Humans destroying the environment is part of Nature
Having only become atheist in recent years my view of the world is still somewhat clouded by conditioning of my religious upbringing. In this case I'm referring to the idea that humans are separate, distinct from, and "above" all other creatures on Earth. We're "special". Intellectually I know that's not true but I still have this emotional sense that I'm distanced from the rest of the creatures on Earth, and even Earth itself. My husband, on the other hand, has been an atheist his whole life so his way of viewing the world has not been so tainted by religious dogma.
We were watching Alaska Expedition tonight, which is a show about researchers looking for evidence of global warming in remote areas of Alaska untouched by humans. As they were finding evidence of climate change my husband said something about it being perfectly natural that we're changing the climate. It's just part of Nature. I, being taught that I'm separate and almost artificial compared to Nature, don't see it that way. To me, we're like alien parasites causing a plague on the Earth. But to him humans are just part of Nature so everything we do is perfectly natural and part of the natural world and part of the Earth's natural evolution. Even cities he doesn't see as artificial. Our cities, our homes, to him, are just our "nests" built in the unique way that the human species builds its nests. To him cities altering the landscape is as natural as a beaver altering the flow of a river by building a dam.
Btw, this does not mean my husband doesn't think we should be concerned about global warming. He thinks we should. But the idea that we can and should care, and can do something to change it, is also part of the natural process. It's all part of Nature.
While I understand what he's saying in my head, it's still a difficult concept for me to fully grasp. So I'm wondering if other atheists here, those who have been atheists all their lives, think the same way about things. Can you fully grasp the idea of our "unnatural" behaviors being just part of Nature?
"The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs" - Bill Maher