Many times I read or hear that the world is overpopulated. The first thing that springs up in my mind then is "Then kill yourself!". It seems an attitude that shows little value for human life. And mostly, the people who tell us live in a very good situation, away from places where people live like in the favelas or the small alleys of a big city (like Naples).
Why do people say that? Every person has about 0,025 square kilometers to live on (about 150x150 meters). There is a lot of food growing for them. So why say that?

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    Because they think that the world's population is too big compared to world's resources. See Human overpopulation Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 8:24
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    But why not put it the other way round? Why are resources more important than people?
    – user52804
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 8:52
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    Not more important, nut needed... For what I know, the issue is debated: what is the "maximum number" of humans that the world can support? But the answer (if any) must be based on data (approximated). Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 8:56

3 Answers 3


Because they don't understand the importance of the demographic transition in birth rates, and this variation in consumption:

Oxfam data on consumption by wealth globally

Have a look at: Are there philosophically serious moral arguments against eugenics? for an example of reply to someone fearmongering about overpopulation. Anytime this comes up, is an opportunity to hammer home that a demographic transition is about reducing infant mortality, universal education, and access to family planning support. Supporting those in Subsaharan Africa could reduce the point human population peaks by a billion people, and be the best moral & ethical thing, and prevent climate change and help save biodiversity.

As to why people focus on population rather than consumption, I'd say it's about blaming someone else, rather than taking responsibility for how our communities consume. The 'Look at China!' argument to avoid action on climate change in the USA, even though the climate impact per person in China is way lower.

Sunlight, and readily available minerals, can grow us everything we need, regeneratively. The problem is only one of organisation.


It seems an attitude that shows little value for human life.

That doesn't mean one is right in mindlessly procreating and thereby increasing population. A new human life is not commanded by God. Humans decide to have children. What's the point in having more people when you are unable to manage or provide for them? Not only we have limited resources on a global (and local) scale, but also that there are operational constraints and inefficiencies in allocating those resources (which is why poverty exists). The issue here is not philosophical or moral, but an engineering one.


It's all "fear mongering". There is plenty of room for everyone. The "food and water shortage" is the same thing. Their are farmers who get paid not to grow crops(keeps the prices up). Humans now have the ability to change the deserts into farm lands. Remove the salt from the water. Create homes cheaper and faster, and use totaly recycable materals. Completly self sustainable energy. Their is truly no GOOD reason why this planet is not the paradise it should be. Nothing more than corporate controll.

  • I think you live in my street, so to speak!
    – user52804
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 14:33
  • Wouldn't you think that corporations have a massive incentive "to change the deserts into farm lands."...
    – Alexander
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 23:36

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