A writing detailing the consequences our actions against nature and ourselves, and how to overcome them as a societal species.
Many of the writings of Charles Darwin relay a message, both implicitly and explicitly, that all of the Earth’s organisms are dependent upon the survival of other organisms. Therefore, it could be assumed—if this idea which Darwin hints at is true—that it also applies to us. Considering this concept, it would be irresponsible for us to destroy other organisms and their habitats, as we are all connected and dependent. Unfortunately, in our modern day society, we often think of ourselves as separated and independent from nature. Many people even say “We are all just visitors on this Earth,” however, as Elizabeth Gilbert says in her biography The Last American Man, “We are not alien visitors to this planet, after all, but natural residents and relatives of every living entity here” (15). Elizabeth Gilbert is saying here that we are all relatives, that we are all tied into one gigantic ecosystem, what scientists nowadays call the biosphere. This further emphasizes the idea—also posed by Darwin—that everything on the planet, more specifically in the earth’s “biosphere” is related and dependent upon every other thing within the same environmental system. Gilbert is also mentioning the fact that we came from the Earth. This is our home and we are natural residents. Being natural residents, we have the rights of every other organism on this planet: to live, eat, reproduce, and build. However, at what point do we eat, reproduce, and build too much? As a result of the Earth being a system of interconnected things, what damages one part of the system indirectly damages another part of the same system—a system of which we and every other living being are a part. When we over-eat, when we reproduce in absurd numbers, and when we build just for the hell of it, we damage not only the system, but also ourselves. This being the case, it is very much a surprise that we continue to live the way we do; polluting the natural environment and abusing its natural resources. However, day after day we continue. Is our pollution and abuse of the Earth’s natural resources ethical? What is ethical? Let us find the answer by examining these two questions in reverse order, by first examining the definition of ethical.