Nuclear energy and religion?

If anyone has read the Wednesday, October 29, issue of the Villanova Times, you might have seen an article on nuclear power entitled Debate Over Nuclear Power Intensifies by Matt Crawford.  In this article, Crawford presents the political and environmental arguments for and against nuclear power.  He then inserts the opinion of sophomore student Mike Patson, who believes that nuclear power “is dangerous as well as possibly unethical according to the traditional Christian standards of moderation.”  Crawford goes on to say:

‘From a Christian perspective,’ said Patson, ‘nuclear energy is not an ideal technique to generate power.  While nuclear energy can provide a seemingly endless amount of energy, Christians are called to live simple lives.  The ethic of love thy neighbor is applicable.  Nuclear plants will be built in less powerful social and economic areas, and this is where radioactive waste will likely be kept as well.

Since when does the decision of whether or not to shift this country’s dependence on energy to nuclear power depend on its concurrence with “traditional Christian standards of moderation”?  Furthermore, the assertion that Christians are called to live simple lives does not apply here.  Nuclear energy is not an x-billion dollar piece of bling we can put on a chain.  No one basks in the luxury of fission.  The point is to utilize a more efficient and bountiful source of energy that will help everyone, not just a select few.

This argument could go on for quite some time.  Is anyone else concerned about an assertion such as this?

Comments (6) Add yours ↓
  1. aferdous

    I agree with Jon. It was very dissapointing to read the assertion that energy dependence should be in concurrence with “traditional Christian standards of moderation.” This post truly exemplefies the ongoing controversy between science and religion. People are so involved with whether or not science agrees with their personal religious beliefs, that they fail to recognize how exactly science can potentially benefit others. This leads me to think that people have such beliefs because they are simply unaware of all the facts, so it is up to us to educate others of the potential benefits of nuclear power.

    13 November 2008
  2. skassel

    I’m not sure if it’s arrogance, ignorance, or a dangerous combination of the two, my fear is that it is the latter…

    13 November 2008
  3. csimmons

    I’d love to ask him how fossil fuels are any simpler or more coinciding with Christian values, or how gutting the Earth of them is ethical.

    14 November 2008
  4. awood

    I love that Christine, I totally agree. What are the Christian ethics of oil?

    Anyway, France is the best example of nuclear power I can think of. Wikipedia anyone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France) ? France has gotten to where they are because they spent a considerable amount of time and money on the research and development of nuclear. It’s great that the rest of us have an example now, but we would have never gotten that kind of funding if it’s against these Christian morals… at least not in the last 8 years. Maybe in the next 4.

    14 November 2008
  5. csimmons

    End of the first chapter of Genesis:
    29 God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.”
    29 God also said: “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
    30 and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.” And so it happened.

    I’m not so sure about nuclear energy as of right now. The lack of waste management really gets to me, plus the placement of them in low socioeconomic areas, as Crawford said, really irks me. If enough research is done to decide what to do with the waste, it could be more easily considered by environmentalists.

    14 November 2008
  6. mhickey

    Way to quote Genesis! This is a very interesting topic. Having grown up in a neighborhood very close to a nuclear power plant (Indian Point, New York http://www.safesecurevital.org/) I did not live in fear of anything going wrong there. I do remember random and somewhat infrequent “practice drills” where a siren like noise would sound for a while to show people what would happen if there was an emergency at Indian Point. From Jon’s post, it seems as though Christians are suggesting that nuclear power is “gluttonous”. I totally disagree. People are supposed to use the ingenuity that God gave them to come up with ways to improve the world. If used correctly, nuclear power has the potential to be a great thing and it will be interesting to see the future of it.

    24 November 2008

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