Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Derrick Jensen on Ethics and Morals

“Any solution that does not take into account – or, rather, count as primary – polar bears, walruses, whippoorwills, bobwhites, chickadees, salmon, and the land and air and water that support them all – is no solution, because it doesn’t count the real world as primary and social constructs as secondary. Any such solution is in the most real sense neither realistic nor practical. Any solution that does not place the well-being of nonhumans – and indeed the natural world, which is the real world – at the center of its moral, practical, and ‘realistic’ considerations is neither moral, practical, nor realistic. Nor will it solve global warming or any other ecological problem.”  – Derrick Jensen, “You Choose” from the anthology MORAL GROUND: ETHICAL ACTION FOR A PLANET IN PERIL

And just for kicks, yesterday I had about 100 birds in the garden at one time for about an hour. Starlings, flickers, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches, nuthatches, blue jays, cardinals, juncos, crows and:


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

I'm not sure I follow the ins and outs fully - but I do think humans are fully part of the natural world, even if they are also a threat to it.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Well of course we are part of the natural world -- we share the same genes as plants. But what kind of part are we? And with are ability to feel and reason abstractly, and to develop a code of morals and ethics, don't we simply have to live smarter? Why can't we? Our natural role -- the apex of evolution on this planet -- may be a test to see if life capable of having ethical codes can exist in equilibrium, and then see what wondrous life comes from that equilibrium.