Author Topic: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton  (Read 1580 times)

Offline Regullus

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"Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« on: October 13, 2005, 10:27:51 AM »
                     http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/speeches_quote05.html
                         

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT


                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Crichton

 
  I thought the religious analogy was imperfect but interesting. As some of us move away from a belief in a higher being, do we search for a replacement?
 


 Fixed link. Hey Cyber! :)

                         
                         
« Last Edit: October 13, 2005, 11:46:59 AM by Regullus »

Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2005, 10:56:14 AM »
fix yer first link ple-ase   :-*

 ;)
Stupid is as stupid does.

Offline fcm

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Re: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2005, 03:24:57 PM »
Chrichton doesn't "believe in" global warming, I take it?

Personally, as an "environmentalist" I'm just a litte peeved at an anaolgy being made between it and religion. Why is it that everyone has to force innane analogies between everything and religion? As much as I loved Jurassic Park, I find what Chrichton has to say somewhat far-fetched. You can fit way too many things into the template of "Judeo-Christianity."

Beyond that, out of everyone in the environmentalist lobbying group I worked for during the summer, not one perscribed to Chrichton's "Eden"-craving. Even people in hardcore nature-communes, like Dancing Rabbit don't believe that everyone in the world should abandon science and all cars and electricty. That's stupid and fanatical.

Yes, if you want to misunderstand the purpose of real envrionmentalistis, I can see how you can make the argument that maybe it's kind-of-sort-of like a religion, but as it really is -- the vast majority of environmentalists are pissed off consumers that want big companies and the government to be more freaking responsible. It's a political movement.

Actually, reading this thing over, I hate the people Chrichton is describing . . . people I consider obnoxious hippies. Ah-ha, see, Chrichton is saying that envrionmentalism needs to stop being treated like a religion and I agree, though I never considered it pseudo-religious in any sense -- just thought that certain obnoxious people needed to shut up.

So look at that, I misunderstood everything up until now. Go Chrichton. Yay for Jurassic Park!


Umm. I can't really answer your orgininal question, Regullus. My philosophy professor says that humans are naturally spiritual beings and always gravitate towards some sort of religion and or meaning in their lives . . . it's one of those ontological things. You have to admit, without something to assign meaning to life with, existence is pretty damn bleak and worthless. But I'm no philosopher.




edited because I don't know the difference between UBB/HTML message boards.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2005, 11:46:45 AM by fcm »
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Offline jester

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Re: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2005, 04:26:21 PM »
If that article should do anything to you, then it should undermine your belief in the basic tenets of christian beliefs.

Quote
If Eden is a fantasy that never existed, and mankind wasn't ever noble and kind and loving, if we didn't fall from grace, then what about the rest of the religious tenets?
So christian religion is but a hoax, because there has never been a garden of eden?

His basic assumptions about what constitutes enivironmentalist proposals and what constitutes a 'religion' are a bit shallow. This is a hard read, because he is too long-winded, obvious and completely unfunny with his arguments. After three paragraphs you can say where he is going and, sadly, that is exactly where he is going.

So don't bother!

If this was a statement against zealotry as such, it would have been a bit bolder, but as it stands it is just baseless drivel of a writer of pulp fiction.

Quote
I would remind the committee that in the end, it is the proper function of government to set standards for the integrity of information it uses to make policy. ...... In an information society, public safety depends on the integrity of public information. And only government can perform that task.
(emphasis added)

I found this piece much more interesting: http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/senate.html
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Offline Regullus

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Re: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2005, 05:56:01 PM »
                            http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,9865,1591084,00.html

 The above link is a discussion on how or why we may be hot wired for religion.


Quote
The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.


Quote
Environmentalism needs to be absolutely based in objective and verifiable science, it needs to be rational, and it needs to be flexible. And it needs to be apolitical.


Quote
Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost.



     Jester - I am surprised that you find these sentiments, trite as they may be, so obviously distasteful. I don't believe the "pulp fiction" writer is against the environment

     fcm - wonderful response.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2005, 06:18:14 PM by Regullus »

Offline jester

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Re: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2005, 06:18:58 PM »
I would subscribe to the idea, though it is somewhat unscientific that there is a spiritual bond between identical twins, but the idea of a religious gene is tricky. So when can wipe out fanatics with genetical engeneering? :P

Religion is a bonding process and every bonding process benefits the group cohesion thus benefits evolution. How the first cited darwinist could not see that is beyond me.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

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Offline Regullus

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Re: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2005, 06:43:19 PM »
Quote
Religion is a bonding process and every bonding process benefits the group cohesion thus benefits evolution.

 Some would argue that religion/dogmas/doctrine are divisive. Perhaps it is a fallacious claim? Perhaps evolutionary psychology is flawed? Or perhaps people will turn anything into religion?

Quote
So when can wipe out fanatics with genetical engeneering?

 Mainstream Protestants?

Offline Eral

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Re: "Environmentalism as Religion" by M. Crichton
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2005, 08:27:56 PM »
I agree with fcm that is not religion per se that humans need, more a sense that life is meaningful and purposeful. This is often supplied by religion with it's explanations and answers and rules for living. You have to be brave to be an existentialist.

The divisions that arise because of religion are due to the fact that a lot of people who espouse particular religions ignore the bit that says "Have respect for others. Do not harm people", and instead find bits of doctrine that justify the particular behaviour they want to engage in. Religion is supposed to help us to be better people. The fact that a depressingly large number of people seem incapable of actually following the rules they proclaim to espouse isn't the fault of religion. That is the fault of the humans.
The idea that we have a gene for religion is interesting. If you think about it, one of the precepts of a lot of religions is refraining from conflict and co-operating. That really could be described as a survival strategy. Conquering territory and amassing resources was probably the first survival instinct or strategy. The need to co-operate probably arose later, most likely among potential victims of conquerors, or as the need to find food to survive became less pressing as people learnt to husband resources. So maybe we are hard-wired for religion, just as we seem to be for conflict.
(And mainstream Protestants can't be filed under the heading "Fanatics", Regull, you cheeky girl. The "mainstream" is an indicator of this. Even my grandad believed this. He said to me once,"And don't you listen to anyone who tells you Protestants are bad people, gertie. I knew a Protestant from Dublin, once, and he was a very nice fella.")

I think fcm's first reading of the article weas correct: I bet Michael doesn't believe in global warming. I am with jester on Crichton's article: it's smooth, but exactly who is he criticising? Are there a lot of people going on about "Eden"? He seems to suggest environmentalists are romantics who hamper Science and Progress, and are responsible for the deaths of millions of people in Africa. (Umm Michael, I don't think we can blame environmentalists for that.) Having established this, he pops in a few remarks in favour of his pet ideas. We know people can come up with conflicting studies to support different ideas. Crichton here is saying "Let's be analytical about this" and then goes on to use emotive rather than substantiated arguments. He does it well, and makes a nice appearance of rational discussion - but doesn't say who exactly has been dominating environmental policy so detrimentally, and who he thinks will do a much better job. I know he doesn't want to get sued - but he could be more specific on the policies he thinks are the go. All in all, I admire the persuasive strategy of the piece, but I do like my propaganda properly labelled.
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