Essay on Our Attempts to Control the Natural World and the Environmental Crisis

Essay on Our Attempts to Control the Natural World and the Environmental Crisis

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Our Attempts to Control the Natural World and the Environmental Crisis

As reports of ecological degradation increase around the world,
human concern about environmental issues is also heightening. Scientists,
philosophers and others have all begun the process of determining the
causes of the environmental crisis and trying to sort out how to fix these
problems. In this essay, I would like to examine two of the most widely
expounded philosophies on the cause of environmental degradation in the
Western hemisphere. The first philosophy states that the Judeo-Christian
religious tradition is primarily to blame while the second philosophy
labels technology as the main culprit of the environmental crisis. I will
argue that neither of these two philosophies provide full explanations for
the current world situation. Furthermore, I will suggest that the true
root of environmental degradation stems from human values, particularly
the value which humans place upon having control and "freedom" from the
natural world.

As you all read, the philosophy that the Judeo-Christian religious
tradition is to blame for the environmental crisis was first expounded by
historian Lynn White in 1967. Although many people have supported White's
theory, no one has been able to provide adequate factual proof for his
hypothesis. Further, his focus is too narrow to account for the extent of
environmental degradation in the modern world. I think that the
Judeo-Christian religion certainly played a role in the negligent
treatment of the Earth but it is not entirely too blame. Also, as Patrick
Dorel argues, the Judeo-Christian tradition can be interpreted to go
against White's theory and to support the notion that humans are intended

... middle of paper ...

...ists, we must learn to account for this power in world

Technology is not necessarily beyond human control but it is time
that we realized how out of control the power of technology can become.
From biological weapons to environmental destruction, technology is being
used in a destructive way throughout the modern world. Rather than trying
to blame technology or religion, the step we need to take now is to figure
out how to reduce the amount of damage which we do to ourselves and the
earth. This step involves evaluating a whole range of modern issues, from
politics to individual values to global economic systems. As with
ecosystems, all of our actions have unexpected consequences and we must
learn to think more about these consequences.
Sources Cited

Tiles, Mary Oberdiek, Hans. Living in a Technological Culture. Routledge, 1995

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