October 3, 2012
Dominion can be defined as many things. In the dictionary, it is stated that dominion is the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority. The Hebrew language suggests that there are two meanings to the word. Malak means to have power over and rule from above. Raddah, though, means to have power over while being paralleled in living. With all these definitions, it is possible to understand what God meant when He gave humanity dominion over all living things on Earth as stated in Genesis 1. What does it mean? Well there is evidence to support multiple meanings and translations, but the fact is that God has sent people to rule over all of His creation. There is a prayer by St. Francis that praises the Lord for all He bestowed upon the Earth. This prayer refers to all of the elements that God has given as “brother” and “sister.” I feel that this is a non-Christian portrayal of these things. Once again referring to Genesis, God gave man dominion over all things, and when one describes them as brother and sister, it is referring to them as equal. God created Earth for man, and everything that God created was an aid toward man. Man named all animals, establishing dominance over them. As Lynn White says in his book, The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis God created the world the way he did for a reason, so that “no item in the physical creation had any purpose save to serve man's purposes” (4). And although man was created the same way the world was, they are not one in the same. Man was created in man’s image, and is given dominion over all.
Because of this dominion that man posses over the Earth, many changes have occurred, and there has been a multitude of environmental backlash, both good and bad. As man settled into new environments, much of the natural beauty was destroyed. For example, as English pioneers journeyed to America, they found the land in a very natural state, and...