Adam and Eve

thoughtcounts-Z
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Adam and Eve

I'm relatively new to this forum, so forgive me if this has been covered before. I would very much like to know if there is an answer to this confusing aspect of the Bible, when Adam and Eve are instructed not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (I know there is other crazy stuff going on in terms of Biblical errancy in Genesis, but I really just want to talk here about this one thing.)

Genesis 1:29-30 wrote:
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground -- everything that has the breath of life in it -- I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

Genesis 2:8-9,15-17 wrote:
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the grown -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ... The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Genesis 3:4-7 wrote:
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

So then, around Genesis 3:14 and on, God curses the serpent and Adam and Eve for having eaten the fruit from this tree.

I have a few questions about this (what is up with the nakedness, for example -- why did God make them naked if anyone with "the knowledge of good and evil" would think that nakedness had to be covered up) but like I said, I really want to focus on this issue about good and evil. Am I correct in understanding that to eat from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is to gain knowledge of good and evil, which is to say, the knowledge necessary to discriminate between good actions and evil actions? If that is correct, isn't it also necessarily true that prior to eating the fruit from this tree, neither Eve nor Adam had the capacity to tell whether it would be good or bad to eat the fruit from the tree? Sure, following God's orders is presumably a good thing in this story, but how could Adam and Eve have known that if they didn't have "the knowledge of good and evil"? Someone without clear understanding on this topic might easily have gotten confused by what God says in Genesis 1, that any fruit with seed in it is theirs for food. Basically, in every way, it seems astoundingly unreasonable and unfair for God to punish Adam and Eve for this.

Is there any explanation anyone's heard about how to make sense of it? I don't really expect one, but I'm curious if this is an issue that Christians ever grapple with. It must be scary to have a God who is mad at you for knowing the difference between good and evil.

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thoughtcounts-Z
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Whoops!

Definitely should have said "Christians or Jews" there at the end. And Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses too if you don't think they "count" as Christians. Basically anyone who uses Genesis is what I'm talking about. Smiling

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I agree like the pp said

I agree like the pp said that all people who believe in genesis should be included, not just christians. But as far as your question...

Do you believe the bible? Why are you trying to make sense of it?

I'm not sure how christians or any other faith make sense of these fairy tales. But for me and my husband, we see this as an archaic way to make people understand life. It's kind of like if thousands of years from now people read Aesop's fables and took them as hard cold fact. They(the bible) are a collection of works by many different authors used to guide a primitive people and "explain things". You know, like when a little kid asks, "Why do we put clothes on?" then they would tell this story. You have to remember the people from this time did not have mass education. The majority of people could not even read and write. So why people take it for fact? I have no clue. To me this(among many other thing in "faith&quotEye-wink make no sense. The bible does have some nice parables in it though. Many of them have no merrit in today's modern world(IMO).

"I can resist anything, except temptation..."
~Wilde


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I see this story as trying

I see this story as trying to 'explain' why we appear to be so 'imperfect', and why God allows, or even appears to actually cause, bas things to happen to good people.

It is an attempt to address the classic 'problem of evil'.

It tries to imagine a scenario to justify the extreme punishment of cursing not only A and E, but all their descendants, because of their disobedience. Even, and perhaps especially, for disobeying a command which seems quite unreasonable.

I see the 'problem of evil' to be the real 'show-stopper' for the belief system, an intrinsic contradiction in the idea in an omnipotent, omniscient God.

It is an attempt to justify the unjustifiable, so it is not surprising that it is riddled with 'arguments' which are just enough this side of total absurdity to convince someone already strongly committed to God-belief that it 'works'.

The remaining element of 'mystery' actually helps re-inforce the 'faith', since that touch of mystery helps maintain the feeling that this is beyond mere mortals to fully understand the 'mind of God'.

Unfortunately the story helps support the concept, the 'meme', that a 'good' dictator deserves unquestioning obedience to every arbitrary command. Bring on 'Uncle' Joe Stalin.

And that there are offences so serious that it is justified punishing the descendants forever. So lending un-intended psychological support for every long running 'ethnic' or religious war, from Northern Island to the Balkans. I have heard people justify such wars explicitly by claiming that 'their grand-fathers' did something terrible to 'our grandfathers'.

So an attempt to 'explain' the Problem of Evil provides unintended support for those committing the worst sort of evils...

 

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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thoughtcounts-Z
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I'm an atheist

I'm an atheist; sorry, should have made that more clear. I don't personally believe the Bible has any value, other than as a way to understand parts of human history and as some mildly interesting stories (a la Aesop's fables). But I'm very interested in how people justify religion to themselves in the face of a multitude of blatant contradictions and various hard-to-swallow ideas. You hear about things like rationalizing the six-day creation story ("Well, to God, a day could be any length of time!" et cetera) but I've never heard anything about this little dilemma. I asked a Christian friend of mine (who I've talked about religion a lot with), and she was kind of startled and didn't have an answer, but said she'd try to talk to her pastor about it sometime. No word on that yet. Thought that someone on this forum might have heard a response that I hadn't.

And I don't really think this is so much about treating every word of the Bible as literally factual, as it is about the kind of values that are taught through it. I'm not talking about some apparent rounding error in Kings (saying that pi is exactly 3), which many religious people easily ignore without having a crisis of faith. Here, God is giving explicit orders and showing what things he values, what he approves and disapproves of. And this story is a really central part of a lot of doctrine/dogma for various religions. If a person can cast aside all of these passages as "not literally true," then I think they pretty much toss away their organized religion's understanding of God.

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i would be interested in

i would be interested in seeing how Theists address my argument that the Adam and Eve story is not only difficult to support, but actually has a deeply evil message.

 

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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I personally think(after

I personally think(after reading it more) it is an immoral story, for god punished people who chose an action without knowing that such a choice was bad. Also, punishing one for "original sin" or being punished for something someone else did. To me, the Adam and Eve story is not even acceptable to tell children because it is immoral and it tells that "god" is not a forgiving god. Judging Adam and Eve when they did not even know the difference between good and evil.

But I do know there are religious people who take the A&E story as literal fact. Claiming that Adam from the "dust" of the earth is a way to explain evolution and they will also say that the story does not say god created "only" A&E to explain away arguments of incest. Still I believe the story is in direct contradiction with other stories in the bible.





 

"I can resist anything, except temptation..."
~Wilde


thoughtcounts-Z
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Agreed

Yeah, that's basically my understanding. It seems to me like, either

  1. Adam and Eve knew the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore deserve punishment for disobeying God, but God's commandment not to eat the fruit was completely ridiculous and arbitrary, OR
  2. Adam and Eve did not know the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore shouldn't have been expected to know that obeying God is a good thing, so God punishing them isn't just arbitrary, it's antithetical to our basic ideas of what is "just" in every other context.

God doesn't coming out looking so good in either case.

 

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thoughtcounts-Z wrote:Yeah,

thoughtcounts-Z wrote:

Yeah, that's basically my understanding. It seems to me like, either

  1. Adam and Eve knew the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore deserve punishment for disobeying God, but God's commandment not to eat the fruit was completely ridiculous and arbitrary, OR
  2. Adam and Eve did not know the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore shouldn't have been expected to know that obeying God is a good thing, so God punishing them isn't just arbitrary, it's antithetical to our basic ideas of what is "just" in every other context.

God doesn't coming out looking so good in either case.

3. None of the above.  The story is explaining that so long as one does exactly what one is told, there's no such thing as "good" or "evil".  Nature is amoral, so all the "bad things" that happen in Nature have nothing to do with either good or evil.  Only our choices, which exist because we have Free Will, have the potential to be good or evil.  Since many of the Atheists here seem to agree that "doing good" is better than "doing evil", the lesson is a universal one.  No matter how much Atheists hate it.

And while lots of people who aren't Hebrew descendants are big on "original sin" and "punishing children for the acts of their parents", the people who penned -- and therefore OWN -- those texts don't.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Good and Evil

Even after Adam and Eve supposedly ate the fruit, some christians don't seem to know the difference between good and evil.  When the Problem of Evil is brought up to christians, they usually justify evil by saying that "God allows evil to happen to allow good things to happen," or "Evil exists because God doesn't want robots to worship Him," or "You're not omniscient, so you can't know that this isn't the best of all possible worlds.  If you were God, how would you make the universe a better place?" 

This topic reminds me of the Euthyphro dilemma:  "Is something right because god commands it, or does god command it because it's right?"  Christians have said that we can't know right from wrong without god telling us what to do.  So, if god told us, "Thou shalt kill every man, woman, child and animal that you perceive," or "Thou shalt always lie," or "Thou shalt rape every man, woman, child and animal that you perceive," then those behaviors would have to be right, if what is right is what god says.

I enjoyed watching ThunderfOOt address this dilemma to Ray Comfort during their discussion.  Comfort looked decidedly uncomfortable, and eventually he dodged the question and changed the subject. 

 

 

 


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FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

thoughtcounts-Z wrote:

Yeah, that's basically my understanding. It seems to me like, either

  1. Adam and Eve knew the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore deserve punishment for disobeying God, but God's commandment not to eat the fruit was completely ridiculous and arbitrary, OR
  2. Adam and Eve did not know the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore shouldn't have been expected to know that obeying God is a good thing, so God punishing them isn't just arbitrary, it's antithetical to our basic ideas of what is "just" in every other context.

God doesn't coming out looking so good in either case.

3. None of the above.  The story is explaining that so long as one does exactly what one is told, there's no such thing as "good" or "evil".  Nature is amoral, so all the "bad things" that happen in Nature have nothing to do with either good or evil.  Only our choices, which exist because we have Free Will, have the potential to be good or evil.  Since many of the Atheists here seem to agree that "doing good" is better than "doing evil", the lesson is a universal one.  No matter how much Atheists hate it.

And while lots of people who aren't Hebrew descendants are big on "original sin" and "punishing children for the acts of their parents", the people who penned -- and therefore OWN -- those texts don't.

We, and natural events, can cause pleasure or pain, happiness or suffering, independent of 'free will'. Events or actions leading to pleasant, happy things are labelled 'good', those leading to great pain and suffering are often called 'evil', or at least very bad.

Atheists understand that in a natural world, both categories of things are likely to happen, and there is nothing to hate about this state of affairs.

People who think that there is some sort of ultimate 'fairness' in reality, that there will be some ultimate reward and punishment for people whose actions had significant effects either way, hate this idea.

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

thoughtcounts-Z wrote:

Yeah, that's basically my understanding. It seems to me like, either

  1. Adam and Eve knew the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore deserve punishment for disobeying God, but God's commandment not to eat the fruit was completely ridiculous and arbitrary, OR
  2. Adam and Eve did not know the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore shouldn't have been expected to know that obeying God is a good thing, so God punishing them isn't just arbitrary, it's antithetical to our basic ideas of what is "just" in every other context.

God doesn't coming out looking so good in either case.

3. None of the above.  The story is explaining that so long as one does exactly what one is told, there's no such thing as "good" or "evil".  Nature is amoral, so all the "bad things" that happen in Nature have nothing to do with either good or evil.  Only our choices, which exist because we have Free Will, have the potential to be good or evil.  Since many of the Atheists here seem to agree that "doing good" is better than "doing evil", the lesson is a universal one.  No matter how much Atheists hate it.

And while lots of people who aren't Hebrew descendants are big on "original sin" and "punishing children for the acts of their parents", the people who penned -- and therefore OWN -- those texts don't.

We, and natural events, can cause pleasure or pain, happiness or suffering, independent of 'free will'. Events or actions leading to pleasant, happy things are labelled 'good', those leading to great pain and suffering are often called 'evil', or at least very bad.

Atheists understand that in a natural world, both categories of things are likely to happen, and there is nothing to hate about this state of affairs.

People who think that there is some sort of ultimate 'fairness' in reality, that there will be some ultimate reward and punishment for people whose actions had significant effects either way, hate this idea.

+1


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On "none of the above"

FurryCatHerder wrote:
3. None of the above.  The story is explaining that so long as one does exactly what one is told, there's no such thing as "good" or "evil".  Nature is amoral, so all the "bad things" that happen in Nature have nothing to do with either good or evil.  Only our choices, which exist because we have Free Will, have the potential to be good or evil.  Since many of the Atheists here seem to agree that "doing good" is better than "doing evil", the lesson is a universal one.  No matter how much Atheists hate it.

And while lots of people who aren't Hebrew descendants are big on "original sin" and "punishing children for the acts of their parents", the people who penned -- and therefore OWN -- those texts don't.

Thanks for your reply. (Sorry for the delay in mine -- was visiting with family and busy!) I'm really trying to understand what you're saying here, so, a couple questions:

Do you think that there is good and evil in the world, or not? You wrote, "so long as one does exactly what one is told, there's no such thing as 'good' or 'evil'" but you also wrote, "our choices... have the potential to be good or evil." Maybe you are saying that there is no objective good or evil, only subjective judgments? Or perhaps you are saying that natural disasters can't be evil, only human actions motivated by evil intent can be evil? I am really not sure what you are going for here.

I don't think it's very difficult to explain what "good" and "evil" are, ultimately. BobSpence1 sums it up really well when he says "Events or actions leading to pleasant, happy things are labelled 'good', those leading to great pain and suffering are often called 'evil', or at least very bad." I can get behind those definitions.

Most importantly though, I think your interpretation is pretty unresponsive to the actual story in Genesis. You wrote, "so long as one does exactly what one is told...." Is it not, then, considered "good" to do exactly as one is told? How would one know that it was good to follow orders, without the knowledge of good and evil? And there we are back at my original question. Is God being pointlessly arbitrary, or is he being pointlessly arbitrary and unjust?

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 I know when my

 I know when my grandparents want to keep the rabbits out of their garden they just put up an electric fence. Don't tell me my grandparents are smarter than god.

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and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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i personal like the family

i personal like the family guy explanation: the tree of knowledge hides god's enormous porno stash.  (tried to find a clip of it, couldn't.)

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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Pointless!

HI!

I too am an atheist. I was a Christian until about two years ago. However, even when i was religious, I had questions and doubts which were never answered. I recall in an Alpha course one time that a woman found it hard to believe that I did not believe in the Adam and eve story as a literal truth. I cannot understand how this story can be believed in a literal way - or indeed, much of the Bible! I believe it is pointless to find any great meaning in these myths. If we could be certain that these were God's words, then OK, we could sit down and discuss what he means but they have no one definite author - the fact that there are two distinct creation stories  ( Chapter one then Chapter 2) also adds to the ridiculous nature of any debate or deep thinking on the subject.


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These literal believers believe that Adam and Eve actually were created about 6 000 years ago, for example, and Adam named all of the animals and spoke to a talking snake, sorry ‘serpent’. I find it amusing when Christians correct people when they say things like ‘Jonah and the whale’ and the ‘snake’ that spoke to Adam and Eve. “Ah, they say, the Bible doesn’t say ‘whale’ it says it was a ‘fish’; as if that makes a difference!   

 

‘Oh I see!  It was a giant fish that swallowed Jonah! I am sorry! Now it all makes sense!’

Anyway, silly, silly stuff. I wouldn't lose sleep over it!  Below is my version of the Creation!



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IN THE BEGINNING

An introduction and some muses along the way.

 

            In the beginning there was a ‘Ready...steady...GO!’  from a big voice in the sky.  God always has a big, booming voice.  You can’t really imagine him with anything else can you?  I mean, if he had a high, squeaky voice like Mickey Mouse, it would be no good at all.  Anyway there was a ‘Ready...steady...GO!’ and the race began.  The human race that is.  However, before WE came along, there was some work to do.  A whole week’s work!

            God made everything that you can see today. He named them too. He called the sky ‘The Sky’ and the sea...well, ‘The Sea’.  Which is quite handy really because it would be confusing if He had called the sky, ‘The Accordion’ or ‘A Slipper’ or something because then we would look up and say, ‘Eh? What’s He talking about?’

            God, by the way, is always a ‘He’.  It’s just one of those things.  He’s never been a ‘she’ and He never will be.  He also has to have a capital ‘H’ at ‘He’ because he (sorry) He is so important.

            So, He made everything. That’s why He is so important.  I mean He didn’t just go into the kitchen, like you or I and make a cheese sandwich or a couple or scrambled eggs.  He made the UNIVERSE.  Mind you, He did find it quite easy apparently because He simply said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was.  He also separated the light from the dark.  How do you do that, I’ve always wondered? 

How can you tell which one is which and where they are?  I mean, if it’s light, it’s light and if it’s dark, it’s dark. A bit like chocolate.  But then he was pretty good at doing these kinds of things.  Anyway, He was pleased with what he had done.   Well, so would you be wouldn’t you, if you had managed to separate light from dark!  Most people have trouble separating their socks in the washing so what He had done was a pretty big thing.

            So, He was pleased with what he had done and He went on to make the sun and the moon and the earth and the stars.  He then tried to do join the dots with the stars to see what he could get .  ‘Ah!’ He said, ‘A bear!’  And then He found a plough, a lion and an aardvark playing the bagpipes.

            ‘Time for some animals,’ thought God. So He said the usual thing of letting there be... ‘animals’.  Wouldn’t it be great if he had given us that power. ‘Let there be chicken and chips,’ we would say, and there it would be!  Mind you, it could get out of hand, I suppose.  Some people might get carried away with themselves and say things like, ‘Let there be...(I’m sure you can think of something!)

            All of the animals were made by God.  He was going to name them but he couldn’t be bothered.  After the animals were all made, God said to them, ‘Go forth and multiply.’

            ‘What?’ the animals said, ‘We can’t even subtract yet and you’re asking us to multiply?’ 

            Then God explained what He meant and the animals said, ‘Well, why didn’t you say that in the first place?’

 

(I have more if you want!!!!!!)

 

But seriously, relax and don't give it much thought. It isn't worth it, especially if you are atheist!

 


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The eden story

 

Is a torturous crock of shit made up by people who had nothing to go on. I can never get why god allowed satan to hang out around that tree even though he knew how bad he was. Oh, I can't even talk about it. Only the stupidest christians would insist this is not a metaphor for whatever the fuck they decide they want it to be for. The fundies who believe the whole thing including such pinnacles as the stone tablets, noah's ark, the refractive promise in the sky etc, really need some sort of counseling.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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On the other

On the other hand...

Genticists claim that all living humans can be traced back to one singular woman who lived in East Africa about 150,000 years ago - whereas the oldest common male ancestor lived only 60,000 years ago. This suggets that Eve had reached the ripe old age of 90,000 years by the time that lazy ass God got around to create Adam. Hah! Some blind date that must have been. Cougar and boy toy, anyone?

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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KenO5 wrote: ‘Time for

KenO5 wrote:

‘Time for some animals,’ thought God. So He said the usual thing of letting there be... ‘animals’. Wouldn’t it be great if he had given us that power. ‘Let there be chicken and chips,’ we would say, and there it would be! Mind you, it could get out of hand, I suppose. Some people might get carried away with themselves and say things like, ‘Let there be...(I’m sure you can think of something!)

 

Yah, I got your back Ken. Pork chop bushes and steak trees. Given the nutrient density of meat, we could feed the whole world and nobody would have to hungry, ever. Not even the vegans because these would be vegetarian pork chops and steak.

 

Those and fast breeder reactors. Nobody would have to worry about energy, ever.

 

Really, just how smart can god be if I can think of better ideas than he can?

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Marquis wrote:On the other

Marquis wrote:

On the other hand...

Genticists claim that all living humans can be traced back to one singular woman who lived in East Africa about 150,000 years ago - whereas the oldest common male ancestor lived only 60,000 years ago. This suggets that Eve had reached the ripe old age of 90,000 years by the time that lazy ass God got around to create Adam. Hah! Some blind date that must have been. Cougar and boy toy, anyone?

 

this may also say that women had both sexual organs then men evolved ?


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The story is explaining that so long as one does exactly what one is told, there's no such thing as "good" or "evil".

This is VERY dangerous thinking.  It reminds me of the testimony given at the Nuremburg trials.  All too often the defendants were saying "We just did what we were told" when asked about performing very vicious, immoral acts.

To simply follow this would then make everyone immune from taking moral responsibility for their actions.  Is it reasonable to believe that it is OK to maim, torture, and kill simply because "we were told to do it"?

Our actions, directly or indirectly, have an effect on others.  Even when we take a drink of water, we are using a resource that could be used for something else.  To then denegrate our actions to simply a form of obedience then leads us to have absolutely no conscious whatseover on our actions and its effects on others.  How could this not be seen through the lens of good and evil?  It just doesn't make sense.

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Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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It is unavoidable in the

It is unavoidable in the authority driven society we inhabit. Everyone is conditioned to obey authority figures. Sometimes that conditioning doesn't work so well, but even the most hardened and insane criminal knows that when the cops come; shit hits the fan. They just don't care as much.

In order to convince people that obeying authority is a good thing, there has to be an out for when authority abuses its power. Otherwise it collapses. Therefore you get the whole teaching of "if you do what you're told it can't be on your head". It is a highly prevelant ideal within almost all fiction and non-fiction I've ever encountered in any media or genre. Those who do what they're told get rewarded and those who don't get punished. In order to diffuse this scenario, authority must be diluted. Only then can the system that supports it be torn down.

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thoughtcounts-Z wrote:So

thoughtcounts-Z wrote:

So then, around Genesis 3:14 and on, God curses the serpent and Adam and Eve for having eaten the fruit from this tree.

Genesis 3:15 is actually the first prophecy of Jesus Christ. When reading about the curse of the serpent and the woman and each of their seeds it is a double application to Satan and his followers and the spiritual bride of God which is God's true followers. It really begins the theme of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation as simply being the vindication of Jehovah God's name through the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

thoughtcounts wrote:
I have a few questions about this (what is up with the nakedness, for example -- why did God make them naked if anyone with "the knowledge of good and evil" would think that nakedness had to be covered up) but like I said, I really want to focus on this issue about good and evil. 

The knowledge of what is good and what is evil was a decision on Adam's part to decide for themselves what was good and what was evil. They would know in the sense that they would decide for themselves. Rather than listen to their creator's advice and protection they would reject it for their own. There was no reason for their having shame over their nakedness except for that they decided that was wrong because they became ashamed of themselves and no longer saw themselves the same.

thoughtscount wrote:
Am I correct in understanding that to eat from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is to gain knowledge of good and evil, which is to say, the knowledge necessary to discriminate between good actions and evil actions? If that is correct, isn't it also necessarily true that prior to eating the fruit from this tree, neither Eve nor Adam had the capacity to tell whether it would be good or bad to eat the fruit from the tree? Sure, following God's orders is presumably a good thing in this story, but how could Adam and Eve have known that if they didn't have "the knowledge of good and evil"? Someone without clear understanding on this topic might easily have gotten confused by what God says in Genesis 1, that any fruit with seed in it is theirs for food. Basically, in every way, it seems astoundingly unreasonable and unfair for God to punish Adam and Eve for this.

Is there any explanation anyone's heard about how to make sense of it? I don't really expect one, but I'm curious if this is an issue that Christians ever grapple with. It must be scary to have a God who is mad at you for knowing the difference between good and evil.

It isn't so much a punishment as it is a result. God put the tree there as a literal symbol of his sovereignty as creator. Basically a reminder that with his guidance and protection they would do well, but if they were to reject it he couldn't be a part of sin. Sin means literally to miss the mark. I look at it like a loving father giving a child the keys to the car but under the condition that the child use it in a way which the father knows is safe. When the child rejects this the keys are taken away and the child must find their own transportation as a result. But also you have to remember that the spirit creatures in heaven were watching all of this go down as well. It raised the question of God's sovereignty before them as well. Everyone involved was asking themselves the question: "Do we need God's protection and guidance?" In all fairness God had to allow that question to be addressed. God had to step back and say, give it a go.   


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Aristine wrote:I agree like

Aristine wrote:

I agree like the pp said that all people who believe in genesis should be included, not just christians. But as far as your question...

Do you believe the bible? Why are you trying to make sense of it?

I'm not sure how christians or any other faith make sense of these fairy tales. But for me and my husband, we see this as an archaic way to make people understand life. It's kind of like if thousands of years from now people read Aesop's fables and took them as hard cold fact. They(the bible) are a collection of works by many different authors used to guide a primitive people and "explain things". You know, like when a little kid asks, "Why do we put clothes on?" then they would tell this story. You have to remember the people from this time did not have mass education. The majority of people could not even read and write. So why people take it for fact? I have no clue. To me this(among many other thing in "faith&quotEye-wink make no sense. The bible does have some nice parables in it though. Many of them have no merit in today's modern world(IMO).

The account of Adam and Eve really doesn't explain why people wear clothes, because God created and approved of them without clothes. The intelligence of the people of Moses' day are often underestimated. It is assumed that people who were in the dark ages or even early American history were dumb because they were uneducated which isn't particularly well thought out. Education is only a massive scale of supposed knowledge. The Bible as well as superstitious knowledge like astrology was taught in public education. At one time if you were not schooled in astrology you were thought to be ignorant. Everyone could read in Moses day because it was commanded that they read from the word and be familiar with it and teach their children. Often people who are ignorant of the Bible make those kinds of assumptions.

 

The account of Adam and Eve could also not be allegorical because Adam was listed in genealogies, which were public record. Allegorical figures are not listed in genealogies as having children.


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thoughtcounts-Z wrote:Yeah,

thoughtcounts-Z wrote:

Yeah, that's basically my understanding. It seems to me like, either

  1. Adam and Eve knew the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore deserve punishment for disobeying God, but God's commandment not to eat the fruit was completely ridiculous and arbitrary, OR
  2. Adam and Eve did not know the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore shouldn't have been expected to know that obeying God is a good thing, so God punishing them isn't just arbitrary, it's antithetical to our basic ideas of what is "just" in every other context.

God doesn't coming out looking so good in either case.

 

Well, Z, it can safely be assumed that they knew what was, in a sense, good because God had told them. There was very little information there. Fill the earth and subdue it. Don't eat this fruit. The fruit was a representation of what was bad, but God had no idea first hand what bad was. He never experienced it personally, he only knew that as creator he had a better sense of what was good and what was bad for his creation. The promised result was death. The Hebrew literally says "in dieing you die." In other words death would begin for Adam upon rejecting God. Adam didn't have to die.

The Hebrew word ra, "evil," is somewhat different than our own. It means anything bad, ugly, calamitous . . . for a parent to tell their child that playing in the busy road would result in something bad (ra) and then the child goes out in the road and something bad (ra) happens and then the parent punishes or disciplines the child is bad (ra) for the child gives a pretty good indication of what happened there. God created "evil" in this sense. Justice through calamity.

It is just because man was given the earth as a steward, and chose to decide for himself what was good and what was bad and God allowed him to do it, but for him to be a part of it or condone it would be like the courts ignoring an important issue and rising above the law. They would have no real authority.


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David Henson wrote:Well, Z,

David Henson wrote:

Well, Z, it can safely be assumed that they knew what was, in a sense, good because God had told them. There was very little information there. Fill the earth and subdue it. Don't eat this fruit. The fruit was a representation of what was bad, but God had no idea first hand what bad was. He never experienced it personally, he only knew that as creator he had a better sense of what was good and what was bad for his creation.

Then God isn't omniscient.

Also, once again, you have no training in Hebrew. Make a post that doesn't require shifting definitions and usages of languages you've never formally studied. Or, give citations for your claims. You're making yourself look incredibly ignorant.


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God made the universe

David Henson wrote:

The fruit was a representation of what was bad, but God had no idea first hand what bad was. He never experienced it personally, he only knew that as creator he had a better sense of what was good and what was bad for his creation. The promised result was death.

yet had no first hand idea of what 'bad' was? His mighty knowledge was limited then. It's posts like these that really underscore my inability to believe. It's all about reading between the lines. What would a titanic universe creating invisible god consider to be bad? Gee, let's see. Not the time when a black hole got out of hand and sucked up a hundred galaxies, or the time gravity reversed itself when god sneezed. And not even that spooky time when those 2 super multiple mega universes collided smack in the centre of the multiverse. No, it's not any of those little things. It's stealing chocolate bars, telling white lies and getting angry with other deluded monkeys. Wow. That makes perfect sense, David.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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David Henson

David Henson wrote:

thoughtcounts-Z wrote:

Yeah, that's basically my understanding. It seems to me like, either

  1. Adam and Eve knew the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore deserve punishment for disobeying God, but God's commandment not to eat the fruit was completely ridiculous and arbitrary, OR
  2. Adam and Eve did not know the difference between good and evil before they ate the fruit, and therefore shouldn't have been expected to know that obeying God is a good thing, so God punishing them isn't just arbitrary, it's antithetical to our basic ideas of what is "just" in every other context.

God doesn't coming out looking so good in either case.

 

Well, Z, it can safely be assumed that they knew what was, in a sense, good because God had told them. There was very little information there. Fill the earth and subdue it. Don't eat this fruit. The fruit was a representation of what was bad, but God had no idea first hand what bad was. He never experienced it personally, he only knew that as creator he had a better sense of what was good and what was bad for his creation. The promised result was death. The Hebrew literally says "in dieing you die." In other words death would begin for Adam upon rejecting God. Adam didn't have to die.

The Hebrew word ra, "evil," is somewhat different than our own. It means anything bad, ugly, calamitous . . . for a parent to tell their child that playing in the busy road would result in something bad (ra) and then the child goes out in the road and something bad (ra) happens and then the parent punishes or disciplines the child is bad (ra) for the child gives a pretty good indication of what happened there. God created "evil" in this sense. Justice through calamity.

It is just because man was given the earth as a steward, and chose to decide for himself what was good and what was bad and God allowed him to do it, but for him to be a part of it or condone it would be like the courts ignoring an important issue and rising above the law. They would have no real authority.

So, at this time God himself had no idea what bad was? He is all knowing. Way to break your own bank. On the genesis subject, where did god come from anyway? Did someone hear something..like.. a loud bang?

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
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I hope this helps

 I think that "knowledge of good and evil" means truly understanding good and evil.  Because everything up til then was perfect, they did not have a true grasp of how bad evil can really be and what it is like.  By disobeying the only law that God had given them, they sinned for the first time and chose to begin a journey that would show them how bad things can really get.  Basically, they knew it was wrong to eat from that specific tree, but they did not have an awareness of all the other terrible things that can happen such as rape, betrayal, and hate.


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It's funny how christians

Talonai wrote:

 I think that "knowledge of good and evil" means truly understanding good and evil.  Because everything up til then was perfect, they did not have a true grasp of how bad evil can really be and what it is like.  By disobeying the only law that God had given them, they sinned for the first time and chose to begin a journey that would show them how bad things can really get.  Basically, they knew it was wrong to eat from that specific tree, but they did not have an awareness of all the other terrible things that can happen such as rape, betrayal, and hate.

Reach for the howitzer when talking about sin. There's never any mild road rage, annoyance with the kids or getting the shits because your lover farted in bed after baked bean sarnies. Not it's always fucking rape or kiddie fiddling. How many people actually have raped anyone? What's the percentage? One per cent? As for hate - well that shit wears off after a while. The crimes of most people are low key and that's why theists never use them to prove how evil things have got since eve got stuck into god's magic tangerines. Funny. Why didn't they ignore the tree of good and evil and swipe a banana from the tree of life? They would have lived forever and oddly, god never told them not to.

 

 

 

 

 

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Adam & Eve = NOT REAL PEOPLE!

Kidvelvet beat me to it!

FurryCatHerder wrote:
  The story is explaining that so long as one does exactly what one is told, there's no such thing as "good" or "evil". 

That whole doing exactly what your told thing is at the top of every tyrant's wish list. Why would demanding complete blind obedience be seen as a positive trait in a cosmic deity if it's a reason for revolution here on earth?

O.T. With shit like this, how can Creanderthals claim that Hitler was an atheist and the third reich was fueled by atheism. PAGING BEN STEIN! "God" was all around the third reich and for Christians to try and slink away and distance the religion from centuries of pogroms, leading up into the second world war is dishonesty reaching a new low.

Back to the topic:

David Henson wrote:
The account of Adam and Eve could also not be allegorical because Adam was listed in genealogies, which were public record. Allegorical figures are not listed in genealogies as having children.

Earth to David! Those supposed "genealogies" were written well after all those people would have died. It's holds no value as evidence. If you are going to make claims as to the Holy Babble's veracity, you need to back it up with evidence. And no, passages from the same book doesn't prove it to be so.

Creationist Logic

 

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
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Its pass or fail

First off, of course i used the so called bigger sins to point out how bad things can get.  If i had used mild roadrage, you would prbably say, " well then why did God allow the more horrific things like rape if the less painful ones would do the job?"  ( im sorry if i put words into your mouth but that is just the way i imagine someone responding to it)

I used the "bigger" sins because they make the point more dramatically, but the "small" ones would suffice also.   Small sins are only small in their effect on the world, but that is not the standard that God uses.  He sees all sins as equally bad.  They do not reflect his character, so people plagued by them cannot endure His true presence.  Its a pass or fail type of thing.  If you are not flawless, then you cannot bear God's holiness.  (Dont ask me why i dont claim to understand everything about spiritual physics or whatever you care to call it.  Im just trying to explain thing the best way I can.)  Even the small sins reflect a deeper problem, such as pride or selfishness or holding a grudge.  These kind of things can mess you up inside just as much as bigger sins.  

Also, do think that Adam and Eve could have eaten from the tree of life and i dont pretend to know why they didnt.

I would appreciate it if you would not be so antagonistic.  If you are really wanting answers, then i would like to continue this conversation.  If you are simply wanting to bash what I hold as the most important thing in my life/ make a fool of me/ get your pent up frustrations out, then we are not going to get anywhere.


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"Seeing all sins as equally

"Seeing all sins as equally bad' is a totally indefensible and ultimately unworkable.

There is a clear continuum from very serious to the insignificant, in terms of some level of offense or actual discernable injury. 

Basing the judgement of evil on its harmful effects on innocent people and society at large, and its possible impact on the future of society is the only way to actually assess it, even though there will inevitable some disagreement at the margins.

Even if you are restricting the idea of 'sin' to disobeying an explicit rule laid down by God, that leaves out all kinds of acts which are all pretty much universally regarded as wrong.

In particular, among the classic evils, rape is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments, and overall, the Bible's position on rape is very mixed.

From this article: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/rape.html

Quote:

 

First of all, in some passages God seems to tacitly sanction rape. In the Old Testament Moses encourages his men to use captured virgins for their own sexual pleasure, i.e. to rape them. After urging his men to kill the male captives and female captive who are not virgins he says: "But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves (Num. 31: 18)." God then explicitly rewards Moses by urging him to distribute the spoils. He does not rebuke Moses or his men (Num. 31: 25-27).

Second, when rape is condemned in the Old Testament the woman's rights and her psychological welfare are ignored.[15] For example: "If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father fifty skelels of silver, and she shall be his wife, and he may not put her away all of his days (Deut:22; 28-29)." Here the victim of rape is as treated the property of the father. Since the rapist has despoiled the father's property he must pay a bridal fee. The women apparently has no say in the matter and is forced to marry the person who raped her. Notice also if they are not discovered, no negative judgment is forthcoming. The implicit message seems to be that if you rape an unbetrothed virgin, be sure not to get caught.

In the case of the rape of a betrothed virgin in a city, the Bible says that both the rapist and victim should be stoned to death: the rapist because he violated his neighbor's wife and the victim because she did not cry for help (Deut. 22: 23-25). Again the assumption is that the rapist dispoiled the property of another man and so must pay with this life. Concern for the welfare of the victim does not seem to matter. Moreover, it is assumed that in all cases that a rape victim could cry for help and if she did, she would be heard and rescued. Both of these assumptions are very dubious and sensitive to the contextual aspects of rape.

On the other hand, according to the Bible, the situation is completely different if the rape occurs in "open country." Here the rapist should be killed, not the victim. The reason given is that if a woman cried for help in open country, she would not be heard. Consequently, she could not be blamed for allowing the rape to occur. No mention is made about the psychological harm to victim. No condemnation is made of a rapist in open country, let alone in a city, who does not get caught.

......

 

In places the Bible condones rape and where the Bible condemns rape, the reasons for the condemnations are neither adequate nor in keeping with enlightened moral opinion.

So I see it as very ironic that anyone defending the Biblical approach to morality should mention rape.

The Bible is obviously simply recording the attitude of a bunch of unenlightened tribes, rather than something worthy of calling 'God'.

 

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Talonai wrote:I would

Talonai wrote:
I would appreciate it if you would not be so antagonistic.  If you are really wanting answers, then i would like to continue this conversation.  If you are simply wanting to bash what I hold as the most important thing in my life/ make a fool of me/ get your pent up frustrations out, then we are not going to get anywhere.

Have you considered that you think he is antagonistic because he is challenging something that you hold in high regard?


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Exactly! Maybe he's the protagonist in this!

Talonai wrote:
I would appreciate it if you would not be so antagonistic.

So us pointing out reality to you is antagonistic? Maybe it's because you have untenable delusions. Any "answers" about Adam & Eve which involve considering the famous couple as a real duo instead of fully lodged in the realm of parable where they belong are not answers. Now considering their mythic connotations, the cultures who created them, and the like, that would be an interesting conversation. But talking about them like they were actual living beings instead of the fictional characters they are is what will not get us anywhere.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


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Relax Talo

Talonai wrote:

I would appreciate it if you would not be so antagonistic.  If you are really wanting answers, then i would like to continue this conversation.  If you are simply wanting to bash what I hold as the most important thing in my life/ make a fool of me/ get your pent up frustrations out, then we are not going to get anywhere.

 

And try not to be threatened by my avatar. If you read what I wrote over again you'll find there's no personal hostility there and the only aggression is in use of the word 'fucking' and I have to use that word as I grew up at a boarding school in country Australia and we don't get out of high school here until we can use the word 'fucking' to replace every other adjective and adverb in existence.

I admit that there is a latent hostility to your beliefs within me and that's because your magic friend wants to kill me in a lake of fire. Now, I don't have a magic friend Talo, but if I did and if he threatened to burn you alive, I'd smack him in the face.

My position is based on something called personal integrity. Try it yourself.

 

 

 

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We like to do things because

We like to do things because we think they're the best thing to do, not because we're going to  punished if we do otherwise.

 

This allows us to resist tyrannical powers even though we may suffer the consequences of doing so.

 

We don't believe might automatically makes right. Which, when God is supposedly the most powerful single entity in the cosmos or without and wants us to do things his way or the highway is particularly relevant I think.


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JonathanBC wrote:David

JonathanBC wrote:

David Henson wrote:

Well, Z, it can safely be assumed that they knew what was, in a sense, good because God had told them. There was very little information there. Fill the earth and subdue it. Don't eat this fruit. The fruit was a representation of what was bad, but God had no idea first hand what bad was. He never experienced it personally, he only knew that as creator he had a better sense of what was good and what was bad for his creation.

Then God isn't omniscient.

Correct.

JonathanBC wrote:
Also, once again, you have no training in Hebrew. Make a post that doesn't require shifting definitions and usages of languages you've never formally studied. Or, give citations for your claims. You're making yourself look incredibly ignorant.

Incorrect.

 


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The nakedness

Hello Z,

You are right to wonder about what happened in the Garden and entitled to be dissatisfied with the dogma that eve ate an apple (or a melon).

Biblical verses suggest that it was something sexual in nature. I'll give you only 2 reasons: one is the shame felt after the deed was done and more importantly the part of the body that they felt the need to cover (3:7), and another is the type of punishment received by eve which regards the body parts involved in the deed (3:16).


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"God" already knew the

"God" already knew the outcome anyway right? He knew they would eat the fruit. He knows everything, he knows what pair of underwear you are going to put on tomorrow.

This is what I was taught anyway, which is part of a whole in the apple of ridiculous.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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Aargh! debating the

Aargh! debating the 'meaning' of a f**king fairy-tale....

Sheesh! Anyone taking that stupid and nasty story seriously is in serious need of pychological help...

 

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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robj101
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BobSpence1 wrote:Aargh!

BobSpence1 wrote:

Aargh! debating the 'meaning' of a f**king fairy-tale....

Sheesh! Anyone taking that stupid and nasty story seriously is in serious need of pychological help...

 

I would actually say that goes for the whole freakin bible ><

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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The good and the evil

The disobedience of Eve was like when a child disobeys his parent. Until that happens the child has no knowledge of good and evil because he just does what he's told to. The good and the evil already exists because it is implied by the interdiction - to obey the interdiction is good and to disobey it is bad - but that is not knowledge because the child doesn't know the underlying reasons of the interdiction, i.e. why it should be obeyed. Eve did not know the underlying reasons - she just knew they woud "die" - i.e. be separated from God. What comes after the fall is what comes after a disobeying child leaves his parent's home. He must decide for himself what is good and what is evil but by knowledge (of the underlying reasons) rather than by being specifically told.

The interdiction meant possibility of choice, otherwise adam and eve would have been just programmed (like computers are). Even if God knew that they would disobey the mistake was still theirs, because they faced an option, they were not like a computer program and God was not like a programmer writing a program with a bug in it. Having multiple options is error prone, yes. Possibility of disobedience means possibility of redemption by faith in Jesus Christ.


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There is a red button, and a

There is a red button, and a blue button, do not push the blue button. push, push push red button. Hmm, wonder what this blue button does.

"Now son, dont put things in the electic outlet, you might die" another parent: "Hmm I think I'll put these rubber safety things in the electric outlet so my boy doesnt electrocute himself"

Ok so, you can have everything I created everything you want, it's all your's..except for this one fruit. You can't have this one special fruit.

If they had not eaten of the fruit would we all be frolicking about naked and ignorant in a garden to this day?

Ever seen a monkey trap? They put something shiny in a small hole, when the monkey puts his hand in the hole, he can't get it out without releasing the item. They can actually catch a monkey with this method.

The whole thing is just a terrible fable.

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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The electrical outlet

   

robj101 wrote:

    "Now son, dont put things in the electic outlet, you might die" another parent: "Hmm I think I'll put these rubber safety things in the electric outlet so my boy doesnt electrocute himself"
   

    A third parent: "Son, now you are no longer a baby; the electric outlet is for you to be able to charge your cool toys! but be careful not to put your fingers inside!!".


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The short answer is that the

The short answer is that the Adam and Eve story as presented in Genesis is actually two different stories. Genesis chapter 1 tells one story, and then starting in chapter 2, verse 4, it actually starts again with a different version.  Notice in the first version, God makes "man" on the six day. Chapter 1, verse 26:

Quote:
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Notice here he says "let them rule over the first of the sea and the birds of the air."  The entire species of mankind is created in Genesis chapter one, but in Genesis 2 it's a single man first, then his wife.  The reason there is a contradiction is because the people who wrote Genesis 1 weren't comparing notes with the people who wrote Genesis 2.


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the contradiction?

ContemptableWitness wrote:

The short answer is that the Adam and Eve story as presented in Genesis is actually two different stories. Genesis chapter 1 tells one story, and then starting in chapter 2, verse 4, it actually starts again with a different version.  Notice in the first version, God makes "man" on the six day. Chapter 1, verse 26:

Quote:
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Notice here he says "let them rule over the first of the sea and the birds of the air."  The entire species of mankind is created in Genesis chapter one, but in Genesis 2 it's a single man first, then his wife.  The reason there is a contradiction is because the people who wrote Genesis 1 weren't comparing notes with the people who wrote Genesis 2.

And the contradiction is...?


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thoughtcounts-Z wrote:I'm

thoughtcounts-Z wrote:

I'm relatively new to this forum, so forgive me if this has been covered before. I would very much like to know if there is an answer to this confusing aspect of the Bible, when Adam and Eve are instructed not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (I know there is other crazy stuff going on in terms of Biblical errancy in Genesis, but I really just want to talk here about this one thing.)

Genesis 1:29-30 wrote:
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground -- everything that has the breath of life in it -- I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

Genesis 2:8-9,15-17 wrote:
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the grown -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ... The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Genesis 3:4-7 wrote:
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

So then, around Genesis 3:14 and on, God curses the serpent and Adam and Eve for having eaten the fruit from this tree.

I have a few questions about this (what is up with the nakedness, for example -- why did God make them naked if anyone with "the knowledge of good and evil" would think that nakedness had to be covered up) but like I said, I really want to focus on this issue about good and evil. Am I correct in understanding that to eat from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is to gain knowledge of good and evil, which is to say, the knowledge necessary to discriminate between good actions and evil actions? If that is correct, isn't it also necessarily true that prior to eating the fruit from this tree, neither Eve nor Adam had the capacity to tell whether it would be good or bad to eat the fruit from the tree? Sure, following God's orders is presumably a good thing in this story, but how could Adam and Eve have known that if they didn't have "the knowledge of good and evil"? Someone without clear understanding on this topic might easily have gotten confused by what God says in Genesis 1, that any fruit with seed in it is theirs for food. Basically, in every way, it seems astoundingly unreasonable and unfair for God to punish Adam and Eve for this.

Is there any explanation anyone's heard about how to make sense of it? I don't really expect one, but I'm curious if this is an issue that Christians ever grapple with. It must be scary to have a God who is mad at you for knowing the difference between good and evil.

No one had knowledge of good and evil except god for they were the first people

I would presume that their intelect would have been like an animals but if you train a dog to sit when you tell it

to it would obey and if it doesn't obey you punish it (and the serpant probably didn't eat the fruit)

also the bible says every seed and fruit except those from the tree of knowledge and also god instructed them to

Avoid contact with said tree

                                            -sorry for my fail grammer but I'm high at this moment

I love to SPAM
-sorry unavailable


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NON-aethiest wrote:No one

NON-aethiest wrote:

No one had knowledge of good and evil except god for they were the first people

I would presume that their intelect would have been like an animals but if you train a dog to sit when you tell it

to it would obey and if it doesn't obey you punish it (and the serpant probably didn't eat the fruit)

also the bible says every seed and fruit except those from the tree of knowledge and also god instructed them to

Avoid contact with said tree

                                            -sorry for my fail grammer but I'm high at this moment

 

Good shit, huh, little theist?  I guess if revelations could be written by someone who was obviously higher than a kite, it can't be wrong for other christians.

I have to comment on the dog training.  If you treat your dog like that, you probably have a dog that is next to nutso.  Never, ever punish your dog.  You don't have the reflexes or the body language to do it in a fashion that your dog understands.  I refer you to The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson.

Also, the all-knowing god/s/dess should have known about learning theory long before dog trainers figured it out.  Him punishing humans is like you punishing your dog.   It's waste of time and actively counterproductive.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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NON-aethiest wrote:and also

NON-aethiest wrote:

and also god instructed them to

Avoid contact with said tree

no, he didn't, or at least we never read him saying that.  eve says he said that, but traditionally jewish and christian exegetes have said she was mistaken.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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 It's always interesting to

 It's always interesting to watch theists try and defend this sordid little tale.

 

I mean, let's say that you had the power to just magically conjure anything into being ex nihilo, and had just conjured-up two human pets that you cared about. Would one of the first things on your 'to do' list also including conjuring up some taboo item? That's crazy. It's like getting a cat from the pet store, buying a cat toy, and then telling your cat, "Hey. If you ever touch this cat toy, I'm tossing you into the back alley."

It's arbitrary, immoral and more than a little whacko. 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940