The environmental wisdom of the Bible

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Darren Aronofsky is an atheist, as far as I known. And it turns out that his latest film, Noah, is based on that rather curious of biblical stories. Yes, God is a mass murderer, but we should bow down and worship this genocidal maniac anyway.

If the talking snake did not provide a hint that this book’s contents were either not to be believed, or more importantly to be rejected, God’s decision to drown everyone on the planet should be enough. Strangely this story remains a popular one among those who want to convince children to believe. Strong evidence that evolution by natural selection does not apply fully to ideas in the minds of man.

Aronofsky however seems to imagine that the Bible has something to teach us about the grave environmental problems we now face.

It is very difficult to figure out what he is trying to say, as is often the case with celebrity penned op-eds that appear in that offence to journalism called the Huffington Post. Here how he finishes it off:

Noah is a story of man’s sin and God’s judgment. It is a story of our tendency to fall into wickedness, and of the challenge to live in accordance with our better natures. It is a story of falling short of our responsibilities, of taking the beauty that has been entrusted to our care and corrupting it. But it is also a story of hope, a story of the possibility of change, a story of mercy.


Noah finds grace in the eyes of the Lord. Humanity is given a second chance.


We are living that second chance.


This is our garden. We have dominion over it.


Are we tending it? Are we keeping it?


Will we stand before it with Awe and Reverence, or will we corrupt our way upon it?


It is our choice.


It is our responsibility.

If Aronofsky is an atheist, as I have heard he is, he is certainly not my kind of atheist.What exactly does he mean by “this second chance”? Let’s imagine that we were talking about a race of people, and a modern day writer was telling us that this race had nearly been wiped out, but a couple of them were spared to give them a second chance. We would be rather horrified by what the author was writing. But mix in a little religion, and such sentiment becomes profound, and acceptable.

The insights offered up by the Bible, Koran or any man-made holy book on environmental issues are rather limited. One has to wonder in amid all of the bizarre Old Testament commandments or the inveighing in the Koran that non-believers will burn in hell that there could have been a suggestion to be careful if you decide to start burning a black rock.

Do we really think that we can deal with climate change any better as a result of books that promote widespread irrationality among humans? The willingness to believe what we want to believe is what gets us into these problems, it is not going to get us out. We live in age when these ideas have long ceased being believable, yet we continue to believe them.

A civilization based on science, reason and humanist principlesp is essential, but still a long way distant.