The world is currently populated by an excess of 7.3 billion people and counting, and the newest generation of these people is being born into a world where resources are steadily running dry, the seas are rising, and the world is getting warmer. We exhaust every solution to the problems of today, but we always turn a blind eye to the most obvious problem plaguing today’s world – overpopulation.
Many of us are too scared to confront the issue of overpopulation, because we have been taught for generations to believe in a doctrine called “sanctity of life”, the idea that human life is sacred and holy. That same doctrine is used by right-wing Protestants hoping to silence debates over abortion, stem cell research, contraception, and of course the “right to die”. Of course, this is because the “sanctity of life” only seems to apply to human beings. Such anthropocentric rhetoric doesn’t apply in the natural world, so the sanctity of life doctrine is a lie designed to keep humans afraid of death. This continuing fear of death, I feel, is the biggest reason people are uncomfortable about dealing with overpopulation.
Of course, one has to remember that most people believe that you can only resolve overpopulation by killing off a large number of people, but that simply isn’t true. In my opinion, if we want to resolve overpopulation, I think we should take a look at ourselves. More specifically, I blame mankind’s completely reckless attitude towards sex, in the sense that we have now prioritized sex far too greatly. Due to centuries of brainwashing, human beings have been convinced that sex is bad and should be avoided. The 20th century paved the way for the undoing of this programming, but mankind had only just been re-introduced to sexual freedom, and because we’re used to being told that we can’t control our desires, this went out of control, with the end result culminating in a population explosion.
For me, there are two solutions to the overpopulation problem.
1. We need better sexual education. Part of the problem is that a lot of people still don’t use condoms, either because they were unaware, or because their religion teaches them that contraception is a sin. In other words, we need to reverse Catholic notion that condoms are bad, which is important because Catholicism still has a stranglehold on places like the Philippines, where condoms are still frowned upon.
2. We need to re-think our emphasis on the family unit. Currently in human society, one of the most generally accepted reasons for having procreative sex is to start a family. Thanks to all manner of brainwashing from the media and right-wing politics, I can hardly be surprised. The family unit is generally accepted as consisting of a man with a wife and three children (that should probably explain why the USA has a population of 324 million and counting). On top of being inflexible and impractical for most, it only serves to create more mouths to feed. If 3.65 billion couples across the world all had three children each, it would produce numbers the world can’t even cope with.
Either way, I think the overpopulation issue requires a global change of attitude, and ultimately, I think that’s why people are afraid of dealing with this issue, but we can’t sweep it under the rug forever. If we keep running from this issue, then what will eventually happen is that we’ll have an overgrown population consuming resources that are ceasing to exist, and civilization as we know it will disintegrate. Ultimately, we have two choices. We can either continue living in blissful ignorance and allowing the human race to screw itself to oblivion, or we can take a good look at ourselves, re-evaluate our values and priorities, and take the one chance we have to save the planet and ourselves from the hellhole we’ll create if we don’t.