population control measure. It is, it just isn’t a very effective one.