Monday, September 13, 2010

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Have you heard of The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement? Their basic premise is that we should save the earth by not having any more children. I'm still not 100% sure this isn't a joke, but if it is, it's definitely on the elaborate side. What with the website translated into 17 languages, plus films and comics -- it's hard not to come to the conclusion that, at the very least, these guys take themselves seriously.

And yet the lack of self-awareness is surreal, bordering on (and occasionally crossing into) the comical. Consider their Why Breed chart (scroll down). It starts with the premise that "the search for a rational, ethical reason for creating one more human today goes on without success" and proceeds to list the various pretexts people give for having children, expose the true motivation behind each one, and offer helpful alternatives -- all in a convenient three-column format.

Some of these are jaw-droppingly idiotic (pretext: "Pregnancy and childbirth are life experiences"; suggestion: "Rent pregnancy simulator". Huh? Is that a meta-joke?). Others are dutifully cribbed from the multikulti book (pretext: "Want a child with our bloodline"; true motivation: "Ego extension. Racial identity"; suggestion: "Recognize value of people with different genetic makeups").

But this one is telling: "God wants us to." One might naively assume that the VHEMTers are hard-core atheists, but a moment's reflection suggests that this can't be the case. Why would a true atheist give a rat's behind about the future of the earth, after his own death? Make no mistake, this is a religious cult. Unsurprisingly, the VHEMTer rebuttal to G-d's commandment is a direct call to convert: "Seek true nature of God, whatever you perceive God to be." They don't say this directly, but Wiccanism seems to capture their creed best: "Stop. Having. Babies."

I have no interest in dialogue with these people (I shouldn't even be taking the time to blog about them). But I am mighty curious to know how they'd respond to my silver-bullet argument:

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who will sign on to the VHEMT agenda and those who will not. Which group does the future belong to? What does this say about the effectiveness of the VHEMT agenda?