Are Humans a Part of Nature or Somehow Apart From It?
To think of Nature, you must first define it. I looked it up in an old set of encyclopedias my parents had in our basement. It said that the term "nature" has been used in various inconsistent senses, corresponding more or less to the different attitudes that thinkers adopted towards the material part of the world in relation to the rest. It then goes on about how different philosophers from the different eras defined it. From the Greeks to the Catholics, every culture has a definition of it. My definition of it is "Everything that makes up the planet, living and dead that is natural." It cannot be described as just one thing. It is everything.
Does this mean that man is part of nature? In the Introduction to Nature in Human Life, It talks about how man coexists with nature. It tells us how humans use nature for shelter, food, entertainment, and inspiration. With all of these things that we use nature for, are we still part of it?
In some ancient cultures, like the Pueblo Indians, they respected nature and all that she had to offer for them. It wasn't just nature to them. "The ancient Pueblo people called the earth the Mother Creator of all things in this world" (351). They used the sand and clay for their homes. They buried their dead in collapsed parts of these homes. They were thankful for rich crops that the seasons would bring them. The land was holy to them. The Koyukon Eskimos shared some of the same traits of the Pueblo Indians. One of these was when they went hunting. They tried to use every last bit of the hunted animal. Nothing went to waste. To me, this shows a great relationship with nature. The Koyukon elders believed in the recycling of hunted animals. "It shows respect, returning animal bones to a clean, wild place instead of throwing them away with the trash or discarding them in a garbage dump" (362). The Koyukon and the Pueblo were a...
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