Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 5:50 pm in

Voluntary Human Extinction Movement – right on.

I’ve been browsing this website, and I watched the long, thought-provoking video at the bottom. One thing that caught my attention is when they say you’d have to be naive in order to take it seriously. I went, wait what? World’s problems are serious. The church of Euthanasia was in the video, and they were the ones saying this. It was clear as mud, but I came to realize that they probably meant the the movement is too extreme to be practical at actually achieving its goals, but is meant to provoke people into thought. Which makes me wonder if it wouldn’t drive people in the opposite direction?

One counter-argument the video didn’t address well is about what the point of natural beauty is without people around to ignore it. Well, isn’t that just typically arrogant and shortsighted. Nature had value long before we existed, and will still have just as much “value” without us around.

People claim that it’s a natural instinct to reproduce, and therefore should not be ignored. This is somewhat debatable, seeing as our instinct is to have sex, not to reproduce, and baby dreams can be defeated by presenting the reality. But, it’s also our instinct to be racist, to have an enemy to butt heads with, so by the same logic we should support war. I’m all for not repressing natural instincts, but I am sure that not many others would support war and racism, so their idea is contradictory.

And more importantly, none of our instincts may be beneficial. Take two things which can be generally accpeted about humans:

  1. We have an urge to be with other people, reproduce, eat, be safe, and live just like any other animal.
  2. We have the ability to build tools and the ability to improve them through the study of the natural world.

One is much given natural desires, you can’t really blame people for this. The second is a “gift,” one that can be used for the better or for the worse.

The trouble lies in that in our search to satisfy those natural desires, we have used the gift destructively. The problem areas are the poor and impoverished, who can’t afford to care about the environment, and too uneducated to rally with people like VHEMT. They destroy the environment for their survival. And like I said you can’t blame people for wanting to survive, but since we have a powerful gift we have to use it responsibly-and we’re simply not responsible. The poor serve as an example for our priorities, which are ultimately self-defeating.

Now, you might say, we could improve conditions so that there are no poor, and make the conscious decision to take responsibility. This would be an astounding achievement. How long does it last? It would have to be more robust than our current society. If something really goes wrong, it will go downhill and we’ll be back destroying for survival.

Aldo Leopold said something like, “I have no hope for for a sustainability based on fear.” A wise assessment, to quote Einstein, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.” It’s a race of time, can we clean up our act before our will to survive and be peaceful kills us?

I remember hearing that the middle east was not always a desert. A long time ago, a civilization living on the bountiful Tigris and Euphrates rivers over farmed the area, making it a desert. And we haven’t learned! People are doing those farming practices today! What the fuck, people!?

What do we need to change? Are we just idiots? If we were going to the make the move for a sustainable society out of principle, we wouldn’t have today’s problems. No, conservation and environmentalism seems to be an uphill battle-there’s something wrong with us. And the important question is whether that thing is an inherent property.

It is my firm hope that a sustainable society is possible, there’s so much we already have that just hasn’t been applied! For thousands of years in the case of farming! We just have to try! We’ve already done amazing things (albeit nasty).

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