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#24361 - 11/23/07 09:50 AM Me on BookTV
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
This past Summer, '07, I became a "first time caller" to CSPAN. Somewhere below is a transcript.
I have to admit that it's a lot harder that it might seem. I learned a lot; and I have much less contempt, and I'm more forgiving and understanding of the majority of callers who sound infirm, ignorant, ill-informed, indoctrinated, insulated/cloistered, and/or bigoted. Doubtless that exists; but it gets magnified by the format.

So, I called up BookTV while they were interviewing E. O. Wilson. I'd just read his book, The Creation. This book is written as a "letter," to appeal to an imaginary/generic Southern Baptist Pastor. The subtitle of the book is " An Appeal to Save Life on Earth." To get a sense of the book, I'll quote:

"Dear Pastor, what I fear most is the pervasive combination of religious and secular ideology of a kind that sees little or no harm in the destruction of the Creation." -p.82
"We've been trying ever since [the Neolithic] to ascend from Nature instead of to Nature. It is not too late for us to come around, without losing the quality of life already gained, in order to receive the deeply fulfilling beneficence of humanity's natural heritage. Surely the reach of religious belief is great enough, and its teachers generous and imaginative enough, to encompass this larger truth not adequately expressed in Holy Scripture." -p.13
He is arguing here for Stewardship. Referring to "existential conservatism," he advises:
"It is far better to work with human nature as it is, by changing our social institutions and moral precepts to get a more nearly optimal fit to our genes, than it would be to tinker with something that took eons of trial and error to create." -p.28
"The Human Hammer having fallen, the sixth mass extinction has begun." -p.91
"Life on this planet can stand no more plundering. Quite apart from obedience to the universal moral imperatives of saving the Creation, based on religion and science alike, conserving biodiversity is the best economic deal humanity has ever had placed before it since the invention of agriculture. ....Those living today will either win the race against extinction or lose it, the latter for all time. They will earn either everlasting honor or everlasting contempt." -p.99

So I was wondering how we go about getting religions to adopt this viewpoint.

After being introduced to Dr. Wilson as someone who's read "The Creation," I began:
[bracketed words were not spoken]
***
Ah. Thank you, Dr. Wilson. um- I appreciate all your work. [nervous laugh (as if, 'to say the least')]

Um...
I read your book [The Creation] about a month ago; and I'm wondering about the, the possibility of a "World Religion."
[It] Would be about the only thing that I could see that will mobilize people enough to save the world.

uh, World Government, I think, is pretty much out of the question, and...eh....

Do you think there might be some possibility of forming something like a "United Religions," in a, in a vein similar to the United Nations?

ah, That hasn't been very effective; but something along -more along the lines of a United Religions, might be more effective, I think.

and uh, Well, I'd just like to hear your comments on that.

[pause]

I also, uh.... One of the previous questions about genetic engineering and biodiversity.... I just thought it might be something to point out that regardless of what we do to our own genetics, the biodiversity of the world is still essential for our survival.

and uh....[OMG! I'm still talking!]
Y'know, I just think some sort of synergistic sustainability and sequestration of Carbon will, -will be a, -a big help for us; if we would focus on that, more than emissions.
[Stop, you fool!]

But uh, I would like to hear your comments on the idea of a United Religions Organization.
****
So, finally that was over.

The last word, Organization, was cut off, so it sounded as if I asked about 'the idea of a United Religion.'
That's what I get for babbling on like an idiot. I'm surprised I didn't shout "Free Nelson Mandela" at the end also.

Anyway, I was hoping to bring up the idea of using religions to unite people behind the idea of saving the Creation.
Saving the Creation entails saving biodiversity, habitats, and ecosystems, as well as moderating climate change.
Religions could spread the message quickly and easily, if motivated and organized.

Well my clumsy, impromptu stumbling speech ended up sounding as if I was advocating some sort of unified World Religion. Heaven forbid!

So that was how Dr. Wilson answered; as if that was my question, and maybe that I was focusing "peace" (saving the world?).
But within his answer I saw the points that I was looking for, about organizing and seeking order and focus.

His response:

"No, I don't think a "World Religion" is a possibility, because we're just too tribal. I think [it] much more likely that future peace depends upon multiplicity of beliefs, and belief systems, that are combined with diplomacy and rule of law. That has to become more international in its scope; such that people, regardless of what their personal religious beliefs are, are equal in getting justice and having opportunities.
That's not an easy task, but it's a lot easier than trying to get people everywhere in the world to agree on one religion." -E. O. Wilson, 2007

Yep, couldn't agree more, Dr. Wilson.

I do feel that in order to solve the problems of biodiversity/ecosystem loss and climate change, that we'll have to also solve the problems of poverty, healthcare, war and famine. I guess saving the physical planet means saving the social planet too. That's a synergistic part of sustainability.
~
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#24517 - 01/14/08 06:44 AM Re: Me on BookTV [Re: samwik]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: samwik
"Do you think there might be some possibility of forming something like a "United Religions," in a, in a vein similar to the United Nations?
...
But uh, I would like to hear your comments on the idea of a United Religions Organization."

...
Anyway, I was hoping [trying] to bring up the idea of using religions to unite people behind the idea of saving the Creation.

I recall posting an addendum to this, now lost in the server.
...something along the lines of:

Other than emphasizing that I was NOT advocating a 'world relig.'
...and that Stewardship was E. O. Wilson's message (and warning of mass extinction)....


This experience served as a lesson to NEVER "call in" to a show,
without having a well-written statement prepared... at the very least.


...but I think, beyond my fumbling words, the message is still valid; governments are too slow.
We need to have a "United Faiths Organization" to spread the good word and even facilitate more green action.
smile
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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