Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Is Nature Only Resources?

Ayn Rand wrote that a man sees nature as resources. I see nature as something intricate and beautiful that I have not created and cannot recreate. I respect it in its own right, not only for what benefit it can provide for me as a human being.

Is nature resources? Certainly there is nothing with wrong with using nature for mining or farming; but nature should also be respected in its own right. Nobody can yet create from scratch an animal or a plant, much less the Amazonian rainforest. Which means that destroying these things leaves the world a poorer place than one has found it. Destroyed is something that cannot be recreated. And that, I believe, is ethically wrong.

Animals eat other animals, and bacteria invade animals in nature. For this reason I am not a vegetarian. I oppose two things in dealing with nature: Cruelty and unsustainability. Skinning foxes alive, as they do in China, or clubbing dolphins to death for sport, as they do in Denmark, is cruel – more cruel than anything we find in nature. And burning rainforest in order to create farmland that turns into wasteland in two years is unsustainable.

There are some people who see civilization as evil and want to go back to nature; there are more people who see nature as nothing but resources for human consumption. Both are wrong. Human life demands both nature and civilization. We both follow natural laws and act according to our own will. The people's material requirements must be met through processes that are sustainable rather than unsustainable. And that means, moving away from resource-intensive processes to more brain-intensive processes.

That means, of course, going from oil and coal energy to clean energy. This will carry benefit all around. It will be good for the economy because it will create vast number of jobs in both white-collar and blue-collar sectors. It will reduce the burden on the oceans and the air. It will use technologies that are smarter and better than current technologies. Ultimately it will be even good for the oil companies. The oil will last longer and will be used to produce higher-end goods such as plastics and styrofoams, making more money in the long run for the oil companies than if it is burned.

Oil is a limited resource; human intelligence however is unlimited. Which means that, the more it is applied, the more benefit is realized and at a much lesser cost to the things that we have not created and cannot recreate. Nature should be respected as something that people have not created and cannot at this time recreate. And human intelligence should be harnessed to inaugurate processes that are beneficial for civilization and nature both.

It is a matter of progress; it also is a matter of principle. The most is made of both the natural and the human. The natural world is maintained in its beauty and vibrancy; and intelligence powers the civilization in a way that is less destructive to nature and carries greater benefit to man.

It is this optimal outcome that human intelligence is called upon to achieve in the present era.


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