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People Who Hate People

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:49 pm    Post subject: People Who Hate People Reply with quote

There are some people in this world who just don't like mankind and think its the source of all problems in the world.

I've defined these as Crypto-Malthusians:

A Crypto-Malthusian is someone in the long line of philosophical-societal thinkers who believe that the artifices of Man will lead to a natural constraint of resources and result in the doom both of Nature and Man.

This line of thinkers includes Malthus himself as well as the Club of Rome, Peak Oilers, Peak Coalers, Anthropogenic Ice Agers and Silent Springers as well as current Anthropogenic Global Warmers.
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a load of crock!

I'm sorry, but this one is just ridiculous.

First off, your title. I don't think you need to look very far to find
people who hate people. People who hate a certain class of people
are called bigots. People who hate all people are called misanthropes.
People who hate just a few people are pretty much everyone else.
I suppose we can make an exception for infants, but pretty much
everybody else has at least some good reasons to dislike someone.

I know a few people that have expressed the notion that the earth
would be better off without people, but these are pretty rare, and I
find their position to be relatively absurd, though interesting.

Secondly, your term, "Crypto-Malthusian". I think there has got
to be a better term than this to describe the people and groups you
list. For instance, don't you find it strange to call Malthus a "crypto-

Third, I don't think it fair to describe Malthus as hating people and
their artifices. It is very easy for us to forget the limitation that the
supply of food has placed upon human history. No matter how many
people go shopping at our local Safeway, the shelves are always
well stocked with foods that are quite inexpensive by historical terms.
Is it hatred of people to say that if (the then current) historical trends
continued that the population would outgrow the food supply? From
the benefit of hindsight, we could say that Malthus was short-sighted
in predicting the extent to which our "artifices" could expand the food
supply, but I don't see that you need to posit a motive of hatred to
explain this. Furthermore, Malthus has been right over and over again.
Millions of people suffer from under-nutrition even today.

You seem to want to blame the messenger whenever they point out
some new danger to humanity and the earth. By this logic it seems
to me you must define someone who points up the danger of a
meteor collision with the earth as one who hates humanity.

And it is not the "artifices of man" that lead to constraints of resources.
The earth, nature, is already constrained. These societal-philosophical
thinkers you describe are generally those who see a crisis on the
horizon and seek to find a way to think about that crisis that will
minimize the suffering that is likely to attend it. The "neo-Malthusians"
you mention (better term) are, to my mind, clear-eyed, realistic
and compassionate.

Take the "Club of Rome". We could quibble about elements of the
model, but the core of it is just common sense. There are limits to
the population of the earth. Technology may extend those limits
beyond our ability to imagine, but those limits are still there.
New technology is likely to have unintended consequences that
may introduce new problems and new limitations, and it doesn't
always mature in time for our needs. If you are heading for a cliff
it is prudent to slow down and wait for the bridge to be built and
certified before accelerating.

Perhaps this is the core of your argument. Your neo-Malthusians
don't have the same level of faith that you do in the power of new
technologies to avert crises and their attendant sufferings and
destructions just in time to save the day.

The other folks you mention are an odd lot. Google lists only
a single post mentioning "peak coalers". But I understand the
concept. And it is surely correct. There is a finite amount of
coal on the earth. If you plotted the rate of discovery of new
coal fields it would not surprise me in the slightest if we found that
the peak of discovery in the US had already occurred, and that the
peak of discovery in the world is not too far in the future. I personally
am not greatly concerned about this, as I believe that there are
reserves of coal going well beyond seven generations. By the way,
for an interesting natural history style review of coal, there's a
book with the title "Coal" that I read recently that sheds some
intersting sidelights into the history of coal.

Much the same applies to "peak oilers". With a few outlying
data points (the Deep hot biosphere, for instance), there is a
finite amount of oil on the earth. The peak of discovery and
of production has already occurred in the US. Oil is stored
solar energy, originally produced by plants. It is not hatred
of humanity to point out the problem and look for alternatives,
but prudence and eschewing of blind faith that technology will
solve that problem without outsized suffering, destruction, and
discontinuities in our society.

The "silent springers" is an especially odd one to include here.
I know you've posted that DDT use should be increased to
relieve suffering in the third world (if I recall correctly). But
other techniques (artifices) have been found that do not have
that particular deleterious effect on nature and ultimately humanity.

We've posted on anthropogenic climate change elsewhere, so I'll
pass that one by this time.

I'll just close with this: you posit that these groups of neo-Malthusians
are motivated by hatred of humanity and its artifices. I suppose
by using the term "crypto-Malthusian" you suggest that these groups
are trying to hide their motivation of hatred. It really is a slander on
your part. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that you are projecting
your own hatred onto these groups. I see these groups as caring
deeply about humanity, having a more or less realistic assessment of
a danger on the horizon and sending out a warning. The difference I
see is that you have a much higher degree of faith in technology than
others do. Either that, or you don't worry so much about the upcoming
crises that these thinkers have identified, perhaps because you think
they will not affect you directly.

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