>Some brief responses below.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wilson, Dale [mailto:WILSONDO@phibred.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 1999 10:36 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Cc: 'Ikerd, John E.'
> Subject: Nature Spirit (was: definitely related)
> > Spirituality and religion are not the same things -
> > although we are not likely to have a discussion of one
> > without the other. To me, spirituality simply means a
> > felt need to be in harmony with some higher order of
> IMO, "spirituality" in the environmentalist community is a
> christianity, with a vaguley defined Telos, Entelechy or
> in the place of God.
> I suspect for some this true and for others it's not.
> Despite the "deep ecologists" over in the corner, most
> of what I hear on Sanet seems to be part of the general
> progressive vision of the enlightenment, a christian
> like equity, freedom, and health dominate the discussion.
>It seems quite
> Anthropocentricity (at least in the sense of belief that
>humans are special) does not exclude legitimate concern for other species
>nor for other elements of the natural environment.
> > We have to conform to some higher order of things rather
> > than bend and twist nature to things to fit every whim.
> This is a statement of the natural law ethics of the
>movement. The "higher
> order of things" is the putative guiding hand of Nature (God
> and the law is written in the biosphere as opposed to stone
> difficulty IMO, is that reading the "Law" is difficult in
>practice, and many
> people do so through the lense of idiosyncratic social
> contributes to the anthropocentricity.
> Important tasks frequently are quite challenging. Lots of
>different approaches may be worthy of pursuit.
> > Sustainability ultimately is about intergenerational
> > to meet the needs of the present while leaving equal or
> > opportunities for the future.
> YES! THAT, is a good definition of sustainability. But it
>still isn't a big
> help in the exegesis of natural law.
> The fact that it's neither simple nor easy doesn't mean that
>it not worth doing.
> > Most seem to agree that sustainable systems must be
> > economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially
> > responsible.
> Everybody from the heads of Dupont and Monsanto on down
>would agree with
> that statement. The devil is in the details, and it depends
>on how you
> interpret natural law, and whether you buy into the concept
>of natural law.
> Right. Look for evidence of spirituality as an indicator of
>whether a "sustainable agriculture" program actually addresses
>sustainability or is instead an advertising or public relations strategy.
> > We are concerned about ecological "sustainability" only if
> > have some felt need to live in harmony with some higher
> > of things - if we are spiritual.
> What about physicalists (those who do not believe in the
>existence of a
> "higher order") but nevertheless do care?
> I don't know why they would care about something in which
>they have no individual or shared interest unless they believed that there
>was some other legitimate reason - something beyond themselves and each
>other, i.e. some higher order - that provides with an incentive or
>responsibility to caring.
> > If we do not believe in a higher order, or do not feel a
> > to find harmony with it, there is no logical reason to be
> > concerned about whether or not people thousands of years
> > will have opportunities equal to or better than we have
> Are you familiar with E.O. Wilson's view that altruism is
> by group selection? He is a physicalist and former
> Can ethics derived from apparent evolution of altruism
>(another reading of
> nature) form a basis for sustainability (intergenerational
> I believe that true altruism is a product of spirituality,
>regardless of how it is logically derived or has culturally evolved.
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