The welfare state, population control and condoms
I've just been reading (and still am) The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. He mentions a bit about population control and how this happens in 'nature' (I'm excluding humands from this definition of nature). The ideas are based around how populations are kept in check in species. He proposes that self regualtion of population occurs in species through a 'selfish want' to propogate their own genes. That is an animal will bear enough children as to maximise the spread of their genes, not too few and not too many as to over strech resources in caring for their young, and thus reducing the chances of the young making it to adulthood. This means the most efficient way of propogating your genes is not to just breed like crazy - as this would over stretch you in caring for them and will lead to more dying than would survive if they had fewer births.
Then he mentions the wonderful thing us humans have developed - the welfare state. That is we have eliminated the possibility for over stretching yourself in propogating your genes. Whereas a few hundred years ago if you had too many kids they'd die, now you can have as many as you like and be almost certain they'll all survive because the state will give you the resourses for the caring of them. So in effect the welfare state has removed the main population control mechanism we once had as a species giving the possibility for unheard of population increases before we either run out of space, all die of horrible diseases, starve or die in war.
Now I know there are people who don't agree with China once (or still?) limiting each household to only two children as a way of limiting the population, which for China has spiralled out of control. What are your views on this method of unatural form of population control and condoms as another method of unatural birth control - some people after all refuse to use them because they are unatural and yet the very system that enables them to raise twelve healthy kids is initself unatural.
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