Friday, March 21, 2008

Nature -

Nature is a hanging judge.

Even the nature-worship which Pagans have felt, even the nature-love which Pantheists have felt, ultimately depends as much on some implied purpose and positive good in things, as does the direct thanksgiving which Christians have felt. Indeed Nature is at best merely a female name we give to Providence when we are not treating it very seriously; a piece of feminist mythology. There is a sort of fireside fairy tale, more fitted for the hearth than for the altar; and in that what is called Nature can be a sort of fairy godmother. But there can only be fairy godmothers because there are godmothers; and there can only be godmothers because there is God. G K Chesterton {Autobiography, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1936, p. 348}

There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who "love Nature" while deploring the "artificialities" with which "Man has spoiled 'Nature.'" The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are *not* part of "Nature" - but beavers and their dams *are*. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers' purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the "Naturist" reveals his hatred for his own race - i.e., his own self-hatred. -- Robert A. Heinlein, _Time Enough For Love_

If we can find God only as he is revealed in nature we have no moral God. --Reinhold Niebuhr, _Christian Century_, April 22, 1926

I do account it, not the meanest, but an impiety montrous' to confound God and nature, be it but in terms. --Walter Raleigh, _History of the World_, 1614

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law&endash;
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed&endash;
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) In Memoriam A. H. H.: 55.

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