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Rational Life

Man vs. Nature

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So many people today worship nature and sneer at man as a destroyer. Many think that man should not touch nature, that his worthless being will destroy it. His alterations are seen as a disfigurement of the superior raw materials of Earth. I, and I'm sure most of you as well, reject this philosophy. Man's nature is to enhance the beauty of raw nature. While there may be cases when man brings temporary destruction, I hold that over time man shapes nature into a state of superior beauty and function. I submit as evidence: the horse.

With a past so entwined with man's; his entire being is evidence of man's effect on nature. The horse that you see today is not the result of nature, but of man. Man saw value in the raw horse of nature and utilized those values, in doing so, he enhanced them in the horse. Man saw pride in the raw horse and made him more prideful; he saw strength and made him stronger; he saw courage and taught him to jump; he saw elegance and taught him to dance.

You decide which is superior: the raw material of nature or the refinements of man?

Przewalski's horse (the only horse left untouched by man.)

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The horse after thousands of years of man's efforts.

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Please add your own evidence of man's enhancement of nature if you wish.

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Nice example. I agree that we should be using nature as a tool. I'd love to see the day when we have totally GM organisms doing jobs for us - whether unusual-looking pets or GM techno-plants producing energy for us!

Although I'd love for some of the natural examples to be preserved so that the comparison you make, can continue to be made.

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The idea that human beings are not natural or that what they do creates some sort of supernature is absurd. We're just another, all natural organism.

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According to Google's dictionary:

Natural: Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.

I take it you don't believe in a necessary distinction between the metaphysical and the man-made then?

Edited by itsjames

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The distinction is merely that humans choose to change what's metaphysically given, to better meet our needs and wants. But human action is natural to the extent that all man-made things are created out of what's already here (ie: you can't create something out of nothing).

OT: Before & after domestication (and a bunch of other genetic stuff I don't know about)

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Much cuter.. But there's many other examples that aren't so cut and dry (ie: a factory vs. a field of wild flowers).

Edited by mdegges

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According to Google's dictionary:

Natural: Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.

I take it you don't believe in a necessary distinction between the metaphysical and the man-made then?

I think it's an unnecessary distinction. Human beings are not above nature anymore than an ape or a slug is. This doesn't mean we don't have any distinction in nature, but we're all biological creatures. A skyscraper is as natural as an ant hill.

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I think it's an unnecessary distinction. Human beings are not above nature anymore than an ape or a slug is. This doesn't mean we don't have any distinction in nature, but we're all biological creatures. A skyscraper is as natural as an ant hill.

The distinction is necessary because we have volition. This goes back to the basic fact that when you drop a ball, it has to fall. But you don't have to pick it back up. Some things have to be, other things don't. Mountains had to be. Skycrapers didn't have to be. I assume you've formed the concept of "have to" at some point in your childhood. Why did you? Why even bother making this distinction? If you think this distinction is unnecessary for living your life, then simply abandon it, refuse to ever differentiate between "having to" and "not having to" and see what happens.

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I'm not a full on determinist about the world outside of volition. In fact, as opponents to a narrow efficient causation view, Objectivists shouldn't be held to the same doctrine as the strict deterministic-fatalists. Things act according to their nature.

Anyway,the sort of distinction you're making doesn't make man above nature anyway. Whatever man does, it is part of the natural order of things. It is human action, which is a natural process.

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