Author Topic: Saving Christianity from the Christians pt. 666 (Ecological preservation=hubris)  (Read 1789 times)

Pete at Home

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I'd like to address what I call the Antichrist of "Christian" political arguments.

Premise 1. God created the earth for a purpose.
Premise 2. It is blasphemous Hubris for humans to think that they can stop God's purposes
Conclusion: It is blasphemous hubris for humans to think that anything they do could destroy the earth.

Anyone want to take a crack at this syllogism before I rip into it?  (you may or may not start with "God's first command to humans was to take care of the garden, and nowhere is that first directive rescinded.  Duh." or  Luke 4:10-12 )

Anyone actually believe in anything resembling this syllogism, or know someone that is, that thinks that they can represent the syllogism more accurately or fairly in Syllogism form?  (I don't want to battle a straw man after all).

A family member of mine believes this lamentable crap and he is a better man than me in both ways, has done more good in his life than I can reasonably hope to accomplish in mine.  The horror. The horror.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 04:23:51 AM by Pete at Home »

yossarian22c

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For some I think that argument is a fig leaf that allows them to support other things they want.

As to why so many others actually buy into it is probably a mixture a couple reasons.
1) Faith that God wouldn't let us f things up that badly.
2) The scale of the solution to the problem (modifying human behavior/industry globally) seems like a God scale problem where individual human actions have a minimal impact.

rightleft22

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A family member of mine believes this lamentable crap and he is a better man than me in both ways, has done more good in his life than I can reasonably hope to accomplish in mine

I also have a family member that make the same argument when it comes to harming the earth and who I view as being better man then me.
Nothing I have ever argued has come close to changing his mind. I don't know when the idea of being good stewards and using the gifts of the earth wisely was sidelined. (growing up being a good steward was emphasized, at least of all I was taught/told its the one idea that has stuck with me as taking precedence)   

Looking forward to seeing how you tackle this one.  My brother in law would never acknowledge it however his view of God is of a objective being (alien with super natural power) that exists 'out there' watching and judging everything, literally a 'Father' and a 'Son' and a 'Spirit'. 

Fenring

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Steward is a funny term. It means to tend to, but omits the purpose of doing so. Assuming we accept than Man is steward of the Earth, does that mean he's obliged to sideline his own interests for the purpose of some other end? Like for instance we could argue that animal life has innate value and that we have an obligation to protect animal species and habitats for its own sake regardless of what that costs us. Or could being a steward mean basically that we've been placed in charge and can dispense with the available resources as we see fit, so long as it doesn't involve us becoming predators of other humans? This is a non-trivial point of disagreement and I bet that if you plumbed into the reasons people believe what they do you'd find a fundamental parting of ways on this issue. I think we might loosely say that the left-wing view is that stewards need to protect for its own sake (even though what "protection" amounts to requires intense defining), while the right-wing tendency is to adopt the "resources at our disposal" premise. I don't see how either of these points can easily be defeated, even using a Christian framework, without a significant effort to work from first principles up to one of these positions and defend it.

scifibum

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My dad believed that environmentalist efforts were a waste of time because of some scripture that said there's plenty for everyone. He's not great with nuance.

rightleft22

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Interesting. 
For me the idea of steward has always been linked to wisdom, which I assumed meant using our gifts wisely, doing better when we learned better even if in the short term it might be difficult and costly. For me it's tied into to thinking about the future and not just what is beneficial (less costly) to me.

I was just listening to a talk of Joseph Campbell were he argued that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs were not what religious 'myth' point too but are intended to inspire (in spirit) oneself to sacrifice those needs in the service of that which is greater

(I'm probably butchering his intent.  to understand his argument you need to understand the 4 purposes of myth and that the word myth is not intended to mean not real... "myth is other peoples religion... religion is misunderstood myth". I think one also has to accept that we experience the world via different levels of consciousness - there are 4 - we tend to depend and only count as real as the first level of objective/ego consciousness where you are subject and everything else object. )

Anyway its a interesting thought.

Seriati

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Premise 1. God created the earth for a purpose.
Premise 2. It is blasphemous Hubris for humans to think that they can stop God's purposes
Conclusion: It is blasphemous hubris for humans to think that anything they do could destroy the earth.

What Christian faith is that?  I'm not aware of any doctrine that supports the idea of creating an excuse not to practice your faith, which is what that sounds like.  Though I do know people who have lost jobs and refused to look for new ones on the grounds that god would provide them a job, I've never actually seen a doctrine that supports their view.

Or to put it more simply, who is preaching and teaching that?  Or is just a bunch lay misunderstanding?

Believing you can't thwart god's will has never been an excuse for ignoring your obligations.

Grant

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Premise 1. God created the earth for a purpose.
Premise 2. It is blasphemous Hubris for humans to think that they can stop God's purposes
Conclusion: It is blasphemous hubris for humans to think that anything they do could destroy the earth.

I dunno. It’s theologically airtight depending on your view of free will and human agency.

I will grant that it is still hubris to think that humanity can destroy the earth ala Death Star level destruction.  So far.

I am convinced that should the environment eventually turn hostile to the point of causing widespread death, the same argument will be used to paint the troubles as God’s will, and punishment for humanity’s sins, like the Deluge, probably for the sin of not caring for the earth.

Much of the argument against revolves around the idea of human agency vs God’s in the universe. It’s theologically knotty, but most Christians, and scripture, seems to support the idea that you reap what you sow.

Personally, I find it ridiculous. Next level Christian head-buried-in-sand.

TheDeamon

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Interesting. 
For me the idea of steward has always been linked to wisdom, which I assumed meant using our gifts wisely, doing better when we learned better even if in the short term it might be difficult and costly. For me it's tied into to thinking about the future and not just what is beneficial (less costly) to me.

I was just listening to a talk of Joseph Campbell were he argued that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs were not what religious 'myth' point too but are intended to inspire (in spirit) oneself to sacrifice those needs in the service of that which is greater

Of course, then there is the parable about the servant who hides his talents(currency) under a bushel to protect the masters money...

So it could be argued that failing to "responsibly" extract KNOWN natural resource deposits may be an affront to God.

Pete at Home

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Premise 1. God created the earth for a purpose.
Premise 2. It is blasphemous Hubris for humans to think that they can stop God's purposes
Conclusion: It is blasphemous hubris for humans to think that anything they do could destroy the earth.

What Christian faith is that?  I'm not aware of any doctrine that supports the idea of creating an excuse not to practice your faith, which is what that sounds like.  Though I do know people who have lost jobs and refused to look for new ones on the grounds that god would provide them a job, I've never actually seen a doctrine that supports their view.

Or to put it more simply, who is preaching and teaching that?  Or is just a bunch lay misunderstanding?

Believing you can't thwart god's will has never been an excuse for ignoring your obligations.

It's not any particular flavor of Christianity or Judaism, and yet I've heard individual Protestants, Catholics, and even some Mormons and Jews make that argument.  Even ones I consider intelligent.  The only thing I know them to have in common is watching Fox news, so I wondered if that's where it came from.

Pete at Home

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Steward is a funny term. It means to tend to, but omits the purpose of doing so. Assuming we accept than Man is steward of the Earth, does that mean he's obliged to sideline his own interests for the purpose of some other end?

Jesus said that the Sabbath is for man not man for the sabbath, and yet said that one may heal on the sabbath or help to pull an ox out of the mire.

TheDeamon

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Steward is a funny term. It means to tend to, but omits the purpose of doing so. Assuming we accept than Man is steward of the Earth, does that mean he's obliged to sideline his own interests for the purpose of some other end?

Jesus said that the Sabbath is for man not man for the sabbath, and yet said that one may heal on the sabbath or help to pull an ox out of the mire.

....so long as you weren't putting it in the mire the night before. At least, if you're LDS.

Fenring

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Steward is a funny term. It means to tend to, but omits the purpose of doing so. Assuming we accept than Man is steward of the Earth, does that mean he's obliged to sideline his own interests for the purpose of some other end?

Jesus said that the Sabbath is for man not man for the sabbath, and yet said that one may heal on the sabbath or help to pull an ox out of the mire.

Well, yes, the idea being that having a Sabbath is good for you, rather than enslaving you. But if we were going to apply that to using the natural world to our own ends, it still ends up being a question mark what is 'good for us'. Is it good for us to make use of things as we see fit, or is it good for us to respect the value of other things in themselves and to subordinate our desires for the sake of those other things?

Pete at Home

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Steward is a funny term. It means to tend to, but omits the purpose of doing so. Assuming we accept than Man is steward of the Earth, does that mean he's obliged to sideline his own interests for the purpose of some other end?

Jesus said that the Sabbath is for man not man for the sabbath, and yet said that one may heal on the sabbath or help to pull an ox out of the mire.

Well, yes, the idea being that having a Sabbath is good for you, rather than enslaving you. But if we were going to apply that to using the natural world to our own ends, it still ends up being a question mark what is 'good for us'. Is it good for us to make use of things as we see fit, or is it good for us to respect the value of other things in themselves and to subordinate our desires for the sake of those other things?

Well-said.  And is it also good for us to treat God's footstool the earth with less care than our toilets?  Would God really want us to be so irresponsible towards our children's children?

Doesn't human-sourced climate change fit God's promise that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the children's children?  What if that's not a threat but an explanation of how the universe works?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 11:37:35 PM by Pete at Home »

rightleft22

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God's promise that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the children's children?  What if that's not a threat but an explanation of how the universe works?
I read that as not a threat but the way the world works, at least at the level of our psychology, nurture and nature. It takes a lot of work not to work our the stuff our parents and ancestors leave us. This explanations also applies to the idea behind the word 'karma'. Which to my understanding is not about a idea of "Justice" but how things work, as the word relates to Action, motion, cause and effect.   
It might also help if we define the word sin.

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.” ― Mitch Albom

rightleft22

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It's not any particular flavor of Christianity or Judaism, and yet I've heard individual Protestants, Catholics, and even some Mormons and Jews make that argument.  Even ones I consider intelligent.  The only thing I know them to have in common is watching Fox news, so I wondered if that's where it came from.

I was thinking the common denominator was talk radio. In general I consider talk radio poison. At least for me.

This isn't the only place where Christians seem to be firmly against their faith.

The bits that get me are the scriptures where Jesus calls out hypocrisy. I don't believe that the NT is really a prophetic document, but it sure is remarkable to see all the folks who pray loudly in public so vehemently demanding that we turn away strangers at the border...

I guess they're just excited about getting the true prayers of their hearts answered when they go into the secret places aka the privacy of a polling booth...

TheDeamon

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Nah, the one that spooked me recently was the recent discussion about the poll on political Correctness and the 9% which is predominantly 1) Highly Educated 2) High Income Earners(Wealthy) 3) White

And during a visit to my sisters happening into them doing some scripture study in time to encounter:

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/28.14-15?lang=eng
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14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.

15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!

Or hit rewind and look at a few verses earlier:

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8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.

Both sides are horrible about doing the above now, but "Political Correctness" specifically has turned into nothing but an elaborate labyrinth of pitfalls for "neighbors to fall into" because of their words, not their intentions.