The environment was always thought to play an important role in the life of individuals. Unfortunately, its condition today is not really good, which attracted the attention of Pope Francis, who discussed the ecological crises in different perspectives. He explained what mistakes were done by the human beings and promoted the aligning of science and religion.
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Modern Scientific and Technological Reasoning and the Current Environmental Crisis
Human actions were also targeted at the development and creation of new advantageous technologies, but it seems that people have crossed the line and started to affect the world adversely. Of course, the creation of such things as steam engines, electricity, modern medicine, biotechnologies, etc. improved our quality of life and streamlined many operations. Technoscience allowed the population to use the resources given by nature to benefit and receive enormous power, which seems to be advantageous. However, the impact of the nuclear bombs, totalitarian regimes and other demonstrations of dominance led to tremendous outcomes.
Pope Francis underlines that people’s inability to use the power as they should was also followed by the absence of the monitoring the harm that was done to the environment (“Pope Francis, Laudato Si” par. 4). As a result, the general public is targeted only at the enhancement of the economy and forgets about more vital things. Materialistic views lead to environmental degradation and destroy our world.
It is said that we are caring for saving human lives when conducting various researches and experiments. Our scientists work to let us leave longer, but the price seems to be high. Of course, they have enough power to use animals in their work but there should be a limit, which would not allow people to make them suffer or die needlessly. Each life is precious, and science should not have permission to manage such activities. Scientists are creating new technologies, which provide them with the opportunity to damage the lives of other individuals and destroy nature. There will be nothing left if they do not stop moving in this way and start controlling their ambitions.
The usage of molecular biology and some practices of genetics in other industries also have an adverse influence on the environment. Their technological application was made for a particular sphere to benefit, but willing to save more money and gain more power being leaders in an industry, scientists applied it to agriculture. As a result, indiscriminate genetic manipulation can be observed as well as its adverse influence even though the person who targeted the creation of this product never wanted the development to reach such outcomes. Moreover, genetic manipulation leads to mutations that are also unnatural.
Thus, the lack of limitations that the science has provides the population with the opportunity to overuse its power and become engaged in the activities that cause the environmental crisis. To deal with this problem, technological development should be thoroughly designed and planned. The limits should be imposed on scientific research so that the studies have only a positive impact on people and other living beings.
Christian Vision of the Relationship between Human Beings and the Environment
Everything that exists in the world is interrelated, so the connection between people and the environment also exists. According to the words of Pope Francis, “ecological crisis is one small sign of the ethical, cultural and spiritual crisis of modernity” (“Pope Francis, Laudato Si” par. 4). It means that people today do not conduct the actions that they are supposed to. Human beings lost their way; they forgot about the implications God gave them and started to do everything to reach the goals of their materialistic society regardless of the price they are to pay.
In Christian vision, God created the earth for people to keep it. All His creations are the results of His thought and love. He expected that we would live in harmony and support each other and promote taking care of our environment. However, it turned out that our relations became conflictual. Human beings are not innocent already. They attack each other and nature, which is vulnerable and cannot protect itself from the wars and other violence. For a long time, people misinterpreted God’s message and considered that they are to dominate the environment. But the truth is that they are to reconsider their approach and accept the opinion that we are to “till and keep the garden of the world” (“Pope Francis, Laudato Si” par. 3). People and nature are equal; they should have mutual responsibility without any forceful submission. All creatures created by God have a right to live, and no one can take it.
Unfortunately, the population does not follow the mentioned beliefs and views. People abuse their power and ignore the laws of nature. They take the benefits provided by the environment for their own purposes with no regard to their influence on the world. The general public should recollect the message it gained from God and change its approach. People were given intelligence to realize the necessity of respecting others. The Church teaches that people are to act in a way they want to be treated by others. That is why the usage of power and technologies in order to dominate is not acceptable. It is critical to realize that there is goodness in every living being, people should try to show that they are useful and can make the lives of others easier but not more difficult and dangerous.
God encourages people to realize that they damage their home. They should be sorry for hurting the earth and making it suffer. The population should share its achievements and make sure that they are made for the mutual benefit. It is significant to follow the limitations accepted by Christianity when conducting different researchers and innovating. For example, when people got to know how abortion should be managed, they developed the sphere of medicine, which is positive. However, this operation presupposes a killing of a human being, which is not accepted by God and the Church. Thus, it is crucial for people to refer to the Christian guideline if they want to live in a peaceful environment.
Relationship between Religion and Science
For a long time already scientists, philosophers, and religious people argue about the relationship between religion and science. Some people believe that they are interrelated while others claim that they object to the value of each other. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis also referred to this issue and shared his vision and even aligned them.
Discussing environmental problems, Pope Francis mentioned that even though people triggered the development of the crisis, they tend to search for the solution to this problem. Realizing that they are human beings, individuals try to design some ways of environment protection. Christians, moreover, understand that taking responsibility for the adverse effects of technological development and the creation of the plan for improvement is a part of their faith. In other words, all people, especially those who believe in God, are to deepen in the reasons and outcomes of environmental crisis. They should know how to use science to improve the condition of nature, which is their responsibility in the religious point of view. In this way, Pope Francis made science and religion very close to each other.
People were given the earth by God, and they were never expected to dominate over it. However, it is presupposed that the human beings are to use the resources that nature gives them to enhance the way they live and improve the lives of other leaving creatures (“Pope Francis, Laudato Si” par. 3). According to Pope Francis’ words, religion encourages people to explore their nature. God gave intelligence to people and founded the earth by wisdom so that those who can read it as a book can gain all the advantages. Thus, it occurs to be crucial that the believers study sciences and conduct researchers to find out what gifts God included in the earth when he was creating it.
So it can be concluded that Pope Francis not just discusses the environmental issues in Laudato Si’ but also deepens into the perception of the Christian vision. He claims that there is an obvious connection between science and religion in Pope Francis’ point of view. The believers are to study sciences even more than those who are atheists because they are expected to create those limitations, the lack of which contributed to the appearance of the environmental crisis.
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Pope Francis, Laudato Si. n.d. Web.