Vehement about human extinction
Advocating the extinction of the human species is becoming more and more popular lately. In March, ecologist Dr. Eric Pianka gave a talk at the Texas Academy of Science in which he received a standing ovation for gleefully awaiting the day when 90% of the human population succumbs to airborne Ebola virus—see our previous article on that event. Such extreme environmentalism is also evident in the worldwide movement known as VHEMT. VHEMT (pronounced ‘vehement’) stands for The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, and its official motto is ‘May we live long and die out.’1
Man & the Environment in the VHEMT Model
VHEMT advocates the gradual extinction of mankind by a self-imposed restriction on reproduction. It states, ‘When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth’s biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory…’. In other words, mankind is earth’s most insidious species, and if it ceases to exist one day, then ‘Mother Earth’ will return to a former state of natural paradise.
VHEMT views human beings as ‘furless beach apes’ and believes that we are no more special than bugs, bacteria, or baboons. We are condemned as the source of many extinctions and the chief exploiter of the earth’s precious resources. As a result, we should voluntarily choose to stop breeding in order to save the planet. Only then ‘good health will be restored to the Earth’ ecology … to the “life form” known by many as Gaia.’
VHEMT is really just a form of evolutionary pantheism. ‘Mother Earth’ is the goddess of creation, and we are to protect and pacify her in every way.2 After all, we are just one of millions of her natural experiments.
Man & the Environment in the Creation Viewpoint
In the biblical creation account, mankind is created in the image of God. We are not an accident or natural experiment. We are endowed with a moral and spiritual capacity that no other creature possesses (Genesis 1:27). We are also created to have (wise, responsible) dominion over all the earth and its plethora of living creatures, and in stark contrast to VHEMT, we were commanded by the Lord God to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28). The Bible clearly states that children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5).
Although VHEMT may espouse an extreme agenda, there is one nugget of truth to its philosophical worldview. We do live in a world of death, suffering, environmental destruction, and cruelty. And unfortunately, this tragic state of affairs did indeed come about as a result of man’s actions. As the Bible records, God placed mankind in the Garden of Eden where there was no death, no suffering, no environmental destruction, and no cruelty to animals or people. It was truly a physical and spiritual paradise, until Adam, as head of the human race, sinned against the Creator. It was then that the world became a place of death, suffering, disease, natural disasters, and other environmental problems. And this is exactly what we see today (Romans 8:19–22).
Genesis upside down
In its sad, distorted response to environmental issues, the concept of the voluntary extinction of the human race is a bizarre but logical consequence of evolutionary thinking. After all, if people are essentially just one more random arrangement of molecules, then they possess no ultimate transcendent value.
If humans are merely a product of random natural events, then there can be no objective standard of ‘good or bad.’ Most evolutionists choose to regard environmentalism to be ‘good’ because of its beneficial effects on future generations of humanity. Although we are just the latest product of evolution, we should, they say, seek to protect the environment in order to preserve the existence of our species and to fulfill our limited role in the circle of life.
Ironically, VHEMT also declares environmentalism to be ‘good’, but in this case it’s because it serves future generations of plants, animals, and ‘Mother Earth’. Ultimately, mankind is less valuable than a flower, tree, insect, sloth, or mountain. This extreme form of environmentalism worships nature, not the Creator (Romans 1:25). In this worldview, ‘Mother Earth’ is the creator, nature holds dominion over mankind, and mankind is the basest of all living creatures. In other words, it is the biblical account of creation turned upside down.
As redeemed Christians, we are to be good stewards of God’s creation. After all, in the Garden of Eden, we were required to tend it with care, not abuse it (Genesis 2:15). Our humble and intelligent care for the environment and for our fellow man can be a great witness to the power of the Gospel of Christ.
- The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, 4 December 2006. Return to text.
- See Fouling the Nest: Christianity and the Environment. Return to text.