End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Роберт » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:A much more interesting question is: If we're down to these 36 individuals (in whatever ratio of men to women), does any of the people in that group still have the right to say: "Nah, I don't like children, sorry, I won't be getting any". Or would reproduction become a moral imperative?

Well, if we're talking about some random last group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic scenario, no.

If we're talking about a group of people specially saved/protected so the human race could be continued, yes. (Imagine a nuclear fallout or zombie apocalypse type scenario where they have a bunker and food that would only protect a certain number of people and they chose a group of people to live there based on their chances of being able to repopulate the earth.) But their children wouldn't have the imperative.

Similar for starter colonies sent to populate a planet.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:05 pm UTC

I'm not sure I see a distinction between the two really. Nor do I think I see a distinction between first generation and second.

It's a difficult moral imperative to be placed under, and I'm not sure how I feel about my gut reaction, but I think I'd say that until the danger of extinction wasn't really a 'hefty' consideration (for varying degree's of hefty), every human being would have to be as reasonably maximally reproductively useful as possible. Mind you, that includes properly caring for offspring (individual offspring are now FAR more valuable than they are today), and ensuring future reproductive health.

I don't like that though. I'm not sure I'd want to build the foundation of our future upon violating the wishes of those who found themselves at a bottleneck.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Роберт » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not sure I see a distinction between the two really. Nor do I think I see a distinction between first generation and second.
If you're sent on a colonization mission or set apart as the remnant to repopulate the earth... repopulating the earth is part of the job description. If you choose to go along with it, you have the imperative to fulfill your end of the (tacit or not) agreement.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

And being born into the second generation of the last people on Earth means you're still under the same repopulation pressure. So... Yeah.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

fr00t
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:06 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby fr00t » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:22 pm UTC

I think the problem of genetic diversity and inbreeding is overstated. I think two people could do it, assuming that the man could acquire sufficient resources for himself, a constantly pregnant woman, and a never-ending stream of babies. Is it optimal? No, but it's better than the extinction of humanity.

mmmcannibalism wrote:Is the continuation of the human race a moral imperative?


What is "imperative"? Obviously they are going to do whatever the hell they want. Morality(fr00t) would return yes, it is your moral imperative to repopulate the human race if you are the only one left to do so. Morality(mmmcannibalism) might say otherwise. It is interesting that being protective over ones kin is universally human, but wanting to protect your species isn't. Evolution achieves it's ends through local minima and, having no foresight would not be able to prepare for an adam & eve scenario.

Роберт wrote:
Diadem wrote:A much more interesting question is: If we're down to these 36 individuals (in whatever ratio of men to women), does any of the people in that group still have the right to say: "Nah, I don't like children, sorry, I won't be getting any". Or would reproduction become a moral imperative?

Well, if we're talking about some random last group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic scenario, no.


They'd have the imperative if someone/something were around to make them have it. If I were in the situation and in a position to use any type of force or coercion to make people have children, I would. Realistically all I can say is that I hope the vast majority of humans would take it as their responsibility to do so, and to raise their children with the same beliefs.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

fr00t wrote:I think the problem of genetic diversity and inbreeding is overstated. I think two people could do it, assuming that the man could acquire sufficient resources for himself, a constantly pregnant woman, and a never-ending stream of babies. Is it optimal? No, but it's better than the extinction of humanity.

You're wrong. Again, look at the Amish. Inbreeding is a pretty serious issue, and if a single pairing results in a normal child, that's fine, but problems will crop up. And again, please read the thread; reasons for why this is problematic have been discussed.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Роберт » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:And being born into the second generation of the last people on Earth means you're still under the same repopulation pressure. So... Yeah.

???
The "moral imperative" only comes if it's something you've agreed to. Which is why I said random post-apocalypse survivors wouldn't have it, but people specially picked to maintain the human race (or colonize it) would.

The subsequent children would not have been involved in the discussion, so they wouldn't have agreed. Obviously, they would be encouraged (or forced) to participate, but I don't think they should be morally bound to if they had no say in the agreement.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:28 pm UTC

Yeah, like I said, I think if you find yourself in an extinction scenario, I kind-of-sort-of-a-little-but-am-conflicted-about-it feel that you have an imperative to repopulate.

You disagree with that?
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Роберт » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:32 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Yeah, like I said, I think if you find yourself in an extinction scenario, I kind-of-sort-of-a-little-but-am-conflicted-about-it feel that you have an imperative to repopulate.

You disagree with that?

Correct. But I think you probably should try. And if people saved you specially so you could repopulate... then you have the imperative if you tacitly went along with it.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:46 pm UTC

I'm not sure I could draw a distinction between motivation for getting there. I dunno, view it as extraordinary circumstances. If someone plucks me from the flames into the vault, I wouldn't think my situation was any different from someone who had a spot in the vault to begin with.

This whole line of thinking breaks down when I put people in the situation instead of numbers though. Were I placed in a room with a fertile woman who had no interest in reproducing, I wouldn't do anything more than make conversation.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
thc
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:01 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby thc » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:32 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not sure that actually follows; you'd have lots of people, but you'd still effectively have four 'families'.

In any case, it's still effectively a founder effect, and even though 4 men and 32 women can produce more babies than 18 men and 18 women, you've just limited the diversity of the population severely by only having four men in the starter. For the sake of genetic diversity, you want 18 men and 18 women, and you want to produce as many combinations as possible.

I think?

That's not correct. It's entirely possible to mix the genetics of two males. A mix of 4 men and 32 women could produce the same amount of genetic diversity as 18 men and 18 women.

There is the issue of bringing kids into a world where their only possible partners are their own brothers and sisters which is really messed up.

Not quite...

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:47 pm UTC

thc wrote:Not quite...


ok, a world where their only possible partners are their own brothers and sisters and their own parents.... which is even more messed up.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Роберт » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
thc wrote:Not quite...


ok, a world where their only possible partners are their own brothers and sisters and their own parents.... which is even more messed up.

They could wait for a niece or nephew to show up.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
lutzj
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby lutzj » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:48 pm UTC

I think that there is definitely a moral obligation to reproduce if you are one of the few remaining humans in a position do it. You owe it to the billions of ancestors and cousins whose creation of you was implicitly predicated on the notion that you would keep the genes moving, and to your billions of potential descendants.

The notion that a sane, fertile man or woman would refuse to reproduce to preserve humanity is, frankly, a bit absurd. Two people capable of having sex and with no alternatives are almost guaranteed to reproduce eventually; instinct will take over. Even if one's natural drive is somehow suppressed, there aren't many codes of ethics that, taking the long-term view, seriously imply that wiping out humanity would be preferable to violating personal scruples or avoiding the pain and effort of child-rearing.

Izawwlgood wrote:Were I placed in a room with a fertile woman who had no interest in reproducing, I wouldn't do anything more than make conversation.


She'll probably not be interested immediately, but she's practically guaranteed to want to reproduce once the right conditions (i.e., long-term food and shelter, predatory threats eliminated) are present, especially if you expand the definition of "fertile" to "capable of wanting to have sex."
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

Yeah, funny how when you put people in this scenario instead of numbers, it quickly becomes dicey. I disagree with almost the entire above statement.
lutzj wrote:I think that there is definitely a moral obligation to reproduce if you are one of the few remaining humans in a position do it. You owe it to the billions of ancestors and cousins whose creation of you was implicitly predicated on the notion that you would keep the genes moving, and to your billions of potential descendants.

I kind of agree, in practice.
lutzj wrote:The notion that a sane, fertile man or woman would refuse to reproduce to preserve humanity is, frankly, a bit absurd.

Er, no it's not. Not by a long shot.

lutzj wrote:She'll probably not be interested immediately, but she's practically guaranteed to want to reproduce once the right conditions (i.e., long-term food and shelter, predatory threats eliminated) are present, especially if you expand the definition of "fertile" to "capable of wanting to have sex."

Er... What?
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Роберт » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
lutzj wrote:She'll probably not be interested immediately, but she's practically guaranteed to want to reproduce once the right conditions (i.e., long-term food and shelter, predatory threats eliminated) are present, especially if you expand the definition of "fertile" to "capable of wanting to have sex."

Er... What?

Just pretend it's satire of evolutionary psychology and laugh. It will be much better for your health that way.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
mmmcannibalism
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:55 pm UTC

I think that there is definitely a moral obligation to reproduce if you are one of the few remaining humans in a position do it. You owe it to the billions of ancestors and cousins whose creation of you was implicitly predicated on the notion that you would keep the genes moving, and to your billions of potential descendants.


How does what someone else wanted morally bind me to any action?

there aren't many codes of ethics that, taking the long-term view, seriously imply that wiping out humanity would be preferable to violating personal scruples or avoiding the pain and effort of child-rearing.


But what is the argument that you ought to continue a species?
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:56 pm UTC

lutzj wrote:The notion that a sane, fertile man or woman would refuse to reproduce to preserve humanity is, frankly, a bit absurd. Two people capable of having sex and with no alternatives are almost guaranteed to reproduce eventually; instinct will take over. Even if one's natural drive is somehow suppressed, there aren't many codes of ethics that, taking the long-term view, seriously imply that wiping out humanity would be preferable to violating personal scruples or avoiding the pain and effort of child-rearing.

Izawwlgood wrote:Were I placed in a room with a fertile woman who had no interest in reproducing, I wouldn't do anything more than make conversation.


She'll probably not be interested immediately, but she's practically guaranteed to want to reproduce once the right conditions (i.e., long-term food and shelter, predatory threats eliminated) are present, especially if you expand the definition of "fertile" to "capable of wanting to have sex."


Surely you mean that any two people in close proximity with each other without access to other people will eventually gain enough affection for each other to likely have an eventual wish to have a romantic or sexual relationship? Surely you are also referring to a fulfillment of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a prerequisite for being able to consider having sexual relations?

And I reallyreallyreallyreally hope you don't mean rape could ever be acceptable by saying "violating personal scruples", because I'm fairly sure most codes of ethics seriously imply that rape is horrific and there are only a handful that don't. (The philosophies that do are mostly held by douchebags and fratboy stereotypes.)
Last edited by Iulus Cofield on Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:32 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:03 am UTC

lutzj wrote:I think that there is definitely a moral obligation to reproduce if you are one of the few remaining humans in a position do it. You owe it to the billions of ancestors and cousins whose creation of you was implicitly predicated on the notion that you would keep the genes moving, and to your billions of potential descendants.
Bull-fucking-shit. They aren't here; they're dead. I owe them nothing. I am not obligated to fulfill the wishes of the dead, particularly when I did not promise or agree to any such nonsense.

Besides, we've already left our indelible imprint on the universe. We might not be carried into eternity through our genes, but our footprints, no matter how small, will continue to persist--whether those footprints be blown away by dust or sundered by earthquakes, the changes we've made to the universe remain irreversible. Just because our existence isn't carried on in a way we find sentimentally meaningful doesn't mean it isn't carried on; merely by existing, we've changed our world--and the future of the universe--irrevocably.
lutz wrote:The notion that a sane, fertile man or woman would refuse to reproduce to preserve humanity is, frankly, a bit absurd.
What if both partners are gay? What if just one of them is gay? What if both of them are anti-humanists (or are you positing that anti-humanism is insane?)? What if one of them is incredibly abusive and the other can't bear the thought of having children who will suffer under that abuse? What if both of them just really, really don't like sex?

Case-in-point: If my wife and I were the last two fertile people on earth, we would refuse to repopulate the planet. Both of us have our reasons.

So, yeah. Either we're crazy or you're wrong. I'm going with "you're wrong".
lutz wrote:Two people capable of having sex and with no alternatives are almost guaranteed to reproduce eventually; instinct will take over. Even if one's natural drive is somehow suppressed, there aren't many codes of ethics that, taking the long-term view, seriously imply that wiping out humanity would be preferable to violating personal scruples or avoiding the pain and effort of child-rearing.
Humanity is already wiped out. The question isn't "should we wipe out humanity", the question is "should we repopulate humanity now that it's been wiped out". See what happens when you reverse your statements? Suddenly, my obligation to 'save' humanity disappears; humanity was already destroy. Now it's just a question of whether or not I'm willing to work toward rebuilding it. And maybe I'm not.
lutz wrote:She'll probably not be interested immediately, but she's practically guaranteed to want to reproduce once the right conditions (i.e., long-term food and shelter, predatory threats eliminated) are present, especially if you expand the definition of "fertile" to "capable of wanting to have sex."
Yeah, this is also bullshit. I know several people who aren't interested in having children and wouldn't care if humanity ceased to exist via a voluntary system of self-imposed sterility.

MrConor
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:19 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby MrConor » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:45 am UTC

lutzj wrote:She'll probably not be interested immediately, but she's practically guaranteed to want to reproduce once the right conditions (i.e., long-term food and shelter, predatory threats eliminated) are present, especially if you expand the definition of "fertile" to "capable of wanting to have sex."


I like the idea that a reason people may struggle to get laid in high school is because they hadn't eliminated all the possible predators in my local area. Damn those pesky females, I'd better fetch the shotgun.

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:47 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
lutzj wrote:I think that there is definitely a moral obligation to reproduce if you are one of the few remaining humans in a position do it. You owe it to the billions of ancestors and cousins whose creation of you was implicitly predicated on the notion that you would keep the genes moving, and to your billions of potential descendants.
Bull-fucking-shit. They aren't here; they're dead. I owe them nothing. I am not obligated to fulfill the wishes of the dead, particularly when I did not promise or agree to any such nonsense.

Besides, we've already left our indelible imprint on the universe. We might not be carried into eternity through our genes, but our footprints, no matter how small, will continue to persist--whether those footprints be blown away by dust or sundered by earthquakes, the changes we've made to the universe remain irreversible. Just because our existence isn't carried on in a way we find sentimentally meaningful doesn't mean it isn't carried on; merely by existing, we've changed our world--and the future of the universe--irrevocably.


I hope you have told everyone who might potentially care about you to not leave any instructions to you in their will, because you owe them nothing at that point. If a relative wants to pass down a precious heirloom that's been in the family for generations to you, I'm sure they'd also want to you know you think it's acceptable to immediately sell it to buy an XBox.

I'm a bit...baffled by your idea about our "imprint on the universe". If the sun goes supernova tomorrow, how does anything humanity has done changed the universe? Are you hoping some of our radio signals will reach Omicron Persei 8 and aliens will know that there is other intelligent life out there that goes through the struggles of being a single female lawyer? Though of course the past remains irreversible, I can't really argue with that.

As for your problem with a biological imperative to survive, I think your problem must surely be more with the idea of moral/ethical imperatives in general. Survival is the only arguably non-arbitrary value you can have, we are literally bred to survive and reproduce. What, if any, imperatives do you think exist? Do you think it's imperative to call 911 if you see someone bleeding to death on the ground? Do you think it's imperative to never violate someone else's rights, legal or moral? Do you think we are ever obligated to do anything?

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:58 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I hope you have told everyone who might potentially care about you to not leave any instructions to you in their will, because you owe them nothing at that point. If a relative wants to pass down a precious heirloom that's been in the family for generations to you, I'm sure they'd also want to you know you think it's acceptable to immediately sell it to buy an XBox.
And if that relative wanted me to pass down the precious heirloom to my future grandchildren instead of sell it to save the life of someone important to me, I'd ignore their wishes and pay attention to the needs of the living. My choice to honor the wishes of the dead is based on my respect for them; however, they are dead. Their happiness is no longer an issue. The happiness of the living is always of greater importance. Any moral system that supposes otherwise is ignorant and wrong.
Iulus Cofield wrote:I'm a bit...baffled by your idea about our "imprint on the universe". If the sun goes supernova tomorrow, how does anything humanity has done changed the universe? Are you hoping some of our radio signals will reach Omicron Persei 8 and aliens will know that there is other intelligent life out there that goes through the struggles of being a single female lawyer? Though of course the past remains irreversible, I can't really argue with that.
The structure of the universe has changed because of our existence; molecules are arranged in a unique pattern based on our presence. This 'imprint' might be so thoroughly eroded as to render it indistinguishable from any other effect, but it remains undebatable that the universe is the way it is--and will be the way it will be--because of our presence in it. Were we not present, the universe would be arranged differently--subtle or not, this difference will be carried throughout eternity.

That's something I value more than whether or not our DNA will survive and propagate.
Iulus Cofield wrote:As for your problem with a biological imperative to survive, I think your problem must surely be more with the idea of moral/ethical imperatives in general. Survival is the only arguably non-arbitrary value you can have, we are literally bred to survive and reproduce. What, if any, imperatives do you think exist? Do you think it's imperative to call 911 if you see someone bleeding to death on the ground? Do you think it's imperative to never violate someone else's rights, legal or moral? Do you think we are ever obligated to do anything?
I think we have an obligation only to the living; not the dead or the not-yet-conceived (at least, we have no obligation to conceive them). The imperative to reproduce is not a moral imperative, but rather a biological one--and it's not universal. Even if it was, biological imperatives are not relevant for the purposes of forming moral imperatives.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:07 am UTC

Just to throw this out there;
1) The pressure to reproduce might be different if we are facing extinction. Might be. I dunno. I'm just saying it's possible. I know a lot of people who don't want to reproduce for pragmatic reasons, and they may or may not be singing a different tune if man-kind was dwindling.
2) No one's mentioned the obligation to the future. I'm not terribly interested in what people HAVE done, I'm more curious about what we WILL do.

The notion of human extinction doesn't sit right with me.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:48 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:1) The pressure to reproduce might be different if we are facing extinction. Might be. I dunno. I'm just saying it's possible. I know a lot of people who don't want to reproduce for pragmatic reasons, and they may or may not be singing a different tune if man-kind was dwindling.
I know several people who have expressed the opinion, in all seriousness, that they would be very happy if humans volunteered to stop breeding and died out peacefully and quietly. I'm inclined to believe them.
Izawwlgood wrote:2) No one's mentioned the obligation to the future. I'm not terribly interested in what people HAVE done, I'm more curious about what we WILL do.
Dr. Manhattan's position in Watchmen comes to mind; the only people who appreciate human achievement are humans. If there are no humans to appreciate it, what's the point? For example, would the Martian landscape really be improved by an oil pipeline?
Izawwlgood wrote:The notion of human extinction doesn't sit right with me.
It doesn't fit quite right with me either, but morality isn't about what feels right; it's about what is right.

User avatar
mmmcannibalism
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:52 am UTC

I know several people who have expressed the opinion, in all seriousness, that they would be very happy if humans volunteered to stop breeding and died out peacefully and quietly. I'm inclined to believe them.


Perhaps, but I definitely see the argument that if Civilization collapses, people would tend towards acting like pre civilization humanity(that is would reproduce) then acting just like they were before.
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:30 am UTC

Presuming the opinion someone living in a first world country currently would remain the same in a post-apocalyptic scenario is foolhardy.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:54 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Presuming the opinion someone living in a first world country currently would remain the same in a post-apocalyptic scenario is foolhardy.
Even when they explain that it's an opinion they would maintain in the face of such a scenario?

There are some pragmatic rewards for having children (someone to take care of you when you're old, someone to help on the farm), but depending on the circumstances those might be mitigated (are we to assume food, water, and infrastructure are widely available?). Children also represent a considerable investment of time and resources, so depending on what hardships people are facing, there might be excellent reasons not to have children (if we are all starving, having children isn't going to help. It's actually going to make things much worse).

I guess it can be fun to play 'what sort of person would I be in the post-apocalyptic wasteland', and I can imagine how certain aspects of myself would have to adapt to survive; something I don't see changing is my general aversion toward child-rearing. It's possible I'm wrong, but I don't see this change as likely; is there some compelling reason to think otherwise?

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:58 am UTC

Spoiler:
The Great Hippo wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:Presuming the opinion someone living in a first world country currently would remain the same in a post-apocalyptic scenario is foolhardy.
Even when they explain that it's an opinion they would maintain in the face of such a scenario?


Image

Remember which forum you're in.

- Az

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:12 am UTC

Is there some point where you're going to actually provide reasons why my current position concerning procreation would radically change in a low-population scenario?

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:15 am UTC

People change their mind about whether or not they would have children so much it's cliche, and that's in the current US. Thinking that a person wouldn't change their mind about something simply because they insist they won't is silly. People change their minds; we aren't born with opinions hardwired into us. People are especially apt to change their minds when their entire lifestyle has been changed by, say, an apocalypse.

Edit: I guess what I'm saying is, call me in 10 years and tell me if your anti-humanist friends have children.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:25 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:People change their mind about whether or not they would have children so much it's cliche, and that's in the current US. Thinking that a person wouldn't change their mind about something simply because they insist they won't is silly. People change their minds; we aren't born with opinions hardwired into us. People are especially apt to change their minds when their entire lifestyle has been changed by, say, an apocalypse.

Edit: I guess what I'm saying is, call me in 10 years and tell me if your anti-humanist friends have children.
So your reason to why I'm going to change my mind and have children in a post-apocalyptic scenario amounts to 'People change their minds a lot, when the world ends you'll come around'?

Do you have any actual reasons?

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:34 am UTC

The reason you're likely to change your mind when the world is ends is that everything in your life will have changed and you'll have probably gone through some very traumatic experiences.

Sure, you might still decide not to have children, but I don't your reasons will still be so high minded then. In all likelihood, the most persuasive argument will be how unrelentingly shitty life is after an apocalypse.

I mean seriously, do you really think you have such a complete knowledge of who you will be in ten years and that your opinions currently held are so correct that they'll never change? Absurd.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:53 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:The reason you're likely to change your mind when the world is ends is that everything in your life will have changed and you'll have probably gone through some very traumatic experiences.
And this would make me suddenly want to have children because...?
Iulus Cofield wrote:Sure, you might still decide not to have children, but I don't your reasons will still be so high minded then.
'High-minded'? You have absolutely no idea why I don't want children.
Iulus Cofield wrote:I mean seriously, do you really think you have such a complete knowledge of who you will be in ten years and that your opinions currently held are so correct that they'll never change? Absurd.
I've already acknowledged that there's a possibility my mind will change, but I see no compelling reason to assume so. I've asked you for such a reason; you've provided none. Rather, you've taken this opportunity to continually assure me that "people change" and that I "can't predict who someone will be ten years from now". Yes, I'm aware. I'm also fairly certain I won't be a sociopathic serial killer ten years from now; I could be wrong, but I see no compelling reason to think my mind will change. Can you give me some compelling reasons to think otherwise?

When you think of an actual reason why I would want children, please feel free to get back to me. Until then, please refrain from telling me how I would react to a given situation. You don't know who I am, you don't know what I want, and you certainly don't know how I would respond.

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:21 am UTC

Are you asking me to give a specific reason as to why you in particular would change your opinions on having children? As you're well aware, I don't know you well enough to begin to attempt that. This off-topicness started when I asserted that it's foolish to think people's opinions wouldn't change in an apocalyptic scenario. I don't need to understand you in particular to say that people in general change their opinions, especially when their entire world has changed. There's really no need to make this into a personal battle.

I don't think it's absurd to say that people would likely have very different mindsets about child rearing when things like the acceptability of murder are also likely to change drastically.

By high-minded, I meant philosophically grounded rather than oh-my-god-I'm-alive-after-civilization-has-collapsed-and-everything-is-terrible based. Decision making processes are very different when you are on the edge of survival.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:By high-minded, I meant philosophically grounded rather than oh-my-god-I'm-alive-after-civilization-has-collapsed-and-everything-is-terrible based. Decision making processes are very different when you are on the edge of survival.
Again, you have absolutely no idea why I don't want children.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I know several people who have expressed the opinion, in all seriousness, that they would be very happy if humans volunteered to stop breeding and died out peacefully and quietly. I'm inclined to believe them.

I too know people who feel that human extinction is a good thing. I'm not really talking about them, because I find that degree of anti-humanism to be something I can't really fathom and have long since stopped trying to engage with. I'm referring more to people who simply don't want to birth children of their own. Imagine a spectrum, if you will, on one side we have people who think humanity is awesome and want to have a billion babies, and on the other, we have people who think humanity is a scourge and are seriously considering suicide to free space for the whales. At some point along that spectrum, moving from 'Humans HOOORAY!' ---> 'Won't someone think of the icecaps?', is an arbitrary point where you decide you personally don't want to reproduce anymore.
What I was trying to get at, is that in an actual extinction scenario (lets even toss up the caveat that it wasn't humanities fault, say, an asteroid), I wager (and I'm not certain, I'm definitely leaving room for wiggle here!), that everyone's position on the spectrum would shift to the left. And yes, I can image those whose attitude would be along the lines of "Well, maybe something better will come along now that we're finally gone".

The Great Hippo wrote:If there are no humans to appreciate it, what's the point? For example, would the Martian landscape really be improved by an oil pipeline?

I don't recall his monologue in great detail, but I thought his final judgment was that beauty has an intrinsic value that doesn't require humanity?
In any case, it works both ways; if the argument is that 'good' require man around to judge it, then we need more people. If 'good' is something that doesn't require men around to judge it, then we need more men to make more 'good'. Again, of course, assuming that man produces a net 'good'.
The Great Hippo wrote:It doesn't fit quite right with me either, but morality isn't about what feels right; it's about what is right.

Not sure I follow your point here; what is the moral imperative given an extinction scenario?
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Sharlos
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:26 am UTC
Location: Straya

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Sharlos » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:52 pm UTC

As a gay man who presently is uninterested in spawning more humans into a world that already has 7 billion of them, I'd likely be willing to participate in the re-population of humankind.

On another note, my ancestors have no right to expect or demand anything from me except those things which I have promised or agreed to. My potential descendants have no claim whatsoever seeing how they don't even exist. I think most people would be willing to help repopulate humanity, even if they are presently opposed to having children (not to mention condom shortages significantly reducing the options to forgo having children).

User avatar
thc
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:01 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby thc » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

And I reallyreallyreallyreally hope you don't mean rape could ever be acceptable by saying "violating personal scruples", because I'm fairly sure most codes of ethics seriously imply that rape is horrific and there are only a handful that don't. (The philosophies that do are mostly held by douchebags and fratboy stereotypes.)


What are these codes of ethics?

We agree to certain rules of society so that we can be safe from violence, murder and yes, rape (e.g. the social contract). When there is no longer society to speak of, there is no moral obligation to follow any rules.

In fact, assuming that there was actually a chance for continuance of the species, I would even go so far as to say that it would be morally imperative that you did rape him. I find it highly dubious that his suffering could outweigh the outright loss of countless others that would proceed him. I think you'd also be critical hippo not to, considering that, as a westerner, you enjoy the relatively marginal benefits of the "rape" of entire countries.

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby HungryHobo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

this topic doesn't appear to be going anywhere good now...

just because there's no more society/consequences that doesn't mean you abandon all ethics or moral codes.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: End of the World: Adam and Eve Scenario

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:21 pm UTC

Trigger warning:
Spoiler:
And it doesn't make the strongest case for why we should continue the human condition if we're doing it via rape. That's why I said a while ago in this thread that while I feel there's an imperative to perpetuate the species, I don't think I'd feel the same way when faced with actual people. If your position makes you uncomfortable when it applies to actual people instead of an anonymous hypothetical, you should reconsider your position.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests