The Role of Religion in the Present Ecological Crisis.
Religion and its underlying beliefs have an extremely profound effect on the society in which it is established. The way a society, as a whole, treats certain situations, objects or institutions is directly related to the belief system associated with the religion followed in that area. Whether a certain idea is stated outright or rather the belief is implied by the teachings of a religion, the religion is responsible for its followers: therefore can be held accountable for these actions. How people treat the environment is correlated with their belief system, which deals with how a person relates to the world and everything else surrounding them. The way humans think of themselves, in relation to the world, stems from religious beliefs and if further explored, these ideas would be found to be the cause of their treatment of nature. The differences between religions would account for the different degrees of ecological issues facing various parts of the world because of the distribution of religions. There are many extreme differences between the eastern religions; such as Hinduism and Buddhism, and the western religion of Christianity, that can account for the greater degree of damage to the environment and ecological destruction in the areas associated with western religions. These differences can be seen, both in the way that the religious Hindus of India treat their sacred river, the Ganges in comparison with the way Western corporations are rapidly causing the deforestation of rainforests in third world countries throughout the world, in hopes of large financial gains. The only way to solve this extreme environmental crisis, never before seen in human history, is to develop a new global environmental ethic, which requires a transformation of many of the underlying assumptions behind all religions throughout the world.