The main antagonist of Avengers is Thanos. He’s a complex character that demonstrates the complexity of superhero movies today. This story isn’t just about good-versus-evil. It’s a battle for ideology. Even though you may disagree with their reasoning, the bad guy explains why he does what he does.
WARNING This article focuses on the film’s premise, and includes minor spoilers about the plot.
Thanos, a god-like being, travels around the world and kills people. Bruce Banner (Hulk), tells Tony Stark, Iron Man, “He invades worlds, he takes whatever he wants, and he wipes out half of the population.” However, the villain isn’t just doing these acts of mass killing because he likes them. He’s actually trying to collect cosmic ‘infinity stone’ to make himself powerful enough for his ultimate goal — a world without suffering.
The problem of people
What makes the world a better place if we can reduce our population by half? Our greatest problems are due to human population. This includes starvation, pandemics and easy access to clean, safe water. The planet’s definition of this is pollution, climate change, and the loss of biodiversity.
In Avengers. Infinity War Thanos explains how his home planet of Titan was hit with similar problems. This led to a global disaster. He feels the need to save the cosmos by reducing its population. Why not treat the root cause of overpopulation, instead of just addressing symptoms like climate change?
Overpopulation is based upon the assumption that our planet’s natural carrying capacity — the maximum number of people it can sustain — is sufficient. Since the dawn of civilization in 10,000 BC, Earth’s human population has grown. The rate of human population growth has increased significantly since the Industrial Revolution. The world’s population today is 7.6 billion, and it is expected to rise to almost 10 billion by 2050.
The assumption that the world is limited in resources and capacity is what makes carrying capacity possible. Things like food and habitat are finite in any given habitat. This creates competition between individuals and groups and is a key driver behind natural selection and evolution. The ecosystem is able to recycle energy and biomass over a long time period in order to replenish these resources.
Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace were independent naturalists who developed the theory on natural selection. They were inspired by ” An Essay On the Principle of Population“, published by Thomas Robert Malthus in 1798.
Malthus warned that the world would face famine if its population grew faster than the food supply. In 1968, Paul Ehrlich, a biologist, wrote The Population Bomb. This book highlighted the overcrowding of cities and caused fear about overpopulation. He claimed that hundreds of millions would starve.
How can we stop overpopulation causing major problems for the environment and humanity?
As shown in Avengers: Infinity War Thanos believes that the only way to solve the problem is to eliminate half of the world’s population. This scenario is clearly not morally right, so Earth’s most powerful heroes attempt to stop him. Is Thanos right that the possible outcome is better if there are fewer people?
Population size is actually the sum of all rates of birth and deaths (in an area that doesn’t have any barriers like a country). It can also be affected by factors such as migration. The global death rate has not decreased over hundreds of years due to improved sanitation, medicine, and healthcare. It is unlikely that there will be an increase in mortality.
Lower fertility is another way to stop population growth. Lower fertility is another way to stop population growth. The most controversial program was the one child policy in China. This led to millions of forced abortions. There are other ways could be helped, including better education, family planning, and improving women’s status in certain countries. However, over-breeding is more common among poor and developing countries, so trying to solve their problems could be interpreted racist.
Is the problem really too big? Statistics like 10 billion people living in 2050 seem to indicate a simple relationship. However, other data shows that this is a complex issue. The Population Bomb predicted that world hunger would be a problem. However, the United Nations has shown that the percentage of people who are undernourished has fallen from 37% down to 11%. The fact that the Earth has more food than it needs suggests that there are problems with local policy and distribution.
Fred Pearce, an environmental writer, believes that the real problem isn’t overpopulation but excessive consumption. This is because people in rich countries and developed nations consume far more resources then they really need.
The current overpopulation may also pose a temporary problem. While the rate of population growth has not slowed, some projections suggest that it will. Overpopulation assumes Earth has limited resources because of a carrying capacity. However, this might be irrelevant since humans can use artificial means such as farming and other technology to create ecosystems and sustain people beyond their natural limits.
Overpopulation is clearly a complex problem. It’s ironic Thanos, a supervillain who has simplified the problem to too many people.
Thanos is a mass killer who believes that his actions are necessary to attain a greater good, namely the end of suffering. He sees himself as a hero, not a villain. This sounds awful if you consider Thanos a person. However, Thanos likely views himself as an instrument of destruction, a natural catastrophe event, or one that will save the universe.