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overpopulation a problem? Essay

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Is Overpopulation a Serious Problem?



     This question seems to be question that is asked quite frequently lately. In the last two centuries, population has skyrocketed. In 1800 the world population was only at 1 billion, and today it’s estimated that the world population exceeds six billion people. With overpopulation, many problems have arisen. Some believe that overpopulation is the reason for world hunger, global population will reach crisis proportions by 2050, and some believe that overpopulation will bring the extinction of the human race. When one looks at the arguments that these people present, its quite overwhelming the amount of evidence that’s supports their argument. On the other side, the evidence for the opposing arguments is quite staggering as well.
     In this paper I will give a brief description on two opposing arguments dealing with the issues of overpopulation and the effects that it may, or may not have on the present as well as the future. The two articles that I have chosen to analyze are “Overpopulation Is a Serious Problem” written by Thomas Robert Malthus, and “Overpopulation Is a Myth” by Frederick Engels. The titles of the articles are pretty self explanatory on the side that they take on this issue.
     To begin with, Thomas Malthus wrote one of the most famous works on population, An Essay on the Principle of Population. He is a man who sticks to his values, and does what he preaches. He wants nothing more than to see the betterment of man, but he feels that it’s a long road with unconquerable difficulties to achieve this. Malthus states that this overpopulation is a huge problem that most people seem to “purposely shut their eyes to such problems”. A good metaphor that he uses about this is that if he were to offer a man a glass of wine repeatedly, and that man were to take no notice to it what-so-ever, he would think that man to be blind, or uncivilized. In his article, Overpopulation Is a Serious Problem, he states the many things that cause overpopulation. He states two postulates in his article about mankind. The first is that food is necessary for man. Without food man could not exist. Second he states that attraction and the passion between the genders is a must, and will continue and will quite closely remain in its present state.
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...it absurd that the Malthusian theory states that we should let those in poverty die out, to balance out the population. Engels states that under the Malthusian theory that the poor consist to the surplus of the population should simply be left to die off, and that nothing should be done to them and that their lives cannot get it altered.
     Engels has a great hatred for the Malthusian theory. “And it is precisely this theory which is the conerstone of the liberal system of free trade, whose fall will bringteh whole edifice down with it.”* He states that competition is the cause of misery, poverty and crime. He goes further to explain that Malthus had taken a one sided view. He did not pay attention to the fact that surplus population is always bound with surplus wealth, surplus landed property, and surplus capital. “Population is too great only when productive power in general is too great.”* This is proven in every overpopulated country.
     From what I have learned trough class and life I firmly believe in what Thomas Malthus point of view. I believe that overpopulation is a huge problem that we need to take a closer look at.


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