JJ, I've always considered this "save the earth" theme in the environmentalism movement to be misguided at best. At worst it's an expression of that dualistic attitude, (also represented by the quote from Hepburn's character in The African Queen. She's a Methodist missionary... what else could she say?) that's been pounded into the Western mind by the hammer of biblical interpretation.Bill Moyers: "So when we say, 'Save the earth,' we are talking about saving ourselves."
Joseph Campbell: "Yes...
After all, we exist within a narrow window of environmental parameters.
Nature and natural are defined by context. Somewhere in there, however, is an idea that it means healthier. Any given species can behave against its own best interest, especially in extremis. We use 'unnatural' to define human interference or intervention, which is fine in demarcating the line between intervention and a 'natural' course. Often, such intervention is deemed unhealthy compared with the natural course. (i.e., 'natural' vs. medically managed birth) Very often, that intervention is validated by the twisted perception that 'natural' is unhealthy. (i.e. the virtual elimination of breastfeeding in mid 20th century America.)
Of course, when something 'natural' is deemed unhealthy, someone is going to make a buck off the 'artificial' alternative. The fallen aspect of nature is very good fodder for the profit motive.
There's lots of hair splitting of words here, which certainly makes for a successfully long discussion! But in the long run, if our behavior results in our extinction, we will have been just another species that was here for a bit and then died out. And we will have died out for the same reason lots of other species do: an inability, or unwillingness, to balance ourselves with the parameters of our habitat.
We are, in fact, productions of this earth. We are, as it were, its organs. Our eyes are the eyes of this earth; our knowledge is the earth's knowledge. ~Campbell
Moyers is a Baptist minister! What else could he say?Not a bad way to spend the day, even if Moyer's constant biblical references get a bit tiresome after a while!
Watson's reply to this is valid. Alas I buried him on the previous page. This bit particularly:
Quite so. Moyer's was helping the Western audience connect Campbell with their previous knowledge. Good teaching, that.Moyers' conversations with Campbell were intended first and foremost for an American audience steeped principally in the Bible, didn't it simply make practical sense for them to discuss the Bible considerably more than other mythical traditions? Because the Bible is the main body of myth that most of the intended audience knew more about in the first place.