Schweitzer on his ethic "The reverence for life" - part 1


"No doubt you are beginning to ask whether we can seriously mean that such a privilege extends to other creatures besides man. Are they, too, compelled by ethics? I cannot say that the evidence is always apparent as it may be in human instances. But this I can say, that wherever we find the love and sacrificial care of parents for offspring (for instance) we find this ethical power. Indeed, any instance of creatures giving aid to one another reveals it. Moreover, there are probably more proofs than we might at first think. Let me tell you of three instances which have been brought to my attention. 

The first example was told me by someone from Scotland. It happened in a park where a flock of wild geese had settled to rest on a pond. One of the flock had been captured by a gardener, who had clipped its wings before releasing it. When the geese started to resume their flight, this one tried frantically, but vainly, to lift itself into the air. The others, observing his struggles, flew about in obvious efforts to encourage him; but it was no use. Thereupon, the entire flock settled back on the pond and waited, even though the urge to go on was strong within them. For several days they waited until the damaged feathers had grown sufficiently to permit the goose to fly. Meanwhile, the unethical gardener, having been converted by the ethical geese, gladly watched them as they finally rose together, and all resumed their long flight."

(Second and third example will follow later today). 

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Anna E said…
Amazing! Couldn´t we learn a lot from that by seing to it that the slowest, the weekest etc. don´t feel left out. A chain is not stronger than its weekest link, so waiting for this "link" (goose) to get strong makes the whole group that much stronger than if they had left without it... what a though.

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