Thursday, 27 December 2012

Above-replacement fertility - necessary (but not sufficient) for a valid religion


It seems to me that above-replacement fertility is a necessity for any valid religion; or, to put it another way, any religion in which the adherents (as a group) voluntarily average less than two children per woman, is of necessity false and evil in some very fundamental way.

The test is necessary but not, of course, sufficient. While sub-replacement fertility is necessarily bad, and evidence of some underlying and over-powering falsity in belief or practice; above replacement fertility is certainly not evidence of a group being on-the-whole-good.

Indeed most groups reasons for high fertility are bad, simply because above-replacement is the natural (biological) state for humans, and humans are sinful creatures who need to be saved.


So, we can apply a filter to Christian denominations around the world and within societies.

All of those denominations in which adherents average less than two children per woman are bad, false and should be rejected as being (in some way, which may or may not be specifically identifiable) on-the-whole evil (their good qualities being overwhelmed by one or more bad qualities).

The bad-ness of low-fertility can conveniently be seen in the age structure of adherents - high median age, proportionately few children and few adults of child-bearing age, and a distorted sex ratio (in other words, not enough men).

And the more extreme, and sustained, is chosen sub-fertility; the worse the denomination, the more anti-Christian. 


I am saying that sustained and self-chosen sub-fertility in a group is evidence of such profound spiritual malaise, that it provides an objective measure of spiritual malaise. 


In a country like England, this means that all the major self-styled 'Christian' denominations can be revealed as sub-fertile and trending worse, hence net-evil, hence not truly Christian, hence ruled-out of consideration.

Among those smaller, more-specific Christian groups with above-replacement fertility, we cannot assume that any are valid - since we cannot assume that there are any valid Christian groups in England.

It is possible that there are only scattered valid Christians who may be spread thinly across denominations, or outwith organized churches - or perhaps there are simply too few real Christians to register.


But applying this test would suggest where, among which denominations, real Christians might find it worth looking for a church that is potentially good-on-the-whole. As well as providing a quick and simple way of detecting and rejecting pseudo-Christian Churches.


NOTE: To make clear - as a Mere Christian, I believe that real Christians are scattered (but not evenly) across many denominations and are to be found in many congregations - even those of the most corrupt pseudo-Christian churches. However, such individuals would necessarily find themselves at-odds-with their denominations and congregations, and swimming-against the tide of change. 



Daybreaker said...

I think that's right.

First and mainly, sub-replacement fertility is an admission that your way of life is not worth carrying on.

Secondly, are the priests of this religion shepherds or wolves? The Soviet accusation of "parasitism" against professional clergy was bogus, and might better be directed at communists and their modern heirs, but if it was true it would be serious. Clergy that live at the expense of believers whom they encourage in beliefs and a way of life that shrivels those believers demographically are parasites.

Daybreaker said...

I feel sorry for the Parsis who are under threat of extinction and want to solve their problem.

I guess we have to say that religious leaders who are weak and ignorant of what to do for their followers are necessarily an evil, even if involuntarily so, and that a religion in which such leaders arise and are not quickly replaced is proving its badness.

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - Indeed they are parasites, quite literally so, since 'Liberals' in the churches demonstrably, by the changes they introduce, destroy the body which feeds them.

But Liberals themselves are surviving and thriving by consuming the tissue of the host.

(i.e. living off/ selling capital while expanding the bureaucracy -

e.g. In the Church of England the *only* large and growing churches that generate a surplus are conservative evangelicals (and they also have, I believe, a healthy fertility pattern); yet (from 113 bps in total) how many conservative evangelical Bishops have been appointed in the last generation? Not one.

Daybreaker said...

I've said a number of times I would like to see a great White revival, and I would like to see Christianity as an instrument of it. (Specifically Christianity, because of the cultural "sunk costs". To have to start again after the ruin of Christianity would be an even greater blow for the White race than to have to begin again after the fall of Rome.)

That involves seeing Christianity first in instrumental terms: it's good for what a people can get from it, in visible this-worldly terms. (Though the "this-worldly" gains include things like great paintings of no practical use.)

It also involves accepting a demonstration. Christianity proved itself better than its modern rivals have. It didn't just prove itself more useful, it proved itself morally superior. Its modern rivals aren't just less useful, they are horrible, and the sterility they have led to isn't just a catastrophe but proof of their wickedness.

babies said...

Does this imply to children one conceives or children who survive? Child mortality seems to have been a huge part of the equation before mechanized farming.

What about areas that are really overpopulated? For instance Japan has low fertility but its also a very overpopulated country. Since they don't allow in immigrants eventually it won't be overpopulated and fertility should rise.

Bruce Charlton said...

@babies - fertility refers only to babies born (pretty much the same as conceived).

Nowadays, throughout the whole world, and even among the poorest, most-nearly all babies born will survive to reproduce.

What I am talking about is deliberately not having babies, regardless of what happens to them afterwards.

wrt Japan - all I can say is that deliberate self-chosen sterility is an evil; and whatever is the best answer to overpopulation, that is not it.

ajb said...


If the Japanese had a zest for life, couldn't they simply *move*? There are many places in the world (and, indeed, other worlds) the Japanese could form colonies in, and indeed, would be welcome in.