Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ecuador to Vote Sunday on Granting Rights to "Nature"!


A radical environmental group called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is the brainchild behind a constitutional proposal, to be voted on Sunday, that would grant rights to "nature." From the proposal:
Persons and people have the fundamental rights guaranteed in this Constitution and in the international human rights instruments. Nature is subject to those rights given by this Constitution and Law
The purpose of this is to permit ideologues to sue and for nature, or aspects thereof, to have standing as litigants in court:
Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public organisms.* The application and interpretation of these rights will follow the related principles established in the Constitution. [The word "organisms" means government bodies and courts.]
Do we need any further proof of the game that is afoot around the world to turn nature and animals into the moral equals of people--of course with only people having any obligations. In essence, this is the worship of nature transformed into an established religion.

To show you how far this kind of thinking is spreading--and how radical the MSM has become--the LA Times , in effect, praised the measure by refusing to take a position on giving rights to trees!

It sounds like a stunt by the San Francisco City Council. But Ecuador is engaged in nothing less than an effort to redefine the relationship between human beings and the natural world...

No other country has gone as far as Ecuador in proposing to give trees their day in court, but it certainly is not alone in its recalibration of natural rights...Ecuador is codifying this shift in sensibility. In some ways, this makes sense for a country whose cultural identity is almost indistinguishable from its regional geography--the Galapagos, the Amazon, the Sierra. How this new area of constitutional law will work, however, is another question. We aren't ready to endorse such a step at home, or even abroad. But it's intriguing. We'll be watching Ecuador's example.

If this passes, I will write further. But for now, let us be clear: This isn't promoting a human duty to treat the environmental correctly--a matter the Times editorialists are too woolly headed to understand. By granting nature equal rights, human needs and welfare will have to be sacrificed! Those most hurt will be the poor looking to develop their countries! This radical deconstruction of the importance of being human should concern everyone who believes in human prosperity and the importance of the concept of distinctly human rights.

And don't say, "It can't happen here," or I'll scream!

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8 Comments:

At September 24, 2008 , Blogger Mark Stracka said...

Two Ecuadorian prisoners were talking while making little ones out of big ones on the rock pile. One says to the other, "whatcha' in here for?" The second says, "I beheaded my neighbors." The first is somewhat shocked and asks, "must have been a bloody mess, huh?" To which the second shrugs and answers, "not at all, I just thought I'd mow the lawn..."

 
At September 24, 2008 , Blogger Wesley J. Smith said...

Mark! Thanks for that. Alas.

 
At September 24, 2008 , Blogger Don Nelson said...

I think this COULD happen-at least in the SF Bay Area, except or course if it blocks a solar panel. I hear that is a reason to cut someone's tree in part or in whole in CA. I can imagine the utilitarian justifications for taking trees like taking human life in those instances.

 
At September 25, 2008 , Blogger Joshua said...

Article 1: Nature has the right to exist and persist. Ok, now how could anyone possibly violate this right, short of wiping out the planet?

Nature has the right to an integral restoration. Fair enough. Clean up after yourself.

The rest isn't really about rights of nature.

I don't see what the fuss is about.

 
At September 25, 2008 , Blogger padraig said...

Joshua, the problem is the inappropriate application of the human concept of "rights" to the natural order.

"Rights" are privileges that we, as members of a society, grant to each other in exchange for accepting certain corresponding responsibilities, most of which involve conceding certain rights (like property ownership) to others. It's what keeps us from constantly fighting over today's food and tonight's shelter. Human rights are essentially an agreement to limit intraspecies competition and encourage cooperation.

We certainly have a relationship with nature, but it's a different kind of relationship than the one we have with each other. It's more mutually exploitive, like you and the bacteria living in your digestive system. You take care of them and they'll take care of you. But they don't have a "right" to be there any more than you have a "right" to have them. Read some Lewis Thomas sometime ("Lives of a Cell" is a great place to start), he'll blow your mind.

That's the problem right there: our relationship with nature is far too complex to be defined by a human-delineated system. Using the term "rights" in this context oversimplifies and confuses critical issues.

 
At September 25, 2008 , Blogger Donnie Mac Leod said...

Bingo!!!!!!! Pick up your winnings Padraig.


How are we supposed to live without leaving a foot print and denying the natural cycles of nature where one plant or animal dies to feed other plants and animals?

 
At September 27, 2008 , Blogger LifeEthics.org said...

We aren't supposed to live -- I'm afraid that too many men and women believe not only that we humans are just a step in evolution, but we're not even worth the same protection that we give sea turtles.

There was actually a Science Fiction book in the '70's that played the scenario out: people were restricted according to the effect they could have, then they were encouraged not to breed, then to kill themselves off in order to let Nature be.

I propose that anyone who truly believes in evolution as the origin of humans should be very concerned about those of our species who do not want to preserve and propagate our species. Isn't that counter to the "selfish gene" mentality? These aberant, evolutionary dead-enders should not be allowed to propagate their ideas or their bad genes. (big grin)

 
At November 12, 2008 , Blogger rose said...

Great for Ecuador!!!

I believe that Ecuador is doing the right things by creating a law to protect Mother Nature. It is not enough of the devastation and destruction of it creating by greed and carelessness. And only passing a law that will bring consecuences and conciencesnes about this situation people will start respecting and appreciating Nature more!!

Bravo Ecuador!!

 

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