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Ecological Problems – Living on Future Generations’ Account

By: Rabbi Yehudah Levi The Primary Source of the Problem Before we can hope to solve the problems of ecology in the technological age, we must get at the roots of these problems. These lie primarily in our basic attitude toward the purpose of our life—in our choice of priorities. In the secular society, the top priority is self-interest. Any sense of responsibility toward the world at large is—if it exists at all—extremely secondary. Let us illustrate this with a typical example. In a certain industry, it is standard practice to use a manufacturing process which is highly economical, but at the same time contributes to the destruction of the protective ozone layer in the atmosphere. If we were to suggest to the manager of a company in this industry that he use an alternative process which reduces pollution, but is more costly, he would answer, “My first responsibility is to the stock¬holders. I do not have the right to tell them to reduce their profits in order to preserve the quality of the atmosphere fifty years from now.” From a secular standpoint, this claim is difficult to refute. The Secular Approach Present efforts to stem this tide focus mainly […]

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