Reading Philosophy

Mar 21, 2006 15:16 # 42368

Bunk *** replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Appearently

Interesting assessment.

Without the devestating (but not unnecessary) deaths of thousands of people around the world, we would be so overcrowded, the whole world would look like Japan.

The question of birth rate is somewhat seperate. If fewer children were born in third world countries there would obviously be less risk of overcrowding, but those that were born would still suffer from starvation and die from preventable disease. Well fed, secure, and educated nations tend to have lower birth rates anyway.

I'm just suggesting that you shouldn't get over-sympathetic because some people need to die in order for the rest to live.

From a practical perspective, it would be much more useful for you to die than someone living in poverty. People in first world countries (N. America especially) consume infinitely more resources per capita than third world. If 100 of us died, 100,000 could live (albiet meagerly) on what we would have consumed.

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

Apr 12, 2006 22:40 # 42510

eljefe *** replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Appearently

Well fed, secure, and educated nations tend to have lower birth rates anyway.

Right, one doesn't really run the risk of loosing a child, so you don't have to take a brute force approach: have as many kids as possible and hope as many as possible live.

Fond memories

Jun 05, 2006 02:32 # 42940

betty *** replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Appearently

From a practical perspective, it would be much more useful for you to die than someone living in poverty.

Interesting approach. Bring my own mortality into the picture in order to possibly cause feelings of remorse, or inflame someone whom you do not agree with- at least that is what I gleaned from your comment.

I don't agree with you because your logic isn't sound. If 100 North Americans lived for 100 years, and 100,000 people from a 3rd world country lived for 100 years, the quantity of resources used to keep the 100 and the 100,000 alive would not be equal. The 100 would obviously not use as many resources to grow food, would not need as much land or structures to house them, would not pollute as much, reproduce as much (leading to a much larger resource problem) or spread disease as easily as 100,000 people. (The obvious aside that I could mention here is that the percentage of suffering per capita would be much less for the 100 than it would be for the 100,000 because of the controlled environment.)

It doesn't matter where the 100,000 people are from, just that there are fewer people to provide unrenewable resources to.

The longevity of our species and of our planet relies on responsible use of our resources. The majority of 1st world countries are mostly responsible for the destruction of our environment and in the end the destruction of our civilization because of a lack of foresight. While improving our living conditions we have essentially made our citizens lazy and unrepentant for our direct effect on the world.

If our population as a species is contained and controlled, we may possibly last a lot longer on this abused planet, which happens to be the only home we have.

Of course, many other things beyond population would have to be addressed in order to increase our longevity as a species. I'm just commenting on one aspect.

I am just me, searching for simplicity.........and a good hair stylist

Jun 08, 2006 05:33 # 42969

Bunk *** replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Appearently

92% | 2

Interesting approach. ... to possibly cause feelings of remorse, or inflame someone whom you do not agree with- at least that is what I gleaned from your comment.

Sorry; it was a dramatic statement, but I honestly didn't mean it that way. What I meant was, from a standpoint of resource consumption, someone living a first world lifestyle uses a lot more than someone living a third world lifestyle. Therefore, the death of someone like you or me would free up a lot more resources than the death of some starving person in Africa (which by the way happened many times as you read this sentence ;p).

The funny thing is you seem to agree, somewhat:

The majority of 1st world countries are mostly responsible for the destruction of our environment and in the end the destruction of our civilization because of a lack of foresight. While improving our living conditions we have essentially made our citizens lazy and unrepentant for our direct effect on the world.

Adding to this, one of the biggest social problems worldwide is that a lot of people wish to emulate the North American lifestyle. The earth is not capable of sustaining our lifestyle on a large scale.

But if I can, I'll summarise your argument a bit (feel free to... well, I don't have to tell you ;)) : humanity needs to come under control. The first world population consumes too much, and the third world population has too many people. Therefore the first world population needs to improve it's awareness and lifestyle, and the third world population needs to continue dying in large numbers.

Ok, there's that digging for a reaction again. But isn't this essentially what you are saying?

Bring my own mortality into the picture

Why is this unfair? We're both gonna die someday.

My question is essentially the one age old question: what is the value of a life? If the value of life is money, then my life is very valuable. My parents have invested a huge percentage of their funds over the last 19 years into my life and the life of my two brothers (and will continue to do so until I finish school... hopefully ;p).

But that money spread around could have provided the basic necessities for a lot of people who went without. I understand why my parents did this: because they wanted to provide the best life for me they could. What any parent wants. They did this within the capitalistic framework of our society, because they chose to be and to raise us as members of it.

So my question is directed towards our system, our society: Why is my life so valuable?

Is it my birthright, being Canadian? Is it my race (white)? Is it because cutthroat capitalism is the only way to live? Is it because I'm educated and civilized? Is it because I think on a higher level?

I find these difficult answers to deal with. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that I'm alive. But the way we all live has serious problems.

If 100 North Americans lived for 100 years, and 100,000 people from a 3rd world country lived for 100 years, the quantity of resources used to keep the 100 and the 100,000 alive would not be equal.

You're right, that's probably true. I obviously haven't done the math/research to back up my claim. I shouldn't have said it. I lack knowlege in many important areas of social commentary. I'm working on it, because without realistic knowlege of situations it's impossible to discuss properly. But when it comes to resource consumption comparisons, I can only guess (NOTE: Not being facetious/sarcastic, for once in my life).

However, I do know that people living in third world conditions rarely live to be 100...

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

This post was edited by Bunk on Jun 08, 2006.

Jun 09, 2006 06:36 # 42987

betty *** replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Appearently

80% | 3

Therefore the first world population needs to improve it's awareness and lifestyle, and the third world population needs to continue dying in large numbers.

I was about to write that it doesn't matter where the people are from, as long as they die soon and at least a good number is reduced from the population every few years- but then my heart lurched into my throat and won't go back into my chest.

I suddenly feel somewhat superstitious that if I speak that comment with conviction, it may actually happen and I would feel indirectly responsible. How is that for a God complex?

I guess I have been sounding cold hearted with my "Kill em all, and let God sort em out" attitude. I don't mean to devalue the lives of other humans, nor wish for the deaths of a million starving babies.

I just wish we were all more responsible on the whole- that there weren't any starving babies, that we all lived in peace with our environment and with eachother.

Kind of a new world order of the Star Trek kind, without the silly outfits.

I am just me, searching for simplicity.........and a good hair stylist

Apr 13, 2006 02:37 # 42513

r_pendragon *** replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Apparently

65% | 2

Perhaps this is tangential, but I always think about suicide rates when topics like this come up. Why is it that, as bleak as the lives of some people may be, they do not resort to killing themselves? Instead, the world's highest suicide rates are in wealthy, "developed" nations.

Hmm.

The cynical part of me thinks that this indicates the human desire to be miserable: if all my physical needs are satisfied, or even outrageously overfilled, I will create my own internal suffering.

But my "glass is half full" self thinks that perhaps it's just the cliche of "money doesn't buy happiness" ringing true-- no picket fence or SUV in suburbia will bring joy if you destroy your life trying to bring in the money to buy those things.

Especially when no one else is doing it:

This is where I meet my Waterloo, too. Part of me rebels at giving up something small like my iPod, when I pass the tabloids aisle at the supermarket and see a waste-of-skin celebrity *cough*Paris Hilton*cough* and the Louis Vuitton handbag they dropped $800 on. It's a lot easier to think about all the charitable acts a millionaire could perform, than to dream up a way I can contribute.

Even though I know I should.

Apr 13, 2006 07:00 # 42515

null feels excited about...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Apparently

Ohmigodohmigod, she's back!

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Apr 13, 2006 08:55 # 42516

MelMel *** replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Apparently

*runs, jumps and hugs*

you! How's things? and stuff?

You've been missed.

-Mel

Look at me! I'm a prostitute robot from the future!

Apr 23, 2006 16:31 # 42598

r_pendragon *** smiles...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Apparently

Hi, null & Mel! Thank you for the welcome back. So as to not derail the seriousness of this important thread, I'll post a personal update in my journal.

*runs, jumps and hugs*

*hugs back* I missed you guys.

-Rachel

Jun 05, 2006 23:00 # 42944

megascythe25 * replies...

Re: I'm Worth 1000 Dead Children, Appearently

65% | 2

Like you said, I'm not in a particularly cinical mood either, but one must admit that the global population is quite large, which is smiled upon by many governments' economies. The largewr the population, the better the economy.

Its not that I'm saying I want those starving and diseased people to die in misery and anguish, but I'm saying that it is natural (in a way) and must be let to take its course sometimes.

Compare humans to a herd of deer. Both are animals so must undoubtedly share some characteristics. When there are good resources about, the deer population will begin to rise. It will continue to rise and rise until it reaches a breaking point. By this time they will have exhausted their resouces and their population will take a drastic fall. With such a high number of deer counting on so few resources, this is predictable. In this situation the population overcomes the effect of predators and disease because of the massive population.

This same concept may be occurring with humans as well. The amazing leap in population over the last hundred years (or less) can only lead, in my opintion, to a dramatic drop, which I'm sure will not be appreciated by anyone.

This leads to quite a dilemma because it is hard for humans to be like lemmings. We cannot just observe the status of our population and regulate it accordingly. It is harder still for a person to watch another person die knowing that something could have been done to save that persons life.

In the end it is difficult to suggest anything to be done about the world. So wether you donate your $200 or not, things tend to play out as only nature can tell.


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