Monday, June 06, 2005
Nature discourages our actions when the consequences are undesirable to us. That is not to say however that it consciously puts a penalty upon those actions and thereby forbids them, as if the human condition were significant to it. According to an ancient Greek sophist named Antiphon, nature’s ways are necessary and to violate them implies disaster. But how can we, natural creatures that we are, violate nature’s laws? Even if we bring about our own destruction, we do not stand in violation of nature’s laws. Nature does not care whether we live or die, any more than it cares for mosquitoes, lice, and fleas, which we as humans routinely kill for the sake of our own comfort. We base our ethical precepts on cause and effect, but we are the only ones appraising the effects.