"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Doing what comes naturally

If a completely natural event like an earthquake disturbs the completely natural habitat of a rare animal, is it something we humans should care about, or should we simply stand idly by and observe nature unfolding?

A story now appearing on the CBC's website (about a bat's birthing habitat that has been adversely affected by the Haida Gwaii earthquake) implies that we should be concerned. But I'm wondering about the grounds this concern is based on.

After all, to listen to most of the mainstream talk these days, the "natural order" is sacred. If so, then we definitely should not be disturbed by one part of nature (an earthquake) affecting another part (the bat's habitat).

But if we are supposed to be concerned, are we then to believe that the earthquake was some sort of mistake made by Gaia? But how could that be in a belief system that holds that all "nature" simply "is."

A better way of thinking about this is that the "natural order" should not be the ultimate standard by which we judge our planet's affairs. And, this being the case, if we humans value the diversity of species, and if one of those species is now more endangered because of an earthquake, then we have every right to to be concerned.

Funny thing: such compassionate concern for little critters seems to be an entirely natural characteristic of the most successful creature here on Earth--we humans.

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