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Nature and Philosophy: Understanding the Tao-te Ching - Research Paper Example

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Name 1 Name Instructor Class Date Nature and Philosophy: Understanding the ‘Tao-te Ching’ Studying harmony in the natural world shows that all living things are connected. There are life-sustaining links between systems that exist throughout nature, which gives us evidence that there is a close relationship between the wisdom of Taoist philosophy and natural sciences…
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Nature and Philosophy: Understanding the Tao-te Ching
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Download file to see previous pages When things are out of balance, life itself may come to an end. Technology has made it possible to identify many examples in the fields of ecology and medicine. But humans have decided to ignore the many lessons that nature has to teach us. The Tao-te Ching teaches that when man tries to control nature, which throws off the delicate balance between systems, the entire process is affected. This happens often in nature, and it has proven again and again that humans are just one link in the great chain of life. But mankind still causes problems by affecting the balance, thinking that only he has the right to hold power over life. Ignoring the logic that can be found in Taoism, which is based upon the example of the natural world, can bring about death in the way that the Tao-te Ching describes it. Pollution, global Name 2 warming, famine and war are all products of this human problem. Recent history has taught that the dangers of ignoring nature and throwing off nature’s balance are very real. It is important that man use his intelligence to understand nature’s patterns and where in those patterns human beings fit. Understanding this balance within the context of the Tao is the only way to create understanding and solve the problem of pollution and other crises. In Complexity Theory for a Sustainable Future, the authors propose a relationship between Taoist philosophy and the vulnerable natural systems. The connection between elements within a food web network is examined using a popular scientific model called a scale-free system. In this model, nodes and the links that connect them are very important. Theoretically, a scale-free system has a relatively small number of large nodes with many links, which establishes very strong and many connections between the nodes. This high level of connectivity in a natural system means that it is very unlikely the links between the nodes will be broken. For if this happened, the system would not be able to support itself, and would come apart in pieces. Many systems that act as food webs for many species behave in the way that scale free networks do, meaning that when the all-important links between the nodes are broken, the food chain is destroyed and the species in the ecosystem will die. (Norbert & Cumming, 195). However, there is a kind of natural safety feature in some scale-free systems, which helps them fight off threats that could sever links between the nodes, or species, which the nodes represent. Some scientists call this “clustering,” which means the tendency of nodes to come together very close to one another, which helps establish very strong ties. The nearness Name 3 and number of the links that are made by the clustered nodes makes the system very strong and protects it when an outside threat arises. Several ecosystems in the world exhibit the clustering effect (also known as a “small-world” model), including the Ythan estuary in eastern Scotland, Little Rock Lake in the United States and the Silwood Park ecosystem in the U.K. All three have clustered nodes-species and strong links between the nodes, which equal the predator-prey relationship. This model shows that all three of these ecosystems are effective at fighting off outside threats. Humans who come together in social groups act in similar ways, grouping ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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