According to an article in the New York Times, the extinction of human beings is not only a good thing, but also a bad thing. According to the report of the New York Times on January 17, 2019, philosophical circles have begun a heated discussion on the prospect of human extinction in recent years. Given the growing threat posed by climate change, this is not surprising. This problem can not cover the whole field of philosophy, but it is an important aspect of philosophy research. So: will the extinction of mankind be a tragedy?
In order to explore this problem, this paper first distinguishes this problem from several other related problems. The question discussed in this article is whether it would be a tragedy if there were no more human beings on the earth. According to the article, the answer may be confusing at the beginning – the extinction of human beings is both a tragedy and a good thing.
The article says that although the view that human extinction is a tragedy is depressing, if you think about it carefully, you will find that there is not much controversy. On the earth, human beings have destroyed many habitable places and brought unimaginable pain to many animals living there. This process can be achieved in at least three ways.
First, the human impact on climate change has brought disaster to the ecosystem, as a recent article in the times about Yellowstone Park shows. Secondly, the increase of population is eroding the original complete ecosystem. Third, industrial farming produces millions of animals. This process only brings them pain and suffering, and then slaughters them in a usually very cruel way. There is no reason why these practices will be reduced in the short term. The opposite is true.
So the reason that human extinction is a good thing is that what human beings bring to the earth is something other animals can’t bring to the earth. For example, we bring a kind of advanced reason, which can experience the wonder of the world in a way that is strange to most animals. We create all kinds of Art: literature, music, painting. We are committed to scientific research, trying to understand the universe and where we are. If our species die out, they will disappear.
Some may ask, from this perspective, is it a good thing for us to end our lives to avoid more suffering for animals? Although I have no final answer to this question, we should realize that future human beings are totally different from present human beings. It will bring great pain to those who have lost a lot after death to let the present human beings end their lives. On the contrary, preventing the existence of future human beings will not bring such pain, because these people do not exist at all, and life is meaningless. So these two examples can’t be compared. “
Finally, the article said, “well, the extinction of human beings may make the world better, but it will also become a tragedy. This problem is too complicated. I don’t want to be so critical. However, it seems that this kind of thing may happen, and this kind of thing itself makes me feel uneasy. “