Man: The Master or Caretaker of Nature

Both Lynn White Jr. and Pope Francesco have extremely passionate views on the ecological dilemma that the world faces today. However, they differ vastly and are complete opposites to one another when it comes to the solution to this issue. While White believes that religion, or more specifically Christianity, is to blame, the current Pope is convinced that religion is the answer.

White thinks that threats of the destruction of our ecosystem wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the creation of the Christian religion. He argues that the belief that God created the Earth: Adam and Eve, and then animals, has led humans to determine that they are more important than nature and are therefore nature’s masters. He justifies his claim by explaining that many great inventors, mathematicians, physicists, have all utilized religion as their reasoning as to why they worked so tirelessly to create new technology, theories, etcetera. So, although technology played a vital part in the disruption and damage to our planet, White still insists that the underlying cause was Christianity and people’s goals to please God.

Pope Francesco on the other hand, is adamant that religion is what will save the ecosystem. He not only thought it vital to clarify that maiming, disrespecting, and destroying the Earth are sins, but also reinforcing the idea that humans are a part of nature and as a result, have a duty to protect and take care of the natural world. He refers to the Earth as a “sister” to solidify his point and appeal to people’s emotional connections to family due to his whole aim being based on uniting people as one through common beliefs, while also spreading awareness to the ignorant of the crisis in order to combat the current issue plaguing the world.

At one pole, you have someone declaring that Christianity is the sole purpose of ecological despair, but on the other, you have a Christian leader declaring the opposite. I personally don’t believe either due to a lack of connection to any sort of religion and therefore see no problem or solution in religious views; which leads me to think about what the actual reason for the obstacles that nature is facing today and whether the cause is because of humans or some other greater idea that hasn’t yet been discovered or discussed.

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