Better off without us?

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. -Genesis 2:7

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals.” -Revelation 21:3

Dear members and friends of the Swedenborgian Church,

One serious question that I have been struggling for quite a long time is, “Are humans necessary to the Earth’s ecosystem?” It seems that all other beings on Earth are creating the wonderful web of the ecosystem in which they are codependent on each other. Yet,  after the invention of civilization humans seem to stand out as the ultimate consumer in this ecosystem web. What’s more, their consumption often causes the destruction of other beings in the system and seldom makes any contribution to the whole. In a way, it could seem that the Earth would be better without humans. But is that really the case?

All religious texts describe humans as the most significant among all beings on Earth due to their resemblance to the divine and ultimate connection to and unity with the divine. A strong criticism against this is that all religious texts were written by humans in order to justify their position as the ultimate consumer. However, if humans are mere products of random coincidences rather than intentional creations, what is the need to justify what they do following their natural instinct? The need has nothing to do with their survival as species, but more to do with satisfying their desire to be correct and stifle the nagging whispers of their conscience.

What the Bible teaches us is not so much about how to justify our supremacy over all other species on Earth, but how to seek out our inner capacity to rise above the needs and desires of the physical world. Thus, according to the Bible (if you read it spiritually), the ultimate peace and fulfillment will come to our mind not through acts of possessing, controlling, and destroying, but by acts of sharing, accompanying, and nurturing. Unlike all other being on Earth, humans are endowed with the special ability to choose what to do, how to live, and why to behave in a certain way. In particular, humans have the ability to overcome all natural inclinations to become spiritual beings.

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee