Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
This verse is known as the “cultural mandate,” with wider implications than simply having children and managing wildlife. In Jewish and Christian tradition, it is the basis of valuing activity that further develops human culture and manages the planet.
Critics have accused Christians of using this verse to justify having more children than they can support. A response is that the meaning of fruitful here is not to be as fruitful as one possibly can with disregard for all other concerns, such as health, ability to raise up children, and such.
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