Our subjects cover: religion (Christian, Jewish and others); diet and lifestyle (vegan and vegetarian); and other miscellaneous subjects.

Loving Nature

To us, a person cannot fully love God unless he or she also loves God's creation:

whether it's expressed in the form of Mary's painting at the top of the page, or in Carol Vito's photo of this winter wonderland,

or through the gentle beauty of this mother and child drinking water,

or the beauty of this spotted touch-me-not,

or through this cat and rat who prove that Isaiah's prophecy of a peaceable kingdom (11:6-9) is a reality,

or through this peaceful encounter with a mouse in a tree.

Comments by Rod Preece - 12 Jan 2003

Yes, that's an excellent comment about the multitudinous meanings of nature. Arthur O. Lovejoy, the founder of the history of ideas discipline, enumerated more than 60 different and generally incompatible meanings and uses of the term in his "'Nature' as Aesthetic Norm", _Modern Language Notes_, 1927, and reprinted frequently thereafter.

I am somewhat surprised at the suggestion we should not interfere with nature - in whatever way we use that term. On balance - and I stress "on balance" - I would have thought that the development of the healing arts beyond any natural attributions we might possess (e.g. surgery, certain medicines acquired non-invasively, etc.) have been of benefit.

Perhaps learning to read and write, the development of a mass educational system, the invention of the printing press (without which the Bible would not be generally available), Pasteur's discoveries of the role of antibiotics, etc, etc., also have provided some advantages (as well as a few, but fewer, disadvantages). Had we not interfered with nature we would not be communicating to each other as we now do.

The reality is, of course, that our interference in nature has often been disastrous - for example, the great damage we have done to the ozone layer. But it does not follow from that consequence of human hubris that we should not interfere in nature; only that we should do it with far greater wisdom, and far greater care, and far greater respect. Indeed, we are now succeeding in repairing the damage we have done to the ozone layer; and we are doing it by once again interfering in nature. We have caused tremendous problems through global warming. It would be unwarranted to argue that we should not now interfere with nature yet again to undo our damage.

Yet even if we had not caused these problems there are still occasions when we should interfere. Should we not attempt to minimize the damage from earthquakes, from lightning? When we have, as we now have, a world population of cheetahs so genetically inbred that they will cease to exist in a few decades, should we not interfere? Indeed, we should, as we do. Genetic outbreeding programs are being fairly successful. But we should interfere more, not less, to help the population of cheetahs to survive.

Did not Noah interfere with Nature at the time of the great flood to ensure the continuation of the animal and human population?


Go on to Comments by Brett A. Bradley - 12 Jan 2003

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