The Day the Earth Stood Still

This is a disturbing movie. More specifically, it promotes disturbing values.

The theme of the movie is that the earth is one of only a few planets hospitable to life, and that humans are “at the tipping point” of destroying it. An emissary from the civilizations on other planets has decided that humans are unable to change; and therefore, given that the earth does not belong to one species, it is necessary to exterminate one species (humans) to save the earth for other species.

Apparently the creators of this movie – like most of Hollywood – have been conned and are out of touch with reality.

Let’s start with the least of the flaws, which is the dubious claim that the earth is one of a few planets hospitable for life. The reality is that there is probably an abundance of earth-like planets. Also, there is an abundance of raw materials, including an abundance of planets, that could be used by advanced civilizations to build an earth-like planet or to terraform an existing planet into an earth-like planet.

A more important flaw is the use of global warming as the justification for exterminating humans. Although “global warming” was not mentioned directly, it was obviously implied by the use of the term “tipping point”. The reality is that there is little reason to fear anthropogenic climate change.

A similar flaw is the dubious claim that that humans are destroying the earth. Clearly the earth is not being destroyed. For example, the putative cause of global warming is CO2, which is non-toxic. Also, anything humans are doing to the earth can be undone, or we can adapt.

A more disturbing claim is that the earth does not belong to humans. Obviously the earth does belong to humans because we are the only sentient species here. Also, we evolved here, and thus no other sentient species can ever have a stronger claim. If we were exterminated, then sentience would probably not evolve here again – at least not for hundreds of millions of years.

A related and very flawed value promoted by the movie is that sentient beings are worth no more than any other species. The reality is that sentience is the only thing that gives any meaning to the rest of the universe. If there were no sentience in the universe, then the universe would be irrelevant.

The most disturbing value in the movie is the total irrelevance of how humans interact with each other. The galactic community does not care if humans kill or enslave each other as long as we don’t hurt the earth. This is the opposite of the original movie in which the galactic ambassador came to stop us from killing each other and especially to stop us from exterminating ourselves with weapons of mass destruction because sentient life (e.g. the human race) is the ultimate value.

The movie tries to persuade you to accept its values by simultaneously destroying your self esteem and making you fear the imminent destruction of the earth by lowly people like yourself. It also makes you fear that you are on the wrong side of a fight you cannot win. People like you should just shut up and obey the omnipotent government-like force that is trying to save the environment, and then the government will have mercy on you and let you live.

In a nutshell, the movie not only promotes the idea that protecting the environment is more important than the extinction of humans, but that it is far, far more important than the freedom and dignity of humans. Therefore, any form of oppression is trivial because what we should all be worried about is global warming, and any form of oppression that promises to combat global warming is actually good.

The reality is that human freedom and dignity are what make life worth living, and those who seek power and wealth are forever trying to con us into giving up our freedom and dignity. One of their newer cons is global warming, but if we know the reality, then we are immune to their con.

The Promise of Reality is Freedom.