Have you ever looked online for an ugly animal picture? I actually made quite a large endeavour, and when I eventually found one, I posted it on a vegan facebook group and one member politely informed me that this was in fact not a live animal. So I give up – this guy isn’t even ugly, and I found that most animals, even the weird-looking ones, are more cute than ugly. Animals 1 – Ryan 0.
Anyway, if you’re an environmentalist you’ll be happy to read that this is a post for you…I’m with you guys by the way, and so please bear with me because we go down the rabbit hole a bit. So, you’re super passionate about saving the earth…and it needs help. Now, some morbid person might come along and declare, as Bertrand Russell has:
That Man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
It is unclear whether Bertrand was an agnostic or an atheist, however what he made clear was that he wouldn’t accept religion without evidence. I see this to be reasonable; however, I would assert that he didn’t investigate or invest in the correct experiment to try to look for higher intelligence (as I eluded to in The heart of science post). What I’m saying is, the prove it argument of empirical science is naive when applied to trying to make connection with somebody in a higher position than yourself. Humility and servitude are much more useful tools.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you environmentalists…we’re just taking the A702, instead of the M8 to Edinburgh, and we’ll get to Arthur’s seat soon I hope!
So, what was Bertrand saying? It seems that everything is pointless, for two reasons (you can pick which appeals to you):
1. We’re all going to pop our clogs
2. The universe is going to eventually squish into a painfully small ball…or blow up
Why is that relevant? I’m sure you guessed it, but I’ll string it out…let’s say you see lager-lout Larry from Leicester walking down Granby street, and let’s assume it’s 11 am and he’s already drunk, burping LOUDLY, and dropping his litter all over the floor. His life consists of a complete attempt at self-gratification, without any care for the environment, or anyone else. (I should mention that given his lower income, I shouldn’t really have used him as an example for destroying the environment, because he has far less ability in this regard than the high-flying CO2-dodging globe trotters. Sorry, Larry.)
But here’s the question for you…
If we’re all just atoms, rather than actual people that really exist (see I’m alive! post), then why worry about anything, let alone environmental issues? It’s all futile! But if you really really want to sort the environment out, it’s clear what you need to do…wipe out around 5 billion atomic structures that are disguised in the form of what we call ‘human beings’…yes, mass genocide would return this planet to a garden of eden.
I know what you’re thinking…we’ve got another Stalin or Hitler here…but give me a fair trial! What I’m saying is, if the environment is so important to you, and, as most materialist scientists would attest to, there is no real I that exists and experiences the world, then what is the logical reason against mass genocide to give things a nudge in the right direction?
If you find yourself appalled by this reasoning, great. I would suggest in this case that you are certainly a moral person, however you don’t realise that you’re living in a bi-dimensional universe. And this is quite an important thing to know (if for nothing more than your own sanity). Finally, keep up the good work all those people out there trying their hardest to give back to nature, and to bring equilibrium back to our planet…and I think that when Booker says ‘others’, he means animals, plants, fungi…all souls.
“I began learning long ago that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” — Booker T. Washington