About ten years ago, environmentalists commonly and proudly displayed a bumper sticker that said, Earth First. While no one wants a dirty planet, unnecessary pollution, and wasteful use of resources, “Earth First” was erroneous from a Christian perspective, for it made a pretty clear declaration that the Earth outranked humanity in terms of importance. But Scripture speaks of the Earth as having been given to man and that we are to be its sovereign stewards:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Gen 1:20-28)
Later, God chose a man and his family, Noah, to be instrumental in “ecologically” saving all the living things of the earth, by building an ark to endure the flood. After the flood, God again renewed and extended the sovereign stewardship of humanity in the Covenant with Noah:
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (Gen 9:1-3)
Thus, from a Biblical perspective the human race is at the pinnacle of God’s creation and the earth is given to man for his sake. He is to rule over it as a steward. We are stewards for the world belongs to God. But he has given us an authority and primacy over other creatures.
Clearly to abuse creation by excessive and wasteful practices, or by permanently destructive practices is both foolish and a sinful use of the gift God has given us. There is a proper Christian environmentalism rooted in love for God, what he has created, and for the human family, here, now, and yet to come.
But extreme environmentalists set aside our biblical tradition and exalt the earth over man: Earth First! Man is something of a foreign element on the pristine earth of the radical environmentalist. They do not see the human family as part of the created world or integral to it. And surely they do not us as sovereign in any sense. We are really more like a destructive blight that must be turned back, a foreign element that has been introduced. Man is the enemy of the imagined pristine order. Human = intrinsically bad. We are, to the extremists, an unqualified disaster for this planet and the greatest favor we could do the earth would be to cease to exist, or at least exist in dramatically fewer numbers. Never mind the complete economic and social collapse a dramatic drop in population would cause. Bring it on, say the radicals. Man is a blight, an infestation that must be removed from their imagined pristine world.
This sort of thinking has begun to make its appearance in movies and series. One example we have discussed here before is the series “Life after People” which imagines (fantasizes?) what would happen to the earth if all humans just disappeared. It was a very creative series, by the way, lots of good special effects, and interesting information. I wrote more on that here: Life After People and Thermodynamics
Another example of this is the recent movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I would like to present excerpts from an excellent movie review by National Catholic Register film critic Steven D. Greydanus to explore this theme. To be clear, he likes the movie, and it does sound very good. But he also does a good job articulating the problem of a kind of self-loathing that has crept into the post modern scene. I will present just a brief excerpt of his review here. The full review can be read here: National Catholic Register Movie Review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
As per usual I will put Mr. Greydanus’ text in bold, black italics. My own remarks are in plain text, red.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a smartly made, effective movie — but what sort of movie is it, exactly?
From its opening scene, Rise establishes a theme of innocent apes terrorized and abused by human beings. … Ape-on-ape cruelty is seen, but in captivity, where the apes are mistreated in a bleak animal-control facility by the facility director and his sadistic son.
It is typical of Hollywood to present a nemesis, or any opponent to “our hero,” or, “our side” in an extreme, almost cartoonish manner. They are unambiguously evil. In this case it is man, the whole human race, that is evil. Of course the nemesis, us, must be presented as sadistic, rotten to the core, thoroughly worthy of defeat and destruction. In the typical world of Hollywood we must not even have a small parcel of pity or understanding of the one, of the enemy, (us), who must be destroyed.
Even when we see some problematic behavior on the part of the apes, it would seem that it is somehow still our fault, that we have interfered with the natural harmony of these magnificent creatures. Never mind that apes, chimps and other primates often exhibit vicious territorial and mating disputes in the “pristine” wild.
So, it would seem, that man is the problem, and whatever problems the apes do have is merely the internalizing the behavior of the oppressor (us). No matter how you look at it, we are the problem.
The ape uprising is depicted as an oppressed population rising up against the oppressors. The climactic [moment], a clash of human and ape forces on a mist-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge….the film’s sympathies are with the approaching creatures, not with the humans. Nothing identifies the humans making their stand on the bridge with anything as nobly human as the ideals evoked in that climactic image from the original [Planet of the Apes] film.
He’s referring to final scene of the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes (which you can see HERE) in which Charlton Heston comes upon the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. The implication of that scene was that something truly good had been lost, destroyed. Humanity had achieved something good, and now it was lost.
It would seem that the humanity described as confronting the apes on the bridge in this current movie, have nothing noble that is worth saving. If this is so, then it is another example of the self-loathing so widespread in the post modern West.
We do not need to succumb to pride to say that there are wonderful things that the human race has accomplished, things that are good, worth saving and even advancing. This notion is increasingly absent in radicalized sectors of the West who see death and non-existence as preferable to any good we might accomplish. Here is an aspect of what the last two Popes have called the “Culture of Death” in the West.
The last act of Rise is both compelling and troubling in a way that reminds me of the History Channel’s series “Life After People” [series], a surprise hit that vividly extrapolates the science of how the natural world would reassert itself over the works of man if human beings suddenly vanished from the earth. The science of how abandoned buildings decay and crumble, domesticated animals return to feral conditions and so forth is fascinating, but there’s something disconcertingly nihilistic about the sensationalistic evocation of the world going on in the sudden absence of people.
Yes, a fascinating show to be sure. I watched every episode on DVD. To me it was a fascinating demonstration of entropy, which is related to the second law of thermodynamics. Fundamentally, unless complex systems are acted upon by a force or energy outside themselves, they tend to return to their basic elements. This is entropy. Take man, and the energy he supplies away from his constructed “complex systems” and they return to their basic elements over time. As we look at the Universe we also observe complex and orderly systems, which suggests that they are organized by an outside force or principle. We who believe call this Principle, God.
This was the lesson of “Life After People” for me. But it became clear that some, watching the show, were just a little too excited about the idea of this planet without people, and it became a fantasy series for self-loathing post modernists.
[Life After People’s] tagline, “Welcome to Earth … Population: Zero,” captures the spirit of what troubles me. In a world rife with posthuman philosophy, in which human beings are often seen as a blight on the planet and eco-nihilists like the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement fantasize about “phasing out the human race” to “allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health”…..We’re invited to contemplate a world without people, not in existential terms, but in terms of how fascinating the results are….that the achievements of human civilization no longer have meaning.
I couldn’t have said this better.
I’m not necessarily indicting Life After People, or Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as “posthuman…” For what it’s worth, I enjoyed Rise while I was watching it. It works well as a prequel to the original film, complete with obligatory quotations and clever visual references. My concerns may be as much a matter of cultural context as content. Still, cultural context can be as important as content in what a work has to say to us.
Register film critic Steven D. Greydanus blogs at NCRegister.com
So the Movie seems interesting enough.
But even more interesting, in a troubling way, is the self-loathing of increasing numbers in the post modern, post human West who seem to think that the best thing man can do is decrease and die. A tragic, but inevitable outcome of the culture of death, buffeted by waves of relativism, and a rejection of Biblical Revelation; a Revelation that describes man as flawed, yet God’s highest and noblest creature here on earth, loved for his own sake; loved by God who made him, and who gave him the whole world to cherish and use with moderation and gratitude.
Photo Credit: Screenshot from the Movie
Here is a trailer for the Movie that also shows how some of the special effects are done:
32 Replies to “"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and What It Says About Our Increasingly Post Modern, Post Human Culture”
I saw the first remake movie and was disappointed, so I don’t have plans to see this one. I have seen, multiple times, the original movies though, including both the first, Planet of the Apes, and the fourth, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
But even without seeing the latest film, I think perhaps you are overstating the great inherent and perfect virtues of the human race. And I think you might have misinterpreted the message in the films. In point of fact, although we might not be the epitome of evil, “sadistic, rotten to the core, thoroughly worthy of defeat and destruction,” mankind is quite enamored of sin.
Indeed, mankind is sinful “to the core.” As such, as a matter of justice, we are “thoroughly worthy of defeat and destruction.” We are not only worthy of death, destruction is inevitable as a result of humanity’s sins.
In Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, which is the closest of the originals to Rise, humans had turned apes into slaves. Of course, the sin of becoming a slavemaster — enthusiastically so — does not enhance one’s humanity, but destroys it. In Conquest, the humans by their own actions descended to the level of savage animals. It was right and proper then that the slave apes, led by Caesar, should rise up and defeat them. Men were “the bad guys.” Not all men, but enough of them.
Centuries later, in the original Planet (story and screenplay by Rod Serling, who adapted very little from the book by Pierre Boulle), we see the ultimate consequence of hedonistic, materialistic, sinful man — he destroyed the world with nuclear bombs. He deserved that fate — Dr. Zaius was right to be wary of man and Taylor cannot be condemned for saying to those who blew up the world, “damn you all to hell.” As a Rod Serling story, the morality of the first film tracks quite closely with that shown in the Twilight Zone. While the first remake used a bit more from Boulle’s book, on the whole, the message was more in line with Serling’s story.
In Beneath the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to Planet, we even see how truly godless man has become, with humans worshiping a nuclear missle as their god. True, man does not worship bombs today, but many do worship other false gods and idols that are deadly as well. A nobility worth saving? No.
Rather, we should look at these films, at least the originals, not as anti-human condemnations, but as the warnings that they were meant to be. As calls to humanity to turn away from its sinful, evil inclinations, which cannot be denied, and to be truly human instead, for humanity to not descend to the level of the ape.
Hmm…. I’m kinda surprised at your rather negative conception of man. It seems eerily Calvinist, i.e. man as utterly depraved. For you say, mankind is sinful “to the core.” As such, as a matter of justice, we are “thoroughly worthy of defeat and destruction.”. This seems overstated to me and mildly Calvinist.
I don’t recall saying man had perfect virtue, rather I account us as “flawed” but loved by God for our own sakes.
As regards your statement: A nobility worth saving? No.….. I think Jesus, who paid the price, would possibly differ.
I was using a bit of hyperbole regarding your comment about man’s virtues.
Calvinist? I should hope not. God made man. God don’t make junk. Everything He makes is good. Man was made very good. But man, by his own free choice of the will, decided to be not good. Man chose to sin. The inevitable end of sin is death. Eternal death. That is, unless man converts from sin and chooses life instead. But man cannot save himself — he needs a savior, hence Christ. But Jesus does not save us because we deserve it, He does not save us as if we have a right to it by our “inherent nobility.” Rather, He saves us because He is Divine Mercy. Salvation is entirely a gift on His part. That’s Catholicism, not Calvinism.
Negative conception of man? No. I am merely saying what you have said before in the past, Monsignor, that “sin” is not a bad word that should be avoided at all costs.
Fair enough. Thanks for the clarifications.
In regards the show ” Life without People,” I I could not get into the shows premise one bit. If it was without people; what, or who are we to be witnessing these images as presented? Of course, the show was with people, millions who watched it. Therefore it had meaning. However, if truly we went away, who cares? Birds? deer? a tree? What significances would there be to the shows premise? Again, who would care? I tell you none, but God. The world is without meaning or significant, unless someone regards it. There is God’s regard, sufficient as it would be. But, he created much more, and in love shared it, Billions of times over, and over.
I agree with your points here. As I said, my interest in the show was how it depicted decline on the planet with the end of man. Of course the extreme ecoists would not see it that way at all, as jungles, overgrowth and unchecked rodent populations overtook everything. They would revel in all that. In the end, the premise of the show is frightening, not fascinating as you say.
In the early- to mid-1990’s I had the opportunity to read extensively from the writings of various “supporters of deep ecology”. One notable record is/was “The Journal of Environmental Ethics” that was put out by the University of Texas at El Paso. Everything, and more, that Msgr. Pope and Mr. Greydanus observe (above) holds true in the world view of deep ecology, which is a deeply disturbing view of the inhabitants and processes of the world. Self-identified deep ecologists (Arne Naess was probably the first modern d.e.) have adopted a variant of Buddhism in their pursuit of a return to an aboriginal ideal. Deep ecology both rejects the industrialization of human societies and embraces a reduction in human population. You can read more of/about their philosophy at http://www.deepecology.org. Ultimately, deep ecology comes across as a paganistic, even pantheistic or panantheistic belief system. It tends to be antagonistic towards Christianity.
My point is that deep ecology adherents are fixtures in many colleges and universities, and promote their brand of environmentalism, devoid of a Loving God, to all who enter their classrooms. And the students are introduced to this (other) materialistic world-view that embraces the illogical/irrational creed of evolution where all things have equal worth or lack thereof, and rejects the value imbued in our human nature by our Creator. And those students move out into the world where they become politicians and lawyers and Hollywood script writers.
Thanks for this additional information to the post. I was unaware of the term deep ecology. You links to pantheism are also helpful.
Shared on Twitter, Google Plus, love the idea, you capture it perfectly.
PS I Set up Feedburner so I get emailed when you post, should really set up own too, and twitter and Google Plus (email me if need invite)!
I am South African, we deeply value the environment: as our culture, our heritage: Something belonging to MAN! And we value it all the more for this deep deep truth!
Yes, it is a gift to man.
As far as RSS feeds etc., these are available at the top of the screen behind the share button.
My some thoughts about “the homily” of Msgr. Charles Pope are here below:
Firstly, in the homily, Msgr. Charles Pope commented on 1968 film of planet of Apes, an American science fiction film.
Thus, theme of the homily is Ape.
Secondly, now permit me to discuss some matters to relate to the theme of the homily hereafter:
As we know, films are based on books. Therefore, I like to read books more than watch films. Books are intended for researchers, and Films are intended for common people.
To Apes, Charles Robert Darwin, an English naturalist, in his 1859 book on “the origin of species”, established that human beings descended from Apes.
Majority of Vietnamese Communists have known about Darwin and his Theory of Evolution.
Vietnamese Communist Party admitted that Ape is its ancestry.
As for me, I admitted that Darwin‘s theory of Evolution have had positive side, that is, men (non-ape) can improve themselves through working, learning and training. Hence, modern Vietnam has had Ministry of Education and Training. But Ministry of Education and Training can’t educate and train Apes to become Communists.
You can read further Darwin’s theory of evolution here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin
To me, descent of men is God. That means God created men and God also created Ape.
But Ape is Ape. Ape can’t become Man as Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam said.
However, in my opinion, Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam can educate and train so that men become Apes./.
Ah love it how you summarize my post: “Thus, theme of the homily is Ape.” 🙂
Msgr. Pope, I am also an oriental, and English is my second language. When we speak or write, our mind automatically translate it from our language to American English, and most often, it comes out differently from what was intended. I must admit that I also have difficulty getting into Mr. Nguyen’s point, though I believe that he must be an intelligent man, and if he were to discuss this in his language, he would be very articulate. I feel that he understands your post. I do find his response amusing, but I find your summarization of what he said even funnier
I can still vividly remember watching the original movie at a drive-in on Long Island as a five-year old. I was an avid fan of the movies (although the last two were not very good, and had hints of the disturbing themes in the new movie). I even watched the short-lived TV series.
All that being said, I have no intention of taking my kids to see the new movie. I have zero tolerance for the modern nihilistic ecological movement.
The modern age is definitely nihilistic, in fact Nietzsche is quite popular in college philisophy courses and is still widely read. I wonder how many are aware that Nietzsche was quite insane at the end of his life. So you ” Earth Firsters ” should remove those signs or we will all think you are — well you know!.
There’s a T-shirt I’ve seen:
Front: “God is dead.” – Nietzsche
Back: “Nietzsche is dead.” – God
I think that the issue may be more a simultaneous recognition of man’s relative insignificance on the cosmic scale and the admission of our propensity towards cruelty. One does not need to be a Calvinist to see that human history is a story of great suffering and malice, from our propensity to wage aggressive war to seize resources or exact vengeance to our track record of turning even beneficial knowledge to evil purposes. The universe operated in the pre-human age, beings were born, lived, and died, and as our understanding of the cosmos grows we also know that there will be an almost unimaginable duration post-human, when life on our planet will cease to be possible and all our works will be reduced to ash. Even if man somehow survives through these years – and even assuming against all our scientific knowledge to the contrary that he will not continue to be subject through natural forces of biological evolution which would gradually introduce new and different species that are genuinely not human – he would find all the countless works of the earth fade to dust, if he even has any memory of them. I have always marveled at the great clock that is ticking above the heads of mankind, a clock that is indifferent to the nobility of their purposes or the beauty of our art. But even Christianity is subject to this clock. This is something I have never heard anyone truly comment on: Catholicism has an expiration date. What I mean by this is the chief of sacraments, the Eucharist, is completely dependent on the availability of particular species of plant life; and we know that species will invariably go extinct, be they grape, wheat, or human. So, if anything, I would defend the film as a warning, a solemn reminder not only that “thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return,” but an admonition to fill our limited time as a species with what is truly noble even with the knowledge that in the end everything temporal will perish.
Your notion that as our understanding of the cosmos grows we also know that there will be an almost unimaginable duration post-human, when life on our planet will cease to be possible and all our works will be reduced to ash. etc…. seems contrary to the biblical evidence that the Lord will come again to judge the living and the dead within a human epoch. There does not seem to be any indication that the earth or sacraments or man himself will cease to exist prior to the Lord’s coming. If you want to stay in the realm of pure science you could speculate in this way. But once we enter the world of revelation there is some obligation for us not completely rewrite the narrative
Forgive me for asking some clarification: are you saying that, as a Catholic, I am obliged by the creed to believe that mankind as a species (even if not as individuals) is invulnerable to threats during its existence within temporal creation?
I would say so. He will come again in Glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. This surely implies that, when he returns to this earth to judge the living and the dead that some of us will still be here living. Further, it would seem that scripture envisions that judgment which the Lord will execute with fire, to take place upon this earth, not some other planet:
The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men….The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? (2 Peter 3:6-9)
Please do not think I am engaging in polemics, because I am really simply thinking through the issues. I also understand that you may not want to go any further in what is certainly only tangential to what is a well-written post, so I will perfectly understand if you don’t post it. But please do post and reply if you see fit:
I am concerned about the habit displayed by certain figures in Church history, even Popes, who have made arguments from revelation and made various proclamations based upon the faith which cover matters that are demonstrable from empirical data. There have seemed to be several occasions in which this has happened, such as over the heliocentric revolution, and somewhat more recently the declaration in Humani Generis that by all accounts seems to make it a point of faith to believe in a literal primal Adam and Eve, despite the generous genetic and other data to the contrary. With that in mind, is it wise to therefore discount the possibility of either self-annihilation through some hideous application of our intellect in malice, or to discount the possibility of a host of threats to our existence, because one infers from the creed that there will be extant humans on the planet earth present for a literal space-time second coming? Further, I have often discussed with other Catholics recently the way in which the Christian concept of a space-time judgment relies on a pre-Einsteinian understanding of time as a universal, omnipresent, simultaneous variable: that is, the event occurs at a single moment across creation, which signals the end of the old creation in fire. Yet we know that time is actually bound up to space and velocity and that simultaneity is only valid within a single arbitrary frame of reference, namely, that of some observer’s, and that a space-time event only propagates at the speed of light (and thus, for instance, a space-time judgement beginning at the earth would take billions of years to propagate across the universe). So it seems that either we must account for how a literal space-time judgment would actually work within the universe, or we must say that the judgment is in some real sense an extra-space-time judgment. Thoughts?
I understand your basic concern. Though I have no real idea what you are talking about regarding time 🙂 To me it is less about time than place and the biblical revelation’s plain meaning is that the Lord who ascended from earth with return here to judge the selfsame, eg. Acts 1.
At any rate, I am careful to use words like seem in matters such as this for the reasons you state, in that we need not absolutely dig our heels in on certain things that are not definitively defined. I personally have a problem squaring your view of an empty earth with the data of biblical revelation however, since your scenario is entirely speculative to begin with I see little I prefer to remain a bit non-committal on an absolute answer. Hence my use of the word “seem.” To have this debate in reality would require some sort of time machine that could look back on earth and see it as empty and scorched and observe that the 2nd coming had not come and then we would have a bit of a problem from my point of view. It is also possible, as I think you are trying to do to reassess what time and space are, but in the end I remain skeptical of your view. One need not absolutely reject it however, especially when you are claiming to see time and space differently than the average Joe, Catholic or non.
Regarding Humani Generis, I have written on that matter on this blog before. I will say that there are legitimate debates as to how definitive Pius XII’s statement is. No other Pope since has discussed the matter and hence we don’t exactly have a long track record on this from the Papal Magisterium. Hence, some conclude the matter remains open for discussion. Here too, I personally remain unconvinced by polygenism but do not absolutely conclude it to be excluded from discussion. I think it is a legitimate point of view that we really need more of a track record in the subject of how square the doctrine of Original sin with something other than monogenism from the popes. Perhaps future Popes will speak to the matter.
As i watched, I saw a strong ‘ hint’ of blurring the interface seperating man from ape. The film might suggest it’s intelligence, since the ape seemed to become an equal consideration once the ‘virus’ of brain power took effect. Ceaser seemed to exhibit compassion and a sense of right and wrong by protecting the innocent, but he was, after all, the only one brought up by a decent human. As for the other apes, they seem to mirror the fate of man , should he actually apply Nietzsche’s idea of the ubermensch…(alpha male?) Yes, the apes changed, but in the end, they were still apes…
I’m going to see it this evening. Maybe I’ll chime in after that, but if I do, it’ll be to tell you whether or not I was entertained for a couple of hours.
I won’t spout a bunch of quasi-philosophical stuff that won’t make sense to anyone anyway, pretending that I actually gleaned something highly significant or that I have some deeper understanding of humanity. I surely don’t.
Okay – I saw the movie and heck yeah, I was highly entertained for 2 hours.
With respect to Mr. Greydanus and you, Monsignor, both of whose points I wouldn’t argue with, I would just like to say that I am so very glad that I don’t have to pick apart movies or books in an attempt to find meaning beyond sheer entertainment. Maybe that makes me small-minded or stupid, but if I want to have a deeper understanding of something – anything – I’m not going to try and dissect what someone who made a movie might have been thinking. That’s not reality and I don’t need it to influence me. I’m certainly not going to be convinced of anything or change my thinking because of a movie.
There is enough disconcerting stuff in the world – a movie should be an escape from reality for a bit, and that’s what this movie was – an escape. The concept is about as plausible as Jurassic Park or the current vampires rage.
Well what you call picking apart may be an attempt to live a reflective life. And don’t be so sure that a movie doesn’t influence people including you. Music, visual arts, news reportage etc all influence us.
Monsignor – if someone wants to find deeper meaning in anything, I say let ’em. My point is that I don’t look for meaning of any sort in entertainment, except just that – to be entertained. And when I say I’m not influenced, I mean that watching a movie like this one is not going to influence me to think that man is evil or science is evil or anything like that. It’s kind of like looking at a piece of abstract artwork – one can presume all one likes what the painter or sculptor had in mind – but in the end, its still just a guess.
If some truth happens to sputter out at me from a movie screen or a page in a book – which I will admit to being mightily influenced by – then that’s great. But it’s likely going to be an affirmation of something I already believe, not an earth-shattering revelation.
I hope that makes sense.
Sign me up for the reflective life.
Thank you for being a Priest, Monsignor,
“The human race is the pinnacle of God’s creation” – the perfect response to people who worship ‘false-Gods’ of the ‘natural world’ and see ‘other people’ as the problem. (I don’t hear ‘self loathing’ from people that worship the earth; I hear loathing for the ‘unenlightened’ members of the human family.)
We are ‘obligated’ to love one another as God loves us.
Yes, the loathing is probably more for folk like me and you. Self loathing however is used in the collective sense of our western culture.
I haven’t noticed many greens giving up their homes so trees can grow instead or leaving the planet via suicide. Having less people usually means for them, some other slob.
I have just seen “Super 8” and the mentality is the same: the baddy baddy humans are the ones responsible for the trouble and deaths, the “monster” being in reality a gentle, oppressed creature striving for liberty.
What is rotten to the core here is the liberal mentality for which Western civilisation is bad, and whatever is comparatively primitive is good.
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