There are too many of us on Earth, our numbers keep growing, and we need to do something about it. Now, let’s never lose sight of the reason we want to do something about it.
I’m not an ecological romantic. I don’t think the planet would be better off without humanity. In fact, I think a planet without intelligent life is completely pointless from the perspective of an intelligent observer. Our goal should never be to rid the planet of humans: we need to make sure that humans can continue to live happily and safely on Earth and avoid dying catastrophically. We should save the spotted owl for our own sake, as a habitat custodian and object of biological study, not out of consideration for the silly bird’s feelings or “natural dignity”.
This means that even without raising any ethical objections beyond the rock-bottom recognition that all humans are born with the same value, any measure designed to kill people off is counterproductive. Our whole long-term goal is to save people from dying off. The AIDS epidemic in Africa, or a future lethal flu pandemic, are not things to be welcomed, they must be combated. The ethical way to remedy overpopulation is not by increasing our mortality rate through murderous action or deferred reaction to threats. What we need to do is lower our nativity rate.
Thus I submit three suggestions for your consideration.
- It is unethical for anyone to produce more than two children. (Adoption of orphans, on the other hand, is highly commendable.)
- It is unethical to limit the availability of contraceptives, abortion,
- It is unethical to use public money to support infertility treatments. Let those unfortunate enough to need such treatment pay their own way or adopt. And let’s put the money into subsidising contraceptives, abortion,
vasectomyand adoption instead.
Dear Reader, let me know what you think.