We are in the midst of a mass religion to which most of humanity seems to ascribe, a human-centered religion devoid of any real meaning beyond an egocentric paradigm focused on our species.
Anthropocentrism is the belief that humans are the universe’s central or most critical entity. The term can be used interchangeably with humanocentrism, and some refer to the concept as human supremacy or human exceptionalism.
Anthropocentrism originates in ancient Greek philosophy, particularly with the works of philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. In his dialogues, Plato often emphasized the importance of human reason and the soul as distinguishing features of humanity. Aristotle considered humans to be “rational animals,” suggesting that reason was the defining characteristic that set humans apart from the rest of the natural world. – aways with a natural focus – materiality
Philosophers like René Descartes argued for the primacy of human reason and consciousness. This era also saw the development of the scientific method, which further emphasized human observation and understanding of the natural world.
Do you think this humanist focus has eroded our respect for life? Specifically under the lens of Genesis 1:27?
Anthropocentric Principle – This concept extends to all of the created universe. It’s a concept in cosmology and philosophy suggesting that the universe appears fine-tuned for life to exist, raising questions about purpose or design.
This doesn’t necessarily advocate for a designer but offers a naturalistic explanation for the universe’s apparent fine-tuning.
Again, this defaults to a simple materiality that has some observable order. Yet the explanation of that inherent order is always a mystery that side-stepped an honest look at causality.
Do you think that such a perspective can lead to an inflated sense of human importance and neglect of environmental or ecological concerns?
We think we understand nature so we can replicate it and thus show no concern for conserving the planet in its form.
Again, stripping out the divine causation from any explanation. That is not to say there isn’t a natural occurrence, but the issue for me is the ontology of this shared reality.
This Anthropocentrism, I believe, ultimately leads us to the very essence of the matter – love.
Love is something that, by definition, has to be freely given and freely received.
In the New Testament, Jesus emphasizes the importance of love as a central principle. In the “Greatest Commandment” (Matthew 22:37-39), Jesus teaches that the greatest commandments are to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
All love has a sacrificial aspect and dimension to it.
Across history, we are filled with fables and stories of great sacrifices and feats to give up a life in the face of great danger.
From the Shakespearian – Romeo and Juliett
To the self-chastisement of Mystics Like Teresa of Avila – a practice that dates back a long time and is found in other cultures across history.
Can anthropocentrism or anthropocentric love lead to self-harm or harming others?
A fine line exists between loving God sacrificially and trying to perform a sacrificial good.
Like disciplining a child with force, you want enough to show that there are real consequences or at least for the child to experience some punishment for an activity – one as a parent may not like punishing – it is necessary to order the child’s morality and expectations.
When we turn our focus away from God, we stop seeing the divine in the FACE of our neighbor, and our world and creation become disordered.
This ideological abyss leads to a division from our neighbor that will only lead to more turmoil and despair.