One Self-Reliant Species
I can't. I see a cliff through the windshield and, yes, we are heading straight for it. I'm watching from the backseat with disbelief and horror, hoping we have the courage and the collective willpower to reach for the wheel and pump the brakes before the point of no return, conquering Garrett Hardin's "tragedy of the commons" as we grind to a screeching halt.
If our tires do cross that final inch of traction, propelling humanity toward self-annihilation, everything we have strived and suffered to achieve together will vanish in vain. Our knowledge, our technology, and our moral progress: Gone. Our families, our friends, and our posterity: Nonexistent. Earth will be a desolate pebble floating in the vacuum of space, home to cockroaches and the skeletons of lost civilizations that were too stubborn to see they were members of one self-reliant species.
Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, humans: Wake up! The list is long, the hour is late, and no One is here to help us. We've got the whole world in Our hands.
This essay is one of those featured in Atheist Voices of Minnesota, along with those of James Zimmerman and Rohit Ravindran. This volume is an anthology that attempts to correct misconceptions of nonbelievers by letting thirty-six atheists share their stories. All net proceeds go to Minnesota Atheists (a 501c3 nonprofit organization).
Ryan Benson is a public relations and social media marketing professional. He is coauthoring a book with David Lose about having respectful and productive religious/secular dialogues (Russell Media 2013). Please connect with Ryan on Twitter so he can stay in touch with those who are interested in the book. When released in 2013, there will be free copies given away on Twitter: @RyanJBenson.