Environmental Philosophy

.. he intersections of choice and the potholes of despair and confusions that we forget what we were racing toward in the first place.

For those of us who do take time to stop and think about where we are headed, we realize, as Annie Dillard did, that on the road of life, we may have just lost sight of what we are living for and the origin of where our lives come from. “Wilderness is a human concept an idea about a place and its effect on us. It is a state of mind devoted to an experience and the contemplation of natural places and processes.There is common theme in these wilderness interests,” as A.

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Anderson has suggested. I think of a wilderness as a spot or place in our world in which I can put my existence in perspective of nature. I think that we need wilderness because it is full of life and mysteries. Wilderness is where our life sprung from.As Annie Dillard suggested, we need wilderness because our emotions and feelings are all intertwined with the natural world, “for every mood there is a corresponding season and that our lives are seamlessly connected to the great life of the earth.” We should not treat the earth and human separately, because we are actually a single body, working with each other and providing each other with what we need.

We also need wilderness because as Wallace Stegner has suggested in “The Gift of Wilderness”, wilderness is our playground, schoolrooms, laboratories and we can learn so much about both the natural world and ourselves from it. Since wilderness are inside us, we should try to connect and reunion with it. In order to be “in tune with the wind, sand, and stars,” and to experience the sense of wholeness and serenity with the nature, one need to understand the theory of “wilderness contemplation”. Wilderness contemplation is a form of meditation in the nature.

Sigurd Olson suggested that through wilderness contemplation, we can learn to commune with ones inner self and stressing the detachment or divorcement of self from all disturbing environment. However, unlike Yoga, this wilderness contemplation is much simpler. All we need, is to be in the wilderness, and when we are alone, we can feel in continual contemplation and communion with God and Spirit. No particular stance and incarnations or repeat over and over words are neccesary in order to reach the same level as Yoga, since these are all devices to make people feel at peace, and when we are in wilderness, peace is all around. Through wilderness contemplation, we can seek wisdom and there is usually a sense of peace, removal and a happiness beyond understanding from it.In order to rekindle an earth-human relationship, Carolyn Merchant suggested that we should restore our earth to the authentic mode, to the way it use to be. Instead of “analyzing nature of dominating and controlling it, restorationists are synthesizing it for the sake of living symbiotically within the whole.” She is suggesting that, in order to restore the nature, we have to first, understand it.

Through understanding, we can also connect and reunion with the earth, the origin of our lives. She encourages mimesis, which is the process of imitation through which restoration takes place. This principle of mimesis encourages people to use the environment to fulfill real needs, while non-human nature acts reciprocally as partner. In order to rekindle earth-human relationship, nature should be treated with respect, and we human are not superior and should not manipulate and dominant the nature.We should neither act as the helpless victim of a polluted environment nor arrogant dominators of nature, “but active participants in the destiny of the system of which are a part.” Moreover, Wallace Stegner thinks that we could look forward to a better and more rewarding national life, i.e. to rekindle a better relationship between earth and human if we learned to renounce short-term profit, and practice working for the renewable health of our earth.

We should regain our sense of courtesy toward the earth and inhabitants, our sense of gratitude and our willingness to recognize the sacred character of habitat. Thomas Berry suggested that we should establish not only “an acquaintance with the general life and emotions of the various species, but also an intimate rapport.” Humans role in the natural world had was traditionally inside the chain of ecosystem, providing to the wilderness what it needs and at the same time benefiting from it.

Human and earth are in harmony and in mutual understanding.However, as our civilization expand, human begin to take a superior position and dominated and manipulated the land. Instead of a “helpless victims” or “arrogant dominator” human should restore to their traditional role in wilderness. Human are indeed very small in the realm of wilderness, but together with our forces, we can be very powerful. Since we had been selfish and arrogant, the wilderness is extensively exploited. Before restoring to our traditional roles, I think that we should first take on the position as the restorationists and the conservationists.My environmental ethic lies strongly on the issue of using animals in research designed to benefit human beings. The issue of the use of animals in research is an integral part of the framework of animal rights or animal liberation within the large structure of environmental ethics.

Ecocentric ethics holds that the earth is the nurturer of life, a great interlocking order, and a web of life in which humans are but one strand. The earth, according to this philosophy, is alive, active and sensitive to human action and sacred. Thus, all things are connected to all their other things, and internal relations and process take primacy over parts. Human are unseperated from the rest of nature.I think that humans do not occupy a privileged place in nature.

Nature has its intrinsic value, independent of human values and human consciousness; thus limits should be place on the extent of human prerogatives to use and alter nature. Animals are created equal to human, we should not use our dominant rule in the world to manipulate other non-human natures life. This is both selfish and uncivilized. Animals also have the right to enjoy their live free from threats and dangers.I also believe that wilderness is like our mother who nurture us and provide us with unlimited resources, it supports our needs.

We should do the same to the nature. Instead of manipulating and dominating over it, I think we should live in harmony with nature. Limited exploitation should be allow, however, we should never over-exploit our land or kill animals to benefit human kind.