Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Religion and Tradition Affecting Overpopulation.

Carlos Malcon Matute Castillo.
Writer’s workshop.
Mr. Leverett.

Religion and Tradition Affecting Overpopulation.

Religion, itself, has been part of human tradition since the existence of people on the Earth, as people have felt the need of believing in somebody with superior power. This is how they have come up by giving attribution, not only to the items existing in the nature such as trees, stones, rivers, sun and moon, but also others they created from their imagination, ingenuity or their own social environment, as for example, totems, saints, symbols , etc. Furthermore, they have given names to their beliefs in order to get identified from place to place. Among these common religious names we have Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism, and other that pursue to the get the same benefits out of these beliefs by creating a certain kind of connections with what happens in nature, environment, and social life. That is why religious have grown among bigger communities and fulfilled common need and values such the ones related to population and the way this is managed according to what is written or what a prophet told them to follow, as for example the idea about birth control management.

Some religions have been seen as opponents of birth control. And this might have a reason. Nevertheless, this hostile assumption who expect s it to change due to the amount of population is getting and the worries that this situation is carrying to people for example the way these people will get food. Historically, there are several main religions in the world: Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism,…. In places such as India, China, Japan, Middle East countries, United States of America and Latin America where these religions are practiced and have become more and more important they have as they have entwined what has been written in their Bibles or Holly Books. The problem, here, is the way these religions have decided to manage their own policies in different places and times. One example is the way Catholicism managed population control in Latin America, by the time of the conquerors, aboriginals (named also Indians), were encouraged to have as many children as God would provide, because that meant more people to work in mines. So, in many ways this religion prompted the idea that multiplication was God’s command. Indeed, a significant change happened in Latin America and other countries by 1960’s. That was relevant vis a vis religion and modernity. There were more reflections on ethics and religious values (Radford, 1994). So, according to what I have read, the problem of overpopulation doesn’t rely on the religious matters, at all. I relies on education and mainly the management of the information. This is why I disagree with blaming on religion the population growth, for the reason I am describing below.
The world we are living in is getting overpopulated, and it seems that we are still keep on blaming religious matters and this is because there are not clear arguments about the relations among these institutions that have tended to become more and more approachable to people. It is time to oppose this assumption, in my opinion, because there are common issues to pursue from I have mentioned above, firstly, the deep symbols of justice and protest against justice and injustice; secondly, the equality in God’s image; and thirdly, the conflict between patriarchy and prophetic faith. And not left to say the way these religions project good life. If it is so, we should not blame religions as opponents of control of population because the standard principle of them is to live by following common benefits.

The real discussion between the proclamation and what the Bible says about contraception goes beyond what churches told to people in the past, such as, for example, the proclamation of Catholics position on contraception. Although the Bible rarely deals with contraception, it was so far outside the biblical mindset and obviously wrong that it did not need frequent condemnations others sins did (Hassan, n.d).The principle that contraception is wrong as a form of particular birth control does not need to be dealt within the Scripture in order t for us to see that it is condemned.(Catholic Teaching Resources, n.d). So, if there is no opposition from this religion, population should start to be controlled by using the practical ways to reduce the problem. This problem sooner or later, will carry an amount of difficulties such that the population will hardly be able to handle food, global warming, and soil devastation among others.

The effort , from the population, to skirt religion has failed, for the simple reason that almost all cultures sexuality, fertility and family matters are particularly entwined with religion (Radford, n.d). It seems that one of the two religions Catholicism is loosing followers due to these restrictions because they are taking analysis in their own hand by relating issues with common events in life. Particularly, in the Catholic world there are more women going to college in order to get a good professional status that allows them a ladder up into a good life. And indeed they are preventing new human beings from coming into existence because they first want to get set in life to better provide for their offspring. This is a need in life no related to religions matters because religion is important to people but it is a need of working together (people and religion) in order to create a sustainable future. It is not taken wrong actions not to have children. It is recommended to have them if people are not ready to attend to them. Nevertheless, women in the Islamic world are still being seen as inferior according to the perspective of the Qu’ran (Hassan,n.d). However, from time to time they are coming to universities to improve life because Islam also establishes the right to recognition of individual merit. By having written this, I do think that liberation of women form the Islamic world will soon come and they will stand for population control as they find other gaps in the Scriptures that would allow them openly to do so.

As a result what is the problem if we can deal with the gaps from tradition of the religions. It looks like not all is written on the stones; we can deal with issues of birth control because there are no established doctrines about contraception, according to other religions too, such as Buddhism and Hinduism (Stacy, 2007a). In Buddhism for example the idea of contraception methods is accepted but there are different degrees of hesitation and one of the reasons they agree is because of the idea of growing up with good quality of life and allowing the couple to plan number of children and use some birth control such as pills and condoms. Nevertheless, practitioner of Buddhism believe that many births cause suffering (Stacy, 2007b). Moreover, among other religions, Hinduism encourages procreation within marriage and they still do not have opposition against contraception because they emphasize the development of positive social conscience. Besides, Hindus are followers of well known people such as Gandhi who advocate abstinence as a form of birth control, Radhakrisnan and Tagore also have encouraged the use of artificial contraceptive methods. These well known people also believed that more of children than one or the environment support goes against the Hindu code. So far, in 1971 abortion was legalized in India and it became the first nation to focus more for overpopulation . That is why in my concern on these issues would go on starting to plan how to save that we have before it becomes too late. There is no need to wait until the end. Overpopulation is hurting the world in many ways.


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Radford, R.(1994.a).”Comments from Christian Perspective on Religion and Population Policy. Retrieved February10th , 2009, from

Radford, R. (1994.b). Catholic Teaching Resources Prayers Catholic Teaching Birth Control. Retrieved February 10th, 2009, from