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04 April 2005 @ 05:42 pm
Voluntary Human Extinction  
Really - I just don't get it. Do these people honestly hate humanity that much?
 
 
 
The past is prologue: tintednemoren on April 4th, 2005 10:50 pm (UTC)
A radical arm of Zero Population Growth?
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on April 5th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)
It's like a militant wing of the Salvation Army.
lio on April 4th, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
W... T... F... !?!
Scottscott_lynch on April 4th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
Fantastic. Since we all face involuntary personal extinction eventually, let them cherish theirs. The problem has a self-contained solution. Mortality! It's like the prize inside the human Cracker Jack box.
yohocoma on May 14th, 2005 07:38 am (UTC)
Hmm, but we don't live independent of each other, right? Though we will each die, eventually, in the meantime the huge number of us affects the resources available for everyone, and therefore our quality of life. Maybe that's what they're saying.
Neosisneosis on April 4th, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC)
They're just another breed of crazy, aren't they?
lyght on April 5th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC)
*shrug* Given that it's voluntary, and that most of the people who have responded to your post seem to be completely baffled by the concept of deciding to not breed, I don't think there's really anything to worry about.

Evolutionarily speaking, you'd have to do a hell of a job in the meme transmission department to get this to actually make a significant impact. Birth control would do a better job towards population control in the long run.

Technically I consider myself in their camp. I'm not necessarily entirely pro-extinction, but I for one don't plan to breed for many reasons, some of which are outlined on the website. Specifically I consider our current ways of life highly unsustainable, and I don't think that we're so inherently superior to nature or other organisms that we can wiggle our way out of needing to obey the second law of thermodynamics in the end. The ultimate in minimizing your consumption is not propagating yourself (i.e., ensuring you will not become vicariously immortal). End of story.
altoidsaddict on April 5th, 2005 12:29 am (UTC)
Given that it's voluntary, and that most of the people who have responded to your post seem to be completely baffled by the concept of deciding to not breed...

Yeah, that's a little scary to me, this failure to understand why on earth anyone would make a decision to not have children. It's not Involuntary Human Extinction - and deciding that it was ecogolically irresponsible of me to bring a child into the world or to artificially prolong my own life using extreme measures were conclusions I came to even before medical issues forced both to become realities. (God, am I happy biology is in line with my mentality.)

I don't think it's "hating humanity" to make these decisions for myself, nor do I think it's "another breed of crazy"; and anyone who is not currently in possession of my womb and my circulatory problems can kindly fuck off if they think so.
Scott: Say what?scott_lynch on April 5th, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
Well, thank you, the pair of you, for the fascinatingly condescending way you have of putting words in our mouths. Because, of course, none of us could ever conceive of the idea of voluntarily not having children. I myself was actually put off primarily by their rather silly conception of a "pristine earth" which is actually incredibly anthropocentric. But hey, jump to whatever conclusions you like if it helps you sleep at night.
altoidsaddict on April 5th, 2005 02:18 am (UTC)
No problem. Glad to have helped.

Where did I quote you, again? ::confused:: ::goes to sleep the sleep of innocent babes::

Or, alternately, it might help to not be so utterly dismissive and condescending to the entire concept of VHEMT. It takes a long time to type out "I see where they're coming from, but some people take it too far" or "man, are there whackjobs who might take this in an involuntary direction". Much easier to make generalizations - because then you can jump all over people who then respond to that generalization as though they should have known you were objecting to specific arguments somehow and didn't mean your situation, really.

There I go putting words in your mouth, again! Damn me. I'll just say that if someone dismisses an entire idea as crackpotted, crazy, and hateful, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that they're against the entire idea.
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: Robot Cowboy Angeldiscoflamingo on April 5th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)
Evolutionarily speaking, you'd have to do a hell of a job in the meme transmission department to get this to actually make a significant impact.

Memetically speaking, I would say the idea of a complete suppression of reproduction is damn near impossible - it violates several of the most basic memes we possess, not to mention what little instinctual urges humans possess. Successful transmission of this meme requires consciousness evolution on a level that, if we as a species possessed it, would make the idea of voluntary extinction completely unnecesary.

I'm not necessarily entirely pro-extinction, but I for one don't plan to breed for many reasons, some of which are outlined on the website.

You have a right to make the choice for yourself to reproduce, or not, as you please. Your choice is ultimately none of my business, since it's personal. When it becomes a plan for all of mankind, I am allowed to pick it apart.

Specifically I consider our current ways of life highly unsustainable . . .

I don't think any intelligent person can disagree with this, but -

and I don't think that we're so inherently superior to nature or other organisms that we can wiggle our way out of needing to obey the second law of thermodynamics in the end.

-eventually we will die out. In the long run, this galaxy is already slated for demolition. We may be the only organisms on Earth that understand, on a conscious level, that this planet (and our species) is destined for annihilation. I don't think that make us superior, it just means that we are more complex in our evolution.

In general, I think the second law of thermodynamics has little place in arguments of an economic or philosophical nature. Why exactly is that in there?

The ultimate in minimizing your consumption is not propagating yourself (i.e., ensuring you will not become vicariously immortal). End of story.

I don't agree with the nihilism inherent in that statement - the interdependence of the organisms on Earth guarantees that everything consumes, and everything produces. It would take a supreme awareness to completely realize the impact of all the choices we make to minimize our impact, and which ones are "good" or "bad". This is why I can't believe in veganism as a lifestyle choice, and why I don't believe in the Jainist philosophy of consumption. I don't believe in our ability to save or damn the Earth - I think that idea smacks of the hubris of human superiority.
yohocoma on May 14th, 2005 08:11 am (UTC)
>Memetically speaking, I would say the idea of a complete suppression of reproduction is damn near impossible - it violates several of the most basic memes we possess, not to mention what little instinctual urges humans possess. Successful transmission of this meme requires consciousness evolution on a level that, if we as a species possessed it, would make the idea of voluntary extinction completely unnecesary.


Doesn't collective consciousness evolve by introduction of new memes which, sometimes surprisingly, take root? Present and coming externalities may gradually (or quickly) help along the process of this particular meme's acceptance....


>>The ultimate in minimizing your consumption is not propagating yourself (i.e., ensuring you will not become vicariously immortal). End of story.

>I don't agree with the nihilism inherent in that statement - the interdependence of the organisms on Earth guarantees that everything consumes, and everything produces. It would take a supreme awareness to completely realize the impact of all the choices we make to minimize our impact, and which ones are "good" or "bad". This is why I can't believe in veganism as a lifestyle choice, and why I don't believe in the Jainist philosophy of consumption. I don't believe in our ability to save or damn the Earth - I think that idea smacks of the hubris of human superiority.


It seems to me then that you believe two things. One, human impact on the earth is not out of kilter with the rest of the animal kingdom's - we're all approximately equal partners in the "everything consumes, and everything produces" merry cycle. And two, since we aren't gods and we can't foresee every consequence of our actions, we should take no actions to even attempt to minimize our impact - never can tell which ones will turn out to be bad.

Besides the effect on domesticated animals which humans created, and on a small number of known parasitic or symbiotic species (mostly microorganisms), and maybe some unattended nukes going off here and there, how would humans' intentional disappearance from the scene possibly adversely affect the balance of life on earth?
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on May 14th, 2005 09:54 am (UTC)
Doesn't collective consciousness evolve by introduction of new memes which, sometimes surprisingly, take root? Present and coming externalities may gradually (or quickly) help along the process of this particular meme's acceptance....

A new memeplex must supplant the processes and benefits of the existing memeplex by proving advantage over the existing meme. The most basic meme is propagating your species, which is less memetic than it is hardwired instinct, since propagation of yourself (and , by extension, your species) is a useful survival trait that has, by definition, served you with great benefit your entire life. Voluntary extinction of your genetic line is difficult to overcome without extensive memetic de/re-programming, or a quantum leap in consciousness evolution across the cultures of Earth not likely to occur any time soon.

Besides the effect on domesticated animals which humans created, and on a small number of known parasitic or symbiotic species (mostly microorganisms), and maybe some unattended nukes going off here and there, how would humans' intentional disappearance from the scene possibly adversely affect the balance of life on earth?

Humans should not be so arrogant to believe they can fundamentally alter the balance of life on Earth. We can upset the balance, but it will rebalance itself,whether or not we are here. There is little we can do in the next 4.5 billion years to prevent this from occurring.
Selah: girrrrrrrmegspencer on April 5th, 2005 05:00 am (UTC)
I read through that just this morning off of the link through a couple of LJs, and "I see where they're coming from, but some people take it too far."

That said, I don't necessarily like how a lot of the information is presented. I very much want to have children one day, and felt like the site was calling me an idiot. I understand they're facing a lot of opposition, but it didn't go very far to convincing me to their point of view. Alienating people isn't a great way of getting your message across.
(no subject) - deepfnord on May 16th, 2005 04:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on April 5th, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC)
I don't have a problem with their pessimism about the current heading set by humanity - I don't think that's arguable by any intelligent person. I have a problem with their answers to the following questions -

Don't humans have a place in Nature?
Are religions to blame for human overpopulation?
Why not move excess human population to colonies on other planets?
If we spread life to other planets, wouldn't there be more chance for it to survive?
Will human extinction solve all of Earth's problems? (specifically, not pressing the button has no test at all, and the "yes" page is far too rosy on the one hand, and far too apocalyptic on the other)

I don't think there is a single argument they're making that the simplicity or deep ecology movements are not making better. And since I agree with them about everything except the voluntary extinction of the human race, I think they're mostly dicks.