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Progress Can Kill - Essay Example

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Professor’ Date Progress Can Kill Like everyone else, the discovery of an indigenous population deep in the rain forest of New Guinea aroused my curiosity. I could not help, but marvel over the fact that this population managed to survive and move forward for millennia without the use of technology and in a complete isolation from the outside world…
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Progress Can Kill
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"Progress Can Kill"

Download file to see previous pages I know that it is tempting to assume that we can solve the world’s oil shortage problems by exploiting the territory occupied by this indigenous population. However, the main issue is whether or not we can do this without exploiting the rights and dignity of this indigenous population. Let us first consider the rights and dignity of this indigenous population. They have been occupying this territory for centuries, not ten or thirty years. Mostly in the world, when an individual occupies a home or a piece of land for 12 years without an objection from the true owner, the state recognizes and protects the occupant’s right to claim and use the property absolutely as he or she wishes. Can we honestly deny that this indigenous tribe does not enjoy the same right, continued and unmolested, to occupy their territory? I would take this step further and argue that given the long and continued occupation of it by the indigenous tribe, it is not only our legal, but also our moral responsibility to protect and recognize their right to claim and use that territory absolutely and free of outside influences and intrusions. This is not just a question of the right to occupancy. This is also about the protection of the universal human rights. In particular, this tribe has adapted itself to a particular way of living and preservation consistent with their animistic religious beliefs. As members of the UN we have pledged that no state shall disrespect the religious beliefs of the individual. How then can we justify even asking this tribe to move aside and allow us to exploit their territory for the purpose of looking for oil? Let us consider the Holy City of Mecca. What if we think suddenly that the Holy City of Mecca most likely sits on untapped oil reserves. Could we in good conscience approach Muslims in the holy city and talk to them about the possibility of turning their city upside down for oil exploration purposes? I don’t think that we would even consider taking this approach because we respect the right of religious organizations to practice their religion as long as that practice does not involve activity causing harm to others. On the contrary, far from causing harm to others, this indigenous people have preserved the rain forest at the time when concerns about the destruction of the rain forests globally have been a major issue for environmentalists. We should, therefore, be celebrating the fact that this tribe has preserved the rain forest and not think of ways that we can deplete yet another portion of the world’s rain forest. While we are considering the possibility of oil exploration in this particular area, let us also consider the dignity of this tribe. The dignity of indigenous people has been assaulted throughout our history. Colonial and imperial powers have mercilessly uprooted indigenous people, exploited their territories and with the total disregard for their right to self-determination have left them without dignity and without their own system of governance. Unfortunately, history dictates that indigenous people have a long history of exploitation and injustice. Do we want to stop the cycle of exploitation or do we want to re-establish it? The UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights informs that we have a duty to protect the right of indigenous population to self-determina ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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