December 15, 2007

Thank You for Not Existing [Dan Collins]

Mark Steyn:

By the way, if you’re looking for some last-minute stocking stuffers, Oxford University Press has published a book by professor David Benatar of the University of Cape Town called “Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.” The author “argues for the ‘anti-natal’ view – that it is always wrong to have children … . Anti-natalism also implies that it would be better if humanity became extinct.” As does Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us” – which Publishers Weekly hails as “an enthralling tour of the world … anticipating, often poetically, what a planet without us would be like.” It’s a good thing it “anticipates” it poetically, because, once it happens, there will be no more poetry.

Lest you think the above are “extremists,” consider how deeply invested the “mainstream” is in a total fiction. At the recent climate jamboree in Bali, the Rev. Al Gore told the assembled faithful: “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here.” Really? The American Thinker’s Web site ran the numbers. In the seven years between the signing of Kyoto in 1997 and 2004, here’s what happened:
•Emissions worldwide increased 18.0 percent;
•Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1 percent;
•Emissions from nonsigners increased 10.0 percent; and
•Emissions from the United States increased 6.6 percent.
It’s hard not to conclude a form of mental illness has gripped the world’s elites. If you’re one of that dwindling band of Westerners who’ll be celebrating the birth of a child, “homeless” or otherwise, next week, make the most of it. A year or two on, and the eco-professors will propose banning Nativity scenes because they set a bad example.

I imagine that those who hold this point of view will set a proper example for the rest of us and suicide.

This kind of vile insanity, posing as altruism, is evil in the extreme. But it’s worse, mind you, to offend the sensibilities of homosexuals than it is to advocate the elimination of our species. There just are no words bathetic enough to encompass this kind of demented viciousness.

Posted by Dan Collins @ 9:15pm
138 comments | Trackback

Comments (138)

  1. They will not suicide Dan. They are too important. They have to live as long as possible so that they can bring the gospel of suffering to the masses; the untermensch; the unworthy – the ‘breeders’.

    First, euthanize the old and the sick – they have lived long enough and are now a drain on the earth’s limited resources. Then, those that are born with a mental or physical defect becasue they also will consume more resources than their fair shares. Third, limit the number of children any woman can have. Finally, find a group that needs to have an example made of its bad behavior in having children – maybe Mormons or Catholics – and round them up for the good of the earth.

    No, Dan. These men must live a good long time else their ideas cannot be put into being, for the good of Gaia.
    Not that we haven’t seen this before, but it is for the good of Gaia.

  2. What #1 said. Funny, Kierkegaard saw a great angst of the soul and came away with a functional alternative. Probably wasn’t a narcissist.

  3. Cowards! Dumbasses and cowards. What tremendous lives these losers lead.

  4. Mikey – That sounds something like a solution or some such. It sounds kinda sorta familiar but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s almost like deja vu all over again sometimes with these twatwaffles and they don’t even realize it.

  5. The idea has floated about in one form or another for over a hundred years, daleyrocks. I think it gets started when someone starts viewing humans not as individuals with souls and worth, but as members of groups to be properly docketed.

  6. I deny the existence of those who claim it is better not to be.

    Now they can’t say I never did them any favors.

  7. Mikey – Didn’t somebody try an experiment along those lines in Europe last century. Word got out, people got excited, and the experiment was stopped before it was finished. Now it sounds like some idiots want to proceed along similar lines, but of course it will be different this time because the planet is in danger and we have learned more.

  8. ‘It’s hard not to conclude a form of mental illness has gripped the world’s elites.’

    Acuteness has nothing to do with the new millenium. It has to do with how smart you really are. Bummer, huh? ‘Cause I havenn’t seen a lot of understanding of ANYTHING lately…

  9. http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html

    In this day and age of nuclear terrorism and increasingly advanced biotechnology, and the civil libertarian in me hates to say this, people advocating human extinction may need to be subject to the same kind of monitoring and investigation that people with ties to terror organizations are.

    I mean, sure, we haven’t seen significant terror attacks by these groups, but if their goal is the end of all human life, can we really wait to see if they come up with some kind of “12 monkeys” scenario?

    On the other hand, you’d think you’d be able to convince a judge that someone who was advocating the ending of all human life was bugfuck insane and needed some quality time under the care of prefessionals in that area.

    It’s unlikely that any of these nihilist attention-seekers will actually carry out their plans. But it’s one of those “seriousness of the criminal / seriousness of the crime” ratio thingies.

  10. I think Europe and Asia saw examples of this sort of thing, daleyrocks. And, IIRC,I think the Netherlands today is experimenting with a couple of these.

  11. Whoops – that last was me.

  12. I haven’t managed to knock anybody up yet, and since I got some gunk cleaned out of my engine, my gas mileage seems to have gone up a bit, so I’ll just sit here and wait patiently for one of you to nominate me for a Nobel Prize. You know I deserve it.

  13. Can we knock off the Sick and Starving Children (TM) first since they’re already half-way there?

    And, Sean, you truly are a better person than I.

  14. Certainly, Carin. And stop all food aid or other charity – it hurts Mother Gaia’s attempts to rid herself of the pestilence that is humanity. All medicine must stop because again, it frustrates disease, which is merely the workings of Mother Gaia’s immune system.

  15. I’m reminded of my own amazement at Michael Crichton’s comparison (in State of Seige) of eco-hysteria to the Eugenics craze of a hundred years ago. When I first read it I grasped the idea of pseudo science coming to flawed, rushed conclusions with unanticipated consequences. My mind refused to take the next step and consider the implications of progressives/socialists willfully picking and choosing who lives and who dies. All I had to do was bross out “racial purity” and pencil in “planetary purity.”

    One wonders whether or not Texas Eco-scientist Dr. Eric R. Pianka will count himself as one of the 10% allowed to survive one of natures most horrible deaths or if he will allow himself to join the lottery of destruction.

    I suspect the answer is self evident.

  16. “Scratch a lefty, you’ll find a totalitarian.”

    -Kim du Toit

  17. I’ve still got some of my kids toys in the attic. If any of you have this guy’s address, maybe I can send this guy a package that will get there before Christmas. I’m thinking Easy Bake Oven.

  18. Humans act like a virus in the organic world. Pretty soon, the earth is gonna shake us off like a bad head cold. Don’t overestimate your own importance. We haven’t been here much longer than your short hairs.

  19. Pretty soon, the earth is gonna shake us off like a bad head cold.

    Because, you know, the earth is ALIVE! And it’s got a fever.

    I prescribe more cowbell.

  20. Viruses act like viruses in the organic world. Let’s just be parasites, shall we?

  21. Keep kissing up to the good doctor, Cleo. He might make sure that you go in the last batch.

  22. “My mind refused to take the next step and consider the implications of progressives/socialists willfully picking and choosing who lives and who dies.”

    BJ – the fact that you didn’t leap to that conclusion means that you are a good person. The fact that I did means that I am a cold-hearted s.o.b. Hmm, must be the law degree.

  23. What? No indignant puffery about the valuable contributions Humans have made to the world as a whole? Pity. Thought you would not go gently into that good night.

  24. Thought you would not go gently into that good night.

    You first, hypocrite.

  25. How, exactly are humans a “virus” in the “organic world”? Or is Semanticleo asserting that the human species is somehow not part of the “organic world”?

  26. No indignant puffery about the valuable contributions Humans have made to the world as a whole?

    Why dignify your inanity with some of our own?

    It’s almost as if Semanticleo has invented a sort of anticipatory strawman.

  27. David Benatar …“argues for the ‘anti-natal’ view – that it is always wrong to have children…”.

    Very strange, considering that I spent most of the 1980s thinking about making babies with Pat.

  28. One hazy, half-lit California coast day many years ago I was leaving Santa Barbara going south on 101. Coming up the onramp from Carpenteria (which, in those days, wasn’t gentrified yet, and was a haven for carpenters(!), mechanics, and other lowlifes) was a pickup truck. You could tell it was Navy surplus by the gray paint and the places on the doors where the Government serial numbers had been painted out. The driver was burly and bearded, and wore a red plaid shirt like a stereotype lumberjack; in the middle was a dark-haired woman, smoothly coiffed, with dangly earrings that caught the light; on the right was a man in a business suit with what was then called a “power” tie.

    On the back of the pickup was a structure like a camper shell, obviously hand-made out of salvaged lumber weathered to the dark gray of driftwood. Daubed across the back in fuzzy-edged brush strokes of lighter gray was the legend: NIHILISM MEANS NOTHING TO A DANCING PEASANT.

    Note the recursion. It’d do for a motto, I think. I wish I had pictures, but I didn’t have a camera at the time.

    Regards,
    Ric

  29. It’s almost as if Semanticleo has invented a sort of anticipatory strawman.

    It comes with the pre-traumatic stress disorder.

  30. “Humans act like a virus”

    I prefer being a “cancer”, ala Doc Ric.

  31. “Humans act like a virus”

    I prefer being a “cancer”, ala Doc Ric.

    Ooh! Can I be the Black Death? CanICanICanI? Or maybe that shit that broke out in Athens during the Peloponnesian War. That would rock!

  32. I read “The World Without Us”, and I don’t think it was advocating humanity’s demise. The book just described, in a scientific way, the changes that would happen to human infrastructure if humans were not there to maintain it. Many of these changes would be bad for the natural world. For instance, our nuclear power plants would collapse into radioactive cess pools; definitely not a positive development.
    This book isn’t an anti-human screed, even if the title could be misconstrued that way.

  33. Even Sagan did better then that, Semanticleo. You missed the part PBS cut it’s existential teeth on twenty years ago, all that wonderment about the splendor of the human mind as the very culmination of Darwinian spirituality?

    I’m pretty sure it launched NPR’s current philosophy: Piousness without substance; truth without balance.

    Remember, it’s Christmas and they’re depending on you to perpetuate the inherent superiority of alternative programming. Give large.

  34. “Coming up the onramp from CarPINteria (which, in those days, wasn’t gentrified yet, and was a haven for carpenters(!), mechanics, and other lowlifes)”

    It was a blue-collar town, but the name has nothing to do with carpenters or other ‘low life’ professions, and it’s still a pretty nice place.

    Carpinteria californica

  35. It was a blue-collar town

    You still here, hypocrite?

  36. Somebody still doesn’t see the tongue-in-cheek, Spies. All the better to “discuss” philosophy!

  37. “You still here, hypocrite?”

    Is there a problem, squash?

  38. Is there a problem, squash?

    Apparently. You think the human race is a “virus” which should be exterminated. And yet, here you are. Hypocrite.

  39. I wouldn’t take the Bali fiasco too seriously. It was an expensive vacation for sel righteous pricks. They yammered for a few days and agreed to a road map to nowhere. More yammering, more expensive vacations, yada, yada.

    The alarmists will be proven to be fools and hucksters. Still it’s a pretty good racket. In a couple years there will be a new ecofraud du jour, more conferences, more yammering, more grants, more vacations.

  40. BJ-“State of Fear”

    It was a blue-collar town, but the name has nothing to do with carpenters or other ‘low life’ professions, and it’s still a pretty nice place.

    Carpinteria californica

    I pity your neighbors.

  41. “Don’t overestimate your own importance.”

    Heh.

  42. Population Matters. You want to put your money where your mouth is cleo?

  43. If you want to send me your address, ‘cleo, I’ll be glad to send you some Kool Aid. Or applesauce, if you prefer. I’m told there’s some left over.

  44. Semanticleo, once everybody’s gone, who’ll appreciate the improvement to the neighborhood?

  45. I can see the headlines: “Humanity WIPED OUT; Women and minorities hardest hit!”

  46. No indignant puffery about the valuable contributions Humans have made to the world as a whole?

    Your presence singlehandedly cancels them all out.

  47. Certainly, Carin. And stop all food aid or other charity – it hurts Mother Gaia’s attempts to rid herself of the pestilence that is humanity. All medicine must stop because again, it frustrates disease, which is merely the workings of Mother Gaia’s immune system.

    And, honestly, AIDS wasn’t a virus sent by God to rid the world of homosexuals like those ignorant, homophobic -most likely repressed homosexuals themselves- preachers used to say in the 80’s. AIDS was obviously sent my Mother Gaia to rid herself of mankind. We must, therefor, stop all AIDS relief, etc. Think of how much closer to her goal she could be right now if our foolish, preventative measures. MOTHER GAIA wants Magic Johnson dead!

  48. Humans act like a virus

    In contrast to Miss Cleo, a virus that acts (not convincingly) like a human.

  49. I think these academicians will find themselves in a scene like this… that is where their enlightened “logic” will bring them… they can follow the script.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ji6xXqTuJow

  50. “You think the human race is a “virus” which should be exterminated.”

    My guess is you are not an English major, since you haven’t grasped the
    not-so-subtle difference between metaphor and simile. The only extermination I recommend is directed at the semi-literate.

  51. “Don’t overestimate your own importance.”

    At least there’s no danger that I would underestimate yours, Cleo.

  52. Semen – the blacks aren’t going to like that at all. I mean with how the English language is all, you know, built by white people for white people an’ all. So, you really think we should start with the marble-mouthed? Shit… I like Donald Driver… could you arrange that he be the last of them to be eliminated?

  53. y guess is you are not an English major, since you haven’t grasped the
    not-so-subtle difference between metaphor and simile. The only extermination I recommend is directed at the semi-literate.

    It’s nuance, Enoch. Calling an assumedly white person with being illiterate is ok, if not encouraged. Especially if they are from the South and/or are a Redneck.

    “Highly articulate” presidential candidate Obama could not be reached for comment …

  54. …you haven’t grasped the not-so-subtle difference between metaphor and simile.

    And Semanticoli hasn’t grasped the not-so-subtle difference between similes and verisimilitude:

    Pretty soon, the earth is gonna shake us off like a bad head cold. Don’t overestimate your own importance. We haven’t been here much longer than your short hairs.

  55. Carin – thanks for that. One suggestion, though: I think you meant “Native American Neck.” I mean, in Newspeak, we don’t refer to skin color by the actual name of the color… so, like a White Person is a White Person, a Black Person is decidedly NOT a Black Person, and a Red Person goes by “Native American”… you see how it works…

  56. well, I’m relieved to see cleo eventually found the right comment thread to leave his little bon mot in.

  57. The only extermination I recommend is directed at the semi-literate.

    Typical. Always wishing ill upon your betters.

  58. I noticed that too, Maggie. I figured smegmaticleo was just comment-spamming, which isn’t all that different from what it normally does.

  59. My guess is you are not an English major

    My guess is that you painted yourself into a rhetorical corner once again, with no possible way out.

    Hypocrite.

  60. well, yeah. I thought about adding that it didn’t make a whole lot more sense here, but whatever. maybe I can find a Krugman column to back it up. ;D

  61. Oh, and Cleo?

    I scored at the 92nd percentile on the verbal portion of the GRE, 97th analytical, 95th quantitative. So yeah, I know all about them-there metaphor thingies.

    Care to share your results with us?

  62. I dunno, SB&P. I’ve regularly scored in the upper single-digit percentile on both language and math portions of the Iowa tests, SAT and GRE, and most of the time I have no idea what the hell the smegmatic one is on about.

    Could be that it’s not on about anything in particular, or is typically reticent about just coming out and making its point, rather than tossing out some thin allusions to it. Or it could be that smegmatic is just smarter than all of us. I say: put it on the ballot and nominate it to the presidency. God knows that smart presidents have, routinely, kicked the collective asses of the less smart kind.

    Ok, I just made that last bit up. Still.

  63. Ya know, the funny thing is, the folks advocating this crap — and Semencleo — probably describe all of us as “fascists”.

    Just another bit of evidence that the one true god is Loki.

  64. So ‘Clio, although you lost the assertion on facts, you did execute a perfect two-threaded-Gaia and only narrowly missed a goalpost-moving. But problems really arose in the missed parallel rhetorical conversion and the botched proof-by-credentials capped the loss.

    Maybe you could yet stick the landing?

  65. Interesting.
    Comments prior to Semanticleo trolling: 17
    Troll comments by Semanticleo: 5
    Comments responding to Semanticleo’s trolling: 30
    Comments still on-topic after Semanticleo’s trolling: 12

    Pretty effective effort, all in all.

  66. “Humans act like a virus in the organic world. Pretty soon, the earth is gonna shake us off like a bad head cold. Don’t overestimate your own importance. We haven’t been here much longer than your short hairs.”

    Like it “shook off” the dinosaurs. And the T-rex was notorious for having a tiny carbon foot print and the Earth flicked him into non-existence like a rolled-up booger. I say “Eat, drink and take long hot showers my good men, for tomorrow we die.”

  67. …..oh and I walked out into the garage, and there was one of my golden retrievers with his head in the cat box, eating poops like they were Nestle Crunch bars. It was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen in my life, until Semanticleo’s “virus” comment.

  68. Or until new posts by timb, al. Musn’t forget the levels of stupidity that timb can descend to.

  69. And most of all, we must never forget the brain-pounding stupidity offered by Caric.

    We can forgive kkkleo, since she suffers from PRE traumatic stress disorder. timb’s only excuse is that it is hard to type with one hand, while stroking off Prof. Fluffer with the other.

  70. And the Earth does “shake off” the stupid first. Take heart. Currently the Earth doesn’t want me to get down my driveway.

  71. I scored at the 92nd percentile on the verbal portion of the GRE, 97th analytical, 95th quantitative. So yeah, I know all about them-there metaphor thingies.

    I dunno, SB&P. I’ve regularly scored in the upper single-digit percentile on both language and math portions of the Iowa tests, SAT and GRE,

    Um … I once got a “Really! Good! Try!” on my fourth grade Magic Marker poster “Hey Bullies: Stop It!”

    Ah .. I also got the the living crap beat out of me after school.

    FLASH TRAFFIC; OPFR BAGHDAD: FROM: MAJOR JOHN

    “Stop feeding the &@#%! talking telephone poles!!!”

    END TRANS:

  72. Well, we’re snowed-in here. The talking telephone poles are more interesting than plowing my driveway for a third time …

    The weather here (in Michigan) is something awful. I’m sure it’s a side affect of “Climate Change” because it’s never snowed like this before in December. I mean, November – sure … Jan or Feb? Yes. But I don’t EVER recall one occurring on Dec 16th. It’s creepy … I wish Al Gore was here to hug me.

  73. Carin – Ewwww! Al Gore?
    The sun is now out in Lansing.

  74. thanks for that. One suggestion, though: I think you meant “Native American Neck.” I mean, in Newspeak, we don’t refer to skin color by the actual name of the color… so, like a White Person is a White Person, a Black Person is decidedly NOT a Black Person, and a Red Person goes by “Native American”… you see how it works…

    Now, it’s ok in this case, because a Red Neck is not a protected population. The “red” of the neck is a sign that they must work with their hands, not their minds (see Caric’s “lowlife” comment above), so we can make fun of them. They probably didn’t go to college and learn all that important trans-gender, black studies, feminist superiority stuff and thus can be dismissed. It’s almost certain that they like Country, and not the good kind like the “Dixie Chicks” do, but all that “Rah Rah, Go USA crap.”

    UNLESS, of course, they are red of the neck because they are an organic farmer. They are certainly not “Red Necks.”

  75. We’re definitely having global warming this afternoon in Texas, and they’re predicting climate change this evening. We don’t have polar bears, but climate change killed off all the house flies until global warming brings them back in the Spring.

    Al Gore–what doesn’t he know?

  76. Its going to get a lot worse before they get worse. Carin, we’re here for you. Except me, my driveway is clear and baby’s carbon footprint needs some covered platforms.

    Nos Habebit humus, and all.

  77. Carin: If Al Gore were to come and hug you just remember to keep a good, hard grip on your pocketbook.

  78. Woot woot! So, you think I may be done with snowblowing? I mean, it’s fun and all …

  79. That made no sense. See, I’m all out of hummus.

  80. nd they’re predicting climate change this evening. We don’t have polar bears, but climate change killed off all the house flies until global warming brings them back in the Spring.

    Ok, that made me laugh.

  81. “The only extermination I recommend is directed at the semi-literate.”

    That’s the crux of it isn’t it Semanticleo, you elitist prick. You honestly believe your the dividing line; those “below” you are rabble, human trash worthy of extermination, while you see your self and your ilk as deserving.

    Fuck you.

  82. Ya got something there, Paco. It’s just that troll-slapping is insidiously delightful. Brings to mind all of those profs at university who so desperately needed a hand upside the noggin, yet one just hunkered down and got the grade. That needs a lot of ‘getting out of the system'; I may be done with it by 2025. Maybe 2040 – law school needs extra time.

  83. “I’m reminded of my own amazement at Michael Crichton’s comparison (in State of Seige) of eco-hysteria to the Eugenics craze of a hundred years ago.”

    I think the book’s title was “State Of Fear” – as opposed to the Steven Segal movie.

    A book WELL worth reading, if you haven’t already. I’ve read it twice, and it makes me feel somewhat vindicated for saying that man caused AGW is a crock, from day one.

    And it IS.

  84. . It’s just that troll-slapping is insidiously delightful.

    Yes, and absent the pleasure of Jeff’s presence on the blog, we must take our fun when and how we find it.

  85. So basically, these nutjobs are saying that they hate their own mothers, who were breeders. Next they will be taking a cue from China and saying abort all female babies. You can’t have those “breeders” around. I hope they make their mothers proud!!!
    —from a breeder who would disown my grown sons for saying such drivel!!!!!

  86. We are on a dangerous slippery slope. How long before some deranged leftist shoots up a school in a Columbine/VTech manner, and then justifies it as ‘culling the herd before their reproductive years’? And then, all manner of ‘environmentalists’ condone the massacre.

    Absurd, you say? We already have leftists defending suicide bombings and beheadings. How long before the murder of children is glorified in the name of global warming?

  87. Al Gore has 4 kids and a few grandkids, though. In fact, on the surface, he would appear to have the ideal monogamous, big family that conservatives would consider to be exemplary.

    How long before he distances himself from the genocidal crowd?

  88. Al Gore gets a pass for his hypocrisy ( big houses, jetting around the country, and serving Chilean Bass at his daughter’s wedding). He’s allowed, being a member of the Royal Global Warming Family.

  89. What we’re looking at, here, is the meltdown of Philosophy as a serious intellectual pursuit.

    Philosophers have always sought the Ultimate Why, and have always come up empty. Three centuries ago, the real thinkers — Newton and that crowd — split Science off as a separate branch, and, left with no grounding in objective phenomena, Philosophy descended into a tail-chasing search for Meaning in Meaning. Since there ain’t no such animal, the spiral gets tighter and tighter until it vanishes altogether in nothingness, culminating in the execrable Wittgenstein, who begins his effusions with an absolutely true observation[1] and spends the rest of the book debunking it, in the process passing through every step his predecessors took and arriving, inevitably, at nihilism (with new paint and serial numbers, as is traditional). It is, admittedly, curious that True Believers in the Big Bang and mechanistic evolution should continue to try to tease out a Reason for It All, but that’s people for you.

    The correct answer to “why” is “why not? — let’s go for a beer.” The serious student of Philosophy will sneer “hedonism!” and spit. Buy ‘em a beer anyway. If nothing else you can expand your vocabulary, and they really aren’t bad people at heart, just depressed at having engaged in futility.

    As to why philosophers keep it up, it’s the same as anybody else. They want recognition, power, [fx: licks lips] groupies. A graffitist feels the same way: Look at me! Ain’t I great?” The best way to think of all those thick volumes is as KIERKEGAARD WAZ HEAR, only in sesquipidelian prose instead of Krylon® Gloss Black across the freeway bridge.

    Regards,
    Ric
    [1]The so-called “Wittgenstein’s Couplet”:
    Die Welt ist alles, vas der Fall ist. The best part of the Couplet is the fun of translating it — English isn’t quite German mispronounced, but it isn’t that far off — and trying to preserve the witty succinctness of the original. “The world is whatever is the case” is the traditional Philosopher’s rendering, but “Reality is what actually happens” seems to me better, and more to the point.

    There is also the clue, embedded in it, to how Germans went from manure-hoarding peasants to masters of technology in less than a generation. English speakers had to invent Murphy. Germans have fallen built into the language, and the cognate in English is not an accident.

    –R

  90. As always, my response to these and other eco-ninnies is, “You first!”

  91. Anti-natalism reminds me of the title of Charles Grodin’s memoir:
    “It Would Be So Nice If You Weren’t Here: My Journey Through Show Business”

  92. Gee, Ric, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your philosophy class. Blaming these a-holes on Philosophy is like closing the Meteorology Dept. because Al Gore claims to be a weather expert. I’m used to seeing this kind of comment directed at the Arts half of the College of Arts & Sciences by very, very frustrated young engineers who think English grads are the reason they never get laid. Compared to the loads of bull being delivered as calculus just now (blame Newton?), the harm done by the Wittgensteinian Continental Closet of philosophical study is inconsequential. I think you’ve got philosophers mixed up with “Philosophers.” Those guys work over in Economics.

  93. “Comment by Semanticleo on 12/16 @ 9:01 am #

    What? No indignant puffery about the valuable contributions Humans have made to the world as a whole? Pity. Thought you would not go gently into that good night.”

    Obviously the only rational solution to your problem is suicide.

  94. Philosophy is against my Religion.

  95. Lively stuff. Very enjoyable. Now, I’m just an alcoholic misanthrope with a painfully high IQ, so I don’t know about high test scores in the KGB or BVD, but it occurs to me that this is the logical extension of the ‘I’m for peace’ mentality. Call it “I deny my existance, therefore I am.” Thanks for letting me play!

  96. “… the harm done by the Wittgensteinian Continental Closet of philosophical study is inconsequential”

    Nonsense.

    Ideas matter, words matter.

    If I had a time machine and a Model 1911, I’d travel back and shoot Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ass.

  97. Let’s consider a less philosphical and more practical question?

    How much does one have to hate one’s own life in order to assume that lack of human life constitutes a universal good?

    Seriously I would love to have a team of psychoanalysts throw these boobs into padded rooms and subject them to about sixty days on intensive, layer peeling analysis. What would we find? I’m betting some dark, disturbing psychological demons adding up to individuals who either really hate themselves or hate others for some singular or collective slight.

    I know, I know, I’m now engaged in the very thing for which I’ve pistol wiped the left (homophobe, islamophobe) but look closer. I’m not attempting to create a false label but to understand the sort of self loathing that goes into making a statement of such monumental humanlessness.

    Of course, one wonders what was on the “minds” of the “scientists” who stood and applauded a plan for mass genocide perpetuated ina most hideous way.

  98. I apologize for my earlier post (but not to Cleo). Of course, being an “English major” (or having high test scores) don’t really have anything to do with the issue, and I feel bad for descending to that level. I regretted it as soon as I’d posted it.

    That said, if Cleo is still around I’d really like to hear what makes him/her/it one of the privileged few who is worthy of surviving? Or isl he/she/it planning to stick around just long enough to wipe out the untermenschen, then off him/her/itself, Jim Jones-style.

  99. Comatus, I enjoyed my philosophy classes. As you may have noticed, I can witter on about almost any subject, which is the bottom-line requirement. Some of it’s even useful. I even enjoy reading the stuff from time to time.

    But capital-letter Philosophy is a dead end. It comes down, at the end, to either theism (“whatever God wants”) or atheism (“it just happens”), both of which are dividing lines between Something and Nothing. Stepping over the line gives Nothing regardless of what process is used to get there. This is not to say it isn’t entertaining, but, then, so is bungee jumping (as a spectator sport only, for me).

    The end point of all of it is nihilism in one form or another, which is basically Philosophy throwing up its hands and admitting defeat. Extracting a Why from the Big Bang is not a fit thing for a grown person to attempt. Trying to do so using the miserable subset of Universe that is human language is futility to whatever power you care to raise it. From that, the adolescent angst of Existence Is Futile, Therefore It Is Proper to End It comes naturally, with the slow solemn bells of Inevitability tolling in the background, and that is the basis for demanding that Western Civilization cease to exist — with, of course, a healthy assist from the bright and diligent folks along Nevskiy Prospekt, who had a vested interest in seeing to it that the US, in particular, was weakened or (in the ideal case) volunteered to eff off and die.

    Carpe diem. Hedonism gets a bad name from two directions: the excesses of some of its adherents, and carping from the other schools of philosophy. It doesn’t mean Party like there’s no tomorrow, contrary to popular belief. But you can’t answer “Will there be tomorrow?” without answering “Why is there today?”, and that question can’t be answered. All you can really do is go Rumsfeldian — yesterday, today was tomorrow, and it came along on schedule; you can’t guarantee that’ll happen again, but it is the way to bet. In the meantime there is belief.

    I believe I’ll have another drink.

    Regards,
    Ric

  100. By the way, O’Brain, that’s a common parlor game among science fiction fans. You have a time machine, a .44 magnum, and one (1) round. How to put it to best use?

    Rousseau is an attractive target, sure, but after long thought I’ve settled on G.W.F. Hegel. Karl Marx was a bright guy, and might have been able to make himself useful instead of largely disruptive had he not had his interfering kibbitzer. Jean-Jacques was just another French twerp, important only because he had enough ego to stand out; do away with him, and ten others would spring up in his place.

    Regards,
    Ric

  101. #89.
    Ah Ric, you have said it again. I was trying to say that in my first post – those who argue for nihilism are no more willing to truly – truly – embrace it than anyone else. If Prof. Benatar had a pistol pointed in his face and told to beg for life, I suppose he would. It is easy to argue in abstract for others to do or have done to them. The nihilists can’t face that – by definition.

    BJ@97:

    Those scientists could applaud because they could finally move their theories out of the drawing rooms and the journals and actually put them to the test. Let’s make the perfect Arayan; let’s make the New Soviet Man. I am sure Prof. Benatar would easily kill half of humanity to see how global climate fared over the next few decades without those extraneous pests about.

  102. You know, Ric, I’m reminded of when the gods all got together against Zeus. There’s no particular reason that Zeus should win, when you count up all the potentialities arrayed against him. But since Zeus is best described as the God of the Way Things Are, he had a bit of an advantage.

  103. Dan,

    Sure. Recall that Zeus was originally weather. Much is said about weather, but little is done about it…

    Regards,
    ric

  104. I’m supposin’ this type of thought process occurs quite a lot in the “I’m too _________ (insert appropriate term) to get laid” set.

  105. You know the odd thing that this mindset surfaces in the last season of ‘Heroes; and it is recognized as evil. It
    seem to reoccur in this week’s “I am Legend” although the
    form of propagation seems odd; a cure for cancer that turns into a viral plague. There’s a NY Times best selling
    book about what would happen to the earth when we’re gone
    (all good, the way the author sees it)and of course, the
    high priest Pete Singer. The whole thing scares the hell out of me.

  106. Comment by Ric Locke on 12/16 @ 5:54 pm #

    But I really, really hate the “noble savage” myth created by that French freak.

  107. PJ O’Rourke pegged these misanthropic cretins years ago with a chapter called “Just Enough of Me, Way Too Much of You.”

  108. Al Gore is just trying to see that China gets its money’s worth.

  109. Gee this rings a bell. Where have I heard this sort of thing before? I’m racking my brains … there was a group of well-known socialists who had a special term for it … aha! The term was “life unworthy of life”. Maybe Prof. Benatar can improve on their methods and succeed where they failed.

  110. Well, see, that’s the problem, O’Brain.

    Our friend JJ didn’t invent the Noble Savage myth. It was already around in fairly detailed form, and all Rousseau really did was summarize what was a common fad. Blowing him away would simply leave the field clear for another popularizer.

    However, having expended the one round I would still have the time machine at my disposal. It might be amusing to transport Jean-Jackques to, say, highland New Guinea and leave him to make his way in the Acadian habitat he so glowingly described.

    Regards,
    Ric

  111. I think you mean Arcadian, Ric. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong about Acadians.

  112. Of course you’re right, Dan. Not sure why I consistently get the two confused. Perhaps it’s because I used to enjoy visiting South Louisiana.

    Or perhaps it’s the JBB & water. Proust!

    Regards,
    Ric

  113. Good news everyone!
    SemantiCleo’s argument that we are a virus, and we will be shaken off like a bad cold? That’s not an original thought, it’s a George Carlin quote, nearly verbatim. The only difference is that Carlin was saying the environment doesn’t need protection from us, that it will evolve beyond us, and [shake us off] plastics, ***hole

  114. Shucks Ric, I mistook you for someone who was speaking seriously. I apologize. Enjoy your drink. I won’t make the same mistake again.

  115. Comatus: as Allahpundit might say, whatevah.

    Steve, very little of what Semanticleo posts is original; it can be an interesting exercise to google around and find the sources. It can also be boring as Hell, especially as the evening draws on and her BAC rises. I will add a correction, or clarification: Carlin speculates that the reason the planet created us was that so it could have plastic, which it couldn’t create on its own. It’s an interesting thought. What might Gaia’s punishment be for those who deny Her the pollution She so desperately craves? Perhaps She’s feeling a bit chilly these days, and shawls are a bit impractical…

    Regards,
    Ric

  116. “This kind of vile insanity, posing as altruism, is evil in the extreme.”

    Right. Next thing we know, you’ll be telling us that the Soviet Union was only posing as socialism, or that the Dark Ages were only posing as theocracy.

    Pull the other one, it has bells on.

  117. Okay Seerak, so what are you saying? That it’s altruism because the people proposing it intend it to be altruism, or that it’s altruism because it’s actually working for the good of other people?

    Let us please be clear.

    Because it seems to me that proposing truly evil ideas and presenting them as if they were made out of love and care for people is, well, *posing*.

    Though I suppose “self and species-hating delusional” might suffice as a description if “posing” does not.

  118. I’ve always thought that altruism was an unselfish concern for the well being of others. I can’t wait to hear how advocating extinction shows concern for the well being of the proposed extinct. And I notice that Prof Benetar is not so altruistic as to go first.

  119. Our friend JJ didn’t invent the Noble Savage myth. It was already around in fairly detailed form, and all Rousseau really did was summarize what was a common fad.

    Rousseau didn’t exactly perpetuate the noble savage myth; Rousseau perpetuated another mythological savage that was a solitary hunter and only mixed it up with the females in mating season. Not noble, exactly, and certainly not supported by what we now know about ancient man. But Rousseau lived a couple of centuries ago; what they thought they knew then certainly cannot be evaluated in terms of what we’ve learned since then. He was wrong about that, but his overall points about society are still worth paying attention to, even if you don’t agree with them.

    There was widespread philosophizing about what the right and proper role of society was, not beginning with and certainly not ending with Rousseau. The comment about the ineffectiveness of rubbing out just one purveyor of these notions is particularly apt, I say.

  120. “The comment about the ineffectiveness of rubbing out just one purveyor of these notions is particularly apt, I say.”

    Agreed. But it still would be a sort of justice to walk up to Marx or Engels, inform him that his stupid maunderings just killed a hundred million plus people and will be used by plenty of tyrants to put a nice gloss on their tyranny, put the .45 to his skull, and empty his brain pan.

    Again, the ideas will still be around, but more of these nihilistic human-hating bastards ought to have their noses rubbed in their own intellectual offal.

  121. I think it’s an interesting question, though: to what extent is the flow of history contingent on the existence of one particular person? It could be, I suppose, that it’s both the person, and historical context ripe for that person to do their damage. What if you took out Mao? Would you have saved tens of millions of Chinese, or plunged the country into some kind of unending civil strife that killed even more?

    If you could just replace Mao with someone sane and relatively non-malicious, as well as widely popular, maybe that question goes away. But who?

  122. The reason it’s a parlor game is that it isn’t possible. If it were actually possible, the correct use of the one round would be to blow away the person who seriously proposed it. Ideas like the Noble Savage, Return to Year Zero, the Manifesto, etc. etc. are around in the vernacular long before anybody codifies and writes them up or becomes a visible spokesperson, and there is no guarantee that the one who pops up to replace the one we know wouldn’t be worse, perhaps in subtle ways. Say you blew away A. Hitler in 1933. You probably wouldn’t get a WWII at the time it happened — but you almost certainly would get some kind of Deutsche Reich, complete with vigorous anti-semitism, militant Aryanism, and expansionist tendencies as revenge against the Versailles Treaty signatories, and end up with either a Europe that was thoroughly poisoned or a war that didn’t start until 1960, or both. And since the Japanese were responding to an entirely different set of stimuli, you would also have a Pacific War, which would result in the later European conflict being fought with nuclear weapons.

    And no, andy, “hate speech” laws and identity politics don’t come from Rousseau, although his philosophy is one of the branches of the main tendency that leads there. The form they’re in today derives mainly from Lenin and allied thinkers, but the basic idea pops up any time you have a self-congratulatory elite that gains the power to impose them. Laws against pornography spring from the same source and use the same arguments. The Framers hoped to head that sort of crap off at the pass by enshrining Free Speech in the Constitution, but clearly it didn’t work.

    Regards,
    Ric

  123. The form they’re in today derives mainly from Lenin and allied thinkers, but the basic idea pops up any time you have a self-congratulatory elite that gains the power to impose them.

    That is quite possibly the best description of the folly of hate speech laws and the people who propose them. Free speech is only free if no one has the power to say that you can’t say [insert speech here] because they know better. All of that to be followed by wine coolers and Chardonnay on the veranda, basking in another triumph of the the smarters.

    Thanks ric, I’m stealing that one.

  124. Knock yourself out if you find it useful, BJ, but I would recommend a serious examination of your own thoughts on the subject before spreading it widely.

    There is no, repeat no, difference between “hate speech” laws and porn laws, sodomy laws, “gun control”, etc. ad nauseum. And before you expostulate, reflect for a moment on the foolishness of saying “Well, my proposed restrictions on behavior really are for their own good, and theirs are not.” The friction coefficient is irrelevant, because the slope is for all practical purposes vertical.

    Regards,
    Ric

  125. There is a difference between “hate speech” or “hate crime” laws, porn laws and sodomy laws, etc. ad nauseum, at least one that I can think of, and it isn’t a petty one.

    It’s one thing to regulate behaviour, with aggravating factors of malice or cruelty or so forth a background element of penalty, and another to create specific laws to punish specific opinions about race, gender, or creed, should they be expressed in commission of a crime or in public.

  126. There is a difference between “hate speech” or “hate crime” laws, porn laws and sodomy laws, etc. ad nauseum, at least one that I can think of, and it isn’t a petty one.

    It’s one thing to regulate behaviour, with aggravating factors of malice or cruelty or so forth a background element of penalty, and another to create specific laws to punish specific opinions about race, gender, or creed, should they be expressed in commission of a crime or in public.

  127. Rousseau would make an attractive target, since Napoleon is said to have viewed the tomb of Rousseau and remarked “History will tell whither it was best that Rousseau and I had lived”

    Probably apocryphal, but the best ones are.

  128. Also, is it bad that I keep thinking about “Rainbow Six”, by Tom Clancy?

  129. No, SarahW, all you have accomplished is to repeat the usual paraphrase of “Mine really are for Good, and theirs are not.”

    Porn laws in particular are the exact equivalent of “hate speech”. In fact, many feminists see them as the same issue seen from a different viewpoint, and the language is identical except for the specific names. Once you have grasped, and accepted, the principle of laws against behavior as behavior modification the difference boils down to a few nouns; laws against one can be morphed into laws against another using the search-and-replace functions of a word processor.

    There are reasons for societies to have laws. They boil down to the cohesiveness of society and the preservation of trust — business is very difficult, and wealth impossible to accumulate, if murder, robbery, and the like are casually tolerated. Behavioral control laws not only fail that test, they contradict it. To an atheist, religious proselytization is “porn” (or “hate”; the terms are interchangeable). To the devout, atheism is “hateful” and/or “obscene”. If either sees that the other’s version is enacted into law and the Sword of the State used to enforce it, trust is not only broken, it is destroyed on the ground of being of no value.

    Regards,
    Ric

  130. Are you really sure you want to go down this path, Ric? What if you go a bit further? I mean, what are “good” and “bad” but evaluations? What is the Bill of Rights, for instance, other than a codification of what people thought was a common good, in terms of government?

  131. I say there is a clear distinction between proscribing an act, and proscribing a specific idea or motivation.

  132. I have no objection to malice or reprehensible motivation being taken into account at sentencing within the gamut of punishment available at law, but laws singling out *specific thoughts* for extra punishment is too close to the line of regulating free thought and expression per se.

    Not everyone will agree with me. Clearly “hate crimes’ like nooses on someone else’s door should be prosecuted under existing harassment/intimidation or trespassing statutes; but If I want to hang a noose on my own door, especially the inside knob, I have a right to do it.

  133. I’ve always been of the opinion that, sans Hitler, the Reds would have taken over Germany, possibly by appropriating some of the right’s volk und blut sermonizing (because after all, what is fascism but socialists doing exactly that). This would have had to have been done with Stalin’s approval or a Tito-like situation would have occurred, which very likely would have led to a Russo-German war for entirely different stated reasons.

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  135. Ric

    Have you ever thought of adopting? I’m a victim of Public schools and having to (GASP) work for a living.

    I’m 45 now? But DAMN….I’d sit at your knee and LEARN sir!

    Seriously Ric, If Jeff can’t be here? As much as I love Dan (like a VIKING) I would prefer if you could post.

    Just my 2 cents

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  137. Those anti-natalists are totally stupid. They don’t know what they are talking about. That some of them are educated only proves that you can educate am idiot, and afterwards they are just educated idiots with college degrees; maybe even MBA’s and Phd’s. But they are still idiots.

    I may not have as high a degree as they have, but I do know that the carbon dioxide that I produce is loved by plants everywhere. Humans and animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants do the opposite. They breathe in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Thus people, along with other animals, and plants need each other, for the air they use. They literally produce each other’s air.

    If there is too much carbon in the air, the answer is not to blame the babies or their mothers. The answer is not to accuse people of destroying the planet, just because they exist. The answer is not more abortions or more of any kind of death. The answer to too much carbon in the atmosphere is to plant more plants.

    If you are so worried about your own or anyone else’s carbon footprint, you can lessen the damage by planting a garden. Or go into the forest and plant trees. That is a much more efficient way to solve the problem and it is a much more peaceful way too. Planting a garden, or a forest, doesn’t put you at odds with large portions of humanity, including babies and their mothers. And you certainly don’t need to have an abortion and kill your own baby just to prevent carbon. The trees and the flowers probably want your baby for the carbon that he or she will produce anyway.

    So don’t worry about having children or the damage it will do to the earth. Just gently blow on a flower, and hug a few trees while breathing in and out real deep. And wherever you go take a big deep breath around the plants. They will thank you for it.

  138. I never realized there were soooooo many crabby old farts in this world. Ease up, take a chill pill and you just might get to live your long, life. Just don’t bum the rest of us happy folk with your overly dire thoughts. Remember, nothin’s new, it’s all been said before. Sit back, and it’ll come around again. Don’t worry, be happy! God loves you!

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