Archive for January, 2006

Homage to Lynn White [Revised]

Friday, January 20th, 2006

A discussion of the destructive effects of the Christian attitude toward Nature

Why does Western culture believe it has the right if not the mandate to exploit nature? Why is this attitude so deeply rooted in our psyches that some of us can’t even imagine any other way of relating to nature? What is the root of this attitude? Human greed, human perversity? A biologically determined human nature?

According to historian Lynn White, Jr., Western society’s exploitation of nature is the logical working out of Christian teaching; it is, ironically, moral conduct in action. Simply put, the historical roots of the ecological crisis can be found in Christianity itself.

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