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February 21, 2007

Righteous crusaders

In the Crichton article he made references to things that the western world pushed to change that probably didn't need to be changed at all. One example is the DDT banning. It reminds me of when people with comfort in their lives think they know what is best for people that live nothing like them. Too many people blindly follow their beliefs without regard for the real impacts of the people they are trying to "protect". in the case of DDT it was a big hoopla that DDT was causing cancer in birds, but the real issue was that DDT was helping kill disease carrying insects and aiding the fight against disease in 3rd world countries. Are people really more worried about birds than they are about fellow human beings? Without DDT millions of people die of preventable causes just because a bunch of people in America thought that it was a big crime that MAYBE DDT was thinning the shells on bird eggs. But that is just one instance. People that are well off usually think they know what is best for other people but how many of those people have lived in a grass hut in the middle of a dense jungle? Not to many I'd assume. This is usually the problem with people with fundamental beliefs, they get behind something they think is right and will never accept or listen to another point of view or even solid evidence. They blindly push for their cause without regard for the consequences of their actions. I liked his point that people have an irrational view of nature, going to the local park isn't nature. Being in the middle of the rockies without a cellphone is nature. Nature isn't forgiving, it has no respect for us and is easily capable of destroying us if we don't learn to respect it.

February 13, 2007

Religion and Enviorment

It is good to see that the Christian community is mobilizing to defend nature. Although this isn't anything terribly new it is good to see that there is change. I saw Jesus Camp, a documentary on evangelical Christians, and it scared me. I know that all Christians aren't that crazy but this one Woman was teaching her kid that global warming wasn't true. Instilling anti-environment ideas into todays youth will only further the problems facing us today. Now i know Genesis and it does say God created earth. Why would a Christian think they have domain over it? It seems like there are way to many coalitions and organizations about the same issue, what is so hard about consolidating? but then again Christians have always had that problem, there are about a million different "Christian" churches. But having a view that humans rule over this earth is pretty ignorant, it is obvious that we have the power to destroy our environment but is it a good idea? I could walk out of my room, down the hall and beat the shit out of someone I know, but I don't. Firstly because it would just be mean, secondly it would destroy a relationship, and probably more than one. It's about being in good graces with the people you live with. So we should try and be in good graces with the environment we live with.

Christian Environmentalists

February 7, 2007

Magical Perception

Abram talks about nature as the people of Bali view it. He draws upon the idea that our view of nature is formed from our interactions with it and the way we were raised and educated in respect to nature. Even a cultures religious views reflect their view if nature. We are raised in homes separated from nature, indoor heating/ AC. Our water is run through a modern system of filtration and cleaning. Our waste products are flushed down pipes and we pay other people do deal with them. In our educations we are taught physical sciences to help us explain why things happen in nature that would be a total mystery without the aid of education. But if you look at the evolution of religion you can see the views of nature changing throughout the development of civilization. The very first religions were based on polytheistic ideas. A god for every force of nature and every thing bad or good that happens to people throughout there lives. Early man viewed diseases, famine, earthquakes, droughts all as dealings of the Gods because they had no other way to explain these occurrences. As societies gathered in cities and slowly defended themselves against the ravages of nature, religions evolved to reflect this. In our society today God rules over us in a moral sense rather than controlling every aspect of our lives. Although the Zoroastrians were the first monotheistic culture and that was in like 1000 BC, so maybe this all breaks down, but I'm pretty sure the whole gods for the forces of nature thing makes sense. An article on shamanism(wiki)