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Why doesn’t life on earth collapse and end?


NUance

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What I'm asking is why are we (life on earth) are the lucky sand castle that doesn't immediately get washed away? Why does the incredibly complex system of life on earth keep chugging right along instead of being one of the 999,999 sand castles that gets washed away?

"Doesn't" as you use it implies a state of permanence, and that's not correct. We're somewhere on the timeline of life coming into existence & going extinct on Earth. Existing, as we do, somewhere in this timeline does not mean that it won't die out, it just hasn't yet. It will, if for no other reason than that the Sun will eventually explode and Earth will cease to exist. Presuming Life hasn't ended by then, it will at that point.

 

So it isn't that life "doesn't" get washed away, it's that it "hasn't yet."

 

 

Yeah, that could be a possibility. It could just be a matter of time frame. Being a human I think in terms of decades, centuries and millenia. But the earth took 4.5 billion years to get to this point. So if the earth maintains it's present level of sophistication for another 10,000 years (unlikely) that wouldn't even be the blink of an eye in celestial time. The sand castle is being immediately washed awayjust not at a rate that I can measure with my wristwatch. :lol:

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the earth is not self sustaining. the sun feeds the planet. when the sun stops feeding the plants the life on earth will collapse.

Colossians 1:17   Just thought I'd throw another perspective out there.

 

Seriously though....

 

If the world is constantly changing/dying/decaying...etc. and it's not the same as it was a million years ago and it's not going to be the same a million years from now, why do we care if our little tid bit of life changes it faster or differently than it would have changed without us?

Because we live in it. It'd be swell not to care, to live life without worries or concerns. But we have to eat, find shelter, care for our loved ones, etc. It's generally considered to be better to live than to die, and it's generally considered to live well than to live poorly. So we strive to make our little slice of time as pleasant as possible.

 

If you're talking specifically about Global Warming, and the consequences therein, then we're doing a favor to our descendants by caring about the world today. Nobody alive today is going to experience runaway global warming like we see on Venus, so we could easily say "eh" and not care. But we're altruistic creatures, and we do care about those who will come after us, so we do strive to do better with the environment. Not all of us, obviously, or we wouldn't have companies & countries pumping toxic waste into the environment in the name of profits. But those are bad people.

 

I was mainly talking the long term stuff. Obviously we want to live comfortably and I understand that. Most of the discussion on this is long term as in over the next 100 years the temp might raise .5 degrees more than usual and 100 years from now Miami is going to be under water...bla bla bla....

 

Well, other than being nice, I guess....not sure why we care.

 

People talk about climate change as being the absolute most important issue to man kind today. Well, wouldn't being comfortable now be the most important and...if we have the time and money to be nice....the long term climate would be after that?

 

Especially...(bringing this back to the original topic)....it's all changing anyway with the sun being the care taker and it's constantly dying and changing.

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The question is, are you willing to mortgage your children's future so you can have a better life today? Let's say you knew that there was a limited supply of firewood, enough to last for 10 years if you burn it conservatively. You know for a fact that you'll be dead in five years (you got dysentery or something), but your wife & kids will live longer. You like it hot, though, so you burn twice as much firewood for your own comfort today, knowing that means your family won't have any firewood for the last winter or two.

 

Are you OK with leaving them to fend for themselves in the cold, maybe freezing to death, because you're too lazy to put on a sweater and extra socks?

 

Most people aren't. Most would say, "I'll suck it up a little bit so I don't put my family in a bind in the future."

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The question is, are you willing to mortgage your children's future so you can have a better life today? Let's say you knew that there was a limited supply of firewood, enough to last for 10 years if you burn it conservatively. You know for a fact that you'll be dead in five years (you got dysentery or something), but your wife & kids will live longer. You like it hot, though, so you burn twice as much firewood for your own comfort today, knowing that means your family won't have any firewood for the last winter or two.

 

Are you OK with leaving them to fend for themselves in the cold, maybe freezing to death, because you're too lazy to put on a sweater and extra socks?

 

Most people aren't. Most would say, "I'll suck it up a little bit so I don't put my family in a bind in the future."

I guess we could do something for them to be nice.

 

That would be considered short term and I know my kids and love them and want them to be comfortable too.

 

But, I have no idea if they are even going to have kids or of their kids are going to be nice, good people that I want to do something nice and sacrifice for. Heck, we are talking 100 years or more down the road.

 

Now, I can see doing some things to be nice to them. But, is it really the most catastrophic issue facing human kind above and beyond feeing the people and taking care of the ones of the face of the earth today?

 

Heck, ISIS might get ahold of nukes 5 years from now and after that, none of us might even be here.

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But, is it really the most catastrophic issue facing human kind above and beyond feeing the people and taking care of the ones of the face of the earth today?

Since I presume "it" is still Global Warming, the answer does not have to be "Yes, Global Warming is the most catastrophic issue facing human kind" for us to act on it. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

 

Further, it is not mutually exclusive that we have to keep warming the planet with fossil fuel emissions OR continue to grow and prosper and feed people. We have an abundance of energy sources, and fossil fuels are not the best for us. If we simply harnessed the sunlight striking the planet we'd have more than enough energy.

 

I really don't get where you're going with this. Why should you have to have some tangible benefit you can hold in your hand today to do the right thing?

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"Right thing" is really a personal decision based on what you believe the "right thing" is or if the "right thing" even matters to you personally.

 

If the world is a living system of organisms that is fueled by the sun and is constantly in flux of dying off or living. If you look at the big picture of millions of years, does it really matter if we are the ones that kill it off? Seriously....who gives a rip?

 

 

OR....is the answer to the original question, that we are the purpose for the Earth so it is maintained for us and, in turn, we have the responsibility to take care of it during our short term custodial responsibilities for our big rock in space.

 

Therefore, it remains living and doesn't die off both for us and because of us....(if we don't screw up too much).

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Maintaining the stance that the ONLY reason we do altruistic things is because of Deity X, Y or Z is a dead-end conversation. If you won't allow for the possibility that purpose, altruism or basic kindness exists outside of some religious setting then there's nothing to discuss.

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Fine...leave deity, religion, X,Y or Z out of it.

 

This world has been "living" for millions of years evolving from molten mush into an amazingly complex system of molecules, cells and energy. The original question was, why doesn't it die off? Well, it appears to me that some people believe that we ARE killing it off and at such an amazingly fast rate that some people produce major movies warning us of ultimate doom and we are the cause of everything that is bad.

 

Well....maybe the answer to the original question is.....it hasn't died off yet simply because humans as a disease on the Earth hadn't advanced far enough yet to do it and that's simply the course this huge chemical reaction is going to take....and....so what?

 

Maybe we are actually a parasite that the Earth needs to exterminate to continue living.

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Colossians 1:17

 

Just thought I'd throw another perspective out there.

Colossians 1:17English Standard Version (ESV)

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

 

Not leaving deity out (sorry Knapp), Those of us who believe in a creator God, we believe he's placed in motion the forces/laws that govern our universe and that God sustains it. He also gives mankind the responsibility and wisdom to be a good steward. As Knapp, notes above, being a good steward of this good old ship earth means leaving resources for the generations to follow.

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If we want to look at this from a Christian stance, God calls his faithful to be good stewards of Earth:

 

"Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room... The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing: 'Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitants.'"

- Isaiah 5: 8-9.

 

That's a reasonably straightforward warning to manage Earth well. Not only that, but the warning God gives is directly at a specific audience, "Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses..." God isn't talking about the people shopping at Wal-Mart there, he's talking about the OWNERS of Wal-Mart. Those with the most means (money) are those he warns first. Why? Because the wealthy are the greatest consumers of resources. God doesn't mince words about whom he's going to hold accountable for not taking care of his creation.

 

"They have harps and lyres at their banquets, pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands."

- Isaiah 5: 12

 

Again, God isn't messing around here. You want to fiddle while Rome burns? BZZZZZZ! Wrong answer. God ain't having that:

 

"And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."
- Revelation 18: 2-3

 

The merchants and kings, singled out for their abuse of Babylon, growing rich from her luxuries. And what do they get? Punishment, they have fallen, they live in a place now unclean.

 

Further reading:

 

Stewardship of Creation

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Fine...leave deity, religion, X,Y or Z out of it.

 

This world has been "living" for millions of years evolving from molten mush into an amazingly complex system of molecules, cells and energy. The original question was, why doesn't it die off? Well, it appears to me that some people believe that we ARE killing it off and at such an amazingly fast rate that some people produce major movies warning us of ultimate doom and we are the cause of everything that is bad.

 

Well....maybe the answer to the original question is.....it hasn't died off yet simply because humans as a disease on the Earth hadn't advanced far enough yet to do it and that's simply the course this huge chemical reaction is going to take....and....so what?

 

Maybe we are actually a parasite that the Earth needs to exterminate to continue living.

 

I think there's probably a grain of truth in there. Not that the earth needs to do anything. It doesn't notice or care. But many scientists believe we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction caused by humans, which has resulted in the fastest rate of species extinction in millions of years. Left unabated, humans will almost certainly be a part of the extinction. Not to get too political, but this is one of the reasons I don't understand how Christianity got mixed up with the right wing (although on a positive note, I find Pope Francis very refreshing). I always thought growing up that it was a moral imperative to protect and cherish the environment. Why that isn't a cornerstone of modern Christianity is beyond me: it's maybe the moral imperative, especially when you consider the impact on the poor especially if we fail.

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Fine...leave deity, religion, X,Y or Z out of it.

 

This world has been "living" for millions of years evolving from molten mush into an amazingly complex system of molecules, cells and energy. The original question was, why doesn't it die off? Well, it appears to me that some people believe that we ARE killing it off and at such an amazingly fast rate that some people produce major movies warning us of ultimate doom and we are the cause of everything that is bad.

 

Well....maybe the answer to the original question is.....it hasn't died off yet simply because humans as a disease on the Earth hadn't advanced far enough yet to do it and that's simply the course this huge chemical reaction is going to take....and....so what?

 

Maybe we are actually a parasite that the Earth needs to exterminate to continue living.

 

I think there's probably a grain of truth in there. Not that the earth needs to do anything. It doesn't notice or care. But many scientists believe we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction caused by humans, which has resulted in the fastest rate of species extinction in millions of years. Left unabated, humans will almost certainly be a part of the extinction. Not to get too political, but this is one of the reasons I don't understand how Christianity got mixed up with the right wing (although on a positive note, I find Pope Francis very refreshing). I always thought growing up that it was a moral imperative to protect and cherish the environment. Why that isn't a cornerstone of modern Christianity is beyond me: it's maybe the moral imperative, especially when you consider the impact on the poor especially if we fail.

 

X - Roe v Wade - the reason the 'Christian conservatives' got involved wt the republican party - in general. Not all Christians are involved wt the repub party or the right wing of that party. After Roe v Wade the only party that gave lip service to the moral issue of abortion from the conservative Christian perspective was the repub party. The 'Moral Majority' became a movement that helped elect Ronald Reagan and usher in the congress of 1980- which was a tidal wave election. Unfortunately, conservative Christian (CC) voters have become the same to the repub machine that I think African American voters are to the dem machine - entrapped voters - no place else to go. However our "leaders" only give lip service and no changes are made. CC are pawns each election cycle like African Americans are to the dems - throw out enough 'pro-life' rhetoric to keep them in the camp so you can count on their votes but never do anything - so you always have that election issue - thus they are chained to the party forever. Under this administration & Clinton's, have the African American faired any better - no. Under both Bushs - did prolife issues resolve themselves - no.

 

Also, I do think stewardship is a moral imperative of Christian faith. I was just reading a very important chapter on that in the book link copied below (outside or the Bible, if I could only have one other 'spiritual' book - this would be it). We are to steward all things as belonging to another, God, and that includes being stewards of our neighbor - yes I am my brother's keeper - "Love your neighbor as yourself." The problem arises when one's faith gets overshadowed by political issues - Politics isn't our savior. This is where the Moral Majority went wrong - too entangled in the political that it began to loose its Christian distinctives and became in many ways just an appendage of the RNC. While we may use politics to resolve a moral dilemma in society, we cannot trust it to solve all issues and give blind allegiance to one political party which can be filled wt many moral issues that are contrary to Christian thought.

 

Book:

http://www.amazon.com/Conformed-His-Image-Practical-Approaches/dp/031023848X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441207703&sr=8-1&keywords=conformed+to+his+image&pebp=1441207704723&perid=08K8ERRV0C41ET2M82SB

512S9XUDOCL._SX397_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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If we want to look at this from a Christian stance, God calls his faithful to be good stewards of Earth:

 

"Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room... The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing: 'Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitants.'"

- Isaiah 5: 8-9.

 

That's a reasonably straightforward warning to manage Earth well. Not only that, but the warning God gives is directly at a specific audience, "Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses..." God isn't talking about the people shopping at Wal-Mart there, he's talking about the OWNERS of Wal-Mart. Those with the most means (money) are those he warns first. Why? Because the wealthy are the greatest consumers of resources. God doesn't mince words about whom he's going to hold accountable for not taking care of his creation.

 

"They have harps and lyres at their banquets, pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands."

- Isaiah 5: 12

 

Again, God isn't messing around here. You want to fiddle while Rome burns? BZZZZZZ! Wrong answer. God ain't having that:

 

"And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."

- Revelation 18: 2-3

 

The merchants and kings, singled out for their abuse of Babylon, growing rich from her luxuries. And what do they get? Punishment, they have fallen, they live in a place now unclean.

 

Further reading:

 

Stewardship of Creation

Excellent post Knapp

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