BP#8: Dakota Access Pipeline

After several months of hundreds of protestors, protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, federal officials decide to re-route it’s original plan to build the pipeline through what many call “Sacred Native American Land.” Leading up to this final decision, it began with the members of Sioux tribe protesting at the Standing Rock Site protesting about the pipeline for months. Their argument was to fight the placement of the pipeline because they said it could damage their water supply and sacred land. Months later, it was decided by the Army Corps of Engineers, that they will look for an alternate route to build the pipeline. This story demonstrates determination, even through really bad times and realizing good can come out of it, you can get what you want if you demonstrate points that are factual.

Kant’s Theory of Judgment fit well with this conflict, in my opinion. Kant talks about judgments and in particular the aesthetic judgments. Which he defines as “judgments of taste.” He says that though they are based in an individual’s subjective feelings, they also claim universal validity. I think that could relate to this situation because whether people thought the Sioux tribe was basing their protesting off of feelings and just personal feelings, it can claim universal validity; in sense that their argument and what they proved was in fact universal and valid. Kant also mentions that “we seek to possess pleasurable objects, and we seek to promote moral goodness, but we simply appreciate beauty without feeling driven to find some use for it.” The Sioux tribe didn’t feel as if they were told or had to protest, but they honor their native land and know what use it brings to their people and to the land itself. The native land is their beauty and therefore they don’t feel as if they have to contemplate on whether their land is worthy of moral goodness; it was a given instinctive feeling. It is pure beauty and it brings reason to itself without having to bring forth reason. For that, I think that this is how the Sioux tribe felt during this protest and weren’t solely there to make a point, but to preserve the beauty the land brings to them. It wasn’t a moral act; rather a purpose and the reason behind the importance of the act.




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