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Argument: Humans have dominion over animals with a right to exploit them

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Parent debate

Genesis 1:28

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

Genesis 9:1-2

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand."'

Supporting quotations

"Christian Responses to Environmental Concerns. Dominion Theology and Genesis 1:26". Religious - "there is no doubt about the assumption of man’s absolute rule over nature, which is based on Genesis 1:26-28, 9:2-3, and Psalm 8:5-8: All things are created for human use and for no other purpose. This is in spite such arguments as those by Norbert Lohfink that Genesis 1:26 gives no sanction to domination and exploitation 9, and that ‘to be subdued or to rule’ has to be understood as shepherding. 8 Ecological points raised in connection with Genesis 1-11 were also investigated by such Catholic scholars as Paul Beauchamp 7 and Erich Zenger. 10

The Hebrew word kibbes (used in Genesis 1:28) is properly translated as ‘subdue’, and is used, for instance, in making someone into a slave. This does not make particularly persuasive attempts to interpret kibbes and/or dominion (in Genesis 1:26,28 as well as in Psalm 8:6) in the sense of shepherding or of humans acting as trustees or stewards responsible to God. It just replaces a good translation by a bad one."

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