A note on nature

I have copied in full below a post by ‘Scott’ on the {neurotribe.net} blog – mainly because I thought it was interesting and raised some good discussion points.
He writes:
“The way things occur in nature is not and can not be used to describe some ideal of human behaviour. Perfection is not as simple as that.
This is not a statement about environmentalism. It is a statement about humans displaying animalistic behaviour. Competitive behaviour is regularly described and celebrated as ‘natural’ behaviour. But this simplistic notion pays complete disregard to the destruction that competitive behaviour regularly causes in the natural world. Similarly promiscuous behaviour is encouraged by some philosophers who rejoice its naturalness. Apparently 98% of all species on earth are non-manogamous. Some would have us believe then that it is natural, and therefore good, for humans to enjoy multiple, simultaneous partners. But cannibalism is also a somewhat common ‘natural’ behaviour. So too is abandonment of young. So too is murder. Are these behaviours that humans should adopt simply because they are ‘natural’?
The natural world is not perfect. It is not some ideal against which we might measure our behaviour. Much of the natural world is good, and much of it is destructive. Much like humanity. The mark of wisdom is discernment. And the mark of humanity is a distinction between that which is animalistic, competitive and selfish, and that which is of a higher order – love, altruism, language, art and culture. We see beautiful glimpses of this in the natural world – in an Elephant mother’s complete and selfless protection of her child.
We are not animals. Humans at their best behave in a way almost alien to the largely competitive and selfish animal kingdom. They seek harmony amongst themselves and with their living environment. Humans are at their worst when they behave destructively. And to celebrate destructive behaviour just because it is ‘natural’ is unwise and inhuman.

I think this is very astute – and it makes perferct sense to me.

What do you think?  Do you agree?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s