Ecology and Judeo-Christianity

«Fill the earth and subdue it», and other biblical injunctions

Giving humanity a future on earth

We have a problem: water pollution, soil pollution, lack of drinking water, lack of water for irrigation, deforestation, soil impoverishment, near depletion of non-renewable resources such as coal, oil and metals, increase of CO2, global warming, extinction of animal species, etc. We cannot be proud of the traces we are leaving: plastic particles and chemicals are everywhere, in the oceans, on land and in the air.

In order to make the future look less bleak, principles based on sustainability must prevail.

What does the Bible say?

To solve an existential problem of humanity, it is natural to have recourse to a wisdom reputed to be eternal.

«God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.» [Genesis 1:28]

Man is placed outside nature and above nature. The incentive for growth expressed here can be expressed in various ways, including that of liberal capitalism. The injunction to exploit natural resources does not come with limits to be respected. This Judeo-Christian conception has contributed to bringing our civilisation to an impasse.

In a text published by the prestigious journal Science and entitled The Historical roots of our ecological crisis, Lynn White shows that the roots of our problems are "largely religious" and that the ecological crisis we are experiencing will deepen until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no other reason for existence than to be at the service of mankind.

Would God be a bad counsellor? A more plausible interpretation can be given: the Bible is only a human construction without divine input. It is necessary to distance oneself from it in order to build a better future.

Nature is neither external nor subordinate to us, because man is part of nature. To destroy nature is to destroy ourselves.

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