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I think it's a sign the species is just adapting slowly to it's circumstance, which is incredibly positive. We can't keep breeding and expanding until there's no room for anyone to stand up.

And as far as @Ikaika ragging on Japan, so what if their economic growth is slowing. They have so much work over there that everyone is valuable again. You can keep working until you're 90 if you want. You can find a place to live that isn't going to take you 30 years to pay off. That's how it's supposed to be. This hyperfocus we have here in the states on economic growth and ROI, to the point people become a burden instead of an asset, is a sickness that needs to be cured.
He really doesn't know what he is talking about.
 

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Are the numbers being affected by the fact that Millenials and Gen Z are marrying and having kids at older ages than previous generations? Basically has this trend been going on for more than 25 years? Are the kids eventually going to get to having families.

Also what would people see as a bigger problem lower birth rates or lower marriage rates.

Perhaps men should be allowed to have multiple wives, to keep birth rates up. Though the problem with incels would get crazy in that scenario, but then soon we will have sex robots.

I saw an interesting interview with Warren Buffet and they asked him about the fact that our kids will be worse off in life than we are. He found that ridiculous and pointed out your average middle class American has a better life today than John Rockefeller had in 1930. If Warren isn't concerned I'll go with his take, I feel too lazy for this big of a question at the moment.
 

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Is society getting what it's tolerating or is it getting what people WANTED?

We need to keep in mind that what was not tolerated were things like people choosing their own mates, choosing how many children they had, even choosing which gender they wanted to be with.

I'm a few weeks shy of 59 years old, these discussions aren't new. There were people saying society would fall with Roe vs Wade. There were people saying society would fall if laws against homosexuality were taken off the books and gays could no longer be arrested and incarcerated. There were riots and bombings and lynchings and communities burned to the ground when places were striking down laws preventing people of different races from marrying and striking down laws saying that children of different races had to be in different schools. Women were locked up and tortured and subjected to drowning and induced hyper and hypothermia and even electro shock treatments for "nymphomania because they had sex with someone they didn't intend to marry.

This wasn't just protests and violence in the streets by people trying change the laws to allow more freedom, there were bombings and burnings and lynchings and murder by people who were trying to not allow freedoms of people to choose what lifestyles and what family and sexual dynamics were best for them.

So what is more decadent and destructive, someone who wants to have the ability to live and love as they choose and to choose who they marry or even if they marry?? Or the people who will burn down neighborhoods and bomb clinics and hang people in their own front yards in front of their children if things are changing in a manner they don't like or agree with???

Who has the most blood on their hands here??? Have the gays burned down and shot up any straight nightclubs?? Have the abortion activist bombed any OB clinics, birthing centers or nurseries? Have the lesbians locked up heterosexual women in asylums and drowned them or subjected them to shock treatments and lobotomies? Have the transgendered dragged cis gendered straight men out of their homes and beat them and murdered them? Have mixed race couples burned down churches that perform weddings for people of the same race?

Where does the real fall of the "civilized" world come from? The people that want freedom and ability to choose their own sexualities and family dynamics? Or the ones that want to prevent it?
Wow
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Falling birth rates = significant consequences for productivity and economic growth


Promotion of individualism is one of the leading causes of decline in Falling birth rates in US:


Productivity is of profound importance to any organization (and society) for it to flourish and compete. Productivity comes from "productive citizens" in large part. And "productive citizens" come from stable family units in large part.



Family units are the building block of any society, right? The institution of marriage coupled with family friendly laws provides a strong moral foundation for creating stable family units in any society. And heterosexual coupling works best for the mankind. Children raised by both father and mother (as husband and wife) are very likely to understand intricacies of both genders and how to create healthy relationships.

Homosexuality coupling = Unproductive (these couples cannot reproduce; more likely to develop health problems; more violent)




Hookup culture = Unproductive because it promotes individualism



Factors promoting individualism and decadence = Falling birth rates = significant consequences for productivity and economic growth = superpower status on the line


This realization is a recurrence of ancient forms of decadence. Sodom, Gommorrah, and Pompeii are well-known examples. These cities collapsed due to destructive events but history is a solid reminder of the fact that decadence never works for any civilization:



Sir John Glubb captured this phenomenon in his literary masterpiece:


– The Age of Decadence

After a long period of wealth and power, empires will start to decline. This is the stage where people choose to behave in unsustainable ways and unaware of their consequences. Historians often refer to this stage as the decline in religion, but Glubb shows more than religion.

The empire will suffer because of excessive consumption. Absurdly wealthy elites will emerge where the masses will admire them. People will relate increased consumption to happiness. These values will permeate the public: frivolity, aestheticism, cynicism, narcissism, fanatics, and fatalism —and all negative behaviors affect the population.



Refer back to information provided above the quoted statement to understand the problem.
There's a lot of info and a lot to unpack there. I haven't read all the articles yet but my first impulse is we really need to stop blaming volcanos on sexual autonomy LOL :D

As far as economy, all social and demographic trends effect economy. For example, If there is a significant decrease in birth rate, the diaper, formula, baby bottle etc industries will be negatively effected of course. Historical data will show that economies supported by the traditional, married, nuclear family units because historically that was the predominant social and consumer structure.

If marriage and birth rates decline, some industries and economies will suffer and others will emerge and flourish. Diaper, bottle, formula and mini van industries may decline, but motorcycle, sports car and designer clothing industries will increase.

I can't really comment on gay violence because none of that is in my wheelhouse, but there has always been a correlation between violence and crime and other social ills associated with concentrations of single males. Take a look at the communities right off the main gate of any military post will illustrate that.

But is that due to men being unmarried or a lack of available females and groups of guys walking around with full tanks and too much time and beer money on their hands?

In other words, take a group of young single males and concentrate them in a place where there is not a comparable number of single females available to them or where most of the females are married and mate guarded, then yes, there is going to be drunkenness and fighting and general mayhem.

But if single people are distributed somewhat equally across a given population, will those problems still persist? I dunno, that can be a point of discussion and conjecture. Maybe. Maybe not.

Now on the issue of school shooters and mass murderers being fatherless, that is what Dad Starting Over was talking about and the questions being posed - - - If only the people who actually want to be married and be parents were the ones who were doing it and the others were allowed to pursue their own interests without being pressured or made to feel less than for not wanting traditional marriage and family, would their be less abandoned and neglected children and fewer children brought up in broken and dysfunctional homes???
 

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They had a brief mention of the declining marriage and birth rates and whether that was good or bad, but I found it an interesting topic that I think deserves a little more dialogue.

Now my ultra conservative, religious grandmother would think that today's declining marriage rate is the final sign of the apocalypse and that society and the world we know and love is doomed. Doomed doomed doomed.

But is it? Is this actually a correction and things are getting better?

Now those that are more conservative and religious in nature are probably going to see this as moral decay and the fall of society and this this will all be a return to Babylon and Sodom and Gomorra and that there will have to be another cleansing either by fire from the sky or another great flood so we can return to the stone age and start over again.

But is this moral decay and heathenism, or are we just entering into a period of time where people are getting to be allowed to be themselves and do what they actually want and what they think is the actual best course of action for them?

Will the world actually be a better place with LESS marriage and children etc?
First, the fertility rate is below replacement in every industrialized country except Israel, where it is boosted by highly religious communities that have a lot of children. Most people don't realize just how low fertility rates are. That means that without immigration, all of those populations would start aging and declining. Those countries have social welfare systems built upon multiple young people contributing to every old person getting government benefits. As the population ages, the tax burden and labor burden on young people to take care of older people increases and it increases within families as they have fewer siblings to distribute the care of parents between. How bad are some fertility rates right now? South Korea has dropped to around 0.83. That's less than a child per woman. And this isn't just a White or Asian problem. No racial category except Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders is at or above replacement in the US and Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are pretty much at replacement only. I recommend taking a look at global fertility rates. This isn't the 1950s anymore, or even the 1970s. A lot of people don't realize that. Obviously, if you project below-replacement fertility out into the future, it ends with the number 0, so it's not sustainable.

Second, most industrialized nations are offsetting their declining populations with immigration, but there is a problem with that. Fertility rates are declining everywhere else, too, including the countries with relatively high fertility rates and growing populations. Middle estimates from the UN have the global population stabilizing by the end of the century and starting to decline. Even the highest fertility countries are projected to approach or drop below replacement level, too. So when that happens, where does everyone else get their immigrants from? They don't. And then the population decline becomes even worse. Japan, with a fertility rate around 1.4, has very low immigration so they provide good insight into what that looks like. Their population is declining by about 300,000 per year and in the next 20 years, a third of their population is going to be 65 or older. The fix everyone is grasping at is robotic caregivers and fake children. Sounds like Hell to me. YMMV. Not sustainable.

Third, once the fertility rate drops below replacement, there doesn't seem to be any way to get it back above replacement short of a huge cultural shift. More on that in a moment. Yes, Scandinavian countries improved their fertility rates with lavish social programs, yet that "success" hasn't gotten fertility rates above around 1.7, still well below replacement (2.1), and it would be even lower if you excluded recent immigrants who have not assimilated yet. In Singapore (around 1.2), the government tried paying people to have more children. It didn't change the fertility rate much. China ended it's militant 1 child policy and most people aren't having more children because only 1 child became the cultural norm. People like to cite economic reasons but what's causing fertility to decline is people are choosing not to have children because they just aren't a priority. A lot of people are childless by choice and don't care. Few think about having more than 1 or 2 children, even when they do have them and can afford more. Plenty of my daughters' friends say they don't want children or want to adopt. Children are portrayed as life-ruining ends to fun times of freedom and most people seem to be buying into that.

I think we're pretty much in population decline free-fall right now, even though it can take years for the lack of children now to reflect in the overall population. It's not a temporary decline unless the culture changes because the culture is driving it, not economics.

So who is having children? The highly religious, conservative people, and women looking for traditional sex roles. The Amish are doubling their population every 20 years. Israel has a high fertility rate because of conservative Orthodox Jewish communities and their Palestinian counterparts are doing the same. Traditional societies where women aren't well education or don't have a lot of rights are also having a lot of children, but that will change a they modernize and treat their women better. There are plenty of studies that suggest personality traits are inherited and play roughly a 50% role in determining our personalities ("nurture" also plays a role), including "religiousness" (the likelihood a person will be religious) and conservative thinking. From an evolutionary standpoint, this could make being religious and being conservative traits that get strongly selected for with respect to future generations, which could change how societies think and behave.

A lot of what happens is in the hands of women once they are given the means and right to choose how many children they have. Many simply don't want them or don't want many if they do want them. When they become more educated and have more economic power, they come to have "better things to do" than having children.

So where does this go? One of three things (or some combination) will happen.

1) Population will keep declining to the point of extinction.

2) Low fertility cultures will be replaced by high fertility cultures that are religious, conservative, or don't respect women's rights and have more children.

3) Educated and economically successful women in industrialized countries need to decide that children are important and have more of them (not a dozen like some women did before birth control but at or above replacement).

In short, feminism doesn't have a future unless it can become child and motherhood friendly. If you don't have children, you don't contribute to the future. The only other possible alternative I can see is artificial wombs, but who is going to pay for them and who will the children belong to? That has some really dystopian implications.

When my daughters, as preteens, started talking about having "careers" one day, I told them very clearly that having them was the most important thing that their mother and I will ever do. Unless you cure cancer or get elected president of a major nation, that will likely be true for you, too. An actress recently credited her ability to get an abortion for being able to win a Golden Globe award, but can you name the first woman to win a Golden Globe or what she starred in or the first Oscar won by a woman without Googling it? Probably not. The fame represented by a Golden Globe is fleeting, but that's exactly what everyone is chasing -- fleeting fun and fame.

A way out of this is telling women that motherhood and having children is important. Tell men that, too, so they can help make it easier. I never complained about changing diapers because I wanted those kids. I gave them baths, cleaned their bottles, and slept in the room with them because my wife is a light sleeper and would wake up too much. When you are dying, your career isn't going to visit you and most of your friends are going to be dealing with their own problems or may be dead already. And, no, not all children are there for their parents in old age even if their parents were good to them, but the fewer you have, the more likely you'll die alone and forgotten.

I had two childless aunts who I loved dearly. My mother died when I was little and her sisters were an important part of my life. I spent weeks with them each year around the holidays and they went on vacation with me. They were amazing women. When they were elderly and then dying, their careers didn't visit them in the senior community, nursing home, or hospital and didn't go to their funerals. Their nephews and niece did. And as more people have fewer or now children and are only children, there will be fewer nieces and nephews to watch after he childless. Better hope they develop those elderly care robots before you need them. And better hope those robots and doctors make good decisions for you if you start suffering from dementia or have a stroke.

There were always people like my aunts (and my father's brother and his wife who married but never had children and were also very good to me) that didn't have children, but the overall family size and fertility rate was high enough to absorb it. My aunts were 2 of 5 children. One died as an infant. Two had no children. My mother had only me before dying. Her brother had 2 children. So even starting with 5, they went sub-replacement in the next generation. That's not sustainable but at least my aunts had 2 nephews and a niece to help them out. I know people who don't have that. The children aren't there.

I liken it to walking on the grass. Individually, there is nothing inherently wrong with walking on the grass. I walk across my own lawn all the time and don't kill the grass. But if thousands of people did that, my lawn would be dead in days. Individually, there is nothing inherently wrong with choosing not to have children, and many people have good reasons for it. But if everyone chose to have no children, we'd go extinct in a generation. There are quite a few people who don't care if we become an evolutionary dead end. Maybe the answer to the Fermi Paradox is that species have trouble surviving past the development of birth control.

Ideally, everyone should be able to choose whether or not to have children. I don't want to see woman or men forced into marriage or into having children they don't want. Most developed countries abandoned that garbage for a reason. But if people can't find a reason to choose to perpetuate the species, we're either going to go extinct or women are going to stop being given that choice. Fair? Probably not. But I don't see it ending any other way.
 

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I think it's a sign the species is just adapting slowly to it's circumstance, which is incredibly positive. We can't keep breeding and expanding until there's no room for anyone to lie down.
How is reproducing below replacement level "adapting" as opposed to riding a path toward an evolutionary dead end? Leaving behind fewer children and having a declining population is not how evolutionary success is measured.

And as far as @Ikaika ragging on Japan, so what if their economic growth is slowing. They have so much work over there that everyone is valuable again. You can keep working until you're 90 if you want. You can find a place to live that isn't going to take you 30 years to pay off. That's how it's supposed to be. This hyperfocus we have here in the states on economic growth and ROI, to the point people become a burden instead of an asset, is a sickness that needs to be cured.
Japan is currently losing around a million people every 3-4 years and will have half the population by the end of the century that it had at the start of the century. In the next two decades, a third of Japan's population will be 65+. Who is going to support them? Google "Sandwich Couples Japan Parents Children". Japan's economy never recovered from the 1980s bubble bursting, their national debt is over 250% of GDP, and there are a lot of young people who are having trouble finding work. Why? Because when you have fewer people and fewer children, you also need fewer workers. Yes, I know everyone tries to put a happy face on Japan and likes to claim that automation will save them, but Japan's current trajectory won't carry it very far into the future.
 

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A lower birth rate is not necessarily a bad thing. Over a long period eventually it can be, but historically speaking, it's not been a long period yet. Having a dip in population can ease any stress on resources, and improve quality of life to those fewer. At some point, most likely, we'll see another period of large families as the statistical norm.

As to marriages, the question is are they really on the decline, or is it just legal marriages on the decline. It all comes back to the question of what really is a marriage? Can you have a marriage without going through the government? We are seeing an increase in people who are co-habitating and raising children together but are not getting the legal marriage, so are they married in essence?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
@QuestionAssumptions

I did a few minutes of Google and Wikipedia research on global population and the only point where the population appeared to go backwards a point or two was in the 1300s (Black Plague and mini ice age)

now that was based off of European estimates and I don’t know what was going on in the Western Hemisphere at that time.

But anyway moving on to modern times with better census and UN data, From 1913 (before WWI) to 1919 (post WW1 and following the Spanish flu pandemic) the global population rose.

From 1938 prior to the outbreak of WWII to 1946 after the war, the global population still increased.

from the 1500s- 1800s during the genocide and extermination of the native Americans, the global population continues to rise.

The world population has basically doubled in my lifetime, so when people talk of an impending implosion of population, I tend to do an eye roll.

And even just the use of the word “extinction” is utterly ridiculous.

Barring any kind of global catastrophe like a meteor strike, nuclear war, zombie apocalypse etc there’s not gonna be any human extinction.

People aren’t going to go extinct.

most people do want to couple up and most people do want to have kids.

the question is not will we stop reproducing because we won’t.

The question is are we better off allowing the individual to choose their own reproductivity on their own terms and timelines rather than having societal pressure and expectation to determine reproductivity?

Are we better or worse off if fewer people marry and have kids, But those people are the ones that actually WANT to do it and are willing to put in the effort and do the work, while allowing those that don’t to go about their own business?

Dad Starting Over brought up the Pereto Principle of 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the cause - meaning can a fewer dedicated number of people marrying and producing offspring, do a better job than trying to get everyone to conform to marriage and child bearing/rearing?
 

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Another reason not to expect society to collapse is that we've already had populations lower than we have today and society / civilization functioned just fine. I mean our population is now 8 Billion and if it drops to 7 Billion we know that we can function at that level of population because we already have. We haven't ever had a population of 9 or 10 billion so that's uncharted territory. Until we do reach and support that population we don't know that the can.
I agree with most everything you wrote here, except the part above.

i.e. that we've proven we can make it work at 7 billion. It's a fallacy.

The situation is more like this:

We've proven we can drive at 7mph towards the cliff edge of finite resources and environmental health degradation, but driving at 9 or 10mph is uncharted territory.

We're still driving towards the same cliff edge, just at different rates. A long term sustainable population given advancements in technology to mitigate destruction and use of finite resources most likely slipped away from our grasp in the 1970's at 4 billion.

We were well aware of the issues then, and we're still just as afraid of looking out the front windshield now. More so now I think that it's become an almost wholly an ideological discussion vs a scientific one.
 

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The cost of daycare is limiting the population growth in my family. It's $1500 per month per child. Because of the massive failures of public education in the US, private school is mandatory.

Birth control is also a great reason for the decline in the birthrate.

And there are the infertility and birth defect issues caused by the criminal administration of unlimited vaccines.

As far as the overpopulation myth is concerned, if everyone in the world stood shoulder-to-shoulder, such as they would at a rock concert, the entire world's population would fit into the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida. Stop typing. Don't type a stupid response to that fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I agree with most everything you wrote here, except the part above.

i.e. that we've proven we can make it work at 7 billion. It's a fallacy.

The situation is more like this:

We've proven we can drive at 7mph towards the cliff edge of finite resources and environmental health degradation, but driving at 9 or 10mph is uncharted territory.

We're still driving towards the same cliff edge, just at different rates. A long term sustainable population given advancements in technology to mitigate destruction and use of finite resources most likely slipped away from our grasp in the 1970's at 4 billion.

We were well aware of the issues then, and we're still just as afraid of looking out the front windshield now. More so now I think that it's become an almost wholly an ideological discussion vs a scientific one.
I looked up the 7 billion mark.

The population reached 7 billion in 2011.

Was anyone screaming for more people or worried about the world running out of people in 2011?
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
One of the things we need to keep in mind is in days gone by, children were a big asset to the individual parents.

people bred their own labor force and their own fellow tribesmen/women.

When we were hunter gatherers, offspring were the strong hunters and the gatherers when they , and they were the protectors and defenders of the tribe when they reached puberty.

In agricultural and craftsman times, children were the labor force on family farms and family businesses.

with the dawn of the industrial days where adults “went to work” outside of the home, things shifted and children were no longer as much of a direct asset to the individual.

And finally now in a technological era children are basically a pure liability to the individual.

my 18 year old helped me shovel snow out of the driveway yesterday so I guess there is that.

But my point is there is no direct benefit to the individual to have children in modern western world today. They are a very expensive liability.


we pay out the wazoo for them for 20some years then send them out to make their own way and we may see them on holidays.

Take care of us when we’re old? OK. Yyyyeeaahh, Kids that are especially involved in their parents lives do make phone calls for various social and elderly services and if they live within an hour they may periodically do some housework and yard work and maybe even pick some groceries now and then. But real

the only reason to have them is because someone may want to have kids around and like them…. Kinda like dogs and cats.

But real world, nuts and bolts benefit???? For some people maybe? For the large scale masses? No.

A labor pool is always necessary for the collective. But for the individual, they are an economic liability.
 

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I did a few minutes of Google and Wikipedia research on global population and the only point where the population appeared to go backwards a point or two was in the 1300s (Black Plague and mini ice age)

now that was based off of European estimates and I don’t know what was going on in the Western Hemisphere at that time.

But anyway moving on to modern times with better census and UN data, From 1913 (before WWI) to 1919 (post WW1 and following the Spanish flu pandemic) the global population rose.

From 1938 prior to the outbreak of WWII to 1946 after the war, the global population still increased.

from the 1500s- 1800s during the genocide and extermination of the native Americans, the global population continues to rise.

The world population has basically doubled in my lifetime, so when people talk of an impending implosion of population, I tend to do an eye roll.
Go to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division World Population Prospects 2022 page here. Take a look at the graph for World population, Probabilistic Projections, Population, and Total Population. What do you see happening to the Median projection line by the end of the century? It shows the global population declining, that thing you said you could only find happening twice in human history. That is where trends are currently headed, whether you want to believe it or not. This isn't still the 1950s and the rest of human history didn't have reliable birth control to stop unwanted pregnancies.

And even just the use of the word “extinction” is utterly ridiculous.

Barring any kind of global catastrophe like a meteor strike, nuclear war, zombie apocalypse etc there’s not gonna be any human extinction.

People aren’t going to go extinct.

most people do want to couple up and most people do want to have kids.
This is a simple matter of math. If people, on average, do not have enough children to replace themselves, then the population will decline. If the population continues to decline, the population will eventually go to 0 -- extinction. Do the math. If the "most people" who do "want to have kids" don't want more than 1 or 2 and a growing number of people don't have any, they will not have enough kids to replace the people who are dying. The average fertility rate must be at least 2.1 to replace the current population. It is already below that number in every developed country except Israel. It is headed below that number globally. Wanting to have a child or two is not enough. The people you imagine will make up the gap simply aren't there and haven't been for decades. This isn't the 1950s.

Do I think humans will actually go extinct? No. Before that, either people will decide they need to have more children willingly or the prevailing culture will become dominated by people and cultures that resort to societal pressure and expectations to promote reproduction at or above replacement. Why? Because they'll be the ones having the children who inherit the future. How pleasant or unpleasant that will be for people who don't want to conform will depend on the specifics of who winds up in charge.

the question is not will we stop reproducing because we won’t.

The question is are we better off allowing the individual to choose their own reproductivity on their own terms and timelines rather than having societal pressure and expectation to determine reproductivity?
What does it mean to be "better off"? If leaving people to chose their own reproduction results in sub-replacement fertility while cultures that provide societal pressure and expectations reproduce well above replacement, whose children and cultures will inherit the future?

If we were talking about bacteria or two species of rabbits, I think the answers here would be obvious. The future is inherited by the offspring of those who have them. The future isn't inherited by people who don't have enough children to replace themselves.

Some additional food for thought on what's "better" from an evolutionary perspective that might not fit what people expect here.

Are we better or worse off if fewer people marry and have kids, But those people are the ones that actually WANT to do it and are willing to put in the effort and do the work, while allowing those that don’t to go about their own business?

Dad Starting Over brought up the Pereto Principle of 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the cause - meaning can a fewer dedicated number of people marrying and producing offspring, do a better job than trying to get everyone to conform to marriage and child bearing/rearing?
Do a better job of what? What's the goal? Define what you mean by "better".

I think it's fair to argue that we're better off with people having children that they want and that we high population growth is also unsustainable. The problem is that the "fewer dedicated number of people marrying and producing offspring" are not having enough children to replace themselves. The only reason why the population isn't crashing even worse is because their very low fertility is still being offset by the people who you are putting down, who come from cultures and subcultures that do have societal pressure and expectations to reproduce. The Amish are offsetting a lot of Americans with far lower fertility rates than the national average and the Orthodox Jews in Israel are doing the same there.

So what happens if we follow your ideal of "better" and get rid of those high-fertility communities that use societal pressure and expectations to maintain higher fertility rates and stop people in the countries currently providing immigrants to offset low fertility rates in the industrialized world to only have a fewer number of dedicated people to only have 1 or 2 children like their dedicated counterparts in the industrialized world? Population crashes. And, remember, the people you are holding up as the ideal have fertility rates well below the national average because it's being offset by the people who you might see as irresponsible or pressured but are still having quite a few children, though far less than they once did.

You can see this at work in Japan, where it isn't being offset by immigration and their fertility rate isn't boosted by religious groups. Their population is declining. It will halve by the end of the century. A third of their population will be 65+ in the next two decades. That's what happens when your ideal isn't offset by immigration from places that don't follow your ideal. By what measure is that "better"?

A bit of wisdom from a former co-worker and friend who had children before I did after hearing me talk about why I wasn't sure my wife and I were ready. He told me, "There is never a good time to have children. If you wait until the right time to have children, you'll never have children." That's where I think a lot of people are. They get so wrapped up in the ideal that you shouldn't have children unless everything is right that they wind up having few or none. The reason why population grow throughout human history through famines, wars, oppression, slavery, and genocide is that people had children despite that because they couldn't take a pill or get an implant to stop it. And they managed to raise enough of those less-than-ideal children to the point where they could have their own children. Now, people would simply rather not have them and have the ability not to without resorting to celibacy.
 

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Was anyone screaming for more people or worried about the world running out of people in 2011?
The countries experiencing the worst declines have been talking about it for a while. A lot of people have been assuming they could fill in domestic declines with immigrants. The problem is that fertility rates are declining everywhere else, too, meaning that well will eventually run dry. Let's not pretend that only loons are talking about this stuff or that unprecedented things aren't happening.





 

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But my point is there is no direct benefit to the individual to have children in modern western world today. They are a very expensive liability.
But isn't that exactly the situation you've been calling "better"?

A labor pool is always necessary for the collective. But for the individual, they are an economic liability.
And when all of the people, thinking as individuals, don't have many children, where does the labor pool that's necessary for the collective come from?

And this is why cultures that put obligation and expectations on people to think beyond their own self-interests and individual needs will inherit the future. You are playing a short game. They are playing a long game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
But isn't that exactly the situation you've been calling "better"?



And when all of the people, thinking as individuals, don't have many children, where does the labor pool that's necessary for the collective come from?

And this is why cultures that put obligation and expectations on people to think beyond their own self-interests and individual needs will inherit the future. You are playing a short game. They are playing a long game.
what they are actually playing is the power, conquest and dominance game.

There’s strength and power in numbers.

When the pope comes to the balcony and says that contraception is a sin with no biblical reference, He is not sharing the word of Gord. He is trying to create more Catholics to increase his power base and put more money in his collection plates.

That’s fine, I understand people wanting to rule the world.

The issue I have is he is doing this on the wombs of women that don’t want to bear and raise umpteen kids and on the backs of fathers toiling in the fields from sun up to sun down to try to feed and house and clothe them.

And just how many kids has the pope raised and how many diapers has he changed and how many times has he been puked on and how many doctors appointments has he taken his kids to and how many hours a day does he work to keep them fed??

Oh yeah that’s right - NONE!

In fact the entire cadre of clergy that stands up infront of the entire global network of the church every Saturday night and Sunday morning telling their followers that contraception is a sin and to crap out babies one after the other are all single and carefree themselves.

They have all their followers do the dirty work of morning sickness, back labor, swollen feet and toiling in the hot sun to feed them all while they live the single and carefree life and molest and rape the very children they are telling their followers to produce.

even a blind man can see that hypocrisy.

Now I picked on the pope because he is an easy target, but you can insert pretty much every religious figurehead, dictator, cult leader that you want, they are pretty much the same.

So I do not dispute your facts or think that you are incorrect on much if any of what you say.

I just think it is evil and wrong. My issue isn’t really global population. My issue is these religions and groups and cultures that are pushing for people to crap out babies are doing it on the wombs and backs of the poor, the disenfranchised and the ignorant to do be the breeding stock.

I don’t think the pope has ever paid anyone’s diaper or baby formula bill but yet he expects them to gather up their pennies from the week after trying to feed and clothe umpteen kids so they can put those pennies in the collection plate Sunday morning.

It’s going to take the individual to stand up and say no I’m not going to be your breeding stock.

I’m not afraid of population reduction if it means the individual has the right to choose their own reproductivity.

What my fear is is that I’m afraid you are correct, it will be the zealots and dictators and cult leaders that will breed the ignorant and disenfranchised into dominance.

The movie Idiocracy will come to fruition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
What does it mean to be "better off"? If leaving people to chose their own reproduction results in sub-replacement fertility while cultures that provide societal pressure and expectations reproduce well above replacement, whose children and cultures will inherit the future?


Do a better job of what? What's the goal? Define what you mean by "better".
Let’s try to be reasonable and keep our feet on the ground here.

no one is talking about depopulating the earth.

humans are not going to go extinct and there is not going to be any kind of population collapse.

Global population has been increasing since the rain stopped falling on Noah’s ark. Allowing individuals to determine their own reproductivity is not going to cause the earths population to collapse.

I think most people want to pair bond and have kids.

I think the number of people that do not want any kids at all are in the minority. All creatures innately want to mate and reproduce.

i am not talking about calling a moratorium on human reproduction and neither was Dad Starting Over and Dr Glover.

The discussion was about letting individuals that want them to determine for themselves when to have them, under what circumstances and conditions to have them and how many to have.

And also, to accept the choices of those who do not want children and not judge them or pressure or coerce them

So what would be “better” with that system?

Really??? You have to ask? Is this something that actually has to be spelled out and explained to otherwise intelligent and presumably educated people??

OK I’ll bite. It would allow people to control their own fate and individual determinism for starters. Are we sentient beings or are we mindless drones in the hive?

But for real world applications let’s start with personal finances and family economics. One of the primary factors in poverty is unplanned pregnancy and pregnancy before being able to obtain an education and sustainable income.

By controlling reproductivity until one is able to afford and support offspring, that is one of if not the primary factor in not raising children in poverty.

Along with that includes adequate and nutritious food, medical care, housing ….. Good lord why are we even discussing this stuff.

Not crapping out kids at too early of an age and not having oodles of children allows parents to raise healthier and more robust and for those families and children to have more social and economic opportunities than those raised in poverty and living hand to mouth in squalor.

yes they may be fewer in number but will be greater in health and vitality and more opportunity for growth and development.

And if there were less pressure on people marrying and having kids that don’t really want to, and leave that to the people who actually do want to and are willing to put in the work- it stands to reason that the rates of divorce, infidelity, child abuse, child neglect etc likely would decrease as well.

Let those that want to live single and childless do so without pressure or judgement so that the people who do want to marry and raise families and determine their own brood size and at what stage in their life then each can pursue their own best life and stand a better chance of better life for the subsequent generations.

As I’ve said a number of times, most people DO want to pair bond and reproduce. But if we allow them to do it by their own choice, how can that possibly not be “better” than being compelled to do so by other entities.
 

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I just think it is evil and wrong. My issue isn’t really global population. My issue is these religions and groups and cultures that are pushing for people to crap out babies are doing it on the wombs and backs of the poor, the disenfranchised and the ignorant to do be the breeding stock.
I'm not talking about right or wrong. I'm talking about how these things play out. It doesn't matter if you like it or I like it or not. It's the way things are.

You may feel that way all you want, but if they have children and you don't, and they encourage their children to have grandchildren and you don't, then their heirs and culture is going to inherit the Earth, not yours. You can shake your fist at them or their deities all you want, but they're playing to win and you aren't.

It’s going to take the individual to stand up and say no I’m not going to be your breeding stock.
And your individual stand is to hand the Earth over to them? Does that make any sense? In what way do you think this is sticking it to them?

I’m not afraid of population reduction if it means the individual has the right to choose their own reproductivity.
Are you OK with extinction of the population reduction has no floor and humanity ends up like the Shakers?

What my fear is is that I’m afraid you are correct, it will be the zealots and dictators and cult leaders that will breed the ignorant and disenfranchised into dominance.
I'm not sure they are all as ignorant as you imagine, though plenty are. But why are highly educated and comfortable people happy being evolutionary dead-ends? Can't you come up with any good rational reason to have at least enough children to replace yourself and your spouse and, if you can't, then just surrender the future to them because they want it and you don't.

The movie Idiocracy will come to fruition.
I was tempted to post the intro to that movie but I think people get the wrong message from it. Did you read the article on Variation in General Intelligence and Our Evolutionary History? Part of my point is that if the highly intelligent and educated can't figure out good reasons to have children, then they're an evolutionary dead-end despite all of that knowledge and intelligence while the ignorant and disenfranchised seem to have a better grasp of what matters, either by accident or on purpose.
 

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Let’s try to be reasonable and keep our feet on the ground here.

no one is talking about depopulating the earth.

humans are not going to go extinct and there is not going to be any kind of population collapse.
You keep asserting that but I don't think that's as certain as you believe it is. On the one hand, you talk about how disappointing children are how awful pregnancy is and don't see how that becoming a widespread belief can lead to a population collapse. In Asia, watch Japan, South Korea, and China. In Europe, watch Italy. They're leading the way. Their populations are already declining and demographic shifts are becoming a problem. Over 20 countries might see their population halve by 2100.

Global population has been increasing since the rain stopped falling on Noah’s ark. Allowing individuals to determine their own reproductivity is not going to cause the earths population to collapse.
You keep asserting that but falling fertility rates suggest otherwise. Again, the fertility rate in every industrialized country is already below replacement. The only reason Israel isn't among them is because of religious zealots of the kind you are complaining about. The only reason America isn't lower is because of "backward" religious zealots like the Amish in America. If you had your way, all of the high fertility rate groups that are offsetting those low fertility rates would also become sub-replacement populations, too. That's what you are advocating.

The global population could peak and decline even earlier than the UN median estimate:


The whole reason people are compelled to have sex is so they'll reproduce. It wasn't designed to be a fruitless recreational activity. But we've largely decoupled the compulsion to have sex from reproduction with birth control, pornography, and so on. We've broken the biological imperative to make babies whether we want them or not and the results are consistent everywhere -- people not making enough babies to replace themselves. We used our intelligence to break evolution and what we're doing to ourselves is the same thing we do to Japanese beetles when we use pheromones to lure them into traps. We're redirecting a strong behavioral urge meant to compel us to make babies into ends that don't make babies, and most people seem pretty content with that, just like the Japanese beetles before they fall into the trap from exhaustion after trying to mate with a piece of plastic. This is all new. Birth control is a game changer.

I think most people want to pair bond and have kids.

I think the number of people that do not want any kids at all are in the minority. All creatures innately want to mate and reproduce.
That every developed nation (except one, because of religious zealots) is reproducing below replacement suggests that even if that's what they want, most people don't want it badly enough to prioritize it or make it happen. Too many are like Trevor and Carol in the opening of Idiocracy. Without the kick of accidental pregnancies and other pressures, people may want it but many just don't get around to it.

And of those who do want children and have them, many of them are happy with 1 or 2. That's still below replacement. You need an average of 2.1 children to maintain a population. Why can't intelligent and educated people get there? Again, this is why the fertility rates are below replacement in every industrialized nation. It's not a fluke or just a few. It's a predictable pattern repeated everywhere.

A friend who is certainly able to afford 3 children (above replacement) now has 3 children because the third one was a late-in-life surprise. They wouldn't have had that third child deliberately.

i am not talking about calling a moratorium on human reproduction and neither was Dad Starting Over and Dr Glover.

The discussion was about letting individuals that want them to determine for themselves when to have them, under what circumstances and conditions to have them and how many to have.

And also, to accept the choices of those who do not want children and not judge them or pressure or coerce them
I agree that's the ideal. I don't want to see people forced to have children they don't want and I don't really want those who don't coerced into having them. It's also good is the human population doesn't double every 20-30 years. But my point is that just letting individuals figure it out and not encouraging them to have children isn't working. It's producing populations in decline. And those populations will eventually be replaced by populations that don't value individual choices as much and do pressure and coerce people into having children. It's not a matter of good or bad, right or wrong. It's what's going to happen unless the individuals you value so much can decide on their own to have more children, but what one typically sees is what you've said -- children are poor investments and ungrateful and pregnancy is such an awful and humiliating experience that no intelligent woman would want to submit to, which is leading fertility rates into further decline. Teach people to resent children, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood and they'll avoid it. It's not sustainable. If you think it's good, that's fine, but enjoy it before the decline and failure.

So what would be “better” with that system?

Really??? You have to ask? Is this something that actually has to be spelled out and explained to otherwise intelligent and presumably educated people??
Yes, because "better" is subjective. And it's pretty meaningless without explaining what's being measured or compared.

OK I’ll bite. It would allow people to control their own fate and individual determinism for starters. Are we sentient beings or are we mindless drones in the hive?
And why do you care about that?

But for real world applications let’s start with personal finances and family economics. One of the primary factors in poverty is unplanned pregnancy and pregnancy before being able to obtain an education and sustainable income.

By controlling reproductivity until one is able to afford and support offspring, that is one of if not the primary factor in not raising children in poverty.

Along with that includes adequate and nutritious food, medical care, housing ….. Good lord why are we even discussing this stuff.
Because I think (looks at my username) you need to question your assumptions. What does it mean to be able to "afford and support offspring"? What's "adequate"? America has an obesity problem, even among the poor. We have people going hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt chasing an education that will make it difficult for them to have a sustainable income. And we having ever growing numbers of people who never bother to get married or have children.

I do get your point. It's preferable to have an adequate income, be able to feed your kids well, to live in a nice area with good schools, and so on, but I think you are missing the point that that dream also isn't working out or delivering what's promised to a lot of people, either, especially when society tried to scale it up for the majority.

Not crapping out kids at too early of an age and not having oodles of children allows parents to raise healthier and more robust and for those families and children to have more social and economic opportunities than those raised in poverty and living hand to mouth in squalor.

yes they may be fewer in number but will be greater in health and vitality and more opportunity for growth and development.
And that's the narrative I've been hearing since at least the 1980s to make it sound wonderful, but that's not how it's working out in practice. Those people "crapping out children" are actually leaving heirs behind while those children raised with greater health and vitality and more opportunity for growth and development aren't having very many children and are headed down the road of Trevor and Carol in Idiocracy. So at the end of the day, is being Trevor and Carol really objectively better than being Clevon, Trish, Brittany, and Brandy? Depends on what you value and how long your game is. From an evolutionary standpoint, the people "crapping out children" are going to inherit the Earth, whether you approve of the conditions under which they raised their children or not. Way more of their children are surviving and having children of their own. And in every industrialized country, the tax dollars paid by all of those economically better off people is going to help pay for it. So who is being smart and who is being stupid?

And if there were less pressure on people marrying and having kids that don’t really want to, and leave that to the people who actually do want to and are willing to put in the work- it stands to reason that the rates of divorce, infidelity, child abuse, child neglect etc likely would decrease as well.
And birth rates would plummet even lower, to South Korea levels or less. You want to end the engines that are actually still creating children in the industrialized world. And then what?

If course one of the elephants in the room is that a large percentage of infidelity as well as violent and other crime involves at least one person who is a psychopath, sociopath, or has a Cluster B personality disorder. Deal with them and you could also reduce the rates of divorce, infidelity, child abuse, child neglect, etc. My parents grew up during The Great Depression with levels of poverty even most poor Americans would find difficult to deal with yet none of them were as dysfunctional as what I often see even among fairly well-off people today. I'm not convinced that poverty is actually the real problem.

Let those that want to live single and childless do so without pressure or judgement so that the people who do want to marry and raise families and determine their own brood size and at what stage in their life then each can pursue their own best life and stand a better chance of better life for the subsequent generations.
In an ideal world, I think that would be wonderful. But in practice, it's proven to be unsustainable unless people can learn to "determine their own brood size" in a way that keeps the population from plummeting. Remember, one of my ways out of this is for people to figure out how do decide on their own to have more children. If that doesn't happen, the two alternatives will be less pleasant.

As I’ve said a number of times, most people DO want to pair bond and reproduce. But if we allow them to do it by their own choice, how can that possibly not be “better” than being compelled to do so by other entities.
You keep asserting that. And they may say that they want that, but they aren't delivering in practice as seen in the actual fertility rates. They aren't choosing to actually have the children you assume they want. Or maybe they just don't want more than 1 or 2 in most cases, which simply isn't enough. Either way, it's not sustainable, independent of being good or bad.

It's not "better" in the sense that it's going to fail. It's better from a short perspective of current enjoyment but foolish from a long perspective of who inherits the future. It will be great for those who get to enjoy the benefits without suffering the failure but it's really going to suck for the people at the end when it falls apart.

Also, plenty of people who are encouraged or compelled to have children don't regret it. In fact, I would argue that more people would translate their "want" to pair bond and reproduce into actually doing so if they had more encouragement to do so and they weren't receiving a constant drum-beat of pessimistic takes on children and pregnancy as you've presented in this thread. Convincing people that things have to be perfect to have children leaves them like Trevor and Carol in Idiocracy -- wanting, planning, and talking about but never getting around to doing until it's too late. I also see a lot of talk here about people marrying too young but I think a lot of people actually marry too late -- long after they've been jaded by earlier experiences and have become set in their ways and less willing to adapt or change for a partner.

You are focused on on the short term good and bad of free choice vs compulsion. I don't want to be compelled and I want to choose how to live my life, too. But my point is that if free choice can't create at least replacement level reproduction, it's not going to compete against compulsion. It's going to be an evolutionary failure -- a dead end that can't compete in the long game.

I do think it might be possible to change the cultural messages people are getting to leave a lot of choices up to individuals so they can find happiness but also encouraging them to marry and have children, and that could lead to people having more children by choice, but that's not where we are and that's a whole different topic. It's also not as easy as simply addressing the economics of having children or bribing people. When that's been tried, it never helps enough.
 
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