Church of Euthanasia

The One Commandment:
"Thou shalt not procreate"

The Four Pillars:
suicide · abortion
cannibalism · sodomy

Human Population:

Translate button

The Church of Euthanasia

e-sermon #14

Dear Euthanasists, once again it is our great pleasure to welcome the Grandfather of Situationism and author of "The Technological Society," the Immortal Jaques Ellul:

Never before has so much been required of the human being. By chance, in the course of history some men have had to perform crushing labors or expose themselves to mortal peril. But those men were slaves or warriors. Never before has the human race as a whole had to exert such efforts in its daily labors as it does today as a result of its absorption into the monstrous technical mechanism--an undifferentiated but complex mechanism which makes it impossible to turn a wheel without the sustained, persevering, and intensive labor of millions of workers, whether in white collar or in blue. The tempo of man's work is not the traditional, ancestral tempo; nor is its aim the handiwork which man produced with pride, the handiwork in which he contemplated and recognized himself.

I shall not [speak] (after all, so many others already have) about the difference between conditions of work today and in the past--how today's work is less fatiguing and of shorter duration, on the one hand, but, on the other, is an aimless, useless, and callous business, tied to a clock, an absurdity profoundly felt and resented by the worker whose labor no longer has anything in common with what was traditionally called work.

This is true today even for the peasantry. The important thing, however, is not that work is in a sense harsher than formerly, but that it calls for different qualities in man. It implies in him an absence, whereas previously it implied a presence. This absence is active, critical, efficient; it engages the whole man and supposes that he is subordinated to its necessity and created for its ends.

This is the first time in history that man has been so affected in so many untraditional ways. Carried along by events, he has been plunged into war at periodic intervals. But today's war is total war, a unique and unbelievable phenomenon. It is the onus and concern of all men. It subjects everyone to the same way of life, puts every one on a level with everyone else, and threatens everyone with the same death. Under its sway men have to endure unheard of sufferings and fatigue. War is now beyond human endurance in noise, movement, enormity of means, and precision of machines; and man himself has become merely an object, an object to be killed, and prey to a permanent panic that he is unable to translate into personal action. Man is subjected by modern war to a nervous tension, a psychic pressure, and an animal submission which are beyond human power to support. But, involved and committed to the machine, he does contrive to support all this, admirable machine that he is! In the process, however, he is stretched to the limit of his resistance, like a steel cable which may break at any moment.

The conditions of war may still be abnormal and exceptional. Nevertheless, even four or five years of war are significant in the life of a man. And the conditions of war eventually become very nearly his daily state; for the "abnormal" and the "exceptional," with a somewhat lesser intensity, are reproduced regularly during the course of each day. Man was made to do his daily work with his muscles; but see him now, like a fly on flypaper, seated for eight hours, motionless at a desk. Fifteen minutes of exercise cannot make up for eight hours of absence. The human being was made to breathe the good air of nature, but what he breathes is an obscure compound of acids and coal tars. He was created for a living environment, but he dwells in a lunar world of stone, cement, asphalt, glass, cast iron, and steel. The trees wilt and blanch among sterile and blind stone facades. Cats and dogs disappear little by little from the city, going the way of the horse. Only rats and men remain to populate a dead world. Man was created to have room to move about in, to gaze into far distances, to live in rooms which, even when they were tiny, opened out on fields. See him now, enclosed by the rules and architectural necessities imposed by overpopulation in a twelve-by-twelve closet opening out on an anonymous world of city streets.

Thank you, Jaques Ellul. And now, if you will please turn to page two of your hymnals, and recite aloud the sacred words of the great Irish poet, W. B. Yeats:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! hardly are those words out
When a vast image out Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Now let there be a moment of silence, in which we shall contemplate nothing; not the joys of sodomy, in our favorite positions and fetish gear, nor the righteousness of free abortion performed early and often; not the justice of cannibalism for the godless flesh-eaters, nor the wisdom of massive voluntary population reduction, nor even the most perfect and holy act of willful self-deliverance; nay, let us put all of these things aside, along with every other distraction, and for this brief moment of time, contemplate nothing whatsoever.

If growth continued [at the current rate] for about 900 years, there would be some [sixty million billion] people on the face of the earth . . . This is about 100 persons for each square yard of the Earth's surface, land and sea. A British physicist, J. H. Fremlin, guessed that such a multitude might be housed in a continuous 2,000-story building covering our entire planet . . . Fremlin has made some interesting calculations on how much time we could buy by occupying the [other] planets of the solar system. For instance, [at the current rate] it would take only about 50 years to populate Venus, Mercury, Mars, the moon, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn to same population density as Earth . . . It would take only about 200 years to fill [the remaining planets] "Earth-full." . . . What then? . . . Using extremely optimistic assumptions, [Professor Garrett Hardin of the University of California at Santa Barbara] has calculated that Americans, by cutting their standard of living down to 18% of its present level, could in one year set aside enough capital to finance the exportation to the stars of one day's increase in the population of the world.

-Dr. Paul Erlich, The Population Bomb

Then came the stage of the highway as city, a city stretching continuously across the continent, dissolving all earlier cities into the sprawling aggregates that desolate their populations today.

-Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

 top  email the Church of Euthanasia