Organised religion takes the individual's childhood fears and nurtures them by weekly steps in an attempt to create something that persists lifelong. One of the chief objectives is to create a paying subscription base, to ensure the continued existence of a class of otherwise jobless people; the clergy. Another objective is the creation of an exclusive group of people bent on protecting the life and limb of the clergy from attacks from other similar, but different groups, or some outside force.
Religion succeeds in its aims by the creation of perpetual spiritual childhood. History has shown that, at times, people's lives have been threatened and lost when they have moved out of the narrow confines of thought that religion has put in place. This is generally less experienced now that we are in an age of more enlightenment, but the evil of radical fundamentalist movements does persist in some arenas.
How has this got anything to do with conservation, you may ask?
I think that some of the most basic problems of conservation arise from religious belief. The deep incalcation of the idea of the Creation reduces the vision of people. Creation states that there is essentially some power waving a magic wand and letting forth incantations which gives rise to the all that we see. This does not allow Creationists to consider how the world and all its wonderful content may really have come into being. It stops them from becoming truely awestruck during the process of developing some inkling of the events which have taken place on this marvellous Earth since it was formed some 4.6 Billion years ago. While I realise that considering this process in its entirety is beyond the scope of any human mind, just the tiniest idea of what may have gone on here will leave one breathless with amazement. The Creation so diminishes this. It diminishes it to the point where some deeply religious people express a complete lack of concern for conservation issues on the grounds that when evil on Earth is abolished, the 'Supreme Being' will redo his creation, and then all humanity will live (happily ever after, I presume) in the Garden of Eden.
Humanity's exponentially growing population threatens by its relentless progression to damage more and more of the Earth until there will be nothing left over to conserve. Religion has played a large part in this 'being fruitful and multiplying'; after all, the larger the paying membership base, the greater the power and wealth of the church.
The study of religion, pseudoreligion, mystacism, etc. diverts the minds of many useful people away from what I see as the real task of humanity, which is the progressive development of thought and deed towards realising as complete an understanding as possible of this jewel of the universe, the Earth. From such understanding conservation can be nothing but a priority. This is the sacred duty of mankind, the truest religion. As thing stand, my 'True Religion' has but few adherents.
© 2005-2009 Greig Russell