Our world is one of the greatest assets we have. Sometimes it is itself central to our actions, our attitude, or our perspective. This is also the case with the question “What is nature”.
A little time travel can help to understand why people have such different perceptions of nature. Today’s images of nature are the result of different views of nature that people have always had.
Animated Pictures of Nature
After all, how can we protect nature if we do not know precisely what it is? Most people probably agree that tropical rainforest is nature. But what about inanimate parts of Antarctica? And if this is nature, is a lifeless planet also nature? Are fields nature?
Nature is everything that was not made by humans. All things and parts of the world are exist without the hand of man. What was created by man is called culture instead. Besides, nature is that which is not supernatural. Religion deals with the supernatural.
For example, all plants and animals belong to animate nature, and mountains belong to inanimate nature, and much more. We humans also belong to inspire nature: like animals, we possess a body. The natural sciences explore the different areas of nature.
When we speak of nature, we often mean the environment or a landscape. Environmental protection also means nature conservation. Nature is an area where people have not yet built anything. That is why nature has become rare: Almost everywhere there are fields, buildings or at least roads.
Thousands of years ago, at the time of early Greek philosophers of nature, nature was described with the word physis. This name refers to the creation of its power, and that which is created exists and passes away freely (i.e., without human intervention).
You have to keep in mind that human settlements in those days were small spots in the middle of an all-encompassing, untouchable, unmeasurable nature. No wonder that nature was met with the greatest reverence – a mixture of fear and respect.
This can also be seen in the fundamental ethical attitude of the time: Humans had a moral responsibility only concerning the human environment. Because man’s influence on nature was so slight, nature was also only a minimal part of ancient ethics, if at all.
The arrival of Christianity in Europe and the natures’ image and the role of the man about nature changed. From now on, it was seen as God’s creation, with the man having the role of a steward.
God’s original creation, paradise, was the perfect state of nature, which had, however, been corrupted by man’s sin. Now we had the mission to restore the real, corrupted nature around us to an orderly state through work. The man did not possess nature but only managed it according to the intentions of God.
Around the 16th century, people began to explore, measure, and manipulate nature with the help of scientific instruments. This went hand in hand with the mechanical conception of nature.
By experimenting, for example, people understood more about the structure and functioning of bodies, they could see the parallels between organisms and machines. According to this, the body was nothing more than the interaction of chemical and physical processes.
Living beings had thus lost their so-called intrinsic value, a value from within themselves, which until then had been ascribed to the various forms of life.
Now, however, living beings were just complex machines, and man could use them for your purposes. It is also said that the inner value of nature was reduced to purely instrumental value.