Round 7, Prompt 4: Space and Place

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In reading all of these readings I have realized there is a constant environmental ethic already set up in many parts of the world. Even though it goes by different names and may have a slight variation in ideas, it goes to show that the world is not hopeless. Even though human beings are made out to be complete villains perhaps this under the radar ethic is what has been keeping the human race going for so long. Although it is more outstanding in some places than others, this class is a simple verification that humans desire to the right thing and seeking out the greater good.

It is possible for the West to gain a place-focused ethic. It would be best though to come up with some easier terms. Marketing these would be difficult as many people would not be willing to take the time to differentiate between them. One reason the West fails to connect is due to technology. Undeveloped countries live closer to the land. If their crop is dying or their water is dirty they take notice quickly. Developed countries ignore the signs of a suffering Earth and merely purify their drinking water. They are ignorant to the signs of an ominous future. Which is why I think it is necessary for the West to develop a space-centered ethic.

I believe space and place must be used together. Space gives us our individuality to see where we are and what influences us locally while place gives us the ability to connect and feel a sense of belonging with universally. To better clarify, space is offers a more self-centered view of the world. Both perspectives are necessary when defining the importance of life. Without individuality one loses motivation to move forward. No one wants to live such a boring repetitive life. Nature is meant to progress as Darwin’s concept of natural selection indicates. Without universal connection one can easily die without significance. The butterfly affect shows the importance of each creature’s effect on one another. The government often pushes us toward respecting nature so there are few constraints it places on us. I suppose one government constraint is the law that one must have a fishing or hunting license to do said action. How can one survive without the ability to catch one’s food if necessary? It also deters those with less money to live off the land. And to think, in undeveloped countries, being poor is what causes them to live off the land. The United States really is an anomaly.

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One response »

  1. I agree that we must seek a synthesis of space and place. While each may be a central component of traditionally Western and non-Western ethics, combining the two concepts would be incredibly effective in developing a modern environmental ethic. An ethics that consists of a combination of space and place would be especially helpful in leading the West to take on a place-sensitive ethic, introducing people in the West to the concept of “place” without immediately overhauling the current space-centered ethic.

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