The folks over at the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, http://www.vhemt.org/philrel.htm#button , an environmentally focused group, have posited a magic button whereby all human life can be eliminated in a single stroke. Since I don't believe in their premise that, without people, the earth was or ever will be a 'natural paradise', I'd like to expand their exercise to include the eradication of all life everywhere. Would you push it?
If your answer is 'yes', they then offer you the choice of two scenarios...
FAST: All people fall over and rot.
SLOW: Universal human infertility.
Which would you choose? From my own point of view, the first choice is the obvious, morally correct one (I'm taking for granted here that the extinction is meant to be an instantaneous, painless one). And yet, I find my finger lingering above the button; I am hesitant. Why? Perhaps the second option allows me to feel a bit less responsible. After all, playing 'G'od is a pretty big responsibility. Deism's 'g'od is more my style, I think; make the opening move, then sit back and watch nature 'take its course'.
There's also curiosity. I have to admit, I would love to be there as everything winds down, a witness to genesis in reverse. Maybe its the drama queen in me. But, considering all the potential anguish as civilization dismantles, I hope I'd have the intestinal fortitude to make the hard choice, and opt for door number 1. It would be as if all creation went to sleep at the same time, and never woke up...by far the more compassionate choice, I think.
And while we're dismantling things, I'd just like to re-iterate that VHEMT's characterization of a post-human world as being a 'natural paradise' is a load of crap. All life is a circle of killing, eating, and exploitation; punctuated by suffering and death. It should never have been. Now I'll close with a line from the film 'The Great Race', circa 1965...
Professor Fate: "Push the button, Max!"