Saturday, April 07, 2007

Arrogance and humility

"Save the planet!"

I am SO tired of hearing this admonition. It bespeaks the worst kind of arrogance, the kind that is wrapped up in false servitude and earnestness, while implying that the speaker knows what is best for all of creation.

My own view can be summarized as "Do what is right for those you care about - the planet can take care of itself."

Those who wish to roll back CO2 emission levels to their 1990 values are the noisiest these days. What was special about 1990? What is magic about CO2? What difference will it make? Nothing, nothing and nothing. But we will show our commitment to "saving the planet", and that's the most important thing, isn't it?

Just ask the families of malaria victims, a million deaths a year, about how they feel about "saving the planet" by forbidding the use of DDT.

We are merely foolish when we presume to know that which is beyond our understanding. We become arrogant when we seek to impose our foolishness on others. And when arrogance turns into bullying ("Silence them! The science is settled!") and theft (carbon taxes and imposing a market for carbon offsets), this so-called moral issue of Global Warming becomes cancerously immoral. If and when the solution imposes unemployment, personal danger and economic hardship on the world, it is not a stretch to call that solution "evil".

Jesus Christ models humility for us. Not the weak kind of humility where whatever you say or want is exalted over whatever I say or want, but the kind of humility that recognizes our human place in the world, and our relationship to its Creator and our fellow humans.

I don't believe that my own brand of faith must be imposed on anyone; it just makes more sense to me than anything else that I have looked into. Christ suffered, that we would have life. The relationship that God wants to have with us is based on free will, a great gift, and (in all likelihood) a great disappointment to God in the way we exercise it.

These days we could use more washing of feet, i.e. service to our brothers and sisters. We could use more humility, that not one of us has all the answers. We could definitely use more worshiping God in awe and gratitude.

These are the ways in which we will save the planet. Enjoy your Easter weekend.

4 comments:

Exile said...

I can think of much worse kinds of arrogance, and I am willing to bet if you took 15 seconds you could too.

Halfwise said...

Not really. Arrogance wrapped up in false humility is harder for me to endure than the less hypocritical, more forthright kind.

Anonymous said...

Good job with this one, Halfwise. I agree! God bless.

Halfwise said...

Thanks Anon.