The thread title is pretty self-explanatory.
Hypothetically, if there was a button that you could press that would expunge humanity from the face of the Earth, would you actually push that button
On ATS, you often see people with a very dim view of humankind referring to us, amongst other things, as a ''virus'' and a ''scourge''. There
are some people who express a general opinion that our planet, and all other living animals and plants on it, would be better off without us, and that
we are an overly destructive influence on our environment.
The question is not ''do you think the planet would be better off without us ?''. The question is whether you would - given the opportunity -
actually physically push a button that would instantly make us cease to exist.
This is pretty much a closed-ended question, but there may be some who would answer along the lines of maybe/don't know/depends on what kind of day I
was having etc.
While it may be easily answered yes/no, it is obviously important that you elucidate the reasons that your decision is based upon.
I'll start by saying that my answer would be ''no'' for three reasons:
Firstly, I'm an ''optimistic realist'', in the fact that I can realistically acknowledge the flaws and imperfections in human nature and accept
that these are inherent because of our survival instincts. At the same time, I'm optimistic that human society can be improved and - while we will
never achieve a utopia - we can achieve a much more civilised and well-rounded version of humanity than we have seen throughout history.
Secondly, it wouldn't be long before another dominant species eventually took our place, and seeing as our shortcomings are/were actually
advantageous to our survival, it is not unreasonable to expect that any future dominant species would have achieved their position with the aid of
many similarly negative traits.
Thirdly ( not in terms of importance, but because it was the third thing that I thought of
), if I did have the inclination to push the button, I
wouldn't be able to morally or philosophically justify my decision, considering that I would be arrogantly forcing my own personal belief on to the
unwitting human populace. Even if I felt it was for the ''greater good'', who would I be to make this decision ?