Reverence For Life

This is a comparison of the philosophy of Reverence For Life versus that which calls itself Pro-Life. The former is the principle proposed by Albert Schweitzer. The latter is espoused by Mother Teresa and official Vatican dogma.

Albert Schweitzer is popularly known as a saintly person, meaning one who sacrificed his own apparent convenience to improve the lot of great numbers of less fortunate people. He deserves that reputation.
He was a deep philosopher, and in "Civilization and Ethics" he states that

Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil.
He is further quoted as saying
A person is constantly forced to preserve his own life and life in general only at the cost of other life,… he injures and destroys life only under a necessity he cannot avoid, and never from thoughtlessness.

Pro-Life and the Vatican

Somewhat fewer than an American billion (a thousand million) humans lived on this planet in the days before the Industrial Revolution discovered and exploited the fossil carbon fuels laid down in the 64 million years of the Carboniferous Era. Current solar energy was their primary source, through photosynthesis, rain, and wind.
There are now seven billion humans, and the consumption of the fossil reserves, including oxygen from the air, is threatening rapid climate change. It seems to many well-informed people that the human population is threatened with calamity, and the larger wild animals and trees with extinction, if this is not checked and an alternative energy source found.
There are optimists who think that modern technology can employ the continuing solar source in its various manifestations, but obviously there would be required at least a seven-fold improvement in our efficiency of using it.

Against this background, the edict from the Vatican that forbids their faithful to use either mechanical or biochemical contraceptive measures must either at least hinder their access to the pleasures of copulation, or result in a continuing rise in their contribution to the human overpopulation. Nevertheless the apparently saintly Mother Teresa, in a country as manifestly crowded as India, continued to support the doctrine.

The self-styled "Pro Life" movement evidently holds that the only life God cares about are humans. A scientist or historian might deduce that given the millions of years when God's living works included no humans, they are wrong.

Schweitzer the Heretic

In stark contrast to the orthodox Christian declarations of Faith, Schweitzer said:

The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of heaven upon earth and died to give his work its final consecration, never existed.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional