[Buddha-l] Course of Nature (2)

Jim Peavler jmp at peavler.org
Sun Jun 1 17:01:11 MDT 2008

But, the notions of good and evil, of vice or virtue, or progress or  
regress are human nature. It is part of who we are. I think, for  
example, that, as a natural human, it is evil to kill, steal, lie, and  
to pollute our planet. (I recognize that it is also human nature for  
some to think killing, or stealing, or lying are good or necessary.) I  
think it is one thing for "Nature" to cause mass extinctions by use of  
meteors, volcanos, methane eruptions, changing climates or sea-levels,  
or whatever means, but it is not OK for humans, part of whose nature  
it is to know the effect their activities have on the planet and its  
organisms, to go ahead and cause severe changes that we believe are  
bad for the planet and its organisms. (I recognize that it is also  
part of human nature not to give a damn about all of that.)

So when is Nature moving forward -- or backward. When is the supposed  
direction a good thing to follow and when is it not? Global warming is  
change. Is it "natural? Of course it is. It is physics. The cause of  
the change is clearly to a large degree human caused. Are humans  
unnatural? Of course not. Can they commit unnatural acts? I reckon  
not. But, on the other hand it is natural (now) for humans to  
understand quite a lot about what causes or might cause certain  
effects. It is natural for some of us to think that the effects of  
burning too much fossil fuel is having an effect that we think is  
harmful to our planet. It is natural for us to want our government and  
others to try to slow the effect we can clearly see coming.

It is also natural for others to see the changes as opportunity.  
Melting arctic ice opens land known to be lying over vast amounts of  
even more fossil fuels. Some think that warmer climate will improve  
agriculture and help solve the ethanol (woops, I meant food) shortage  
(overlooking rampant desertification as has happened to mid-continents  
when the weather got warm over the last millions of years or so).

To be brief. I, a natural man, don't accept the idea that "Nature"  
moves in any direction, neither backward nor forward. That to suggest  
that it does suggests that change has a purpose -- that Nature is  
going somewhere toward some kind of goal. Nothing I see in nature  
would suggest such an assumption.
To suggest such a thing as diretion in change would also suggest that  
there must be something somewhere that determines or determined what  
that direction would be.

If humans follow the direction that overall existence is moving, then  
they are probably the same ones who thought they perceived the  
direction. So different humans see existence moving in a direction,  
and the wise ones will try to align themselves with that direction.  
Hebrews, Christians, Muslims, atheists, Quakers, and some Buddhists  
apparently, see existence moving in quite diverse directions, the  
following of which results in quite diverse paths to follow. I am  
certain that suicide bombers are giving their lives to further what  
they see as the direction nature or some deity is moving.

I, personally, like the Quaker or Buddhist paths, but, I think the  
path to righteousness (or enlightenment, or moral rectitude, etc.) can  
be determined without assigning some direction or goal to overall  
existence. These are all concepts that were invented and enforced by  
natural humans.


Everything changes all of the time. What is is what is.

Or so I read somewhere.

Jim Peavler
jmp at peavler.org

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