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Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 01-01-2003 00:46

Give me some perspective on overpopulation. Do some of you believe its a legitimate concern to have or is it mostly a myth that will fade away in time?

Jestah

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 01-01-2003 01:13

look around you...

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 01-01-2003 01:43

it's a myth as far as land area is concerned, plenty of land about.... well in Texas anyway.

most think there aren't enough resources to go around when they talk of overpopulation, but I think with enough good land, there's always enough resources.

When you get right down to it, basically all you need is food, water, and sunlight right?

Before, the real problem was usually water, as people flocked to cities around freshwater supplies, but as usual our technology is our saviour with advanced sewage treatment and desalination plants.

I think technology is our real ally in the evergrowing population, and it probably won't level off anytime soon, what with the massive decrease in warfare ever since ohh... 1945.

We could probably reach the population level of Coruscant as far as resources are concerned.

My only concern is the fact that stupid people breed much faster and in higher quantity than smart people. That could lead to problems.

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 01-01-2003 02:11

Well I didn't specifically mean this day and age.

For all it matters it could be a million years down the road but to any of you foresee humanity overpopulating the world so badly that we destroy nature and animal a like in a quest for more room? Just trying to promote some discussion. We haven't really had too many interesting threads, at least that I've noticed, in the Asylum lately.

Jestah

njuice42
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Gig Harbor, WA
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 01-01-2003 03:21

Running off numbers from past estimated population increases in the world, I think it's only evident that overpopulation would be a real problem in the years to come. Though I really agree with Genis on this one, stupid people seem to be breeding more often than others. Or maybe I'm just bitter.

This is one numbskull who certainly isn't spawning offspring any time soon... you're welcome.

njuice42 Cell # 551
icq 957255

Rameses Niblik the Third
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: From:From:
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 01-01-2003 13:24

That's why we need to settle on the moon and Mars.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 01-01-2003 16:20

Overpopulation is a real concern but its actual consumption of resource which will get us long before overpopulation becomes a real problem (population growth will start tailing off anyway as the developing world gets more developed). Problems with fossil fuels, soil and water will all start causing us real problems in the next 10-20 years.

I found this recent article interesting on this front:
www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,866785,00.html

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 01-01-2003 16:51

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 01-01-2003 19:20

Interplanetary colonization isn't an answer. There'd be many other benefits, but relieving population pressure isn't one of them. It would be vastly cost-inefficient to move even a million people from the earth to the moon, much less Mars(!) -- and moving a million people off the earth wouldn't make the slightest dent in population trouble. Even in the long run, if we can somehow make it cheap and easy to send people to Mars, and if we can somehow make Mars itself livable for the average poverty-stricken non-technically-skilled African, Indian, Latin American, or Chinese slum dweller... in the far future we'd just overrun the moon and Mars, too.

The only real solution is social. As I understand it, China has already met with some success in their population-control program -- although it's a real shame that their one-baby policy had to meet up with a society that virtually requires a male heir. At any rate, if we're going to live within our global resources, we need to stabilize population growth. Is it really so hard to limit each couple to two children at most? Technology has helped greatly, and will help in the future, but obviously any positive population growth will eventually result in disaster, if we're talking about a completely open-ended timeframe (millions of years).

I've had this discussion with people before, and the only people who tell me "I'm going to have as many children as I want and nobody can stop me" are, to be depressingly honest, the stupid ones, who are unable to logically address the larger issues involved in the debate. I've never had anyone say "I plan to have three or more children" and at the same time even believe that there are such things as limits on natural resources.

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 01-02-2003 01:05

well, i think it's already a big problem that will only get bigger.
i am definately in favor of government implemented population control.
i personally think you should have to have a license to have a child, like, you have to have a certain IQ and you're genes are good (as to not throw out any sickly or diseased children). we could be treated like show dogs and only breed the winners! (j/k kinda) but then again i think the advancement of medicine plays a big role in this also. the things that they can do these days is amazing, but is it really going to be for the good of us all if we end up starving to death from over population?? i totally believe in survival of the fittest and letting nature take it's course. you don't see down syndrom lions running around in africa or cheetah's with MS. it sounds harsh i know, but that's really how i feel. i believe that disease is a good thing in the big scheme of things...it keeps us thinned out, a lil at least. and going from standpoint, war is a good thing also (as far as a small decrease in the population).
i could ramble on for awhile, but i want to avoid seeming "hitleresque" (unless i already have...and to clarify, i don't believe in hitler or what he did, i'm merely referring to him because of his ideas about a "perfect race" and breeding. sorry if it offends anyone)
really though, has putting a limit on how many children people have worked in china?? i really don't know anything about china, so i dunno if it works or not.
i can't see it ever being feesible to populate the moon or mars...it'd be a great idea though.
and even though i'm not "educated" and have a high iq, i hve a child...but only 1!! i can guarantee that i won't have anymore!

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 01-02-2003 01:14

wow, government-mandated population control?
I believe I'd have to fight tooth and nail against that sort of thinking.

that is so wrong on so many levels.
I understand that some people are idiots and have more children than they can afford to have, but the government's only responsibility is to punish those who neglect their children, and find a good home for neglected children, once they jail their parents.

But you still can't infringe upon people's ability to procreate.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 01-02-2003 02:12

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 01-02-2003 03:03

genis: while i can't see if ever happening, i still don't think it would be a bad idea. i'm sure the government wouldn't be as "strict" as maybe *i* would like them to be, but if the alternitives where serious overpopulation and little natural resources left, then by all means do it like that. and it would cut down on having to throw neglectful parents in the pokey because only certain people would have kids.
i don't think it's something you'd have to worry about genis...unless of course i take over the world. *evil grin*
like with any theroy...mine has serious flaws...and i don't have every angle worked out...but it's something at any rate.
i think i'll google and see if i can't find more info on this

reitsma
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the bigger bedroom
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 01-02-2003 04:17
quote:
any of you foresee humanity overpopulating the world so badly that we destroy nature and animal a like in a quest for more room



nooooo, never. humans always learn to live in harmony with their environment.

if we just make stupidity a capital offense, the world would be a better, and less crowded place.
sure, in the case of the USA, it could be seen as genocide, but i'm willing to live with that.

now, jsut ao make a quick, more serious comment:
i don't think that overpopulation will the the real problem. It is merely one of the symptoms of poor distribution of resources - a symptom that is already being experienced in some 'corners' of the globe. (tee hee, i always find that funny ) We all know that we have more than enough resources worldwide to provide for every human - and more. but on this imperfect planet, it just ain't gonna happen.

silence
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: soon to be "the land down under"
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 01-02-2003 06:48

I'd have to strongly disagree, genis. Government mandated population control would violate so many civil liberties (life and the pursuit of happiness come to mind).

quote:
only certain people would have kids



I find this very disturbing. How do you know your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather wasn't a complete lummox? Were Einstein's parents geniuses? Were his grandparents geniuses? Would you deprive us of another Einstein just becuase you think you can reasonably assume that dumb people procreating produce more dumb people?

When otherwise intelligent and moral people start talking like this, sometimes the only thing a sane person can do is buy a high powered automatic rifle and move into the hills of Montana to wait out the ensuing calamity. Oh, and toilet paper. Never ever create a secret bunker in the hills to wait out the "Procreation Wars" without ensuring a necessary amount of toilet paper. You have been warned.



Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 01-02-2003 10:07

lmao!!
hey, i'm from montana!!!
sold my gun when i moved to oz

anyways, i wouldn't say that only "super geeks" would have kids...but i'm fairly sure that the next einstein won't be crawling outta the womb of a crack head either.
i'm sure that there would have to be some way that they could have SOME sort of pop. control without stepping on rights TOO badly. hmmm.....ok, maybe not....but i'm sure there's gotta be a solution.

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 01-02-2003 10:22

Assuming the crack head gives birth to a healthy baby, what makes you so sure it won't be intelligent?

Jestah

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 01-02-2003 15:21

Well, this covers overpopulation pretty well...good ol' google, comes through again...

I do happen to think that overpopulation is a serious topic...having wide reprecusions, along a number of lines, as we look into the future, both near and far.

For one, clean drinking water. Only air is more important, drinking water being one of the 'resources' that is a basic need. One dies fairly quickly with out water (around 4-7 days, sometimes quicker, depending on the surrounding environmental conditions...). Clean drinking water is becoming a problem. Is a problem, now. Wars have started over smaller things...

For another, as the real possiblility of extending the average life span (and eventual near-immortality) grows ever more likely, one is up against the problem of people not dying...and how they should be supported. Up to this point now, most systems have a form of retirement...usually the line is drawn at the age of 65. However, for someone that lives 140+ years, this would mean that they would have more retirement time, as work time, in years...which is a drain on financial resources...Germany is experiencing this problem now. There are not enough young people working, to support the retirement system...there are too many old people, if you will...and in the industrial nations, I only see this problem getting worse...

Now, history does show us, that overpopulation does lead to an increase in tensions, and to expansionism...where I would hope, that Mankind finally makes the leap into space...and to colonization. However, there really is enough 'space' here on earth...if one counts the oceans. Projects have been done with living under the sea...and while living under the sea does bring with it problems of it's own, is also a viable living-space...that hasn't as of yet been fully utilized...

As for population control...hmmm. Intellectually, and logically it makes sense in theory. Limiting the number of children born, does tend to have a stabilizing effect on the said nations overall population. It's just that to move the theory into practice...well, now we run into the problem of not only fair implimentation, but of how to punish those who violate the law...and of just how to impliment the law in general. Most industrialized nations already have, or are in the process of reaching, a stabile population...however, new advances in medical science and technology bring with it the problem of an ageing, yet not dying population...something that will have to be faced...
I'm still not sure of government controlled birthing rights...it just seems, that there is to large of an instinctual drive, for people not to abuse the system...esp. those in position of power. Also, in order to track the entire population, to control it, would require disassembly of some laws in the US...and maybe admendments to the Constituion...I don't think Americans would actually support this. As for other lands...I couldn't say...in Germany, it would be a cinch...people are already tracked, here. And basically do anything that the Government says...so, they would probably grumble about it...but as long as everyone else was being equally treated, they would most probably accept it.

As for China, this

quote:
However, the one-child policy does not mean that all families have only one child. The policy is very difficult to enforce, especially in rural areas, where are enforcement officials are more prone to corruption and families need to be large to support the parents in their old age. In addition, families sometimes attempt to circumvent the law by sending pregnant women to stay with relatives. The resulting child will be unregistered, making it difficult for the child to be educated and advance in life, but will still be able to support the family.
Besides these de facto exceptions to the policy there are some formal exceptions. First, ethnic minorities are formally excluded from the policy, although some have reported being forced to comply. Second, if both parents are only children, they are allowed to have more than one child provided the children are spaced more than four years apart. As more and more marriages involve only children, this exception could be troubling to Chinese officials. Third, families who have children with mental or physical disabilities are sometimes allowed to have a second child.


Exactly shows, that population control is very difficult to do...in theory, maybe, but in the practice...it doesn't really work all that well.

The aborigines of Austrialia were the first, to practice pop. control...they had a root, that caused the expecting mother to abort. This was done when times were hard.

However, I'm not really sure that such a solution would be practical for world purposes...

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 01-02-2003 15:25

Eugenics now we are talking...

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 01-02-2003 15:28

You want government instituted population control?
It's easy, and it won't infringe on a single person's rights. The answer is in increased education.

Educated people (I didn't say 'smart' people or 'geniuses'), that is, people who have the basic skills to manage a household, do basic arithmetic, read, write, know some history, have a job that pays above the poverty level; make more money, have more free time, have hobbies, etc.
People who can afford 1500-2000 calories/ day/member of their family, have a home that doesn't leak much, have a steady income; those people don't fear that 2/3 of their children will die before the age of 10.
That lack of fear (among other very related phenomenon) decreases population growth, voluntarily.

Simply put, education decreases population growth. That's true almost without exception, all over the world.

You want government instituted population control? Increase education. Do that and the rest will follow almost without another thought.

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 01-02-2003 15:48
quote:
I'd have to strongly disagree, genis...
When otherwise intelligent and moral people start talking like this...

Well I thank you silence, since the quote you took wasn't from me, it was from Lacuna.

I totally disagreed with Lacuna actually, and agree with your statement.

So I guess I still remain intelligent and moral in your eyes, yes?

edit: Oh and hey... what's with the "life and pursuit of happiness" stuff. I haven't said that here in awhile have I?
Did you follow me over to that arstechnica discussion?
You must be a power lurker.

[This message has been edited by genis (edited 01-02-2003).]

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 01-02-2003 19:48

Another way to discourage more than two children is to stop giving people benefits for having more than two children. No more tax breaks for number three and four or twelve. No more welfare support for more children. If you can't support them all... we'll take them away. Lets get hard nosed about it. Freedom is great, until you blow yourself up with it. Which would be fine except I'm standing right next to you.

GrythusDraconis
I admire a man who can budget his life around his pint of Guinness and I envy a man who's wife will let him. ME, inspired by Suho1004 here.

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 01-02-2003 23:10

GD, you perpetuate a terrible stereotype...that is, women having kids just to get more welfare money.
The truth is:

In 72.7% of families on AFDC, there are 2 or fewer children. The average AFDC family size has decreased from 4.0 to 2.9 persons since 1969.

Fertility rates of AFDC recipients are lower than those of the general population; moreover, the longer a woman remains on AFDC, the less likely she is to have another child.

American teenagers have one of the highest pregnancy rates among industrialized nations -- twice as high as in England or France, three times as high as in Sweden, yet our welfare system provides far fewer benefits than any of those nations.

States that provide the lowest levels of welfare benefits tend to have the highest rates of out-of-wedlock birth, and states with the highest benefits have the lowest rates of out-of-wedlock birth.

The average annual cost of AFDC and food stamp payments to a single mother and two children is $7,932.
The estimated annual cost of placing these two children in an orphanage, as you have proposed, is $73,000 --more than nine times the cost.
The benefit increase per child is (depending on the state) between $45 and $70/month.
All women on this board who would have a child solely for $70/month, please chime in.
I don't expect to hear from any.

In one study, 83% of AFDC recipients reported that they would leave welfare immediately, even for a minimum-wage job, if it provided health care for their family. Only 8% of people who leave welfare for work get jobs that provide health insurance.

(Information taken from a variety of sources:

Pratt, W.F., Mosher, W.D., et al, "Understanding U.S. Fertility: Findings from the National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle III," Population Bulletin 39: I-43, 1984.
Mark Robert Rank, Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), Preventing Pregnancy, Protecting Health: A New Look at Birth Control Choices in the United States. New York: AGI, 1991
Child Welfare League of America, 1994. Congressional Budget Office, 1994.
Child Welfare League of America. Fact Sheet: "Welfare Reform: Facts on Orphanages," December 15, 1994)

As you can see, the numbers tell a different story than many neo-conservatives would like to hear.

Increase education and the rest will follow.

silence
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: soon to be "the land down under"
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 01-03-2003 10:05

Ah, genis, allow me to apologize profusely, my friend. I see now that we were on the same track, and I can only point out that scrolling up and down while posting tends to be a little confusing.
And, no, I didn't read the arstechnica thread, but I found some gems of wisdom there. I'll save you a spot in the bunker, but you have to bring your own toilet paper.

Lacuna: Ah, I see your plan is to incite the war and then retreat to your bunker in the hills. Well, all I can say is, "howdy neighbour"

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 01-03-2003 10:24

All is forgiven.

Now... my name is genis, and I need TP for me bunker.

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 01-03-2003 10:30

LOL yes silence...that's the plan! i'm a shit stirer (is that even a word?)

and should you run outta tp...a leaf always works well *g*

ok...back to the discussion

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 01-03-2003 15:14

At the risk of being flamed for agreeing with you Lacuna, can I be your No.2? We appear to have similar cynical views of humanity!

I'm all for population control... There's too many idiots in just America for starters. Let alone any other place in the world... I personally believe that the process would be fairly easy to implement in the US, because the majority of human births occur in hospitals. Don't get me wrong, I am aware that there are still a good number of births that occur outside hospitals (including the one on the side of the highway in Western NC over the x-mas holidays), but you'd be able to get a good handle on the population just by mandatory sterilization after a live healthy birth in a hospital. Big Brother could do it ya'll...
But in lieu of mandatory sterilization, a common sense exam for parents would be fairly effective as well... Stupid people shouldn't be allowed to breed. The general level of intellegence, precluding education, is pretty dang low as it is.

Bodhi - Cell 617

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 01-03-2003 21:23

Actually, mobrul... I was just citing that as another example. You assumed that I thought that families on welfare got pregnant intentionally for more money. I don't. My understanding is that, when being considered for welfare, more kids equals more money/resources. I wasn't even thinking about after being on welfare.

I do agree with you though. Education is the key. Matter of fact... I'd rather give welfare families support for 2-4 years while they go to school rather then perpetual support for lack of anything else. 2-4 year degree/diploma/whatever... 6-12 month weening time while you find a job... and then nothing after that. You know... set it up as a forced school loan, something that would have to be payed back. That would help stop abuse of the system were it to be enacted.

GrythusDraconis
I admire a man who can budget his life around his pint of Guinness and I envy a man who's wife will let him. ME, inspired by Suho1004 here.

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 01-03-2003 22:41

Cool.
I just like to throw numbers around every once in a while.

I rather like that plan. Something else I've always thought would be a good idea -- especially in light of the fact that some large percentage of people on welfare would go to work, even minumum wage, if they could really live on minumum wage -- would be to come up with some 'minumum' livable numbers...something like the so-called 'poverty line' today, but realistic.

Anyway, people must work somewhere -- even cleaning up the roads for the state -- to be eligible for government assistance.
Instead of paying a standard 'welfare' dollar for those individuals, the state would make up the difference between what they are paid and the minumum standard. If Taco Bell pays $11,000/yr (approximately minumum wage) and the 'minumum income' is $20,000, the state makes up $9,000.
Exceptions would exist, perhaps for education, care of younger-than-school-aged children, serious disability, care for a parent maybe, etc.
Health care, being one of the largest cost for families (often far more than even housing), would have to be worked into the equation somehow.

Basically, mandate employment or schooling as a criteria for government support. That's absolutely fair if the state provided enough work to make that possible.
Also, I agree with you that good schooling (k-12 + undergrad/tech/trade school) should be provided to those who can not afford it.

Education is 100% the key to making people self-sufficient...
(now, back on track)
...and it lowers birth rates too!

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 01-04-2003 00:21

woohoo! someone agrees with me!!! i don't feel quite so lonely now, thanks bodhi!

speaking as a person who's been on welfare before (was unemployed in a VERY small, economically depressed town, because the place i did work went outta business), the state DOES offer all of that stuff. they will pay to fix your car, give you petrol money, pay for daycare, buy you clothes for interviews/work, buy whatever tools you may need to do a job, pay entrance fees for collages/vo-techs. you can attend free classes to learn how to do your resume, mock interviews, basic computing, typing, 10-key AND they will help you get into a college/vo-tech. they'll pay to relocate you to an area with more jobs. hell, they even pay for your parking fees! there's more that they do also and they do all of this NOW! you're only allowed welfare for 5 years of your life so if you can't get it together in those 5 years you're buggered. and rightly so. but even with all of this stuff available, i don't see it making better people...granted there are the few who, when on welfare, take advantage of what's offered to them and run with it and make something of their lives, but the majority don't. they do the bare minimum AND keep spittin out kids!
really, in all reality, morbil, that's a really great plan, but it's obviously not working. granted, the education thing is optional right now and maybe it would be better if it were manditory. there's obviously no easy solution to this and while i think education would definatley help the situation a bit, i certinaly don't see it curing it.
BUT if you, like bodhi says, sterilize people after they've had 1 or 2 kids...then the problem is solved. that would definately put an end to a guy havin 7 or 8 kids with 3 or 4 different women in a lifetime. it would stop abortion and adoption being used as birth control (as they are now). as far as stupid people not breeding....the world would be a better place if they would stop...but they're stupid....so they're not gonna.

this is kinda off topic, but not...sorta. they have a commercial here in australia telling people not to leave their babies in the car when they go into a shop or something...because it's too hot and the baby could die. i personally i think that if you need to be told that on a commercial....you're too stupid to have a child!

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 01-04-2003 01:29

I'm going to say something here that's really, really outrageous to most people. If we can't help people help themselves and they'll die without help... we should let them die. I've mentioned this in other threads before. The amount of money spent on people to old to contirbute to society anymore is enough to help balance the rest of us (I imagine). Yes... yes... I know. they add wisdom and depth to our community. Well what about that guy over there who drools into a bucket and can't communicate in any way what-so-ever? Whatever happened to Social security being what you put in and no more than that? People just live too long now. Maybe that's the problem. We're working on the issue from the wrong end. New blood helps society and SOME older blood also helps it keep focus of itself. I just think there is too much.... ahem... dead wood. So maybe there needs to be some work done on both ends or something? Stop going to the extremes of many heart surgeries. Maybe stop helping those whose life won't improve very much or at all.

Now... I'm not being hypocritical and I'm not being stupid either. My father is dying of brain cancer for which there is no cure, nor will there be a cure in time (if ever) to save any quality of life for him. He is just hanging on and disintegrating mentally and physically in front of my family's eyes. I know that he would rather be dead than be where he is today. He can't communicate that wish, nor could we do anything about if he did. I think there are plenty of people who would make that choice if the proper laws would allow it. So maybe its something that needs to be layed out and discussed rather than cringing and spouting knee-jerk reactions to it. Terrible things are sometimes necessary and sometimes they're just better than the alternative. Shouldn't we, as thinking individuals, be given that choice while we're able to communicate it?

[This message has been edited by GrythusDraconis (edited 01-04-2003).]

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 01-04-2003 08:59

i agree with you 110%!!
i'd also really like to expand on that theme...but i just got back from an all day shopping trip with my mother and i'm buggered! mentally (not that there's much there) and physically (i break a sweat just from having to breathe).
so i'm off to eat dinner and rest


bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 01-07-2003 16:46

GD - I'm sorry to hear that. Condolences to your family. Terminal illness is a tragic thing to deal with. My uncle died of cancer last year. At least he was only sick for 4 months before he died. I would hate to think of him suffering like he did for much longer than that.

It's a bigger shame that the gov't put Dr. Jack Kevorkian out of business. Helping terminally ill people leave this world in a manner they wish to leave it was his business, but apparently, some people think that having someone take your life for you, even if you have no real life left to live, is a bad thing. I realize that it sounds bad to some of you, but be serious! If a person has no hope for quality of life left, and no hope for a cure to be found in their natural lifetime, what is the use of leaving them lingering? It's a source of both physical and emotional pain and trauma for the patient as well as for the family. Not to mention the cost of medical care for a long term, terminally ill patient.

It may seem cruel to say that, I understand that. But in the natural world, the sick and weak are culled out of the herds by predators, and in predatory packs, where there are no other natural predators, the pack kills the sick, old and weak. Survival of the fittest. Humans are really no different. Or shouldn't be at any rate. Any time a population exceeds the limits of the available resources, there's a problem. In creating more ways to keep humans alive longer, we are in the process of exceeding our available natural resources. It's been a problem for many many years now, and no one seems to be able to solve it. Yet we continually provide the means to extend the lives of many people who, very often, on their own, don't wish to have their lives continued. And most of the people who do wish to have their lives continued, have selfish agendas and shouldn't be allowed to live any longer anyway.

I can say that all I want to, but it's not gonna change anything, and you won't see me pronounce judgment on any one specific person either. I'm not interested in playing God (except in my own little fantasy world!). Over population is a problem, has been a problem, and until the peoples of the world take specific action to prevent over population, it will always be a problem. It won't go away until we as a species do something to control how many people we are producing and/or keeping alive by artificial means. The whole welfare children issue is simply a sub-issue of overpopulation in general.

Bodhi - Cell 617

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 01-07-2003 22:18

Kevorkian was an idiot. He went about things in the wrong way. Much as I detest some of the laws I am forced to follow I do accept responsiblity for my actions relating to them (read breaking the law). If I really think they're stupid laws, or laws that need to be changed. I try and change them through the correct channels. I find a group that agrees with me or make a group that will attract others that agree with me and lobby for the changes to be made. Rather than trying to change things by example like that dolt. He had an idea, one that he had the conviction to go to prison for. He should have turned that conviction into a forward drive to try and make it legal to help these poeple. Instead he's made it more difficult for anyone else to try and make it legal for terminally ill people to make these choices for themselves.

GrythusDraconis
I admire a man who can budget his life around his pint of Guinness and I envy a man who's wife will let him. ME, inspired by Suho1004 here.

silence
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: soon to be "the land down under"
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 01-08-2003 00:14

I believe we've evolved past the point where we need to "cull" the sick and weak from the herd. Perhaps if we were still living in a daily struggle for survival, this would indeed be a way to ensure better survival for the species. As it stands, once humanity stumbled across the idea of leisure, these extreme forms of population control have become wholly unnecessary.

And, again, actively removing portions of the population for one reason or another is not an answer.

It is also interesting to note that most posts calling for the removal of certain members of society have all chosen age groups outside their own: e.g. the old, the young (birth control), the sick.

I vote to remove myself to alleviate the population problem. And all 20 to 30 year olds with radical ideas and disaffected views of the world. Then everybody else could live in peace. Who's with me?



WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 01-08-2003 07:50

Nice post, silence. I agree.

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 01-08-2003 16:52

I have no problem with that. Except that doesn't achieve the point of our conversation... Which is to deal with population increases and still have a working society. Of course... we won't have to worry about as many old people then. So realistically... do you think it's feasible for that to actually work?

It doesn't even run in the same vein as my idea which is to only allow those that WANT to die TO die. I'm not talking about offing people at the age of 60 regardless of how their health is. THAT would be ridiculous. I think that you have to admit that the life expectancy of people today is longer than it used to be and is continuing to increase. With that increase, not everyone is experiencing an increase in quality of life over those extended years. In my belief there are quite a few that experience a total degredation of quality of life throughout those years. So... taking into account your post... I'll modify my point of view. I think that NO ONE of any age group, following, race, etc. etc. should be givin extreme measures of medical science unless the quality of life after the procedure can make it a worthwhile procedure. I also think that, along the lines of a 'living will' in positions where we can't communicate our wants, we should be able to state in writing that in conditions that don't meet with our specified 'quality of life' or from which there is no recovery we want to be euthenized. It isn't as radical an idea as you seem to think. Not everyone will want it, fine, but for those that DO want it, they'll finally be able to be free of the pain that they're being forced to live with for decades for no reason other than our society seems to abhor a wish to die.

So which is more harmful? Allowing those who want a release to choose that release without fear of societies shame being upon them. Or forcing them to live a life that causes them pain, either physically or emotionally, every day of their existence?

Which is more selfish? Going through an extreme medical procedure to save someones life when they will wake up and in no way experience life any more but at least you won't have 'lost' them. Or letting them die when their quality of life wouldn't exist because their life afterwards would be nothing but torment for them?

Just because advances in science have made it possible to pull people back from the brink of death doesn't mean we always should, nor does it mean we always have the right to try.

GrythusDraconis
I admire a man who can budget his life around his pint of Guinness and I envy a man who's wife will let him. ME, inspired by Suho1004 here.

[This message has been edited by GrythusDraconis (edited 01-08-2003).]

silence
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: soon to be "the land down under"
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 01-09-2003 01:21

Dealing with population increase by slowing the rate of increase is only one answer.

Another, in my opinion more viable, solution would be to increase the population size that can be comfortably sustained with available resources.

Advances in farming, housing, and better use of space available would also have a great impact on overpopulation. Not only that, there are vast tracts of land under the ocean that we can utilize in ways that are self-sustaining and environmentally friendly.

We are not in such an extreme crisis that we need to begin looking for ways to curtail the driving force of all humanity, i.e. procreation. Nor are we in such dire straits that we need to selectively allow members of society to die.

As for those who would voluntarily choose death, there are now living wills available in the case that you are unable to make your wishes known.

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