Monday, March 7, 2016

Ponder: "the chief obstacle and the only possible solution"

"In the early 1990s the cod fishery along Canada’s Atlantic coast disappeared almost overnight due to overfishing. The ecosystem was pushed beyond what it could bear, and the fishery simply and suddenly collapsed. There were no fish left. In 1992 the fishery was closed for good, and the cod population has never recovered. Neither the cod nor their prey nor the ocean itself cared a whit about the collapse. But tens of thousands of people in hundreds of coastal communities suddenly found themselves unemployed, and a way of life centuries in the making came to an end.

God said to Noah and his sons, “The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” (Gen. 9:1-3)

With great power comes great responsibility. Our reason enables us to approach the boundaries of its own capacity and gesture beyond it, toward eternity. Here lies the mystery of our status as priests and kings of creation. Reason, the thing that separates us from brute beasts, does not liberate us from animality, but it liberates animality itself, for the actualization of a potential that cannot be actualized without reason. Cod do not fall into a depression when they run up against the limits of their codness; they accept it without wonder. And people who see our own species as the chief obstacle to conservation are only half right. Man is at once the chief obstacle and the only possible solution."

Will Brown, “A Catechismof Nature: Reason and the Destiny of Animal Life”  Covenant 3 Mar 2016

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