[LMB] RE: OT: Potter, Weasley

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Mon, 16 Aug 2004 13:46:39 -0700

On Mon, Aug 16, 2004 at 04:09:40PM -0400, Sara Amis wrote:

> And it's my opinion that **how** people live is more important 
> ecologically, up to a point, than how many of them there are.  My parents 

Yeah, but what is that point?  People need food, (and more food if they're not
vegetarian), and water, and housing material, and typically cars and gas.  One
can go only so low.

> What I'm really talking about is social disapproval of people having as 
> many children as they want/can reasonably take care of, which is just as 
> objectionable as social disapproval of people who don't want children, or 
> any other form of minding other people's personal business.

But, arguably, it's not purely personal business.  This would be easier to see
if we were right at the carrying capacity, where A having 6 extra children
would mean 6 people would have to die prematurely.  And then people want to
avoid actually reaching the carrying capacity.

Another way of looking at it: the freedom to have as many children as you want
is kind of dependent on most people not having all that many children.  If
everyone has 8 kids, and then *they* have 8 kids, you'll hit limits pretty
darn fast.  And then, of course, people who might have wanted more kids but
stopped themselves may resent others taking advantage.

Not that I'd appreciate anyone getting on my case for not having children,
say, and I can understand resenting people saying "you've had too many", but
I'm not sure it's a clear-cut case.  We're touching on matters of group
survival here (whether from not breeding enough or breeding too much) and
things can get unavoidably ugly.

-xx- Damien X-)