A reader sends this along:
Speaking of “ruling classes prefer being courageous with other people lives” check this out.
Powerful techniques in the fight against climate change.
-pharmacologically induced meat intolerance.
-use of human engineering to make humans smaller
“..given certain fixed allocations of greenhouse gas emissions, human engineering could give families the choice between two medium sized children, or three small sized children. ”
“..the embryo selected can’t complain that she could have been otherwise.”
“The reason we are even considering these solutions is to prevent climate change, which is a really serious problem.”
“We figured that if everyone had cat eyes, you wouldn’t need so much lighting, and so you could reduce global energy usage considerably.”
“I might know that I ought to send a check to Oxfam, but because of a weakness of will I might never write that check. But if we increase my empathetic capacities with drugs, then maybe I might overcome my weakness of will and write that check.”
CS Lewis prophet or what?
If you’ve never done so, you really should read The Abolition of Man. The end of “man’s triumph over nature” is the triumph of some men over the rest of us and–if unchecked–the power of some unaccountable elite to decide what “man” shall henceforth be. When that elite untethers itself from all ancient transcendent moral codes rooted in natural law and divine revelation then (as Lewis observes) when all that says “I ought” is seen through, what says, “I want” remains, for it has no transcendant claims to be debunked. And what a post-human technological elite will want will be entirely driven by mindless biological forces and the accidents of emotion, pathology and what Christians used to call “original sin”: the itch for things like power, revenge, sating one’s anger or vindictiveness, or just the idle pleasure of making the weak squirm for one’s amusement, perhaps followed by murder or suicide. The apotheosis of man’s triumph over nature is the abolition of man.
The offering of the weak in some experiment in human engineering to the goddess Gaia and her consort Global Warming is but the latest manifestation of that perennial itch among the powerful to make somebody else be the human sacrifice so the powerful can both indulge their urge to dominate the helpless and feel morally superior as they do it.