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April 22, 2009

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Pagans worshiping the Earth Mother with meaningless rituals...

So PROGRESSIVE!

Color me unimpressed. Idol worship is as old as history.

Did you know this factoid?

"The symbol of the first Earth Day is a circle with a broken cross, with the bars pointing downward. It is a New Age symbol meaning the rejection of Christianity."

(From: http://aconservativeteacher.blogspot.com/)


Happy Comrade Lenin's Birthday!

What you say is true, and it's a shame that those who hold a theistic world view have not stepped up to the reponsability as well as those who believe in Darwinism.
I'm not saying the church has abandoned efforts to "be green", but, in my experiences, it's the pagens that typically have the "image" of being the big green supporters, not the church.
Maybe the church should make a stronger effort to show their support of taking care of the earth.
I think it would be cool if the first association that came to your head when someone said, "we should take better care of the earth" was "that's something those 'christians' would believe."

You said it much better than I did (click my link), but yes, I did notice. Probably because of reading and listening to your stuff.

How does one "take care of the Earth"?

Often, those who claim to really chose Ceaser over the Church.

The idea that us as humans can inflict any lasting effects on the earth reveals some major flawed thinking on the earth day lover's part. First, it reveals a real lack of ability to grasp the vastness of the size and scope of the earth and its systems. Some people like to think of the earth as a "little blue ball hanging in space" or some other cutesy reference which has the effect of shrinking the true size of the earth in people's minds. The earth is huge, and has systems which dwarf even the most noxious thing humans may have ever done while living on it. Greg alludes to this in his post. The earth itself is responsible for more "global warming" gas emission than we as humans will ever emit, through volcanoes, animal flatulence, even the sun itself indirectly (production of water vapor). The person who overplays the human role in earth processes is tacitly admitting that they did not pay attention in High School science class (or were indoctrinated by a liberal teacher masquerading as a science teacher, or maybe just didn't take any science at all). Secondly this idea that what we as humans have done, are doing or can do will have any real effect on the earth smacks of real arrogance, a need to think we as humans are more powerful than we are. These people are struggling hard to matter, to be relevant in some way in this life, because for the most part they don't believe in any afterlife. Only those who think the earth and this life is all there is would be so concerned about trying to make it last forever. Yes, we should care for God's creation, but in the end its to be used for our benefit, and when the time is right, its all going to be destroyed and replaced with a new creation, so lets not fall head over heels in love with it. Its just dirt.

Jeremy, we are called to be good stewards of what God has given us. However, when you contrast the temporal material world to the eternal soul, the Church has an incomprehensibly larger call to save souls rather than the material world. This is not a rationale for recklessness in our ways, but a principle for informed priorities.

Regarding the article: Perhaps the most damaging argument one can make against the atheist and "Earth" huggers is that in the evolutionary scheme of things, mankind should indeed be wiped out for our excessive prodigal ways and be replaced by a better species. Isn't that the evolutionary hypothesis works? Wouldn't it be a tragedy to forestall the evolution of a greater being that is far less selfish and wanton because we have these chemical reactions that make us want to survive?

Well put Beck.

Actually the church does embrace taking care of the earth. I know of tons of churches that that do things over seas, other country's, mission work that envolve building new houses that contain mold and such, tree planting, disaster relief, clean up of the devastation from horrible storms that eventually result in contamination. Many efforts are made by the church to make this world a better place. But to put the earth over it's Creator is absurd.

So to say you wish the church would buy into the whole "save the earth" thing, well, we do! And just like you said Beck, it will all be destroyed one day by the Creator who designed it, God Bless!

Instead of Earth Day how about a day to celebrate the Creator of the Earth?

Oh, but we can't have THAT. People would be up in arms! "How dare you push your religion on me!"

And yet from every angle - from days set aside, to '24' actors preaching on TV, from food wrappers to advertisements on public transporation - we have to have their 'religion' pushed on us.

Funny how that works, eh?

The Creator is on a mission to redeem creation, not destroy it. This is historic, orthodox Christianity. 2 Peter 3:10ff needs to be read in the context of the wider biblical narrative and not simply as a proof text releasing us from our God-given obligation as stewards over creation.

Yet today many pastors and believers will be tested and forced to choose between righteousness in the eyes of God...or in the eyes of the secular puritans.

Read this article, and you decide which is which:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/04/earth_day_survey_of_grand_rapi.html

Hi Greg,

Language is innate to humans.
This doesn't mean we know a language at birth.
It means we have a built-in ability to learn language.

So it is with morality.
We don't have a particular built-in moral code..
We have the ability to learn moral code - to think and feel about morality.

These two abilities incluence us constantly and powerfully.
It is in the nature of a rabbit to freeze when you walk by.
It is in our nature to do language and morality.
We can't imagine the world without them.
They were built in, of course, by evolution.

So that's how your post works.
It's also how the axiological argument for the existance of God works.
The innate moral sense makes it easy for us to imagine that there are absolute moral rights and wrongs.

Morality will outlast God on Earth becuase it is in human nature.

Ron

RonH: You make a classic misinterpretation here. It is not moral epistemology that is in question, but moral ontology. The axiological argument is based not on our ability to discern a moral code, but on the absurdity of an objective moral code without God.

Very interesting how you sneak in an unwarranted assumption that morality is a by-product of evolution. This has been debated ad-nauseum and the the atheist has still to provide an argument for the basis of objective moral values.

The rabbit freezes when you walk due to instinct.

If Ron is correct, his moralizing post is based on instinct alone, created by evolution.

If Ron is posting by instinct alone, the result of random atoms and random mutations, why listen to him? He is just saying what nature built him to say. Listening or ignoring makes no difference.

My instinct tells me to ignore him.

I thought Earth Day was started by a Christina man? I cuold be mistaken, but im pretty sure it was

Great ppost beck

I think it had multiple founders.

Here is one of interest:

“long-time Earth Day advocate Ira Einhorn took the whole “recycling” thing a little too far when he ‘composted’ his girlfriend’s remains in a trunk in his closet…”

http://pajamasmedia.com/eddriscoll/2009/04/21/earth-day-founder-murdered-his-girlfriend/

"He is just saying what nature built him to say. Listening or ignoring makes no difference."

Thats actually a good point. Why, then, should I trust my moral programming? By what merit should I succomb to an evolved morality?

I agree that humanitarion efforts are far more important than environmental efforts, but it's not like we can't do both.
I see a lot more of the former and almost none of the later.
How hard would it be to have a few recycle bins around the church building sitting next to the regular trash bins?

I agree, Jeremy. And while were on the topic, ill admit, environmentalism is a bit of a pet peeve for me, because of the things that go along with it sometimes

"The logic of naturalism and the rules of evolution dictate human beings rape our environment, just as everything else does, not protect it."

The logic of naturalism might lead its proponents to believe the earth is the only home they have. Thus is makes sense to care for it long term instead of regarding it as a waypoint over which humans have been given temporary dominion. It is in no specie's long term interest to "rape" the environment and the various interrelated biological systems on the planet tend to adjust for, or select against, those that do.

Conservation, stewardship, recycling, not polluting streams and playgrounds...nobody disagrees with this. But this isn't what environmentalism / Earth Day is all about.

"Language is innate to humans...we have a built-in ability to learn language.

So it is with morality.
We don't have a particular built-in moral code."

Your list might be broadened and deepened. One can argue that humans are hard-wired for language (no human culture has ever chosen not to speak), art/music (every known culture practices some form of it), religion (there is no culture without it), and morality (infants demonstrate empathy from birth).

kpolo,

You said, "...the atheist has still to provide an argument for the basis of objective moral values."

No, I don't because I don't claim such things exist and I said so.

I said "The innate moral sense makes it easy for us to imagine that there are absolute moral rights and wrongs."

Moral thinking is so basic to us that we come to think it transcends us.

Once we think morality transends us we can use it in the axiological argument and in Greg's post.

Morality is quite a reasonable thing for a social animal to evolve.

Try building a town out of psychopaths or sociopaths.

Ron

Thanks for the observation, that the evolutionists argue from a theistic worldview.

It is indeed the Christian that has an obligation to take care of God's creation. Yet just about any time we talk with an atheist, his argument presupposes the very worldview he argues against.

Last week I was discussing the Hitchens/Craig debate with an atheist acquaintance, specifically, the moral argument for God. He said, "So what difference would it make if there were no objective morality? Show me something that would be different."

What would be different is that without objective morality, he wouldn't be raising the question. The very question presupposes that we should seek truth, Anytime we "should" or "ought" to do something or believe something, we've made a moral judgment. That we should pursue truth presupposes an objective moral principle about the value of truth. My friend's argument against objective morality presuppoesd the very thing he argued against.

The atheist can't escape the Christian worldview.

Tom,

I presuppose no such thing.

Ron

Ya I don't know why non-believers bother to care about such things. I'm glad they do, personally, but I would never take time away from my short godless life to plant a tree, when I know the clock is ticking

If I were an atheist, and I had children, I would still care about the earth, not because it's right, but because I'd be concerned about the well-being of my posterity.

What is "Darwinism"? What is "evolutionism"? These terms sound ominous and are meant to sound ominous, but what do they mean?

Who says that nature teaches us moral lessons? The "rules of evolution" tell us how the world works, they don't tell us how live. I have a brain for that.

I like clean air, clean water and healthy forests. Why shouldn't I? These things keep me and my progeny alive and make me feel good. What does that have to do with the origin of species?

Conservation, stewardship, recycling, not polluting streams and playgrounds...yes, these are indeed the things that Earth Day is about.

Totally.

That's y I had a vasectomy

So in light of an evolutionistic perspective, is Earth Day just, "Trendy"?

What does "evolutionist" mean?

Ron,

What is wrong with "psychopaths"?

Given your view of the world, a psychopath is nothing more then another random bag of chemicals that behaves differently then you.

It sure does sound like you're judging other people and discriminating against them for not behaving as you would like them to, but that can't be what you're doing here because that is impossible for you!

You have already "let the cat out of the bag" so to speak by claiming that objective morality doesn't exist.

Your claim is that we only imagine, morality.

Assuming you are right, and that is the case, then please stop imagining other people are psychopaths.

It makes me imagine that you are judgmental and offensive. Ha!

Thank you,
John

"What does "evolutionist" mean?"

Darwinian, Atheistic, Naturalistic

Basically, non-theistic
pick a genre, and thats probably what i was talking about ;)

The (Theistic)Amish are the only people in North America who lead a "green" life style. Nobody celebrating earth day wants to live like this. The work is too hard.

If they really wanted to live a green life style, they wouldn't have time for earth day or their armchair environmentalism.

"Darwinian, Atheistic, Naturalistic".

This isn't helping. All you've done is provide a list of alleged synonyms that may not be synonymous at all, but you haven't really defined or described the term.

For example, is Ken Miller of Brown University an "evolutionist"?

Look, if you folks want to pee on Earth Day, go right ahead, but I don't see why anyone should drag Darwin or evolutionary biology into the pissing match. Pick one target at a time and stick to it.

Joe,

Respectfully, you are missing the point of the post and the wider implication of Greg's observation.

Here is the point:

"Earth day" doesn't make any sense from an evolutionary worldview.

I don't see anyone "pissing on Earth day" here.

Rather, I see responses that take our atheist and agnostic friends at their words given their presuppositions about the world, and then asking them to explain their behavior that contradicts those stated beliefs.

John

Joe, with all due respect, thats why at the end I said "non theistic", followed with pick one and thats probably what I was talking about. I realize I wasnt being very clear, and at the same time I didnt neccessairly know how to clear it up for you. In any case, I apologize on behalf of my cryptic statement.

Konesta,

You could clear things up very easily by simply defining your terms as opposed to just slinging names around.

John,

No one is...I'll clean this up...criticizing on Earth Day?

Ok, can we say that many here (not all, but many) are criticizing those who are marking Earth Day in some way and/or criticizing those who express concern about the effects of humans on ecological systems? Would that be more accurate?

If this is the main point...

"Earth day" doesn't make any sense from an evolutionary worldview.

...Well, that's just an absurd statement.

What exactly is "Darwinism" or "evolutionism"? Quite frankly, these terms don't exist in science. This is merely an underhanded creationist tactic known as psychological projection, in order to try and paint evolution with the undesirable characteristics inherent in creationism: that of rigid religious dogma, and the utilization of faith. Well guess what, evolutionary theory has neither. Are your minds that small that you really need to attach an "ism" to everything?

If you really want people to take you seriously, then grow some backbone and just admit your ideas are based on faith - that you've ALREADY got your conclusion, and you're only interested in the evidence that supports it.

Mark, then take this opportunity to assign a proper name to the framework in question. And I do mean that in great sincerity.

Mark, if we were only interested in the evidence that supports our view, why would we bother with a website like STR?

I dont think the tail end of your post was very benificial to the discussion, and I do not believe anyone here adheres to what you have just described.

Frankly, I haven't a clue as to what "framework" you are refering to and/or how this framework has anything to do with Darwin or how the natural world works.

Joe, as General as i can put it, one that does not include God, notwithstanding the thousands of conversations we could have as a result of that .

Excuse me, I should say, whatever Mark was addressing in his post.

"What exactly is "Darwinism" or "evolutionism"? Quite frankly, these terms don't exist in science."

I was just asking him to provide a better moniker for it. Surely, there is a worldview in question. I dont think were talking about 'nothing' here. c:

Konesta,

Then you mean atheism. There is no need for you or Greg to use words derived from either Darwin's name or from evolutionary biology. There is also no reason to think that this "framework" is in conflict with the goals of Earth Day or environmental movements. As I said, the "key point" of the original post is absurd.

Point taken. :)

I think in some ways we may be missing the point - the issue of earth day for evolutionists (here, non-theists), is not that there is NO ground for it. Obviously, if anyone wants a cleaner earth, earth day makes a lot of sense. The moral obligation/responsibility, however, is something that is harder to reconcile with the atheist world view. What REQUIRES us to take care of our universe is at stake, not what makes us WANT to (that only requires a brain, as stated above).

Ya I don't know why non-believers bother to care about such things. I'm glad they do, personally, but I would never take time away from my short godless life to plant a tree, when I know the clock is ticking.

Unlike you, we atheists are ethical beings.

"The moral obligations underpinning Earth Week activities simply do not follow from the naturalistic world view that embraces Darwinism."

Naturalistic fallacy. So-called "Darwinism" is an empirical finding; it has no bearing on what one considers right or wrong. Those are matters of what one values.


"It follows, rather, from a theistic world view in which God has created man as unique and given him responsibility over the Earth to care for it."

Not necessarily; Dominionists think otherwise, as do many other religious people who have no problem with raping and plundering the Earth.

"Earth Week makes sense for Christians, not for Darwinists."

You started by saying that most people who celebrate it are Darwinists, but conclude by saying that it doesn't make sense for them. What can one conclude, other than that you're stupid and unimaginative and intellectually dishonest and have never spoken to Darwinists about why they celebrate Earth Day or embrace its values? You can (or pretend to) only imagine that people might value the environment if God commands them to, and so conclude that there's a "contradiction" for Darwinists (which you mix up with those who have a naturalistic worldview). Do you think that there's also a contradiction if a Darwinist objects to being eaten by a lion? I think you may well be stupid enough to -- especially since you think that evolution is a matter of weak species being supplanted by strong ones -- which is completely wrongheaded and misinformed.

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