Before modernity, Christianity led people to live in accordance with human nature and the moral law established by the Creator. This system allowed families and communities to flourish and helped people in their quest for sanctification and the final destination of heaven.
From Enlightenment to Destruction
The Enlightenment of the eighteenth century threw everything into darkness. People claimed that they could have no certainty about God, His moral law, or heaven. Through science and reason, they imagined a world without God and moral limitations. They made freedom, not sanctification, the highest good of life. Over time, humans have expanded this freedom to include the right to do virtually anything—even self-destruction. It hardly seems possible that humanity could have degenerated from the desire for heaven to the pursuit of destruction. But that’s what happens. A growing “human-extinction” movement is shifting from the margins to the mainstream. These people do not want to exist, nor do they want others to survive.
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The process of extinction
The search for non-being comes at a time when liberalism, which celebrates reason and science, is crumbling. Nineteenth-century liberalism sought a regime in which humanity would be freed from the constraints of tradition, religion, and social structure. This view presented the liberated individual as the supreme model and control of personal destiny. People dreamed of a super-industrialized society that would make this freedom possible so that everyone could become whatever they wanted. Modernity thus built a society that sought freedom within a naturalistic and materialistic view of reality, which excluded the official recognition of everything supernatural and spiritual. It frustrated people because they could not fulfill spiritual desires that are part of human nature. In the 1960s, postmodernity arrived and introduced a new kind of exciting freedom that sought not reason and science, but the more “spiritual” imagination, fantasy and unreality. Individuals freed themselves from internal structures such as reason, identity and stories. People can be whatever they want – or even not be at all.
The Postmodern Embrace of Extinction
Thus was born the twenty-first century human extinction movement. It is the result of an increased freedom that finds the most basic structures of identity and even biology stifling. Proponents such as the Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari, for example, deny the existence of the soul, free will, consciousness, and the self. All these restrictive structures must be removed. In fact, it becomes burdensome and oppressive, leading to the desire for human annihilation. In a chronicle Atlantic Ocean (December 1, 2022) author Adam Kirsch traces this path to extinction. His new book is expressly titled The Rebellion Against Humanity: Imagining a Future Without Us. (The Revolt Against Humanity: A World Envisioned Without Us). He documents the growing acceptance of human extinction everywhere. He writes: “From Silicon Valley boardrooms to rural communities and academic philosophy departments, a seemingly unthinkable idea is being seriously discussed: that the end of human rule on Earth is near, and that we should welcome it.” The rebellion against humanity can be divided into two opposing currents. They may radically disagree on many issues, but they share the desire for the disappearance of man from the earth.
Never been better
The first human extinction group consists of anti-humanist radicals who see man’s ‘abuse’ of nature as a justification for looking forward to extinction. She rejects and hates the traditional Christian narrative that places humanity at the center of God’s creation, to be served by the lower beings. In his book Better never to have been
Philosopher David Benatar argues that human extinction would deprive the universe of nothing valuable or important. He argues that any claim to significance is “human arrogance” or “misguided sentimentalism”. It is actually better that “things will one day be as they must be – there will be no people.” In this view, humanity is a hateful virus that infects the Earth and must be eradicated. There need not be a being that consciously understands the universe. Nature alone, without any perceived meaning, would suffice.
To transform matter into data
The second group of proponents of extinction consists of transhumanists, who welcome the demise of humanity in its current state. Humanity’s role is to invent its successor using cybernetic technologies to go beyond being human. In the words of Yuval Harari, anyone can be a homo-deus, a human god who transcends material limitations. This school of thought is more metaphysical and Gnostic than the first. These futurists talk about animating the universe by turning all matter, humanity and energy into data. They speak of freeing humanity from the embodiment of physical forms. Adam Kirsch compares the process to the “ancient Hindu belief that Atman, the individual soul, is identical with Brahman, the world spirit.” An ideal world of transhumanists looks like a vast metaverse where uploaded ghosts can “have experiences and adventures that we can only dream of, like living in a movie or a video game.” They also foresee the possibility of artificial intelligence (AI) creations taking over the world and oppressing the people who created them. Transhumanists see the need for a person to consciously experience the world if life is to have meaning. However, they don’t care if the observer is transhuman, a machine, animated data, or all of the above.
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The goal is God
The ideas of human extinction have entered the postmodern world. It can be found in the emphasis on experience over human life as seen in abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia and ecological plans. Others call for nihilism, the abandonment of civilization and the end of childbearing (which is already reflected in demographic trends). The enemy is humanity, which must be suppressed – even those who do not want to die out. However, the real goal is God, because man is created in his image and likeness. The human fading currents want to erase or replace the image and likeness of God. They cannot endure an existence indebted to a benevolent Creator. Both schools of thought are the logical result of liberal Enlightenment thinking that envisions an egocentric world without God. Both share a hatred of the Creator and his wise restrictions on limited creatures that ensure their happiness. Unable to become gods, proponents of these schools of thought strive for the destruction of all, whether a species or a transitional stage of evolution. This attitude mirrors that of Satan, who would rather not exist than serve God.
This article originally appeared on TFP.org