Malthus: Ideology Matters Part III

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 3 comments

by Bill Seng

Have you ever played the lifeboat game? There are different variations but I recall having done this exercise from elementary school all the way through my undergraduate studies.  The way it goes is that a ship is sinking and there is one lifeboat left. The lifeboat will carry only 6 people and there are 10 people left on the sinking ship. All 10 people have gifts of some sort that make them valuable. Let’s make a sample list: An elderly male doctor, a nursing woman and her infant (they count as 1 person), a female Olympic swimmer, a male priest, an actor, a female singer, a male lawyer, an ex-convict who has turned his life around, a female governor, and a male professional baseball player. With 1 being the most valuable and 10 being the least valuable, you are supposed to rank the importance of each individual and ultimately determine who survives and who is doomed.

I hate the premise of this exercise. It forces its participants to quantify the value of human life. Some of the most common solutions are that, “The priest is prepared to die already; he’s gone. The doctor is old, he isn’t going to live much longer anyway. The swimmer can swim to shore and hopefully survive, and the ex-con can’t be trusted.” How would you answer this question? No matter how you answer you are actively engaging in your own brainwashing.

If you have read my post from last week, you will notice that Thomas Robert Malthus determined that certain individuals were not worthy of life. His justification for determining who was fit and who was not was based on a false assumption of his that the world would be dangerously overpopulated and under nourished in just 200 years. His proposed solution involved steps to reduce the size of the world’s population. Do not treat those who are terminally ill, do not save the lives of illegitimate or orphaned children, don’t worry about the fate of the incarcerated, and marry at an older age and conceive fewer children. Make sure that the less valued people of society live in environments where they are prone to deadly diseases. This guy sounds like something out of a movie about a future dystopia, but his ideology is alive and well today.

For one, Malthus would be proud of the environmental and global climate change movements. After all, his concern was not so much about over population but the planet’s inability to provide resources (food, water, shelter, and clothing) for the world’s populace. Check out this link and see what one of the world’s chief proponents of global warming alarmism says regarding population control (namely Al Gore).

Planned Parenthood is probably one of the most noticeably Malthusian institutions today.  Its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a despicably hateful, sexist, and racist proponent of population control. You will see that many of her sentiments resemble those of Malthus (I posted some of his quotes last week). Here is one example of what she thought regarding population control: “[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” (Links here and here.)

These are but two of the more modern versions of Malthusian thought, yet they are not the only examples. At beginning of the 20th century a popular movement arose in the world of science known as eugenics. Eugenics sought to sterilize the unfit of society and promote the elite. It was a dark era in world history. It started off innocently enough through remarks by people like Darwin and Galton, but it slowly evolved into a monstrosity. The more civilized nations understood the value of eugenics. It started off subtly in Europe and moved to the United States. Most people attribute the whole idea of the super human to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. The terrifying reality is that it actually originated in America. At the beginning of the 20th century, America sterilized 60,000 people. Of course, by this time both Malthus and Darwin were well known among the ruling elite, providing more than enough justification for this travesty (link).

This is no small topic. I encourage you to research these subjects and these people yourselves. So many aspects of our country are governed through Malthusian thought, justified through the ideas of Charles Darwin. By the way, who should be left off of the lifeboat? My answer: women and children first.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Our country was founded on the principle that we would be advocates for the weak. Will we be known as such tomorrow?


Anonymous said...

With all that being understood, IDEOLOGY should never be what drives us as Christians .
It should always come down to : Is it Christ centered or not. people on the extreme right ideology are in the exact place of those who live on the premises you have described.

William Seng said...

Mr. Anonymous (yes, I know it is not your name), ideology is akin to worldview. I like that you say that keeping things Christ centered is of utmost importance because that is indeed true.

Unfortunately I am uncertain concerning where you are coming from (ideologically speaking). Many people have supposed that people affilitated with more conservative stances on things hate people who are underprivileged. Although it may be the case in certain circumstances my intention is to point out a much more subtle, and yet more evil danger that is being propagated in the political arena. My experience has been that conservatives are typically honest people whether they be filled with hate or not. Those who are more liberal, be it theologically or politically (according to my experience) are typically disingenuous. In fact, the crimes they accuse conservatives of are more times than not crimes that they themselves are already guilty of committing. Of course I speak only from my own experience and again I have experienced this theologically, politically, and I will even add scientifically.

Of course we both might not be understanding what is meant by extreme right or extreme left. If you do not mind could I ask what you mean by the extreme right?

William Seng said...

I just realized that I forgot another key point...maybe it is relevant and maybe it is not. When you say Christ centered, what do you mean? Do you mean strictly the teachings of Christ? The miracles? The historicity? His death, resurrection and ascension? Do you mean Christ from a mainstream Christian perspective? Jehovah's Witness? Mormon? Muslim? General New Age?

I am not asking to be rude, but I have heard many people who advocate exactly that point, but the Christ that I am familiar with in the Gospels is totally different from what they are advocating. If you could explain Christ centered from your perspective, I would appreciate that as well. Thanks!