CLIMATE CATASTROPHE: Is Apocalyptic Alarmism Ultimately A Question Of (ir)Religious Dogma?

Written by Wes Walker on July 25, 2021

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Many of our readers will be old enough to remember when it was rapture-expectant Christians wringing their hands about the end of the world. That baton has since been passed to their secular eco-activist counterparts.

The secular left loves to explain away any concern or political position taken by a Christian as nothing more than an expression of their religious biases. As soon as they can tie any truth claim to a religious belief, they proceed to dismiss it as either retrograde, or superstition that has been displaced by science.

But isn’t it fair for that same question turned around on their own beliefs? They claim to be rooted in ‘science’ but too often we see them making pseudo-scientific claims that require a dogmatic materialistic worldview.

Even the most supposedly ardent defenders of the scientific method can run aground on those shoals. We’ve all heard claims that any claim that cannot be proved by scientific inquiry cannot be believed. What people who tell us that cannot do is point to a single scientific experiment to back up that assertion.

Have the militant left ever considered the possibility that the real reason so many Christians and secular leftists clash might be because both groups have rival religious worldviews? Since they can’t both be right when their ideas collide, there is often a real zero-sum game in any contest that pits them against one another.

We see that play out in the ‘Green’ movement.

The clock is still ticking on AOC’s shrill warnings that the world would be beyond saving in 12 short years. That was two and a half years ago. She has since backpedaled on how serious she really was about that timeline, but whether she took that date seriously or not, many of those who devoutly followed the climate calamity predictions absolutely did.

Those followers took her alarmist claims as ‘gospel’, just as others did with Al Gore’s prediction that all of the Arctic ice would be gone by 2013, just as others still did with that infamous photo of a sickly polar bear that even the photographer acknowledged consisted mainly of creative storytelling around a photo for which the photographer had exactly zero understanding of context.

If Christians are not especially moved by the cyclical warnings of global catastrophe and an unlivable hell that human hubris is going to rain down on our own heads, there are two reasons to explain why those pronouncements do not dismay them.

First, Christians do not see these secular doomsayers as credible prophets of a certain future in the same way the secular left does. The left has blurred the lines between science, which measures the known world and is subject to falsification, and scientism.

We acknowledge that we have been called upon God to be stewards of this world, that cleaning our rivers is better than poisoning them, for example. We are often involved in community cleanups and the like. But we cannot help but notice that even with humanity’s most destructive and disruptive technology, nuclear bombs, the 2000 nuclear detonations we have made since splitting the atom have not destroyed our world. Nor have they come close.

We have seen Lake Erie go from the most hopelessly polluted of the Great Lakes to perhaps the cleanest in just a few decades. Ozone Holes are no longer a threat that holds the world in fear. A record-setting one over the Arctic last year got barely any notice, and then it closed up again. Even much of the science that true believers in the green movement have access to has proven hopelessly unrepeatable as shown in the latter half of this article. Repeatability is supposed to be one of the hallmarks in legitimate science.

Second, for those who have any serious faith in God, this ecological resiliency in the Earth is hardly surprising. We trust in a God who promised Noah we would NOT have a planet-destroying catastrophe. And, more to the point, we believe He is big enough to keep that promise, even if all of humanity totally drops the ball. He promised:

Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” — Genesis 8:21b,22 ESV

We aren’t the only group in this equation with fundamental metaphysical beliefs. The various schools within ‘Progressiveism’ rest on a foundation laid in no small part by Karl Marx, as well as several other German atheistic philosophers, and those who have followed since.

His political worldview, his philosophy, and his morality were all firmly anchored in his metaphysical understanding of the universe, and humanity’s role in it.

Anyone who builds on Marx’s foundation builds on a foundation that extending out from the assumptions offered by his atheism.

Marx and Engels understood materialism as the opposite of idealism, by which they meant any theory that treats matter as dependent on mind or spirit, or mind or spirit as capable of existing independently of matter. For them, the materialist and idealist views were irreconcilably opposed throughout the historical development of philosophy. They adopted a thoroughgoing materialist approach, holding that any attempt to combine or reconcile materialism with idealism must result in confusion and inconsistency. —PaulElias

The belief that we live in a closed-box materialistic world in which there is No God, nor can there be one is just as much a metaphysical and religious claim about reality as one made by any world religion. It is both scientifically unfalsifiable and logically unprovable.

In that sense, it is every bit as much a dogma as any of the major world religions.

The secular dogma offers no heaven and no afterlife. Instead, the perfect future it offers is one of Utopia on a perfectible planet, with a perfectible people.

Any salvation they offer their devotees can and must be offered not by God Almighty, but by an all-mighty state.

They would have us believe we live in a world where man is the pinnacle of life on earth; that he is the ultimate moral authority; that he has the power to destroy all life on earth. It is an absolute truth claim every bit as open to critique as any other religious dogma.

What never occurs to the devout secularist is that any belief that requires a secularist to make IRRELIGIOUS assumptions can be just as laughably improbable to a non-believer in their secular dogma as their questions and critiques of faith and religious traditions may be to them.

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