Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wild Ethics

Here is a wonderful and beautifully constructed website to share, The Alliance for Wild Ethics. The home page contains only these words,

"We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human."

The section Why Wild? begins:

"Wildness is the earthy, untamed, undomesticated state of things - open ended, improvisational, moving according to its own boisterous logic. That which is wild is not really out of control; its is simply out of our control... beyond our ability to fully map with our theories or fully fathom with our thoughts"

The section Why Ethics? begins:

"Although 'ethics' is commonly equated with a set of rules or principles for right conduct, for us ethics has more to do with a simple humility towards others - an attentive openness not just toward other persons but towards the inexhaustible otherness of the manifold beings that compose this living world."

See why I am excited? Lots of essays and resources to explore in quiet moments - bliss!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beings are relatives not resources

The other day I came across an article by an American Catholic apologist refuting the premise put forward by many atheists that science and christianity are mutually incompatible. The writer began by asserting that many ground breaking scientific discoveries have been made by people who were both scientists and committed christians. He then went on to say that science can best flourish in a christian society. Pagan societies, he argues, hold nature sacred and if you hold nature sacred you may worship nature and honour nature but you can never use nature as the subject of an experiment. To experiment with nature you have to accept that nature is not sacred and that nature's creator grants man sovereignty over nature. Thus, he concluded, without christianity there would be no science and atheists need to accept this.

Now I would want to say that man's sovereignty over nature has produced a society that can only continue to exist through the endemic use of violence against nature.

Oil is a precious natural relative that nature has produced over vast tracts of time. When man accepts sovereignty over oil, land and oceans he takes up arms and heavy machinery to plunder and rape the land in order to make the maximum profit in the shortest possible time and hang the consequences. What should be seen as a sacred and precious relative whose gifts should be accepted with care and devotion becomes simply a commodity.

The Goddess spirit has no problem working with nature - accepting, refining and perfecting all she has to offer. This is science at its best. The Goddess spirit cannot accept violence against nature and will always seek to honour and tend our relatives in this world. It will accept with gratitude all that she gives whilst bearing in mind that our children's children will also long for a fair share of natural resources.

The countdown to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen has focused my own thoughts on climate change. Anyone who delights in life and the beauty of nature will have been concerned for some time now and will already be making significant changes in their own life.

Like many others my partner and I have chosen to live in a small well insulated home. In that home we do our best to minimise energy usage and we buy our energy from 'Good Energy'. We try to buy local and in small quantities; to repair rather than replace. We travel by train and bus whenever possible and allow ourselves the possibility of one return air flight every three years. We take time to write and protest against violent exploitation.

None of this is probably enough to leave behind us the kind of world we wish our grand daughter will come to know, love, honour and delight in.

I am conscious that it is almost impossible to live within the resources of one earth whilst owning a car. OK our car is small, it's CO2 emissions are just 109 g/KM, we can often go three weeks between visits to the petrol forecourt. Yet, it would be so hard to do without it altogether. Addicted to oil? How else to visit those special, sacred, liminal places we hold dear? How else to make those difficult journeys that can seem endless by public transport? What would you do?

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