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Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #150 on: May 29, 2019, 06:34:58 PM »
I was talking about language use. Bringing indigenous cultures into to this, if you'll recall back when I joined the thread, was simply just to point out how people continually using the phrase 'humans' when discussing the current predicament is a mind game they're playing in their heads with themselves. It puts it off as some inevitable problem afflicting the entire human race, which places it in the realm of the unsolvable, like it's just what humans do, always have done, and can't help doing. It's not, it's just one culture that collapsed the biosphere. That's a very different thing, and I was pointing out that common misappropriation of language. I was pointing at indigenous cultures simply to counter the almost universally held worldview of people from civilization that they and their particular set of behaviors and beliefs represent all of human nature itself (you hear people referring to 'humans' in this exact way everyday on this forum when talking, and it's a fallacy. It's away of distancing themselves and their culture from responsibility.)

That's where I entered this thread. In a discussion about language use and why it matters.

Anyway wdmb, if you supposedly knew all about this to the point where you'd corrected it in yourself, then you wouldn't be going around spewing all they myths like you've been doing here when you speak, a few of which I've pointed out to you. Now you keep insisting on dragging the conversation off into something else, a diversion, on your terms.

How does Jack Forbes speak English and not be like a member of civilization? Because he doesn't repeat the common myths of civilization when he speaks with English words, that's how. If you read him, you'd notice that about him. He would never use phrases about needing to control the biosphere, or refer to what's happening as a 'human caused' predicament. It's pretty simple, really.

No. I don't want to hear your rationalizations anymore wdmb. You clearly don't get this, and I don't like the way you hold a discussion. You're all over the map.

Cheerio ...


Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #151 on: May 29, 2019, 06:37:33 PM »
Oh, and you got rude first dude. Watching you try and spin that now is quite the rationalization. Meh.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #152 on: May 29, 2019, 06:58:50 PM »
One last thought wdmb, to point out your deflectionary tactics. You keep claiming we can know nothing about indigenous lifestyles and worldviews by drawing the focus onto un-contacted Amazonian tribes. What a shmeeb, and that's why I'm so disappointed in your tactics. I mention other indigenous people's too, one's where anthropologists and sociologists have gone and lived with them. There are many other examples of that too.

This fallacy you create by omission and by pointing at only the Amazon, is an example of being disingenuous. All you want to do is argue, with pretty see through tactics. At least I can see through them. You're just a bunch of shmeebs all through this thread. I find you to be dishonest. And rude.

Meh, with your silly thread. And thanks for the underhanded poke about long comments too. See what you do? It's silliness. You're just a bunch of aggressive psychology. That's what talking with a forked tongue is all about. That's how you argue.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #153 on: May 29, 2019, 07:36:55 PM »
Goodbye Tin,

I see you've not addressed the argument about "past," or going back, though I just laid it out very clearly so that you can object to any part of my argument if you wish. And yet, neither have you withdrawn your comment calling me racist.

Nor did you answer questions about your own place in all of this, how it is that you have the fortitude to stand outside of civilized, wetiko culture.

Culture includes a whole set of practices. Though you called the internet "whitey's domain," here you are. Somehow you are able to venture into these places safely, while the rest of us are corrupted by them.

I never claimed we can know nothing about indigenous lifestyles and worldviews. I said we cannot know anything about "indigenous" lifestyles and worldviews. In other words, using your definition of indigenous, of which your favourite example was uncontacted tribes in the Amazon. You denied that the indigenous people in Canada, for example, are actually indigenous (except for the exceptions like Jack Forbes, apparently). I asked specific questions about Mayans, people from Easter Island, Cree, Ojibwe and Iroquois and received no answers... and I'm the one deflecting?

And in case you missed it, you're on a forum about AGW. Human beings already are impacting the whole biosphere. Given the size of our population, we can't avoid it. Stewardship, in my understanding, first means taking care of how we live. But of course we will need to assess what impact that is having on the biosphere and adjust accordingly. We're not gods, our intentions don't guarantee outcomes. To ignore the role we play as builders of the environment -- that we live in the Anthropocene -- is a mistake.

You have announced you're leaving several times now, but can't resist clamouring on as you leave, attempting to get the last word in. I returned to respectful discourse, and instead of responding to the substance of my post (my attempt to give expression to your argument with (A) (B) and (C)) you have once again returned to ad hominems, which are fallacious, if you didn't know.

Why so afraid of the substance of my posts? Why attack me personally over again, though in each of my posts (except for two) I have returned to one or another part of the argument?

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #154 on: May 29, 2019, 07:46:32 PM »
They're not ad hominems. I'm merely holding you up as a near perfect example of your culture's psychology is all, for the purpose of instruction. You make a good case study of civilized thought structure.

Oh gosh. I came back and commented again. Gasp! Whatever does it mean? Gasp!

How is that relevant to anything? Now that's an example of an ad hominem.

Cheers wdmb.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #155 on: May 29, 2019, 07:53:11 PM »
Tin,

You've again avoided the two main points in my last post:

1) about the use of the phrase "going back" in reference to civilized culture

2) stewardship of the earth systems

You've also chosen not to go back and address the questions I raised about the Mayans, Easter Islanders, Cree, Ojibwe or Iroquois.

You've also chosen not to tell us how it is that you have the fortitude to stand outside of civilized culture though clearly engaging in many of its practices.

Given that you've completely given up on discussing any of the substantial parts of this thread, and yet you continue to post insulting me, refusing to even get my handle right, all while claiming to be representative of a more noble state of consciousness, I wonder what sort of psychology lessons you are providing?

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #156 on: May 29, 2019, 08:05:03 PM »
The reason I'm not going to play gish-gallop with you and your irrelevant gish-gallop questions, are because your thread was about language use and how it somehow might matter. When I engaged you in that discussion, you strayed off into talking about Indian's driving pick-up trucks.

No. I wanted to discuss the very real importance of memetics and the role it plays in driving civilized culture to wherever it is that it goes. You just wanted to play gish-gallop and diverged entirely from your own subject matter. No, I'm not going to play gish-gallop off into the bush of where you've diverted this conversation into.

You answer your own questions. I was here to talk about memetics, which is a subject you seem to know nothing much about, so that's why I'm disengaging. Now we're just having a silly argument is all, about nothing much. Gish-galloped right off into the rhubarb, lol.  :o

You didn't much care for a discussion about memetics and just railed against it, so why did you start one? That's what I'm puzzled about.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #157 on: May 29, 2019, 08:20:40 PM »
Gish gallop? Are you kidding me?

I've now been repeating the same few questions for the last 15 posts. They are questions that are in response to points that you raised, and moreover, if you actually had the courage to answer them, you would see that they are related to the deeper conversation.

So, for example, the point about (A)s and (B)s and transformation to (C) is, though not the way I would choose to frame it if I were not responding to a distinction you made, entirely relevant to the idea of presuppositions embedded in language use, and the thought patterns that go with it. It is not a trivial point.

The question about stewardship, while slightly more tangential, is not irrelevant. Since, as I've already pointed out (and your posts have only proven), our attitudes towards stewardship are connected to how we see ourselves in relation to our environment. As you demonstrated, if you see humans as something unnatural, then stewardship appears as a blasphemy. If you recognize that we are another creature who builds the environment, then stewardship is simply becoming conscious of that role -- in a way that is uniquely possible to humans -- and adjusting our behaviour accordingly.

Please, say something specific and relevant about memetics and I'd be happy to engage.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #158 on: May 29, 2019, 09:14:40 PM »
I began by trying to tease apart the way people refer to the dominant culture as 'humans' in their language, which erases the idea that they are really just one culture and really don't represent the quintessence of 'human nature' necessarily at all. That was one of my discussions of subtle memetics. The way that gets phrased all the time throughout civilized culture.

You came back with a really, really cheesy example of an Indian you know who drives a pick-up truck as a way to try and deny there was even any such thing as other worldviews or cultures. That's the only way your statement could possibly be taken. It was a typical first shot people take to try and preserve the myth that there is only just 'them and the way they are,' presented in a very simplistic way that works on many unintelligent people. Nice try.

That digressed into arguing about trying to show other cultural worldviews other than 'this one' by looking towards the indigenous. You still are trying to claim we know nothing, and can know nothing, about these other cultures to even have examples to give of them in your negation strategy, by pointing to the Amazon and omitting the tomes and tomes of information we do have about many of these other worldviews. It's all just another continuation of the cheesy way you pointed to the Indian in the pick-up truck to try and imply there is only one type of human behavior ... yours.

You're still stuck on that myth, trying to deny you're just part of a single behavioral culture, and perpetuate this myth that you represent some basic human nature instead of just representing the expression of a single cultural worldview.

You're stuck in the myth. Yes, the way you try and negate that truth is by this gish-galloping you do. Seriously, you think (and claim) we can know nothing about these other worldviews and still continue to throw out many specious arguments trying to support that view. The first one, pointing to a Canadian dude driving a pick-up ... was absurd. You've never heard anything about any indigenous history around the world? Really? There's tons of it out there if you look for it.  I'm not surprised though, because that's what the dominant culture's myth discourages.

Yes. Gish gallop. First pick-up trucks ... then onto how we can have no knowledge of these other worldviews. You still are on that myth train. Seriously?

No. You just argue about being right and interrogate and negate with a barrage of specious arguments.  I was just presenting information about a subject was all. You're interrogation style is just a diversion, it's exactly what gish galloping is.

Anyway. Maybe others want to engage you. I don't feel like presenting any more information about memetics than I already have. You very skillfully ended that discussion as far as I am concerned, and would just do the same again I'm sure. I'll stop posting now. This time, I promise.

No idea about any other culture but your own hey? Can't even ever know about them according to what you said. Wow, that's quite the myth you tell.

Indian's driving pick-up trucks. Sheesh.

And I never called you a racist. I only just pointed out where you use racist cultural language as you relay some of your myths. That's what I was pointing out ... as an example of yet more memetics.

Sorry, long post again. I guess I'm not part of the tweet culture either. Go figure.

And I escaped civilization because I never joined it in the first place. Irrelevant to a discussion about memetics though, and just another one of your gish gallops. That's why there was no point in answering it. Like the weird question about Jack Forbes speaking English.


wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #159 on: May 29, 2019, 09:37:59 PM »
Tim,

It is your last post, and posts like it, that are clearly gish-gallops.

If you had started at the beginning of the thread, and thought about it, you'd realize that by renaturalizing all cultures, no one culture could have a claim to representing human nature (since human nature has the actualized potential to be expressed in a variety of cultures)... We already went over this in a previous post.

I spoke of a cree hunter and a quebecois hunter. They are generic examples, meant to explore what you meant by indigenaity, not people I know. That's all I'll say about that, since it's not relevant to the larger discussion.

Again, you were the one who limited indigenaity and thus are ability to understand it. It was you who divided the history of the world into two cultures. If you know a lot that is about these cultures (you told me not to trust anything I read on the internet) please, share some relevant details.

When you did share some relevant details, i.e. about wetiko (which you incorrectly identified as a Cree word), I immediately looked it up, and did some reading. That should have indicated that I was being genuine in my dialogue. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for you.


So long Tin man, clamour on as you exit.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #160 on: May 29, 2019, 09:58:56 PM »
No. It's a Cree term ...

"The term wetiko is a Cree term (windigo in Ojibway, wintiko in Powhatan) which, to quote Forbes ... and bla bla bla."

You went to some goofs website on the internet, one that wasn't even much about wetiko at all.

Read a historian ... not the first internet reference you see. It is the Cree term for it, absolutely.

Yes, yes ... more rationalizations. la la la la la.

You're totally wetiko. That's exactly what Lurk pointed out about your mocking hostility. A very wetiko trait, and I'm sure very self inflating for your ego. So are your rationalizations that seem ever so convincing to yourself. Enjoy your winning. You sure chased me out of here, which is exactly how the narcissistic wetiko keeps its bubble intact. Now you can preserve your mythology without me disturbing it, right on cue. Classic. That's some of the subconscious psychology I was pointing out.

You'll never solve this with your myth intact and perpetuating, and still growing.

.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 10:07:01 PM by Tim »

Neven

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #161 on: May 29, 2019, 11:48:35 PM »
Nice meta-discussion! Everybody is loving it! Keep going!
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Ranman99

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #162 on: May 30, 2019, 02:52:37 AM »
I like that. The memory aspect of the species is inherently meta. Ya that works ;-) It is not self conscious just meta ad nauseam  :P
Randy Fitton

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #163 on: May 30, 2019, 08:24:22 AM »
@Tim
Thank you for your great perseverance and information and views. You must have come to the conclusion that some (most?) just don't want to see. It seems to me some 'deep' brainmechanism (stability? fear? us-them? other?) kicking in without people being aware of it.

These days small caterpillars come down from the tree canopy on silk threads. They then reach the ground and can hardly 'walk' on the sandy ground of the human footpath with their ways of locomotion.
I try to help them out; I carefully pick them up in my hand and move them to the trunk of an oak.
Some will attach to the tree to start the ascent but some just keep on wriggling chaotically and won't attach to the tree or be aware of it, not even when they are frequently and friendly nudged in the right direction.

@wdmn
The carpet metaphore didn't come from me, I remembered it from someone in this documentary:
"BBC Horizon - 1996x02 - Fermat's Last Theorem [1996-01-15]"

I think I don't have a mode of communication that will satisfy you. Sorry, I tried. (this is not an attack on you)
It would have been nice to start on some common ground and work from there little bit by little bit, with full curiosity, openness and honesty. Work it out together as friends, not as adversaries. You'll probably see it different. I find it hard to anticipate on how you might see it and write my text accordingly to satisfy you (which is my aim).

@ general reading audience
Has any of you understood what Tim and I posted, concerning the way civilisation talks about human nature and humanity? It would be nice to know that some have been reached and touched.

It is very nice to see that this thread is still active. I have worked for years in hermitic isolation on this on more and it would've been a shame if the discussion had already died after a couple of posts.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #164 on: May 30, 2019, 09:14:14 AM »
Nanning,

I appreciate your tone. Thank you.

The carpet metaphor is not difficult to grasp, and is funny. Once again, I'm surprised that you think the problem is that I am not understanding something.

I understand very well the point that cultures often imagine themselves as behaving in accordance with human nature (in a way that excludes other cultures from also being in accordance with human nature). It is an important point to make. I've heard it said that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine modest changes in the capitalist economic system, because it has been taken as the expression of laws of nature (including human nature). (On the other hand, you get whole political theories (Huntington's Clash of Civilizations) based around acknowledging cultural difference).

I raised this in the post where I mentioned Roland Barthes' Mythologies. I referred to that book not to try to make myself look well-read, but to point out how you can find this sort of critique of cultural-centrism-turned-into-laws-of-nature within "civilized" thought. Moreover, I believe I've taken Barthes' argument a step further, as I've previously stated. The feature of "nature" that is really opened up by renaturalizing human beings is its openness; rather than just being a machine determined by a complex chain of cause and effect, human nature (with it's multiplicities and choices) shatters this mechanistic view by privileging the phenomenon of choice and of the emergence of difference.

If you go back to my first post, you'll see that I started thinking about this subject because of a conflict with government. They kept saying, "allow nature to take its course," as a rationale for inaction on an endangered species. That is a view of nature that places humans, including our choices, outside of it. In opposition to this, I assert that human choice appears within the course of nature, that human consciousness appears within the course of nature, and that by choosing to do nothing and justifying that by an appeal to nature, the government was washing its hands and pretending to be a spectator rather than a complicit actor shaping the way our environment and the species within it exist.

So, I was first caught off guard by the assumption that I was unfamiliar with any of this, (Lurk had beef with me from other threads, which is why I think he attacked me right off); with this important point about cultures taking their own mythologies as expressions of the laws of nature.

The second part of how the argument you guys have been making has been presented, that I have taken issue with, can best be summed up in something you just stated:

"has any of you understood what Tim and I posted, concerning the way civilisation talks about human nature and humanity..."

Don't take me as being adversarial here, but "civilisations" don't talk. That's a category mistake. People within civilisations talk. And there is quite a bit of nuance between how people within a civilisation might think. Roland Barthes, to repeat the example, was quite aware of how cultural myths get asserted as laws of nature, as am I, and I'm sure many others on this forum.

To put that more generally, as I've tried to express repeatedly, my problem is not with the point about cultures or about sweeping statements about "humans" that leave out nuance... my problem is with the lack of nuance in the position that you two (and previously Lurk) have put forward. I.e. dividing all of history into two worldviews, civilized and indigenous seems to me a very impoverished worldview itself.

Hence I have asked specific questions to try to tease out how this distinction may not be suitable to get you guys where you want to go. Those questions are the ones that you, and Tim, have refused to answer. Instead you, and particularly Tim, have assumed that I am somehow missing your other point, and am attempting to force a five sided carpet into a four sided room. Tim, in particular, has taken these questions as proof that I am all sorts of awful things.


thanks
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 09:22:05 AM by wdmn »

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #165 on: May 30, 2019, 04:45:22 PM »
Quote
... my problem is with the lack of nuance in the position that you two (and previously Lurk) have put forward. I.e. dividing all of history into two worldviews, civilized and indigenous seems to me a very impoverished worldview itself.

You've done that thing you do again here wdmn ... taken what a person was talking about and rephrased it into something they never said at all. I've pointed this out about you several times now, and you just call it attacking you. You make specious arguments, which means you are only intent on misleading people in order to win some argument you are stuck on having. It's disingenuous.

Indigenous cultures represented a myriad of worldviews, a diversity, all living in a way that allowed them to be stable within the particular environmental niche they lived in. It was diversity. The contrast I then compare that to is the civilization worldview that replace, by policy, all that diversity of culture with one singular worldview, its own.

You have misrepresented, or completely misunderstood, what was even being discussed again. And my pointing out these specious arguments you continue to make is not attacking you. It's just pointing out specious rewordings of what was said. I do question why you mislead like this though, other than to just win an argument by dismantling it, instead of arrive at any sort truth. This is why I find talking to you a waste of time.

Now, you've claimed I was saying something that I clearly wasn't. That's ... like lying while you argue. Why do you continually do this? (Rhetorical question, don't bother answering that, I know why you do it, it's called being a bullshitter.)

Here's what I had said (note the bold):

Quote
Your Civilized culture is racist towards all forms of life other than their own, including other homo sapiens sapiens cultures that they've now just about eliminated from what used to be a diversity of cultures, and turned it into one big mono culture of just themselves, just their one culture ... supremacy.

What I would've been teasing out was what some of these other worldviews and cultures had in common throughout evolution that civilization mono culture has discarded. (Hint: it has something to do with an idea of conquering, with self importance, about supremacy over everything else in their environment and beyond ... a meme, which ties into how they now view themselves as 'all of what humanity is and ever was.')

You have claimed something I explicitly didn't say. That's why conversations with you go nowhere but down the toilet. You are just being adversarial when you argue in such a disingenuous fashion. You've claimed I was saying something that I clearly wasn't. That's dishonest, and why talking to you is pointless.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #166 on: May 30, 2019, 05:19:11 PM »
@nanning

I liked your squirmy worm metaphor. Very apt.  ;)

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #167 on: May 30, 2019, 05:26:44 PM »
@wdmn
When I wrote: "..civilisation talks..", I was wrong. It is anthropomorfism. Thank you. I stand corrected.

Back on topic.
Can we please evaluate this:

   "don't take more than you need"

According to me this is a (result from natural selection) general principle in living nature. And extra; e.g. lions don't take the strongest biggest animal. They take the slow, the sick, the old.

In this context, don't you see a clear difference with civilisation peoples' behaviour?

The 'interrogation style' that Tim wrote about is something that, I think, is not constructive. I would like you to not give too many questions in one post, so as to make it possible to build up mutual understanding and make progress.

It takes effort to see the other viewpoint. Tim and I are really on to something here. An important thing for the viewpoint of people within modern global culture (civilisation). It provides a very different perspective on how 'we' got in this 'total destruction' situation that all life finds itself in now.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #168 on: May 30, 2019, 06:23:17 PM »
Nanning,

The very point of my questions is to explore this idea about differences in behaviour. I'm glad that you recognize a diversity amongst the various cultures called indigenous.

But again, everything depends on what you're considering indigenous and civilized. So, are you defining indigenous cultures as those which don't take more than they need? Is that the only criterion for being indigenous?

Again, this may have been clear if you guys had answered my questions about whether Mayans or Easter Islanders were considered indigenous in your worldview? Those were not attempt to interrogate unduly, but to see how you are applying your distinction in actual cases.

Please do not take my questions as an interrogation, but an attempt to understand the subtleties and consequences of your position. I will attempt not to ask too many at once.

You refer to lions taking the slow, the sick, the old (which they do because it is easier for them; i.e. requires less energy). Without being combative, I think this again reveals a sort of mythological perspective, that of nature as being balanced and harmonious. This is a point I brought up quite early on in my attempt to draw out your argument.

I will repeat again comments I made elsewhere in this thread. I can provide empirical data of cervids eating themselves out of house and home on an island, resulting in a population crash. The crash can be so severe that it results in the extirpation of the cervids. Nor is this limited to cervids. In what sense is that not taking more than is needed? Did the cervids need to continue to grow their population?

Perhaps even more relevant to your example of lions, is that I can provide you data of wolves in an island system, killing more cervids than they need, eating only the choicest parts and leaving the rest of the carcass. (This behaviour is known -- as it is when humans do it -- as "high grading"). The wolves will continue to do this until their population grows so large, and their killing so wasteful, that the cervids are extirpated. The wolves then turn to cannibalism, and eventually die off also.

In this context, I see all too many similarities with what we see in many "civilized" parts of the world: if you want to call it "unsustainable" that would be the jargon that usually gets used to mean "taking more than you need."

So is your argument about "sustainability?"

I hope that was not too many questions. I hope you can also see what it is I am trying to do by bringing up specific cases, and why it makes it impossible for me to appreciate your proposed distinction unless I know how you make sense of those cases within that distinction.

Thanks

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #169 on: May 30, 2019, 06:44:10 PM »
wdmn,

I think you should quit with this interrogation and negation of anything other's contribute to your thread and just cut to the chase and say something proactive of your own. So far, you haven't done that. When there's no one for you to arbitrarily argue against with your strawmen you create and then knock down, I notice the thread just falls silent.

So far, I don't think of you as having really much to say on your subject at all.

It was obvious to me that what nanning meant was the way people within civilization talk, the memes they express, which is entirely in line with what you were opening up the discussion to in your first comment. And there you go, just looking for ways to be as difficult as possible. You couldn't tell what nanning was getting at there? Really, please, you were obviously just being obtuse.

Why don't you say something about your subject then, because so far, you haven't. Crickets.

be cause

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #170 on: May 30, 2019, 06:47:03 PM »
re the question .. just look at Arctic image of the day .. 'nuff said .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #171 on: May 30, 2019, 06:49:33 PM »
wdmn,

I think you should quit with this interrogation and negation of anything other's contribute to your thread and just cut to the chase and say something proactive of your own. So far, you haven't done that. When there's no one for you to arbitrarily argue against with your strawmen you create and then knock down, I notice the thread just falls silent.

So far, I don't think of you as having really much to say on your subject at all.

It was obvious to me that what nanning meant was the way people within civilization talk, the memes they express, which is entirely in line with what you were opening up the discussion to in your first comment. And there you go, just looking for ways to be as difficult as possible. You couldn't tell what nanning was getting at there? Really, please, you were obviously just being obtuse.

Why don't you say something about your subject then, because so far, you haven't. Crickets.

Tim,

I refer you to my reply #164

Thanks

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #172 on: May 30, 2019, 06:50:53 PM »
re the question .. just look at Arctic image of the day .. 'nuff said .. b.c.

I'm afraid it's not quite so simple b.c.

You can look at any number of my early posts, or reply #164 to get a sense of why.

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #173 on: May 30, 2019, 06:55:22 PM »
it's as simple as I want to make it .. or as complex as you wish .. b.c. :)
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #174 on: May 30, 2019, 06:58:10 PM »
Occams razor: make things as simple as they can be, but no simpler  ;)

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #175 on: May 30, 2019, 07:11:53 PM »

Tim,

I refer you to my reply #164

Thanks

I didn't see you saying much there. You started to lay a foundation of sorts, and then trailed off into railing about other people again. That's why I suggested you quit railing against what other people have to say, and just focus on developing what it is that you are trying to say. That was a few paragraphs of your idea, which wasn't saying much, compared to the volumes you've now written about what other's had to say. You need to develop what you're trying to say with that same enthusiasm. I didn't get much from your reply #164. Actually, nothing.

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #176 on: May 30, 2019, 11:32:54 PM »
Here's something relaxing to listen to while we wait ...


nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #177 on: June 01, 2019, 06:22:44 PM »
@wdmn
From a Guardian comment I made last year, and I think on topic:

https://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/113761736
"
humans are nature  ->
  smart humans invent potentially destructive technology  ->
    some human tribes feel and think they have supremacy over nature  ->
      these humans cut the invisible ties with nature and thus with themselves  ->
        insanity  ->
           total destruction"

(Above is a minimally expressed sequence. There are several loops in this I didn't display, concerning insanity and more 'layers' of supremacy)

Please don't ask me what the "invisible ties with nature" are. I can't explain it but I understand it. A lot of things are impossible to express exact and complete in human language.

Finally I think if you read my first couple of posts in this thread carefully perhaps then you are more open to the condensed wording I use and try to follow the line of thought.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #178 on: June 02, 2019, 09:03:02 AM »
Nanning,

Thank you for that post.

I certainly appreciate where you are going and where you are coming from.

I'm quite willing to accept your use of the term 'insanity,' and I won't ask you what the "invisible ties to nature" are (I appreciate that certain things are very difficult to speak, and maybe can only be gestured at in the right context)... however, I would ask with what kind of "knife" (and by what hand) such ties could possibly be cut?

This is returning a little bit again to a previous post, but I'm not doing so to be repetitive, I think that it is really important. I would like to understand you better, since, I must admit, I am a poor lost fool, forever stuck carpeting with the wrong dimensions.

You said previously that the cause of the insanity is insanity. I fear that the "knife" capable of cutting ties to nature could only be forged and wielded by something unnatural. And if something unnatural already exists to forge and wield the knife, then the cutting, in a sense, has already occurred. I am interested in the moment of this cutting.

I am interested in the idea that your view must place insanity outside of nature. So I am interested in your presuppositions about 'nature.' And I have tried to identify what those might be based on the fact that for you supremacy and insanity (and destruction) must be outside of nature. This has led me to try to explore specifics about various things (from the behaviour of animals, to small tribes on islands), because it is very striking that your conception of 'nature' cannot allow for such things (as supremacy, insanity, and destruction) to be part of it.

I would suggest that -- and please let me be very clear -- without labeling insanity or supremacy as "good" or "desirable," they appear to us as phenomena within the natural world, and are best understood in that way. That by renaturalizing the current flirtation with mass destruction of ourselves and other species, certain fissures arise within the coordinates of our reality, and reveal something more about nature, including our own.

Thus, I will repeat: by renaturalizing humans (whether insane or not), we, in a sense, denaturalize Nature. And I would suggest that this might be exactly the move that is required. After all, as I teased Tim previously, contained within our judgment on the "supremacist tribes," as being "insane," as having committed the ultimate crime of "cutting their ties with nature," is a judgement that the way of life of other tribes (who apparently haven't cut their ties) is better. There is a declaration of preference, of value, and the judgment that some ways of being in the world are better than others. So, contained within this distinction is our complicity in the part we would ourselves "cut ties with."

This is not intended as some sort of peusdo-academic triviality. What if, in order to build a better world (however much that is possible at this point), we must first come to terms with the ways in which the separation (in your terms) exists within all of us?

Hence my continued insistence on the language of "going back." I do not think that either those who have been insane, or those who have not been insane (by your definition), can return to some existence prior to the insanity, since -- and this is key -- the insanity is inscribed into the very fabric of Nature itself. There is no "harmonious" state of permanent dwelling within a nature before the arrival of the "insane" element. The circle of life never could repeat indefinitely in balance as though this "separation" did not appear, for it did appear, and it appeared as part of the course of nature.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 09:13:28 AM by wdmn »

sidd

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #179 on: June 02, 2019, 09:55:43 AM »
Waitaminnit.

So the Great Oxygenation Event was natural. But the Great Fossil Carbon excursion  is unnatural because humans have a notion of Supremacy ?

Nature doesnt care if humans have a notion of supremacy or not. In fact Nature doesnt care, period. When the Sun expands and boils the oceans, Nature will still not care, there's billions of other planets out there, with other chemistries and other evolutions. Nature takes every bet. Nature is the house. Nature is the Universe.

The concept of Nature hospitable to humans is a human conceit. Nature would be perfectly happy with Canfield ocean and methanogenic life. Or a barren crust with the planet evaporating into solar red giant stage. As will happen in a few billion year or so.

sidd

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #180 on: June 02, 2019, 10:17:26 AM »
Sidd,

I appreciate your comments as they are a break from the tedium of the few of us who have been posting (and especially from my own voice).

I agree with you, of course, generally on what you say, but have one contention:

"Nature doesn't care." It's not so much that "Nature" doesn't care as that "Nature" doesn't refer to anything that can either care or not care, be happy or not be happy (Nature doesn't actually have a referent at all). The idea of Nature caring or not caring is a category mistake (or a personification).

But it is important and relevant that part of nature can care. Caring or not caring is a potential for some part of nature. Us. And really that's what is important. And I think the environmental movement is always slightly impotent in causing enough people to care sufficiently, and I think that might have something to do with the way that environmentalists often fail to understand what, for example, I wrote in my previous reply.

Nanning is I think using "Nature" the way Bruno Latour uses "Gaia" (Latour did not coin the term) where Gaia is the living Earth. Latour deliberately distinguishes Gaia from Nature for many of the reasons we've given. I am generally opposed to such personifications... but Latour is an important thinker.

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #181 on: June 02, 2019, 03:49:04 PM »

So the Great Oxygenation Event was natural. But the Great Fossil Carbon excursion  is unnatural because humans have a notion of Supremacy ?


No Sidd. This has nothing to do with natural or unnatural at all. It had to do with whether or not the insanity that has caused the biosphere to collapse, in multiple other ways other than just the fossil carbon excursion, is an aspect of innate human nature as so many people on this forum refer to it, or whether it's just the aspect of one select group of humans, one culture, and the way they have organized their insane worldview, one specific to just their culture, that has caused this.

Obviously this thread is locked into the social media silo'ing effect of where every single thought expressed is interpreted in the context of the headline: "Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"

I wasn't talking about that. I was talking about why civilized people are about to go away due solely to their insanity, and pointing out how that culture has a hubris of referring to their insane worldview as 'all humans,' as you have also done in your comment. I know it's subtle, but it's part of pointing out the greater insanity that grips this one culture, one of the things that keeps them locked into it.

The concept of Nature hospitable to humans is a human conceit.

I could rephrase that to say the concept of Nature inhospitable to humans is a civilized construct, one of conceit.

Nature would be perfectly happy with Canfield ocean and methanogenic life. Or a barren crust with the planet evaporating into solar red giant stage. As will happen in a few billion year or so.

So if I knock your house down, that's ok with you, because in hundreds of hundreds of years that house would've rotted away and fallen down anyway. That's what you just argued, that's what you just rationalized and normalized there.

I'm not saying that an insane culture killing itself is unnatural. I'm actually saying the opposite, that it is natural for something insane to eventually remove itself from evolution through natural selection. I was just trying to talk about why it is that the culture of civilization clings to their insanity, and promotes it, and why they rationalize it away and defend it and try to normalize it with all sorts of mental gymnastics, instead of just changing their worldview. All I was trying to do was point out that worldview.

But that always gets a fight from civilized folk, as we've seen on this thread. That's actually part of the observable insanity too, a psychological reaction against ever recognizing or acknowledging  their own wordlview, or that they even have one. They like to call it human nature instead.
.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 05:04:03 PM by Tim »

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #182 on: June 02, 2019, 06:25:47 PM »
To a certain extent this thread is like an chemist, a farmer and a compost manager (around here called 'organics recycler') arguing about the meaning of 'organic.'

The word 'nature' (along with its adjectival form 'natural') has many and sometimes overlapping meanings. It was originally, as 'natura' used to translate Greek φυσικός (whence 'physics') to mean every thing that exists (though etymologically they mean 'what is born' and 'what grows,' respectively).

For some time now, 'natural' has regularly been used to mean 'outside of direct human influence.'

The term 'natural' also has been very widely used in marketing with no official meaning (unlike 'organic' as applied to edibles and potables), purely for its vague associations with wholesomeness.

There are other meanings and associations of this word, too. It would be helpful if people would start by clearly specifying what meaning of 'natural' they are starting from. Otherwise, we will be engaged in endless tail-chasing, which some may find fun, but I personally find rather tedious. :)
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #183 on: June 02, 2019, 06:28:50 PM »
(I post this without having read Tim's and later recent posts, sorry)

(1)@wdmn Reply #178,#180
First, I am very glad to notice that you changed your manner of interaction. Your attitude in engaging. My deep wish is that you'll be able to, at some point, 'see' what Tim and I are on about. That would be something.

Here are responses to some of your answers, but not all. I think that going with this style of many questions in one post, the discussion will give off a jet of new questions by you and therefore likely context divergence, loss of focus, drifting off.
Maybe, if you agree, I started one important sub-thread for 'us' to focus on. Nothing but a different thought, an insane thought. It is in one of the paragraphs below.

Quote
I'm quite willing to accept your use of the term 'insanity,' and I won't ask you what the "invisible ties to nature" are (I appreciate that certain things are very difficult to speak, and maybe can only be gestured at in the right context)... however, I would ask with what kind of "knife" (and by what hand) such ties could possibly be cut?
I think supremacy is made possible by our technology, via the temptation of thinking/feeling 'more powerful' or 'better' than other nature. "I can kill bear".."I am stronger than bear". Or "Why wait or work with regard to other life; we can force our way with our 'technology', 'control' it". So your metaphorical 'knife' are these insane thoughts rising from temptation.
The humans that have new original thoughts and have invented all fundamentally new technology and understanding/worldview are the very smart humans. But they are not the ones often to use it in ways that give these insane thoughts of supremacy. I want you to picture the intelligence distribution (Gauss-like) and realise that only the very right end-tail holds those very smart humans. The rest uses the technology and has not the same level of responsibility & understanding of consequences. I think this is a significant part of why these supremacy thoughts arose.

After a tribe does start with an act of supremacy, even if it has happened only once to your tribe it gives a bifurcation and after this act these tribes' people have to either restrain themselves (from this temptation of supremacy/ease/control/fantasy) or start conquering (which is easier, tempting). First with small effects in living nature but later through the development of technology and supremacy, it progressively explodes to total destruction. And here we are.

Quote
You said previously that the cause of the insanity is insanity.
That is a quote from Tim's posts. I think it doesn't mean anything. I have written in my posts that supremacy always causes insanity (more or 'deeper').

For renaturalisation you need to delete the conquering tribes' culture (including its language!). I think it is impossible.

You make the distinction: Indiginous tribes & civilisation, but my distinction is: Peaceful nature tribes & conquering tribes. I think mine is much better in answering the questions raised in this thread. There is a good possibility that what I call nature tribes are in the very long term destabilizing. I don't think that is important in answering our questions.


(2) @sidd Reply #179
I agree with wdmn about the personification aspect, or anthropomorphism as I call it. Then the arguments fall away so I have no further response for now.

(3) @wdmn
Quote
"Nature doesn't care." It's not so much that "Nature" doesn't care as that "Nature" doesn't refer to anything that can either care or not care, be happy or not be happy (Nature doesn't actually have a referent at all). The idea of Nature caring or not caring is a category mistake (or a personification).
The idea of nature caring is a viewpoint from supremacy.

To conclude, as a reply your lasts posts: In an earlier post I described living nature as life + ecosystems, and nature as everthing; the universe. I thought that was clear. We have to build on shared definitions and I think this is a good one for making the distinction of "unnatural animal". The "unnatural" phrase should therefore be "un-living nature".

edit: added last sentence for clarity
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 06:42:30 PM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #184 on: June 02, 2019, 06:53:18 PM »
@wili

And I think some of us weren't even discussing the concept of natural or unnatural at all. But that seems to have gone unnoticed as people try and stuff what was being presented back into that context, which I continue to find bizarre and myopic. It must be a social media thing.  ::)

I'll go back to avoiding this thread, and just let people misrepresent other people's input all they want by trying to stuff  what I was pointing out back into the natural and unnatural debate.

The entire subject header of the thread was a meta discussion question anyway, about the semantics people use when they have a discussion. It was a meta discussion.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #185 on: June 02, 2019, 07:51:53 PM »
To a certain extent this thread is like an chemist, a farmer and a compost manager (around here called 'organics recycler') arguing about the meaning of 'organic.'

The word 'nature' (along with its adjectival form 'natural') has many and sometimes overlapping meanings. It was originally, as 'natura' used to translate Greek φυσικός (whence 'physics') to mean every thing that exists (though etymologically they mean 'what is born' and 'what grows,' respectively).

For some time now, 'natural' has regularly been used to mean 'outside of direct human influence.'

The term 'natural' also has been very widely used in marketing with no official meaning (unlike 'organic' as applied to edibles and potables), purely for its vague associations with wholesomeness.

There are other meanings and associations of this word, too. It would be helpful if people would start by clearly specifying what meaning of 'natural' they are starting from. Otherwise, we will be engaged in endless tail-chasing, which some may find fun, but I personally find rather tedious. :)

Wili,

The different uses of natural and nature have been acknowledged in this thread. That's, in fact, the basis for the thread: how the presuppositions underlying the most common use of unnatural (as things caused or made by humans) clash with the presuppositions of science, especially post Darwin.

To be honest, the problem is that most people who've chosen to engage with the thread have not grasped this basic starting point. And when I make a post as I did in reply #178 no one even attempts to engage with the substance of the post.


So for example, Nanning, you say I am losing focus, in spite of this being a thread that I started, and in spite of the fact that my questions are carefully selected to bring your focus from your distinction of "peace loving" and "conquering tribes" back to the main point of this thread.

In response to this I will focus simply on one thing you said in your last thread that should make your own confusion (and the reason why our discussion is going in circles) clear:

Quote
For renaturalisation you need to delete the conquering tribes' culture (including its language!). I think it is impossible.
.

This quote suggests that you have not at all understood what I said in reply #178 or elsewhere in this thread. You are tracing over and over again your own presuppositions which I have attempted to draw out into the light.

To quote myself:

"Thus, I will repeat: by renaturalizing humans (whether insane or not), we, in a sense, denaturalize Nature. And I would suggest that this might be exactly the move that is required...."

You should realize that this is not about you or I offering definitions. We began with a standard definition of unnatural (as I have repeated again above to Wili). We then considered the presuppositions in that definition, and how those presuppositions clash with what science teaches us, and also the presuppositions of science (i.e. monism as opposed to dualism).

I am not offering a new definition of Nature. I am simply making explicit the consequences of losing the ability to call any phenomena "unnatural," and separating out (ironically, by severing some other group of humans ties to nature by calling them "unnatural") some emergence within the course of nature from the course of nature. The consequences of this renaturalization (it is a renaturalization that occurs in thought, not by converting these tribes or wiping them off the face of the earth; you are not understanding me here, but are repeating your own presuppositions), once it has been fully integrated into your thought, is that the concept 'Nature' is denaturalized... it ceases to mean the same thing that it did previously.

This renaturalization that contains within its movement a denaturaliziation (of course not literally) all occurs through logic. It has nothing to do with changing anyone's behaviour (at this point), though it does change your behaviour when it is fully integrated into your thinking (which is why this is worthwhile, otherwise it would just be wordy games). As Sidd has attempted to point out, it makes you more fully understand 'Nature' (the standard definition not yours), and so it makes you more fully understand yourself, the environmental movement, and the struggles that we are engaged in. Trust me. I would not waste my time with this if it wasn't important.

So your response to me on this comment shows that you are not making this logical move. Instead you are retracing your presuppositions: the world can only be natural when the conquering tribes are removed, cut out (severed from nature?). I am not trying to sound rude, but you are stuck on the very first movement of the argument in this thread. And if you are not willing to make that move, then I'm afraid we can go no further, since it the main point of this thread.

Respectfully,

wdmn



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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #186 on: June 02, 2019, 09:29:35 PM »
We were given a garden of eden , with dominion . We made our gods small and our kingdoms grate .
Forgot we were One and began to dominate . Our mythology undermines science and 'clear thought' .
There was never a lack 'till there wasn't enough . Religion .

  b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #187 on: June 03, 2019, 06:54:57 AM »
Let me add onto my previous post in a way that will be slightly more generous to you Nanning.

It seems quite clear to me that the answer to our current calamity is not to cease using technology. We cannot cut it out of our existence (here we are communicating on the internet), and we should not consider it as something alien to nature.

I'm not suggesting that you've anywhere said technology must be removed, but it is implied that with technology comes supremacy, and with supremacy comes insanity, and that without getting rid of the culture of the technology users we cannot "renaturalize."

The obvious challenge to you would be to reinterpret our situation that allows for a mediation between the use of technology without the presence of supremacy. This is not really my focus, but perhaps it could get its own thread...

It does follow from my line of reasoning that this sort of mediative movement is the one that is likely to be successful, rather than the complete severing or erasure (which you also admit is unlikely) of what we take as the opposition to our desire. As soon as we renaturalize our enemy (those conquering tribes), and as a result denaturalize Nature, then a new space opens up in which technology can be approached as part of the course of nature, and not as something that makes us superior to it (which is impossible, anyway), but something that arises within it, as part of our process of becoming within it. Perhaps then the way to using technology without the mindset of supremacy becomes possible. But as long as technology remains as something "unnatural," then our use of it would bring us back outside of nature, and reassert our separation, again creating the grounds for supremacist thought.


@be cause
Of course you are welcome to reject the (materialist) presuppositions of science. But you should be aware that dualism (Manichaeism) is considered a heresy within Christianity, (and my thread is largely about monism versus dualism). That leaves you with the problem of explaining how it was that the tree was placed in the garden, how the serpent ended up there, and how this could have happened without God's knowledge that we would not resist the temptation (this would make God lack omniscience). In other words, you're left with the problem of Evil, which has plagued common folk and theologians for millennia.

If you're a Christian, you'll also note that the separation from the One is inscribed into God himself. This is signified by the word becoming flesh, and uttering upon the cross "Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?" In this moment Christ himself experiences separation from the One. This is the Good News. It is through this apparent separation, and the struggles within history subsequent to it, that our freedom becomes possible.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 07:05:42 AM by wdmn »

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #188 on: June 06, 2019, 08:38:56 AM »
I will now elucidate more carefully and clearly the main points of this thread and their consequences, particularly for environmentalism. (I apologize for the numbering, please take it as a kind of joke).

On presuppositions:

1) All language -- and all thought -- even scientific language, contains within it a set of presuppositions.

1.1) These presuppositions usually remain unconscious; in Zizekian terms they are the "unknown knowns": things that we don't even know that we know, but which have the force to influence our practices and our thinking.

1.1.1) The presuppositions (unknown knowns) can become conscious when a tension between presuppositions in different parts of our language begins to lead to contradictions. They can also become conscious through thinking about how we use language.

2) Even science, in investigating reality, can only do so within a framework of these presuppositions.

3) These presuppositions can be understood as part of a larger structure of practices, beliefs and fictions that give meaning to our experiences. The experience of reality is always partially structured by a "virtual" or "fictional" element, that provides meaning to our experiences.


On Nature:

1) The long history of the concept 'Nature,' means that it has had many uses and many meanings.

2) Science, in so far as it does not posit an "outside" to Nature, is both materialist, and monist. This is particularly evident post-Darwin, when human beings empirically became another species within the tree of life.

3) But particularly within the development of ecology, 'Nature,' even in the scientific sense, became overburdened with a traditional sense of eternal, cyclical, harmonious, balanced. (Predator-prey cycles; communities of species as supra-organisms that develop according to a fixed succession, etc).

3.1) Within climate science we find the glacial-interglacial cycle.

3.1.1) In all cases, extending the x-axis (time) shows that none of these cycles is eternal, and that catastrophes are a regular part of Nature.

4) Even within science, and in spite of what evolution teaches us, it is difficult to get away from the logic of oppositions: Nature gets opposed to culture, and natural gets opposed to anthropogenic (unnatural). (Nature, as a totalizing concept, is the concept which is capable of containing all opposites: it is everything. Even nothing (the void, death) is part of Nature).

4.1) This is partly for pragmatic reasons; the desire to distinguish between what would have happened (say in the climate) if humans had not existed, or had behaved differently. This is often important for shaping policy.

4.1.1) This way of thinking is prevalent in the environmental movement, where it lends itself to a kind of romanticism expressed in the concept of 'wilderness': that which is "untouched by man."

While I appreciate George Monbiot's work, his profile on Twitter is a perfect example of this sort attitude. He quotes Lord Byron (the British Romantic poet) who wrote: “I love not man the less, but Nature more.”

So we find in one of the most outspoken journalists on climate change a repetition of the movement that separates human beings from nature, setting Nature up as the "ideal."

We also find this in Bill McKibben in the title of his book "The End of Nature."

4.1.1.1) We could read the title "The End of Nature" in a different way

5) The End of Nature: The collapse of our old concept of Nature as something separate from us, which is harmonious, reliable, without catastrophe (until humans -- or some subset of humans -- ruin everything).

This is the kind of "End of Nature" that I arrive at when I suggest that by renaturalizing human beings (and just for Nanning and Tim's sake, I'll specify: "the very worst of human beings"), all cultures, all political and economic decisions, all human blunders, we denaturalize Nature.

5.1) We do not denaturalize Nature in a literal sense (which would make no sense): we liberate the concept from a "fiction" that has given it a specific meaning (and force). It no longer means what it did before. If it is still Mother Nature, we can quote Zizek and say, "Mother Nature is a dirty bitch."

5.1.1) This does not mean that we liberate the concept from fiction all together.

As a consequence the challenge becomes how to build a new environmental ethics, not built on a fiction that prevents us from seeing large parts of nature (which demands that we sever certain parts of human behaviour from nature, and understand them as something alien).

Why is this important? I hold that environmentalism in the current form (which depends on this mythology, this fiction with its dualistic presuppositions) is ultimately ineffective. It is based upon an idealistic move, and -- as Nietzsche argues -- idealism contains within it already the seeds of nihilism, is a form of nihilism, or not seeing things as they are.


More later...
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 08:48:06 AM by wdmn »

kassy

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #189 on: June 07, 2019, 11:29:01 PM »


Watch from the beginning or 6 minutes in of you are short on time.

It´s not about how we blah blah but how we do do.

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #190 on: June 08, 2019, 08:35:16 AM »


Watch from the beginning or 6 minutes in of you are short on time.

It´s not about how we blah blah but how we do do.

Thank you for sharing. That's a "creative solution," as we say.


Are you suggesting that we should only act and not think?

Do you think that a forum is an appropriate place to "blah blah blah"?

Do you not think that language is embedded in the ways that we act (in our practices)?

Do you not think that discourse is a form of action?


As I have pointed out several times: my interest in this topic was piqued by an interaction with the government as I was making an effort to have a threatened species protected. The government did not want to act, and justified their reluctance by arguing that we should "allow nature to take its course."

My initial arguments all arose as attempts to influence a different course of action.

A video in exchange for a video:



wdmn
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 09:10:56 AM by wdmn »

kassy

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #191 on: June 08, 2019, 06:48:07 PM »
my interest in this topic was piqued by an interaction with the government as I was making an effort to have a threatened species protected. The government did not want to act, and justified their reluctance by arguing that we should "allow nature to take its course."

Could you not show that the species was threatened because of our actions?

Usually it is habitat loss and we are clearly to blame.

They justified it but they meant we do not care and there is no law requiring us to do anything so screw them. That does not mean that what was happening to the species was nature taking its course.

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #192 on: June 08, 2019, 07:25:06 PM »
@kassy
Quote
Could you not show that the species was threatened because of our actions?
It's highly probable that the government didn't listen.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #193 on: June 27, 2019, 07:02:05 AM »
This has probably been posted before but I find it fitting for this thread.
"MAN"
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #194 on: July 15, 2019, 07:12:05 PM »
Brave New Ocean - Jeremy Jackson - 34m00 - 38m00
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 04:16:14 AM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

Tunnelforce9

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #195 on: July 16, 2019, 01:50:51 AM »
@Nanning great lecture thanks


Tip: Anyone interested in the world should listen to the best podcast on the internet :

https://ashesashes.org/

Quote
Ashes Ashes is a show about systemic issues, cracks in civilization, collapse of the environment, and if we’re unlucky the end of the world. The name is borrowed from the nursery rhyme “Ring a Ring o’ Roses,” a song that children sing while spinning in a circle before collapsing on the floor in heaps of laughter. Some claim that the lyrics were written in response to England’s Great Plague and Black Death, and the line Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down is interpreted as death and the cremation of bodies. Although apocryphal, this interpretation is fitting for our times. While human civilization owes its existence to the unimaginable wealth that nature freely provides, our current growth trajectory is increasingly being fueled by the direct erosion of biodiversity, ecosystem services, cultural heritage, and more, effectively cannibalizing our future for the sake of short-term “progress.” Our show is dedicated to understanding this process, and illustrating its many forms, which includes everything from environmental destruction and unsustainable economic extraction to social atomization and isolation. Although these themes may appear dark, awareness is what can help open the door to collective action through which the strength of our communities can prevent the great falling down of life as we know it.

many great episodes like this one here:

Quote
Episode 71 - The Mean, Big Green, Corporate Machine
The world may be burning, but more and more companies are giving us green alternatives to our favorite products so we can continue to shop and consume the same way we always have, but without hurting the Earth - or so they would like us to believe. Greenwashing, the practice of making bad things seem environmentally friendly, has run rampant across the shelves of our favorite stores and even carried over to the actions of companies, NGOs, and nations themselves. Is there any hope to the allure of shopping in an environmentally friendly way? What are the greatest greenwashing sins occurring right now? Is there any hope outside of radical change if we want to save the Earth? We think you probably know the answers to these questions, but join us this week as we explore all this and much more in our dive into the mean, green, corporate machines of the world.
https://ashesashes.org/blog/episode-71-the-mean-big-green-corporate-machine


Check it out!


nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #196 on: August 11, 2019, 08:04:33 PM »
In living nature, for all species, not one individual of that species specialises. They are all generalist within their species.

Almost all individuals of 'civilisation's humans are specialised.

I think that's a significant distinction.
It seems to indicate unnaturalness for at least the civilisation tribe, if not for all conquering tribes.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

kassy

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #197 on: August 12, 2019, 12:10:09 AM »
Queen Bee disagrees.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

TerryM

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #198 on: August 12, 2019, 12:38:36 AM »
A stinging retort. ;D
Terry

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #199 on: August 12, 2019, 01:38:13 AM »
my interest in this topic was piqued by an interaction with the government as I was making an effort to have a threatened species protected. The government did not want to act, and justified their reluctance by arguing that we should "allow nature to take its course."

Could you not show that the species was threatened because of our actions?

Usually it is habitat loss and we are clearly to blame.

They justified it but they meant we do not care and there is no law requiring us to do anything so screw them. That does not mean that what was happening to the species was nature taking its course.

Without getting into too many details, it depended on where you began the narrative. The immediate cause of decline was predation; in this sense it appeared to most to be "nature taking its course" (just the circle of life, or nature finding balance, or whatever other kumbaya BS you want to pick). The predation would not have been a threat if it had not been for habitat changes over the preceding century.

The point is that there is no "hands off." We certainly do not hear governments calling leaving fossil fuels in the ground "letting nature take its course." There's a reason for that.

Once you follow the meditation through and realize that anything can be called nature's course, then the appeal to it falls away as meaningless, and you're left with a much more clear picture of what is happening..

That is the point of the meditation that I attempted to start at several points in this thread, and which struck a few nerves so deeply.

After eventually forcing the government to act, I had the opportunity to give a presentation to about 100 scientists, government employees, students, and indigenous reps. In that case the meditation was quite effective.