Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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A Green Argument Against Divorce and Against Hannukah Candles

Divorce, apparently, is very bad for the environment. Two households use more resources than one. Just as a factual matter, I’m sure that’s probably true--but whether it impacts the environment as much as is assumed in this article is another matter. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure there are better arguments against divorce . . .

In a related matter, The Jerusalem Post reports on an effort to get Israelis to reduce the number of Hannukah candles they burn this year . . . (hat tip: Dennis Prager).

Does anyone see the birth of a new morality in all of this? Morality is defined as what pleases or displeases Mother Earth . . . we sacrifice to the new goddess at the expense of the old God. On the other hand, at least this goddess is a figure outside of ourselves. The "anything goes" attitude of the sexual revolution doesn’t seem to fit in this new order, or does it? There’s always the possibility that we could just go "continental" and eliminate our "sexual jealousy" (as Peter Lawler discusses below). We’d still have to marry and remain married in order to please Mother Earth, but I guess there isn’t an argument for fidelity in this Green argument against divorce. How romantic!

Discussions - 7 Comments

If anything, I would think that the Green argument would be for mass communal living.

I think this is an argument for polygamy, and bigamous families. The more people under one roof the better for the earth! Charles Manson was a moral example after all.

Bingo, John and Clint! The possibilities are endless after all . . .

There is only one point of disanalogy between God and the Earth: the earth really exists, and we really need it to live. Protecting the earth is just far-sighted self-preservation.

I wonder if we could make two lists. On one we could include all the evil that's been come from letting people freely pursue their own interests, no matter how hedonistic. On the other we'd put all the evil that's been done in the name of some external "higher morality," either God's or that of some secular God-substitute (like the proletariat, the Master Race, or Mother Earth). Anyone want to guess which list would be longer?

John, I don't think you'll like my answer to your question. I think the first list would be much longer because we'd all (and I do mean ALL) have our names on that one. Who hasn't committed some wrong in the name of their own interest? That is, more or less, the whole meaning of sin. But the second list--though shorter--would have the dubious distinction of being the one with the more large scale and vile crimes. But I'm not really sure what this has to do with the Greening of morality.

More silliness. There's absolutely nothing about these fairly pragmatic environmental issues that should lead one to conclude that there's been a "birth of a new morality" that places - via your hints of a tie-dyed hippie caricature - a pagan "Mother Earth" at the highest height, displacing God. Surely you've heard that Christians and Jews can care about their temporary residence, too.

Christian environmentalism can operate on a Biblical basis, with the divine word of God as its impetus, even! Surely you've heard of the Christian ideal of acting as a "good steward" to all of God's creations, including yes, trees and birds and slugs. (Also Julie, it was Joe Knippenberg who posted about Dawkins and "sexual jealousy" - not Mr. Lawler)

John Moser - I think you're drawing a false distinction between people "pursu[ing] their own interests" and people acting "in the name of some external 'higher morality'." Either one can easily blur into and become indistinguishable from the other. Is free market populism (let the market decide, the market's never wrong, whatever supply and demand determine, etc.) simply and only a manifestation of people pursuing their own interests or can it also be (has it become) a "higher morality" of its own? Flipping through the pages of Forbes, WSJ, Investor's Business Daily, Fortune, The Economist, etc. it certainly appears that neoliberal economics has been embraced as a moral imperative.

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