In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

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The Evolutionary Ape
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In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

Forgive me in advance if this topic turns out to be too contreversial. 

I'm having a moral dilemma after readng and thinking about a comment I read on ZeroHedge:

“Okay Einstein, let me spell it out for you in child-like terms:

  1. You do not have to be a scientist to understand the power of the application of science. Science is a tool, no different than mathematics; it is a means to understanding our environment.
  2. Worship does not necessarily mean to get on your knees and pray; it can simply mean to hold in high regard and to place something above all other things (even money and power). Words like reverence and respect can also be used in the same manner.
  3. The most powerful thing on Earth is the Ecology itself, but it is not indestructible.
  4. The ecology is our Lifeboat; destroy it and you're dead also; money, power, fame etc become meaningless.
  5. Modern society has an uncontrollable propensity to consume and destroy, even though self-destruction and mortality issues surround the condition itself.
  6. Human beings have lost the ability to harmoniously interact with anything; our minds have evolved into machines of extreme.
  7. Human beings seldom change because they want to, or they are asked to, or even when ordered to; human being mostly change because they fear an imminent threat (distant threats are shrugged-off...like Peak Oil, Peak everything).

So when these 7 simple to understand items get mixed in with our current world, it should become plain as the nose on your face that somebody needs to take action...perhaps they, feel it should be themselves. Perhaps they see that in holding reverence to science (including logic) and the ecology (all of nature), is the sole direction of survival in a world gone clinically insane.

The adoption of this mindset as a religion/faith, becomes much more powerful than that of immediate gratifications; Life being vastly more important than Maseratis and plasmas.

If I were in their shoes, I suspect I would do exactly the same thing; wipe out modern civilization, with extreme prejudice.

My personal position: I welcome a collapse, regardless of the damage and my own sacrifice, as the ecology desperately needs recovery. I fully realize, and it is also a logical conclusion, that it needs to occur and that it is only a bad experience solely for the human species itself (which is expendable by the way).

Now if you, or anyone else reading this post, can't grasp these fundamental issues as well as the position I am pointing-out, then please expect the following psychological/emotion experiences when the final collapse does occur;

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Acceptance

If you make-it to item number 4 that-is!

Ask not what your ecology can do for you, but what you can do for your ecology.” -http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-purpose-behind-engineered-economic-collapse#comment-527721

In reading this quote I started to see a case for a dramatic reduction in the human population.  With the world already breaching 6.6 billion people and more nations competing to “be just like the United States,”  I think points number 5 and 6 of the author ring even more true which speeds up the possibility of number 4.  I have seen point number 7 ring true time and time again in talking with people. 

In light of the 3E's, I am coming to almost support a dramatic reduction in the human population in order for ecology to not wipe out the whole species.  Is that wrong?  And my wording is so politically correct (“dramatic reduction”) because what I am really saying is that a lot of people need to die (or be killed) in order for some of us (or them) to survive.  In writing this I realize that sounds cruel and wrong, but if what the author is saying is true, what is the alternative?  I don’t have much confidence in humans changing their ways as pointed out in number 7.

Then self-preservation kicks in.  And I start thinking who goes first and if it’s inevitable that people have to go, how do I make sure my family and I are not chosen.   I guess what I’m asking is, is there a legitimate case for wanting humans to die so that you and your loved ones don't? Is there any case for postioning oneself to have others chosen before you and your family?  And if not you, how far does one go to ensure their family is in the best position to be survive even if it means the demise of other human beings? 

Peak Oil and many other peak occurences will reduce the population.  I don't see any other way around it.  If that's the case, it seems that part of surviving the transition period is making sure others don't.   This sounds awful, but I’m starting to lean that way and am looking for any logic that would help me make moral sense of this.  it seems like such a awful way to believe in light of what I have been raised to believe.  Thanks in advance.

 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
evolutionary ape wrote:

it seems like such a awful way to believe in light of what I have been raised to believe.

Population control is a lazy thought.  We kill off lots of folks so we can continue to live the "good life" using up the resources, instead of addressing the reduction of resources by changing our lifestyle.

I can't give you the stats on how changing our lifestyles will ultimately help sustain our resources but a true effort has got to be better than what we're doing. 

If you were raised to value and respect human life then I personally say you should return to those beliefs.  True love of thy neighbor dictates that you take care of the environment around you, from which you and your fellow man receive sustenance.

Take care,

Shack

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
The Evolutionary Ape wrote:

Forgive me in advance if this topic turns out to be too contreversial.

...

In light of the 3E's, I am coming to almost support a dramatic reduction in the human population in order for ecology to not wipe out the whole species.  Is that wrong?  And my wording is so politically correct (“dramatic reduction”) because what I am really saying is that a lot of people need to die (or be killed) in order for some of us (or them) to survive.  In writing this I realize that sounds cruel and wrong, but if what the author is saying is true, what is the alternative?  I don’t have much confidence in humans changing their ways as pointed out in number 7.

My thoughts:

1. Work to have yourself and your family in harmony with the environment. Do things to minimize your footprint, buy carbon offsets, grow your own food or buy permaculturally-raised foods, be self-reliant and resilient, etc.

2. Don't actively work for the deaths of others, but instead seek positive change in others so they also can be in harmony. Join forces with others to magnify your powers for good and to build community and self resilience. Once a critical mass is reached, things can change.

3. Since you cannot be the sole catalsyt of change, be prepared to accept the changes that do occur: whether it is a slowly worsening situation that ends in chaos and decline for humans and animals and plants (remember, the planet will be fine), or a sea-change in human behavior that somehow saves the planet (because it IS possible for the world to support this many human beings if we were all just willing to make the sacrifices and changes we need to make, though it's not likely), or a plague that wipes out most humans (but leaves the rest of the planet intact).

You don't have to support or try to encourage anything negative like a massive population crash because you personally won't be enough to make it happen. (Unless you happen to be a closet microbiologist, but in that case why aren't you seeking to breed temperature-resistant coral, etc.?)

Poet

P.S. - Human life is still valuable. We are an intelligent race capable of being good stewards of the environment to help it grow - we just sadly aren't living up to our potential.

 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

 

"We kill off lots of folks so we can continue to live the "good life" using up the resources, instead of addressing the reduction of resources by changing our lifestyle."  I never said anything about the good life.  I was just talking about life period.

"I can't give you the stats on how changing our lifestyles will ultimately help sustain our resources but a true effort has got to be better than what we're doing."

I agree that changing our lifestyles would help alleviate the problem, but you need this change on a wide scale.  If you look at point 7 in the comment I quoted there's a lot of truth in how humans adjust to long term versus short term threats.  There's no wide scale thinking when it comes to sustainability.

I think BP is a great example.  This environmental disaster was caused largely due to the industrialized nation's extreme oil consumptionism which relates to points 6 & 7 in the comment.  It had a tremendous loss of life for marine life and possibly the humans that were exposed to the dispersants.  And despite this, how much has changed in oil consumption and policy since the disaster?

"If you were raised to value and respect human life then I personally say you should return to those beliefs.  True love of thy neighbor dictates that you take care of the environment around you, from which you and your fellow man receive sustenance."

If that is the basis for true love ("taking care of the environment around you") how many of my neighbors are expressing hatred for me and my loved ones?  In additon, at what point does one start to love and value their family and themselves at the expense of their neighbor's life.  I guess that's where I struggle.  For example if an armed robber comes into my home, points a gun, and threatens the lives of my kids, the love thy neighbor, value and respect human life mantra quickly goes out the window.   I suspect this holds true for a lot of people.  So this far from a black and white issue.  There are times when it is morally accepted by society to sacrifice human life if it saves the life of someone you love or value more.  I won't even touch war, capital punishment, or our response to terror attacks. 

So I still have my original questions. I think the BP fiasco is a glimpse of how reckless human beings can be, and how the extreme thinking of overconsumptionism can endanger those I love as well as myself. 

I guess a part of it is that I'm also frustrated in trying to talk to people about how we are headed in the wrong direction and being laughed at like I'm some idiot or crazy doomsayer.  I feel as if the ignorance of a majority of people (at least here in America) is going to end up endangering the lives of those I love and care about.  In a way I do feel helpless no matter how much I try to prepare myself and my family as well as get the message out.  When SHTF I fully expect society to break down and for chaos to ensue.  And as cruel as it sounds, a part of me wishes the ignorant and foolish were rid of so that they don't endanger the people who get what is going on and are adjusting their lifestyles. 

 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

Then self-preservation kicks in.  And I start thinking who goes first and if it’s inevitable that people have to go, how do I make sure my family and I are not chosen.   I guess what I’m asking is, is there a legitimate case for wanting humans to die so that you and your loved ones don't? Is there any case for postioning oneself to have others chosen before you and your family?  And if not you, how far does one go to ensure their family is in the best position to be survive even if it means the demise of other human beings?

There isn't anything wrong with wanting to survive. It isn't like you personally are planning to kill people or want anyone to die. (At least I hope not Cry).

 

 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
The Evolutionary Ape wrote:

Peak Oil and many other peak occurences will reduce the population.  I don't see any other way around it.  If that's the case, it seems that part of surviving the transition period is making sure others don't.   This sounds awful, but I’m starting to lean that way and am looking for any logic that would help me make moral sense of this.  it seems like such a awful way to believe in light of what I have been raised to believe.  Thanks in advance.

What kind of a human can think it acceptable to make sure that others don't survive? Did your parents teach you nothing? What do you tell your children about the meaning of life? Moral sense and cold logic part company here. There is no moral way to add to the undeserved suffering of others in order to save yourself.

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
The Evolutionary Ape wrote:

In reading this quote I started to see a case for a dramatic reduction in the human population.  With the world already breaching 6.6 billion people and more nations competing to “be just like the United States,”  I think points number 5 and 6 of the author ring even more true which speeds up the possibility of number 4.  I have seen point number 7 ring true time and time again in talking with people. 

Its been quite clear to biologists for at least 50 years that there will ultimately be a dramatic reduction in human population. The only question really is the method that will be used.

I have pointed out that, ignoring age statification of the population, if each of us has only 3 grandchilden then the population will fall to 56% of current population in 100 years. We are probably at the point where a more drastic reduction is needed. If the average number of grandchildren fell to 2.5 then our current 6.6 billion would fall to 3.75 billion by 2060 and 2.34 billion by 2210. This seems to me to be the most logical and humane way to cull the human population (since it requires no excess deaths, only the reduction of birth rate). It is of course completely unacceptable politically.

So the human population will be culled as described in the Revelation of St. John (ignore religous reference if it offends you since it is a taboo topic) where the four horsemen of the apocalypse are identified as pestilence, war, famine and death.

The current situation in Pakistan is a  foreshadowing of the things to come. I have found the nonchalance of the so-called civilized world to be incredible in the face of this overwhelming humanitarian disaster. I expect many of the aged and chidren will die from cholera, dysentery and starvation among the 20 million displaced.

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
Stan Robertson wrote:
The Evolutionary Ape wrote:

Peak Oil and many other peak occurences will reduce the population.  I don't see any other way around it.  If that's the case, it seems that part of surviving the transition period is making sure others don't.   This sounds awful, but I’m starting to lean that way and am looking for any logic that would help me make moral sense of this.  it seems like such a awful way to believe in light of what I have been raised to believe.  Thanks in advance.

What kind of a human can think it acceptable to make sure that others don't survive? Did your parents teach you nothing? What do you tell your children about the meaning of life? Moral sense and cold logic part company here. There is no moral way to add to the undeserved suffering of others in order to save yourself.

 

Stan,

I have a question for you.

Suppose you are in a life boat built for 10 people and it has 10 people in it. You see a group of about 50 people in the water struggling to stay afloat in heavy seas.

Do you row over to them or do you row away from them?

 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

Whoa!  You’ve dragged out the dirty laundry that no one wants to see.  Personally, I think this is worth a hard look for the implications are severe.

To cut to the chase – Should we want other people to die so that we may live?  No.  Even combat hardened soldiers often feel strong guilt when they survive and others don’t.  But if things get bad enough it will happen. 

Buy the logic of the 3Es human population must shrink drastically, from over 6 billion down to maybe 2 billion or less.  We are all going to die someday.  The question is how soon.  With a slow decline in industry some lives will be shortened and birth rates will fall but sudden mass die offs may not be a big factor.  With war or periods of fast collapse you get a different picture.  I’m not in favor of anyone dying to reduce population, but if we don’t reduce our birthrate nature will do it for us.  Unfortunately we seem to be running out of time for the gradual solution.

Deaths will vary a lot by region.  Many people in the world live on the edge already and anything will push them over.  The current floods in Pakistan are a good example.  Natural disasters are tragic, but when the causes of disaster are man made they are inexcusable.  Check out The Party’s Over: Oil, War And The Fate Of Industrial Societies, by Richard Heinberg, for a good examination of your questions and possible scenarios. 

Another good book is Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, by Michael Klare.  His thesis is that nations are already engaged in a global economic war for resources and this will become more intense.  As citizens of a rich country with a powerful military and good natural resources we should fare relatively better than most.  It is an ugly process but history shows clearly that it has always been this way.  In developed nations we are well insulated from this struggle and it is easy to ignore.

Ultimately survival is about preserving yourself and your loved ones.  But you can’t do it in isolation.  As Chris says you need a community to be viable.  The worse the conditions the smaller these communities will be.  How do we make a living?  Who shares our values, who can we trust in peril, and how can we maintain social cohesion in times of strife?  Mankind has struggled with these issues as long as we have been around.  It’s too bad that they will probably get much more intense.

PS - SteveW, you were posting while I was composing.  I'm kinda slow. 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
Travlin wrote:

As citizens of a rich country with a powerful military and good natural resources we should fare relatively better than most.  It is an ugly process but history shows clearly that it has always been this way.  In developed nations we are well insulated from this struggle and it is easy to ignore. 

A question, not a challenge:  Have you seen evidence that we (so to speak) haven't already offshored too much to have the insulating capacities here?

With respect to the title question, I strongly recommend looking for answers in your locale, where neighbors' attention to the question can make a difference for you and your family, not so much in cyberspace, where it's an abstract exercise.

David

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
deggleton wrote:
Travlin wrote:

As citizens of a rich country with a powerful military and good natural resources we should fare relatively better than most.  It is an ugly process but history shows clearly that it has always been this way.  In developed nations we are well insulated from this struggle and it is easy to ignore. 

A question, not a challenge:  Have you seen evidence that we (so to speak) haven't already offshored too much to have the insulating capacities here?

With respect to the title question, I strongly recommend looking for answers in your locale, where neighbors' attention to the question can make a difference for you and your family, not so much in cyberspace, where it's an abstract exercise.

David

Good question deggleton, and challenges are always welcome with me.  I often learn from them.

My wording was a bit vague.  What I meant was that we don't have to till the soil by hand, slaughter our own livestock, etc.  We don't have to fight the country next door for vital resources because we can buy whatever we want since we are (have been) the pre-eminent player in global commerce.  If they don’t want to play we can usually intimidate them with force.  Our present system is very good at supplying what we need as individuals and distracting us with diversions so we don’t think about the squalor of other people’s lives, and can’t imagine it happening to us.  That is the insulation I meant.

Yes, I agree with you.  Our insulation is eroding fast.  We have allowed our economy to be hollowed out in many ways.  I think that shipping our manufacturing overseas has left us vulnerable and we are riding on past glories.  Things are already changing.  Most people just won’t acknowledge it yet, but they are starting to sense it.

What is your view? 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

Ken,

What you described is a triage situation. These are gut wrenching but sometimes unavoidable in tragic circumstances. Read the part of E Ape's message that I quoted. Making sure that others don't survive is not the same as leaving them to themselves when nothing can be done for them. Maybe E Ape would care to comment on his intent.

Stan

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

To answer the prior question about the maxed out rowboat with 10 people on it and 50 need help in the distance:

No I would not want to go and attempt to save the 50 people. Reason number 1 being that I put at serious risk the other 9 people that are currently safe on the boat including myself. Sometimes in life fate plays its role. It could have been me in the ocean with the other 50. If I drown then that is my fate. Now if I saw the boat coming I would do everything in my power to get on the boat to survive. At the moment it would be a natural instinct to do whatever I could to survive. Would I allow myself to willingly die when there is a clear shot of survival? Probably not,even if that meant that others would die at the expense of my living. Assume there were young children in the water with me. Then perhaps they would have priority. A guy my age would face a tougher challenge.

Perhaps I am incredibly selfish? But I would tell the others not to steer towards the doomed group lest we all perish.

Never underestimate the other persons greed.

 

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

 Not many would give their life for another .     After you warn people of the dangers and tell them over and over to get on the boat  or to build their own boat and they laugh at you or think you are crazy ...

     If people want help they will listen ... yes  you have to give them the message  but there just comes a time when you take care of your own  and consider the door closed .  I do not consider that taking a life .      Might be situation ethics  but guess we won't really know until we are there . 

  Totally different than plotting to take someones elses things or life .

 FM

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
Travlin wrote:
deggleton wrote:

Have you seen evidence that we (so to speak) haven't already offshored too much to have the insulating capacities here?

I agree with you.  Our insulation is eroding fast.  We have allowed our economy to be hollowed out in many ways.  I think that shipping our manufacturing overseas has left us vulnerable and we are riding on past glories.  Things are already changing.  Most people just won’t acknowledge it yet, but they are starting to sense it.

What is your view? 

You sensed my view, I'd say.  I tend to think most in the USA are both far out of balance and far out on a limb, and that these unrealistic and unsatisfying conditions are masked by energy near peak, borrowing near peak, extraction of resources near peak and experiments performed on society near peak.  As these peaks begin show up in the collective rear-view mirror, large numbers of people will wish for balance and a perch where the limb barely bends, but in awkward scrambles cluelessness and dense packing will hurt many and frustrate even more.

David

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?
Stan Robertson wrote:
The Evolutionary Ape wrote:

Peak Oil and many other peak occurences will reduce the population.  I don't see any other way around it.  If that's the case, it seems that part of surviving the transition period is making sure others don't.   This sounds awful, but I’m starting to lean that way and am looking for any logic that would help me make moral sense of this.  it seems like such a awful way to believe in light of what I have been raised to believe.  Thanks in advance.

What kind of a human can think it acceptable to make sure that others don't survive? Did your parents teach you nothing? What do you tell your children about the meaning of life? Moral sense and cold logic part company here. There is no moral way to add to the undeserved suffering of others in order to save yourself.

 

Instead of cherrypicking that part of my arguement I wish you'd addressed the quoted comment or the home intruder scenario (second reply) along with some of the other logic I presented.  It's not hard to take one point and twist it out of context compared to the whole arguement. 

No worries though.  I'm going to explain my view, but offer two scenarios before doing so that I hope you will give thought to. 

I love the 10 people on a life boat illustration, but I'd change it.  You are on a life boat meant for 10 people, but there are 15 people on it.  Four of them are your three kids and significant other.  The lifeboat is sinking and it is inevitable that without it getting to the 10 people maximum everyone is going to drown.  Stan what do you do?  I'd suspect at best you'd jump off and pull four others with you and at worst push 5 others out.  Either of these answers ensure someone else will not survive so that others can.

Scenario two.  The transistion period has hit and as well as you planned you are out of food and clean water.  It's been this way for a week.  Your kids are starving and as much as you've tried you can't find any food or clean water.  However you know of a family down the road that has both.  While you've already asked them to share, they tell you they only have enough for their family.  How far are you willing to go to secure that food and water for your kids?  Or flip it and say they are the family without the food and water and you only have enough for your family.  How far are you willing to go to protect your resources?  Are still willing to tell them you cannot share, knowing that they are likely to die as a result?

There's not an option on the table that says 6.6 billion people can exist on the earth for the next century and enjoy the current way of life.  There's not an option on the table that says population can increase exponentially and the current standards of life will stay intact.  There is an option coming that says some can enjoy a new way of life, but this will mean a decrease in population.  I would like to see my family as well as myself enjoy that new way of life.  Do I want people to die?  No, not just for death's sake.  But given the options on the table and if someone was to say I can pick which camp I am in, then yes I choose to live knowing that others must die. 

There's a joke about a bear attacking a group in the woods.  The joke is that you don't have to outrun the bear you only have to outrun the slowest person in the group.  And I guess that's my stance.  I would rather the bear doesn't attack at all, but if it does, I'd rather not be the slowest person in the group.  That means I hope someone else is slower than me. 

To a some extent this is already happening.  Without going into detail, our current quality of life is very oil dependent.  Our pharmaceuticals, medical technology, transportation, robust agricultural distribution system, etc.  Yet the US has little oil of its own that makes up our oil consumption.  So we acquire it from other nations or support dictators that will allow us to take it for cheap.  But one way is that we go to war for it.  As Iraq has proven many innocent people die as a result of these wars.  The bullets that kill, the bombs that blow up villages, the pay of the soliders are paid for by our tax dollars.  And that's not even about survival, but rather keeping gasoline at under $3 a gallon and our king like ways of life.  Many innocent people are already dying so that we can keep our current way of life and that's funded by our tax dollars and the politicians we vote in and allow to represent our nation.  How much further will people go when it becomes a matter of survival?

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

I wish my fellow man no ill, but it has always been the survival of the fittest. It's only been masked by social/medical programs that extend the life of those who would have died 100 years ago from preditation, ill health , starvation or natural disasters. What's coming will be nasty, some areas of the third world will be little effected, as big chunks of the human population there are already without all of the above, many never had it in the first place. Where it will hit worst is in the first world, particularly in the USA where corpulent citizens go ballistic over the local McDonalds running out of Mcnuggets, these people will kill you over a doughnut. You can expect as  Clint eastwood said in the " Unforgiven"

"All right, I'm coming out. Any man I see out there, I'm gonna shoot him. Any sumbitch takes a shot at me, I'm not only gonna kill him, but I'm gonna kill his wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down."

That is pretty much what you can expect in America once the public realizes there are NO lifeboats. It already happened after Katrina, as first responders that were there have reported, for some strange reason it never made the news......

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Re: In the face of the 3E's how valuable is human life?

E Ape,

First scenario - alternate 5 men in the water at a time for as long as they can stand.  Women and Children stay in.  There could be a selfish SOB that won't take his turn unless you make him. Whatever the situation, you manage it the best you can with the goal of keeping everyone alive.  Everyone may not make it but those that do know they tried. 

Second scenario - you share the best you can.  The idea is to gear up for such an event with the idea that you may have to help others.  Too many may come for help.  You can only do what you can do. 

For both scenarios you Pray. 

You’re right in a sense that the strong will survive.  But the strong will also help others survive.  Where is the whole idea of community?  Does it apply?  Or are we all just pissin in the wind on this web site when it comes to a SHTF occurrence and the communities we speak of?

And I agree that we already practice population control here in the good old USA.

Please don't misunderstand my response. I appreciate this topic.  Everyone needs to know that you can't always count on your fellow man.  And when it all comes down you sure won't be able to count on the Government.

 

Take care,

Shack

 

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