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Fishbowl Foolishness

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The town council of the city of Rome, Italy has passed some rather unusual laws recently. The most startling concerns the illegality of goldfish bowls. That’s right, goldfish bowls are now outlawed in Rome (“Rome Bans...,” 2005). Animal rights activists say the bowls are cruel. The council also passed a law requiring citizens to regularly exercise their dogs. Such pronouncements reflect significant erosion of the Christian worldview.

After creating the animals, God created the first human beings, setting them apart from the animal kingdom by creating humans in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Humans possess a soul—a spirit—that lives on after the death of the body (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Zechariah 12:1; Luke 16:22-31; Hebrews 12:9; James 2:26). Animals do not share this spiritual dimension in common with humans. Animals are not human, and are not to be regarded as such. The Bible speaks directly to the question of the relationship between humans and fish. Humans are to “have dominion (i.e., rule) over the fish of the sea” (Genesis 1:26,28; cf. Psalm 8:6-8)—which surely includes confining them to fishbowls! In fact, the Bible declares specifically that, among other things, “all the fish of the sea...are given into your hand...[and] shall be food for you” (Genesis 9:2-3, emp. added).

When humans stray away from God and the proper view of life and human existence provided in His inspired Word, they end up with distorted sensibilities (see Miller, 2004). They end up exchanging the truth of God for lies, and worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).


Miller, Dave (2004), “Where Godless Evolution Leads,” [On-line], URL:

“Rome Bans Goldfish Bowls” (2005), Reuters, October 26, [On-line], URL:;_ylt=ArSNdiSc xxeineP6q4Sq6Oys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3NW1oMDRpBHNlYwM3NTc.

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