Thursday, March 17, 2005

Human / Nature?

Does nature itself have intrisic value, or is the natural world only valuable insofar as it serves human needs? The U.S. Senate has voted 51 to 49 in favor of the latter:

By setting the stage for oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge, our Senate has shown where their moral principles really are. God's good creation is to be valued if we can get something from it, but not otherwise. I actually heard a drilling proponent say that this coastal Alaska wildlife refuge was not his idea of a beautiful, pristine place to be preserved. Now, unless this guy was a talking polar bear, I am not surprised to hear him say so. Of course the north coast of Alaska is not a place one would want to build a nice beach house for vacations, but the ecosystem is home for a diverse array of life, created by God and therefore of sacred worth.

51 U.S. Senators have made it a matter of public record that their ethical concern does not extend to the intrinsic worth of God's creation. Not even, supposedly, with the knowledge that "God saw everything that had been made, and indeed, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31) Despite the efforts of environmentalists to protect nature from human violation, it seems we are bent on squeezing every drop of the earth's resources from our home planet, as if she was a giant sponge rather than a living, breathing organism.

So what do you think? Should our assessment of the value of the natural world be based upon what human beings can gain from it? Is there something sacred about nature that we humans might not fully understand, but ought to honor? How much of my suspicion that big oil companies have a lot to do with this is just cynicism, and how much is real? I'm looking forward to reading responses!

Grace and Peace,
Andy B.


Anonymous said...

I like your comment re squeezing every drop of the earth's resources
like it were a sponge. I think there is an old 60's Joanie Mitchell song with lyrics "They paved paradise and put in a parking lot. We don't know what we've got till it's gone." Doesn't seem like we've learned very much. To many of us stick our heads in the sand and think the next generation will solve the problem. You bet -- nature has intrinsic value!!!!

Anonymous said...

I want to believe them when they say the drilling will have a minimal impact on the wildlife but the truth is I don't know what the impact will be. We get differing versions from both sides and it's hard to know what the real effect will be. I think in the long run, it's bad for nature, which includes all of us. One thing that struck me was the yield is thought to be at least 10 Billion barrells which is only about a 30 year supply. (some estimates have it as much as 30 Billion) My question is... "What then?". I agree the oil companies are the worst about WIIFM. (what's in it for me) If we don't mainstream some other forms of energy soon, I could see the sponge squeezed dry in my lifetime. What value will any of God's creations have then? Dave Wood

Seamhead said...

The oil in the ANWR is going to be expensive to pump out of there. And many experts say the 10 billion barrel estimate is very optimistic. When you consider the possible impact on the envirnment, it is really a bad move.

Ksqurred said...

I think that drilling in alaska would probably be one of the biggest mistakes that our country makes. Why cant civilization go back to the time where we are of the earth not on the earth. We are all part of the cycle. and in stead of thinking that, we think that man is here just to do what ever he wants because he is to "have dominion over" everything on earth and this isn't our real home, we'll go home when we die... I dont know... kinda makes you think....