piscicide and theology

Just up the coast from me at Glenarm, last week, a gigantic flock of jellyfish stung and killed several hundred thousand fish in Northern Ireland’s only salmon farm. The owners face ruin and the job of collecting in the corpses from this act of fairly pointless piscine destruction. That is my problem with nature. I sit at my window and watch the birds hover above the tide and it  is all so psychologically consoling and remarkable and of course I recognise that the web of life on this planet sustains us all but it is also a fact that nature is brutal and uncaring and harsh. It seems to me that Christians mostly talk sentimental falsehoods about the natural world and how it  is supposed to be a mirror of the grandeur of God. The Buddhists surely get it better when they recognise in their prayers that all ‘sentient beings’ are caught up in painful cycle of birth, suffering and death and that the least we can do in response to this is to abstain from destroying our fellow creatures, particularly by not eating them, and by resolving to never cease from spiritual struggle until all ‘sentient creatures’ in the cosmos who experiece distress have been released from  their painful lot into nirvana. Maybe that bible text about all creation ‘groaning’ until the final day of redemption, should have been amplified by the original author. Maybe there will some day be a Christian way to satisfactorily understand the inhuman horror that can lurk in the deep, stinging all that gets into its path. But there doesn’t seem to be one around right now, does there?          


About philip55

i have been doing this blog for a week or two now and enjoying it. i live in carrickfergus, county antrim in northern ireland and i work as freelance writer and researcher these days, currently doing a project for the centre for contemporary christianity in ireland on working-class loyalist culture and its relationship with the church.
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One Response to piscicide and theology

  1. Greg says:

    Well it starts with the myth of Genesis and the “fall” of creation due to rebellion. There are other passages that point to a Biblical God who cares about the smallest of creatures, and as you mention the eventual redemption of the total planet, not just people. But, Christians — like most humans — pick and choose the parts that fit their own agenda or upbringing and easily ignore the parts that do not.

    For me one of the key issues is when are we observing an actual natural occurance and when are we observing something in nature that is the result, direct or indirect, of imbalance caused by man? I suppose the Genesis myth would point to an explanation that it is all caused by the imbalance mankind created. I believe the eventual coming of the Light will be the redemption of ALL life. peace

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