Human Dominion and Separation from Nature

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Other than Native American works, most of the works read for the class seemed to stem from or at least were influenced by some vein of Christian thinking. This can’t be helped because the western world has been influenced by Christianity for centuries, and the foundational values still recognized in this country in particular are protestant, even if they’re not blatantly proclaiming the faith. In fact, we even read through a few chapters of the Bible because the common theme and justification of “human dominion over nature” stems from the primary story of the Bible in Genesis. This theme is often a subject of great sadness or annoyance for nature writers like Wordsworth and Mary Oliver; while authors like John Muir and Bill McKibben, whom do profess to the Christian faith, still see nature as something spiritual because “dominion” means not just given authority, but also given the responsibility for its protection. The first chapter of Genesis establishes humanity’s place in God’s creation. Verse 26 in particular; “Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea…and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”” The entire verse basically gives human authority over every genus on the planet, putting us at the top of the food chain as it were (though in the Garden humans were forbade to eat meat). A lot of people seem to see this verse as one of the causes of the human superiority
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