Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ethics: Why Bother?

Having the heart of a puppy, it is easily crushed by the Iron-Boot of reality and ofttimes this leaves screaming in rage or sobbing in a dark corner. Everything is shyte, has gone to far, and why should we bother at all? This presents quite a problem for the aspiring ethicist: am I doing this to actually try and change something, or is it more some form of self-interested egotistical mind-wank where I am doing this to feel good about myself or atone for some existential sins of the past (and future).
Basically, why bother?

Well, I am just reading the article 'Why Bother' by Michael Pollan a fellow who writes some pretty beautiful and elegant books, one of which - The Botany Of Desire - I have read and can strongly recommend. Anyway, in this article, Pollan puts forward a case for trying to do something about climate on an individual level, which is pretty heartening and maybe evening a little empowering.

One of Pollan's lovely lines from Why Bother reminds me of why we should bother: "For us to wait for legislation or technology to solve the problem of how we’re living our lives suggests we’re not really serious about changing — something our politicians cannot fail to notice. They will not move until we do."

So, Take heart, my kittens. The world may be the darkest of places, but there is hope for change, and it can only be done by people (with the hearts of puppies perhaps).

No comments: