Friday, May 9, 2008

Overpopulation Multiplies the Problems and Divides the Gains

I feel obliged to reply to an Anonymous commenter (by way of this post), who states in the thread following Overpopulation as Obesity that:

I cannot speak to Filipino agricultural land levels but I've read that there has been enough food grown worldwide to make every man, woman, and child overweight. So "overpopulation" isn't anywhere close to being the cause of food shortages in modern times. [my emphasis--DJB]

Yes poor people have more children. Its partly because children grow up to be laborers who help the family when older and also partly the shotgun approach to making sure a children survive.

For a lot of social problems I tend to look first to those wealthiest in a society as their control over resources that define how well (or badly) a society develops).

And I'm not ready to say population levels are a problem when the point I just mentioned seems to be so overpowering in comparison to everything else.

An irony is that those with the wealth may look to use population level as a scapegoat for problems that I doubt are do to it.
I long ago conceded on this blog, indeed I have never believed, that "overpopulation is the cause of hunger and poverty in the world."

Indeed China and India support populations that are far larger than that of the Philippines, though no doubt ancient memories of war and famine goad them to prudential endeavours involving both production of food and the limitation of reproduction (sometimes using means unacceptable to most of us.)

But there are indeed many causes of suffering in this world. Yet in choosing what problems any society is to solve first and what solutions to apply, we ought to have a choice in the matter -- that is my first belief. However, on the matter of birth control methods that do not involve abortion or genocide, it seems to me that whatever evil we may perceive in them cannot possibly outweigh the undeniable effects of population numbers that cannot decently be sustained by that society, even if we were to agree that other causes can and ought to be dealt with as well. In the present growing crisis, who will deny that whatever problems of want and need we suffer from, they are mightily multiplied by the fact the degrees and magnitude of them could've been avoided if only such institutions as the Roman Catholic Church and the government had discerned the wisdom of prevention and chosen it over the necessity of adopting what will surely be insufficient, if not draconian measures to now address those problems. Whatever one may think of those other causes, the problems are multiplied by overpopulation and whatever solutions and gains upon them we can imaginably make, will surely be diminished by the awesome denominator of 90 million instead of more prudent Thailand's 66 million!

How can any humane person, anxious for the welfare and well-being of his neighbors continue to urge that we hide our head in the sand and wait yet another Doubling Time, by when these terrible scourges of hunger and poverty shall have been exponentiated by such willful neglect of the obvious.


Equalizer said...

As I said before in similar topic threads, having many children without the means to support them is sheer stupidity and irresponsibility. Those who are already poor exacerbate their situation. Having many children means more mouths to feed and more brains to teach.

It's good if the parents are able to meet those needs. It really disgusts me to see these people who call themselves parents having many children, and the children suffer in the process because of their parents' callous disregard for their welfare. It's not surprising that these people continue to be poor. They are mired in a vicious cycle of their own making!


I don't understand why you keep putting the blame of overpopulatin on the Catholic Church first and foremost rather than on government!

Doesn't make sense.

A government that has a backbone will do the right thing, i.e., educate the people/couples, deal with the problem of overpopulation head on, provide the means, the resources and everything needed to make sure that the population, particularly the impoverished lot are informed that parenting and children production entail great responsibility.

It is the government's duty -- the State to be exact, to ensure the welfare of its citizens. You mentioned China -- and you know very well that China govt acted vigorously to address their overpopulation problem: 1 couple 1 child!

If you, a supposedly learned man insists that the Catholic Church must be blamed first and foremost, what do you reckon these humbugs and pseudo technocrats, who in my opinion are a bunch of dumbos pretending to be learned people, in government will think and do to address the problem of overpopulation? Nothing!

Complete inanity!

I've already reacted in this same blog of yours but under a previous thread!

I've said in no uncertain terms that where there is a strong, genuine and even just half-intelligent political will, a problem such as your overpopulation can be addessed:

You intimated yourself that France, Spain, Italy do not suffer from overpopulation and they are Catholic countries by denomination; and let's not forget Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, and other Catholic-predominated countries do not suffer from overpopulation despite or in spite of Church admonitions against the use of contraception. (And by gum, these nations can afford to populate if they want to -- they are stable and prosperous!!!!)

Why? Simple: Their governments are strong, they are level-headed, they do not have wishy-washy leaders, they do not have a liliputian whore at the helm with gargantuan lust for power, they do not allow themselves to be bamboozled by Mediaval-age superstitions (espoused vigorously during the Feast of the Black Nazarene for instance), they believe in respecting the Social Contract, they believe that they owe their jobs to the people and not to any religious, pontificating men and women of any religious denominations but most of all, because they take their responsibilities seriously and judciously, i.e., welfare, well-being, prosperity of their people.

Grow up! Blame your government first and foremost before you blame the Catholic Church for the povery and misery in a large sector of the citizeny that's partly caused by overpopulation.

Face up to the problem and attack the culprits -- you should attack the Catholic Church if you wish but not after you've laid the blame squarely at the foot of Malacanang, their stupid technocrats and bureacrats and at the foot of your useless legislature!


Manila Bay Watch: Catholic Church to blame for RP overpopulation? Hogwash!

DJB Rizalist said...


Of course the governmentS are to blame, but notice that from one administration to the next there is one CONSTANT: the Roman Catholic Church. Under FVR and Erap, we did not have the same sort of thing we've had under Cory and Gloria.

Blame should be laid where it belongs, to the institution that has adopted a dogmatic position not out of morality or care for the people, but Papal power and prestige, and the fact that they have made supposedly infallible claims with respect to women in the church.

You cannot ignore this simple historical fact: their position has been deaf to the people's honest desire to have smaller families and blind to the simple consequences of their intransigence.

AdB said...

Then blame should be laid where it belongs but to blame the Roman Catholic Church first and foremost as you constantly do is wrong because it is not the Chruch that makes the laws in the Philippines nor is it they that mismanage government.

And in the same breadth, you cannot ignore this simple historical fact that there is a cultural and historical presidence: governments of Roman Catholic pre-dominated countries in Europe managed their poverty sectors not by relying on Church dogma but by relying on common sense! People's welfare first!

Don't forget that you yourself said that Marcos did it (and successfully too!) Why can't it be done today? Answer: because you have leaders in government that are totally superstitious and who don't care! Dumbos the lot of them, dumb hypocrites.

blackshama said...

If we read the history of modern revolutions we see that the church is disestablished first and then we see a population management program. Look at Cuba's example.

DJB should promote and instigate Revolution instead of blaming Religion! What he is doing is a waste of words.

Oh DJB why don't you become our Lenin? The one spending Euros in Utrecht has disappointed us!

DJB Rizalist said...


Ah, but what "law" needs to be passed to do what I am suggesting? Birth control is NOT illegal in the Philippines, even if abortion is, and should be? Officially, the State is embarked on and encourages family planning. The President herself yesterday called for "spacing" of children. Naah, I think the problem DOES lie with the RCC's guerilla tactics, sabotaging what is already public policy and popular will through its immoral mal-suasion on the matter.

DJB Rizalist said...

The Church itself is not as hopeless or unchanging as you seem to imply. I assert that this peculiar immoral omission is a sin being committed almost uniquely by the Philippine Church, as "change" has already come to most of the European and South American RCC hierarchies. It is the Philippine Bishops that as usual are far away from the mainstream of their own Church colleagues. I know many of them personally. It's taking time, but even they must be persuaded to open their hearts and minds to the terrible reality they've wrought and abetted!

ricelander said...

It is a puzzlement but several researches suggest that populations tend to go down as a country progresses. The direction of causality seem to be the reverse. Even in individual couples you see it reflected: the rich tend to have a smaller family while the poor breed like pigs. In Singapore, the government offers incentives for marriages just so population would grow because its young prefer staying out of marital responsibility.

Why so? I think it is because of their being impoverished, poor people have no other means of recreation and outlet. Wala ka namang iikutan. Di ka naman makalabas para manood ng sine kaya o magpunta sa beach dahil walang pera. Paguwi, sa loob lang ng maliit na kuarto. Anupat' di sex na lang oras oras, minu-minuto. And you know the mindset; don't know if it's also poverty's fault: "bahala na! makakaraos din!" Go visit where they live and see hordes and hordes of them mga yagit sa balat ng lupa. Surprisingly, they don't get sick as easily as your average rich brat even as they wallow in dirt. Yes, they do get by even as we wonder how in heaven's name they could.

DJB Rizalist said...

there is no mystery in that phenomenon of smaller families correlating to social progress. Causality probably goes in both directions. As for recreational sex, I think that is actually what the Bishops don't want, even though Vatican roulette contemplates or at least tolerates the possibility. As long it seems, if the couple accepts the danger of pregnancy.

That I think is the most cruel thing of all!

Gabby said...

question, if you were to create a family planning program, what would the elements of this plan be? maybe you can blog on that next. thanks.

DJB Rizalist said...

I got off on this vein of thinking regarding overpopulation because of a radio program I listened to in which Ernie Pernia of the Philippine Center for Population Development informed the audience of a remarkable fact. SWS surveys have shown for several decades that Filipinos overwhelmingly (80% or more) say they want smaller families, that their ideal family size is 3-4 instead of 6-7 children. Yet despite this, successive governments but especially Cory and Gloria have not responded in the way one would think politicians would given such a clear signal from the people themselves about what they want and believe. To me this is damning evidence of the church's immoral and unacceptable intransigence and their incredible influence on the government.

But it would also be the foundation of a family planning program that I would be willing to support. It tells me that we can successfully reduce the population growth rate without coercive measures such as China employs. We only have to enable the people's own expressed desire for smaller families by making available to them modern, safe, effective pregnancy prevention methods, such as pills, condoms and IUDs.

Of course "educational efforts" must continue, but too often in the past this has been a mere code word and camouflage for superstitious blackmail and moral coercion to be exercised by the Catholic Church and its surrogates in government that have ended up stymieing any real progress.

It is my considered opinion that a grave act of social injustice is being done to the Filipino people by the Church hierarchy, which is not only paternalistic but utterly insensitive to realities that are obvious to anyone with an open and sympathetic heart to the plight of the poor on behalf of an inhuman and hypocritical ideology, which my own historical investigation into the actual circumstances starting at Vatican II turns out to be the most despicable kind of political Papal power play.

I would base my family planning program on PURE LIBERTY of individual couples to decide the size of their family, even in a purely relative sense, without dictation from above, just as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights already proclaims, that the family is the unit of every society.

If we promote freedom at that level, we cannot go wrong.

I say, it is these institutions of the Church and their hypnotized, paralyzed subalterns in government that are guilty of injustice and cruelty. Their grip on society MUST be broken. We are slaves to their ignorant dogmas and monstrous blindness to the greater evils that their piety shields from view. We must strip away these disguises, these camoflages and liberate our people to decide for themselves what the right thing to do is in the privacy of their homes. We must trust in THEIR humanity, their love of their own children. It is atrocious to think that people are selfishly thinking only of themselves and have no right to so decide their future and that of their families. What right do the Men in Skirts have over their liberty?

None, by God, none!



this is where you are saying things in bad faith... no need for new laws (why new laws? whatever gave you the notion that i was speaking of laws or new laws?) but for leadership to issue directives to govt arms dealing with social welfare, health care, education, etc.

direct these institutions to set up family planning/birth control clinics, educational centers, set up distribution routes for birth control paraphernalia to be given away, handed freely, use TV, adverts, etc to do massive education campaign on birth control, set up an army of educators to go all out to the 4 corners of the Philippines, etc.; I don't know but surely this country that boasts of possessing US "educated" and Americanised population has what it takes on the organisation and deployment front to solve a problem.

Malacanang has to face the problem head on and not be do lally about it!

Blaming the church ad vitam eternam is not going to solve the problem but a government that has the resolve can do it.

It has been proven it can be done.

If it cannot be done it's because this govt doesn't want to do it. So, don't go spewing drivel about Roman Catholic Church holding your neurons by the balls!

DJB Rizalist said...

As a member of the Catholic Church myself, I believe it is my place to address my arguments, which are religious and moral, and not legal and political, to the leaders of that self-same church.

I address similar arguments to the political leadership. But why do you seem to insist that we ought to be tigers and wolves towards the government but lamb and sheep with respect to the Church.

I don't think you can isolate the Church from politics, because that is what liberty means, to hold whatever opinion or belief we will.

We were after all a Roman Catholic theocracy for four centuries. So there is an institutional memory of holding power.

I wish only to remind them that even though they no longer hold State power, they are still answerable to an even higher power than the People.

Or do you think they are infallible untouchable, and divine?

Do you believe the Church has EVER been wrong on ANYTHING?

Say about theocracy?

If you will concede that they have been wrong in the past, why won't you concede they could be wrong right now??



You are getting my message wrong!

I have often attacked the men behind the Catholic Church with much more vehemence of language than you have used in your posts -- this is not the issue! I agree with you on many points about the mistakes of the men in robes purporting to be Apostles of Christ but my issue with you is not their infallibility (because I believe that they are infallible) or that they are not to be blamed (read my initial comments) for so many things that are wrong in this superstition laden morally backward country of yours but I'm putting in question your putting the blame of overpopulation and the non-resolution of this problem first and foremost at the doorstep of the Roman Catholic Church! Totally wrong! Blame them if you must but you must be truthful too! The government more than the Catholic Church has the duty and the responsibility regardless of superstitions to do what must be done to solve a problem.

This is all wrong -- what you are doing is to blame the Catholic Church first for something that the Philippine govt fails to address in the overpopulation orbit and Malacanang second... Doesn't make sense.

This is what is wrong with what you are saying.

You have raised useful examples -- and so have I -- where a strong govt can sidestep the Church in purely material matters as overpopulation.

Re: We were after all a Roman Catholic theocracy for four centuries. So there is an institutional memory of holding power.

Do you honestly think that most of those people who lust for sex and produce numerous children in so doing really are 'bothered' by the Catholic Church's institutional memory of holding moral power over them? Be truthful!

DJB Rizalist said...

surely we have nothing against lust or sex. but if they also knew about and had proper access to condoms, pills, and IUDs and other other modern non abortion type birth control methods, they could prevent the consequences of such pleasure seeking recreational activities.

as for the responsibilities of the govt, I have already conceded that it is their responsibility. But as a Catholic myself, I ask you again, do we have neither the freedom nor the responsibility to criticize the leaders of the church for the consequences of their policies and actions?

Your argument is a pure straw woman argument. I am not saying that they are entirely to blame, but you cannot deny that they have SOME culpability in the matter.

The government enunciates one policy, but the Church in practice is able to prevent them from carrying out such policies. Shame on both of them.

But I assert that if the Church just got out of the way, things would get better immediately.

Fer crying out loud, the United States was providing all the materials and education required for free. But the Church sabotaged those efforts for decades, until finally this year they gave up!