Rewriting Of Genese 1, Verses 26 to 31

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Rewriting Of Genese 1, Verses 26 to 31

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  • #12178
    Raven.
    Participant

    Dowgri, I hear what you are saying, but I think that the paper is dealing with the idea that humans feel that they have been granted a divine right to destroy the Earth. Once the sacred had been erased from the landscape, ecological destruction could then proceed with few qualms. Christianity has been instrumental in the promotion of this. I live in a Presbyterian part of the country and this view of dominance and entitlement is still strongly held. My veganism, for example, is often challenged with “well, animals were put here by God for us to use.”

    White ends his article with: “Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not.”
    I absolutely agree. We can throw money at the problem or devise complex technological fixes, but until we as a species rethink our relationship with Nature, I feel that we (and other species) will not emerge from this crisis intact. Instead of relying only on technological solutions, we also need to rediscover our part in Nature, our role.

    We need to re-wild our souls and become part of Nature, not continue with the illusion of being separate from it or above it. I feel that there is a shift towards this view in many young people today. The role of education becomes more important than ever in this respect, and schools are now incorporating environmental awareness into their curricula – not just in the sciences, but in citizenship, religious education and also in the ethos and operation of schools themselves. Environmental awareness, sustainability and outdoor learning are slowly, but surely, gaining prominence.

    Carl Sagan stated that “a religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later such a religion will emerge.”

    #12180
    Raven.
    Participant

    Apologies! Mis-spelled your name, Dowrgi!

    #12182
    Dave TheDruid-3X3
    Participant

    There was a Episode of Cosmos that dealt with those Philosophies and I found that Carl Sagan professed the Right Ideas.

    3X3

    #12186
    Raven.
    Participant

    Absolutely, Dave. He was one of those people that made us sit up and listen.

    #12187
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Morning Raven.

    I hear what you’re saying too. This is quite a long post, but I think it’s an interesting discussion that we’re having.

    I’ve just reread White’s 1967 article this morning. In terms of the article, I think it’s a little more nuanced than some people often make out. White asserts that practically all human development since the Pleistocene has changed the environment and this, he posits, is a natural consequence of any organism’s interaction with an ecosystem – using the analogy of a coral reel to illustrate the point. He sees the turning point as being the Industrial Revolution and then posits that this goes back to a Medieval attitude rooted in Western/Latin Christianity.

    Nevertheless, I find the idea that an idea of that humans have a right to “dominate” nature as an essentially Christian idea in the West, deriving from scripture, a little bit shaky to be honest – especially since there is the whole debate about the word (in translation) dominion anyway and that there are plenty of non-Western Christian examples of environmental destruction. The entire pre-Christian world was not some ecological, animist, nature-loving Golden Age. One point in particular, the type of plough that White mentions, the mould-board plough, actually first originated in China in the 5th – 6th centuries BCE and appeared in Northern Europe only in the 7th century CE. Whether the former influenced the latter or they both developed autonomously, I do not know, however, the fact that technological “mastery” over nature also arises outside of Christianity, is something which makes White’s conjecture a little difficult to sustain completely. Furthermore, White himself provides examples of Christian ecology and concern for the environment, notably St Francis of Assisi, which naturally leads me to question how such concerns could arise if they, as in the case of St Francis, were deeply rooted in Medieval, Western/Latin Christianity, which is the origin, according to White’s thesis, of the problem. It seems a bit paradoxical.

    One of white’s central theses is, as you mention, that the “roots of our trouble are largely” religious, which I think may be a little contentious. I think people create the religion they need – were there any harvest deities before agriculture or were they any smith gods before metallurgy? Moving on, I’m not sure about viewing Marxism as a Judaeo-Christian heresy either. It’s also a bit disappointing that little mention is made of the great Arabic-Islamic scholars who did indeed write on what we consider today as ecological concerns. I also find the idea that Christianity is anthropocentric problematical, I’m sure many would argue that it is theocentric: in Christianity, God is central – no one else. However, to be fair to White, he does differentiate and does not treat Christianity as some monolithic block, focusing more on a specific form of Christianity, which arose in one historical and geographical context.

    Nevertheless, it is an interesting article and it explores a view point in a novel (given the times) way. What I think White is proposing at the end is also interesting, he seems to indicate moving towards the Christianity of St Francis of Asissi. Given that the current Pope is Pope Francis and has definitely spoken out about and written on ecological concerns, this 1967 article seems all the more contemporary.

    In terms of your personal experience, it seems strange to me that any Christian would challenge someone for being a vegetarian or vegan. John Wesley advocated vegetarianism and William Cowherd, founder of the Bible Christian Church, was a staunch vegetarian and his church promoted vegetarianism. Members of this church went on to found the The Vegetarian Society in 1847, one of the oldest – if not the oldest – vegetarian societies in the world if I’m not mistaken. However, to any Christian trying to defend environmental destruction or lack of concern as being somehow justified by scripture, I would point out that there’s plenty of scripture to the contrary; moreover, you could simply ask whether the person in question thought that Jesus himself would advocate what goes on today; would Jesus advocate destroying and treating cruelly his Father’s creations? I think not somehow. Finally, the trouble with cherry-picking scripture to suit any whim was also noted by Shakespeare: “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12188
    david poole
    Participant

    I remember watching Cosmos when I was younger, I remember having the album that came with it and I used to love listening to that album.

    #12189
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    We need to re-wild our souls and become part of Nature, not continue with the illusion of being separate from it or above it. I feel that there is a shift towards this view in many young people today. The role of education becomes more important than ever in this respect, and schools are now incorporating environmental awareness into their curricula – not just in the sciences, but in citizenship, religious education and also in the ethos and operation of schools themselves. Environmental awareness, sustainability and outdoor learning are slowly, but surely, gaining prominence.

    I agree with this. We need to adopt a biocentric or ecocentric worldview and structure our societies to fit accordingly, with the caveat that we do not go down some nihilistic or misanthropic route along the way. All we have to do is to recast our roles into that of custodians and borrowers instead of owners and takers. It seems so simple, yet in reality it would mean a massive sea change in our worldview. If we could achieve this, then it would certainly be a new horizon in human development. The worrying thing is that I don’t think we have much time left.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12209
    Anonymous

    it is all about the land and the tribe, if you go pre christian you have the goddess coming from the land, and we have the community of the tribe. the tribe of pagans, so we can go back before the christians and find the tribe and the land, and then we can try to tolerate the christians, remember we have been tolerating them for a long time. we have to get along with them, and they need to recognize our earth religion as an equal religion. druids can incorporate many other religions, as long as we stay with the tribe and land. but always start with the land, and the awen of the land. for that is our source, then the druid tribes, there are 6 of them. 6 nations. I like the French druids and think they are very authentic. but the awen is from the land. the awen is in the trees and water and sky, and awen is what makes druidry.

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