Essay Prompt #5: TheAnthropocene and Climate Change(From TheAnthropocene and Climate Change powerpoint).“Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish and the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)“This modern, instrumental view of matter as primarily for human use arises in part from a dualistic Western philosophical view of mind and matter. Adapted into Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religious perspectives, this dualism associates mind with the soul as a transcendent spiritual entity given sovereignty and dominion over matter. Mind is often valued primarily for its rationality in contrast to a lifeless world. At the same time we ensure our radical discontinuity from it. Interestingly, views of the uniqueness of the human bring many traditional religious perspectives into sync with modern instrumental rationalism.

In Western religious traditions, for example, the human is seen as an exclusively gifted creature with a transcendent soul that manifests the divine image and likeness. Consequently, this soul should be liberated from the material world. In many contemporary reductionist perspectives (philosophical and scientific) the human with rational mind and technical prowess stands as the pinnacle of evolution. Ironically, religions emphasizing the uniqueness of the human as the image of God meet market-driven applied science and technology precisely at this point of the special nature of the human to justify exploitation of the natural world. Anthropocentrism in various forms, religious, philosophical, scientific, and economic, has led, perhaps inadvertently, to the dominance of humans in this modern period, now called the Anthropocene.” (Introduction to the Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology (October 2016) by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim).

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