03.31.2010 0

Too Hot Not to Note: Rubin – Environmentalism as Religion

  • On: 04/22/2010 09:24:32
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • ALG Editor’s Note: In the following featured oped from the Wall Street Journal, Paul Rubin shows the religious qualities of radical environmentalism:

     

    Rubin: Environmentalism as Religion

    By Paul H. Rubin

    Many observers have made the point that environmentalism is eerily close to a religious belief system, since it includes creation stories and ideas of original sin. But there is another sense in which environmentalism is becoming more and more like a religion: It provides its adherents with an identity.

    Scientists are understandably uninterested in religious stories because they do not meet the basic criterion for science: They cannot be tested. God may or may not have created the world—there is no way of knowing, although we do know that the biblical creation story is scientifically incorrect. Since we cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, science can’t help us answer questions about the truth of religion as a method of understanding the world.

    But scientists, particularly evolutionary psychologists, have identified another function of religion in addition to its function of explaining the world. Religion often supplements or replaces the tribalism that is an innate part of our evolved nature.

    Original religions were tribal rather than universal. Each tribe had its own god or gods, and the success of the tribe was evidence that their god was stronger than others.

    But modern religions have largely replaced tribal gods with universal gods and allowed unrelated individuals from outside the tribe to join. Identification with a religion has replaced identification with a tribe. While many decry religious wars, modern religion has probably net reduced human conflict because there are fewer tribal wars. (Anthropologists have shown that tribal wars are even more lethal per capita than modern wars.)

    It is this identity-creating function that environmentalism provides. As the world becomes less religious, people can define themselves as being Green rather than being Christian or Jewish.

    Consider some of the ways in which environmental behaviors echo religious behaviors and thus provide meaningful rituals for Greens.

    Get full story here from the Wall Street Journal.


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