Article number : 30

The temptation to see humans as separate from nature and from natural forces has been powerful and long standing. It was accentuated in western thoughts by medieval religious ideas: humans were seen as something special, set apart from animals and rest of the natural world. But this hardly seems an appropriate way to approach the natural world today.

In fact since the nineteenth century there has been an accelerated movement in philosophy, science and policy to reintegrate humans in the natural world. We see this in the animal rights movement, in debates about climate change, even in the way that scientists increasingly discover human traits in other animals. (elephants have friends. Dolphin have cooperation. chimpanzees have culture).

Distancing of humans from nature:

Agriculture revolution accentuates the changes in the way how human thought about nature and their place in it. The domestication of animals and plants implied human mastery over the natural world.

Urbanisation and the transformation of natural landscapes, the construction of religious monuments, invention of commerce and technology all of these development served to distance people from the a natural world that must have seemed increasingly wild and dangerous, a place to be restrained and control. In time, dominating nature or willfully separating from it came to be seen as the source of a good life.

Western philosophers have also come up with all sorts of reasons to pull us away from our natural roots

Aristrotle pinpointed our spicies “rational principle” and endowment with speech as further intrinsic features that elevated humans above the rest of the animal kingdom.

Saint Thomas Aquinas’s theological writing in the thirteenth century that helped to permanently ingrain this separation between humans and the natural world in the Christian doctraine. For Aquinas, it was the soul that separated humans from other animals. Further he also belived that god created the natural world for human domination.

David hume separated humans from the natural world based not on our capacity to reason but our capacity to sympathize.

It is ironic that where we should have had co existed, we human beings have gone ahead and abused nature for our good. Look at amazon forest, the state of Antarctica, animals getting extinct, the list is long.

Somewhere the sense of superiority made us forget that we share this place with everyone, we have no claim greater than other species. We have become so immune/comfortable to the cruelty done on the animals (source of food, use it for our convenience) that it has become the way of our life.

Thus, it is important that we see things from natures perspective, while mankind is very intelligent in relation to other species we have intelligent of a moss growing on a rock compared to nature at a whole. We are incapable of designing and building a mosquito let alone all the species and most of the other thing in the nature. So I start with the premises that nature is smarter than we are and try let nature teach us how reality works.


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Ideas, views and opinions expressed in the article represent my own views in my private capacity and not those of any of my current or previous employer, any institutions. The article is a research work based only the limited, dated and open source information. For the sources the statements have been quoted with the authors name. This article is only for the reading pleasure and while I invite the feedback and comments on the article, I will not be responsible or liable to any such comments as the same belong to the responder.

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