Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Authentic Development, Kids, and the Hypothetical Case of Yougaria

This week's been off-schedule from the start:
I spent more time on non-writing tasks than I'd planned today. All of which has very little to do with "Caritas in Veritate."

Population Growth and Assumptions

I pried apart the first two sentences of "Caritas in Veritate," 44, as I often do to make the ideas clearer. That works for me, anyway: your experience may vary.

Benedict XVI says that population growth is:
  • Associated with
    • Development
    • Problems
  • A very important part of authentic development
    • Because it concerns inalienable rights
      • Life
      • Family
    ("Caritas in Veritate," 44)
Benedict XVI is talking about population growth here. Not surprisingly, the Pope's view of humanity isn't quite the same as the establishment's, here in America.

There's a lot more: a bit over 500 words in the English translation. I can see I'll be writing about this section at least once more.

Who Needs Children?

Not surprisingly, the Pope says that families are a good idea, and that having babies isn't a "risk."

Aside from ethical concerns, Benedict XVI points out that babies are important for grimly practical reasons. There's not much point in preserving cultural traditions, or anything else, for future generations: unless there's a 'next generation.'

This flies in the face of establishment beliefs about the Population Bomb: but I think Benedict XVI has a point.

Growing Up, Growing Old, Carrying On

For the most part, human beings last about a century, give or take: at most. Normally this isn't an issue, since quite a few of us have raised children before we die.

When women in an area have fewer than about 2 children, total, on average, there won't be enough kids growing up to take the place of adults who - inevitably - die. I could talk statistics, but feel like telling a little story instead.

No Kids, No Worries: For a While

Let's look at Yougaria, a hypothetical country with a large population, abundant natural resources, and a very 'advanced' outlook.

Yougaria's people read that their country was overpopulated, overcrowded, and on the brink of collapse. Besides, they were told, raising a family cost too much and gets in the way of having a good time. Convinced by these arguments, they stopped having kids.

Yougarians noticed that they had a lot more money to spend, now that they weren't wasting it on raising children.

Yougaria's economy thrived. Folks had money to spend, and plenty of leisure time. There was even an unexpected 'growth industry:' services that catered to the elderly.

Eventually, a few Yougarians noticed that the local theater crowd looked a lot older than it had when they were young. Services catering to the elderly had a growing clientele: including many of their former employees.

The last Yougarian finally died, in a nice elderly care facility: which was owned and operated by folks who had moved in from neighboring countries.

Over-Simplified? Yes

I doubt that any country has been as single-minded as my fictional Yougaria. It's hard to imagine everybody in a country deciding that having kids was too much trouble.

On the other hand, a remarkable number of countries aren't having enough babies to maintain their population. I've written about this 'birth dearth' before.
More posts about "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth)
"Caritas in Veritate"

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.