Wonderful Jonathan - I appreciate your insight. Logical. I like logical. Thanks!
Sorry to stir the pot and run out again - I have to work all day. I am interested in reaching some conclusions.
We are most likely NOT here as a requirement of some other force.
there WAS no purpose and no reason for us to be here.
The process of human existence is changing -it does not stay the same.
With COGNITION we perceive that our condition is changing positive (for the most part), the struggle for survival lessens.
With human cognition, the change can be seen as a "progression" to higher orders of complexity.
As an AWARE individual, a CHOICE can be made. To support the progress, to hinder the progress, or not participate.
THE CHOICE in the individual's head, to further support or hinder human progress, by the way they direct their life, can be construed as a subjective purpose.
-we make our purpose.
To be unaware, to not participate, (like an animal) means the individual is one step behind the rest of us.
No subjective purpose leads us to human life being a mechanical process -And since we want that NOT to be true, it's not true. Is that now a valid choice?
I see "good" as adding to the order, building up what exist to higher and higher degrees. Without "good/order building" we go backwards.
So my question to the Nihilists is...
What's your big plan then?
What's your outlook?
Why be good -and why not be a tyrant? (domination is animalistic)
Though not officially a Nihilist, I'll offer my disagreement with your assessment of "good". It has the typical religious/patriarchal/Humanist slant on "good"... "good" from the perspective of ever increasing numbers of Homo sapiens. Yes all the progress you speak of has created a system which favours population increase of Homo sapiens, but at great costs, costs to Homo sapiens quality of life, costs to the ecosystem in its large sense, costs to all other species of animals and plants living wild. We supposedly cognisant Homo sapiens have a name for life forms which grow in numbers beyond sustainability, growth out of order, we cognisant Homo sapiens call it cancer. We cognisant Homo sapiens have developed tunnel vision and think that all increases in our populations is "good".
That is what I challenge you on, your definition of "good", it is oh so old school, old boys club. IF Homo sapiens are as cognisant as you think, we should be able to recognise that quantity over quality is not "good" other than for small-minded purposes such as short-term profits.
To revisit our value system, we need to dump religious values based on superstitions and supernatural, and look at the straight facts of science, we are destroying everything around us, depression is becoming the leading cost to our health care systems in the "progressed" world, it is now estimated that the average westerner will suffer 10 years of bad health before death, and be "retired" for 19 years. That does not look appealing for a majority of Homo sapiens, but of course there is a small clan of Homo sapiens which derive huge financial profits from such large scaled systematic problems.
The obsession with living longer is not "good", it is simply an expression of the religious fear of death, it delays death by extending death. Concurrently, we obsess with living as long as we can, AND we force old folks out of the system, AND we glamorise/adulate artificially maintained youth, creating even more isolation for the elderly. It's kinda like pro-lifers who are only pro-life for the unborn but not for the rest of humanity, it is slightly schizoid.
The objectives I work politically for are a reduction in number of Homo sapiens on Earth, a reduction of fertility rates by at least 10-fold stronger in developed countries than in poor countries since their ecological footprint is so much smaller, an end to life extension funding and life creation funding while instead focusing our medical money and knowledge on increasing QUALITY of life, a massive politico-economic restructuring which would remove power from polluting corporations and place air/water/space QUALITY as driving forces of our society.
Religions-supersitions has been the number one shaping force of culture and civilisation since Egyptians started enslaving workforces to accomplish great tributes to their egos, and enslaving wombs to create all that enormous cheap labour, it's time to reverse that trend and aim our ego-imbibed brains with more reality and less dogma, seeking quality over quantity, reducing medical reliance instead of increased medical reliance.
The best way to advance humanity is to reduce its numbers. Every problem we have caused (and that is almost all the problems that exist) can be solved, or its damages reduced, by a huge reduction in our numbers. How many environmentalists and animal advocates have deliberately had no children? How many, instead, spend all their energy bringing up their children instead of helping solve problems. How many brag how their superior kids will solve all the problems that their parents were too busy breeding to solve?
So from the point of view of the earth and its other inhabitants what is "Good"? Surely not humanity. The world would recover and go on nicely without us.
I had my tubes tied cut-cauterised at age 30 :D
I teach, so I hope to affect other people's kids, as some teachers affected me ;)
Have you had your daughters fixed? Just kidding, but you have increased the human population. You, and, I hope, your wife, are still here. Perhaps some of the grandparents are still here. Will there be water for your grandchildren? I hope so. What about clean rivers and lakes for wildlife. What's good for me, is what is good for a living earth. We are are acting as parasites on her skin. We could have the goal of a symbiotic relationship with the rest of the living things on earth.
From Jeff Jacoby, a perspective that I generally agree with...
Has there ever been a more persistent and popular superstition than the idea that having more kids is a bad thing, or that “overpopulation’’ causes hunger, misery, and hopelessness? In the 18th century, Thomas Malthus warned that human population growth must inevitably outstrip the food supply; to prevent mass starvation, he suggested, “we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction,’’ such as encouraging the spread of disease among the poor. In the 20th century, Paul Ehrlich wrote bestsellers with titles like “The Population Bomb,’’ in which he described the surging number of humans in the world as a “cancer’’ that would have to be excised through “brutal and heartless decisions.’’ (His list included sterilization, abortion, and steep tax rates on families with children.)
Just last month, Thomas Friedman avowed in his New York Times column that “The Earth Is Full,’’ and that “we are currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished.’’
For more than 200 years the population alarmists have been predicting the worst, and for more than 200 years their predictions have failed to come true. As the number of men, women, and children in the world has skyrocketed - from fewer than 1 billion when Malthus lived to nearly 7 billion today - so has the average standard of living. Poverty, disease, and hunger have not been eradicated, of course, and there are many people in dire need of help. But on the whole human beings are living longer, healthier, cleaner, richer, better-educated, more productive, and more comfortable lives than ever before.
When human beings proliferate, the result isn’t less of everything to go around. The planet doesn’t run out of food and fuel, minerals, and metals. On the contrary, most resources have grown cheaper and more abundant over the past couple centuries - in tandem with rising population.
The explanation is no mystery. Yes, more babies mean more mouths and therefore more consumption. But more babies also mean more minds and arms and spines - and therefore more new ideas, more effort, more creativity, more initiative, more enterprise. “Human beings do not just consume, they also produce,’’ writes George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan. “The world economy is not like a party where everyone splits a birthday cake; it is more like a potluck where everyone brings a dish.’’
FLAME AWAY! I can take the heat :-)
Dear me that argument is almost as old as Malthus himself. Anyone with a modicum of science and biological systems and ecosystems knowledge can fully understand the undisputed destruction of our ecosystems and near extermination of all large wildlife!
TNT666, dismissing the argument as “old” does not dispute it. In fact, you don’t dispute anything in the article, but rather change the argument to one of ecosystems and wildlife, which misses the objection to the overpopulation myth. On balance, population increases the prosperity of humans in a (relatively) free society.
I’m more than happy to debate this topic, but I’d rather not highjack this thread as overpopulation and environmental impact debates are probably best discussed elsewhere. If you wish to further explore this topic with me, start a new thread - or I can do so if you’re interested. Just let me know.