When I Hear, Read, or See Something About Disasters
Especially ones with high death tolls, on one hand, I feel sad and my heart goes out to the victims.
On the other hand, I feel moodily happy, almost. I can't help but think about how it sets back, somewhat, the exponential growth of our already over-populous species. We just don't have the resources to sustain it, environmentally or economically.
From an environmental standpoint, the earth cannot support a continuation of what we have been doing. Already there are problems with people conflicting with animals as we encroach upon the land they once lived and give them less space, and it will only get worse as we expand. There are thousands upon thousands of ways we are s******* up the earth, mostly by our sheer numbers; what do you think will happen if we just keep growing?
From a less environmentalist standpoint, the population explosion is just as detrimental to individual people as to the world. There is a finite amount of matter, and therefore a finite amount of material to be used. The more people, the thinner the resources are spread. Add to the fact that we use things up faster than they are replaced, and the more people we have, the faster we use them, and you wind up with a spiraling standard of living, which only increases in downwards speed as we increase exponentially.
I do feel pity for the disaster victims, because as much as they are members of a population, they are also individuals. I feel guilty about my unsympathetic reactions. Nevertheless, I feel the sort of hard satisfaction, impersonal utilitarianism, and cold rationality in the wake of a disaster more strongly than I feel the other two.