Comment by Mallory on May 16, 2011 at 12:19pm
@Max- I beg to differ. My boyfriend, myself and our dog are a family. I'm pretty sure a point of this image is to suggest that "family" doesn't have one specific definition. A child need not be involved for a family to be present.
Comment by Katie Ernesto on May 16, 2011 at 9:26pm
I actually looked at it for a second and thought "What's the difference?" Before I realized that they were different genders.
Comment by J. Ratzinger on May 19, 2011 at 2:09pm

@Lara

The planet doesn't care if people exist on it or not because it cannot care, however it is interesting that many people are willing to sacrifice themselves & are choosing the discontinuation of their own family lineage for the sake of the planet even though this may not even be effective in 'saving' the planet from being overpopulated.

 

It seems clear from Mark Steyn in America Alone & your own listed population observations that the birth rates in many Western Countries are indicating that we in the Enlightened, educated, planet friendly West, have chosen to allow our family lineage to whither away and end for the greater good of making the planet feel better, and easing our conscience.

 

In a some few or dozen generations our civilization will become enfeebled & decline & then disappear leaving only those peoples & cultures who were robust enough to keep their populations strong, vibrant & growing, which was/is as far as I can tell, the muslim populations of the world.

 

Muslims seemingly have a high birth rate so they have chosen to not allow their lineage and culture to similarly die off like we are choosing to do, but have instead chosen to maintain a birthrate far in excess of mere replacement figures which will inevitably flood in to replace the children we have chosen to not bring into the world.

 

Perhaps it can be described as a Darwinian effect which will see the population shift to being virtually all muslims on the planet in 7 or 8 generations from now, because we have chosen in effect a mass self-sterilization plan for ourselves here in the West whereas the muslims have not? Many children in the low birthrate West have no brothers or sisters & some have no cousins already, and this trend will get worse and worse because we are not breeding.

 

Perhaps it is survival of the fittest & only he who survives to breed can be around in a few hundred years from now & according to my understanding of demographics & birth rates needed to sustain a civilization, those future people who overpopulate the earth will not be Atheists, not will they be Non-Muslims.

Comment by J. Ratzinger on May 19, 2011 at 3:31pm

@Lara: Well of course more people on the planet place more strain on the earths limited resources, but I am asking what difference to the whole round number of inhabitants on the planet if we in the west STOP having babies as we pretty much have, but the islamic world has chosen no to limit their reproductive rate at all & in fact increase their birthrate to several times that of ours. 

 

Dan has already projected that the overall world population is increasing, so all that is achieved by us in the west choosing not to breed is that 'we' are choosing demographic extinction. We who do not want to pass on our genes by having children are making room for muslims who are quite enthusiastic about fully populating the planet. It is nice of us to move aside and make room for them to move in. 

 

The Dinosaurs may have felt sorry for all the puny mammals & chose extinction which allowed mamals to get a foothold & thrive in the world so I think them for their thoughtfullness, and maybe Neanderthal when they first saw us Homo Sapiens decided to stop breeding & go extinct in order to give us Humans a chance to take over the planet, and I thank them for that also, & now it is time for us Western civilizations and Atheists to reduce our breeding & die off as well as we are doing in order to move aside & let the muslims have their turn at running the planet. My limited understanding of demographics leads me to believe that it is or almost is a demographic certainty that Not the meek, but instead islamic peoples will inherit the earth.

 

If you disagree Lara, just say so, but just don't run away like that. I didn't mean anything untoward by my last pose, I am just trying to explore this idea of whether it is good, or even useful to choose extinction of our own families & culture knowing that others have not chosen the same thing & are gearing up to flood-fill the empty spaces our unborn children do not inhabit with their own people when we choose to die off. 

Comment by J. Ratzinger on May 19, 2011 at 3:59pm

@Mallory: Your description of your multi species agglomeration of individuals comprising a family is cute. Many other things could be considered a Family for the sake of cuteness as well such as a particular set of screwdrivers may all be of different sizes, lengths & quality bit still be in the Robertsons, or Phillips head family of drivers. All the Natural dish detergent in one section of the market aisle might belong to one family of less polluting detergents, and a group of Italian thugs might be called a mafia family, but by and large a Nuclear family really should in my opinion include at least one natural or adopted child to be considered a family for the purposes depicted in the photo above don't you think?

 

I could own a large set of Torx Head screwdrivers which are all in the same family of drivers and since they are a family & they are mine then they could be called my family too, but that is as silly as the philosopher using semantics to prove that the guy who owns the beagle Bitch who just had a litter of puppies is in fact the Father of those puppies. Your dog is not a child!

Comment by J. Ratzinger on May 19, 2011 at 4:40pm

@Lara: Geez Lara, I was clearly being facetious when I said the Dinosaurs 'chose' to go extinct to make room for those species who rose to prominence in the empty niche they left behind. It is merely to draw closer attention to the fact that we (western cultures & atheists) seem to be actively "choosing" extinction by not breeding. Could you not see that Lara?  I suspect you did understand that, but you are merely looking for something to use as an 'out' so that you can refuse to discuss the matter at hand which is this worrying population problem. If I am overstating the scope of the problem & you think our populations are not headed for decline & cultural extinction then please say so.

 

I do not want to argue about semantics so lets just get to the meat of the thing. I will try to be less witty, and more sedate, and dull if that would be more to your liking, and in that vein I hereby retract my flippant observation that people who regard their dogs as children are being Cute.

Comment by J. Ratzinger on May 19, 2011 at 6:05pm

@Lara: No, as far as I am aware, I am loved and widely respected by everyone who I interact with. It is nice to be appreciated for ones good looks, impeccable hygiene and winning ways so no worries there.

I am glad to hear you say that Western nations are not headed for cultural extinction at all Lara because as i mentioned earlier, I have no good head for large numbers, and when I hear that the birth rate in Canada is now, and has been for a few years been below replacement rate just like it is in Spain and in many other western nations, I somehow misunderstand that to mean that there are not enough children being born into those segments of the human population to even maintain the population level at a stable level and therefore that population declines because more people die than are born to replace them, but again these concepts of large numbers are complex so I must be misunderstanding something which you understand better.

 

I wasn't worried about muslims fighting for my land, because I will be dead before the demography shifts to a more heavily weighted muslim population in the next several generations so it won't bother me one way or the other if it is muslims, or alien invaders from the dark side of the moon who inhabit my old property. I was merely making observations triggered by the image of the westernized malady depicted in the graphic above of single child families which demographers say leads to declining populations. Canada for instance has a birth rate of 1.5 babies per woman but bare replacement numbers should be 2.1 to maintain the population if I understand it correctly.

 

I forget how high you said the muslim birth rates were in the countries you mentioned, but i think you said they were quite higher than mere replacement rates, so the figures seem to indicate our population decline & a large muslim increase. Where am I going wrong Lara? 

 

I do take your point though that we would have nothing to worry about anyway because if they overpopulate, their societies will collapse, but we will be strong. We could I suppose just tell the multi-billions of those poor refugees from failed states to just stay where they are, and not to come looking for any of our stuff I suppose, but I say, since they had more of a desire to bred & survive than we did, it is they who will deserve access to all the resources we did not bequeath to the children we 'chose' not to bring into the world. I say move outta the way and let the vigorous breeders who have multiplied to overflowing get access to your land and mine, because we will be gone & the children or grandchildren or great children we will 'not have' won't miss it anyway.

Comment by J. Ratzinger on May 19, 2011 at 8:12pm

@Lara: Not condescension at all, I am admittedly befuddled when it comes to demographics, so I wasn't trying to have you on, I really am that confused over how the demographics of global populations operate, so while it all may seem quite obvious to you that western societies are not in decline, and muslim societies are not increasing in populations, it appears that way to me because I am not well versed in the vagueries of demography. I appreciate your assistance in straightening all that out.

 I just looked & saw that Canada is trying to reduce the rate of population decline through immigration, so the immigrants along with those few kids being born should keep us afloat for a while yet, and for sure until Saturday when we see how all that Rapture business works out for the faithers & then we will have to reevaluate.

 

Only christians can be raptured. Muslims are not christians so they will remain here on earth along with the Atheists, therefore the rapture if it occurs will throw all your demographic calculations out the window & we will have to argue all this out again on the day after.

Comment by lycia on May 23, 2011 at 4:37pm

I’ve been reading this little argument between Ratzinger and Lara and I find some of these points to be quite humorous and for the most part I have to agree with Lara.  Ratzinger, your main point, I believe, is that us atheists and western culture are heading to be extinct and by choice at that. You say that we choose to “sacrifice themselves & are choosing the discontinuation of their own family lineage for the sake of the planet”. First off, In reality this is not only a choice for the environment, but do not get me wrong, I am not denying that the thought of helping the planet doesn’t help deter people from having children.

      You should consider there are other factors responsible for this decline in birthrates. Which are that we are no longer a pre-industrial nation and do not require large amounts of children to help us maintain a farm.  Increase in birth control, acceptance of abortions, or that fact that children in western societies are required to go to school instead of work to give their parents money and therefore cost significantly more to raise. This perhaps showing they care more about the quality of life each of their children have rather than trying to worry about whether or not their last name will continue.  Women are also now in the workforce here and some are not in the position to, or desire to stay at home all day raising a litter of children.

   That was just to point out a few of the many real reasons why birth rates are declining in the west, but that isn’t of much of importance. I want to address your claim that atheists and the western culture is going extinct. To start I’d have to say you couldn’t be more wrong.  The largest export from America is its culture, morals and values; mainly through the media. From globalization most other societies are actually slowly but surely losing their culture and becoming more like the United States and Canada. Now while the birthrate is quite low, you should also consider that people live significantly longer and that the immigration rate to these countries is very high. Now I know your next point will be that when they immigrate they will take over our culture and impose their own…We do sometimes incorporate SOME cultural aspects of others, but it is very minimal and in most cases will follow the beleifs of our culture.

   Other points I’d like to throw in is that the world is becoming much more secular and even though religious people may have more children than atheists, you should look at the rate of increase in atheistic beliefs. So while a Muslim may have more children, it is more likely that some of their children will become atheist than an atheist child becoming Muslim. Also Lara is right that if the decline of our society somehow did occur, we would notice it and do something about it very quickly before it even became an issue.

   Source: sociology 101

   Ps. you do seem rather obnoxious

Comment by Arcus on May 23, 2011 at 5:14pm

I find the ferility rates quite interesting to watch, especially the countries which tend to move up and down quite a bit, and those who don't. Can't link for some reason: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent...

Sort for 2000 and look at the big movers. Saudi Arabia and Oman declined by almost 2/3rds in 10 years. The average women isn't having 6 children, but closer to 3. Then look at all the ones under the world average of 2.8. Count the ones that are closer to 2 than 2000, then think about what happened in these countries in the past 10 years. 2 is almost a perfect replacement rate when we have ever growing expected lifespans: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005140.html

(remember to add that cumulative, i.e. life expectancy at age 80 for white females is in fact ~90)

Constant size, with incrasing average age, health, rousource usage and education - fairly sustainably stable population acheived without pesky plagues.

Call me Optimist Prime, and not Negatron about the whole overpopulation problem. ;)  

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