“The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.”
― Joss Whedon
The human race is passing through a time of crisis, and that crisis exists, on two levels – an upper level of political and economic crisis and a lower level of demographic and ecological crisis. …the problems on the upper level cannot be solved without reference to the problems that are happening on the lower level. If ignored, the low‐level crisis is bound to become even bigger. This was said by Aldous Huxley in 1950! Since then, especially with the cowardly behavior of withdrawing colonial powers (think Sudan, Zimbabwe and the Congo), the state of the environment has been in steady decline. This is even more evident in South Africa and it’s tumultuous past.
Given the already fragile ecological situation compounded by avaricious human behavior, we would be arrogant to expect people who have to scavenge every day just to survive, to have any sensitivity towards their immediate environment. As moral beings this situation demands a response.
My blog will follow the responses to this catastrophe.
The Ethical response– A human-centered theory of environmental ethics holds that our moral duties with respect to the natural world are ultimately derived from the duties we owe to one another as human beings . In simple terms this means that should we be respectful to our fellow man; this respect will filter through to our fellow creatures, fellow inanimate surroundings – the communal air that we breathe.
The African context dictates that our first priority must be the liberation of women, especially in terms of control of their reproductive destiny. The constraints and dictates of culture, for instance of female circumcision, and the case of religion, the terrifying legacy of Catholicism in Africa, must be fought tirelessly on both the political and religious fronts. I am also adamant that the rich must undergo a fundamental behavioural shift. Until the day we, that have so much, stop at stop signs, not use our cell phones whilst driving and pay our taxes, we dare not accuse others of criminality. The law should not recognize scale in criminality.
The Scientific response– Science enables us to see what is hidden in plain sight and is simply systematized knowledge that is self-regulating. The scientific method stands supreme in its elegance and rigour by forcing us to ask not the most complex, but the simplest questions about intricate matters. Science towers over dogma and superstition and has the salient capacity to constantly adjust to fluid or even chaotic situations.
Expect future posts to be about these two responses mentioned.