As is often the case lately, I really enjoyed a recent blog post by the philosopher Justin E.H. Smith. He's a talented writer and addresses novel topics in a creative way. His posted is entitled: "The Moral Status of Rocks." He recounts an annecdote of a visit to Iceland and a woman saying that in Iceland, one doesn't simply smash rocks for smashing's sake. This is an interesting thought.
He finds his way to discussing things as disparate as vegetarianism and abortrion. One lengthy, insightful quote:
smashing a mere chunk of solidified lava –evidently purely passive,
and homoeomerous from one end to the other– can be experienced as a
transgression by the person who is properly sensitized, for whom the
chunk shows up as salient within her ethically charged environment. Are
fetuses morally relevant? Yes, they are. So are chunks of lava. Does
that mean you mustn't destroy them? Not necessarily, but you shouldn't
suppose that the way to gain license to destroy them, whether this
license is conceived cosmically, socially, or individually, is to
produce arguments that cut them off from the sphere of moral relevance.
He uses the word "homoeomerous" – I'd never seen it before. Finally, he seeks out a new (really, very old) way of characterizing our space, which resonates with me despite my atheism.
are souls, gods, ancestors (whatever!) all around us; they are in
evidence in the structure and cohesion of nature; and it is a
transgression against them to needlessly violate this structure and