Did God Make the World
Did God Make the World
Demographic Problems Assessed From a Theistic Perspective.
A Memorandum Offered To Participants In
The U.N. Cairo Conference
On Population And Development,
by Rev. James Morrow, Ph.L., S.T.L., M.A.
God finds no place in the Draft Plan on "Population Growth and Structure" prepared for the U.N. Cairo Conference. Neither the Judaeo-Christian Revelation, nor Islamic nor any religious thinking appears to have affected the minds of the authors. This memorandum seeks to remedy this, and offers a specifically theistic assessment of the demographic problems (real or imagined) laid before the Conference participants.
The World and all its population are made by God.
God made us all as an act of love. He chose to make us one family, sharing the same home - the planet earth - and hence sharing a common origin, a common goal, namely God Himself, and sharing common joys and problems during our sojourn here. This is the perspective within which all population problems must be seen.
God made the human family a GROWING family.
God made man naturally reproductive. He designed that we should increase and multiply, and this is confirmed by the Judaeo-Christian Revelation. It is of the very nature therefore of the human family that it should GROW in number, and adapt the resources of our habitat for this purpose.
It is also of the nature of the inferior species to grow, but man is their master and rightly controls that growth for his own purposes.
God must provide for His human family
God gave us the wealth of the planet earth to sustain us. If He is wise and powerful as well as good, He has to provide sufficient material resources for the sustenance of the family He chose to make and place here. Having given man his powerful reproductive and creative instincts God must also give him the necessary means to support the consequent growth.
Each species that God has made has its own expectation of life, its own length of gestation, and its own fertility span. The human female has an expectation of life of seventy years or more, a fertility span of at least thirty years (15 years to 45 years) and a gestation period of nine months. This is all God's handiwork and it is immediately obvious that with such a comparatively short gestation period and so many years' fertility span, the average size of a human family where couples are left to their own inclination, and not handicapped by pressures from without, will be many more than the two or three which is being so vehemently promoted at this time.
Families of six or seven should be commonplace and families of a dozen or more the exception occasionally encountered.
Man must trust God the Creator.
If God has made man so fertile and reproductive, we should be willing to trust Him to continue to provide the necessary resources. In fact, each child who is born should normally be one of these very resources. Normally each child will come to play its own part in realising the potential of this planet. Too often children are viewed as a burden, because in their first years they require time, labour and expense from their parents and from their society, in degrees which vary enormously according to the particular social situation. But whatever the social situation, the child should eventually become itself productive and make its contribution to its own welfare and the welfare of its own family, of its parents, and of many others.
Not everyone of course will be blessed with the same physical or intellectual development: the less able help us to see beyond mere worldly achievement to the capacity to love and be loved which distinguishes man and is the basis of his destiny with God. (See document "Life is For Love".)
The GROWTH of the human family must be allowed for, never repressed.
From the evidence of Revelation backed up with some archeological and much historical information, we can see that we began as a small family (Judaeo-Christian Revelation says quite specifically two individuals) and have grown to a family of some thousands of millions today! The period over which this has occurred is unclear, but is certainly not proven to have been the millions of years beloved of Darwinists. It is folly to suppose that, now that the human family has grown to some billions of persons, the characteristic of growth can be eliminated from us.
We still want and need to grow! The young still wish to marry! Each family wishes to have its own children! Couples do not wish others to interfere with them as they obtain the natural fruit of married life. And, left to themselves, they will regularly seek to have more than two children.
Neither dictatorship nor philosophy can bring the growth of the human family to a standstill
Perhaps when the human family was much younger and very much smaller, it might have been possible for a powerful dictator or a powerful consuming philosophy so to have imposed itself on all couples as to have prevented natural growth This would have been very difficult and the philosophy and the dictatorship would soon have been overthrown. The idea that anti-life philosophy, anti-people philosophy, the manipulation of figures, lack of trust in God or any global dictatorship can now prevent the human family from continuing to reproduce abundantly is absurd. The human family will continue to grow and it will be the duty of those in authority in all areas of life in every society to plan sensibly for the future so that the new children soon to be conceived and born will receive a genuine welcome instead of being treated as burdens who should not have arrived.
De facto God has provided.
We can readily see how the human family has grown and how the great Creator has in fact given in abundance. The world as a whole and its families as a whole (with many sad exceptions of course the reasons for which are dealt with below) is better off now than it has ever been in human history! No other people of human history has enjoyed the fabulous agricultural, scientific, technological, medical, educational and other resources which we enjoy. The situation is so obvious that there is no need to enlarge upon it. At this very time when the
power of God is so obvious and His care for us is so abundantly to be seen in all corners, we adopt the attitude that the human family can no longer survive as it is; can no longer continue to be a family which increases and multiplies; can no longer allow its parents to have their children in peace without external pressures!
To distrust and oppose the growth characteristic of the human family is godless thinking.
The whole anti-population, anti-life mentality is one which is actually rejecting Almighty God. We are really in a battle between theism and atheism or indeed anti-theism. The theist can trust Almighty God for the future precisely because God is the one necessary, self-existent being, unlimited in power, wisdom and goodness. The believer can point confidently to the abundant evidence of how God has treated us in the past. The atheist and the anti-theist can only trust himself and trembles for a future with no confidence in the world or its resources or in man himself, his ingenuity and intellectual accomplishments.
If this point is realised, then those who are spreading the over-population message should recognise that the real debate between them and others is on the very existence of the good God who made us all.
Misinterpretation of the facts
Of course as I have noted above there are exceptions to the enjoyment of the world's abundance. Many live in dire poverty, in danger of their lives for many reasons, especially from warfare, hunger and disease. A common mistake of the over-populationists is to attribute the blame for such sad situations to the existence of too many people. A fairer mind can
easily see that the problems arise from warfare, lack of development and political mismanagement.
It is surely not devoid of significance that the most powerful nation on earth, the United States, came to its great pre-eminence precisely during the historic time of fabulous population growth. It is precisely as it represses its population through contraception, killing of the unborn, and the demeaning of marriage that its problems are increasing.
The same applies to the nations of Europe, now the most densely populated of the continents and, besides America, the most prosperous.
Since population growth has historically been associated with great prosperity it is irrational simply to assume that population growth is now the reason for hunger, poverty and disease.
The correct response to human problems is not to throw contraceptives to those who suffer from hunger and disease, or slaughter their babies still in the womb, but to assist in their development. Proper help must be made available by those who know to love God and man.
Failure to distinguish global from local problems
It is important to distinguish sharply between local population problems and alleged global problems. It is by no means because there were too many people in Rwanda that mass starvation and disease broke out. Even if it were true that Rwanda was overpopulated it would not follow that the whole world is overpopulated, and there woud be no call to cut down the size of the whole human family.
Nor would we be called upon to limit family size among the
people of Rwanda! The correct response to a situation of genuine overcrowding in one country would be for its the neighbours to open their doors. A global over-population problem could only arise if there were no more doors to open!
In other words, it may well be that the wealthier and less densely populated nations need to consider their immigration policies if they are genuinely concerned that a particular nation has too many people within its borders to be supported in human dignity.
Finally on this point the achievement of the people of Hong Kong - the most densely populated country on earth - should make us very wary of claims of over-population anywhere else.
Unrealistic estimates of the capacity of the planet to sustain people and arbitrary population demarcation lines
Anyone concerned that the planet will soon be overpopulated must define his terms, and state what vital commodity for the dignified support of humanity is about to run out or become intolerably scarce. He must state what is the capacity of the planet earth to support people, bearing in mind the shortage envisaged. In other words, over-populationists must say how many people the earth can sustain, why only that number, and which vital resource will be the first to go. But as one goes through the various commodities that are necessary, one simply discovers that there are no realistic fears for worry for centuries ahead. (See for example KASUN, The War Against Population, Ignatius Press, San Francisco.)
Furthermore no forecast can properly take account of the ingenuity and discoveries to be made by future generations. We have made vast enough discoveries ourselves and it would be the utmost arrogance to suppose that future generations will not similarly make wonderful discoveries beyond our present
reckoning. A common thesis of the over-population promoters is that if we are not careful there will be 10 billion people on earth by the year 2060! A theist immediately replies - so what? Who can construct the arithmetic which will conclude that we cannot possibly sustain 10 billion people? And as argued above, it is ludicrous to suppose that somewhere between the current population and the 10 billion forecast there is a figure above which the human family must never grow and that its reproductive instincts can at that stage be drastically curtailed.
Supposed solutions to the supposed over-population problem: the terrible trio contraception, sterilisation and killing of the unborn child.
The favourite supposed "solutions" to the alleged over-population problem are of course contraception, sterilisation and killing the unborn. People fail to grasp once more the atheism in these proposals. Contraception and sterilisation involve interfering with the natural working of the human body to frustrate its divinely created instincts and ensure that they do not accomplish their divinely created purpose. Contraception and sterilisation are being used as medicine and surgery for the healthy to prevent the disease of pregnancy!!! Contraception and sterilisation are given to a healthy person precisely because she is healthy and precisely because she is likely to conceive if she behaves naturally in married life! Pregnancy is treated as though it were a disease, and one to be overcome at all costs! Here we have man opposing the creative design of the Creator, man telling God he did not manufacture him properly and that man can redesign himself (i.e. redesign women usually) to a more satisfactory and less prolific pattern. This is arrogance. This is a rejection of God. This is the undermining of all sound medicine. Doctors are for the curing the sick not damaging the healthy.
Damaging? Abundant evidence is available to all men and women of goodwill to see the damage done by contraception notably in the spread of circulatory disease and cancer, not to mention the social disasters resulting in all manner of sexually transmitted diseases. There is no need for me to enlarge on this theme in this particular paper.
Still more obviously, to kill the child in the womb is categorically to reject Almighty God. It is the deliberate destruction of a child made in the image of God with a capacity to be born, to grow up, to know Almighty God, to know its fellow man, to be master of the material creatures of the universe, to be in charge also of animal life, to know the good God who made him, to pray to Him, revere Him, speak to Him, love Him, serve Him and work out his own salvation. Nature is horribly, brutally damaged and the mother herself frequently suffers physically, spiritually or psychologically for a lifetime. Abortion is atheism and a most horrible fruit of atheism.
Misunderstanding of natural fertility rhythms.
Commonly over-populationists fail to grasp that couples who have their own personal reasons for postponing their next conception can do so with no violence whatsoever to the nature that God has made and with no defiance whatsoever of the Almighty. Natural fertility rhythms ensure that a woman is fertile for four or five days of each cycle. It is possible to identify these days with a high degree of confidence and accuracy and respond accordingly. God made a woman like that. For good reason she and her husband may take account of this in their marriage relations. Coming together at the fertile time will increase the chances of conception and abstaining during that time will virtually eliminate the chances of conception.
Failure to appreciate the virtue of chastity
Over-populationists having regularly abandoned Almighty God thereby also abandon the foundations of morality and respond to
the sexual instinct with no moral code to guide them. Without Almighty God, it is in fact impossible to construct a coherent code of morality and this is abundantly borne out by the discords of our time. The basis of morality has been spelt out in abundant and profound detail by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in his most recent encyclical Veritatis Splendor and there is no need to repeat it all here. Suffice it to say that chastity is the virtue of self-control in sexual matters according to the state of life of the individuals. For the married individual it calls for fidelity to the married partner. For the unmarried individual it calls for sexual abstinence, since the sexual faculties are of their nature productive of offspring, and offspring can only be properly cared for by a father and mother committed in love to one another till death do part.
Conclusion: In this area a key responsibility of governments is to plan for future population growth, in accord with statistical surveys, with no coercion of or interference with the private decisions of the couples they govern; the responsibility of married couples is to live their married lives in submission to God's law, particularly rejecting all contraception, sterilisation and of course the killing of their offspring; the responsibility of all is to observe the virtue of chastity both within and outwith marriage.
Rev. James Morrow,