The Christian Environmentalist

The scientific/modern viewpoint about climate change is that humans can rationally decide to save the environment by implementlng bureaucratic scientific policies based on government programs.

But if humans are at base animals they will continue in a survival of fittest, competitive, instinctual mode where each individual provides for his/her own needs. Each human works for his/her own food and shelter regardless of the consequences for the environment. The climate will never be saved.

However, the Christian/Catholic environmental argument is that humans are the moral agents of Creation. God has made humans stewards of the Earth. Only when humans actively embrace this role–which is a moral, ethical responsibility toward God’s gift, the Creation–will we be able to save what we are in the process of destroying.

The Church teaches us that it is humanity’s responsibility to protect and care for the environment. Animals have no such awareness. But humans by their capacity to understand the possibilities of the future based on the lessons of the past, and their concept that what God created is not neutral, but Good, allows human to accept the responsibility of, as Pope Francis says, Caring for Our Common Home.

Christianity is a humanism, human-centered, simply because God made humans to be the pinnacle of Creation, to have the intellectual discernment to make judgments about ourselves, to decide on what is right and wrong based on God’s teachings. Hence humans are made in God’s image, as moral agents able to work towards God’s aims. If God made the Creation, and it is Good, as the book of Genesis declares, then humans are obligated, as Christians, to work on its behalf, to bring to fulfillment what God plans for the Creation, and not to destroy it in the utter pursuit of animalistic, instinctual aims.

When humans view themselves as moral agents, as agents of God, then humans will accept the responsibility of caring for the environment in a way that atheistic, valueless, amoral scientific thought will not do. A pious science is the key to saving the environment.

For more, read my blog post, Reflections on Pope Francis’s Encyclical Letter, On Care for Our Common Home.

About theamericanplutarch

Writer, thinker, historian.
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