Hey, do you love it when people mistake correlation for causation? How about when people imply atheists aren't good people? Or when they think their silly religious beliefs are more important than massive problems in society? Well, then you'll love what Lord Sacks said:
Lord Sacks blamed Europe's falling birth rate on a culture of "consumerism and instant gratification".
He said the continent was "dying" and accused its citizens of not being prepared for parenthood's "sacrifices"...
The 61-year-old, who took his seat in the Lords last week, said: "Wherever you turn today - Jewish, Christian or Muslim - the more religious the community, the larger on average are their families.
"The major assault on religion today comes from the neo-Darwinians." ...
Lord Sacks said Europe was the most secular region in the world and the only continent seeing populations fall.
He said parenthood involved "massive sacrifices" of money, attention, time and emotional energy.
Linden over at Folklore of Pitong already did a good job exposing the bad science of this idea. In short, birth rates could be down since infant mortality has severely decreased with modern medicine. No need to replace your babies.
It pains the scientist in me when people confuse correlation with causation. Yes, secularism has risen and birth rates have dropped. Frozen food consumption has also risen, but I'm not going to jump to the conclusion that they cause infertility (maybe with the exception of Hot Pockets, I don't trust those). However, things that contribute to secularism (rational thinking, scientific knowledge, improved education, better living conditions, etc) may all lead to someone deciding to have less kids.
But so what?
Why is having less kids a horrible thing? Because we're not giving birth to all "generations not born" as Lord Sacks says? [cue musical overlay of Every Sperm is Sacred] That's a pretty ridiculous way of thinking, if you ask me. Should we be churning out every baby possible like the Quiverfull movement? I kind of prefer being more than a walking baby making machine, than you very much. What about all those precious egg cells wasted before a woman gets married (which I'm sure is the only appropriate time to reproduce in Lord Sacks's mind)? Might as well start marrying off girls after their first period - can't go wasting all of those potential children.
Does Lord Sacks even care that the world is horrendously overpopulated? If anything, reduced birth rates are a wonderful thing. This may irk some people, but I personally feel it's somewhat socially irresponsible to purposefully have more than two children ("oops"s are understandable). To do more than replace yourself contributes to the problem of overpopulation and is a burden to not only society, but to your children who will have to live in said society. For Lord Sacks to be completely oblivious to this is unacceptable.
Of course, I'm an evil, birth-control-using atheist, so I guess I'm simply biased.
Oh, and atheists don't make sacrifices, don't want to invest emotional energy, yadda yadda. It's sad when hearing such ridiculous and slanderous things said about me doesn't even warrant a response anymore. I'm getting so used to it, that I don't even want to waste my time pointing out that it's utter bullshit. Secular people have children, and like all people, love them very much. Quantity isn't better than quality when it comes to raising kids, Lord Sacks.