In our strange current times, we have people on one side of politics, supposed “conservatives,” critical of such dubious inversions, who yet disingenuously deny the realities of ecological crisis. On the other, “liberal” side, we have people happy to accept them, while claiming to defend the planet from its now dire human-imposed peril. But the latter group are incoherent as to how to do so. Purporting to extend rights to non-humans pathetically and fictionally grants to passive natural victims, whose inherent natural agency has been fatally depleted, the very active individualism that has led to their despoliation.
Likewise, advocating the hybridity of humans with machines and the altering of our biology in the name of non-anthropocentricity merely perpetuates the loss of a sense of natures as kinds and their limits (which, however, must be endlessly re-discerned) with a single and blank block of “nature” that means nothing in itself and can be endlessly manipulated. Foregoing in theory the role of humans as the foci and stewards of Creation thereby abandons it in practice to a loss of our necessary care and to victimage at the hands of our only alternative role, which will be that of despoilers.
For we cannot really unimagine our human nature as though it could really be lacking in intrinsic purpose and goals. If we deny these, then our anti-goal becomes empty freedom which means nihilistic power. So, in order to save nature we must also save ourselves, and recover our sense of our genuine human nature which means finally our pursuit of supernatural union with God, bringing the cosmos along with us. In the meantime, it means quite simply the pursuit of beauty: both civic and natural beauty—the beauty of cultivation in every sense—for our own delectation and the peace and satisfaction of all God’s creatures.
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