OT Stories - Myths,Legends, Parables, or Real

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OT Stories - Myths,Legends, Parables, or Real

In discussions with Caposkia on his thread regarding his recommended book (New Atheist Crusaders) we have mutually agreed to open a discussion on the OT discussing reality versus myth for stories in the OT. My position is that the OT is largely myths and legends with little basis in reality. There may be stories that may be considered literature as Rook has suggested though it still incorporates myths and legends as well in my opinion. The intent is to examine major stories and discuss the mythical components versus the interpretations by Christians and Jews that these events were real. Caposkia has indicated in many of his posts that he agrees that some of the stories are reality based and in those areas I'm interested in understanding his reasoning or any other believer for acceptance versus others where he does not consider them to be. It may be there are a few where we may find agreement as to a story being a myth or it being real though my inclination is little more is reality based other than kingdoms existed in Palestine that were called Israel and Judah and they interacted with other nations in some fashion.

Since the basis of Christian beliefs started with creation and the fall of man we'll begin there and attempt to progress through Genesis in some sort of logical order sort of like Sunday School for those of you that went. I’m not particularly concerned about each little bit of belief in these stories but I’m more interested in the mythology aspects. We could for pages argue over original sin or free will but that isn’t even necessary in my opinion as the text discredits itself with blatant assertions and impossibilities. Instead consider for example Eve is created in one version from Adam’s rib which can be directly compared to the Sumerian goddess of the rib called Nin-ti which Ninhursag gave birth to heal the god Enki. Other comparisons can be made to the Sumerian paradise called Dilmun to the Garden of Eden as well. These stories predate the OT by thousands of years and tell the tale of the ancient Annuna gods that supposedly created the world. Visit www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/# for more information and some of the translated stories, click on corpus content by number or category.

In order for salvation through Christ from our supposed sins against the God the events of Genesis must have occurred in some fashion. If the Genesis stories are largely mythical or they are simply a parable then this basis is poorly founded and weakens the entire structure of Christian belief. Caposkia claims I error at square one because I don't acknowledge a spiritual world. I suggest that he and other followers error by accepting that which there is no detectable basis. This is done by interpreting parables and myths by the ancients to be more than inadequate understanding by unknowing people that looked for an answer to why things were in the world they observed.

In Genesis 1 is the supposed creation of the world by God. In this account illogical explanations start immediately with the description of the Earth being without form and darkness was upon it. Light is then created and explained as day and night. Next God molded his creation into better detail by creating Heaven above meaning the sky and waters on the earth. He then caused dry land to appear calling it the Earth and the waters the Seas. On this same day he created vegetation with the requirement that it bring forth after its kind by duplication through seeds. The following day he created the heavenly bodies to divide day from night and to be signs for seasons and for years. He made the great light to rule the day and the lesser light the night as well as all the stars. On the 5th day he created all the life in the seas and air with the requirement they reproduce after their own kind. The 6th day he created all the land animals including man both male and female. The gods in this case made man after their image as male and female in their own likeness. He commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth.

Problems start with this account immediately. The Earth according to science is leftover material from the forming of our star, the Sun. This material would have been a glowing mass of molten material. The land in any event would emerge first before water could exist as a liquid upon it due to the extreme heat.  Light would already exist in the form of the Sun which according to current science is not as old as other stars in our galaxy not to mention in the Universe. The account mentions that day and night were made but this is not so except for a local event on the planet. An object not on the Earth would have no such condition or a different form of night and day. The account further errors in claiming the Sun, Moon, and stars were all formed following the creation of the Earth. In theories of planet formulation the star is formed first and planets afterwords. In the case of the moon multiple theories occur though not one where it zapped into the Universe suddenly. The statement that the heavenly bodies were created for signs and seasons is more evidence of a legend. The other planets and stars are purposeful in ways that aid in life existing or continuing to do so on Earth. Jupiter for example is a great big vacuum cleaner sucking into its gravitational field all sorts of debris that could eradicate life on Earth. Is this then a design by the god or just part of the situation that helped to allow life to progress as it did on the Earth? The observation of specific planets or stars in specific areas of the sky is just that, an observation no more and not placed there by a god to indicate the change of seasons.

One can also see some similarity between Genesis 1 and the Egyptian creation myth Ra and the serpent, see http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Resources/StudTxts/raSerpnt.html . In this myth Ra is the first on the scene and he creates all the creatures himself doing so before he made the wind or the rain. Ra does not create man but the gods he created gave birth to the people of Egypt who multiplied and flourished.

Some Jewish sects as well as Catholic belief allow for evolution to have been the method for creation of life on Earth. This however is in contradiction to Genesis in that all vegetation and animals were to reproduce only after their own kind. If this is so, then evolution is not compatible with the creation story. Simply put the life could not alter and produce different versions not after its kind. Since obvious examples exist for variation in species such as evolution even as simple as fish in caves without eyes or color versus those that are in streams outside there is obvious adaption thus discrediting this part of Genesis as myth.

The creation of man in Genesis 1 also suggests multiple gods as man was created in their likeness male and female thus following Canaanite gods such as Yahweh and his Asherah or Ba'al and Athirat that may be a reflection of an older tradition from either Egypt or Sumer. Genesis 2 on the other hand has a slightly different version from a variant I'll discuss in a later post.

I consider Genesis 1 to be a myth, legend or a parable based on all the problems discussed with basis in ancient stories from Sumer and Egypt. I leave it to Caposkia and other believers to indicate where they accept parts of Genesis 1 as reality and to indicate their reasoning if they do so.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:And

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And you do, I suppose? Should I ask for your CV?

As for Kitchen, there is nothing qute like going in with a desired conclusion and making the evidence fit, eh? I don't dispute his credentials but he wouldn't be the first to let his beliefs cloud his judgment of the facts. It's a very human thing to find what you look for hard enough.

I'm a religion major, and I focus on Judeo-Christianity. Nevertheless, I still don't think I'm fully qualified to answer the question of this thread. Like I said before, one needs study in so many areas to truly get at this question.

As for Kitchen, you didn't dispute any of his findings or demonstrate a knowledge of his work. You just stated that he has a bias. No shit, we're all biased to a certain extent. You should really consider doing more than a wikipedia search next time you try and refute something.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Christos

Christos wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And you do, I suppose? Should I ask for your CV?

As for Kitchen, there is nothing qute like going in with a desired conclusion and making the evidence fit, eh? I don't dispute his credentials but he wouldn't be the first to let his beliefs cloud his judgment of the facts. It's a very human thing to find what you look for hard enough.

I'm a religion major, and I focus on Judeo-Christianity. Nevertheless, I still don't think I'm fully qualified to answer the question of this thread. Like I said before, one needs study in so many areas to truly get at this question. You say one needs to study in many ways - why have you stopped after finding stuff that shares your views?

As for Kitchen, you didn't dispute any of his findings or demonstrate a knowledge of his work. You just stated that he has a bias. No shit, we're all biased to a certain extent. You should really consider doing more than a wikipedia search next time you try and refute something.

Don't blame PJTS for what I wrote - thanks.

Bias shouldn't not influence research - Kitchen's bias may have. Your bias might keep you from looking critically at other views. Did I miss something or has research gone to being "finding stuff that agrees with my views"

I don't need to research my opinions to share them, do I? Are you trying to take that from me? Must I ask your permission to post or would any god believer here suffice?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Christos wrote:I'll tell you

Christos wrote:

I'll tell you the answer: The OT contains myth, legend, historical fiction, apocalyptic prophecy, poetry, law code, and some history. You don't need to go through the whole damn testament.

Since you have provided the answer, I guess you have the ball for providing your reasoning. Other theists seem to see this otherwise so asserting this is the case leaves it to you to provide the evidence. In the case of Caposkia he believes due to a personal relationship with God and so far sees Genesis as based in reality somehow. In other threads I have seen that you don't consider it to be so. Since you have the ball, explain to Caposkia why he's wrong. I'm aware that you have a different take on God seeing s/he/it as something other than the God of Abe beliefs. 

Christos wrote:

To properly answer the question of this thread, you really should have a degree in Biblical studies and the history of religion. It would also be helpful to have a background in Biblical archeology, paleo-Hebrew, Ancient Israelite religion, Second Temple Judaism, Aramaic, The DDS, Josephus, Philo, and the history of ancient Empires (like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans). You are not probably not truly qualified to address this question, Mr. Pauljohn. Unless somehow you are Bart Ehrman in disguise.

It seems one does not need a degree in Theology to believe in the myths as real, why do you think it requires one to challenge it? My whole point of this thread was to get theists to think and consider origins and possibilities, in that regard its successful as it brought you out didn't it. I have noted in your posts in other threads that you are a World Religion major which may eventually lead you back to the atheism you gave up in last year in Guatemala. As children are somewhat innocent having not formed perverse concepts I see where you might be led to see there must be something more underlining existence though you have created your own "magic fantasy god" as an explanation.

No, I'm not Bart, and you're not Bill Gates or any of my associates that developed disk array storage technology so you could play on the Internet, yet you do so without an IT or computer science degree. I have studied religion in a Jesuit University as well as a parochial school education. In addition, I have researched and studied ancient history and archeology for over 30 years. This has led to my view that what I was taught as a Christian is not true. What is? not what I was taught. My point here is to create doubt in those that accept beliefs with no basis. That you consider the OT to be mythical and legend indicates that you don't buy the God of Abe basis either though you are a student in religion. Perhaps in years to come you'll see it in the harsh light of reality losing your last grasp at justification for existence for a "magic man" of any kind.

Christos wrote:
 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

caposkia wrote:
 

the Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest we have in hand.  it is said through those they have understood that those are most likely still copies of copies.  I guess the dating goes further than to what we have in hand.  I dont' know how they concluded on it. 

Though this now opens the question again to whether they're actual historical accounts or just copied down and written.

 

Exactly, since they date to 165 BCE to 65 BCE claims as to this is what the Jews believed for a thousand years are not on a solid foundation.

I disagree. We know a lot about Israelite religion (pre-exilic Judaism). For example, we know about henotheistic influence, lack of competing groups, their intermarriage with foreigners, their lack of conversion process, the prominent role for kings and priests, membership based on nationality, worship in public and focused on the Temple, lack of prayer as a standard aspect of worship,  and no significant belief in demons or angels. We also know that Israelite religion was not a book religion (that's a huge point).

Just because the DDS have the oldest manuscripts of Hebrew literature doesn't mean that they you can't date them much earlier, and it doesn't mean that certain books can't tell us about ancient Israelite religion.

The point here was Jewish belief of 1200 BCE is not likely to be that which is in the DSS. This is obvious from several perspectives. A few examples: the documents themselves which indicate the the Book of the Law was discovered in 2 Kings 22. This implies the Jews were not following that which had been previously given them thus altering many rules and laws pertaining to Judaism in mid 7th century BCE. Rants against the worship of the queen of heaven found in various places in Kings and Jeremiah. Artifacts found throughout both Judah and Israel of Asherah in homes. And even the redirection by Ezra and others after the exile.

Further, that which was found called the DSS may be based on older documents that no longer exist does not in any way suggest what the beliefs of people in Judah or Israel practiced in general. As you have said in other threads, the Jews did not have a book religion, so the writings of priests or scribes in no way indicate what the people actually practiced. I would agree with your comments in another thread that much was written during or after the Babylonian exile as in http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16715

Kenneth Kitchen is an excellent Egyptologist but he has bias in that he is an Evangelical Christian. His work in that regard disagrees with much of archaeologists such as Finkelstein and even your Biblical mentor  Bart Ehrman. He makes many assumptions that are based thinly including his 2003 work where he creates an 8th century BCE Cyrus as he is certain that Isaiah was a single work by a single author. Kitchen is given to many assumptions and much conjecture. This in no way claims he's totally in error but he assumes for example the personal names of the patriarchs are derived from or are similar to those from Mesopotamia and/or Egypt from somewhere between the 12th and 18th century BCE lends some sort of credibility to actual existence. He considers the so called Merenptah Stele indicates the Israelites were already in Palestine and thus dates the Exodus to prior to approximately 1220 BCE not considering at all the possibility they were already there as nomads that had settled like all the rest of the Canaanites. His position is to fit the Exodus and Moses into the real world in order to support his Christian beliefs. You're going to have to do better than Kitchen as an authority. 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


pauljohntheskeptic
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Christos

Christos wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And you do, I suppose? Should I ask for your CV?

As for Kitchen, there is nothing qute like going in with a desired conclusion and making the evidence fit, eh? I don't dispute his credentials but he wouldn't be the first to let his beliefs cloud his judgment of the facts. It's a very human thing to find what you look for hard enough.

I'm a religion major, and I focus on Judeo-Christianity. Nevertheless, I still don't think I'm fully qualified to answer the question of this thread. Like I said before, one needs study in so many areas to truly get at this question.

As for Kitchen, you didn't dispute any of his findings or demonstrate a knowledge of his work. You just stated that he has a bias. No shit, we're all biased to a certain extent. You should really consider doing more than a wikipedia search next time you try and refute something.

 

 

I did not write this statement you quoted. What's the deal Christos??

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Christos wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And you do, I suppose? Should I ask for your CV?

As for Kitchen, there is nothing qute like going in with a desired conclusion and making the evidence fit, eh? I don't dispute his credentials but he wouldn't be the first to let his beliefs cloud his judgment of the facts. It's a very human thing to find what you look for hard enough.

I'm a religion major, and I focus on Judeo-Christianity. Nevertheless, I still don't think I'm fully qualified to answer the question of this thread. Like I said before, one needs study in so many areas to truly get at this question.

As for Kitchen, you didn't dispute any of his findings or demonstrate a knowledge of his work. You just stated that he has a bias. No shit, we're all biased to a certain extent. You should really consider doing more than a wikipedia search next time you try and refute something.

I did not write this statement you quoted. What's the deal Christos??

I called him on it - I think he just took my jumping into the conversation as a continuance.

If you two want me to leave you alone to have at it, tell me and I'll just sit here with my popcorn and stay quiet.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Since you have provided the answer, I guess you have the ball for providing your reasoning. Other theists seem to see this otherwise so asserting this is the case leaves it to you to provide the evidence.

It's finals week coming up, so I really don't have the time to write a thesis on the historical accuracy of the Bible. Even if I did, I'm not the most qualified person to do it. I'd suggest reading Nickelsburg, Eshel, Vermes, Sievers, Harlow or other scholars that I'm surely forgetting.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

It seems one does not need a degree in Theology to believe in the myths as real, why do you think it requires one to challenge it? My whole point of this thread was to get theists to think and consider origins and possibilities, in that regard its successful as it brought you out didn't it. I have noted in your posts in other threads that you are a World Religion major which may eventually lead you back to the atheism you gave up in last year in Guatemala. As children are somewhat innocent having not formed perverse concepts I see where you might be led to see there must be something more underlining existence though you have created your own "magic fantasy god" as an explanation.

A few things here:

1) Theology is a very different discipline than history or science or archaeology. I don't think one needs a degree to question Biblical theology. I think you would agree that other fields like science, history and archaeology require extensive study. All these fields are necessary to get at the question of the Bible's historical accuracy.

2) I would appreciate it if you didn't make assumptions about my religious beliefs or my experience abroad.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

No, I'm not Bart, and you're not Bill Gates or any of my associates that developed disk array storage technology so you could play on the Internet, yet you do so without an IT or computer science degree. I have studied religion in a Jesuit University as well as a parochial school education. In addition, I have researched and studied ancient history and archeology for over 30 years. This has led to my view that what I was taught as a Christian is not true. What is? not what I was taught. My point here is to create doubt in those that accept beliefs with no basis. That you consider the OT to be mythical and legend indicates that you don't buy the God of Abe basis either though you are a student in religion. Perhaps in years to come you'll see it in the harsh light of reality losing your last grasp at justification for existence for a "magic man" of any kind.

I know you're aren't Bart Ehrman, or else you would have studied at Moody Bible instead of a Jesuit University. And I'm sorry, but the posts on this thread don't demonstrate a solid foundation in Israelite religion, Second Temple Judaism, Hebrew, Josephus, or surrounding empires.

I also like how you finish this argument with an ad hominem and make another assumption about my religious beliefs.

pauljohnthesketpic wrote:

 

 

Further, that which was found called the DSS may be based on older documents that no longer exist does not in any way suggest what the beliefs of people in Judah or Israel practiced in general. As you have said in other threads, the Jews did not have a book religion, so the writings of priests or scribes in no way indicate what the people actually practiced. I would agree with your comments in another thread that much was written during or after the Babylonian exile as in http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16715

First of all, of course the DDS were copies. I can't believe that was even something you and Capioska even had to cover. Second, just because the Law developed radically over time doesn't mean that Tanakh manuscripts can't tell us anything abotu pre-exilic Israel. I illustrated that in the last post. I'm not trying to say that these documents weren't redacted, but they can still offer some historical value for pre-1000 BCE Israel and the monarchy. I think we agree on this since you agreed with my post on that thread about David.

Third, Bart Ehrman is not my mentor. Excellent scholar, but I can't stand some of his work. That book he wrote onn the problem of evil is not his forte. He needs to write strictly historical work and stop writing anti-Moddy Bible Institute theology.

I also didn't say that I agree with Kitchen on everything. But he makes some good points about the dating of certain patriarchal stories. I don't agree with his assment of the Exodus. That's because I don't think the Exodus actually occurred, but that's for another thread.

Finally, I'm sorry about attributing jcgadfly's post to you. My mistake. 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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jcgadfly wrote:I don't need

jcgadfly wrote:

I don't need to research my opinions to share them, do I? Are you trying to take that from me? Must I ask your permission to post or would any god believer here suffice?

No, you don't need research to share your opinion. But this isn't a theological discussion. We are talking about issues of history. So you do need research for me to take your posts seriously.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Christos wrote:jcgadfly

Christos wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

I don't need to research my opinions to share them, do I? Are you trying to take that from me? Must I ask your permission to post or would any god believer here suffice?

No, you don't need research to share your opinion. But this isn't a theological discussion. We are talking about issues of history. So you do need research for me to take your posts seriously.

Then you're dead in the water before you start.

Just because the writers mention real places and real people doesn't make the stories a relation of history.

If that were the case, Spider-Man is real and the comics chronicle his life as they're set in New York City and they mention and even have depictions of some real people.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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jcgadfly wrote:Then you're

jcgadfly wrote:

Then you're dead in the water before you start.

Just because the writers mention real places and real people doesn't make the stories a relation of history.

If that were the case, Spider-Man is real and the comics chronicle his life as they're set in New York City and they mention and even have depictions of some real people.

I think you are a little confused here. I'm accusing you of not researching your opinions. You need to be well versed in so many fields before you can really get at the question of the historical accuracy of the OT.  You should also actually read my posts to understand my position. I never said that the OT is all history. I said it contains myth, legend, law code, poetry, historical fiction, and some real history.

Your spider-man example is both non-academic and childish.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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And I am saying that the

And I am saying that the real history you are claiming is, for the most part, historical fiction.

We're also dealing with the Bible - not an academic document.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


pauljohntheskeptic
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Christos

Christos wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Since you have provided the answer, I guess you have the ball for providing your reasoning. Other theists seem to see this otherwise so asserting this is the case leaves it to you to provide the evidence.

It's finals week coming up, so I really don't have the time to write a thesis on the historical accuracy of the Bible. Even if I did, I'm not the most qualified person to do it. I'd suggest reading Nickelsburg, Eshel, Vermes, Sievers, Harlow or other scholars that I'm surely forgetting.

Good luck with finals, I always liked them because it meant I was nearing completion of mileposts on my way to my goals.

Though I agree with your answer it wasn't for my benefit that I told you the ball was in your hands nor am I the one that needs to research to understand. If you assert as you did to Caposkia and other believing Christians than it falls to you to back your position. Good luck with that.

Christos wrote:

A few things here:

1) Theology is a very different discipline than history or science or archaeology. I don't think one needs a degree to question Biblical theology. I think you would agree that other fields like science, history and archaeology require extensive study. All these fields are necessary to get at the question of the Bible's historical accuracy.

Yes. In order to properly address all the issues involved in the study of Biblical accuracy extensive study is required in many subjects. This includes science which any intelligent examination of all aspects involved in the subject matter require a firm foundation and education. 

Christos wrote:

2) I would appreciate it if you didn't make assumptions about my religious beliefs or my experience abroad.

As I would about your assumptions of my knowledge and experiences.

Christos wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

No, I'm not Bart, and you're not Bill Gates or any of my associates that developed disk array storage technology so you could play on the Internet, yet you do so without an IT or computer science degree. I have studied religion in a Jesuit University as well as a parochial school education. In addition, I have researched and studied ancient history and archeology for over 30 years. This has led to my view that what I was taught as a Christian is not true. What is? not what I was taught. My point here is to create doubt in those that accept beliefs with no basis. That you consider the OT to be mythical and legend indicates that you don't buy the God of Abe basis either though you are a student in religion. Perhaps in years to come you'll see it in the harsh light of reality losing your last grasp at justification for existence for a "magic man" of any kind.

I know you're aren't Bart Ehrman, or else you would have studied at Moody Bible instead of a Jesuit University. And I'm sorry, but the posts on this thread don't demonstrate a solid foundation in Israelite religion, Second Temple Judaism, Hebrew, Josephus, or surrounding empires.

I also like how you finish this argument with an ad hominem and make another assumption about my religious beliefs.

1- This thread had only progressed through Genesis 3 and no attempt was intended to relate 2nd Temple Judaism, Hebrew, Josephus or future empires. My intention so far was to discuss the creation myth in the OT as compared to other creation myths of other cultures no more. It's rather presumptuous to suggest that Josephus or 2ND Temple Judaism has relevance or contributory significance in such a comparison.  

2- You received the ad hominen response specifically  regarding an IT or computer science degree because of your sloppy or devious quote attribution. It is fairly difficult to misapply a quote as you did. It indicates either devious behavior or very poor computer skills. You claim it was a mistake so it must be sloppiness and/or poor computer skills which I accept as very likely. As I earned a living in R & D in the computer industry where sloppiness costs money I get miffed at those that do so. As you are in college sloppiness so far only costs you grades later on it will cost you money. And I do note that you admitted your mistake. Apology accepted and smart ass response withdrawn.

3- No more assumptions will be made about your religious beliefs. In fairness you also need to stop making your own assumptions about others which you did throughout this reply and your other posts.

Christos wrote:

pauljohnthesketpic wrote:

Further, that which was found called the DSS may be based on older documents that no longer exist does not in any way suggest what the beliefs of people in Judah or Israel practiced in general. As you have said in other threads, the Jews did not have a book religion, so the writings of priests or scribes in no way indicate what the people actually practiced. I would agree with your comments in another thread that much was written during or after the Babylonian exile as in http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16715

First of all, of course the DDS were copies. I can't believe that was even something you and Capioska even had to cover. Second, just because the Law developed radically over time doesn't mean that Tanakh manuscripts can't tell us anything abotu pre-exilic Israel. I illustrated that in the last post. I'm not trying to say that these documents weren't redacted, but they can still offer some historical value for pre-1000 BCE Israel and the monarchy. I think we agree on this since you agreed with my post on that thread about David.

Third, Bart Ehrman is not my mentor. Excellent scholar, but I can't stand some of his work. That book he wrote onn the problem of evil is not his forte. He needs to write strictly historical work and stop writing anti-Moddy Bible Institute theology.

I also didn't say that I agree with Kitchen on everything. But he makes some good points about the dating of certain patriarchal stories. I don't agree with his assment of the Exodus. That's because I don't think the Exodus actually occurred, but that's for another thread.

Finally, I'm sorry about attributing jcgadfly's post to you. My mistake.

1-I'm aware the DSS are copies it was Caposkia that insisted they were the oldest scraps of ancient manuscripts older than Sumerian which is why I took issue.

2- I agree the Exodus did not occur. I have many issues with Kitchen as I previously expressed and do not find as you do that he has very many good points. This is as you say is a subject for another thread.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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jcgadfly wrote:Cap,It

jcgadfly wrote:

Cap,

It surprises you that earlier writngs support claims made in a book written later (that most likely drew from them)?

No surprises here.   The thing is, you're trying to take that understanding to say that because the Bible used prior sources to gather its information, it's false... yet history has done the same.  Uses random resources, brings them together to make a point or clarify an understanding. 

If one scientist says something, a lot of the scientific world will not grasp it.  When many are brought together and support the same thing in their own way, people take notice.

 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Well, since Sumerian, Egyptian, Ugaritic myths are in museums and in hand that predate the OT Dead Sea Scrolls by over 2,000 years and nothing in hand actually gives basis to the OT stories the points go to the more ancient writing as being closer to the source or origin. So far there is no support for any Biblical writing before the 1st Millennium only 2nd century BCE tradition as established in DSS and Roman records. The Roman records only establish the Jews had an ancient belief but no detail. 

What the Sumerian and other writings backup for the OT is there were a myriad of stories regarding creation, man, gods. and floods. I don't see a special relationship with the supposed god Yahweh in the Sumerian stories of the flood, creation, or man. If you do please so point out where. If you'd like to suggest that Enki and later Marduk were Sumerian names for Yahweh you will need to prove that as it's not what is suggested at all in the myths. Enki was obsessed with sex and alcohol which Yahweh as interpreted by Jews is not.

Whenever something significant has happend in human history, there has always been many versions of what has happend.  It would make sense to me that there would generally be many ideas of the creation story.  For all we know, the Bible may not have the whole story... Most likely doesn't actually. 

Either way, it still doesn't imply myth. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


You need to read what Ron Paul says: 

http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2006/cr021506.htm

Wiki's interpretation of what a Federal Reserve Note is: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_Note

A dollar is essentially only backed by the US's ability to pay, in goods and services as well as the taxing ability of the government. Gold is not involved. We don't need to sidetrack on this.

You're right, we don't.  Those links are true.  There's no way the U.S. can back up all the currency with gold if it had to.  As far as the intent of the writings on the bills however, the fact still remains that it's supposed to be supporting that worth in gold, nothing more.  Either way, no one in today's world really cares as long as the dollar is still worth a dollar. 

We should move on. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is also incorrect to conclude they are angels or Jesus Christ as that is also going beyond what is there. 

I wouldn't say incorrect.  From what we know with all the information we have in hand today, there's no other explanation to what beings would be in reference.  Granted it could be incorrect, but putting 2 and 2 together suggests otherwise. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Genesis only refers to hosts in heaven and earth which is the only mention of something that can be misinterpreted as angels, through Genesis 3 comments about a cherubim and does not discuss its origin. This may just be another example of poor plot lines by the writer. When you introduce something new in a story usually one must explain what it is and from where it came. You cannot interpolate this into angels earlier in this story, 

I would conclude then that if this was a made up story, the author would have taken more care in explaining the new characters they brought to the page... just like any other author of their time and now would have done.  For a story of that calibur to be successful, would it not have to have better clarification and continuity?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Parables are not fact but stories and are not necessarily based in reality. This is what I meant that you agree not all stories are reality for one.  See also your New Atheist Crusader thread.

Oh, I see.  yea.  The Bible references to that fact, therefore, it's not a factor in the vailidity of the scripture in general.  Parables are explained to be making a point as the Bible says when the parables are presented.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm just saying the Sumerian and other stories are a better read.

Possibly true be it that the Bible has information from many sources.  People who compiled the books and the Bible to what they are today decided among themselves what was important enough to include and what was unneccessary.  This doesn't mean that they made the best decision.  As far as the gist of the story and what's important for the follower to understand, it's all there. 

There are many followers that will vouch on reading the extra-Biblical texts along with the Bible to get a better understanding of the people, times, and story in general.


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Christos wrote:This thread

Christos wrote:

This thread is ridiculous. I'll tell you the answer: The OT contains myth, legend, historical fiction, apocalyptic prophecy, poetry, law code, and some history. You don't need to go through the whole damn testament.

To properly answer the question of this thread, you really should have a degree in Biblical studies and the history of religion. It would also be helpful to have a background in Biblical archaeology, paleo-Hebrew, Ancient Israelite religion, Second Temple Judaism, Aramaic, The DDS, Josephus, Philo, and the history of ancient Empires (like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans). You are not probably not truly qualified to address this question, Mr. Pauljohn. Unless somehow you are Bart Ehrman in disguise.

I'd agree, however I mentioned that I'd be willing to go through it with him and answer to the best of my knowlege questions he may have and even learn a little more myself in the process. 

My intention as a follower on this thread was not to take all of the information you suggested and show how it ties into reality.  Anyone with a goal of doing that can do so, but I would suggest writing a book. It'd be more feasable for the time and effort it would take to compile all the information. 

Sometimes too, the reality of scripture is better understood by simply bringing to light the improbability of emperically crying "myth". 

You can take the factual approach with all the information in tact, but you'll lose most of those who have already concluded that it's false and don't see the point in taking the time to read through all the information. 

Either way, I'm learning by getting a better understanding of where people on this forum are coming from.  That way, I can do more focused research for future encounters. 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Well, since Sumerian, Egyptian, Ugaritic myths are in museums and in hand that predate the OT Dead Sea Scrolls by over 2,000 years and nothing in hand actually gives basis to the OT stories the points go to the more ancient writing as being closer to the source or origin. So far there is no support for any Biblical writing before the 1st Millennium only 2nd century BCE tradition as established in DSS and Roman records. The Roman records only establish the Jews had an ancient belief but no detail. 

What the Sumerian and other writings backup for the OT is there were a myriad of stories regarding creation, man, gods. and floods. I don't see a special relationship with the supposed god Yahweh in the Sumerian stories of the flood, creation, or man. If you do please so point out where. If you'd like to suggest that Enki and later Marduk were Sumerian names for Yahweh you will need to prove that as it's not what is suggested at all in the myths. Enki was obsessed with sex and alcohol which Yahweh as interpreted by Jews is not.

Whenever something significant has happend in human history, there has always been many versions of what has happend.  It would make sense to me that there would generally be many ideas of the creation story.  For all we know, the Bible may not have the whole story... Most likely doesn't actually. 

Either way, it still doesn't imply myth.

It also doesn't imply any of the creation stories are based in reality only that man tried to explain that which he had little understanding in a method that seemed coherent at the time. Today the ignorance of the ancients are obvious in many areas. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is also incorrect to conclude they are angels or Jesus Christ as that is also going beyond what is there. 

I wouldn't say incorrect.  From what we know with all the information we have in hand today, there's no other explanation to what beings would be in reference.  Granted it could be incorrect, but putting 2 and 2 together suggests otherwise.

Since all of the other ancient religions had multiple gods 2 + 2 = other gods, not angels. It is only later the angel beings are introduced not here. We obviously differ here substantially which shall remain unresolved.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Genesis only refers to hosts in heaven and earth which is the only mention of something that can be misinterpreted as angels, through Genesis 3 comments about a cherubim and does not discuss its origin. This may just be another example of poor plot lines by the writer. When you introduce something new in a story usually one must explain what it is and from where it came. You cannot interpolate this into angels earlier in this story, 

I would conclude then that if this was a made up story, the author would have taken more care in explaining the new characters they brought to the page... just like any other author of their time and now would have done.  For a story of that calibur to be successful, would it not have to have better clarification and continuity?

Not necessarily. Again, opinion and perception are not likely to be affected in our differing viewpoints.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Parables are not fact but stories and are not necessarily based in reality. This is what I meant that you agree not all stories are reality for one.  See also your New Atheist Crusader thread.

Oh, I see.  yea.  The Bible references to that fact, therefore, it's not a factor in the vailidity of the scripture in general.  Parables are explained to be making a point as the Bible says when the parables are presented.

Exactly. Whether the point being made is true or fantasy matters little.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm just saying the Sumerian and other stories are a better read.

Possibly true be it that the Bible has information from many sources.  People who compiled the books and the Bible to what they are today decided among themselves what was important enough to include and what was unneccessary.  This doesn't mean that they made the best decision.  As far as the gist of the story and what's important for the follower to understand, it's all there. 

There are many followers that will vouch on reading the extra-Biblical texts along with the Bible to get a better understanding of the people, times, and story in general.

My point is to truly understand the writing of the Bible one must look to extra-Biblical sources. When one does so, many of the OT stories are seen for what they are, stories or at best parables and are not real world at all.

 

I suggest we go on by fast forwarding to the Flood. You can go first if you'd like explaining how you perceive this account as well as extra-Biblical accounts.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I suggest we go on by fast forwarding to the Flood.

 

I just wanted to say, the biblical god is pretty freakin evil according to the bible. Between the global slaughter claimed in the flood, and claims of genocide at "sodom and gomorrah"...Hitler couldn't hold a candle up to that. On nearly any modern person's moral scale, I think that wiping out an entire planet of life fits in pretty much at the bottom.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:It

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It also doesn't imply any of the creation stories are based in reality only that man tried to explain that which he had little understanding in a method that seemed coherent at the time. Today the ignorance of the ancients are obvious in many areas. 

I'm glad we can both agree that we cannot conclude factual happenings just by referencing how coherent the stories seem to be or to reference the resources we have current access to. 

Next stop?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Since all of the other ancient religions had multiple gods 2 + 2 = other gods, not angels. It is only later the angel beings are introduced not here. We obviously differ here substantially which shall remain unresolved.

Not to beat a dead horse, but just to clarify my point.  What we have in hand is a lot of information from thousands of different followings.  The differences in the followings... specifically Christian vs. other are quite clear and therefore haven't been easily confused by the researchers over the years. 

With the information congruent with God Almighty "YHWH" and that following, there is nothing to suggest other beings. 

Looking further into the history of a lot of extra-Judeo-Christian followings, demonic or idolic rituals usually were involved, which would indicate simply, demons posing as Gods. 

Keep in mind also, the conversation at hand is in reference to God speaking to ... whoever before the fall.  In that time, there were no demons.  Or... well, those demons had not been kicked out of heaven yet.  Call them Zeus if you wanted to, I guess if there is a specific fallen angel posing as Zeus, then it's very possible that God was talking with him among many others. 

I didn't want to continue too much on this, just wanted to clarify.  I felt that maybe you misunderstood what I was saying.  It seems pretty cut and dry to me.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Not necessarily. Again, opinion and perception are not likely to be affected in our differing viewpoints.

Ok.  It's interesting because that idea of "author's doing a poor job" one way or another seems to come up a lot on this site.  If that's the case, I guess it's poor authorship that makes the world's best selling books.  I'd beg to differ.

Also, for someone to be making this up and wanting people to follow it, they didn't really make it appealing to the person. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Exactly. Whether the point being made is true or fantasy matters little.

Ok... Then I guess it's not a factor in this conversation...?  We should move on then.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point is to truly understand the writing of the Bible one must look to extra-Biblical sources. When one does so, many of the OT stories are seen for what they are, stories or at best parables and are not real world at all.

Right, if you want to really analyze the stories and claims with a microscope, you'd need to do your homework.  Thus that other theists claim on his/her first post comes into play.  We're both not quailfied enough to go there.

However, any good Theological college will require that kind of research for one to graduate with a degree in Biblical studies or divinity or any of the like.  It's interesting that you conclude that when the research is done the stories are revieled as "parables and are not real world at all".  If your claim was true, than most students who go to Theological colleges would graduate as non-believers.  Yet they seem to be strong in their walk with God. 

I fear your conclusion is no more than personal opinion. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I suggest we go on by fast forwarding to the Flood. You can go first if you'd like explaining how you perceive this account as well as extra-Biblical accounts.

I'll just keep it short and you can pull out details that you want to discuss further.

From what I understand, there are many accounts of a flood happening from many different unrelated sources around that same time as the Bible claims.  Many claim these accounts were from different areas around the world.

I've also heard the theory that granted it's claimed that "the world" was flooded, but in fact it could have been "the world" as Noah knew it, which means there was a severe flood in that section of the world.  There are documents that back up a flood happening around that time as well.

Either way, there is historical evidence of a serious flood along with (I don't remember the source)  geologcal evidence of such flood. 

So many people have claimed to have found fragments of Noah's boat... ok... if somehow the boat by the time the flood was done survived even beyond the flood, then somehow was preserved due to another major geological event. 

In my opinion, it's not logical to find the boat or any fragments of it due to the fact that it was made of wood and would have decomposed over time just as any other wood would have. 

I'll start with that


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ClockCat

ClockCat wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I suggest we go on by fast forwarding to the Flood.

 

I just wanted to say, the biblical god is pretty freakin evil according to the bible. Between the global slaughter claimed in the flood, and claims of genocide at "sodom and gomorrah"...Hitler couldn't hold a candle up to that. On nearly any modern person's moral scale, I think that wiping out an entire planet of life fits in pretty much at the bottom.

Genocide huh.  You're suggesting then a "Jonestown Tea" scenario.  In other words people killing people? 

Or could it be that God, who created life, was destroying that creation he himself started? 

This of course can get into the whole dispute on whether it's right to end a murderer's life or let them rot in jail.

...which can stem into the severity of sin in general and branch even further into the severety of each sin.

quite a tangent if you ask me.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Since all of the other ancient religions had multiple gods 2 + 2 = other gods, not angels. It is only later the angel beings are introduced not here. We obviously differ here substantially which shall remain unresolved.

Not to beat a dead horse, but just to clarify my point.  What we have in hand is a lot of information from thousands of different followings.  The differences in the followings... specifically Christian vs. other are quite clear and therefore haven't been easily confused by the researchers over the years. 

With the information congruent with God Almighty "YHWH" and that following, there is nothing to suggest other beings. 

Looking further into the history of a lot of extra-Judeo-Christian followings, demonic or idolic rituals usually were involved, which would indicate simply, demons posing as Gods. 

Keep in mind also, the conversation at hand is in reference to God speaking to ... whoever before the fall.  In that time, there were no demons.  Or... well, those demons had not been kicked out of heaven yet.  Call them Zeus if you wanted to, I guess if there is a specific fallen angel posing as Zeus, then it's very possible that God was talking with him among many others. 

I didn't want to continue too much on this, just wanted to clarify.  I felt that maybe you misunderstood what I was saying.  It seems pretty cut and dry to me.

One of the things you bring up here,  demons are completely unsubstantiated this early in the development of Hebrew god stories. In fact the supposed war or rebellion in Heaven where Satan falls away from God in rebellion is not to be found at all. So I take a dim view of demons except in discussions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Not necessarily. Again, opinion and perception are not likely to be affected in our differing viewpoints.

Ok.  It's interesting because that idea of "author's doing a poor job" one way or another seems to come up a lot on this site.  If that's the case, I guess it's poor authorship that makes the world's best selling books.  I'd beg to differ.

Also, for someone to be making this up and wanting people to follow it, they didn't really make it appealing to the person.

I don't think I have ever suggested that someone made up the stories of the OT or any other myths just for the purpose of gaining a following. Perhaps such was the case with Joseph Smith or Hubbard but in these myths (I include the OT as myth) people put forth that which that developed as explanations for the big wide world that was fascinating and unexplainable in their best understanding. Zeus or Yahweh threw lightning bolts. Gods or angels (Genesis 6 or Enoch) had sex with humans causing the mighty men of renown or such. I see it as attempts to explain in ways that seem logical to them at the time but today we know there are no sea monsters eating ships nor are they falling off the edge of the earth where all the water runs off.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point is to truly understand the writing of the Bible one must look to extra-Biblical sources. When one does so, many of the OT stories are seen for what they are, stories or at best parables and are not real world at all.

Right, if you want to really analyze the stories and claims with a microscope, you'd need to do your homework.  Thus that other theists claim on his/her first post comes into play.  We're both not quailfied enough to go there.

However, any good Theological college will require that kind of research for one to graduate with a degree in Biblical studies or divinity or any of the like.  It's interesting that you conclude that when the research is done the stories are revieled as "parables and are not real world at all".  If your claim was true, than most students who go to Theological colleges would graduate as non-believers.  Yet they seem to be strong in their walk with God. 

I fear your conclusion is no more than personal opinion.

You assume that the Bible is held to scientific scrutiny in religious institutions which is hardly the case. It was accepted in all of the parochial and religious schools I attended that it was true and when conflict occurs with science either the science is wrong or inadequate or we are too inept as we are humans and cannot grasp or understand God's purposes. So no, I don't see where religious colleges would graduate non-believers as they don't objectively analyze the Bible in any way at all.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I suggest we go on by fast forwarding to the Flood. You can go first if you'd like explaining how you perceive this account as well as extra-Biblical accounts.

I'll just keep it short and you can pull out details that you want to discuss further.

From what I understand, there are many accounts of a flood happening from many different unrelated sources around that same time as the Bible claims.  Many claim these accounts were from different areas around the world.

I've also heard the theory that granted it's claimed that "the world" was flooded, but in fact it could have been "the world" as Noah knew it, which means there was a severe flood in that section of the world.  There are documents that back up a flood happening around that time as well.

Either way, there is historical evidence of a serious flood along with (I don't remember the source)  geologcal evidence of such flood. 

So many people have claimed to have found fragments of Noah's boat... ok... if somehow the boat by the time the flood was done survived even beyond the flood, then somehow was preserved due to another major geological event. 

In my opinion, it's not logical to find the boat or any fragments of it due to the fact that it was made of wood and would have decomposed over time just as any other wood would have. 

I'll start with that

I agree the only likely flood in ancient times was probably a local event as is discussed in the Gilgamesh story or in Ziusudra myth from Sumer.

http://history-world.org/sumerian_floor_story.htm

http://history-world.org/floods.htm

http://www.historywiz.com/primarysources/sumerianflood.html

As someone who has experienced over 30 Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that which is described in these ancient texts is much like a Cat 5 Hurricane going up the Persian Gulf which would magnify the impact of the storm surge as it made landfall. In 2004 Hurricane Frances spent about a week drenching Florida before it finally moved out. Tropical storms and Hurricanes moving very slowly can easily leave 20 inches of rain a day. Sumer or Iraq had a lot of low marshlands at the time which would easily flood. Sadam filled all of this in during his reign. There are records of at least local floods in these areas.

What there is not is enough water on the Earth to flood all of the land to the highest peak or even mountains in the area such as Ararat. You can do the math yourself. In order to cover all of the Earth to the top of Everest that would require 6 miles of water or 1,186,000,000 cubic miles of water on top of what we currently have. Just to cover Ararat which has an elevation of 16,854 ft requires a minimum of 3.19 miles of water as an addition or 630,850,000 cubic miles of water. The problem being, it's not here now. Genesis 7 seems to indicate that all the mountains were covered as in v 19-20.

Why a wood boat from sometime prior to 4,000 BCE would survive is hopeful delusion as in the best case it would only be so as fossilized remains such as in Arizona.

So it seems in the best case the flood is an offshoot of Sumerian myths or stories dating to Ziusudra or recast as Gilgamesh then as Noah in the Hebrew version.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:One

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

One of the things you bring up here,  demons are completely unsubstantiated this early in the development of Hebrew god stories. In fact the supposed war or rebellion in Heaven where Satan falls away from God in rebellion is not to be found at all. So I take a dim view of demons except in discussions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

There is reference in later writings to those occurances and how they tie into the fall.  NT references to it as well.  Useless info now due to the idea that the point of view is that NT is myth as well. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I don't think I have ever suggested that someone made up the stories of the OT or any other myths just for the purpose of gaining a following. Perhaps such was the case with Joseph Smith or Hubbard but in these myths (I include the OT as myth) people put forth that which that developed as explanations for the big wide world that was fascinating and unexplainable in their best understanding. Zeus or Yahweh threw lightning bolts. Gods or angels (Genesis 6 or Enoch) had sex with humans causing the mighty men of renown or such. I see it as attempts to explain in ways that seem logical to them at the time but today we know there are no sea monsters eating ships nor are they falling off the edge of the earth where all the water runs off.

There is difficulty commenting on this due to the fact that your only reference to a biblical happening is the gods/angels having sex with people. 

The other myths actually go against Biblical claims be it that the oldest books make reference to a round Earth...

There is no reference in either point about sea monsters specifically eating ships... I dont' think.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You assume that the Bible is held to scientific scrutiny in religious institutions which is hardly the case. It was accepted in all of the parochial and religious schools I attended that it was true and when conflict occurs with science either the science is wrong or inadequate or we are too inept as we are humans and cannot grasp or understand God's purposes. So no, I don't see where religious colleges would graduate non-believers as they don't objectively analyze the Bible in any way at all.

Legitimate ones that I know of anyway.  Some that I'm familiar with have classes that directly approach the scientific scruteny of the Bible.  I'd be curious on how they'd justify it with a direct approach to the scrutenies. 

It'd be a pretty boring class if all it was was... "Science says "X" and the Bible says "Y"... we don't have enough information to conclude either way... next topic.  Or even to blindly conclude that science was wrong.  I'd say more than not a person going into those colleges are intelligent enough to know a copout when they see one. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I agree the only likely flood in ancient times was probably a local event as is discussed in the Gilgamesh story or in Ziusudra myth from Sumer.

http://history-world.org/sumerian_floor_story.htm

http://history-world.org/floods.htm

http://www.historywiz.com/primarysources/sumerianflood.html

As someone who has experienced over 30 Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that which is described in these ancient texts is much like a Cat 5 Hurricane going up the Persian Gulf which would magnify the impact of the storm surge as it made landfall. In 2004 Hurricane Frances spent about a week drenching Florida before it finally moved out. Tropical storms and Hurricanes moving very slowly can easily leave 20 inches of rain a day. Sumer or Iraq had a lot of low marshlands at the time which would easily flood. Sadam filled all of this in during his reign. There are records of at least local floods in these areas.

What there is not is enough water on the Earth to flood all of the land to the highest peak or even mountains in the area such as Ararat. You can do the math yourself. In order to cover all of the Earth to the top of Everest that would require 6 miles of water or 1,186,000,000 cubic miles of water on top of what we currently have. Just to cover Ararat which has an elevation of 16,854 ft requires a minimum of 3.19 miles of water as an addition or 630,850,000 cubic miles of water. The problem being, it's not here now. Genesis 7 seems to indicate that all the mountains were covered as in v 19-20.

Why a wood boat from sometime prior to 4,000 BCE would survive is hopeful delusion as in the best case it would only be so as fossilized remains such as in Arizona.

So it seems in the best case the flood is an offshoot of Sumerian myths or stories dating to Ziusudra or recast as Gilgamesh then as Noah in the Hebrew version.

We'd have to take this story from a logical standpoint as well.  e.g. what was the purpose of the flood according to the story in the first place and how was this story passed down.

Keep in mind that the author though claimed many times to be Moses is ultimately not known for sure.  Either way, there wasn't any 'News 7' chopper there reporting the event as it happened either.  Therefore, some information could have been stretched to prove a point.  I'm not saying either way at this point.

I could take the arguement by claiming that God could have created the water for the purpose of the flood, then taken it back.  (to a believer in a God that has created everything, it's a logical assumption, to a scientific mind, it's a copout.  Therefore, I won't even consider that a possibility in our conversation)

There are many stories through time that are based on the Truth that have a "tall tale" aspect to it, e.g. Johnny (Appleseed) Chapman or Paul Bunyan.  Both real people in history that did some amazing things, however the truth about their actions in life were greatly exaggerated, like Paul's size for example. 

In this case, the mountain thing could have been an exaggeration just to express the point that the flood was pretty friggen bad. 

 

Going to the purpose of the flood, the real reason was to wipe out life on Earth.  More specifically, the people.  Would the waters really have to submerge the highest peaks in the world to do that?  I don't think that would be necessary.   

Right now, I'm not aware of any information to take either side on that particular issue.   I still believe the story to be true from what I do know. 


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Sorry for my slow response

Sorry for my slow response as I have been doing a lot of travel for work.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

One of the things you bring up here,  demons are completely unsubstantiated this early in the development of Hebrew god stories. In fact the supposed war or rebellion in Heaven where Satan falls away from God in rebellion is not to be found at all. So I take a dim view of demons except in discussions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

There is reference in later writings to those occurances and how they tie into the fall.  NT references to it as well.  Useless info now due to the idea that the point of view is that NT is myth as well.

True the NT is useless info with no basis in ancient writings for a "war in heaven" except as discussed in Enoch which does not mention Lucifer or Satan at all.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I don't think I have ever suggested that someone made up the stories of the OT or any other myths just for the purpose of gaining a following. Perhaps such was the case with Joseph Smith or Hubbard but in these myths (I include the OT as myth) people put forth that which that developed as explanations for the big wide world that was fascinating and unexplainable in their best understanding. Zeus or Yahweh threw lightning bolts. Gods or angels (Genesis 6 or Enoch) had sex with humans causing the mighty men of renown or such. I see it as attempts to explain in ways that seem logical to them at the time but today we know there are no sea monsters eating ships nor are they falling off the edge of the earth where all the water runs off.

There is difficulty commenting on this due to the fact that your only reference to a biblical happening is the gods/angels having sex with people.

I see this went over your head, I'll try again.

I never have suggested that someone made up the stories in the OT or any other myths for the sole purpose of gaining a following. They likely wrote what they did in their best attempt to explain what they did not understand. In other words, thunder and lightning were attributed to Zeus or Yahweh to explain why it occurred, they had a severe lack of understanding of meteorology and made up gods to so explain.

caposkia wrote:

The other myths actually go against Biblical claims be it that the oldest books make reference to a round Earth...

What books?

caposkia wrote:

There is no reference in either point about sea monsters specifically eating ships... I dont' think.

Sea monsters eating ships were mentioned only to point out how illogical some ideas and stories that were accepted for centuries actually were and did not have anything at all to do with any specific story in the OT.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You assume that the Bible is held to scientific scrutiny in religious institutions which is hardly the case. It was accepted in all of the parochial and religious schools I attended that it was true and when conflict occurs with science either the science is wrong or inadequate or we are too inept as we are humans and cannot grasp or understand God's purposes. So no, I don't see where religious colleges would graduate non-believers as they don't objectively analyze the Bible in any way at all.

Legitimate ones that I know of anyway.  Some that I'm familiar with have classes that directly approach the scientific scruteny of the Bible.  I'd be curious on how they'd justify it with a direct approach to the scrutenies. 

It'd be a pretty boring class if all it was was... "Science says "X" and the Bible says "Y"... we don't have enough information to conclude either way... next topic.  Or even to blindly conclude that science was wrong.  I'd say more than not a person going into those colleges are intelligent enough to know a copout when they see one.

Which legitimate ones did you attend? 

My experience was a discussion of a specific occurrence in the OT would include how man was inept in his understanding of God and so inadequately described the occurrence. In other classes it was taken (Lutheran High School) to be completely accurate down to the snake talking, bears eating children etc. This was not what was expressed in my post grad classes in graduate school. There the position was (Jesuits) that man inadequately understood God's lessons and much of the Bible was figurative language. The RCC takes this position and suggests only they should interpret specifically doctrine and dogma as it requires the centuries of knowledge of the RCC to adequately understand. Hence Catholics have always relied on the Church to interpret God's requirements and promises.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I agree the only likely flood in ancient times was probably a local event as is discussed in the Gilgamesh story or in Ziusudra myth from Sumer.

http://history-world.org/sumerian_floor_story.htm

http://history-world.org/floods.htm

http://www.historywiz.com/primarysources/sumerianflood.html

As someone who has experienced over 30 Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that which is described in these ancient texts is much like a Cat 5 Hurricane going up the Persian Gulf which would magnify the impact of the storm surge as it made landfall. In 2004 Hurricane Frances spent about a week drenching Florida before it finally moved out. Tropical storms and Hurricanes moving very slowly can easily leave 20 inches of rain a day. Sumer or Iraq had a lot of low marshlands at the time which would easily flood. Sadam filled all of this in during his reign. There are records of at least local floods in these areas.

What there is not is enough water on the Earth to flood all of the land to the highest peak or even mountains in the area such as Ararat. You can do the math yourself. In order to cover all of the Earth to the top of Everest that would require 6 miles of water or 1,186,000,000 cubic miles of water on top of what we currently have. Just to cover Ararat which has an elevation of 16,854 ft requires a minimum of 3.19 miles of water as an addition or 630,850,000 cubic miles of water. The problem being, it's not here now. Genesis 7 seems to indicate that all the mountains were covered as in v 19-20.

Why a wood boat from sometime prior to 4,000 BCE would survive is hopeful delusion as in the best case it would only be so as fossilized remains such as in Arizona.

So it seems in the best case the flood is an offshoot of Sumerian myths or stories dating to Ziusudra or recast as Gilgamesh then as Noah in the Hebrew version.

We'd have to take this story from a logical standpoint as well.  e.g. what was the purpose of the flood according to the story in the first place and how was this story passed down.

Keep in mind that the author though claimed many times to be Moses is ultimately not known for sure.  Either way, there wasn't any 'News 7' chopper there reporting the event as it happened either.  Therefore, some information could have been stretched to prove a point.  I'm not saying either way at this point.

I could take the arguement by claiming that God could have created the water for the purpose of the flood, then taken it back.  (to a believer in a God that has created everything, it's a logical assumption, to a scientific mind, it's a copout.  Therefore, I won't even consider that a possibility in our conversation)

There are many stories through time that are based on the Truth that have a "tall tale" aspect to it, e.g. Johnny (Appleseed) Chapman or Paul Bunyan.  Both real people in history that did some amazing things, however the truth about their actions in life were greatly exaggerated, like Paul's size for example. 

In this case, the mountain thing could have been an exaggeration just to express the point that the flood was pretty friggen bad. 

 

Going to the purpose of the flood, the real reason was to wipe out life on Earth.  More specifically, the people.  Would the waters really have to submerge the highest peaks in the world to do that?  I don't think that would be necessary.   

Right now, I'm not aware of any information to take either side on that particular issue.   I still believe the story to be true from what I do know. 

Read the links about the Sumerian and Babylonian flood myths and you will see the gods were irritated with the noise of man. These stories were passed down on clay tablets, read the links.

Nearly all legitimate Bible scholars discount Moses writing anything at all and have for years. We'll get to Moses and the Exodus myth soon enough.

If the Bible flood is legitimate the water as you say would have had to been zapped onto the Earth and removed following the Flood as it's clearly not here now.

My point in a Cat 5 or better Hurricane (Typhoon in this part of the world) easily fits the Sumerian and Babylonian versions. As you say, the OT's version with covering mountains could well be an exaggeration to impress. I agree, not enough water and therefore a large stretch or exaggeration over what really likely happened, a very large Hurricane.

If the OT's Flood was to wipe out all life it would have failed anyway as sealife would survive and many plants. As Yahweh was supposedly all powerful, all he had to do was remove all the humans from existence in one simple statement, "Let the evil men be as if they were never made." Zap, bye, bye. No flood required. The Flood is pure myth and no more, or Yahweh is far less of a powerful god, or just a weather god, you pick.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sorry for my slow response as I have been doing a lot of travel for work.

No worries.  I've been quite busy myself. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

True the NT is useless info with no basis in ancient writings for a "war in heaven" except as discussed in Enoch which does not mention Lucifer or Satan at all.

Not specifically.  It wasn't of importance.  The focus was God, not the deamons

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I see this went over your head, I'll try again.

I never have suggested that someone made up the stories in the OT or any other myths for the sole purpose of gaining a following. They likely wrote what they did in their best attempt to explain what they did not understand. In other words, thunder and lightning were attributed to Zeus or Yahweh to explain why it occurred, they had a severe lack of understanding of meteorology and made up gods to so explain.

That's one theory I've heard.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

What books?

Off the top of my head... Job and I think Isaiah. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sea monsters eating ships were mentioned only to point out how illogical some ideas and stories that were accepted for centuries actually were and did not have anything at all to do with any specific story in the OT.

ok

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Which legitimate ones did you attend? 

I have friends who've been to a few east coast seminaries.  There's one in PA, then there's Gordon Conwell in MA.  I understand those to be Legitimate. 

You forget I grew up Catholic.  Seminaries weren't an option.

For what I've attended, I guess the most interesting class I took was actually at a secular school called Science Vs. Religion. 

I've otherwise attended classes here and there and never enrolled.  Never wanted to get into that line of work.  Go figure.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My experience was a discussion of a specific occurrence in the OT would include how man was inept in his understanding of God and so inadequately described the occurrence. In other classes it was taken (Lutheran High School) to be completely accurate down to the snake talking, bears eating children etc. This was not what was expressed in my post grad classes in graduate school. There the position was (Jesuits) that man inadequately understood God's lessons and much of the Bible was figurative language. The RCC takes this position and suggests only they should interpret specifically doctrine and dogma as it requires the centuries of knowledge of the RCC to adequately understand. Hence Catholics have always relied on the Church to interpret God's requirements and promises.

Well, in my understanding, you can only take the "figurative language" thing so far.  It's usually pretty clear when reading through a story where they're being "figurative" and when it's understood to be actual observances. 

I guess I couldn't say either or at this point because I"m not sure for which topics they considered figurative.  There is a lot of metaphore in scripture, but you can back up the claim.  I can't just look at "noah built an arch" and say it's metaphorical, he was really building a boat for his soul.  I'd have no basis for that claim.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Read the links about the Sumerian and Babylonian flood myths and you will see the gods were irritated with the noise of man. These stories were passed down on clay tablets, read the links.

I skimmed them.  I can read through them more thoroughly if you'd like

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Nearly all legitimate Bible scholars discount Moses writing anything at all and have for years. We'll get to Moses and the Exodus myth soon enough.

Just bringing out all sides, that's all.  I haven't done the research on that myself, so I won't take a side.  Not really of any importance to us anyway. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If the Bible flood is legitimate the water as you say would have had to been zapped onto the Earth and removed following the Flood as it's clearly not here now.

right, as I said could be believed by some followers.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point in a Cat 5 or better Hurricane (Typhoon in this part of the world) easily fits the Sumerian and Babylonian versions. As you say, the OT's version with covering mountains could well be an exaggeration to impress. I agree, not enough water and therefore a large stretch or exaggeration over what really likely happened, a very large Hurricane.

indeed.  I could have been that the mountains disappeared (as they can in storms to the visual eye) and that's where the idea came.  Who knows.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If the OT's Flood was to wipe out all life it would have failed anyway as sealife would survive and many plants. As Yahweh was supposedly all powerful, all he had to do was remove all the humans from existence in one simple statement, "Let the evil men be as if they were never made." Zap, bye, bye. No flood required. The Flood is pure myth and no more, or Yahweh is far less of a powerful god, or just a weather god, you pick.

I'm sure you noticed that God never suggested to Noah to put any aquariums on the boat.  I think God had in mind land creatures that would suffer.

Sure, God could have zapped evil men out of existance... as far as I understand, but where's the lesson in that? 

going into my own theories, it's best understood that God is so powerful, he understands his system so well, that he knows the outcome.  Is it more powerful of a story to say that "God zapped the bad people" or to say that "God created a flood to wipeout life".  Plus you understand there was also more suffering in the flood vs just being zapped away.  Understanding that God knew this story would be told down through the generations, what point would it have been to just zap them away?  It needed to be a lesson for future generations.

 Take into consideration that God influences by using the system he has put in place.  Rarely has he defied the laws of that system to prove a point or to bring down wrath.  I'm sure if he did, it might upset the system and then God would have more work on his hands in cleaning up the mess.  Any scientist will vouch for the fragileness of our environment.  No one should know more than God about that be it that he created it.  I'm sure understanding that God created it that he has a purpose for the way it is. 

To question the power of God just becuase he didn't do something "powerful" would be like me calling a billionaire poor because he chose to buy a used Honda instead of a new Mercedes.  It doesn't mean he didn't have the money, he probably just prefered that car.  Same with God.  Doesn't mean He doesn't have the power, he just chose to do it this way. 

To conclude that there is no God from this and that they are pure myth is irrational.  You would need to take all the factors into consideration, including what God might be intending by doing it that way vs. another way and what environmental rammifications could take place from each happening as well as the mindset of the population and what would best reach the future generations.

God always has warned the people before doing something.  I think the true purpose of the flood was so that people who were going to take Noah seriously, (which were none but his family) would understand the rammifications of not heeding the warning.  It needed to be real to the people, not... "I'm gonna zap you... I'm warning you, I'm gonna zap you.  oops, too late ZZZZT"  People would not have understood  anything outside their realm of understanding. 


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caposkia wrote:I'm sure you

caposkia wrote:

I'm sure you noticed that God never suggested to Noah to put any aquariums on the boat.  I think God had in mind land creatures that would suffer.

Exactly what did the rabbits, cats, squirrels, and all the rest do that required they all suffer?

caposkia wrote:

Sure, God could have zapped evil men out of existance... as far as I understand, but where's the lesson in that?

Think Sodom and Gomorrah then. How about fire suddenly consuming all the evil sinners simultaneously?

caposkia wrote:

going into my own theories, it's best understood that God is so powerful, he understands his system so well, that he knows the outcome.  Is it more powerful of a story to say that "God zapped the bad people" or to say that "God created a flood to wipeout life".  Plus you understand there was also more suffering in the flood vs just being zapped away.  Understanding that God knew this story would be told down through the generations, what point would it have been to just zap them away?  It needed to be a lesson for future generations.

Zapping could have come in many ways as the Sodom legend and the Exodus event where the ground opened up to swallow the idol worshipers at Sinai indicate.

caposkia wrote:

 Take into consideration that God influences by using the system he has put in place.  Rarely has he defied the laws of that system to prove a point or to bring down wrath.  I'm sure if he did, it might upset the system and then God would have more work on his hands in cleaning up the mess.  Any scientist will vouch for the fragileness of our environment.  No one should know more than God about that be it that he created it.  I'm sure understanding that God created it that he has a purpose for the way it is.

You are making unwarranted excuses here with no basis.

caposkia wrote:

To question the power of God just becuase he didn't do something "powerful" would be like me calling a billionaire poor because he chose to buy a used Honda instead of a new Mercedes.  It doesn't mean he didn't have the money, he probably just prefered that car.  Same with God.  Doesn't mean He doesn't have the power, he just chose to do it this way.

Bad analogy. I'm not per SE questioning the power of the god, I'm questioning he even is. 

caposkia wrote:

To conclude that there is no God from this and that they are pure myth is irrational.  You would need to take all the factors into consideration, including what God might be intending by doing it that way vs. another way and what environmental rammifications could take place from each happening as well as the mindset of the population and what would best reach the future generations.

No, it's more irrational to accept the entire world was flooded to cleanse it from a few hundred thousand or million evil doers. 

caposkia wrote:

God always has warned the people before doing something.  I think the true purpose of the flood was so that people who were going to take Noah seriously, (which were none but his family) would understand the rammifications of not heeding the warning.  It needed to be real to the people, not... "I'm gonna zap you... I'm warning you, I'm gonna zap you.  oops, too late ZZZZT"  People would not have understood  anything outside their realm of understanding. 

That may be the reason for the legend, to show disobedience will result in a penalty.

As to the RCC position on Noah, they don't advocate either way. It may have been based on a real story or not. They take the position of teaching the lesson to be learned and avoid the issue if it was literal or not.

See: 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01720a.htm

http://catholicism.suite101.com/article.cfm/teaching_the_old_testament

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11088a.htm

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Catholics-955/Old-Testament-issues.htm

And no I was not the Paul who asked the question in the last link.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exactly what did the rabbits, cats, squirrels, and all the rest do that required they all suffer?

dunno... You should ask them. Eye-wink

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Think Sodom and Gomorrah then. How about fire suddenly consuming all the evil sinners simultaneously?

Be it that the dispute was the abilities of God, I guess that shows He in fact does have that kind of power and that He can choose to use as much power as He'd like for any given situation. 

The question of course here was (what of a lesson).

Sodom and Gommorra were known to be so far from God that no "lesson" would have been comprehended by them.  (again, my interpretation)

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Zapping could have come in many ways as the Sodom legend and the Exodus event where the ground opened up to swallow the idol worshipers at Sinai indicate.

I see what you're getting at. 

Let's put it this way, if to make a point, some entity used the same method every time, how long before you stop remembering each individual event?

God wanted those particular events to be remembered.  You ask any "luke warm" Chrisitan and they're going to be more familiar with the Noah story than the idolaters being swallowed up be the Earth.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

caposkia wrote:

 Take into consideration that God influences by using the system he has put in place.  Rarely has he defied the laws of that system to prove a point or to bring down wrath.  I'm sure if he did, it might upset the system and then God would have more work on his hands in cleaning up the mess.  Any scientist will vouch for the fragileness of our environment.  No one should know more than God about that be it that he created it.  I'm sure understanding that God created it that he has a purpose for the way it is.

You are making unwarranted excuses here with no basis.

The basis is it's an explanation that invalidates your assumption using a logical means of understanding.

I thought this was just a readthrough with bits of imput from each other's understanding.  It seemed relevent to me for what was being discussed, but if it's in left field, I apologize.  Didn't mean to get off track. 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Bad analogy. I'm not per SE questioning the power of the god, I'm questioning he even is. 

I know, but the power of God is how you went about it.  I will use only what you give me. 

Be it that it may, that was a poor excuse for questioning the existance of God if you don't mind me saying. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

No, it's more irrational to accept the entire world was flooded to cleanse it from a few hundred thousand or million evil doers. 

We've discussed the "world" idea and we both agree that it was most likely a localized event at this point.  There are still theories with evidence that it could have been world wide, but I see more evidence for the latter. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

That may be the reason for the legend, to show disobedience will result in a penalty.

as is does in life.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to the RCC position on Noah, they don't advocate either way. It may have been based on a real story or not. They take the position of teaching the lesson to be learned and avoid the issue if it was literal or not.

See: 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01720a.htm

http://catholicism.suite101.com/article.cfm/teaching_the_old_testament

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11088a.htm

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Catholics-955/Old-Testament-issues.htm

And no I was not the Paul who asked the question in the last link.

Be it that I grew up Catholic, I don't support their docterns and their teachings I feel are weak and flawed in many ways.  This said, those links are of Catholic sources. 

I'll check them out just the same.


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The Catholic links

Just a few comments after checking out the links.

1.  It's quite obvious their goals is informing other Catholics of the stories.  They're also not concerned in these particular lessons or question/answers for informing the non-believer or the scientist about God's existance.

2. "God is God and thus it is possible..."  That may work for some, but again, this shows that it does not apply to our conversation.  Obviously that explanation from me will fly about as far as a fly on flypaper on this site.

3.  I don't see these links useful to what we're discussing or any evidence that the information needed for our conversation doesn't exist.  Growing up catholic, it looks like the usual response to difficult questions from the catholics.  

4.  Just like people don't want to even consider the fact that God exists on this site, Catholics tend to not want to consider that God doesn't exist.  Therefore, why would they even consider explaining something that is understood to be obvious to them? 

Those are just some thoughts.  If you were looking for something more, please let me know.


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just a note.  It's probably

just a note.  It's probably getting close to the point where you'll find time to respond.  Unless you have anything else burning to get out, I say we move on with the OT.


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caposkia wrote:just a

caposkia wrote:

just a note.  It's probably getting close to the point where you'll find time to respond.  Unless you have anything else burning to get out, I say we move on with the OT.

Agreed, I think we beat the flood to death and both seem to agree it was at most a local event.

Following the flood we have Gen 10 devoted to a pointless unverifiable genealogy of Noah's descendants. The only thing of remembrance is in Gen 9:3-4 which is mentioned in Acts regarding James comments to Paul which is for a later discussion.

Genesis 11 has the tower of Babel incident which has several implications.

1)In verse 7, God says, "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."-KJV 

This again supports plural gods as in not just Yahweh, though you may suggest he was talking to himself if you like or try the attempt he was talking to angels that yet have any mention of ever having been created except by poorly discussed attribution in the early creations when discussing Genesis 2:1.

2)The tower is of course as what the Sumerians and Assyrians built for their gods so they could reach out to them called Ziggurats. The people of Sumer built these ziggurats in order to invite the gods to come down from the sky, "heavens" as well as to get closer to them and rise above their miserable conditions of their world. In Genesis, it refers to Shinar, a name used about 8 times denoting Mesopotamia (Assyria, Babylon, or Sumer) as in Genesis 14:1,9; Isaiah 11:11; and Joshua 7:21 for example.

3)It is a poor attempt to explain changes in language. For example, today a 50 year old may have great difficulty understanding a 16 year old due to major variations in their speech. Also, the simple isolation of pockets of humans have adequately shown that major variations occur that will evolve them to the point neither will be able to understand the other in a period of time. Even in the US this occurs between those living in the North and the South, for example can I hold that $20 for you. 

 

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

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caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Genesis 11 has the tower of Babel incident which has several implications.

1)In verse 7, God says, "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."-KJV 

This again supports plural gods as in not just Yahweh, though you may suggest he was talking to himself if you like or try the attempt he was talking to angels that yet have any mention of ever having been created except by poorly discussed attribution in the early creations when discussing Genesis 2:1.

What do you say the Jews believed be it that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or the angels being in existance you claim has never been implied in the OT. 

Keep in mind, though we don't have the originals, it is understood that Genesis, though at the beginning of our now "Bible" is not the oldest book in the Bible. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2)The tower is of course as what the Sumerians and Assyrians built for their gods so they could reach out to them called Ziggurats. The people of Sumer built these ziggurats in order to invite the gods to come down from the sky, "heavens" as well as to get closer to them and rise above their miserable conditions of their world. In Genesis, it refers to Shinar, a name used about 8 times denoting Mesopotamia (Assyria, Babylon, or Sumer) as in Genesis 14:1,9; Isaiah 11:11; and Joshua 7:21 for example.

3)It is a poor attempt to explain changes in language. For example, today a 50 year old may have great difficulty understanding a 16 year old due to major variations in their speech. Also, the simple isolation of pockets of humans have adequately shown that major variations occur that will evolve them to the point neither will be able to understand the other in a period of time. Even in the US this occurs between those living in the North and the South, for example can I hold that $20 for you. 

I see what you're saying there, but you're making the case in variations within the same language, vs. completely different languages.  I'm not referring either to the different language classifications within a given type.

It's understood that humans started with 2 people and expanded from there.  At this point, God wanted them to be spreading across the globe, yet they were staying together, therefore, in order to assure that they were going to follow his plan, he confused the languages so they'd have no reason to stick together.

In all our records, we have no indication of generational changes in language so great that it ultimately formed a whole new language for a whole new culture. 

Some may beg to differ with ebonics and Old English vs. American.  The issue is, they still follow the rules of English with their own words that still are contingent upon English understanding and different accents upon certain parts of words... again contingent upon understanding English. 


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Christos wrote: Um, all of

Christos wrote:

 Um, all of the above. The OT contains myth, legends and reality. I don't think many people here will disagree that the Genesis creation narrative is fictional. However, 1-2 Kings probably contains some real history about first monarchs of Israel. And other books like Ezra contains real history about the Babylonian Exile. Books like Job and Daniel 7-12 don't seem to refelct history, but instead reflect parable and apocalypticism. Daniel 1-6 seems to be historical fiction. 

This really isn't a question you can answer without significant study and probably a decent knowledge of ancient Hebrew. For example, we know that Deuteronomy was written hundreds of years later than Exodus because of the changes in the Hebrew language. 

Quote:
Um, all of the above. The OT contains myth, legends and reality.

The REALITY is that the city of New York exists. But YOU do not believe that a man in a leotard and cape can reverse caticlism by flying around the planet to reverse time.

THE REALITY is that George Washington was a REAL person, but you would never claim that he could fart a REAL full sized Lamborginni out of his ass.

Whatever REAL people or places that peppered the bible DO NOT constitute magic. Humans cannot cure blindness by spitting in someone's eye. It takes TWO sets of DNA from a sperm and egg to manifest into a zygote. Human flesh DOES NOT survive rigor mortis.

The OT like other popular myth, were no different than Coke and Pepsi. The importance was NOT self introspection of testing what one claims, but the ability to market such claims.

If you want to claim that the OT is popular amongst Jews and Christians, you would be right. BUT that will never constitute immaterial, invisible, magical super brains with no body or DNA, magically manipulating our lives.

It would be just as absurd for me to claim that because I saw a human in a red suit in December in New York, that Santa must be real and really can deliver presents to every house on the planet in one night.

SHOW ME GODSPERM, SHOW ME GOD DNA......You don't have it and you never will because it is all in your head. It is a mere utopia you want and project on the world around you. God belief is the mere refusal to accept our own mortality.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Genesis 11 has the tower of Babel incident which has several implications.

1)In verse 7, God says, "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."-KJV 

This again supports plural gods as in not just Yahweh, though you may suggest he was talking to himself if you like or try the attempt he was talking to angels that yet have any mention of ever having been created except by poorly discussed attribution in the early creations when discussing Genesis 2:1.

What do you say the Jews believed be it that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or the angels being in existance you claim has never been implied in the OT.

Not sure what you mean here? Possibly that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Angels are not implied in the OT at all is what you think I said, though I didn't. I said in early Genesis Angels aren't discussed. The Sons of God however are mentioned in Genesis 6 as coming down and taking wives of the daughters of men. This is greatly elaborated upon in 1 Enoch which I was saving for discussion sometime after Daniel or around 1 Maccabees.

caposkia wrote:

Keep in mind, though we don't have the originals, it is understood that Genesis, though at the beginning of our now "Bible" is not the oldest book in the Bible.

No the originals are supposedly in the Ark which was looted by Indiana Jones when he saved it from the Nazis in 1936 and is currently in a US Government warehouse, probably Warehouse 13, see SyFy channel.

The oldest part of the Bible is supposedly the Song of Deborah in Judges 5.

caposkia wrote:

I see what you're saying there, but you're making the case in variations within the same language, vs. completely different languages.  I'm not referring either to the different language classifications within a given type.

See any or all of the following links for the variations in ancient and modern languages.

http://linguistlist.org/forms/langs/GetListOfAncientLgs.html

http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/language.htm

In the ancient world isolation helped create many different languages which is less so today.

caposkia wrote:

It's understood that humans started with 2 people and expanded from there.  At this point, God wanted them to be spreading across the globe, yet they were staying together, therefore, in order to assure that they were going to follow his plan, he confused the languages so they'd have no reason to stick together.

I certainly don't understand that humans started with 2 people as I accept evolution and consider that multiple ancient humans evolved into what became humans. 

Language confusion only indicates diversity and isolation of human settlements not a god doing a thing.

caposkia wrote:

In all our records, we have no indication of generational changes in language so great that it ultimately formed a whole new language for a whole new culture.

Do U txt? LHO BON See these links and tell me that is true.

http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp

http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php

 

caposkia wrote:

Some may beg to differ with ebonics and Old English vs. American.  The issue is, they still follow the rules of English with their own words that still are contingent upon English understanding and different accents upon certain parts of words... again contingent upon understanding English. 

Old English is not understandable at all to a modern English speaker. If you mean English from the 18th century that is technically not Old English.

See here it has an example in an audio-visual:

http://pages.towson.edu/duncan/Britteneigland.htm

Modern English/Old English dictionary see here:

http://home.comcast.net/~modean52/oeme_dictionaries.htm

See Beowulf in early English here:

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/oldenglish.htm

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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caposkia wrote:todangst

caposkia wrote:

todangst wrote:

Genesis chapters 2 and 3 contain an internal contradiction. Not sure how any literalist could solve that dilemma. http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_fall_commits_an_internal_contradiction

This would be moving on from the creation section.  Let's not get too stuck in this part.

I read through your link, not all the way, but enough I feel to get an understanding of where you're coming from.

I don't understand how theists you've talked to were unable to answer this.  It seems the focus was about eating the fruit of the tree and how that was the "original sin" DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!!!!!  (Which is a dispensationalist coyned phrase by the way)  ... and how Adam and Eve are held accountable for aquiring the knowlege of good and evil even though they didn't know what it was.  You then go to quote a passage from James to indicate that to commit sin is to understand what you were doing. (generally speaking)

Herein lies the problem.  First of all, your conclusion, like most reads way too far into it.  It's actually much easier than that from what I understand.

Just reading through the story, without taking the fluff of any religious entity, it should be clear that the sin wasn't the eating of the fruit, or the aquisition of knowlege, but simply disobeying God!

This ignores the whole problem, which is that without knowledge of good an evil they would not have known that disobeying (disobeying anyone) was good or bad! 

 

Quote:
Sure, Adam and Eve didn't know all of what good and evil was, but they knew that doing what God said was good and disobeying God would be bad.

No, they wouldn't have, because they lack knowledge of what was good and what was bad. 

 

Quote:
It's like telling a child not to touch a hot stove.  The child may not understand hot, but they know they shouldn't disobey mom or dad.  Unfortunately for them, they touch the hot stove anyway and learn the hard way what hot means.

This analogy is invalid, because a child is not completely without knowledge of good and bad like Adam and Eve were. Even so, we would still not hold the child morally accountable, because we understand that the childs understanding of right and wrong is naive. Todangst deals with this in his essay:

"I've never met a theist who could respond honestly to this clear error in Genesis. They usually just insist that contradicting a command devoid of any moral knowledge, is a sin, despite the fact that they are fully aware that sin requires intent. Their own actions demonstrate this: they would agree that it would be ridiculous to hold a dog morally culpable for eating a steak off a counter, or an infant morally culpable for refusing to share a toy with a toddler. Here, the theist is fully able to grasp that a violation of a command, even when the command itself can be acknowledged, is not a sin unless the individual also is able to grasp the moral ramifications of disobeying the command."

 

Quote:
Getting back to the quick answer for it, the "sin" was disobeying God, nothing more, nothing less.

Yet sin requires intent, which in turn requires knowledge of right and wrong. They didn't have knowledge of right or wrong, therefore they could not have acted with any intent to do right or wrong.

 

Quote:
Adam and Eve already knew it would be wrong to disobey God.

No, they wouldn't have. Your comment is a contradiction! You're claiming (via the bit in bold) that they had knowledge of right and wrong, despite not having knowledge of right and wrong.

 

Quote:
There's a reason why they hid from God when they heard Him near by.  AND... just like the parent most likely warned the child; if you touch the hot stove, you're gonna get burned.  IN this case, if you eat the fruit, you're going to die.  Punishments came for disobeying God like Adam having to work for his food and Eve having more severe birthing pains. 

They could acknowledge the instruction, but not grasp the morality of violating it.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:Not

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Not sure what you mean here? Possibly that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Angels are not implied in the OT at all is what you think I said, though I didn't. I said in early Genesis Angels aren't discussed. The Sons of God however are mentioned in Genesis 6 as coming down and taking wives of the daughters of men. This is greatly elaborated upon in 1 Enoch which I was saving for discussion sometime after Daniel or around 1 Maccabees.

ok.  I don't think I understood your intention then of mentioning that Angels aren't discussed this early in Genesis.  Sorry for the conufsion.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

No the originals are supposedly in the Ark which was looted by Indiana Jones when he saved it from the Nazis in 1936 and is currently in a US Government warehouse, probably Warehouse 13, see SyFy channel.

The oldest part of the Bible is supposedly the Song of Deborah in Judges 5.

interesting

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

See any or all of the following links for the variations in ancient and modern languages.

http://linguistlist.org/forms/langs/GetListOfAncientLgs.html

http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/language.htm

In the ancient world isolation helped create many different languages which is less so today.

That makes sense.  At least in hind sight. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I certainly don't understand that humans started with 2 people as I accept evolution and consider that multiple ancient humans evolved into what became humans. 

The geneology had to start somewhere as far as the upright and walking go.  Either way, that Evolution vs. creationism is a tired discussion that leads to no conclusions.  Each side thinks they're right and yet can't effectively refute the other.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Language confusion only indicates diversity and isolation of human settlements not a god doing a thing.

it is implied that they were scattered.  it's logical to conclude that most were isolated after being scattered.  Why could it not be considered when observing that they expanded a new language within those isolated groups? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Do U txt? LHO BON See these links and tell me that is true.

http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp

http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php

What I said still holds true.

those links show shortened script to imply something within the language a person already speaks.  Unless you're suggesting people go around verbally speaking to their friends like that.  Then are going to teach thier children that language, therefore having no other way of communicating except via that particular language unless they later learn what to them would be a foreign language.

Simply put, what you referenced above in order to work as a "new language" cannot be dependent on a verbal language already spoken for comprehension and dictation. That is not an invention of a "new language" as we're discussing.  It's an invention of a new way of writing to others in the language they already know and have not modified. 

Ebonics would have been a better approach.  The issue with calling that a "new language" is that all it's terms are dependant on comprehension and implementation of English terms again requiring the speakers to have to know English (or other languages that use it) in order to speak it. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Old English is not understandable at all to a modern English speaker. If you mean English from the 18th century that is technically not Old English.

There's a reason why both "languages" are still considered English.  just because it's not fully comprehended doesn't mean it's a completely different language. 

e.g. I could talk about computer technology to my grandmother and to her, I'd be speaking a different language.  You and I would both know I'm still speaking English.  Perspectives. 

Just to put this one to rest a little bit, modifications of a particular language aren't inventions of new languages.  They would have to become completely independent of the language they derived from.   I say this because it is known that new languages have derived from other languages.  Notice however those new languages don't depend on the user knowing the language it derived from. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

See here it has an example in an audio-visual:

http://pages.towson.edu/duncan/Britteneigland.htm

Modern English/Old English dictionary see here:

http://home.comcast.net/~modean52/oeme_dictionaries.htm

See Beowulf in early English here:

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/oldenglish.htm

I liked the audio-visual example.

 

 

 


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Topher wrote:This ignores

Topher wrote:

This ignores the whole problem, which is that without knowledge of good an evil they would not have known that disobeying (disobeying anyone) was good or bad! 

Quote:
Sure, Adam and Eve didn't know all of what good and evil was, but they knew that doing what God said was good and disobeying God would be bad.

No, they wouldn't have, because they lack knowledge of what was good and what was bad. 

I think you're confusing good and evil to right and wrong.  If they really didn't comprehend what yes and no meant or right and wrong, why would God have told them not to do something knowing well enough they would not comprehend what "don't" meant?

A child may have no comprehension of what evil or good is, but when they do something they were told not to do, when mommy or daddy finds out, strangely they try to hide the fact that they did it in many cases.  Why would they do that if they had no idea it was "wrong" to disobey mommy or daddy? 

Topher wrote:

This analogy is invalid, because a child is not completely without knowledge of good and bad like Adam and Eve were. Even so, we would still not hold the child morally accountable, because we understand that the childs understanding of right and wrong is naive.

I think first of all, they had a better understanding than you think they did.  There is no indication in the Bible how long they were wandering around the garden before they ate the fruit.  It could be easily assumed that it happened the same day they were created, but there is nothing to imply that. 

It's obvious by the conversation between them and God that they had a lot of understanding of many things, including what it meant to die even though before they ate the fruit, they were not going to experience it.  This would automatically imply they understood what might be bad and what might be good.   It would also imply that they were not born yesterday... in this case meant in the most literal sense. 

How old would a child have to be before they'd understand you when you told them; "if you do this, you will die, so don't do it."?  Obviously they'd be more than old enough to understand that when you said no, there'd be bad things that will happen to them if they do it. 

Topher wrote:

Todangst deals with this in his essay:

"I've never met a theist who could respond honestly to this clear error in Genesis. They usually just insist that contradicting a command devoid of any moral knowledge, is a sin, despite the fact that they are fully aware that sin requires intent. Their own actions demonstrate this: they would agree that it would be ridiculous to hold a dog morally culpable for eating a steak off a counter, or an infant morally culpable for refusing to share a toy with a toddler. Here, the theist is fully able to grasp that a violation of a command, even when the command itself can be acknowledged, is not a sin unless the individual also is able to grasp the moral ramifications of disobeying the command."

 

-

I'm pretty sure I did... Maybe it was something different.  Anyway.

As I explained, it was logically understood that they knew what no meant and therefore, with full knowlege, disobeyed unlike todds excuse above claiming they didn't comprehend.  

Let's try this perspective.  Why does a parent punish a child for climbing up on something high they told them not to climb on?  Is it because they got a new perspective on the room that the parents didn't want them to see?  Of course not, it's because they already told the child not to.  The parents knew that child had full comprehension of what no meant.  The parents also knew that if the child fell off of X, they could get hurt.  Therefore, in order to protect the child, they told them 'no' in the first place.  The child disobeyed, so instead of letting the child learn why they said no by breaking an arm, they punish them for disobeying their original command to the child.  

Now, would a parent punish a child that was too young to understand no?  Any good parent wouldn't.  They would just prevent them from getting to that high object in the first place. 

Why wouldn't the parent continue to just prevent the child from getting to it later down the road?  The older they get, the easier they can overcome the boundaries put up by the parents.  it's just an example, we don't need to get sidetracked on the irrelivant information Eye-wink  

Topher wrote:

Yet sin requires intent, which in turn requires knowledge of right and wrong. They didn't have knowledge of right or wrong, therefore they could not have acted with any intent to do right or wrong.

 

You seem to be stuck on that.  Please reference to me where in the Bible it explains that they didn't understand what "don't" meant?  I think from what I explained, it seems pretty clear that they more than understood.  Especially seeing as when the serpant told Eve to take the fruit she disputed it at first saying that she was told no!   That's pretty amazing coming from a being that supposedly doesnt' comprehend it.

Topher wrote:

No, they wouldn't have. Your comment is a contradiction! You're claiming (via the bit in bold) that they had knowledge of right and wrong, despite not having knowledge of right and wrong.

 

Show me.

Topher wrote:

They could acknowledge the instruction, but not grasp the morality of violating it.

oh, so now you're saying they understood it?  You're contradicting yourself.  Either they knew not to do it or they didn't. 

Also, see above replies to again clarify why it was understood that they more than knew that they should not disobey.  dont' get sidetracked, remember, it's just disobeying that was being consequenced. 


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caposkia wrote:If they

caposkia wrote:
If they really didn't comprehend what yes and no meant or right and wrong, why would God have told them not to do something knowing well enough they would not comprehend what "don't" meant?

They could comprehend what the words meant, but they could not comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying.

Of course, if this story were true, then god would have known and wouldn't have done this to begin with, which is evidence that this was written by humans who were ignorant of human psychology and simply didn't think things through. As todangst says in his essay, one simply cannot comprehend an adult without any moral knowledge, therefore it seems the Genesis author projected his understanding onto his characters despite his story ruling it out, so he is compartmentalising the story... first, what he actually writes (they had no moral knowledge, at all) and second, how he understand humans (that no adult is completely without moral knowledge), however when you step back and examine just the story, you see the error, the contradiction.

The the Genesis author, the reader also projects into Adam and Eve this basic moral knowledge in order to understand the book. The reader can very well understand gods command and the moral ramifications of disobeying it, but you must place yourselves into the shoes of Adam and Eve, who were completely without such knowledge; once you do this you realise that the story makes no sense. I suspect that most theists who examine Genesis realise this, which is why (if they want to keep believing it literally) they have to interpret it by projecting some kind of moral knowledge onto Adam and Eve.

Also, as todangst notes in his essay, Eve was created AFTER the commend was give, and it was she who first commits the sin by taking fruit from the tree!! (Of course, it depends which chapter you're reading, because in one she and Adam are created together, whereas in the other she is created after the animals!)

 

caposkia wrote:
A child may have no comprehension of what evil or good is, but when they do something they were told not to do, when mommy or daddy finds out, strangely they try to hide the fact that they did it in many cases.  Why would they do that if they had no idea it was "wrong" to disobey mommy or daddy?

Because a child's mind is not comparable to the minds of Adam and Eve prior to their eating from the tree. Adam and Eve were completely without any moral knowledge. A child is not totally sans moral knowledge, which means they can realise that they may have done something wrong without fully understanding what or why. This is all part of the childs moral development. We still acknowledge that a child does not have a full understanding of morality/right and wrong, which is why they can only be held legally accountable from a certain age, and even then they are tried as a minor rather than an adult.

 

caposkia wrote:
I think first of all, they had a better understanding than you think they did.  There is no indication in the Bible how long they were wandering around the garden before they ate the fruit.  It could be easily assumed that it happened the same day they were created, but there is nothing to imply that.

How long they were in the garden it irrelevant. Until the moment they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they were completely without moral knowledge, and therefore without knowledge of the moral ramifications of disobeying. You cannot insert ideas into Genesis that do not exist in the text; things like they had 'some' understanding, or that they had 'implicit' knowledge. If either were case then they would have moral knowledge, yet Genesis specifically rules this out.

 

caposkia wrote:
It's obvious by the conversation between them and God that they had a lot of understanding of many things, including what it meant to die even though before they ate the fruit, they were not going to experience it.  This would automatically imply they understood what might be bad and what might be good.   It would also imply that they were not born yesterday... in this case meant in the most literal sense.

Again, they could understand what words and command meant, they just couldn't comprehend the moral ramifications of understanding it. Any part of the book prior to them gaining the knowledge is either the reader or the Genesis authors projecting moral knowledge onto them though their own understanding.

And again I have to reiterate that how old they were, or how long they were in the garden is irrelevant. You mention "they were not born yesterday" thereby implying that in the short period they have been alive, they have been able to learn knowledge of good and evil, but again, this is simply not what the story says. They were 'born' without this knowledge, and god explicitly forbid them from gaining it.

The reason we as children and then into adulthood develop in our moral understanding is because we are not born in the way Adam and Eve were, completely sans moral knowledge, rather we are born with a basic innate moral understanding as a result of evolution/genetics, which is then developed via experience, nurture and culture, etc. Adam and Eve have none of this.

You have to ask yourself why, if they had some implicit knowledge, god forbid them from gaining knowledge? Since implicit moral knowledge is the foundation of, and ultimately leads to explicit moral knowledge, it makes no sense for god to make them with some implicit knowledge and then forbid them from gaining what they already have!

 

caposkia wrote:
As I explained, it was logically understood that they knew what no meant and therefore, with full knowlege, disobeyed unlike todds excuse above claiming they didn't comprehend.

And for the 10th time, your inserting things into the story which do not exist! In the Genesis story Adam and Eve had NO knowledge of good and evil whatsoever, none. You cannot just declare that they had moral knowledge.

 

caposkia wrote:
Let's try this perspective.  Why does a parent punish a child for climbing up on something high they told them not to climb on?  Is it because they got a new perspective on the room that the parents didn't want them to see?  Of course not, it's because they already told the child not to. The parents knew that child had full comprehension of what no meant.  The parents also knew that if the child fell off of X, they could get hurt.  Therefore, in order to protect the child, they told them 'no' in the first place.  The child disobeyed, so instead of letting the child learn why they said no by breaking an arm, they punish them for disobeying their original command to the child.

The child may understand the command and comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying it. If the child has the ability to climb then they would usually have some gone through some moral development, even so, as I've said before, how you punish the child for disobeying will be more stern as they get older, because you realise they as they get older, you expect more.

Let me ask you this question... is a 1 day old baby morally culpable for genocide if they press a button which detonates a nuclear bomb, despite being warned to never press the button?

Although Adam and Eve could walk, talk and largely function fine on their own (unlike the baby), in terms of moral knowledge they are closer to the baby.

 

caposkia wrote:
Topher wrote:
Yet sin requires intent, which in turn requires knowledge of right and wrong. They didn't have knowledge of right or wrong, therefore they could not have acted with any intent to do right or wrong.

You seem to be stuck on that.

Because that is the crux of the issue under contention!

 

caposkia wrote:
Please reference to me where in the Bible it explains that they didn't understand what "don't" meant?

That is not what I said. Please read my post, and todangst's essay again! I never said they cannot understand the words, I said they could not understand the moral ramifications of disobeying them.

This is TWO different things. Understanding the command and understanding the moral ramifications of disobeying that command are two different matters. Adam and Eve could do the former, but not the latter. This creates a problem because sin requires the latter.

 

caposkia wrote:
I think from what I explained, it seems pretty clear that they more than understood.

Yes, they understood the words, they could understand the meaning/definition of the words, however because they were without knowledge or good and evil, they had no moral knowledge and could not therefore grasp the moral ramifications of disobeying. Please understand that understanding the command itself does not entail a moral understanding.

From todangst essay:

"While they could understand the rule, they are unable to grasp the moral ramifications of disobeying the rule, and THIS is the actual sin involved. Yes, god punished them for "disobeying", but the very point under contention is that this punishment is illogical, because sin requires intent, and without intent, their actions could not be immoral."

You can say to Adam and Eve, do not touch X because of Y. They could comprehend the statement, but could not comprehend the morality behind it, therefore, you cannot hold them morally culpable for disobeying it.

In order for Adam and Eve to incur moral responsibility they first have to morally understand the situation, including understanding the moral ramifications of disobeying. This entails that they have knowledge of good and evil.

 

caposkia wrote:
Especially seeing as when the serpant told Eve to take the fruit she disputed it at first saying that she was told no!   That's pretty amazing coming from a being that supposedly doesnt' comprehend it.

Two problems:

1. Again, she could understand the command, and was capable of repeating it. She just didn't understand the moral ramification of disobeying.

2. The bigger problem: Eve was created AFTER the commandment was given!

 

caposkia wrote:
Show me.

Show you what? Your contradiction? I pointed it out by highlighting it in bold.

You said: "Adam and Eve already knew it would be wrong to disobey God."

In order to know it would be wrong entails they have the knowledge of good and evil. If they didn't have that knowledge, they could not have known it would be wrong.

 

 

caposkia wrote:
oh, so now you're saying they understood it?  You're contradicting yourself.  Either they knew not to do it or they didn't.

You've just admitted here that you have not read todangst's essay! The one you think you're responding to. Either that you're confused about the problems with the Genesis myth.

No one, not in my posts, nor in todangst essay have said Adam and Eve could not understand the command. The very point under contention is whether they could understand the moral ramifications of disobeying that command, because only then could disobeying the command be a sin. Sin requires intent, which inturn requires understanding the morality of disobeying. If they did not understand the moral ramifications of disobeying, there could be no moral intent behind their action, which mean it could not have been a sin.

The very problem with original sin is that it could not have been a sin to begin with, for the reason todangst outlines in his essay, which you've yet to read.

 

 

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Thanks, Topher.I was trying

Thanks, Topher.

I was trying to ask my wife about this (she's a Christian who insists that Adam and Eve had full moral knowledge before they ate of the treeof the knowledge of good and evil)

They may have undertood the words but their meaning was equivalent to my walking up to someonw and saying "Gribblefritz snarfwidget zobaz". And god's action would be equivalent to me beating the crap out of the person I spoke to because they didn't understand what I said..

I could also go back to Matt Dillahunty's "Here's another reasxon why I'm more moral than God" rant. If I truly loved what I created and something was threatening their existence - that thing would be gone. God needed the temptation in the Garden so he could go ahead with getting Jesus all bloodied up.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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To Mrs. jcgadfly??????????

 

 

 

            Be sure to ask HOW   Adam & Eve could know any   thing before eating of the tree of knowledge.   Then ask her about the  "First commandment----- ( not the 2nd) Thou shalt have no god before me!!.    What other gods does her god worry about:   simple question.   ( false gods are covered by the 2nd commandment)   the 1st  commandment covers real gods,  now ask the missus about the other real gods.

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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

 

 

 

            Be sure to ask HOW   Adam & Eve could know any   thing before eating of the tree of knowledge.   Then ask her about the  "First commandment----- ( not the 2nd) Thou shalt have no god before me!!.    What other gods does her god worry about:   simple question.   ( false gods are covered by the 2nd commandment)   the 1st  commandment covers real gods,  now ask the missus about the other real gods.

I tried that - just got assertions that they were adults in mind and body.

I've also mentioned the "Thou shalt have no other gods before (also means beside) me" is continually violated by those believers who worship Jesus and the Holy Spitit equally (aka Trinitarianism and Christian polytheism). Nothing from her as yet.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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caposkia wrote:it is implied

caposkia wrote:

it is implied that they were scattered.  it's logical to conclude that most were isolated after being scattered.  Why could it not be considered when observing that they expanded a new language within those isolated groups? 

No implication at all, it claims in Genesis 11:8 "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence . . " Though scattering of everything is evident for millions of years as indicated by fossil records so no god was needed to do the scattering.

After the Babel event Genesis begins its major story line, the development of Abraham and his descendants. Abe and his relatives came from Ur of the Chaldees which tells you when this part of Genesis was written as in Babylonian times in the 1st millennium BCE. When one attempts to date it to 2000 BCE, there were no people known as Chaldees. Anyway, Abe's dad Terah took his family from Ur to the city of Haran. Both of these cities were worship centers for the Sumerian or Akkadian god Sin, or simply called the moon god. They could have gone from Ur to any place, why pick another city centered on moon god worship? The Bible never claims that Terah or any of Abe's ancestors were believers in Yahweh or El as Abe called him.

Abe moves his family to the land the god promised him in Genesis 12:1-3. It doesn't indicate whether the god left Abe a post-it on his tent or came to him in a dream but according to the story Abe and his family including Lot packed up all their stuff and relocated to Canaan. When they arrived on a mountain East of Bethel Abe built an altar to the god. This place becomes of later importance during the time of the 2 kingdoms. Abe knows this god as El, which is the same name used by the Canaanites for the main god in their pantheon.

 

 

 

 

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Topher wrote:They could

Topher wrote:

They could comprehend what the words meant, but they could not comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying.

Are you referencing to what they got from eating the fruit or the punishment for disobeying?  They were told that if they ate of the fruit, they would surely die, automatically implying they were aware there were serious consequences for doing it. (Gen. 2:17)

If it's generally what they would get, of course they didn't know.  It says so in scripture.  It's how they were able to be fooled into thinking it might be good.

Topher wrote:

Of course, if this story were true, then god would have known and wouldn't have done this to begin with, which is evidence that this was written by humans who were ignorant of human psychology and simply didn't think things through. As todangst says in his essay, one simply cannot comprehend an adult without any moral knowledge, therefore it seems the Genesis author projected his understanding onto his characters despite his story ruling it out, so he is compartmentalising the story... first, what he actually writes (they had no moral knowledge, at all) and second, how he understand humans (that no adult is completely without moral knowledge), however when you step back and examine just the story, you see the error, the contradiction.

Sounds like you know exactly what God would have done.  You must be master of the universe.  God or no God. 

Please reference where it claims these adults were "without any moral knowlege". 

If it was so cut and dry as you and Todd seem to think it is, it would be much clearer that this story was not real and therefore, would have never been a part of the Bible book as it is written to begin with.  There were a lot of "stories" not put into the book of the Bible for that very reason.  What makes this book different than the rest?  I'll need honest, clear, to the point answers. 

Topher wrote:

The the Genesis author, the reader also projects into Adam and Eve thisbasic moral knowledge in order to understand the book. The reader can very well understand gods command and the moral ramifications of disobeying it, but you must place yourselves into the shoes of Adam and Eve, who were completely without such knowledge; once you do this you realise that the story makes no sense. I suspect that most theists who examine Genesis realise this, which is why (if they want to keep believing it literally) they have to interpret it by projecting some kind of moral knowledge onto Adam and Eve.

Please reference your sources for this conclusion.  This way I can better explain the misunderstanding.

Topher wrote:

Also, as todangst notes in his essay, Eve was created AFTER the commend was give, and it was she who first commits the sin by taking fruit from the tree!! (Of course, it depends which chapter you're reading, because in one she and Adam are created together, whereas in the other she is created after the animals!)

The more you quote from Todd, the less reliable he seems.  Regardless of when Eve was created in the story, it is clear that she knows the expectations be it that she recites them word for word to the serpant who questions it. (Gen 3:1-3)

Topher wrote:

Because a child's mind is not comparable to the minds of Adam and Eve prior to their eating from the tree.

Which then nullifies either of us using a comparison to a child from this point on.

Topher wrote:

Adam and Eve were completely without any moral knowledge.

According to....?

Topher wrote:

A child is not totally sans moral knowledge, which means they can realise that they may have done something wrong without fully understanding what or why. This is all part of the childs moral development. We still acknowledge that a child does not have a full understanding of morality/right and wrong, which is why they can only be held legally accountable from a certain age, and even then they are tried as a minor rather than an adult.

 

According to your first statement, this is now no longer relevant. 

Topher wrote:

How long they were in the garden it irrelevant. Until the moment they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they were completely without moral knowledge, and therefore without knowledge of the moral ramifications of disobeying.

until I get a reference from you, I can't comment on this further.

Topher wrote:

You cannot insert ideas into Genesis that do not exist in the text;

Why not?  You are.  By the way, I don't and haven't.   I can explain with reference every point I'm making.

Topher wrote:

things like they had 'some' understanding, or that they had 'implicit' knowledge. If either were case then they would have moral knowledge, yet Genesis specifically rules this out.

how?

Topher wrote:

And again I have to reiterate that how old they were, or how long they were in the garden is irrelevant. You mention "they were not born yesterday" thereby implying that in the short period they have been alive, they have been able to learn knowledge of good and evil, but again, this is simply not what the story says. They were 'born' without this knowledge, and god explicitly forbid them from gaining it.

I think I'm starting to see where you're coming from.  Without eating the fruit, they don't have the knowlege of good and evil.  However, instead of specifically trying to understand what that means, you generalize it by saying they had no understanding what-so-ever, which is not at all implied. 

You're taking a description or name of something and using it to suggest that it held every possible understandig and comprehension of what we know today.   It is understood by scholars (that I"m aware of) that Adam and Eve both posessed life and moral discernment as they came from the hand of God.  The knowlege the fruit was supposed to be containing is understood to be more along the lines of ethical discernment. (Zondervan)

Topher wrote:

You have to ask yourself why, if they had some implicit knowledge, god forbid them from gaining knowledge? Since implicit moral knowledge is the foundation of, and ultimately leads to explicit moral knowledge, it makes no sense for god to make them with some implicit knowledge and then forbid them from gaining what they already have!

I have asked myself that many times.  I conclude that there was a plan behind it, otherwise the tree wouldn't have been at all accessible in the first place. 

Topher wrote:

And for the 10th time, your inserting things into the story which do not exist! In the Genesis story Adam and Eve had NO knowledge of good and evil whatsoever, none. You cannot just declare that they had moral knowledge.

who do you think you're trying to fool?  To claim what you are is "inserting things into the story which do not exist.". If you had any understanding of writing analysis, you'd see that it is clearly understood that they did.   if not, then your story would be so abundantly clear that it would never had been considered as a part of the Bible. 

Topher wrote:

The child may understand the command and comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying it. If the child has the ability to climb then they would usually have some gone through some moral development, even so, as I've said before, how you punish the child for disobeying will be more stern as they get older, because you realise they as they get older, you expect more.

...but the age of Adam and Eve in the Bible is irrelevant. 

Topher wrote:

 

Let me ask you this question... is a 1 day old baby morally culpable for genocide if they press a button which detonates a nuclear bomb, despite being warned to never press the button?

well, according to you age is not relevant.  If that's actually true, then this baby would be held responsible.  According to you also, a child's mind is not comparable to the topic, therefore this is also irrelevant to the point.

Topher wrote:

Although Adam and Eve could walk, talk and largely function fine on their own (unlike the baby), in terms of moral knowledge they are closer to the baby.

inserting things into the story that aren't actually there again are we?

Topher wrote:

Because that is the crux of the issue under contention!

Are you able to accept the research that has been done by people who do it for a living?  If not, we're going to be stuck on this for a while to come.  This forum was designed to make progress, not get stuck.

Topher wrote:

This is TWO different things. Understanding the command and understanding the moral ramifications of disobeying that command are two different matters. Adam and Eve could do the former, but not the latter. This creates a problem because sin requires the latter.

Sin is simply disobeying God's law or command.  In this case, it was not to eat the fruit.  Are you trying to tell me that Adam and Eve didn't know that it would be "bad" to not follow God's command? 

Topher wrote:

caposkia wrote:
I think from what I explained, it seems pretty clear that they more than understood.

Yes, they understood the words, they could understand the meaning/definition of the words, however because they were without knowledge or good and evil, they had no moral knowledge and could not therefore grasp the moral ramifications of disobeying. Please understand that understanding the command itself does not entail a moral understanding.

It is understood by the text that the rammifications of disobeying the command, e.g. death, was clearly understood as well.  If it wasn't, Satan would not have had to lie to them about how they would not die. 

Topher wrote:

From todangst essay:

"While they could understand the rule, they are unable to grasp the moral ramifications of disobeying the rule, and THIS is the actual sin involved. Yes, god punished them for "disobeying", but the very point under contention is that this punishment is illogical, because sin requires intent, and without intent, their actions could not be immoral."

What then was their intent?  I mean basically for what Todd said to be true, they had to have not understood that they went against God's request.

Topher wrote:

You can say to Adam and Eve, do not touch X because of Y. They could comprehend the statement, but could not comprehend the morality behind it, therefore, you cannot hold them morally culpable for disobeying it.

In order for Adam and Eve to incur moral responsibility they first have to morally understand the situation, including understanding the moral ramifications of disobeying. This entails that they have knowledge of good and evil.

What would you define the "Good and evil" in this case?  I think we fall short with exactly what that implies.

Topher wrote:

Two problems:

1. Again, she could understand the command, and was capable of repeating it. She just didn't understand the moral ramification of disobeying.

2. The bigger problem: Eve was created AFTER the commandment was given!

response 1:  Why was it necessary to lie to her about the rammifications then?

response 2:  According to you, the knowlege that they both posessed was so minimal, it wouldn't matter whether she was created before or after the command was given.  It is clear she had the same understanding of it that Adam did.

Topher wrote:

Show you what? Your contradiction? I pointed it out by highlighting it in bold.

You said: "Adam and Eve already knew it would be wrong to disobey God."

In order to know it would be wrong entails they have the knowledge of good and evil. If they didn't have that knowledge, they could not have known it would be wrong.

 

We'll have to clarify what you feel is implied here before we go on with it.  I don't mean what we've already discussed, I mean how far does their knowlege really go?  You'll have to explain to me the extreme you understand it to be.

Topher wrote:

 

caposkia wrote:
oh, so now you're saying they understood it?  You're contradicting yourself.  Either they knew not to do it or they didn't.

You've just admitted here that you have not read todangst's essay! The one you think you're responding to. Either that you're confused about the problems with the Genesis myth.

I know I've read it.  If you're referring to me responding to it, I mentioned that it might have been a different one.  No arguement there.

 

You make so many assumptions.  I'm starting to question your credibility.  I question your response in the way you worded it and somehow, that's a confession from that that I either haven't read his essay or am confused about the Genesis myth?  I'm questioning your understanding, nothing more.

Topher wrote:

 

No one, not in my posts, nor in todangst essay have said Adam and Eve could not understand the command. The very point under contention is whether they could understand the moral ramifications of disobeying that command, because only then could disobeying the command be a sin. Sin requires intent, which inturn requires understanding the morality of disobeying. If they did not understand the moral ramifications of disobeying, there could be no moral intent behind their action, which mean it could not have been a sin.

The very problem with original sin is that it could not have been a sin to begin with, for the reason todangst outlines in his essay, which you've yet to read.

 

Alright, just to get this out of the way, "original sin" in that terminology gets into dispensationalist views and is not Biblical. 

Sin is simply going against what is understood to be a command or Law of God.  In order for them to not have sinned, they must not have known they were going against God's command.  They would have had to think that what they were doing was ok with God.

 


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jcgadfly wrote:Thanks,

jcgadfly wrote:

Thanks, Topher.

I was trying to ask my wife about this (she's a Christian who insists that Adam and Eve had full moral knowledge before they ate of the treeof the knowledge of good and evil)

They may have undertood the words but their meaning was equivalent to my walking up to someonw and saying "Gribblefritz snarfwidget zobaz". And god's action would be equivalent to me beating the crap out of the person I spoke to because they didn't understand what I said..

As I said to Topher, if what you said was true, than this story would have been so obviously fake that it wouldn't have made it into the Bible.

jcgadfly wrote:

I could also go back to Matt Dillahunty's "Here's another reasxon why I'm more moral than God" rant. If I truly loved what I created and something was threatening their existence - that thing would be gone. God needed the temptation in the Garden so he could go ahead with getting Jesus all bloodied up.

yea.  It had nothing to do with the idea that he might have had a plan in the future with Adam and Eve to use, maybe when they were more prepaired to handle such knowlege?  That of course is an assumption on my part, but to claim what you did is just as much of an assumption.  The truth is, no one knows exactly why it was the way it was, but it is understood by many that there was a plan in place.  That would be the logical conclusion anyway. 


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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

 

 

 

            Be sure to ask HOW   Adam & Eve could know any   thing before eating of the tree of knowledge.   Then ask her about the  "First commandment----- ( not the 2nd) Thou shalt have no god before me!!.    What other gods does her god worry about:   simple question.   ( false gods are covered by the 2nd commandment)   the 1st  commandment covers real gods,  now ask the missus about the other real gods.

...and after we hear her response, we'll see if it clarifies how illogical that question really is.


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jcgadfly wrote:I tried that

jcgadfly wrote:

I tried that - just got assertions that they were adults in mind and body.

I've also mentioned the "Thou shalt have no other gods before (also means beside) me" is continually violated by those believers who worship Jesus and the Holy Spitit equally (aka Trinitarianism and Christian polytheism). Nothing from her as yet.

Just to clarify also, the Trinitarianism doctern is not Biblical.  The Three-in-one as they are called are understood to be "God".  In other words, they share one being with Him.  Biblically, they are worshiped as God, not as separate beings from God. 

To claim polytheism is to claim that one worships them individually as separate beings and not one with God. 


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What it seems to come down

What it seems to come down to is that if God hadn't set things up the way he had, he wouldn't have been able to bloody Jesus up to satisfy his bloodlust and save us from himself.

Adam and Eve were punished so God could implement his backup plan. Wouldn't it have been more sensible to leave his creation (which he said was good) and man (who he said was very good) alone instead of mucking things up with that damned tree?

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keeping on track

Though the comments and responses as of late have kind of backtracked in this forum.  They are relevant to what has been talked about.  I will not stick on these particular topics too much longer be it that the intent of this forum is progression and we have already progressed beyond that point.

I will respond in regards to the progress this forum makes and eventually start ignoring things that backtrack too much unless it is relevant to the current topic.

 

 


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caposkia wrote:

Jeffrick wrote:

 

 

 

            Be sure to ask HOW   Adam & Eve could know any   thing before eating of the tree of knowledge.   Then ask her about the  "First commandment----- ( not the 2nd) Thou shalt have no god before me!!.    What other gods does her god worry about:   simple question.   ( false gods are covered by the 2nd commandment)   the 1st  commandment covers real gods,  now ask the missus about the other real gods.

...and after we hear her response, we'll see if it clarifies how illogical that question really is.

      Feel free to answer the question youself caposkia,  it really is just another flub by the people who wrote the bibble. But feel free.

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 caposkia wrote:They were

 

caposkia wrote:
They were told that if they ate of the fruit, they would surely die, automatically implying they were aware there were serious consequences for doing it. (Gen. 2:17)

But the very issue is that they could no comprehend the consequences. The consequences were moral ones, yet they had no moral knowledge.

 

caposkia wrote:
Please reference where it claims these adults were "without any moral knowlege". 

They were without knowledge of good and evil, otherwise why the hell did god expressly forbid them this knowledge.

They were adults in the sense that they were fully grown, and they could do the things most adults are capable of, yet they could not understand morality due to their lack of knowledge regarding good and evil.

 

caposkia wrote:
If it was so cut and dry as you and Todd seem to think it is, it would be much clearer that this story was not real and therefore, would have never been a part of the Bible book as it is written to begin with.  There were a lot of "stories" not put into the book of the Bible for that very reason.  What makes this book different than the rest?  I'll need honest, clear, to the point answers.
 

You're working backwards...assuming that the story must make sense/be true, rather than looking at what they story actually says, and then assuming that any analysis which reveals contradictions and other errors must be false. Have you not read the Bible before? It is full of outright errors and contradictions, so the contradictions in Genesis shouldn't really be such a surprise.

You say if this story were not real, it wouldn't have been in the Bible. Does this mean you think the story is historical?

 

caposkia wrote:
Please reference your sources for this conclusion.  This way I can better explain the misunderstanding.

Sources for what? My suggestion that interpreting Genesis is based on projecting a moral system onto Adam and Eve? This is just basic psychology. Adults (excluding psychopaths and sociopaths) have knowledge of good and evil, therefore it seems obvious that Adam and Eve (who were adults in Genesis) would also have such knowledge, yet realise that the Genesis story explicitly rules this out; they were adults without any understanding of morality because of this lack of knowledge.

caposkia wrote:
The more you quote from Todd, the less reliable he seems.

Why is that?

 

caposkia wrote:
Regardless of when Eve was created in the story, it is clear that she knows the expectations be it that she recites them word for word to the serpant who questions it. (Gen 3:1-3)

This still does not change the fact she had no knowledge of good and evil.

 

caposkia wrote:
Which then nullifies either of us using a comparison to a child from this point on.

Not necessarily. We can use a child to illustrate that we don't hold children morally culpable, even though they do possess some basic moral development, so it seems ridiculous to hold someone like Adam and Eve morally culpable when they were without ANY moral knowledge.

 

caposkia wrote:
Topher wrote:
Adam and Eve were completely without any moral knowledge.

According to....?

According to the Genesis myth!! Please keep up! God expressly forbid them knowledge of good and evil. Why the hell would god forbid them this knowledge if they already had it?

 

caposkia wrote:
According to your first statement, this is now no longer relevant.

Yes, it is relevant. It illustrates how we don't hold a child morally or legally culpable despite the fact that they have more moral knowledge that Adam and Eve did! It is absurd to place more moral responsibility on Adam and Eve than we place on a child when Adam and Eve have LESS moral knowledge than the child.

 

caposkia wrote:
Topher wrote:
How long they were in the garden it irrelevant. Until the moment they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they were completely without moral knowledge, and therefore without knowledge of the moral ramifications of disobeying.

until I get a reference from you, I can't comment on this further.

todangst includes the references in his essay.

 

caposkia wrote:
Why not?  You are.  By the way, I don't and haven't.   I can explain with reference every point I'm making.

What am I inserting into the story?

You clearly are. You are trying to suggest that they were not without moral knowledge despite god expressly denying them this knowledge. If they had moral knowledge why would god forbid them moral knowledge?!?

 

caposkia wrote:
Topher wrote:
things like they had 'some' understanding, or that they had 'implicit' knowledge. If either were case then they would have moral knowledge, yet Genesis specifically rules this out.

how?

How? By forbidding them from eating from the tree! If they had moral knowledge it would make no sense for god to forbid them from having something which they already have!! Please tell me you are capable of understanding this?! Clearly, we can say they did not have this knowledge by virtue of the fact that god explicitly denied them this knowledge!

todangst cites all the relevant verses from in his essay.

 

caposkia wrote:
I think I'm starting to see where you're coming from.  Without eating the fruit, they don't have the knowlege of good and evil.  However, instead of specifically trying to understand what that means, you generalize it by saying they had no understanding what-so-ever, which is not at all implied.

Again, your are inserting details into the story that do not exist. You are taking the line that although they didn't have explicit knowledge, but they did have implicit knowledge. This is refuted on two grounds:

(a) implicit moral knowledge leads to explicit moral knowledge, ergo, if they had implicit moral knowledge, they had moral knowledge. The former necessarily leads to the latter.

(b) why would god forbid them something which they already had.

You accuse me (and todangst) of failing to understand what the text means. Why don't you explain what it means then? And be specific.

 

caposkia wrote:
You're taking a description or name of something and using it to suggest that it held every possible understandig and comprehension of what we know today.   It is understood by scholars (that I"m aware of) that Adam and Eve both posessed life and moral discernment as they came from the hand of God.  The knowlege the fruit was supposed to be containing is understood to be more along the lines of ethical discernment. (Zondervan)

Where exactly in the myth does it differentiate between the two?

 

caposkia wrote:
I have asked myself that many times.  I conclude that there was a plan behind it, otherwise the tree wouldn't have been at all accessible in the first place. 

This isn't a response. Why would god forbid them from gaining moral knowledge if they already has moral knowledge to begin with?! You cannot just say god has a plan and think you've dealt with the problem. If you wish to maintain that they had moral knowledge the you must solve this conundrum, not throw it to one side. 

 

caposkia wrote:
If you had any understanding of writing analysis, you'd see that it is clearly understood that they did.

1. Cite the part of the story where it shows they had moral knowledge. And this doesn't mean there they recite the command from god, since that does not require moral knowledge; it means show that they actually had moral knowledge.

2. Deal with the aforementioned conundrum.

 

caposkia wrote:
if not, then your story would be so abundantly clear that it would never had been considered as a part of the Bible. 

This begs the question. You understanding/interpretation requires a coherent story, therefore you are assuming that the stories in the Bible must be coherent, otherwise it would not have been included.

 

caposkia wrote:
well, according to you age is not relevant.  If that's actually true, then this baby would be held responsible.  According to you also, a child's mind is not comparable to the topic, therefore this is also irrelevant to the point.

You're taking my comments out of context and making a straw man of what I said!

Age is relevant when people HAVE moral knowledge, because the moral understanding develops over time. A baby/child fits this situation.

However, if the people have no moral knowledge, then it doesn't matter how old they are, because there is nothing to develop. Adam and Eve fit situation.

 

caposkia wrote:
Topher wrote:
Although Adam and Eve could walk, talk and largely function fine on their own (unlike the baby), in terms of moral knowledge they are closer to the baby.

inserting things into the story that aren't actually there again are we?

What exactly have I inserted into the story?

 

caposkia wrote:
Are you able to accept the research that has been done by people who do it for a living?

Sure, but I'm skeptical of Christian scholars, who tend to have a lot to gain from particular conclusions. In fact I wouldn't regard them all as scholars, at least the likes of Strobel, WLC, etc. 

 

caposkia wrote:
Sin is simply disobeying God's law or command. 

Sin requires intent, which in turn relies on the person having moral knowledge. If you remove the requirement of intent from sin, you remove all justice, and you make a mockery of morality altogether.

 

caposkia wrote:
In this case, it was not to eat the fruit.  Are you trying to tell me that Adam and Eve didn't know that it would be "bad" to not follow God's command?

Yes, I am, because without moral knowledge they would not be able to comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying.

 

caposkia wrote:
It is understood by the text that the rammifications of disobeying the command, e.g. death, was clearly understood as well.

If it wasn't, Satan would not have had to lie to them about how they would not die. 

Again, they could not comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying.

They were aware that they should not eat from the treat, and were subsequently persuaded to do so by a talking snake, however they could not comprehend the morality behind this, therefore they could not have been any moral intent.

 

caposkia wrote:
What then was their intent?

Who knows, but there was not moral intent involved, because that would require moral knowledge.

 

caposkia wrote:
I mean basically for what Todd said to be true, they had to have not understood that they went against God's request.

Not true. They were aware that it went against god request, but they had no understanding of the moral ramifications of disobeying that request.

 

caposkia wrote:
What would you define the "Good and evil" in this case?  I think we fall short with exactly what that implies.

What does it imply and why do we fall short of it? And what bearing does this have to the story?

 

caposkia wrote:
I question your response in the way you worded it and somehow, that's a confession from that that I either haven't read his essay or am confused about the Genesis myth?  I'm questioning your understanding, nothing more.

I clearly distinguished between them understanding the command and them understanding the moral ramifications of disobeying that command.

 

caposkia wrote:
Sin is simply going against what is understood to be a command or Law of God.  In order for them to not have sinned, they must not have known they were going against God's command.  They would have had to think that what they were doing was ok with God.

If you're and/or the Bible are defining sin without moral intent then you remove all justice from the morality.

 

caposkia wrote:
As I said to Topher, if what you said was true, than this story would have been so obviously fake that it wouldn't have made it into the Bible.

Do you think everything in the Bible is historical/factual? If not, then clearly untrue things did make it into the Bible.

One problem with the Genesis story is that there are two mutually exclusive accounts of the creation of Adam Eve and the animals.

Clearly inaccuracies, falsehoods, errors, and contradictions made it into the Bible, so the problems with the Genesis myth shouldn't be surprising. 

As I explained, the most likely reason for the problems with the Genesis myth was that the writer simply didn't think things through!

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


BobSpence
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Hmm - I would like caposkia

Hmm - I would like caposkia to explain why he does not see 'moral discernment', and 'knowledge of good and evil',  as meaning pretty much the same thing...

And just what does he see as the distinction between 'ethical discernment' and 'moral discernment'? 

These seem to be fundamental to the the debate here.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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caposkia
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jcgadfly wrote:What it seems

jcgadfly wrote:

What it seems to come down to is that if God hadn't set things up the way he had, he wouldn't have been able to bloody Jesus up to satisfy his bloodlust and save us from himself.

Adam and Eve were punished so God could implement his backup plan. Wouldn't it have been more sensible to leave his creation (which he said was good) and man (who he said was very good) alone instead of mucking things up with that damned tree?

If there was no ultimate purpose for that tree, your theory would make sense.  Do you know for sure that if nothing happened, that the tree wouldn't have been used for something?


caposkia
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Jeffrick wrote:      

Jeffrick wrote:

 

      Feel free to answer the question youself caposkia,  it really is just another flub by the people who wrote the bibble. But feel free.

Explain the flub


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

What it seems to come down to is that if God hadn't set things up the way he had, he wouldn't have been able to bloody Jesus up to satisfy his bloodlust and save us from himself.

Adam and Eve were punished so God could implement his backup plan. Wouldn't it have been more sensible to leave his creation (which he said was good) and man (who he said was very good) alone instead of mucking things up with that damned tree?

If there was no ultimate purpose for that tree, your theory would make sense.  Do you know for sure that if nothing happened, that the tree wouldn't have been used for something?

No and neither do you.

Maybe God would have had another purpose for the tree. The snake, however, had one job only - to do the will of God and make sure that God's plan to bloody up Jesus would have to be implemented.

Still leaves God as a sadist with a massive blood boner.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin