Tuesday, July 31, 2007

something I never thought about in this way before...

A comment in one of Ryan's recent posts makes a very convincing point.
"It’s hard to see how, in principle, the view that human beings are just a peculiar species that happened to evolve brains too sophisticated for their own good, could be used to argue against treating the world as nothing more than the means to satisfy whatever ends we deem desirable or necessary. Why not just exult in our good fortune in developing this capacity and go about the business of exploiting the world however we see fit? There’s nothing built into the worldview itself that could prevent this whereas I would argue that the Christian worldview does give us good moral reasons to resist unethical environmental behaviour."
Basically the idea that we should treat the environment in a certain way so as to protect it - for its own sake - is not a natural outcome of the idea of evolution. Why not just work toward getting all the best advantages for ourselves?

6 comments:

Bonnie said...

Holy Camolee, you guys are too smart for your own good, I had to read that at least twice. True, evolutionists therefore have no real argument for being environmentally responsible, we will just become a product of what the world is to become, nevertheless, as Christians, I believe we need to treat all creation from our bodies to the world around us with respect and care... so.... go hug a tree,and stop thinking so much, it's summer for cryin out loud :-) Geepers, smart people!

mr. norrell said...

one theme of evolution is the survival of the species. if it's the case that humans are environmentally irresponsible and the result of that is the destruction of the planet... then obviously our species will not survive. so i suppose you could see that as going against one of the principles of evolution. on the other hand christians believe that this world has to end at some point and that God will create a new one(or some variation of that). it might be rational then to allow the destruction of our environment to bring on the apocalypse. not so different then those farmers trying to breed a red heifer to bring on the end times.

Outgoing... said...

good perspective bonbon
The idea of the survival of the fittest doesn't predict that we as humans should take care of our environment - only those parts that we find most convenient or beneficial in our own eyes. So yeah if we did evolve why bother caring for the environment.
mr. norrell (whoever you really are) makes a good point as well. Christians have typically (in the past) been seen as 'users' of the environment because it will one day disappear/get destroyed. I think there are some Christian perspectives out there these days that suggest that the world may not end in a cataclysmic apocalypse but rather that God will redeem it and make anew heaven and earth. They think that that is a more faithful interpretation of Scripture. I tend to resonate with that perspective a bit more these days.
If God is going to redeem the physical earth then we can have a unique role in assisting in that process...

Bonnie said...

ooh, a cataclysmic apocolypse!!! I'm gonna say that a few times today!!! Regardless, of when or how the earth shall apocolate :-) Shouldn't we be responsible, lest we or our children, or our children's children... (you get the idea) be left to pander in it? Let's think about the relative future, should life continue on as it has for the past few hundred years shall we?? We need to make sure that "we've" got something to work with don't we??? I'm not much of a "thinker" but I'm just sayin' :-)

Bonnie said...

great... now you got me in trouble with Jamie for joking about the apocalypse! OOps, sorry if I was offensive ;-)

Outgoing... said...

no it was ok
you didn't use it in the same sentence with my ASTRO so phew!