Why do we loathe ourselves so?

Random thought for the morning:

I don’t know what to think about the whole global warming thing. Is the planet getting warmer? Perhaps. Is human activity to blame for said warming? Perhaps. There are plenty of other factors, though. Do we have the slightest idea what life will be like on a warmer planet? No. It’s all sheer speculation. Might it be easier to grow food with increased evaporation and precipitation? Might the human race actually be better off in the long run? Who knows?

But are there not some serious philosophical problems here? The standard environmentalist, global-warming-is-killing-the-planet line is riddled with incoherence. If you buy into atheistic naturalism, aren’t we just filling our unique evolutionary niche as climate-alterers? Why should mankind be the only species to sacrifice itself for the good of the rest of the planet? Seems like silliness when we’re clearly the fittest. I think, deep down, the problem is that we hate ourselves. We see the damage we can do to other people and to nature, and loathe ourselves as a result. That is probably justified, but it certainly doesn’t fit with evolutionary biology. It does, however, fit with something else: the notion that we ought to be stewards over nature, to have dominion over it and tend to it. That comes right out of a book that not many scientists take seriously, the Bible.

Let’s take this death wish that underlies all the hand-wringing about our planet and turn it into respect for life in all its variety; but, let us also acknowledge that we do have dominion over the rest of nature, and have to balance providing for our very real needs, which must come first, with protecting the environment that nourishes both us and every other living thing.


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