Nature: Friend or Foe?

Thu 2 June
6:00pm BST
Venue: Arena
Event [15]

Debates and talks

Nature: Friend or Foe?

Yuval Noah Harari, Slavoj Žižek. Güneş Taylor hosts.

Most think of nature as good, while humans and human interventions are often seen as problematic and even on occasion evil. From eradicating e-numbers from our diets to refusing vaccines, many are motivated by the idea that nature knows best.

Yet malaria is natural, the malaria vaccine is not. Crop failure, hurricanes, tsunamis - all are deadly, and all natural. Human actions are essential to extend and save lives from natural calamity.

Is our attachment to nature undermining belief in ourselves? Should we have more faith in the human and less trust in nature? Or, are we right to be sceptical of human intervention and should we see the renewed reverence for nature as a positive return to an ancient and essential belief? Then again, should we accept that we are part of the natural world, and give up on the false distinction between real and artificial, natural and unnatural?

World-famous intellectual Yuval Noah Harari and one-of-a-kind philosopher Slavoj Zizek debate whether nature is friend or foe.

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