a Christian response to the ecological moral hazard
November 16, 2008
I’ve been wondering what the unique ethical response to ecology from a Christian perspective would be for the past while, and if there would actually be one! Mostly, I think that there is no unique response, and that the ethics would look similar whether from a Christian or humanist perspective. But David Keith talks about the moral hazard regarding ecology and geoengineering: if geoengineering (basically fixing the atmosphere after we messed it up) is possible on a large scale, then it lessens the motivation to stop messing up the ecology, since we can just fix it up later.
So, the unique Christian response? Well, from Christian ethics ecological awareness is not simply a response to a messed up ecology, but inherent to Christian ethics (yes, I know that the Christian tradition doesn’t have a good record, but there is also the mystics who had a radical approach to nature). So, geoengineering doesn’t lessen the Christian responsibility one wee bit! Could the same be said from a humanist perspective? Probably, since, as Keith points out, geoengineering can’t be the final solution, but even if it weren’t so, the Christian response would be to care for ecology no matter how well we are able to just fic it up later…
What do you think? Is there something like a unique Christian ethic when it comes to ecology?