Screw you, Earth. I'm people...

Is human life (or on another level, quality of life) more important than The Earth? By “The Earth”, I mean animals, trees, the natural systems, etc. Should human (or a human’s) life or quality of life be sacrificed for the good of the planet? Is it realistic to expect? IMHO this is the question at the heart of what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” If mankind one day colonized other planets, moon, mars, or space stations, would that change your position? What about life on other planets?

Assuming here, that it’s possible for quality of life to be good while the earth goes into the shitter.

Important to whom?

Mankind? God? Rocks?

Good point. Two ways I’ve looked at this type of question:

  1. At what point (if ever) did human evolution cease to be a natural phenomenon? At other times in earth’s history individual species have evolved and rapidly colonized the earth. Oftentimes they go extinct rather quickly, too. Looking at this historical record, geologists are glad, call these organisms “index fossils” and use them to determine the age of rock formations. Humans might fit the idex fossil bill, too. However, we’re the only species that can choose how much our population will grow, how much resources we should use, how we should go about extracting those resources, what we should do with our wastes, and if our evolution should come at the expense of other life forms on the planet.

  2. Should we really worry about the earth? I mean, if we really screw-up here and off ourselves and many other species on the planet, over time life will rebound as it did at least two times previously after mass extinctions. The earth will go on. Personally, I don’t think that justifies human abuse of the natural systems on the earth as we currently experience them, however.

  3. Hi O!

Ditto if we ever do get the ability to try similar stuff on other planets.

It’s meaningless to consider people apart from the earth.

When people say, “Save the Earth”, they don’t actually mean we have to save the Earth. The Earth and her biosphere are not in danger from us. Life will hum on.

We’ll go extinct, because we’ll have made the biosphere uninhabitable by us.

That’s what we need to fear and work against.

All we are, as far as the Earth is concerned, is a species, subject to Darwinian evolution like everyone else. If we kill ourselves, we kill ourselves, and that’s all there is to it.

If we expect to survive, we have to keep the Earth habitable for us. There’s no other way to do so.

As to is the Earth more important than human life and/or the quality of human life, yes it is. The earth is our home, and if we destroy it, then how else will the human race be able to continue on a dead planet? If we destroy all the plants and animals, then what would we eat? If we polluted the atmosphere, what would we breathe? The same applies to the water. Humans are not separate from the circle of life on Earth but are part of it. We depend on the Earth, the Earth does not depend on us to keep it alive. It was honestly doing fine before we came along.

As to how we would treat the Earth after we colonize other worlds…well…I would think that we should at least hold respect for the birthplace of our race and take care of it as the home it is. But, me being such a cynic, I think that may be beyond what we are capable of. More than likely the human race will either destroy the earth or suck it dry of resources before we move on.

Anything with the capacity or compulsion to be interested.

I think it would someday be possible for humans to survive on earth through the use of technology, even if it were really trashed. The same goes for spreading through the solar system and beyond. If we had to use up all of the earth’s resources, making it unlivable in order to spread ourselves to other worlds, would it be worth it? If survival of our species is our main objective wouldn’t a built in fault tolerance (protection against the destruction of one world) be a worthy, if not noble goal?

Question: If a tree falls in a forest and no-one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Answer: Who cares?

The Earth has no intristic value as to itself; as far as the Universe is concerned, there’s no difference between an entire biosphere and the vacuum of space. It’s us, humanity, who give this ball of rock and lichen some importance. We can appreciate beauty, complexity and other subjective terms, because we are the only things here capable of subjective thought. This world means something to us - without us, what meaning could it possibly have?

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised that when we finally escape our cradle and visit the stars, we’ll find some sort of life just about everywhere we look. What we won’t find so easily is sentience. That, I believe, is quite rare - if it exists anywhere else but here. In my mind, the only thing unique and important on Earth is Mankind; everything else is just peripheral.

P.S. - It’s not that I’m against enviromentalism. I like to keep my house clean, nicely furnished and well decorated, and I like to keep my larder full.

But I don’t do it for my house. My house doesn’t care.

As long as we’re all stuck on Planet Earth, I would imagine we have a deeply vested interest in keeping the biosphere properly tuned, lest a screw-up causes us to all keel over.

Once we get some sustainable off-planet colonies going (and I’m really pissed that we’re dragging our feet on this – I wanna vacation on Mars, dammit! :)), then the concern is lessened. Even so, I’d personally prefer it if we didn’t slaughter endangered species or raze rainforests indiscriminately; it’d be nice to have some “exotic” place to go on vacation when I need a break from Luna Colony XXIV.

We have evolved to a point where our relationship to the earth has become too ‘human’ sided and hence we will kill ourselves.

The planet will survive and hopefully one day life will spring forth again.

Unfortunately our in built desire for ‘status’ or the need to outdo someone else - look at my new car, bigger car, flash one, bigger house etc. which has driven our technological progress has doomed us.

Or to put it another way, as we do in europe, you yankie bastards want cheap fuel and a clean environment !!!

Earth and humanity are not seperate, we are one, we are linked, we are part of the earth ( dust to dust and all that ).

Sorry, that sounded really negative.

I am sure we will all vote for more expensive energy and ‘green’ policy.

mmmmm

Don’t yall know that in 5 billion years the earth and all the other inner planets will be destroyed by fire (just like the bible says). If anyone is going to save life here on earth, it will be us or some facsimile of us not the spotted owl!
Furthermore, as long as there are humans there will be chickens and marijuana. I could name a few other life forms but I think you get the picture.
So yes we are more important than any other life here on this earth because without us life, not only as we know it but all life, on this planet will vanish.

If life would not exist without us being here, then why did life exist on this planet before we ever came into the picture?

We are only the rulers of this earth until we manage to kill ourselves off.

Or, until we die of the mass extinctions that have plagued the planet its entire existence.

Either way, life will go on without us. So the question to “How does man plan to spend his last days, and who will he take down with him, or to whom will he devolve his throne?”

Maybe I did not make myself clear. Life can exist without us. Life came into existance without us. But when our sun becomes a red giant and cosumes the inner planets there will be no planet earth, least of all life on earth.
The only hope for life on this planet is us, or some facimile of us, to transport it, along with ourselves, to other parts of the universe.
I don’t think this responsibility falls within the purview of any other creature, and chances are slim to none that some other intelligent creaure from another planet will come along.

O my God, another one? :eek:

This looks a bit contradictory. Given our enormous brainpower and ability to bend the world to our will, it seems pretty likely that we can keep ourselves alive while destroying almost everything else that isn’t just food for us.

Unless you meant by “life” that will go on humming, nothing more than simple organisms like bacteria, and maybe an insect or two. But I hope not. That seems a pretty sad version of “life” to count on surviving in our wake.

stoid

Nonsense. Ten million years - tops - and this planet will be good as new.

“Furthermore, as long as there are humans there will be chickens and marijuana.”
Daddy mack.

OK that’s about the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while.
I‘ve given this idea some thought and have decided that it’s pompous to think we can hurt the earth.
We can build smokestacks, dump toxins in every river, and cut down the rainforest, and on, and on….

We may kill ourselves off but the earth will just blink a sleepy eye, take a little nap, and be right as rain in no time, earth time that is.

Taking care of the planet is like eating right it’s good for ya.
Do you always do what’s good for you or do you sometimes do what’s fun, convenient,makes you feel good, etc.

[QUOTE]
*Originally posted by muppetsoup *
**
[QUOTE
Anything with the capacity or compulsion to be interested.

I think it would someday be possible for humans to survive on earth through the use of technology, even if it were really trashed. The same goes for spreading through the solar system and beyond. If we had to use up all of the earth’s resources, making it unlivable in order to spread ourselves to other worlds, would it be worth it? If survival of our species is our main objective wouldn’t a built in fault tolerance (protection against the destruction of one world) be a worthy, if not noble goal? **[/QUOTE]

If we use up the resources of earth, what will power the tech that will allow us to live here? What resources will be used to supply the people on the Moon. As far as we know there is not enough water to support life on the moon. With a space station all the water comes from earth. If we screw up the water supply living off planet is impossible. Plus we are screwing up the earth much faster than our tech is developing to live off planet. Clean drinking water is a quailty of life that we all need and want. Preserving clean water and clean air improves man’s quality of life.

Lets say the planetary envorinment is so screwed that man must live in bio-domes. Do you think everyone on the planet gets to move into one or just Americans, Western Europeans and the Japanese. Do you really think that if the tech is developed to live in a toxic environment that it would be cheap and shared?

Should we give up the idea of exercise and eating right in favor of artifical hearts and liposuction?
Should we give up education in favor of ‘smart’ tech like cars that drive themselves? (come on they are just around the coner)

Taking care of the planet is taking care of ourselves.
Not taking care of the planet diminishes the quality of life for humans.

But in this case, it’s not just ourselves we’re hurting. Sure, if I want to quaff some brew or shmoke some shmokes, no big deal. The only person I’m hurting is myself.

But in the case of destroying the planet, we’re willing to sacrifice thousands of years of human progress and advancements, art and culture, just for expedience. And that’s not a good choice. You can make choices for yourself. But it’s pretty arrogant for you to make choices for everyone on the plaet, now, in the past, or in the future.

The world will go on. But it’s our own interest to take care of the part of it which enables us to go on. It’s not something we can take lightly.