Nature is the point at which all forms of life and exists emanate. Nature is, therefore, seen to be a perpetual source of life. Artificial refers to the objects and forms of life that have a limited span of life. The psychological debate between natural and artificial draws lots of arguments and counterargument. The primary source of existence of all organisms within the Earth is the primary source for the debate between natural and artificial. Natural and artificial draw their arguments and counterarguments on from the law of nature. This paper aims to postulate the reasons why nature has a higher moral status than artificial.
The philosophical presentation of Locke and Aquinas in the field of moral philosophy enables one to shed insight in the morality status of natural and artificial. Though the two philosophers have made little and indirect contribution in the field of environmental philosophy, there ideas are valid and applicable within the context of natural and artificial debate. Aquinas has immense contribution in the field of Meta ethics. Aquinas opines that all that exist seem are always good. Anything that exists, therefore, is good and that which is good is moral. Morality is the code of behavior that distinguishes the acceptable standards of life from the standards that are neither desirable nor acceptable to the entire society. According to Aquinas, whatsoever is good is ethical. Locke’s justification of the quest by humanity regarding Summum Bonum is the epitome of the quest of morality. Nature and artificial surround the environment of humans. Therefore, there has to be moral attachment to what is presented by nature and what is presented by artificial. The topic of morality therefore seems to be pegged on the quest to seek the highest attainable standard of goodness that is acceptable to all the forms of life.
There are a series of arguments and counterarguments that advance in lieu of natural and artificial. The first argument for nature presents that nature is the source of all forms of life. The second arguments in agreement with natural is that natural is the totality of all environmental forms and sources of life. The environment is benign. There is need to protect and conserve the environment, therefore, justifying the morality that nature upholds. That which is moral ought to have the highest form of morality. The environmentalists are the critical people who advance the premises that are in support of natural.
Third, the environment is guided by a set of ecological ethics that require the human beings as the chief custodians of the environment to develop attitudes that preserve nature. Nature therefore, has a morality standards to which, all humans have to make a subscription. Fourth, the laws that govern nature describe that which is moral, that which is ethical and that which is right for the human and all forms of nature to do and practice. Morality is a question if those things that human being ought to do and that which they should not do. Nature has value in itself even without attaching value to nature. There are set of standards and regulatory mechanisms that nature puts in place to control the activities that happen within the environment. For example, rivers have a resilience level to which, they can naturally do away with the wastes, both liquid and solid, that are pollute the rivers. Rivers are components of nature. The ability of the rivers to self-purify means that the rivers have an innate moral standard that knows discerns that pollution is deleterious to the life forms that they support. The example proves that nature has a high moral standards that is unique as there are limited forces that can limit its ability to self-regulate.
In contrast, there are a series of counterarguments that also advance against natural. First, morality is an ambiguity philosophical concept when discussing natural. Morality is a term that is context specific to humans and vary based on the ecological principles that different societies establish. The natural principles and practices are also not innate to individual human beings. Establishing that natural has a higher morality status amounts to a fallacy of composition. It is indeed true that human beings derive life from nature. It is, however, fallacious to postulate that nature is the only source of life to which, human beings have a responsibility to honor its existence.
While natural traces its existence from a supernatural form of power that is supreme to humans, artificial is human made. It is, therefore, prudent to present a question on the moral status of artificial. Morality, to a larger extent is innate. The premises that are in agreement with morality of the artificial begin with the structure and manner of existence of artificial. Wrong use of that which is artificial has the potential of creating a disaster. Things that are artificial, therefore, need proper and contextualized use to derive the desirable outcome.
An example of that which is artificial in environmental philosophy is the development and consumption of genetically modified food. Genetically modified organisms are artificial since they do not grow under natural conditions. The moral standards that seek to defend the efficacy and use of the genetically modified foods pegs on the impacts and influence of the genetically modified foods to the human health and health of other organisms. It is moral for the genetically modified foods to provide the food security. It is also ethical for the genetically modified foods to infuse the food nutrients and components that are pertinent for the natural development of other forms of life. It is, however, not ethical to consume the genetically modified foods when one is fully aware of the ability of the genetically modified foods to cause cancer to the human beings. It is also not ethical to plant the genetically modified organisms knowing that they have the ability to alter the natural genetic makeup of the natural plants and animals.
The main argument in defense of artificial is that artificial complements the deficits that is set by nature. Meeting a need that man or other organisms are not able to do away with is ethical. Ethics demands that one does what is generally considered to be prudent and above board. The artificial components also build up on the harms and are subject to various experimentation tests. The experiments that are done to ascertain the extent to which the artificial products are effective is evidence enough of the value that one can draw form the products that are artificial.
The debate that natural pits against artificial based on their moral status requires a critical analysis and integration of the arguments and counterarguments that are presented in the subject matter. Superficially, the premises that are for natural seem to weigh more than the premises that are for artificial in the discipline of environmental philosophy. To begin, natural is the source of morality while artificial usurps morality. Natural has influences and dictates that which is right and that is which wrong unlike that which is artificial. In the making of things and products that are artificial requires that the maker defines that which is moral for it to perform the required function and tasks. This affirms the first point on why nature has a higher moral status that artificial. Second, natural only allows that which is right to pass through. For example, nature has its self-regulatory mechanisms that enables it to dictate, for example, the population that it is able to handle. Nature defines the carrying capacity for the organisms that can live within a specified ecosystem taking into consideration the survival factors within that ecosystem. Nature, opines that for an organism to survive, it needs all the basic and necessary ingredients. Through self-regulation, nature weeds out the organisms that do not have traits that seem to have desirable to pave way for firm growth of the organisms that have the traits that are desirable. The artificial products have no innate capacity and capability to self-regulate. The artificial products, therefore, have low morality status as an external factor has the ability to dictate its morality status.
In conclusion, there seems not to be a clear definition that is generally acceptable regarding the moral status of natural and artificial. However, natural what many environmentalist subscribe and agree to be the source of all good that happen to all forms of life. The goodness that the environmentalists recognize from nature is the innate capability of nature to provide and support life. Preservation and conservation of life is good since it not only aids the basic existence of human beings, but regulates and dictates the ethical principles to which all life forms make a subscription. Artificial moral status also pegs on their quest to meet the desirables that are nonexistent from nature. The moral status of artificial pegs on the good things and products that they bring to the humans and totality of all the life forms. From the above two premises, it is clearly evident that the moral status of artificial is subordinate to the moral status of the natural. Therefore, nature has a higher moral status than artificial.