Questions to ponder on overpopulation

1. Who are you and do you think the world is overpopulated?
2. How many people is too many?
3. When/Will the global population decrease?
4. Goodwin (2011) states that “[o]verpopulation is a serious threat to future persons’ quality of life.” Taking this as a given, what is our responsibility to “future persons” and their quality of life.
5. Can a state/government sterilize a subset of its population to prevent overpopulation? Could they sterilize a subset of its population for other reasons? Could/Should they (de)incentivize people’s reproductive efforts?
6. Why/Did China’s One Child Policy fail?
7. As Rust (2010) notes, a “stunning 90% of this increase will occur in the developing world”. Thus, when speaking of population control measures, the most “effective” would be applied to developing nations. That being the case, is it “morally acceptable for developed nations to invest in population control mechanisms in developing countries in order to limit their population expansion”?
8. Should rapidly growing populations be allowed to “hit their limit”? That is, is the solution to overpopulation, allowing the “carrying capacity” of the environment to have its – often rather morbid – say?
9. The detrimental effects of population are rarely directly tied to the members of the population itself. Instead, there are indirect consequences – sometimes referred to as “negative externalities” – that can harm the population’s environment(s) and thereby harm the population itself. How can we reduce the negative consequences of overpopulation without “culling the herd”?
10. What is the optimal number of people in a population?
11. Who is responsible for overpopulation?
12. Why is it in this ever more crowded earth we (perhaps too often) feel alone?
13. When the history books are written, will it be said of our time that we had too much, too little, or did we finally achieve a “Goldilocks” generation?

Their names

Agrı E., a Turkish immigrant

Gökhan G., 37, of Turkish descent

Sedat G., a Turkish national

Hamza K., 22, a Bosnian immigrant

Mercedes K., 35, a pregnant mother of Roma descent

Fatih S., a Turkish national

Ferhat U., 23, a Kurdish immigrant

Kolayan V., 32, citizen of Bulgaria

A Romanian national

A German mother, 72

Their names

Amnat Boon-uea, 48

Patchara Chanpeng, 54

Chakapan Chiphimai, 44

Chakkrapan Chipimai, 44

Narisara Chotiklang, 52

Tassana Harirak, 35

Sen. Sergeant Major Petcharat Kamchadphai, 35

Ratchanon Kanchanamethee, 13

Apiksanapa Khanpakwan, 45

Ariya Klebmek, 40

Major Ananrote Krasae, 48

Private Metha Lerdsiri, 21

Papatchara Limratchataporn, 20

Porrama Limratchataporn, 2

Suriya Limratchataporn, 44

Anong Mitrchan, 65

Peerapat Parasarn, 27

Saranyapong Pongchaoomdee, 55

Athiwat “Dear” Promsuk, 18

Jirawat Rudglang, 41

Chayapa Saengkornburi, 57

Captain Siriwiwat Saengprasit, 56

Captain Trakoon Ta-arsa, 34

Sen. Sergeant Major Chatchawan Thaengthong, 50

Wanchai Vechawan, 41

Somkiat Witchupanyapanich, 54

Ekkawin Yeunton, 18

An unidentified man, 20

An unidentified woman, 50


Questions to ponder on love

  1. Who are you and what inspires your love?
  2. If we could create a pharmaceutical that gave rise to that emergent property we call “love” – “a cocktail of ancient neuropeptides and neurotransmitters” – how would we regulate the use of such a drug? What attributes would this form of love lack as compared to its more “natural” counterpart?
  3. If we could “make” someone “love” us – for instance, by mixing into a meal of theirs some of the pharmaceutical in the previous question – would it be ethical to do so? What is the relationship between love and compulsion?
  4. “Underlying human romantic attachment”, Earp et al. (2015) suggests, “is a collection of interlocking brain systems that are hypothesized to have evolved to suit the reproductive needs of our ancestors.” Since contraceptive technologies have helped separate “romantic attachment” and “reproductive needs”, (how) has love changed? 
  5. Administration of oxytocin (directly to the brain in voles, through nasal spray in humans) has been observed to increase attachment between pairs. Conversely, oxytocin blockers have been shown to diminish sexual attraction and prevent pair-bonding. Should we research further the neuromodulation of love? What should we do with such information?
  6. Does love preclude/prompt certain actions from/between individuals?
  7. Love takes many forms. What features do “parental love”, “romantic love”, “sexual love”, etc. have in common and what features are type-specific?
  8. Does “love” exist outside of human beings in our universe?
  9. In the not-too-distant past (and some parts of the present), homosexual romantic relationships were considered “wrong”, biologically, socially, morally. Given that same-sex marriage in our country (and others) is legal, how was this “wrong” “righted” and are there other forms of contemporary and/or future love conditions that we ought to make sure we get “right”?
  10. What is “self-love”? Can it be pathological? In what cases? How/Can it be corrected? How is it distinct from self-esteem and general maintenance?
  11. Does love require a self? Does love require others?
  12. Do self-help books, of the variety described in Hazleden (2003), on average help their readers to love themselves more or hinder them in the process?
  13. Is it healthy to love? Is it unhealthy not to? Is there a way to secure love’s benefits for all? 
  14. Would the world be better with more love or less? Why isn’t their more/less?
  15. Is it better to love and lose than to never love at all?