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Ethics chapter 2
Introduction

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

 

 

The degradation of love and the fallacy of reason.

Chapter 2

When the land becomes subject to a hand other than natures, when all of nature is reduced to a consumer product and the drive of human kind is comfort and the satisfaction of its own needs alone, when even death is railed against, and the place of final and inevitable mortal rest becomes an offence, then a deadly sacrifice has taken place. When human kind replaces the natural order with that imposed by intellect and reason, and no longer listens to the seasons, or cares that the land is despoiled, then human kind have truly lost their place and the very comfort and stability and control they have established becomes the means to their own end.

For us to live here on this planet we have a need and a duty to husband it, nurture it and to lavish our best attention on it, it is our home. In so much as we denigrate this earth we denigrate our selves. If the planet is raped, despoiled and torn apart, it is we, ourselves, who have perpetrated this crime, who are despicable and less than the humanity we hold as promise, but do not evince.

In so doing we have moved beyond reason, for we have perpetrated that which is unreasonable by any sane standard. In not acting in concord with this planet that is home to us we are merely vagabonds picking over the bones of our own demise.

If we are awed and subdued by the exploits of humanity, which is merely the work of hands, and feel no sense of greater awe towards nature, which we did not create, merely suborned to our own needs without thought or care, and fail to see our place in such abundance and diversity, then we are lost.

In such times the need for one clear thought, one voice, and that voice the sound of each individual taking stock, choosing to see, daring to care, becomes the only route to survival.

 It is not our exploits which will save us but our ethics, not what we do, but who we are. If such is the case then there are going to be personal and individual consequences to caring and striving for an ethical basis for living. The immediate consequences are that, in so much as individuals turn away from exploitation and abuse, resist the tide of exploitative progress, we each will suffer. I do not mean that we will experience some mild discomfort, or feel uncomfortable; I mean a suffering that will feel like a death agony. We will, in every way, mentally, emotionally and physically, become strangers in a strange land. As friendless as if we had wandered into an arid wilderness, where only our wits and common sense will aid our survival. Every thought and every action will be suspect. Every idea of what we consider normal and natural, everything we have been raised to and have lived with, is our enemy. Every unexamined thought and idea is a potential snare.

Consider. There is currently a pro-life lobby, driven mostly by religion, to end abortion. Pro-life lobbyists campaign outside clinics and hospitals in order to persuade those seeking to abort a foetus to allow the potential child to live. There are good moral and ethical, even religious, reasons so to do. In as much as one person is persuaded and the pregnancy allowed to reach full term and a child born, is there not an equal or greater ethical, moral and religious duty to consider the quality of life the child will experience? In persuading a mother to have her baby, the people who persuaded her have an ongoing moral and ethical responsibility for the upkeep, care, and quality of life of that child.  It is not what they are saving these babies from that matters, but what they are saving them into. If having once persuaded, they turn their backs on mother and child, then they are no better and perhaps worse than the abortionists they condemn.

It is not life that matters so much as caring for life. Life is not valuable per se, it is valuable only if we give it meaning. The ability to give meaning to life is peculiar to human beings, yet it is human beings who have denigrated life. Because we have mind and will, we have the capacity to be completely despotic or deeply caring. If we do not exert mind and will, if we leave unexamined that life which we are born to, then we are less than animals who at all times are true to their nature.

 

2000 Keith Lindsay-Cameron. All rights reserved.