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Module 6 - Hypothetical Ethical Problem: The Population Situation, Part 1
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You need the entire week to do this three-part exercise, so start right away.
The Population Situation: An Exercise in Utilitarianism
You are a citizen of a developing country. The year is 2025 and your country is facing massive population growth. In the last decade alone, it has seen a population growth of nearly 200 million people, and demographics forecast continued rapid growth well into the next generation.
The nation has also seen a rapid rise in industrial and commercial development, both of which are wreaking havoc on the environment. Climatologists have noted a marked increase in the levels of air and water pollution. In addition, the nation's reliance on mono-crops has made it food-dependent on its trading partners; it can no longer feed its growing population on its own. This has resulted in some food shortages.
The most promising option the state has at present is to try to stem the tide of population growth internally.
Demographers have noted that, primarily due to a tradition of raising large families and other cultural and religious mandates, most of the state's population growth is occurring among poorer, rural sectors. Many families are comprised of up to ten children each. In some instances, birth control is available, but simply not used. In other instances, no birth control or formal family planning education is provided. The affordability of contraception is also a concern.
Culturally, however, it has been found to be taboo to discuss family concerns publicly. Yet the state knows that it is facing an impending food, environmental, political and even international crisis if something is not done immediately.
What is the nation to do? The following policies have been proposed:
Part 1: Brainstorming