The Application of Traditional Disciplines to Solve the Ecological Crisis

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It was a misfortune for the world that an omnivorous primate and not some more compassionate form of animal made the sentient breakthrough. Our species retains hereditary traits that add immensely to our destructive impact. Instinctively, we are tribal and aggressively territorial, intent on the acquisition of resources with complete disregard for other organisms, and oriented by selfish sexual and reproductive drives. Individuals place themselves first, family second, community third and the rest of the world a distant fourth. Today, we stand at the forefront of human civilization having made tremendous leaps in modern advances that our ancestors not even a century ago could fathom. As a by-product, we are now faced with major socio-economic and environmental concerns, namely an exponentially growing population and depletion of our natural resources. If we continue on this path, then the earth will eventually no longer be able to sustain all of its inhabitants. Only by means of social change can we avert this. Through the application of traditional disciplines, such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Legalism, lies a viable solution in solving the current ecological crisis of overpopulation. First, let us analyze arguments presented by Buddhist beliefs and how they may shed light on this issue.
As Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-coordinator of the Harvard University Religions of the World and Ecology Conference Series, observes, “Just as we become conscious that the Earth took more than four billion years to bring forth this abundance of life, it is dawning on us how quickly we are foreshortening its future flourishing” (Hitchcock, 2008). Today, we face a multitude of intellectual crossroads. One such intersection is between our understandin...

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...may be utilized for instructing the population, especially women, as they are the most exploited, as a whole on how their reproductive behavior creates national population growth and how that affects quality of life for families, communities, the nation and the world. The human species is, in a word, an environmental abnormality. It is possible that intelligence in the wrong kind of species was preordained to be a fatal combination for the biosphere. Unaware of this, humanity enters a unique time in history constricted by population and socio-economic pressures. In order to secure a future for our species on this planet, we must all adopt the mentality of stewardship in realizing we are watching over this earth until our progeny take our place. Failure to do so will drive us down the path we are currently headed, until regrettably we finally realize it is too late.

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