Rethinking mankind’s ecological side and environmental ethics

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    17-Oct-2015

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Author: Vacirca Villar, Carlos BrunoCountry: Argentina.Address: Silveyra 4181 Villa Nueva, Guaymalln, Mendoza, ArgentinaZIP code: 5521E-mail: brhunov@gmail.comTitle: Rethinking mankinds ecological side and environmental ethicsRethinking mankinds ecological side and environmental ethicsMany published studies that address socio-environmental issues emphasize the notion that human beings must make use of an inherently rational and sensible attitude, along with an acute and severe ethical posture, for the purpose of improving and fundamentally altering the relation between humankind and nature and to soften the unavoidable impact on the economy for the generations to come.I consider that this is an erroneous and counterproductive approach the matter. Since the Fordism age (1930-50), industrial society and capital accumulation have turned mankind into a planetary, geological force, able to alter and modify the biosphere, including also the biogeochemical cycles and means of survival through which continued life is made possible.In considering human beings as a planetary geological force, as an expansive shockwave having repercussion on all aspects of life and the Earth itself, I suggest that humankind should not be asked to take moral responsibility for the ecological crisis. This is due to the fact that geological agents do not have any ethical side at all, regardless if they act with an apparently violent and unpredictable demeanor. Moreover, this statement makes us think carefully about the whole issue, taking into account the possibility that the ecological crisis would be a process without a subject in charge of.Bearing in mind the relation between culture and power and its effects on modifying or changing the future might show us the way to understand and try to reweigh the prevailing socio-environmental dilemma. What does the word future really mean? The future is a social construct per se, the summation of prospects of social type. But the future, the time that is about to come, is more than just a conceptual reconstruction corresponding to the establishment of the historical relations between culture, the set of knowledge, beliefs and behavior patterns of a social group, including material means and power, but is also intimately related to the survival, which emerged and developed long before the first hominids, and is present in all of living beings within the nature world.In this way, considering our future as aspirational is somewhat ridiculous. I dare myself to conceive of the future as a philosophical time involving two contradictory terms that are often the sole representation of it: utopia and dystopia. Eternally oxymoronic, it is a kind of an ineluctable remnant, full of guilt that uncovers the true nature of human nature. Our greatest strength is itself our lethal weakness; we are our own worst enemy. The source of the difficulty lies in the fact that what can be done by us is not intrinsically morally justifiable, on account of theoverwhelming and unstoppable global geological might we have become.Only humankind has created and developed the techno-science capabilities of wiping out our own species, as well as all the other classes and varieties of higher animals. We, who claim to characteristically possess an extremely rational behavior, are not allowed to even have an ecological side; mankind must be recategorized as an natural agent of the Earth who cannot have the chance of build up an ecological way of thinking. It would appear that the most important thing currently in at stake in this critical discussion about the environment is not the continuity of life on the globe, but the survival of the human species and its possibility for cultural attainment, that the only thing that human should aspire for the future is obtaining more means of production and thus a lower cost at which to gain more money and power: humankinds everlasting and most faithful motivation. To conclude, it would then be appropriate to quote some of Thomas Hobbes humble words, who once said: man is the wolf of man.1

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