Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) is obviously an atrocious movement calling for the extinction of man kind. Their reasoning for this twisted mentality is that presently man's impact on the biosphere, environment, nature, whatever is so damaging that it is vicious for man to exist. Clearly, there are several problems with this organization. I have already addressed several of these problems in the Exploit-The-Earth Day post, so this will be rather short.
The problems with VHEMT include altruism for the inanimate, assuming an inherent value of nature, and moral compromising. I addressed the first two in the Exploit-The-Earth Day post, so the third one will be brand new. However, first, VHEMT's altruism for the inanimate.
There is already a problem with altruism. I have addressed it before, but I will address it again. A man's nature includes being an individual and independent. He also has the natural rights to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and property. Therefore, it is virtuous for a man to live for the purpose of attaining his own happiness. Now, I am not advocating hedonism because hedonists are not happy. Hedonists are dependent on others, which contradicts man's nature. In order to be happy one must use introspection. Therefore, the promiscuous man, who believes he is happy, must ask himself serious questions to determine if his belief is true. He will undoubtedly find that his belief is a falsehood.
Since living rationally selfish, living to pursue one's own happiness, is virtuous, then altruism is inherently wrong. Altruism calls for the individual to sacrifice part of his self, which includes his life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and property, for the sake of others' well being and happiness. Therefore, the individual is not really an individual. He is a tool for the collective. Furthermore, the individual is not independent, for the basic argument of the altruist is that life is about everyone. Thus, no man is an island. Everyone is just a grain as part of the entire continent. According to the altruist, the grains must not try to be islands. First, the altruist does not believe independence is part of human nature. Obviously, grains cannot be islands, they will sink. The altruist does not think a man can be independent. The altruist believes the man who tries to be independent will fail, he will descend into misery, he will not be able to accomplish anything. In short, altruism violates every point of man's nature. Man is regarded as a tool for others to depend on, and a parasite to depend on others. Additionally, man must sacrifice his self for others' selves in order to be virtuous. Thus, it is virtuous to destroy one's being.
That is the basic problem with altruism. However, in VHEMT's case altruism takes another nauseating turn. The simple altruist believes man should destroy his self for other men. However, VHEMT, which is an altruistic movement oriented in favor of the environment believes man should destroy his self for nature. There is no doubt that altruists are vicious; however, they are concerned with man's well being. The environmental altruists do not care about man. Actually, that is a mistake. Environmental altruists do care about man. They care about how evil man is for altering the environment. Environmental altruists hate man, yet love nature. However, nature has no reason. Nature cannot accomplish anything, for nature has no will or desire. Nature cannot be happy. Nature has no reason so it has no natural rights. Yet, the environmentalists argue this inherently ignorant stagnant surrounding to man, is greater than man. Nature cannot create railroads, planes, cars, and sky scrapers. Nature has difficulty adapting to man. Yet, man can create inventions and control nature. The environment is not a blockade to man's desires. Clearly, man is greater; however, more importantly, as I stated before, man has reason, nature does not. Reason grants man the potential for greatness, the potential to be virtuous and to achieve and produce. Nature has no reason so it is not even included in morality, and it has no basis to desire to achieve or produce; thus, nothing nature does can be called an achievement or production. However, the environmental altruists argue that nature is superior to man. They argue nature is better more valuable than man. I will address the point of value later, but the point here is that the environmental altruists want something that is great to commit suicide for something that is infinitely inferior, and can never achieve greatness. Nature is not even included on the same scale as man.
The next problem is that VHEMT assumes nature has an inherent value. This is incorrect. Nature only has value if man exists. Without man a tree is a tree is a tree is a tree. It is just a tree. Nothing more nothing less; however, a tree is not that much to begin with. Some animals live in it, and it makes oxygen for other animals. So trees, without any reason; therefore, it is not producing, makes oxygen for other ignorant beings to exist. However, what values do these other animals have. What value does the making of oxygen have without man. According, to environmentalists nature has value in the fact that it sustains itself. So nature's value is that it can remain in existence. What value is there in nature existing without man? Nature continues to exist and do what? Maybe millions of years later a waterfall is created. For what? A canyon another billion years after. For what? However, man can take the tree and make it into paper. The paper can then be used to make books, keep records, draw designs for future projects. Books promote philosophy and knowledge. Records reduce man's labor time, freeing more time for man's leisure. Designs allow for man to create more, such as making a sky scrapper and designing cars. The sky scrapper shelters man from the ravages of nature, provides more work space, more space to create. Cars shorten the time of man's travel, giving him more free time for his happiness. Everything man creates has a purpose leading to the achievement of his own happiness, success, and realizing his virtues. When nature makes a waterfall no purpose is fulfilled. Therefore, nature has no inherent value. Nature only has value with man. Nature only has value when man looks at a tree and does not see a tree but sees paper and lumber, which means he sees books, records, designs, homes, buildings, which means he sees leisure time, happiness, success, realizing virtues. The tree then has value as a resource for man's happiness. Without man a tree, is a tree, is a tree, is a tree.
Some will argue that nature's destruction for man's happiness is also altruism. However, altruism is voluntary. One must choose to commit suicide, destroy himself, for the sake of others. Furthermore, in order to make this choice, to have liberty, one must have reason. Nature has no reason. It cannot choose to commit suicide for others. In fact, it does not choose, man takes and controls the environment by his choice, not natures, for nature cannot choose. Some will also argue that this then is a vice, to seize and control nature without its choice, even though nature does not have the ability to choose. This is not a vice because nature is not included in morality. In order to be included in morality one must have natural rights. In order to have natural rights one must have reason. Nature is devoid of reason. Seizing, controlling, destroying, utilizing, manipulating nature for man's happiness is not a vice because nature has no reason, and thus no natural rights.
Finally, there is the problem with VHEMT's moral compromise. VHEMThas a set of virtues, which are all pretty close to vices. So, for the moment, to show VHEMT's personal contradictions I will stay within their virtues. However, their virtues are not the virtue's of reality. Their virtues are vice's of reality. VHEMT's moral principles are based on the foundation that man's existence is vicious because it harms the environment. Man's existence is vicious is VHEMT's most basic moral principle. Therefore, it is virtuous to reduce the number of men in existence. VHEMT does this by its members voluntarily deciding not to reproduce. However, VHEMT also regards suicide and killing as vicious, even though those methods would reduce the number of men in existence. I am against any sort of idea of the greater good, or ends-justify-the-means philosophy, so this appears to be on the correct track, somewhat. The problem I see is thatVHEMT regards existence itself as vicious; therefore, anything that would reduce man's existence without harming the environment would be virtuous. That is, of course, unless VHEMT believes man has natural rights; therefore, killing would be vicious. However, then suicide would still not be vicious. Furthermore, if VHEMT believes man has natural rights, then the rest of their morality falls apart. If, for VHEMT, natural rights are the reason why killing others is vicious, then some or all the natural rights VHEMT believes in must be similar to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and property. Those natural rights are supported by man's nature as individual and independent. Therefore, if VHEMT believes killing is vicious because it violates man's natural rights, they must believe man is individual and independent. However, if that is the case then their environmental altruistic stance is vicious, for if man is an independent individual with some or all the natural rights of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and property, it is not virtuous to sacrifice himself for nature. The basic principles of man's nature indicate that man is not linked to nature, that his life is his own; therefore, there is no virtue in preserving stagnant ignorant nature period, let alone destroying one's self for nature. Furthermore, if they believe man has natural rights they cannot believe nature has natural rights. The qualities that give man natural rights are not present in nature. In short,VHEMT cannot believe man has natural rights, while advocating that man stop reproducing for nature's sake. Consequently, VHEMTcompromises its own morality by arguing that man's existence is vicious, limiting his existence is virtuous, yet killing and suicide are vicious.
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