Humanity’s Future, Questionnaire Example

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Words: 533

Questionnaire

Is the well-being of the human population improving or declining?

 

Key Players:                                       For                                          Against

Bruce R. Scott                                                                                             X

Indur M. Goklany                              X

Supporting Position:

Indur M. Goklany maintains that humanity is progressing as measured by an increased life expectancy and, decreased hunger and infant mortality.

 

Claims:                                               Reasons:                                             Key Player:

 

Per capita income by itself is             Indicators improve as per capita        Indur M. Goklany

not a good measure of                       income rises, but relationships

human well-being.                             are not linear.

 

The average inhabitant is less            Increase in agricultural activity          Indur M. Goklany

likely to be undernourished.              and trade leading to lower food costs.

 

The gap between developing              Advances in agriculture, public         Indur M. Goklany
and developed countries’ infant        health, nutrition, and medicine

mortality rate has been halved           diffusing rapidly from developed

over the past half century.                     to developing countries.

 

Gap in life expectancy beween          Diffusion and transfer of                   Indur M. Goklany

developed and developing                   technology and knowledge

nations closed to 11.6 years in           to developing countries.

the 1990s.

Opposing Position:

Bruce R. Scott argues that free trade is not truly free since rich nations can impose immigration and agricultural barriers that advance their own economic interests and keep poor nations poor.

 

Claims:                                               Reasons:                                             Key Player:

 

The income gap between rich        Barriers against immigration              Bruce R. Scott
poor countries is growing.               erected by industrialized nations.

 

Inability of poor countries to

attract foreign capital.

 

Economic theory assumes                  Focus on economic stability and       Bruce R. Scott

market-based prices can                     growth, instead of institutions

allocate resources correctly.               that underpin markets.

 

Rich countries disregard for              Economic development requires        Bruce R. Scott

failing government institutions          the transformation of institutions

in poor countries keeps them             and creation of effective states.

poor.

Low-skilled labor is not free              Immigration barriers erected by         Bruce R. Scott
to flow across international               rich nations.
boundaries in search of
lucrative jobs.

Your Commentary on the Ethical Dilemma:

Bruce R. Scott presents and supports his position well. From his claims and reasons, it appears valid that the gap in income between rich and poor nations is growing. However, I have to side with Indur M. Goklany when he states that income growth is not the best indicator of human well-being and progress. A nation’s wealth does not guarantee the well-being of its citizens, as we see homeless and sick unable to attain proper medical care right here in the United States. It is better to look at indicators such as those described by Goklany. Are the people hungry? Undernourished? What is the health of the people? How long do people live and how many babies survive past the age of 1? I would add indicators such as education,

employment, and women’s rights. The circumstances of the average person’s day-to-day life is a far better indicator of humanity’s progress than are dollar signs.

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