Forum:Would human extinction be such a bad thing?

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

At this point I'm not sure. Humanity's course is being dictated by incompetent, willfully ignorant or just plain hate-filled people. The institutions and people who used to oppose them have been fragmented or outright corrupted. I have no idea what I could do, I'm just a learning disabled adult dependent with no job. Maybe it's just because I'm sleepy right now (I seem to be sadder before going to sleep), or maybe not. Does it matter anymore? Ru1138 (talk) 05:06, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

I believe it was the late, great, Bill Hicks who said of us human beings, "We're just a virus with shoes." not a real jedidamn right i'm paranoid 14:16, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Whether due to my depression or pessimism, I tend to view life as objectively meaningless. More so I think it's our own subjective experiences that give life meaning. So no, I'd say from my point of view as an individual, I couldn't care less. What does it matter if the human race dies out? It was my experiences in life that gave my life meaning, not merely the act of procreation and continuing a race. On the topic of a seemingly more hate-filled public, I personally believe humanity has always been as hateful and ignorant as it is, it just now has the opportunity to openly display it. History (in my opinion at least) is cyclical, and looking throughout history, ignorance and hate are never generally the winner when they go toe-to-toe with intelligence and empathy, at least not for long. megalodon (talk) 15:44, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
As a human, I'd rather not go extinct. Death is just so dreadfully boring. At least the incompetents are entertaining. RoninMacbeth (talk) 18:39, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Proanthrophic ideas maybe?

lets all enjoy the idea we maybe the most intelligent form of existence in the whole universe. Swallow it all in. Don't be down on us, without us all, the bacteria have won.— Unsigned, by: Godhelpusall / talk / contribs

Life is a natural process, and as such it could be seen as having a goal, the "output", related to the processing of matter and energy. For instance, biologists say that living cells maintain their internal states by increasing the entropy of their surroundings (my interpretation of thisWikipedia's W.svg). We accomplish this by just being alive. Beyond that, we are on our own. Good and bad are not physical quantities, so objectively human extinction would be neither good nor bad. By contrast, based on their subjective world views, some people would say it's good, some would say it's bad, and some wouldn't care. Maybe we, as a sentient species, are a process that accelerates the entropy increase as much as possible. We are on the right track for that, but in order to maximize our impact, our species also needs to survive as long as possible and expand to outer space so that we can consume all those tasty resources. So, any behavior that would hasten our demise (war, ignorance) would be our failure as a process. But we are Great apesWikipedia's W.svg, so we are Great, we are winners, we will survive, we will make love, not war, we will grow our knowledge and hunt down every single bit of usable resource, and we will swallow it all. Eat snot, bacteria! --Cmonk (talk) 17:36, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure that increasing entropy is a worthwhile goal. Of course that does fit into your position that there is no inherent purpose or goal behind life, which I agree with. However, I do believe that there is inherent beauty in intelligence. Perhaps we are the very first beings that can comprehend the vast complexity of the universe, even if only in the smallest of terms. If that is true, we represent something of an awakening for the universe. I would consider the pursuit of knowledge a more important and ultimately satisfying goal. As stated previously, I do not believe that life has an inherent goal, i.e. a goal imposed on life through necessity. However, I consider the pursuit of knowledge a manifested goal, i.e. a goal that we arrive at through the faculties of the mind. Samstr (talk) 02:18, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you that the pursuit of knowledge is a worthy goal. I was trying to make a sort of half-joke by playing on the confusion with the idea of goal. Many (all?) physical systems can be described as some kind of local energy minimization device: if I drop a ball, it will fall straight down (instead of just standing there or spiraling sideways) to reduce its potential energy. This is only an interpretation, and I am not saying that the ball is consciously trying to reduce its energy, but the universe appears to be trying to solve a constrained optimization problem, and cosmologists hypothesize that the ultimate stateWikipedia's W.svg will have maximum entropy. In this context, what would be the point of life? To accelerate the process. And by building and blowing stuff, sentient life could accelerate things even more. But that is the goal of life from the "point of view" of the universe. In my scenario, the universe's bet with sentient life pays off if the sentient creatures figure out the best way to do the job, and this happens indirectly by them choosing as their life goal the pursuit of knowledge, which is required to grow their civilization by consuming everything and thus accomplishing the universe's goal. I guess it wasn't that funny... --Cmonk (talk) 23:35, 26 March 2017 (UTC)


[edit] Ecological significance

All organisms have an effect on the ecosystem, and those with a stronger presence will cause the most harm if removed. Take humans out of the equation and there's a whole bunch of cats and dogs dying due to not being able to adapt - let's ignore any pets locked inside their houses. There's a few cereal crops that need manual assistance in their reproduction - they'll go extinct. Then there's the plants that are susceptible to diseases due to their genetic bottlenecks - they'll be at risk. Europe could see the adaptable dogs eating horses; lets hope we bred the horses well before dying, since there's not much other game for dock packs to attack outside of sheep. There's bound to be more issues that sudden human disappearance would have, but yeah - extinction is a bad thing no matter the animal.-- Forerunner (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Sudden human disappearance? Are we on about zombies again? 2.126.86.51 (talk) 17:25, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Almost. I say this one is about smartphone overuse: people stay glued to their screens, forget to eat, and starve to death. Luckily, the global ecosystem was thriving before we arrived, and it will thrive even more after we are gone. No issue there. --Cmonk (talk) 17:51, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, and sheep all appear to become feral very easily; so much so that their introduction as invasive species causes all kinds of problems in ecosystems where they aren't native. Not sure our cattle, chickens, or turkeys would survive all that well. The only vegetable crop for which extinction seems likely is maize corn, and even it may adapt, given that there's so much planted. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 17:58, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
support
Community
Tools