Prince Charles blames world’s ills on 'soulless consumerism' and Galileo
By RUTH GLEDHILL AND BEN WEBSTER - TIMESONLINE
Added: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 07:54:51 UTC
The Prince of Wales has blamed a lack of belief in the soul for the world’s environmental problems, and said that the planet cannot sustain a population expected to reach 9 billion in 40 years.
He said he found it “baffling” that so many scientists professed a faith in God yet this had little bearing on the “damaging” way science was used to exploit the natural world.
The Prince pinned part of the blame on Galileo. Criticising the profit imperative behind much scientific research, he said: “This imbalance, where mechanistic thinking is so predominant, goes back at least to Galileo’s assertion that there is nothing in nature but quantity and motion.
“This is the view that continues to frame the general perception of the way the world works, and how we fit within the scheme of things.
“As a result, Nature has been completely objectified — ‘She’ has become an ‘it’ — and we are persuaded to concentrate on the material aspect of reality that fits within Galileo’s scheme.” The Prince said that he believed “green technology” alone could not resolve the world’s environmental problems. Instead, the West must do something about its “deep, inner crisis of the soul”.
Speaking at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies to mark its 25th anniversary, the Prince — who is patron of the centre — said that the West had been been “de-souled” by consumerism.
He said that the present approach to the environment was contrary to the teachings of all of the world’s sacred traditions. The desire for financial profit ignored the spiritual teachings.
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