Dogmas are Killing the Earth

environmental-destruction

by Marcia Mueller

We continue our carelessness and destruction of the planet, ignoring all the science that warns of catastrophe, both for human beings and even more for other species, many of whom we have already driven to extinction. And for all the arrogance about our human exceptionalism, intelligence, and capacity for rational thought, we go down the path of destruction placing more on faith in institutions that are becoming dysfunctional than on the accumulating evidence. We need to evaluate if we can afford to act on past beliefs in an imperiled world.

First, there is religious faith. As noted in an excellent article on this blog, the Church continues to enforce its past doctrines and dogmas. The Catholic faith bases its ban on contraception on its belief in Natural Law and that belief rests on two foundations: The first is that all things need to work toward their natural end; the second is that God created sex for the purpose of procreation. Thus, interfering with that natural end by using birth control is immoral.

The Church ban on abortion is based on the belief that at the moment of conception a human life with an immortal soul is created. These dogmas obviously cannot be proved and are matters of faith, which the Church continues to promulgate and which many Catholics follow regardless of the consequences of overpopulation: poverty, resource depletion, habitat destruction, species extinction.

Other fundamentalist religions essentially follow the same belief system, banning abortion, banning aid programs might provide family planning in foreign countries, and trying to legalize personhood for fertilized eggs. (All this while devaluing nonhuman lives and ignoring the extinction of whole species!)
So with its dogma-driven population policies, we cannot rely on Religion to play a part in controlling human reproduction.

Then there is faith in the family. The family has been the building block of society in producing and raising children. Yet we see more family breakdown, more children in poverty even in wealthy countries, more need for foster care in the light of abuse, addiction, and abandonment, more family members needing multiple jobs to survive. All make family life more precarious.

In poor countries with high population, unemployment, few social safety nets, and little access to family planning clinics or public education, the family may also be unable to fulfill its duties. Ill-cared for and undereducated offspring have little hope for better lives and can add to the discontent and strife we see in multiple areas of the world.

There are cultures that promote large families so that the children can provide for their aging parents. Yet studies in some countries, such as India, increasingly reveal that the old customs are breaking down. Elderly people are left homeless and without care as the younger generations seek better lives and more opportunities without the burden of elderly relatives.

So with all the social and economic pressures in the face of population growth, we cannot place as much faith in families to function as they have in the past.

The old injunctions to procreate come from a time when the earth was sparsely populated and mortality was high. But the social taboos and dogma against population control continue. They are reinforced by economic ideology (capitalism) that focuses on the need for continued growth and development, no matter what the consequences for the earth and for those left behind without the chance to participate.

Reviewing the problems of overpopulation in the light of climate change, environmental destruction, and the suffering and extinction of other species, we should ask ourselves if “clinging” to our faith in the institutions that are becoming more dysfunctional is working. Abandoning dogma, adopting children already here who need families, foregoing children altogether and developing lifestyles that do not revolve around parenting, and forming other types of families are options that can benefit everyone, including other species and the planet.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Dogmas are Killing the Earth

  1. Someone once told me that when you start having children, you become more conservative. Paraphrasing what I once overheard: All the diseases in the world, all the disasters, all the famine, all the wars, all the crime, all the accidents, so on…can’t put a dent in the surplus human-overpopulation. Human overpopulation was included in the documentary “Food Choices” on Netflix. I learned that every four days a million people are added to the planet!

    I do not subscribe to the notion “the sanctity of human life.” Human life is a creation to be protected and defended, NOT a “divinity” to be worshiped! Except, of course, for the faith-based fools who believe “Man” is made in the image of “God” and, thus, in a sense “divine”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s why #AntiNatalism is an important sub-issue. There’s a Facebook troll named Jake Cortez (his profile photo is a bee) who promotes overpopulation. He trolls anti-natalists, blocks them, then unblocks them, trolls them again, and then gets blocked. There is another Facebook troll named Christina Grierson (lives in La Mesa, CA) who purports to be a bad-ass vegan, but gets so threatened by anti-natalist memes she makes baseless attacks against anti-natalists. All because she has a kid. Very insecure.

    Like

  3. The problem is and has long been – for at least the past century of more – that the people with the higher I.Q.’s see the problem and are complying, having smaller families or none at all and observing sustainability protocols while the less educated or astute keep flooding the planet with humans and maximizing waste. These same people are the ones who eventually do the greatest harm eschewing recycling and compassion while pursuing ever-more flagrant lifestyles that use up precious resources, push factory-farming to the limit and reuse little if anything with little or no regard to the global consequences.
    The fact there are even people who still think this way is bad enough. But the fact they will soon be or have already become the overwhelming majority and continue to “fill the earth” is terrifying. And the fact they have their young indoctrinated with these unfounded mindless beliefs so the destruction grows geometrically is criminal.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: dogmas killing Earth – vegan anarchist primitivist

  5. Good article. Explains the horrible situation very well. But I didn’t see any solutions nor do I know of any. Very depressing.

    Like

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