A recent caller on my radio show made the statement that cheap and plentiful energy (and the technology that it allows) improves the “quality of life” of a nation. Now at first glance, this statement may seem reasonable and irrefutable. I would like to, however, propose that such a statement depends a great deal on the very subjective definition of “quality of life”.
What one usually means when they make such a statement is that “quality of life” improves as a person’s physical labor is reduced or even eliminated. Modern man’s hatred of blood, sweat and tears has a huge influence on how he defines “quality of life”. The sad thing is that modern man, who has cheated himself of the satisfaction of hard work has in very real sense cheated himself out of the human experience as a whole. His existence is one that is completely artificial and outside the perimeters that God has set for His creatures. “Quality life” really means to the modern soul that he never feels the power of the sun on his back, the power and refreshment of driving rain soaking his shirt, never has calluses on his hands and never has to provide anything but money for his family. Call me old fashioned, but this seems like anything but a “quality life”.
In the bible we find that man kind’s calling is to convert the wilderness into garden. We are told to “work with our own hands”, that “six days you shall labor” and find phrases like “the sweat of your brow”. I have yet to find a scriptural argument for living a life of ease and hating physical labor.
A family who has no electric power or flush toilet can most certainly have a “quality life”. A man who exercises godly dominion in the land (together with his wife) and who works side by side with his children in the soil and woodlots can, I propose, have a far superior life to some urban cousin trapped in cubicle with every labor saving device know to man. Do you dare say this mans life is one of poor quality? As you see, “Quality of life” is a subjective phrase. It would serve us well to think hard about these things.