Is there a philosophy or religion that holds that human life on Earth will become extinct, because of global warming or nuclear war or a massive caldera explosion or asteroid impact (anything, really) and therefore we need to establish off-world colonies?

It's for a novel I'm writing, and I'm wondering if there is a commonly accepted word for this concept.

  • 1
    The idea of it being for a novel makes me think of Worldbuilding, although that tends to be more technical questions.
    – M.A.H.
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 18:04
  • @M.A.H. I'm not sure this is really a good Worldbuilding candidate because the OP is looking for an actually used term (if one exists), not for an invented term that would make sense. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 18:07
  • Muskism. Zubrinism. Escapism with a new more concrete meaning. "free oneself from confinement; extricate oneself from trouble; get away safely by flight"
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 18:22
  • @M.A.H. This would very likely be closed as "not about worldbuilding" on Worldbuilding SE because it asks about the real world. If it's asking about what to call such a movement, it would very likely be closed as "primarily opinion-based". What would be on topic on Worldbuilding is asking about specific aspects of designing such a religion, how it came to be, how its beliefs would interact with the rest of the world, that sort of thing.
    – user
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 11:43
  • I suppose it is a new age form of fatalism in a way
    – John Am
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


From at least one resource's interpretation of Cosmism, it sounds like that just might be what you are looking for:

Cosmism is an existential philosophical orientation that sees the survival of mankind and of the individual as part of humanity's "common task". The migration of humans into space is seen as inevitable, since it is essential for humanity's long-term survival.

-- What is Cosmism?

So, that is your answer from a philosophical perspective. There could be one or more new religious movements that espouse these views, but I haven't found any in a cursory search.

It is also interesting to note that survivalism in general anticipates a coming disaster that will affect humanity, and survivalists usually try to ready themselves to survive whatever event(s) may come. In this sense, cosmism could be seen as a variation of survivalism. To some extent, anarcho-primitivism could be seen as being at the opposing end of a spectrum of survivalist views, where anarcho-primitivism says we need to return to a more primitive* state to survive and cosmism says we need to advance.

* "Primitive" here is not meant as a value judgment, just in the literal sense of a more original state.

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