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Christianity Encourages or Discourages the Conservation of Biodiversity

            The idea for this research project derives from a class seminar early in the quarter in which students briefly pondered whether Christianity encourages or discourages the conservation of biodiversity. The instructor's enthusiasm regarding this question was self-evident and provided ample impetus to pursue an answer - not for obsequious reasons, but for reasons of instrumentality: when baking a pie for the county fair, choose a fruit filling to which the judge is partial. .
             According to the rules of academic honesty, I must mention that I embarked on this research project with a vivid awareness of my own personal bias against religion, in general, and against Judeo-Christianity, in particular. I had hoped to hammer my bias into a reasoned polemic against what Erich Fromm (1976) called Judeo-Christianity's "life-negating tendency- to fixate on redemption and the afterlife. Supporting me in this venture would be Nietzsche (1888), who argued similarly that Judeo-Christianity's mission was "[to] reverse the whole love of the earth and the earthly - .
             If I could demonstrate that Judeo-Christianity's preoccupation with death creates a mindset in believers facilitating the devaluation and/or subjugation of nature, I could begin to argue that Judeo-Christianity thwarts the conservation of biodiversity. In order to continue along those lines, however, I needed to augment and expand my argument regarding Judeo-Christianity's life-negating mindset with explicit theological evidence. This evidence would show that man's dominion over the biosphere is sanctioned by Judeo-Christianity. In accomplishing these rhetorical tasks, I would reveal that Judeo-Christianity's environmental ethic discourages the conservation of biodiversity.
             I found ample evidence in support of my initial psycho-philosophical argument in Jung and Nietzsche. Critiques of the Judeo-Christian environmental ethic are fairly rife in the social sciences literature.

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