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HUMAN PERSON IN THE ENVIRONMENT

Paradigm Shift

 A change from the mythical explanation of the origins of the cosmos to a more rational
explanation.
Frameworks given by Payne (2010)
Figure 1: Anthropocentric Model Figure 2: Ecocentric Model
Human Nature
Cultture Wild
Individualism Holism
Mind Body
Calculative Relational
Human over/against environment Earth/Wisdom
Global/Technological Ecology over/against humans

Humans are superior and central to the The ecological or relational integrity of
universe humans, provides meanings to our morals
and values.

Domination of Humanity
 Linked to the domination of nature based on the anthropocentric model.
 Ecological Crisis
 Human Arrogance toward nature
 Human interests
Researches of Zimmerman (1994) and Elgin (2009)
 Exposed the environmental consequence of international politico-economic
specialization for specific countries and global research.
 Shows the implication for both abuses of natural resources and of the generation of
waste emissions.
Humanity needs to develop an “ECOLOGICAL CONSCIENCE” based on individual
responsibility.
Ecologists
• They challenge us to adopt a lifestyle that involves simple living that honors the life of all
life forms to live, flourish, and create a ich diversity of human and nonhuman life.
• The right to live and blossom should not just be for human beings but must be valid to all
forms of life.
2004
• Indigenous grandmothers, representing tribes from the Arctic circle, Nepal, and Tibet,
held a meeting to be able to preserve their community.
2007
• United Nation’s declaration grants the indigenous people the right to conservation,
restoration, and protection of the total environment and the productive capacity of their
lands, territories, and resources, as well as the assistance for the purpose from States
and through international cooperation (spiritually and materially strengthened, Ramiscal
(2013))..
 ANCIENT THINKERS
Milesians (Early Greek Philosophers
• Regarded nature as spatially without boundaries, that is, infinite or indefinite in extent.
Anaximander
• He described nature as “boundless” to convey that Nature is indeterminate-boundless in
the sense that no boundaries between the warm and cold or the moist and dry regions
are originally present within it (Solomon & Higgins, 2010)
• Creation & Destruction: According to his sketch of the genesis of the world
(cosmogony), the evolution of the world begins with the generation of opposites in a
certain region of Nature (vapor enveloped rings of fire).
Pythagoras
• Described the universe as living embodiment of nature’s order, harmony, and beauty.
• He sees our relationship with the universe involving biophilia (love of other living things)
and cosmophilia (love of other living beings)
Chinese Cosmic Conception
• Based on the assumption that all that happens in the universe is a continuous whole like
a chain of natural consequences. All events in the universe follow a transitional process
due to primeval pair, the yang and yin.
• There is nothing new under the sun; the new is a repetition of the old (Quito, 1991)
• Human being’s happiness lies in his conformity with nature or tao (the wise), therefore
conforms with tao and is happy.

 MODERN THINKERS

Immanuel Kant
 Beauty is ultimately a symbol of morality.
 We must ignore any practical motives or inclinations that we have.
 Contemplate the object without being distracted by our desires (Goldblatt & Brown,
2010)
 The orderliness of nature and the harmony of nature with our faculties guide us toward a
deeper religious perspective.
Understanding our relationship with the environment can also refer the human beings with
ecology and nature.
Herbert Marcuse
• Humanity had dominated nature.
• There can only be change if we will change our attitude towards our perception of the
environment.

George Herbert Mead


• As human beings, we do not have only rights but duties. We are not only citizens of the
community but how we react to this community and in our reaction to it, change it.
 THEORIES TO SHOW CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

A. Deep Ecology
 Ecological crisis is an outcome of anthropocentrism.
 The controlling attitude of humankind is extended to nature (humanity is part of
nature).
B. Social Ecology
 Ecological crisis results from authoritarian social structures.
 Destroying nature is a reflection wherein few people overpower others while
exploiting the environment for profit or self-interest.
 Social ecologists call for small scale societies, which recognize that humanity is
linked with the well-being of the natural world in which human life depends.
C. Ecofeminism
 This theory argues that ecological crisis is a consequence of male dominance.
 Whatever is “superior” is entitled to whatever is inferior.

• These theories value the care, conservation, preservation of nature, and humanity.
• The human desire to experience union with others is one of the strongest motivators of
human behavior and the other is the desire for survival.

Erich Fromm (2013)


• Proposed a new society that should encourage the emergence of a new human being
that will foster prudence and moderation or frugality toward environment.

Functions of Fromm’s Envisioned Society


1. The willingness to give up all forms of having in order to fully be
2. Being fully present where one is
3. Trying to reduce greed, illusions, hate, as much as one is capable.
4. Making the full growth of oneself and of one’s fellow beings as the supreme goal of
living.
5. Not deceiving others, but also not being deceived by others; one may be called innocent,
but not naïve.
6. Freedom that is not arbitrariness but the possibility to be oneself, not as a bundle of
greedy desires, but as a delicately balanced structure that at any moment is confronted
with the alternatives of growth and decay, life or death.
7. Happiness in the process of ever-growing aliveness, whatever the furthest point is that
fate permits to reach, for living as fully as one can as is so satisfactory that the concern
for one might or might not attain has little chance to develop.
8. Joy that comes from giving and sharing, not from hoarding and exploiting.
9. Developing one’s capacity for love, together with one’s capacity for critical,
unsentimental thought.
10. Shedding one’s narcissism and accepting that tragic limitations inherent in human
existence.