General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Do Christians believe in conservation?

Asked by LostInParadise (28950points) November 28th, 2008

They should.  If you think that the Universe was constructed according to God’s plan it follows that knowingly wiping out species is thwarting that plan.  For creationsists the argument is even stronger. They believe that each time a species goes extinct there is an irrevocable reduction in the total number of species.  The biodiversity argument holds for believers as much as for non-believers.  Having a wide variety of species acts as a stabilizer.  Each time a species goes extinct there is a greater risk for those species that remain. And we cannot distance ourselves from the rest of nature and say that humans will not be affected.  The very oxygen we breathe comes courtesy of plants.I know that there is a relatively small portion of lunatics (I make no apology for my intolerance) who believe in the coming of the Apocalypse and who see environmental devastation as just another sign of the second coming.  Apart from this group, it seems that believers should favor consertation as much as, or perhaps even more than, us non-believers.

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23 Answers

cdwccrn's avatar

Absolutely.

delirium's avatar

I’ve found that some do, and some only concern themselves with doing things to ‘get to heaven’, viewing the world as a sort of initiation round instead of seeing earth as the priceless resource it is.

Some believe in life after earth… And some realize that earth is limited and precious and fragile and All We Have.

peziak's avatar

There has been a lot of preaching in evangelical churches against the existence of global warming. But this anti-environment ideology has mostly stemmed from the Republican party who sought to galvanize that political agendas by coercing the minds of their religious base.

Anti-environment ideology has even integrated into creationism teachings. Another reason why creationism is just made up bunk based on no facts or science

MrItty's avatar

” If you think that the Universe was constructed according to God’s plan it follows that knowingly wiping out species is thwarting that plan. ”

I don’t follow that logic at all. If you think the Universe was constructed according to God’s plan, than surely you think that humanity in general and you in particular were also constructed according to God’s plan, no? From that, doesn’t it logically follow that everything you do is in fact in accordance with God’s plan? So if you wipe out the Dodo bird, it must be because God’s plan was to create human beings to wipe out the Dodo bird.

I’m not saying I agree with this, by any means. Just that it doesn’t logically follow that “all christians should be conservationalists”.

laureth's avatar

Some Christians believe in conservation. Some Christians don’t.

Christians are a wide and varied subset of people. They’ve splintered so much that it’s hard to get them to agree on anything, even things that would seem as basic to their theology as whether the Pope is the earthly representative of Jesus, whether the communion wafers are symbolic or actual pieces of flesh, or whether or not women are allowed in the ministry. I’d be surprised if they could all agree on something as esoteric as how to properly take care of the Earth.

benseven's avatar

The simple answer is that in the Bible, God entrusts care of the planet, animals etc to Adam and Eve (i.e humankind). For a Christian to ‘not believe in conservation’ is like refusing to believe the ground exists – stupid.

Sometimes I admire the irony of how narrow-minded folk in this community are when it comes to slating all of Christianity as narrow-minded themselves. Pot, kettle, black. Just because you’ve had poor experiences of Christianity / Christians doesn’t mean we’re all the same.

The vast majority of well-balanced Christians would concur with science, that Wafers are symbolic, the Pope is just a dude, and the earth needs taken care of.

Welcome to Fluther, where we welcome users regardless of colour, sexual preference, lifestyle choices, education or faith: though if you happen to harbour a personal faith in line with Christianity, we reserve the right to slate you in the name of reason (and all the bad experiences we’ve previously had…)

MrItty's avatar

You realize, of course, benseven, that you just effectively called all (or at least most) Catholics in the world “not well balanced”. Because the idea that the Pope is an earthly representative of Christ, and that the communion wafer IS the flesh of Christ, are fundamental tenets of their religion.

So much for not being narrow minded….

seVen's avatar

here are two great articles that are backed with the Bible verses :

How should a Christian view environmentalism?
http://www.gotquestions.org/environmentalism-Christian.html

How should a Christian view global warming?
http://www.gotquestions.org/global-warming.html

benseven's avatar

@MrItty – I accept your point about my poorly-worded response, and I don’t mean to infer those within catholicism aren’t well-balanced. The wafer debate is down to a literal vs. non-literal interpretation of Christ saying ‘This is my body… This is my blood’ – my experience of Catholic friends (and of science) is that such a transformation doesn’t occur, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish. I’d best back out on the Pope point because I’m not well versed enough in the different sides of the argument to try and deny / affirm any one viewpoint, and I know when I’m out of my depth!

laureth's avatar

Try telling 1,100,000,000 Catholics that the Pope is just a dude.

My point was, in fact, that NOT all Christians are the same. In the ranks of Christianity, there are (among other philosophies): Quiverfull, who believe in having as many children as physically possible; there are people who are earth-conscious and against overpopulation and may even follow the green-letter Bible and there are those that believe that the end is nigh so we might as well use up our resources. There are those that believe that Jesus wants you to spank your wife as well as those who believe in the inherent dignity of Christian women. There are those that think that medical care is useless as well as many who go to doctors. There are those who believe in the symbolic as well as literal presence of Jesus in the eucharist as well.

If anybody here is saying that all Christians are the same, it is more likely you, benseven, not me.

shadling21's avatar

Not all Christians believe the same thing. I say this in response to laureth’s, mritty’s, and benseven’s debate as well as to the original question.

Yes, there are extremists who believe that the destruction of the earth is a sign of end times and welcome it with open arms. And there are people on the opposite end of the spectrum who are hyper-concerned about caring for the earth because of the responsibility God placed on them.

In this case, it’s hard to generalize. You’d have to take a poll to see where most people stand, and as most secular North Americans are sympathetic to environmental causes, then I’m guessing that many Christians are, too.

tinyfaery's avatar

The fact that seVen and benseven have +1000 lurve does not really support the assertion that fluther does not welcome the Christian community.

AstroChuck's avatar

Here’s Emo Philips’ take on Christian diversity:

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, “Stop! Don’t do it! There’s so much to live for!”. He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, are you religious or atheist?” “Religious.” I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?” “Christian.” I said, “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?” “Protestant.” I said, “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?” “Baptist.” I said, “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” “Baptist Church of God.” I said, “Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?” “Reformed Baptist Church of God.” I said, “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915.” I said , “Die, heretic scum,” and pushed him off.

benseven's avatar

@tinyfaery – No other group, religious or otherwise, gets such a bad rep on Fluther. The majority of my Lurve points were awarded on the grounds of technical support or sarcasm. Feeling welcome is another matter entirely.

tinyfaery's avatar

I wish judi were here. I think she feels welcome.

shadling21's avatar

There does seem to be a separation between theist users and atheist ones on here. As an atheist, I value having the theist’s opinion on here. As long as we can all find similarities and respect our differences, then we should be fine.

PupnTaco's avatar

@seven: while I’m sure you get some kind of Roman-times validation out of positioning Christians as “persecuted outsiders,” the reality is we respond accordingly only to obnoxious comments, not attack someone’s faith.

benseven's avatar

OK, why the ‘Roman-times’ validation bit? Exactly what I’m talking about – and I’m not usually so obnoxious, so that doesn’t ring true.

Ria777's avatar

@LostInParadise, more a statement than a question. “Christians should believe in conservation…” (gives reasons.) if you feel that way, go to a christian messageboard and express your views there.

PupnTaco's avatar

@seven: doesn’t it feel more authentic to position Christianity as “persecuted” as it was when the bulk of M/M/L/J was written?

fireside's avatar

to answer the question as posed:
There are 34,000 sects of Christianity and some 2 billion Christians.
I agree that it would be hard to assume that they all believe the same thing about conservation.

that said
I don’t really agree with “Each time a species goes extinct there is a greater risk for those species that remain.”
The extinction of dinosaurs did not create a greater risk for all the species that remained.

for the rest of the discussion
@benseven – Fluthrers seem to be pretty open and accepting of anyone who clearly expresses their point of view. There is no need for victimization if you simply express your beliefs and are able to defend them. I believe in Christ’s message and teachings and have no problem engaging in lengthy debate over Progressive Revelation or the Oneness of science and religion. After explaining my point of view, many people (theist and non) seem to agree with or at least accept my position. But if they don’t, I don’t take it as disrespectful because they are entitled to their own beliefs.

PupnTaco's avatar

^ great answer

aidje's avatar

I’m at a Christian college where we have a senior capstone course with a different topic each year. This year the topic is the environment. Whatever a group’s project is, they have to integrate not only everyone’s disciplines, but also our faith. Some people love it, others think it’s stupid and irrelevant.

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