There are quite a few off-the-shelf assumptions for folks who want to be 'serious' in a culturally-normative way. These include saying that:
- The Catholic Church is
- Harsh and rigid and uncaring
- Kills people
- 'Not letting' them do whatever screwball thing is in fashion at the moment
- Christianity destroys the environment
- This one's a perennial favorite
Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 1:28 - might conclude that God gave animals, plants, and the rest of creation to Man to exploit.
Then, in this alternative reality, the plutocratic oppressors who ripped bread from the starving lips of the poor will die of old age and cirrhosis of the liver.
And shivering victims of oppression will be left with a dead planet.
Well, dying anyway.
Or pretty sick.
And not at all the way it was back in the 'Good Old Days:' which ended around, say 1850. Or 1492. Or whenever.1
I think being selfish is wrong.
I think it's wrong to live with no concern about what happens to folks who will come after I'm dead. I'm a practicing Catholic, so I must keep the needs of future generations in mind.
Like I said, Genesis 1 has a verse or two which could suggest that the Judeo-Christian world view is horribly sick, twisted, and delusional. And encourages people to ravage the land and poison the seas.
In order to take that notion seriously, you have the 'right' attitude to begin with, read the selected verses really fast, and not think about it too much.
It helps if you take England and America of the late 19th century as your reference point for what is 'real.' I think that's fairly easy to do, particularly for folks who grew up in America during the last 50 years or so. Maybe elsewhere, too: but American culture(s) is/are the one(s) I know best.2
Which brings up the question of whether this country is more of a melting pot - or crazy quilt. And that's another topic. (April 1, 2011)
I don't think we're even 'moderate.' But never mind me: I've got the authority of "some guy with a blog."
Let's see what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about animals, people, and God:
- Animals are for our use, not the other way around
- We can't 'do anything we want' with animals
- Human beings are
- "Sic Transit Gloria Bunny - Cinnamon, of Disapproving Rabbits"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (June 22, 2011)
- "Blogging, the Vatican, and Getting a Grip"
(April 9, 2011)
ArchaeologyPaleontology, Science, and Wishful Thinking"
(October 12, 2010)
- "Catholics are Different: No Argument There"
(May 10, 2010)
- " 'God Created Man in His Image' wasn't Written by an American"
(January 25, 2010)
1 Assuming that science and technology would end poverty and hunger disease and make everything just about perfect actually made a little sense in the late 19th century. I think we tend to forget what happened before antibiotics, mass production, and steam power got many of us out from behind a horse-drawn plow.
Oh, by the way, the best and brightest (just ask them) keep insisting that:
WE'RE ALLAnd have been, at least since I started paying attention to the latest 'End Times Bible Prophecy' wannabe-bestselling authors, and their secular equivalents.
Aside from the 'dust to dust' aspect of the human experience, there's a little bit of fact behind the secular analog of 'End Times Prophecies.'
Genesis 1:28 is where you'll find " 'Be fertile and multiply...'." Sometime this year, I'm told, there's going to be an estimated 7,000,000,000 people living on Earth.
Taking fashionable assumptions seriously, that means that you'll start getting really hungry a few hours from when you first read this post. Then, about six to eight weeks from now, we'll all starve to death. ("Starvation Deaths, from "Dr. Dinesh Rao's Forensic Pathology" (© 2011))
Except maybe for a few cannibals.
If we run low on water first, it may take about 10 to 12 days for EVERYBODY YOU KNOW TO DIE!!!! HORRIBLY!!!!!! AND YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO!!!!!!!!
*Ahem* Seriously, we're radically over Earth's 'carrying capacity' right now. And have been for centuries. Millennia. If we weren't people, we'd be in trouble. And that's another topic:
- "The Pope, Science, and Technology: My Take"
(October 30, 2010)
- "Science, Religion, and being Catholic"