Monday, July 30, 2007

Blog-o-mat: Continuing continuing service

To the reader,
I'm pleased and impressed by the responses I've read to previous questions. I'm glad to see such heart-felt and articulate comments. Since I'm still up to my eyeballs in journal articles and CRS reports, I'll throw out a few more questions on ethics and environment:

Do we have any responsibility for the well-being of future generations of humans? Is such a responsibility dependent upon whether or not we have children of our own? Do we have any responsibility for the well-being of non-human species? Does the aesthetic quality of nature have any tangible value? Does the spiritual or metaphysical quality of nature have such value? Who or what should get to determine what those values are?

3 comments:

hellomelissa said...

my dad and i just had a long conversation about this the other day on a 15 hour long drive together. although i feel a strong sense of responsibility to future generations, i also feel that the human race will create its own downfall, and the downfall of the earth as well. i don't think the responsibility falls upon us ONLY if we have children, just maybe a little extra guilt for having HAD children to not only increase the population but to put up with the world that we leave them.

okay, to answer the other questions i'd need a whole website and a year or so!

i'll leave you with those two cents.

E. R. Dunhill said...

hellomelissa,
Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s good to see someone else exploring these questions and running into some of those interesting decision-points, like the conundrum of ones own children.
I agree that humans have an enormous potential to do harm to themselves and to the natural environment. Most people don’t even know how to reduce the harm they do; the idea of sustainable communities and lifeways is completely foreign to most. I don’t think the average American gives enough thought to the questions, “What happens when the oil runs out?” or “Why should I buy a bigger house?”
As for those unanswered questions, these are very hard questions. The inherent value of future generations, non-human species, wild places, and spiritual pursuits are contrary to ethic of unmitigated consumption. These require a great deal of thought.

Pat Jenkins said...

erd you bring up a intersting question, with your questions, ha, who is the sustainer of life? the planet, man himself, a supernatural being. if man is his self provider if possible, is he only capable of using that which he can envision? or if by a creator, does man's actions, though at times ill fated, become minimized because of a creative motion? i have a answer but i look for yours!!!