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Relations to Other Life/Land
among Human Peoples Generically:
from SOCIAL SCIENCE AND SOCIAL ETHICS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: HERE INSTRUCTED BY NATIVE AMERICAN SOCIAL WISDOM by Theodore Walker, Jr.
chapter 3, section 1, Summary Statements:
theme: other life/land
Here, other life includes not only other human lives and future human lives, but also and very importantly,
other life includes other-than-human created-creative-creaturely lives of all kinds:
including especially the land, its animals, plants, and waters, and the whole living-breathing planet, our Mother Earth; and
including remote and more inclusive cosmic lives and spirits.
here, other life includes the all-inclusive life of the Creator/Great Spirit.
circle of concern:
all human peoples in all peopled spaces and times
(our most general circle of social ethical concern)
Native Americans characteristically understand human existence to be existence in relations to other life, including especially the land. Humans exist as "part of nature, not a transcendant species" (GODISRED, p. 3). According to traditional tribal social wisdom, the land and the natural world are not rightly reducable to human properties and objects of mere instrumental value to humans. Other living creatures, land and water and the planet as a whole, all have intrinsic values. Other life is important and fundamentally good.
[See GOD IS RED: A NATIVE VIEW OF RELIGION, SECOND EDITION
(Golden, Colorado: North American Press, 1992) by Vine Deloria, Jr.]
For all human peoples in all peopled spaces and times,
righteous relations to other life will contribute to good for people
and to good for other life/land.
Peoples, tribes, nations, rightly related to other life are envisioned as contributing to the good, to shared well-being, to the flourishing of human and non-human life.
All human peoples in all peopled spaces and times should
be rightly related to other life/land. They should contribute to proper relations (respect and reciprocity) to other life,
including non-human life, especially the land/Mother Earth and Her creatures.
to chapter three, section 1.]
most recent update: 26 March 1997
NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT: copyright 1997 Theodore Walker, Jr.
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