Congressional Issues 2010
The Myth of Over-Population
The 112th Congress should:
- reject legislation based on the myth of "over-population."
Are there too many people?
Imagine every human being on the face of the earth crammed into the state of Texas. Seven Billion people. Population density would be a little more than 20,304 per square mile -- 1,373 square feet of land area per person. That's about the size of the suburban Southern California house I grew up in, and I was not alone. So let's say every human being on the planet lives in the state of Texas in a home with the same population density as the one I grew up in. One third of the state of Texas could be devoted to industry, stores, businesses, etc.; one third of the state could be for parks and recreation areas, and the entire human race could live in the spacious and enviable style of moderate suburban housing in one third of the state of Texas. That leaves the other 49 states empty. Nobody in Canada. Not a single
human being in Mexico or the South American continent. The entire African continent would be uninhabited by human beings. Asia and India, with their billions of people, could live much more comfortably in Dubai-style apartments in one-third of the state of Texas. Not a single human being anywhere in the world except in one-third of the state of Texas.
And "experts" say there are too many people? That the planet is "over-populated??"
Source: Cal Beisner, Population Growth as Blessing or Blight?
Why do some people want to limit human births?
- They are environmentalists, and view humans as a cancer or virus on the planet.
- They hate God, and human beings are created in the Image of God, so they hate human beings.
- They do not want human beings to "exercise dominion over the earth" (Genesis 1:26-28)
- They do not understand the concept of "the division of labor" They do not understand that more human beings means a higher standard of living for us all (provided we all obey God's Commandments).
- They do not believe that People are a blessing.
The largest apartment buildings being constructed today are large. I mean really large, like 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in New York. Or five of the ten tallest buildings in the world, found in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. One of these buildings can house 25,000 human beings in a level of comfort which the vast majority of human beings in the past could not have imagined.
Here's another link to the concept of the entire population of the earth being "squeezed" into one-third of the state of Texas, each one enjoying a home with the population density of the home in which I grew up, with one-third of the state given to business and industry meeting all human needs, and one-third of the state given to parks and recreation. New York City contains not just residences, but businesses (e.g., "Wall Street") and parks (e.g., "Central Park"). This second link does not make this distinction.
From a Christian perspective, "over-population" is actually the problem of "under-civilization." As Julian Simon has pointed out, human beings are "the Ultimate Resource." Human beings, created in the Image of God, turn useless, sticky black sludge ("oil") into a form of energy, which powers up hospitals, restaurants, and improves life on earth. More human beings, acting in a civilized manner, means a higher standard of living for all human beings. ("Civilized," from a Christian perspective, means "following Christ" and obeying His Commandments. The earth's seven billion people have barely tapped the
surface of moral and scientific progress which Christian civilization offers.
And thousands of years from now, when mankind has fulfilled God's command to "be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it" (Genesis 1:26-28; 9:1) and there are 700 billion, or a 1,000 billion (trillion) human beings on earth, the vast majority will be Christians. David Chilton writes:
- while it is fashionable for modern Christian intellectuals to speak of our civilization as "post-Christian," we should turn that around and make it Biblically accurate: Our culture is not post-Christian - our culture is still largely pre-Christian!6
- 6. Cf. Loraine Boettner, The Millennium (Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1957), pp. 38-47, 63-66; Benjamin B. Warfield, "Are There Few That Be Saved?" in Biblical and Theological Studies (Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1968), pp. 334-350. Warfield cites William Temple: "The earth will in all probability be habitable for myriads of years yet. If Christianity is the final religion, the church is still in its infancy. Two thousand years are as two days. The appeal to the 'primitive church' is misleading; we are the 'primitive church'"; and James Adderly: "But we must remember that Christianity is a very young religion, and that we are only at the beginning of Christian history even now" (pp. 347f.).
The actual number of the saved, far from being limited to mere tens of thousands, is in reality a multitude that no one could count, so vast that it cannot be comprehended. For the fact is that Christ came to save the world. Traditionally -- although Calvinists have been technically correct in declaring that the full benefits of the atonement were intended only for the elect - both Calvinists and Arminians have tended to miss the point of John 3:16. That point has been beautifully summarized by Benjamin Warfield:
You must not fancy, then, that God sits helplessly by while the world, which He has created for Himself, hurtles hopelessly to destruction, and He is able only to snatch with difficulty here and there a brand from the universal burning. The world does not govern Him in a single one of its acts: He governs it and leads it steadily onward to the end which, from the beginning, or ever a beam of it had been laid, He had determined for it. ... Through all the years one increasing purpose runs, one increasing purpose: the kingdoms of the earth become ever more and more the Kingdom of our God and His Christ. The process may be slow; the progress may appear to our impatient eyes to lag. But it is God who is building:
and under His hands the structure rises as steadily as it does slowly, and in due time the capstone shall be set into its place, and to our astonished eyes shall be revealed nothing less than a saved world."
Benjamin B. Warfield, from a sermon on John 3:16 entitled "God's Immeasurable Love," in Biblical and Theological Studies (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1968), pp. 518f.
Then there are other planets.
next: Foreign Policy