A Not So Modest Proposal: On Prohibiting Procreation/Sexual Intercourse…To Save the Planet

Who can deny our globe has reached an environmental tipping point of epic proportions. For many decades now, a number of esteemed scientists have warned of the grave dangers posed to the planet by overpopulation and global warming/climate change. Some of these scientists have suggested that an effective solution to these problems would be a new black plague (e.g., a new world-wide Ebola-like virus) that would wipe out the entire human population – permanently. But why leave this goal up to fate rather than human will and ingenuity?

A better strategy would be to persuade the United Nations and NGOs favorable to population control to pressure governments to pass laws that would criminalize sexual intercourse, not simply procreation. China has been very successful in reducing its population through its one-child-per-family policy. It has been implemented, with some modifications, over the past decades by means of the instruments of a police state: forced abortions and sterilizations, stiff financial and social penalties, and so forth. But our proposal would be much more radical in that the goal would be to reduce world population to zero. Coercive measures–both covert and overt–would obviously need to be employed on a global scale, in many instances, for this proposal to be truly effective. Not even torture would be off limits.

globeDespite these aggressive means, which would manifestly violate basic freedoms and human rights, most secularists would be pleased that the natural environment will finally be preserved and protected to a degree unimaginable in recent years past. Religious persons of all faiths, especially those of a fundamentalist stripe, would most likely fight this law quite hard at first; but they could be sold on the idea by presenting it eschatologically–in terms of the “end-times.” That is, the proposal, although draconian in nature, could be packaged as a way of ushering in, in accelerated fashion, what Jews and Christians call the “Kingdom of God”–a fantasy, yes, but nonetheless one that they believe in.

Notably (and maybe a bit ironically), Catholic clergy who are living their vows of celibacy faithfully, will already be in conformity with the new laws outlawing all sexual intercourse. As would gays and lesbians, incapable as they are of either engaging in authentic sexual intercourse or procreating (unless you call artificial reproductive techniques such as IVF-with-embryo-transfer-to-a-surrogate, “procreating”, but this too will be prohibited.)

Of course–and this may surprise some–our proposal must also entail the banning of pornography, since its stimulating effects on the brain are so great, as to constantly remind people of the pleasures of sexual intercourse (Thus, the recently invented technique we call “scrubbing” will be employed to wash away all known images or pictorial depictions of sexual intercourse in books, magazines, movies, music, graffiti, etc.). Also banned will be so-called “erectile dysfunction” products such as Viagra. Once again, the risks associated with using ED drugs of this kind would be too high that sexual intercourse would be the desired outcome (Viagra, it might be argued, could as well be used to engage in sodomitical intercourse, but it will nonetheless be prohibited on account of the difficulty of monitoring/enforcing that it’s not actually being used for the only sex act that’s apt for heterosexual procreation – coitus).

For many, especially the sexual libertines among us, a world in which sexual intercourse (and pornography!) is banned may seem like a dystopian nightmare – but it need not be.  Certain types of virtual sex need not necessarily be outlawed, including sex with robots, which, as the Japanese have shown, make much better partners. Sodomy (both oral and anal), as implied above, could also be an alternative for heterosexual couples, as it is already for homosexuals.  It need not be prohibited since it really only apes sexual intercourse. The same is true of masturbation–whether solitary or mutual.

The goal, again, is to achieve a world where not a single child more is born. Whereas in the past, contraception and abortion-as-back-up-birth-control were the “go-to” means, this “not-so-modest” proposal hopes to achieve zero population growth by making the act of sexual intercourse – not merely the procreative act – a thing of the past. Abortion would still function as this back-up when mistakes (=pregnancies) occur. And forced sterilization would still be a tool used for those incorrigibles who refuse to comply with the new law. Genital mutilation/castration would be a last-resort measure for the most resistant to compliance, that is, those who either violate the law’s ban or pose a serious threat to its violation. “Resisters” will not and cannot be tolerated. In the most extreme cases (and that includes rapists), recourse to the death penalty will be had.

But to absolutely ensure that no more children are born and then somehow live by accident, infanticide will need to be a necessary part of the arsenal in the fight for zero population growth. It will have to be done immediately after birth so that, they who had been called in the recent past until the ascendancy of the LGBTQ movement, “mother” and “father,” do not (further) bond physically and emotionally with the child.

Moreover, at the end-of life, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide – both voluntary and involuntary – will need to be practiced on a much larger scale since being made legal in most countries for the sick and dying use up an inordinate amount of resources devoted to their pointless care. Withholding and withdrawing food and water are particularly effective means for these, as one bioethicist called them, “useless eaters.”

The use of modern technology – e.g., drugs, drones, and other surveillance techniques – will be invaluable instruments in the enforcement of the new anti- sexual intercourse law.  Their deployment will make possible what would have seemed far-fetched, a matter of science fiction just a few years ago: a world where no children are born because no sexual intercourse takes place. Only then will Mother Earth be restored to her pristine condition, free of the Original Sin that is man and all his polluting works.

Mark S. Latkovic, S.T.D. is a Professor of Moral Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary (Detroit, MI), where he has taught for over 23 years. He is co-editor of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives (The Catholic University of America Press, 2004), as well as author of What’s a Person to Do? Everyday Decisions that Matter (Our Sunday Visitor, 2013) and numerous articles in scholarly and popular journals.
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