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Kelly Malloy

RDST 337

Final Exam

Religion has the potential to save nature, and failing to do so is a lack of dedication to ones
faith. While this sounds extreme, religion and ecology are intertwined by the way religion encourages its
followers to act, making it easy for them to treat nature with the respect it deserves.

Regardless of denomination, those who practice religion have values that their faith is based off
of. Christianity holds love and respect to be some of the highest values, while those who practice
Hinduism believe that truth is eternal, souls are immortal, and that everyone should strive to reach
Dharma, which is the right way of living. On the other hand, Buddists believe that mindfulness, which
is the alert presence of mind which allows one to be more aware of what is happening with ones
intentional states, is one of the ultimate truths. In addition, Buddhists strive to reach the not- self,
which is to become detached from selfish motivations, making one more altruistic. These values and
truths that religious beings understand to be true encompass the compassion that they attempt to
practice.

In From Nature to Creation, Wirzba discusses the practice of naming a plant a weed instead of
either a flower or a vegetable. Not only does this disrespect nature, but it devalues the importance of
one of Gods creations. Wirzba states, According to Scripture, the world we live in is Gods creation. It is
the visual, fragrant, audible, touchable, and tastable manifestation of Gods love, the place where Gods
desire that others be and be well finds earthly expression. Nature is one of Gods most sacred
creations, and should be given the respect it deserves.

Eisenburgs The Ecology of Eden talks about the balance between humans right to use
natures resources, and the issue with overusing resources to the point of destroying nature. As humans
get carried away with industrialization, sensitive persons found refuge in remnants of wilderness or in
fantasies of a great wilderness across the sea. One can assume that the sensitive persons who find
refuge in wilderness are the same ones who value nature as Gods creation and value its visual,
fragrant, audible, touchable, and tastable qualities, as Wirzba stated. It would be to the worlds benefit
if everyone treated nature as Gods creation, as opposed to a stockpile of resources for us to benefit
from.

My ecological perspective plays a strong role in my daily actions. This perspective stems from the
values that have been given to me by my family, and the education that I have received. Personally, I
find that because I am unsure, or not as confident in my faith, the values that my faith instills are not
enough to influence my actions. However, the education that I have received, as well as the research
that I have conducted on my own has proven to me that little actions are sometimes the most
important. I strive to use reusable water bottles, conserve water, and recycle as much as possible. While
these actions are helpful, I believe having the utmost respect for the environment is one of the purest
ways to live. Whether one develops this respect through religious truths and values, scientific facts and
research, or spiritual encounters in nature, it is essential for humans to transform this static respect into
productive action.