Is it ok to nedlessly kill creatures or harm nature or the environemnt?


#1

My dear friends

i’ve spoken a fair bit along these lines in the past. my theories show that in the beginning man without sin would love and marvel at the brilliance, beauty and magnificence of all creation including creatures great annd small, all living things and indeed all of creation. It is sin that gives us a twisted attitude that somehow makes us believe the rest of creation is ours to do with as we please. We are not meant to dominate and deal with the rest of creation as we please. Rather we are to see it for what it is, a beautiful work of Gods fruitful love. We too are the fruits of Gods love. We have a very great duty to be responsible stewards of Gods precious gift of creation He has made for our benefit. God isLove, Pure living Love and loves all creation and not just us. We are to imitate God and love all creation as He does. We can use creation for our benefit but we must not abuse it. The difficulty we have with our fellow creatures and living things is that we have severely ruptured the equilibrium in our world and we are living unnaturally and out of harmony with nature. This is what causes all our trouble with the rest of creation. All living things on our planet have a right and purpose to be here. And it is wrong and harmful to ourselves and all creation to unnecessarily harm any living thing, or to abuse anything in creation. We should have an attitude that all the rest of creation is an equal to us. Ants are our brothers, rocks our sisters and so on. We are the ones who have done all the damage. I won’t keep going on. The goal of the spiritual life is to become as we were before the fall. The more we become like this the more our attitude towars eerything changes. We were made to love and the more we love the happier we are, and the greater will be our happiness in heaven. There are many stages in the spiritual life and degrees of sanctity. To be a saint is to be fully human and very loving- to live naturally and in harmony with nature. Mystical union leads to a love for all creation. If we would be perfect we must love as much as we can. Hard to do but as holiness increases our love increases and we begin to see things more clearly once the log starts to come out of our eye. The greatest saints had this vision of creation and teach us this is our goal. It is the height of pride to view ourselves as so superior to our fellow creatures and all of creation that we are its master and can deal with it as we like. Pope Benedict XVI gives a great talk along these lines here vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20090826_en.html
He also gave a great talk about the spirituality of St Bernard of Clairvaux recently asking that we get back his spirit of love for all creation which comes at the height of the spiritual life according to this great doctor.
We can read one of the greatest saints ever, St Francis of Assissi, to learn the appropriate dispositions we should have to all of creation too.
We are a part of creation and if we don’t love it all and treat it and use it as we’re meant to it is because we’re sick. We must strive harder for sanctity which opens our eyes to all.

What are your thoughts dear friends.

God bless all abundantly:thumbsup::slight_smile:

John


#2

Killing animals? ‘Harming the environment?’

Who gets to decide on what’s harmful—Al Gore? PETA?

Far, far worse is the slaughter of unborn babies. That is a holocaust indeed. What about the callous treatment of Christianity itself?

Save souls, not the planet.


#3

I am going to kill a cockroach if I find one in my house. Especially the ones that have taken up residence in my dishwasher.


#4

My dear friends who have replied
Firstly thank you for raising your objections.

On the subject of there being worse problems such as abortion. You don’t know me very well. There is a deep underlying reason why the slaughter of the unborn goes on seemingly unhindered despite the catholic churches great and heroic efforts to stop it. In the post Vatian II era man has lost the sense of the sacred largely and also no longer sees himself as holy. If we can increase the sense of sacredness and sense of holiness back into man by whatever means and help man to see all of creation in this light and himself as sacred and holy, then we can far more easily convince man that human life is sacred from the first moment of conception until natural death. Most people do not see themselves as sacred and holy any more. They must be convinced of this if we are to overcome the culture of death. I am not tackling every problem in this one post. I have been posting for 5 yrs now. If you want to know what I believe read the lot, and not just this.

With cockroaches I understand but don’t really have much to say that hasn’t already been said. I’ll be honest with you on one point. You need to strive much harder for sanctity in order to see everything as God sees it in so far as a human can to a sufficient degree, to understand what I say.

God bless you both abundantly and all:thumbsup::slight_smile:

John


#5

Please forgive me if I’m misinterpretting your post. It sounds as though we should treat the beasts of the world with equal diginity. That is incorrect. The human being is the only being that is both material and spirit (not to be confused with “soul” which animals do have.) It comes down to a question of value and of the dignity afforded to that value. The human being is created with a unique and profound value that is not shared by any other material beings. We are, after all, made in God’s image and likeness. The latter fact is profound and not to be forgotten.

God did indeed make us the keepers of the world and gave us Dominion over the beasts, as you acknowledged:
26: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
28: And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

I was going to agree with what you were saying about not “needlessly” harming animals, which is a valid point…
But you seem to imply that dominion should be limited to appreciating the beauty of nature. The middle of your post flys right off the rails of orthodoxy when you say that ants are our brothers in some mystical sense. That is incorrect. And rocks are not (nope, not even analogously) our sisters. It would seem you’ve been influenced by a very pantheistic way of looking at the world. Perhaps you watched poccahantes too much as a child (that sounds like a mean joke, but I mean it, the movie is full of pantheism and it is brushing off on kids!)

Also, the issue of all living things having a “right” and purpose to be here seems like a logical fallacy. Purpose, certainly. But that purpose might have been to be killed and used to make a fur hat for the Pope (which peta is angry about.) As far as “right,” I’m not sure where you’re going with that one…
The Pope has certainly written great things about loving nature, but he has written even MORE great things warning against the sort of faulty prioritization of that issue that you seem to be guilty of (again, if I misinterpreted, please forgive me) and about the value and dignity of mankind as compared to other creatures etc etc. Not to mention, he has that hat and some other clothing items made from animals.

In reference to your statement that God loves all creation and not just us…that made me wince. Not because it’s incorrect to say that God loves creation. Its true, he does. In fact you could say that God Loved creation into existance. But I winced, rather, at the point you were trying to make by it…and the clear implication in your words. God DOES NOT love creation with the same love with which he loves mankind. God’s love for human beings is unique and profoundly different than that love he has for creation. God did not give roaches or monkeys the ability to choose to love him back or even to be aware of him.

As a general rule, should human beings make it a point to not needlessly harm living things or (as you vaguely state) the “environment?” My answer is yes, but with reservations. My reservation is that I think you and I have a very different idea of what “needless” means. I would guess that you don’t like the military firing a bullet into the fatty portion of a pig for the sake of training combat medics because it is the most realistic simulation a combat medic can undergo insofar as its likeness to a human bullet and helps him to save the lives of his human comrades on the battle field. I, on the other hand, do believe that is an acceptable reason for causing harm to animals. It would even extend to animals who are pests or pestering to humans. Depending on the circumstances, it is entirely acceptable, in the context of our dominion over the beasts of the world, to destroy insects or animals that are in or around your house. If you want to leave the ants there because you think they are your brothers, knock yourself out. Just remember to put the lid on the jelly.

However, I would hope we can agree on at least the very basic issues of killling animals for the sake of food, clothing or shelter. If not, then we truly do have very different worldviews.

Anyway, just thought I’d provide my two cents. Thank you for the thought provoking discussion and God Bless you, sir.
-Steven james


#6

It is sin that gives us a twisted attitude that somehow makes us believe the rest of creation is ours to do with as we please.

I can agree with this statement with qualifications.

We were given dominion over all the other creatures of the earth, but not in a way that means “poor animals, man may eradicate you for entertainment.” I think the concept of stewardship applies, where, biblically, the idea is to assume charge of something and keep or protect it, be wise in dealing with it, not destroy it, such that what you are steward over will prosper.

This can apply in ways that are not always obvious. Some states in their zeal to “protect” their deer population banned hunting of deer. Left to their own devices, with low population and plenty of available food, they multiplied prolifically, to the point where they overachieved. Now the deer were weak and sickly, more prone to disease, and in their search for food began to raid and ruin food crops. One of those states then paid to hire hunters to come in and slaughter hundreds of deer to drive the population back down. Interestingly, they restored a hunting season and all seems well again.

The point is, sometimes man’s ideas of harmony are not natures. We are quick to see the intervention of man with a rifle in the woods as a sort of invasion upon nature, rather than something that, all data considered, serves to keep things in better balance than not. A good steward might try such a ban, but when it fails has the responsibility to learn from it. We forget that at one time everyone went into the woods to obtain their food; deer, wild boar, birds, you name it. Now we have more modern ways to feed our population and people say they don’t like it, but they wouldn’t like the reality of what they ask for either. Don’t want cows packed together in a feeding house? Fine - who wants to move off their land so we can use it for grazing? Any volunteers?

Consider the wolf in the western US. The population was all but eradicated, then someone decided no, that’s not natural, so we have to re-introduce them, this time with protections that didn’t allow stability of numbers. That has created its own set of problems, but there has to be a balance.

Animals are every bit a gift from God as beautiful sunsets and majestic mountains, but they are not our equals. The same holds for all natural resources. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of them, but that doesn’t mean we have to hoard them or avoid touching them or fear that inventing a spray can will topple God’s creation.


#7

I have heard it said that to understand Francis’s view of creation, one should view the whole of the created order as translucent, allowing the love and glory of God to shine through.

Things in nature are our brothers and sisters in that we are all created by the same creator. We share that same dignity. In no way did Francis worship creation or hold it higher than human beings. It is simply a constant reminder to us of the glory and goodness of God.


#8

My dear friends
A reply to all to further the discussion. I’ll try and reply specifically later.

The crux of what I say is based on how man was and lived and saw and experienced everything before the fall. Perhaps the following brief elaboration of some points may help. I suggest reading what the Pope has been saying as well as the doctors I mention.

. Our wellbeing in this world is determined by how we treat all of creation and not just other people. If we disrespect anything in creation it affects us adversely. In addition it does show we are spiritually immature if we don’t love all creation. I got a bit emotional and said spiritually sick. This can be true bur immature may have been a better way of expressing it. All the problems such as twisters, earthquakes, tsunamis etc are punishments for not just sinning but abusing nature. You can look at us as a part of nature and our sins and abusing nature can all be summed up in a way as living unnaturally, which causes all the problems in the world.

God bless all and all creation:thumbsup::slight_smile:
John


#9

My dear friend, I have replied to you and others in one post. Much thanks for your input. God bless. John:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#10

My dear friend, I have replied to you and others in one post. Much thanks for your input. God bless. John:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#11

My dear friend, I have replied to you and others in one post. Much thanks for your input. God bless. John:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#12

My dear friends

This is my one post in reply to recent posters.

If we are an extremely important person in charge of a large corporation with 10 million employees should we see ourselves as superior to all those under us? No. we have different roles but all are equal in dignity. Although humans have a different role and a more important one than anything else in our universe we should not go around with a superiority complex thinking all is beneath us so we can treat it how we like.
When I say we should see the ant as a sister etc the point I’m making is that we all came from the same mass and same creator in the beginning and all life on earth came from the earth. We came from the dirt. It is a disposition we should have to not have so much pride and a superiority complex to think we’re more important than anything else in creation. We are but we should not think this way. To understand what I say it’s necessary to understand the equilibrium I speak of which punishes unnatural thoughts, words and actions whether it be sin or abusing nature.
When we read genesis as here God did indeed make us the keepers of the world and gave us Dominion over the beasts, as you acknowledged:
26: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
28: And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” we need to understand that when God spoke to Adam and Eve before the fall he was speaking to sinless and perfect human beings. When this is understood we more clearly understand what God meant when he gave us dominion over all creation to conquer and subdue it. An analogy might be like this – you ask 2 people to let someone know their doing the wrong thing. The first is a very kind, merciful, charitable and humble person and he simply asks them to please do the right thing. You then ask a member of hells angels and he bashes them to death. Do you see that God was not speaking to fallen man but sinless and perfect man in the beginning and we have to try and see what God says through the eyes of a sinless and perfect being. Indeed we should try and see this in all of revelation, although God often makes allowance for our hardness of heart after the fall when he speaks to us. But we need to really try and see everything through the eyes of a sinless and perfect person to understand everything better. We should try and understand God as He reveals Himself to us and speaks to creatures with hardened hearts. God is not like we read in scripture at all. He is presenting Himself to us as we need to have Him presented but in reality God is not like this a lot of the time. Jesus gives us a very good glimpse of this teaching and who God really is at times. You look at the God of the OT and compare Him to Jesus and bear this in mind and you can figure out what I’m saying and understand God much better. God communicates differently depending on His hearers and how they must be spoken to and treated.
God is Love, infinite and eternal Living Love. He loves infinitely and unconditionally. This includes all creation and the devils and damned souls. Just because something is incapable of loving Him back does not mean He loves it less. God’s love is not conditional on something’s capacity to love Him back. He simply is infinite love and can only love with perfect infinite love. This does not mean we are only as important as an ant. It is a question of the nature of God who is Love and always loves infinitely because that is what He is – infinite Love.
We are to take and use what we need from nature. We need hats and food, but this is not abuse. Abuse is to do things unnaturally, to do things differently to the way we did before the fall.
We have damaged our world by sin and abusing nature. This has upset the equilibrium and thrown everything out of balance. This is why roaches can seem a nuisance and we get extinct species and on and on go the problems we have with our fellow creatures, and indeed the environment, natural elements and all of creation. But in the beginning this was not so. We have caused this and we should not blame anyone but ourselves for all our woes. I’m not a man hater. I’m simply looking for answers as to why we have this mess and offering potential solutions to help work towards getting the Garden of Eden back, which should be our goal. It is a goal unachievable but still one we should strive for much the same as Christian perfection. They are the same thing actually.
I am not worshipping creation but loving it. I’m not an idolator. We were made to love and what I speak of is how it was before the fall. I think St Francis was shown what it was like in the Garden of Eden and this is where his poetry springs from.
Keep up the debate please. Many thanks for your thoughts and input.
God bless us and all His glorious creation:thumbsup::slight_smile:
John


#13

Well it goes without saying that God was speaking to man who had not fallen (yet), but I don’t think it makes sense that God has one Truth for man yet fallen, and speaks it, and another Truth for man who IS fallen and doesn’t speak it.

In other words, I find difficulty with what I think you are saying. What I think you are saying is that dominion over the creatures of the Earth was okay for sinless man, but is… inapplicable(?) to fallen man?

It’s also very confusing to state a belief in a certain type of harmony of creation in terms of ants being siblings. The terms “brother” and “sister” convey certain meanings, and those meanings are not “brotherhood” and “sisterhood,” but filial relationships that are, by definition, based on a mutual type of love. Brothers and sisters love each other; you love them, they love you. That is the expectation in that type of relationship. You love ants… ants aren’t capable of loving you back, so the expression in those terms sort of falls off the cliff.

It takes no special interpretation to just say we can share a mutual love OF creation and express a mutual respect for each thing created. Again, though, we must acknowledge some of those created things will not love us back. I love sunsets; sunsets don’t love me.

Another way to look at this is to draw an analogy of God’s dealings with His created angels. He made them, He loves them, they are His messengers, Jesus even speaks of them, yet nowhere does Jesus speak of any kind of filial relationship with them. The only thing we get from God is knowledge that they pray for us together with the Saints. Everything else about our relationship to them, we have to derive.

Likewise it is with other created creatures. God never told us why He made the elephant nor the giraffe. We have to figure that out - OR, we don’t have to figure it out and just accept, as did the sinless man, that God has purpose in His creation and did not give us that purpose to know. Sinless man’s attempt at burglary of this knowledge didn’t work, it only made us sinful men.

In that respect I can agree with you that there is some higher purpose out there we do not know, and the only thing we can do is follow what He gave us to follow and trust that will lead us back to Him, which is the the important thing, more important than whatever me might think of relationships in this world.


#14

Do with as we please, no. No one ever said that. Kill animals, eat them and wear their pelts. Yes, that is part of the reason God gave us Dominion over the animals.

Sure, that was unnecessary prior to the Fall, but even then it still would have been permitted (Adam could have had a hamburger if he wanted to, it would not have been sinful for him to do so then either)

Also, we didn’t wear clothes prior to the Fall either, but wearing clothes is now a good thing in God’s eyes, as it bespeaks of the virtue of Modesty.

So no, a ‘needless’ death of animals is not to be desired, but killing the animal to eat it is not needless, even if there is other food around.

An equivalent example would be killing a carrot to eat it. Is it just and right to kill a carrot to eat it when we could choose to have perennial fruit to eat instead. God does not mind us killing a carrot as food when there are apples around. Likewise, He does not mind us killing a chicken to eat when there are carrots around.

All that He requires is that we do our best to raise it well and kill it quickly.

Also John, could you use paragraph marks or line breaks, it makes the text easier to read, thanks!


#15

My dear friend

Sorry about the difficulty of reading my last post. I often write in word to help with grammar etc as it corrects many mistakes. Me being poorly educated. When I paste it here it comes out like that. I’ll correct it in future.

About what you say I 100% agree. You need to read all my posts and see this.

God bless you dear friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:

John


#16

My dear friend

Just to focus on your dispute that God speaks differently dependant on who He speaks to. It is the same Word of God speaking but even when He became flesh we see this. He condemns those who are hardened against Him and quite differently to those who willingly embrace His Word and will. God spent 2,700 yrs preparing His people before He came to them. The reason was they needed preparing. It had a purpose. We can never fully know God but God fully knows us and speaks to and treats us as we need, for our own good. This explains the apparent contradictions in scripture with who and what God is for many. God is a big budle of Joy and Love yet we often see otherwise because He speaks to us as we need. To understand scripture we must also understand the state of soul of the writers and those the message was given to directly. This is my opinion.

God is Love. He does not just love, He is Love. He can only love. I have posted much on this in the past several months if it interests any. My full explaination is here. Just because something doesn’t love us back does not mean we can’t love it. Indeed Adam and Eve loved all before the fall. This is what I’m getting at.

God bless you dear friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:

John


#17

Animals are in no way ‘equal in dignity’ to man. To equate them is not only a logical fallacy but perhaps a heresy.

The very wording of the original question is loaded.


#18

Dear John thank you for your thought provoking thread. No, no animal should be killed needlessly. You are 100% correct with no doubt God is Love! :blessyou:


#19

I agree. It is not OK to kill any creature or harm them… needlessly.

That is the key word here. Needlessly.

I always make every attempt to respect God’s Creation, in every form. For that reason, this past summer… I did not disturb a nest, which a family of wasps had built on my front porch; even though, I’m terrified of being stung. I’ve been stung in the past, and it’s very painful.

That said… when a wasp, or other dangerous insect enters the environment of a human being (i.e., home, car, etc.)… I believe that since God made man “steward” over His Creation… it is not a sin to eliminate the danger to human safety and well-being.

There are many, many forms of bacteria carrying insects (such as Roaches, Silverfish) and/or venomous insects (such as the Black Widow or Brown Recluse spiders); and for pet owners, there is always the danger of Flea/Tick infestation. That is a problem which must be corrected. Flea/Tick bites can cause a lot of health risks. I do make an attempt to trap, and release the more benign intruders… such as common House Flies, Lady Bugs, Fire Flies, etc. I have an insect net… for that purpose.

But if one of the dangerous types enters our environment… and especially my mother’s environment… I’m not adverse to using a can of Raid, to protect my mother’s health and safety. I know, full well… that Our Lord loves my mother in a way that an insect is not loved. Therefore, He expects me to take care of her and protect her from harm.

We must always remember, that human life… comes before that of other Creation. Because we are made in the Image and Likeness of God… and have been endowed with a soul, which will live eternally. Eliminating a dangerous insect… is not the same thing, as murdering another human being.

Thank you, John… for letting me add my :twocents: God bless.


#20

Hello everyone.

I would agree that the key word is defiantly "Needlessly."
I believe that the more we love God with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole soul, instead of loving ourselves the more we will understand just what needlessly actually means.

Always praying and pondering


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