Nature In An Episode Of The Popular Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Animals Type: Term Paper Paper: #62981490 Related Topics: John Stuart Mill, Animal Cruelty, Zoology, Endangered Species
Excerpt from Term Paper :


In an episode of the popular television show The Simpsons, Lisa tries to talk Mr. Burns into developing environmental awareness. The unlikely duo picks up discarded cans, bottles, and other recyclable materials. On the beach one day, Lisa finds a plastic six-pack holder with a live fish caught in one of the rings. After telling Mr. Burns that six-pack holders are potential death-traps for small animals, she frees the fish and tosses him back in the water. No sooner than the fish hits the surface of the water does a large shark sails up, grabs the fish and ends its life by eating it. This story illustrates part of John Stuart Mill's philosophy of nature: nature cannot teach us how to live. On the one hand, Mill states that following nature is unavoidable because


On the other hand, nature, with all its beauty and splendor, is essentially cruel. Weather phenomenon and natural disasters wreak havoc on living creatures; animals fight bloody fights and kill each other with wanton cruelty. This Simpsons episode proves that "nature cannot be a proper model for us to imitate," (180). Throwing the fish into the sea only resulted in its demise, the opposite of what Lisa intended. While following nature remains a romantic notion, Mill is correct in stating that nature is not a proper role model. Following nature is a lofty ideal but one that would result in amorality.

Moreover, to follow nature would also negate free will. According to Mill's first definition, nature is "what takes place without the agency, or without the voluntary and intentional agency, of man," (178). This would imply that nature governs and dictates all human actions and creations. We have no free will, no choice but to follow nature. However, Lisa acted with total free will, and contrary to natural law.

No other…

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