Thursday, December 3, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

There is nothing like a philosophy class to make you appreciate the common man. All our lives, we struggle to understand our reason for being. Just when we think we actually know truth, someone changes the rules.

Here are a few examples: Global warming (my ass is freezing right now), the killer swine flu, communism and birth control. I cannot wrap my brain around the contradictions. Just when I thought I knew and understood these things, the world presented evidence that forces me to reevaluate my understanding.

The world is warming, which is why I am colder in California than I was in Ireland two years ago. The swine flu thundered through our local elementary school and not a single child died. Communist China is the leader of manufacturing in the world and is buying American debt so we can continue our limping economy.

But where I laughed my backside off (not is still there) is when I read this today in the UK Guardian:
The scheme - set up by an organisation backed by Sir David Attenborough, the former diplomat Sir Crispin Tickell and green figureheads such as Jonathon Porritt and James Lovelock - argues that family planning is the most effective way to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic global warming.

The cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the trust claims that family planning is the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions. Every £4 spent on contraception, it says, saves one tonne of CO2 being added to global warming, but a similar reduction in emissions would require an £8 investment in tree planting, £15 in wind power, £31 in solar energy and £56 in hybrid vehicle technology.

Calculations based on the trust's figures show the 10 tonnes emitted by a return flight from London to Sydney would be offset by enabling the avoidance of one unwanted birth in a country such as Kenya. Such action not only cuts emissions but reduces the number of people who will fall victim to climate change, it says.
From the UK Guardian
So there you have it. If we could just get those pesky Kenyans to stop procreating, our global warming will magically disappear. Funny how this whole proposal comes on the heals of the Copenhagen summit AND Climategate. Do you sense the impending announcement that global warming has been corrected and all is right with the world, now that the Kenyans are no longer having too many children.

Now here is where my philosophical alarm bells are screaming to identify the false arguments of this theory. First: Since the introduction of artificial birth control in 1960 U.S. population has increased by 50%, Chinese population has doubled with forced birth control and other developing (and thriving) nations have doubled their populations. Click here for the stats Based on this evidence, promoting birth control will increase the population, not decrease it.

Second: How ethical is it for Sir David Attenborough to suggest that Kenyans in Africa should move out of the timeline in order for the Europeans to continue to pollute the world at will? Where does that make our society superior to the behavior of 18th and 19th century slaveowners? Doesn't that just prove that racism is still alive and well and living in Europe?

Finally: How does one measure the value of a single human life? Our president is the product of one Kenyan and one American. Is this a promotion of an anti-Obama sentiment? Or are some human beings not as valuable as others, simply due to their racial component?

I know....I know. We could honor Monty Python's Flying Circus much more effectively by simply suggesting the Fish Slapping Dance be employed as a method of eradicating undesirable English. Or better yet, let's just contemplate the idea that God knows what He (or She) is doing and let nature control itself with a killer swine flu. I do find it curious that the very same people insisting that we all need a swine flu vaccine are also suggesting that some countries should encourage birth control. Isn't nature simply addressing the concern on her own?

The greatest irony is that the body of individuals promoting this thought process is the very group that insists others should not force religion upon unsuspecting atheists. Are they not imposing their beliefs upon the rest of us by insisting on vaccines for swine flu, birth limitations and political ideologies? Don't get me wrong. I have a great and secret love for a few atheists. (Perhaps it is a lost puppy syndrome, but they make me think which prevents me from taking my existence for granted.) Some I believe are closet theists, but they shall remain anonymous. But where is the imposition of birth control a better public policy than the imposition of prayer in school? It does make a person wonder.

So for those of you who have the audacity to believe in God, I suggest you sit back and have a nice glass of California wine. No point in getting our panties into a bunch. Everything takes care of itself. Besides, this generation will eventually be wearing Depends and living in rest homes. I suspect the urgency of global warming and population control takes a back seat when you have trouble remembering what you said ten minutes ago.

Now, what were we talking about again?