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RE: Theos-World Response to Peter

May 10, 1999 05:40 AM
by Peter Merriott


> Anyway, giving food to starving people has been done
> many many times by many organizations. Scientists have
> done studies that clearly show that recipients of such
> food simply have more children, so that when the food
> stops, there is another famine all over again.

I'm sure they do continue to have children, the population would die out
otherwise and there would be no one to become fathers, mothers, farmers,
teachers, politicians etc.  People in famine countries have children for the
same reasons as people in industrial contries.   Most of the reports I have
come across stress what you say below, ie if we *only* give food then sooner
or later the food runs out and famine returns - unless the country is helped
in other ways eg given the resources to develop the land.

> Teaching farming techniques in famine areas is now recognized
> as the best thing to do,

This is pretty much what I said in my post, Jerry, if you had read on a bit
further.  There is a clearly a need for short term and long term help.   But
it's not just about 'techniques' is it.  Many of the third world countries
know how to farm.  It is coping with a land that has become arid as a result
of severe weather conditions that requires particular kinds of help and
especially technology.  For example, after years of drought some villages
have to travel miles and miles on foot to fetch water.  So the technology to
pin point water veins deep in the earth and drill down to make a well and
provide water for a village to use for drinking and irrigation is absolutely

> Wouldn't it be better to gain spiritual insight first
> and then know how to provide the proper help to people?

A good point in that with wisdom we help wisely.  I only ask how much
spiritual insight do we need before we start to share food and resources
with those countries where people are dying for lack of food, clean drinking
water, and the resources to improve their own lives?  We might also say the
person who feels a compassion for suffering humanity and decides that
working for the welfare of others rather than for his own progress
(spiritual or material) is already acting on a great deal of spiritual


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