Re: [asa] Dobson

From: George L. <>
Date: Tue Mar 06 2007 - 11:35:45 EST

<p>&gt; &gt; &gt; There are SF scenarios which deal precisely with bad results of uncontolled population growth, environmental disaster &amp; the limits of technology.True -- like Stephen Baxter's recent one, &quot;Transcendent&quot; -- one of the worst SF books I've ever read.  From my review ( &gt; &gt;   &gt; &gt; The soul of Stephen Baxter's latest sci-fi novel, &gt; Transcendent, is the Catholic Priest character, Rosa (of course the Vatican has lightened up on that male Priest thing), who tells us her hero, Russion Orthodox mystic Nikolai Federov, drew on &quot;Marxist historical determinism, socialist utopianism, and deeper wells of Slavic theology and nationalism to come up with a 'Cosmism,' which preached an ultimate unity between man and the universe.&quot; As you can see, Rosa has the soul of a GRE question writer on a bender at the Burning Man festival. </p><p>That's the sort of thing that provoked Sturgeon's Rule.  When SF writer
 Theodore Sturgeon was asked &quot;Why is 95% of science fiction crap?&quot; he replied &quot;95% of everything is crap.&quot;</p><p>&gt; &gt; Abortion or infanticide will be an option if affordable &amp; easy forms of contraception aren't made available.  &gt; I think that's making things too simple.  Personally, I agree that it's important for people to have access to birth control.  However, I think markets generally are best suited to supply that need.  Government policies favoring birth control are scary because they seem inevitably to involve indoctrination, restrictions on family autonomy and religious freedom, and the promotion of a set of sexual values that is inconsistent with the Christian tradition.  &gt; &gt;   &gt; In cases of market failure (e.g., where women are too poor or oppressed to have access to birth control in markets), there is a role for government provisioning.  I think there's a huge chasm, however, between government providing birth control where
 there is market failure and government setting policy about how many children a family should have.  We need to be clear that the term &quot;population control,&quot; to many in the environmental movement, means much more than making birth control available to poor women. &gt; </p><p>I agree that birth control should be voluntary &amp; should not be promoted in a way that encourages sexual immorality.  In many situations the free market (which of course includes legalization of the sale of contraceptives, not always a given even in the US until relatively recently) can &amp; should deal ith the situation adequately.  I don't know though that government encouragement of birth control has to &quot;inevitably&quot; involve the abuses you mention. </p>
George L. Murphy

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Received on Tue Mar 6 11:36:19 2007

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