In this week’s Acton Commentary, Jay Richards looks at the ingrained tendency of many environmentalists to view man’s place in nature as fundamentally destructive. For people of faith, this is simply bad theology. Jay examines this anthropological error, and highlights the work of the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, a new coalition that is working to deepen religious reflection on environmental questions.
Environmental policies founded on faulty fundamentals can lead to disastrous consequences, as Jay points out.
Every environmental policy implemented by government authority, for instance, stems from someone’s views about the nature of man and man’s place in nature. If those views are anti-human, the policy probably will be anti-human as well. Consider the ban on DDT in the 1970s. The ban, which in hindsight we know was misguided, has resulted in the deaths of more than a million people a year. The vast majority of these deaths have been among the poor in developing countries.
Read the full text of “God and Man in the Environmental Debate” here.
The ISA has also published a new paper on environmental stewardship that includes the perspectives of science, ethics and theology. This paper should be required reading for people of faith who are concerned about the environment.