Essay on Religion and the Energy Crisis

2855 Words 12 Pages
Religion and the Energy Crisis


When faced with the daunting specter of world energy issues and environmental crisis, it
is natural to focus on finding solutions to our problems of sustainability and pollution. Before jumping into a frenzied search for solutions, however, it is necessary to take a hard look at precisely why we care to solve this problem in the first place. This is a much broader question, rooted in culture, philosophy, ethics, and religion. How we as a species deal with our spirituality has a great impact on our obligations to each other, to the world we live in, and to future generations.

Looking at the potential harmfulness of the energy crisis, it is remarkable that more
people are not concerned about changing
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This obsession with success and progress has become the religion of the modern world, its primary concern. Many people blame this attitude for a growing sense of spiritual emptiness in our society, a void that has been filled with growthism and selfishness, and could be better solved by the incorporation of spirituality (Brockelman 36). This apparently godless attitude, however, does appear even in the religious traditions which claim to shun it.

One of the most basic moral values is that of liberty, the ability to exercise some amount
of control over your individual life. When given the liberty to make choices, people are given the possibility of selfishness. This concept has many different definitions and implementations across the world, but all agree that on some level it is good to preserve liberty and bad to impede it. Eastern religious traditions seek a release from the suffering of life and the limitations of the individual personality, defining freedom as complete independence from the material world.

Semitic religions, on the other hand, tend to look at freedom through the concept of free will, as a fulfillment of the individual personality through a conscious relationship with God. Another aspect of this more western view is the definition of freedom as the ability to enjoy life without oppression, giving the concept a social and political dimension. Either way, freedom for the individual is in conflict with the morality and benevolence which…