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Anti-People Group Pushes for Man's Extinction
August 3, 2001 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Anti-People Group Pushes for Man's Extinction "May We Live Long and Die Out!" is the motto of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, or VHEMT. The group opposes violence, arguing instead for a gradual fading away of mankind.
posted by twistedonion (30 comments total)

 
I love the fact that they did vox pops with people and presented this as a completely serious movement. VHEMT aren't a particularly serious group (quote from their FAQ: "Are you reallly serious?" "We're really vehement."), and treating them as such kind of misses the point.

I know it's the silly season, but I'm amazed that anyone from a respectable news organisation took this seriously.
posted by jackelder at 9:22 AM on August 3, 2001


Yet another group of environmentalist wackos. This is nothing new, even among "mainstream" greens, unfortunately, and has been described in several op-eds: 1, 2 and 3.

First they wanted to sacrifice others in the name of the tribe. Then it was in the name of the King. Then "Society". And now, as these people demonstrate, it's in the name of "nature".

Why don't these people just start with themselves? I certainly wouldn't mind...
posted by dagny at 9:26 AM on August 3, 2001


(Hook, line, AND sinker, dagny...)

After we all die out, we can leave the world to the Bonsai Kitties.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2001


Why don't these people just start with themselves? I certainly wouldn't mind...

Dagny, it's just a bit of fun. I doubt we will ever make ourselves extinct - Now, those aliens from the outer atmosphere, that's who we need to watch out for :-)
posted by twistedonion at 9:35 AM on August 3, 2001


Come to think of it, we probably will make ourselves extinct, only not voluntarily....
posted by twistedonion at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2001


As long as it remains "voluntary" it doesn't bother me. Just another example of my theory that you can start a group for anything and get a couple hundred members.
posted by quirked at 9:41 AM on August 3, 2001


There was a brilliant article about VHEMT in the Economist a couple of years ago. Unexpectedly (considering the source), it argued for voluntary human extinction--not out of any environmental benefit, but out of a feeling that, when we eventually reach the peak of our civilization, the most stylish thing to do, as a species, would be to clear out and make room for the next one, rather than to linger on until we grow old and useless. I'd link to it, but it's old enough that it's now in the subscription only area. If you have a subscription, do a search on Voluntary Human Extinction.

BTW, dagny, you said "why don't these people start with themselves?"... what did you think they were doing? The voluntary human extinction movement, in addition to being basically a joke, is all about voluntarily declining to breed. Who else would they be doing that to?
posted by moss at 9:46 AM on August 3, 2001



I'm amazed that anyone from a respectable news organisation took this seriously.

Respectable? Fox?
posted by anewc2 at 9:50 AM on August 3, 2001


I'm amazed that anyone from a respectable news organisation took this seriously.

Respectable? Fox?


Respectable? The Economist?
posted by madreblu at 9:53 AM on August 3, 2001


VHEMT is slightly too extreme for my tastes, but only that. In a world whose population will double in another 50 to 100 years, when there's already not enough food to feed everyone (if food were distributed completely evenly, we'd all be malnourished), I personally feel that it's socially irresponsible to have children. For me, anyway. I'm not going to tell anyone else what to do, just like I don't tell anyone else not to eat meat. But I'm not having kids. Adopt.

In any case, overpopulation is the worst threat facing man in the next century or so. I personally don't believe that humanity will stop reproducing itself until the death rate resulting from our sheer population equals the birth rate. Remember: every child you have in America kills 63 in Nepal from lack of resources, and creates the possibility of YOUR descendents living at a quality of life far below your own. Bringing a child into this world is bad enough, but think of the conditions your great grandchildren will be living in before you decide to produce them.
posted by tweebiscuit at 10:18 AM on August 3, 2001


Since the point of every organism is to propagate their own DNA, you are a failure in the evolutionary sense, tweebiscuit.
Obviously your genes are defective, but fortunately, they'll soon be out of the pool.

:)
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:26 AM on August 3, 2001


Tweebiscuit: In a world whose population will double in another 50 to 100 years...

So there's this metafilter site out there... And it had an article the other day about how world population is expected to stop growing by 2100 and begin to decline. Care to restate your argument?
posted by madreblu at 10:30 AM on August 3, 2001


Since the point of every organism is to propagate their own DNA

I find your lack of imagination stunning...
posted by rushmc at 10:42 AM on August 3, 2001


Having imagination doesn't change the cold, hard facts...
posted by kindall at 10:50 AM on August 3, 2001


Wait a sec, these people oppose violence? What kind of sick, twisted, freak opposes the violent extinction of humanity?

If you're gonna die out, go out with a bang! Personally, I recommend nifty uniforms, murder squads, unnecessarily vast and dangerous smelting facilities, and lots of roving killbots (preferably created by top Hollywood SFX designers, shortly before the designers are liquidated).
posted by aramaic at 10:55 AM on August 3, 2001


every child you have in America kills 63 in Nepal from lack of resources
So if I don't have a kid, the "resources" (where did they come from, btw?) that would have been used by him will get allocated to Nepal somehow?

(As a gay man, I expect to be made a national hero by the Nepalese any day now.)
posted by mw at 11:00 AM on August 3, 2001


Every gene you own is also loating around in another few hundred million people. An individual decision to refrain from reproduction has no effect on human evolution.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:05 AM on August 3, 2001


Actually, on average each of us carries three unique mutations. (And now back to your regularly scheduled debate.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:08 AM on August 3, 2001


Having imagination doesn't change the cold, hard facts...

And what facts might those be?

sonofsamiam made the claim that the point of every organism was to propagate its DNA. "Point" implies purpose, not merely function. Evolution doesn't produce purpose; only consciousness can do that. Therefore the reductionist view of living organisms as naught but breeders is not just overly simplistic, but demonstrably inaccurate the moment you or I or anyone imagines a purposeful existence.
posted by rushmc at 11:11 AM on August 3, 2001


Since the point of every organism is to propagate their own DNA
Propagation of DNA is how every organism got to be here. It is not the "point" of any organism, however; natural selection doesn't have a teleology, or a "point."
It is, of course, frequently the goal of organisms to reproduce themselves; but not universally--for instance, my dog and two cats have plenty of goals (food, play, interaction with one another and with me) even though their gonads have been removed.
We humans do all sorts of things--including lots of sex--without being constrained by the goal of propagation.
So I agree with rushmc; having your only aim be to propagate your DNA does show a stunning lack of imagination.
posted by Rebis at 11:15 AM on August 3, 2001


Every gene you own is also loating around in another few hundred million people. An individual decision to refrain from reproduction has no effect on human evolution.

A solitary gene doesn't mean much--why eliminate the millennia of genetic combination that have produced those of us with clearly superior groupings of genes (and the phenotypes expressed by same)? Go, eugenics!

:::grabs a pen and prepares to make a list of those who fail to note the position of his tongue inside his cheek:::
posted by rushmc at 11:17 AM on August 3, 2001


the most stylish thing to do, as a species, would be to clear out and make room for the next one

Or perhaps in a future where life extension without aging is very successful doing the stylish thing is probably the least important thing on an 800 year old person's mind. Walking straight into the suicide booth after a long, long life of repetition and predictability will probably take the cake. Many a sci-fi author have tackled this one.

What's with the sudden teleology breakout? Fax machines have a purpose, to send and receive faxes and make the occasional copy. Living things have no real purpose but some can create a subjective purpose if they like.
posted by skallas at 12:09 PM on August 3, 2001


Darn. I thought you were talking about that other anti-human group pushing for extinction.
posted by dogmatic at 12:10 PM on August 3, 2001



I'm amazed that anyone from a respectable news organisation took this seriously.

Respectable? The Economist?

Serious? The Economist?
posted by anewc2 at 12:48 PM on August 3, 2001


the most stylish thing to do, as a species, would be to clear out and make room for the next one
What would be the next intelligent species to come down the line, anyway? The chimps? They'd just be Humans v2.0, so why bother? Dolphins? They seem awfully happy in the water. Social insect hives? Doubtful, they've been where they've been for a few million years already. What other species could conceivably be candidates for intelligence, either naturally evolved or uplifted?
posted by darukaru at 1:08 PM on August 3, 2001


Viruses show a promising degree of adaptability and reproductive success...
posted by rushmc at 1:27 PM on August 3, 2001


Um, how about crows or sparrows?
posted by Ptrin at 1:41 PM on August 3, 2001


Don't forget the parrots!
posted by whatnotever at 2:35 PM on August 3, 2001


Actually, on average each of us carries three unique mutations.

OK, I've found two, but I'll be damned if I can spot the third.
posted by UncleFes at 9:29 PM on August 3, 2001


*cough*

But this is front page, so not technically a double post, I guess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:54 AM on August 4, 2001


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