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 its 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.Order now
When one looks at the arguments that these people present, its quite overwhelming the amount of evidence thats 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 its 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.
These two laws Malthus says appear to be part of the fixed laws of nature. He states that he doesnt know if these laws will ever change, but he doesnt know how man can live without food. However, he cites Mr.
William Godwin in that the passion between the genders will eventually, with the help of time, be dissolved. But, has no proof to reinforce this claim. Malthus states that, The best arguments for the perfectibility of man are drawn from a contemplation of the great progress that he has already made from the savage state and the difficulty of saying where he is to stop.* Further, he says that he had not seen any progress towards extinguishing of the passion of the genders, and appears to be in full force today, just as it was thousands of years ago. Just as with everything else, there are the exceptions of course, but these exceptions are not showing any signs of increasing. But, as these exceptions do not appear to increase in number, it would surely be a very unphilosophical mode of arguing, to infer merely from the existence of an exception, that exception would, in time, become the rule, and the rule the exception.
* Malthus states that the power in the earth is forever less than the power of population to produce subsistence for man.
Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio, while population increases in geometrical ratio when left unchecked. From this one can see the sheer overwhelming comparison of the first power to the second. Since food is a necessity for mankind, the consequences of the two powers, subsistence and population, must be kept equal. This shows the strong correlation on population from the difficulty of subsistence. That difficulty of subsistence must fall on someone and be felt in large proportions.
Malthus goes on to state that the .