The relationship between the man and the environment has been established in the G. Shankar: He is a well known architect nationally for his attitude towards. Humans have always had an impact on the environment, but with the age of In his book, Regarding Nature, Andrew McLaughlin identifies. However, the environment of man consists of both natural and manmade substances and conditions in which and by means of which human society satisfies its.
Just as the human race had value because it was made by God, the rest of creation was to be treated with dignity because of its origin Tarnas To consider an animal to be "low," or of little value, insulted its Maker Schaeffer, Pollution Cruelty toward animals was condemned. The Christian also regarded the dominion mandate as a command to care for the earth on behalf of its rightful Owner, until, when his work was done, he would return it to God and give an account of his management.
Under the authority of God, then, man was responsible to be a wise steward of his natural resources Black When God created Adam, he placed him in the Garden of Eden, to tend and keep it. But the Garden was perfect.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God punished them by altering their environment: Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. No longer did men live in harmony with a perfect world; now they must struggle to produce food from the unyielding ground.
Therefore, the Biblical Christian approached nature considering himself its rightful master, but concerned for its welfare and mindful of his responsibility to the Creator. He did not believe that nature was best left alone, but attempted to amend it through wise development.
Greek Philosophy But the Biblical teaching was often corrupted as Western Christianity absorbed elements of Greek thought. A Neoplatonic influence was present from an early date. The result of these ideas was not only asceticism, but indifference toward nature and science, and in the extreme, abuse of animals Schaeffer, Pollution This Neoplatonic antiphysical stance also encouraged an exaggeration of the Christian sense of being "pilgrims and strangers" in the world.
In this view, it mattered little how nature was treated, since it was expected that Christ would soon return to release his followers from this corrupt earthly prison and take them to their heavenly reward Tarnas This did not foster good stewardship or conservation.
But these ideas did not reflect the Biblical teaching on nature. It was no accident that modern science was born in the West, out of a surrounding consensus of Christianity.
Christians believed that the universe had been created by a rational God, so they expected that they could understand the natural world through reason. But neither was it sacred; therefore, it could be investigated Passmore Nature was also regarded as worthy of study. As we have seen, this was not the case for the Neoplatonists, and had Platonic ideas continued to dominate, modern science would never have emerged.
But beginning in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, an important shift was made in western thought from Plato to Aristotle Tarnas While Plato had seen the basis of reality as lying in the transcendent Forms, and distrusted knowledge gained through the senses, Aristotle had rooted reality firmly in the material, and believed that sense perception is the only way for man to learn about the world Tarnas With Aristotle as their patron philosopher, Christians began to study nature, and also to enjoy it for its own sake.
They believed that the expansion of their knowledge of the world would result in greater reverence for and knowledge of God Tarnas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas was a principal proponent of the new scientific study of nature.
He had an incomplete concept of the Fall. He believed that while the will of man was fallen, his intellect was not Schaeffer, Escape Therefore he could find truth by himself. Although the new scientific study of the world afforded to nature much more value than had the Neoplatonic position, the Aristotelian influence was not entirely benign.
Both Aristotle and the Stoics believed that everything in nature was designed for the use of man. In his Politics, Aristotle argued that "plants are created for the sake of animals, and the animals for the sake of men, the tame for our use and provision, the wild, at least for the greater part, for our provision also, or for some other advantageous purpose, as furnishing us with clothes, and the like" Passmore This anthropocentrism eventually replaced, in the minds of many Christians, the Biblical teaching that God created everything for his own glory, and that therefore each creature had value on its own account, not merely by virtue of its usefulness to man.
The Genesis mandate gave man the right to make use of nature, but it was the Greek influence that introduced the idea that nature exists only to serve his interests Passmore When Western man adopted this idea, he began to see himself as the absolute master of the world, with the right to use or abuse it in any way he chose.
Gone was the sense of responsibility to God that had guided the Jews and Biblical Christians in their relationship to his creation.
Man became a tyrant. Bacon The goal of early modern science was expressed by Francis Baconwho said that although man at the Fall lost his dominion over nature, the sciences could in some part restore it Schaeffer, Escape So the scientific conquest was considered a religious duty Schaeffer, Escape He aspired to "a practical philosophy by means of which, knowing the force and the action of fire, water, the stars, heavens, and all the other bodies that environ us, as distinctly as we know the different crafts of our artisans, we can in the same way employ them in all those uses to which they are adapted, and thus render ourselves the masters and possessors of nature" Passmore For Descartes, nature was merely a complex, impersonal machine, made and set in motion by God, but now running on its own according to its innate mechanical laws Tarnas An animal was entirely without awareness, purpose, or even the capacity for pain; for all practical purposes it was lifeless.
This mechanistic world could be manipulated by man without scruples. Man was lord of nature by virtue of his rationality, which, contrary to the Bible, but in accordance with Aquinas, Descartes did not see as having been perverted by the Fall Passmore The Modern Age In Descartes, the anthropocentrism introduced by Aristotle came to its full expression in modern thought. Through science, man hoped to reach an ideal state—a second Eden. This was the doctrine of the Industrial Revolution Passmore Businessmen had no qualms about using their natural resources to the fullest in order to supply the burgeoning industry and expanding population of the West Worster As the modern age progressed and science explained more and more natural phenomena, the supernatural and miraculous bases of Christianity seemed increasingly implausible to the modern mind.
Science was the faith of the age. The first was the disappearance of the last vestiges of a foundation on which to base moral treatment of nature. If there was no God, there was no way to judge one action to be right or good and another bad. Man was now in the place of God, and whatever he could do, he did Schaeffer, Pollution But in spite of the loss of moral base, this humanist belief was usually optimistic.
Determinism But this optimism could not last long. The second effect of the rejection of God was determinism. Until this time scientists had believed in the uniformity of natural causes in nature. They had even come to see nature as a machine. But they had always reserved two things outside the machine: Now that God was gone, man had nowhere from which to derive his identity or special value.
He could no longer view himself as separated from nature by his relationship to God; now he was just another animal, controlled by instinct—merely the greatest form of life the evolutionary struggle had yet produced. He had no "higher purpose"; he was tied to this world Tarnas He became part of the machine.
The evolutionary model encouraged the pragmatic view of nature that had characterized the scientific age. If man was just another species striving to survive in an impersonal or even cruel world, he had no special responsibility to any of his fellow combatants. If survival of the fittest was the method by which nature worked, man was justified in doing whatever was necessary to continue his existence.
Of course, this did not mean that he always exploited nature; much of the time it was in his best interest to let things run their natural course, or carefully manage them so they would serve him better. But the key principle was that man did everything for his own benefit. This was the logical conclusion of modern scientific beliefs Tarnas Several factors contributed to this trend.
The first was a challenge to Newtonian science.
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These ideas were contrary to the principles of classical modern science which had long been regarded as certain. So the certainty of empirical knowledge, the major basis of science since Bacon, was called into question.
As the classical concept of the world became outdated, people felt the loss of a coherent scientific cosmology. Contradictions within the new physics abounded, and added to this was the utter unintelligibility to the layperson of the quantum-relativity theories. Man felt increasingly alienated in a world that was intuitively inaccessible to him, as well as impersonal, unconscious, and purposeless Tarnas Our goal is to achieve stability for ourselves and our kin.
However we also have an obligation to maintain the environment, as we depend on the resources and services it provides. The question then becomes: Do we have the right to manipulate the land, factory farm animals, and pollute waterways? Or do we have an obligation to reduce our numbers and merely subsist?
In order to answer these questions we must rely on our knowledge of Earth, evolution, and our influence on the environment. History Our relationship with nature has historically been one of imbalance and overuse. Nearly every step in human history has unfortunately been accompanied with a leap in environmental degradation.
- Man and His Environment
At first, humans were incredibly in-tune with their surroundings. Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes used to roam the lands, following the ebb and flow of the seasons.
These tribes had a measurable impact on the environment, but their influence was relatively manageable due to their population size.
With advancements in technology and agriculture though, humans began to find more efficient ways of sustaining themselves. These advancements allowed for more permanent settlements, which led to rapid population growth and a distancing from nature. As society evolved, populations grew and more and more resources were required to fuel the expansion. With breakthroughs in agriculture, settlements became more permanent and cities began to take shape. This shift to city life inadvertently led to a distancing from nature.
While many people were still in-tune with nature on a subsistent level, the need for more and more resources began to change our regard for nature. Although our distancing from nature began several thousand years ago with advancements in agriculture and social order, it is the age of industry to which we owe our modern regard for nature. The growth of cities allowed for a separation between people and nature and our obsession with convenience and efficiency beckoned a new perspective on the environment.The relationship between human beings & his environment
With technological advancements, nature became something we were no longer apart of and entirely subject to, but something that we could control and profit off of. The growth of industry enabled humans to truly dominate the landscape and disrupt the natural systems that have been in place for billions of years. As we have removed ourselves further and further from nature, we have developed a willing ignorance of our role and relationship within it.
With the growth of cities and trade we have moved from a subsistent, sustainable economy to one of greed and exploitation. Humans have always had an impact on the environment, but with the age of industry that impact has been ultra-magnified.
Population growth has been exponentiated, cities have become the primary place of residence, and the majority of the world is now out of touch with the workings of nature. Although every species plays a unique role in the biosphere and inherently has its own impact, not every species has the cognitive ability to measure their influence or the capacity to change it.
Man and His Environment
Humans are unique in that respect, which is the root of the problem. We know we are crippling the environment. We have the ability to do something about it. Therefore, we should make change where change is necessary. Economy The size of our population and its incessant desire to expand has an obvious impact on the environment.
However, that impact is magnified with the demands of industry and capitalism. In his book, Regarding Nature, Andrew McLaughlin identifies industrialism and the capitalist mindset as being especially influential on our regard for nature: Further causing a perceived division from nature is the economic structure we have allowed to infect most of the world.
Our relationship with nature has now become purely economic. We do not associate ourselves as a part of nature because we use it for profit. Forests are cut down for the profits of the lumber industry and to make room for livestock. Animals that we are undoubtedly related to, that have senses and the ability to socialize are slaughtered by the billions to feed an increasingly carnivorous population. Resources such as oil and food are all unevenly distributed throughout the world and therefore used as a platform for profit.
Our Role and Relationship With Nature
All the while the environment bears the grunt of our greed. In order to reconstruct our views of nature and understand our place within it, it is important to reconsider our relationship with each other and our surroundings. We have to consider ourselves as part of a bigger picture. Industry and capitalism rely heavily on ignorance and individualism.
However, the reality is that we are all dependent upon each other in one way or another. Time for Change Humans play a vital role in nature just like everything else.