Is Middle Earth Natural?

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mighty ent man 02/Mar/2006 at 02:38 PM
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I am studying Geography at University and this week I have had a really fascinating lecture that has led me to start this thread which I hope will develop into some intriguing debate. I will give a bit of the background of this lecture first so you know what I am on about! This lecture was on Nature. The lecturer argued to use that little in our world today is in fact natural. We as humans do label many thing as being natural, for instance we label natural disasters as being natural things. We would also many of us see a cow in a field and think that that is natural. But those things are not natural. Almost everything today has been influenced to some extent by humans. Nature/ Natural is a socially contructed term, which we as humans apply to things.

This has led me onto my question in the title of this thread. I got thinking, is there any place in Middle Earth that is truly natural. And by this I mean that has not been altered by humans. Also by humans I mean any race on Middle Earth. Lothlorien is not natural. The Shire is not natural. Mirkwood is not. Mordor is not. Gondor is not.

The only place I could possibly think of is Fangorn. Few people venture in there and it does seem as though there are limited paths. However Fangorn forest as a whole cannot be classed as natural as we know Saruman has chopped down areas of it, thus influencing the growing patterns of the forest.

So my question to you is: Are there any places in Middle Earth which are natural?

mighty ent man 02/Mar/2006 at 02:38 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

I am studying Geography at University and this week I have had a really fascinating lecture that has led me to start this thread which I hope will develop into some intriguing debate. I will give a bit of the background of this lecture first so you know what I am on about! This lecture was on Nature. The lecturer argued to use that little in our world today is in fact natural. We as humans do label many thing as being natural, for instance we label natural disasters as being natural things. We would also many of us see a cow in a field and think that that is natural. But those things are not natural. Almost everything today has been influenced to some extent by humans. Nature/ Natural is a socially contructed term, which we as humans apply to things.

This has led me onto my question in the title of this thread. I got thinking, is there any place in Middle Earth that is truly natural. And by this I mean that has not been altered by humans. Also by humans I mean any race on Middle Earth. Lothlorien is not natural. The Shire is not natural. Mirkwood is not. Mordor is not. Gondor is not.

The only place I could possibly think of is Fangorn. Few people venture in there and it does seem as though there are limited paths. However Fangorn forest as a whole cannot be classed as natural as we know Saruman has chopped down areas of it, thus influencing the growing patterns of the forest.

So my question to you is: Are there any places in Middle Earth which are natural?

Meril Green 02/Mar/2006 at 03:29 PM
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Well, like you said, it depends on how "natural" you really want it...
Yeah, Fangorn could be Natural, but as you said, Saruman chopped some parts of it down, so that could be considered meddling. Well, the only thing I think could be natural would be the wide open plains, like the Gap of Rohan. But even some things like that could be meddled with, like when Sam and Frodo and Gollum/Smeagol see the head of the statue of the king... that was man-made, and then orcs also went over it.
I don’t think we could quite come to the assumption of natural things unless we have extensive knowledge of when/ how/where things were made.
Meril Green 02/Mar/2006 at 03:29 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Well, like you said, it depends on how "natural" you really want it...
Yeah, Fangorn could be Natural, but as you said, Saruman chopped some parts of it down, so that could be considered meddling. Well, the only thing I think could be natural would be the wide open plains, like the Gap of Rohan. But even some things like that could be meddled with, like when Sam and Frodo and Gollum/Smeagol see the head of the statue of the king... that was man-made, and then orcs also went over it.
I don’t think we could quite come to the assumption of natural things unless we have extensive knowledge of when/ how/where things were made.
Ann-thannath 02/Mar/2006 at 03:46 PM
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If by this you mean not physically altered by sentient species (since Hobbits, Dwarves and Elves are not human), I don’t think that any part of ME would be considered "natural" because Morgoth and the Valar reshaped the entired world on several occasions, in addition to the alterations made by the other sentient species.

Ann-thannath 02/Mar/2006 at 03:46 PM
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If by this you mean not physically altered by sentient species (since Hobbits, Dwarves and Elves are not human), I don’t think that any part of ME would be considered "natural" because Morgoth and the Valar reshaped the entired world on several occasions, in addition to the alterations made by the other sentient species.

Meril Green 02/Mar/2006 at 07:16 PM
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Well, this could raise some interesting points. First of all, is the Valar really a being? Well, yes, they are sentient, but without them, participants of Middle Earth wouldn’t be there. In my eyes, the Valar is kind of like Middle Earth’s mother nature. If this is sort of true, than it wouldn’t count that they altered it.
But then again, there is the real mother nature, and then if there was no Valar, it would be natural. So even though I really don’t think that the Valar were considered meddling with the natural state of ME, they pretty much are.... I’m torn.....
Meril Green 02/Mar/2006 at 07:16 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Well, this could raise some interesting points. First of all, is the Valar really a being? Well, yes, they are sentient, but without them, participants of Middle Earth wouldn’t be there. In my eyes, the Valar is kind of like Middle Earth’s mother nature. If this is sort of true, than it wouldn’t count that they altered it.
But then again, there is the real mother nature, and then if there was no Valar, it would be natural. So even though I really don’t think that the Valar were considered meddling with the natural state of ME, they pretty much are.... I’m torn.....
Royal Armenos 02/Mar/2006 at 07:52 PM
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Very interesting proposition.

I dont know if you can even really say that Fangorn is natural at all either.  The trees were taught to speak by the elves and that influenced the ents and their ways and how the forest was kept for many ages until they began to fall asleep.

The only place that comes to mind as being untouched by humans is the northern waste.  Obviously there is nothing that we *truly* know about and that it is pretty much a giant desert.  There may be human influence up there too, who knows.  The East and deep south possibly too but I dont’ think there is enough information to solidify that.

Royal Armenos 02/Mar/2006 at 07:52 PM
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Very interesting proposition.

I dont know if you can even really say that Fangorn is natural at all either.  The trees were taught to speak by the elves and that influenced the ents and their ways and how the forest was kept for many ages until they began to fall asleep.

The only place that comes to mind as being untouched by humans is the northern waste.  Obviously there is nothing that we *truly* know about and that it is pretty much a giant desert.  There may be human influence up there too, who knows.  The East and deep south possibly too but I dont’ think there is enough information to solidify that.

Ann-thannath 02/Mar/2006 at 07:54 PM
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Well, Merilruin, if you utilize the reasoning that the Valar are part of nature, that is, their actions are "natural" then the actions of the sentient beings of Middle Earth which mimic those of the Valar - i.e., builing cities, reorganzing the land, etc. - must also be considered natural.
Ann-thannath 02/Mar/2006 at 07:54 PM
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Well, Merilruin, if you utilize the reasoning that the Valar are part of nature, that is, their actions are "natural" then the actions of the sentient beings of Middle Earth which mimic those of the Valar - i.e., builing cities, reorganzing the land, etc. - must also be considered natural.
Aeros 02/Mar/2006 at 10:19 PM
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Yah I must agree withRoyal Armenos, the ents were influenced by the elves and catered fangorn to their liking, to some extent. The only places that seemed completely untouched would be places like Cuivienen and Far Harad, as well as those "Dark Lands" that are like a whole other continent below and to the east of Harad.
Aeros 02/Mar/2006 at 10:19 PM
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Yah I must agree withRoyal Armenos, the ents were influenced by the elves and catered fangorn to their liking, to some extent. The only places that seemed completely untouched would be places like Cuivienen and Far Harad, as well as those "Dark Lands" that are like a whole other continent below and to the east of Harad.
mighty ent man 03/Mar/2006 at 04:13 AM
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Merilruin - Well, the only thing I think could be natural would be the wide open plains, like the Gap of Rohan.  - Ah yes but do not the Riders of Rohan ride over these planes, thus causing the grass to be eroded and worn down. And are there not small villages and homes dotted around on these planes? Yes there are I think. So i would not consider these to be natural.

Ann - I would exclude the Valar from this. Basically I mean all the races currently living on Middle Earth at the time of the War of the Ring. It is a difficult question. We could consider Ithilien, however the Rangers there have inevitably influenced that region aswell.

Royal - Yes I did think of those parts but I do not know much about the Geography of those regions. As you say there is little evidence of these places.

 

mighty ent man 03/Mar/2006 at 04:13 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Merilruin - Well, the only thing I think could be natural would be the wide open plains, like the Gap of Rohan.  - Ah yes but do not the Riders of Rohan ride over these planes, thus causing the grass to be eroded and worn down. And are there not small villages and homes dotted around on these planes? Yes there are I think. So i would not consider these to be natural.

Ann - I would exclude the Valar from this. Basically I mean all the races currently living on Middle Earth at the time of the War of the Ring. It is a difficult question. We could consider Ithilien, however the Rangers there have inevitably influenced that region aswell.

Royal - Yes I did think of those parts but I do not know much about the Geography of those regions. As you say there is little evidence of these places.

 

Bashrat 03/Mar/2006 at 05:45 AM
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Interesting topic, mem.
Possibly the Misty Mountains would classify as being natural. Well, not the inside, as that has been altered by the dwarves, but the surface seems to be pretty much untouched. At least I cannot think of anything that would have altered them through the course of time (but maybe I am forgetting something?).
Bashrat 03/Mar/2006 at 05:45 AM
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Interesting topic, mem.
Possibly the Misty Mountains would classify as being natural. Well, not the inside, as that has been altered by the dwarves, but the surface seems to be pretty much untouched. At least I cannot think of anything that would have altered them through the course of time (but maybe I am forgetting something?).
mighty ent man 03/Mar/2006 at 06:00 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Bashrat - Thanks, I think it is quite an interesting topic. Maybe it could reach Ad Lore status! Nothing like this has been seen by me before on the plaza. It goes into philosophy a bit!

Hmm I am not entirely sure about them. You easily disregard the interior of the mountains but I cannot easily just forget about Moria. I do agree that the surface is mainly natural. I mean there is the pass of the Redhorn Gate over Caradhras but humans have not actually altered that, that pass was not human created. But I feel that you cannot say they are natural due to the unnatural caverns below the surface. These caverns being Morai of course.

mighty ent man 03/Mar/2006 at 06:00 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Bashrat - Thanks, I think it is quite an interesting topic. Maybe it could reach Ad Lore status! Nothing like this has been seen by me before on the plaza. It goes into philosophy a bit!

Hmm I am not entirely sure about them. You easily disregard the interior of the mountains but I cannot easily just forget about Moria. I do agree that the surface is mainly natural. I mean there is the pass of the Redhorn Gate over Caradhras but humans have not actually altered that, that pass was not human created. But I feel that you cannot say they are natural due to the unnatural caverns below the surface. These caverns being Morai of course.

greypigeon 03/Mar/2006 at 01:42 PM
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Fangorn unnatural?? I reject that theory .

I wonder if this did not play into the recurring theme of Tokien’s of Industry vs simplicity. Industry takes such a tremendous toll on the world around it and the destruction of Forests in ME, the overuse of  recourses such as the rivers and even the creations of the horrible creatures all I think fit into this theme. The Elves, hobbits and Ents were all good stewards of their surroundings not taking more then need and replenishing as needed. Sam for instance when he got back to his home planted a tree and many gardens. Sauron took everything stripping the earth of its resources damming the rivers and dirtying the water with sludge. The Orcs and their bunch  just chopped down trees wherever and left trails of destruction in their wake.

greypigeon 03/Mar/2006 at 01:42 PM
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Fangorn unnatural?? I reject that theory .

I wonder if this did not play into the recurring theme of Tokien’s of Industry vs simplicity. Industry takes such a tremendous toll on the world around it and the destruction of Forests in ME, the overuse of  recourses such as the rivers and even the creations of the horrible creatures all I think fit into this theme. The Elves, hobbits and Ents were all good stewards of their surroundings not taking more then need and replenishing as needed. Sam for instance when he got back to his home planted a tree and many gardens. Sauron took everything stripping the earth of its resources damming the rivers and dirtying the water with sludge. The Orcs and their bunch  just chopped down trees wherever and left trails of destruction in their wake.

tinuviel_maia 03/Mar/2006 at 05:17 PM
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If there were no Valar or any other races/beings, are you saying that this would be completely ’natural’? I find it hard to say that anything touched by humans/Vala is not natural, since Arda would not be what it is without them. It would simply be a desolate land. Are the beings not considered natural? It seems to me that since they were placed there by Eru, God of all things, they belong there and are therefore ’natural’. Personally, I think it is natural that the earth will be shaped by those dwelling in it. 

However, i think there can be misuse of Arda, which Morgoth demontrates when he mutilates Elves, the natural creation of Iluvatar, and turns them into orcs. This is an example of something unnatural, if you will.

Forgive me, if I am getting off topic.

tinuviel_maia 03/Mar/2006 at 05:17 PM
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If there were no Valar or any other races/beings, are you saying that this would be completely ’natural’? I find it hard to say that anything touched by humans/Vala is not natural, since Arda would not be what it is without them. It would simply be a desolate land. Are the beings not considered natural? It seems to me that since they were placed there by Eru, God of all things, they belong there and are therefore ’natural’. Personally, I think it is natural that the earth will be shaped by those dwelling in it. 

However, i think there can be misuse of Arda, which Morgoth demontrates when he mutilates Elves, the natural creation of Iluvatar, and turns them into orcs. This is an example of something unnatural, if you will.

Forgive me, if I am getting off topic.

Bjorn 03/Mar/2006 at 09:55 PM
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I see humans as just another part of the natural order of things. Sure we’re slowly destroying ourselves, but it’s inevitable I think that the human race, or a very good portion, will be eradicated to make way for another dominant species-just look at the dinosaurs! Of course they did not destroy themselves-or did they? But it doesn’t seem abnormal that a nuclear bomb can equal a comet? An atom bomb is comprised of all elements found within the universe, thus its natural. Now that being said I disagree when it is said almost nothing is natural these days, thus my view being as it is, there is little to explain on my part what I think is still considered natural in Middle-Earth.
Fangorn? What about the sentient Ents? Haven’t they contributed, as intelligent, ’good’(they were given being, in some part, by Yavanna) beings to the unaturalization of Fangorn?
Now supposing ’natural’ in Middle-Earth would equate to Eru’s original lay of the land-what about the Valar’s shaping of Arda? They are the closest beings to Eru, and yet they are not puppets of He! Nay, they have free-wills, and thus are seperate from Eru. So can any region of Middle-Earth be, by loose definition, natural then? Or has it not all been influenced by some race or another? Or maybe I’m being too technical-but then a cow can be considered natural in that case?

Bjorn 03/Mar/2006 at 09:55 PM
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I see humans as just another part of the natural order of things. Sure we’re slowly destroying ourselves, but it’s inevitable I think that the human race, or a very good portion, will be eradicated to make way for another dominant species-just look at the dinosaurs! Of course they did not destroy themselves-or did they? But it doesn’t seem abnormal that a nuclear bomb can equal a comet? An atom bomb is comprised of all elements found within the universe, thus its natural. Now that being said I disagree when it is said almost nothing is natural these days, thus my view being as it is, there is little to explain on my part what I think is still considered natural in Middle-Earth.
Fangorn? What about the sentient Ents? Haven’t they contributed, as intelligent, ’good’(they were given being, in some part, by Yavanna) beings to the unaturalization of Fangorn?
Now supposing ’natural’ in Middle-Earth would equate to Eru’s original lay of the land-what about the Valar’s shaping of Arda? They are the closest beings to Eru, and yet they are not puppets of He! Nay, they have free-wills, and thus are seperate from Eru. So can any region of Middle-Earth be, by loose definition, natural then? Or has it not all been influenced by some race or another? Or maybe I’m being too technical-but then a cow can be considered natural in that case?

Bjorn 03/Mar/2006 at 09:59 PM
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As for the Misty Mountains (forgive me for this double post-perhaps an edit post feature would cut down on this...) I believe Melkor raised those to hinder Orome’s comings and goings.

But I think then one of the only places that would have little influence by any race, even Osse or Ulmo, would be the waters of the world, or more specifically the Sea.

Bjorn 03/Mar/2006 at 09:59 PM
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As for the Misty Mountains (forgive me for this double post-perhaps an edit post feature would cut down on this...) I believe Melkor raised those to hinder Orome’s comings and goings.

But I think then one of the only places that would have little influence by any race, even Osse or Ulmo, would be the waters of the world, or more specifically the Sea.

Eledhdil 04/Mar/2006 at 11:59 AM
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If you take as ’natural’ any place that has not been altered at some point by a race that lives on Middle-earth I think it would be very hard to find somewhere that is not unnatural. Even Fangorn Forest has been altered by the Ents, as the description of Wellinghall is of a place that I really doubt would occur if nature was allowed to take its course.
If by a race that belongs to Middle-earth you include the Valar and Maiar, then I don’t think there would be anywhere on Middle-earth that is natural. Arda has been worked extensively by both, and if you include Eru as a sentient being, then there is nowhere that has not been touched and affected without purpose as it would have all been designed beforehand and then manufactured.
Eledhdil 04/Mar/2006 at 11:59 AM
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If you take as ’natural’ any place that has not been altered at some point by a race that lives on Middle-earth I think it would be very hard to find somewhere that is not unnatural. Even Fangorn Forest has been altered by the Ents, as the description of Wellinghall is of a place that I really doubt would occur if nature was allowed to take its course.
If by a race that belongs to Middle-earth you include the Valar and Maiar, then I don’t think there would be anywhere on Middle-earth that is natural. Arda has been worked extensively by both, and if you include Eru as a sentient being, then there is nowhere that has not been touched and affected without purpose as it would have all been designed beforehand and then manufactured.
feauial 05/Mar/2006 at 08:37 AM
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i think in this discussion as the valar helped to create m-e then they have to be dicounted, and they are considered more creators than people living in m-e.

everthing in m-e has been affected by the people living in it - fangorn came alive because of the whispering of the ents, and although not greatly the plains and the gap of rohan etc have been affected by the comming and goings of the people of rohan and gondor.

and are we going to take into acount things such as climate change as we have here - although obviously not to the same extnet in m-e, although sarumans industry at isengard would surely have created pollution which would affect m-e,

although within lotr this issue beccomes more about living in harmony with m-e and what can happen if ou dont

feauial 05/Mar/2006 at 08:37 AM
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i think in this discussion as the valar helped to create m-e then they have to be dicounted, and they are considered more creators than people living in m-e.

everthing in m-e has been affected by the people living in it - fangorn came alive because of the whispering of the ents, and although not greatly the plains and the gap of rohan etc have been affected by the comming and goings of the people of rohan and gondor.

and are we going to take into acount things such as climate change as we have here - although obviously not to the same extnet in m-e, although sarumans industry at isengard would surely have created pollution which would affect m-e,

although within lotr this issue beccomes more about living in harmony with m-e and what can happen if ou dont

mighty ent man 05/Mar/2006 at 01:49 PM
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Legolas - Well the Rohirrim could alter and effect thos plains. Firstly by living on them, secondly by riding regularly accross them.

geordie - I could not find that description. I did look where you said it was but I could not see it. Could you possibly point me to exactly where it is? As in what it comes directly after in the text. Thanks!

greypigeon - Why do you reject that theory?

tinuviel - Hmm an excellent and deep theory there! I am not so sure though. In our world today the evolution of humans was a natural process, but by our standards today we terms some places natural and others not. And by natural I think I would have to mean un altered by humans. However as I pointed to in my opening post, how can we define what is natural? I think what I am wanting to mean is this. Middle Earth was created and changed. But I am trying to find if there is somewhere there whichhas not been altered by the inhabitants of it. Now I really really love your theory that the inhabitants are natural. I think this is incredibly interesting. But I think this is another thing which I mean: We humans today do things to the envrionment that is not natural, as in processes that would not normally happen to it. So do the people on Middle Earth. They do alter the environment.

Bjorn - I see humans as just another part of the natural order of things. Sure we’re slowly destroying ourselves, but it’s inevitable I think that the human race, or a very good portion, will be eradicated to make way for another dominant species-just look at the dinosaurs!  - Yes evolution and extinction does work kind of like that. Species are constantly becoming extinct in order to stop the planet from becoming too crowded. But us humans are causing one of the largest extinction spasms in other animal populations. It is inevitable that we as humans are going to become extinct because of the way we treat the planet and the way in which we are, Unfortunately we are ruining the planet for a good many other species too! I also do not take into account the Valar in this. I am not considering them.

 

 

mighty ent man 05/Mar/2006 at 01:49 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Legolas - Well the Rohirrim could alter and effect thos plains. Firstly by living on them, secondly by riding regularly accross them.

geordie - I could not find that description. I did look where you said it was but I could not see it. Could you possibly point me to exactly where it is? As in what it comes directly after in the text. Thanks!

greypigeon - Why do you reject that theory?

tinuviel - Hmm an excellent and deep theory there! I am not so sure though. In our world today the evolution of humans was a natural process, but by our standards today we terms some places natural and others not. And by natural I think I would have to mean un altered by humans. However as I pointed to in my opening post, how can we define what is natural? I think what I am wanting to mean is this. Middle Earth was created and changed. But I am trying to find if there is somewhere there whichhas not been altered by the inhabitants of it. Now I really really love your theory that the inhabitants are natural. I think this is incredibly interesting. But I think this is another thing which I mean: We humans today do things to the envrionment that is not natural, as in processes that would not normally happen to it. So do the people on Middle Earth. They do alter the environment.

Bjorn - I see humans as just another part of the natural order of things. Sure we’re slowly destroying ourselves, but it’s inevitable I think that the human race, or a very good portion, will be eradicated to make way for another dominant species-just look at the dinosaurs!  - Yes evolution and extinction does work kind of like that. Species are constantly becoming extinct in order to stop the planet from becoming too crowded. But us humans are causing one of the largest extinction spasms in other animal populations. It is inevitable that we as humans are going to become extinct because of the way we treat the planet and the way in which we are, Unfortunately we are ruining the planet for a good many other species too! I also do not take into account the Valar in this. I am not considering them.

 

 

Renmonkey 05/Mar/2006 at 02:26 PM
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mighty ent man I understand what you mean when you say it’s hard to find a place of true nature. I actually went to a very similar lecture myself last term. Personally, I think it is hard to translate this theory to ME, firstly due to the role of the Valar - to what extent, them being the creators and guardians of ME, can you consider their alterations to be unnatural. Without their song ME would not exist. When they first come to ME they shape it exactly as they saw in their song, however Melkor comes along an d destroys it, therefore after this point does the whole of ME immediatley become unnatural because it has diverged from the initial vision of creation.

Secondly, elves and men, were created by Eru to be the inhabitants of ME so would their actions and alterations, however drastic be considered unnatural. Surely only the foul creations of Melkor, and eventually Sauron and Saruman, could be thought of as unnatural seeing as they were not in Eru’s original plans for ME. Likewise, any actions of the dwarves, being created solely by Aule, and the Ents, created by Yavanna, could be seen as unnatural.

There are too many levels of understanding, and too many restricitons and condidtions that could be applied, to be able to reach a definite conclusion.

Wow I’ve actually managed to confuse myself with that.
Renmonkey 05/Mar/2006 at 02:26 PM
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mighty ent man I understand what you mean when you say it’s hard to find a place of true nature. I actually went to a very similar lecture myself last term. Personally, I think it is hard to translate this theory to ME, firstly due to the role of the Valar - to what extent, them being the creators and guardians of ME, can you consider their alterations to be unnatural. Without their song ME would not exist. When they first come to ME they shape it exactly as they saw in their song, however Melkor comes along an d destroys it, therefore after this point does the whole of ME immediatley become unnatural because it has diverged from the initial vision of creation.

Secondly, elves and men, were created by Eru to be the inhabitants of ME so would their actions and alterations, however drastic be considered unnatural. Surely only the foul creations of Melkor, and eventually Sauron and Saruman, could be thought of as unnatural seeing as they were not in Eru’s original plans for ME. Likewise, any actions of the dwarves, being created solely by Aule, and the Ents, created by Yavanna, could be seen as unnatural.

There are too many levels of understanding, and too many restricitons and condidtions that could be applied, to be able to reach a definite conclusion.

Wow I’ve actually managed to confuse myself with that.
Turgonian 06/Mar/2006 at 01:58 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Merilruin on Thursday, March 02, 2006
In my eyes, the Valar are kind of like Middle Earth’s mother nature. If this is sort of true, than it wouldn’t count that they altered it.

The Valar were not mother nature, nor something like it... Compare Tom Bombadil: he is called the master of his land, but when Frodo asks, ’Does he then own this land?’, Goldberry says, ’No! That would be a burden indeed.’ The Valar are guides and form-givers (not creators as such), but they do not control nature.

The Númenórean thanksgiving feast was the Eruhantalë, not the Valahantalë.

Turgonian 06/Mar/2006 at 01:58 AM
Tracker of Ithilien Points: 5550 Posts: 4741 Joined: 04/Jan/2004
Quote: Originally posted by Merilruin on Thursday, March 02, 2006
In my eyes, the Valar are kind of like Middle Earth’s mother nature. If this is sort of true, than it wouldn’t count that they altered it.

The Valar were not mother nature, nor something like it... Compare Tom Bombadil: he is called the master of his land, but when Frodo asks, ’Does he then own this land?’, Goldberry says, ’No! That would be a burden indeed.’ The Valar are guides and form-givers (not creators as such), but they do not control nature.

The Númenórean thanksgiving feast was the Eruhantalë, not the Valahantalë.

greypigeon 06/Mar/2006 at 12:38 PM
Huorn of Fangorn Points: 632 Posts: 161 Joined: 04/Jan/2006
I was kind of being facetious when I said I reject that theory. But not entirelly and below is the reason why. You have to understand I have lived nearly my entire life within a short distance from The Olympic penninsula and The Mouth of the Columbia River. Other then the Redwood Forest we have some of the largest trees in the world  In the Olympic National Forest. I claim no expertise as far as trees go or anything but I know a bit because I grew up wandering in them and my Dad made sure I learned to respect them. Sometimes a tree is a better freind then a human.
 
Biologically natural means something that is not artificially produced therefore it is not conditioned nor is it preserved naturally beyond it’s typical time to expire. Food for instance to be organic must be produced free of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals. My backyard garden could be considered organic or natural because I do not use any artificial or chemical enhancements to cultivate it. I also have what are classified as a natural habitats for the local animals(squirrels, chipmunks, jays, finch etcetera) I put it together (as the previous owners of our house stripped the backyard) by transplanting native flora and wildflowers under a group of trees that thankfully weren’t ever removed from our property.
Anyway my point is I think something can be natural even if it has been aided in protection or rebuilding it after it has been destroyed. So Fangorn has the Ents and the Huorns, not making it fabricated but assisting in conservation and herding trees.
 
Besides it is nice to t ink that the trees have protection and something to look after them right in that forest that works well with their eco-system and causes them little to no stress.  Wouldn’t it be nice to think you could walk through the Olympic Penninsula rainforest and find a big old spruce was actually an Ent protecting those ancient trees?
 
Legolas you sound so cynical about our world come wander the Penninsula for awhile you will perk up. It is breathtaking,  and will refresh you. When it gets to hard here sometimes My husband takes me home so I can hike and wander and forget the sounds of Suburban life. Thankfully it is just 4 hours from my house I don’t have to go far.
greypigeon 06/Mar/2006 at 12:38 PM
Huorn of Fangorn Points: 632 Posts: 161 Joined: 04/Jan/2006
I was kind of being facetious when I said I reject that theory. But not entirelly and below is the reason why. You have to understand I have lived nearly my entire life within a short distance from The Olympic penninsula and The Mouth of the Columbia River. Other then the Redwood Forest we have some of the largest trees in the world  In the Olympic National Forest. I claim no expertise as far as trees go or anything but I know a bit because I grew up wandering in them and my Dad made sure I learned to respect them. Sometimes a tree is a better freind then a human.
 
Biologically natural means something that is not artificially produced therefore it is not conditioned nor is it preserved naturally beyond it’s typical time to expire. Food for instance to be organic must be produced free of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals. My backyard garden could be considered organic or natural because I do not use any artificial or chemical enhancements to cultivate it. I also have what are classified as a natural habitats for the local animals(squirrels, chipmunks, jays, finch etcetera) I put it together (as the previous owners of our house stripped the backyard) by transplanting native flora and wildflowers under a group of trees that thankfully weren’t ever removed from our property.
Anyway my point is I think something can be natural even if it has been aided in protection or rebuilding it after it has been destroyed. So Fangorn has the Ents and the Huorns, not making it fabricated but assisting in conservation and herding trees.
 
Besides it is nice to t ink that the trees have protection and something to look after them right in that forest that works well with their eco-system and causes them little to no stress.  Wouldn’t it be nice to think you could walk through the Olympic Penninsula rainforest and find a big old spruce was actually an Ent protecting those ancient trees?
 
Legolas you sound so cynical about our world come wander the Penninsula for awhile you will perk up. It is breathtaking,  and will refresh you. When it gets to hard here sometimes My husband takes me home so I can hike and wander and forget the sounds of Suburban life. Thankfully it is just 4 hours from my house I don’t have to go far.
mighty ent man 07/Mar/2006 at 03:41 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Renmonkey  - Yes but please read this thread I am not considering the Valar in all of this. I am purely focusing on what we have now in Middle Earth, and whether these palces could be considered natural or not. The people who could alter this are the people who inhabit Middle Earth. I mean dont get me wrong I do see everyones point about the Valar and it is a good point to raise. But it is also one point which I dont really want to talk about in this thread.

Surely only the foul creations of Melkor, and eventually Sauron and Saruman, could be thought of as unnatural seeing as they were not in Eru’s original plans for ME.  - No this is not my opinion on the matter. I am basing what is natural on our current day situation. For example a forest where no humans have ever been is a natural forest in Middle Earth and here in our world. I am not taking into account Erus plans and which races were intended to live their or not. Elves changing the forests to suit them in to me alters the forest thus making it not a natural forest. I mean if the forest had been left alone it would have been different. Thats what I mean by natural.

But an excellent post there by the way!

greypigeon - So Fangorn has the Ents and the Huorns, not making it fabricated but assisting in conservation and herding trees. - Yes I agree on this point but the way in which Fangorn is not a natural forest is due to Saurmans alteration of its growth patterns and expansion.

Oh and also our planet is in a wreck! We have so many problems and yes guess what: they are nearly all huma induced! Its not a coincidence that the evolution of the human species coincides with the last known great extinction spasm in animal species.

mighty ent man 07/Mar/2006 at 03:41 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Renmonkey  - Yes but please read this thread I am not considering the Valar in all of this. I am purely focusing on what we have now in Middle Earth, and whether these palces could be considered natural or not. The people who could alter this are the people who inhabit Middle Earth. I mean dont get me wrong I do see everyones point about the Valar and it is a good point to raise. But it is also one point which I dont really want to talk about in this thread.

Surely only the foul creations of Melkor, and eventually Sauron and Saruman, could be thought of as unnatural seeing as they were not in Eru’s original plans for ME.  - No this is not my opinion on the matter. I am basing what is natural on our current day situation. For example a forest where no humans have ever been is a natural forest in Middle Earth and here in our world. I am not taking into account Erus plans and which races were intended to live their or not. Elves changing the forests to suit them in to me alters the forest thus making it not a natural forest. I mean if the forest had been left alone it would have been different. Thats what I mean by natural.

But an excellent post there by the way!

greypigeon - So Fangorn has the Ents and the Huorns, not making it fabricated but assisting in conservation and herding trees. - Yes I agree on this point but the way in which Fangorn is not a natural forest is due to Saurmans alteration of its growth patterns and expansion.

Oh and also our planet is in a wreck! We have so many problems and yes guess what: they are nearly all huma induced! Its not a coincidence that the evolution of the human species coincides with the last known great extinction spasm in animal species.

Bearamir 07/Mar/2006 at 07:14 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
Ladies & Gentlemen:  This thread has been nominated for transfer to Ad Lore.  Given the excellence of the discussion so far, (and it’s potential for further development) I certainly feel that this recommendation is warranted.  Without further ado: Prepare for move to Ad Lore.
Bearamir 07/Mar/2006 at 07:14 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
Ladies & Gentlemen:  This thread has been nominated for transfer to Ad Lore.  Given the excellence of the discussion so far, (and it’s potential for further development) I certainly feel that this recommendation is warranted.  Without further ado: Prepare for move to Ad Lore.
Kirinki54 10/Mar/2006 at 01:53 PM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005

An interesting discussion indeed!

 

mighty ent man asked: So my question to you is: Are there any places in Middle Earth which are natural?

 

I think it can be fruitful to ask, Natural in what sense? Are we approaching from a viewpoint of what seem natural to us, influenced as we are of science; biology, botany, geography technology and what not? Or should we approach from the aspect of natural in light of the mythology, of the tale of creation? We might look at Arda the way it was created. In other words: a more ‘theological’ stance.

 

If the latter, we likely need to go far back in the mythology in order to distinguish when ‘natural’ became corrupted into ‘unnatural’. Many posters have touched upon this issue, in discussions of the possible roles of the Valar in the process.

 

246 From a letter to Mrs Eileen Elgar (drafts) September 1963

 

Frodo was sent or allowed to pass over Sea to heal him – if that could be done, before he died. He would have eventually to ’pass away’: no mortal could, or can, abide for ever on earth, or within Time. So he went both to a purgatory and to a reward, for a while: a period of reflection and peace and a gaining of a truer understanding of his position in littleness and in greatness, spent still in Time amid the natural beauty of ’Arda Unmarred’, the Earth unspoiled by evil.

 

It seems that here Tolkien gave at least one definition of natural, and also explained how natural was corrupted by evil.

 

By this definition, it seems that Middle-earth is entirely disqualified because ‘Arda-marred’ encompassed all of it. The only part of Arda still natural is Aman.

 

So, in this view mem, the answer might be: No.

 

But naturally (pun intended ) other ways of interpretation are possible.

 

Kirinki54 10/Mar/2006 at 01:53 PM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005

An interesting discussion indeed!

 

mighty ent man asked: So my question to you is: Are there any places in Middle Earth which are natural?

 

I think it can be fruitful to ask, Natural in what sense? Are we approaching from a viewpoint of what seem natural to us, influenced as we are of science; biology, botany, geography technology and what not? Or should we approach from the aspect of natural in light of the mythology, of the tale of creation? We might look at Arda the way it was created. In other words: a more ‘theological’ stance.

 

If the latter, we likely need to go far back in the mythology in order to distinguish when ‘natural’ became corrupted into ‘unnatural’. Many posters have touched upon this issue, in discussions of the possible roles of the Valar in the process.

 

246 From a letter to Mrs Eileen Elgar (drafts) September 1963

 

Frodo was sent or allowed to pass over Sea to heal him – if that could be done, before he died. He would have eventually to ’pass away’: no mortal could, or can, abide for ever on earth, or within Time. So he went both to a purgatory and to a reward, for a while: a period of reflection and peace and a gaining of a truer understanding of his position in littleness and in greatness, spent still in Time amid the natural beauty of ’Arda Unmarred’, the Earth unspoiled by evil.

 

It seems that here Tolkien gave at least one definition of natural, and also explained how natural was corrupted by evil.

 

By this definition, it seems that Middle-earth is entirely disqualified because ‘Arda-marred’ encompassed all of it. The only part of Arda still natural is Aman.

 

So, in this view mem, the answer might be: No.

 

But naturally (pun intended ) other ways of interpretation are possible.

 

mighty ent man 11/Mar/2006 at 07:39 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Kirinki - Well I have already said many times in this thread that by Natural I am referring to our present day use of the word. As in today a river running down from a mountain which has been un-altered by humans would be termed natural. However obviously it depends on what extent you go to. Pollution effects rainfall so this river would not be natural in some ways due to polluted rainwater falling into it. So in terms of Middle Earth I dont want to look at the theological aspect of it as I said in other posts. I want to look at it like this. We have Lothlorien which to me is not natural, because the Elves dwell here and have altered the forest. That is what I am meaning when I say Natural.

I would not term Natural to be the absence of evil upon the landscape. That is not what I would define it as. I am using our present day application of the word.

Nice pun there!

mighty ent man 11/Mar/2006 at 07:39 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Kirinki - Well I have already said many times in this thread that by Natural I am referring to our present day use of the word. As in today a river running down from a mountain which has been un-altered by humans would be termed natural. However obviously it depends on what extent you go to. Pollution effects rainfall so this river would not be natural in some ways due to polluted rainwater falling into it. So in terms of Middle Earth I dont want to look at the theological aspect of it as I said in other posts. I want to look at it like this. We have Lothlorien which to me is not natural, because the Elves dwell here and have altered the forest. That is what I am meaning when I say Natural.

I would not term Natural to be the absence of evil upon the landscape. That is not what I would define it as. I am using our present day application of the word.

Nice pun there!

Kirinki54 12/Mar/2006 at 01:26 AM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005

mea, sorry for corrupting your natural post by introducing a new theme, and thanks for your tolerant attitude! I have a bad habit of switching perspectives, but I will try to mend my evil ways...

Along the lines of your premises (though much of this have been said already) I was actually thinking first of the old Forest. It seems pretty original to me in terms of its physical naturality, and its inhabitants does not seem very interested in change. Tom Bombadil the landscape architect...? No.

Kirinki54 12/Mar/2006 at 01:26 AM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005

mea, sorry for corrupting your natural post by introducing a new theme, and thanks for your tolerant attitude! I have a bad habit of switching perspectives, but I will try to mend my evil ways...

Along the lines of your premises (though much of this have been said already) I was actually thinking first of the old Forest. It seems pretty original to me in terms of its physical naturality, and its inhabitants does not seem very interested in change. Tom Bombadil the landscape architect...? No.

Gwilwileth 12/Mar/2006 at 01:57 AM
Defender of Imladris Points: 683 Posts: 137 Joined: 04/May/2003

An interesting theory! But I am sure there are parts of Middle Earth that are indeed untouched by those that mould aspects of nature into more technologically-advanced aspects of life. In other words, taking something from the natural world and transforming its original use into something else that benefits that species/individual etc. (Like carbon-formed diamonds to jewellry and the mining involved etc). But do you class "natural" as being completely untouched, too? Let me explain. Though people (in ME and our world) can take trees and build houses in communities, animals (i’m using them as an example as they are universally accepted as ’natural’)  take twigs and branches and build nests and homes,too. Both have the same aim - shelter. I guess in moderation (ability to replenish what’s taken at a greater rate than the actual taking) this isn’t a ’bad’ thing, but this leads me onto another train of thought. The world is constantly changing and reacting to things that live on it. Everything is affected by everything else. What can be considered ’natural’ if creatures and humans alike, both real and fictional, use elements of nature in their everyday life to help them out? In Middle Earth, surely if Thom Bombidil lives in the woods and doesn’t go out to destroy things, but rather implement them to help him survive, this is the same as the animals use of natural things? Why shouldn’t the woods be considered natural then? If I went out and did the same thing, would the woods I was living in then be considered ’natural’? If the earth is constantly changing and adapting to all sorts of extraneous variables anyway, then is it considered ’natural’? My final question to you is, why aren’t humans (and elves and dwarves and all kinds of thinking, rational, sentient ME lifeforms) considered ’natural’?

Gwilwileth 12/Mar/2006 at 01:57 AM
Defender of Imladris Points: 683 Posts: 137 Joined: 04/May/2003

An interesting theory! But I am sure there are parts of Middle Earth that are indeed untouched by those that mould aspects of nature into more technologically-advanced aspects of life. In other words, taking something from the natural world and transforming its original use into something else that benefits that species/individual etc. (Like carbon-formed diamonds to jewellry and the mining involved etc). But do you class "natural" as being completely untouched, too? Let me explain. Though people (in ME and our world) can take trees and build houses in communities, animals (i’m using them as an example as they are universally accepted as ’natural’)  take twigs and branches and build nests and homes,too. Both have the same aim - shelter. I guess in moderation (ability to replenish what’s taken at a greater rate than the actual taking) this isn’t a ’bad’ thing, but this leads me onto another train of thought. The world is constantly changing and reacting to things that live on it. Everything is affected by everything else. What can be considered ’natural’ if creatures and humans alike, both real and fictional, use elements of nature in their everyday life to help them out? In Middle Earth, surely if Thom Bombidil lives in the woods and doesn’t go out to destroy things, but rather implement them to help him survive, this is the same as the animals use of natural things? Why shouldn’t the woods be considered natural then? If I went out and did the same thing, would the woods I was living in then be considered ’natural’? If the earth is constantly changing and adapting to all sorts of extraneous variables anyway, then is it considered ’natural’? My final question to you is, why aren’t humans (and elves and dwarves and all kinds of thinking, rational, sentient ME lifeforms) considered ’natural’?

Kirinki54 12/Mar/2006 at 06:13 AM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005

Well, I sincerely hope that that heap of questions were not directed to me, Gwilwileth, as I certainly do not have any theory (interesting or otherwise), and it seems that instead there are plenty of posters above that already have elaborated on many of your issues.

Also it seems perhaps you misunderstood my post. I was merely trying to name one example of a place in ME (the Old Forest) were the physical impact and exploitation by sentient beings seems very small, as compared to other places in ME were  this obviously has been done to a greater extent (say, Minas Tirith). IMO it is actually extremely hard to distinguish between ’natural’ and ’artificial’ in relation to changes in nature caused by its inhabitants, which probably was one reason why I tried to find a more spiritual division in terms of the thinking of Tolkien.

Kirinki54 12/Mar/2006 at 06:13 AM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005

Well, I sincerely hope that that heap of questions were not directed to me, Gwilwileth, as I certainly do not have any theory (interesting or otherwise), and it seems that instead there are plenty of posters above that already have elaborated on many of your issues.

Also it seems perhaps you misunderstood my post. I was merely trying to name one example of a place in ME (the Old Forest) were the physical impact and exploitation by sentient beings seems very small, as compared to other places in ME were  this obviously has been done to a greater extent (say, Minas Tirith). IMO it is actually extremely hard to distinguish between ’natural’ and ’artificial’ in relation to changes in nature caused by its inhabitants, which probably was one reason why I tried to find a more spiritual division in terms of the thinking of Tolkien.

Nóljen 12/Mar/2006 at 10:36 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man says:

Natural:  "I got thinking, is there any place in Middle Earth that is truly natural. And by this I mean that has not been altered by humans."

Humans: "by humans I mean any race on Middle Earth"

Firstly - the definition of the word race according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s dictionary is as follows: "a group, especially of people, with particular similar physical characteristics, who are considered as belonging to the same type"

Therefore if by humans you mean any race on ME, it includes ents, huorns, horses, birds, squirells, fishes and trees as well, which means that nothing at all is natural, since every single thing is then - as you say - "altered by humans"

Secondly - so much to your view of the topic, now let’s discuss what I think. If a wolf makes a footprint in mud, he causes the "processes that would not normally happen to it." Somehow I feel, that you wouldn’t call that footprint unnatural. Why?

What is the difference between that wolf and the human. Do you attempt to declare, that humans are less natural than the wolf, that they are in fact not part of the nature? If so, then I absolutely disagree. If not, I do not see any logic in all we have alredy discussed.

"by our standards today we terms some places natural and others not. And by natural I think I would have to mean unaltered by humans" - and who says that we have to agree with today’s standards?  The standards can be wrong - they are not inherently a proof.

Please do not take this too seriously . Furthermore - I realize that the example with the wolf may seem a bit far-fetched, but the concept as whole seems to be logical (or extremely sophistic at least :-))

Nóljen 12/Mar/2006 at 10:36 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man says:

Natural:  "I got thinking, is there any place in Middle Earth that is truly natural. And by this I mean that has not been altered by humans."

Humans: "by humans I mean any race on Middle Earth"

Firstly - the definition of the word race according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s dictionary is as follows: "a group, especially of people, with particular similar physical characteristics, who are considered as belonging to the same type"

Therefore if by humans you mean any race on ME, it includes ents, huorns, horses, birds, squirells, fishes and trees as well, which means that nothing at all is natural, since every single thing is then - as you say - "altered by humans"

Secondly - so much to your view of the topic, now let’s discuss what I think. If a wolf makes a footprint in mud, he causes the "processes that would not normally happen to it." Somehow I feel, that you wouldn’t call that footprint unnatural. Why?

What is the difference between that wolf and the human. Do you attempt to declare, that humans are less natural than the wolf, that they are in fact not part of the nature? If so, then I absolutely disagree. If not, I do not see any logic in all we have alredy discussed.

"by our standards today we terms some places natural and others not. And by natural I think I would have to mean unaltered by humans" - and who says that we have to agree with today’s standards?  The standards can be wrong - they are not inherently a proof.

Please do not take this too seriously . Furthermore - I realize that the example with the wolf may seem a bit far-fetched, but the concept as whole seems to be logical (or extremely sophistic at least :-))

mighty ent man 12/Mar/2006 at 12:18 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Kirinki - Hey dont worry about it! I was just saying that I did not really want to consider all that in this thread. That could be another thread but If I take all the Valar into account then I would have to completely re think everything which would take a long time!!!

Hmm I am not sure about the Old Forest. We do know that the Brandybucks do enter the Forest and so they would cause paths to be made. Also the biggest thing which makes it a unnatural forest is that it is curtailed in its growth. We know that the forest has been driven and held back by a large hedge. So it is not allowed to grow naturally.

Gwil - Ah what an excellent observation you have made there. Well this is what my theory is on this whole natural business. I will take the example of a squirrel as this is the first thing that came into my mind. Squirrels do as you say gather up twigs and build their nests in trees. This I would term a natural thing because it is essentially their instinct to do this. Also they are not really interferring with how the forest works. They fit in naturally with their habitat. But we humans do not do this. And on Middle Earth we see this in play too. Men build their houses into the mountain side. Dwarves dig holes. The Elves build their houses in the trees and we have some evidence of alteration in Lorien. But I see your point. To be natural I think you have to live in harmoney with nature.

Now whilst I think you have shown excellent awareness of this issue I need to try and explain things. This thread is a truly wonderful thread. And I will tell you why it is. It links back to the very first post that I opened this thread with! Does anything natural exist? Is natural just a term we as humans have created to apply in our society? These questions are coming to play in this thread. We are now seeing that it is not possible in many ways to classify things as being natural. Because we all have a different idea of what natural is. I mean what is  natural? I would say it is something which has been allowed to grow alone. Nothing external has made it deviate from its natural course. Humans have not cut branches off a tree for example.

Noljen - By unnatural influences I would include: Men, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Other such evil creatures, Istari (Wizards), Hobbits. I do not think that the Ents pose any unnatural influence upon the landscape, although it is possible that they do. I may have missed some races out though. Normal animals like foxes dont count.  

What is the difference between that wolf and the human. Do you attempt to declare, that humans are less natural than the wolf, that they are in fact not part of the nature? If so, then I absolutely disagree. If not, I do not see any logic in all we have alredy discussed.

And here we have yet another excellent observation. Why should humans be considered to be unnatural? It is difficult because humans in Middle Earth did not evolve as we did. They were created and not made through evolution. Wolves live in harmony with nature. They live their based upon instinct. It is difficult for me to explain. I think you have an extremely strong point there. You see I am not entirely sure how to explain how I feel. For in one sense you could say a human cutting down a tree is not natural because why do it? This is altering the natural state of the forest and all that is in it. But then again could not this be humans acting in their own natural way by aquiring wood to build a shelter! So you see this topic is so so complex and it is very difficult to distinguish the boundaries between the two!

You raise a point I just talked about. Is anything natural? Or is everything natural?

 

mighty ent man 12/Mar/2006 at 12:18 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Kirinki - Hey dont worry about it! I was just saying that I did not really want to consider all that in this thread. That could be another thread but If I take all the Valar into account then I would have to completely re think everything which would take a long time!!!

Hmm I am not sure about the Old Forest. We do know that the Brandybucks do enter the Forest and so they would cause paths to be made. Also the biggest thing which makes it a unnatural forest is that it is curtailed in its growth. We know that the forest has been driven and held back by a large hedge. So it is not allowed to grow naturally.

Gwil - Ah what an excellent observation you have made there. Well this is what my theory is on this whole natural business. I will take the example of a squirrel as this is the first thing that came into my mind. Squirrels do as you say gather up twigs and build their nests in trees. This I would term a natural thing because it is essentially their instinct to do this. Also they are not really interferring with how the forest works. They fit in naturally with their habitat. But we humans do not do this. And on Middle Earth we see this in play too. Men build their houses into the mountain side. Dwarves dig holes. The Elves build their houses in the trees and we have some evidence of alteration in Lorien. But I see your point. To be natural I think you have to live in harmoney with nature.

Now whilst I think you have shown excellent awareness of this issue I need to try and explain things. This thread is a truly wonderful thread. And I will tell you why it is. It links back to the very first post that I opened this thread with! Does anything natural exist? Is natural just a term we as humans have created to apply in our society? These questions are coming to play in this thread. We are now seeing that it is not possible in many ways to classify things as being natural. Because we all have a different idea of what natural is. I mean what is  natural? I would say it is something which has been allowed to grow alone. Nothing external has made it deviate from its natural course. Humans have not cut branches off a tree for example.

Noljen - By unnatural influences I would include: Men, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Other such evil creatures, Istari (Wizards), Hobbits. I do not think that the Ents pose any unnatural influence upon the landscape, although it is possible that they do. I may have missed some races out though. Normal animals like foxes dont count.  

What is the difference between that wolf and the human. Do you attempt to declare, that humans are less natural than the wolf, that they are in fact not part of the nature? If so, then I absolutely disagree. If not, I do not see any logic in all we have alredy discussed.

And here we have yet another excellent observation. Why should humans be considered to be unnatural? It is difficult because humans in Middle Earth did not evolve as we did. They were created and not made through evolution. Wolves live in harmony with nature. They live their based upon instinct. It is difficult for me to explain. I think you have an extremely strong point there. You see I am not entirely sure how to explain how I feel. For in one sense you could say a human cutting down a tree is not natural because why do it? This is altering the natural state of the forest and all that is in it. But then again could not this be humans acting in their own natural way by aquiring wood to build a shelter! So you see this topic is so so complex and it is very difficult to distinguish the boundaries between the two!

You raise a point I just talked about. Is anything natural? Or is everything natural?

 

Nóljen 13/Mar/2006 at 01:34 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mem: "Is anything natural? Or is everything natural?"

Firstly:  And what is the difference there? Really, if everything was black, and were there no other colours at all, who would be there to talk about the blackness? There would be nothing to compare it with. The word black itself would become completely useless if it was the only possible colour. To say - hey, that t-shirt is black, would not be different from saying - hey, that t-shirt is.

Therefore if it is everything, or nothing, the difference there (if there is any) is negligible.

Secondy: However, we could now that we have already analysed all the background information, continue by discussing the terms natural and artificial in their normal, everyday sense.

The word artificial is considered an opposite to natural. However, I do not think this is the case. If artificial means created or altered by human and humans, as we have observed are themselves, but parts of nature, then it rather seems, that the word artificial is a subclass of natural - that means - what is made by humans, or altered by humans is artificial and the remaining things are unartificial. Both of these - artificial and unartificial are then considered natural, because they stem from nature.

What do you reckon?

Nóljen 13/Mar/2006 at 01:34 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mem: "Is anything natural? Or is everything natural?"

Firstly:  And what is the difference there? Really, if everything was black, and were there no other colours at all, who would be there to talk about the blackness? There would be nothing to compare it with. The word black itself would become completely useless if it was the only possible colour. To say - hey, that t-shirt is black, would not be different from saying - hey, that t-shirt is.

Therefore if it is everything, or nothing, the difference there (if there is any) is negligible.

Secondy: However, we could now that we have already analysed all the background information, continue by discussing the terms natural and artificial in their normal, everyday sense.

The word artificial is considered an opposite to natural. However, I do not think this is the case. If artificial means created or altered by human and humans, as we have observed are themselves, but parts of nature, then it rather seems, that the word artificial is a subclass of natural - that means - what is made by humans, or altered by humans is artificial and the remaining things are unartificial. Both of these - artificial and unartificial are then considered natural, because they stem from nature.

What do you reckon?

mighty ent man 13/Mar/2006 at 02:37 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - What an interesting point there. You see after my post then I got thinking about this thread. It came to me that maybe we cannot apply our social definition of natural to Middle Earth. Maybe it does not work. You have quite clearly exposed some of the pitfalls that are present in our defintion. Due to your point concerning the wolf and human. Why is one natural and the other not? Well that would be because we as humans have evolved so as to have the ability to speak and assign words to things. You could say us as humans have gone beyond what is natural in our evolution. That we not compete with nature and do not live with it. But in Middle Earth things are much different to our own world and therefore would this mean we have to alter what we consider to be natural? For now this topic is not as simple as it was when I made the first post. There is no black and white between natural and unnatural. There is a grey area in between.

You can have artificial environments in our own world. Like the man made beaches in Paris for example. However they to me would not be classed as a natural phenomenon. Something natural for me is something that has formed as a result of natures processes. And I would not class us humans as doing natural things any more. Lots of animals do things which are natural because it is part of their instincts and they live in harmony within their ecosystem. However we as humans go beyond this. Now I am not sure how we can now apply this to Middle Earth. We could say that Saruman cutting down trees to fuel his machines in Isengard is not natural.

mighty ent man 13/Mar/2006 at 02:37 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - What an interesting point there. You see after my post then I got thinking about this thread. It came to me that maybe we cannot apply our social definition of natural to Middle Earth. Maybe it does not work. You have quite clearly exposed some of the pitfalls that are present in our defintion. Due to your point concerning the wolf and human. Why is one natural and the other not? Well that would be because we as humans have evolved so as to have the ability to speak and assign words to things. You could say us as humans have gone beyond what is natural in our evolution. That we not compete with nature and do not live with it. But in Middle Earth things are much different to our own world and therefore would this mean we have to alter what we consider to be natural? For now this topic is not as simple as it was when I made the first post. There is no black and white between natural and unnatural. There is a grey area in between.

You can have artificial environments in our own world. Like the man made beaches in Paris for example. However they to me would not be classed as a natural phenomenon. Something natural for me is something that has formed as a result of natures processes. And I would not class us humans as doing natural things any more. Lots of animals do things which are natural because it is part of their instincts and they live in harmony within their ecosystem. However we as humans go beyond this. Now I am not sure how we can now apply this to Middle Earth. We could say that Saruman cutting down trees to fuel his machines in Isengard is not natural.

Gwilwileth 13/Mar/2006 at 02:38 AM
Defender of Imladris Points: 683 Posts: 137 Joined: 04/May/2003
mighty ent man -thanks very much! I agree with you when you say humans interefere with the land, and yes! Natural is indeed a hard thing to define! I’m enjoying partaking in this discussion!

I wonder though, if anything underwater has been left ’untouched’ by man? Does that still classify as being part of Middle Earth? Though a great many creatures live beneath the water, were there any people that ever went to the bottom of the sea? We have not done this in our own world (going to the deepest part of the ocean) as we don’t have the technology. Surely the sea is as much apart of ME as the land?
Gwilwileth 13/Mar/2006 at 02:38 AM
Defender of Imladris Points: 683 Posts: 137 Joined: 04/May/2003
mighty ent man -thanks very much! I agree with you when you say humans interefere with the land, and yes! Natural is indeed a hard thing to define! I’m enjoying partaking in this discussion!

I wonder though, if anything underwater has been left ’untouched’ by man? Does that still classify as being part of Middle Earth? Though a great many creatures live beneath the water, were there any people that ever went to the bottom of the sea? We have not done this in our own world (going to the deepest part of the ocean) as we don’t have the technology. Surely the sea is as much apart of ME as the land?
Nóljen 13/Mar/2006 at 07:11 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

"You could say us as humans have gone beyond what is natural in our evolution."

I am afraid I have to disagree there. If we consider us, humans, no longer natural, what would you call us then - artifitial? I doubt it.

Furthermore - we both seem to agree with the point that human beings, even if unnatural now, were once natural. And what - from your point of view - has taken away their naturalness? The evolution! It has made us go beyond what is natural! But is it not true, that evolution in itself is a natural process?

In other words - a marble house is a part of nature, since it is built by natural beings from natural materials and even if it was made of plastic, it would be natural as well, since the plastic is made of natural materials too.

See? To play with words can be very entertaining.

Nóljen 13/Mar/2006 at 07:11 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

"You could say us as humans have gone beyond what is natural in our evolution."

I am afraid I have to disagree there. If we consider us, humans, no longer natural, what would you call us then - artifitial? I doubt it.

Furthermore - we both seem to agree with the point that human beings, even if unnatural now, were once natural. And what - from your point of view - has taken away their naturalness? The evolution! It has made us go beyond what is natural! But is it not true, that evolution in itself is a natural process?

In other words - a marble house is a part of nature, since it is built by natural beings from natural materials and even if it was made of plastic, it would be natural as well, since the plastic is made of natural materials too.

See? To play with words can be very entertaining.

mighty ent man 14/Mar/2006 at 02:31 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwil - I am glad to see that you en enjoying this discussion as I am. Your contributions and enhancing it for me!

Oh your posts just get better dont they!! Yes I think you may have hit on a region which is Natural. For today our oceans are by no mean natural, man made pollution most likely is present in many of our seas and the ocean bed could also be polluted. However I dont remember any evidence of pollution of the oceans in Middle Earth. Now we would of course have to make the distinction between Rivers and Oceans/Seas. For Rivers can quite easily be affected by man. But I think we may have hit on somewhere that is natural! Well done!

Noljen - Well no we as humans are natural. That is if you believe in the theory of evolution, which I do. So yes we as humans would have to be natural in the grand scheme of things. We evolved just as other animals have done and are in many ways part of ecosystems. But this I think is the better way to express my point. Because we as a human race has evolved so far we have become so intelligent and developed a comprehensive language. We now try as a race to apply words to things, and now we as a race do generally nto class ourselves as natural. This is it is because it is us who are using the word to define thigns which are not what we created. A human skyscraper building is not natural in our eyes. What humans have of natural in their minds is a pre conceived image of a lovely stream running through green meadows. Or something along those lines!!! Do you see what I mean? We as humans are in fact natural if we take an external look at the whoe word but from out perspective we would not class ourselves as natural. As our society does not class natural as including our own race. I hope this makes sense!

But we need to relate this back to Middle Earth. I am using the above way and theory. So that the Men of Gondor for example would not view themselves building Minas Tirith into the side of the mountain as natural. So the Men of Gondor cutting down trees is not a natural act and thus making a forest unnatural because it has been altered from its natural course.

I see your point but I have to disagree, are you saying Minas Tirith is natural? Or that it could be considered as natural by some?

mighty ent man 14/Mar/2006 at 02:31 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwil - I am glad to see that you en enjoying this discussion as I am. Your contributions and enhancing it for me!

Oh your posts just get better dont they!! Yes I think you may have hit on a region which is Natural. For today our oceans are by no mean natural, man made pollution most likely is present in many of our seas and the ocean bed could also be polluted. However I dont remember any evidence of pollution of the oceans in Middle Earth. Now we would of course have to make the distinction between Rivers and Oceans/Seas. For Rivers can quite easily be affected by man. But I think we may have hit on somewhere that is natural! Well done!

Noljen - Well no we as humans are natural. That is if you believe in the theory of evolution, which I do. So yes we as humans would have to be natural in the grand scheme of things. We evolved just as other animals have done and are in many ways part of ecosystems. But this I think is the better way to express my point. Because we as a human race has evolved so far we have become so intelligent and developed a comprehensive language. We now try as a race to apply words to things, and now we as a race do generally nto class ourselves as natural. This is it is because it is us who are using the word to define thigns which are not what we created. A human skyscraper building is not natural in our eyes. What humans have of natural in their minds is a pre conceived image of a lovely stream running through green meadows. Or something along those lines!!! Do you see what I mean? We as humans are in fact natural if we take an external look at the whoe word but from out perspective we would not class ourselves as natural. As our society does not class natural as including our own race. I hope this makes sense!

But we need to relate this back to Middle Earth. I am using the above way and theory. So that the Men of Gondor for example would not view themselves building Minas Tirith into the side of the mountain as natural. So the Men of Gondor cutting down trees is not a natural act and thus making a forest unnatural because it has been altered from its natural course.

I see your point but I have to disagree, are you saying Minas Tirith is natural? Or that it could be considered as natural by some?

Nóljen 14/Mar/2006 at 05:41 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

"We now try as a race to apply words to things, and now we as a race do generally nto class ourselves as natural."

Now that’s an extremely nice point. Congratulations  But....

The Cambridge Dictionary defines nature as: "all the animals, plants, rocks, etc. in the world and all the features, forces and processes that happen or exist independently of people, such as the weather, the sea, mountains, reproduction and growth"

So on one side - "all the animals, plants, rocks, etc. in the world", which definitely includes people and on the other hand - "features, forces and processes that happen or exist independently of people". This is what I consider a problem. No one actually knows how to define the term natural - we as people are parts of nature, but the things we create are not.

And even worse, we are often so arrogant, that we do not consider ourselves part of the nature. We consider ourselves something more. What? The creators? Gods? Or is that still not enough to us?

To your question: "are you saying Minas Tirith is natural?" Yes, absolutely.

Nóljen 14/Mar/2006 at 05:41 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

"We now try as a race to apply words to things, and now we as a race do generally nto class ourselves as natural."

Now that’s an extremely nice point. Congratulations  But....

The Cambridge Dictionary defines nature as: "all the animals, plants, rocks, etc. in the world and all the features, forces and processes that happen or exist independently of people, such as the weather, the sea, mountains, reproduction and growth"

So on one side - "all the animals, plants, rocks, etc. in the world", which definitely includes people and on the other hand - "features, forces and processes that happen or exist independently of people". This is what I consider a problem. No one actually knows how to define the term natural - we as people are parts of nature, but the things we create are not.

And even worse, we are often so arrogant, that we do not consider ourselves part of the nature. We consider ourselves something more. What? The creators? Gods? Or is that still not enough to us?

To your question: "are you saying Minas Tirith is natural?" Yes, absolutely.

mighty ent man 16/Mar/2006 at 03:26 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen  - The one thing that I find interesting about that particular definition is that is presents us with an option. It uses the word ’or’, meaning that we can choose what we think is natural. Is this not the conclusion that we came to anyway. That Natural is not a set thing, it differs with peoples own perspectives and what you include within it. In my eyes something is natural when it is untouched by human hands. I have found an example of somewhere which I think fits what I want for a natural place. It is on the Isle of Numenor and I found this description of it in the Unfinished Tales:

" For the summit was somewhat flattened and depressed, and could contain a grat multitude; but it remained untouched by hands throughout the history of Numenor. No building, no raised altar, not even a pile of undressed stones, ever stood there ..." (A Description of Numenor, UT)

This quote describes the Pillar of the Heavans which is the center of the island of Numenor. This to me is a good representation of somewhere which is a natural place. The King only goes up there 3 times in each year and the people follow him up a winding path. People are free to visit at anytime but they do not stay there long. It seems to me to be a place that is allowed to remain as it has always been, no human interference.

You see I would obviously have to disagree and say with you that Minas Tirith is not natural. It is not a natural creation. For as I have said before my definition of natural is that if things are altered by humans enough then they arent natural any more. Some are more so than others, like a wood hut less soo than a huge stone fortress.

The problem and debate arise here due to our differences in defintion.

mighty ent man 16/Mar/2006 at 03:26 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen  - The one thing that I find interesting about that particular definition is that is presents us with an option. It uses the word ’or’, meaning that we can choose what we think is natural. Is this not the conclusion that we came to anyway. That Natural is not a set thing, it differs with peoples own perspectives and what you include within it. In my eyes something is natural when it is untouched by human hands. I have found an example of somewhere which I think fits what I want for a natural place. It is on the Isle of Numenor and I found this description of it in the Unfinished Tales:

" For the summit was somewhat flattened and depressed, and could contain a grat multitude; but it remained untouched by hands throughout the history of Numenor. No building, no raised altar, not even a pile of undressed stones, ever stood there ..." (A Description of Numenor, UT)

This quote describes the Pillar of the Heavans which is the center of the island of Numenor. This to me is a good representation of somewhere which is a natural place. The King only goes up there 3 times in each year and the people follow him up a winding path. People are free to visit at anytime but they do not stay there long. It seems to me to be a place that is allowed to remain as it has always been, no human interference.

You see I would obviously have to disagree and say with you that Minas Tirith is not natural. It is not a natural creation. For as I have said before my definition of natural is that if things are altered by humans enough then they arent natural any more. Some are more so than others, like a wood hut less soo than a huge stone fortress.

The problem and debate arise here due to our differences in defintion.

Nóljen 17/Mar/2006 at 07:43 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man - to the word "or" - I suppose you must have misread the definition, the only or there is in: "processes that happen or exist independently of people", which does not seem to leave a lot of empty space for us to decide about anything. What is the actual difference between processes that happen and processes that exist independently of people? The key part of the definition is in my opinion - independently of people.

What I point out is that they do not take people into account! This simply makes no sense to me! The word nature is derived from Latin word natura, which is - according to wiktionary: "future participle from perfect passive participle natus"

However - the word natus (born) comes from the deponent verb nasci, which means "to be born". Therefore nature should include "what is born".

And now the definition of nature again obtained from Wiktionary:
  1. The essential characteristics (Albert Camus’ book Le Mythe de Sisyphe is of philosophical nature. )

  2. A wild primitive state of being

  3. The summary of everything that has to do with biological and geographical states and events on earth
  4. The environment, the outdoors

Now, the problem is that most people are closer to the "Oxford view" of nature, which I simply cannot agree with for the reasons I have already given and which excludes people. But why - I simply see no reason?

Nóljen 17/Mar/2006 at 07:43 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man - to the word "or" - I suppose you must have misread the definition, the only or there is in: "processes that happen or exist independently of people", which does not seem to leave a lot of empty space for us to decide about anything. What is the actual difference between processes that happen and processes that exist independently of people? The key part of the definition is in my opinion - independently of people.

What I point out is that they do not take people into account! This simply makes no sense to me! The word nature is derived from Latin word natura, which is - according to wiktionary: "future participle from perfect passive participle natus"

However - the word natus (born) comes from the deponent verb nasci, which means "to be born". Therefore nature should include "what is born".

And now the definition of nature again obtained from Wiktionary:
  1. The essential characteristics (Albert Camus’ book Le Mythe de Sisyphe is of philosophical nature. )

  2. A wild primitive state of being

  3. The summary of everything that has to do with biological and geographical states and events on earth
  4. The environment, the outdoors

Now, the problem is that most people are closer to the "Oxford view" of nature, which I simply cannot agree with for the reasons I have already given and which excludes people. But why - I simply see no reason?

mighty ent man 17/Mar/2006 at 08:03 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - Ah yes I did kind of mis interpret that definition. Awfully stupid of me and I must apologise. I have read it again taking into consideration what you said and have realised that it was as you said.

Some very good language analysis there. I do not see what you are trying to prove to me. I am not debating what nature is. I do however recognise that controversy will and does as shown in here arise over it. I mean can we ever say what Nature of Natural is? I do not think we can. For it is a sociological terms in many ways, its a term that has grown in society to mean different things to different people. As I said before we as humans commonly do not class ourselves as being natural. Now I myselg in the context of this thread feel that what humans do to the world alters its natural course.

I think you have a superb argument to show how humans are natural. But in this thread I always consider humans to be an external and therefore unnatural influence upon ecosystems. We as humans quite frequently operate outside of what is natural for almost all other animal species. We have evolved to such an extent that we seem to behave drastically different to other animals around us.We seek to dominate all life.

I am nto entirely sure where this debate is really going. For yes you have shown to me that humans COULD be considered to be natural but I like to think that I have explained to you what I think and why I think it. It has been amazingly interesting to me and I would like to focus more now upon Middle Earth.For we have begun to neglect the original topic in hand and that was to discuss if there are any areas in Middle Earth are natural. Now I understand the need to establish criteria on what is natural but I would like your thoughts on Middle Earth.

mighty ent man 17/Mar/2006 at 08:03 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - Ah yes I did kind of mis interpret that definition. Awfully stupid of me and I must apologise. I have read it again taking into consideration what you said and have realised that it was as you said.

Some very good language analysis there. I do not see what you are trying to prove to me. I am not debating what nature is. I do however recognise that controversy will and does as shown in here arise over it. I mean can we ever say what Nature of Natural is? I do not think we can. For it is a sociological terms in many ways, its a term that has grown in society to mean different things to different people. As I said before we as humans commonly do not class ourselves as being natural. Now I myselg in the context of this thread feel that what humans do to the world alters its natural course.

I think you have a superb argument to show how humans are natural. But in this thread I always consider humans to be an external and therefore unnatural influence upon ecosystems. We as humans quite frequently operate outside of what is natural for almost all other animal species. We have evolved to such an extent that we seem to behave drastically different to other animals around us.We seek to dominate all life.

I am nto entirely sure where this debate is really going. For yes you have shown to me that humans COULD be considered to be natural but I like to think that I have explained to you what I think and why I think it. It has been amazingly interesting to me and I would like to focus more now upon Middle Earth.For we have begun to neglect the original topic in hand and that was to discuss if there are any areas in Middle Earth are natural. Now I understand the need to establish criteria on what is natural but I would like your thoughts on Middle Earth.

Variene Áduial 17/Mar/2006 at 06:52 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, you have made an interesting statement. Although I completely agree with your view that you have stated in the third paragraph of your last post, I have been thinking about the topic and doesn’t it seem that human beings are natural? I mean, perhaps what is going on with the world is natural - it is fate, which is natural. We are natural - we are alive, we are part of this earth. Yes, we are dominant, but then everything we do and everything humanity has created can be considered natural, for it was done or made using only that which was given to people by nature. However, this question can stretched out very far. But in relation to Middle Earth, mankind was created by the Valar just like everything else, weren’t they? So they are natural, so all the places on Middle Earth can be called natural. Or perhaps "natural" isn’t the right word? Maybe it’s "free from humanity", ie, that you are truly talking about?
Variene Áduial 17/Mar/2006 at 06:52 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, you have made an interesting statement. Although I completely agree with your view that you have stated in the third paragraph of your last post, I have been thinking about the topic and doesn’t it seem that human beings are natural? I mean, perhaps what is going on with the world is natural - it is fate, which is natural. We are natural - we are alive, we are part of this earth. Yes, we are dominant, but then everything we do and everything humanity has created can be considered natural, for it was done or made using only that which was given to people by nature. However, this question can stretched out very far. But in relation to Middle Earth, mankind was created by the Valar just like everything else, weren’t they? So they are natural, so all the places on Middle Earth can be called natural. Or perhaps "natural" isn’t the right word? Maybe it’s "free from humanity", ie, that you are truly talking about?
Istanira 17/Mar/2006 at 07:23 PM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
There is no argument about it, definitions or not: anywhere man (or any race of ME or of this earth for that matter) has been, has lived or dwelled, has been designed and altered. Even those tribes whose ’native’ environment is in the middle of some rain forest, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, these people have designed and altered their environment.

I would say that the Glittering Caves of Aglarond were purely natural--but were later shaped by men (or, I should say, Dwarves). Gondor as a site for building upon was natural (provided a natural barrier to invasion); Mordor was a natural place for Sauron in that it had an active volcano on site, etc.

So it is interesting: inhabitants--men/elves/dwarves/hobbits/orcs choose places to dwell because of their natural attributes (they have natural defenses, they are naturally beautiful, they are naturaly strategic locations, etc), but always these places have been altered to suit their inhabitants’ needs.
Istanira 17/Mar/2006 at 07:23 PM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
There is no argument about it, definitions or not: anywhere man (or any race of ME or of this earth for that matter) has been, has lived or dwelled, has been designed and altered. Even those tribes whose ’native’ environment is in the middle of some rain forest, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, these people have designed and altered their environment.

I would say that the Glittering Caves of Aglarond were purely natural--but were later shaped by men (or, I should say, Dwarves). Gondor as a site for building upon was natural (provided a natural barrier to invasion); Mordor was a natural place for Sauron in that it had an active volcano on site, etc.

So it is interesting: inhabitants--men/elves/dwarves/hobbits/orcs choose places to dwell because of their natural attributes (they have natural defenses, they are naturally beautiful, they are naturaly strategic locations, etc), but always these places have been altered to suit their inhabitants’ needs.
Nóljen 18/Mar/2006 at 02:13 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man - Hmm, yes, I see, firstly: "We have evolved to such an extent that we seem to behave drastically different to other animals around us.We seek to dominate all life." A perfect point - really!

Secondly - to discuss the definition in itself is, of course, absolutely irrelevant and worthless, but as you have said yourself: "I do however recognise that controversy will and does as shown in here arise over it." Therefore I have considered it impossible to discuss the topic of this thread, until we find an objective, or at least agreed upon term of nature and natural.

"I do not see what you are trying to prove to me." - I have already proved, that it is possible to consider people natural. Not necessarily, but it is, none the less. You - as the one, who has started this thread - have the right to choose, what you yourself consider natural and we will stick to the term you’ll give us, but the term should be rather more precisely elaborated than the one you have stated at the beginning, for it is impossible - at least for me - to derive from it somehow, whether the trolls, great eagles, ents, orcs, elves, Valar, Maiar and other great spirits are to be considered natural.

And one last thing - what is the exact point in time to which we reffer?

Variene Áduial - my opinion exactly  And the "free from humanity" term - that’s exactly the sort of thing I was looking for... Congratulations to the Galadhrim...

Istanira - "Even those tribes whose ’native’ environment is in the middle of some rain forest, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, these people have designed and altered their environment." which seems like no argument to me, for wolves, birds and all the animals do the very same; which would consequently seem to change the question to whether we consider people natural and why. You have mentioned nothing about it, so I am not particularly sure, if the part of your sentence: "definitions or not" really applies here.

Sorry, I have been a bit rude again. Hope you’ll excuse me...  I would be interested in further analysis of your opinion. Why does everyone exclude people from nature? I am curious... Perhaps there is some fact, which I have not come across...

Nóljen 18/Mar/2006 at 02:13 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man - Hmm, yes, I see, firstly: "We have evolved to such an extent that we seem to behave drastically different to other animals around us.We seek to dominate all life." A perfect point - really!

Secondly - to discuss the definition in itself is, of course, absolutely irrelevant and worthless, but as you have said yourself: "I do however recognise that controversy will and does as shown in here arise over it." Therefore I have considered it impossible to discuss the topic of this thread, until we find an objective, or at least agreed upon term of nature and natural.

"I do not see what you are trying to prove to me." - I have already proved, that it is possible to consider people natural. Not necessarily, but it is, none the less. You - as the one, who has started this thread - have the right to choose, what you yourself consider natural and we will stick to the term you’ll give us, but the term should be rather more precisely elaborated than the one you have stated at the beginning, for it is impossible - at least for me - to derive from it somehow, whether the trolls, great eagles, ents, orcs, elves, Valar, Maiar and other great spirits are to be considered natural.

And one last thing - what is the exact point in time to which we reffer?

Variene Áduial - my opinion exactly  And the "free from humanity" term - that’s exactly the sort of thing I was looking for... Congratulations to the Galadhrim...

Istanira - "Even those tribes whose ’native’ environment is in the middle of some rain forest, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, these people have designed and altered their environment." which seems like no argument to me, for wolves, birds and all the animals do the very same; which would consequently seem to change the question to whether we consider people natural and why. You have mentioned nothing about it, so I am not particularly sure, if the part of your sentence: "definitions or not" really applies here.

Sorry, I have been a bit rude again. Hope you’ll excuse me...  I would be interested in further analysis of your opinion. Why does everyone exclude people from nature? I am curious... Perhaps there is some fact, which I have not come across...

Istanira 18/Mar/2006 at 08:16 AM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
I am not responding to your post, or arguing with your definition Noljen. I am responding to MEM’s query ’is there any place that is truly natural in Middle EArth?

It does not matter what the definitions of ’natural’ is in the context of people or animals; the very fact that you are able to proffer varying definitions of ’natural’ is what makes MEM’s argument valid! Language is a technology and is not ’natural’; it’s a human construct. Humans do not qualify as ’natural’ in the way MEM has framed this topic. He is asking about ’natural’ geographies, not societies. Any anthropologist will tell you that you cannot apply the same definition of ’natural’ to geography that you can to animals or even people. Context is everything. The definition of ’natural’ is going to be different depending upon the context.

I am commenting that the places in ME where people--whether they be Men, Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves, Ents or Dragons--live, are not going to be natural geographies.
Istanira 18/Mar/2006 at 08:16 AM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
I am not responding to your post, or arguing with your definition Noljen. I am responding to MEM’s query ’is there any place that is truly natural in Middle EArth?

It does not matter what the definitions of ’natural’ is in the context of people or animals; the very fact that you are able to proffer varying definitions of ’natural’ is what makes MEM’s argument valid! Language is a technology and is not ’natural’; it’s a human construct. Humans do not qualify as ’natural’ in the way MEM has framed this topic. He is asking about ’natural’ geographies, not societies. Any anthropologist will tell you that you cannot apply the same definition of ’natural’ to geography that you can to animals or even people. Context is everything. The definition of ’natural’ is going to be different depending upon the context.

I am commenting that the places in ME where people--whether they be Men, Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves, Ents or Dragons--live, are not going to be natural geographies.
Variene Áduial 18/Mar/2006 at 01:26 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Nóljen - I am happy to meet a kindred spirit - very glad that you agree, and I in turn agree with everything you said before.

Isanira: I think that in order to comprehensively answer MEM’s question, all sides of the arguments must be looked at and all the various definitions of "natural" should be discussed. And can’t it be said, then, that all geography, according to your definition of "natural", is unnatural? All landscapes have been touched by either people or animals, all have been altered by the changing courses of rivers, earthquakes, erosion, etc.

And language is most certainly not a technology! The clicks, trills, and echolocation sounds of dolphins and the calls of birds can be considered "natural", but human speech cannot?! Humans have just developed the most sophisticated form of communication. But it is still natural!

And just another word - I greatly admire nature and do believe that humanity has gone very far in affecting it in too many negative ways, just like certain populations on Middle Earth. But it would be going too far to say that is not natural. Humans destroy animal habitats, but fires burnt out entire forests, floods destroy the homes of ground mammals, herds trample bird nests, etc. Instead, I think a different term would be more appropriate.
Variene Áduial 18/Mar/2006 at 01:26 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Nóljen - I am happy to meet a kindred spirit - very glad that you agree, and I in turn agree with everything you said before.

Isanira: I think that in order to comprehensively answer MEM’s question, all sides of the arguments must be looked at and all the various definitions of "natural" should be discussed. And can’t it be said, then, that all geography, according to your definition of "natural", is unnatural? All landscapes have been touched by either people or animals, all have been altered by the changing courses of rivers, earthquakes, erosion, etc.

And language is most certainly not a technology! The clicks, trills, and echolocation sounds of dolphins and the calls of birds can be considered "natural", but human speech cannot?! Humans have just developed the most sophisticated form of communication. But it is still natural!

And just another word - I greatly admire nature and do believe that humanity has gone very far in affecting it in too many negative ways, just like certain populations on Middle Earth. But it would be going too far to say that is not natural. Humans destroy animal habitats, but fires burnt out entire forests, floods destroy the homes of ground mammals, herds trample bird nests, etc. Instead, I think a different term would be more appropriate.
Istanira 18/Mar/2006 at 05:04 PM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
Language most definitely is a technology; it is one of humankind’s most important inventions; add to that, even moreso, writing. Anyone who has ever studied linguistics, as I have, would tell you the same.

I do understand the need to define comprehensively all sides to the argument--my question is if there is even an argument, really. To me, providing all the different definitions of ’natural’ is just getting in the way of a very simple question. I am not here proffering a definition of ’natural’. I think the ’state-of-being’ natural is context-specific and cannot be applied the same way across the board. What I am trying to do is address MEM’s query: is there any place in ME that is natural, etc., as he asked it at the top of the thread.

btw, I do not believe there is no such thing as ’natural’ geography. Geography untouched by mankind is natural. It is when people shape their environment to their own needs that creates an unnatural state from a geographic point of view, anyway.
Istanira 18/Mar/2006 at 05:04 PM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
Language most definitely is a technology; it is one of humankind’s most important inventions; add to that, even moreso, writing. Anyone who has ever studied linguistics, as I have, would tell you the same.

I do understand the need to define comprehensively all sides to the argument--my question is if there is even an argument, really. To me, providing all the different definitions of ’natural’ is just getting in the way of a very simple question. I am not here proffering a definition of ’natural’. I think the ’state-of-being’ natural is context-specific and cannot be applied the same way across the board. What I am trying to do is address MEM’s query: is there any place in ME that is natural, etc., as he asked it at the top of the thread.

btw, I do not believe there is no such thing as ’natural’ geography. Geography untouched by mankind is natural. It is when people shape their environment to their own needs that creates an unnatural state from a geographic point of view, anyway.
mighty ent man 19/Mar/2006 at 06:11 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Yes your own personal perception is that we as humans today are natural but my argument is that we are not. I do not and could never view humans as a natural thing, and our actions go against nature. What Nature is for me are the plants and trees and animals. Not polluted rivers, chopped down forests and dead animals. Is it natural for humans to kill animals in the fur trade? Are you and Noljen saying that cats and dogs in cages is natural? For if you are then I am in many ways shocked. I try to argue that Natural does come down to each individuals perception. For that is what you are saying. You are saying that all humans actions are natural, but I argue that they are not. They go beyond natural.

Yes but if we use every ones personal perception of what Natural is then we will never answer this question!

All landscapes have been touched by either people or animals, all have been altered by the changing courses of rivers, earthquakes, erosion,  - Yes but the key point to answer this is that Rivers are meant to be there. They formed like this before humans even existed upon this planet! Rivers form in certain areas due to the water being below ground and spriging out of a mountain area. Rivers naturally will erode down and form a valley. I think my point here is that these things you mention are natural because they exist before humans did. A Human going into the countryside and building a huge great skyscraper there is not a natural thing in the context of the environment as a whole.

Istanira - Ah yes that is one place which I think is Natural. The Glittering Caves, however they became unnatural later on when Gimili came there and started work on them but they are a place that could be considered natural. Good point! Yes humans do depend upon the environment to survive.

Excellent point there about the context. Really helps to support me. And also thanks for trying to answer my question in my original post. You have quite clearly grapsed what I intended for this thread.

Noljen - until we find an objective, or at least agreed upon term of nature and natural. - Ok then lets try and reach some point upon which we can discuss. I consider natural to be the absence of human intervention in the natural workings of an environment. The example I could give is of a river. Humans have not altered the natural course of the river. Simple as that. Can we use this definition?? But I have said this throughout the whole thread of what I consider to be natural and I have tried to continue to discuss places in Middle Earth. The debate about what is natural has been incredibly interesting but I have always made my position on what is natural very clear.

One thing that was expressed in my lecture on this very issue was that Nature is a socially constructed idea. It is something that is determined by society. Soceity determines what we commonly accept Nature to be.

The point in time I would argue is what we see in the LOTR book, the Third Age. And possibly beyond. I mean I gave an exmaple of somewhere upon Numenor.

 

 

mighty ent man 19/Mar/2006 at 06:11 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Yes your own personal perception is that we as humans today are natural but my argument is that we are not. I do not and could never view humans as a natural thing, and our actions go against nature. What Nature is for me are the plants and trees and animals. Not polluted rivers, chopped down forests and dead animals. Is it natural for humans to kill animals in the fur trade? Are you and Noljen saying that cats and dogs in cages is natural? For if you are then I am in many ways shocked. I try to argue that Natural does come down to each individuals perception. For that is what you are saying. You are saying that all humans actions are natural, but I argue that they are not. They go beyond natural.

Yes but if we use every ones personal perception of what Natural is then we will never answer this question!

All landscapes have been touched by either people or animals, all have been altered by the changing courses of rivers, earthquakes, erosion,  - Yes but the key point to answer this is that Rivers are meant to be there. They formed like this before humans even existed upon this planet! Rivers form in certain areas due to the water being below ground and spriging out of a mountain area. Rivers naturally will erode down and form a valley. I think my point here is that these things you mention are natural because they exist before humans did. A Human going into the countryside and building a huge great skyscraper there is not a natural thing in the context of the environment as a whole.

Istanira - Ah yes that is one place which I think is Natural. The Glittering Caves, however they became unnatural later on when Gimili came there and started work on them but they are a place that could be considered natural. Good point! Yes humans do depend upon the environment to survive.

Excellent point there about the context. Really helps to support me. And also thanks for trying to answer my question in my original post. You have quite clearly grapsed what I intended for this thread.

Noljen - until we find an objective, or at least agreed upon term of nature and natural. - Ok then lets try and reach some point upon which we can discuss. I consider natural to be the absence of human intervention in the natural workings of an environment. The example I could give is of a river. Humans have not altered the natural course of the river. Simple as that. Can we use this definition?? But I have said this throughout the whole thread of what I consider to be natural and I have tried to continue to discuss places in Middle Earth. The debate about what is natural has been incredibly interesting but I have always made my position on what is natural very clear.

One thing that was expressed in my lecture on this very issue was that Nature is a socially constructed idea. It is something that is determined by society. Soceity determines what we commonly accept Nature to be.

The point in time I would argue is what we see in the LOTR book, the Third Age. And possibly beyond. I mean I gave an exmaple of somewhere upon Numenor.

 

 

Istanira 19/Mar/2006 at 09:05 AM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
MEM

I was thinking about your query in the shower this a.m. and I thought that it would also be interesting to turn your question on its head and ask ’how are cultures/societies, in turn, influenced by their own native environments?’

Tolkien gave us a wonderful example in TTT when Aragorn sang a song to Gimli and Legolas in the toungue of the Rohirrim. And Legolas had this great response: ’I guess that is the tounge of the Rohirrim because it is as rich and rolling as their land...’ (or something to that effect--I do not have the book at hand to give the exact quote)...

The Galadhrim are tree dwellers. Is this because they planted mallorns (large enough to support whole cities in their boughs) or because the mallorns were already there and Amroth and/or Nimrodel thought it a good idea to build houses off the ground in dangerous times? Or was it because the Elves were loath to hurt any tree and would never chop one down to clear land to build upon?

Another thing that really struck me in your intitial post was what your lecturer stated: that nature/natural are socially constructed ideas

There is truth to that statement, however, it can be taken too far at times. I was looking for a link for you about an example called the ’Sokal Hoax’, an essay in the literary journal called ’Social Text’.

The writer published a completly ridiculous premise that ’physical reality was a social contruct’... using all the proper post-modern terminology and arguments. Anyway, it caused quite a stir and the physical scientists were laughing their butts off at the literary theorists. Imagine: the essay stated that ideas like ’E=MC2’ or Newtownian physics, ’F=MA’ were realities whose only basis were in ’language’. Anyway, here is the link: HERE (click)
Istanira 19/Mar/2006 at 09:05 AM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
MEM

I was thinking about your query in the shower this a.m. and I thought that it would also be interesting to turn your question on its head and ask ’how are cultures/societies, in turn, influenced by their own native environments?’

Tolkien gave us a wonderful example in TTT when Aragorn sang a song to Gimli and Legolas in the toungue of the Rohirrim. And Legolas had this great response: ’I guess that is the tounge of the Rohirrim because it is as rich and rolling as their land...’ (or something to that effect--I do not have the book at hand to give the exact quote)...

The Galadhrim are tree dwellers. Is this because they planted mallorns (large enough to support whole cities in their boughs) or because the mallorns were already there and Amroth and/or Nimrodel thought it a good idea to build houses off the ground in dangerous times? Or was it because the Elves were loath to hurt any tree and would never chop one down to clear land to build upon?

Another thing that really struck me in your intitial post was what your lecturer stated: that nature/natural are socially constructed ideas

There is truth to that statement, however, it can be taken too far at times. I was looking for a link for you about an example called the ’Sokal Hoax’, an essay in the literary journal called ’Social Text’.

The writer published a completly ridiculous premise that ’physical reality was a social contruct’... using all the proper post-modern terminology and arguments. Anyway, it caused quite a stir and the physical scientists were laughing their butts off at the literary theorists. Imagine: the essay stated that ideas like ’E=MC2’ or Newtownian physics, ’F=MA’ were realities whose only basis were in ’language’. Anyway, here is the link: HERE (click)
Nóljen 19/Mar/2006 at 12:33 PM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mem: "Is it natural for humans to kill animals in the fur trade? Are you and Noljen saying that cats and dogs in cages is natural? For if you are then I am in many ways shocked."

Yes. Yes. I bet you are...

"But I have said this throughout the whole thread of what I consider to be natural and I have tried to continue to discuss places in Middle Earth."

Hmmm... O.K., it seems like I will just have to repeat my question once again: Do we consider trolls, great eagles, ents, orcs, elves, Valar, Maiar and other great spirits natural?

Variene: I simply cannot help myself - the only choice I am left with is to congratulate you again. Excellent!!!

Istanira: You consider people unnatural. You consider language unnatural and what’s more, you state that: "Anyone who has ever studied linguistics, as I have, would tell you the same." Well, if you have studied linguistics, then you have perhaps already come across the fact, that English for example is classified as natural language, whereas Esperanto is - on the other hand - considered artificial. Therefore I somehow see no logic in what you have said. But this is nevertheless nothing more, than the surface of the actual matter.

No one in his right mind would state, that people did not evolve from natural beings, even if they do not consider their contemporary form natural, we will surely agree on that. Then, are you able to explain to me, how is it possible, that influenced and guided by nature and only by nature, which is itself purely natural, they suddenly became unnatural? This actually seems much like the teodicea problem to me - there is a clear parallel, if you see what I mean... And we know that whole Middle Ages were not long enough to solve that sort of problems...

Nóljen 19/Mar/2006 at 12:33 PM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mem: "Is it natural for humans to kill animals in the fur trade? Are you and Noljen saying that cats and dogs in cages is natural? For if you are then I am in many ways shocked."

Yes. Yes. I bet you are...

"But I have said this throughout the whole thread of what I consider to be natural and I have tried to continue to discuss places in Middle Earth."

Hmmm... O.K., it seems like I will just have to repeat my question once again: Do we consider trolls, great eagles, ents, orcs, elves, Valar, Maiar and other great spirits natural?

Variene: I simply cannot help myself - the only choice I am left with is to congratulate you again. Excellent!!!

Istanira: You consider people unnatural. You consider language unnatural and what’s more, you state that: "Anyone who has ever studied linguistics, as I have, would tell you the same." Well, if you have studied linguistics, then you have perhaps already come across the fact, that English for example is classified as natural language, whereas Esperanto is - on the other hand - considered artificial. Therefore I somehow see no logic in what you have said. But this is nevertheless nothing more, than the surface of the actual matter.

No one in his right mind would state, that people did not evolve from natural beings, even if they do not consider their contemporary form natural, we will surely agree on that. Then, are you able to explain to me, how is it possible, that influenced and guided by nature and only by nature, which is itself purely natural, they suddenly became unnatural? This actually seems much like the teodicea problem to me - there is a clear parallel, if you see what I mean... And we know that whole Middle Ages were not long enough to solve that sort of problems...

mighty ent man 19/Mar/2006 at 03:58 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Istanira - I was thinking about your query in the shower this a.m - I am glad someone is thinking about my topic. I really am glad to know that someone actually goes away and thinks about what they have read on the plaza. For this is how a good debate arises. When people think about whats been said and consider new ideas.

Yes I suspect the people in Middle Earth live as we do today. We as humans today really do depend upon the environment. Although we have evolved to the state that even if the place should be uninhabitable we can still live there because we can manipulate the environment. River straightening and draining land are only a few examples. The people in Middle Earth have made some regions unnatural. Lets take one example. The Ents dam up the riven Isen so that they can flood Isengard. This river has probably never run dry before in the whole of Middle Earths history, unless dorught occured here but I see no mention of it. And considering it comes down from the mountains this is not a dorught climate. So this is an unnatural event in the context of the history of that River.

Well does not society today determine what we consider and treat as natural and unnatural? I think to some extent it does.

Noljen - I am shocked that you could ever call it Natural for us as humans to dominate and treat other animals in such cruel ways. And the reality of it is that it is not natural. Its not like we are even doing it for fur to clothe oursleves in. We are doing if for fasion desires. Not natural instincts but Fashion. It is not a natural act for humans to do this. Anyway it was not my intention when starting this thread to go onto this. My intention as I stated was to consider what is natural in Middle Earth. I am not sure that I can debate this with you because me and you have the opposite and clashing views on what is natural. We as humans have gone far beyond anything observed in the earths history. This is of course completely irrelevant really to the whole topic of this thread but it is an interesting debate for me to examine as I like this area of Geography!

Do we consider trolls, great eagles, ents, orcs, elves, Valar, Maiar and other great spirits natural? - They themselves may be natural. It was not my intention to discuss this in this thread. Their actions are not natural. Also as I have said before I am including trolls in this, not the eagles, not the ents really, but orcs and elves yes. These I want to examine. Their actions are not natural. You should have gathered this from my posts.

I have to say that I do disagree with Istanira. Language is a natural thing. For sepcies of animal to find ways in which to communicate is a perfectly natural thing to do in terms of ecosystems.

You see Noljen you yourself in your last post have begun to consider humans and nature as separate things. You say we were guided by nature, thus we are separate from it! You yourself have written in this way in your last post. I say we as humans seek to fight against and dominate nature. These actions set us apart from it. We have begun to break away from living in harmony with nature.

So now finally Noljen. Can I ask you whether you think there are places in Middle Earth that are natural. I exect you to say that it is all natural!

mighty ent man 19/Mar/2006 at 03:58 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Istanira - I was thinking about your query in the shower this a.m - I am glad someone is thinking about my topic. I really am glad to know that someone actually goes away and thinks about what they have read on the plaza. For this is how a good debate arises. When people think about whats been said and consider new ideas.

Yes I suspect the people in Middle Earth live as we do today. We as humans today really do depend upon the environment. Although we have evolved to the state that even if the place should be uninhabitable we can still live there because we can manipulate the environment. River straightening and draining land are only a few examples. The people in Middle Earth have made some regions unnatural. Lets take one example. The Ents dam up the riven Isen so that they can flood Isengard. This river has probably never run dry before in the whole of Middle Earths history, unless dorught occured here but I see no mention of it. And considering it comes down from the mountains this is not a dorught climate. So this is an unnatural event in the context of the history of that River.

Well does not society today determine what we consider and treat as natural and unnatural? I think to some extent it does.

Noljen - I am shocked that you could ever call it Natural for us as humans to dominate and treat other animals in such cruel ways. And the reality of it is that it is not natural. Its not like we are even doing it for fur to clothe oursleves in. We are doing if for fasion desires. Not natural instincts but Fashion. It is not a natural act for humans to do this. Anyway it was not my intention when starting this thread to go onto this. My intention as I stated was to consider what is natural in Middle Earth. I am not sure that I can debate this with you because me and you have the opposite and clashing views on what is natural. We as humans have gone far beyond anything observed in the earths history. This is of course completely irrelevant really to the whole topic of this thread but it is an interesting debate for me to examine as I like this area of Geography!

Do we consider trolls, great eagles, ents, orcs, elves, Valar, Maiar and other great spirits natural? - They themselves may be natural. It was not my intention to discuss this in this thread. Their actions are not natural. Also as I have said before I am including trolls in this, not the eagles, not the ents really, but orcs and elves yes. These I want to examine. Their actions are not natural. You should have gathered this from my posts.

I have to say that I do disagree with Istanira. Language is a natural thing. For sepcies of animal to find ways in which to communicate is a perfectly natural thing to do in terms of ecosystems.

You see Noljen you yourself in your last post have begun to consider humans and nature as separate things. You say we were guided by nature, thus we are separate from it! You yourself have written in this way in your last post. I say we as humans seek to fight against and dominate nature. These actions set us apart from it. We have begun to break away from living in harmony with nature.

So now finally Noljen. Can I ask you whether you think there are places in Middle Earth that are natural. I exect you to say that it is all natural!

Istanira 19/Mar/2006 at 06:15 PM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
Nóljen, I am not saying that people are not natural out of context like that, so please don’t twist my words. Nor am I saying language is not ’natural’ , English or otherwise!

Language (and writing) as a human invention is a technology, something fabricated, a tool; humans are not born being able to speak, so it does not come natural--no pun intended, heh, heh. The capacity for communication in animals is not the same thing as language, even if we like to call it that.

My point is that people manipulate their environments in ways that are not natural to the environment itself--not that people themselves are ’unnatural’. That is my whole point about context. Any place where people make their permanent dwelling has been altered out of its natural state (the state it would be in without the interference of people).
Istanira 19/Mar/2006 at 06:15 PM
Soldier of Mordor Points: 1596 Posts: 1367 Joined: 05/Nov/2005
Nóljen, I am not saying that people are not natural out of context like that, so please don’t twist my words. Nor am I saying language is not ’natural’ , English or otherwise!

Language (and writing) as a human invention is a technology, something fabricated, a tool; humans are not born being able to speak, so it does not come natural--no pun intended, heh, heh. The capacity for communication in animals is not the same thing as language, even if we like to call it that.

My point is that people manipulate their environments in ways that are not natural to the environment itself--not that people themselves are ’unnatural’. That is my whole point about context. Any place where people make their permanent dwelling has been altered out of its natural state (the state it would be in without the interference of people).
Variene Áduial 19/Mar/2006 at 06:53 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
You know, I have read your posts and am starting to agree with you, mighty ent man and Istanira, at least on some of your points, especially after discussing it off the forum (gasp!). There are different definitions of natural, and the one used in context here is the "natural" of nature, of original forms in nature that have existed and can function without the intervention of humans. Humans disrupt nature because they want to fulfill certain purposes. We create and synthesize certain things, ie buildings, that did not exist before, and thus aren’t "natural" in nature.

mighty ent man: In no way am I saying that having dogs and cats caged is natural. That is not what I meant at all. I definitely agree, though, with your explanation of rivers - I hadn’t thought about it like that before. It is true. But I think you misinterpreted Noljen’s statement: she was asking how could it be possible for humans to be considered apart from nature, which expressed disbelief.

Istanira, humans are born with the ability to speak, however! And about Lorien, I think the mallorn seedlings were brought over from the trees in Doriath. And I would say the talans were constructed for both those reasons.

I would say that Lorien can be considered natural, though! It has hardly been touched - only by the elves and the talans, which are as close to "natural" as I can imagine.
Variene Áduial 19/Mar/2006 at 06:53 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
You know, I have read your posts and am starting to agree with you, mighty ent man and Istanira, at least on some of your points, especially after discussing it off the forum (gasp!). There are different definitions of natural, and the one used in context here is the "natural" of nature, of original forms in nature that have existed and can function without the intervention of humans. Humans disrupt nature because they want to fulfill certain purposes. We create and synthesize certain things, ie buildings, that did not exist before, and thus aren’t "natural" in nature.

mighty ent man: In no way am I saying that having dogs and cats caged is natural. That is not what I meant at all. I definitely agree, though, with your explanation of rivers - I hadn’t thought about it like that before. It is true. But I think you misinterpreted Noljen’s statement: she was asking how could it be possible for humans to be considered apart from nature, which expressed disbelief.

Istanira, humans are born with the ability to speak, however! And about Lorien, I think the mallorn seedlings were brought over from the trees in Doriath. And I would say the talans were constructed for both those reasons.

I would say that Lorien can be considered natural, though! It has hardly been touched - only by the elves and the talans, which are as close to "natural" as I can imagine.
mighty ent man 20/Mar/2006 at 12:51 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Istanira - My point is that people manipulate their environments in ways that are not natural to the environment itself-- - Yes this has been my point throughout the whole thread, however I also do feel that to some extent humans could be considered unnatural. For we live in places where it is not natural for us to live. Animals do not do this, the only reason that they do now is because humans have created places which do not fit and conform to natures rules. Cities for example, they attract animals to them because of the abundance of food resources and heat. I think you have raised an excellent point there. For a River it is not natural for that River to be straightened or for it to have concrete banks - but many do because of humans. Humans have made this an unnatural River.

Variene - I am glad to see you warming to our side of the argument!

Yes, we are dominant, but then everything we do and everything humanity has created can be considered natural,  - You said this in one of your earlier posts. And now you are saying that you would not consider humans having cats and dogs in cages for the fur trade natural? Yet you say that all that we do is natural. These two contradict. Please explain to me now, has your view changed since this earlier post?

How can Lorien be natural if the tree growth has possibly been altered by the presence of these talans?

mighty ent man 20/Mar/2006 at 12:51 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Istanira - My point is that people manipulate their environments in ways that are not natural to the environment itself-- - Yes this has been my point throughout the whole thread, however I also do feel that to some extent humans could be considered unnatural. For we live in places where it is not natural for us to live. Animals do not do this, the only reason that they do now is because humans have created places which do not fit and conform to natures rules. Cities for example, they attract animals to them because of the abundance of food resources and heat. I think you have raised an excellent point there. For a River it is not natural for that River to be straightened or for it to have concrete banks - but many do because of humans. Humans have made this an unnatural River.

Variene - I am glad to see you warming to our side of the argument!

Yes, we are dominant, but then everything we do and everything humanity has created can be considered natural,  - You said this in one of your earlier posts. And now you are saying that you would not consider humans having cats and dogs in cages for the fur trade natural? Yet you say that all that we do is natural. These two contradict. Please explain to me now, has your view changed since this earlier post?

How can Lorien be natural if the tree growth has possibly been altered by the presence of these talans?

Nóljen 20/Mar/2006 at 07:44 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

"You see Noljen you yourself in your last post have begun to consider humans and nature as separate things."

Absolutely not. Just read it again: "No one in his right mind would state, that people did not evolve from natural beings, even if they do not consider their contemporary form natural, we will surely agree on that. Then, are you able to explain to me, how is it possible, that influenced and guided by nature and only by nature, which is itself purely natural, they suddenly became unnatural?"

I stated the passage in italics as an assumption at the beggining to give us a starting point on which we could build a theory. It is obvious, that I had to come up with an assumption which you can agree with, otherwise it would be useless to say anything. Then, based on this assumption, I went on in a logical analysis of the problem. The goal was to make you see, that assuming that people are unnatural, we cannot come to a logical result. However, it seems like I have not succeeded, though none of you did actually prove me wrong. You just gave me no answer...

"So now finally Noljen. Can I ask you whether you think there are places in Middle Earth that are natural. I exect you to say that it is all natural!"

I definitely would, if we were to speak together in terms of the definition of the word natural, which I consider right. Using your terms, my answer is quite different. There is nothing or almost nothing in the Middle Earth, that can be proved natural. However, there is a lot of places and things, which cannot be proved unnatural either like the mountain tops and the deepest depths of the ocean.

To Istanira: I see exactly, what you mean. I just disagree. However, I must admit, taht you’ve got your part of the truth as well as me and that your part is neither smaller, nor bigger than my part. It is just a different part - simple as that, for everything - in my opinion - should philosophically be considered a part of the truth. Therefore - yes, you’ve got your point .

Nóljen 20/Mar/2006 at 07:44 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

"You see Noljen you yourself in your last post have begun to consider humans and nature as separate things."

Absolutely not. Just read it again: "No one in his right mind would state, that people did not evolve from natural beings, even if they do not consider their contemporary form natural, we will surely agree on that. Then, are you able to explain to me, how is it possible, that influenced and guided by nature and only by nature, which is itself purely natural, they suddenly became unnatural?"

I stated the passage in italics as an assumption at the beggining to give us a starting point on which we could build a theory. It is obvious, that I had to come up with an assumption which you can agree with, otherwise it would be useless to say anything. Then, based on this assumption, I went on in a logical analysis of the problem. The goal was to make you see, that assuming that people are unnatural, we cannot come to a logical result. However, it seems like I have not succeeded, though none of you did actually prove me wrong. You just gave me no answer...

"So now finally Noljen. Can I ask you whether you think there are places in Middle Earth that are natural. I exect you to say that it is all natural!"

I definitely would, if we were to speak together in terms of the definition of the word natural, which I consider right. Using your terms, my answer is quite different. There is nothing or almost nothing in the Middle Earth, that can be proved natural. However, there is a lot of places and things, which cannot be proved unnatural either like the mountain tops and the deepest depths of the ocean.

To Istanira: I see exactly, what you mean. I just disagree. However, I must admit, taht you’ve got your part of the truth as well as me and that your part is neither smaller, nor bigger than my part. It is just a different part - simple as that, for everything - in my opinion - should philosophically be considered a part of the truth. Therefore - yes, you’ve got your point .

Variene Áduial 20/Mar/2006 at 06:05 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, in my last post I showed a change of opinion because I realized the uselessness of arguing the other definition of the word "natural". The word can mean different things, but the definition we are using here is that the term describes everything that has originated in nature and all the systems that can function without humans. Humans have synthesized certain materials that could not be found in nature originally, and thus can be called "unnatural". Humans have dominance over other living things and use their power for all different purposes. But not all humans - Native Americans or other Indian tribes who lived in harmony with nature, were, for example, most certainly natural.

My view has not changed - I have just taken another path of defining the word, and I still believe that my older definition can be used, but it is too general and a bit distant from the usual use of the term "natural" in modern society. We must realize that there are many definitions of words, as there are many interpretations of the "truth".

Oh, "altered tree growth", that is a little extreme! The people are living in trees, they are not altering their environment, and if they are, it is the least of all other societies. The elves live in harmony with nature, and thus Lorien is as natural a dwelling as you can get. You shouldn’t get that specific! Woodpeckers create holes in trees - that’s natural, right? That must alter the living patterns of the tree! But the talans were built on already grown and adult trees, not saplings, so I wouldn’t think they affected them in any serious way.
Variene Áduial 20/Mar/2006 at 06:05 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, in my last post I showed a change of opinion because I realized the uselessness of arguing the other definition of the word "natural". The word can mean different things, but the definition we are using here is that the term describes everything that has originated in nature and all the systems that can function without humans. Humans have synthesized certain materials that could not be found in nature originally, and thus can be called "unnatural". Humans have dominance over other living things and use their power for all different purposes. But not all humans - Native Americans or other Indian tribes who lived in harmony with nature, were, for example, most certainly natural.

My view has not changed - I have just taken another path of defining the word, and I still believe that my older definition can be used, but it is too general and a bit distant from the usual use of the term "natural" in modern society. We must realize that there are many definitions of words, as there are many interpretations of the "truth".

Oh, "altered tree growth", that is a little extreme! The people are living in trees, they are not altering their environment, and if they are, it is the least of all other societies. The elves live in harmony with nature, and thus Lorien is as natural a dwelling as you can get. You shouldn’t get that specific! Woodpeckers create holes in trees - that’s natural, right? That must alter the living patterns of the tree! But the talans were built on already grown and adult trees, not saplings, so I wouldn’t think they affected them in any serious way.
mighty ent man 21/Mar/2006 at 05:44 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Noljen - Well I do not know what I have not given you an answer to! To me I have given you the criteria for what i want to base natural on. I have explained well to you why I myself consider humans actions to be unnatural in the context of the natural environment. I have set everything out so we can debate this question. Which we have done well, and I have enjoyed it a lot. But now I cant help but wonder where it is going. What do you want answers to?

Yes we finally gain a small bit of answer out of you! And I agree, we already talked here briefly about the oceans. And yes mountain peaks could be natural and are likely to be. However it is possible that Saruman has polluted the air around him and this would transfer down into the snow. So we have to be careful which mountain peaks we consider to be natural.

Variene - But not all humans - Native Americans or other Indian tribes who lived in harmony with nature, were, for example, most certainly natural. - Hmm well I would not say that they are natural but they act in harmony with nature. They act naturally with nature, not against it as others do.

Hmm you see I agree with you about Lorien to a certain extent. Yes the talans are built in the trees and allow the tree to grow properly. The only part I am unsure about is the actual main city, Caras Galadhon I think it is. This area has many paths and a large wall around it and a gate. There is considerable human influence on the environment here.
mighty ent man 21/Mar/2006 at 05:44 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Noljen - Well I do not know what I have not given you an answer to! To me I have given you the criteria for what i want to base natural on. I have explained well to you why I myself consider humans actions to be unnatural in the context of the natural environment. I have set everything out so we can debate this question. Which we have done well, and I have enjoyed it a lot. But now I cant help but wonder where it is going. What do you want answers to?

Yes we finally gain a small bit of answer out of you! And I agree, we already talked here briefly about the oceans. And yes mountain peaks could be natural and are likely to be. However it is possible that Saruman has polluted the air around him and this would transfer down into the snow. So we have to be careful which mountain peaks we consider to be natural.

Variene - But not all humans - Native Americans or other Indian tribes who lived in harmony with nature, were, for example, most certainly natural. - Hmm well I would not say that they are natural but they act in harmony with nature. They act naturally with nature, not against it as others do.

Hmm you see I agree with you about Lorien to a certain extent. Yes the talans are built in the trees and allow the tree to grow properly. The only part I am unsure about is the actual main city, Caras Galadhon I think it is. This area has many paths and a large wall around it and a gate. There is considerable human influence on the environment here.
Variene Áduial 21/Mar/2006 at 01:02 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, well, I do say that Native Americans were natural, and as natural as people can get with still remaining human. To act "naturally with nature", as you put it, is part of my definition of"natural". Think about it - if you’re in harmony with nature, you’re natural. If you’re not, you’re unnatural. That’s an easy and realistic definition.

Yes, Caras Galadhon does have a wall and paths, but you are getting picky! I will then narrow my opinion to saying that Lorien is as natural as human/elf dwellings get, at least from the slight bit I know of the Middle Earth history. Animals in the woods also create their own paths (and we agree that animals are "natural"). Construction is not neccessarily unnatural - if you, once again, are building in harmony with nature and not getting in the way of the ecosystems, the construction can be considered natural. Birds construct nests, moles build tunnels underground, ants construct antholes, etc.
Variene Áduial 21/Mar/2006 at 01:02 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, well, I do say that Native Americans were natural, and as natural as people can get with still remaining human. To act "naturally with nature", as you put it, is part of my definition of"natural". Think about it - if you’re in harmony with nature, you’re natural. If you’re not, you’re unnatural. That’s an easy and realistic definition.

Yes, Caras Galadhon does have a wall and paths, but you are getting picky! I will then narrow my opinion to saying that Lorien is as natural as human/elf dwellings get, at least from the slight bit I know of the Middle Earth history. Animals in the woods also create their own paths (and we agree that animals are "natural"). Construction is not neccessarily unnatural - if you, once again, are building in harmony with nature and not getting in the way of the ecosystems, the construction can be considered natural. Birds construct nests, moles build tunnels underground, ants construct antholes, etc.
mighty ent man 21/Mar/2006 at 03:15 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Well I am not going to get into the debate that we have already had over whether humans are natual or not. To me your logic seems floored as I dont see how you can have natural and unnatural humans but there we go!

I am not being picky! I am being realistic in what I view as natural. Please dont let your bias as an Elf affect your debate on this. I am using a realistic definition of what is natural. I would argue no it is not as natural as human dwellings get. A more natural one would be living in a cave for example. Or even gathering dead wood and building some form of den. Ah yes but this wall surrounding Caras Galadhon interferes with the animals habitat. It creates a block to species migration and also prevents the spread of some ecosytem types.

mighty ent man 21/Mar/2006 at 03:15 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Well I am not going to get into the debate that we have already had over whether humans are natual or not. To me your logic seems floored as I dont see how you can have natural and unnatural humans but there we go!

I am not being picky! I am being realistic in what I view as natural. Please dont let your bias as an Elf affect your debate on this. I am using a realistic definition of what is natural. I would argue no it is not as natural as human dwellings get. A more natural one would be living in a cave for example. Or even gathering dead wood and building some form of den. Ah yes but this wall surrounding Caras Galadhon interferes with the animals habitat. It creates a block to species migration and also prevents the spread of some ecosytem types.

Ancalimia 21/Mar/2006 at 03:48 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 272 Posts: 75 Joined: 01/Mar/2006
If the Valar are the creators of everything, even man, then I would submitt that even man is part of nature, although man does "change" nature.  "Nature" itself changes constantly:  a bird builds a nest, an Ent walks through the forest.   The sun rises, the earth grows warmer (or colder) depending on the time.  Sometimes islands sink into the sea (although obviously when Numenor did this, it was not an entirely natural phenomenon). There is an evolution of sorts going on in Middle Earth as the world ages.   Some of it is due to evil forces/technology and some of it is just a natural process that is not affected by man, beast, elf or hobbit.    I really see this when the hobbits are in Fangorn with Treebeard and Treebeard is speaking of how few Ents are left.   Treebeard says, "Only three remain of the first Ents that walked the woods before the Darkness:  only myself, Fangorn, and Finglas and Fladrif--to give them their Elvish names; you may call them Leaflock and Skinbark if you like that better.  And of us three, Leaflock and Skinbark are not much use for this business.  Leaflock has grown sleepy, almost tree-ish, you might say:  he has taken to by himself half-asleep all through the summer with the deep grass of the meadow round his knees....Skinbark lived on the mountain slopes west of Isenguard.  That is where the worst trouble has been.  He was wounded by the Orcs, and many of his folk and his tree-herds  have been murdered and destroyed.  He has gone up into the high places, among the birches that he loves best, and he will not come down."   What I see in that speech is that both of the other Ents have isolated themselves, one because of Saurman and the Orcs and their evil, and one just because he "grew sleepy" through the rpocess of time.  The only thing interacting with Leaflock in the quotation is the grass growing around his knees.   The ultimate survival of the Ents is in doubt for several reasons, (1) because they have lost the Entwives and are not producing Entings, (2) because they are isolating themselves from the rest of the world (including man), AND (3) because those outside of Fangorn (Saruman and the Orcs) are starting to affect them with their evil behavior.   So even the most Natural of processes (standing around doing nothing and interacting with no one, not even squirrels can cause extinction.  Is Middle Earth natural?  Well, part of the essence of nature is change, and some things are changing even though they are not initially affected by the evil of Sauron, Saurman and the Ring.  Surely Leaflock is an example of the natural in Middle Earth, but being "natural" and doing nothing will still not insure his survival. 
Ancalimia 21/Mar/2006 at 03:48 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 272 Posts: 75 Joined: 01/Mar/2006
If the Valar are the creators of everything, even man, then I would submitt that even man is part of nature, although man does "change" nature.  "Nature" itself changes constantly:  a bird builds a nest, an Ent walks through the forest.   The sun rises, the earth grows warmer (or colder) depending on the time.  Sometimes islands sink into the sea (although obviously when Numenor did this, it was not an entirely natural phenomenon). There is an evolution of sorts going on in Middle Earth as the world ages.   Some of it is due to evil forces/technology and some of it is just a natural process that is not affected by man, beast, elf or hobbit.    I really see this when the hobbits are in Fangorn with Treebeard and Treebeard is speaking of how few Ents are left.   Treebeard says, "Only three remain of the first Ents that walked the woods before the Darkness:  only myself, Fangorn, and Finglas and Fladrif--to give them their Elvish names; you may call them Leaflock and Skinbark if you like that better.  And of us three, Leaflock and Skinbark are not much use for this business.  Leaflock has grown sleepy, almost tree-ish, you might say:  he has taken to by himself half-asleep all through the summer with the deep grass of the meadow round his knees....Skinbark lived on the mountain slopes west of Isenguard.  That is where the worst trouble has been.  He was wounded by the Orcs, and many of his folk and his tree-herds  have been murdered and destroyed.  He has gone up into the high places, among the birches that he loves best, and he will not come down."   What I see in that speech is that both of the other Ents have isolated themselves, one because of Saurman and the Orcs and their evil, and one just because he "grew sleepy" through the rpocess of time.  The only thing interacting with Leaflock in the quotation is the grass growing around his knees.   The ultimate survival of the Ents is in doubt for several reasons, (1) because they have lost the Entwives and are not producing Entings, (2) because they are isolating themselves from the rest of the world (including man), AND (3) because those outside of Fangorn (Saruman and the Orcs) are starting to affect them with their evil behavior.   So even the most Natural of processes (standing around doing nothing and interacting with no one, not even squirrels can cause extinction.  Is Middle Earth natural?  Well, part of the essence of nature is change, and some things are changing even though they are not initially affected by the evil of Sauron, Saurman and the Ring.  Surely Leaflock is an example of the natural in Middle Earth, but being "natural" and doing nothing will still not insure his survival. 
mighty ent man 21/Mar/2006 at 04:01 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Ancalimia - I love your post. The Ents fascinate me and I have studied them a quite a bit in threads on the plaza. And I love your analysis of the Ents and how they behave. They are a very secretive species, many people dont even know that the exist in Middle Earth. However you and me differ on opinions I think. Nature is about change, I agree. People say that the British Isles natural state is complete cover of woodland. However going back 10,000 years it would have bee Ice! Due to an Ice Age. So what is Natural? It does change. What is natural change with time. But I consider humans to not be a part of nature, maybe in Middle Earth they are.
mighty ent man 21/Mar/2006 at 04:01 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Ancalimia - I love your post. The Ents fascinate me and I have studied them a quite a bit in threads on the plaza. And I love your analysis of the Ents and how they behave. They are a very secretive species, many people dont even know that the exist in Middle Earth. However you and me differ on opinions I think. Nature is about change, I agree. People say that the British Isles natural state is complete cover of woodland. However going back 10,000 years it would have bee Ice! Due to an Ice Age. So what is Natural? It does change. What is natural change with time. But I consider humans to not be a part of nature, maybe in Middle Earth they are.
Variene Áduial 21/Mar/2006 at 07:40 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
MEM, you truly humored me in your reply. I never mentioned anything about "natural or unnatural humans". How interesting, although I believe I only said that some people and some races, such as the Native Americans, are more "natural", so to say, because they live in harmony with nature. I believe that human beings by themselves are most certainly natural. We are not machines, are we? Robots, mechanisms, something created in an "unnatural" way? Now if we were clones, that would be a different matter. But we are living, breathing organisms that nature (or God, according to one’s personal beliefs) has designed, just like every other living thing. What humans do is unnatural, not human beings themselves.

"Please dont let your bias as an Elf affect your debate on this. ". Are you saying that you think I have magically transformed into an elf during my time in the plaza?! That is truly amusing. I am sure I have no such bias, as I am not in any way, or ever will be, an elf.

In your latest post you stated that humans are not part of nature. What evidence and support can you give? Although people are certainly more developed than other forms of life on earth and thus have a different view on the world, I would still consider myself natural. So then what do you call humans?
Variene Áduial 21/Mar/2006 at 07:40 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
MEM, you truly humored me in your reply. I never mentioned anything about "natural or unnatural humans". How interesting, although I believe I only said that some people and some races, such as the Native Americans, are more "natural", so to say, because they live in harmony with nature. I believe that human beings by themselves are most certainly natural. We are not machines, are we? Robots, mechanisms, something created in an "unnatural" way? Now if we were clones, that would be a different matter. But we are living, breathing organisms that nature (or God, according to one’s personal beliefs) has designed, just like every other living thing. What humans do is unnatural, not human beings themselves.

"Please dont let your bias as an Elf affect your debate on this. ". Are you saying that you think I have magically transformed into an elf during my time in the plaza?! That is truly amusing. I am sure I have no such bias, as I am not in any way, or ever will be, an elf.

In your latest post you stated that humans are not part of nature. What evidence and support can you give? Although people are certainly more developed than other forms of life on earth and thus have a different view on the world, I would still consider myself natural. So then what do you call humans?
mighty ent man 22/Mar/2006 at 02:39 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Ah ok sorry I did misinterpret what you were saying. Heres a little joke thing I will respond to:

We are not machines, are we? - Well some would say yes we are! I mean look at what we do. Do we behave as we once did, hunting and gathering. Now I accept that it is evolution but look at the amount of machines we use in our everyday lives! I am even on one now posting this to you to read! I am not saying we are machines but it is an interesting point to consider. Is this a natural thing for a specie of animal to do? To sit at a computer?

You are an Elf here on the plaza! That is your Kingdom, the same way I am an Ent. It just sounded to me that you were quick to defend Lorien from me, thus I thought maybe it was because you loved it as you are an Elf here. I am sorry if no such bias exists.

Hmm I am not sure. You see I am certain on my view that what humans do is not natural. I still have not fully made up my mind yet on whether they are natural or unnatural themselves. For I do see that humans have evolved to such an extent that they now go beyond what has ever been natural for a animal specie to do.

mighty ent man 22/Mar/2006 at 02:39 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Ah ok sorry I did misinterpret what you were saying. Heres a little joke thing I will respond to:

We are not machines, are we? - Well some would say yes we are! I mean look at what we do. Do we behave as we once did, hunting and gathering. Now I accept that it is evolution but look at the amount of machines we use in our everyday lives! I am even on one now posting this to you to read! I am not saying we are machines but it is an interesting point to consider. Is this a natural thing for a specie of animal to do? To sit at a computer?

You are an Elf here on the plaza! That is your Kingdom, the same way I am an Ent. It just sounded to me that you were quick to defend Lorien from me, thus I thought maybe it was because you loved it as you are an Elf here. I am sorry if no such bias exists.

Hmm I am not sure. You see I am certain on my view that what humans do is not natural. I still have not fully made up my mind yet on whether they are natural or unnatural themselves. For I do see that humans have evolved to such an extent that they now go beyond what has ever been natural for a animal specie to do.

Nóljen 24/Mar/2006 at 06:43 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man: "Well I do not know what I have not given you an answer to!"

O.K., I didn’t actually want to analyse it any further, but since one’s asking... My question is - once again - What exactly - in your opinion - made people unnatural - if we assume, that they (at least) were a part of nature once, and that they were shaped by nature and only by nature (which is obvious, because there wasn’t anything else) and supposing, that nature itself is natural; how is it possible, that people themselves are unnatural.

"However it is possible that Saruman has polluted the air around him and this would transfer down into the snow."

Saruman is one of Maiar and he has obtained both - his authority and his mission from Valar. Were Valar and Maiar not considered natural till now?

Nóljen 24/Mar/2006 at 06:43 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Mighty ent man: "Well I do not know what I have not given you an answer to!"

O.K., I didn’t actually want to analyse it any further, but since one’s asking... My question is - once again - What exactly - in your opinion - made people unnatural - if we assume, that they (at least) were a part of nature once, and that they were shaped by nature and only by nature (which is obvious, because there wasn’t anything else) and supposing, that nature itself is natural; how is it possible, that people themselves are unnatural.

"However it is possible that Saruman has polluted the air around him and this would transfer down into the snow."

Saruman is one of Maiar and he has obtained both - his authority and his mission from Valar. Were Valar and Maiar not considered natural till now?

Variene Áduial 24/Mar/2006 at 08:20 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
MEM, well, the use of computers is as far as humanity has developed in technology. Isn’t evolution and change natural? But that was not what we were discussing - we were talking about whether or not humans as beings are natural. I will say once again that what humans do may not be "natural", but humans themselves are, at least in my humble opinion.

Oh, so you say that a species can evolve from being "natural" to "unnatural"? What a strange idea. So, if we are not "natural", if we are not part of nature, then what are we part of?

Yes, I love being proud of Lorien and being an elf on the plaza, but in no way is a bias possible - the plaza has not made me think like an elf, although perhaps that would’ve been fun.
Variene Áduial 24/Mar/2006 at 08:20 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
MEM, well, the use of computers is as far as humanity has developed in technology. Isn’t evolution and change natural? But that was not what we were discussing - we were talking about whether or not humans as beings are natural. I will say once again that what humans do may not be "natural", but humans themselves are, at least in my humble opinion.

Oh, so you say that a species can evolve from being "natural" to "unnatural"? What a strange idea. So, if we are not "natural", if we are not part of nature, then what are we part of?

Yes, I love being proud of Lorien and being an elf on the plaza, but in no way is a bias possible - the plaza has not made me think like an elf, although perhaps that would’ve been fun.
Ancalimia 26/Mar/2006 at 03:33 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 272 Posts: 75 Joined: 01/Mar/2006

Mighty Ent Man:  Thanks for your kind comments on my post.  I will have to visit Fangorn some time to meet some more Ents!  They are fascinating and secretive creatures.  And while Ents appear to me to be "more natural" than man, I still do maintain that man is a natural creature, created like the Eves, the Dwarves and the Ents were created.  Certainly some actions of man have negative impacts on the natural world, and certainly Professor Tolkien himself disliked technology.  But he used a typewriter, and would have used a computer today, I expect, even though much of LOTR was written by hand.  Likewise, man uses computers today, and we use computers to communicate with each other on this site.  Sometimes it is not the technology itself that is evil but how it is used (and miused).  But technology is not "natural" and it causes change, some of which is negative as always.

Variene, I understand your comments to mean that some men or groups of men are closer to nature than others, for example, Native Americans of a few years ago who lived off the land.  Their use of the buffalo for food and clothing seems more noble than the waste of many of the buffalo by white men (who were interested only in the pelts, not the meat, and nearly brought about the extinction of the buffalo).  I probably agree with you that some men are closer to nature than others, but I don’t agree that some men are natural and others are unnatural.  I do believe that some men behave in unnatural ways, and that our society is moving farther and farther away from the natural and more into the realm of technology, which is not always good.  For example, email is a useful thing, but when it creates an obligation on my part to read and check my email each day, then it sometimes causes me to fritter away valuable time.  Unlike now. 

Ancalimia 26/Mar/2006 at 03:33 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 272 Posts: 75 Joined: 01/Mar/2006

Mighty Ent Man:  Thanks for your kind comments on my post.  I will have to visit Fangorn some time to meet some more Ents!  They are fascinating and secretive creatures.  And while Ents appear to me to be "more natural" than man, I still do maintain that man is a natural creature, created like the Eves, the Dwarves and the Ents were created.  Certainly some actions of man have negative impacts on the natural world, and certainly Professor Tolkien himself disliked technology.  But he used a typewriter, and would have used a computer today, I expect, even though much of LOTR was written by hand.  Likewise, man uses computers today, and we use computers to communicate with each other on this site.  Sometimes it is not the technology itself that is evil but how it is used (and miused).  But technology is not "natural" and it causes change, some of which is negative as always.

Variene, I understand your comments to mean that some men or groups of men are closer to nature than others, for example, Native Americans of a few years ago who lived off the land.  Their use of the buffalo for food and clothing seems more noble than the waste of many of the buffalo by white men (who were interested only in the pelts, not the meat, and nearly brought about the extinction of the buffalo).  I probably agree with you that some men are closer to nature than others, but I don’t agree that some men are natural and others are unnatural.  I do believe that some men behave in unnatural ways, and that our society is moving farther and farther away from the natural and more into the realm of technology, which is not always good.  For example, email is a useful thing, but when it creates an obligation on my part to read and check my email each day, then it sometimes causes me to fritter away valuable time.  Unlike now. 

Niek Jans 28/Mar/2006 at 01:44 AM
Archer of Imladris Points: 634 Posts: 348 Joined: 20/Mar/2006

Maybe the Great Sea? I know that the island of Numenor was drown down into the sea like the myth of Atlantis, by the Valar. But i think it still is the most natural place on ME.

About Man being natural. Yes Man are natural i think. So were/are apes. Nad apes evolved into man etc. Only the behavior of Man may not be that good for Nature, i still think it is natural.

Niek Jans 28/Mar/2006 at 01:44 AM
Archer of Imladris Points: 634 Posts: 348 Joined: 20/Mar/2006

Maybe the Great Sea? I know that the island of Numenor was drown down into the sea like the myth of Atlantis, by the Valar. But i think it still is the most natural place on ME.

About Man being natural. Yes Man are natural i think. So were/are apes. Nad apes evolved into man etc. Only the behavior of Man may not be that good for Nature, i still think it is natural.

Variene Áduial 28/Mar/2006 at 06:56 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Ancalimia: I’m sorry, but my words have once again been misinterpreted - I never said that "some men are natural and others are unnatural". I never wrote that in any of my posts. But I agree with what you say, especially the Native Americans.

Niek Jans: I would be careful of stating evolution theories, because that may cross with other people’s beliefs - it’s not all that easy to just state that man evolved from apes. I would say, though, that man’s behavior can most certainly be unnatural, though, at least according to the definition we have set in this thread by now.
Variene Áduial 28/Mar/2006 at 06:56 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Ancalimia: I’m sorry, but my words have once again been misinterpreted - I never said that "some men are natural and others are unnatural". I never wrote that in any of my posts. But I agree with what you say, especially the Native Americans.

Niek Jans: I would be careful of stating evolution theories, because that may cross with other people’s beliefs - it’s not all that easy to just state that man evolved from apes. I would say, though, that man’s behavior can most certainly be unnatural, though, at least according to the definition we have set in this thread by now.
KitsuneInuYasha 29/Mar/2006 at 06:06 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Variene Audial: A bunch of people are now combining the two theories- that God gave creatures the ABILITY to evolve. After all, would He really create something in "his own image" only to have that something start destroying the planet?


Back on topic:
Natural is as natural does as natural changes ever cause
Man can build and man can tear, all of this on earth doth wear
Clothed in blacktop, caped in stone. Hear now how we all do moan.
Save the earth, save the whales, oh how fair these little tails.

In OTHER words- what is "natural" changes constantly. Nature is ever evolving, ever changing. Sol adapts to whatever we throw at it... it takes a heck of a lot to throw a Million Billion tonne piece of rock out of whack after all.
KitsuneInuYasha 29/Mar/2006 at 06:06 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Variene Audial: A bunch of people are now combining the two theories- that God gave creatures the ABILITY to evolve. After all, would He really create something in "his own image" only to have that something start destroying the planet?


Back on topic:
Natural is as natural does as natural changes ever cause
Man can build and man can tear, all of this on earth doth wear
Clothed in blacktop, caped in stone. Hear now how we all do moan.
Save the earth, save the whales, oh how fair these little tails.

In OTHER words- what is "natural" changes constantly. Nature is ever evolving, ever changing. Sol adapts to whatever we throw at it... it takes a heck of a lot to throw a Million Billion tonne piece of rock out of whack after all.
Gondram 30/Mar/2006 at 12:20 PM
New Soul Points: 111 Posts: 72 Joined: 20/Feb/2006
Keep in mind that even the topography of ME was made by intent.  Rather than being shape by ’natural’ geological forces like techtonics, much of it was shape by the choices of the Ainur when they made it.  example:  the Mountain ranges used as fortresses by Morgoth and Sauron.
Gondram 30/Mar/2006 at 12:20 PM
New Soul Points: 111 Posts: 72 Joined: 20/Feb/2006
Keep in mind that even the topography of ME was made by intent.  Rather than being shape by ’natural’ geological forces like techtonics, much of it was shape by the choices of the Ainur when they made it.  example:  the Mountain ranges used as fortresses by Morgoth and Sauron.
jrmhaldir 30/Mar/2006 at 02:56 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 426 Posts: 144 Joined: 17/Mar/2006
how is fangorn natural? the trees move! if you mean by simply no man or creature of middle earth than what about the misty mountains? or did the dwarves live there? i know that gollum lived there but he didn’t alter the mountains in anyway, shape , or form.
jrmhaldir 30/Mar/2006 at 02:56 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 426 Posts: 144 Joined: 17/Mar/2006
how is fangorn natural? the trees move! if you mean by simply no man or creature of middle earth than what about the misty mountains? or did the dwarves live there? i know that gollum lived there but he didn’t alter the mountains in anyway, shape , or form.
Variene Áduial 30/Mar/2006 at 05:36 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
KitsuneInuYasha: I do not quite understand what you are getting at - you are saying that nature evolves. Yes...but that is not what we were trying to discuss - we were determining the meaning of the word "natural" (which I think we already did) and then Mighty Ent Man asked to find a natural place in ME, a place that wasn’t affected by any races "throwing anything" at it, as you put it. And I wouldn’t say that nature adapts to whatever we throw at it - look at the earth now. When rivers are polluted, the ecosystem most certainly doesn’t "adapt" - organisms die, natural processes stop. The ozone layer is continuing to be depleted, the ice is melting in Antarctica.

Gondram: Well, then can’t you say that all of ME was made by intent? Eru created it, with the music of the Ainur, etc.

jrmhaldir: Well, in ME ents are natural, right? They do not disrupt the ecosystem because they themselves are part of it and do not do any harm to it. Hm, the Misty Mountains - well, there were goblins who lived there, and they made caves and tunnels all throughout...and then Moria...
Variene Áduial 30/Mar/2006 at 05:36 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
KitsuneInuYasha: I do not quite understand what you are getting at - you are saying that nature evolves. Yes...but that is not what we were trying to discuss - we were determining the meaning of the word "natural" (which I think we already did) and then Mighty Ent Man asked to find a natural place in ME, a place that wasn’t affected by any races "throwing anything" at it, as you put it. And I wouldn’t say that nature adapts to whatever we throw at it - look at the earth now. When rivers are polluted, the ecosystem most certainly doesn’t "adapt" - organisms die, natural processes stop. The ozone layer is continuing to be depleted, the ice is melting in Antarctica.

Gondram: Well, then can’t you say that all of ME was made by intent? Eru created it, with the music of the Ainur, etc.

jrmhaldir: Well, in ME ents are natural, right? They do not disrupt the ecosystem because they themselves are part of it and do not do any harm to it. Hm, the Misty Mountains - well, there were goblins who lived there, and they made caves and tunnels all throughout...and then Moria...
Gondram 31/Mar/2006 at 03:43 PM
New Soul Points: 111 Posts: 72 Joined: 20/Feb/2006
Certainly not all, which is why I said "much of it was shape (sic) by the choices of the Ainur".
Gondram 31/Mar/2006 at 03:43 PM
New Soul Points: 111 Posts: 72 Joined: 20/Feb/2006
Certainly not all, which is why I said "much of it was shape (sic) by the choices of the Ainur".
mighty ent man 01/Apr/2006 at 07:40 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - It is possible for humans to be unnatural when they deviated from the path of what I consider Natural evolution. Humans were evolving in a natural pattern as other animal species. Then they took this too far. They broke outside of what I would class as natural boundaries. They now seek to conquer and dominate nature.

Please will you listen!!! You do not seem to take in or actually do as I am saying. I have answered your point about Saruman and the people of Middle Earth about a million times! I do not really care in the context of this thread whether they are natural or not. To me I am looking at whether there are places which are free from human influence. And this is what I class as natural. I can see where this confusion arose from but I have addressed this point enough for you to know!

Some humans today really are in so many ways natural. Let me ask you something. We have a cow, which has been bread and reared and fed chemicals by humans. Is this natural? No it is not.

 

mighty ent man 01/Apr/2006 at 07:40 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - It is possible for humans to be unnatural when they deviated from the path of what I consider Natural evolution. Humans were evolving in a natural pattern as other animal species. Then they took this too far. They broke outside of what I would class as natural boundaries. They now seek to conquer and dominate nature.

Please will you listen!!! You do not seem to take in or actually do as I am saying. I have answered your point about Saruman and the people of Middle Earth about a million times! I do not really care in the context of this thread whether they are natural or not. To me I am looking at whether there are places which are free from human influence. And this is what I class as natural. I can see where this confusion arose from but I have addressed this point enough for you to know!

Some humans today really are in so many ways natural. Let me ask you something. We have a cow, which has been bread and reared and fed chemicals by humans. Is this natural? No it is not.

 

Arduvei 02/Apr/2006 at 01:58 PM
Mercenary of Minas Tirith Points: 558 Posts: 107 Joined: 02/Apr/2006
The Sea is probably the closest to natural. The rest of middle earth has been literally torn apart by eons of war. The very shape of middle earth is created by war, and war is not natural.Another thought is the forests of Far Harad, which are as close to untouched as anything else, for there are no ents there. And some parts of the misty mountains may be untouched, although goblins are numerous and destructive.
Arduvei 02/Apr/2006 at 01:58 PM
Mercenary of Minas Tirith Points: 558 Posts: 107 Joined: 02/Apr/2006
The Sea is probably the closest to natural. The rest of middle earth has been literally torn apart by eons of war. The very shape of middle earth is created by war, and war is not natural.Another thought is the forests of Far Harad, which are as close to untouched as anything else, for there are no ents there. And some parts of the misty mountains may be untouched, although goblins are numerous and destructive.
Lacharean 06/Apr/2006 at 07:57 AM
Forester of Lothlorien Points: 84 Posts: 4 Joined: 06/Apr/2006

mighty ent man: I have read the discussion you had with Noljen (almost) very precisly. THe basic problem of you two I see that somehow you face the problem of evolution making people unnatural what is frankly said a piece of ...rubbish. Evolution is definittely a natural process, even the most natural things (as yopu understand them) such as birds, cattle or whatever undergo the process of change. What leads me to a short definition of the evolution. And it says the following: the way in which living things change and develop over millions of years, or a gradual process of change and development. Wwll and if you see the point LIVING things. I guess that includes even humans (if you do not feel exceptionaly dead).

NOw let us apply this theory to Middle Earth. People there, either elves or humans are not the same all the time. THey changed, some of them became good, some evil...and evolution is not only the DARWIN´s one. Evolution is the permament process of any kind of change (not just biological, and that you can read in the definition). So if the peoples in Middle Earth evolved and evolution is a natural process, then it would most contraproductive not to classify races in Middle Earth as unnatural and their actions and activities as unnatural too.

Furthermore you mentioned the beaches in Paris which you call a natural phenomenon. Do you even guess what the words stand for. And now I do not mean the limited scientific interpretation for the science is only limited to what it can prove, but the philosofic one, which allows us to go further. Well, let me begin.  A phenomenon is anything observed and expressed in an empiric or better said sensual way. Natural (according to consensualistic theory of the truth which I will explain to you later) is defined as relying to nature and being derrived from it. Now the sand is a natural material, the beach is a natural landform, human activity as a product of the natural process of evolution of our minds is a natural constructive action which finally builds the natural beach in Paris. If it was unnatural, it wouzld be impossible for all the environment in which we live is (whether we like it or not) the NATURE.

Now if you doubt human beings as natural because WE HUMANS DO NOT CLASSIFY US AS NATURAL AND IT IS US WHO MAKES THE WORDS AND APPLY THEM TO THINGS, I have just one answer. Just forget all the above discussed stuff and concentrate. READY? If there is a red cup on the table, but all the people would agrree that in fact it is violet mushroom, we would all title the red cup as the violet mushroom but that would not be the true standard of things. This is the subject of consensualistic theory of the truth. THe one I preffer though is the correspondential theory of the truth in which the red cup would always be the red cup, never minding what people think of it. The trouble is to find who shall decide the correspondence. In that case you can follow the consensualitsic theory, but be careful for what you say might be a violet mushroom.

 

Lacharean 06/Apr/2006 at 07:57 AM
Forester of Lothlorien Points: 84 Posts: 4 Joined: 06/Apr/2006

mighty ent man: I have read the discussion you had with Noljen (almost) very precisly. THe basic problem of you two I see that somehow you face the problem of evolution making people unnatural what is frankly said a piece of ...rubbish. Evolution is definittely a natural process, even the most natural things (as yopu understand them) such as birds, cattle or whatever undergo the process of change. What leads me to a short definition of the evolution. And it says the following: the way in which living things change and develop over millions of years, or a gradual process of change and development. Wwll and if you see the point LIVING things. I guess that includes even humans (if you do not feel exceptionaly dead).

NOw let us apply this theory to Middle Earth. People there, either elves or humans are not the same all the time. THey changed, some of them became good, some evil...and evolution is not only the DARWIN´s one. Evolution is the permament process of any kind of change (not just biological, and that you can read in the definition). So if the peoples in Middle Earth evolved and evolution is a natural process, then it would most contraproductive not to classify races in Middle Earth as unnatural and their actions and activities as unnatural too.

Furthermore you mentioned the beaches in Paris which you call a natural phenomenon. Do you even guess what the words stand for. And now I do not mean the limited scientific interpretation for the science is only limited to what it can prove, but the philosofic one, which allows us to go further. Well, let me begin.  A phenomenon is anything observed and expressed in an empiric or better said sensual way. Natural (according to consensualistic theory of the truth which I will explain to you later) is defined as relying to nature and being derrived from it. Now the sand is a natural material, the beach is a natural landform, human activity as a product of the natural process of evolution of our minds is a natural constructive action which finally builds the natural beach in Paris. If it was unnatural, it wouzld be impossible for all the environment in which we live is (whether we like it or not) the NATURE.

Now if you doubt human beings as natural because WE HUMANS DO NOT CLASSIFY US AS NATURAL AND IT IS US WHO MAKES THE WORDS AND APPLY THEM TO THINGS, I have just one answer. Just forget all the above discussed stuff and concentrate. READY? If there is a red cup on the table, but all the people would agrree that in fact it is violet mushroom, we would all title the red cup as the violet mushroom but that would not be the true standard of things. This is the subject of consensualistic theory of the truth. THe one I preffer though is the correspondential theory of the truth in which the red cup would always be the red cup, never minding what people think of it. The trouble is to find who shall decide the correspondence. In that case you can follow the consensualitsic theory, but be careful for what you say might be a violet mushroom.

 

mighty ent man 08/Apr/2006 at 08:15 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Lach - Wow some very strongly worded opinions for someone so new on the plaza. I am glad that you have entered into this debate with me. You will know all of my arguments for humans being not natural. But as I have said this debate is not really required here. It has nothing to do with LOTR and therefore has no place in Ad Lore, which is where this thread is located. I accept you views and I have countered them many times against Noljen. What I want to discuss is not whether humans are natural or not but whether there is anywhere in Middle Earth that is natural. This is what interests me. Now dont get me wrong, the debate on humans and their natural state is very interesting but I want to stick to the threads original intention. I have given my definition of natural: no human interference. Now lets get on and discuss this!
mighty ent man 08/Apr/2006 at 08:15 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Lach - Wow some very strongly worded opinions for someone so new on the plaza. I am glad that you have entered into this debate with me. You will know all of my arguments for humans being not natural. But as I have said this debate is not really required here. It has nothing to do with LOTR and therefore has no place in Ad Lore, which is where this thread is located. I accept you views and I have countered them many times against Noljen. What I want to discuss is not whether humans are natural or not but whether there is anywhere in Middle Earth that is natural. This is what interests me. Now dont get me wrong, the debate on humans and their natural state is very interesting but I want to stick to the threads original intention. I have given my definition of natural: no human interference. Now lets get on and discuss this!
Lacharean 10/Apr/2006 at 04:36 AM
Forester of Lothlorien Points: 84 Posts: 4 Joined: 06/Apr/2006

Mighty ent man - finally a wise decision. I definitelly agrree that it is high time to move to discussing ME but for that we had to create some knowledge bvackround and as I joined the discussion in a bit advanced stage I had to follow some of the ideas.

So as it is obvious that our opinions about humansin real world are distinguished...let us focus on purely on ME. I will follow with some of my arguments later as I have not yet conpleted all my research. But for the time I think there are many places in ME abouth which I could tell (at certain points) that they are definitelly with "no human interference" (although I will prefer not calling them unnatural, you know because af my acceptance of what Noljen says)

Lacharean 10/Apr/2006 at 04:36 AM
Forester of Lothlorien Points: 84 Posts: 4 Joined: 06/Apr/2006

Mighty ent man - finally a wise decision. I definitelly agrree that it is high time to move to discussing ME but for that we had to create some knowledge bvackround and as I joined the discussion in a bit advanced stage I had to follow some of the ideas.

So as it is obvious that our opinions about humansin real world are distinguished...let us focus on purely on ME. I will follow with some of my arguments later as I have not yet conpleted all my research. But for the time I think there are many places in ME abouth which I could tell (at certain points) that they are definitelly with "no human interference" (although I will prefer not calling them unnatural, you know because af my acceptance of what Noljen says)

GtheW 10/Apr/2006 at 05:29 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006
 An iteresting lecture I’m sure it was to hear Ent man. But, as to how is nature effected by humans thus being not "natural", if humans have done nothing but walk on the surface. Yes, if we chop down trees, replant trees and such, we are effecting the forest thus making it trully "unnatural" but what does the dictionary say as to what "natural" actually is? (Just a question, no criticism, trying to provoke some thought here) I’ll run and see what it says...*checks family dictionary* "Oh man that’s a lot...."
GtheW 10/Apr/2006 at 05:29 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006
 An iteresting lecture I’m sure it was to hear Ent man. But, as to how is nature effected by humans thus being not "natural", if humans have done nothing but walk on the surface. Yes, if we chop down trees, replant trees and such, we are effecting the forest thus making it trully "unnatural" but what does the dictionary say as to what "natural" actually is? (Just a question, no criticism, trying to provoke some thought here) I’ll run and see what it says...*checks family dictionary* "Oh man that’s a lot...."
GtheW 10/Apr/2006 at 05:42 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006
1Natural-1:bassed upon the innate moral feeling or inherent sense of right and wrong held to characterize mankind.2:A;in accordance with or determined by nature:based upon the operations of the physical world.B;having or constituting a classication or other method of arrangement based on features existing in nature.3:A; begotten as distinguished from adopted:begotten...ummm... my hands are tired, already...so I’ll just look it up on dictionary.com tomorrow. What definition did your professor use, Ent man?
GtheW 10/Apr/2006 at 05:43 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006
1Natural-1:bassed upon the innate moral feeling or inherent sense of right and wrong held to characterize mankind.2:A;in accordance with or determined by nature:based upon the operations of the physical world.B;having or constituting a classication or other method of arrangement based on features existing in nature.3:A; begotten as distinguished from adopted:begotten...ummm... my hands are tired, already...so I’ll just look it up on dictionary.com tomorrow. What definition did your professor use, Ent man?
Variene Áduial 10/Apr/2006 at 05:57 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
I don’t dispute you, Arduvei, everything that you mentioned is appropriate, I think. But now I have another question to ask of mighty ent man: you have stated "no human interference". The elves are not humans - they are not mortal, and many are as close to nature as beings that do not walk on two feet. So thus, how would Rivendell, for example, be "unnatural"? I do not think the elves there had interfered with nature by building dwellings, bridges, and roads. Perhaps the word you may have been looking for was "untouched places of Middle Earth." Untouched by any race that has a greater power over other beings. And in reply to your first response to Lacharean I would say that I think at least one of the reasons your thread is in advanced lore is because of this discussion of natural/unnatural definitions, which seems to be continually interfering with the discussion and obviously needs a thorough going over to determine the true meanings. In Middle Earth the meaning of "natural", I think, differs from the one we earthlings have, and perhaps if we had ever asked Tolkien he would have given another definition from the one we have settled with in the past few arguments.
Variene Áduial 10/Apr/2006 at 05:57 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
I don’t dispute you, Arduvei, everything that you mentioned is appropriate, I think. But now I have another question to ask of mighty ent man: you have stated "no human interference". The elves are not humans - they are not mortal, and many are as close to nature as beings that do not walk on two feet. So thus, how would Rivendell, for example, be "unnatural"? I do not think the elves there had interfered with nature by building dwellings, bridges, and roads. Perhaps the word you may have been looking for was "untouched places of Middle Earth." Untouched by any race that has a greater power over other beings. And in reply to your first response to Lacharean I would say that I think at least one of the reasons your thread is in advanced lore is because of this discussion of natural/unnatural definitions, which seems to be continually interfering with the discussion and obviously needs a thorough going over to determine the true meanings. In Middle Earth the meaning of "natural", I think, differs from the one we earthlings have, and perhaps if we had ever asked Tolkien he would have given another definition from the one we have settled with in the past few arguments.
Arduvei 10/Apr/2006 at 06:18 PM
Mercenary of Minas Tirith Points: 558 Posts: 107 Joined: 02/Apr/2006
Aduial, you raise a point with your elf theory. I will take that a step further, or at least in a different direction. The dwarves are made of stone, as you in the Ad Lore should know, and therefore are a very part of nature, (in my opinion), more so than the Elves. That is speculation. Another thing, although the elves may be natural, their buildings and works are not.
Arduvei 10/Apr/2006 at 06:18 PM
Mercenary of Minas Tirith Points: 558 Posts: 107 Joined: 02/Apr/2006
Aduial, you raise a point with your elf theory. I will take that a step further, or at least in a different direction. The dwarves are made of stone, as you in the Ad Lore should know, and therefore are a very part of nature, (in my opinion), more so than the Elves. That is speculation. Another thing, although the elves may be natural, their buildings and works are not.
mighty ent man 11/Apr/2006 at 03:56 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Arduvei - I think no one bothered to respond to your post as really there is nothing challenging in it! It merely states some good observations and I agree with them. I am not going to challenge someting I agree with.

Lacharean - Well I would prefer it if you would not say ’finally a wise decision’ as I have said many many times before in this thread that we should move on to discussing Middle Earth. But I do not take offence so dont worry. Thanks for telling me that your future post will follow. I am interested in what places you will bring up. You also have to remember that I will use the word unnatural because this is what I think.

Gthew - Well we have shown that in this thread it is of little use using a dictionary definition because peoples own perceptions are what define the term Natural. So while it is of some use that you provide a definition it is not going to be the sole thing to define what is natural. So out of those definitions provided I do not want to us any of them! You need to tell me what your own perception of Natural is. That is what is true.

Variene - By humans I mean people, or whatever you want to term the races of Middle Earth. So let me again state who I class under the term human. I know they are not human but this is what I used to class them. I would class: Elves, Men, Dwarves, Orcs, Hobbits, Istari, Rohirrim (thats all that has come into my mind currently, I hope I have not missed any).

No I am no looking for untouched I am looking for absence of human influence. Rivedell, well lets see what I can come up with. The roads made you speak of could have loosened areas of mountain soil or rock. These areas could have been eroded by humans thus making them more susceptible to weathering. This material could be blown into the river and add to its sediment load. Not entirely natural. My point in this thread is also to show you how so many places which you would consider natural are possibly not.

You do raise an excellent point that Middle Earth perhaps deserves its own definition of the word natural. However for now we shall leave this. Firstly we will use our own one and then I think it could be great to examine how if we flip the definition things change. I think you have added an excellent point to the thread for later on though.

 

 

mighty ent man 11/Apr/2006 at 03:56 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Arduvei - I think no one bothered to respond to your post as really there is nothing challenging in it! It merely states some good observations and I agree with them. I am not going to challenge someting I agree with.

Lacharean - Well I would prefer it if you would not say ’finally a wise decision’ as I have said many many times before in this thread that we should move on to discussing Middle Earth. But I do not take offence so dont worry. Thanks for telling me that your future post will follow. I am interested in what places you will bring up. You also have to remember that I will use the word unnatural because this is what I think.

Gthew - Well we have shown that in this thread it is of little use using a dictionary definition because peoples own perceptions are what define the term Natural. So while it is of some use that you provide a definition it is not going to be the sole thing to define what is natural. So out of those definitions provided I do not want to us any of them! You need to tell me what your own perception of Natural is. That is what is true.

Variene - By humans I mean people, or whatever you want to term the races of Middle Earth. So let me again state who I class under the term human. I know they are not human but this is what I used to class them. I would class: Elves, Men, Dwarves, Orcs, Hobbits, Istari, Rohirrim (thats all that has come into my mind currently, I hope I have not missed any).

No I am no looking for untouched I am looking for absence of human influence. Rivedell, well lets see what I can come up with. The roads made you speak of could have loosened areas of mountain soil or rock. These areas could have been eroded by humans thus making them more susceptible to weathering. This material could be blown into the river and add to its sediment load. Not entirely natural. My point in this thread is also to show you how so many places which you would consider natural are possibly not.

You do raise an excellent point that Middle Earth perhaps deserves its own definition of the word natural. However for now we shall leave this. Firstly we will use our own one and then I think it could be great to examine how if we flip the definition things change. I think you have added an excellent point to the thread for later on though.

 

 

Variene Áduial 11/Apr/2006 at 09:20 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Arduvei, yes, I am aware that the dwarves were made from the earth, but unfortunately they do some not-so-natural things as wake the dark creatures of the depths of Moria. The buildings and works of the elves are no less natural than those of the dwarves, and I would think they are very much in harmony with nature and do not accurately fit the term "unnatural".

mighty ent man: I think it is very presumtuous to call "human" every race in Middle Earth. We are talking about a separate and imaginary land, so word choice is crucial, especially when defining terms and meanings. "Untouched" land is land that has not been touched by "human influence", so I think my word matches your meaning. Your examples show things that could happen, for example, when a large band of animals crosses a river or a mountainside, which could release sediment and create an avalanche of rocks, not only by elves. And I do not think it is wise to leave the "other" definition of "natural" for later, for we are dealing with Middle Earth in this discussion, and it is like mixing two different worlds if you don’t try to look at it from Tolkien’s point of view.

Since you seem to be resisting a more indepth discussion of the question you have brought up, which in and of itself does not amount to a deep discussion (more a naming of places and having them either agreed or disagreed with), I shall withdraw from the discussion. Wish you luck!
Variene Áduial 11/Apr/2006 at 09:20 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Arduvei, yes, I am aware that the dwarves were made from the earth, but unfortunately they do some not-so-natural things as wake the dark creatures of the depths of Moria. The buildings and works of the elves are no less natural than those of the dwarves, and I would think they are very much in harmony with nature and do not accurately fit the term "unnatural".

mighty ent man: I think it is very presumtuous to call "human" every race in Middle Earth. We are talking about a separate and imaginary land, so word choice is crucial, especially when defining terms and meanings. "Untouched" land is land that has not been touched by "human influence", so I think my word matches your meaning. Your examples show things that could happen, for example, when a large band of animals crosses a river or a mountainside, which could release sediment and create an avalanche of rocks, not only by elves. And I do not think it is wise to leave the "other" definition of "natural" for later, for we are dealing with Middle Earth in this discussion, and it is like mixing two different worlds if you don’t try to look at it from Tolkien’s point of view.

Since you seem to be resisting a more indepth discussion of the question you have brought up, which in and of itself does not amount to a deep discussion (more a naming of places and having them either agreed or disagreed with), I shall withdraw from the discussion. Wish you luck!
mighty ent man 12/Apr/2006 at 02:04 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - I just chose to use the word human because it is a word we use today. If you want to use another word then fine by me, it does not really matter much in the context of this debate what we call or group these races under. The most important thing is that I have outlined the races with which I would consider to be exerting an influence on the landscape.

I have said many times before to you that I consider animals to be natural so therefore this movement of animals would be a natural thing. The erosion that they do comes with their natural movement around. A human just walking from place to place is natural, I will agree on that. But creating a road is not. It again breaches the boundary.

I paid you a great complimentin saying what a great idea it was to examine a separate definition. I only thought that it would be better to leave it until my intial question had been properly examined. Which it has yet to be. I would very much like it for you to remain in this discussion but obviously if you think it is pointless then dont bother!! I have had some wonderful discussion with you, I merely would like my question to be looked at. I hope to see you in here again! Thanks for such a great input.

mighty ent man 12/Apr/2006 at 02:04 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - I just chose to use the word human because it is a word we use today. If you want to use another word then fine by me, it does not really matter much in the context of this debate what we call or group these races under. The most important thing is that I have outlined the races with which I would consider to be exerting an influence on the landscape.

I have said many times before to you that I consider animals to be natural so therefore this movement of animals would be a natural thing. The erosion that they do comes with their natural movement around. A human just walking from place to place is natural, I will agree on that. But creating a road is not. It again breaches the boundary.

I paid you a great complimentin saying what a great idea it was to examine a separate definition. I only thought that it would be better to leave it until my intial question had been properly examined. Which it has yet to be. I would very much like it for you to remain in this discussion but obviously if you think it is pointless then dont bother!! I have had some wonderful discussion with you, I merely would like my question to be looked at. I hope to see you in here again! Thanks for such a great input.

GtheW 12/Apr/2006 at 06:06 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006
 So, your professor did not use a definition of "natural"? Surely he didn’t do a whole lecture on the subject and not give you a definition? I’m just trying to find the definition he used. For, though definitions aren’t natural themselves, they would provide a discussion topic on the subject of "natural".
GtheW 12/Apr/2006 at 06:06 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006
 So, your professor did not use a definition of "natural"? Surely he didn’t do a whole lecture on the subject and not give you a definition? I’m just trying to find the definition he used. For, though definitions aren’t natural themselves, they would provide a discussion topic on the subject of "natural".
mighty ent man 13/Apr/2006 at 02:33 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Gthew - The point of the lecture we were given was to examine this whole concept of natural. To look at what it is and if there is a specific universal definition. How can we say factually what natural is when it is always changing and always in dispute? We cant. It is a social construction. Not a simple definition of a word. If you read through this thread you will see the definition of natural can easily be questioned and disputed and therefore it is useless trying to come up with one.
mighty ent man 13/Apr/2006 at 02:33 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Gthew - The point of the lecture we were given was to examine this whole concept of natural. To look at what it is and if there is a specific universal definition. How can we say factually what natural is when it is always changing and always in dispute? We cant. It is a social construction. Not a simple definition of a word. If you read through this thread you will see the definition of natural can easily be questioned and disputed and therefore it is useless trying to come up with one.
GtheW 13/Apr/2006 at 04:15 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006

 Okay, sorry I didn’t read the full thread...

 I think the only things natural in Middle Earth are things untouchable by races. Such as, the Sky, The Races of Middle Earth can effect the sky in any way whatsoever(or can they?); Deep deep underground, the areas further deep that that of the Dwarves places, The Races can’t delve down that deep to mess up what’s down there.

GtheW 13/Apr/2006 at 04:15 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1314 Posts: 1418 Joined: 05/Mar/2006

 Okay, sorry I didn’t read the full thread...

 I think the only things natural in Middle Earth are things untouchable by races. Such as, the Sky, The Races of Middle Earth can effect the sky in any way whatsoever(or can they?); Deep deep underground, the areas further deep that that of the Dwarves places, The Races can’t delve down that deep to mess up what’s down there.

mighty ent man 14/Apr/2006 at 03:51 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Gthew - Dont worry about it. I understand what you were trying to do, it is just tha it is not really possible to introduce a set definition for this type of debate. Hmm well you could debate the Sky. As we see pollution from Saruman. However I would agree that areas of sky could be natural. And yes there will be deep cavers which are natural. Ah you have given me an interesting brainwave. Is it possible for the depths of Moria under the bridge of Kazad Dum to be natural? Or were there some stairs there? Ah yes I think there were some stairs. But no one had been there for so long.
mighty ent man 14/Apr/2006 at 03:51 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Gthew - Dont worry about it. I understand what you were trying to do, it is just tha it is not really possible to introduce a set definition for this type of debate. Hmm well you could debate the Sky. As we see pollution from Saruman. However I would agree that areas of sky could be natural. And yes there will be deep cavers which are natural. Ah you have given me an interesting brainwave. Is it possible for the depths of Moria under the bridge of Kazad Dum to be natural? Or were there some stairs there? Ah yes I think there were some stairs. But no one had been there for so long.
Durin of Moria 17/May/2006 at 04:29 AM
Scribe of Erebor Points: 467 Posts: 260 Joined: 24/Mar/2006
I think most of Middle-Earth is natural.Some place that are not natural may include Mordor,Angband................As for Mordor,it is built by Morgoth using evil power,so that is the reason why there are so many natural barrier defending Mordor.Angband maybe a atificial land because it is the fotress of Morgoth,which may contains many natural barrier.
Durin of Moria 17/May/2006 at 04:29 AM
Scribe of Erebor Points: 467 Posts: 260 Joined: 24/Mar/2006
I think most of Middle-Earth is natural.Some place that are not natural may include Mordor,Angband................As for Mordor,it is built by Morgoth using evil power,so that is the reason why there are so many natural barrier defending Mordor.Angband maybe a atificial land because it is the fotress of Morgoth,which may contains many natural barrier.
Iliandis 01/Jul/2006 at 02:39 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 212 Posts: 13 Joined: 30/Jun/2006
Technically, is not everything we make and do natural. Humans originated from nature. We are part of it. Would you consider a bird making a nest of twigs unnatural? Of course not. So why, for instance, are buildings unnatural? We may not be in balance with nature, but everything we invent or do relies upon it.
Iliandis 01/Jul/2006 at 02:39 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 212 Posts: 13 Joined: 30/Jun/2006
Technically, is not everything we make and do natural. Humans originated from nature. We are part of it. Would you consider a bird making a nest of twigs unnatural? Of course not. So why, for instance, are buildings unnatural? We may not be in balance with nature, but everything we invent or do relies upon it.
gandalf_111 01/Jul/2006 at 05:00 PM
Adept of Isengard Points: 129 Posts: 36 Joined: 30/Jun/2006

in my mind everything is natural except when it is made from multi. natural things. i would concider that the shire is natural because the houses don’t mess up thehillside, they cut into them,not destroy them.  and the forest next to the shire is all natural just because it is alive doesnt get altered by any person at all it is just megestis.

gandalf_111 01/Jul/2006 at 05:00 PM
Adept of Isengard Points: 129 Posts: 36 Joined: 30/Jun/2006

in my mind everything is natural except when it is made from multi. natural things. i would concider that the shire is natural because the houses don’t mess up thehillside, they cut into them,not destroy them.  and the forest next to the shire is all natural just because it is alive doesnt get altered by any person at all it is just megestis.

mighty ent man 04/Jul/2006 at 03:32 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

IIliandis -If you read through most of this thread you will observe the debate between me and some other people about whether we as humans are indeed natural. We came to the conclusion that many people have different definitions of what natural is and what nature is. I take the view that natural is something that has been unaltered by human actions. A bird making a nest is a natural instinct to build a nest for its young. It is a process that is ongoing in an ecosystem and does not interfere with anything. However we as humans frequently cross that line and interfere with the natural workings of an ecosystem.

 

mighty ent man 04/Jul/2006 at 03:32 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

IIliandis -If you read through most of this thread you will observe the debate between me and some other people about whether we as humans are indeed natural. We came to the conclusion that many people have different definitions of what natural is and what nature is. I take the view that natural is something that has been unaltered by human actions. A bird making a nest is a natural instinct to build a nest for its young. It is a process that is ongoing in an ecosystem and does not interfere with anything. However we as humans frequently cross that line and interfere with the natural workings of an ecosystem.

 

Rohanya 04/Jul/2006 at 03:39 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 2902 Posts: 6872 Joined: 28/Jan/2005

The question is rather what is natural in us? Are we entitled, as natural entities, to have natural experiences of something fairly profound? That is, I think, the best to begin with. Nature is either trusted or not. But only trusted, partly because it has a bent of profound sort. See that, learn from it, pull. Boom, you achieve power. Nature is there to give power to special individuals, who risk it for themselves, for the species. That is a unity.

And relax. Always, to relax. In play, enjoying. Natural is never to be defined as experience by science. For science as science never experiences in the human, traditional sense. Science is against you in unity with that source. You pour out your power, lovingly, and it responds, lovingly. Meaning, you do that if you do not believe in scientism, whether traditional, or groovingly holistic. Does your heart, mind, intuition, sensation go into the forest or whatever? If yes, yes; if not, not. Not means, by the way, a loss, for you and for nature as just, well, spirited, prior to scientism.

Can any science do that? Not yet. And yet, we strarted in jungles, end up in urbal jungles. We are always nature, even if misunderstood as buildings, streets, stations. We just recreate the original thing, fearful.

Rohanya 04/Jul/2006 at 03:39 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 2902 Posts: 6872 Joined: 28/Jan/2005

The question is rather what is natural in us? Are we entitled, as natural entities, to have natural experiences of something fairly profound? That is, I think, the best to begin with. Nature is either trusted or not. But only trusted, partly because it has a bent of profound sort. See that, learn from it, pull. Boom, you achieve power. Nature is there to give power to special individuals, who risk it for themselves, for the species. That is a unity.

And relax. Always, to relax. In play, enjoying. Natural is never to be defined as experience by science. For science as science never experiences in the human, traditional sense. Science is against you in unity with that source. You pour out your power, lovingly, and it responds, lovingly. Meaning, you do that if you do not believe in scientism, whether traditional, or groovingly holistic. Does your heart, mind, intuition, sensation go into the forest or whatever? If yes, yes; if not, not. Not means, by the way, a loss, for you and for nature as just, well, spirited, prior to scientism.

Can any science do that? Not yet. And yet, we strarted in jungles, end up in urbal jungles. We are always nature, even if misunderstood as buildings, streets, stations. We just recreate the original thing, fearful.

Radagast Rasta 05/Jul/2006 at 07:24 PM
Enting of Fangorn Points: 1131 Posts: 692 Joined: 28/Jun/2006
Ok since this seems like it got into a very heated disscussion and I have entered at the tail end of it I will give my two cents worth. The question as I get from the original question is; is there any part of Middle-Earth that has not been altered by humans/elves/dwarves ect.? I would have to say no. Even Fangorn has been altered by Saurman and that would have been the only possible place for a place to be "natural". But if I had to give an answer I would say the only natural places on ME would be the rivers and ocean but even thoughs are altered by ferry-crossings and dams ect.
Radagast Rasta 05/Jul/2006 at 07:24 PM
Enting of Fangorn Points: 1131 Posts: 692 Joined: 28/Jun/2006
Ok since this seems like it got into a very heated disscussion and I have entered at the tail end of it I will give my two cents worth. The question as I get from the original question is; is there any part of Middle-Earth that has not been altered by humans/elves/dwarves ect.? I would have to say no. Even Fangorn has been altered by Saurman and that would have been the only possible place for a place to be "natural". But if I had to give an answer I would say the only natural places on ME would be the rivers and ocean but even thoughs are altered by ferry-crossings and dams ect.
mighty ent man 06/Jul/2006 at 06:17 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Rohanya - I have read a great deal of your posts around the plaza recently and they all share one thing in common, they are all very strange! They do not tackle the topic from a view point that many will be able to understand. And I am one of those people. I am afraid that I do not have a clue what you are on about in your post above. Please do not take this as me being rude. I have read a great many academic journal articles written in much the same style as you write but I just cannot make any sense of what you hope to contribute to the debate. You write in a very theological style I think. Please could you explain to me at the basic level what you mean and then maybe this will help me to understand what you wrote above. Thanks!  

 

mighty ent man 06/Jul/2006 at 06:17 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Rohanya - I have read a great deal of your posts around the plaza recently and they all share one thing in common, they are all very strange! They do not tackle the topic from a view point that many will be able to understand. And I am one of those people. I am afraid that I do not have a clue what you are on about in your post above. Please do not take this as me being rude. I have read a great many academic journal articles written in much the same style as you write but I just cannot make any sense of what you hope to contribute to the debate. You write in a very theological style I think. Please could you explain to me at the basic level what you mean and then maybe this will help me to understand what you wrote above. Thanks!  

 

Brandywine74 09/Jul/2006 at 03:47 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006

Mighty Ent Man I am of the opinion that what we as humans do is natural as we come from the natural world ourselves. I would also argue that ecosystems are not fixed things. They are changing all the time so every creature or plant is influencing the ecosystem. Sometimes the animals themselves can destroy a system by overgrazing etc.

As to the original question, the only places that remain at all ’natural’ are the high mountains and the rivers and seas. I don’t remember reading about any dams or changes of courses of the rivers, nor anything about sea walls.

Brandywine74 09/Jul/2006 at 03:47 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006

Mighty Ent Man I am of the opinion that what we as humans do is natural as we come from the natural world ourselves. I would also argue that ecosystems are not fixed things. They are changing all the time so every creature or plant is influencing the ecosystem. Sometimes the animals themselves can destroy a system by overgrazing etc.

As to the original question, the only places that remain at all ’natural’ are the high mountains and the rivers and seas. I don’t remember reading about any dams or changes of courses of the rivers, nor anything about sea walls.

mighty ent man 16/Jul/2006 at 04:27 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Brandywine74 - Sometimes the animals themselves can destroy a system by overgrazing etc. - Whilst I agree with you that ecosystems do change naturally and are never fixed or constant I do not agree with this statement. Animal populations do vary naturally as many are connected directly to the climate. However most modern examples of overgrazing have taken place because of the humans and not the animals. Cattle are bred intensively and thus overgraze. Water is placed where it was not before thus causing overgrazing. Yes if a summer is particularly good one organism could flourish and overgraze but not on the scale we see with human intervention in the whole thing.

As to a response to your theory of the rivers, the Ents dammed up the River Isen thus alterting it for that small period when it was dried out. So you would have to be more specific about which rivers.  And also do not some creatures live on the mountains? Do we not have the Beacons of Gondor?

mighty ent man 16/Jul/2006 at 04:27 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Brandywine74 - Sometimes the animals themselves can destroy a system by overgrazing etc. - Whilst I agree with you that ecosystems do change naturally and are never fixed or constant I do not agree with this statement. Animal populations do vary naturally as many are connected directly to the climate. However most modern examples of overgrazing have taken place because of the humans and not the animals. Cattle are bred intensively and thus overgraze. Water is placed where it was not before thus causing overgrazing. Yes if a summer is particularly good one organism could flourish and overgraze but not on the scale we see with human intervention in the whole thing.

As to a response to your theory of the rivers, the Ents dammed up the River Isen thus alterting it for that small period when it was dried out. So you would have to be more specific about which rivers.  And also do not some creatures live on the mountains? Do we not have the Beacons of Gondor?

Bjorn 18/Jul/2006 at 09:07 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 1112 Posts: 499 Joined: 12/Nov/2005
I think, mighty ent man, that you are placing humans on a level above and beyond animals. But that being said, if you put it in a Christian context, the world is subservient to us. I don’t see it that way. While we continue to be on a level of evolution above everything around us, we are still a part of the ’Whole’. Like I said before, now we’re here, now we aren’t. The Earth repairs and repeats itself. When we’re gone (most likely by our own hands; irony, I think, plays a big part in this cycle that is Life) the Earth shall repair itself, and in that new World another species shall make it to the top of the food chain, thus reliving the past. Therefore, everything in this Universe is natural. Now, in Tolkien’s work Men are not part of the world-they did not come with the package, and when they die they leave the ’bounds of the World’, to whence, no one knows but Iluvatar, and perhaps Mandos. And they ’unaturalize’ the Earth therefore. The Valar, and Maiar are not part of the Earth as well, and that being said they also contribute to the ’unaturalization’ of the Earth for they are beings without, coming in and changing things around. I’m not putting Eru in the equation because He made it all; he was the start, so the concept of ’unaturalization’ would have no meaning. The Elves you can argue whether they ’unaturalize’ the Earth or not, because they are bound to it - spirit and flesh. But, then, so too are the Valar and Maiar.... Hrrmmm, I contradicted myself there. Fine. Man contributes to the unaturalization of the Earth, because, in death, they are not bound to it. Much like how a visitor comes to your house and messes it up some how. So, then, if we accept Elves, being bound to the Earth, thus being part of it, we can say places such as, or parts of, Mirkwood and more appropriately Lothlorien would be ’unchanged’. Save the footprints the Fellowship left behind (notice how Legolas walked on top of the snow on Caradhras...). So, too, can you say the Dwarves are part of the Earth, moreso the Elves because they were actually made in Middle-Earth, by a being within it (Mahal). So places like the Ered Luin, Misty Mtns., Iron Hills, Erebor etc. Do you get what I’m trying to say? Men are, technically, the only ’unatural’ beings within Middle-Earth (not bound to it while it lasts), thus wherever they have been, has been changed.
Bjorn 18/Jul/2006 at 09:07 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 1112 Posts: 499 Joined: 12/Nov/2005
I think, mighty ent man, that you are placing humans on a level above and beyond animals. But that being said, if you put it in a Christian context, the world is subservient to us. I don’t see it that way. While we continue to be on a level of evolution above everything around us, we are still a part of the ’Whole’. Like I said before, now we’re here, now we aren’t. The Earth repairs and repeats itself. When we’re gone (most likely by our own hands; irony, I think, plays a big part in this cycle that is Life) the Earth shall repair itself, and in that new World another species shall make it to the top of the food chain, thus reliving the past. Therefore, everything in this Universe is natural. Now, in Tolkien’s work Men are not part of the world-they did not come with the package, and when they die they leave the ’bounds of the World’, to whence, no one knows but Iluvatar, and perhaps Mandos. And they ’unaturalize’ the Earth therefore. The Valar, and Maiar are not part of the Earth as well, and that being said they also contribute to the ’unaturalization’ of the Earth for they are beings without, coming in and changing things around. I’m not putting Eru in the equation because He made it all; he was the start, so the concept of ’unaturalization’ would have no meaning. The Elves you can argue whether they ’unaturalize’ the Earth or not, because they are bound to it - spirit and flesh. But, then, so too are the Valar and Maiar.... Hrrmmm, I contradicted myself there. Fine. Man contributes to the unaturalization of the Earth, because, in death, they are not bound to it. Much like how a visitor comes to your house and messes it up some how. So, then, if we accept Elves, being bound to the Earth, thus being part of it, we can say places such as, or parts of, Mirkwood and more appropriately Lothlorien would be ’unchanged’. Save the footprints the Fellowship left behind (notice how Legolas walked on top of the snow on Caradhras...). So, too, can you say the Dwarves are part of the Earth, moreso the Elves because they were actually made in Middle-Earth, by a being within it (Mahal). So places like the Ered Luin, Misty Mtns., Iron Hills, Erebor etc. Do you get what I’m trying to say? Men are, technically, the only ’unatural’ beings within Middle-Earth (not bound to it while it lasts), thus wherever they have been, has been changed.
Nóljen 21/Jul/2006 at 12:50 PM
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Bjorn:

"I think, mighty ent man, that you are placing humans on a level above and beyond animals. But that being said, if you put it in a Christian context, the world is subservient to us. I don’t see it that way. While we continue to be on a level of evolution above everything around us, we are still a part of the ’Whole’. Like I said before, now we’re here, now we aren’t. The Earth repairs and repeats itself. When we’re gone (most likely by our own hands; irony, I think, plays a big part in this cycle that is Life) the Earth shall repair itself, and in that new World another species shall make it to the top of the food chain, thus reliving the past. Therefore, everything in this Universe is natural."

Exactly, master Bjorn, that was my point all along.

"Now, in Tolkien’s work Men are not part of the world-they did not come with the package, and when they die they leave the ’bounds of the World’, to whence, no one knows but Iluvatar, and perhaps Mandos. And they ’unaturalize’ the Earth therefore. The Valar, and Maiar are not part of the Earth as well, and that being said they also contribute to the ’unaturalization’ of the Earth for they are beings without, coming in and changing things around."

Yes! The problem is, that if Valar and Maiar are to be considered unnatural, then everything is, for they were the ones, who created it, or - to be more precise in words and definitions - gave it shape.

So - obviously - there is no real point in further discussion here, since this is all based on our subjective views of the problem and there is actually no objective ground to stand on at all. It’s all about what you want to think, isn’t it? However, it’s been amusing enough to watch this.

Nóljen 21/Jul/2006 at 12:51 PM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

Bjorn:

"I think, mighty ent man, that you are placing humans on a level above and beyond animals. But that being said, if you put it in a Christian context, the world is subservient to us. I don’t see it that way. While we continue to be on a level of evolution above everything around us, we are still a part of the ’Whole’. Like I said before, now we’re here, now we aren’t. The Earth repairs and repeats itself. When we’re gone (most likely by our own hands; irony, I think, plays a big part in this cycle that is Life) the Earth shall repair itself, and in that new World another species shall make it to the top of the food chain, thus reliving the past. Therefore, everything in this Universe is natural."

Exactly, master Bjorn, that was my point all along.

"Now, in Tolkien’s work Men are not part of the world-they did not come with the package, and when they die they leave the ’bounds of the World’, to whence, no one knows but Iluvatar, and perhaps Mandos. And they ’unaturalize’ the Earth therefore. The Valar, and Maiar are not part of the Earth as well, and that being said they also contribute to the ’unaturalization’ of the Earth for they are beings without, coming in and changing things around."

Yes! The problem is, that if Valar and Maiar are to be considered unnatural, then everything is, for they were the ones, who created it, or - to be more precise in words and definitions - gave it shape.

So - obviously - there is no real point in further discussion here, since this is all based on our subjective views of the problem and there is actually no objective ground to stand on at all. It’s all about what you want to think, isn’t it? However, it’s been amusing enough to watch this.

Nistades 23/Jul/2006 at 08:39 PM
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I think the Misty Mountains might be a likely purely natural place since not many have ever ventured into those areas. Although it is true that Gandalf lead the Fellowship into the pass of Caradhras I believe, in my yet limited knowledge of the geography, that not many have dared to cross the entire range of the mountains thus, possibly leaving parts of it unchanged and unaffected by man.
Nistades 23/Jul/2006 at 08:39 PM
Herald of Imladris Points: 182 Posts: 34 Joined: 23/Jul/2006
I think the Misty Mountains might be a likely purely natural place since not many have ever ventured into those areas. Although it is true that Gandalf lead the Fellowship into the pass of Caradhras I believe, in my yet limited knowledge of the geography, that not many have dared to cross the entire range of the mountains thus, possibly leaving parts of it unchanged and unaffected by man.
mighty ent man 27/Jul/2006 at 01:23 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Bjorn - But there are ways in which we humans can assign a value to our current ecosytems and by using the system of Biodiversity we can see that our Ecosystems are declining in terms of variety and diversity. Thus you could say that they are becoming poorer. This is shown well by the last main extinction pulse coinciding with the evolution of humans!

My point by saying this is to show you that no the planet might not recover to its previous depth and diversity and that we as a race could harm the planet beyond repair. Yes if we became extinct some life would survive but the planet would be poorer than it would have been had we not existed on it. Thus we Humans can and are destroying the planet and thus I wanted to examine Middle Earth using parts of this thinking.

I do however like your analysis on Men and there inclusion, or lack of, in Middle Earth. I however have a different view, one which is of course not using the view of within Middle Earth but using rose tinted glasses of todays society. I am of the view that the main races that I have spoecified throughout this thread are not natural. Of course they are though as they were created with Middle Earth but I am interested in a more eccocentric view so to speak!

Noljen - I hope this has not been amusing in terms of the actual academic content, for that would indicate to me that there was silly ideas when I think this debate has been of an excellent standard! I am glad that this thread had held your interest though, as it has mine!

 

mighty ent man 27/Jul/2006 at 01:23 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Bjorn - But there are ways in which we humans can assign a value to our current ecosytems and by using the system of Biodiversity we can see that our Ecosystems are declining in terms of variety and diversity. Thus you could say that they are becoming poorer. This is shown well by the last main extinction pulse coinciding with the evolution of humans!

My point by saying this is to show you that no the planet might not recover to its previous depth and diversity and that we as a race could harm the planet beyond repair. Yes if we became extinct some life would survive but the planet would be poorer than it would have been had we not existed on it. Thus we Humans can and are destroying the planet and thus I wanted to examine Middle Earth using parts of this thinking.

I do however like your analysis on Men and there inclusion, or lack of, in Middle Earth. I however have a different view, one which is of course not using the view of within Middle Earth but using rose tinted glasses of todays society. I am of the view that the main races that I have spoecified throughout this thread are not natural. Of course they are though as they were created with Middle Earth but I am interested in a more eccocentric view so to speak!

Noljen - I hope this has not been amusing in terms of the actual academic content, for that would indicate to me that there was silly ideas when I think this debate has been of an excellent standard! I am glad that this thread had held your interest though, as it has mine!

 

Arthur Weasley 30/Jul/2006 at 01:31 PM
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I have a different idea.  It seems to me that the only "natural" place in Middle Earth that has not been affected by construction, physical change by beings, or magic Rings (Lothlorien was kept unstained by Galadriel’s Ring Nenya) would be Druadan Forest in outside of Minas Tirith.  Ghan-Buri-Ghan and the Woses/Pukel Men seem to live in their natural surroundings and adapting to nature rather then changing nature to suit them.  Maybe the Forest of Fangorn could be the same with the Ents "natural" relation to their own forest.  While it is true that the "Stone Folk" build a road through Druadan forest at the beginning of the Third Age, little else has changed since.  Druadan has remained virtually untouched through many long centuries and while the Wild men (Woses) hunt for food there, hunting for food is a natural act for all living tthings. Ghan-Buri-Ghan and his folk seem naturally and intimately connected with their forest and certainly have not mined, quarried, or otherwise despoiled it.  Probably heir dwellings are made from dead trees and natural materials.    
Arthur Weasley 30/Jul/2006 at 01:31 PM
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I have a different idea.  It seems to me that the only "natural" place in Middle Earth that has not been affected by construction, physical change by beings, or magic Rings (Lothlorien was kept unstained by Galadriel’s Ring Nenya) would be Druadan Forest in outside of Minas Tirith.  Ghan-Buri-Ghan and the Woses/Pukel Men seem to live in their natural surroundings and adapting to nature rather then changing nature to suit them.  Maybe the Forest of Fangorn could be the same with the Ents "natural" relation to their own forest.  While it is true that the "Stone Folk" build a road through Druadan forest at the beginning of the Third Age, little else has changed since.  Druadan has remained virtually untouched through many long centuries and while the Wild men (Woses) hunt for food there, hunting for food is a natural act for all living tthings. Ghan-Buri-Ghan and his folk seem naturally and intimately connected with their forest and certainly have not mined, quarried, or otherwise despoiled it.  Probably heir dwellings are made from dead trees and natural materials.    
mighty ent man 01/Aug/2006 at 12:53 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

DarthEnalan - A very good post there and you place a strong case for the Druadan forest. I am on the verge of agreeing with you actually, which is surprising considering how strict I have been throughout this thread! I think Fangorn inside would be natural, however it is influenced by the Ents and its growth is constrained by the destruction of Saruman, thus limiting is natural growth pattern. I have not gone into whether the Ents are natural or not so I cannot say whether Fangorn is a natural place.

However certainly the Drugs (being one name for the Druadan people) are a natural race, living like old cavemen did in out own world. The idea I had of natural can be encompassed in them really well.

mighty ent man 01/Aug/2006 at 12:53 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

DarthEnalan - A very good post there and you place a strong case for the Druadan forest. I am on the verge of agreeing with you actually, which is surprising considering how strict I have been throughout this thread! I think Fangorn inside would be natural, however it is influenced by the Ents and its growth is constrained by the destruction of Saruman, thus limiting is natural growth pattern. I have not gone into whether the Ents are natural or not so I cannot say whether Fangorn is a natural place.

However certainly the Drugs (being one name for the Druadan people) are a natural race, living like old cavemen did in out own world. The idea I had of natural can be encompassed in them really well.

Arthur Weasley 02/Aug/2006 at 09:39 AM
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Mighty Ent Man - Thank you very much.  Your thread here though raises many fascinating points and perhaps the Ents would be as "natural" as the Drugs/Pukul men.  Actually I was thinking about this lately and perhaps the Drugs built huts out of adobe, straw or animal skins.  Perhaps they did transform some of the Druaden forest thus altering nature?  I am glad though that everyone is having fun.  Actually, I would think that the Ents as a race would be just as natural as Elves, Men, Dwarves, or Hobbits.  They were certainly created by Eru ILLvatar just as all of the others.  What do you think? 
Arthur Weasley 02/Aug/2006 at 09:39 AM
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Mighty Ent Man - Thank you very much.  Your thread here though raises many fascinating points and perhaps the Ents would be as "natural" as the Drugs/Pukul men.  Actually I was thinking about this lately and perhaps the Drugs built huts out of adobe, straw or animal skins.  Perhaps they did transform some of the Druaden forest thus altering nature?  I am glad though that everyone is having fun.  Actually, I would think that the Ents as a race would be just as natural as Elves, Men, Dwarves, or Hobbits.  They were certainly created by Eru ILLvatar just as all of the others.  What do you think? 
Ecthelion Anor 02/Aug/2006 at 07:06 PM
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I think that some things in Middle-earth are natural. Before the War of the Ring Fangorn could have possibly been natural and the plains of Rohan too. I think also that the rivers and seas of Middle-earth are natural too because, as far as I know, no one has ever built an underwater nation. Some mountains could also be natural the ones the Dwarves have not been in for the Dwarves delved in and built great halls and made armor and weapons from precious metals from the earth.
Ecthelion Anor 02/Aug/2006 at 07:06 PM
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I think that some things in Middle-earth are natural. Before the War of the Ring Fangorn could have possibly been natural and the plains of Rohan too. I think also that the rivers and seas of Middle-earth are natural too because, as far as I know, no one has ever built an underwater nation. Some mountains could also be natural the ones the Dwarves have not been in for the Dwarves delved in and built great halls and made armor and weapons from precious metals from the earth.
Variene Áduial 02/Aug/2006 at 07:32 PM
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Mighty Ent Man - well, I peeked in and I am back with a question after reading your last post - are you saying that Ents are not natural? And yet you say that the Druadan people are? I do not understand. The Ents are as close as any living beings can possibly be to nature. Of course Fangorn can be considered unnatural because of the effects of Saruman’s work, but not because of the Ents! If you consider birds weaving a nest to be natural, then Ents must come into that same understanding of the word!

Also, could not destruction of certain sorts be considered "natural?" Don’t forests burn naturally - forest fires - or ice storms topple hundreds of trees? But once again, Saruman’s destruction, according to the definition used by you that we took so long to establish, is not natural, I agree.
Variene Áduial 02/Aug/2006 at 07:32 PM
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Mighty Ent Man - well, I peeked in and I am back with a question after reading your last post - are you saying that Ents are not natural? And yet you say that the Druadan people are? I do not understand. The Ents are as close as any living beings can possibly be to nature. Of course Fangorn can be considered unnatural because of the effects of Saruman’s work, but not because of the Ents! If you consider birds weaving a nest to be natural, then Ents must come into that same understanding of the word!

Also, could not destruction of certain sorts be considered "natural?" Don’t forests burn naturally - forest fires - or ice storms topple hundreds of trees? But once again, Saruman’s destruction, according to the definition used by you that we took so long to establish, is not natural, I agree.
mighty ent man 03/Aug/2006 at 06:05 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Your thread here though raises many fascinating points and perhaps the Ents would be as "natural" as the Drugs/Pukul men.   - I am glad that this thread has also raised some interesting points for yourself. As it has for me been one of the best debates that I have ever been involved in on the plaza.

As to the point I made about the Ents, well I did not actually make any such point! I meant that I had not devoted a proper amount of time and thought as to whether they are natural or not. If we look at Middle Earth then they are natural, for they were created to live in harmony with the trees. However, using our own modern world slant would we say a walking tree is natural? However I am more on the side that the Ents are a natural race who do not distort the natural workings of the forest.

Actually, I would think that the Ents as a race would be just as natural as Elves, Men, Dwarves, or Hobbits.  They were certainly created by Eru ILLvatar just as all of the others.  What do you think?  - Well if you read through this thread you will see how I myself am not sure how natural the Elves are and Men and others. However another thought has entered my mind. I have not really debated yet whether each individual race is natural. At first we debated what natural was, which was concluded as my definition of it being, absence of human interference. Maybe it would be interesting to debate each races naturalness!

Variene - - are you saying that Ents are not natural?  - No I am not. I said I was not sure. As you see in my paragraph you will see I think they are natural.

Also, could not destruction of certain sorts be considered "natural?" Don’t forests burn naturally - forest fires - or ice storms topple hundreds of trees? But once again, Saruman’s destruction, according to the definition used by you that we took so long to establish, is not natural, I agree.  - As you know there are a wide variety and types of destruction. There are natural disasters like forest fires. The ones started by natural atmospheric processes are natural. Saruman destroyed the forest in a way which is not natural.

mighty ent man 03/Aug/2006 at 06:05 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Your thread here though raises many fascinating points and perhaps the Ents would be as "natural" as the Drugs/Pukul men.   - I am glad that this thread has also raised some interesting points for yourself. As it has for me been one of the best debates that I have ever been involved in on the plaza.

As to the point I made about the Ents, well I did not actually make any such point! I meant that I had not devoted a proper amount of time and thought as to whether they are natural or not. If we look at Middle Earth then they are natural, for they were created to live in harmony with the trees. However, using our own modern world slant would we say a walking tree is natural? However I am more on the side that the Ents are a natural race who do not distort the natural workings of the forest.

Actually, I would think that the Ents as a race would be just as natural as Elves, Men, Dwarves, or Hobbits.  They were certainly created by Eru ILLvatar just as all of the others.  What do you think?  - Well if you read through this thread you will see how I myself am not sure how natural the Elves are and Men and others. However another thought has entered my mind. I have not really debated yet whether each individual race is natural. At first we debated what natural was, which was concluded as my definition of it being, absence of human interference. Maybe it would be interesting to debate each races naturalness!

Variene - - are you saying that Ents are not natural?  - No I am not. I said I was not sure. As you see in my paragraph you will see I think they are natural.

Also, could not destruction of certain sorts be considered "natural?" Don’t forests burn naturally - forest fires - or ice storms topple hundreds of trees? But once again, Saruman’s destruction, according to the definition used by you that we took so long to establish, is not natural, I agree.  - As you know there are a wide variety and types of destruction. There are natural disasters like forest fires. The ones started by natural atmospheric processes are natural. Saruman destroyed the forest in a way which is not natural.

Arthur Weasley 03/Aug/2006 at 06:09 AM
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Mighty Ent Man - Excellent Idea!  Perhaps we should discuss each sentient Middle Earth race separately and evaluate each groups "naturalness," according to your definitions above.  To make sure, I reread the entire thread and perhaps you would like to lead us off?  Which group/race shall we discuss first?
Arthur Weasley 03/Aug/2006 at 06:09 AM
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Mighty Ent Man - Excellent Idea!  Perhaps we should discuss each sentient Middle Earth race separately and evaluate each groups "naturalness," according to your definitions above.  To make sure, I reread the entire thread and perhaps you would like to lead us off?  Which group/race shall we discuss first?
Elendilo 04/Aug/2006 at 10:20 AM
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I think that this depends on a person defenition of being natural.If you define natural as not being shaped by a thinking being then the whole of Middle Earth is an artificial construct, because of the fact that the Valar shaped Middle Earth to suit their designs. And even on a smaller scale the diffrent races that have come and gone will have had a diffrent effect on their surroundings that they would have interacted with on a daily basis. 
Elendilo 04/Aug/2006 at 10:20 AM
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I think that this depends on a person defenition of being natural.If you define natural as not being shaped by a thinking being then the whole of Middle Earth is an artificial construct, because of the fact that the Valar shaped Middle Earth to suit their designs. And even on a smaller scale the diffrent races that have come and gone will have had a diffrent effect on their surroundings that they would have interacted with on a daily basis. 
annarie 07/Aug/2006 at 02:10 PM
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When I think of unnatural, I think of something that is man-made. But then again things that are man made come from things that are natural which can get pretty confusing. However, I do believe that there are places in ME that are natural, the ents might have started with the elves talking to them and waking them but there are still many natural trees in the forest as well as Im sure many other places.
annarie 07/Aug/2006 at 02:10 PM
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When I think of unnatural, I think of something that is man-made. But then again things that are man made come from things that are natural which can get pretty confusing. However, I do believe that there are places in ME that are natural, the ents might have started with the elves talking to them and waking them but there are still many natural trees in the forest as well as Im sure many other places.
Arthur Weasley 07/Aug/2006 at 03:58 PM
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This is a tough question.  However we define nature, what are sentient beings effects on the environment?  When a Pukul man plucks a fruit from a tree, is he destroying nature?  Is the struggle for existence natural or unnatural?  Charles Darwin would say that the struggle for existence is perfectly natural from natural selection.  If food is on a table ten feet high, and someone is nine feet tall with everyone else much shorter, then that person can eat what they wish and the rest are out of luck.  When an Ent drinks water for survival, is thatpart of nature or harmful to nature? 
Arthur Weasley 07/Aug/2006 at 03:58 PM
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This is a tough question.  However we define nature, what are sentient beings effects on the environment?  When a Pukul man plucks a fruit from a tree, is he destroying nature?  Is the struggle for existence natural or unnatural?  Charles Darwin would say that the struggle for existence is perfectly natural from natural selection.  If food is on a table ten feet high, and someone is nine feet tall with everyone else much shorter, then that person can eat what they wish and the rest are out of luck.  When an Ent drinks water for survival, is thatpart of nature or harmful to nature? 
annarie 09/Aug/2006 at 10:29 PM
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Good question Darth! I have to say though that in my own opinion it would be part of nature..as I believe every living being is part of nature anyway, though I guess it’s an opinion question.
annarie 09/Aug/2006 at 10:29 PM
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Good question Darth! I have to say though that in my own opinion it would be part of nature..as I believe every living being is part of nature anyway, though I guess it’s an opinion question.
Variene Áduial 10/Aug/2006 at 11:39 AM
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DarthEnalan and annarie, we actually had a long discussion before on the definition of "natural." There are various points of view, but for this thread we came to a conclusion to use mighty ent man’s definition, which states that "natural" is something that hasn’t been influenced by humans, at least in a negative way. When I first entered the thread I had said that everything is natural, because everything had the same origins and evolved into what it is today, and evolution is natural as well. But then you must consider how far humanity has gone to influence the environment in harmful ways - pollution, destruction, erosion, etc.

annarie, I agree with you that every living thing is part of nature. But doesn’t it seem that humans have gone far from their origins? Look at cities, look at what human achievements have done to the natural world around them - "natural" as in fields, woods, rivers, mountains, habitats. So much is ruined, destroyed, burned, killed, polluted.

DarthEnalan, no, I don’t think that when you pluck a fruit from a tree you are destroying anything. I think in this thread the word "nature" means the environment, the living earth as a whole. But it would be "destroying nature" to cut down the grove in which that tree grew, from which the Pukul man plucked the fruit. The struggle for existence is natural, but not when creatures such a humans, who are far more powerful in the intellect than other creatures, emerge and kill other forms of life. That cannot even be called a "struggle." Defense would be a struggle, but not what people have come to do now, i.e. destrying entire populations of certain species. An Ent drinking water is certainly natural - all creatures need water for survival. But an Ent, for example, blocking off the stream from which the water came from so that he could have it all for himself would not be "natural."
Variene Áduial 10/Aug/2006 at 11:39 AM
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DarthEnalan and annarie, we actually had a long discussion before on the definition of "natural." There are various points of view, but for this thread we came to a conclusion to use mighty ent man’s definition, which states that "natural" is something that hasn’t been influenced by humans, at least in a negative way. When I first entered the thread I had said that everything is natural, because everything had the same origins and evolved into what it is today, and evolution is natural as well. But then you must consider how far humanity has gone to influence the environment in harmful ways - pollution, destruction, erosion, etc.

annarie, I agree with you that every living thing is part of nature. But doesn’t it seem that humans have gone far from their origins? Look at cities, look at what human achievements have done to the natural world around them - "natural" as in fields, woods, rivers, mountains, habitats. So much is ruined, destroyed, burned, killed, polluted.

DarthEnalan, no, I don’t think that when you pluck a fruit from a tree you are destroying anything. I think in this thread the word "nature" means the environment, the living earth as a whole. But it would be "destroying nature" to cut down the grove in which that tree grew, from which the Pukul man plucked the fruit. The struggle for existence is natural, but not when creatures such a humans, who are far more powerful in the intellect than other creatures, emerge and kill other forms of life. That cannot even be called a "struggle." Defense would be a struggle, but not what people have come to do now, i.e. destrying entire populations of certain species. An Ent drinking water is certainly natural - all creatures need water for survival. But an Ent, for example, blocking off the stream from which the water came from so that he could have it all for himself would not be "natural."
annarie 10/Aug/2006 at 10:17 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 488 Posts: 57 Joined: 24/Apr/2006
That makes sense, anything that is natural is untouched. Easy enough. Thank you Variene Áduial for the help.
annarie 10/Aug/2006 at 10:17 PM
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That makes sense, anything that is natural is untouched. Easy enough. Thank you Variene Áduial for the help.
mighty ent man 14/Aug/2006 at 06:39 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - If you would like to discuss each races naturalness then so be it. I am perfectly happy to do so for I find this discussion immensely interesting. I do not mind which one we discuss first, I do not think it matters. Also the rules and findings that we use for one race will no doubt apply to all the others too. I think it will be easy to group many races together, although it will of course depend how literal and picky we are!!

When a Pukul man plucks a fruit from a tree, is he destroying nature?  - As to this specific question: No he is not destroying nature as you put it. He is simply using basic human instinct to survive. That instinct being to collect food. Had he cut down that tree to make room for his own house then he has created an unnatural space in the forest.

I like the way that you bring Darwins theory into this debate, as you should have done for his ideas like closely to what is naturally defined by us. I sometimes see humans as acting against Nature. We have gone beyond what is needed to survive and crossed a boundary.

Variene -  A nice post there.

 

mighty ent man 14/Aug/2006 at 06:39 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - If you would like to discuss each races naturalness then so be it. I am perfectly happy to do so for I find this discussion immensely interesting. I do not mind which one we discuss first, I do not think it matters. Also the rules and findings that we use for one race will no doubt apply to all the others too. I think it will be easy to group many races together, although it will of course depend how literal and picky we are!!

When a Pukul man plucks a fruit from a tree, is he destroying nature?  - As to this specific question: No he is not destroying nature as you put it. He is simply using basic human instinct to survive. That instinct being to collect food. Had he cut down that tree to make room for his own house then he has created an unnatural space in the forest.

I like the way that you bring Darwins theory into this debate, as you should have done for his ideas like closely to what is naturally defined by us. I sometimes see humans as acting against Nature. We have gone beyond what is needed to survive and crossed a boundary.

Variene -  A nice post there.

 

Arthur Weasley 14/Aug/2006 at 10:20 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent Man - I really do enjoy your thoughts and ideas!   I know some Vegan’s who refuse to eat any sort of animal byproducts including milk, eggs, even fish.  All they eat are vegetables, fruits and anything they deem "natural."  Before we discuss the nature of Tolkien’s universe, we need to define a "boundary," as you say between the need for survival and outright destruction of nature.  Some would argue that building a powerplant in a rainforest is simply providing thousands of humans with daily electricity and could constitute survival in modern society.  While I agree with you that a Pukul man plucking a fruit from atree is simply survival, what if that Pukul man and his friends slaughter a herd of gazelle?  These are fascinating questions.  Would you  please set our parameters for these boundaries?
Arthur Weasley 14/Aug/2006 at 10:20 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent Man - I really do enjoy your thoughts and ideas!   I know some Vegan’s who refuse to eat any sort of animal byproducts including milk, eggs, even fish.  All they eat are vegetables, fruits and anything they deem "natural."  Before we discuss the nature of Tolkien’s universe, we need to define a "boundary," as you say between the need for survival and outright destruction of nature.  Some would argue that building a powerplant in a rainforest is simply providing thousands of humans with daily electricity and could constitute survival in modern society.  While I agree with you that a Pukul man plucking a fruit from atree is simply survival, what if that Pukul man and his friends slaughter a herd of gazelle?  These are fascinating questions.  Would you  please set our parameters for these boundaries?
mighty ent man 14/Aug/2006 at 04:13 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - I am very glad to see that someone does enjoy my ideas! It makes this whole business of post writing a lot easier to know someone on the other end is enjoying what you are saying!  

I think it is a very good thing to go Vegan. I admire the people who do so, I however admit to eating a lot of meat for I love the taste. I know I should not. There are some things I do not eat on the natural basis, such as Salmon. I will not eat Salmon (mainly farmed) as it is cruel and also medically not that good to eat it a lot for the way in which it is farmed. I know I am to some extent a hypocrite for still eating beef and chicken but that is the way I am. I do not think it is unnatural for us to eat other animals. It is however unnatural for us to farm these animals intensively and feed them up so they become bigger than they would have naturally. That is one of the reasons why I do not eat salmon.

Some would argue that building a powerplant in a rainforest is simply providing thousands of humans with daily electricity and could constitute survival in modern society.  - It is providing humans with needed electricity, I agree. But it is at the same time destroying a huge area of natural rainforest, taking away animals habitats and destroying natural ecosystems forever. The power plant could have been built somewhere else in order to avoid this disruption and destruction of nature. It is not survival for we do not essentially need electricity to survive.

While I agree with you that a Pukul man plucking a fruit from atree is simply survival, what if that Pukul man and his friends slaughter a herd of gazelle?  - If they hunt gazelle for food then this is survival still. When the use of technology in the form of guns comes in then we are reaching the boundary between surivival and nature. By the way I do not think gazelle exist in Middle Earth, I was simply responding to your example!

I hope these ideas help you to see the boundary that I am hinting at!  It concerns technology and disruption to the natural workings of life.

 

mighty ent man 14/Aug/2006 at 04:14 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - I am very glad to see that someone does enjoy my ideas! It makes this whole business of post writing a lot easier to know someone on the other end is enjoying what you are saying!  

I think it is a very good thing to go Vegan. I admire the people who do so, I however admit to eating a lot of meat for I love the taste. I know I should not. There are some things I do not eat on the natural basis, such as Salmon. I will not eat Salmon (mainly farmed) as it is cruel and also medically not that good to eat it a lot for the way in which it is farmed. I know I am to some extent a hypocrite for still eating beef and chicken but that is the way I am. I do not think it is unnatural for us to eat other animals. It is however unnatural for us to farm these animals intensively and feed them up so they become bigger than they would have naturally. That is one of the reasons why I do not eat salmon.

Some would argue that building a powerplant in a rainforest is simply providing thousands of humans with daily electricity and could constitute survival in modern society.  - It is providing humans with needed electricity, I agree. But it is at the same time destroying a huge area of natural rainforest, taking away animals habitats and destroying natural ecosystems forever. The power plant could have been built somewhere else in order to avoid this disruption and destruction of nature. It is not survival for we do not essentially need electricity to survive.

While I agree with you that a Pukul man plucking a fruit from atree is simply survival, what if that Pukul man and his friends slaughter a herd of gazelle?  - If they hunt gazelle for food then this is survival still. When the use of technology in the form of guns comes in then we are reaching the boundary between surivival and nature. By the way I do not think gazelle exist in Middle Earth, I was simply responding to your example!

I hope these ideas help you to see the boundary that I am hinting at!  It concerns technology and disruption to the natural workings of life.

 

Arthur Weasley 14/Aug/2006 at 07:41 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent Man - Great!  I understand that technology (at almost any level) is what you mean.  We could apply this now to Middle Earth.  Most sentient beings employ some sort of technology except perhaps Dragons, Pukul Men and Ents.  Elves certainly concern themselves more with nature than say Dwarves,Orcs or Men.  These are very broad strokes but let’s begin here.  I admire Vegans also very much though I could never be one.  Which race would employ the most technology?
Arthur Weasley 14/Aug/2006 at 07:41 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent Man - Great!  I understand that technology (at almost any level) is what you mean.  We could apply this now to Middle Earth.  Most sentient beings employ some sort of technology except perhaps Dragons, Pukul Men and Ents.  Elves certainly concern themselves more with nature than say Dwarves,Orcs or Men.  These are very broad strokes but let’s begin here.  I admire Vegans also very much though I could never be one.  Which race would employ the most technology?
mighty ent man 15/Aug/2006 at 03:42 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Ok well first I am going to go through my ideas on the boundary that we are trying to identify.

I believe that there was a time when we humans were ’at one’ with nature. We harmonised with it, by this I mean that our existence did compromise the existence of nature. We hunted for our food in a natural way, using tools we fashioned from the ground. We lived in natural caves or made wooden shelters. We may have cut wood but only enough for us to survive, we were not greedy.

However as we humans evolved, due to our higher level of intelligent and our incredible ingenuity we have since moved on from these natural practices. Now I have to stress here a few things. Evolution is of course a natural thing, it happens. I am not saying that this process is unnatural. But in my mind I classify natural as being the absence of human intereference in nature, to its detriment in a significant way.

I believe we have evolved so far that we have really gone beyond the boundaries that other animals evolve within. We are a selfish and greedy race who care not for the damage we do the planet that we depend on. This is not natural, all other animals and organisms care about the habitat they live in for they know if the damage it then they will suffer. However we humans now have technology to shield ourselves from these adverse effects. We can do this damage and not bear the brunt of it, although we thankfully beginning to feel the effectsof such things, like global warming and climate change.

This for me is not a natural thing. I do not know how it happened but it has and really I think it is very sad. I for one talk to my family about this world and they do not seem to care, which is the case for most of the human race. The ones who want to save it are in the minority.

Anyway I am rambling a bit there and went off on a slight tangent. The whole point of all that I just said was to try and give you a clear picture of how I think and what I define as natural. Now to apply this to the races of Middle Earth.

Men I would have to say are the most unnatural. Building Minas Tirith into the cliff face, farming the land. They are evolving their techniques and technology. The Rohirrim are a bit more natural as Edoras is made more of wood. However they do have Helms Deep which is like what the Dwarves do, mine and cut deep into the rock.

mighty ent man 15/Aug/2006 at 03:42 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Ok well first I am going to go through my ideas on the boundary that we are trying to identify.

I believe that there was a time when we humans were ’at one’ with nature. We harmonised with it, by this I mean that our existence did compromise the existence of nature. We hunted for our food in a natural way, using tools we fashioned from the ground. We lived in natural caves or made wooden shelters. We may have cut wood but only enough for us to survive, we were not greedy.

However as we humans evolved, due to our higher level of intelligent and our incredible ingenuity we have since moved on from these natural practices. Now I have to stress here a few things. Evolution is of course a natural thing, it happens. I am not saying that this process is unnatural. But in my mind I classify natural as being the absence of human intereference in nature, to its detriment in a significant way.

I believe we have evolved so far that we have really gone beyond the boundaries that other animals evolve within. We are a selfish and greedy race who care not for the damage we do the planet that we depend on. This is not natural, all other animals and organisms care about the habitat they live in for they know if the damage it then they will suffer. However we humans now have technology to shield ourselves from these adverse effects. We can do this damage and not bear the brunt of it, although we thankfully beginning to feel the effectsof such things, like global warming and climate change.

This for me is not a natural thing. I do not know how it happened but it has and really I think it is very sad. I for one talk to my family about this world and they do not seem to care, which is the case for most of the human race. The ones who want to save it are in the minority.

Anyway I am rambling a bit there and went off on a slight tangent. The whole point of all that I just said was to try and give you a clear picture of how I think and what I define as natural. Now to apply this to the races of Middle Earth.

Men I would have to say are the most unnatural. Building Minas Tirith into the cliff face, farming the land. They are evolving their techniques and technology. The Rohirrim are a bit more natural as Edoras is made more of wood. However they do have Helms Deep which is like what the Dwarves do, mine and cut deep into the rock.

Arthur Weasley 15/Aug/2006 at 06:39 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002

Mighty Ent Man - Well said!  I understand you better now.  Overall I politely disagree.  Why is it that so many people fear progress, technology and development and then phone a friend to see a movie at the newly built local theater this evening?  Humanity as a race, is no more greedy or selfish than any other creatures would be if they possessed our intelligence and abilities.   How many cures for diseases, viruses, injuries and genetic defects have been developed for the benefit of all just in the last ten years?  Let alone the last 200 years?  We can now travel anywhere in the world in about 24 hours if one is willing to arrive my mule at the end of the journey.  More food, clothing and other materials necessary for human survival can be produced now and over time our planet will find peace with more progress.  It is true that the vast majority of the earth’s population wear rags and only possess a bowl for their food but this is the great challenge of modern societies.  It is one thing to dance around the maypole out in a field singing nature songs and having fun, but we all haver to go back to work, our bills and our families eventually.  I believe that God, (Yahwah, Allah, Jehovah, whatever name you wish to use) gave us this planet for the purposes of development, progress and improvement.  OK, we have not progressed as quickly as some may have wished and it is easy to criticize but that does not absolve us from our duty to make this mudball a better place for Humanity to live. 

      But I digress.  I think Dwarves and Orcs employ the most technology and thus marr nature more than other races.  Dwarves hammering away at mountains until they release a Balrog is a bit excessive.  Certainly the Orcs do not care one whit for nature or anything else (not even themselves).  No offense intended but these "forging races," produce all sorts of smoke using wood, coal, oil and even pipeweed.  i suppose you could add Hobbits, Men and even Elves to this list though I would still think that Dwarves and Orcs would more eagerly destroy their environments. 

Arthur Weasley 15/Aug/2006 at 06:39 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002

Mighty Ent Man - Well said!  I understand you better now.  Overall I politely disagree.  Why is it that so many people fear progress, technology and development and then phone a friend to see a movie at the newly built local theater this evening?  Humanity as a race, is no more greedy or selfish than any other creatures would be if they possessed our intelligence and abilities.   How many cures for diseases, viruses, injuries and genetic defects have been developed for the benefit of all just in the last ten years?  Let alone the last 200 years?  We can now travel anywhere in the world in about 24 hours if one is willing to arrive my mule at the end of the journey.  More food, clothing and other materials necessary for human survival can be produced now and over time our planet will find peace with more progress.  It is true that the vast majority of the earth’s population wear rags and only possess a bowl for their food but this is the great challenge of modern societies.  It is one thing to dance around the maypole out in a field singing nature songs and having fun, but we all haver to go back to work, our bills and our families eventually.  I believe that God, (Yahwah, Allah, Jehovah, whatever name you wish to use) gave us this planet for the purposes of development, progress and improvement.  OK, we have not progressed as quickly as some may have wished and it is easy to criticize but that does not absolve us from our duty to make this mudball a better place for Humanity to live. 

      But I digress.  I think Dwarves and Orcs employ the most technology and thus marr nature more than other races.  Dwarves hammering away at mountains until they release a Balrog is a bit excessive.  Certainly the Orcs do not care one whit for nature or anything else (not even themselves).  No offense intended but these "forging races," produce all sorts of smoke using wood, coal, oil and even pipeweed.  i suppose you could add Hobbits, Men and even Elves to this list though I would still think that Dwarves and Orcs would more eagerly destroy their environments. 

Arthur Weasley 15/Aug/2006 at 06:40 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Opps "by mule," not my mule.
Arthur Weasley 15/Aug/2006 at 06:40 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Opps "by mule," not my mule.
Variene Áduial 15/Aug/2006 at 07:58 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, you stated that "This is not natural, all other animals and organisms care about the habitat they live in for they know if the damage it then they will suffer." I feel the need to point out that most creatures aren’t in any degree concerned about their habitat. They just do what they need to do to survive, and I highly doubt that they think of the consequences. Animals don’t consciously try to do everything for the good of their environment, unless there is a species that I do not know about. They were given their roles in the world, and they lead their lives and fulfill their roles, which in turn balances the ecosystem that is their home.

About animals, I don’t know about beavers in Middle Earth, but are they natural? Their dams often obstruct large waterways - lakes, rivers, etc. Quite large obstructions. Are they natural?

DarthEnalan - Did you ever wonder if maybe making the earth a "better place for Humanity to live in" does not consist of the type of progress that is going on now? Who says that people live happier lives in advanced cities than in rural areas without, for example, the luxury of electricity? Who can say what is best? And this can be directly related to Middle Earth. Who is more at peace - halflings or men? Of course we must consider the bias of the Tolkien himself, but there is a great difference in the nature of both peoples. I can truly state that the hobbits are a much more "natural" race than men, for example. And the elves - even more so. Where there is slow progress there is harmony, and where there is harmony there is nature.
Variene Áduial 15/Aug/2006 at 07:58 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
mighty ent man, you stated that "This is not natural, all other animals and organisms care about the habitat they live in for they know if the damage it then they will suffer." I feel the need to point out that most creatures aren’t in any degree concerned about their habitat. They just do what they need to do to survive, and I highly doubt that they think of the consequences. Animals don’t consciously try to do everything for the good of their environment, unless there is a species that I do not know about. They were given their roles in the world, and they lead their lives and fulfill their roles, which in turn balances the ecosystem that is their home.

About animals, I don’t know about beavers in Middle Earth, but are they natural? Their dams often obstruct large waterways - lakes, rivers, etc. Quite large obstructions. Are they natural?

DarthEnalan - Did you ever wonder if maybe making the earth a "better place for Humanity to live in" does not consist of the type of progress that is going on now? Who says that people live happier lives in advanced cities than in rural areas without, for example, the luxury of electricity? Who can say what is best? And this can be directly related to Middle Earth. Who is more at peace - halflings or men? Of course we must consider the bias of the Tolkien himself, but there is a great difference in the nature of both peoples. I can truly state that the hobbits are a much more "natural" race than men, for example. And the elves - even more so. Where there is slow progress there is harmony, and where there is harmony there is nature.
mighty ent man 16/Aug/2006 at 02:37 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Humanity as a race, is no more greedy or selfish than any other creatures would be if they possessed our intelligence and abilities.  - This is an interesting point and one which definitely holds some truth in it. Other animal species are indeed selfish, we see it in their hoarding of food and domination over other species. I suppose that you could say that no other animals hold our level of intelligence thus have no chance of ever becoming like us. However does it not seem as though we humans as a race are a very selfish race?

over time our planet will find peace with more progress. - I disagree with the certainty with which you say this. Our planet is being slowly destroyed. Whether this is by humans or natural climate change it is happeneing. Now we could be at the end of our current interglacial period, which would mean in a few thousand years a new ice age will begin. Or it could be primarily a human influenced warming, which means climate is going to get worse. Since we humans depend on climate we are either going to have to adapt or stop our harmful traits. The human race might find peace but the planet as a living organism will not.

I will have you know that a great deal of poverty is self inflicted due to war and inappropriate farming techniques. Obviously a larger portion of poverty comes from the climate of the area and the lack of money and exploitation from the modern countries. This is a huge challenge but it has little to do with this thread!

Orcs of course do the most damage for they are evil and find enjoyment in destruction.

Variene - They were given their roles in the world, and they lead their lives and fulfill their roles, which in turn balances the ecosystem that is their home.  - What I meant was that most other species live in harmony with their habitat. They are as you yourself evens said par of an ecosystem where there actions in it serve to keep it healthy. I am not entirely sure as to the capacity for animals to have thought as we do but I am sure that if some do then they do care for where they live.

A tricky one to look at are beavers. I do not think they are present in Middle Earth but I would say that yes they are indeed natural. They are as I mentioned before acting in terms of creating a home/habitat for themselves.

Who says that people live happier lives in advanced cities than in rural areas without, for example, the luxury of electricity?  - I agree and this is one of the key problems. We in the developed world live in a develoment ideology. We think that the only way to become better is to become like we are. But maybe as you say they would rather live in a agricultural state. Anyway as I said before this thread is not really the place for such a huge debate.

Where there is slow progress there is harmony, and where there is harmony there is nature.  - I agree, it is when some form of techology enters the equation that the progress speeds up and the harmony that once wa is forgotten.

mighty ent man 16/Aug/2006 at 02:37 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Humanity as a race, is no more greedy or selfish than any other creatures would be if they possessed our intelligence and abilities.  - This is an interesting point and one which definitely holds some truth in it. Other animal species are indeed selfish, we see it in their hoarding of food and domination over other species. I suppose that you could say that no other animals hold our level of intelligence thus have no chance of ever becoming like us. However does it not seem as though we humans as a race are a very selfish race?

over time our planet will find peace with more progress. - I disagree with the certainty with which you say this. Our planet is being slowly destroyed. Whether this is by humans or natural climate change it is happeneing. Now we could be at the end of our current interglacial period, which would mean in a few thousand years a new ice age will begin. Or it could be primarily a human influenced warming, which means climate is going to get worse. Since we humans depend on climate we are either going to have to adapt or stop our harmful traits. The human race might find peace but the planet as a living organism will not.

I will have you know that a great deal of poverty is self inflicted due to war and inappropriate farming techniques. Obviously a larger portion of poverty comes from the climate of the area and the lack of money and exploitation from the modern countries. This is a huge challenge but it has little to do with this thread!

Orcs of course do the most damage for they are evil and find enjoyment in destruction.

Variene - They were given their roles in the world, and they lead their lives and fulfill their roles, which in turn balances the ecosystem that is their home.  - What I meant was that most other species live in harmony with their habitat. They are as you yourself evens said par of an ecosystem where there actions in it serve to keep it healthy. I am not entirely sure as to the capacity for animals to have thought as we do but I am sure that if some do then they do care for where they live.

A tricky one to look at are beavers. I do not think they are present in Middle Earth but I would say that yes they are indeed natural. They are as I mentioned before acting in terms of creating a home/habitat for themselves.

Who says that people live happier lives in advanced cities than in rural areas without, for example, the luxury of electricity?  - I agree and this is one of the key problems. We in the developed world live in a develoment ideology. We think that the only way to become better is to become like we are. But maybe as you say they would rather live in a agricultural state. Anyway as I said before this thread is not really the place for such a huge debate.

Where there is slow progress there is harmony, and where there is harmony there is nature.  - I agree, it is when some form of techology enters the equation that the progress speeds up and the harmony that once wa is forgotten.

Arthur Weasley 16/Aug/2006 at 07:45 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002

Variene Anduil - Interesting points!  I love a good, friendly debate.  I suppose I agree with you but I would elevate the Ents and the Pukul men as more in touch and a part of nature than even Elves or Hobbits.  Certainly Elves and Hobbits are more industrious than Ents or the Pukul men.  Let me assemble some stuff and get back to you.

Mighty Ent Man - Your thoughts are always appreciated.  I may not agree with poverty being "self inflicted," but wars, chaos etc. often result from poverty.  Maybe chicken or egg?  Anyway How should we continue here?

Arthur Weasley 16/Aug/2006 at 07:45 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002

Variene Anduil - Interesting points!  I love a good, friendly debate.  I suppose I agree with you but I would elevate the Ents and the Pukul men as more in touch and a part of nature than even Elves or Hobbits.  Certainly Elves and Hobbits are more industrious than Ents or the Pukul men.  Let me assemble some stuff and get back to you.

Mighty Ent Man - Your thoughts are always appreciated.  I may not agree with poverty being "self inflicted," but wars, chaos etc. often result from poverty.  Maybe chicken or egg?  Anyway How should we continue here?

mighty ent man 18/Aug/2006 at 03:28 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Indeed how shall we continue from here! The question that a good debate such as this one will often need to kick start some interesting discussion. Well I am going to go on and talk a little more about the races of Middle Earth and see what we can find from that!

Ents, ah yes the un-hasty Ents. Well first lets look at Treebeard for we know most about him as he is the principle Ent we see in the books. They care greatly for the environment, seeking to live in it but not in contrast or conflict to it. In Fangorn we see that Treebeards dwelling does not really interfere with the trees of Fangorn. The same rules cannot apply to the Ents as we apply them to the other races. For yes his dwelling (Wellinghall) has caused a clearing to be made and meant that trees do not grow there. However the Trees of Fangorn are not ordinary trees like we might find in Lothlorien. They are to some extents alive and moving like the Ents are, and we also must remember that the Ents are different to Elves and Hobbits in their make up. The Ents were created with the sole purpose of protecting the Trees. Would it seem strange if they could go about unnatural practices? Obviously having a walking tree is unnatural in our world which is why the Ents would appear unnatural. And they do alter the forest, but only ever so slightly and not in a unnatural way. Thus from this I would have to conclude that the Ents are natural and so is Fangorn.

But then we have the issue I raised before concerning Saruman’s destruction of this piece of woodland. He has destroyed areas of it on its borders. This would therefore mean that to a certain extent Fangorn is a managed or controlled forest, which is not natural.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

mighty ent man 18/Aug/2006 at 03:28 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Indeed how shall we continue from here! The question that a good debate such as this one will often need to kick start some interesting discussion. Well I am going to go on and talk a little more about the races of Middle Earth and see what we can find from that!

Ents, ah yes the un-hasty Ents. Well first lets look at Treebeard for we know most about him as he is the principle Ent we see in the books. They care greatly for the environment, seeking to live in it but not in contrast or conflict to it. In Fangorn we see that Treebeards dwelling does not really interfere with the trees of Fangorn. The same rules cannot apply to the Ents as we apply them to the other races. For yes his dwelling (Wellinghall) has caused a clearing to be made and meant that trees do not grow there. However the Trees of Fangorn are not ordinary trees like we might find in Lothlorien. They are to some extents alive and moving like the Ents are, and we also must remember that the Ents are different to Elves and Hobbits in their make up. The Ents were created with the sole purpose of protecting the Trees. Would it seem strange if they could go about unnatural practices? Obviously having a walking tree is unnatural in our world which is why the Ents would appear unnatural. And they do alter the forest, but only ever so slightly and not in a unnatural way. Thus from this I would have to conclude that the Ents are natural and so is Fangorn.

But then we have the issue I raised before concerning Saruman’s destruction of this piece of woodland. He has destroyed areas of it on its borders. This would therefore mean that to a certain extent Fangorn is a managed or controlled forest, which is not natural.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Arthur Weasley 18/Aug/2006 at 05:12 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent Man - I agree with you!  The Ents impact has been to protect the trees and forest.  While Saruman was an evil jerk, I would guess that in the Fourth Age, Treebeard, Quickbeam and the other Ents would over time repair the damage he caused to their forest.  While the implication is that the Ents would eventually fade. die off or disappear, I like to hope that one day they relocate the Entwives and perpetuate their race again.  Ents also are not interested in conquest or dominating the earth.  As Gandalf said somewhere that the Ents "never plotted to cover all the lands with their trees," and control other folk.  I suppose the Pukul men would be very similar to the Ents and I would say that both groups are equally natural.
Arthur Weasley 18/Aug/2006 at 05:12 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent Man - I agree with you!  The Ents impact has been to protect the trees and forest.  While Saruman was an evil jerk, I would guess that in the Fourth Age, Treebeard, Quickbeam and the other Ents would over time repair the damage he caused to their forest.  While the implication is that the Ents would eventually fade. die off or disappear, I like to hope that one day they relocate the Entwives and perpetuate their race again.  Ents also are not interested in conquest or dominating the earth.  As Gandalf said somewhere that the Ents "never plotted to cover all the lands with their trees," and control other folk.  I suppose the Pukul men would be very similar to the Ents and I would say that both groups are equally natural.
mighty ent man 18/Aug/2006 at 11:59 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - If by your comment on the Ents restoration of the forest you mean that the forest could once return to its natural state then I am afraid I have to say that I disagree with you. It is widely felt and a tested theory in ecology that once an area of forest is cleared it will never regenerate to its previous level. Thus I am unsure as to whether the area of Fangorn that was destroyed would regain its previous complexity. Yes trees would grow there again and the undergrowth would grow again but it would never reach the complexity of the ecosystem that did before. It is a sad fact of life really. Something that is currently going on in our rainforests today.

However this does not mean that this regenerated forest is not natural. It would be, but not the same as the old.

Your hope is simply a fairy tale dream I fear. From reading most of the posts on the plaza I have realised that there was no planned or intended reunion for the Ents and the Entwives. They were never to meet again and the Ents would fade away, and remain simply a memory.

I agree that the Pukel men or Drugs as they are correctly called I think are natural. They live their lives in secrecy and harmony with their small land.

 

mighty ent man 18/Aug/2006 at 11:59 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - If by your comment on the Ents restoration of the forest you mean that the forest could once return to its natural state then I am afraid I have to say that I disagree with you. It is widely felt and a tested theory in ecology that once an area of forest is cleared it will never regenerate to its previous level. Thus I am unsure as to whether the area of Fangorn that was destroyed would regain its previous complexity. Yes trees would grow there again and the undergrowth would grow again but it would never reach the complexity of the ecosystem that did before. It is a sad fact of life really. Something that is currently going on in our rainforests today.

However this does not mean that this regenerated forest is not natural. It would be, but not the same as the old.

Your hope is simply a fairy tale dream I fear. From reading most of the posts on the plaza I have realised that there was no planned or intended reunion for the Ents and the Entwives. They were never to meet again and the Ents would fade away, and remain simply a memory.

I agree that the Pukel men or Drugs as they are correctly called I think are natural. They live their lives in secrecy and harmony with their small land.

 

Arthur Weasley 19/Aug/2006 at 04:51 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent man - I really do appreciate your insights and you have given me much to consider.  Previously whenever I have seen trees or brush in any woods, they always look similar to me whether they are natural or reforested.  However, I will ponder more carefully your observations the next time I visit the local state forest.  You are most likely right about the Ents final fate but I am an eternal optimist.  I will always hope that Treebeard and company run into the Entwives somewhere.  Maybe this is why I welcome progress and development because I have faith that what we create will be helpful for everyone.  Any other thoughts?
Arthur Weasley 19/Aug/2006 at 04:51 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
Mighty Ent man - I really do appreciate your insights and you have given me much to consider.  Previously whenever I have seen trees or brush in any woods, they always look similar to me whether they are natural or reforested.  However, I will ponder more carefully your observations the next time I visit the local state forest.  You are most likely right about the Ents final fate but I am an eternal optimist.  I will always hope that Treebeard and company run into the Entwives somewhere.  Maybe this is why I welcome progress and development because I have faith that what we create will be helpful for everyone.  Any other thoughts?
Nóljen 20/Aug/2006 at 11:54 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

mighty ent man:

"It is widely felt and a tested theory in ecology that once an area of forest is cleared it will never regenerate to its previous level."

I must disagree, master ent man. Firstly - how has the ecology found out, that it will never regenerate? Eternity is a long time to wait, therefore it would be much more appropriate to declare, that it will not regenerate for very long time.

Secondly - the Earth used to be a molten rock. If it once was able to evolve to its complexity, I am pretty sure, that it is able to do the same again and I assume, that you’ll agree when I say, that those cleared forests are - in comparison with that molten rock - no actual challenge .

Have a nice day.

Nóljen 20/Aug/2006 at 11:54 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

mighty ent man:

"It is widely felt and a tested theory in ecology that once an area of forest is cleared it will never regenerate to its previous level."

I must disagree, master ent man. Firstly - how has the ecology found out, that it will never regenerate? Eternity is a long time to wait, therefore it would be much more appropriate to declare, that it will not regenerate for very long time.

Secondly - the Earth used to be a molten rock. If it once was able to evolve to its complexity, I am pretty sure, that it is able to do the same again and I assume, that you’ll agree when I say, that those cleared forests are - in comparison with that molten rock - no actual challenge .

Have a nice day.

mighty ent man 20/Aug/2006 at 02:52 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Previously whenever I have seen trees or brush in any woods, they always look similar to me whether they are natural or reforested.   - If an area of forest has planted by humans then it is not going to be as natural as one which is allowed to grow and develop along natural lines. Some forests are planted in rows, the trees being aligned horizontally. This is not how that ecosystem would naturally develop. However some natural forests are natural but managed or controlled. Trees which are going to fall down might be removed.

Maybe this is why I welcome progress and development because I have faith that what we create will be helpful for everyone.  - I like to be optimistic about things. There is a lot of good going on in this world to help the environment and the animals which inhabit it. But there is also a lot of bad going on, more bad than good I feel. I often do not welcome technology for it comes at the expense of the enviroment. There is however a present need for new and eco-friendly technology.

In LOTR we are shown that technology is largely bad. Saruman being the obvious example, he is a prime example of industrialisation. The Shire being the most pleasant land and the one most in harmony with nature. Ithilien also in stark contrast to Mordor.

Noljen - I will admit that using the word ’never’ was a rather bold statement to make. Of course we cannot say never as we are not alive for that long. But we can use theory and look at what we think will happen. When an area of rainforest is destroyed a huge amount is lot. We loose animals, plants and soil. Soil takes hundreds of years to form again, as does the complex ecosystem that is the rainforest. When you break a china figure, it is gone forever. Yes we can glue it back together but it is not the same. It does not have the original inner beauty. This is the same I believe for a rainforest. Yes perhaps if we leave an area of land for 100’s of years we will get it back, but it is difficult even then.

We are doing some irreversable damage to our planet.

mighty ent man 20/Aug/2006 at 02:52 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Darth - Previously whenever I have seen trees or brush in any woods, they always look similar to me whether they are natural or reforested.   - If an area of forest has planted by humans then it is not going to be as natural as one which is allowed to grow and develop along natural lines. Some forests are planted in rows, the trees being aligned horizontally. This is not how that ecosystem would naturally develop. However some natural forests are natural but managed or controlled. Trees which are going to fall down might be removed.

Maybe this is why I welcome progress and development because I have faith that what we create will be helpful for everyone.  - I like to be optimistic about things. There is a lot of good going on in this world to help the environment and the animals which inhabit it. But there is also a lot of bad going on, more bad than good I feel. I often do not welcome technology for it comes at the expense of the enviroment. There is however a present need for new and eco-friendly technology.

In LOTR we are shown that technology is largely bad. Saruman being the obvious example, he is a prime example of industrialisation. The Shire being the most pleasant land and the one most in harmony with nature. Ithilien also in stark contrast to Mordor.

Noljen - I will admit that using the word ’never’ was a rather bold statement to make. Of course we cannot say never as we are not alive for that long. But we can use theory and look at what we think will happen. When an area of rainforest is destroyed a huge amount is lot. We loose animals, plants and soil. Soil takes hundreds of years to form again, as does the complex ecosystem that is the rainforest. When you break a china figure, it is gone forever. Yes we can glue it back together but it is not the same. It does not have the original inner beauty. This is the same I believe for a rainforest. Yes perhaps if we leave an area of land for 100’s of years we will get it back, but it is difficult even then.

We are doing some irreversable damage to our planet.

Nóljen 20/Aug/2006 at 09:37 PM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

mighty ent man:

"Yes we can glue it back together but it is not the same."

Right you are, and it’s a nice point. However, you didn’t say you wanted the forest to be "the same", did you?  What you actually said was:

"Yes trees would grow there again and the undergrowth would grow again but it would never reach the complexity of the ecosystem that did before."

Good day to you.

Nóljen 20/Aug/2006 at 09:37 PM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

mighty ent man:

"Yes we can glue it back together but it is not the same."

Right you are, and it’s a nice point. However, you didn’t say you wanted the forest to be "the same", did you?  What you actually said was:

"Yes trees would grow there again and the undergrowth would grow again but it would never reach the complexity of the ecosystem that did before."

Good day to you.

mighty ent man 21/Aug/2006 at 04:21 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - Ok there has been some confusion over what I mean as I have phrased it differently in two posts. So let me clarify to you what I mean.

An area of rainforest is destroyed by humans. Completely wiped away, animal species lost. Soil will be lost, and trees and nutrients. So much will be gone. Now leaving this area to naturally regenerate, it may never do this. The soil may not be able to form quick enough to combat the erosion. Thus no plants can grow there. So in this instance it would not regenerate. If it did begin to the area of land will be forever altered and never the same. It will not reach the same place as it did before. It could in theory reach a similar level, but not the same level of complexity.

Now the way that this links in the LOTR is the point I made with Fangorn. The areas of forest destroyed by Saruman might never regain the depth that the forest of Fangorn has.

mighty ent man 21/Aug/2006 at 04:21 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Noljen - Ok there has been some confusion over what I mean as I have phrased it differently in two posts. So let me clarify to you what I mean.

An area of rainforest is destroyed by humans. Completely wiped away, animal species lost. Soil will be lost, and trees and nutrients. So much will be gone. Now leaving this area to naturally regenerate, it may never do this. The soil may not be able to form quick enough to combat the erosion. Thus no plants can grow there. So in this instance it would not regenerate. If it did begin to the area of land will be forever altered and never the same. It will not reach the same place as it did before. It could in theory reach a similar level, but not the same level of complexity.

Now the way that this links in the LOTR is the point I made with Fangorn. The areas of forest destroyed by Saruman might never regain the depth that the forest of Fangorn has.

Lord_Vidύm 21/Aug/2006 at 04:49 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Hm, of course there is nothing natural according the way you put in it. Why would I claim such a thing?

Arda has changed its form several of times. Once upon a time, it was a flat world. After that, it changed form, and became spherical. After that, Vallinor was abondoned by that Earth. And finally after the War of Wrath, a lot of places were destroyed and sunk. So, so many things have happened on to it(because of Eru and because of the Valar powers) that there could be nothing natural on it.

Even the Fangorn you tried to put in, cannot be theorized as natural, since some Ents lived in it.

The only place i would call natural, were the Frozen passage the Noldor (the ones who were abandoned by Feanor) tried to take.

Lord_Vidύm 21/Aug/2006 at 04:49 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Hm, of course there is nothing natural according the way you put in it. Why would I claim such a thing?

Arda has changed its form several of times. Once upon a time, it was a flat world. After that, it changed form, and became spherical. After that, Vallinor was abondoned by that Earth. And finally after the War of Wrath, a lot of places were destroyed and sunk. So, so many things have happened on to it(because of Eru and because of the Valar powers) that there could be nothing natural on it.

Even the Fangorn you tried to put in, cannot be theorized as natural, since some Ents lived in it.

The only place i would call natural, were the Frozen passage the Noldor (the ones who were abandoned by Feanor) tried to take.

Nóljen 21/Aug/2006 at 07:26 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

mighty ent man:

"If it did begin to the area of land will be forever altered and never the same. It will not reach the same place as it did before."

Oh, no, of course it won’t. Panta rei, master ent man, panta rei.

However, yes, message taken.

Nóljen 21/Aug/2006 at 07:26 AM
Savant of Isengard Points: 498 Posts: 74 Joined: 22/Apr/2005

mighty ent man:

"If it did begin to the area of land will be forever altered and never the same. It will not reach the same place as it did before."

Oh, no, of course it won’t. Panta rei, master ent man, panta rei.

However, yes, message taken.

mighty ent man 21/Aug/2006 at 08:13 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lord Vidum - You raise one of the key points that was raised in that original lecture which sparked me to create this thread. And that is that even our world has changed so much since its creation and formation. How long does something have to be in place for for it to be the natural state? This is of course a question which needs answering. Our own planet goes through changes: Ice Ages and ecosystems change. People often say that the natural climax of the UK is mixed woodland. However in the Ice Age it would have been a tundra type environment. And we may yet enter another Ice Age in the next 2000 years. So what is natural changes! Can something be natural if it changes? These are all very important things we have to look at in order to decide whether there is really anywhere in Middle Earth that is natural.

Even the Fangorn you tried to put in, cannot be theorized as natural, since some Ents lived in it. - I went through this with Darth and we came to the conclusion that Ents are natural in the context of Middle Earth and that they do not interefere with the natural workings of the forest. They are part of the forest, within it if you like. Not like humans would be, but then again it would depend on behaviour.

mighty ent man 21/Aug/2006 at 08:13 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lord Vidum - You raise one of the key points that was raised in that original lecture which sparked me to create this thread. And that is that even our world has changed so much since its creation and formation. How long does something have to be in place for for it to be the natural state? This is of course a question which needs answering. Our own planet goes through changes: Ice Ages and ecosystems change. People often say that the natural climax of the UK is mixed woodland. However in the Ice Age it would have been a tundra type environment. And we may yet enter another Ice Age in the next 2000 years. So what is natural changes! Can something be natural if it changes? These are all very important things we have to look at in order to decide whether there is really anywhere in Middle Earth that is natural.

Even the Fangorn you tried to put in, cannot be theorized as natural, since some Ents lived in it. - I went through this with Darth and we came to the conclusion that Ents are natural in the context of Middle Earth and that they do not interefere with the natural workings of the forest. They are part of the forest, within it if you like. Not like humans would be, but then again it would depend on behaviour.

Lord_Vidύm 21/Aug/2006 at 09:46 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Earthquake is natural, because it comes from the nature itself. The way a lion bears a lion baby is natural because it is part of nature. And the whole changes on our earth are natural because they come from Nature. I don’t see a man digging in the foundations of Earth and start pushing the great plates of it in order to cause earthquakes and finally the motivation of lands (except for some nuclear tests that causes the earthquake to occur).

Lord_Vidύm 21/Aug/2006 at 09:46 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Earthquake is natural, because it comes from the nature itself. The way a lion bears a lion baby is natural because it is part of nature. And the whole changes on our earth are natural because they come from Nature. I don’t see a man digging in the foundations of Earth and start pushing the great plates of it in order to cause earthquakes and finally the motivation of lands (except for some nuclear tests that causes the earthquake to occur).

mighty ent man 21/Aug/2006 at 01:22 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lord Vidum -  

I have no idea what you are talking about! What do earthquakes have to do with this discussion. If you were using them to prove a point I do not see the point you were trying to prove. Of course earthquakes are natural. As are changes in our planet, changes which are not induced by humans. But I do not understand what place these things have in our debate.

Let me try and retain a focus on this issue. Are Elves a natural race? Now lets take Lothlorien as the main example. We know they live in the trees mainly but also walk around on the ground a lot and I think there might be some mention of living on the ground in Caras Galadhon although I might have to go back and re read that part. We know they do not make many paths as they are light footed so footpath erosion is no problem. They would not cut down trees. But what they do is build in trees, possibly using nails and other tools to secure their talans in the trees. This is not a natural thing really if it damages the trees. However would elves damages trees? I think not. And is them living in trees not an example of living in harmony with nature?

mighty ent man 21/Aug/2006 at 01:22 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lord Vidum -  

I have no idea what you are talking about! What do earthquakes have to do with this discussion. If you were using them to prove a point I do not see the point you were trying to prove. Of course earthquakes are natural. As are changes in our planet, changes which are not induced by humans. But I do not understand what place these things have in our debate.

Let me try and retain a focus on this issue. Are Elves a natural race? Now lets take Lothlorien as the main example. We know they live in the trees mainly but also walk around on the ground a lot and I think there might be some mention of living on the ground in Caras Galadhon although I might have to go back and re read that part. We know they do not make many paths as they are light footed so footpath erosion is no problem. They would not cut down trees. But what they do is build in trees, possibly using nails and other tools to secure their talans in the trees. This is not a natural thing really if it damages the trees. However would elves damages trees? I think not. And is them living in trees not an example of living in harmony with nature?

Lord_Vidύm 21/Aug/2006 at 01:47 PM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Well, the elves were indead using the trees. The creation of Bows doesn’t allow any other matterial to be used. The difference with them, was that they did not destroy nature. For example Saruman was destroying it- cutting down trees just for fun or to keep a flame alight. The Elves however loved the nature, and taking the wood from the trees would not be a destruction-but a gift by the trees themselves to the Elves. If you get my point.

Lord_Vidύm 21/Aug/2006 at 01:47 PM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Well, the elves were indead using the trees. The creation of Bows doesn’t allow any other matterial to be used. The difference with them, was that they did not destroy nature. For example Saruman was destroying it- cutting down trees just for fun or to keep a flame alight. The Elves however loved the nature, and taking the wood from the trees would not be a destruction-but a gift by the trees themselves to the Elves. If you get my point.

mighty ent man 22/Aug/2006 at 05:34 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lord Vidum - I agree that creating bows is not really going to far into conflict with nature. Other animals use natural materials to make things, like their homes in trees. As we see with squirrels. Humans are bigger than squirrels so need bigger homes! Makes sense to me. In our modern world we would of course use nails which would damage the trees. But I am sure that the Elves would not damage trees as they love them deeply.

Saruman was not destroying trees just for fun as you put it. He was doing it to feed his fires to create his metal and furnaces to equip his army.

I do get your point and it is one well made. The Elves are a race in Lorien at least which I think do live in harmony with Nature.

mighty ent man 22/Aug/2006 at 05:34 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lord Vidum - I agree that creating bows is not really going to far into conflict with nature. Other animals use natural materials to make things, like their homes in trees. As we see with squirrels. Humans are bigger than squirrels so need bigger homes! Makes sense to me. In our modern world we would of course use nails which would damage the trees. But I am sure that the Elves would not damage trees as they love them deeply.

Saruman was not destroying trees just for fun as you put it. He was doing it to feed his fires to create his metal and furnaces to equip his army.

I do get your point and it is one well made. The Elves are a race in Lorien at least which I think do live in harmony with Nature.

Lord_Vidύm 22/Aug/2006 at 06:28 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Saruman was not destroying trees just for fun as you put it. He was doing it to feed his fires to create his metal and furnaces to equip his army.- You are half-correct here. Saruman mainly was cutting down trees to keep the Fires of Orthanc alive, I don’t disagree. But Treebeard said to the hobbits that:
"Now he and his terrible beings bring destruction. Far to the borders they cut down trees, good trees. Some trees they cut and leave them there to rot because, from their cruelty ; but the most they cut and take them in order to feed the fires of Orthanc. These days there is always coming smoke from Isenguard"- TTT-Treebeard.

In addition, I don’t think there is pretty much wood in the Human’s dwellings in LotR. Reading of how Minas Tirith was inside, it seemed they were more into making stone homes rather than wooden ones.

Lord_Vidύm 22/Aug/2006 at 06:28 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Saruman was not destroying trees just for fun as you put it. He was doing it to feed his fires to create his metal and furnaces to equip his army.- You are half-correct here. Saruman mainly was cutting down trees to keep the Fires of Orthanc alive, I don’t disagree. But Treebeard said to the hobbits that:
"Now he and his terrible beings bring destruction. Far to the borders they cut down trees, good trees. Some trees they cut and leave them there to rot because, from their cruelty ; but the most they cut and take them in order to feed the fires of Orthanc. These days there is always coming smoke from Isenguard"- TTT-Treebeard.

In addition, I don’t think there is pretty much wood in the Human’s dwellings in LotR. Reading of how Minas Tirith was inside, it seemed they were more into making stone homes rather than wooden ones.

Variene Áduial 23/Aug/2006 at 08:02 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Lord Vidum, but what about the Rohirrim? I am sure that they used quite a bit of wood in their structures. And then there are the hobbits, whose hobbit-holes were, if I recall correctly, at least partically made of wood.

mighty ent man, to your question of "can something be natural if it changes?" I must give the answer of "yes." Change is natural, it occurs throughout nature. Change is directly linked with time, and there is nothing more natural than the passage of time, which cannot be stopped or turned back. The aging of every organism is change - aging is natural. Death, decay, and regeneration are natural, because they are, so to say, the gifts of time. But change that is forced upon others by those who have the most power, such as humans, is not natural (well, at least according to the definition of the word decided on in this thread). It changes the course of lives or things that would have been natural if they had been left untouched. And of course destroying excessive amounts of living organisms would shift entire ecosystems and thus ruin the balance that had been estblished through many decades.

I think that the elves of Lorien were most certainly natural. The elves of Lorien lived similarly to all the other creatures that inhabited the land. They did no evil - they were just a greatly developed and advanced race. They built their homes in the trees just like any definitely "natural" creature of the forest, such as, in your example, a squirrel. Even if they did cut down trees to built their homes, so do (going back to my earlier example) beavers. They destroy just the amount that is necessary to create whatever they need for survival. And of course a little extra for beautification. But animals, such as the bowerbird, like a little bit of decoration as well!
Variene Áduial 23/Aug/2006 at 08:02 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Lord Vidum, but what about the Rohirrim? I am sure that they used quite a bit of wood in their structures. And then there are the hobbits, whose hobbit-holes were, if I recall correctly, at least partically made of wood.

mighty ent man, to your question of "can something be natural if it changes?" I must give the answer of "yes." Change is natural, it occurs throughout nature. Change is directly linked with time, and there is nothing more natural than the passage of time, which cannot be stopped or turned back. The aging of every organism is change - aging is natural. Death, decay, and regeneration are natural, because they are, so to say, the gifts of time. But change that is forced upon others by those who have the most power, such as humans, is not natural (well, at least according to the definition of the word decided on in this thread). It changes the course of lives or things that would have been natural if they had been left untouched. And of course destroying excessive amounts of living organisms would shift entire ecosystems and thus ruin the balance that had been estblished through many decades.

I think that the elves of Lorien were most certainly natural. The elves of Lorien lived similarly to all the other creatures that inhabited the land. They did no evil - they were just a greatly developed and advanced race. They built their homes in the trees just like any definitely "natural" creature of the forest, such as, in your example, a squirrel. Even if they did cut down trees to built their homes, so do (going back to my earlier example) beavers. They destroy just the amount that is necessary to create whatever they need for survival. And of course a little extra for beautification. But animals, such as the bowerbird, like a little bit of decoration as well!
Lord_Vidύm 23/Aug/2006 at 11:55 PM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Aduld Rohirrims were not humans- they were animals! Well,at least for Saruman.

Now I think that cutting drown trees was good for the Rohirrims since they were a cavalry civilization. That means that the most plains they had, the greatest their power would be. For trees are not a good place for the horses. And as for Hobbits, I would say the same for they needed plains to crop.

Lord_Vidύm 23/Aug/2006 at 11:55 PM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Aduld Rohirrims were not humans- they were animals! Well,at least for Saruman.

Now I think that cutting drown trees was good for the Rohirrims since they were a cavalry civilization. That means that the most plains they had, the greatest their power would be. For trees are not a good place for the horses. And as for Hobbits, I would say the same for they needed plains to crop.

mighty ent man 24/Aug/2006 at 02:52 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene has reminded me of another point which I think could be valuable to discuss. That is of a comparison between Elves Talan tree dwellings and the Hobbit holes. You see I would consider a Hobbit hole much more of an interference with nature than placing a wooden structure in a tree. Yet I would not say that a mole digging tunnels through a hill is unnatural. Possibly could there be a natural scale? As in levels of naturalness? I am a bit uncertain as to call a Hobbit hole unnatural. For it does create a large disturbance in one side of the hill, but it in some ways in harmony with nature for it utilises a previously unusable space. Therefore maybe some cause more disturbance than others.

I agree that change is a natural thing. However can we truly say what the natural habitat of the British Isles is? When it changes as we go further and further back in time? How long does something have to be fixed for it to be considered natural?

mighty ent man 24/Aug/2006 at 02:52 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene has reminded me of another point which I think could be valuable to discuss. That is of a comparison between Elves Talan tree dwellings and the Hobbit holes. You see I would consider a Hobbit hole much more of an interference with nature than placing a wooden structure in a tree. Yet I would not say that a mole digging tunnels through a hill is unnatural. Possibly could there be a natural scale? As in levels of naturalness? I am a bit uncertain as to call a Hobbit hole unnatural. For it does create a large disturbance in one side of the hill, but it in some ways in harmony with nature for it utilises a previously unusable space. Therefore maybe some cause more disturbance than others.

I agree that change is a natural thing. However can we truly say what the natural habitat of the British Isles is? When it changes as we go further and further back in time? How long does something have to be fixed for it to be considered natural?

Variene Áduial 24/Aug/2006 at 06:31 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Lord Vidum, firstly, may I ask you the favor of spelling my name correctly? Thank you! Secondly, I mentioned that the Rohirrim were different from the Gondorians in order to point out that your statement, " I don’t think there is pretty much wood in the Human’s dwellings in LotR," was not correct. I did not mention anything about what they were to Saruman. And I don’t think it matters whether or not cutting down trees "was good for the Rohirrim" or not. Perhaps cutting down rainforests could be "good for humans" in the way they clear more living space, but it most certainly isn’t good for the environment.

mighty ent man, I would say that hobbit holes and talans were practically equal in their influence on their natural surroundings. You rightfully compared the hobbits to moles, and thus in no way can you say their holes were unnatural. But on the other hand they could have served as barriers to the roots of newly forming plants.

Concerning change - nature itself changes. Thus, something that had once been tundra and now is forest is natural. If England had been tundra and now is vast plains, I must say it is still natural. I think you may be going too far with the definition of "natural." The glaciers that had covered certain continents remained "fixed" for some amount of time, then receded and were replaced by various environments. There was destruction, erosion, grinding, etc. But that type of destruction was natural, right? I do not think there has to be a limit for something to be "fixed," either. Although I’m not completely sure of what you mean by that word, I would guess that if it was alive, such as a grove of trees, it would need to be untouched for as long as the grove needed to reproduce on its own and for the grove to become a giver and taker, to join in the balance of its environment.
Variene Áduial 24/Aug/2006 at 06:31 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
Lord Vidum, firstly, may I ask you the favor of spelling my name correctly? Thank you! Secondly, I mentioned that the Rohirrim were different from the Gondorians in order to point out that your statement, " I don’t think there is pretty much wood in the Human’s dwellings in LotR," was not correct. I did not mention anything about what they were to Saruman. And I don’t think it matters whether or not cutting down trees "was good for the Rohirrim" or not. Perhaps cutting down rainforests could be "good for humans" in the way they clear more living space, but it most certainly isn’t good for the environment.

mighty ent man, I would say that hobbit holes and talans were practically equal in their influence on their natural surroundings. You rightfully compared the hobbits to moles, and thus in no way can you say their holes were unnatural. But on the other hand they could have served as barriers to the roots of newly forming plants.

Concerning change - nature itself changes. Thus, something that had once been tundra and now is forest is natural. If England had been tundra and now is vast plains, I must say it is still natural. I think you may be going too far with the definition of "natural." The glaciers that had covered certain continents remained "fixed" for some amount of time, then receded and were replaced by various environments. There was destruction, erosion, grinding, etc. But that type of destruction was natural, right? I do not think there has to be a limit for something to be "fixed," either. Although I’m not completely sure of what you mean by that word, I would guess that if it was alive, such as a grove of trees, it would need to be untouched for as long as the grove needed to reproduce on its own and for the grove to become a giver and taker, to join in the balance of its environment.
mighty ent man 28/Aug/2006 at 02:22 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Perhaps cutting down rainforests could be "good for humans" in the way they clear more living space, but it most certainly isn’t good for the environment.  - It is good for humans in the way that it provides us with a raw material to use. And fuel for our wasteful race. But it is also not good for humans for it helps enhance soil erosion and climate change. It is also possibly destroying many valuable cures. I also agree with the statement it is not good for the environment.

I would say that hobbit holes and talans were practically equal in their influence on their natural surroundings.  - I am not sure. Talan’s will not really alter the growth of a tree a great deal. So their influence on the natural environment will be very small. However a hobbit hole carves a huge hole in the side of a hill. This taking away soil which could be the homes of worms and other creatures that live in the soil. It will also possibly alter the drainage pattern of the hill itself. So I would argue that the hole will have more of an impact on the environment. However I do not think it is really unnatural.

There was destruction, erosion, grinding, etc. But that type of destruction was natural, right? - Yes of course it was. A Glacier is a natural landform. Thus any impacts from it are natural. I agree change is natural. I said that.

 

mighty ent man 28/Aug/2006 at 02:22 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Variene - Perhaps cutting down rainforests could be "good for humans" in the way they clear more living space, but it most certainly isn’t good for the environment.  - It is good for humans in the way that it provides us with a raw material to use. And fuel for our wasteful race. But it is also not good for humans for it helps enhance soil erosion and climate change. It is also possibly destroying many valuable cures. I also agree with the statement it is not good for the environment.

I would say that hobbit holes and talans were practically equal in their influence on their natural surroundings.  - I am not sure. Talan’s will not really alter the growth of a tree a great deal. So their influence on the natural environment will be very small. However a hobbit hole carves a huge hole in the side of a hill. This taking away soil which could be the homes of worms and other creatures that live in the soil. It will also possibly alter the drainage pattern of the hill itself. So I would argue that the hole will have more of an impact on the environment. However I do not think it is really unnatural.

There was destruction, erosion, grinding, etc. But that type of destruction was natural, right? - Yes of course it was. A Glacier is a natural landform. Thus any impacts from it are natural. I agree change is natural. I said that.

 

AldoBuckenbery 14/Nov/2006 at 01:26 PM
Gardener of the Shire Points: 361 Posts: 145 Joined: 15/Dec/2003

"This lecture was on Nature. The lecturer argued to use that little in our world today is in fact natural. We as humans do label many thing as being natural, for instance we label natural disasters as being natural things. We would also many of us see a cow in a field and think that that is natural. But those things are not natural. Almost everything today has been influenced to some extent by humans. Nature/ Natural is a socially contructed term, which we as humans apply to things. "

It’s this very attitude / definition of nature that leads to the enviromental degradation that has been taking place for the past two-thousand years.  Seperating humanity from nature is egotistical and silly.  In what way are humans not apart of nature? This definition supposes a romantic vision of nature that emerged in 16th century europe and has proved to be unbased and destructive.  Of course middle earth is natural.  Hobbits, men, ents, mirkwood forest, the fox that observes merry sam and frodo as they trekked through the shire are all equally nature.

AldoBuckenbery 14/Nov/2006 at 01:26 PM
Gardener of the Shire Points: 361 Posts: 145 Joined: 15/Dec/2003

"This lecture was on Nature. The lecturer argued to use that little in our world today is in fact natural. We as humans do label many thing as being natural, for instance we label natural disasters as being natural things. We would also many of us see a cow in a field and think that that is natural. But those things are not natural. Almost everything today has been influenced to some extent by humans. Nature/ Natural is a socially contructed term, which we as humans apply to things. "

It’s this very attitude / definition of nature that leads to the enviromental degradation that has been taking place for the past two-thousand years.  Seperating humanity from nature is egotistical and silly.  In what way are humans not apart of nature? This definition supposes a romantic vision of nature that emerged in 16th century europe and has proved to be unbased and destructive.  Of course middle earth is natural.  Hobbits, men, ents, mirkwood forest, the fox that observes merry sam and frodo as they trekked through the shire are all equally nature.

The Mormegil 15/Nov/2006 at 08:08 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 672 Posts: 74 Joined: 25/Jan/2004

Since you ask that a place be "natural" by virtue of its being "unaltered" by "any race on Middle Earth," the immediate answer is: NO. The place was created by an intelligent designer, Eru, and thus is by (your) definition, "unnatural."

The Mormegil 15/Nov/2006 at 08:08 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 672 Posts: 74 Joined: 25/Jan/2004

Since you ask that a place be "natural" by virtue of its being "unaltered" by "any race on Middle Earth," the immediate answer is: NO. The place was created by an intelligent designer, Eru, and thus is by (your) definition, "unnatural."

Arthur Weasley 18/Nov/2006 at 02:23 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
This is a wonderful thread and I am so very glad to see it back on page 1!  I have always supposed that change is natural and things that do not change are unnatural.  A plastic tupperware container would be totally unnatural while sentient beings (Elves, Men, Ents, Dwarves, Orcs) would always be natural.  The Mormegil does have a point that All of Middle Earth and Everything in it was a creation of Eru Illuvatar so totally natural descriptions would be inappropriate. 
Arthur Weasley 18/Nov/2006 at 02:23 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
This is a wonderful thread and I am so very glad to see it back on page 1!  I have always supposed that change is natural and things that do not change are unnatural.  A plastic tupperware container would be totally unnatural while sentient beings (Elves, Men, Ents, Dwarves, Orcs) would always be natural.  The Mormegil does have a point that All of Middle Earth and Everything in it was a creation of Eru Illuvatar so totally natural descriptions would be inappropriate. 
Variene Áduial 18/Nov/2006 at 04:45 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
AldoBuckenbery, where in the quote do you see the attitude of separating humanity from nature? The quote merely points out that humans have influenced the natural world to such an extent that some things have become unnatural. We agreed earlier in this thread to the definition of "natural" that would be used here: something that is not affected by human or other sentient beings in Middle Earth. I had actually argued somewhat from your postition earlier, but I believe it all depends on the meaning of "natural" that is used.
    The natural world can go on without humanity. It is balanced and the biosphere does not rely on us to a great extent. But currently humanity, which could have been considered natural a while ago, has influenced the natural world to SUCH an extent that in no way can be called natural - for example, is creating new elements on the periodic table or synthesizing plastics natural? They cannot be formed by any other than humans.

Mormegil, aren’t you being a bit contradictory? You say that we are calling something "natural by virtue of its being "unaltered" by "any race on Middle Earth." But Eru is not a "race on Middle Earth!" Eru is the Creator who set everything in motion, in balance, which could only be disrupted by highly skilled races such as humans and elves.
Variene Áduial 18/Nov/2006 at 04:45 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1941 Posts: 1977 Joined: 02/May/2004
AldoBuckenbery, where in the quote do you see the attitude of separating humanity from nature? The quote merely points out that humans have influenced the natural world to such an extent that some things have become unnatural. We agreed earlier in this thread to the definition of "natural" that would be used here: something that is not affected by human or other sentient beings in Middle Earth. I had actually argued somewhat from your postition earlier, but I believe it all depends on the meaning of "natural" that is used.
    The natural world can go on without humanity. It is balanced and the biosphere does not rely on us to a great extent. But currently humanity, which could have been considered natural a while ago, has influenced the natural world to SUCH an extent that in no way can be called natural - for example, is creating new elements on the periodic table or synthesizing plastics natural? They cannot be formed by any other than humans.

Mormegil, aren’t you being a bit contradictory? You say that we are calling something "natural by virtue of its being "unaltered" by "any race on Middle Earth." But Eru is not a "race on Middle Earth!" Eru is the Creator who set everything in motion, in balance, which could only be disrupted by highly skilled races such as humans and elves.
Weldvar 22/Nov/2006 at 04:47 AM
Messenger of Imladris Points: 90 Posts: 10 Joined: 10/Sep/2006
An interesting theory! But I am sure there are parts of Middle Earth that are indeed untouched by those that mould aspects of nature into more technologically-advanced aspects of life. In other words, taking something from the natural world and transforming its original use into something else that benefits that species/individual etc. (Like carbon-formed diamonds to jewellry and the mining involved etc). But do you class "natural" as being completely untouched, too? Let me explain. Though people (in ME and our world) can take trees and build houses in communities, animals (i’m using them as an example as they are universally accepted as ’natural’)  take twigs and branches and build nests and homes,too. Both have the same aim - shelter. I guess in moderation (ability to replenish what’s taken at a greater rate than the actual taking) this isn’t a ’bad’ thing, but this leads me onto another train of thought. The world is constantly changing and reacting to things that live on it. Everything is affected by everything else. What can be considered ’natural’ if creatures and humans alike, both real and fictional, use elements of nature in their everyday life to help them out? In Middle Earth, surely if Thom Bombidil lives in the woods and doesn’t go out to destroy things, but rather implement them to help him survive, this is the same as the animals use of natural things? Why shouldn’t the woods be considered natural then? If I went out and did the same thing, would the woods I was living in then be considered ’natural’? If the earth is constantly changing and adapting to all sorts of extraneous variables anyway, then is it considered ’natural’? My final question to you is, why aren’t humans (and elves and dwarves and all kinds of thinking, rational, sentient ME lifeforms) considered ’natural’?
Weldvar 22/Nov/2006 at 04:47 AM
Messenger of Imladris Points: 90 Posts: 10 Joined: 10/Sep/2006
An interesting theory! But I am sure there are parts of Middle Earth that are indeed untouched by those that mould aspects of nature into more technologically-advanced aspects of life. In other words, taking something from the natural world and transforming its original use into something else that benefits that species/individual etc. (Like carbon-formed diamonds to jewellry and the mining involved etc). But do you class "natural" as being completely untouched, too? Let me explain. Though people (in ME and our world) can take trees and build houses in communities, animals (i’m using them as an example as they are universally accepted as ’natural’)  take twigs and branches and build nests and homes,too. Both have the same aim - shelter. I guess in moderation (ability to replenish what’s taken at a greater rate than the actual taking) this isn’t a ’bad’ thing, but this leads me onto another train of thought. The world is constantly changing and reacting to things that live on it. Everything is affected by everything else. What can be considered ’natural’ if creatures and humans alike, both real and fictional, use elements of nature in their everyday life to help them out? In Middle Earth, surely if Thom Bombidil lives in the woods and doesn’t go out to destroy things, but rather implement them to help him survive, this is the same as the animals use of natural things? Why shouldn’t the woods be considered natural then? If I went out and did the same thing, would the woods I was living in then be considered ’natural’? If the earth is constantly changing and adapting to all sorts of extraneous variables anyway, then is it considered ’natural’? My final question to you is, why aren’t humans (and elves and dwarves and all kinds of thinking, rational, sentient ME lifeforms) considered ’natural’?
mighty ent man 22/Nov/2006 at 07:47 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Aldo -  

I must say you present a superb argument, which the lecturer did touch upon in that lecture he gave to me. I agree that separating Man from Nature is really rather impossible to do, as now in our world you can never talk about one without thinking of the other. They are linked and that link cannot be forgotten. I agree that Man in his view is above Nature and this leads to it being destroyed.

But what I am trying to say is that I have given a definition of what is Natural, not Nature. Natural and Nature are different terms. I thus came to the conclusions that many places are NOT natural in ME.

Weldvar - What can be considered ’natural’ if creatures and humans alike, both real and fictional, use elements of nature in their everyday life to help them out?  - Yes but many humans in our modern world today do nto simply use elements in moderation to help us out! In ME that may be the case, but Saruman is one key example of industry creeping in and spoiling a natural place.

We humans alter the natural environment beyong recognition sometimes. Natural is all about somethings origin. To be natural you have to originate from Nature. If a human picks up a stick and starts to carve it into a wooden knife this is natural. As this is a natural thing to do. But cutting down a whole swathe of forest to build a concrete supermarket is not. The concrete and lights are not from nature.

I guess there is a fine line for me between the two. It might come down to whether a resemblance to Nature is seen in the object created.

mighty ent man 22/Nov/2006 at 07:47 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Aldo -  

I must say you present a superb argument, which the lecturer did touch upon in that lecture he gave to me. I agree that separating Man from Nature is really rather impossible to do, as now in our world you can never talk about one without thinking of the other. They are linked and that link cannot be forgotten. I agree that Man in his view is above Nature and this leads to it being destroyed.

But what I am trying to say is that I have given a definition of what is Natural, not Nature. Natural and Nature are different terms. I thus came to the conclusions that many places are NOT natural in ME.

Weldvar - What can be considered ’natural’ if creatures and humans alike, both real and fictional, use elements of nature in their everyday life to help them out?  - Yes but many humans in our modern world today do nto simply use elements in moderation to help us out! In ME that may be the case, but Saruman is one key example of industry creeping in and spoiling a natural place.

We humans alter the natural environment beyong recognition sometimes. Natural is all about somethings origin. To be natural you have to originate from Nature. If a human picks up a stick and starts to carve it into a wooden knife this is natural. As this is a natural thing to do. But cutting down a whole swathe of forest to build a concrete supermarket is not. The concrete and lights are not from nature.

I guess there is a fine line for me between the two. It might come down to whether a resemblance to Nature is seen in the object created.

Falvlun 26/Nov/2006 at 05:32 PM
Horse-lord of the Mark Points: 2512 Posts: 3814 Joined: 21/Sep/2004

mighty ent man, You have described ’un-natural’ as anything that has human interference. And you have defined human as any of the Middle Earth races. Your definition, however, creates a bias towards your conclusion, namely, that there are no natural places on Middle-Earth (or Earth for that matter). By claiming that human interference, and therefore humans themselves, are unnatural you therefore necessarily have unnatural beings producing unnatural results wherever they exist. Thus, using your own definitions, the only places that remain natural in ME are places that have never had any of the sentient races disturb them. Which leaves basically the sea, or the waste-lands in the east which we don’t know about.

However, I find that rather uninteresting, mostly due to the bias of your definitions.

Humans are a part of nature, as any animal can be considered a part of nature. Therefore, their mere presence does not create an unnaturalness. (As your definition would presuppose). In addition, a human can walk, run, skip, and hop without providing an unnatural interference. A human can build shelter-- yes, even if it involves cutting down trees--- without providing an unnatural interference. A human can eat meat and veggies without adding an unnatural influence. Why? Because these are all things that animals do, and we have established that animals are natural.

But, but, humans may change the environment by doing those things. Well, since when has nature been a static entity? Animals, too, cause change:

There is a beaver dam on Beaver Island that has caused a former cedar forest to become a cedar swamp. What’s more, there is an endangered flower, the monkey flower, whose environment is now underwater.

Now, if a human had caused this back-up of water, the destruction of this environment would have been deemed unnatural. Yet, when the beaver creates it, there is nothing more natural.

Also, animals and plants are deemed "ecosystem engineers". These "ecosystem engineers" create, modify, and maintain a habit. Humans, obviously fall under this category but they are not the only ones. There are two types:

Allogenic engineers: change the environment by transforming living or nonliving materials from one physical state to another, via mechanical or other means.

Examples include: beavers, porcupines, caterpillars, ants, herds of grazing animals, birds (ie woodpeckers).

Autogenic engineers: change the environment via their own physical structures, i.e. their living and dead tissues.  As they grow and become larger, their living and dead tissues create habitats for other organisms to live on or in. 

Examples include: trees, corals, and mollusks.

This is the site I got most my information from; I suggest you read it too: Ecosystem Engineers

So how does this all relate? I suggest that your definition is much to exclusive. Humans do many natural things, in accordance with their nature. Note also that intelligence is a part of nature.

There are some things which there is simply no parallel to within nature, however. This would generally relate to industry. Note that most of the detrimental things we have done to our earth did not come until after the industrial revolution.

Since most of the races of Middle Earth live lives pretty parallel to the pre-industrial revolution, (think Hobbits, Rohirrim, elves, even Gondorians), it means they are not harming the earth above what is natural for an organism, particularly an organism with such needs and intelligence (since you can not deny the innate nature of an organism).

I would thus say the only un-natural places on Middle-Earth would be Orthanc, and the areas Saruman has tainted for his industry (note this is not the whole of Fangorn), and Mordor, since orcs / Morgoth tend to destroy things far beyond necessity-- natural needs.

Falvlun 26/Nov/2006 at 05:32 PM
Horse-lord of the Mark Points: 2512 Posts: 3814 Joined: 21/Sep/2004

mighty ent man, You have described ’un-natural’ as anything that has human interference. And you have defined human as any of the Middle Earth races. Your definition, however, creates a bias towards your conclusion, namely, that there are no natural places on Middle-Earth (or Earth for that matter). By claiming that human interference, and therefore humans themselves, are unnatural you therefore necessarily have unnatural beings producing unnatural results wherever they exist. Thus, using your own definitions, the only places that remain natural in ME are places that have never had any of the sentient races disturb them. Which leaves basically the sea, or the waste-lands in the east which we don’t know about.

However, I find that rather uninteresting, mostly due to the bias of your definitions.

Humans are a part of nature, as any animal can be considered a part of nature. Therefore, their mere presence does not create an unnaturalness. (As your definition would presuppose). In addition, a human can walk, run, skip, and hop without providing an unnatural interference. A human can build shelter-- yes, even if it involves cutting down trees--- without providing an unnatural interference. A human can eat meat and veggies without adding an unnatural influence. Why? Because these are all things that animals do, and we have established that animals are natural.

But, but, humans may change the environment by doing those things. Well, since when has nature been a static entity? Animals, too, cause change:

There is a beaver dam on Beaver Island that has caused a former cedar forest to become a cedar swamp. What’s more, there is an endangered flower, the monkey flower, whose environment is now underwater.

Now, if a human had caused this back-up of water, the destruction of this environment would have been deemed unnatural. Yet, when the beaver creates it, there is nothing more natural.

Also, animals and plants are deemed "ecosystem engineers". These "ecosystem engineers" create, modify, and maintain a habit. Humans, obviously fall under this category but they are not the only ones. There are two types:

Allogenic engineers: change the environment by transforming living or nonliving materials from one physical state to another, via mechanical or other means.

Examples include: beavers, porcupines, caterpillars, ants, herds of grazing animals, birds (ie woodpeckers).

Autogenic engineers: change the environment via their own physical structures, i.e. their living and dead tissues.  As they grow and become larger, their living and dead tissues create habitats for other organisms to live on or in. 

Examples include: trees, corals, and mollusks.

This is the site I got most my information from; I suggest you read it too: Ecosystem Engineers

So how does this all relate? I suggest that your definition is much to exclusive. Humans do many natural things, in accordance with their nature. Note also that intelligence is a part of nature.

There are some things which there is simply no parallel to within nature, however. This would generally relate to industry. Note that most of the detrimental things we have done to our earth did not come until after the industrial revolution.

Since most of the races of Middle Earth live lives pretty parallel to the pre-industrial revolution, (think Hobbits, Rohirrim, elves, even Gondorians), it means they are not harming the earth above what is natural for an organism, particularly an organism with such needs and intelligence (since you can not deny the innate nature of an organism).

I would thus say the only un-natural places on Middle-Earth would be Orthanc, and the areas Saruman has tainted for his industry (note this is not the whole of Fangorn), and Mordor, since orcs / Morgoth tend to destroy things far beyond necessity-- natural needs.

AldoBuckenbery 30/Nov/2006 at 07:33 PM
Gardener of the Shire Points: 361 Posts: 145 Joined: 15/Dec/2003
i totally agree.  humans (or hobbits, wizards, orcs) by their very presence are natural as are their activities.  This doesn’t mean that they are always beneficial to other organisms within their ecosystem but it’s still natural.
AldoBuckenbery 30/Nov/2006 at 07:33 PM
Gardener of the Shire Points: 361 Posts: 145 Joined: 15/Dec/2003
i totally agree.  humans (or hobbits, wizards, orcs) by their very presence are natural as are their activities.  This doesn’t mean that they are always beneficial to other organisms within their ecosystem but it’s still natural.
mighty ent man 02/Dec/2006 at 08:37 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Falvlun - Therefore, their mere presence does not create an unnaturalness - Not just there presence, it is more than that, it would be the magnitude of their impact on the environment. Cavemen are different to modern day peoples.

Now, if a human had caused this back-up of water, the destruction of this environment would have been deemed unnatural. Yet, when the beaver creates it, there is nothing more natural.  - The difference between the beaver and the human is that it is natural for the beaver to do this. It creates its own habitat. Humans building dams is not a natural thing for an animal to do. It goes beyond the boundaires of what is needed to survive.

I see you know a lot about Ecology as I do too. I recently had a lecture on the very things you present!  

I agree humans who simply alter things by living as some tribes people do today are natural. But concrete structures, deforestation on large scale are not.

Falvlun 02/Dec/2006 at 04:53 PM
Horse-lord of the Mark Points: 2512 Posts: 3814 Joined: 21/Sep/2004

mighty ent man, Cool! The ecosystem engineer thing was something I recently came across myself. I’m a Microscopy/ Biology major-- are you studying bio too?

I took an rather extreme position in my last post, just to establish a bit of where I was coming from, but my true position, like yours, is a lot more in the middle.

I am definitely aware-- and pained-- at the extreme lack of concern humans have for their environment. Rather than seeing themselves as a part of nature, they see themselves as its master. And as Master, humans look at nature as only the means, a tool to their ends. Much damage has been done. Not irrevocable damage, at least not yet, but the past 100 years have shown a dramatic environmental shift. It’s direct cause? Us.

The difference between the beaver and the human is that it is natural for the beaver to do this. It creates its own habitat. Humans building dams is not a natural thing for an animal to do. It goes beyond the boundaires of what is needed to survive. I somewhat disagree with this statement. It can certainly be argued that cavemen and those ’natural’ tribes build small scale dams in order to make the supply of fish more reliable. And hydroponics, in developed countries, is a lot cleaner form of energy than other varieties. Is it natural? I would say in the first case it is. In the second, it is not natural.

Humans build their own habitat. Cities are analogous to the intricate buildings of ants below and above ground. We are just more intelligent and proficient at manipulating our habitat. Animals are not satisfied by merely meeting their baseline needs. They will always prefer the warmer/ softer den if given the choice; squirrels will store as many nuts as they can. The issue with humans is that we have the capability of making our habitat suit us as best as possible.

Bringing it back to Middle-Earth.
I don’t believe we see the sort of abuse of nature by the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth that we see by the people on our Earth.

Elves, elves are always trying to preserve nature. I don’t believe they disturb nature past what is normal for a living, interacting organism. I think you can strike them off your list of offenders.

Rohirrim, I also don’t really see them disturbing nature past what is normal for an organism of their size, intelligence, and needs. Permanent shelter, after all, is not exclusive to humans. Horses existed in herds before man. Their land was plains to begin with. They do not disturb Fangorn. They are farmers. All very natural human things in my book.

Gondorians are a bit more mechanically minded. But you don’t see any evidence of them polluting their environment. In Middle-Earth, the stones enjoyed interaction, and the Elves helped fashion Minas Tirith. I do not think Minas Tirith very unnatural either.

The Hobbits, next to Elves, are probably the second most natural. They burrow their homes, like many sorts of animals. They farm, a natural occupation. Until the arrival of Sharkey, they did not pollute their land. They are simple folk.

mighty ent man 04/Dec/2006 at 04:32 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Falvlun - I am studying Geography and am in my second year at Univeristy. I do a module in Ecology and love it!

I am definitely aware-- and pained-- at the extreme lack of concern humans have for their environment.  - Good to see someone else is! Too few people care enough for all the animals and plants that we are destroying in this world. You can also see irreversable damage being done as animals have gone extinct because of us!

I don’t believe we see the sort of abuse of nature by the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth that we see by the people on our Earth. - True, we do not. Only by Saruman. Possibly Sauron too. You have raised some very interesting points which I think I will have to consider very carefully.

You have gone a long way in convincing me that the races of ME are natural. I am just a very harsh critic on humanity!

 

Gillahunter1 15/Dec/2006 at 10:08 AM
New Soul Points: 8 Posts: 8 Joined: 04/Dec/2006

Elves talked to the trees and the trees learned and talk, so they did disturb nature.

But what about under the misty mountains and moria, into the heart of Middle-Earth, as far as i can rerember no one has ventured there.

Also would be Mount Doom.  Who would be thick enough to try and change anything there, exept the ring, on both occasions.  

Nenarye 15/Dec/2006 at 02:20 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 839 Posts: 376 Joined: 08/Oct/2006
mighty ent man - You have yet another person who cares for the earth and animals! (No, I’m not part of PETA) My father has instilled these enviromentalist belifs into me...

Falvlun - You said: ’I don’t believe we see the sort of abuse of nature by the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth that we see by the people on our Earth.’

And this could because we live in a modern industrialized world, so I’m sad to say, it’s hard not to abuse nature...The only exceptions are Saruman and Sauron, as mighty ent man said.
Naduil 16/Dec/2006 at 04:38 AM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 182 Posts: 753 Joined: 02/Dec/2006
Yes. The mountains which the dwarfs didn’t touch will be natural surely. I think that you’re right about fangorn too. The lave in mount.doom. Most of middle earth is natural only it’s been altered and built on. Does anyone agree or dis-agree with my theory? (sorry but I don’t have enough time to read the whole thread so what I said might already have been said)
Elendilo 22/Dec/2006 at 01:33 AM
Mercenary of Minas Tirith Points: 597 Posts: 107 Joined: 01/Apr/2004
It is possible that nothing on the entire continent is natural, not even the ground that the people of middle earth walk on, it depends on what you define as natural, as im sure other people have said. if you define it as having been manipulated by a sentient race then no, nothing is natural as evert thing has been altered by the VAlar at various times in the history of ME.. And it is also possible that there has been altered more then we know due to the prolification of the Numoreans.
KingODuckingham 22/Dec/2006 at 01:40 AM
Grey Counsellor of Isengard Points: 15053 Posts: 15390 Joined: 27/Aug/2006
The whole premise of this thread rests upon the presupposition that humans (or any other race) are not a natural influence. Why is this an assumption? Creatures like foxes and horses are considered natural, but not humans and elves? If there is any race that is debatably unnatural, it is the dwarves, which were not in the original plan of creation, but elves and men (and therefore hobbits, debatably) are all "natural", according to Eru’s plan for the world. Thus anything they do, by extension, is therefore a natural result of their existence.

I see this has been discussed somewhat before, but I don’t see that it has been answered definitively.
Poppy Burrows 30/Dec/2006 at 01:16 PM
Gardener of the Shire Points: 174 Posts: 43 Joined: 25/Dec/2006

I agree with KingODuckingham, what makes a race any less nateral then an animal?

And I think that either the whole of ME is neteral, or none of it is. Because if we are going with the idea of things only being 100 per cent nateral if they have not been touched by a member of one of the races, then none of it is. Because i don’t believe that there is one square foot on ME that has not been touched or walked over or any thing by a race. The same goes for the real world.

Togo Baggins 30/Dec/2006 at 02:24 PM
Farmer of the Shire Points: 373 Posts: 49 Joined: 30/Dec/2006

a lot of Mirkwood is natural, isn’t it?

Fangorn for the most part...

besides that i don’t know what... you can’t hardly add mountains because Goblins inhabit most of the mountains... and the ones they don’t seem to be inhabeted by Dwarves...