Church of Euthanasia

The One Commandment:
"Thou shalt not procreate"

The Four Pillars:
suicide · abortion
cannibalism · sodomy

Human Population:

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The Church of Euthanasia

e-sermon #18

We are witnessing a massive extinction of species. At least one species dies off every hour. In the tropical rain forest we're probably losing a species every fifteen minutes. I say "probably" because we're cutting it down much too fast for anyone to figure out how many species it actually contains. Rainforest species are incredibly specialized, and may be confined to a very small area, as little as a square kilometer. A single rainforest tree can contain more species than an entire boreal forest. The rainforests are mostly being cut down to make packaging, cheap furniture, and marginal farmland which quickly turns to desert.

By comparison, the "background" or pre-human rate of extinction has been estimated as one species from any major group every million years. There have been five major extinctions in geological history, including one--the Permian--which wiped out 95 percent of all animal species. Previous extinctions were probably caused by astronomical events, such as a comet hitting the earth and filling the atmosphere with dust. Eventually the dust settled, the ice melted, and life restored itself. The current extinction is different: unlike a comet, the cause isn't going away, because the cause is us. Instead the cause is getting bigger, every day. The dust is not likely to settle for a very long time, and when it does, the earth will be a different place, because we are rapidly changing the chemical composition of the earth, its oceans, and its atmosphere.

Humans don't yet have the power to completely destroy life on earth in one stroke. Even if we set off all of our nuclear weapons at once, some percentage of bacteria and viruses would survive. However we do have the power to kill the earth slowly, by reducing its biological diversity. Life creates diversity because diversity is an excellent survival strategy. A diverse system can adapt to change. Imagine a forest that contains ten thousand species. Now let's say the temperature changes by a few degrees for some reason, and half the species in that forest become extinct overnight. That's bad news, but the forest still has five thousand species. Given enough time, it will adapt to the new climate and eventually evolve new species to replace the ones that died off. Now let's cut down this hypothetical forest, and replace it with a single species, something useful to us, corn for example. Once again the temperature changes by a few degrees. What are the odds that our single species of genetically engineered corn will survive the change? Not good. The corn dies, the topsoil turns to dust and blows away, and what was once a forest becomes a man-made desert, where nothing will grow, possibly for billions of years. Multiply this example times every ecosystem. Are humans reducing the probability that life will survive on earth? Yes.

The immediate consequence of reducing biological diversity is a "planet of weeds." In biological terms, a weed is a generalized species that can easily adapt to a wide range of circumstances. When more specialized species are disrupted, the weeds move in, like scar tissue. Scar tissue is better than nothing, but it tends to be ugly. A planet of weeds will be unimaginably ugly. The main survivors will be humans--the ultimate weeds--along with the species that are useful to them, such as genetically modified cows, chickens, pigs, corn, etc. The remaining survivors will be rats, roaches, pigeons, and other species capable of adapting to the increasingly hostile man-made environment. Wilderness, in the sense of land not used by humans, will cease to exist.

It is pointless to argue that reducing biological diversity will make the earth an uglier place. For every person who thinks that wild nature is beautiful, there's another person who thinks it's boring and stupid. For every person who thinks modern society is hideous, there are many more who find it beautiful and exciting. Most people who live in "first world" countries enjoy driving cars, shopping, eating at restaurants, and dancing in discotheques. No one cares what people in poor countries think, so long as they don't try to stop the rich countries from doing whatever they want. In any case only the rich countries have the power to stop raping the earth, so it's Americans and Europeans and Japanese that have to be persuaded, not the starving masses in Africa. This means that the arguments against reducing biological diversity have to be logical, not aesthetic. Instead of arguing that destroying wilderness is ugly and wasteful, we have to argue that it directly reduces the odds that life--even human life--will survive on earth. Of course, most people are too self-centered to care whether humans survive, never mind animals and plants. Many people have been brainwashed by science-fiction and imagine that future generations of humans will turn themselves into robots, and escape into outer space. So there's really not much hope.

The essential function of all modern propaganda--including newspapers, magazines, books, television, movies, the internet, and any other medium you can imagine--is to convince us, during every waking moment, that there is only one right way for people to live. It takes considerable effort to sustain this illusion, which explains why the information or "content-creation" industry is now the largest and most profitable industry in the world. Escapist dramas like "Star Trek" try to convince us that thousands of years into the future, people will still live comfortable lives, with hot showers and slaves cooking their meals for them. Disney spends billions of dollars making "historical" movies in which our ancestors wear funny clothes but act like us, and even talk like us. In fact, there is little chance we could understand our ancestors and their tribal ways, any more than they could understand us. The American Indian tribes were tragically unable to understand the European invaders, as Kurt Vonnegut describes acidly in his classic "Breakfast of Champions":

"The chief weapon of the sea pirates was their capacity to astonish. No one could believe, until it was much too late, just how heartless and greedy they were."

When asked to sell his land, the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh replied, "Sell a country? Why not sell the air, the clouds, and the great sea, as well as the earth?" How could he imagine that future generations would sell not only the land, the water, the air, and the electromagnetic spectrum, but even the genetic structure of life itself?

The history of industrial society is the history of diversity--both biological and social--yielding to monoculture. The Church of Euthanasia is fighting for diversity, and is therefore opposing all forms of human growth, including economic growth, technological growth, and especially population growth. We want to see less people, using less stuff and making less garbage. The average person considers these goals deeply offensive and anti-social. They can't help being offended, because their values are steeped in humanism. Humanism is the belief that man is the measure of all things, and that without him the world would have no meaning or value. This arrogant notion leads directly to a hierarchical order of being, with man at the top. As God informs us in the book of Genesis, we're supposed to "be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection... every living creature." We've done just that, with catastrophic results. Humanism is the greatest heresy in the Church of Euthanasia, which may be the world's first anti-human religion.

Humanism has been exported to every corner of the globe, and with it the mechanical world-view. Kings kept tax records, built roads, sent mail, established uniform codes of justice, turned forests into ships, and sent armies to loot and pillage distant lands. Thanks to their efforts we have Nike and Pizza Hut. The mechanical world-view has brought us objectivity, standardization, predictability, division of labor, and efficiency. Since there's no hope whatsoever of reversing these trends, the Church of Euthanasia's position is purely symbolic. We can't stop humans from killing the earth, but we can make them feel guilty about it. And we can refuse to participate, by not having children, by consuming as little as possible, and finally, by killing ourselves.

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