STEWARDSHIP: Freedom and Responsibility
Part 1: Freedom
One can never truly be free.
As Gerry Spense says, “True freedom is nothingness”. To be free of loneliness, people confine themselves to a relationship of some sort. To be free of their current lives, people drive away in a car to be alone on the highway, but then they are confined to the driver’s seat and their own minds, not to mention the laws of physics. Then people blast off in a rocket-ship to outer-space, and are restrained by life support systems, and their own human minds once again.
Life is about constantly trading one freedom for another. While existing in this universe, we are confined to laws, whether natural or man-made. Physically there is no escaping this reality, but the mind has the potential for freedom, during certain transcendental moments or states. As Immanuel Kant alluded to in his writings; with a rational approach we can determine our terms of reality and freedom, and respond to them respectively.
To live in a society there are obligations to maintain living standards and order. If we respect the lives of others, then we might expect the same in return. If we do not respect the lives of others, then we should not expect respect in return. Perhaps freedom is not just self-determination in choices me make, but also our ability to free our minds from suffering, so that we can enjoy our lives. If freedom is transcendental, then we as a culture can shift our paradigm so that environmental and social stewardship is less of a burden, and more of a freedom.
Part 2: Ethical Responsibility
Respecting the lives of animals is a necessary part of our existence. To maintain and respect what we have achieved as humans, it is the least we can do to maintain and respect the natural environment of which we are all a part. To defend animals from our aggression, we must assign them legal rights, to protect the ecosystem which is our food-chain if nothing else.
As humans we must decide ethical issues in order to be responsible stewards of the Earth, as our population increases. Hunting is natural, but it disregards rights to life. We need to analyze certain natural occurrences, and adjust our living situations according to our conclusions.
It can be said by literal semantics, that when we create something, we are responsible for creating it. For example when asked the question “Are you responsible for creating that?”, and we say yes, then then we are the ones responsible for the action of creating it. This is true biologically as much as technologically; and yet we act like irresponsible ignorant idiots by producing massive amounts of toxic waste, garbage, and other pollutions. As creatures with the ability to reason, perhaps it is time to take more responsibility for our actions. Life is a learning process, and so is evolution; we must be open-minded to different ways of thinking in a New Age.
I think, therefore I am.
Regarding human over-population, I believe that the problem is solvable, but we must be open to redefining our ambitions and reducing our numbers. We have become needlessly dependent on machines created to simplify our lives, but often these devices are not more convenient when the time spent earning the money needed to buy, repair, and replace them is added up. Using the same human ingenuity it took to invent all the contraptions, we can expand our architectural realms and enlighten our ways of living with nature; only then can we progress into space, and work on Universal goals.
The purpose of technology is to secure a good living environment, not to destroy the environment. Technology serves us, so maybe we can put computer intelligence to good use by dealing with our population problem. As humans we must remember our compassion, and never let technology blindly guide us towards a sharp spike, and then a dead-end flat-line.
Responsible human beings should decide for themselves what their own guidelines are for life. We should not have to rely on machines. There are many humans with reasoning disabilities, but society can help them. It is fortunate that groups like Green Peace exists to battle the irresponsible ignorance committed by irresponsible humans. We must strive for responsible stewardship, despite ignorance. The battle between ignorant irresponsibility and wise responsibility is on-going, but it if there is no battle then the lazy selfish ignorant masses will have their way, and the human race will exist as demons and zombies. As we peal away one layer of ignorance, we find another, so it will take a long time. We need to be shepherds of ourselves, and stewards of our domains.
Wisdom through awareness of ignorance.
Self, Family, & Culture
RWU Dec. 8, 1995