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: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/11154895.htm
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,