Should this be the last generation by Peter Singer

excerpt:

Here is a thought experiment to test our attitudes to this view. Most thoughtful people are extremely concerned about climate change. Some stop eating meat, or flying abroad on vacation, in order to reduce their carbon footprint. But the people who will be most severely harmed by climate change have not yet been conceived. If there were to be no future generations, there would be much less for us to feel to guilty about.

So why don’t we make ourselves the last generation on earth? If we would all agree to have ourselves sterilized then no sacrifices would be required — we could party our way into extinction!

Of course, it would be impossible to get agreement on universal sterilization, but just imagine that we could. Then is there anything wrong with this scenario? Even if we take a less pessimistic view of human existence than Benatar, we could still defend it, because it makes us better off — for one thing, we can get rid of all that guilt about what we are doing to future generations — and it doesn’t make anyone worse off, because there won’t be anyone else to be worse off.

Is a world with people in it better than one without? Put aside what we do to other species — that’s a different issue. Let’s assume that the choice is between a world like ours and one with no sentient beings in it at all. And assume, too — here we have to get fictitious, as philosophers often do — that if we choose to bring about the world with no sentient beings at all, everyone will agree to do that. No one’s rights will be violated — at least, not the rights of any existing people. Can non-existent people have a right to come into existence?

I do think it would be wrong to choose the non-sentient universe. In my judgment, for most people, life is worth living.

opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/should-this-be-the-last-generation/?emc=eta1

We can't judge the state of this man's soul---but his philosophy and actions put him firmly in the campt of Satan's cheerleaders.

It's got a big membership roster these days.

Well, we've already made a start to contracepting our species out of existence, but it sounds like Prof. Singer might like to speed up the process. To him, being the last generation of human beings on earth might even be a good thing.

But then, who would feed the dogs?

I hope he got himself sterilized.

I'm no fan of his, but doesn't he, in fact, say the whole thing is a bad idea in the last line or two?

Ya gotta read the whole thing, folks....

He backs off a little in the last paragraph, stating that he would not in the end choose a non-sentient universe, even though a sentient universe contains more suffering. It's a sort of grudging optimism wherein he suggests that future centuries might enable us to reduce suffering somewhat.

But he never retracts this: "If we could see our lives objectively, we would see that they are not something we should inflict on anyone."

Singer is ambivalent on existence. He is, after all, the person who suggests giving parents of newborns a few months grace period before deciding whether to let the child live.

If he were inclined to pontificate on theological matters, I'm sure he would find the Father's decision to send the Son to become one of us (and suffer and die, no less) entirely inexplicable.

Too many people swallow his lies whole.

In Denmark, I believe, they have enacted a law allowing the murder of 'defective' children up to age twelve.

I know I have the links somewhere...

I volunteer to sterilise him .Won't take but a moment.

All Hail Gaia!!!!

I notice that Mr. Singer allows HIMSELF to live so he can yammer about destroying the 'infestation of human life.'

Well, that would be one way of solving some problems. Objectively, Mr. Singer is just mulling some thoughts - "To be or not to be? That is the question." So there's nothing new here, just a drift toward generalized nihilism.

A lack of hope is one symptom of the crisis of our times.

God bless,
Ed

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