“But also, given man’s fallen nature, this one-sided endeavor to achieve perfection easily becomes a decadent aspiration in itself; our desire for knowledge does not respect limits placed on it but rather seeks by force to go beyond these limits; human understanding may even fail to grasp that which is not essentially hidden from it because it refuses to submit itself to the law of things; rather, it seeks to master them in arbitrary fashion or permits the clarity of its spiritual vision to be clouded by desires and lusts. In the same way, the decay of man’s dominion is seen when we consider his relationship to the natural riches of the earth: instead of reverential joy in the created world, instead of a desire to preserve and develop it, man seeks to exploit it greedily to the point of destruction or to senseless acquisition without understanding how to profit from it or how to enjoy it. Related to this is the debasement of creative art through the violent distortion and caricature of natural images.”
– Edith Stein, The Separate Vocations of Man and Woman According to Nature and Grace
I think she covers just about everything in this quote. Pollution and exploitation of the earth. Ignoring ethics in medicine and science. Our desire to control everything and everyone. In that last sentence, I even think she’s alluding to pornography. This is one of my favorite Edith Stein quotes.
By the way: