Garrett Hardin Quotes
39 Sourced Quotes
Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit — in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.
At this late date in the post-Christian Era, it might be questioned whether the Bible should even be brought into an ethical discussion. I argue that it should. Many people who do not explicitly call on the Bible for backing are nevertheless influenced by what they believe the Bible says. (Everyone knows about the Good Samaritan, even though they may not be able to remember what Samaritans in general were.) It is considered good form to speak politely of Scripture: revere it, but don't bother reading it seems to be the rule. Above all, don't read it thoughtfully.
A coldly rationalist individualist can deny that he has any obligation to make sacrifices for the future. By contrast, those who, for whatever reason, regard the resources at their disposal as an inheritance from the past that they feel obliged to pass on to their descendants, have a better chance of producing future generations prosperous enough to be able to continue to wrestle with the problems of increasing the quality of life.
But it is no good using the tongs of reason to pull the Fundamentalists' chestnuts out of the fire of contradiction. Their real troubles lie elsewhere... Fundamentalists are panicked by the apparent disintegration of the family, the disappearance of certainty and the decay of morality. Fear leads them to ask, if we cannot trust the Bible, what can we trust? The truth or falsity of evolution is a secondary matter. Rationalists must listen to the complaints of the Fundamentalists with a psychiatrist's "third ear", and respond to the more subtle messages.
Our desire to conserve wildlife for our children and our children's children forces us to bring out into the open conservation's secret question : Does God give a prize for the maximum number of human beings? Put another way, which shall we bequeath to our grandchildren : human life with nature, or human life without nature?