was Name changes in Massonia>now fundamentalist Christians and their views

Val Gillman hortma1000@auburnmich.com
Sun, 20 Jan 2013 17:13:31 PST
Lou, I often get frustrated with *some* fundamentalist Christians and their 
views but here is another take on our belief. God said we were the keepers 
of the world and  it is our responsibility to treat animals and the Earth 
itself in a kind and wise way.  This seems like the common view among my 
church family.
Valerie G.

Dylan, I don't know what your beliefs are, so I can't criticize them. I was 
responding to your suggestion that we ought to restrict or reject the 
"reductionist, materialist" worldview because it makes conservation more 
difficult. We should not accept a worldview just because it makes our 
conservation work easier. We should accept the worldview that best agrees 
with our current evidence. Honesty is the best policy in conservation. And 
the best evidence we have today is that Darwinian evolution explains all the 
beautiful forms of life on this planet, including our own. Do you doubt 

I also disagree with your claim that this view makes conservation harder 
(and I speak from experience, as I  have spent the last few decades 
conserving cloud forests in the third world). People can be made to 
understand the ecosystem services a cloud forest provides,based on science. 
They can learn to experience increased empathy with other forms of life, 
when they come to realize that other mammals are literally our cousins, not 
some distinct class of unthinking, unfeeling entities created just for our 

Non-materialist views of the world vary greatly in their degree of 
conservation-friendliness. Fundamentalist Christians are often the least 
friendly towards conservation, because many of them believe god made 
everything just to serve us. Many also believe apocalyptic myths about "end 
times", making conservation a silly goal. The US has even had a Secretary of 
the Interior, James Watt, who believed such things, and conservation during 
his term became a joke. On the other hand, much nature still survives in 
India, in spite of immense poverty and overpopulation, just because of Hindu 
respect for animal life  (and Jainist respect for all life).  Yet in either 
case, we should not reject or accept these worldviews because of their 
impact on conservation. We should evaluate them based on whether they are 
true or not.

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