Fatal Errors of Humanity

Ishiguro, Yuji | February 22, 2018 | Leave a Comment Download as PDF

Though it may prove more arduous, it’s time for humanity to chart a different path. Two Paths by Carles Pradas Lechuga | Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0

The current ways of civilization cannot be continued much longer, because the basic concepts of human existence are wrong and humanity has been destroying her community and her only habitat. This essay is an attempt to point out the fundamental errors that will lead to the destruction of the ecosystem and civilization and to show a way to a peaceful world, by clearly conceptualizing what many people seem to be feeling but unable to formulate.

Options for humanity

Humanity has a narrow window of time to choose a path for the future from two options. One is the continuation of the current ways. This will lead to further social conflicts, likely another global war, and probably to an end of civilization as we know it, if not to the end of Homo sapiens.

The other option is to adopt the ways of nature in concert with reason, logical thinking, and science to assure a peaceful future. The way will be long, tedious, arduous, and will require a profound change in the way man views his life.

Here I try to show this alternative way, assuming that humanity wishes to continue indefinite

evolution in a peaceful world. A basic requirement is that the human population be reduced but this is just one of the necessary measures. Humanity needs to understand, and correct, the cause of the current situation, namely, the lack of rational guiding principles, or constitution of humanity. Instead we have the following combination of irrationality, idealism, shortsightedness, egoism, brutality and ignorance:

– freedom of procreation,

– right to own whatever wealth one can acquire based on competition,

– promotion of consumption for economic growth,

– right to life for every human while animals and plants are viewed as consumable resources,

– idealized view of human nature that does not admit evil in the human mind,

– justification of killings and seizure of territory and properties by wining wars,

– perception of environment as a trash dump,

– disregard of the finiteness of space, resources, and capacities of the planetary systems,

– disregard of the principles of the biosphere,

– disregard of the conditions necessary for functional planetary systems.

Global environment

Some people dispute climate change, either from ignorance or immediate self-interest. Though science can be difficult to understand, which is quite natural for most people, it should still be accepted as the pursuit of evidence and truth. Man can now manipulate photons, electrons, and atoms and simultaneously understand the size, structure, and functioning of the universe. Most people enjoy the results of science, but somehow, some people refuse to acknowledge the clarity science provides about the basic functioning of planetary systems and their services, on which man depends entirely for his life. It is time to correct the errors of humanity.

Necessary measures

The most fundamental measure is the reduction of human population [1]. The huge population is at the base of all problems such as poverty, exhaustion of resources, CO2 emission, accumulation of trash, conflicts, migrants and the need to create jobs. Reducing human population requires reducing fertility. The principle of the biosphere is a two-child limit, and the realities of our oversized population calls for even fewer, but this is against the current ideal of free procreation and will be difficult to realize. Another measure is to limit consumption and maintain healthy human habitats. This is against the current drive for economic growth and will be equally difficult, as discussed in the main article. Other measures include equity, individual rights and obligations, and the concept of a nation as a group of people, with common language, history, customs, values and beliefs, that lives basically on its own resources. Humanity needs to establish principles for peace and her evolution, not in the model of the survival of the fittest of wild animals and plants, but as a rational species.

Two obstacles to establishing such principles take form of groups of people I refer to as the Dons and Nobles. The Dons seem to be living only for today and for their ego, not even for the tomorrow of their children. And then there are the Nobles or idealists. So many people have been brainwashed and some of what the idealists say are hard to refute, however shortsighted and irrational they may be if the whole is considered. I hold onto hope for the awakening of the minions and common people. Most people, I think, would be happy to live through life repeating organized tranquil routine days, caring for their children, accepting the finiteness, marveling at the wonders that nature and science continue to reveal, and performing due shares in the community. But they are powerless as the Dons and the Nobles have erased this possibility by making rules for their advantage and by promoting consumption and procreation. On one hand they talk of human rights and equality and on the other they show off their wealth and ostensive consumption for the world to see, including those dying of hunger. The natural result is the anger and hatred we see in the world.

Ways to a peaceful civilization

Humanity needs to sort out the current confusion and establish basic principles of human existence. This cannot be accomplished by nuclear weapons or border control. Reason, logical thinking, and science –attributes that distinguish man from other animals– can guide this process.

Constitution of humanity

The following framework for peace can be the foundation of the constitution.

Framework for peace

  1. The Earth is finite in space, resources and capacity of its systems;
  2. Man is adapted to the current equilibrium in the systems of the Earth;
  3. A healthy biosphere is essential for equilibrium in the habitats for man;
  4. The biosphere is maintained by photosynthesis in plants;
  5. There is a limit to the size of the biosphere;
  6. An increase of human population means a reduction in the populations other species;
  7. Perturbations in the biosphere as well as in other systems could break the equilibrium;
  8. In a closed system the effective fertility rate of each species must be that of replacement;
  9. There cannot be human rights that lead to the destruction of the community;
  10. The concept of community needs to include all humanity and the biosphere;
  11. Ultimately man will have to live with renewable resources;
  12. The principles of economy need to be modified;
  13. Equity requires a limit to personal wealth;
  14. The meaning of life must be found in something other than procreation or consumption;
  15. All ideals cannot be realized;
  16. Some new rationality needs to be added to the rules of community;
  17. Evolutionary success of Homo sapiens will be greater in a small permanent community;
  18. The Earth can support indefinitely an abundant lifestyle in a limited global civilization;
  19. Many wars were due to mismatches between available resources and human demands on them;
  20. Human population must be reduced. [2]

Hope

The necessary measures will be hard to accept for most people, as they have been conditioned for so long to accept that the current ways are all that are available. I maintain some hope that concerned people in the wide fields of science will come together in time and assure a peaceful future for humanity.

To learn more, read Yuji Ishiguro’s full article: Fatal Errors of Humanity.


References

1. Jack Alpert, Overpopulation Means Civilization Collapse.

2. Yuji Ishiguro, One-Billion World, Booklink Publicações Ltd, Rio de Janeiro, 2010.


YIshiguroYuji Ishiguro received a BS in Physics from Tokyo-Kyoiku University and worked at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. He won a Fulbright Travel Grant and went on to conduct PhD studies in Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University. He was a graduate professor at IPEN in Sao Paulo and then a research scientist at IEAv until retirement in 2009. His concern about human population began in his early teenage years.


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  • Greeley Miklashek

    Population density stress is killing us now! Take it from a physician who devoted 41 years to saving human lives. Our diseases of civilization would have already thinned our numbers by orders of magnitude, had we not developed our heroic medical technology and a caste of healthcare providers to administer it to those who can afford it. We can either choose to restrict our overpopulation and over-consumption, or nature will do it for us, working from the socio-economic bottom up, of course. You may read the details in my free e-book in the MAHB library, “Stress R Us”. Overpopulation is, indeed, a “fatal error” for our species.

  • stevenearlsalmony

    Speaking of “fatal errors”

    By evading scientific knowledge of what could somehow be real about ourselves and the planet we inhabit; by widely sharing and consensually validating utterly false, hubristic thinking regarding super-human ‘masters of the universe’ capabilities; by denying that earth is relatively small and finite with a frangible environment, it may be that the human community is not be able to evade the consequences of our patently unsustainable behavior.

  • trilemmaman

    It is shocking and somewhat depressing to think that this many intelligent people still cling to this myth that population is the cause of problems and not the symptom. I’ve been dealing with this myth since 1979 when I first learned the facts. Below are some of the wise souls I finally came to believe after I’d been learning and teaching about ‘overpopulation’ for years. IF you don’t like these…I have about 40 more from other impressive intellectuals and highly respected institutions.

    “The critical prerequisites to reduced fertility are five: adequate nutrition, proper sanitation, basic health care, education of women, and equal rights for women.”
    Paul Ehrlich, The Population Explosion. 1991

    “Development is the best Contraceptive” Third World Slogan

    “Population declines as economic welfare increases. The way to end population pressure is to increase economic growth and economic welfare – egalitarian growth is what is needed. That will reduce population. There is no other way to do it.” Noam Chompski, Interview on WAMU radio, 12-10-93.

    The secret key that unlocks the door on the impasse in Cairo at the World Conference on Population can be mouthed in one word: women. To be absolutely precise: poor women. Compared with this, everything else is probably a time-consuming sideshow. …Investment in education is probably the single most rewarding activity for any government at any level of development. …Improving female opportunity and income will lower child mortality and morbidity. Over the long run, this will inevitably encourage women to have less children. …Take care of women’s poverty and population will probably look after itself. Jonathan Power, “The Cairo Conference and the plight of Women, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept 10, 1994.

    “The U.S. can play the key role in changing the world’s approach to stabilizing population. With some people, that’s a touchy issue, but it doesn’t have to be controversial. Some of the most effective ways to stabilize population include raising child survival rates and promoting more education and literacy, especially for women. When that happens, family sizes go down.”
    Al Gore, Vice President, responding to question, What should be the No. 1
    environmental priority? “Al Gore’s Battle Plan”, USA WEEKEND, April 9-11, 1993.

    At the Earth Summit in Rio, a large gathering of women raised serious concerns about the linkages being made between population and the environment. They challenged the importance of population as a cause of environmental degradation and instead blamed poverty, over consumption, industrial development patterns, and militarization. Emphasis on demographic factors was seen as leading to coercive family planning policies and the abuse of women in many countries. Susan Weber, Executive Director, Zero Population Growth 11-5-92

    “Only by guaranteeing women’s fundamental rights — to health care, education, and equal status with men — will we begin to solve one of the root causes of environmental problems: population growth” Patricia Waak, Director of Audubon’s Population Program, Audubon Activist., March 1992.

    “The solutions to the problems of rapid population growth are clear and well understood…there is still a need to increase substantially the availability of information and assistance on voluntary family planning. Much can be achieved just providing contraceptive options for those who cannot obtain them due to financial, social, or political restrictions. More fundamentally, we must deal with the economic and social problems that are the root causes of high fertility rates: widespread poverty and the oppression of women. When women everywhere have control over their own reproductive decisions, fertility rates drop. That means that, in addition to its justice, promoting women’s equality and greater access to health care and education will help produce declining fertility and eventual stabilization of population.” Howard Ris, Executive Director, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sept. 1992.

    “But access to contraception is not the only determinant of family size. Japan’s contraceptive use is roughly that of Costa Rica; its fertility rate is less than half. In the mid-19th century fertility in America, where land was plentiful, was one-third higher than in France, where the law divided farms into ever-tinier holdings. Though contraception matters, so do attitudes. For people to want to have fewer children, the incomes of the poor must increase and child mortality must decline. Above all, women need schools and jobs…Educating women can be less intellectually challenging than keeping the planet cool, but few investments do more for development and the environment.”
    The Economist, “The Question Rio forgets” May 30, 1992.

    • stevenearlsalmony

      Please examine the following statement by Professor Malcolm Potts who has reported,

      “Contraception is the best development.”

      Professor Potts’ statement reverses the conventional thinking set forth by the United Nations.

      Note too, the conventional thinking by the UN that is reflected in the following statement,

      “We need to grow food in order to meet the needs of a growing population.”

      If human population dynamics is essentially common to the population dynamics of other species and if population numbers of the human species rise or decline as a function of food supply, then producing more food to feed a growing population results unexpectedly in increasing absolute global human population numbers. Could food be the ‘fuel’ causing the fulmination and explosion of the human population worldwide in our time?

  • trilemmaman

    Population growth and destructive consumption patterns are symptoms of the problem. We fail to recognized the “Laws of Nature (science, technology, adaptation to change) and Nature’s God (love and responsible liberty and justice for all)” as mentioned in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Reducing population growth is a function of health, education, empowerment, and development of women and their other fundamental rights. With them…they will chose to have far fewer children. Starvation, war and diseases could slash population #s but that won’t stop one billion people using today’s worst consumption models from still trashing the planet. I highly recommend a new book “Draw Down” edited by Paul Hawkin for all the alternative consumption technologies available and coming that could reverse environmental destruction without a massive die off of humans. The far greater risk to human survival and the environment now is the evolution of weapons (bio, cyber, nano, robotics, AI…) that could do irrevocable harm to our species and our precious life support system. There is the possibility that AI will evolve with more wisdom than humans and decide to hold genocidal leaders, greedy capitalists, and murderous democratic leaders accountable for their crimes against humanity and the planet. The far more difficult decision for AI will be dealing with the individuals that persist in believing in ideas that just aren’t true.

  • Yes, as Stefan points out we need a change in fertility. However the change in fertility
    that happens when you universally educate women, will not change the 8-10 billion people who will starve to death or die in conflict during this century based on projected declines in energy deliveries. see: http://youtu.be/QfYCrLq1DJU
    and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdksoUuAXDc

  • Meditor

    Shall we talk about all the real world reasons this won’t work? This is not a job for a physicist, but for a sociologist.
    There are real world reasons we can’t recast humankind as Dr. Ishiguro suggests.
    It is because we are not machines, and we are not clones. We each have, inherent in our circumstances, a propensity to reproduce our genes. Those people who don’t do that, you see, are not represented in society, because they didn’t reproduce.
    There are other, more far reaching reasons why we won’t each surrender our own good for the common good, and I am happy to discuss them, but at heart, those who don’t struggle for their place are forgotten. Those who do struggle to reproduce are represented.
    If we do nothing, the situation will resolve itself. Most of humankind will die, and the planet will recover.
    Otherwise, what is proposed is the most horrible of all outcomes. Dr. Ishiguro describes not Utopia, but Dystopia, a human colony where virtually every aspect of our existence is controlled by government.
    How much more horrible can you get? That is a life for the children of bees, not the children of monkeys.

  • stevenearlsalmony

    Good Friends and Colleagues All,

    What ‘fuel’ is causing the fulmination and combustion of the human population on Earth?

    Sincerely yours,

    Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.
    The AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
    established 2001
    Chapel Hill, NC
    USA

  • The article strikes me as well intended but somewhat naive. For one we do not even manage to solve very obvious issues – think access to guns in the US and the 30,000 deaths from shooting incidents there – and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, pointing at even the remotest possibility to allow global population control. “Survival of the fittest” however will do just that, and do so in a rather nasty way, because when we apply the principle at our species at large, the overuse of global resources will put an end to our “fitness”, which in biological terms simply refers to the ability to survive and procreate.

    All the points laid out in the article have long been known, but I do not see how it offers an even remotely realistic path towards solutions. It is true: it is “out choice. It is true: in order to survive we must choose a “different path”. But WHO CHOOSES? Who is WE, to begin with? The individual indeed can be quite happy with very little possessions and a meaningful life with meaningful work within a loving family and community. Reality, however, is not exactly as idyllic, and even within the smallest family unit of two, it often is difficult to decide on the way to go, and we are in a world of nearing 8 billion. I also do not see how the population issue is the best leverage point to initiate change, quite simply it is a point that is so hard to influence in the short run. It must be kept in mind, must be addressed, no question, but the massive overuse of resources caused by mass consumption in the developed countries is the main reason for the global pressure on the bio-geosphere. Obviously the typical German or Japanese individual – and even far more so the typical North American individual – has a far higher ecological footprint than that of an individual in, say, Buthan or the Senegal, so what we need to address, to begin with, is OUR ecological footprint, OUR mindless and ever growing consumption and OUR state religion of Mammonism in the so-called developed countries, before forcing the allegedly less developed countries to change the reproductive behavior (which definitely won’t work anyway, unless we resort to violence and totalitarian strategies, which definitely are not in my book).

  • Eric Lee

    The big-picture thoughts on the human predicament are hinted at in this sketch, but I wish I had not read above but had gone directly to full article instead. Will be rereading and rethinking. https://mahb.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Fatal-Errors-of-Humanity.pdf

  • This is an answer to Steve Salmony’s question below – WHY do we have too many people?

    Any animal population grows because of genetic predisposition until it hits some limit. For most species (maybe even human) these limits are space or food or predators.

    I like to think, Yugi would like to think, there are limits created by cognition. That they just have not yet developed adequate strength to steer a sustainable course for humankind.,

    Some of us are working on the cognition created limits. SEE:
    Self Guided Tour of the Human Predicament and What to Do About it.
    http://www.skil.org//position_papers_folder/TourlectureSKILconcepts.html

    and
    Unwinding the Human Predicament
    http://www.skil.org/position_papers_folder/PlanForUnwindingThePredicament.html
    especially Part 4
    http://www.skil.org/position_papers_folder/PlanForUnwindingThePredicamentsocialcontractpr4.html

    and
    Change the Course video invite
    http://youtu.be/klKzVI6-u08

    • Well – we know that population growth rapidly decreases when women are liberated, given equal rights, access to means of contraception and the power to control and decide about their own reproduction. Within two generations this development has led to drastic drops of birth rates in even the most catholic countries of Europe. So yes – there is definitely a cognitive limit, especially if women are free to decide, and the leverage of this development even outperforms the religious incentives. Much would be achieved in this context if women in muslim culture would go through a similar large-scale liberation movement. The development in Europe – but also in Latin America – shows that it is absolutely possible. The most catholic countries nowadays have the lowest birth rates! even lower than my own largely agnostic home of Germany! Who would have thought that possible two generations ago? What did not change, however, was exponential economic growth and, as a result, exponentially growing per-capita resource consumption. That, and not population, has become the main culprit in the industrial nations. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c450f36a81445ea53a04ec05f0f177531afd565ef92d027c11ceaaccc65d7b6f.jpg

      • Meditor

        this won’t work, obviously! You can’t take people from the lowest use of carbon, delay their maturation, and them make them into carbon using consumers/producers. The carbon gain will quickly outpace any improvement in population. The “demographic transition” requires a dramatically increased use of carbon.
        The problem isn’t only population, it is resource exploitation.

    • An addition to my previous post: development of the fertility rates per women in SE Asia. I did some work on the Philippines, and the change in attitude among women there has been absolutely amazing. While in the past the cultural archetype of womanhood was the mother with as many children as possible. The mother, also because of the countries catholic adoration of the “mother Mary” was put on a cultural pedestal, from which it was of easy for a woman to step down. Modern educated Filipinas usually are wildly independent, and many managed to break free from their enchaining cultural bonds and instead live a largely self determined life, certainly when it comes to reproductive rights. Education is a main factor – despite being a “developing country” with severe issues of over-population and poverty, the Philippines have an adorable school system and an impressive level of literacy. Reading and learning is seen as an intrinsic cultural value. Now amazingly the reproductive rates in the Philippines dropped dramatically from the 1960s to today, despite every attempt of government and the powerful church to limit access to means of birth control. That in itself shows that the women find a way to get their ways once they manage to break free from misguided cultural and societal pressure! The women are the key!

      Still – the problem is far from solved. While the birth rates in the Philippines dropped from above 7 per woman in 1960 to just under three in 2015, the total population rose from 26.3 million in 1960 to 103.3 Million in 2016. While the growth rate dropped from 3.4% to 1.6%, the absolute growth in 1960 was at just under 900,000 people per year, while in 2016 some 1.65 million people were added to the countries population – despite the slashed growth rate. The logic of exponential equations and systemic time lags make render short term solutions to population growth pretty ineffective. What is needed are solutions involving consumption and behavior patterns. The financial system. A sense of safety, well being and purpose in life also reduce both: population growth rates and mass consumption – including consumption of drugs, for example. The Philippines, however, make one systemic policy mistake after the other. A war on drugs even more radical than the US variant of that game. A policy of stimulating mass consumption and economic growth, favoring the rich over the poor, a political style of propaganda and make-believe and much more. The country is a shrill and striking example of what lies ahead for the world at large in so many ways. I have, in some writings, referred to the Philippines as “A Canary in the Sea”. A life warning to mankind reminding us that good developments often are not good enough and everything positive can be quickly reversed by bad policy making, cultural quirks or simply annulled by the inherent logic of complex systemic processes and back-propagations. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0958ce672b3fddc2f2e65f33e78253e1d9320800b70599f7d361b68859180652.jpg

    • stevenearlsalmony

      Dear Jack Alpert,

      Thanks for your valued contributions to this discussion, among many others over the years. Good work!

      Just above you correctly report something of absolutely critical importance, at least according to the best available evidence I can find regarding the ecological science of human population dynamics: “Any animal population grows because of genetic predisposition until it hits some limit. For most species (maybe even human) these limits are space or food or predators.” Yes, definitely yes, the biophysical limits to growth in our planetary home are space, food or predators. And yet that is not the end of the tale. We need to know the whole story.

      Jack, Yuji, MAHB Admin, Laurence, Eric Lee, Stefan Thiesen, Sylvia, Martin Naylor,

      Of the three reported factors of our biophysical reality that limit growth, what is the only factor from among the three that is solely responsible for inducing and driving the seemingly endless growth of a species in general biological evolutionary process?

      Comments from one and all are welcome. Thank you again, Jack.

      Always,
      Steve

      Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.
      The AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
      established 2001
      Chapel Hill, NC
      USA

      • Steve, We have been friends for over 10 years. On my first visit to Chapel Hill I shared a dais with Russell Hopfenberg who presented a paper that suggested we have too many people because we have been producing enough food to allow it. True enough. However, producing less food, while limiting the supportable population to a smaller number, would not create sustainability. 5 billion people could have created my imagined human starvation and conflict injury, ecological damage, and supporting resource depletion of 7.6 billion.

        What is important at this juncture is that through cognition, we can see what are the primary drivers of a species (genetic predisposition.) We can see that these drivers can be constrained with social contracts. That the development of these social contracts have not reached a level that constrains predisposition enough to avoid tragedy.

        And we will need to advance the design and implementation of a more powerful social contract or suffer all the terrible conditions imagined in this thread.

        The derivation of such a social contract can be found in Unwinding the Human Predicament (Part 4 contains the contract.

  • The URL for the video “Overpopulation means civilization collapse” was incorrect.
    the correct URL is Overpopulation Means Civilization Collapse

    • Thank you for catching that error, it has been corrected in the article.

  • martin naylor

    start a website explain the problems explain the solutions allow all countries to have a web site they allow there states they allow there regions they allow there communities. Problem solved, if you can’t help me I will get some one else
    thank you
    martin

  • martinwnaylor

    As I have said before, [according to MAHB] I am an idiot, START A website explain the fts and the solutions every country as a website they allow there states there regions there communities to have one run it as a charity and develop a political party. Problem solved

  • stevenearlsalmony

    Looking at the global predicament from a naked, clear-eyed, objective, ‘clinical’ perspective

    A lesson from the Romans who fiddled….

    “The Romans did in these instances what all prudent princes ought to do, who have to regard not only present troubles, but also future ones, for which they must prepare with every energy, because, when foreseen, it is easy to remedy them; but if you wait until they approach, the medicine is no longer in time because the malady has become incurable; for it happens in this, as the physicians say it happens in hectic fever, that in the beginning of the malady it is easy to cure but difficult to detect, but in the course of time, not having been either detected or treated in the beginning, it becomes easy to detect but difficult to cure. Thus it happens in affairs of state, for when the evils that arise have been foreseen…., they can be quickly redressed, but when, through not having been foreseen, they have been permitted to grow in a way that every one can see them, there is no longer a remedy.”

    —Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter Three

    No one on our watch can know, I suppose, when it is absolutely too late to take the measure of what is ailing us. Perhaps we can agree that there not much of value to be gained by doing more and more of the very same things we are doing now; by doing the same things that got us into this dangerous situation.

    • stevenearlsalmony

      Who is fiddling while the home is burning? Rather than keep fiddlin’, why not answer one question: Why are absolute global human population skyrocketing in our time? If this question is sensibly ‘answered’ with adequate scientific evidence that is extant, then a plan could be reasonably formulated behavioral accommodations.

      Many, many thanks to Yuji Ishiguro.

      • Meditor

        As you know, I can answer that, Steven. Laurenc DeVita here.
        The global population has increased because we have been subsumed by social structure. The social system works best with lots and lots of people, so it does everything it can to create a secular humanist world, where “every life is precious”. We prevent death, that is why we are over populated, and our culture, the global social structure, drives us to more people, more commerce, more social structure.
        In the real world, people are money. More people, more surplus, more labor, more economy, more power.
        This is why African leaders often refer to the West’s attempts at contraception in Africa as the “second genocide of the African people”.

        • stevenearlsalmony

          Dear Laurenc,

          Let us look at our human predicament from another point of view, from a clinical perspective.

          Recall J. D. Salinger’s book, Catcher in the Rye. Imagine you are a clinician and your purpose in life is to be ‘a catcher in the rye.’ Your work is saving lives in the face of death. That is what you do. Now broaden your scope of observation. Consider that you are a member of a species, capable of self-consciousness. Even if extinction was inevitable for all species, including a self-conscious species like Homo sapiens sapiens, would members of that all-too-human species choose to come together and fight to preserve its existence and by so doing, delay its extinction? Or on the other, would leading elders of a self-conscious species thoughtlessly determine to precipitate and hasten its own demise?

          Thank you commenting, my friend,

          Steve

          • Meditor

            OK, take all the value statements out of your remarks; what is left?
            Self consciousness is not magic, regardless the beliefs of the Enlightenment.
            I really think our best chance is to abandon any idealistic notions of togetherness and look at the real issue: culture has extended our numbers beyond reason; we have to let people start dying again.

  • sylvia

    14. How to find meaning in life, other values besides “procreation and consumption”? Can we imagine new symbols to energize us – like being part of a “birthing” process? Birthing a new humanity? Is this not compelling enough? No……..how to communicate this?

  • stevenearlsalmony

    The question Dr. Ishiguro is asking should be a rhetorical one. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

    • stevenearlsalmony

      The Sixth Mass Extinction Event is being precipitated by a single species, of all things. Humankind has induced a very serious global predicament with critical implications for the future of life on Earth.

      • stevenearlsalmony

        Absolute global human population numbers have literally exploded in my lifetime by 5+ billion Homo sapiens. Please, please will someone kindly respond ably to one question: Why is this skyrocketing increase occurring? Why? WHY?