argument top image

Would human extinction be a tragedy? Show more Show less
Back to question

Would it be a tragedy if humans were wiped out? Would it be a cause for celebration given the environmental destruction we have caused? Maybe it would be neither?

Yes, human extinction would be a tragedy Show more Show less

The loss of humans from this earth would be tragic
< (2 of 4) Next position >

Human extinction would be a tragedy because humans have so much potential

Throughout its existence, humanity has proven its worth through innovation, exploration, and progress. It would be tragic if this potential went unexplored because of humanity's extinction.

The Argument

The question of whether human extinction would be tragic is paradoxical because only humans can answer it. To grapple with this question, one must acknowledge that the perceived benefits would only be noticed by the group that is facing extinction. More to the point, the loss of innovation that could not only improve the lives of humans, but also animals and the planet would be lost in the case of humanity's erasure. The significant impact of human existence has only been felt in the last few centuries, with increased industrialization and technology affecting climate and agriculture. Further innovation and progress could eventually lessen or remove human impacts on the ecosystems that humans affect. Lastly, the extinction of any species is tragic.[1] Considering that humans are the only species with written and spoken languages, advanced technology, and complex societies, the loss of these would be more tragic than their continuance.

Counter arguments

Humanity's continued exploitation of not only the planet and animals, but also each other suggests that they do more harm than good. Humanity kills, rapes, starves, and harms each other and the planet to an increasing degree with each passing day. While there is less violence than their once was between humans, we now butcher more than 50 billion animals each year for food and products.[2] Not only is the yearly loss of animal life more than 6 times the human population, but the climate cost of animal production is destroying the future of the planet. If humanity were to disappear one morning, the loss would be far less significant than the cost of continued human exploitation of the planet and its inhabitants.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Humanity's potential for innovation and progress is significant. [P2] Humanity can offer coming generations and the planet as a whole, a better future. [P3] Loss of life and extinction is tragic for intelligent species.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Human innovation and technology are what have harmed the planet most. [Rejecting P2] Humans increase climate change, created nuclear weapons, and kill billions of animals. [Rejecting P3] Humans kill orders of magnitude more animals than what the current human population is.

References

  1. https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/11/7/20903337/human-extinction-pessimism-hopefulness-future
  2. https://faunalytics.org/worldwide-animal-slaughter-statistics/

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more ↑

Discuss

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 13:49 UTC

Explore related arguments