Do You Think The Bible Is Hostile Towards The Environment? Discuss The Following Topics In Your Answer: Human Domination, Partriarchal Monotheism, Wilderness And The Promise Of Land.

1679 words - 7 pages

Do you think the Bible is hostile towards the environment? Discuss the following topics in your answer: Human domination, Partriarchal monotheism, Wilderness and the promise of land.The Bible is either hostile or indifferent toward the environment. Genesis 1:28 and Psalm 8 make it clear that it is the duty of human beings to subdue the earth and rule over it. There is also the influence of the patriarchal monotheism which brought the perception of the wilderness as a place of death and the problems posed by the promise of the land to Abraham and his descendents in the Pentateuch. The absence of a biblical concept of nature and the lack of attention given to the earth in the wisdom literature were also reasons why the bible's view of the earth is not compatible with modern ecology. Therefore there should be a clear and careful distinguish between what the Bible describes and what it prescribes. From other biblical studies like when 2 Samuel describes David's adultery with Bathsheba, it does not mean that it was encouraging such behaviour. Similarly when it is describing agricultural practices as Jesus does in the parable of the sower, it does not mean that Jesus was encouraging us to sow among the thorn bushes or on stony ground. Careful attention is needed not to draw normative principles from such descriptions. Nevertherless it is important to understand the world of the Bible if we are to appreciate correctly the thrust of its normative statements. So the writer thinks the Bible is not hostile towards the environment as she is going to explain below.According to White, the main offending text in the Bible is Genesis 1:28, which states that man was created and instructed by God to "subdue" and "rule over" the natural world. This means that human beings were created to be God's representatives and rulers over the earth, and had the duty to dominate and cultivate it. However, the creation of Genesis 1 climaxes with the creation of man on the sixth day and in a sense all the work of the previous days prepares for this. On Day three the emergence of the dry land from the universal ocean and the growth of the first plants is a large step in preparing a habitable environment for human life. Therefore, when God made a human being and gave him dominion and rule over the earth he did not gave him the licence to destroy the environment and everything that is in it. To "rule over" something is to have absolute authority and control over it. God has ultimate rule over the earth and he exercises his authority with loving care. When God delegated some of his authority to the human race he expected them to take responsibility for the environment and the other creatures that share their planet. We must not be careless and wasteful as we fulfil this charge. We must learn to be careful and take good care of the environment.I think it is only honest to admit that the Genesis creation narratives and specifically Genesis 1:28 imply that humans are considered...

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