Languages Contents Introduction

Chapter 2

15 August 1988

3. Practical ethics

3.1. Man and the rest of nature

3.1.1. Birth control

Man, the most successful animal, has conquered the world, but it is now time for a voluntary retreat. According to God’s law of balance, man is entitled only to limited parts of the earth while the rest must remain available for other species. As we do not want to rely on war, hunger, pollution and disease as means for the reduction of man’s multitude, the only remaining option is birth control.

It is a tragic fact that many religions oppose to this. The usual argument, that it would be unnatural to interfere with human propagation, disregards the fact that man has overcome his natural bounds. Birth control is indeed unnatural, yet it is necessary to return man to nature. Birth control is not against the will of God, but is a moral obligation, imposed upon us by God.

A reduced presence of man on earth would of course not immediately solve all problems; but it could certainly make solutions easier to achieve. Pollution and energy shortage could then be mastered with technology already known today. There would be room for wild animals and virgin forest, yet the earth could yield enough crop, enough timber and firewood, enough alcohol to fuel cars with, etcetera.

Although the final goal should be a very drastic reduction of the human population, to say one thousand million or even less in the whole world, a quick reduction would present too many problems. The balance between age groups would be lost, social security systems would come under too great pressure, and where social security is organised by families rather than by the government, unbearable difficulties would arise.

For those reasons the reduction will have to be slow and gradual, and rich countries will have to assist the poorer ones in this. Also, it would be wise to make reserves for the future for this purpose.

People must never be forced to reduce the number of their offspring, they may only be convinced, until they recognise the benefit for themselves, and for their children.

24 September 1988

3.1.2. Man and other animals

Though not wrong, it is not strictly necessary to be a vegetarian. Eating an animal is not principally different from eating a plant: in both cases a life has been destroyed. It is the fate of any animal, including man, to live at the cost of other lives. This fate, combined with the almost absolute power we have over animals, lays a heavy responsability [sic] upon us.

That means that cattle must be allowed to live under circumstances that at least resemble their natural way of living. Modern, efficient, industrial methods of cattle breeding are totally unacceptable. Animals should be given a chance to live with dignity, and if that makes meat more expensive, we shall have to pay that money.

Cattle may only be slaughtered with the least possible amount of agony and pain. Killing fish by suffocation is too slow, and therefore unacceptable. Angling as pastime, without the intention to kill and eat the fish is a senseless cruelty. Killing animals only for the sake of their fur is wrong. Leather however, from the skin of animals that are also eaten is acceptable.

Bullfighting, cockfighting, dogfighting and all other such cruelties are immoral.

Vivisection should be avoided as much as possible. It is only allowed if the results are of very great importance, and provided they cannot be obtained in any other way.

Chapter 2 Chapters 3.2 and 3.3

Copyright 1988, 1989, 2013, R. Harmsen, all rights reserved.