Why Does the World Population Increase?
There is really no ground to think that this is the only period in which the population
of the world has increased.
If Buddhists do not believe in the soul created by god, how are they going to
account for the increase of population in the world today? This is a very common
question that is asked by many people today. People who ask this question usually
assume that there is only one world where living beings exist. One must consider
that it is quite natural for the population to increase in such places where good
climatic conditions, medical facilities, food and precautions are available to
produce and to protect living beings.
One must also consider that there is really no ground to think that this is the
only period in which the population in the world has increased. There are no means
of comparison with any period of ancient history. Vast civilisations existed and
have disappeared in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Ancient America.
No census figures on these civilisations are even remotely available. Population,
as everything else in the universe, is subject to cycles of rise and fall. In
cycles of alarming increases of birth rate, one might be consequently tempted
to argue against rebirth in this or other worlds. For the last few thousand years,
there has been no evidence to prove that there were more people in some parts
of the world than there are today. The number of beings existing in the various
world systems is truly infinite. If human lives can be compared to only one grain
of sand, the number of beings in the universe is like the grains of sand of all
the beaches in the world. When conditions are right and when supported by their
good karma, a few of these infinite number of beings are reborn as human beings.
The advancement of medicine especially in the 19th and 20th centuries has enabled
human beings to live longer and healthier lives.
This is a factor that contributes to population increase. Population can further
increase unless sensible people take measures to control it. Hence, the credit
or responsibility of increasing the population must be given to medical facilities
and other circumstances available today. This credit or responsibility cannot
be allotted to any particular religion or any external sources.
There is a belief among certain people that all unfortunate occurrences that destroy
human lives are created by god in order to reduce the population of the world.
Instead of giving so much suffering to his own creatures, why cannot he control
the population? Why does he create more and more people in thickly populated countries
where there is no proper food, clothing and other basic and necessary requirements?
Those who believe that god created everything cannot give a satisfactory answer
to this question. Poverty, unhappiness, war, hunger, disease, famine are not due
to the will of god or to the whim of some devil, but to causes which are not so
difficult to discover.