>Are we at odds with nature?

>The dictionary defines ‘natural’ as those things that haven’t been altered by mankind. But what are we if not natural? Were we created in a different way to all other life?

But then if we are natural then how is it that we can seem to have different goals to nature? There strikes me as an odd similarity between nature and a hunter-gatherer society. Both house acts we would consider primitive and barbaric. If you look at the average murder rate for those tribes in the Amazon you’ll find that in comparison to more ‘civilised countries’ those tribes look very violent indeed. At the same time evolution seems very cruel, as does the circle of life. In both cases we (humanity) seem to be pitying them while in the process of wiping them out.

So are something ‘other’ than nature? Can we be at odds with it?

2 comments

  • >We can sometimes seem to be at odds with nature. One of the arguments against vegetarianism is that it isn't natural. Many omnivores say that say that there are meat eaters and there are vegetarians in nature, but that we are the former, and it would be against nature to change.Yet on the other side there are many examples of species that have changed their diets. Of course this usually happens due to changes in environment, but ideologies are part of our environment in a way. So aren't we really just adapting within nature rather than outside it? Our morality, and reluctance to kill other creatures may be a 'natural' mechanism to protect other species, that we have clearly become powerful enough to endanger.We say that humanity committs vast attrocities such as America's genocidal extinction of Bison in the late 19th century. Yet it may be only because we are more able to kill in such large numbers. After all attrocities are not committed solely by our species. Indeed evolution requires the extinction of species from time to time. We also say that humanity is so estranged from other species that we have 'progressed' beyond nature. Yet gene studies of chimpanzees show that we share 96% of our genes with them. Chimpanzees organise into communities, socialize, use tools, wage war, and use tactics in war. They also committ attrocities such as infanticide (males do this when taking a partner who has previously had child from another male, and it protects their personal geneological line). So in fact they're very similar. And even if we are termed as unique then are no other species? You only have to watch a few documentaries to see that we're clearly not the most unique species out there. Nor or we necessarily the best adapted to life, as discussed in an earlier debate.In other words we have gained an enormous amount of power in recent years, and are able to have huge positive or negative impacts on other parts of nature. But they are "other", because we too are natural.

  • >I have always been confused with the terms "natural" and "unnatural" for this very reason. The words and their meaning seem to be relics of the past, when we did believe that we were separate from everything else. There are many definitions and ways of saying natural, and many different uses e.g. he’s a natural, That do not have anything to do with this.The definition that we should be dealing with is:• Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the cosmic.As you can see it encompasses literally everything we do, weather that is surviving, or killing ourselves, or other animals.As for vegetarians saying that we should be eating vegetables or meat, I totally agree with everything you said. All living things will do absolutely anything to survive, and those that don’t, don’t survive when things get tough. That is called natural selection.One of the main reasons why humans have done so well is because of our adaptability, which includes changing our environment to our liking. What other species lives permanently in all continents, in deserts, rainforests, tundra, and everything in-between. It also includes eating whatever we can in those environments.Try telling an Inuit not to eat meat. (they consume this type of diet because a mostly meat diet is "effective in keeping the body warm, making the body strong, keeping the body fit, and even making that body healthy")(wiki)They would just not survive there without meat.Sorry for the rant,(it was going to be the first paragraph) don’t know how I ended up at Inuits!

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