An artificial island is an island that has been constructed by humans rather than formed by natural processes. Such islands have been created by expanding existing islets, construction on existing reefs, or amalgamating several natural islets into a bigger island. Thus they vary widely in size, from small islets reclaimed solely to support a single pillar, building, or other structure, to those that support entire communities.
Artificial islands have been constructed for various purposes. In the past, some were built for ceremonial structures, and others were intended to isolate one group of people from another. More recently, they have been built to ease overcrowding in urban areas, accommodate airports, and promote tourism. In addition, there are proposals to build islands to mitigate coastal erosion or generate electric power from renewable energy sources. Critics, however, note that each project is extremely expensive and could potentially harm ecosystems.
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- The construction of artificial islands has served various purposes. They have formed a valuable part of providing people with some of their practical needs and serving the larger purpose, or the "purpose of the whole."
- People have observed natural islands, learned some of their advantages, and extended that knowledge to build artificial islands. In this manner, artificial islands have helped humans fulfill their inner drive to have dominion over the natural world and to use this ability for the benefit of humanity. Unification Thought describes it as fulfilling God's Third Great Blessing to humanity.
- The construction and use of artificial islands are outward manifestations of humanity's inner attributes such as intelligence and creative ability—attributes that are connected to a spiritual dimension. These attributes reflect God's intelligence and creative nature. They also set humans apart from all other known species.
- Even as artificial islands serve human needs, they provide people with an internal guiding principle: To live for the sake of others. By practicing this principle, people transcend the level of mere survival and travel the path toward inheriting God's nature. Eventually, people can vibrate with God's spirit and become channels for God's love to flow through them to others and to the rest of creation. In this manner, humanity can fulfill God's "Three Great Blessings" and establish a world of peace and harmony.