Do you actually care if the human race goes extinct (assuming it won't happen in your lifetime)?
I see a lot of people brush off environmental issues like soil depletion, air and water quality, and climate change as though they don't really matter or are inevitable, so it's pointless to stress about it. It's true that most of these issues are long term problems outside the scope of a person's individual life, but it seems like most people don't really care about the long term survival of the human race. Assuming you will be able to live out the rest of your own life as normal, do you really care if the human race goes extinct sometime in the future? Why or why not?
I'll put it this way; It doesn't keep me awake at night.
While I acknowledge the existence of various problems I tend not to have a "dooms day" mindset when it comes to mankind's future.
An instructor once gave our class the following definition for intelligence. He said:
"Intelligence is the ability of an organism to adapt to it's environment."
I believe mankind will make the necessary adaptions to survive.
History has proven that necessity is the mother of all invention.
Technological breakthroughs are on the horizon.
In fact there have already been various strides made along the way from recycling, using unleaded gas, emission standards, developing electric/hybrid cars, solar panel heating, Wind Energy Windmills, and just recently China agreed to reduce it's carbon footprint.
While the glass may not be "half full" in the eyes of die hard environmentalists they falsely see the glass as being almost empty!
When one compares the efforts being made and the discussions governments and their citizens have today versus those of the 1970s you can't help but acknowledge we are moving in the right direction.
I've been aware of global warming since I was 7 years old and now as was then it is just a matter of fact, a big fact, but not one I lost sleep over, yet because I speak of it every now and then and other dangers that hold the fate of humanity in hand when looking for something interesting and important to chat about, some people close to me know me as a doomsdayer. As if I am the one who is insane!
Honestly, how can a person not care? How can you get up every morning, stop at red lights, kiss ass at work, take your pills in the evening, lock yourself inside your house, make sure no harm comes to you or your loved ones, pray or dream of happiness, shed a tear for yours or someone elses suffering, say please and thank you and how are you, keep your elbows off the dinner table, make sure your socks are the same color... and not give a damn that the world might be coming to an end?
I have this small and simple thought experiment I like to think about sometimes. What you do is, you try to look at yourself and your life, your hopes and ambitions, your joys and sorrows. You try to imagine how much it would suck if someone just snuffed that all out. Killed you. How much you'd plea. How grateful you'd be not to die. Simply, how valuable your life is to you. Its quite a big deal and you know it. Now you multiply the weight and worth of your life as it is to you, by the number 2. That value is now double. But that is only the addition of the other person. One other. Never mind that you don't value his or her life as your own but only as another, still they are a person just like you and so that weight and worth that you perceive of your own life is repeated in the other person whether or not you feel it. You don't have to be a saint to understand, you only have be capable of arithmetic. It's basic deduction, not altruism.
Now multiply it by about ten billion. A really very large number for the human mind. You cannot hold ten billion different things in your mind. Your two eyes cannot see ten billion individual things. That is only the people alive today, in this very slice of time, a very thin slice indeed.
Now consider all the people to come. Who knows how many trillions, quadrillians, quintillions, and more may come in the future. All of those loves, laughs, smiles, joys and experiences. That make every memory or feeling or thought you ever had seem like a invisible speck in comparison.
Again, how can you think that you don't care. Either one is insane, or one doesn't really understand.
When you don't understand a system and you have little to no control over it, the best you can do is mess it up, and the worse thing is cause it to destruct.
The Earth went through all sorts of extreme environments way before there was any intelligent life, or even life, so do you think that we are capable of changing nature?
The same system that allows you to know the history of the planet is the system that says yes to your question.
How does that system help change nature? We know about Abraham Lincoln and his assassination during the Civil War, but we can't change it.
A Biblical world view means that this question nor its related topics have to be a worrisome burden. Much study on a Biblical world view is readily available so there is no need to repeat it here but I will try answering the question from the perspective of what I've learned.
People become far more worried than need be by dismissing the fact that there is an infinite Creator with a universal plan, by scorning that He is in control and that He does not answer to humans, and by ignoring His instruction on what He asks of us (which is both broad and quite small in the grand scheme of things), including brushing off His promises and His warnings that are like a parent's with growing children who think they know more than they do.
Believing that humans and/or the earth is/are the center of all things, people become consumed with a perceived responsibility to preserve what they can see rather than embracing a view that in dependence on wisdom from God humans are to be good stewards of the earth and its contained gifts to us.
Discussion about our inability to control what happens naturally within the parameters of creation and the inability to control what happens in the earth as a result of issues manifested by the human condition (greed for money, power, and self-satisfaction) when people refuse what God offers us in Jesus the Christ would be helpful, but most will not give these concepts real consideration.
One result is an ongoing effort to feel that mankind will eventually evolve to the point of being able to solve the big problems this world faces. It's sad because false confidence, a lack of peace (evidenced in many ways), and wasted efforts on theories rooted in humanistic hopes, values, and goals only work to degrade peace and create more fear.
The bottom line is that individually and corporately we are to be good stewards of the earth as we look to Him to understand everything we need regarding our lack of power to control, how God has a plan, His trustworthiness, and that His attention is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
Yes, all this creates huge questions, and there is nothing wrong with them as long as we look to Him for the answers. Embracing the concept that He is both our individual and corporate God is no mystery to those who trustfully look to Him according to His Word. A suggestion is to prayerfully begin in the book of Mark from a NAS Bible. Again, useful volumes of work are available for deeper study.
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