Re: obligation and advocacy

Fri, 12 May 1995 15:13:02 +1200

Sorry, Ruby, but my own feeling is that neither good intentions nor
correctness about a specific case justify a sweeping statement about
appropriate morality such as the one I quoted. It doesn't limit itself to
anthropologists studying indigenous populations, or to the ecological
issue, nor does it specify any way in which to decide which groups deserve
unquestioning advocacy.

On the specific issue, I'd like to see the support based on a reading of
the data--as you suggest--rather than moral obligation. I also think that
it clouds the argument to conflate kinship with or respect for flora and
fauna with preservation of that flora and fauna (although there are very
compelling arguments about why these might be causally related, including
Jane Schneider's re pre-industrial, pre-salvationist Europe, in Badone's
volume on popular vs orthodox religion in Europe).