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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

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’?

The editorial team welcomes readers’ letters but reserves the right to edit them for publication. Please e-mail letters@the-actuary.org.uk