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Author Topic: Review of Gore's "Earth in the Balance"  (Read 1992 times)
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jmfcst
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« on: June 01, 2004, 12:44:10 pm »
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Reading books is a big deal for me since I have only read two non-technical books in the last 12 years.  I'll be giving my view of Gore's book as I finish each chapter (which may take awhile to complete).

Review of Chapter One:

1) As expected, environmentalism is not just a science for Gore, it's a religion, as evident from the title "Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit".

Gore believes that humans are spiritually rooted in the Earth, which is an extremely odd statement coming from a Christian.

2) The first chapter is extremely condescending.  Gore repeatedly uses very elementary examples to in order to make a single point.  The reader ends up having to wait and wait for Gore get on with making his case...but, if Gore picks up the pace in subsequent chapters, the redundancy throughout the first chapter is forgivable.

3) Gore thinks a lot of his own scientific understanding.  He simply cannot present a single point without using a first person observation to prove his point, as if his own presence within the example gives added weight to his argument.  (This is an extremely unwise way to form an argument, especially for someone lacking any scientific credentials.)

I’ll list notable quotes from the first chapter later tonight.
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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin' for to carry me home.
jmfcst
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2004, 02:51:18 am »
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Review of Introduction:

"we feel increasingly distant from our roots in the earth...At some point during this journey we lost our feeling of connectedness to the rest of nature.  We now dare to wonder:  Are we so unique and powerful as to be essentially separate from the earth?"....page 1

"The more deeply I search for the roots of the global environmental crisis, the more I am convinced that it is an outer-manifestation of an inner crisis that is, for lack of a better word, spiritual...But what other word describes the collection of values and assumptions that determine our basic understanding of how we fit into the universe?”…page 12

“I reluctantly concluded that I had to look inside myself and confront some difficult and painful questions about what I am really seeking in my own life, and why."....page 13

"I believe deeply that true change is possible only when it begins inside the person who is advocating it.  [then quotes Mahatma Gandhi and spends a 150 word paragraph recounting a story about her]"...page 14

"...[I wondered] how my spiritual life can be more connected to the natural world"...page 15

"I guess that's exactly the reason I ended up writing this book: to fully search my heart and mind about this challenge to which I feel called."...page 16

---

As you can see from the quotes above, Gore environmentalism is much more than a mere science to him; it has also become a religion, the product of his “inner crisis that is, for lack of a better word, spiritual.”

It is Al Gore, not me, that has brought religion into this debate.  Therefore, let us see if his religious views are of his own invention, running counter to the Christianity he claims to follow...

Statement 1:  "we feel increasingly distant from our roots in the earth...At some point during this journey we lost our feeling of connectedness to the rest of nature.”

Response 1:  Christianity teaches that God is prompting us to yearn from a heavenly home that is not part of this creation (not part of nature).  In fact, Christianity teaches that believers are aliens on earth whose citizenship is not of the earth:  

(Heb 11:13-16) <<[the heroes of the faith] admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.>>

(2Cor 5:2)  “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling”

---

Statement 2:  “We now dare to wonder:  Are we so unique and powerful as to be essentially separate from the earth?”

Response 2:  Actually, humans are unique and powerful, singled out from of all creation, and uniquely cared for by God:  

(Gen 1:26-27 ) <<Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.>>

(Psa 8:46; Heb 2:6-8)<<"What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet?>>

---

Statement 3:  "...[I wondered] how my spiritual life can be more connected to the natural world”

Response 3:  What a strange desire to yearn to be spiritually connected to creation rather than the creator.  

(Isa 26:9) <<My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.>>

Also, the bible explicitly teaches that nature is not the place to seek a connection to God:

(1Kings 19:11-13) <<The LORD said to Elijah, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD , for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD , but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face.>>

---

As it is written of those who attempted a spiritual connection with nature:

(Rom 1:25) <<They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised.>>
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin' for to carry me home.
jmfcst
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2004, 02:54:32 am »
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So, since I am in total disagreement with Gore’s religious views, it is fair to ask if my Christianity can be accurately portrayed as being opposed to caring for the environment?  Absolutely NOT!  

I believe man has been placed in charge of God’s earth; therefore, we are stewards of that which has been placed under our feet (under our authority).  And if Gore had simply made the following religious statement, “We are obligated by God to be good stewards of the world he placed under our authority”, then I would have no problem at all with Gore’s religious views.  In fact, I would agree with such a statement.

But, Gore is NOT simply prompting us to be better stewards of the earth, rather he calling for a spiritual connection (or re-connection from Gore’s point of view) between mankind and nature, which the bible warns against.

---

Gore religious beliefs in these areas are not Christian, rather he gleans them from such places as Hindu dictums, which Gore himself quotes:  “The earth is our mother, and we are all her children.” (page 261)

Such a believe contradicts Christianity:

 (Gal 4:26) <<But the Jerusalem (the heavenly city) that is above is free, and SHE IS OUR MOTHER.>>

That same heavenly city is spoken of in many places throughout the bible, two of which I mentioned in my previous post:

(Heb 11:13-16) <<[the heroes of the faith] admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a CITY for them.>>

(2Cor 5:2)  “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling

---

So, then the question becomes:  If the heavenly city is our mother and we are her children, what father bore us?

1 John 3:1 <<How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!>>

---

Does Christianity teach “The earth is our mother, and we are all her children?”  Obviously not!

Gore is unquestionably dabbling in extra-Christian beliefs.  But that wouldn’t normally be an issue, we are all free to believe what we choose; but Gore himself has made it an issue by placing his spiritual beliefs front and center in his ecological proposals.  Therefore, his religious beliefs are relevant if we are to understand the politics of the man who has told us point-blank that he believes he has received a spiritual calling to lead us away from environmental disaster:

"I guess that's exactly the reason I ended up writing this book: to fully search my heart and mind about this challenge to which I feel called."...page 16
 

« Last Edit: June 04, 2004, 05:20:02 am by jmfcst »Logged

Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin' for to carry me home.
jmfcst
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2004, 03:00:35 am »
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I really don't want to discuss Gore's religious views, so I'll stop, but "Earth in the Balance" is well worth the 50 cents it now sells for on Amazon.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2004, 12:41:10 pm »
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Why did you buy it?
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jmfcst
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2004, 01:15:16 pm »
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Why did you buy it?

I don't know.  

I stopped reading in Chapter 2 after reviewing his visual illustration of the concept of not being able to see the forest from the trees in the form of an extremely low resolution portrait of Abe Lincoln.  Each pixel was about an 1/8 inch so that you had to hold it at arm's length away from your face in order to make it out....as if readers of the book wouldn't already understand the concept of "not being able to see the forest from the trees."
« Last Edit: June 04, 2004, 01:17:36 pm by jmfcst »Logged

Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2004, 01:36:49 pm »
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Sounds like your typical political book, only this one has the unique characteristic of not being entirely ghostwritten. Al Gore's paranoid voice comes through each monotonous syllable.
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2004, 10:22:55 pm »
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Once again, I'm struck by reading these quotes that Al Gore is, in a word, insane.  I hate to imagine what our world would be like if he were elected president.  I think it's safe to assume that he would've been a one termer.
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2004, 06:41:02 am »
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Once again, I'm struck by reading these quotes that Al Gore is, in a word, insane.  I hate to imagine what our world would be like if he were elected president.  I think it's safe to assume that he would've been a one termer.

Surely whatever he would of done, can't be as bad as the quandry we are in now, when the men and women of our fine military are dying, because George W. Bush wants to finish of what his daddy started.

But then, maybe i've misunderestimated Bush!
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