I just read about the a controversial research in Carnegie Melon .
Global warming trend began with advent of agriculture and this report claims that Chengiz Khan might have helped slow down this effect when he killed almost 40 million people, resulting in vast agricultural lands, especially in central Europe, being returned to forests. I read some other research somewhere long time back that talked about how the central European forests helped create temperate climate that gave rise to stable agriculture yield and thus further giving rise to European renaissance.
We all know the what happened in Europe revolutionized every aspect of human life on this planet. It has been more positive than negative for civilization, at least so far. It gave rise to many scientific discoveries. The invention of vaccination has saved millions of lives.
So I wonder if Chengiz khan did indirectly save more people than he killed? Over the course of one millennium, is a ruthless mas murderer more moral than a kind and gracious priest in a church?
And stretching this argument further. If the global warming kills the whole planet, then should we blame the doctors that invented vaccines for contributing to population growth and straining the environment?
This makes me wonder what role does morality really play in making this world better? The world seems to be far too complex to linearly think about cause and effects. There are so many dimensions of a particular action. What if every action we do, if accounted on all dimensions, is of neutral value when it comes to making a world a better or worse?
I know that no matter what my logic tells me about morality, I won’t be able to go outside and kill a cute puppy. That’s just not me. But what if i were? What is my ultimate destiny? For long I have stopped believing in heaven and hell. But I do believe in a ultimate fair outcome for every life form. How will that work?