Thought of the Day: Harmony with Nature

Inspired by this video (which I’m at present only halfway through, so caveat spectator: so far, while I’d dispute some points and his overall framework, his main argument is pretty sound. Spoilers for both Avatar and Princess Mononoke, by the way). Though this is also something I’d concluded a while back.

To live in harmony with nature is not natural. No plant or brute animal lives ‘in harmony’ with nature in the sense of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. They instinctively try to survive, consume, and expand as much as possible. The only reason there is a ‘balance’ of nature is because everything is locked in more or less of a stalemate. But the moment any particular critter gains an advantage, it rides it as hard as it possibly can. Because the law of nature is survival and nothing else.

The ironic thing, of course, is that most people who talk about living ‘naturally’ and ‘in harmony with nature’ are unquestioning believers in evolution, which runs on the idea of nature as a non-stop war to the death.

Meanwhile, when you talk about humanity living ‘naturally:’ it is natural for human beings to create civilizations to live in. Building houses, plowing fields, forming societies and enacting laws is what is natural for us as humans. That in itself of course doesn’t mean that any particular actions or developments of any particular civilization are justified, but that that sort of thing what we do and ought to do as people.

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