Saturday, April 23, 2011

(3) Deep Ecology

"Deep Ecology" is a philosophy for here and now as well as for
the future. The Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess developed
this special ecological philosophy in the early 1970s, Simply
put, Deep Ecology is a holistic paradigm that not only recognizes
the importance of the eco-system and natural processes, but
recognizes the rights of other living forms. Basically Deep Ecology
stresses the interdependent nature of human and non-human life.

Another way of looking at Deep Ecology is to compare it with what
philosophers call "Shallow Ecology" that is essentially human-
centered (anthropocentric). Shallow Ecology is still a major force
throughout our own times, in that it views nature only for human use.
Nature, bluntly put, is seen only as an utility.

Human beings are considered *separate* from Nature according
to the scenario provided by Shallow Ecology; whereas, Deep
Ecology--as already put--stresses an interconnected as well as
an interdependent world. Consequently, proponents of Deep
Ecology do not consider the world simply as a resource for human
use. Rather it values the well-being of both human and non-human
life who share our planet.

Deep Ecology values the diversity of the Earth's biosphere, and
humans have no right to impoverish this special diversity. On the
other hand, Deep Ecology most certainly takes in account vital
human needs. For example,within Native American cultures,
hunters may have had the need to kill animals for food--but they
also thanked that animal for its sacrifice. However, on our
larger socio-cultural scale of modern times, this outlook may
prove challenging.

Politically Deep Ecology has already played into the thinking of
contemporary environmental, ecological, and green movements
as well as consideration for animal rights. And culturally it can be
inter-weaved into various religious and spiritual worldviews. Also,
philosophers are contrasting Deep Ecology in relation to other
modern movements such as social ecology, ecofeminism, and
biocentric egalitarianism. And some ethicists are considering Deep
Ecology when it comes to forging new moral approaches towards
engaging Nature.

However, personally, it would seem that our level of consciousness
will need be considerably tweaked sharply in future when it comes
to the socio-cultural expression of Deep Ecology.