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Essay on Tertullian's Third Century Thoughts on Overpopulation

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“We are burdensome to the world, the resources are scarcely adequate for us.” Tertullian, a philosopher from the third century had said this about our world when the population was mere 200 million. This statement can be taken two different ways. The first would be to think that our resources are limited and we need to be worried. The second would be to say people have been worried about overpopulation forever but everything seems to have worked out. There is no doubt that there are many people inhabiting this earth but the real question is if too many of us is a real threat to humanity.
Many people believe that unless some sort of population control is put into place, we are all doomed. Well, Stephen Rooney is not one of those people. Not only does not believe we need population control, but he also states that growth has come to an end. In his article, he points out that developed countries are actually declining in population(Rooney). Germany’s population could drop 20% by 2050, Italy needs 2.2 million immigrants per year to hold put, and Japan’s population could be down anywhere between 17% and 25% in 2050 based on current trends (Rooney). Some people state that overcrowding in poorer areas of Africa cause big problems. Well, if this is true, than how do people explain the fact that areas such as developed Western Europe, where there are more people per square mile (429), are better off than these countries in Africa that have 65 people per square mile?(Rooney). The point trying to be made is that it does not seem as if population is the problem but rather, something else. And if population is not an issue, than there is no need to regulate it.
Another argument against population control would be, as Steven Mosher...


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...th more opportunities. Not only does this allow family life to improve, but it allows the country to remain a healthy population. A problem with this solution though is that the United States is the only industrialized country that does not oppose the Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (Pope). Until other countries realize that this proposed solution may work, the overpopulation problem will continue to be an issue.
Overpopulation and the debate of population control will continue to go on as the earth continues to age. Whether or not this issue will continue to be ignored or not remains to be seen. Many people see this growth as a threat while others interpret it a different way. But with people out there as concerned as they are, and with our resources running shorter every day, eventually a solution may have to be put into place.


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