Protection of threatened species in the anthropocene : a theological-ethical perspective

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Protection of threatened species in the anthropocene : a theological-ethical perspective

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Publication BookChapter
Title Protection of threatened species in the anthropocene : a theological-ethical perspective
Author Melin, Anders
Editor Deane-Drummond, Celia ; Bergmann, Sigurd ; Vogt, Markus
Date 2017
English abstract
A significant aspect of the Anthropocene is that less and less room is left for non-human species. The increasing rate of species extinction raises the question of what responsibility humans have to protect threatened species. Although the question of species extinction is of concern for all humans regardless of whether they are religious believers or not, it is still important for Christian communities and individual to ask themselves what reasons we have from the viewpoint of Christian theology to preserve threatened species and to what extent we should preserve them. In this article, I discuss these questions, based on a critical discussion of earlier attempts to answer them. Regarding the question of why we should protect threatened species, I conclude that it does not seem to be a reasonable Christian standpoint that we should protect species only for the sake of humans. Since many life forms came into existence long before humans, it seems more convincing to assume that they have their independent relationships with God and that they exist also for their own sake. As for the question of to what extent we should protect threatened species, it follows from my conclusion above that we should not only preserve those species that are valuable for humans. A more convincing answer is that we should try to maintain the level of species diversity. Finally, I discuss the proposal that humans should act as co-redeemers of evolution and that we should eliminate anthropogenic extinction and finally also reduce the rate of non-anthropogenic extinction, but conclude that it is unrealistic as a present goal for humanity.
Publisher Wipf and Stock
Host/Issue Religion in the Anthropocene
ISBN 9781498291910
Pages 253-265
Language eng (iso)
Subject Anthropocene, species protection, Christian ethics
Anthropocene
species protection
christian ethics
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/24099 Permalink to this page
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