Human Exceptionalism

Earth Day Anti Humanism at the Movies

For last year’s Earth Day, NRO asked me to write a piece about Hollywood pitching anti humanism in the name of the environmentalist religion.  I thought it was worth revisiting.  “From Homo Sapiens, Get Lost:”

When Aldous Huxley wrote his prophetic 1932 novel, Brave New World, he envisioned a dystopian future in which mankind would become, in the words of bioethicist Leon Kass, “so dehumanized that he doesn’t even realize what has been lost.” Huxley believed we would evolve into a society steeped in radical hedonism — where drugs would be used to erase every negative emotion and promiscuity would be not just common but  the norm. He also saw us as becoming profoundly utilitarian and eugenic, depicted in his novel by genetically engineered babies being decanted through a cloning-type process rather than being born, and then propagandized rather than educated, so as never to question the existing order. Huxley’s Brave New World is a society without families, without the old and sick — who are done away with rather than cared for — and without real purpose other than experiencing transitory pleasure.

Looking around, can we have any doubt of Huxley’s prescience? But as acute as his prophetic faculties were, he did miss one crucial feature of the coup de culture against which he warned: The minions of Brave New World believed in nothing. However, as an intrinsically moral species, we may be congenitally incapable of literal agnosticism: We will always believe in something — and that “something” increasingly looks like a radical earth religion that views human beings as the enemies of the planet.

I discuss The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Happening, and how they fit right into Deep Ecology ideology.  Since then, we’ve had more of the same, such as Wall-e (disputed by some SHSers), and most notably, Avatar.  Such self loathing isn’t healthy.

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