Why are humans spreading anti-humanism?

It’s an ideology that sees humans as the scourge of the earth. How can any human get behind that?

But terribly many are, including people in high places. You can’t get your head around it, if you think straight and with the leveling force of reason. But those qualities aren’t necessarily prerequisites anymore for academics or legal scholars or members of government. And those groups are among the people who believe the world is endangered not by man’s inhumanity to man, but by humanity itself.

One of America’s leading experts in bioethics, Wesley J. Smith, has a new book and companion documentary out about this pernicious ideology, and we talked about it on radio Wednesday.

Wesley spent years that turned into decades fighting assisted suicide and euthanasia that turned his attention to bioethics and (as he said)

the idea that there was such a thing as ‘human non-persons’ and the idea that we could take away basic food and water from helpless human beings, as happened in the Terri Schiavo case, and then, good grief, I saw the issues of embryonic stem cell research come along, and then human cloning and then animal rights as a desire to create moral equality between animals and human beings, and it occurred to me that there is an overarching connection.

These are not just separate distinctions. What connects them is the desire to destroy the idea that there is such a thing as human dignity, which I came to call human exceptionalism. And I called it that not only because human beings have separate and unique value, which we do, but we’re also the only species with obligations and duties. So what duties do we have? We certainly have duties to each other, and we have duties to our posterity. No other species thinks about what will happen to their posterity one hundred years from now. We are the posterity of the founding fathers of the United States. They were thinking of us, and look what they gave us, because they were thinking of us.

We have duties to animals, to treat them properly, to not be gratuitously cruel. We have duties to treat the environment in a proper way. And this book is about how environmentalism has gone from that, understood as the proper role of making sure we dealt with these obligations properly, to, I’m afraid, one that is increasingly being infected with a radical view that sees human beings as the enemy of the planet.

Wesley continues, and the information continues to astound.

Sir David Attenborough, one of the great naturalists, who’s done so much in terms of his wildlife documentaries and so forth, has said that human beings are a plague on the planet. He has actually supported China’s one-child policy, which involves forced abortion, female infanticide, saying it has kept them from growing too big. But think of the tyranny of the one-child policy, eugenics.

It hasn’t stopped the population from growing, but people like Sir David Attenborough say ‘we don’t only have to stop the population from growing, we have to actively cut it.’ And if you’re going to actively propose cutting human population, you’re talking about some very drastic and tyrannous measures to bring down the numbers to ‘save the earth’. It’s very dangerous and it’s anti-human. It’s insidious because it seeks to stop human thriving and it seeks to transform us to seeing ourselves as just another animal in the forest. And then that’s precisely how we’ll act. We’re not animals. We’re not amoral agents. We have moral duties. We think in terms of right and wrong and ‘ought’. “

As he points out, the environmental movement rightly ordered has always been important. But this ideology not only undermines human beings, it also undermines proper environmentalism, which helps create a cleaner and better world for us.

It’s all documented in Smith’s book The War on Humans.

On earth day

At its core, stewardship of the environment is an important ideal. At its extremes, it has become an anti-human ideology.

Dr. Robert Zubrin explains in detail with extensive references in his book Merchants of Despair. From the forward:

Antihumanism is not environmentalism, though it sometimes masquerades as such. Environmentalism, properly conceived, is an effort to apply practical solutions to real environmental problems, such as air and water pollution, for the purpose of making the world a better place for all humans to thrive in. Antihumanism, in contrast, rejects the goal of advancing the cause of mankind. Rather, it uses instances of inadvertent human damage to the environment as points of agitation to promote its fundamental thesis that human beings are pathogens whose activities need to be suppressed in order to protect a fixed ecological order with interests that stand above those of humanity.

It’s that inverted order of things that’s causing controversy in the scientific and academic community. And in the culture. And Zubrin challenges it in his ideological throwdown.

Antihumanism has recently enormously expanded its influence by raising hysteria about global warming. This phenomenon, by lengthening the growing season and increasing rainfall and the availability of atmospheric carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, has actually significantly enhanced the abundance of nature, to the benefit of both agriculture and the wild biosphere alike.

 What?

Nevertheless, according to antihumanism, punitive measures, especially harmful to the world’s poor, are required to suppress mankind’s activity and economic growth in order to deal with this putative threat.

However…

That antihumanism should propose such global oppression as a response to an improvement in the Earth’s climate should not be surprising, since…similar vicious antihuman solutions to fictitious problems have been repeatedly advocated and implemented by antihumanism’s followers for two centuries–that is, since long before global warming was an issue at all.

And Zubrin says it has a brutal history. Which continues to play out with a lot of social compliance these days under the guise of good and noble causes.

Jarring. Stewardship of the environment is a good and noble cause. However, he warns,

some of today’s most fashionable political and social ideas are essentially replays of earlier ideological fads that have been continually used over the last two centuries to motivate and justify oppression, tyranny, and genocide.

And this nuclear engineer and contributor to The New Atlantis pulls together all these ideas and misdeeds and morphed sensibilities into a book that intends to stop or slow history from repeating itself, and eliminating the humans from the story.

While disputes about overpopulation, racial equality, pesticides, resource limites, nuclear power, biotechnology, and global warming may appear to be about different subjects, they are ultimately but different faces of the same conflict: a fundamental debate over the worth of humankind.

It is a debate we need to win.

And that’s just in the preface.

I interviewed Dr. Zubrin last week before I even knew we were headed into Earth Day weekend (it didn’t get a lot of press this year, with all the political scandals and controversies brewing). A scientist who was listening on radio wrote me a grateful, detailed email commenting on the excesses Zubrin has long written about and the need to dispute false claims. A women who identified herself as ‘a radical environmentalist who happens to be pro-life’ also wrote me, asking for a clear treatment of the issues.

We clearly need to have this discussion. Dr. Zubrin is coming back to continue the conversation. His book has 49 pages of footnotes, and interesting chapters on population control and “pseudo-science.” I’m still wading through it.

Meanwhile, the Population Research Institute has been airing some provocative work  on the myth of overpopulation

And this time last year