Larks, as much as you consider the provided cost-benefit analysis to be “naive”, I am afraid the same applies to several of the counter-points you mentioned. Could you please give some sources that support (a) your claims and (b) are broadly generalizable or generalizable to a degree they should support policy? Specifically, I think some of your assumptions you just take as given even though there is a lot of high-quality evidence to the contrary. I was also a bit disappointed that you did not want to answer on the below issues when you made that identical post the first time around. It seems to me like it is informed by an inherent pro-natalist view without the proper analysis of underlying issues and well-established complexities to the contrary. For the four bullet points in your post, I would like to provide counter-arguments (which I would be happy to discuss if you’re interested) why they might not be correct and would greatly appreciate if you could provide generalizable evidence supporting your bullet points:
“benefit of building relationships with these new people”:
What is the EV here? Does this scale linearly with the amount of people that come into existence? Do you have any sources for the amount of “additional happiness” vs “additional suffering” caused by these humans to other life-forms (cf. average global meat and fish consumption)? There are various studies that basically say that the relation between “children” and “happiness” is complicated at the very least, for example seen in the following articles. All in all, happiness for parents mostly decreases while they actively rear children, for example:
Are People Who Have Kinds Happier? Not really.
Dan Gilbert has some good statistics on marital satisfaction in “Stumbling upon Happiness”, posted e.g. here: https://twitter.com/kiminsalaco/status/883493590638448640
Many things have increasing returns to scale, and so are more efficient with larger populations—e.g. mass transit, factory size, power plant size.
This depends on the kind of growth and whether the government and economy of a country with a growing population can adequately supply all these points you mentioned. Many countries only experience a real bump in development due to the Demographic Dividend, i.e. when birth rates fall (s. for example Johns Hopkins University and Wikipedia). In many countries, unsustainable population growth depletes financial resources of governments and prevents long-term strategic investments by tying budgets to short-term social support. The same applies to families: Family income only increases with more family members once these new family members reach working age. Before that, they do not have more, but less money to spend on the individual, including education and training. In other words: Growth in population is not good for a country per se. It needs to be sustainable and supportable (by government and family budgets) for a country and its population to profit. Many countries such as Rwanda only really developed once they managed to profit from the Demographic Dividend, as established in countless peer-reviewed articles.
Division of Labour—whereby people specialise in one specific area they become more efficient at it. The larger the population, the more specialisation it can support.
This only holds true if the society that grows can provide adequate education opportunities to support the specialization you mentioned. Good counter-examples to your argument are, in fact, the fastest-growing populations we know: Sub-Saharan countries. If your argument was generally true, countries such as South Sudan, Angola, Malawi, Burundi, Uganda, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali should experience greater degrees of professional specialization. Do you have any evidence to support this? I would be very happy to see it!
The new people can become inventors and scientists or artists. Because ideas can be copied with ~ zero cost, these people can provide a benefit to everyone, so the higher the population the better.
Do you have any studies here that show the likelihood of people in the fastest-growing societies by birth numbers becoming inventors or scientists?
The scientific publication that has received the most supportive signatures from scientists ever, the World Scientists’ Warning To Humanity, specifically urges world leaders to reduce human population growth. Quoting from Wikipedia which provides the primary source:
The Second Notice has more scientist cosigners and formal supporters than any other journal article ever published.
The Second Notice specifically states:
By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.
Do you think that this notice is generally biased or naive?