Save the Privileged Planet!
Today is Earth Day. And it is worth pondering once again how marvelous Earth really is.
Yet I find my mind today asking why anyone should care for Earth. From the materialist perspective, we are not really "supposed" to be here. And, we're the late-comers to the party! So it always amazes me that many materialists are such avid environmentalists. But maybe this should not be surprising; after all, if one is a materialist, the earth is all there is, so we better keep it going!
This response, however pragmatic, doesn't satisfy me, though. For why should we keep anything going? For if the materialist is saying that the Earth is of intrinsic value, we can (indeed we must!) ask, where does the value come from? Further, why is pragmatism itself of any value?
If you find yourself asking similar questions today, pick up a copy of The Privileged Planet. For in it you will find one argument: that the very structure of the universe, and our planet itself, is shot through with purpose, with value.
If this argument is sound, it provides one answer to the question, "Why care about Earth at all?"