Thu Aug 2, 2012, 04:23 PM
nadinbrzezinski (137,449 posts)
A fascinating discussion with a very liberal priest on the end of times
And yes, science.
We were discussing this article.
The Australian scientist, who eradicated small pox, thinks so. Frank Fenner, a professor at the Australian National University, knows a thing or two about extinction. He wiped out the variola virus, the cause of small pox, after all!
Now the 95-year-old, Fenner is preoccupied with human extinction. In an exclusive interview with The Australian, Fenner gave a sobering interview in his Canberra suburb home:
“Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years,” he says. “A lot of other animals will, too. It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.
“Mitigation would slow things down a bit, but there are too many people here already.”
He was explaining to me that from a scientific point of view, this is terrifying. But even from a religious one it is. Why? He raised the issue that most of the resistance to all the Climate Change science is coming from the far right wing. He mentioned that thing about false churches, which to him is relevant.
Then I raised another issue. Greed. This is what is in my view at the heart of it. He said, God promised not to destroy the world, but that does not mean we won't. Then I raised the issue that greed is not good on multiple religious traditions. He went back to the whole idea of false churches, but conceded that indeed humans are a far more cooperative lot, so perhaps we have encouraged a virus to rise, as it were, by selecting for greed, and not cooperation.
Relevant matter to him, is that he expects the good eggs in the multiple faith traditions to pay the price for the bad ones.
We had this conversation over coffee, no screaming involved or anything like that. We were discussing this insofar as ethics (or lack off) that have risen in different faith traditions and of the need for both secular and religious leaders to expose those for whom greed is good... and even teach this at their churches. (I could mention three major suspects here locally, yup, mega churches)
He also said that things are getting out of hand, and that soon we as a species will find ourselves facing something that nobody expects, and even if we go extinct as a species, that would NOT be the apocalypse, since the church needs followers, but rather a self inflicted wound. Oh and that these discussions are happening inside a panoply of religious traditions, how to prepare for the self inflicted end of the species. In his mind, prayer is not the answer, but rather DOING SOMETHING about it and taking on the merchants of greed that resist all the changes that are needed, even if we perhaps, are too late.
That was a sobering conversation.
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