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Today I saved the life of a helpless robin.

T.G.G. Moogly

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We were working in the yard. There is an active robin nest in the pear tree beside a small pond. The nest is only six feet off the ground and the smallest hatchling, the runt, we found on the ground under the nest. It must have been pushed form the nest by its larger siblings. So I put it back in the nest. An hour later it was back on the ground.

So I went to another pear tree and pulled an old robin nest that was no longer active. I wedged this old nest alongside the active nest and placed the runt, eyes not yet opened, inside. Although the robin had fallen to the ground twice it did not look injured. I watched to make sure it was getting attention from the parents and it was. To be sure it was getting at least some food I bought some meal worms, chopped them into tiny pieces and fed this runt by hand. He ate ravenously and is now asleep with the rest of his brood in his nest.

So I kinda changed the universe today. I hope the little guy makes it.
 

OLDMAN

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This reminds me of how religious people argue that without god we are all as meaningless as mosquitos. But that is putting everything backwards. It means the mosquito is as important as people. Even blades of grass are important, once you start to realize their significance in the big picture. Robbin may or may not make it, but your intentions do not hurt.
 

thebeave

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We were working in the yard. There is an active robin nest in the pear tree beside a small pond. The nest is only six feet off the ground and the smallest hatchling, the runt, we found on the ground under the nest. It must have been pushed form the nest by its larger siblings. So I put it back in the nest. An hour later it was back on the ground.

So I went to another pear tree and pulled an old robin nest that was no longer active. I wedged this old nest alongside the active nest and placed the runt, eyes not yet opened, inside. Although the robin had fallen to the ground twice it did not look injured. I watched to make sure it was getting attention from the parents and it was. To be sure it was getting at least some food I bought some meal worms, chopped them into tiny pieces and fed this runt by hand. He ate ravenously and is now asleep with the rest of his brood in his nest.

So I kinda changed the universe today. I hope the little guy makes it.

It's hard to say whether you did a good thing or not. What if later on he flies into the windshield of car, causing it veer out of control and kill 7 people?

You're kinda like the lady who patted herself on the back after saving Baby Hitler from choking back in 1890.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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We were working in the yard. There is an active robin nest in the pear tree beside a small pond. The nest is only six feet off the ground and the smallest hatchling, the runt, we found on the ground under the nest. It must have been pushed form the nest by its larger siblings. So I put it back in the nest. An hour later it was back on the ground.

So I went to another pear tree and pulled an old robin nest that was no longer active. I wedged this old nest alongside the active nest and placed the runt, eyes not yet opened, inside. Although the robin had fallen to the ground twice it did not look injured. I watched to make sure it was getting attention from the parents and it was. To be sure it was getting at least some food I bought some meal worms, chopped them into tiny pieces and fed this runt by hand. He ate ravenously and is now asleep with the rest of his brood in his nest.

So I kinda changed the universe today. I hope the little guy makes it.

It's hard to say whether you did a good thing or not. What if later on he flies into the windshield of car, causing it veer out of control and kill 7 people?

You're kinda like the lady who patted herself on the back after saving Baby Hitler from choking back in 1890.
But maybe one of those 7 people was the next Adolph Hitler, or a lady about to save the next Adolph Hitler from choking.

There's probably a logical fallacy involved in hypothesizing connections that don't exist or discounting the infinite number of possibilities that actually do exist.
 

thebeave

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We were working in the yard. There is an active robin nest in the pear tree beside a small pond. The nest is only six feet off the ground and the smallest hatchling, the runt, we found on the ground under the nest. It must have been pushed form the nest by its larger siblings. So I put it back in the nest. An hour later it was back on the ground.

So I went to another pear tree and pulled an old robin nest that was no longer active. I wedged this old nest alongside the active nest and placed the runt, eyes not yet opened, inside. Although the robin had fallen to the ground twice it did not look injured. I watched to make sure it was getting attention from the parents and it was. To be sure it was getting at least some food I bought some meal worms, chopped them into tiny pieces and fed this runt by hand. He ate ravenously and is now asleep with the rest of his brood in his nest.

So I kinda changed the universe today. I hope the little guy makes it.

It's hard to say whether you did a good thing or not. What if later on he flies into the windshield of car, causing it veer out of control and kill 7 people?

You're kinda like the lady who patted herself on the back after saving Baby Hitler from choking back in 1890.
But maybe one of those 7 people was the next Adolph Hitler, or a lady about to save the next Adolph Hitler from choking.

There's probably a logical fallacy involved in hypothesizing connections that don't exist or discounting the infinite number of possibilities that actually do exist.

Don't take what I said too seriously. :) I was being tongue in cheek...just messin' with ya. I would have helped out the robin too. It is kinda fun to ponder, though, on how minor actions we do might affect world events
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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It's been a few days and the little guy is hanging in there. I found him on the ground again the other morning, covered with biting ants, cold and in a bad way. I got the ants off got him and warmed him up by holding him in my hands and breathing on him. After a while he pinked up and relaxed. He's hard to feed but I did get some food in him.

The nest had gotten loose and he just fell out. So I put the nest in a plastic pot and strapped it to branches and placed him inside. He's very secure now and right up against his siblings. Found one of the adults sitting right on him and he was nice and warm when I checked him. His parents are fearless.

If I see him getting worse I'm going to switch places with one of his older siblings and see how that goes. He must be getting enough food and warmth or he would be dead by now according to the experts.

@thebeave: It's all good. Keep making me think.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Well, the little guy didn't make it. I'm sad but I don't feel terrible. I learned a lot and the next time I will be able to do better. I gave him a decent burial in the garden.

He was warm when I checked him last night but he was cold and lifeless this morning. Rigor Mortis had not set in so he was not gone for long. He obviously died of starvation, exposure and neglect.

Had he been alive this morning I had planned to wet some dog food and feed him away from the parents. Their shrieking definitely causes the young to cower in their nests and makes it difficult to get any food in. I planned to bring him inside, feed him and then swap his position with a larger healthy sibling. Next time I will do better.

The upside is we have a very healthy welcoming yard where birds nest aplenty. Hummers have been around constantly feeding on the flowers and I'm hoping they will nest as well. I see them collecting spiderweb so I know they must have a nest somewhere nearby.
 

Tharmas

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Years ago I had a friend who found a baby bird under a tree while he was mowing the lawn. It had apparently fallen out of the nest. It was very young – hadn’t opened his eyes yet – but still alive.

My friend took it inside, put it in a shoebox with some grass and tissue paper, and fed it ground hamburger whenever he could. The little fella grew.

When it fledged we recognized it as a Blue Jay. My friend continued to feed it, and trained it to perch on his shoulder as he walked around his house. The bird would jump off his shoulder and try to fly. It grew stronger.

Then one day he took it outside, perched on his shoulder. After a few minutes, the little fellow flew away and landed on a tree branch. Then it flew back and landed on my friend’s shoulder. Then it took off again and didn’t return.

Happy ending.
 

southernhybrid

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Sorry the baby bird didn't make it. Rescuing a baby bird or small animal is not much in the general scheme of things, but we humans often feel the need to save little critters, even when we are often not very nice to our own kind. Is that the moral lesson here, if there is one?

I did try to save two frogs that had jumped into our pool a couple of weeks ago. One was nearly dead when I fished him out, so I know he didn't make it. The other one was a little more mature and he looked as if he might make it, so I gently put him down near one of the tiny garden ponds. I have no idea if he made it or not, but he was gone from the place where I had put him by the next day.

The two frogs in the other tiny pond have been there for several years. I almost think of them as low maintenance pets. I check on them everyday, but since they have successfully lived and bred in the tiny pond for years, I will miss them when they are gone, assuming no other frog takes over their tiny habitat. Frogs certainly do more for the planet than we do, yet our habits are making it more difficult for frogs and birds to survive. On the one hand, if the pool wasn't there, the frogs wouldn't have drowned, but on the other hand, if the human made ponds were't there, the other frogs might not have found such a safe place to live and breed and the drowned frog would have never had a life at all.

Back to birds....

A couple of years ago, I watched in horror as a squirrel ate the newborn babies of two cardinals that were nesting in a Crape Myrtle tree just outside our front door. Considering that most humans will eat birds and mammals, I certainly can't condemn the hungry squirrel who ate those baby birds. It was just sad to see the helpless parents look on while their offspring were being consumed.

We also called animal control one year to take away an injured fawn that was hit by a car. I was amazed at the caring attitudes of the men who carried the fawn to their truck. They said they planned to take it to a rescue organization to see if it could be saved. So, on the one hand, we have hunters who shoot and kill deer for sport or for food. On the other hand, we desperately try to save a baby fawn that has been injured by a human invention.

Is there something about baby animals that brings out our empathy in a parental way, that makes us want to save a tiny creature? Maybe that's the point that my rambling is making.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I think that's the moral lesson, to protect and nurture the helpless. From what I've read i should have taken it and reared it inside, feeding it moist pet food or eggs or insects. This guy's eyes were barely opening and I learned that if separated from the parent nest, even if only by a few millimeters it doesn't get fed. Next time I will know better.

Speaking of frogs :) I have an amphibian pond that reared it's first tiny green frog today. It could sit on a dime. I think the tadpoles are a mix of toads and frogs.
 

untermensche

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The only lessen here is humans have empathy.

And we should create societies that express that fact.

Nature is cruel and uncaring and unforgiving.

That is knowledge a person should have very early in life.
 

spikepipsqueak

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You could not possibly have done more for that bird and as you say, another time you will have more knowledge and experience.

That sort of compassion is exactly the sort of thing we need to wave at Christians who claim that without god there is no morality.

.
 

southernhybrid

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You could not possibly have done more for that bird and as you say, another time you will have more knowledge and experience.

That sort of compassion is exactly the sort of thing we need to wave at Christians who claim that without god there is no morality.

.

This is true and it's not just the tiny helpless creatures that we have compassion for, many of us find joy in helping those who live in poverty or simply need a little emotional support from friends. There is joy in helping others. No gods required.
 

untermensche

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There is usually a limit to our empathy.

It can extend to small birds.

But what about the insects the bird is eating?

Do we care about that life?
 

southernhybrid

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There is usually a limit to our empathy.

It can extend to small birds.

But what about the insects the bird is eating?

Do we care about that life?

Of course we do. They are food for the birds and frogs who we love. :rolleyes: I do sometimes feel a little bit sorry for the bugs that I vacuum up when they make it into my house, but I will happily swat a mosquito who bites me. Did anyone here say that our empathy is unlimited? I didn't think so. In fact, maybe you missed the point. I think the point is that humans are often happy to rescue helpless little creatures, not that humans are empathetic all of the time.

For example, neighbors might not care about each other until there is a disaster or tragedy, then suddenly they join together to help the victims of the disaster.

And, some humans totally lack empathy. We usually refer to them as sociopaths, or psychopaths, a condition that is a brain disorder, according to a book I read about psychopathy. That is why I can feel both disgust and empathy for a psychopath. I don't think they can help what they are, but I'm not interested in discussing psychopathy, so I'll leave it at that.
 

untermensche

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There is usually a limit to our empathy.

It can extend to small birds.

But what about the insects the bird is eating?

Do we care about that life?

Of course we do. They are food for the birds and frogs who we love. :rolleyes: I do sometimes feel a little bit sorry for the bugs that I vacuum up when they make it into my house, but I will happily swat a mosquito who bites me. Did anyone here say that our empathy is unlimited? I didn't think so. In fact, maybe you missed the point. I think the point is that humans are often happy to rescue helpless little creatures, not that humans are empathetic all of the time.

For example, neighbors might not care about each other until there is a disaster or tragedy, then suddenly they join together to help the victims of the disaster.

And, some humans totally lack empathy. We usually refer to them as sociopaths, or psychopaths, a condition that is a brain disorder, according to a book I read about psychopathy. That is why I can feel both disgust and empathy for a psychopath. I don't think they can help what they are, but I'm not interested in discussing psychopathy, so I'll leave it at that.

Humans have the capacity to have empathy. Even for insects. Even for other humans.

But humans are free.

They can easily ignore their feelings too.

The good feelings that come from tragedy that unite people don't last long.

I remember 911.
 

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You could not possibly have done more for that bird and as you say, another time you will have more knowledge and experience.

That sort of compassion is exactly the sort of thing we need to wave at Christians who claim that without god there is no morality.

.
I have a walking stick. I walk with it every day. It is a fairly stout seeming young tree, and I have been pouring free time and spending the majority of my personal allotment of artistic insanity on it. I have chucked countless hours into the pursuit of this, killed a fair number of trees, and put more calluses into my hands working knives and saws and sandpaper than I would have liked. Far more, in fact, than I would have had I actually EVER used a proper carving or sanding tool, or even had access to a sharper than "dull" saw blade; I didn't.

Now, it being by virtue of what it is, namely a piece of stout wood a hand shorter than I am tall, this thing is shaped like a weapon. Had I not spent all the hours of work on this labor of love, it would, in fact, be a weapon.

But here's the rub: after years of work, this thing is not, in fact, a weapon any longer. Sure, I could swing it like one, but it would destroy all that it is.

But yet, whenever I have the power to express that it is a weapon, whenever I am offered with the opportunity to view it from that perspective, I feel both me, and the work I have done to make it what it is (a piece of art) less, and it is merely defiled.

So too, the joy I get from helping others. Surely it IS a comfort when someone would claim I lack empathy because I have no god. But as with my staff, I feel like I have walked through a swamp and had the bugs there drink their fill of me, and had the mud there found a home on me to look at my love as a weapon against anything or anyone, even an insult I know will come back again and again like a bad penny, and all for the sake of merely having thought of it, not even having done it.

Perhaps I should instead, when I think of that question, ask "do I have enough empathy?" And allow myself the doubt.

Instead, I will fashion a different weapon, an actual weapon against such: "Gods are not the reason we have empathy. Empathy is merely the byproduct of the Social Paradigm, and so Empathy is born in the question of whether you have it, and the honest acceptance that 'I do not have enough!'; if you assume you have it, take it for granted because 'gods', perhaps you are the one who lack it. So, gods do not grant empathy; rather, they take it away and replace it with a lie."
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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There is usually a limit to our empathy.

It can extend to small birds.

But what about the insects the bird is eating?

Do we care about that life?

Of course we do. They are food for the birds and frogs who we love. :rolleyes: I do sometimes feel a little bit sorry for the bugs that I vacuum up when they make it into my house, but I will happily swat a mosquito who bites me. Did anyone here say that our empathy is unlimited? I didn't think so. In fact, maybe you missed the point. I think the point is that humans are often happy to rescue helpless little creatures, not that humans are empathetic all of the time.

For example, neighbors might not care about each other until there is a disaster or tragedy, then suddenly they join together to help the victims of the disaster.

And, some humans totally lack empathy. We usually refer to them as sociopaths, or psychopaths, a condition that is a brain disorder, according to a book I read about psychopathy. That is why I can feel both disgust and empathy for a psychopath. I don't think they can help what they are, but I'm not interested in discussing psychopathy, so I'll leave it at that.

Yep. Some of us seem to constantly separate the good from the perfect. Everything is perfect or it's broken. A little empathy isn't anything good because it isn't complete empathy. Therefore a little empathy is something bad. That is certainly a mental disorder, at least by today's standards. Maybe it wasn't a disorder 250,000 human years ago.
 

untermensche

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It is not about good or bad.

It is about the strangeness of caring about the bird but not the living things the bird is eating.

You have some birds that eat small mammals.

Do we feel empathy for the bird or the mammal?
 

steve_bank

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And today I had a ham sandwich. Tomorrow chicken or steak.
 

southernhybrid

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It is not about good or bad.

It is about the strangeness of caring about the bird but not the living things the bird is eating.

You have some birds that eat small mammals.

Do we feel empathy for the bird or the mammal?

We can feel empathy for both, while realizing that predators are necessary in order to keep the environment healthy. So, I can have empathy for the deer who is eaten by the wolf, while understanding that without the wolf, the deer population would become overly populated, leading to an absence of plants that the deer eat to survive, which would eventually lead to starvation in the deer population etc. It's all about a balance. We need both the predator and the prey to keep the balance of nature intact. ( I stole that from a "Nature" program that I watched yesterday ) How else would we omnivores be able to eat meat? We are strange creatures.

Having said that, I not claiming that we need human predators to keep humanity in balance, but that's a totally different discussion.
 

untermensche

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Unbounded pure empathy does not recognize the rights of predators to kill.

It is horrified by the spectacle.

Empathy has empathy for the life taken by the predator.

But "empathy" in humans does not usually even extend to the next tribe of humans.

So having empathy for a bird shows a more sensitive mind than the norm.

But we must never be surprised by how little empathy humans can have.

Humans are free to suppress emotions if they choose and can get very good at it with practice.
 

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Well, there is a lot that I don't agree with in your most recent post, but I don't have the will to discuss it with you, so I'll leave it at that. I see no point in arguing back and forth relentlessly when it's obvious that we have different viewpoints on things like empathy and how much we are able to control our emotions. :)
 

abaddon

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A prey animal gets eaten and we feel "ah, poor animal". And we should - it's a conscious and emotional being. But also it's a part of a bigger organism than its individual self (like we all are). The biosystem lives by the death of living beings and its life matters to them all. By all means, expand the ability to sympathize with the rest of life.

30% of the birds in North America are GONE. Caring more might lead some people to help slow down the loss of life on earth. The individual animals matter but their individual lives are a part of a bigger Life which matters.

Helping a small bird was a highly moral act. But creating a bird-friendly back yard is more-so. Many more home-owners should do it.
 

untermensche

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Well, there is a lot that I don't agree with in your most recent post, but I don't have the will to discuss it with you, so I'll leave it at that. I see no point in arguing back and forth relentlessly when it's obvious that we have different viewpoints on things like empathy and how much we are able to control our emotions. :)

That's passive aggressive but fine.

There is a reason for somebody trying to save a bird to have empathy. It might help.

There is no reason for me to create emotions about some bird I never saw that is already dead.

When thinking about the dead I always remember.

That is you some day.
 

steve_bank

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And today I had a ham sandwich. Tomorrow chicken or steak.

Yes.

Your empathy does not extend past your needs and desires like so many.

I read an anthology of Twain's essays. One he called The Big Loe.

He was in a city in an open carriage with an upsacle fried, His friend sees a stray cat, stops the carriage, walked past needy people to get the cat, and continued on.

Selective feel good morality.

We have trouble providing nutrition d medical service to all ur kids, yet peole donate money to fix broken wings of birds. We spend billions on pet care.

In some areas birds are pests, like swarming starlings. Sea gulls are flying rats.

I am not religious but I read Mother Teresa's book, remarkable person. She would literally pick up wretched stinking peple on the street and take then to her hospital.



Yes we need to protect the ecosystem if anything out of enlightened self interest. As the eco system defares including bio diversity we will suffer. Restoring the bald eagle was a worthy cause. When I livd n North Idaho I used to eatch them fish on Lake Coer D'Alene.

I regularly took my jeep into the back country and saw a lot of wild life. One winter early in the morning I heard screeching and a tussle outside my house. I went outside and saw blood on the snow, housecat footprints, and bob cat footprints. Breakfast for the bob cat. Mountain lions were known to go after kids in yards, and so on. The natural order of things as they are. I never went off by myself without being armed.

As it was put in nature there is a natural balance and also natural selection.

The problem with us humans is our science and technology at least for now isolates is from that reality, but it is catching up with us.

In the end 'nature' will eventually limit us humans probably with a reduction in population as water and food diminish with climate change.

Some cultures raise monkeys and dogs as pets, then eats then.

So in summary, fixing a bird in the grand scheme of things...meh.
 

Bronzeage

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An old sermon:

There has been a tremendous storm during the night and the beach is covered in starfish. They are far away from the water and the sun is drying them. All are near death. A small boy is carrying them back to the water, one at a time. A man watches him for a few minutes and says, "Son, what you're doing is noble, but you can't save all these starfish. It won't make a difference." The boy tosses one more starfish in the ocean and says, "It'll make a difference to that one."
 

steve_bank

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A dead bird is food for other creatures and decomposes back to nutrients retuned to the environment.

Is it moral to damper with Mother Nature as if we are god?
 

Swammerdami

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My wife, a devout Buddhist, is intent on saving lives. We have five different varieties of lizard, umpteen varieties of bird (hoopoes, herons, crows, owls, sunbirds, starlings, mynahs, etc. etc), squirrels and more on our property. My wife has nurtured several injured birds back to health. Sometimes one ends up in our house and can't find the way out. We open doors and windows and gently shoo them out.

The Hoopoe bird, which I'd never heard of until we wanted to figure out what we were seeing several years ago, is the Most Beautiful Bird in the world. We have an extended family of hoopoes living near our house now. In a corner of the roof, a tile is broken giving a little sanctuary — easy entrance to a place protected from rain — and that sanctuary has been the nest for several baby hoopoes over the years. We take care to keep trees and bushes pruned to deny snakes access to the hoopoe nest.

There is a family of chickens living in our old (haunted?) orchard. My wife insists they are a different variety — they fly much better than ordinary chickens — but I'd have guessed them to be ordinary chickens who somehow fled from any of several neighbors who raise chicken. Occasionally a neighbor's cat comes to our property and is forced up a tree to escape from our dogs. Rescuing that cat becomes high priority.

When she sees a poisonous scorpion, she doesn't kill it — she sweeps it into a bottle and escorts it back to the orchard. Mosquitoes and poisonous centipedes are about the only creatures we deliberately kill ourselves. (We also get poisonous snakes, but one of the primary duties of our dogs is to banish or kill snakes!) The last time we had a snake (Russell's viper! :( ) inside the house, I asked a neighbor for help. He caught the snake's head in a noose and escorted him alive to the old orchard. Buddhism forbids killing creatures. Monks don't even swat mosquitoes.
 

steve_bank

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A dead bird is food for other creatures and decomposes back to nutrients retuned to the environment.

Is it moral to damper with Mother Nature as if we are god?

But humans are part of Mother Nature. So how are we tampering?

A manner of speaking, metaphor,, a witty saying....
 

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The human mind transcends "mother nature".

It peeks under mother nature's clothing to see what is there.

It knows about itself and mother nature. Mother nature knows nothing. Evolution is a blind process.

Free will does not exist until brains evolve.
 

Jarhyn

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A dead bird is food for other creatures and decomposes back to nutrients retuned to the environment.

Is it moral to damper with Mother Nature as if we are god?

Yes, because to say otherwise is to proclaim "nature, just so" as god in the place of the god you claim you do not worship.
 

Thomas II

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My wife, a devout Buddhist, is intent on saving lives. We have five different varieties of lizard, umpteen varieties of bird (hoopoes, herons, crows, owls, sunbirds, starlings, mynahs, etc. etc), squirrels and more on our property. My wife has nurtured several injured birds back to health. Sometimes one ends up in our house and can't find the way out. We open doors and windows and gently shoo them out.

The Hoopoe bird, which I'd never heard of until we wanted to figure out what we were seeing several years ago, is the Most Beautiful Bird in the world. We have an extended family of hoopoes living near our house now. In a corner of the roof, a tile is broken giving a little sanctuary — easy entrance to a place protected from rain — and that sanctuary has been the nest for several baby hoopoes over the years. We take care to keep trees and bushes pruned to deny snakes access to the hoopoe nest.

There is a family of chickens living in our old (haunted?) orchard. My wife insists they are a different variety — they fly much better than ordinary chickens — but I'd have guessed them to be ordinary chickens who somehow fled from any of several neighbors who raise chicken. Occasionally a neighbor's cat comes to our property and is forced up a tree to escape from our dogs. Rescuing that cat becomes high priority.

When she sees a poisonous scorpion, she doesn't kill it — she sweeps it into a bottle and escorts it back to the orchard. Mosquitoes and poisonous centipedes are about the only creatures we deliberately kill ourselves. (We also get poisonous snakes, but one of the primary duties of our dogs is to banish or kill snakes!) The last time we had a snake (Russell's viper! :( ) inside the house, I asked a neighbor for help. He caught the snake's head in a noose and escorted him alive to the old orchard. Buddhism forbids killing creatures. Monks don't even swat mosquitoes.

 

Jarhyn

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I would like to think that the desire and willingness to help other creatures unbidden is a learnable one, and one that things understand the benefits to.

If you save a bird today, maybe you have a friend for a long time. Or sometimes you get an annoying asshole who bothers you too much and takes up space under your eves or whatever. It's worth the risk to try making a friend.

And as more people learn that, maybe we end up in a better world where we aren't at odds with our non-human neighbors. And with our human neighbors too, maybe?

I kill when some creature makes it them or me. I don't often even step on ants. I don't let them in my house though. If the ants can guard their house, I can guard mine.

Being kind to a bird is about being a friend to someone in need, plain and simple. If anyone wants to believe the bird should be left to die broken and alone, that's their business, but they best not tell me when I am deciding who to help, or to be there with, when the end is threatening.
 

Jarhyn

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So, I might as well contribute my own chapter of helping something helpless. But it's not as pure, sadly, as OP.

For the last several weeks we have been dealing with cats on our porch. It's not a very clean porch, and there's a lot of junk there so it provides good shelter; it makes sense the occasional stray would find it and consider it the shelter of their dreams. Also the occasional bag of kitty litter that gets parked out there may also attract them?

And thus is the tableau: one of these cats that occasionally appeared on my doorstep happened to be in the process of starving to death. She was also actively nursing.

The thing is, neither I nor my husband like "feral" cats, not the cats themselves (who are generally quite kind and friendly), but rather the effect they have on the environment. So we were presented with a choice by cruel nature: save the mother by taking her in, at the expense of her kittens (who probably were starving as it is) and at the boon of the local wildlife; or leave her to starve, and those kittens to maybe survive but probably not.

We chose to take her in.

The first thing that we observed was that her whole situation seemed to be orbiting around her litter of kittens: it is fall, and it was probably her first litter, on her first heat. People tend to release cats because they don't think to spay them and because cats in heat like to escape and because cats in heat once they are pregnant are more expensive to spay and are carrying a package that will complicate the lives of the carers.

But by whatever callousness and failure of responsibility, she is in my home, and she seems to be content to never leave it.

I don't know if I would have, if not for this thread, made that decision. Probably? But possibly not
 

Coleman Smith

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The only lessen here is humans have empathy.

And we should create societies that express that fact.

Nature is cruel and uncaring and unforgiving.

That is knowledge a person should have very early in life.
There was a video I saw where a family was out in the yard with a pet mouse on top a cage with their children when a hawk swooped in and flew off with the mouse.

Lesson learned'
 
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