It's been awhile since I entered one of Lennie's symposiums at Cross Blogging. But this week's was too good to pass up. Seems someone at the London Zoo thought it would be a good idea to create a display demonstrating that we humans are just another group o'primates. While absurd on its face, the exhibit does raise a striking point about the divergence of worldviews between those who believe God created humanity and those who believe mankind is an accident of nature. This difference is what I'll discuss when I answer Lennie's questions.
Is man a plague species?
Hmmm. I think this depends on how one defines "plague species." My assumption (though I could be wrong) is that those of a naturalistic worldview would mean by this phrase that mankind is responsible for all manner of ills that befall the natural world. They are 100% correct, although not in the manner they think. Our sin does impact the natural world - the earth is cursed because we rebelled against God. I just don't think that's what the zoo was contemplating when labeling us as a "plague species."
Is man just another primate?
Unequivocally not. We were created in God's image. As I discussed in my series on the environment, we are above all other creatures. As such, we have a greater responsibility to care for the earth. If we're just run of the mill primates, then I'd think the naturalists are in quite the conundrum. We would then have no more responsibility to care for the earth than our fellow primates (and other animals) who are in it for themselves. "Survival of the fittest" is the mantra du jour if we are not above other creatures, not "care for the earth."
Is man superior to other animals?
In many ways, yes. We can be morally superior, though I'd argue that one who is sinning is (at least momentarily) morally inferior to a morally neutral animal. Animals have physical abilities that some of us may find superior to those we have. But we are absolutely spiritually superior, which I'd also argue is the most important thing. We are created in God's image, and He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on our behalf, so that our rebellion and self-earned debt would be forgiven if we accept His grace. He didn't do that for animals - He did that for us. Our superiority, though, is not cause for arrogance or abuse. He cares for the sparrows too, and we are responsible to care for them as well.
Again, the naturalistic worldview would argue we aren't special. If that's true, we have no special obligation to practice conservation. I prefer having that responsibility myself.
What do you believe mansÂ relationship to animals is or should be?
I addressed this in my series on the environment, here. We are to be stewards of all creation, treating animals humanely and compassionately. After all, God provides for them; we should take that as prima facie evidence of our need to do the same.
The naturalist would have you believe we are no better, albeit possibly worse, than other animals. This is supposed to lead one to buy the "we're all in this together" philosophy of conservationism. In truth, it does the opposite. If I'm no better than a lion, what obligation do I have to save animals when the lion hunts and kills. If I'm not superior to the mosquito, why should I not be satisfied being a parasite of other creatures? What gives us our moral duty to care for nature is that we are made in the image of a God who cares for nature. If we are nothing more than animals, the only obligation that exists is of self-propagationn and survival. That is regardless of what we do to other creatures.