Puppies or Poison

I found this on Facebook. It was worth a mere chuckle at first, but then I started to really think about it. The more I thought about it, the more telling and terrible it became.

Take two groups …

One with a nightmare vision of the future, a vision of screaming and pain and merciless death, a vision of the end of human life on Earth. A vision that they LOVE, that they ardently WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN …

And the other with a vision of good things, of diseases conquered and lives extended, a vision of human reason and creativity, exploration and prosperity, a vision of learning to live with nature …

Who would you pick to live and work with? Who would you pick to help design YOUR future? The future that stands the better chance of bringing about the most positive experience for everybody and everything?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • howardpeirce

    Hrmm…

    I’m an atheist, humanist, and freethinker. I guess I’m also a glass-half-full kind of guy.

    I don’t put much stock in the “atheist future” outlined above. Or, at the very least, a whole lotta people gotta die to make that future possible. And I think this is a bad thing. I’d much rather muddle along like we’ve been doing for the last 75K years than see billions of people die like lemmings.*

    Long before AGW starts causing deaths directly through Malthusian pressures, we’re going to see massive (100s of millions) migrations stymied at international borders due to political malfeasance and intransigency. We don’t need to worry about 2 degrees centrigrade average global warming; the borders between states will eliminate huge numbers of human lives once borderline areas can no longer maintain their current populations.

    All the vaccines and antibiotics in the world can’t prevent mass die-offs when human beings are trapped in crowded refugee camps at international borders.

    The current population of the Earth is roughly 7 billion; as climates change, we’ll need to redistribute those people to make effective use of the resources we have. But it won’t happen. We will see massive die-offs of human beings long before those deaths can be attributed to exhausting the carrying capacity of the planet.

    You know the odds; you have a basic understanding of statistics. Do you really think that you will enjoy the crystal cities of the future? That any one of us will? The best hope for any one of us is the best hope for all of us.

    * Yes, I know about lemmings. It’s a figure of speech.

    • a miasma of incandescent plasma

      uh… what? You saw all that in the pic above? That’s impressive… but you have to give back your “glass-half-full” membership.

  • Daniel Schealler

    Meliorism – not utopianism.

    Otherwise, bang on.

  • evolved star stuff

    I think that most xians don’t hope and wait for the end of the world. The overwhelming vast majority of the ones I know don’t even realize that revelatoins is a part of the bible. There are many horrible rapturists around, but they are a tiny minority.

    Being a realist, I know it is an almost certainty that human beings will destroy themselves. We are not capable of planning for global change, meteor protection or nuclear disarmament.

    Every person dies; every civiliztion crumbles and eventually every species goes extinct. To think human beings could overcome the end would be as silly as expecting Jebus to come back to save us.

    • sailor1031

      Exactly. I’m sure the great majority haven’t thought it through at all. It’s just some hypothetical event in the far, far future. In fact I suspect many are pleased that according to science it won’t happen for several billion years unless bad luck sends a mega-asteroid that couldn’t be prayed away. I don’t believe many would subscribe to the AGW armageddon – not being godless liberals an’ all.

  • Tony

    howardpeirce:
    -I agree with you. Being an atheist doesn’t mean one has to work towards conquering diseases, eradicating poverty or fighting for universal literacy. I think humanists and naturalists have the best chance of making the bright future in the picture become reality. While you can be an atheist and a humanist (or atheist and naturalist; or all three I guess), caring about humanity isn’t a given just because one doesn’t believe in any god.

  • StratCat

    It’s a bit harsher and goes a bit further then I would, but I am not appalled by this. Think about the popularity of the “Left Behind” books…there’s tens of millions of fundies in the US who embrace this depraved vision of the future.
    It’s poison all right.
    And pointing out that rationality and science are humanity’s best shot at a hopeful future is not a big hyperbolic stretch.
    It’s a propaganda hit, and I am not a fan of that kind of discourse, but I’ve seen stuff a fuckton worse come from the christers.

  • F

    Yeah, I kind of see the future as more like item B, but hope for the world in item A. Give me the puppies, please.

  • Daniel Schealler

    Is it wrong that I favor monogamy mainly out of laziness? ^_^

    My two cents on jealousy is that it boils down to two thinking errors:

    1) The notion that if my partner is spending time romantically or sexually engaged with someone else, then this is a reflection on me not being good enough, and therefore I am a failure and that’s bad.

    2) The notion that if my partner is spending time romantically or sexually engaged with someone else, then this is time that should have been spent on me instead, so I have been cheated out of something to which I am entitled and that’s bad.

    (Why yes, I did attend CBT some time ago, how could you tell?)

    As with everything else in life, I think that there’s a question of degree to this stuff.

    If you’re in an open relationship with someone, but they are genuinely neglecting you but still expect you to be available emotionally or sexually – then I think any person has a right to be hurt and angry about that.

    I think that the error creeps in when that extreme situation is replaced by something more moderate: Where someone spends a little bit of time with someone else and you completely loose your shit.

    Of course, that’s a little bit two-faced of me. I suspect very strongly that I’m subject to the errors above, and that I would indeed lose my shit if my partner spent time with someone else for exactly the reasons above. Also the reverse – very sure she’d feel the same way about me (although that’s much less of a threat, in my view).

    So monogamy is for me. But I’m happy to acknowledge that my way isn’t necessarily the only way or even the best way. And I’m also happy to acknowledge that my preference is founded upon some assumptions about the world that are not true.

    But my way is my way. And while it is certainly fortunate for me that my way is viewed as the cultural default, I’d agree that this shouldn’t be the case, and that those who choose to live outside that ‘default’ shouldn’t be viewed as any more weird or outlandish than anyone else.

  • StevoR

    Is it just me or is that building shaped like a boot?

    I dunno, I think I see us having an enormous potential to create both those futures – Utopian and Dystopian – and we’re probably likely to end up somewhere in-between.

    Things are a lot more complicated, complex and variable than either image suggests.

    Human nature, human potential covers such a vast range.

    With or without religion.

    We can work wonders and horrors with technology, we can fly to the Moon or launch nuclear missiles just as religion can inspire people to build cathedrals (which look magnificent, lets face it, even if they’re not exactly productive) & paint Sistine Chapels and compose great music as well as become homicide-suicide bonmbers, kidnappers and misogynist douchebags.

    We have such potential. How we choose to apply it, what we choose to prioritise our potential towards is up to us.

    This is influenced by but not entirely determined by whether or not one believes in religion or science, athiesm or faith.

    Science is a methodology of thinking, a means of working tocrete and learn and understand.

    Atheism is a recognition that there’s probably no god(s) so we need to get on with our lives.

    Religion is a whole lot of things depending on the religion -but when its distilled down into its essence, a beleif in somthing supernatural that has a potentially controlling power over us. This is often but *not always* a negative factor holding people back leaidng to fatalism and douchebaggery. Occassionally, we must, I think, grudgingly concede religious beliefs do help and inspire people in a somewhat positive way.

    So, I dunno. Don’t think it’s that simple.

  • http://justdfacsmaam.wordpress.com MarkNS

    I don’t think Hank was saying that atheism and humanism would inevitably lead to a utopian world. I interpreted his post to mean that atheists/humanists, in general, want such a world, will mostly work towards it and their outlook would more likely lead to a better world than the christian outlook. After all, the christians want their dystopian (in their mind utopian, I guess) world where all of them are in paradise while us “sinners” are left to agony. One can only surmise that those who want to create this situation (little do they know their heaven is a myth) will work to create it. It follows that following their lead would not likely result in a better world but one more like their dream/our nightmare.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X