As many of you probably know, I spend a great deal of time in the ATS chatroom (Something I recommend that all of you with the cursory number of posts
try at some point - as it's a wonderful way to pass the time and often is a way to see, in real time, what makes ATS such a magical website.). Well,
tonight a very interesting debate broke out, and became very heated. Having watched, and partially participated in this debate, I thought that I would
throw together a thread as a means of including the rest of ATS in the conversation.
So, without further ado, here is the crux of that debate, stated as impartially as possible:
The Uncomfortable Dichotomy of Nature
When we think of the word "nature" we probably find our inner site filled with images, such as these:
These are beautiful images and it is very easy for us to refer to them as "natural". They are, after all, pure, pristine, primal, untouched by mans
hand, and compelling to us on an aesthetic and emotional level.
But nature, even in its raw form, does have a darker side:
In our conversation this is the point where a few diverge from being comfortable with the label of "natural". At this juncture a few will leave the
word "nature" behind, and will begin to find terminology which suggests some level of moral value. Some begin to use terms like "act of God", thus
taking natural process out of the loop. This face of nature is far less beautiful. This face of nature can be downright frightening. And we are left
to ponder... Are the difficult things natural or are they somehow a perversion of nature?'
Now, how about these things?:
Surely the above cannot be natural?!?!
Or can they be?
If man is a product of nature then, does it not follow that all of his creations and machinations are as well? Is man capable of producing
that is not natural? It seems contrary, to me, to consider it from either perspective. To think ourselves outside of nature, vain...
to think our ugliness natural, demeaning.
But how is any of the above any different, really, than...
...or a beavers dam?
I found this debate very intriguing, so now I put it to you great minds of ATS... Which side of the argument holds water? Where does the line of
"nature" begin and end?