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1 point

Are screaming and pain your definitions of murder? If someone gives an overdose of heroin, the recipient dies without pain, but it is of course still murder.

Also, we don't torture our animals before we kill them. In fact, most animals killed for human consumption die quickly, which is more than happens in nature most of the time.

1 point

Population is a major issue, but it is not a sudden issue and will need to be (and will be) solved incrementally through policy, not through sudden and drastic human rights violations.

The current evidence, linking socio-economic status with declining birth rates, indicates a big part of the solution. Education and a developed and stable political economy are the drivers of population stability. Radical solutions suggested here involving murder, suicide, etc., are de-stabilizing, and therefore likely to lead to increased birth rates - ie make the problem worse.

Apart from education and stability, the solution lies in social policy. Currently we encourage people to have children through child tax benefits, childcare supports, children's sports tax credits, and political focus on 'working families' and 'family values'. We need policies that support child development and combat childhood poverty, but discourage (or at least don't encourage) people from having children. This starts with balancing incentives for families with incentives for not having children. I think a two-child policy is good. After that there could be tax penalty, for example. This would have to be fairly complex, with different income brackets and measures in place to prevent child poverty from increasing.

1 point

Just found this thread that has been dormant for a couple years. Is anyone still looking?

Occum's razor applies here: the simplest explanation is usually the right one. We can mostly explain life as we know it, from the evolution of proteins and DNA, to the existence of prokariotic life forms like bacteria, to eukaryotic protazoa and then multi-cellular life forms, some with brains, gaining complexity until you have sentient beings that ask a lot of existential questions. Evolution is reactionary, not striving for a purpose (the purpose is to propagate, but evolution is a response to existing (though changing) environments).

We can explain this with a biological system that fits the evidence, and this system does not require an afterlife (or a creator) to work and to make sense. It also does not preclude the existence of a creator or an afterlife. Occums razor would tell us, though, that it is most probable that the system as evidence describes it is more or less complete and therefore that it is improbable that there is an afterlife.

I do not believe there till be an afterlife, but I cannot say there is not one. Those that believe in an afterlife do so with faith in something perfectly possible, but improbable.

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