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Humans- Nature Vs Culture

Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment

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Postby David George » Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:18 am

Linn wrote:well simply,
we cant blame any other creature for
pollution and bombs, and bio-engineered whatevers?
and world wars. Of course its humans fault. :roll:

Let me go to Astus side for sometime.Offcourse we cannot but some animals like ants also have wars once a ther was a war between some 30-32 ant colonies and only one colony survived.Even elephants in africa break trees.Remember you can only find few trees in the savanah.I think humans destruct so much so that they can become extinct.Offcourse humans donot like to be extinct but that is how nature works.Everything has to leave space for other organisms.
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"
-Theodosius Dobzhansky
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Postby damien james » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:02 am

AstusAleator wrote:So we're supposedly on the verge of an ecological/evolutionary/environmental disaster, in which humans will be the primary cause of world-wide destruction. (by verge i mean within the next 1000 yrs)

Why is this humans' fault?



damien james wrote:If human are primary cause of world-wide destruction, where else can blame be laid?


Maybe a better way of wording that would have been "why is this bad?" Obviously humans should be concerned in regard to the well-being of their species, but is there any other reason why we should consider this a bad thing?


I think the underlying question is:
Where do our perceptions of morality (right and wrong) and nature cross. Is it possible to divorce these philosophies from a definition of nature? Does "nature" exist without humans? Is it truly possible for us to consider natures importance purely for nature's sake?


If you are asking question of where morality stems from, you can join many ranks of philosopher who give their own interpretations in thousand of books across the world.

Where do our perceptions of morality (right and wrong) and nature cross.


Here question seem ambiguous. Perception of morality would first mean able to perceive morality. To perceive is either to use one of our senses to observe physical phenomena or to observe action of some sort, or it can be to understand something, which must be case here as we can not see or hear morality as it is a set of ideal or concepts. So now we have where do our understanding of the concept of morality and nature (I assume nature as a noun) cross? I do not really understand this question.

Is it possible to divorce these philosophies from a definition of nature?


Here I do not see where concept of morality itself would have much to do with definition of nature.

Does "nature" exist without humans?


Nature is subjective term when considering what this term encompasses, but if you consider prehistoric life to be representative of nature, then nature can exist without human.

Is it truly possible for us to consider natures importance purely for nature's sake?


I think I understand this. Are you asking that nature is important only because it is nature? I think this is oversimplification. Nature (if defined subjectively as the living world surrounding us) is why human being is surviving. Without nature, we die. I think that is important enough.

Anyway, this is just my thought process as to your question. But I am not philosopher so this is not my area really.
The hand of God may well be all around us, but it is not, nor can it be, the task of science to dust for fingerprints.
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Postby Linn » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:01 am

Quote:
Does "nature" exist without humans?


do you think humans alter nature?
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
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Postby AstusAleator » Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:54 am

Hey now! I'm the one asking the questions here! :evil:
*sigh*
Damien... Where do I start? First of all I think we may have a language/communication barrier that could cause some problems... but lets try to get over that.

Here's a cut and paste from dictionary.com

na·ture ( P ) Pronunciation Key (nchr)
n.
The material world and its phenomena.
The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.
The world of living things and the outdoors: the beauties of nature.
A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality: couldn't tolerate city life anymore and went back to nature.
Theology. Humankind's natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.
A kind or sort: confidences of a personal nature.
The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: “She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble” (Gertrude Stein).
The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: “Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill” (Percy Bysshe Shelley).
The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing. See Synonyms at disposition.
The processes and functions of the body.

cul·ture ( P ) Pronunciation Key (klchr)
n.

The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.
Intellectual and artistic activity and the works produced by it.

Development of the intellect through training or education.
Enlightenment resulting from such training or education.
A high degree of taste and refinement formed by aesthetic and intellectual training.
Special training and development: voice culture for singers and actors.
The cultivation of soil; tillage.
The breeding of animals or growing of plants, especially to produce improved stock.
Biology.
The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.


The word nature is used in so many ways, but in almost every case it is used to portray a sense of the way things exist without 'interference' or how they should be. I think, in english, the word nature has built into it a schism from human culture. Perhaps this has to do with certain ideals or faiths associated with the construction of the english language, such as Christianity. Early english speakers may have felt a need to distinguish themselves from nature in order to feel above it or apart from it. The pursuit of the soul, at least in Judeo-Christianity, seems to have led humans away from the "bonds" of nature.
Perhaps we feel it is necessary to define nature so, in order to maintain our ideas of free will.

So how does morality tie in? Do you feel that a cougar is evil because it would just as readily eat a human baby as a baby deer? That's its nature. Ok, now what about men that sleep around with multiple partners, or *gasp* women that do the same. Evolutionarily (yes Linn, I know) that's our nature. How do you feel about clear cutting? How would you feel if a forest near your house was completely decimated for no good reason, and all the wood and brush was piled up and burned. FURTHERMORE toxic chemicals were sprayed onto that land so that no living thing could every exist there again. Is that wrong? Why?
Now depending on who you are, your answer will vary, but I guarantee 99.999% of people would either say yes or no. It's either morally justifiable (right) or it's morally wrong.
Do you see what I'm getting at? We attach values to issues dealing with nature, or to the word itself. For me, nature is good. Destroying nature is bad. But what does that really mean??

As far as "nature" existing without humans, I am referring to the concept. This seperation of self or society from the "natural" state of things. A world devoid of humans would be pristinely natural, but as there would be no humans to define nature or to draw a distinction, the concept of nature would not exist. It just is. Life. Environment. Life.

So why should "nature" be distinguished in a world populated by humans? Humans are alive right? We've got the same organs as any other mammal. In fact, most mammals have better organs than us for most intents and purposes. Sure, we alter our environment, but so do many other organisms. It doesn't change the fact that we exist, as animals, in an environment. We eat, we breath, we drink. We poop, we fart, and we piss.

Ok, I'll get off my soap-box. I've said enough for one post. *sigh*
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Postby Linn » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:46 am

sorry I crashed your private coversation :oops:
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
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Postby AstusAleator » Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:06 am

*bump*
Linn it's not a private conversation :). I was teasing.
What did the parasitic Candiru fish say when it finally found a host? - - "Urethra!!"
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Postby Linn » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:13 am

AstusAleator wrote:*bump*
Linn it's not a private conversation :). I was teasing.


Otay :)

I still love you!!!
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
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