Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Respecting Vital Limits: Other Species and Their Habitats

In Genesis 1, we learn about Yahweh’s first choice in his history with us. We learn that he rejected the creation of a chaos of disordered evil. This rejected world would have been characterized by desolation, darkness, and a deep overwhelming evil against which the Holy Spirit would have proven helpless.

Instead, Yahweh chose to create a cosmos: an ordered good. He put this ordered good into good order through successive acts of separation through which he established vital limits.

Yahweh created this ordered good, protected by vital limits, to serve as the perfect context for human creatures created in his image. He created us, male and female, to participate in a relationship of freedom and love with him, one another, and the rest of our fellow creatures.

Of course, as we learn in Genesis 3, we humans ruptured our relationship with Yahweh, one another, and our fellow creatures. Once we did, we trespassed the vital limits of our perfect context. We began to organize and act in ways which gave shape to the desolation, darkness, and deep evil which Yahweh had originally rejected on our behalf.

Around 800 BC, Yahweh criticized this trespassing of vital limits, and its destructive consequences, through his prophet Hosea (4:1b-3):

     There is no faithfulness or loyalty,
          and no knowledge of God in the land.
     Swearing, lying, and murder,
          and stealing and adultery break out;
          bloodshed follows bloodshed.
     Therefore the land mourns,
          and all who live in it languish;
     together with the wild animals
          and the birds of the air,
          even the fish of the sea are perishing.

Today we humans as a species witness to our adoration of Vulcan, god of technology, by devoting ourselves to the growth of his Global Technological System (GTS). We severely trespass the vital limits of Yahweh’s good creation by growing a parasitic GTS that requires the systematic destruction of that creation.

As Christians, as witnesses to the one odd god of truth, freedom, love, and vitality, we want to work together to develop a way of living that respects rather than trespasses the vital limits of Yahweh’s good creation.

By comparing the perfect context of Genesis 1 with our current context, let us attempt to discern what some of these limits might be.

In the beginning, Yahweh created other creatures, a perfect combination of plant and animal species, to serve as the perfect context for our relationship of freedom and love with him, one another, and them.

To respect the vital limits which their existence has for ours, our existence as a species should not threaten, endanger, or destroy their existence. Instead, our ways of living should promote the vitality other species and their habitats.

In truth, respecting this limit—rather than trespassing it—means abandoning our use of electricity. Our production, use, and consumption of electricity, and the whole GTS powered by it, require the systematic destruction of habitats and extinction of species. Not using electricity means abandoning its use at home and work. It also means using products that do not require electricity to be made.

To nurture and protect the vitality of the other species created by Yahweh, two other vital limits come to mind. Moving away from electricity would take care of them, but they still deserve mention.

One, no genetically-modified organisms. Yahweh created all the species we need for a perfect context and relationship with him. GMOs serve only the GTS that manufactures them.

Two, no fission or fusion of atoms. The destructive consequences of the use of nuclear energy obviously violate the integrity of Yahweh’s good creation.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.