Responsiblility Statement

 


Originally, humans were afraid of the creatures which surrounded them.

As humans learned of their potential to modify their environment, they believed that they were the masters of those creatures. This attitude unleashed an assault on this biosphere unlike any other in Earth's history, both in swiftness and in breadth. Without regard for long-term consequences to themselves and any affect on other species, humans have pursued the notion of prosperity without understanding or concern about whether or not the Earth could support it.

The third step towards understanding their place in the Universe was the attitude that humans should protect those innocent, defenseless creatures who are being inhumanely exploited. After all, who will represent the best interests of these lives in a human society? Protection of these and associated ecosystems and the notion that all life was interconnected has contributed to a movement, small when compared to the forces which are still driven by the illusion of prosperity and greed, to change the way humans affect the Earth. As the cycle of influence causes problems in people's back yards, more humans join this movement. Yet a great part of this attitude is still centered on how our actions affect ourselves and future human generations.

The fourth wave of enlightenment has been the realization that we were not always the most intelligent creatures living on the Earth. Nor are we necessarily the only sentient creatures living now. And we may not be the most intelligent creatures in the future. We are members of the Earthtribe. We are the members with the most influence on the Earth's ecosystems, but we are not the most important members. No group of constituents is more important than any other. Not because all life is part of a fabulously intricate web of existence, but because no group has the right to declare themselves more important based on their own criteria. Humans have not found this attitude acceptable among themselves in human society. Why should we imagine that it's appropriate across species? It's not hard to consider how we'd feel in the opposite situation where a vastly more intelligent, star-faring species visits Earth and considers humans as expendable as individuals or expendable as a species or good subjects for their experimentation. Who gave them the right to judge our worth, particularly in the scheme of their purposes?

Being the most intelligent species on Earth does not mean that we have the right to satisfy all our needs and desires. It means that we have the greatest capability to benefit or destroy this world. The most intelligent species bears the greatest responsibility of preserving the potential future of all members of the Earthtribe.

William Dan Terry


 

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