Why do people consider environmentalism a religion?



  1. 0 Votes

    This is because environmentalism includes creation stories and ideas of original sin which are typical of many religions.  Environmentalism also provides people with an identity, and it is this identity-creating function that can be compared to religions. “As the world becomes less religious, people can define themselves as being Green rather than being Christian or Jewish.” In addtition, there are other factors, like there is a “holy day” which is Earth Day, and there are self-sacrificing rituals such as recycling. 

  2. 0 Votes

    In my opinion religion is anything you spiritually believe in. People can have their own religions and they can be of any sort. Environmentalism is something people truly believe in and take to heart. Religion is a very broad term and can be the basis for almost anything. 

  3. 0 Votes

    Interesting parallels.  I like them!

    The 14th Dalai Lama said :


    When we contemplate the diversity of spiritual traditions on this planet, we can understand that each addresses the specific needs of different human beings, because there is so much diversity in human mentality and spiritual inclination. Yet, fundamentally, all spiritual traditions perform the same function, which is to help us tame our mental state, overcome our negativities and perfect our inner potential.”


    In the environmentalist perspective, our mental state has caused the negativities which are wreaking havoc on our world, and by making personal efforts we can make a difference on a grander scale.


  4. 0 Votes

    Environmentalism and religious belief share some observable qualities:

    • Symbols – many of the largest organized religions have some binding symbols to show affiliation such as the crucifix or the crescent moon and star. Environmental movements have some symbols associated with them, but these are hardly universal, nor are they inherently “environmentalist” in nature. The recycling symbol, for instance, is not ideologically binding to environmentalism, nor is an image of Earth inherent to these movements either.
    • Behavior – Prayer, fasting, scripture reading/interpretation, and group worship are behaviors associated with religion. Prayer and worship are often the most crucial to religious belief and the act of prayer in earnest necessitates religious belief. A person need not be an environmentalist to perform “green” activities. A co-worker of mine is decidedly not an environmentalist, yet she owns a reusable water bottle. When I asked her about it, she said it was to save money.
    • The “Unseen” – Religious belief concerns itself with deities, the supernatural or the hereafter. To a non-believer, these concepts are not demonstrable and therefore cannot warrant belief or adherence. An environmentalist joins causes, conserves resources, etc., in the belief that their actions (and those of many others who behave similarly) will improve the quality of the environment and persistence of these actions will continue to do so for generations. This can be demonstrated, but is difficult to see at the individual level and so people can be hesitant to jump on board.
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