Let me start off by saying that I do not have any formal education in philosophy.
This is clear.
What you say above is absolutely true. We cannot dispute those facts. Through the ages, people have said those very things.
I agree: perceptive, honest people (concerned for the future) have said these things, true.
I would suggest that our seeming route to self destruction has nothing to do with truth and rights. To coin a crude, old phrase, we do it for the same reason dogs lick themselves...because we can.
I agree that your comment is both crude and old. I disagree, however, that it was in any way accurate.
A dog "licking himself" is not destructive, either to itself, to others, or to the world. The dog's motive
for licking itself is also different ...
With regard to the human animal, not all humans are wantonly destructive to the planet, even though all of us "can" be. The truth is, some people actually do care about other beings, and some people actually do care about the environment, and some people actually do care about the future of our planet ... and such caring people actually do make the effort to be conscientious in their choices that affect these things. This is, after all, the definition of a "good" person: a person who is constructive rather than destructive. A person who cares rather than a person who could care less. Thus I disagree with the premise that "all" people are wantonly destroying our planet and indiscriminately harming other beings. Only some people are guilty of these things. The trouble is, many of these people who destroy and harm are those who have the most money and the most power.
Our route to destruction has to do with these powerful and evil people of the world who are NOT good at heart. In other words, the people who don't care about the consequenses of their actions to our world and to others. The collective human ability to destroy this world began with the advent of the industrial age, the use of fossil fuels, as well as the whores in political power whose pockets proved to be able to be greased with money (to facilitate the former) rather than whose decisions are based upon the long-term welfare of our planet and the people on it. In other words, the greed for "excess now" has taken over the wise use of long-term principles.
Now I'd like to ask a question, and I mean this in a completely non combative or confrontational way.
Are you willing to give up your life so that a different species can survive?
This is a sophomoric question, and the answer is no.
First of all, my death wouldn't change a thing, nor would the death of any one person.
A more interesting question would be .... if I could eradicate the entire human race, to save the planet and all of its other inhabitants, would I do it? And the answer is, given the overall destructive nature of our human presence, I would have to give that thought some serious consideration.
The moral dilemma, the paradox as it were, is the simple fact that there really are
some great, loving, and caring people in this world ... who really are a source of admiration and standards of all the great things we humans have the potential to be ... and I would never, ever want to cause harm to any such person or people. The flipside to this is that there really are some ugly, useless, and wantonly destructive people in this world ... who do nothing but consume resources, litter, waste, kill and who essentially cause destruction all around them ... and I could waive bye-bye to every single such person and not feel the slightest misgiving. And the whole trouble with the human species lies in the fact that there are a lot more of the latter kinds of person than of the former.
In the end, however, killing-off people is not an ethical solution to our problem, for there is always the chance that any given person can change his or her ways. To my mind, the non-violent, ethical answer to our global problem boils-down to two basic themes: one is the shift away from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy, and the other is the madatory enforcement of population control. No couple should be able to have more than one child any longer. And NO couple, who does not have the wherewithal to support themselves financially, should be able to have ANY children at all. And any such violation of these edicts should result in mandatory sterilization. Putting a cap on reproduction and moving away from environmentally-dangerous fuels is wherein the answers lie.
As it is, generally the lowest and most helpless of people are producing the most offspring ... none of whom can care for themselves ... and the only reason such helpless and dependent people can do this is because of "programs" that continue to feed all of these needy mouths ... which creates a downward spiral of dependancy and the continual overpopulation of more-and-more people who are unable to care for themselves. This is an abomination of Natural Selection, and it needs to stop. Rather than growing exponentially in population, we humans need to shrink exponentially in population. People who cannot care for themselves need to stop reproducing. If they will not stop based on their own commitment to be responsible, then they need to be sterilized. Yes, this would be an encroachment on their "rights," but at this point I think human "rights" need to be replaced by human responsibility
, and only when people have first made sure their responsibilities are in order may they then be entitled to their rights. Meanwhile, the people who can take care of themselves, and their children, should only have one child and no more. This world simply does not need any more people; it needs less people. IMO, if these two principles were followed, then in just a couple of generations our overpopulation would be diminished by 3/4ths. If this happened, and with a shift from the dependancy on oils and fossil fuels, to my mind this would be the most sensible, non-violent way to handle the existing problem. Killing existing human lives would be an evil solution to our problems. Allowing everyone to live, but limiting the amount of future human births, would seem to be the fairest way to deal with the dire issue of human overpopulation and the ever-decreasing natural world.
These are tough issues, to be sure. But sitting around doing nothing is the worst thing that can be done, because it is not doing anything about it.