And have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth on the earth.
This could very well be one of the most dangerous proclamations a god ever made. Initially it sounds lovely… especially the first few words: “be fruitful, multiply and replenish”. These directives are reminiscent of an invitation to an orgy of pleasure, all done in a sustainable family-friendly manner. Enjoy life to the fullest, constantly recharge and store up for the future. Live your life to the fullest in the Garden of Eden. Epicureans would be pleased.
However, the bright side of the proclamation suddenly comes to a screeching, and frightening, halt with the words “subdue it”! Now we are given permission to control the world. Dominate all of nature…. Seemingly for our own benefit. This is a prescription for an egotistical, a human -centered plot for living, and a completely disastrous paradigm as it turns out. Throughout history mankind’s attempt to order nature for its own selfish purposes has inevitably failed. Dominion over the earth has manifested itself in a careless rape of all earth’s resources. Replenish, are you kidding!
I submit: humans are not qualified to rule nature… our technologies tend to distance us from her beauty, trivialize it and prevent transcendence through an intimate experience with nature. Too bad this god didn’t ask of us to live with or within the world - be a part of it, not over it. It looks like no kingdom came.
As an afterword:
Contrast this with the First Nations view of nature and the animals on earth. Let's remember Chief Seattle's famous quotation, "We don't inherit the earth, we borrow it from our children." In their view, we should be preserving not exploiting and spoiling the earth's resources.