In the Liturgy of the Holy Orthodox Church, Jesus Christ is often referred to as “lover of the human race” or the one who “lovest mankind”. To my simple minded reason, then, it occurs to me that those who do not love (I don’t mean namby-pamby Pear’s soap love, but the real kind of love-in-equanimity of Christian faith) humanity are diametrically opposed to Him. There are lots of them about these days; and the “news” that the world’s population will reach seven billions on Monday (assuming nothing intervenes to stop it) has encouraged the melodramatists of over-population to appear once again in the pages of newspapers and the internet lamenting the existence of humans.
There are several examples of human-haters among eminent zoologists (oh the irony), especially in England. And there are a lot of well known personalities who use their positions in broadcasting to promote the view that the Earth is over-populated (David Attenborough and Chris Packham spring to mind). But is there any actual evidence for it? Doom-mongers have been saying for years that population increases would lead to famine and war and general unpleasantness; but, of course, that hasn’t happened. The belief in “climate change” (never was a more innocuous phrase used to such noxious effect) has added impetus to the perceived problem. Too many people, and, according to some, too much animal life, is destroying the planet.
But what is a planet without creatures who can perceive it? If there is anything about our world which is marvellous, splendid, wondrous, awesome (indeed, all those adjectives we want to use when we watch the latest BBC documentary (narrated by David Attenborough or John Hurt of course) about our world, with its stunning camera-work, special effects and affecting score, it is because, by and large, the ability to marvel, sense the splendour of a thing, to experience wonder, to feel awe, are all supplied by our imaginative faculty, in co-ordination with our reason which helps us to understand how one thing is different from another. Without humans, this planet has no more meaning than any other empty world; indeed, the very remarkable confluence of circumstances which have allowed a world with such gentle conditions so conducive to human life, imply the need for a creature to wonder at them.
And why should one human be permitted existence, while another is arbitrarily denied life? We are not talking about culling rats. Well, not to us; but of course some zoologists and biologists do indeed regard human beings as nothing more than a sort of premiere of the evolutionary process. In other words, an animal like any other, which happens to be more populous and more reasonable than his fellow lifeforms. This kind of thinking makes a human being and a snottite pretty much equal cohabiters with equal rights to existence. And all snottists, as is well known, are haters of the human race.