- Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, or VHEMT (pronounced "") [http://www.vhemt.org/aboutvhemt.htm (accessed 2007-04-15)] , is a movement which calls for the voluntary self-extinction of the
The basic concept behind VHEMT is the belief that the
Earthwould be better off without humans, and as such, humans should refuse to breed. [http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/dossier/id831/pg1/index.html (accessed 2007-04/15)] However, this does not mean that they intend to prevent people from breeding, to kill anyone, or to commit suicide. [http://www.vhemt.org/death.htm (accessed 2007-04-15)] This last point is illustrated in their motto, "May we live long and die out". [The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, http://www.vhemt.org/ (accessed 2007-04-15)]
Les U. Knight, who is credited with giving the name Voluntary Human Extinction Movement to the philosophy, [http://www.vhemt.org/aboutvhemt.htm (accessed 2007-04-17)] is the owner of VHEMT.org, and is cited as the founder, de facto leader or "prime avatar" in different publications. [ [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20953439-5007146,00.html Beware the ecosexual | NEWS.com.au ] ] [ [http://www.radaronline.com/features/2006/12/les_knight.php Features : Radar Online : Appetite for Extinction ] ] [http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkyNSZmZ2JlbDdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Njg5NTk4NCZ5cmlyeTdmNzE3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTc=]
However, some believe that this name clearly represents an ideal rather than an actual person, as Les U. Knight is a homophone for "Let's Unite".
VHEMT recognizes two levels of support:
*"Volunteers" are people who believe in the VHEMT goal of eventual human extinction, and have decided to have no children (or no more, if they already have children).
*"Supporters" are people who believe that "intentional creation of one more of us by any of us is unjustifiable at this time, but extinction of our species goes too far".fact|date=March 2008
VHEMT does not request participants to declare which type of member they are, nor does the movement require the choice to be implicitly made. [http://vhemt.org/join.htm How to join VHEMT] ]
Interviews and media coverage
There has been some media coverage of the ideas of Knight and of VHEMT: in 2001, Knight appeared on "
Hannity & Colmes" to present VHEMT's ideology. On the program, he stated that "as long as there's one breeding pair of " Homo sapiens", there's too great a threat to the biosphere".Sean Hannity. Televised on " Hannity & Colmes" ( FOX News Channel) "Should Humanity Let Itself Die Out?", August 14, 2001.] He also expressed no hope for voluntary human extinction, but stated that "it is the right thing to do".
Knight was also interviewed by
MSNBC's Tucker Carlson, during which he debated with the host on the merits of the movement. [cite web|url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10339030/|title=Taking on the Human Extinction Movement|publisher=MSNBC] Knight stressed the movement's peaceful, nonviolentgoals and reiterated that the movement's motivation is environmental protection.
VHEMT spreads its message through the
Internet, thus reaching mainly wealthier nations. A few of these countries already have fertility rates below the replacement rate and are thus already trending towards "human extinction", or at least a reduced population. However, according to VHEMT, [http://vhemt.org/economics.htm#worse (accessed 2007-08-21)] wealthier nations have the largest impact on world resources. Transhumanists and other critics reject the VHEMT assumption that humans have ceased to be a part of nature. Instead they argue that nature has, through humanity, become consciousand self-reflective for the first time, [ [http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/faq21/79/ Transhumanist FAQ ] ] and that it is inconsistent for those who claim to value the biosphere to seek to extinguish one of its creations. Furthermore, as transhumanist Nick Bostromhas argued, only humanity is in a position to avert existential risks to the biosphere, such as asteroid impact. [cite journal
authorlink = Nick Bostrom | title = Existential RisksAnalyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards
journal = Journal of Evolution and Technology | volume = 9
month = March | year = 2002]
Compare and contrast
Church of Euthanasia
* [http://vhemt.org Voluntary Human Extinction Movement]
* [http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=179963 Sui genocide] The Economist, Dec 17th 1998
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