Advocacy About Nature Quotes

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I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians. When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer. Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
In accepting as two primary texts, Singer's Animal Liberation and Regan's The Case for Animal Rights--texts that valorize rationality--the animal defense movement reiterates a patriarchal disavowal of emotions as having a legitimate role in theory making. The problem is that while on the one hand it articulates positions against animal suffering, on the other hand animal rights theory dispenses with the idea that caring about and emotionally responding to this suffering can be appropriate sources of knowledge. Emotions and theory are related. One does not have to eviscerate theory of emotional content and reflection to present legitimate theory. Nor does the presence of emotional content and reflection eradicate or militate against thinking theoretically. By disavowing emotional responses, two major texts of animal defense close off the intellectual space for recognizing the role of emotions in knowledge and therefore theory making. As the issue of caring about suffering is problematized, difficulties with animal rights per se become apparent. Without a gender analysis, several important issues that accompany a focus on suffering are neglected, to the detriment of the movement. Animal rights theory offers a legitimating language for animal defense without acknowledging the indebtedness of the rights-holder to caring relationships. Nor does it provide models for theoretically engaging with our own emotional responses, since emotions are seen as untrustworthy. Because the animal advocacy movement has failed to incorporate an understanding of caring as a motivation for so many animal defense activists, and because it has not addressed the gendered nature of caring--that it is woman's duty to provide service to others, while it is men's choice--it has not addressed adequately the implications that a disproportionate number of activists are women motivated because they care about animal suffering. Animal rights theory that disowns or ignores emotions mirrors on the theoretical level the gendered emotional responses inherent in a patriarchal society. In this culture, women are supposed to do the emotional work for heterosexual intimate relationships: 'a man will come to expect that a woman's role in his life is to take care of his feelings and alleviate the discomfort involved in feeling.' At the cultural level, this may mean that women are doing the emotional work for the animal defense movement. And this emotional work takes place in the context of our own oppression.
Carol J. Adams
The most important lesson to learn about devil’s advocacy isn’t the need for a formal contrarian position; it’s the need to interpret criticism as a noble function. An effective promotor fidei is not a token argumentative smarty-pants; it’s someone who deeply respects the Catholic Church and is trying to defend the faith by surfacing contrary arguments in situations where skepticism is unlikely to surface naturally.
Chip Heath (Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work)
What good came of all this exploration? It was a question philosophes found irresistable. Progress was their almost irresistable answer. But Diderot, the secular pontiff of the Enlightenment, the editor of the Encyclopédie, did not agree. In 1773 he wrote a denunciation of explorers as agents of a new kind of barbarism. Base motives drove them: 'tyranny, crime, ambition, misery, curiousity, I know not what restlessness of spirit, the desire to know and the desire to see, boredom, the dislike of familiar pleasures' - all the baggage of the restless temperament. Lust for discovery was a new form of fanaticism on the part of men seeking 'islands to ravage, people to despoil, subjugate and massacre.' The explorers discovered people morally superior to themselves, because more natural or more civilized, while they, on their side, grew in savagery, far from the polite restraints that reined them in at home. 'All the long-range expeditions,' Diderot insisted, 'have reared a new generation of nomadic savages ... men who visit so many countries that they end by belonging to none ... amphibians who live on the surface of the waters,' deracinated, and, in the strictest sense of the word, demoralized. Certainly, the excesses explorers committed - of arrogance, of egotism, of exploitation - showed the folly of supposing that travel necessarily broadens the mind or improves the character. But Diderot exaggerated. Even as he wrote, the cases of disinterested exploration - for scientific or altruistic purposes - were multiplying. If the eighteenth century rediscovered the beauties of nature and the wonders of the picturesque, it was in part because explorers alerted domestic publics to the grandeurs of the world they discovered. If the conservation of species and landscape became, for the first time in Western history, an objective of imperial policy, it was because of what the historian Richard Grove has called 'green imperialism' - the awakened sense of stewardship inspired by the discovery of new Edens in remote oceans. If philosophers enlarged their view of human nature, and grappled earnestly and, on the whole, inclusively with questions about the admissability of formerly excluded humans - blacks, 'Hottentots,' Australian Aboriginals, and all other people estranged by their appearance or culture - to full membership of the moral community, it was because exploration made these brethren increasingly familiar. If critics of Western institutions were fortified in their strictures and encouraged in their advocacy of popular sovreignty, 'enlightened despotism,' 'free thinking,' civil liberties, and human 'rights,' it was, in part, because exploration acquainted them with challenging models from around the world of how society could be organized and life lived.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto (Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration)
A college student who wants to file a complaint of sexual assault within the campus disciplinary system informs a university employee such as an assistant dean for student life, or perhaps the Title IX coordinator. That person eventually forwards the complaint to a university disciplinary panel that may be composed of, for example, an associate dean with a master's degree in English literature, a professor of chemistry, and a senior majoring in anthropology. Unlike criminal prosecutors, members of the disciplinary panels do not have access to subpoena powers or to crime labs. They often have no experience in fact-finding, arbitration, conflict resolution, or any other relevant skill set. There is, to put it mildly, little reason to expect such panels to have the experience, expertise, and resources necessary to adjudicate a contested claim of sexual assault. Making matters worse, most campus tribunals ban attorneys for the parties (even in an advisory capacity), rules of procedure and evidence are typically ad hoc, and no one can consult precedents because records of previous disputes are sealed due to privacy considerations. Campus "courts" therefore have an inherently kangoorish nature. Even trained police officers and prosecutors too often mishandle sexual assault cases, so it's not surprising that the amateurs running the show at universities tend to have a poor record. And indeed, some victims' advocacy groups, such as the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), oppose having the government further encourage the campus judicial system to primarily handle campus sexual assault claims, because that means not treating rape as a serious crime. A logical solution, if federal intervention is indeed necessary, would be for OCR [US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights] to mandate that universities encourage students who complain of sexual assault to report the assault immediately to the police, and that universities develop procedures to cooperate with police investigations. Concerns about victims' well-being when prosecutors decline to pursue a case could also be adjudicated in a real court, as a student could seek a civil protective order against her alleged assailant. OCR could have mandated or encouraged universities to cooperate with those civil proceedings, which in some cases might warrant excluding an alleged assailant from campus.
David E. Bernstein (Lawless: The Obama Administration's Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law)
THE LEWINSKY PROCEDURE: A STRATEGY GUIDE FOR MINIMIZING POLITICAL SCANDAL Deny -The necessary first stage, where you question the accuracy of the facts. It will take time for all the scandalous details to come out, and if you’re careful or lucky, they may never come out. Deny everything until the point that the facts against you can be substantiated. Delay -Take every action possible to stall, postpone, impede, procrastinate, and filibuster. The longer the time between the initial news of the scandal and the resolution of the scandal, the better. Diminish -Once the facts against you have been substantiated, either minimize the nature of the scandal or its impact against you. “At this point, what difference does it make?” Debunk -Have a helpful news organization or advocacy group develop a useful counter-narrative that explains away the scandal or contradicts the facts or generally does something to get progressives back on your side. “Explanatory journalism” is a great help here. Distract -Change the conversation by talking about something else. It doesn’t matter what that might be, because there’s always something else more important, even if it’s reminding people to drink more water. Suggest that the scandal itself is a distraction from the real issues. Deflect -When in doubt, blame the Republicans. All administrative failures can be blamed on the failures of the prior administration. All political failures can be blamed on Republican legislation or Republican intransigence in not passing progressive legislation which would have fixed the problem. All personal failures can be excused by either bringing up the example of a Republican who did something similar, or by pointing out that whatever was done wasn’t as bad as serving divorce papers on your wife when she’s in the hospital with cancer, or invading Iraq. Divide -Point out that the scandal is being driven by the most extreme Republicans, and that moderates aren’t to blame. This won’t help you with moderates that much, but it will give the moderates another reason not to like the extremists, and vice versa, and this can only be positive. Deploy -Get friends and allies to talk about your positive virtues in public, without reference to the scandal. If the scandal comes up, have them complain about the politics of personal destruction. Demonize -Attribute malign intentions to the conservatives trying to promote the scandal. This approach should also include special prosecutors, judges, and anyone else who is involved in the scandal to one degree or another. Defenestrate -When necessary, shove someone under the bus. Try not to make this a habit, or you won’t have anyone around to deploy. The target for defenestration can be small (rogue employees in the Cincinnati regional office) or large (Cabinet secretary) but it needs to be someone who won’t scream overly much as they sail out the window. ❄ ❄ ❄
Curtis Edmonds (Snowflake's Chance: The 2016 Campaign Diary of Justin T. Fairchild, Social Justice Warrior)
One of the most accomplished experimental population geneticists today, Jerry Coyne, writes: "Evolutionary psychologists routinely confuse theory with idle speculation. Evolutionary psychology is utterly lacking in sound scientific grounding. Its stories do not qualify as science and they do not deserve the ascent or even the respect of the public." What provoked suck an unusual declaration? The recent publication of yet another theory of the "naturalness" of rape supposedly based on evolutionary biology. The idea is that men unable to find mates in the "usual way" can reproduce through rape; genes for rape then increase leading to the brain's acquisition of a "rape chip". All men are therefore potential rapists although they do not necessarily act on this potential depending on external circumstances. Coyne points out that this "I can't fight evolution" theory is falsified by the facts that 1/3rd of all rapes are of women too young or too old to reproduce, 20% do not involve vaginal penetration, 50% do not include ejaculation in the vagina, 22% involve violence in excess of that needed to force copulation, 10% of peace-time rapes are in gangs thus diluting each man's chance of reproducing, war-time rapes usually culminate in the murder and sexual mutilation of the victim, some rapists are wealthy giving them access to women without coercion, and many rapes are homosexual. So many rapes are non-reproductive that rape can't plausibly be viewed as a means of sperm transfer for disadvantaged men to achieve reproduction. Like all other mating acts, rape is about relationships; in this case domination. The assertion that all men are potential rapists is offensive enough to make men angry about the misuse of sexual selection theory as women and others outside of the sexual selection templates have been for years. Coyne has been prompted to say publicly what many have already observed: that evolutionary psychology is not science but advocacy; that evolutionary psychologists are guilty of indifference to scientific standards. They buttress strong claims with weak reasoning, weak data, and finagled statistics, and choose ideology over knowledge. Coyne points out "Freud's views lost credibility when people realized that they were not based on science, but were actually an ideological ediface; a myth about human life that was utterly resistant to scientific refutation. Evolutionary psychologists are now building a similar ediface. They too deal in dogmas rather than propositions of science." Worse even than being theorized as a latent rapist, the misuse of science offends Coyne. To a scientist, the scientific errors are far more inflammatory than its ideological implications.
Joan Roughgarden (Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People)
Nazism, fascism, and communism were belief systems adopted passionately by millions of well-educated men and women. Taken together, all of the totalitarian ideologies were self-contained and delivered through a one-way flow of propaganda that prevented the people who were enmeshed in the ideology from actively participating in challenging its lack of human values. Unfortunately, the legacy of the twentieth century’s ideologically driven bloodbaths has included a new cynicism about reason itself—because reason was so easily used by propagandists to disguise their impulse to power by cloaking it in clever and seductive intellectual formulations. In an age of propaganda, education itself can become suspect. When ideology is so often woven into the “facts” that are delivered in fully formed and self-contained packages, people naturally begin to develop some cynicism about what they are being told. When people are subjected to ubiquitous and unrelenting mass advertising, reason and logic often begin to seem like they are no more than handmaidens for the sophisticated sales force. And now that these same techniques dominate the political messages sent by candidates to voters, the integrity of our democracy has been placed under the same cloud of suspicion. Many advocacy organizations—progressive as well as conservative—often give the impression that they already have exclusive possession of the truth and merely have to “educate” others about what they already know. Resentment toward this attitude is also one of the many reasons for a resurgence of the traditional anti-intellectual strain in America. When people don’t have an opportunity to interact on equal terms and test the validity of what they’re being “taught” in the light of their own experience, and share with one another in a robust and dynamic dialogue that enriches what the “experts” are telling them with the wisdom of the groups as a whole, they naturally begin to resist the assumption that the experts know best. If well-educated citizens have no effective way to communicate their ideas to others and no realistic prospect of catalyzing the formation of a critical mass of opinion supporting their ideas, then their education is for naught where the vitality of our democracy is concerned.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
The Englishmen in the Middle East divided into two classes. Class one, subtle and insinuating, caught the characteristics of the people about him, their speech, their conventions of thought, almost their manner. He directed men secretly, guiding them as he would. In such frictionless habit of influence his own nature lay hid, unnoticed. Class two, the John Bull of the books, became the more rampantly English the longer he was away from England. He invented an Old Country for himself, a home of all remembered virtues, so splendid in the distance that, on return, he often found reality a sad falling off and withdrew his muddle-headed self into fractious advocacy of the good old times. Abroad, through his armoured certainty, he was a rounded sample of our traits. He showed the complete Englishman. There was friction in his track, and his direction was less smooth than that of the intellectual type: yet his stout example cut wider swathe. Both sorts took the same direction in example, one vociferously, the other by implication. Each assumed the Englishman a chosen being, inimitable, and the copying him blasphemous or impertinent. In this conceit they urged on people the next best thing. God had not given it them to be English; a duty remained to be good of their type. Consequently we admired native custom; studied the language; wrote books about its architecture, folklore, and dying industries. Then one day, we woke up to find this chthonic spirit turned political, and shook our heads with sorrow over its ungrateful nationalism - truly the fine flower of our innocent efforts. The French, though they started with a similar doctrine of the Frenchman as the perfection of mankind (dogma amongst them, not secret instinct), went on, contrarily, to encourage their subjects to imitate them; since, even if they could never attain the true level, yet their virtue would be greater as they approached it. We looked upon imitation as a parody; they as a compliment.
T.E. Lawrence (The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
Forsaking Fundamentals: The Environmental Establishment Abandons U.S. Population Stabilization By Roy Beck and Leon Kolankiewicz Center for Immigration Studies, Paper 18, March 2001 In the late 1990s, as in 1970, the problems stemming from U.S. population growth were huge news. But the underlying population growth itself and its causes were barely being mentioned. Al Gore, the "environmental vice president," gave it no emphasis in his national campaign against urban sprawl. In virtually a complete reversal of the 1970 conditions, U.S. population growth was treated by most environmental leaders and journalists as an implacable natural phenomenon, which, like hurricanes and earthquakes, we could not prevent but only adjust to. Historians may find that the key reason for that fundamental shift in the way the public learned about environmental issues through the news media was the behavior of environmental advocacy groups. Journalists tend to look to competing interest groups to define the issues they cover. Business groups always have defined one end of the growth issue spectrum as they pushed for ever more population growth. At one time, environmental groups defined the other end by calling for no growth. By the late 1990s, however, those groups no longer emphasized population growth as something a nation could choose or reject. Most of the scores of American environmental groups either ignored U.S. population growth altogether, treated it as a negative but inexorable force whose effects can only be mitigated, or even suggested that growth in human numbers is environmentally benign.
Roy Beck