Serena Scott Week 2, response to prompt 1


“Do you believe intrinsic value is critical to the continued preservation of nature by humans? Does developing technology further push human society away from nature? If so, what are the potential long-term effects of this more extreme separation?”

Humans give value to things they appreciate or see as useful. This value can change from person to person. Well-developed societies tend to be more capitalistic and materialistic, because of this intrinsic value is an abstract idea to many people. However, I believe intrinsic value is critical in the continuing preservation of nature. If we were to put monetary values on natural resources it could cause the importance of preserving one object to be more important than preserving another, because of its net worth to humans. In actuality everything plays a large role in the natural world and has an importance. Although intrinsic value is critical to preservation, humans like things they can put a price on, things that make logical sense and things beneficial to their own life. Because of this, intrinsic value is an abstract concept that will require the human race to change its way of thinking in order to work in the way of preservation.

I do believe that technological advances push society further from nature. Today, more than ever humans rely on technology for entertainment and everyday processes. A majority of the time we are sitting in front of a computer, TV or phone. Society seems to have lost its enjoyment of playing outside; this has become increasingly evident in younger generations who spend more time playing video games than they do playing outside. Even when we are in nature we rely on GPS, cameras, phones, motorboats, ATVs and cars to enjoy the outdoors. Very rarely do we just exist in the wilderness or explore and enjoy the outdoors without some sort of technology.

The potential long-term effect of the more extreme separation is people losing all connection with the natural world. It could cause a loss of joy the natural world brings, a loss of understanding for the world, a loss of appreciation for things other than the human species. For me, surrounding myself in nature whether I am diving through a coral reef or hiking the superior national forest makes me feel complete, it puts me at ease; it reminds me of who I am and my purpose on this earth.  Being in nature reminds me to respect our resources and to protect things that don’t have a voice. The extreme separation could cause more people to be unappreciative of what the natural world brings us, causing many to see nature as just a means to an end, a thing to be used up for human benefit.


One response »

  1. I really like what you have to say here. I believe you made a great point that without intrinsic value, humans would be tempted do put dollar signs on whatever they could. Greed of any sort should never be underestimated.

    While I understand that excessive technology can separate us from nature, even causing us to lose appreciation for a great deal of natural beauties and life-sustaining resources, I would urge you to investigate exactly how different an advanced, “capitalistic” society views the environment as opposed to a socialistic or even communistic society. How do you think people in Haiti, the Middle East, and Southeastern Asia value the overall well-being of the environment? What is it that they are doing to preserve their respective ecosystems and exactly what is their intrinsic value (if any exists) based on?

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