Arne Naess

PHI 244 Environmental EthicsPaper Topic #01After reading the Interview With Arne Naess I find many things that I agree with and also many things I would disagree with Arne Naess.

Naess developed his own philosophy called ecosophy which also means the understanding of ecological thinking. A question Naess brought up in this interview is ???Why do we think that economic growth and high levels of consumption are so important??? According to ecosophy, instead of asking what will be the consequences of not having economic growth, ask if the present society fulfills the basic needs of human beings. My question is how do we fulfill the basic needs of humans without looking at the economy since today??™s world revolves around money If the economy falls then there will be no way to fulfill basic needs like love and security since both either uses money or money is part of the system. To many people love can be found in money while others believe it can not, which is a very intuitive view as Naess states about intuitive statements ???It cannot be proven???. So what would benefit the planet as a whole and what would we have to do in order to make the changes as Naess asks. My answer would be technology and resource. In order to gain some you must lose some so to make those changes you will still need a scientific approach but with ecological thinking it will work both ways for those who have ecological knowledge and those who are more interested in the real world, working and money.

Which leads to another point Naess made. People do not question deeply enough to make a clear total view of the world because if they did everyone would agree with save the world from destruction. I agree that yes if people sat down and thought hard enough about the world and everything around them they would realize the destruction upon the world but with today??™s lifestyles many people don??™t even have time to be thinking about others, much less, the world. Today??™s lifestyle only concerns about the current day and what task needs to be done which is also why many people are lacking in ecological thinking. They do not think of the overall picture but only what is in front of them.

To increase ecological thinking Naess states that the material standard of living should be reduced while the quality of life, ones satisfaction and happiness, should be increased. I totally agree on this statement but the only problem is that most peoples quality of life is the material standard way of living. Growing up in it many people have no other way to live fine satisfaction or happiness. Many become philosophical and ethical cripples as Naess says because they follow the trends and advertisements of everyday life. But I think even though they do many people still learn to experience satisfaction and happiness through either other life forms or what we humans consider beauty as in butterflies or mystical waterfalls and beautiful butterflies.In order to be able to think ecologically and see through the beauty of the human eye one must achieve self-realization.

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Most people in ecology at one point in their life experienced this feeling as though they are connected to nature or something greater. This feeling is often called oceanic because of the many experiences of connection people had while at sea. Naess claims that in order to achieve self-realization there must be maximum diversity and symbiosis. But self-realization was achieved by many who were not exposed to much diversity like Confucius who founded Confucianism and Muhammad who founded Islam. But overall Arne Naess is right in saying that we humans need to be more ecosophy for one reason or the other.