“There are stirrings of discussion these days in philosophical circles about the prospect of human extinction. This should not be surprising, given the increasingly threatening predations of climate change. In reflecting on this question, I want to suggest an answer to a single question, one that hardly covers the whole philosophical territory but is an important aspect of it. Would human extinction be a tragedy?”
So wrote Todd May, a professor of philosophy at Clemson University, in an opinion piece for The New York Times. Well, that is a puzzler, professor. Holy crap, no wonder progressives are fine with abortion!
May then states, “I am also not asking whether human beings as a species deserve to die out,” though he added, “that is an important question.” He “tentatively” suggests that human extinction would be both a tragedy and “that it might just be a good thing.” Why might it be a good thing? Because “Human beings are destroying large parts of the inhabitable earth and causing unimaginable suffering to many of the animals that inhabit it. Humanity, then, is the source of devastation of the lives of conscious animals on a scale that is difficult to comprehend.”
The professor perfunctorily admits that animals treat each other badly at times, too, but concludes: “there is no other creature in nature whose predatory behavior is remotely as deep or as widespread as the behavior we display toward what the philosopher Christine Korsgaard aptly calls ‘our fellow creatures’ in a sensitive book of the same name.” Note to May: which of “our fellow creatures” are currently ruminating on their relations with humans and each other?
May avers: “If this were all to the story there would be no tragedy. The elimination of the human species would be a good thing, full stop,” before gallantly admitting: “But there is more to the story. Human beings bring things to the planet that other animals cannot. For example, we bring an advanced level of reason that can experience wonder at the world in a way that is foreign to most if not all other animals. We create art of various kinds: literature, music and painting among them. We engage in sciences that seek to understand the universe and our place in it. Were our species to go extinct, all of that would be lost.” Well, there is that.
He notes, however, that “there might be those on the more jaded side who would argue that if we went extinct there would be no loss, because there would be no one for whom it would be a loss not to have access to those things.” Moreover, May observes, “One could press the objection here by saying that it would only be a loss from a human viewpoint, and that that viewpoint would no longer exist if we went extinct.”
Which leads him to say: “One might ask here whether, given this view, it would also be a good thing for those of us who are currently here to end our lives in order to prevent further animal suffering. Although I do not have a final answer to this question, we should recognize that the case of future humans is very different from the case of currently existing humans. To demand of currently existing humans that they should end their lives would introduce significant suffering among those who have much to lose by dying. In contrast, preventing future humans from existing does not introduce such suffering, since those human beings will not exist and therefore not have lives to sacrifice.”
The positing professor concludes his preposterous philosophical exercise: “It may well be, then, that the extinction of humanity would make the world better off and yet would be a tragedy. I don’t want to say this for sure, since the issue is quite complex. It may also turn out that it is through our own actions that we human beings bring about our extinction, or at least something near it, contributing through our practices to our own tragic end.” Wouldn’t that be a good thing?
The assertion that humans are nothing more than glorified animals, with marginally greater capacity for pondering their place in the cosmos and creating works of art and blessed with opposable thumbs that allow us to effectively utilize tools, is ironically ever more prevalent amongst societal elites. Progressives go to great lengths to blur the distinctions between man and beast, man and woman, and right and wrong, concepts of which only humans are fully cognizant.
If the total extinction of human beings might be a “good thing,” might not the elimination of any given group of humans be beneficial, as well? This is the historic train of thought socialists and progressives have taken in the past to arrive at eugenics, ethnic cleansing, “the final solution,” and abortion rights. The moral poverty that leads to man pondering eliminating himself stems from his decision to dispense with the notion of a higher power.
What is striking in Professor May’s surmising—and in nearly all of the elite’s discussion of supposedly existential matters—is the complete lack of a Biblical perspective. It’s never brought up. It’s as if they couldn’t countenance such silly notions, couldn’t risk being ridiculed by their peers for such an unsophisticated, unscientific perspective. Some guy in the sky? What a laughable, white male patriarchal construct!
“So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”
That wouldn’t be very woke! What an egotistical, misogynistic, non-egalitarian, humanist deity “He” would be! “He” would certainly be banned from campus! Oh, that’s right, He already is.
Let’s do the world a favor. Objectively speaking, we should all kill ourselves right now. Especially those independent, cis-gender, macho types who ride horses and herd cattle…and tend to vote Republican.
Save the Universe. Smite a cowboy.
Something to ponder as we enter 2019.