What God meant by fruitful and dominion.

January 25, 2022 by Joshua
in Models, Nonjudgment

Major cultural touchstones and motivators for many people to growing material production, sales, and population are the words “be fruitful and multiply” 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.”

People nearly universally misunderstand both parts. You can be fruitful by living a sweet life and you can multiply by multiplying happiness. To live a sweet life and multiply happiness sounds divine.

Even if you interpret the first part to mean to have offspring, which isn’t a given, the second part would limit that growth. For one thing, you can’t have dominion over something extinct. Human overpopulation and overconsumption are causing millions of species to go extinct. If you believe you and future generations should have dominion over living things, you must conclude that causing things to go extinct makes it impossible for you and future generations to follow the instruction. Having dominion means protecting vulnerable species. I’m not saying you’ll go to hell if you don’t, but you might want to be careful not protecting living things.

The second quote, about dominion, limits the first, about fruit. If the first says to have more kids, the second says to limit them to preserve other living things that moveth upon the Earth. In today’s world, the only way to follow this instruction is to limit human population growth. To do otherwise disobeys the instruction. If you believe your god said those things, beyond disobeying that instruction, overpopulation and overconsumption are doing the opposite.

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