THE RIGHTS OF ALL BEINGS and the need for a new mythology
By Eric J. Krans in Kosmos – journal for global transformation
The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, inspired by Franklin D Roosevelt’s four freedoms, outlines the rights to which humans are equally and inalienably entitled: of speech and religion, from want and fear. They are our global guiding principles for protecting humans from humans – essential in establishing the legal frameworks within which humanity can operate freely to express ourselves, move privately, own property, and gather lovingly.
Thomas Berry, the eco-spiritual visionary, found such declarations fundamentally flawed. They reserved all rights for humans and recognized none for nature. The great body of scientific inquiry uncovered a clear problem with this anthropocentric framework: there is a deep interconnectedness between all natural systems in which we humans are inseparably included. But operating freely in our own interest, disconnected from nature, we tend to pollute and disrupt the natural world.
Berry felt a new legal framework was necessary to avert the imminent collapse of natural ecosystems. He outlined the concept of “Earth Jurisprudence” that he hoped would be the guiding principle for a new ecozoic era of world history FOR MORE
Photo: just below the Blue Ridge Parkway, Haw Creek valley 2008