Greening Public Attitudes

MATERIALISM in its philosophical sense asserts that only matter is real and that everything, including human consciousness, can be explained in terms of matter. As a political doctrine, it places the highest value on material well-being and material progress. In its everyday sense, it refers to a preoccupation with material needs and desires rather than spiritual values. In all these senses, the material world is the sole reality, or at least the only reality of importance.... One powerful reason for sticking to the mechanistic view is that it is easier; it is still the orthodoxy of industrial civilization. But it may not be easier for long. Public attitudes are greening, old political and economic certainties melting away. Doubts about the mechanistic approach to agriculture and medicine are growing; the vision of conquering nature is losing its glamour; and the climate is changing, both literally and metaphorically....

Mythic, animistic, and religious ways of thinking can no longer be kept at bay....

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