Religion and Planet Earth

These are notes taken from my revision guide about Planet Earth. Includes overlaps from Animal Rights.

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Biblical View of Creation

The Christian creation story:

  • God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th day (this is where the term "Sabbath day" came from)
  • Genesis says, each plant and animal was created in its complete form by God

There are disputes over if Genesis should be taken literally or symbolically.

  • Literally, the world is only 6000 years old.

Christian scientist views

  • Arthur Peacocke-biochemist, believes evolution is compatible with creationism. God lets the world be free to change in the form of evolution.
  • John Polkingham-scientist, says that science asks how things happen, religion asks why.
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Religious Beliefs

Christian Attitudes to the Planet

As with Animal Rights, this is a key quote.

"let them (humans) rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth" Genesis 1:26

There are a few interpretations of this:

  • Some think "rule over" means to have"dominion". This means they can use the planet any way they want.
  • Others think "rule over" means to have "stewardship". This means they have a responsibility, given by God, to care and sustain it.

Other Christian beliefs

  • Genesis, the Garden of Eden was made perfect by God. At the end of each day, God said, "And it was good"
  • Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it"
  • Deuteronomy 20 "Do not destroy trees"
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Environmental Issues

  • Pollution: acid rain, oil spills, toxic chemicals/pesticides. Christians: poor stewardship. It harms others, breaking Jesus' teaching "love thy neighbour"
  • Deforestation: loss of habitat and destroys the world God made. Contributes to climate change (CO2 increase floods [Bangladesh] and landslides)
  • Use and Abuse of natural resources: increasing population, use of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Christians: concerns over unequal use of resources between developed and undeveloped world, duty to future generations.
  • Global Warming: caused by emissions from cars and industry. Christians: it is a symptom of greed and sinfulness, good stewardship needs to be applied to the issue.
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