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Progress Vs Preservation

Progress Vs Preservation

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Progress Vs Preservation

The article discusses the impact of this shift on human behavior towards the environment, highlighting the conflict between scientific progress and environmental preservation. It advocates for sustainable development as a solution to balance human advancement with the conservation of natural resources.

For centuries, humans have worshipped nature in the form of divine entities to explain the occurrence of various natural phenomena. To them, rain is a blessing gained from the benevolence of gods while natural disasters are incarnations of divine wrath. Throughout history and a multitude of cultures, mankind has built numerous religious structures dedicated to the gods they worship. For example, the Konark Sun Temple was dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, Egyptians built the Temple of Kom Ombo for multiple gods including the Moon God Khonsu, the Greeks dedicated the Olympieion to Zeus the God of the Sky, and so on. Many devotees go on to build religious groups or cults based on the worship of their chosen deity.

Various elements of nature have been deified by mankind, such as the Greeks who worshipped the sea as Poseidon, the Hindus considered fire as Agni and the Egyptians believed in the Sun in the form of Ra. Similarly, the Norse thought of thunder to be Thor and the Chinese considered the moon to be Chang’e. Gods are regarded with awe, fear, and respect for the higher stations they are believed to hold and because of that their faithful followers perform rituals and make valuable offerings to please them and if possible, to earn their favour and blessing. There are hundreds of traditions and customs that centre on worship. Devotees often celebrate festivals to honor their gods. Yet these deities are feared as much as they are shown deference to. Their rage is dreaded for the extreme and irreversible damage that they can cause.

Thunderstorms for one, were considered to be the wrath of Thor whereas droughts were thought to be signs of Demeter’s displeasure, etc. Their priests were considered holy and were thought to be capable of communicating with the divine. It was also widely believed that the gods often used their priests to make their will known. All of this made people go to great lengths to propitiate the gods. This meant that people were in awe of nature and this prevented too much human interference with nature.

Nowadays, however as more scientific discoveries are being made, the belief in these divine beings is reducing since science can provide reasonable explanations for the occurrence of the phenomenon mankind used to consider as acts of God in ancient times. As more and more of the so-called divine interventions are being questioned, mankind keeps losing faith in their deified idols. It seems the above-mentioned truth has turned out more harmful in some cases, than enlightening. Scientific theories and breakthroughs show the potential possibilities of a futuristic world which has led to mankind over-exploiting nature to achieve their dreams, whereas in the earlier days, nature and its elements were put on pedestals and protected. When the unknown used to be worshipped in the form of gods like Zeus, Ra, Hachiman, Odin, Shiva, etc., none had the courage to harm nature for fear of divine wrath. Nowadays, humanity keeps on pushing nature to a path of no return, where the damage dealt can never be recovered, due to their freedom from religion. Even the believers do not care about the pitiful state of the earth, and those who do are so few that their contributions to protecting nature are negligible. Even then, fewer people truly care about the well-being of the planet.

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Scientific developments and progress have boosted human society and economy immensely. However, nature has become the price of development. The clash of beliefs between science and worship has turned into something more. Today, it has become humanity’s progress against the preservation of nature. While researchers will eventually find a way to conserve nature, it could be possibly too late by then considering the rate of development as well as the rate of pollution. Over centuries, we have moved away from our organic lifestyle to a more plastic form of living. Thus, to preserve the environment without hindering scientific progress we must move towards sustainable development to sustain the natural resources left in the world while maintaining our rapid development.

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