Jul 3, 2009
A few months back at the playground with my children, we found a hatchling that had been knocked out of its nest by a thunderstorm. It was lying on the ground, half covered with ants, but twitching because it was still alive.
Walking around the neighborhood the other day, we found spots where a skunk or raccoon had dug up and eaten a bunch of turtle’s eggs.
I found a dead fisher cat by the side of the road. I told a friend about it and she said, “We had a raccoon’s nest in a tree in our backyard and one night the raccoons were screaming and freaking out because a fisher cat had climbed into the nest and was eating their babies.”
When some look at the so-called “natural” world, they see marvelous, even miraculous, complexity. Others see the hand of a loving and just creator. I see a combination of indifference, brutality, and madness. The sun and blue sky look down on your family vacation just as they did the Killing Fields.
Whenever someone invokes the “natural” as something inherently positive and good, I remind them that there is no moral value inherent in any aspect of the physical universe.
I’m also quick to acknowledge that imposing or imputing moral value to actions, events, and objects in the physical universe, as humans are so inclined to do, is perfectly natural.
Image Courtesy of DG Jones.