Thursday, April 11, 2013

ST. FRANCIS, CHRISTIAN LOVE, AND THE BIOLOGICAL FUTURE






SCENES FROM THE MAIN DRAG
GUADALUPE, CA
 Have been up on the central coast of Cal.

Phil from Pasadena sent on a link to a wonderful piece about St. Francis of Assisi, by William B. Hurlbut, from The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society.

An excerpt:

St. Francis’s attentive and appreciative disposition toward the multiplicity of natural forms, even the tiniest and seemingly insignificant, expresses an understanding of the universe as an ordered and intricately interrelated whole. This perspective on the natural world as a unity established and sustained within a structure of governing principle and overarching purpose, as opposed to the perverse and capricious inclinations of the gods of antiquity, contributed to crucial conceptual foundations for the birth of empirical science. It is not an accident that Roger Bacon, the thirteenth-century naturalist often called the father of the experimental method, was a Franciscan friar.

Moreover, this Franciscan frame of mind suggests limits on our modern project of biotechnology. Recognition of the fragile interdependence of living nature urges us to be cautious — lest we disrupt the basic balance of being and thereby drain the created order of its beauty, vitality, spiritual significance, and moral meaning. We have no license for an attitude of arrogance as masters and possessors of nature. Plants and animals may be used, not as mere raw materials, but with tenderness, compassion, and genuine gratitude. Genetically engineered featherless chickens for cheaper pot pies and leaner pigs with severe arthritis are a violation of basic kindness and courtesy — of the concern that Francis extended to even the lowliest of creatures.


Read the WHOLE PIECE here.

AMAZING INSECT WHO APPEARED TO HOVER WITH NO VISIBLE MEANS OF SUPPORT
1/8" OR SO FROM
BATHROOM WALL ABOVE TOILET IN ROOM WHERE I WAS STAYING
IN SANTA MARIA

4 comments:

  1. Places where I would divert my eyes are exactly the places you photograph. You are a strange and wonderful person, Heather.

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  2. "I cannot find the tiniest thing which does not speak to me of Him,which is not somehow his image,his message ,his call,his smile,his reproach,his word."
    Carlo Carretto
    Thank you for this site,Heather and your beautiful witness.

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  3. The photograph of the display window showing off the blue dress, with the reflection of the trees, enraptures me. It is a statuesque representation of the combination of nature and synthetic materials. It just demonstrates the reality in which we live.

    The mental image of genetically engineered featherless chickens and arthritic lean pigs made my eyes water with disappointment at our demand for convenience and speed at whatever cost, with no regard for life. I doubt this is what God wanted us to do when placing man "in charge" of animals.

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  4. Thank you for this beautiful meditation—and the important warning about some of our more questionable forays into biotech. I also never realized that Roger Bacon was a Franciscan!

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I WELCOME your comments!!!