Living in a Lifeboat
The overpopulation problem is a hot topic in the world. The population growth brings us tremendous pressure because it grows too fast. Also the developing countries and underdeveloped counties have higher population growth rate; for example, India, China, and Indonesia. The daily news updates the information about how people help the poor countries. Are we really helping poor countries? I think no one can exactly answer this question. Garrett Hardin had an unequal opinion comparing with others in 1974. He made the analogy of the rich countries and poor countries. “Metaphorically each rich nation can be seen as a lifeboat full of comparatively rich people. In the ocean outside each lifeboat swim the poor of the world, who would like to get in, or at least to share some of the wealth.” Garrett Hardin argues for a very harsh thesis: we simply should not provide aid to people in poor countries. His argument is consequentiality: he claims that the net result of doing so would be negative. I do not agree with his opinion because of three main points.
His opinion was unilateral because he did not put himself in poor countries situation. For example, “Since the boat has an unused excess capacity of 10more passengers, we could admit just 10 more to it. But which 10 do we let in? ‘First come, first served’?” He used “we” to cover for him and the rich countries in these sentences, which means he put himself on the rich countries situation only. If someone gives his or her own opinion, I think the only source for the person is in the lifeboat or in the water. Garrett Hardin indicated only three points to analysis what would happen if the rich countries helped the poor countries. The first way was let everybody get into the life boat, then everybody downs; second way was some people get out and yield the place to others; and the last way was “Complete justice, complete catastrophe”. Hardin fills out the metaphor. Suppose that our lifeboat has a...
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