Population Control

Should asgardia have population control?


Maybe, It depends on how it's implemented
37.0%
This would be immoral.
13.6%
No.
12.3%
Yes.
37.0%
Total votes: 81

Population Control  

  By: senseless(Asgardian) on 31 December 2016, 4:48 a.m.

In a space civilization resources are finite more so than on earth. It's not going to be possible to allow people to procreate "willy nilly".

What methods would or should be enacted to prevent population from growing to unsustainable levels?

Should people be allowed to choose their own partners or should offspring be seeded based upon genetics and desired traits? -- We have the opportunity to take human psyche out of the equation and breed children with desired genetic traits. While not the egalitarian approach -- I would argue that it is the pragmatic one.

Re: Population Control  

  By: Ngaiman Chow(Asgardian) on 31 December 2016, 6:03 a.m.

Does this mean the Asgardia's Supreme Court would decide every citizen's reproductive right but not by him or herself? It seems autocratic, doesn't it? Because in most nations in the world, the right of reproduction is bestowed by the God, isn't it?

Re: Population Control  

  By: EJ(Asgardian) on 4 January 2017, 3:43 p.m.

Government control over reproductive rights is terrifying. But I wonder if population control will be an issue at all? Referring to sweeping generalisations here, but educated people have fewer children, religious people have more. In a society that is focused on science and knowledge, where religion is is a personal practice rather than a part of the societal fabric, there will be fewer people having children anyway. Oh, and having free contraceptives to reduce unplanned surprises is a good idea too.

I had a quick google of "reasons why people have children" and I got the following list, which is quite interesting (particularly as someone who never wanted children). Rather than "controlling" the population, if you look at why people have children and support alternatives lifestyle choices then you reduce the number of people having kids for reasons other than wanting to be a parent - which is really the only reason anyone should have kids!

  1. To have someone to take care of them when they get old.
  2. To carry on family name.
  3. Because they love babies.
  4. It's human nature.
  5. Pregnancy and childbirth are life experiences.
  6. To let their children (who don't exist yet) experience the joy of existence.
  7. To give your parents grandchildren.
  8. To embody love for each other.
  9. They want children of their own, with their own bloodline.
  10. They don't know. (it's just what everybody does) https://wehavekids.com/misc/Most-Common-Reasons-Why-People-Want-Children

Ideally, IMHO, people should only have children because they want the responsbility and reward of being a parent. Most of the reasons in the list above are cultural; ideas that are programmed into us so we continue a tradition. By the time Asgardia has a space civilization, the culture will be different. Our value as individuals will be based on what we do with our own lives, regardless of whether we create new ones or whose name we inherited. We can have a respected aged care system so we don't fear a future without our own children as carers. We can encourage other pursuits and experiences that provide joy and give value to the world. We can find fun new meaningful ways to express our love and devotion to each other.

If the only people having children are the people who deeply desire to be parents, the population will probably be sustainable.

And definitely have free contraception. It's fantastic.

Re: Population Control  

  By: Scarbs(Asgardian) on 4 January 2017, 10:48 p.m.

Vulcan logic would have to apply here. "The needs of the many outweigh the neds of the few, or the one".

The fragile, delicate and very finite nature of life on a space habitat would have to take priority over individual reproductive rights as a matter of necessity. In a space habitat, every breath of air and every drop of water has to be very closely managed to ensure that there is enough for all.

Do we seriously want to go down the same road as we have on earth? However, the consequences of overpopulation on a space habitat are far more serious when compared to the situation on earth - everyone could die.


  Last edited by:  Scarbs (Asgardian)  on 5 January 2017, 2:48 a.m., edited 1 time in total.

Re: Population Control  

  By: Carlitos(Asgardian) on 5 January 2017, 2:07 a.m.

We are talking about population control... Nice. People wouldn't dream to say that out loud in the streets or a bar.

I think the name should evolve into sustainable cohabitation, it's the same thing, just sounds more rational and less like a blood bath.

It is said that animals in captivity don't reproduce as much as they do in their natural environment. I want to think that they are smarter then us in that aspect.

I think we must have kids in space, that's the way to go. Now... I've seen that in the UK a child can be made from 3 people. So maybe it won't be that complicated to "share a child" sounds awful and kind of odd but the point would be to raise it as a collective.

I previously posted on education and the involvement of the state in raising a child.

I will repost this there, I think it will be relevant to the discussion there to.

So... Yeah! No more than can be carried it would be deadly to do otherwise.

Have a nice day!

Re: Population Control  

  By: S. Crawford(Asgardian) on 5 January 2017, 6:17 a.m.

Are you guys nuts?! We're supposed to be a peaceful nation!!!

Population control is absolutely out of the question, for two reasons.

  1. Technological discovery will GREATLY out-pace population growth.

  2. Attempting to adopt such methods would cause a constitutional crisis.

Re: Population Control  

  By: Scarbs(Asgardian) on 5 January 2017, 9:35 a.m.

Not nuts - realistic.

Look what is happening to the earth now. Unchecked population growth is happening at a rate grossly in excess of any technology advances to offset it. This is the single root cause of the vast majority of the issues currently facing humanity.

Plus it boils down to the law of conservation of matter and energy. In other words, there comes a point where no more life sustaining resources can be provided for a given closed system (like a space habitat). Put another way - 5 loves of bread and 2 fish can't feed 5,000 people.


  Last edited by:  Scarbs (Asgardian)  on 5 January 2017, 9:54 a.m., edited 1 time in total.

Re: Population Control  

  By: EJ(Asgardian) on 5 January 2017, 9:55 a.m.

We are, indeed, a peaceful nation. Any moves to support population control would probably fail becuase:

  1. One of the purposes of Asgardia is to escape laws that prevent Earthlings from achieving their full potential as researchers, experts and humanitarians. Restricting the mind or the body restricts our ability to do our best. I don't believe that denying a biological function fits with the concept.

  2. This is a community based on peace, humanity and knowledge. We will develop our own culture. In time, many of the cultural norms in current Earth societies that promote reproduction will not exist or have a lower impact. The birth rate will therefore be naturally lower among Asgardians.

  3. We don't know what, or who, we're talking about. For The long-forseeable future, nobody will live in Asgardia. It's will be a digital nation, then at some point a space station that only scientists will physically attend. By the time there is a full-sized living community in space, technology and culture will be so different that any discussions today about overpopulation may be completely irrelevant by then. Asgardians of the future may look back at these discussions and think "What in Space where they thinking?!? Can you believe they thought that would be an issue? How primitive!" :)

Re: Population Control  

  By: Carlitos(Asgardian) on 5 January 2017, 11:51 p.m.

No body is talking about killing anybody.

Peace all the way my friends.

We are talking about sustainable cohabitation, enough air, food and water for everybody... See, it's not as simple up there.

If we are the first space nation there is no doubt we will be among the first explorers of the vast space, by we I mean maybe my kids.

Point is, what if you send a ship to the end of the Galaxy, and before they get there they are all dead because the team of 50 turned into a team of 5,000 and the ship was designed to sustain only 500 people at anytime. I mean, it's not like you can go to Walmart for food.

Anyways, we will be 10b soon. 😊

Re: Population Control  

  By: SirCedric(Asgardian) on 7 January 2017, 9:56 p.m.

The overpopulation on the planet is a COMPLETE MYTH, taught at school in a lot of countries. It is based on a 19th century theory who have be proven to be wrong. Overpopulation may exist on local basis, true, but it is due to bad politics.

https://overpopulationisamyth.com/

The United Nations has publicized 3 scientific predictions on population growth (Low, middle and high). In all the history of the United Nations, the low prediction has always been the closest to the thrust.

Some governments politics in that matter, like in China for example, are clearly a blot for the human rights. We can't allow that kind of thing on Asgardia.

Now it is obvious that the day we'll have a space station the number of spaces will be limited, but that's not about any "population control".

Re: Population Control  

  By: Scarbs(Asgardian) on 7 January 2017, 10:52 p.m.

@SirCedric - What is the driver for the limited spaces then? It seems you are contradicting your own argument.

It's Ecology 101 - a given environment can only sustain a particular population if:

A. There are sufficient resources for life - in our case, that means (as an absolute minimum) oxygen, water and nutrients.

B. There is sufficient capacity for the environment to process wastes - in our case (again, as a minimum) carbon dioxide and human "leavings".

BTW, the Population Research Institute is a thinly veilled front for right wing Catholics in the USA. These are the same people that will look you in the eye and tell you the universe was created 6,000 years ago.

Re: Population Control  

  By: SirCedric(Asgardian) on 11 January 2017, 7:03 a.m.

@ Scarbs: I agree with you about limited space, but this is not about Population control. I mean: we're far to be able to organize a safe birth in space for now, so it is obvious that any pregnant woman has to come back Earth to give birth, with actual technology. We won't send more people to space than what a station/shuttle can maintain, it will be stupid. But once again it's not about population control in itself, it's just basic environmental sustenance in a specific situation: A space station.

And about the Population research Institute, I personally know some of them myself, and as a scientist I've never heard about any "Creationism"(which is obviously as scientific as astrology...) among them. Yes, most of them, but not all, are Catholics, but their arguments are clear.

Re: Population Control  

  By: markjcooke(Asgardian) on 12 January 2017, 2:10 p.m.

First off I dislike the whole concept of population controls, it brings up many ugly instances of eugenics projects from earth's brutal history... Before you talk about population controls perhaps you should consider market forces. As resources become strained the price of consuming them should rise and at the same time entrepreneurs would be encouraged to add 'habitat' modules or mine asteroids for additional minerals, water and oxygen. As these resources become available again, the prices would stabilize and our population and 'colony' could grow. In a market system, ideally, prices would influence peoples decision on whether or not to have a family or continue to work and save. We need to remember that no resource is free, not even the air, everything will need to be imported, mined or manufactured.
I would even suggest that the 'station' be the first utility as it could be covered in solar panels and be the citizens first source of potential revenue (it could be a orbit to earth microwave electricity source for profit...but I digress)

Re: Population Control  

  By: InsanityOS(Asgardian) on 17 January 2017, 9:23 p.m.

I think population control should be primarily managed as a societal issue, not a legal one (barring the possible acute population crisis). By this, I mean that if we Asgardians provide for everyone higher education, our birth rate will naturally be lower than an uneducated population- if we encourage a socially-oriented mindset in our population, we will naturally modify our own population growth to suit the needs of the community.

Additionally, as markjcooke mentioned, the free market system could further mitigate these issues- as the population grows and Asgardia's needs grow, resource prices will fluctuate accordingly.

Finally, if we do reach an acute population growth crisis, governmental policies may have to change to deal with the problem. I think the best way to do this would be to fluctuate taxation to reflect the needs of the community- times of excessive growth could provide tax incentives to avoid population growth, and times of shrinkage could provide incentives to have more children. For the former, we could incentivize adoption rather than procreation- even in an ideal society, there will be orphans and so on.

Re: Population Control  

  By: Mysterywriter221(Asgardian) on 20 January 2017, 4:29 a.m.

One method of less dramatically limiting population growth would be to treat adoption as the norm when growing a family. This could be achieved through showing it as the norm in Asgardian film, television and books.

In many cultures around the world a couple conceiving children together is treated as the normal way to grow a family. Even my friends who are looking to adopt are routinely interrogated as to why they do not have biologically related children by the very people in charge of finding homes for children without families. When the people who are supposed to find children homes treat adoption as a consolation for couples and that plot is played out countless times in fiction it creates a social stigma towards a wonderful and loving act. In Asgardia we have the opportunity to change this dialogue and create a new, population limiting, social norm.