Opinion: Subduing energy and morality


The use of energy is a moral question. From the beginning of what we know as our world, subduing the earth and the resources thereof has been a human responsibility.

“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it…Genesis 1:28 CSB

Humankind is not only called to subdue the earth. We are also called to utilize the resources for the benefit of everyone. Merriam-Webster defines the word “subdue” as “to bring (land) under cultivation.” According to Andy Otto, a Jesuit theologian from Boston College, this connotes the context of one would “subdue” a plot of land, planting seeds, watering, cultivating it, caring for it, and harvesting its fruit…”

The original definition of “subdue” in Hebrew is even more stark. The Hebrew verb for “subdue” is “kavash” and it literally means to place your foot on the neck of your conquered enemy signifying a submission of the enemy to his defeat. We are to be so wise as to be dominant in harnessing energy!

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