Saturday, January 6, 2007

A Related Source of Evil

Another source of evil built into our natures involves the objectifying of our environment. When we look at the environment primarily as a collection of resources to be consumed, used, and then disposed of, we ignore at great peril the interconnectedness of living and non-living processes. We are not just supported by the environment, we are a part of it, and it is a part of us.

The greatest threat facing humanity does not come from war and violence. It comes from our systematic sabotage of Earth’s natural systems and the other species whose lineage we share. Humans have initiated one of our planet’s greatest mass extinctions, caused by both our ignorance and lack of respect for the web of life.

Science is removing our ignorance, while some religions and philosophies have long promoted respect. Unfortunately, our innate desire for immediate gratification is very difficult to overcome; and our economic systems, among the most efficient creations of mankind, have evolved to take advantage of that desire and feed it. As any addicted person will tell you, guilt and the threat of negative consequences in the future can only go so far. We can turn a deaf ear to the best information, hungry for any justification to keep pursuing the pleasures that civilization offers (even if it comes from industry lobbyists camouflaged as scientists).

No comments: