Nicholas Kristof makes the point that, compared with infant mortality rates four decades ago, 10 million more children now survive each year due to global efforts at combating preventable disease. 100 million people a decade! he exults.
After reading this, with fear and amazement at the question I found myself asking, I wondered out loud “Is that a good thing?” Because, does the world need millions more people? Some of them will grow up to be awful human beings. Some of them will grow up to be truly amazing individuals. Some will be boring. Does God want more and more and more people on the earth? Do I? Can the planet sustain it?
Which led me quickly to a more personal threshold. “If what I’m wondering about has to do with the basic question of whether being alive, human existence, is a virtue in and of itself… is it good that I’m alive?”