Religion in Environmentalism

In the discussion surrounding my popular post Religion vs. Gender Equality & Feminism, there was a reference to religion and environmentalism. As if on cue, the Pope has now said:

“Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where his existence is denied? If the human creature’s relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the ‘final authority,’ and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.”

Atheists everywhere are up in arms with the headline “Pope blames atheists for global warming” all over the web. Read this post for a particularly incisive response. When the President of the National Secular Society labeled the Pope’s comments as inflated and self-serving, moderate voices asked whether this is a surprise and should be news in the first place.Globe Planet Earth NASA

If you wish, you can explore and be surprised. I consider the final word on this topic to be of Michael Crichton, who argues that we need to take environmentalism out of the clutches of religion and bring it back to the scientific discipline:

“We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s.”

You read it right. There is no typo in the above quote.

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  • Very religious people are fanatics, and tend to blame all the problems of the world on non-religious people. Without any evidence I mean.

  • Sometimes I wonder why that is the case, Nita.

  • To quote Steven Weinberg —

    “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”

  • Actually, I find it hard to make the connection between austerity and religion. Ascetic monks aside, the average religious person is anything but austere. We pour ghee into a fire, for god’s sake, instead of using it to fry jalebis that could feed the poor.

    So even before we get to radical environmentalism, the very first premise of the Pope sounds shaky.

  • How will one care for the planet if you believe that all reality is a myth, or that a savior is coming, or that there is a creator and destroyer, or that anyone not of your faith is an infidel and should be punished and so on and on…

    Not to mention that almost all the famous places of worship are centers of unbelievable wealth.

  • Anonymous

    I think environmentalism is itself some sort of weird religion. It is based on highly illogical grounds incorporating a large amount of faith, belief, and most important: fear.

    Fear and reason don’t go along well and masses ruled by fear, following some dubious cult leaders are the perfect ingridients for absolute destruction of entire generations.

    To make it perfectly clear: the thought patterns of fanatic environmetalists are very similar to those of communists, facists and finally religious fanatics.

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