Saturday, September 21, 2019

Global Climate Protest in Naperville

After attending the rally, I have a few questions regarding ascribing moral value to the ecosystem: How does one hold that he or she has any sort of rights or entitlements? How is this type of claim justified? In other words, how do we justify ascribed moral values that are used to validate claims? Who is obligated to provide whatever is entitled by the right to clean air and water? Is there a difference between moral and legal rights? Surely we have seen how a dangerously ignorant and greedy man in the White House can deregulate previous policies. We have also seen how lobbyists can buy our legislators. Now also consider the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and how difficult it is to enforce its 30 articles. If “it’s a moral issue," then solidarity means unified action and the demand for our moral values to become enforceable, irrevocable laws in this country and elsewhere in the world. How do we make that a reality?

1 comment:

  1. Vincent Gaddis:

    You are asking some powerful, important questions and I can only answer from my perspective. I encourage others to participate in this important discussion. As a Christian, I believe God created the earth which by that very act, it has moral value. The creator ascribes value to the creation. He called it 'good' that is a moral claim. Man has been given a moral conscience and a moral position by God to be a steward of his creation. God called his creation of man, 'very good' If one believes that life is sacred, as I do, that is the moral basis for the claim. It is a moral issue as I see it since as a moral person, motivated by the command to love, my neighbor and my creator's creation, I am compelled to act and see this as not simply an economic, political, cultural or social issue. I do not see nature as an object to be abused and dominated by man. (I acknowledge here that some Christian's do see the relation as one of domination. I disagree with them).

    As far as the law is concerned, moral law, the law of love is what we must follow. Any man-made law that at its core violates God's law is an immoral law and to the degree it violates moral law, I have an obligation to resist that law. The way to enforce the Declaration of Human Rights, the way to make the world safe and sustainable, is for of us who see keeping the earth sustainable, to ban together and struggle against trump, the right, and corporate power to create policy that does support the UN declaration.

    Now, that's a big audacious vision, but if we do not see ecological catastrophe is a moral issue, we lose the very authority for our struggle. We are fighting to protect God's creation...which means the earth, and ourselves. I also believe that this moral fight forces us to fight on a series of moral fronts. We must address capitalism, poverty, racism, and all other forms of structural violence. In saving the earth, we save ourselves. That is why I say it is a moral struggle.

    Glen Brown:

    Indeed, Rev. Martin Luther King said it best: “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law” (Letter from a Birmingham Jail). For secular thinkers, however, natural rights are fundamental and inherent to human nature. This Natural Law theory originated from classical Greek philosophy and the Chinese. It was adopted and modified by Christianity hundreds of years later. It was not until the 18th century when natural rights were protected by law. Of course, what is considered natural does not necessarily dictate the normative. Our goal as you state: “We must address capitalism, poverty, racism, and all other forms of structural violence. In saving the earth, we save ourselves.” Surely, we can be better than who we are. We have the ability to change the world and “save ourselves”; we can turn our aspirations and “what is” into what “ought” to be done.