In ‘Inferno’ is what many might see as a compelling speech by Zobrist, reminiscent of Agent Smith’s unnerving monologue to Morpheus in ‘The Matrix’, on how humanity is like a relentless virus. However, there are many more details in this version, as we can see below. (The more convinced you are that Zobrist makes sense, the more should you read the review of it that follows!)
‘It took the Earth’s population 100,000 years to reach a billion people. And then just 100 more to reach two billion. And only 50 years to double again. Four billion people in 1970. We’re nearly at eight billion now. Bartlett gives the example of a beaker. With a single bacterium in it, one that divides and doubles every minute, if you place the first bacterium into the beaker at 11:00 [pm], and it’s completely full by 12, at what time is the beaker still only half full? 11:59. That’s what time it is for us. In 40 years, 32 billion people will fight to survive. They’ll fail. We’re a minute to midnight.
‘We are destroying the very means by which life is sustained. Every single global ill that plagues the Earth can be traced back to human overpopulation. But serious birth control measures, they don’t stand a chance. “Outrageous! Violation of my rights! Invasion of my privacy! Don’t tell me what to do!’ And still, we keep attacking our own environment. There have been five major extinctions in the Earth’s history and unless we take bold, immediate action, the sixth extinction will be our own. We are a minute to midnight.
‘Why do we demand inaction? We clear, cut, we dump, we consume, we destroy. Half the animal species on Earth have vanished in the last 40 years. But we still keep attacking our own environment. Does it take a catastrophe to learn our lesson? To get our attention? Nothing changes behavior like pain. Maybe pain can save us. There is a switch. If you throw it, half the people on Earth will die. But if you don’t, the human race will be extinct in a hundred years. What will you do? Mankind is the cancer in its own body. Do you love humanity enough to save it?’
What Zobrist created was a viral pathogen, capable of killing half of all humans when released, to ‘cull’ or ‘thin’ the ‘herd’ to a ‘healthier’ size. Cancer cells should be treated without harming other cells though. The killing of billions of innocents to save some is tyrannically inhuman, but there is the argument that humans are already inhuman. But this is a sweeping statement, the logic of unreasonable terrorists who wish to ‘play god’, just as ‘he’ kills many in natural disasters and with outbreak of disease. Then again, there is no proof that such a cruel deity who creates and destroys exist. Terrorists play out more of their own defilements than carry out any divine instruction.
Zobrist’s wrong assumption is that exponential growth of humans is the key problem of humanity itself. It is not. It is growth of the Three Poisons (of greed, hatred and delusion) that is. Every single ill traced to its root boils down to this trio. Collectively, this is the true virus that humans, including Zobrist, are infected by. (Unwillingness to practise restraint or have birth control stems too from greed [lust] and delusion.) The cure is to widely propagate the Three Antidotes of generosity, compassion and wisdom. Why lose humanity physically and spiritually by wiping out humanity? If the poisons are not purged, it is a matter of time that forgetful plague survivors continue spreading them!