Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development

This conversation is closed.

What shall we learn about ethics from the wilderness?

Inspite our common confidence that only humans have ideas about peaceful and mutual co-existence we keep finding endless examples of how animals and plants create their sophisticated systems intelligently communicating and supporting one another not only among their own, but with different from their own life forms.

Siblings who come from the same parent-plant have a unique chemical makeup that let the family recognize each other. The behavioral change is dramatic when the plants were around non-relatives, they were in fiercer competition to extend their roots and gobble up as much water and nutrients as they could, leaving out the other plants.

Trees and plants, for instance, when they grow next to their siblings, they politely yeld some space between their root systems, while when grow next to some different kinds they vigorously compete under the ground for water and nutrients.

The behavior is not exclusive to mutual relationship among trees, plants, mashrooms, insects, birds and animals, and reveal, to recent researchers, very vigorous complicated nature's systems.

Unlike many people who understand Darwin's theory primitively, as the vicious theory of survival in wilderness, we may find great, actually endless examples and lessons to learn how to co-exist without abusing, poisoning and destroying nature that nourishes us.

Charles Darwin defends a naturalist approach to morality.

In The Descent of Man, he argues that moral behaviour has outgrown from animal tendency for empathy through evolution of morality. By comparing human and animal behavior through a naturalist approach, he concludes that moral sense is based on the species' sociability, notably altruism.

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    Apr 19 2014: Humans have a problem that other species don't seem to have.
    We are selfish not only within our own species but also towards other species.
    That doesn't happen in nature.
    Look at rabbits for example. They are a real pest if you want to grow something in your garden. However a rabbit rarely will eat a plant completely, usually leaving just enough that allows the plant to recover, hence provide more food when the rabbit comes back in a few days or weeks.
    Humans usually don't do that, They go to the Amazon and cut down tress for their valuable wood until there are no more trees or until legislation stops them from doing so.
    So, coming back to your question. I think what we should learn from nature is to live in harmony with the system and not abuse the system. The system is pretty resilient, however, there are limits and ever increasing population doesn't help much either.
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      Apr 20 2014: I undesrtand Harald, that we have a ton to learn how to balance our existence based not on our man-made rules but on laws of nature. I though do not trust that this sort of crucial leaning can be possible in labs..
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        Apr 21 2014: "I though do not trust that this sort of crucial leaning can be possible in labs"
        Neither do I.
        In the past (and primitive tribes still today) humans just knew how to be part of the system. Today we seem to have lost this sense, but I think we can relearn it and we don't have to live in caves for that.
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          Apr 21 2014: Thank you for the positive thinking, Harald. I also think, there is still a little hope.. my life-long work is about realizing this hope.

          However, our very methods of knowing need to be revised over and over again.

          Starting with our naturally inborn limitations - we have to explain to ourselves why we may see only appearances of "things-in-themselves" and still only after we mentally digest our primary sensations into what we see as reality. This process which is the very key to our human nature, is still unknown, and especially missing in sciences, that is taking over public attention with popularized ideas.

          It's a mind boggling problem that our postmodern sciences still trust that we can actually "see" objective world using telescopes and microscopes, "proving" that we see real "things" based on photos, video and models .. When it comes to researchers, they traditionally come to questionable conclusions, naively ignoring the most screaming evidence - capturing an animal in artificially created environment where any living creature would be lost, deeply depressed and greatly disturbed, emotionally and physically, the observations of this animal are far from being objective. You deal with a deeply traumatized living being. This "work" is not only unethical but it brings awkward results and is usually very harmful not only towards experimental animals, but eventually hurt all of us, one way or another .


          p.s. sorry I made a typo- "leaning"- but just fixed it " this sort of crucial learning can be possible in labs.."
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        Apr 21 2014: As to science, I'm not as pessimistic as you are.
        Sure, science is done by scientists who are people and as such are subject to errors, bias, etc.
        Science as everything else is not a perfect endeavor, but it serves us pretty well in general.
    • Apr 30 2014: Harold, I know for a fact that rabbits will eat a plant DOWN TO THE GROUND. I've seen it happen in my own garden. Everything you argue from that point on is just nonsense, thereby. Humans are unusual not in our "selfishness" but in that we have the capacity to not exercise "selfishness". Any other species will exploit the environment to the limit of its ability.
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        Apr 30 2014: Bryan, what I say might be nonsense to you because you don't understand it.
        "Any other species will exploit the environment to the limit of its ability."
        What does that mean ?
        For example a lion hunts only what he needs to feed himself and his family. No lion hunts just for the sake of hunting.
        The same is true for a rabbit. A rabbit eats to satisfy it's nutritional needs, not more, not less.
        And that's how it works throughout nature.
        Humans are different in the sense that they exploit nature to satisfy not only needs but also wants. This is exclusive to us, like it or not.
  • Apr 14 2014: There is music.harmony and peace in the nature. The laws of nature are well balanced because nature is more intelligent than all the creatures on earth.

    There is lot learn from the nature. Its amazing to see that how intelligent the nature is how it balances everything.

    The non-vegetative living creatures inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. And to consume the carbon dioxide the nature has created the vegetative living creatures which inhale carbon dioxide and then exhale oxygen.

    Just see how balanced is the nature ...
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      Apr 14 2014: I think you're right whatever the best we have developed culturally or ethically wise, all is rooted in nature. Music, poetry, paintings, and for sure, the feild of old sages - philosophy.
  • Apr 11 2014: Quite an interesting phenonemon..I knew about symbiotic relationships between fungi and ants, for example, but never heard about plants being less agressive towards their prodgeny. But it does make sense, from a Darwinian and evolutionary viewpoint. Nature seems to take pretty good care of the individual until is has been old enough to reproduce for awhile. After that, Nature utterly abandons the individual. For example, there is no physical reason why we need to get old and die, but Nature wouldn't want creatures to live forever since doing so means no evolution. So Nature purposfully kills us off so the next generation can spread its mutations.

    With that in mind, would not the relaxed competition with your tree siblings make perfect sense? And would non-relatives cause a more competitive response as you stated?

    The only 'Ethics' I see in that arrangement is 'if you are not my kid then you need to die so you don't take up my kid's resources.' That sounds just like the Rich vs. Poor situation we have today. I suppose it is 'Ethical' behaviour...If you are on my side. If not, well, Extermination Mode On!

    I'll try to learn more about this coexistence theory. My gut reaction is that what looks like Harmony is actually very fierce competition that is kept at a sustainable level by the Top Predator in the system.
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      Apr 11 2014: Thank you Martin, for your very vital contribution! I so agree with a lot of what you're saying. Also disagree with some - I think that our human-made term "competition" is "unknown" to nature in the way we understand it. I'd like to think a little beyond our categorizations, and as you mentioned, even using our gut feeling.

      This is a tremendous tendency in wilderness: to cooperate, help, rescue others even when they are different kinds. We somehow witnessed this tendency throughout our short history. Thoughtful research would be very educational for us in our age of non-stop brainless competition in everything we do.

      I'd like to try to understand these hidden nature's messages we must recon while we are still here. It would not be
      easy, because we are so trained to think based on our ready-to-go categories, and commonly believe that we are superior to nature, the only ultimate school we cannot be ever able to graduate.

      Again, Thank you Martin
  • May 3 2014: I was thinking that boredom evolved to make us explore different behaviours regardless of ethics so the only ethics in nature is with primates but then disagreed with myself because I'm not sure about boredom in animals so cut out all the non-facts and was left with bored people and running wolves.
  • May 3 2014: People get bored. "A running wolf is a fat wolf."
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    May 3 2014: Schopenhauer criticized Spinoza's belief that animals are to be used as a mere means for the satisfaction of humans..
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    May 1 2014: "Capuchins are the brainiest monkeys in the world, yet strangely those in captivity appear to be much smarter than those in the wild."
    IS THIS ONLY OUR OWN HUMAN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT WE CALL INTELLIGENCE?

    “MAN IS A MEASURE OF ALL THINGS” Sarcastically said a great Greek sage PROTAGORAS)
  • Apr 30 2014: I am so sick of this silly, superstitious approach to "nature". It's rubbish. it's total balderdash--yes, so silly and superstitious that I must resort to 19th-century language to express the level of foolishness it attains. THERE IS NO INTELLIGENCE IN NATURE. There is only a complex network of organisms that are all fighting as hard as they can to exploit the environment as much as they can. Any "balance" or "support" is an accident of interlocking coincidence and limits. All organisms exploit everything around them to the limit of their ability to exploit. Humans are unusual in our ability to recognize that our ability to exploit is not necessarily the best limit to take things to--that it can be a good idea to stop ourselves short. We must abandon silly, superstitious views of nature or we will continue to create well-meaning disasters, like the way we tried to "tend" the forests of the USA ended up making them MORE vulnerable to gigantic wildfires.
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      Apr 30 2014: " All organisms exploit everything around them to the limit of their ability to exploit. Humans are unusual in our ability to recognize that our ability to exploit is not necessarily the best limit to take things to--that it can be a good idea to stop ourselves short."

      Brian - What do you know about natural laws or at least about wildfire?

      If you have no ability to learn please keep your emotions for yourself. Cheers, Brian.

      P.S. Unlike many people who understand Darwin's theory primitively, as the vicious theory of survival in wilderness, we may find great, actually endless examples and lessons to learn how to co-exist without abusing, poisoning and destroying nature that nourishes us.

      Charles Darwin defends a naturalist approach to morality.

      In The Descent of Man, he argues that moral behaviour has outgrown from animal tendency for empathy through evolution of morality. By comparing human and animal behavior through a naturalist approach, he concludes that moral sense is based on the species' sociability, notably altruism.
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      Apr 30 2014: BRYAN - YOU MUST WATCH AT LEAST THIS VIDEO and LEARN A LITTLE

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePgC91kcmN0
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      Apr 30 2014: If you cannot learn directly from nature (the only ultimate school we may ever have) LEARN FROM THIS VIDEO, BRYAN, before you come up with your further comments!

      A human-set-up test which shows the reaction of a monkey against UNFAIRNESS


      Also see Stupid Human Reaction and hear loud laughter! It is a piece of "funny" entertainment for an idiotically behaving audience - these people never learn a thing, never look at themselves - but are very sure that they are "superior creatures" to all.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uKKkA3UiZI
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    Apr 30 2014: A human-set-up test which shows the reaction of a monkey against UNFAIRNESS


    Also see Stupid Human Reaction and hear loud laughter! It is a piece of "funny" entertainment for an idiotically behaving audience - these people never learn a thing, never look at themselves - but are very sure that they are "superior creatures" to all.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uKKkA3UiZI
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    Apr 30 2014: Darwin argues SOCIAL ANIMALS have a natural dislike for solitude, and states:

    "solitary confinement is one of the severest punishments which can be inflicted."

    I personally think that all animals , whether we see them from our very nearsighted point of view, as social or not, all animals suffer tremedously in captivity, isolated from their natural environment..

    No lab experiements can ever be beneficial because these are against this very fundamental law of nature we shall learn from, and deeply respect!
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    Apr 30 2014: No matter what we observe in "the animal kingdom" this is necessarily an account of human interpretations of these phenomena.

    Do they care of their young wholeheartedly??

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGf0ls-bQlI
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    Apr 30 2014: THIS VIDEO IS AMAZING - Morally fair intelligent cooperation!



    Capuchins are the brainiest monkeys in the world, yet strangely those in captivity appear to be much smarter than those in the wild. "Wildlife on One" sets out to discover why. The journey reveals capuchins that are capable of making flint knives, sees monkeys using poker counters like 'monkey money' and witnesses


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePgC91kcmN0
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    Apr 30 2014: PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO !!

    Monkeys are adverse to accepting food from people who are selfish, according to a new study.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOIoeOoH6h0
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    Apr 27 2014: PLEASE SEE THIS VIDEO !!
    Monkeys are adverse to accepting food from people who are selfish, according to a new study.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOIoeOoH6h0
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    Apr 27 2014: A human-set-up test which shows the reaction of a monkey against UNFAIRNESS


    Also see Stupid Human Reaction and hear loud laughter! It is a piece of "funny" entertainment for an idiotically behaving audience - these people never learn a thing, never look at themselves - but are very sure that they are "superior creatures" to all.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uKKkA3UiZI
  • thumb
    Apr 27 2014: THIS VIDEO IS AMAZING - Morally fair intelligent cooperation!



    Capuchins are the brainiest monkeys in the world, yet strangely those in captivity appear to be much smarter than those in the wild. "Wildlife on One" sets out to discover why. The journey reveals capuchins that are capable of making flint knives, sees monkeys using poker counters like 'monkey money' and witnesses


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePgC91kcmN0
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    Apr 26 2014: No matter what we observe in "the animal kingdom" this is necessarily an account of human interpretations of these phenomena.

    Do they care of their young wholeheartedly??

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGf0ls-bQlI
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    Apr 20 2014: There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
    ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
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    Apr 19 2014: Medicine can only cure curable diseases, and then not always.
    chinese proverb
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    Apr 19 2014: One joy scatters a hundred griefs.
    chinese proverb
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    Apr 14 2014: Darwin argues SOCIAL ANIMALS have a natural dislike for solitude, and states:

    "solitary confinement is one of the severest punishments which can be inflicted."

    I personally think that all animals , whether we see them from our very nearsighted point of view, as social or not, all animals suffer tremedously in captivity, isolated from their natural environment..

    No lab experiements can ever be beneficial because these are against this very fundamental law of nature we shall learn from, and deeply respect!
  • thumb
    Apr 14 2014: Charles Darwin defends a naturalist approach to morality. In The Descent of Man, he argues that moral behaviour has outgrown from animal tendency for empathy through evolution of morality. By comparing human and animal behavior through a naturalist approach, he concludes that moral sense is based on the species' sociability, notably altruism.

    Morality from Sympathy
    Darwin suggests sympathy is at the core of sociability and is an instinctive emotion found is most social animals. The ability to recognize and act upon others' distress or danger, is a suggestive evidence of instinctive sympathy; common mutual services found among many social animals, such as hunting and travelling in groups, warning others of danger and mutually defending one another, are some examples of instinctive sympathy Darwin offers.

    He insists it must be sympathy that compels an individual to risk his or her own life for another from his community.

    Darwin suggests further that the role of acceptance of others acts as a guide for conduct; sympathy enables to obtain approval of others instead of rejection.

    Social animals, when separated from the heard, cannot endure solitude and oftentimes perish. Darwin argues social animals have a natural dislike for solitude, and states: "solitary confinement is one of the severest punishments which can be inflicted."
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    Apr 11 2014: well, we can see that nature can be ruthless, with lions hunting other species.

    We can see that species, or creatures of the same species, look out for each other, whereas there is not much looking out for of one species for another species. Perhaps this is because each species faces certain unique challenges and each member of the species may feel like each other member of the species faces the same challenges.
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      Apr 11 2014: Hello dear Greg. Thank you for you comment, glad to hear from you. I'll get back to you a little later. Cheers!
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    Apr 10 2014: Siblings who come from the same parent-plant have a unique chemical makeup that let the family recognize each other. The behavioral change is dramatic when the plants were around non-relatives, they were in fiercer competition to extend their roots and gobble up as much water and nutrients as they could, leaving out the other plants.

    Trees and plants, for instance, when they grow next to their siblings, they politely yeld some space between their root systems, while when grow next to some different kinds they vigorously compete under the ground for water and nutrients.

    The behavior is not exclusive to mutual relationship among trees, plants, mashrooms, insects, birds and animals, and reveal, to recent researchers, very vigorous complicated nature's systems.