Friday, 6 May 2011
The Dark Continent
The year is 2100. Somewhere in the arid dustbowl of sub Saharan Africa a child is born, the mother screaming and gasping heroically through the final push. A withered clan member collects the infant and cuts the umbilical, a meager crowd gathered around a depressingly familiar scene. Wait. Did you say depressing? Yes. Within 72 hours the newborn will, in all probability be dead from dehydration, or infection. The mother is too malnourished to provide milk, and there is no medical provision for many miles. This child is one of many doomed to death by simple virtue of the fact that we as a species are too many, whilst our resources too few. So what to do? Well actually there's one strategy with a 100% success rate. It's called giving women control of their own bodies. It's called giving them the choice of when to reproduce rather than treating them as breeding machines. Combine this with availability to sexual education and birth control and one might think that a solution is viable, even likely. But there's a shadow. There's a vast and powerful organization sending out it's acolytes to preach the message of abstinence. Worse, they also forbid the use of condoms and often spread lies as to there reliability. And why? Because they have a book. A holy book. And it preaches a very clear message about sex. It is for the creation of young,the making of new life. High infant mortality rates matter not in light of this revelation; this holy book is the perfect word of the creator of the universe. Our sufferings are transient, a droplet of despair in the oceans of eternity. So we are left with a stark choice; educate a culture and bring the population under control, or apply the teachings of the bronze age to the needs of the future. What's it to be? If you're an advocate of option B, enjoy your inheritance.