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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Letters: Basic instincts

Patrick McKay (Letters, December 2007) seems to be arguing against contraceptive techniques that ‘interfere with nature’. But all such techniques involve some interference with a natural function. Even the ‘rhythm method’, commended by Roman Catholics as being more natural than others, is hardly an altogether natural procedure. There remains only the contraceptive of last resort; total abstinence. Is anyone going to argue that that is natural? I am afraid we have to accept that, given today’s mortality rates, the inevitable consequence of behaving naturally would be rapid worldwide population growth. In a world that already appears to be consuming the earth’s resources at a more-than sustainable pace, what amount of further population growth does Mr McKay think we can tolerate ‘with impunity’?

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