(We were discussing how conservative believers aren't very "green," and those of you who know me are probably pretty aware that Trevvor and I are something of Christian Hippies. I had been saying that our bodies are temples and the earth is the Lord's creation, and it is possibly sinful to knowingly fill either with toxins.)
I've heard this argument before--God gave us brains, so let's use them! Well, yes. I agree. But we can use those brains for destroying just as easily as for building up. We have the mental capacity to come up with all sorts of creative ways to kill people en masse (atomic bomb? gas chambers? chemical warfare?--modern man is not immune to creative atrocities any more than our barbarian ancestors). We have the mental capacity to both kill an unborn child and find a way to make it seem reasonable, even moral, to do so. We can use stem cells from aborted babies to make medical breakthroughs that would help thousands, tens of thousands! God gave us brains--let's use them! Right?
Such farming practices such as the ones that allow us to feed more people now are simply unsustainable and will make the earth unable to feed a greater population later. Do we not have a responsibility towards our children's children as much as we do to ourselves? Especially since it is false that the current population cannot be fed using sustainable means? If we focused more on nutrition rather than calories, on growing vegetables and fruits rather than excessive meat and sugarcane, we would have more than enough truly healthful food for everyone today without poisoning the land for everyone in the future.
(As a side note, I'll take the opportunity to throw in here that Westerners are selfish to demand that completely unnecessary food-stuffs such as sugar--which has NO nutritional value and is drug-like in addictive powers--be grown on such a scale. Not to mention meat, coffee, and chocolate--and don't get me started on corn and soy!--which are not completely devoid of value but are over-consumed to such an extent to have ruined traditional farming practices all over the world in undeveloped countries, which grow luxuries [and nutritionally empty calories] for us at the expense of not being able to grow necessities for themselves. Moderation, people!)
And while I'm already ranting a bit, let me address another argument against caring for creation. I've heard it said that man will not destroy the earth because God will one day do so, therefore it doesn't matter what man does, the world won't be destroyed until God wills it so.
That's like saying, "I'm not going to die until it's God's time for me to die, so it doesn't matter what risky behavior I engage in, what I eat, how active I am, or how I care for my body at all. God's in control, so I don't have to take care of myself--I'll just die when He's ready for me."
In both cases, the speaker is correct. God will destroy the earth of His own accord, and He will bring us home when He wants us home. It doesn't matter what we do. But that doesn't remove from us the burden of caring for that which He has created, be it our fleshly temples or the entire world.
Back to the original point.
No, I do not believe that God gave us brains so that we could poison ourselves, so that we could be so short-sighted as to think that what we do now to maintain our current comfortable lifestyles--Western diet included--won't be devastating for the future. We have the brain power to have our (lightly sweetened) cake and eat it too! We can use the brains God gave us to keep His earth pure and our bodies along with it, while still feeding all the precious souls which fill His creation. It does not have to be one or the other. Don't use God as an excuse not to dig deeper, to keep searching for more sustainable solutions, to admit that maybe those liberal pagan tree-huggers could have a point.
Yes, we can do all these toxic things in the name of God and science. But just because we can, doesn't mean we should.
'“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.' - 1 Corinthians 10:23