The function of ethical behavior is to maximize the human species survival, and this quality has been bred into our species on an intellectually observable level ever since the first human females started selecting males based on those females’ ability to discuss the ethical behavior of males with their friends. The goal of the Lifehaven Project is rather similar to those females’ goal as it also aims to maximize the quality of the human species, but it adds the additional factor of the species’s long term survival, and not just the next reproductive cycle’s needs such as would have concerned those choosy women. The product of both of these types of choices is a healthy human species.
In those ancient times—and in fact up until 1945 with the explosion of the first atomic bomb—their method of defining ethical behavior worked quite, well but now there must be the additional quality in humans of having sufficient foresight to prevent annihilation of our species. The current mental state of the world will neither permit nor support the new type of vital laws which are necessary to create a stable world where the human population resides in balance with the rest of the world. But in the future these few vital laws which are to be proposed might be acceptable.
The maximum number of humans which can live in balance with nature may be as few as ten million, perhaps even fewer or perhaps more, but certainly a tiny fraction of the current population of 6.7 billion. Only after experience with a number substantially less than the maximum sustainable number for some extended period of time, say one hundred years, will it be possible to measure if humanity is in balance. The proxy measure for the Earth’s health at present, and probably a good one if there is to be a single measure, is the CO2 concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere. Only after the CO2 level has returned to the pre-industrial level of 1825 can the human population of the Earth be permitted to be raised again. If all anthropogenic CO2 were to immediately stop being put into the atmosphere it would probably be about two hundred years before that 1825 figure would be approached, and that figure would be approached that quickly only if there was a healthy biosphere, and not one severely degraded by an atomic war. When that war happens, as it must if we continue on our current path, the time for CO2 recovery will probably be much longer because there would be fewer species to do the necessary conversions, filtration and sequestration processes necessary for recovery. Generally speaking, complex species environments maintain a higher conversion rate for incoming solar radiation, and so a depleted gene pool following an atomic war would probably not be as efficient at cleaning up the environment. This recovery might be simulated by computers, but probably not very accurately because there are just too many confounding factors, and some seemingly minor one might suddenly well up and totally change everything.
The problem is one of setting up the laws for this after Doomsday new way of life. It has as its goal, Vital Law #1—the forming of a sustainable dynamic balance of humans with the Earth’s environment by population control, and thus the prevention of population explosions. What needs to be done is to replace some of Nature’s Laws with Human Laws. In a way this is abhorrent, and probably impossible. At present people would rather live with recurrent Doomsdays, and the near annihilation of all humanity, and all other life forms on Earth than to voluntarily limit their breeding to an average of two children per woman. That is challenging enough, but there must be a second law, and that is to replace nature’s natural destruction of unfit living beings. This isn’t a new concept, and it has been practiced by other cultures. In the new “de-Doomed” world where people are being controlled on their reproduction, and provided with excellent health care these measures are necessary to prevent genetic degradation. Nature prevents genetic degradation by taking away the less fit in a multitude of horrible ways, and no one seems to mind very much, but when human consciousness, and will are involved people rebel—as perhaps they should.
Therefore, Vital Law #2—these vital life decisions are to be removed from human consideration, and put into a generally agreed upon form of legal decision. This new Vital Law replaces nature’s law of Natural Selection. It might be more difficult to define than some exact number of human beings permitted to be born in a particular year as in Vital Law #1 because nature has a vast number of ways by which it eliminates the unfit, but there must be determined some legal method of limiting humans from entering the gene pool when they fall below some level of genetic vitality. This is intended to replace what nature already does constantly on a routine basis. This is a difficult concept for the currently free breeding humans to consider, but the idea here is to create human vitality, and vigor not just for some particular person, but for all humanity for the next hundred thousand years. In that time period obviously any given person will have come, and gone but if they insert some harmful gene into the public gene pool, and there is no law for removing it, that flaw will proliferate throughout the entire human species. The Law of Natural Selection would have prevented that by eliminating it early on but since humans are now capable of overriding that Natural Law there must be a new Human Law put in its place. If that can not be done then there will be an inevitable degradation and death of the entire human species in the not distant future. Obviously at present that kind of vital law can not be enacted, but after Doomsday when the population has been reduced to a very small number perhaps it could be agreed upon to limit fertility to two children per person, and to eliminate by some agreed upon process, possibly sterilization or isolation, those whom nature would have eliminated anyway if left to fulfill its usual function. People at present do many things which even a short time ago would have been considered impossible so perhaps limiting births to two per person, and isolating the unfit from the common gene pool isn’t impossible.
In conclusion, what is necessary for humanity to survive in the long run is an ethical system which includes taking over some of the functions that are ordinarily taken care of by natural processes.