Author Archives: avadoan

Atheists can be environmentally friendly too.

I stumbled upon Bron Taylor and his idea of a dark green religion. It is similar to the principle of deep ecology because it sees nature as having intrinsic value. In dark green religion there is the belief that there is a kinship, interconnectedness with non-human entities. It sees nature being sacred and humans have this responsibility to treat it with reverence. Dark green religion is different because it doesn’t see nature having supernatural beings or energy. Bron believes we are derived from other life forms through evolution, which is similar to Darwin’s theory. His idea comes from an atheist’s viewpoint. I didn’t agree with him on nature not having energy or supernatural beings. I do believe there is a God and that living things possess a type of cellular energy. I thought it was an interesting perspective.

Aesthetic Nature

An aesthetic nature can restore a person physically and emotionally. It can also connect us with our past and shape our experiences with culture. Nature has natural healing properties. Going on a walk or riding a horse brings about soothing feelings in some people. The mind can get lost in the moment losing the sense of time. Gardening is proven to reduce stress. I remember when I used to help my mother plant in the garden how the dirt was cool and brought about good feelings within me. The lavender and rosemary smelled delightful. The colors in the garden also made my day brighter. On certain days when it wasn’t too hot the sun felt good on the skin, you can feel the penetration of the sun’s beams. People also go to spas and get mud baths because it is just as good for the skin.

Interconnected with Nature

My paper will include interpretations of some of the films about the relationship between humans and nature.

My thesis: Humans have a responsibility to conserve nature because we are interconnected.

In my paper I will discuss how the movie Avatar demonstrated a connection with nature. It represented deep ecology, a dark green religion, and animism. I will discuss a little bit of what deep ecology, dark green religion and animism is. I will discuss the connections with human and nature in Princess Monoke. I will discuss biophilia and how nature has healing properties. I will discuss people’s attitudes and actions are determinant in changes in the world. I will discuss some of the problems that were addressed in The Day After Tomorrow. I will talk about the effects humans have on the ecosystem. I will discuss how we have fragmented natures where there is mining and development in other countries by large corporations destroying the natural habitat. I will also talk about depleting nature by extracting natural resources. I will discuss polluting nature with fossil fuels, CO2, and garbage. I will also discuss the growing population and urbanization. I will talk a little bit about Into the Wild and I will discuss how man must be a steward towards nature. In conclusion, I will discuss how we can live together with nature through conservation.

Some of my resources are in APA format:

Kahn, P. H., Severson, R. L., & Ruckert, J. H. (2009). The Human Relation With Nature and Technological Nature. Current Directions In Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 18(1), 37-42. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01602.x

In this source it discusses how nature helps in the healing process and it discusses biophilia.

Gallis, M., Moll, G., & Millar, H. (2007, September). Assessing Humans & Nature: 5 Impacts. American Forests. pp. 34-40.

This source discusses the relationship between humans and nature and the impact we are having on the environment.

KAREIVA, P., & MARVIER, M. (2012). What Is Conservation Science?. Bioscience, 62(11), 962-969. doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.11.5

This talks about conservation being an expression of human values and how the fate of people and nature are connected.

CHAPTER 2: Conservation Efforts. (2008). Rural Teens & Nature: Conservation & Wildlife Rehabilitation, 20-45.

This article discusses how things in our environment are affected by us.

Klassen, C. (2012). Avatar, Dark Green Religion, and the Technological Construction of Nature. Cultural Studies Review, 18(2), 74-88.

This talks about Bron Taylor’s Dark Green Religion: a value system that there is a kinship with the rest of life.

Escape from Society

In Into the Wild, Christopher McCandless changes his name to Alexander Supertramp and journeys through different places with the intention of ending up in Alaska to live in the wild. He plans to live in the wild to escape from what he calls a “sick society”. In one scene where he meets his parents for a luncheon they talk about getting him a new car and he gets upset and says, he doesn’t need a new car because his old car was fine. He was kind of addressing how people have a want for material things. He also talks about how his parents shouldn’t have gotten married and how it is a part of the messed up culture we live in. He was trying to escape from the judgment and control of his parents. He sees power as an illusion. Christopher plans to travel to Alaska in search of truth of his existence. When he meets Jan and Randy, he says, rather than faith, love, money, or fairness he preferred the truth. He wanted to experience nature by using just his head and hands.
While he travels there are cut scenes of beautiful terrains, mountain ranges, rivers, and forests areas. During one of the scenes he kills a moose and regrets doing so because the meat had spoiled so quickly and ended up being a waste. When he tries to get some information about going in the river in his canoe he finds out it would take him 12 years before he can get a permit to do so. One of the reasons was probably due to safety. He states, “If we meant that human life can be ruled by reason; the possibility of life is destroyed”. During his trip he also meets a man, Ron Franz who he become close to. While they were on top of a hill Christopher says to Ron that the joy of life doesn’t come principally from human relationships. He learns in the end and writes in his book that happiness is only real when it is shared. He ended up dying alone in the bus he was living in but at least he didn’t regret his life.

Animals with Rights

Rightful Nature discusses what happens to chickens when they are processed for their meat. It is pretty inhumane. I had a watched a video, which showed how the birds breast gets so big they flop over. They have videos that show the whole process, which made me not want to eat chicken unless it was free-range. I thought an interesting point was how humans laid down the fundamentals of rights. Should animals have rights not to be slaughter inhumanely? I think animals should have rights because treating them inhumanely is bad. People have morals and these morals should bring about good. I should have the right to feel good when I am eating my grilled chicken and know it didn’t suffer to get to my plate.

Princess Monoke Screening

In the animated movie Princess Monoke, there is a great spirit God that gives and takes life. The great spirit God lives within the forest and the forests are protected by giant beasts. Nago, a giant boar that is possessed by a demon attacks a small village where Prince Ashitaka lives. Nago is a giant beast with dark tentacle like structures protruding from his body like large maggots. What ever these tentacles touch seem to die off. In the frames you see the greenery turning black where the tentacles touched. Ashitaka shoots an arrow at Nago, which makes him angrier. Nago’s tentacles touches Ashitaka’s arm poisoning it and leaving curse marks. Ashitaka finally kills Nago and inside the boar they found an iron ball that poisoned him. Nago’s hatred had turned him into a demon. Ashitaka goes in search for a cure for his curse.

Ashitaka travels to a forest that is filled with lots of moss and greenery. There aren’t many human inhabitants. He meets a Kodama, which is a tree spirit that brings good luck. They were little ghostly looking creatures with heads that shook like baby rattles. Lady Eboshi is leading her men back to Iron Town and is attacked by giant wolves and a young girl named Princess Monoke. A couple of men were injured from Iron Town and Ashitaka was able to rescue them with the help from the Kodama’s leading the way out of the forest to Iron Town.

Lady Eboshi and her clan clear the forests to dig for Iron to make her weapons. These weapons she uses to fight battles and kill animals. Jigo and Lady Eboshi have plans to kill the great spirit God by cutting off its head.

The group of giant boars hear of Nago’s death and is lead by Okkoto to fight the humans from taking over the forests. The forest was said to be growing weaker because humans are taking it over because of their selfish needs. Jigo had set up land mines and grenades on the front line when the boars were attacking. Because of Jigo’s selfishness he also killed many people of Iron Town. Okkoto was injured and Princess Monoke and one of the wolves try to bring him to the spirit God to save him. Lady Eboshi beheads the great spirit God while it was trying to transform into the nightwalker. The great spirit God changed from this colorful creature into this dark purplish blob. The great spirit started to kill everything that it touched until it received its head back. When it got its head back everything turned back into green and was alive. Ashitaka was cured from his poisoning and the people and nature were able to live along each other peacefully.

I thought Hayao’s animation was interesting because he tries to show that there is a connection between humans and nature. It appears what you do affects others around you. For instance, when Ashitaka hits the boar with his arrow he gets poison in return.

Trees Communicating with Trees

In Human Nature, I though it was interesting how hull explained that trees have “special biochemical responses to physical injuries”. It reminded me of Avatar, where Grace talks about the sacred trees having chemicals that communicate with one another. Hull says, the trees leak chemicals that were caused by the injuries and these chemicals warn the trees around it. I didn’t believe before that trees or plants would or could feel pain until I read this. It makes me think that people should be more aware of these processes. Trees should be preserved to a certain level but unfortunately, I think we as humans still need to cut down trees as part of our needs for survival. There should be some sort of balance.