030. Extinction

A discussion on our (inevitable?) ends


Questions to ponder

  1. We began this year’s discussions by asking ourselves “to what extent do our brains determine our ethics?” to which myriad answers tended towards “a great deal”. What are we to make of a time when every single one of those brains is gone

  2. Question 1 asks about a time when our brains are absent. What about spaces in which they are? Must one be moral on Mars?

  3. Question 2 asks about absence in time and space. What if we were to replace it with mere sparsity? That is, what effect does the density of human beings have on those human beings’ (ideal) morality?

  4. Is it better to have more extinctions or fewer? More de-extinctions or fewer?

  5. Do human beings (and/or their ethical equivalents) have an obligation towards species stewardship?

  6. Is there an alternative to extinction? 

  7. On the brink of species wide extinction, would you eat another human being to survive?

  8. Would you want to survive a near human extinction?

  9. Human extinction as a result of human action is known as “omnicide.” Could there ever be a time in which a species like ours should commit omnicide?

  10. “By the year 2050,” according to the Pew Research Center (2010), “41% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ definitely (23%) or probably (18%) will have returned to earth. However, a 46%-plurality of the public does not believe Christ will return during the next 40 years. Fully 58% of white evangelical Christians say Christ will return to earth in this period, by far the highest percentage in any religious group.” How ought we to make policy when 2/5ths of the population believes armageddon is just around the corner?

  11. How important is it that human beings prevent extinctions?

  12. Who are you? And, if you will one day be extinct, does it matter?


Essays of possible interest

  1. The nature of extinction
  2. Extinction risk from climate change
  3. Extinction and overspecialization: the dark side of human innovation
  4. The ethics of de-extinction