What is Life’s Cosmic Role?

Are we slaves to nature’s evolution or bridges to an unnatural order?

Benjamin Cain
Grim Tidings

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Photo from Pixabay

Daoists, Buddhists, pantheists, deep ecologists, and all those who have a mystical view of the naturalness and thus the interconnectedness of everything we perceive face the intriguing question of what our species amounts to from nature’s perspective, as it were.

From the humanistic vantage point, which is confused and impudent according to these nature mystics, we stand apart from nature in a crucial, existential sense. We progress by taming the wilderness, by replacing natural processes with the artifices of civilization. Far from seeing ourselves as united with nature, we think we’re autonomous agents whose grim moral obligation isn’t to act out on our evolved impulses, but to envision improvements on nature’s wildness, and to make them happen.

Again, this progressive independence must be illusory if, instead, in the grand, cosmic scheme, everything fulfills some natural function, or everything’s caught within a cosmic process or causal system.

What, then, is the natural function of personhood, or of humans, the cleverest, most ambitious of apes? From the human-centered standpoint, we can easily answer the comparable question. What we’re up to, as I said, is pursuing our cultural agendas in politics…

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Benjamin Cain
Grim Tidings

Ph.D. in philosophy / Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. / https://ko-fi.com/benjamincain / benjamincain8@gmailDOTcom