Saturday, July 17, 2010

Anthropocentrism

Anthropocentrism is something that is really rampant in the world. Humans are the center of everything. Oh, but of course. Because we are the center of the solar system. And the center of the Milky Way. And the center of the universe. For any reader that believes any of those last three sentence fragments, they are all wrong. We are not the center of anything but the ideas of our own minds. We are not all that special and we really don't do anything but think of ourselves. This is one of the ideas that leads people to a world of disappearing intellectuals, reference previous post on politics and intellectuals.

So, many of the readers right now are probably asking, "Well what are we supposed to think about? We are the greatest species alive." Well I will respond to that statement by simply saying "NO". No, we are not the greatest species alive. We are just a species that is in charge for a little bit. And if you really think about it we aren't really in charge. After all, how many houses get infested with insects, spiders, bats, birds, rats? We can't even control "simple" creatures like that. We are being killed millions at a time by diseases and viruses. And most importantly how can a species be considered dominant if it can't even keep its own population from killing one another?

People need to learn to think about things other than themselves. I have so many examples of people not doing it. I will be talking about people I know and who will read this, so I won't mention names in case of offense. I will start off with the most recent one I can think of. Today, three of us were watching birds as we ate lunch. One of my friends mentioned how he wanted to be a bird. He said he would fly around just to flaunt the fact that he could. I laughed at this because it was something completely random. I also realized how anthropocentric it was. People care more about flaunting their skills than anything. The birds were scavenging for food so they could survive. They used their flying skills for something that was useful. And people, not just this friend, would rather fly just to say they can.

There are always the insect haters. No one likes bugs. They are so yucky. Well that's what these people say at least. I personally enjoy looking at insects and other smaller arthropods. I won't kill insects unless they are really invading my space or bothering me more than I care to deal with them. I live in a dorm that has some sort of infestation. I have had ants on my desk, cockroaches in my bed, centipedes and millipedes in the bathroom. I have only killed the cockroaches in the bed. I just felt that was too personal. I don't kill insects just because I can, I feel that this is just as wrong as murder. Taking a life, no matter the life form, is murder. Those are my feelings.

I also have a bit of a problem with zoos too. I do enjoy seeing animals, don't get me wrong. But imprisonment of these animals in cages barely bigger than the animal itself, is highly discouraging. I enjoy studying animals and seeing them and figuring out things about them. I do not, however, like to see them in the conditions they are in within zoos. Aquariums are the same way. I feel that it is taking away potential from the species to continue on. Endangered animals are a bit different. I still don't believe they should live in captivity, but they should have reserved areas that are full-size simulations of their real native environment. This again gets into overpopulation and need for a major disaster, see previous post if you haven't already. The last time I was at the zoo actually proved this to me. I was in the gorilla exhibit and I looked into the eyes of the gorilla and I knew that it was sad. It was a depressing experience. I hadn't felt that bad for quite a long time as I did when I looked into that gorilla's eyes.

People are to fixed upon humans. We see humans in everything. We personify animals all the time. Look at any cartoon for kids. Most of the characters are animals. We see faces in everything. The moon, potato chips, trees, everything.

Religion is the same too. Religions are based on the assumption that humans are the most important creatures next to god. We are also the only intelligent life in the universe. Religion is the belief that god made us special.

People are too caught up in believing that we are everything. We couldn't survive without other organisms. Why can't we live like it? Why can't we let other things thrive just as we try ourselves? Well that will be all for this rant, I suppose.

1 comment: