In the years following the publication of her novel Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand was sneered at because she had to gall to assert that collectivist enemies of reason and individualism (like environmentalists) worshiped death and hated human life.
There have been many instances of environmentalists and philosophers who have supported her statement. The most recent example comes out of an opinion piece authored by Clemson University philosophy professor Todd May published in today’s edition of The New York Times. In the third paragraph of his essay May says that he is not asking whether human beings, as a species deserve to die, but then two paragraphs down says in part:
It is humanity that is committing a wrong, a wrong whose elimination would likely require the elimination of the species, but with whom we might be sympathetic nonetheless …
May then states:
Human beings are destroying large parts of the inhabitable earth and causing unimaginable suffering to many of the animals that inhabit it. This is happening through at least three means. First, human contribution to climate change is devastating ecosystems, as the recent article on Yellowstone Park in The Times exemplifies. Second, increasing human population is encroaching on ecosystems that would otherwise be intact. Third, factory farming fosters the creation of millions upon millions of animals for whom it offers nothing but suffering and misery before slaughtering them in often barbaric ways. There is no reason to think that those practices are going to diminish any time soon. Quite the opposite.
The rest of May’s essay is all down hill from there. It is nothing more than a miasma of speculation of what ifs on the subject of human extinction, stating that the harm caused by humans to the planet is far greater than the benefits reaped by our existence.
Hoping for the extinction of human beings is clear cut nihilism. Despite May’s recognition that [humans] bring an advanced level of reason that can experience wonder at the world in a way that is foreign to most if not all other animals. We create art of various kinds: literature, music and painting among them. We engage in sciences that seek to understand the universe and our place in it. Were our species to go extinct, all of that would be lost. Yet he still makes the case for mankind’s eradication.
The worst part about it, this dime-store philosopher is a philosophical adviser to NBC‘s The Good Place. When it comes to essays or assertions of people calling for or hoping for the death of mankind, you notice the people saying it aren’t making the first move?