Anthropocentric Ethics – In Ancient & Modern Perspective
The author/composer/poet/community which produced the text we know of as Genesis 1 observed many things. Just one of these is the uniqueness of humans in relation to our environment.
Day and night, earth and sky, sea and land, vegetation, and fruits, creatures great and tiny, both in the sea and on land…
And then behold – human beings. These humans are at the pinnacle of creation and are invested with the task and responsibility of governing the entire earth.
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That is an ancient text/song/poem, and the world is very much a different place – we’ve got a lot more technology, for example. But maybe in a few important ways, not much has changed?
Our planet is a mixture of peace and war, beauty and wreckage, feasting and famine, truth and deception, order and chaos (you might say ‘light’ and ‘darkness’).
Who will govern it?
Who will speak, think and act against war, wreckage, famine, deception and chaos?
Who will speak, think and act for peace, beauty, feasting, truth and order?
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We have the ability to govern the earth. The rest of the earth is waiting (you might say ‘groaning’). The sea-lions, the trees, the ants, the pandas, the grass… they all wait for humans to rise up and govern them with wisdom and justice.
We also have the ability to govern ourselves. We have the ability to control our desires (whether they be for excess power, excess wealth, excess food or excess sex). We have the ability to control our thoughts and actions.
May we do so. May we be truly and fully human.
May God help us.