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Witless
This question has been bouncing around my head for quite a while.

If it came down to it.. and the finances of the various countries became more and more stretched amongst it's people, and the baby making was still out racing countries death rates, due to an older and older age expectency amongst people, where would you say our priorities should lie.

This poll only gets two options I'm afraid. No 'middle ground' third way out options allowed. This is just me pondering what you'd regard as a more important thing to protect. Our freedom to be able to create a family as we please, or an obligation to the people who are already here. Where do you guys think our priorities should lie, if tough choices had to be made in the future.
Phyllis
I voted for looking after the elderly.

It makes more sense to me to look after existing people than to worry about potential people. I'd rather not be forced to choose between the two...but if I was I would definitely choose the elderly.

For some reason this question made me think of The Giver...even though the people in that book do take care of their elderly for a little while, and they don't allow people to have as many children as they like.

What exactly would we do with the elderly if we didn't take care of them? Put them out on the ice to die?
Calantyr
Wouldn't having lots of children result in better care for the elderly?

I mean the entire reason why we are having the pensions crisis is because there arn't enough young people to pay them off through their living costs any more...

But if that wasn't the case, I'd go for looking after the elderly. Probably doesn't make much economic sense, but sure as hell is more more moral than letting existing people suffer just to bring more people into the world.

However on the other hand you could use a similar argument for why we shouldn't care about the effect of global warming on future generations. Care about the people we have now, not people that may or may not live in the future.

Blimey! So hard to choose.

OK, I'll take the selfish route. I never really want to have kids but I'm going to be old at some point, so I say care for old people over new children. I can do naught but benefit!
Witless
QUOTE (Calantyr @ Jul 17 2006, 08:37 PM) *
Wouldn't having lots of children result in better care for the elderly?

I mean the entire reason why we are having the pensions crisis is because there arn't enough young people to pay them off through their living costs any more...


Actually the problems being caused because people are living longer, and the way pensions work currently, there isn't enough to pay so many old people for so long, so we'd have to pull more money out of the general economy to take care of all the extra old people.
It's part of the reason tuition fees in the UK are going up (not the only one though).

On a side note.. having more young people would mean they'd grow up to be even more old people.. which would require an ever spiralling amount of money to sustain (old people require more in health care, and social benefits than anyone else to take care of).
I_am_the_best
I nulled. I don't think that old people contribute at all to society. They really are just a burden. When I come to the age where I have to pay tax, I'd rather it went to schools and environmental issues rather than old people homes. Of course, it would be immoral to just kill them so they have to be looked after but in general people are living too long nowadays IMO.

I don't think that people should have as many children as they want though, there ought to be a limit. If people just continued to have children, it would be very hard for people to support their family and become reliant on benefits which again would be coming out of the tax payer's money. Of course, looking after the young is important because they will be the future and we want to keep the world a nice place for our successors however I'd rather do that by making sure schools are good instead of letting people have loads of children.

And that's my two cents for today.
Phyllis
QUOTE (I_am_the_best @ Jul 17 2006, 02:26 PM) *
I nulled. I don't think that old people contribute at all to society. They really are just a burden.

But they all contributed to society for many years. Doesn't that make them a bit entitled to spend their last years being treated with dignity and respect?

Put that statement of yours in a time capsule and see how you feel about it when you're 70.
oxym0ronical
QUOTE (I_am_the_best @ Jul 17 2006, 03:26 PM) *
I nulled. I don't think that old people contribute at all to society. They really are just a burden. When I come to the age where I have to pay tax, I'd rather it went to schools and environmental issues rather than old people homes. Of course, it would be immoral to just kill them so they have to be looked after but in general people are living too long nowadays IMO.

I don't think that people should have as many children as they want though, there ought to be a limit. If people just continued to have children, it would be very hard for people to support their family and become reliant on benefits which again would be coming out of the tax payer's money. Of course, looking after the young is important because they will be the future and we want to keep the world a nice place for our successors however I'd rather do that by making sure schools are good instead of letting people have loads of children.

And that's my two cents for today.


With that argument, you could effectively wipe out probably well over half the population for not contributing to society, and for being a burden. Homeless people don't contribute to society and are considered a burden. Would they be next? Where do you draw the lines? And, while you agree it would be immoral to 'just kill them', what's to say that gericide wouldn't be the next step? After all, they're just burdens to society.

Have to agree with Cand here. Most of them spent their years working, paying taxes, and being a functional member of society - whether you're willing to admit it or not, the elderly people mostly had a drastically different work ethic, and most of them worked their arses off for as long as they were able. Some of these old people continue working into their 80s when they're allowed to. You can't arbitrarily decide someone is a burden and should no longer be alive.

I really don't like the idea of limiting how many children a person can have. That introduces a whole other set of issues, such as female infanticide in China and other places. But.. that said, if I were forced to choose, I'd have to support the elderly. Children are the future of the world, but they wouldn't be there if it weren't for those who came before them.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
I voted looking after the elderly because I don't think the second one is very important at all. There's enough people as it is and I think there should be limits even if that causes there to be too many old people (compared to the young) for a while. And if people want more children they can still adopt? I consider looking after children to be a higher priority than the elderly in general though, but I don't have much of a reason besides "they are the future"..

I think killing homeless people is a bit different to limiting how many children people can have. I dont think anyone wants to kill children! But I see that this could happen and I dont know how you would enforce the limit or what to do about people that actually do have more children.
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
I'm going for looking after the elderly too, but I think there should be limits. I think that people with degenerative illness' who request it should be allowed Euthanasia. I also think that the number of children per family should be limited to how many they are able to support. I've no idea how it could be policed because I'm not suggesting compulsary abortions/adoption if someone should fall pregnant without the means to support the child, maybe some form of child sharing. Families who don't want children could support families who do but can't affort it... or something, I dunno. Crazy idea really. Last night I was talking to Novander about what would happen if the world banned sex.
Feyliya
We should look after the people who were here first. Deffinitely.

I honestly think that people shouldn't be able to have more than 3 biological children. If they want more, they should have to adopt. But that would happen only in a perfect world.
Calantyr
QUOTE (Feyliya @ Jul 26 2006, 05:40 AM) *
We should look after the people who were here first. Deffinitely.

I honestly think that people shouldn't be able to have more than 3 biological children. If they want more, they should have to adopt. But that would happen only in a perfect world.



Following on from Witlesses Life thread, does denying the individuals right to reproduce somehow devalue them as a living being?

One of the reasons we think of something as 'alive' is because it can reproduce. Once that is taken away are we a step closer to removing said creature from the 'alive' category?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (Calantyr @ Jul 27 2006, 05:46 PM) *
QUOTE (Feyliya @ Jul 26 2006, 05:40 AM) *

We should look after the people who were here first. Deffinitely.

I honestly think that people shouldn't be able to have more than 3 biological children. If they want more, they should have to adopt. But that would happen only in a perfect world.



Following on from Witlesses Life thread, does denying the individuals right to reproduce somehow devalue them as a living being?

One of the reasons we think of something as 'alive' is because it can reproduce. Once that is taken away are we a step closer to removing said creature from the 'alive' category?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree.



But there's a rather big difference between having the capacity to reproduce and actually reproducing, especially if they're allowed to have a set number of children beforehand.

If I was making the decision, I'd want a balance between the two, but apparently I'm not allowed that in this thread. dry.gif tongue.gif
Witless
QUOTE (trunks_girl26 @ Jul 28 2006, 04:11 AM) *
If I was making the decision, I'd want a balance between the two, but apparently I'm not allowed that in this thread. dry.gif tongue.gif


Nope, not allowed damn it. If I had allowed a middle ground option everyone would have taken that, (including me) and I'd never be able to hear what people prioritise. That would make me sad.

I prioritise looking after old people over freedom to have as many children as people like. I've said it in a million threads before. There's too many people, stop making babies damn it world. *regains composure*.


Actually I read a book recently that had a chapter on population issues, the chapter was long, so I'll summarise.

The amount of energy we can use is limited by the sun, and as far as we are aware we're not going to be able to increase the amount of energy the sun produces. At best we can become better at harnessing it.

This in effect means there's a finite amount of energy on earth. Lets get rid of a few myths first. ALL of the suns energy gets used, all of it, every last joule. Just not all of it is useful to us. Some powers the wind, some heats up the ground, some gets sucked into life process' like plant growth. But it does all do something.

This in effect means that everytime we add an extra person to the world, that much more energy is being used in their life processes and the resources used to keep that person alive. Now since energy can't be created or destoryed, that means the energy must come from somewhere.

It's interesting to note that as humans increase in numbers and as we seem to require a lot more resoures per person than we used to, the number of animals has gone down, as has the number of trees and plants. Because simply put.. energy normally trapped in other life cycles are being diverted to our own, and was suck in more and more energy into our own needs.

Currently the effect is being slowed by fossil fuels, which are fall all intents and purposes, giant batteries. Energy the sun sent down long ago stored up in the dead remains of life long gone. So we're suplimenting the energy already being sent down by digging up these batteries and using them too. The problem hits that these batteries run out is when issues really start. People rant on about technology saving us, but well what technology is that. Sadly as I said early the energy sent down by the sun is finite, nothing we can do will change that, wind just takes energy out of the masses stored in the worlds wind system, luckily that won't be missed.
Solar creates a brand new issue. Most people aren't aware just how many panels you need to create a decent amount of power. Solar panels produce energy in an exact proportion to how much land you cover. If you want enough panels to power say industry and factories that make all our pretty things like cars, and tractors. You need to cover vast areas of land in panels. Meaning bingo.. we have to take energy away from plants that would be otherwise growing there.

It's pretty much the same everywhere, new technology still has to get it's energy from somewhere.. all energy we get (except nuclear fission) comes in the form of heat and light from the sun. New technology just finds new ways of diverting the energy towards us, and away from someone or something else.

So back to population.. if we keep up the number of people, we keep risking selfishly having all the energy arriving the planets way, things die off because we do that. It's not a case of 'when the population gets to large'. It's too large now, and it's why things are dying off. As some of the worlds poorer countries are trying to catch up with th comfort of living as the 1st world.. that many more people will be using resources per person as the first world already does. Technology or not.. we still aren't creating energy to sustain us that isn't dependant on what we get from the sun, I'm not just talking electrical energy, I'm talking energy needed to grow plants, energy needed to manafacture things, energy needed for biological functions (that we get through food).

Even fusion wouldn't be able to help with it all. Having too many kids is shooting ourselves in the foot. Let's look after the folk who are already here first. tongue.gif
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
I would say that how we use that energy and the resources people use is a much bigger problem than the amount of energy they use (besides energy from food). More people = less food/water/stuff + more pollution and damage to the environment.

A far as I know, solar panels are getting better and cheaper, and nuclear fission, although not perfect, is a pretty decent source of energy for now.
craziness
we are already overpopulated, i think we should concentrate on downsizing a bit and of course keeping those who are older and wiser happy for the remainder of their years, for we one day will be old too, and we will want to be happy then too.
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