This article comes from a several month-old NYTimes Magazine, discusses the world’s fertility crisis and the fact that Europe’s fertility has dropped below the replacement rate.
The decline in fertility is different in every country, but generally people have lost the desire to have children. The only place that this is perhaps not the case is America (see other Nytimes articles about the Alaskan Governor!) which remains quite fertile. Of course places like NYC and San Fran birth a lot more like Europe.
How is this “fertility” philosophy rationalized?
- “Yuppy Philosophy”- how are you going to be upwardly mobile when you have a full litter (or quiver as the psalmist says)
-“Green Philosophy”- allow enough oxygen for the rest of us!
These perspectives dominate the discussion around the world, whether or not you are in Europe or China and both views are governed by fear rather than hope.
Sarah (my wife) and I joke (kind of) about having 12 kids so that we can field 2 hockey teams and have two goalies for family scrimmages. The most common response is that we are incredibly “irresponsible” both in our consideration of ourselves and the world. Perhaps it would be irresponsible given our current 400 sq ft apartment, but cheers to the family around the corner with 6 kids and boo to the responsible Europeans!
Pope Benedict is right in his comment on the second page of the article:
Europe is infected by a strange lack of desire for the future, children, our
future, are perceived as a threat to the present.
It is totally a hope issue. There is a lot there…