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Contraception and Population

There is an opinion I hold on contraception which I thought was pretty radical. I mentioned it to someone I knew some years ago and he said it was unrealistic. But recently I mentioned it to another friend, and she seemed to think that people might be interested in it. So here it is.

Instead of telling our young people to remove their heads from nude selfies how about we suggest that intercourse should be for procreation only? If life is precious, is not the creation of life just as precious? Has not our treating sex as a pleasurable entertainment led to all sorts of problems? Including a generation of young people increasingly addicted to porn (apparently)?

What have we got to lose? Better intimate relationships, more beautiful and meaningful intercourse, and such relationships more likely to be between people who really love each other?

Now I am not suggesting that everyone will be able to live up to the standard, but I am suggesting that the standard should be held up as an aspiration. It will have other benefits too - we will not need the pill, and thus stop the estogen polution that is building up in our waterways. Also it should reduce the production of condoms and the waste products associated with that.

Now I know that in the past the Catholic church held this ideal and it led to large families. But I think that is because Irish Catholics and others were obeying the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law. The idea is that sex is not used as means of simply gaining pleasure, but only when there is a genuine desire to procreate. This does not mean having sex continuously and simply not using contraception.

Now my friend had some ideas of her own. She suggested that people who could not support children should not be having them. I think she was suggesting that there is an unhealthy link between welfare payments and child rearing in our society. Anyway, what she is suggesting is not unheard of, not so long ago a man could not get married (and thus not have children) until he had demonstrated he had the means to care for his wife and family. There is of course a danger in this, that only the wealthy will be able to breed, so it does require a reasonable level of income equality and opportunity to work.

But my friend also suggested the reverse. That people who can raise a family well, and provide for them should. This suggestion was that some well-off people spend their resources on pleasures (e.g travel) and leading a hedonistic lifestyle, when they should be reinvesting those resources into the next generation.

Anyway, those are some thoughts on how we might move towards managing global population sustainably into the future with the side-effect of dealing with some pressing social and environmental problems at the same time.