Environmental theory and collection of ideas/Environmentalism and faith

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We can find many things on Earth with which we are not satisfied. We are not satisfied that we should kill animals for food, and we are not satisfied either that we should take care of removing our defecation. We are not satisfied that society obliges us for many things, and we are not satisfied either if criminals attack us. We are not satisfied with the morality of the people, nor are we satisfied with religions that make the morality of the people better, if those religions are false. But even if we were satisfied with the Earthly world, we would not be satisfied with the consciousness that we have to die. If we are harmed by these and other imperfections of our Earthly life, and we dislike it, that means that we go closer to a life which we wish. If we want to go even closer to the happy life, the place of which may be called Heaven, then it is worth of thinking on how probable is its existence, and what can we do for making it more probable to get there.

The first world religions of history tried to answer these questions too, and it may be the cause of their success. These religions were usually built around a person who was considered infallible and possessing supernatural powers, and who taught in a new way, and whose authority has grown with the spread of the religion - and afterwards, the statements attributed to the founder were proven by authority. Such an authoritarian religion was Christianity, for example. By time, it turned out that some of its statements contradict mankind's scientific advancements. Afterwards, many people ceased to be Christian, but did not cease to like the principles which they considered good in Christianity: the humanists still liked ethics, and the deists still had faith in God. In a similar manner, we may believe that wonders are possible and we can go to Heaven. However, we can approach God by understanding, and not by blind faith. The discipline which studies the arguments for the existence of God, God's attributes and God's will, is called Natural Theology. It is called so because the source of its knowledge is Nature which existed before humankind, and not sacred texts which could have been authored by wise men too.

Here we can observe that Natural Theology and environmentalism do good to each other, because the source of the knowledge about God should be protected. We may conjecture that it is also God's will that we should protect the environment, to keep his creation as beautiful as before. If we improve this world, it would be justice for us to get to a better world. Thus protecting the environment can be one aspect of the faith in God or Heaven, and because of this, protecting the true faith in God can be one aspect of environmentalism. That is why Natural Theology deserves some space here. Natural Theology is compatible not only with environmentalism, but with other religions and science, too. Other religions can have Natural Theology as a supplementary source of faith, a subject in school, a protocol between religions, or even a spiritual movement. Science is not complete either without the study of God's possible existence. Unlike the sacred texts, the teachings of Natural Theology can grow and become more and more perfect. So Natural Theology is like science, and it can be real science if it uses the methodology of real science - which is not less, but more strict than 20th century science.

If we believe in Natural Theology but not in religions, one question may arise in us: if God exists, why did he allow and probably support so many false religions? There can be different answers to this question, for example, that the religions God supported were better than those religions beside them, or that God wanted to teach us how weak we are. It is also possible that exactly those religions lived for a long time which had the support for survival of that specific religion among their inner values, and God did support them not specifically for their ethical values. Therefore we can imagine humankind's knowledge about God as a convergent series, and the successful religions as points on that series, which help us in our personal convergence towards a proper relationship with God. If not, and we do not believe in God, Natural Theology is still good to show the progress from tradition and authority to reason and better foundations.

Call for more arguments to support or disprove this theory or ideas!

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Thomas Paine - The Age of Reason (1794, 1795, 1807)

William Paley - Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity (1809, 12th edition London: Printed for J. Faulder)

Sándor Kőrösi Csoma (or Alexander Csoma Korosi) - The Life and Teachings of Buddha (1836–1890; Calcutta, 1957)

Cafer S. Yaran - Islamic Thought on the Existence of God: With Contributions from Contemporary Western Philosophy of Religion (Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change Series IIA, Islam, Volume 16, 2003, printed in the USA)

Lee Strobel - The Case for a Creator (Zondervan, 2004)