You won't find this writing to be directly related to a child custody issue or policy considerations but rather it will be of benefit in an abstract application. The point of this writing today is not to engage your mind in a philosophical conundrum so much as it is to bring you a step closer to freeing your mind from the conditioning that has molded your thoughts since childhood. I seek for you to revert to a time when the world was mysterious and your sense of wonderment left your conceptualization of the world in which you lived open to all possibilities. It was during the increased influence of your parents and other adults on you that you then refined your ideas, from those of a day-dreamer or one with an overactive imagination, to comport to societal norms. It's time to go back and start crawling again because you have to crawl before you can walk. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Natural. Read it again. Contemplate the word for a moment. What are the thoughts that come to mind? Embrace your feelings for that word. Now think of at least three synonyms and write them down. Yes, it's an exercise for you but it is sure to be fun and enlightening.
Man-made. Read it again. Contemplate that expression for a moment. What are the thoughts that come to mind? Embrace your feelings for that. Now think of at least three synonyms and write them down.
Here is a list of a dozen words or phrases that I want you to read and match to one of your synonyms. Bacteria, virus, UV rays, methane gas, tornado, malaria, arsenic, reverse osmosis water purifier, sterilized surgical supplies, personal computer, house, aspirin, firetruck.
Now review your lists. The first half of the dozen words are actions or materials that naturally occur, the remainder are man-made. Do you find that you matched the natural words to your synonyms for man-made and vice-verse? Your association of these words are largely based upon the manner in which natural and man-made have been presented to you followed by your cognition of your related experiences. Were you surprised by the correlation to the tone of mood of your synonyms to 'natural' and 'man-made'?
Being closely involved in the political arena I am regularly exposed to the dichotomy of policy possibilities. I see much the same process of thought applied to high conflict parenting cases. Members of each side of an issue hold that their position must be adopted with little or no deference to the alternative.
The world doesn't function as a traditional light switch though. Often there is an alternative to the juxtaposed extremes – the middle-ground. In this sense it could be analogous to a dimmer switch – sometimes brighter, sometimes darker as needs may direct.
The theory of evolution as put forth by Darwin and the contemporary push to teach creationism as put forth in the Holy Bible as part of school curriculum is a prime example of debate that appears foreclosed to alternatives.
Which really leads one to wonder in which category does god belong. The theist believes that an originating being, a creator, was responsible for the existence of the universe. But, unlike the god of the Judaic cults this creator does not take an active role in the daily lives of the living being. Rather, his created universe was modeled in such a way as to allow the course of evolution to produce the symbiotic relationships that balance living creatures. In this way both the creator beliefs of the Judaic cults and other organized deistic religions and evolutionary adherents are satisfied. Theism is the most rational of probabilities offered to the god/creation quandary. That is quite consistent with rational workable solutions – the middle ground rather than the extremes proves to be the better alternative.
Following along the line of evolutionary thought is something that has long been a part of my wonderment -- the extensive efforts undertaken by man to protect endangered species of flora and fauna. Often these are at great expense and inconvenience that may inhibit access to material that is beneficial to man. Somehow the collective thought of man is that we should mitigate our impact upon the natural world and foster the consciousness of an observer rather than an active participant.
Oddly enough I just happen to have Walking with Dinosaurs playing in the background as I get back to writing this. Thus, this influence is redirecting me to ponder the possibilities of a Jurassic era Audubon Society. What effective means could Man have employed to preserve a hospitable environment that would have been conducive to the survival of these prehistoric behemoths coexisting with Man? While it's an interesting concept I am unable to formulate any novel ideas that would satisfy the proposition.
My immediate response to this quandary comes from the devil's advocate who chimes in with the affirmative position that the dinosaurs extinction was a natural act, while the current demise of some plant and animal species, particularly those being hunted to near depletion, is entirely the result of man's actions. For that I have no basis to negate what appears to be a solid argument for which most people agree and is a basis for most conservation policy. However, I do have a response. Before tendering that response I want to delve back into the issue of religion and Man in hopes that my response will reveal itself through your wonderment.
What if there was a creator who brought matter – thought at the quantum level -- into being and then left it to evolve on it's own? This creator being a God who does not take an active role in daily life – the belief of the theist. Is a belief in God natural or man-made? That is, did God create man or did man create God to explain many of the unknowns which science has now answered. If it is the God given mission of man to preserve species of fauna that are threatened then why did God create man after 99% of the world's fauna had already been wiped out? If God is the omniscient overload who designed the universe to his liking then is the adaptive based natural process of diminution or expansion of species consistent with a belief in God and if so, then are conservation or eradication efforts unholy? If Man is preordained to have an impact on specie replication in our shared universe then is there a demarcation line for that involvement and who determines that? Why does Man set aside large plots of land purely for the purpose of being a layover point for a particular bird specie while en route to its ultimate seasonal destination yet at the same time seeking to eliminate a natural pathogen that is harmful to man? What is the difference on the lives of insect species between a child going out of his way to stomp on an ant hill or pull the wings off bugs and that of a farmer applying pesticide?
These and a plethora of others that defy a logical, spiritual or human well-being basis leave me in a conundrum about preservation efforts. After considering natural, man-made and free thought I am therefore reduced to only one possible position on the issue.
When it comes to conservation efforts for both flora and fauna I adopt the position that all efforts that target preservation of a specific specie or environment should be abandoned. Man, however created, is evolving in his natural state whether it be in the image of God or the chance coalescing of the chemical stardust byproduct of a creators grand manifestation of matter. The reality is that everything resorts to the mean. If Man subverts and harms his environment in ways that destroy his surrounding fauna and flora upon which are necessary to his optimal well-being then a re-balancing shall occur. I say shall because it is not optional. It will happen. It may occur in across a wide swath of factors but generally will involve the food supply.
A disruption in the balance of predator/prey status can result in the overpopulation of insect species that attack of vegetation. Various pollutants may taint soil leading to lower yields. Air quality changes and more dependence upon man-made additives to food could result in a reduced life-expectancy. The quest for more of a diminishing high quality food source will likely lead to greater geo-political turmoil resulting in deaths of a significant portion of the world's human population.
There is nothing that Man can do that will not result in a re-ballancing that will move man back towards the mean if he moves outside of his position in the world. So, until that happens Man should just go about his business and let what will happen, happen.
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