Dr Beetle's Ethics

It hardly seems ethical when a pack of hyenas bring down an antelope, or a snake enters the burrow of a mutton bird (short-tailed shearwater) to kill the chick that waits quietly for its parents' return. But you have to put yourselves in the shoes of these offensive creatures, and then if you are wise, you might see their ethics. These predators strike when hungry. Otherwise, they leave their prey be. They try to overpower or subdue their prey quickly, which effectively minimises any pain the prey will feel. Many skilled predators use ambush, or toxins (tranquilisors), so that death will be rapid or relatively peaceful. They certainly do not ride in cars with guns killing herds of animals, but chase a few individuals instead (more beetle, see killer instinct). They encroach only to the limit of their 'bare hands', and are sensitive to other environmental cues that will tell them when to stop. They do not bulldoze acres of mutton bird burrows so they can build high rise units with 'sea view.'

I find the ethics in wildlife to be of a much higher standard than the ethics of humans. Certainly, wildlife will often offend and dent human sensitivities and fashions. A self centred species can only judge others from their own sense of comfort, without seeing the bigger picture. They want everything their own way, rather than extend the grace and evenness that would probe for a change to your world's mind. That's why you need Dr Beetle, to put you straight!

The reasoning behind the actions and motivations of wild animals is far stronger and resilient than the reasoning behind humans. Wildness is the reality where humans do not have the right of veto. The reasons in wildness are time honoured, and not subject to human control. In wildness, are the contributions of millions of other species. Judge them by their effect - a world of biodiversity and abundance. Judge them by their sense of participation. They all have a view, entry point and impact into the wildness. The reasons they share have many influences. No one species has the right to possess or place tickets on the reasons. So if you want to see those reasons, you have to change, rather than denigrate the wildness to avoid the change. If any biologist studies a creature, and fails to assign a reason to their actions that in the pit of their stomach feels like a strong and honorable reason, then, they are failing in their studies.

Wild animals do things for good reason. Humans on the other hand, rarely have good or just reason behind their actions. They are destroying nature, and live second rate lives. They would like to have strength of reason, but for them it is a difficult study where they search for ethics, perhaps on Sundays. I don't believe in God, but do recognise the human void it tries to fill. Another way to see the good reason in animals is to understand that they use their adaptations and abilities to full potential. Each species makes the most of what they have. This compares to humans who squander their abilities and still have a long way to go before they can know that they are doing their best. The realisation of reasons that could have launched them into a life of full potential has hit a snag (more beetle, see mindrules).

If you have tried all you can, and considered from every angle, then you will get closer to good reason and ethics. In other words, you have to consider beyond individual selfish needs. Good reason spreads between and beyond any one creature or species. It is a bit like a common thread or web of life. It started from the single fundamental unit that physicists consider to be the building block of the universe (see grand unified theories). It is interesting that the more reason and understanding you gain for a subject, the more you will be rewarded with a sense of appreciation, wonder and beauty. Finding and doing things for good reason is the path to greater fulfilment. Good reason leads to parsimony, and parsimony is essential in nature (more beetle).

A key method that animals use to achieve their level of reason and ethics is that they listen to their interaction desire (more beetle). This is a desire that seeks greater intimacy or truth towards a wider range of interactions. It is the origin and engine room of human ethics. If used correctly, it drives your judgement away from self centred orientation towards attunement, grace and parsimony. It will show you why you should concede to other things rather than overpower them. In humans, this feels like listening to your heart or conscience, which are deeper or more primal senses than the mind and the crazy reasonings that humans currently use to mess things up. (Posted April 2001)
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