by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The fear of suffering (or deprivation of personal desires) is causing untold moral harm in the West — from ever-expanding euthanasia laws to the march of increasingly radical reproductive technologies, to transitioning children with gender dysphoria with harmful puberty blockers and mastectomies on teenage girls, to transhumanistic advocacy that threatens to unleash new eugenics, etc.
For some, it even conjures a desire to see the human race go extinct to prevent the suffering of those who would otherwise be born in the future. Yes, serious advocacy for human extinction.
The human-extinction movement used to be pretty fringy but may be gaining traction within bioethics and philosophy. For example, Peter Singer has questioned whether it is “justifiable” to continue our species. Now, a very long piece advocating the end of future humanity — and, incongruously, doing away with raising animals — was just published in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, which is not in the least “fringe.”
From “Confessions of an Antinatalist Philosopher”:
“I would be pleased to see no one to have children, because that would be a rational thing to do. Reproduction carries risks to the possible future individuals. All lives are occasionally miserable, some lives are predominantly miserable, and individuals may think, justifiably, that their lives have no meaning. My reason suggests that it would be unwise and unkind to bring new people into existence and thereby expose them to these risks.”
The piece is very long and arcane. Finnish bioethicist Matti Häyry parses several different philosophical approaches to human extinction — such as paradoxically combining it with transhumanist immortality (!) — of little interest outside of this corner of philosophy. And he insultingly calls people who have children “breeders.” …
… I do think we should expect more from prestigious bioethics journals. Surely, there are more important actual healthcare concerns that should occupy the storied pages of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.