Re: evolution and stewardship

Date: Mon Jan 17 2000 - 12:27:12 EST

  • Next message: Susan B: "Re: evolution and stewardship"

    In a message dated 1/17/00 4:42:29 AM Dateline Standard Time, writes:

    >To recap: It appears that both Mike and I agree that there are
    >multiple possible motivations to conservation (and
    >exploitation); we agree that theological stances can result in
    >both conservative and exploitative motivations; and we agree
    >that separating out the various motivations is difficult.
    >These points of agreement indicate to me that Mike should by
    >that acceptance then reject the argument of the Unknown
    >Student. Why Mike states that he rejects my arguments when we
    >actually holds several of the same stances remains mysterious
    >to me.
    My mistake was in interpreting your claim:

    >The innate
    >desire to see our children put safely into an environment
    >conducive to a good quality of life would seem entirely
    >sufficient to explain concern over conservation issues,

    to mean that such a desire was a sufficient and *valid* justification
    for our concern and *action*. I clearly read too much into your

    So yes, we do agree about the Unknown Student, but his/her
    opinions are small pototoes. I am more interested in the larger
    issue itself as to whether or not atheistic views of evolution are
    at significant tension with environmentalism. Isn't there any place
    where your theism contributes to some view about the world?

    But there is something perhaps bigger here. As I see it, even
    the most aggressive environmental policies are only band-aids.
    I simply can't envision another 10,000 years of human existence
    which does not greatly degrade the environment. It would thus
    seem we would have to more extensively and aggresively control people
    and limit their freedoms as the centuries go on. It would seem the
    instrument of this control would also have to be quite powerful.
    But even then, could the environment be sustained for 100,000 years?
    A million years? Ten million years?

    In other words, the environmental efforts are inevitiably doomed to fail.
    Or, at the very least, their success may essentially depend on a very
    powerful authority and loss of much freedom (such that we cannot even

    Now, this is not an argument to "use it up now." I'm talking about 100,000's
    of years, and it would be irrational to base current policy on some long-term
    fatalistic view. But there is a philosophical point here. In a subtle and
    way, we don't fit on this planet. That is, the act of *being human* is
    the planet can only tolerate for a relatively short time.


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