This past week we discussed the culpability of Christianity in the environment. This idea was taken through two perspectives.
Lynn White claims that Christianity made gave man the incentive to exploit nature at their own expense. Essentially, God planned nature’s existence for the benefit of man, where the world is the hands of man. On the other hand, Saint Francis claims that man – like all creatures in the world – were created equally, and man was just the resulting culprit of a superior being.
As different as they may seem, these claims share some similarities. For example, they both agree on the fact that in some way shape or form, a change to our environment has occurred due to an association between man and god. Whether or not these similarities cause a consequence to the environment, is a whole different discussion. Both of these arguments are formed on many different layers. In terms of Lynn White, this author agrees on more than one culprit of our environment. White also discussed western traditions, and medieval influence to provide content to the culpability of Christianity. With the support of the previous context, White goes on to explain the scientific reasoning as to why Saint Francis is wrong. In this case, they state “Both our present science and our present technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecologic crisis can be expected from them alone”. With so many layers to each claim the solution to our ecologic crisis seems scarce.
However, the differences between the arguments of Lynn White and Saint Francis propose a defined cause. In terms of White, they claim that since the roots of our ecologic crisis involves christianity, then it must involve christiany to solve these problems. In terms of Saint Francis, he doesn’t state that any entity is the culprit – rather – what occurs as a result of man is a result of fate. Furthermore, Saint Francis proposes no solution.
Therefore in conclusion, with no clear definition on Christianity’s motives with the environment, we cannot come to a conclusive answer as to who is at fault.