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Claims that humans should act responsible, meaning following the laws of nature, are ubiquitous. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was not the first but most probably the most prominent opinion-maker that paved the path of contemporary intellectual environmentalism with its peak in the climate change movement. According to this view, people act (spoil) nature as agents external to nature. For that reason, we should somehow go “back to nature”, meaning that we should stop doing all activities that contradict the laws of nature. And since laws of nature (and nature itself) is outside of humanity (according to intellectual environmentalism), this, in fact, means that we should abandon our humanity. According to this view and taken seriously serious, the fire in prehistoric caves and wall drawings already disrupted until then unspoiled nature.

Mereological fallacy

If I claim that we should not strive to act following the laws of nature because we are nature, this does not imply that we have no responsibility whatsoever. Thinking that way would fall under the same type of fallacy as concluding that I’m not responsible for my deeds if I hold true that there is no free will. Such argumentation would create a mereological fallacy (P.M.S. Hacker in Philosophical foundations of neuroscience (2003)) meaning that we confuse levels in which we can (could) act or that we ascribe psychological predicates to parts of an agent that apply only to the (behaving) agent as a whole.

To feel responsible regarding nature, Earth, and global warming is a mereological fallacy. Each of us has a relationship with individuals in his family, with friends, coworkers, Twitter followers, his garden, lights on the way driving home, garbage he is throwing in the dustbin… But we as individuals have no relation to the national waste treatments system (for instance) so long as a specific individual is in charge of that task on the national level. The rest of us have no operational relation to the waste treatment system.

Limitations to our operations as agents

We are, of course, interlinked with each natural force and the waste management system is one of the natural forces handled partly by humans. But as much as I cannot say that “I have a relation to humans” because I can only have a relation to a specific person or a specific audience, I cannot say that we have a link to the waste management system since I have such a relationship only to my dustbin and my personal fallouts. Even the clerk responsible for the national waste management system has no privileged access to the natural waste management system as part of natural forces. Regarding such access, he is on the same level as me. He can influence a particular region of a vast complexity of waste management systems. In contrast, members of Parliament can influence specific vector dimensions of waste management complexity, but that only means that their window of opportunity for action is slightly different than mine. But their window is as narrow, subjective and biased as mine.

We are no Gods. Even Non-Governmental Organizations are not! And this is also an argument against the existence of God as postulated in dogmatic religions and a proof of something that cannot be reduced simultaneously.

Responsibility as defined by Universal egoism

That we cannot manage and thus cannot be responsible for the complexity we are part of does not mean we have no responsibility. On the contrary! Our commitment and responsibility are crucial for the existence of the Universe! As Einstein proved, each of us is a centre of the Universe (each point in the Universe is a centre of it), and we should act (moral obligation) in accordance with this fact. That is: we are morally (evolutionary) obliged to act responsibly to those circles around us, closest to us, because we are parts of the Universe, and it would be a mereological fallacy to ascribe us (parts of totality) responsibility that can only be attributed to totality.

Being obsessed with a responsibility to nature and neglecting your family is irresponsible and contrary to natural forces. It is only responsible for taking seriously mentioned Universal egoism. It is liable to act and react to individuals around us through constantly adjusted intersubjectivity. Since we cannot but exist as reflected by individuals (reflected through the memetic environment), such Universal egoism has nothing to do with narcissistic egoism. But on the other hand, such Universal egoism only empowers us to act against intellectual environmentalism forcing unattainable collective/complexity and, with that, forgetting immediate intersubjective responsibility.

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