This chapter really helped me understand why our sense of place affects how we treat the environment. I recently began my environmental ethic paper and realized that the reasons behind my personal environmental ethic often had to do with experiences that I had in different places. These encounters then caused me to cherish both the places themselves along with the experiences that I had there. Places that we hold near and dear to us can take us back in time and provide us with various emotions based on the memories that we have there, which then makes us cautious of our actions and affects our morals.
Our current society is focused on creating places that promote tourists and consumers, and people rarely take into consideration the people that experience these places the most..the locals. I never realized this, but since many people consider nature to be sacred and associate it with their religion or various religious practices such as prayer, worship, etc, they then see the opposite of nature to be profane. If this is true for the majority of the religious population, what are religious people going to do as the world’s surface continuously gets turned into outlet malls and housing areas? How will this affect religion?
I found and interesting article online that talks about how our surroundings affect us…it might not be directly related to this chapter because of the fact that it does not talk about nature or religion, but it definitely shows how the environment or situation that we are in greatly affects how we act, and how we act often shows or helps us develop our personal morals and ethics. Check it out if you have the time: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/opinion/sunday/a-self-defined-by-place.html?_r=0.
Page 212 really had me thinking. We can’t have a strong argument to preserve nature only because of the fact that it makes us feel good or feel happy, because this too is selfish reasoning. We need to let go of the cost-benefit analyzing that we constantly do in our culture to find an argument for saving nature that is not because of the fact that it directly benefits our lives. Saving nature because it is our “happy place” is similar to saving nature because it could provide medicinal benefits. If one were to argue that nature has a right to be saved and not manipulated, this would be moral reasoning and unselfish.