Ray Sherman
Creations Musical,Philosophical, and Poetical

Website contents © by Ray Sherman

Morality and Human Survival
Quotations selected and edited by Ray Sherman

                                —Ray Sherman

...there is the alarming progression of aggressive actions ranging from cocks fighting in the barnyard to dogs biting each other, boys thrashing each other, young men throwing bear mugs at each other’s heads, and so on to bar-room brawls about politics, and finally to wars and atom bombs.
                                —Konrad Lorenz

Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.
                                   —Stephen Hawking
From now onward mankind will have to live with the idea of its death as a species.
                                 —Arthur Koestler

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.
                                —Albert Einstein

    ...the collective aggression of one community against another.  I will try to show how the misfunctioning of this form of intra-specific aggression constitutes “evil” in the real sense of the word....
                                    —Konrad Lorenz

    ...the planet’s salvation depends on the objective truth of seeing things from the point of view of someone else, and the moral truth of considering someone else’s welfare important.
                                    —Robert Wright

    Archivist of the future: We could have saved ourselves, but we didn't. It's amazing. What state of mind were we in, to face extinction and simply shrug it off?
                                           —Franny Armstrong

The inability to judge performance might...explain the comparative governmental apathy on preventing human extinction (as compared to panda extinction, say).

[Franny] Armstrong read zoology at University College, London, and her thesis was Is the human species suicidal?

...the concept of omnicide [human extinction as a result of human action] raises issues of human agency and, hence, of moral responsibility.... [D]escribing a human extinction scenario as 'omnicidal' is to note that, if it were to happen, it would result not just from natural, uncontrollable evolutionary forces, or from some random catastrophe like an asteroid impact, but from deliberate choices made by human beings. This implies that such scenarios are preventable, and that the people whose choices make them more likely to happen should be held morally accountable for such choices.

President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedevon Thursday signed the biggest nuclear arms pact in a generation....  The pact will shrink the limit of nuclear warheads to 1,550 per country over seven years. That still allows for mutual destruction several times over.
                                          —Associated Press

...contemplating human extinction may be out of fashion.

By 2050 the average planetary temperature will increase 1-2 degrees centigrade. That may not seem like much, but it will be sufficient to melt the polar ice caps.

                                    —Carl Sagan

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2009 found that... concentrations of greenhouse gasses had risen to levels unprecedented in human history.  The Agency found that the gasses contribute to increased drought, heavier rainfall and flooding, more frequent heat waves and wildfires, and rising sea levels.  The EPA determined that global warming is a threat to agriculture, wildlife, and human health.  The agency said scientific evidence for its decision was “overwhelming.”
                                            —The World Book

Whether or not you agree that global warming is caused by humans, the real issue is that the earth’s temperature is in fact increasing and we must all work together to make sure it doesn’t get any higher.
                                               —Erin Behrenhousen

The challenges to the planet today are largely invisible....  Issues such as climate change are less obvious to the naked eye....  "We've cleaned up what you can see and left everything else in limbo," said Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network.
                                                   —Seth Borenstein (AP)

In hospitals now, infectious disease physicians talk somberly about...the possibility that there will be infections for which there are no longer any drugs that work....  [W]e can begin paying attention to antibiotic resistance, before it advances to a point at which no control strategies will succeed.
                                            —Maryn McKenna
There is one outstanding important fact regarding Spaceship Earth, and that is that no instruction book came with it.
                                                —Buckminster Fuller

"We're making a social contribution," said [Ikuo] Onaka, whose business is one of nine firms operating on Tokyo's waterfront to reuse the city's garbage instead of burying it.
                                                                                —Marla Dickerson (Los Angeles Times)

[Scott] Ochoa said many companies are looking to recycling and the reuse of materials as a way of cutting production costs, while others simply want to do the right thing.
                                                                                    —Kevin Smith (Pasadena [CA] Star News)

Doing the right thing always best.
                                                                                       —Steve Lambert
(Pasadena [CA] Star News)

One of the valuable things that religious communities provide is a way of organizing people to do good in the world....  Our humanist community should be thinking more about demonstrating the fundamental truth that goodness requires neither God nor the belief in God by organizing together as a community to do good.
                                                                      —Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

In practical life we have to do with individuals; in science, with species.
                                                       —Ludwig Feuerbach

The voice of conscience is the voice of our Father Man who is within us; the accumulated instinct of the race is poured into each one of us, and overflows us, as if the ocean were poured into a cup.
                                            —W.K. Clifford

It is in the vast man that you are vast.
                                              —Kahlil Gibran

In January [2009] more than 150 leading scientists from 26 countries signed a declaration warning that the increasing acidity of the oceans could devastate marine life.  Ocean acidification is caused by the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which results from people burning such fossil fuels as coal....
                                                    —The World Book

...oil and...other dirty fuels...are fouling our planet in a slow-motion environmental disaster every day.
                                                                             —Michael Brune (The Sierra Club)

The effort to suspend AB32 is the work of greedy oil companies who want to keep polluting in our state and making profits.
                                                                        —Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

The population of the world was expected to reach 6.8 billion in July 2009, according to an annual revised projection issued by the United Nations Population Division in March....  The division projected that the world population would reach 7 billion by 2012 and 9 billion by 2050.
                                                    —The World Book

...in 2002, humanity’s Ecological Footprint exceeded global biocapacity by 0.4 global hectares per person, or 23 percent. This finding implies that the human economy is in ecological overshoot....
                                                                    —The Encyclopedia of Earth

Neytiri: Our great mother Eywa does not take sides...; only protects the balance of life.
                                                    —James Cameron

Let us imagine that an absolutely unbiased observer on another planet...is examining human behavior on earth   If our extramundane observer were a knowledgeable ethologist, he would unavoidably draw the conclusion that man's social organization is very similar to that of rats which, like humans, are social and peaceful beings within their clans, but veritable devils towards all fellow-members of their species not belonging to their own community.  If, furthermore, our...naturalist knew of the explosive rise of human populations, the ever-increasing destructiveness of weapons, and the division of mankind into a few political camps, he would not expect the future of humanity to be any rosier than that of several hostile clans of rats on a ship almost devoid of food.
                                                    —Konrad Lorenz

...in the case of rats, reproduction stops automatically when a certain state of over-crowding is reached while man as yet has no workable system for preventing the so called population explosion.  Furthermore, in the case of rats it is likely that after the wholesale slaughter enough individuals would be left over to propagate the species.  In the case of man, this would not be so certain after the use of the hydrogen bomb.
                                                     —Konrad Lorenz

In a very real way, the pill [for birth control] is less unnatural in the modern world than doing nothing.
                                                    —Malcolm Potts

The increase in number of individuals belonging to the same community is in itself sufficient to upset the balance between the personal bonds and the aggressive drive....That crowding increases the propensity to aggressive behavior has been known and demonstrated experimentally by sociological research.
                                                        —Konrad Lorenz

When humanity...reached the level of self-destruction, a question of morality and survival became urgent.
                                                                                                      —Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

[W]e shall emancipate ourselves from the lower ideals dominant in the world and come under the sway of the higher ones.  From the power of the emotion of the ideal of self-efficiency—causing us to live and kill and die for self; from the power of the emotion of the tribal ideal—causing us to live and kill and die for tribe; from the power of the emotion of the state ideal—causing us to live and kill and die for state: from the domination of these we shall emancipate ourselves and more and more come under the sway of the highest of all possible ideals, the ideal of Man—causing us to live and, without killing, to die for Humanity.
                                                               —Cassius J. Keyser

By Humanity I mean all mankind—not merely the living—but the living, the dead, and the unborn.
                                                                —Cassius J. Keyser

...any sphere of human activity is an example of combination of morality and survival of humanity.
                                                                                                        —Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

Corporations can get away with murder and environmental devastation, and make billions doing it.
                                                               —Daphne Wysham

...the most immediate reason for ‘our’ failure to act on global warming has been the sustained and often ruthless exercise of political power by the corporations that stand to lose from a shift to low-carbon energy systems.                 
                                                            —Clive Hamilton

...the heart surgery industry is perpetuated by a bunch of charlatan physicians whose egregious activities can only be explained by simple lust for ill-gotten gain.
                                                                    —Julian Whitaker, MD

[Frank] Buchman believed that both fascism and communism had their roots in materialism, which he called the mother of all "isms" and, as such, materialism was democracy's greatest enemy.

If Britain and America were to defeat Communism today, the world would be in a worse state than it is.  Because the other man is wrong doesn't make me right.
                                                            —Frank Buchman

Everybody wants to see the other fellow changed....if you want an answer for the world today, the best place to start with is with yourself.
                                                            —Frank Buchman

Human problems aren't economic. They're moral....
                                                            —Frank Buchman

Among the many phylogenically adapted norms of human behavior, there is hardly one that does not need to be controlled and kept on a leash by responsible morality....Most of the vices and mortal sins condemned today correspond to inclinations that were purely adaptive or at least harmless in primitive man....The fate of humanity hangs on the question whether or not responsible morality will be able to cope with its rapidly growing burden.
                                                            —Konrad Lorenz

We all suffer to some extent from the necessity to control our natural inclinations by exercise of moral responsibility.  Some of us, lavishly endowed with social inclinations, suffer hardly at all....
                                                            —Konrad Lorenz

...insight into the nature of values offers the only hope for our ever creating the new values and ideals which our present situation needs so badly.
                                                            —Konrad Lorenz

The State...protects its own citizens only; it recognizes human rights, humanity, civilization within its own confines alone.  Since it recognizes no rights outside itself, it logically arrogates to itself the right to exercise the most ferocious inhumanity toward all foreign populations, which it can plunder, exterminate, or enslave at will.
                                                                —Mikhail Bakunin

...an eventual world state is not just desirable in the name of brotherhood, it is necessary for survival....
                                                              —Albert Einstein

...humanity needs to move beyond egocentric individualism or the perspective of chauvinistic nationalism. The planetary community needs to develop new transnational institutions. The new reality of the twenty-first century is the fact that no one on the planet can live in isolation, and every part of the world community is interdependent.
                                                        —Paul Kurtz

We have an obligation to future generations yet unborn....
                                                        —Paul Kurtz

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