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Jonathan Swift was Right: Eating Babies is the Answer to Overpopulation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2013 Category: Funny
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,022 times Debate No: 39329
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (2)




Resolved: Jonathan Swift was Right: Eating Babies is the Answer to Overpopulation

Please only accept if you know the essay by Swift to which I am referring. Disclaimer: This is a humorous debate, and not meant to be taken seriously. I do not actually support eating babies.

I will assert that cannibalizing babies, not just Irish babies, but all babies, is the solution to not just overpopulation, but also world hunger. It may even have additional ancillary benefits.

Round One - Confirm your acceptance
Round Two - Cases (no rebuttals)
Round Three - Rebuttals and Closing Remarks

I look forward to a hilarious round. Thanks to my opponent for accepting.


An overview of Johnathan Swift's "A modest Proposal"

For those that do not know, Johnathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" was a satirical essay dealing with the potato famine, over-population, and the thoughtlessness of the upper class. He proposes that the upper class begin eating poor Irish babies. It would save them from a hard life of the potato famine, decrease beggar population, provide a new exquisite dish to the privileged table, and keep the U.K.'s image up without the unsettling sight of beggars.

For further reading, here is a link:

Why this wouldn't work in today's society

According to the site mentioned above, the amount of abortions for the poor has increased exponentially in recent years, especially among the lower socioeconomical classes. So, they are really eating the babies themselves! Moreover, the poor now have government provided houses, cell phones, and transportation, so they are no longer an eyesore for the newly emerged Middle Class and Upper Class. Also, it doesn't matter if we started eating the babies of the poor because in places like China, the poor are reproducing so fast that it would no longer be an exquisite cuisine, but a dish as common as the bread at Olive Garden or the chips and salsa so associated with Mexican Restaurants! It would ruin the Upper Class's appetite and it would sicken the Middle Class Conservatives that they are partaking of an unproductive member of society! They might even refuse to partake of it because they fear the spread of Liberal Laziness!

For these many reasons, Jonathan Swift's proposal is no longer valid.

But hope is not lost!

In high school, I wrote a satirical essay specifically for Memphis, TN and its over-population of the poor, coincidentally African-American population. In it I stated the following measures should be taken to help Memphis regain its former Rock & Roll glory:

Evacuate everyone with no criminal record AND whose parents made a collective 60000 dollars a year with less than 100,000 dollars of debt all throughout their lives and are currently making at least 45,000 dollars a year would be evacuated from the City of Memphis and the Tennessee National Guard would lock down the city. After this was completed, weapons and ammunition would be dropped into the city along with random food drops dropped into organized crime areas. We would then watch as the bane of Memphis's existence killed each other off and became our entertainment for live TV every day, just like the Hunger Games! If they attempted to break through the national Guard, we would kill them ourselves. I suggested that we even collapse buildings onto the poor so that it would kill the trouble makers and force Memphis's hand in renovations.

The pros of this proposition are that it would get rid of the poor problem in Memphis, provide an example to terrible cities like Chicago and San Francisco (where the gays are causing quite the stir), and the end result would be a happier, more modern city with lower crime. If the poor were to somehow regain population in Memphis, I would suggest a routine quarantine and destruction of the city would become necessary every 50 years. This would continue to provide more examples and excellent entertainment to the other classes, who love to watch them suffer anyways!

The cons of this are developing better criteria to who stays and who goes, the cost of this entertainment would be high and execution would be much more efficient and cheaper. As well as the fact that renovations would cost quite a bit of money. My response to these pathetic attacks are that for it to be plausible, it has to be worthy of the other class' time and it would have to have a beneficial look after the destruction. The costs could be covered by donations from the wealthy and the live observation channels' subscriptions from the middle class, required by the government if needed.

How does this help to decrease world population?

Well, obviously one city isn't going to do the job, but an entire country of considerable size such as China would not only aid in decreasing the world's population, it would be very easy to remove the upper class and relatively small middle class of China. According to this source (, 60 percent of the rich Chinese already want to leave the country! So in this case, it would be much easier to isolate the poor! We could then gather the world's armies (including China's, whose armies are not unfamiliar gunning down civilians) and lock down the east Coast of China and begin the world wide hunger games!


Johnathan Swift's Modest proposal will not work considering the rate at which the poor reproduce and the invisbility of most of the poor. My proposal will work because it annihilates the poor once and for all and even has a plan in case they return!
Debate Round No. 1


Cordial greetings! I shall be defending the motion that Jonathan Swift was right! Let them eat babies!

For my opening statement, I shall present my plan, and then I shall respond to Con's rebuttal and counterplan. But first a quick note: since Con has failed to observe one of the rules--that round one was only for acceptance--I ask that he NOT make any arguments in the final round, and instead ONLY write "The End" for that post. This will ensure that we both have an equal number of speeches with which to make our respective cases. Okay, on to the arguments!


1. Presentation of the framework

I shall define "Poor" as living on USD 1.25 a day or less. [1] My burden in this round is to demonstrate that consuming the babies--which I will classify as 15 months or younger--of the poor will solve for overpopulation. I will also attempt to demonstrate that eating babies will help solve for world hunger, but, as the resolution states, I ONLY have to show that it is a solution for overpopulation; any benefits regarding world hunger are ancillary, and I have no obligation to prove or uphold these ancillary benefits.

2. Presentation of the thesis.

Thus, I assert that cannibalizing babies is the solution to overpopulation.

3. Is overpopulation a problem?

Firstly, I will establish that overpopulation is, in fact, a problem. While this seems fairly obvious when taken on face value, there are several factors to consider. How many people can the Earth support? When will growth rates begin to slow and approach the statistically inevitable zero? What is the timeline for all of this?

There seems to be little consensus within the scientific community regarding how many people the Earth is capable of supporting. This is all relative the our technological capacities as well as the functionality of our economies. Yet, most scientist to acknowledge that there will come a time, probably within the next century [2], in which the Earth will be too small for the number of humans living on it. The UN projects the global population to reach in excess of 694 billion people by 2150--far more that can be managed [2]. The UN asserts that this increase is near inevitable if birth rates remain the same.

Now, statistically, it is also inevitable that growth will approach zero--in other words, the exponential growth will flatten out at some, undefined point in the future. But, there is again no consensus on when this stabilization will occur. In fact, it is likely, according to Malthus and other theorists, to occur just as food resource begin to strain to support them. Basically, when we start to starve, we'll stop reproducing. This could lead to a variety of problems, ranging from poor living conditions due to rapid growth to starvation and poor quality of life due to the strain on resources. From this it is not ridiculous to hypothesize that nations will fight over remaining resources.

So, in order to correct for (1) a lack of resources (both natural and man-made), (2) the risk of war, and (2) a simple lack of space, something must be done to solve for overpopulation. Moreover, Con never disagrees that a solution to overpopulation must be found; he just disputes what solution we should employ. That leads me into the final point of my case.

4. Presentation of Pro's Plan/Solvency

My plan to solve the problems of overpopulation is simple: eat the babies of the poor, as Swift argued. This would not only have a significant population-stabilizing impact--1 billion children are born into poverty [3]--but they could also be used to feed the hungry around the world. That would essential cut humanity's growth rate in half [3], because one of every 2 children could be used for food.


1. The "Modest Proposal."

I agree with his summary of Swift's article.

2. Viability of Pro's Plan/Con's Rebuttal

Con makes several attacks here. I'll take 'em one at a time. (1) Abortions - firstly, abortions are, in fact, NOT necessarily increasing among poor communities [4]. Moreover, abortions for the poor are unsafe, because the poor are less likely to have adequate care facilities [5]. Therefore, it is actually safe to carry the child to term and then to kill it. (2) Poor as an eye sore/exquisite cuisine - whether or not they taste good does not matter. The goal is feeding the population. Obviously, not everyone can eat smoked salmon, but they do need to be fed. Also, I am not out to eliminate poverty, because people can always fall into poverty from higher social stations. So, I'm not concerned with the beautifying the poor--I am more concerned with feeding people and saving the planet from the pains of population growth.

3. Con's Counterplan/the Memphis Hunger Games

Con says his counterplan has many benefits, chief among them that the poor would be eliminated. In fact, poverty CANNOT be eliminated, only controlled. If I have 10 people who each progressively make more money, and I kill person #1, then person #2 is the next poorest. This second person becomes the new impoverished class. The goal, then, is not to eliminate poverty, but to find a sustainable food source that also checks poverty (fewer babies = more able to provide for your family = more $) and that solves for overpopulation. And, while Con says he responds to the hypothetical objections he raised, he never explains how we could reach criteria for his plan. Also, keep in mind that there is a significant risk of spillover violence, especially when we consider that billions of people live in poverty. How could we control a hunger games of billions of armed an angry poor people. We'd be overrun. Therefore, we should all prefer my plan to Con's counterplan.




The modest proposal will not work

The modest proposal of devouring the children of the poor is not going to work still based on the rate of reproduction and hsi source ( actually supports my argument and states that "Abortions are increasing in poor women." We still see the inevitability of the birth rates even with high abortion rates. So this argument still stands as valid.

My counter-plan

My counter plan would still work because it would get rid of what he describes as the poor class and leaving only the people making more than 1.25 dollars a day left in the world. Also, we would not be overrun if we did it by a region by region basis. If this ever seemed to be a problem, it would be very easy to destroy them with our non-radioactive weapons. A new world order would arise for the rich.

My arguments still stand unrefuted. Killing them off is much better than eating them!
Debate Round No. 2


Yo! So, I'll defend my case, address my opponent's case, and summarize why I am winning.


1. Framework: Con DROPS the framework. Use it to evaluate the round.

3. Overpopulation: Con agrees that overpopulation is a problem. Therefore, whoever solves it best wins.

4. Plan: Con never addresses that eating the poor's babies would cut the population's growth rate in half. Thus, I am solving for overpopulation.


I'll go over my round two arguments against him, and then address his round three points.


1. We agree here

2. Okay, so even if abortions are going up, Con utterly DROPS that abortions for the poor are unsafe, and should therefore be discouraged. Extend this argument. Therefore, we should carry babies to term and cannibalize them instead. Con also entirely DROPS that it doesn't matter what they tastes like. Food is food, a full belly is a full belly.

3. Con DROPS that poverty can never be eliminated. As long as there are 2 or more people in existence, one will always be poorer that the other in some respect, and so there will always be a lower class. Also, keep in mind that my burden is not to solve for poverty, it is to solve for overpopulation. ALL I have to do is show that my plan solves overpopulation. Con also never gives any criteria by which to implement his plan...


MP: Already addressed abortions...

CP: You cannot get rid of the poor class. As soon as the 1.25 people die, the definition of poor will change to a different level. There will always be a poorer class relative to everyone else. Poverty isn't a fixed number, the number changes in relation to the rest of the world. It's 1.25 now, but if they all died or if incomes went up, the poverty line would just change, but it would go away. Also, weapons would be indiscriminate--missiles kill the poor as well as the rich. My plan is better.


Vote for me, please. Con drops a ton of my arguments, much of my plan can by carried across the flow un-rebutted. Thanks!

Reminder to my opponent: You cannot make arguments in this round. Just post "The End" to finish the debate. Gracias!


The end, data. It's the end.
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
I didn't expect you to wait the full 72 hours. I never have lol.
Posted by LtCmdrData 3 years ago
Then don't accept debate with 72 hrs to post arguments, yo.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Be that as it may, the wait made my interest disappear.
Posted by LtCmdrData 3 years ago
I was never "punishing" you. I don't know where you got that notion. I was running late on some school project, and could not devote enough time at once to writing my argument; hence, my submission was late.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
The reason I practically gave up on this one was because pro "punished" me by waiting until last second to respond. If you look at my other debates, this is not how i do things. Pros "punishment" made me lose interest in the debate.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Posted by LtCmdrData 3 years ago
Data--or rather I am amazing.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Btw, except for the new version of Captain Kirk and Spock, Data was by far my favorite character of any of the Star Trek series.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Impressive. I will take that as a form of punishment.
Posted by LtCmdrData 3 years ago
Posted 1 hr. ahead of the deadline. I anticipate an intriguing debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by mikicat10 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Ha,ha, what a ridiculous proposal. Eating babies! Anyway, Pro had listed more sources, which were also reliable. Con did accidently skip the rule at the beginning where it stated to only post your acceptance for the first round, so I give pro better conduct, yet the arguments were equal
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con makes an important drop re: abortion. I buy the efficacy of Pro's plan, and buy that several arguments in defense of Con's counterplan were dropped. Pro has clearest offense--I go Pro.