Fr. Thomas Berry, CP, geologian mentions four principles that govern the universe.
1. Communion. The universe is a communion of subjects not merely a collection of objects. Subjects have rights. Objects do not. All creatures of God have the fundamental right to exist. Humans should respect this right.
2. Interconnectedness. All beings are related to each other. We are all creatures. We come from the same source: God, the Creator. Thus, we have a kinship with every being.
3. Differentiation. Every being is different. Each is unique. When a specie ceases to exist, our cosmos, our planet earth becomes impoverished.
4. Innerness. Every being has an inner, psychic dimension, besides the physical one. Living beings have souls, principles of life. Humans have spiritual/intelligent soul; animals, sentient; and plants, vegetative. Non living organisms have innate energy, power, capability.
Besides these 4, there are 3 other principles that guide human decisions and actions: anthropic, precautionary and intergenerational.
5. Anthropic Principle. Christian astrophysicists maintain that God created the Universe in such wise as to make it “habitable” to human beings. And to life, in general.
6. Precautionary Principle. A moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that harm would not ensure, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action. Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro 1992 makes this a primary principle. This is a general and compulsory law in the European Union.
7. Intergenerational Equity. “It is a value concept which focuses on the rights of future generations.” (Earth and Peace Education Associates International, 2003). “Each generation has the right to inherit the same diversity in natural and cultural resources enjoyed by previous generations and to equitable access to the use and benefits of these resources.” (Id.) “In this way, intergenerational equity extends the scope of social justice into the future.”
These principles are presented here for the guidance of everyone.
Source: Communication from the Bishop (No. 532, 21 May 2009)