Saturday, May 13, 2017

Does One Care About the Continuation of the Human Race?

I post this as a weekend item for thought.

At the post, Marines Launch New Ad Seeking Females They Can Train to be Killers, NAPster comments:
Although both men and women are human, and you can argue that all human lives are equally valuable, Walter Block has made the point that women's lives are more valuable than men's as women are the only humans (at least currently) who can carry and give birth to babies. Thus if one cares about the continuation of the human race, then one ought to protect women more than men.
This has sparked a question in my mind: Do most of us really have a desire for the long-term continuation of the human race?

To be sure, I can think out a generation or two to children and grandchildren (and maybe grandchildren) to be concerned about their lives. But what about 10 generations out or 100?

There can be, I guess, a chain-like desire to preserve the human race. Our children want to preserve it for their children and their children for the next and so on.

But is preservation of the human race on earth, into perpetuity, in the here and now a real goal of very many?

It's a nice thing to say. It has the ring of caring and being decent but what connection will we have with people thousands of of years from now any more than we now have with homo sapiens who lived in caves, carried clubs, tens of thousands of years ago?



  1. What Mises said in Human Action of the personal and individual nature of action is the connection you are seeking:

    "The content of human action, i.e., the ends aimed at and the means chosen and applied for the attainment of these ends, is determined by the personal qualities of every acting man. Individual man is the product of a long line of zoological evolution which has shaped his physiological inheritance. He is born the offspring and the heir of his ancestors, and the precipitate and sediment of all that his forefathers experienced are his biological patrimony. When he is born, he does not enter the world in general as such, but a definite environment. The innate and inherited biological qualities and all that life has worked upon him make a man what he is at any instant of his pilgrimage. They are his fate and destiny. His will is not "free" in the metaphysical sense of this term. It is determined by his background and all the influences to which he himself and his ancestors were exposed.

    Inheritance and environment direct a man's actions. They suggest to him both the ends and the means. He lives not simply as man in abstracto; he lives as a son of his family, his race, his people, and his age; as a citizen of his country; as a member of a definite social group; as a practitioner of a certain vocation; as a follower of definite religious, metaphysical, philosophical, and political ideas; as a partisan in many feuds and controversies. He does not himself create his ideas and standards of value; he borrows them from other people. His ideology is what his environment enjoins upon him. Only very few men have the gift of thinking new and original ideas and of changing the traditional body of creeds and doctrines."

  2. "But is preservation of the human race on earth, into perpetuity, in the here and now a real goal of very many?"

    This is a question I have thought about often and with the degradation of the American and World socio-economic situation we are in and the rise of the Neo-fuedal Oligarchy as the backdrop.

    I hate to say no, species preservation is not in the mind of many. but even if it was the concern of many we are living in a world purposely subdivided and culturally deconstructed to make everyone the enemy of everyone else.

    This condition, (cultivated purposely by the status quo,) is seen in the left vs the right and nationalism against globalism where almost any opinion separates you from everyone else.

    That condition is completely antithetical to a unified vision - and more importantly a unified action toward a path of species survival.

    When people ask me what makes me so certain about this I respond with one word - Fukushima - When I explain the slow eradication of the Pacific ocean and no one caring, I never hear a rebuttal.

    Sorry Robert we are too inward looking to come together and drive our path to a more sustainable local environment let alone anything on the species level.

    Hawking recently gave us a timeline to rise above ourselves to continue to reach our potential evolution. I would concur with him except in one point. Its already too late.

  3. I would agree with Robert, it's hard to emotionally connect with and thus care about many generations forward. However, while I'm no demographer, I suppose a radical change in birth rates in a generation or two could (at least start to) impact society in one's lifetime, particularly a society which does not otherwise replenish itself via immigration. Thus it is conceivable, is it not, that losing a lot of young women to combat in a generation or two could impact society in the same way as women simply deciding not to have as many children as previously?

  4. No. In fact, I hope humanity goes extinct.

  5. My grandmother grew up in a small town in a rural area. During WW1 military units were recruited geographically. Men from one from went into the same battalion. During one week almost all the young men from her town died or were wounded. After the war many women left the town because there were few surviving men to be husbands. The population eventually recovered. If we lost young women at the same rate we lost young men in WW1 it might mean that the nation could take generations, not decades, to recover.

    1. In a monogamous society, the birth rate would decrease the same for loss of men vs loss of women provided the ratio is equal to start. Did grandpa have other wives?