Lest We Forget: Free-Thought and the Environment
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In the world of modern theology, specifically Western theology, there has been a tendency to knit together religion and morality. It is partially because much work in theology is done with the assumption that since God exists God must care about human intentions and actions. The existence of God and religion, as the public manifestation of shared philosophical and moral beliefs, has been thought to impart moral awareness and behavior, as well as ground morality. Many modern theologians have given voice to sentiments like these. They equate irreligion with iniquity, freethinking with depravity, and atheism with apathy about the world, human life, and morality. This essay challenges such positions by arguing for the validity of naturalistic accounts of morality. It shows how such accounts can be applied to the treatment of our environment as well as give us the motivation to do so. From David Hume to Paul Kurtz a history of freethought is drawn and the human reasons for protecting and conserving our environment are examined.
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