ESSAY: Alienation and Nature

Alienation and Nature
The Final Paper is a discussion of the relationships between the contemporary human, religious belief, and nature. The following question should guide your paper:

“Is the contemporary human fundamentally alienated from nature?”

Defend your answer to this question, and propose a course of action in response. If you believe most people today are alienated from nature, then

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analyze the root cause of the alienation, and
defend your own solution for overcoming alienation.
On the other hand, if you believe most people today are not alienated from nature, then

defend a hypothesis about why so many people falsely think we are alienated, and
determine how you would convince them that we are not alienated.
Notice that the overarching question of alienation leads to other questions. As you think about your response to this prompt, consider using the following questions to guide your analysis and arguments. You need not answer all of them in writing, but it will be impossible to write a good paper if you have not at least thought through these issues.

What causes human separation from nature?
How ought the human spirit respond to nature and dwell within it?
What does it mean to say that something is natural, and how does the human fit into the larger web of natural relationships?
How does spirituality or religion lead to more harmony or greater fragmentation of the human with nature?
If we are still connected with nature, what are the attributes of those who are able to exist within nature while also dwelling within our technology-dependent society?
If we are not connected with nature, what are the attributes of our social, political, familial, and natural relationships that force such fragmentation?
What is the most appropriate ethical relationship the human ought to have with nature?
What are concrete methods humans can use to reconnect with nature or enhance their growing relationship with nature?
Are there some cultures that naturally connect more with nature? If so, what might we learn from those cultures if we are not part of them?
As you write your paper, explain your thesis about the primary topic. Think about how you will defend your position. Present arguments that support your own position while also engaging arguments that others might use to attempt to refute your position. Try to objectively put yourself in the place of someone who disagrees with your position and address the concerns of the other positions using factual evidence and logical reasoning. Remember that it is not enough to merely state the position. You must defend each position with evidence and argumentation.

The paper should be 8 to 10 pages in length (excluding title and reference pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Utilize at least eight scholarly sources throughout your paper to support your own original argument. These sources should come from the course materials as well as the Ashford University Library. Each reading/selection/chapter from This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment is a separate source. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation menu.


It has become common in contemporary discussions of society, science and technology, especially those that the environmentalism influences, to comfortably argue that humans are currently “alienated from nature.” Naturally, proponents of this view argue that the project itself, which is both scientific and technological, demonstrates such an alienation (Vogel, 2014). The expression involves handling nature as a passive and inert matter for “domination” at will by humans, and by disregarding the complex nature of the ecosystem, thus placing severe constraints on what ought to be “done” to nature without resulting in ecologically adverse consequences (Chiaburu et al., 2014). This view also asserts that humans consider themselves to be the ultimate masters of nature and independent of it. Humans also believe science …

Contemporary Humans are Alienated from Nature

            There are causes of the contemporary human-nature divide and are found within the rather hostile neoliberal capitalism context. Over the years, politicians, economists, and theorists have upheld capitalism with the assertion that capital flow, non-intervention policies, and free trade resulting in wealth creation, economic growth and, ultimately, the overall well-being of the society (Vogel, 2014). At the same time, neoliberal economists argue, for example, that high consumption level means more growth, and vice versa, and a guarantee of the overall well-being of the society. Throughout the entire wealth creation process, however, an independent entity like nature has been extensively alienated or excluded from the equation of wealth creation. Jaeggi (2014) argue that nature has existed in this equation as a raw materials source, as well as a recipient of industrial (including chemical) waste. Therefore, the rise and growth of modern capitalism is the primary cause of the alienation of humans from nature – this is also attributed to be the reason for the unhealthy relationship between the society (humans)….             The global indications of environmental degradation today are generally associated or attributed to the Industrial Revolution, including the subsequent growth of the economy of most industrialized nations. Against this backdrop, the environmental degradation relates to the socio-economic development model and is viewed to be part of modernism. Modernism, therefore, is another cause of the alienation of humans from nature since various environmental challenges, instead of being the cause of economic growth, is solved by the same growth (Chiaburu et al., 2014). The economic growth has also resulted in a kind of relationship between human society and the environment that ushers in new alienation phases between humans and nature. Therefore, the environmental subordination for economic growth became…

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