Response to 3.5.4, discussion question 1

Here are very short summaries of three contrasting explanations of ecological crisis:

(i)   The shift in modern western thought away from Christianity and to a mechanistic view of reality in which non-human nature is only a resource to be used for ‘utility maximization’ has made ecological crisis inevitable. (3.1)

(ii)  Technical solutions for current environmental problems have not yet been found, even if the history of previous ecological problems suggests that they will be. (3.2)

(iii) Christianity’s doctrine that humans are given dominion over other creatures has been (mis)understood as meaning that humans may exercise unchecked domination over the rest of nature, and this has legitimized ecological destruction. This was Lynn White Jr’s argument. (3.3)

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