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Old 08-07-2010, 02:39 PM   #1
MF_Kitten
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Think about this: EVERYTHING is nature!

this is something i end up thinking every once in a while, and it hits me hard every time i delve into it. everything is nature. everything. literally.

if we move away from the "man-vs-nature" idea, and pull the definition over our own heads too (we are just animals, after all), everything we do is nature. this doesn't mean everything we do is right according to nature or positive in any way, it's just an interesting thing to realize.

the computer you're reading this through? nature! the glass and silicon chips came from ....ing sand. the gold and copper and all that stuff came from metals in rocks. the plastic came from crude oil, which comes from fossils deep within the earth (obviously more complex, but i'll leave it there). the electricity is generated by loads of stuff like wind, water, radioactive materials (which come from nature too)... it's pretty amazing when you really think about it. we have added nothing to this world. we've only altered things to make other things.

our behavior? nature! this is why i think humans are currently failing hard at existence, and will either die out or come out stronger and improved by the end of it. what we do is all based on our natural instincts.

problems have arisen because of that. we naturally crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods, because those are rare compared to the other stuff. that way we will work harder to get the stuff we need, and we won't get malnourished. the problem there is that we've figured out how to get however much sugar, salt, and fat as we want, and we don't have the ability to not crave something once we have lots of it. now our natural compensation towards these things makes us stuff our faces, and we have all these problems like diabetes, heart disease, obesity...

our problem is that we are smarter than ourselves. we have a greater understanding of the world around us than we have of ourselves, and so we fall for our instincts while changing the world instead of realizing what's really going on.

and even if we all knew this, we'd still be falling for it, because it's hard-coded into us. we will seek out certain things and avoid certain other things. that's just humanity.

so yeah, any thoughts?

edit: just thought i'd add that i think it's really interesting how we have morals beyond our own species. we have ideas about what is right and wrong as far as treatment of animals and nature and all that goes. we might find something immoral, and will avoid doing it, even though it causes has no negative effect on us, and even if it has a positive effect on us. but then again, we are creatures of egoism, just like everything else. everything we do in life is based on our own ego. we only do things if there's something in it for us. it's a good thing


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Old 08-07-2010, 02:52 PM   #2
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We can't make anything new, law of conservation of energy. Only God can.

By your logic we can't be failing at existence if we're a part of nature, we're doing fine, doing what we were designed to do, which incidentally may be to fail.

And why stop here, the irons are from the core of exploded stars, which are from the remnant gases of other exploded stars, repeat until the big bang(if there is one).
How could we not be part of nature?
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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My sweeps are not natural.

but anyways... Buddha says that our chief aim should be to see things as they exist around us and try to make them better, not to waste time in intellectual speculations.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:04 PM   #4
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That's probably the hardest thing to do, like, ever, to see things as they are.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:22 PM   #5
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Meshuggah are not natural.


I agree with the OP to an extent; we are made by nature, and therefore everything we do is part of our nature and nature as a whole. But, do we elevate ourselves to a point where our effects and the understanding of our effects on the world must be thought about separately in order to gauge issues properly.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:29 PM   #6
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I don't think there's any qualitative difference between us and animals. What you said, that we understand our effects on the world well that contains 2 things that every animal does, 1. observation, 2. modeling All species observe their environment, for food, for predator, or for prey, some of them started to model the behavior of their predators or preys in their own head, thus evolutionary pressure was placed on the brain and sensory organs. The only difference with humans is our brain does more computation, so it's capable of modeling itself and other brains like itself to an extend, but that is a quantitative difference. In other words, despite our sense of superiority and self importance, we're not all that special.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:13 PM   #7
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Wasn't this a joke in a George Carlin standup?
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:25 PM   #8
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hehe yeh, this one

skip to about 5 mins
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MF_Kitten View Post
edit: just thought i'd add that i think it's really interesting how we have morals beyond our own species. we have ideas about what is right and wrong as far as treatment of animals and nature and all that goes. we might find something immoral, and will avoid doing it, even though it causes has no negative effect on us, and even if it has a positive effect on us. but then again, we are creatures of egoism, just like everything else. everything we do in life is based on our own ego. we only do things if there's something in it for us. it's a good thing
That is an interesting thought I've had for quite a few years, when I actually started thinking about this stuff. The reason behind EVERYTHING we do is egotistic, it's because we get something out of it for ourselves. Even if our deeds have pure and benevolent intentions, we just do it because we get something of it. For example: Helping out a brother out of a tough personal situation, let's say a divorce. Sure, we do him/her favors, we stand up for them, we support them even if it means leaving behind some of our own pleasures, but in the end we get what we want; satisfaction for doing a good deed. Even if it's unconscious, we still get that satisfaction. I don't know if I'm making myself clear, but I'm giving it a shot

OP addressed another interesting point; are we (humans) part of a natural cycle in which a species (as stated before, we're just another "species" of living creatures) dwells on an environment for some time and then it disappears, or do we actually have the capability of altering that cycle and prolonging our own existence in the universe? Think of it this way; experts say that we are polluting our environment, and it's producing global warming, and we're apparently destroying our own planet. But isn't this nature's way of sort of "fixing itself"? Isn't the so-called "global warming" part of that "cycle"? Or are we humans actually changing the course of nature and causing something that was never meant to happen?... After all, we're one of nature's products, and we act based upon our own basic instincts. I find it to be quite an interesting thought on the matter, although it derails a little bit from the original topic, which was relating everything as being natural (a point which I strongly support), but I think it's a valid thought on this interesting thread

Sum ergo cogito; cogito ergo dubito; dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:04 PM   #10
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Hahaha, yeah, I love GC.

Welcome, by the way. :3
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:21 PM   #11
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And yet think about it if we were not so up our own asses and we were able to comprehend our reality then there would be no point in actually doing anything. What is the point of inventing (more likely improving) something if in the end we will fade out of existence? Why should we obey in any laws and social order aside?
It is mostly a mechanism of self preservation, another survival instinct, to reject the objective reality of our situation and substitute it with a more subjective one that will allow us to function in society and sometimes accept some really absurd things. I do that, you do that and most people do that without even reaching to this level of comprehension about their lives. We need to give ourselves some self importance in order to have a motive for creation (improvement).

I keep mentioning invention as improvement since most scientific progress is the continuation and improvement of other peoples ideas. If you just check the different tools at your disposal you will see that the basic principle of most is quite similar and most of them are variations and improvements of very basic tools. Even in basic science there are very few theories that are really innovative and even them they are based at some point to simpler ideas. That can be applied to every field in society. And we don't actually discover anything, we just are able to comprehend how things work in nature in a somewhat objective way. After that we just exploit this knowledge for our immediate advantage.

As Calin put in the hilarious video above the planet will just brush us of like the nuance we are. Even if we manage to physically destroy Earth as a planet by blowing it up, so what? Will the universe notice or be affected? The solar system will balance itself by changing the trajectories of it's planets and that's that.

I don't know how much sense the above make it. It's kind of late and am bored to read proof :P!
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:34 PM   #12
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^ Hahaha yes, I totally understand you. Put in a very raw, un-processed way, if the universe wants us out, it can do it at any moment but that's where I get my "humans altering the natural cycle" question going on. Maybe if we actually discover we are capable of altering it, we can make our existence practically indefinite in time (by "improving" our technologies, researching on already existing matters to be able to manipulate our surroundings to benefit from them)... Then again, in theory, time will come to an end eventually and the universe we know will end too. Can we stop that from happening? The answer alludes me and it probably will during my whole lifetime.

Sorry if I didn't make any sense here.

Sum ergo cogito; cogito ergo dubito; dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:54 PM   #13
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What happens to humans when time ends?
The Last Question -- Isaac Asimov

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Old 08-07-2010, 08:43 PM   #14
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I think an interesting stance is that one moves farther from "nature" the more one becomes self aware and recognizes what one's "place" in nature is.

It's the difference between being controlled by nature to the inevitable attempt that comes with advanced cognitive ability to control nature.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentrage View Post
We can't make anything new, law of conservation of energy. Only God can.

By your logic we can't be failing at existence if we're a part of nature, we're doing fine, doing what we were designed to do, which incidentally may be to fail.

And why stop here, the irons are from the core of exploded stars, which are from the remnant gases of other exploded stars, repeat until the big bang(if there is one).
How could we not be part of nature?
i'm thinking that we, like all species, will either rise or fall. i have no idea which way it'll go. considering the overpopulation problem, and the fact that we are ruining our bodies by putting crap into them, getting fat and dying too early because of it, there is lots of death still ahead of us. lots of people are going to die as a result of the way we function, and the fact that we haven't been quite able to adjust to it. we literally are smarter than ourselves. even knowing that you could be so much healthier, feel that much better, and live that much longer, if you only changed your diet to something properly natural, you can't really make yourself do it. add the fact that our females are barely able to give birth, and are getting worse, since the pelvic bones are getting smaller, and you realize we're not really made to work.

so either a stronger breed of human stands left, or we die out entirely. remember that 99% of all species that have lived are extinct. we've just barely been here for a little while, and already things are heading downhill. that seems to be the way it goes for all animals though: they go through "bug fixes" via evolution. without death as a result of flaw, stronger individuals wouldn't be left behind, and evolution wouldn't really be effective.

i'm too tired for this

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Old 08-07-2010, 10:09 PM   #16
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So to sum it up, humans are an biological organisms? :p
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:55 PM   #17
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no, that's an obvious thing. it's when you realize just how blended into the rest of everything you are, and the same for everything around you, and everything that you own, that we start talkin'

i love thinking about just how close to nature we really are. we ARE nature. failure or success, we're just nature being nature. everything we are, everything we do, it's all nature.

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Old 08-07-2010, 11:02 PM   #18
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Heh, I'm reading some David Bohm where he talks about the qualitative infinities of nature and the reciprocal relationships that exists between nature and all its constituents, so yeah, you're right, and it probably goes farther along that line than anyone realizes.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:45 AM   #19
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First off, I have to chuckle at philosophies which reject dualism... and then set up a dualism. Not that Buddhism doesn't have its good points, but internal consistency is hard to come by.

Regarding the question of what happens when/if humans alter things to the point where humans won't survive... I suppose life will go on. That doesn't mean that humans will survive, just as the rise of the oxygen makers led to the death of most anaerobic life. It's human, though, to be able to deny that we live in a fragile environment and can bring about our own destruction so easily....

If you don't care enough to research your own question, why should anyone else care more?

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:52 AM   #20
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i think all the stuff about the environment that we're worried about is stuff that either affects us directly, or affects stuff we need/like. earth wouldn't give a flying .... if we make the climate unlivable and die in the end. it'd just be a spec on the face of time anyway. a few seconds of dryness in an hour of wet isn't much.

unless we physically DESTROY the planet, or ruin the athmosphere (which is the one thing that is within our ability), earth won't care what we do. no one of the lifeforms on the earth right now are any more significant than the ones that died before them. most of the animals and stuff that are alive now will have died out later on, and others will have taken their places. that's just how the story goes.

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Old 08-08-2010, 07:44 AM   #21
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You've struck on a basic part of pre-christian belief systems. It was monotheism that started the "we're special, the Earth is ours to do with as we see fit" trend. The hunter/gatherers who lived and died by weather and herd migration knew we were a part of nature. We're just another animal. As much as that riles peoples brains at times it's the bare bones truth. I'm not even sold that we're smarter than other creatures. We basically kill ourselves for little pieces of green cloth, while the average "animal" eats when it wants, as it finds it, without mortgages, debt , and imagined stress.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:27 AM   #22
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I'm waiting for Jeff to weigh in.

What happened to Jeff? Funny how he dropped off the radar now that the entire Western world disagrees with his right wing bull.....
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:54 AM   #23
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...and imagined stress.
yes, ESPECIALLY THIS! with all the psychiatric drugs we're taking, all the stress treatments and "fixes" available out there, all the psychology clients, the suicide rates, the drug problems... you can't help but notice the fact that all other animals are too busy just living their lives to have all these issues. it seems we're bringing it all upon ourself through our thoughts. we impose systems and laws upon ourselves that we invented, not knowing it condradicts our very nature. we build our societies in ways that contradict our needs. it's weird!

we wear shoes that mess our feet up (we're meant to be barefoot!), we walk on hard flat surfaces that we made, which your legs and feet aren't meant to do...

i mean really, is there anything outside our own thoughts and ideas that negatively impact the way we live? not talking about predators and natural threats, i mean things that would diminish our quality of life when compared to what life we really want, and how we want to do things.

i'm getting all philosophical here. again

also, how do you guys think the average health of the elderly will be from the time the 80's generations turn old and onwards? i mean, the people who are old now have lived lives without the same kind of stress as we do, and have grown up without junk food. most of them grew up with homemade dinners every day, made from fresh ingredients. the stress in their lives were mainly physical labour and stuff like that. they didn't have the whole educations-and-deadlines type stress that people have these days.

nowadays however, kids are morbidly obese by the time they're 5, the food we eat contains so much synthesized rubbery chemicals and crap, so much sugary fatty salty stuff... some of it is more crap than actual substance! and people eat this .... for every meal, and have their kids eat it for every meal too! then there's the imposed expectations and stress that is ever-increasing all the time. then there's the huge ....ing drug problem that means there will be shortcuts off the path all over the place, and in a world where that path is long and rocky, those will look more and more tempting to weaker souls.

seeing JBroll's input would be awesome. he always has interesting views

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Old 08-08-2010, 11:25 AM   #24
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Animals don't live all ZEN-like with their feeding whenever they want, ....ing whenever they find a mate and sleeping with the alarm-clock set to off,
it's more like feeding when it's the right season and nervously checking every angle for predators predators, ....ing when he can defeat EVERY OTHER male in the vicinity and have been blessed with the right genes to attract the females, and sleeping in fear of his live in some little nook or cranny.
I wouln't say that's necessarily better off than us, but at least they have actual threats, whereas we get all sad-panda just thinking about .....
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:11 PM   #25
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Everything that exists, including us, is made of matter that was at one point occupying the same point in space. Furthermore, we are made of dead stars. You have to consider what every multicelled organism is. Just a bunch of cells that hang around together because it heightens their chances.

I would argue against considering our actions as nature, as it would enable you to sweep under the rug the damage that we cause. The difference between all other life on this planet and us is that we have the ability to consider the morality of our actions. Therefore our nature is to care about both how we appear and how we are behaving, and rectify any injustices and evolve our "zeitgeist", so to speak.

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