Adam and Eve explained by a Christian....What do you think?

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Adam and Eve explained by a Christian....What do you think?

This is an explanation of Genesis I got in my email the other day. I think this person was responding to something I said in a stick am Chat. I mentioned if any Christians want to try to explain the genesis story in a way that makes sense feel free. (not that I need it explained) But I just thought I would post this and see what you guys think.

 

 

The universe was not created in a day, the Bible says that "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (from memory).  From this it is obvious that no limit is set upon the age of the universe or the earth -- this permits any number such as billions of years that scientists may desire.

The purpose with the creation of a man and a woman was to have them multiply so as to fill the earth.  That wouldn't quite have worked so well with two men now, would it?  b. side issue: The work the couple and consequently mankind were given was to be care takers of the whole earth.

Gen 1:28, . . . Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that  moveth upon the earth. (ASV)

There was nothing magical about the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil."  It represented the acceptance or the refusal by man of God's right to decide what is good and evil for man -- his right to rule us through his Theocracy.

God had provided plenty of food of all kinds for them to eat.  The pointing out of that one food product as having been prohibited brought no hardship upon them in any manner at all. 

However, it did test their obedience to him their God and maker, one may also say that it tested even their love for him

Their disobedience brought about at the worst possible time (before they had conceived children) was a rejection of the rule through love that worked thru willful obedience. 

God does not want people to obey him because they know the police will do this and that to them, or such.  He wants willful obedience bases on love.  That is why today too, only those that choose to willingly serve him and obey him (yes a lot of disobedient people call themselves Christian, but their willful sins will be the end of them) and put faith in his arrangements shall be saved.

Thus the rebellion against this rule that works only by willful obedience, theocracy, caused a legal issue to occur.  Satan had challenged (not God's power, that would have ended in an instant) God's rule.  A. He claimed that men didn't need God's rule to be trouble free -- therefore, the time for testing this was accorded.  B. He claimed that no human would serve God when forced into loosing all his material possessions (at the time of Job) C. He claimed that no human would serve God if they had to prove it by dying for it.

This legal issue has been decided in the heavenly court for many centuries now, and the decision has been reached.  That is why we believe we are in what is named the "last days of this system of things."

6Satan was an angel that sinned and used his free will for selfish purposes.  He wanted to be like God.  He was the ventriloquist behind that poor innocent animal everybody talks about.  (angels being invisible to human eyes unless not wanting it, it would seem as if the serpent talked since nobody else was aboutBecause Eve had recently been created and was unfamiliar with the animals, Eve didn't know that the animal couldn't talk.  That is why the Bible says that she was utterly deceived while her husband knew instantly what had occurred.

It would be like one of us going to another earth like world and not knowing which life form/s was/were intelligent enough to communicate with.

These two humans were as intelligent as you and I.  Since they were alone on earth, why should they worry about being naked.  Even between a man and his wife today there is no shame.  However, if I was found doing something unnatural by my wife I probably would feel shame.

The same happened to them.  They knew they had disobeyed and felt shame so the covered up.  Even today when someone does something truly stupid they tend to hide their faces in their hands or something to that effect.

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Pathofreason wrote: This

Pathofreason wrote:

This is an explanation of Genesis I got in my email the other day.

... 

God does not want people to obey him because they know the police will do this and that to them, or such.

I forgot about all those police officers in the garden of eden and the arc and whatnot...

 

 


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That's fine and dandy,

That's fine and dandy, however, where's the proof?


zarathustra
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Git a shovel....it's gittin'

Git a shovel....it's gittin' deep.


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A lot can be said about

A lot can be said about this explanation. For example, if God needs to test his own creations, then we have to conclude that this version of God is not all-knowing. It also establishes that God is not all powerful (we could justify this for other very simple reasons but I'll withhold for the sake of the discussion) because he wanted something (obedience and love) from his creations, but he was unable to create humans in the correct way to accomplish this. The free will argument doesn't refute this fact because it would only mean that God is incapable of creating humans with free will that will always make the decision to obey him. So either way, it's like God can't have his cake and eat it too. How does a perfect being who creates everything end up with problems?

Either way, this is a case of faulty design by God or a demonstration of God's inability to properly convince Adam and Eve not to eat the apple. Even assuming God was limited in his design of humans by the necessity of free will, God is still responsible for the design of their observation and reasoning abilties (which they use to make their free will decisions), which means God simply designed them improperly to make to the right decision. Using the faculties God designed them with, they were unable to make the right decision. God's fault.

"The purpose with the creation of a man and a woman was to have them multiply so as to fill the earth.  That wouldn't quite have worked so well with two men now, would it?"

If God wanted the earth filled, he could have filled it himself. Instead of creating one or two, he could have created enough to fill the earth all at once. Or maybe he is once again limited in his abilities. Does he have to make a man and woman? No. He could have designed men to reproduce with each other, for example, and no such thing as women (which, after reading the Bible, it seems God would have preferred). He could have made an asexual creature that grows until it is almost two smaller creatures, then splits apart and repeats.

"A. He claimed that men didn't need God's rule to be trouble free -- therefore, the time for testing this was accorded."

It's funny, but Adam and Eve's only problems were those caused by God himself. What problems did they have before "the fall"? Would they have problems if God hadn't cursed them?

So, in actuality, the test was never conducted because God did not allow them to live without his rule. It's like, okay... we ate an apple, no problems yet, God gone. God comes back, God curses us... now we have problems because of God's rule.

That's what I think.

 


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Fun one.

Quote:

The universe was not created in a day, the Bible says that "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (from memory). From this it is obvious that no limit is set upon the age of the universe or the earth -- this permits any number such as billions of years that scientists may desire.

 

But then it goes on to elaborate pointing out what God created on specific days. Are we supposed to ignore that part? If it doesn't mean literal days, then what does it mean? You can't just cherry pick the parts of the Bible you think are okay and leave out the troublesome parts. Was it done in seven days, or wasn't it?

If yes, we'll dive into the scientific evidence of why it wasn't.

If no, I'll point out that if one part of the bible can be interpreted metaphorically then other parts of the bible can be interpreted metaphorically, since it's never explicitly said whether a passage is metaphorical or literal. Therefore, we have no way of knowing what is literal and what is not. What if the resurrection story was metaphorical?

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The purpose with the creation of a man and a woman was to have them multiply so as to fill the earth. That wouldn't quite have worked so well with two men now, would it?

That is a terrible, terrible, terrible argument. You're assuming that sexual reproduction between a man and a woman is the only possible way for a species to multiply. What about all the creatures that reproduce asexually? God created those too right? So you can't argue that God created woman out of necessity.

That would be almost as ridiculous as an architect building a house with two floors and then boasting to his friends that "Yeah, well I initially planned to build just a single floor, but the one floor I was planning turned out to be the second story and couldn't stand on its own. I wanted the house to stand, so I naturally had to go ahead and build a groundfloor out of necessity. You can't have a second floor without a ground floor, right?"

If God created man, he also created man's biology. He could have made us asexual or photosynthetic if he wanted, right? He's just that powerful after all.

Quote:

b. side issue: The work the couple and consequently mankind were given was to be care takers of the whole earth.

Gen 1:28, . . . Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (ASV)

Do we have dominion over everything on the earth though? If that was true, then why don't we have a cure for the AIDS virus or even the common cold?

What about the darkest depths of the oceans where humans can't even reach? Do we have dominion over those creatures? Here are a few pictures of some creepy organisms whose habitat would sooner destroy us than let us have dominion over them:

Eurypharynx pelecanoides

Melanocetus johnsoni

Chauliodus sloani

 

Just to name a few.

Quote:

There was nothing magical about the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." It represented the acceptance or the refusal by man of God's right to decide what is good and evil for man -- his right to rule us through his Theocracy.

Again, how do we know what's metaphorical and what isn't? What if I want to claim the entire Bible is metaphorical? What if I want to claim that God is metaphorical? Where do we draw the lines?

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God had provided plenty of food of all kinds for them to eat. The pointing out of that one food product as having been prohibited brought no hardship upon them in any manner at all.

What made that fruit different than the rest? Why would God forbid them to eat from that tree? If the tree wasn't magical or inherently "bad" or "evil" in some magical way that could transform Adam and Eve, then why did he forbid them to eat from it?

Addressing this problem, Douglas Adams once said something along the lines of (not an exact quote): "Anyone who is the type of person to put a brick under a hat is going to find a way to get you one way or the other."

(Clarification: "brick under a hot" refers to a prank where you leave a brick under a hat so that someone will kick it and hurt themselves).

In other words, if God is the type of person to set a pointless trap with the sole purpose of seeing whether we'll for it, he's probably not the kind of person who is going to give up after a single failure. And if you go on to consider that he must have given us our purely biological sex drives and then told us that we weren't allowed to obey them, I'd say he sounds like a colossal prick.

It's a good thing I don't believe he exists.

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However, it did test their obedience to him their God and maker, one may also say that it tested even their love for him.

...or their inability to realize that he was just messing with their heads because he's an asshole.

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Their disobedience brought about at the worst possible time (before they had conceived children) was a rejection of the rule through love that worked thru willful obedience.

I'm not going to lie. This sentence is very difficult to understand. You probably could have made your point more coherently.

I do not equate love with being submissive. I love my own mother, but she's not gifted with all the common sense that normal people usually have. This leads to her having some very dumb ideas and to her giving some poor advice. I don't always obey or even listen to what my mother is saying, because she says a lot of things that don't make any sense whatsoever. That says nothing about our relationship though.

Equating "willful obedience" with "love" is just a way for you to make your megalomaniacal dickhead of a God sound like a nice guy.

Quote:

God does not want people to obey him because they know the police will do this and that to them, or such. He wants willful obedience bases on love. That is why today too, only those that choose to willingly serve him and obey him (yes a lot of disobedient people call themselves Christian, but their willful sins will be the end of them) and put faith in his arrangements shall be saved.

God only loves ass-kissers who willingly stroke his ego and make him feel like the bad ass dictator of the cosmos.

What does he do to the people who love him for giving them life, but don't agree with is policies? Lake of fire, right?

What about people who just plain hate him? Lake of fire, too..?

According to God, a serial killer and a guy who just doesn't believe are equal in terms of sin and both will burn forever.

Note: His policy isn't just that they will cease to exist or won't be able to go to heaven to get an award. His policy is that if you don't do exactly what he likes the way he likes it then he has specially crafted an amusement park of torture for you to be horrifically mutilated and roasted for all eternity.

And God said: "Let them obey me, love me, and dedicate their existence to telling me how awesome I am. And if they refuse, I will prepare a place to have them burned, pissed on, impaled on sticks, buried in feces, wrapped in thorns, suffocated, starved, eaten alive, and tortured in various unfathomable ways for all eternity with no hope for escape or forgiveness....but I love them all."

And then God stifled a laugh.

Quote:

Thus the rebellion against this rule that works only by willful obedience, theocracy, caused a legal issue to occur. Satan had challenged (not God's power, that would have ended in an instant) God's rule. A. He claimed that men didn't need God's rule to be trouble free -- therefore, the time for testing this was accorded. B. He claimed that no human would serve God when forced into loosing all his material possessions (at the time of Job) C. He claimed that no human would serve God if they had to prove it by dying for it.

This legal issue has been decided in the heavenly court for many centuries now, and the decision has been reached. That is why we believe we are in what is named the "last days of this system of things."

Have you been to the heavenly court where the legal battles of the cosmos have been fought for centuries? When did they suddenly come to this agreement and why? Why does God need a court anyway? What does it look like?

Unfortunately, the Parliament of Odin has decided that God's ideas are kind of shitty and has just sent some valkyries to appeal to the United Mythologies council about his desire to settle on an intermythological compromise where all Gods employ similar guidelines when deciding whether or not to torture deviant souls for all eternity.

Also, in a stunning legal victory yesterday, Mulungu succeeded in having the Final Judgment District boundaries in Africa shifted in his favor, winning some 3,000 souls away from the great Tore and placing them under his own jurisdiction. Of course, he would like to inform these people about this important change, but miracles were outlawed by Yahweh in the year 75a.d.

Quote:

6. Satan was an angel that sinned and used his free will for selfish purposes. He wanted to be like God. He was the ventriloquist behind that poor innocent animal everybody talks about. (angels being invisible to human eyes unless not wanting it, it would seem as if the serpent talked since nobody else was about) Because Eve had recently been created and was unfamiliar with the animals, Eve didn't know that the animal couldn't talk. That is why the Bible says that she was utterly deceived while her husband knew instantly what had occurred.

If God is omniscient and all-powerful, then why didn't he step in to help Eve with this problem? Why did he allow Satan the power to make suggestions? He just sat in the distance and watched all of this out of curiosity?

Oh yeah. It was his joke. Of course that's what he did.

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It would be like one of us going to another earth like world and not knowing which life form/s was/were intelligent enough to communicate with.

We could figure it out by trying to communicate with them though. We communicate with animals here on our own planet. They just have a different system of communication than we do, and often not quite as sophisticated.

If they were intelligent enough to have communication at all, we could probably figure out. Of course things would be difficult at first since we wouldn't understand their alien language. Apparently they formed their complex languages thousands of years ago while fleeing the tower of Babel, just before jumping into their spaceships and soaring away to distanct planets and galaxies. Babylon had a kick ass space program back then.

Quote:

These two humans were as intelligent as you and I. Since they were alone on earth, why should they worry about being naked. Even between a man and his wife today there is no shame. However, if I was found doing something unnatural by my wife I probably would feel shame.

The same happened to them. They knew they had disobeyed and felt shame so the covered up. Even today when someone does something truly stupid they tend to hide their faces in their hands or something to that effect.

 

I can imagine a pair of newlyweds standing naked in a hotel room on the night before an extravagant honeymoon. They're feeling frisky. They're enjoying the view. They're getting touchy and feely. The woman suddenly reaches down and rips the tag off the mattress.

"Oh my God! You can't do that!" shouts her husband and immediately begins scrambling for his pants.

"Oh my God, you're right! I'm a criminal!" shouts the woman as she dives into the sheets to cover herself.

 

Makes perfect sense. Why didn't I think of that?

 

 

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Archeopteryx

Archeopteryx wrote:
Quote:


Quote:

Their disobedience brought about at the worst possible time (before they had conceived children) was a rejection of the rule through love that worked thru willful obedience.

I'm not going to lie. This sentence is very difficult to understand. You probably could have made your point more coherently.

 

I think the OP is trying to say that if they had eaten the fruit after Eve would have pushed out a few kids then those kids wouldn't be tainted with the original sin.

I suppose at that point it would be up to them to decide if they wanted to munch on some fruit from the tree themselves. I assume there is a chance they would not after seeing what their parents did. Two groups of people - one with sin and one without? Guess they couldn't have "intersin" marriages.

It seems like if this god was fair then all of us would have gotten the option to take a bite of the apple - not just had some mark based on a decision so far removed from us today.

Look, we could always make up a story to fit particular facts. That's what this whole Adam and Eve story seems like to me - a what can we imagine to get from point A to point Z since the Bible leaves out B, C, D, E, F, G, H, ...Y.


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"Do we have dominion over

"Do we have dominion over everything on the earth though? If that was true, then why don't we have a cure for the AIDS virus or even the common cold?

What about the darkest depths of the oceans where humans can't even reach? Do we have dominion over those creatures? Here are a few pictures of some creepy organisms whose habitat would sooner destroy us than let us have dominion over them"

I can pretend that I'm Kent Hovind and tell you that the animals were different before the fall. Remember, they were all vegetarians, and if we ask why lions had fangs and claws to eat veggies with, well... then Kent would say that animals weren't necessarily the same today as they were then. AIDS.. was created in the fall!

Or, we could say that primitive man viewed himself as superior to other animals, and therefore wrote Genesis as a reflection of himself. This is also why there is such disrespect for women. The Bible is the reflection of primitive man upon the universe.

Here's a special treat for you:


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The "Fall" commits an

The "Fall" commits an internal contradiction.

todangst's picture Submitted by todangst on Wed, 2007-01-24 13:06.

 

Many christians have little problem conceding that the story of 'Adam and Eve' is a metaphor and not a real historical event. But whether one holds that the story is allegorical or literal, the fact that the story contains an internal contradiction ought to concern every christian. Particularly when the story is supposed basis for original sin, and the supposed requirement of a savior.

First, let's cover a basic part of morality that every christian must accept in order for his moral system to be coherent: sin requires intent. And, in order to intend to do wrong, one must first know the difference between good and evil.

The book of James appears to affirm this, here:

James 4:17 -Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.

And so here lies the problem: the Genesis story cleary tells us Adam and Eve were expressly forbidden moral knowledge, yet holds them accountable for sin, in fact, it holds that their acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, was a sin!

Ergo, 'original sin' collapses.

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 is also able to grasp the moral ramifications of disobeying the command.

So it's rather 'surprising' that theists tend to miss that while Adam and Eve could e aware of the command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, that they miss that Adam and Eve were incapable of understading the moral ramifications of disobeying the command, abnd therefore, they were incapable of moral culpability.

Most theists simply refuse to deal with this problem, because the theist must argue in favor of an internal contradiction: either that Adam and Eve are morally culpable even without knowledge of good and evil (and thereby render moraltity incoherent) or, they must argue that they did possess such knowledge, despite the book of Genesis specifically ruling out this option.

For those who argue option 1: congratulations: you've just cut the legs out from under your system of morality. You've taken fairness, justice and even sanity out of morality altogether. I trust you'll agree that there's no need for further discourse between us... although I can point you towards a good psychiatrist.

For those who insist on option 2, that they "knew good, even though they didn't know good", please read Genesis 3:22:

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, AND TAKE ALSO of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."

There's a concomitant problem with this second option: If Adam and Eve had the knowledge of good and evil, then why are they seeking to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?!

For those who argue that they had 'implicit but not explicit knowledge', please recognize that 1) You're inserting something into Genesis, in an ad hoc fashion and 2) implicit knowledge is the basis for the development of explicit morality, ergo this both contradicts Genesis where it states they were created without this knowledge and 2) make 'god's' protection of the tree of knowledge ridiculous as it is moot! If they already have implicit moral knowledge, they have moral knowledge (!) as well as the means of making is explicit!

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

(Let's note, and then leave aside the fact that "Eve" is created after the command)

Genesis 3:6-7 makes it clear that they only know good and evil after eating the fruit:

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

****

Again: if eve already had knowledge of good and evil , what knowledge would she be gaining? Also recognize again that people learn morality implicitly, and that, developmentally, this implicit knowledge later becomes explicit when the child develops her self awareness. Ergo, having implicit knowlege of morality IS the basis of explicit moral knowledge AND is all that is required to have moral knowledge.

*****

3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

It's made very clear here that they only learn good and evil here, after the eating,

To those who still are in denial. the "god" character in the story makes it painfully clear that the knowledge of good and evil came after eating the fruit:

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, AND TAKE ALSO of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Again, in the myth, god created them innocent, without such knowledge. In fact, they were forbidden it. They were not capable of moral or immoral action. The genesis account clearly states this.

People normally learn morality through experience - from concrete examples they form abstractions - morality is inculcated - and eventually, moral rules given to us are introjected.

Adam and Eve had no such experience, -they were created as adults without such knowledge. Nor were they provided an opportunity to learn morality. In fact, they were forbidden such knowledge. Therefore they could not follow the moral ramifications of disobeying, therefore, they are not morally culpable.

The garden of eden story is an oxymoronic story on several layers - the characters in the story have no knowledge of good and evil, and no knowledge of death, YET, for the story to be understood, to make any sense at all, it relies on the fact that you, the reader understand the difference between 1) good and evil and 2) recognize death as an unpleasant threat!

So the story works in that it relies on the fact that you DON'T follow the rules in the story! Theists use this implicit knowledge to understand the story, and then forget that this implicit knowledge is required for the characters as well. In short, theist don't actually HEED what the story says! They ignore the fact that the bible states, point blank, that adam and eve were innocent. They ignore the fact tha adam and eve have no knowledge of death.

We see this sort of error all the time in thought experiments like this: they "work" only because they rely on the fact that readers will NOT actually pay attention to the rules of the story! If a reader actually pays heed to the words, they will realize the internal contradictions make the story nonsensical.

Responses to the Contradiction:

It's interesting to see how theists respond to this problem. Most simply insist that they can contradict themselves: that adam and eve can know what sin is, even though the story specifically states this is untrue. They are able to do this because they simply can't imagine how an adult could be innocent. So they not only ignore the fact that the bible states, point blank, in genesis 3:22 that they were innocent, they also ignore the self refuting fact that adam and eve were eating from the tree in order to learn good from evil to begin with!

Other theists react by holding that there different sorts of knowledge of good and evil. This fails for several reasons: 1) because any sort of knowledge contradicts the bible's statement that they were innocent, (This is merely the fallacy of insertionism) and 2) , because the grounds for one sort of knowledge would lead to the other... we learn from particulars to general rules.

Other theists react by tossing the story aside as a fable. This is true, but it ignores the fact that the bible includes a self refuting story.

It's intriguing to watch theists squirm over this..... it's really the royal road to understanding theism.... the story is clearly contradictory, and how a theist deals with this issue tells us a lot about how they hold to their theistic beliefs....

I've offered up the argument to theists for years, and have never received a coherent, logical response. Typically, they insist the following, in clear disregard to reality:

1) They were told not to eat from the tree, so they disobeyed. Disobeying is wrong.

This fails, because it simply ignores the actual problem. 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.

For a theist to simply insist that disobeying is a sin misses the key point: how could you have moral knowledge it was a sin if you didn't have any moral knowledge of sin?

So, why do they insist otherwise? Simple - all sane adults understand "right and wrong" and can't really appreciate what it would be like to be an adult and yet not know that 'disobeying" is wrong. So, theists naturally assume that "adam and eve" must know good and evil, anyway. This is the heart of Orwellian doublethink.

My theory is based on my experience that all theism is projective - a projection of the believer. The believer knows good and evil, ergo he can't imagine another viewpoint. It's humorous to see it, over and over, but I've yet to see a theist who can break away from this projection. Yet, we must remember that according to the myth, adam and eve are about a day old, and without this knowledge. They can walk, talk, "reason", but they are without the same knowledge of right and wrong that we all learn before we can even remember.

Another problem with response number 1: This response also suffers from another slight problem: it ignores the very fact that the entire point of christianity is that man bears responsibility for being immoral: i.e., sin requires intent. If god is simply punishing them because he can, this means that the 'problem of evil' completely undoes their religion (i.e. they can't use the "bad things are born of our free will" argument anymore)

2) They did know good and evil, just, they didn't know some sort of special knowledge concerning good and evil i.e., they had limited knowledge of good and evil, but not a generalization of good and evil.

This is the fallacy of insertionism - they insert these bizzare concepts into the story. In addition, it simply fails, because the very way that humans learn "right and wrong" is through abstraction of specific experiences! Implicit knowledge develops into explicit knowledge. Ergo this would make god's need to protect the tree pointless...

3) This kind of knowledge of good and evil could only be known by living in evil and personally, intimately becoming acquainted with the consequences.

Genesis 3:22 (NIV) wrote:

And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil."

If what this theist claims about "knowledge of good an evil" is true, then according to Gen. 3:22 God has has lived/is living "in evil" and is "personally, intimately becoming acquainted with the consequences." Unless the Bible is wrong about God not being evil, this is not the meaning of "knowledge of good and evil."

4) The Christian worldview is that God is sovereign, ergo what he says, goes.

But the entire point of this story is that man bears responsiblity for his 'sin". To state "well, god is sovereign, he can do what he wants" would undermine the entire point of the fable - which is to absolve god of the guilty of creating evil, and placing the blame for "corruption" of the world on man.

Of course "god" could simply do what he wants, but then adam and eve are not culpable, and the entire story - along with the concept of original sin itself, are lost. If god simply obviates their free will, then as per Kantian ethics, 'god' is violating the categorical imperative itself, and making man a means to an ends.

1) If adam and eve had knowledge of good and evil, then why did god forbid them knowledge of good and evil? Please realize that implicit knowledge normally develops into explicit knowledge.

2) How can one do right or wrong, if they don't understand the moral implications of their actions? Are babies immoral when they take something that doesn't belong to them? Is a dog immoral for eating a steak I left out on the counter?

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shelleymtjoy wrote: It

shelleymtjoy wrote:

It seems like if this god was fair then all of us would have gotten the option to take a bite of the apple - not just had some mark based on a decision so far removed from us today.

 

To borrow from Pat Condell:

 

It's like paying the bill for a dish you never ordered. It's like paying off the mortgage on a house you already own. 

 

Todangst:

 

Good points and well made. I'll add them to my repertoire.

 

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Responses from my own

Responses from my own reading of the Bible:

-The fact that you can find a quote that says "God created the heavens and the earth" without any reference to days stems from the fact that there are *two* creation stories mixed together in Genesis (mashedup by Jewish priests in the sixth century B.C.)  Elohim, the god of mount Horeb created the heavens and the earth all at once (and created man and woman at the same time).  Yaweh, the god of mount Sinai created the earth in seven days (and created woman from man's rib).

-In my multiple versions of the Bible, God didn't  evict Adam and Eve from the garden for disobedience.  He evicted them so that they wouldn't eat from the *other* tree, the tree of life, and live forever.

 -None of my Bibles say anything about Satan or the devil in Genesis.  In fact, Lucifer doesn't appear at all until the book of Job, in which he's just an ordinary angel.  There's a *serpent* in Genesis, but there's no indication of any relationship between the serpent and some theoretical fallen angel who doesn't appear until the New Testament.

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You mean satan doesn't

You mean satan doesn't appear until the book of Job where he's one of God's angels.
Lucifer was a mistranslation altogether.
Lucifer was greek for 'morning star' that referred to a Babylonian King with his fancy dress sense and one of the 4th century translators took Lucifer to be a name of a fallen angel.

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Textom wrote:

Textom wrote:

-In my multiple versions of the Bible, God didn't evict Adam and Eve from the garden for disobedience. He evicted them so that they wouldn't eat from the *other* tree, the tree of life, and live forever.

Hallelujah! Tongue out Textom you are the first person ever, I've seen, to point this out (other than myself). Next to nobody recognises and comprehends this,

Genesis3 wrote:

22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

 

This sounds to me like what I did when my infant children grew to stand upright where they could reach dangerous objects. I barred them from the locations where there were dangerous objects and locked the doors.

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Textom wrote:

Textom wrote:

Responses from my own reading of the Bible:

-The fact that you can find a quote that says "God created the heavens and the earth" without any reference to days stems from the fact that there are *two* creation stories mixed together in Genesis (mashedup by Jewish priests in the sixth century B.C.) Elohim, the god of mount Horeb created the heavens and the earth all at once (and created man and woman at the same time). Yaweh, the god of mount Sinai created the earth in seven days (and created woman from man's rib).

And my responses to those observations:

 

Well we know that the first one is wrong because science has made it abundantly clear that the earth formed gradually from an already existing universe. Universe first. Sol (our sun) came later. Earth came even later than that. Finally, mankind came even after that.

The idea that the entire earth, along with everything on it, was created in seven days is simply preposterous altogether. Archeaology and the geologic column refute that idea effortlessly, and that's not even going back to the formation of the planet.

 

Quote:
-In my multiple versions of the Bible, God didn't evict Adam and Eve from the garden for disobedience. He evicted them so that they wouldn't eat from the *other* tree, the tree of life, and live forever.

Hm. Granted. As far as I can tell, this may sneak someone past the paradox suggested by Todangst. I'll leave it up to him to say so.

 

Yet even if one managed to sneak around the problem of whether or not A&E were aware of the fact that they were committing a sin, one would still have some slippery slopes to climb as far as Eden is concerned:

--Even if they were too naive to realize they were committing a sin, and even if God, realizing this, did not punish them for it, did God still consider their act a sin? Are they still accountable for what they did, even though they were not punished for it? And most importantly, in what way can we say that we have original sin, if at all?

--If god didn't want them to have knowledge of good and evil or to have everlasting life, then why did he put the trees in the garden in the first place? In doing so, God was literally inviting sin. Even though he did tell them not to eat from the trees, and even if we accept that he did not punish them for doing so, he still intentionally presented the opportunity for them to sin when he did not have to.

--If we are to reject the idea that the serpent was Satan/Lucifer, then must we believe that there was a literal talking snake that had enough intelligence to argue persuasively?

--Where did the garden of Eden go? Specifically, what happened to the trees, the angel, and the flaming sword? If the trees of life and knowledge are now gone, wouldn't it have been more sensible to leave them out in the first place? (refer to second question).

--Of all things to use as a barrier, why would God use a weapon that wouldn't be created by man until circa the Egyptian era? (I find this more suspicious than problematic).

 

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Archeopteryx wrote:

Archeopteryx wrote:
Textom wrote:

Responses from my own reading of the Bible:

-The fact that you can find a quote that says "God created the heavens and the earth" without any reference to days stems from the fact that there are *two* creation stories mixed together in Genesis (mashedup by Jewish priests in the sixth century B.C.) Elohim, the god of mount Horeb created the heavens and the earth all at once (and created man and woman at the same time). Yaweh, the god of mount Sinai created the earth in seven days (and created woman from man's rib).

And my responses to those observations:

 

Well we know that the first one is wrong because science has made it abundantly clear that the earth formed gradually from an already existing universe. Universe first. Sol (our sun) came later. Earth came even later than that. Finally, mankind came even after that.

The idea that the entire earth, along with everything on it, was created in seven days is simply preposterous altogether. Archeaology and the geologic column refute that idea effortlessly, and that's not even going back to the formation of the planet.

As with all literature, it makes more sense when you read it in it's own context. Our idea of day is introduced to our reading of the book in spite of it giving it's own definition:

Genesis1 wrote:

In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth -- the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters, and God saith, `Let light be;' and light is. And God seeth the light that [it is] good, and God separateth between the light and the darkness.....

{YLT - http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%201;&version=15; }

Before our calendar day is created, before the sun and moon, which were to be "as signs", day, the contextual day of genesis, is created as a separation of dark from light, IS (light) from VOID (Darkness on the face of the waters). Seven days in this context is more like seven dimensions extruded from nothing (zeroeth dimension).

The genesis philosophy is highly symbolic, as was common in ancient mysticism, given its own context in defining what was called a day it seems to say the earth and man were created in seven dimensions.

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

 

textom wrote:
-In my multiple versions of the Bible, God didn't evict Adam and Eve from the garden for disobedience. He evicted them so that they wouldn't eat from the *other* tree, the tree of life, and live forever.

Hm. Granted. As far as I can tell, this may sneak someone past the paradox suggested by Todangst. I'll leave it up to him to say so.

 

Yet even if one managed to sneak around the problem of whether or not A&E were aware of the fact that they were committing a sin, one would still have some slippery slopes to climb as far as Eden is concerned:

--Even if they were too naive to realize they were committing a sin, and even if God, realizing this, did not punish them for it, did God still consider their act a sin? Are they still accountable for what they did, even though they were not punished for it? And most importantly, in what way can we say that we have original sin, if at all?

Hard to say, 'sin' is a very ambiguous term with a lot of iffy ideas attached to it. My estimation would be that a loving creator would have to act on consequences onbehalf of humanity, if humanity was too naive to do so for itself, which seems to be the case in genesis doesn't it? Thus I'd conclude that God judged Adam and Eve as naive in their sin and his actions in the story are in accord with such a judgement - initially anger then concern then protective action.

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

--If god didn't want them to have knowledge of good and evil or to have everlasting life, then why did he put the trees in the garden in the first place? In doing so, God was literally inviting sin. Even though he did tell them not to eat from the trees, and even if we accept that he did not punish them for doing so, he still intentionally presented the opportunity for them to sin when he did not have to.

This is the best question, really. Yes maybe he was inviting sin, or perhaps it was a matter of co-habitation. Adam and Eve, the story goes, lived with God, among Gods things which he had around him for his own personal use as an experienced and older being.

I have an oven in my home, I use the oven every day, I don't remove it when babies are around, but it is not my intetion that they climb into it an injure themselves. On the other hand I am conscious of the reality that one day when they are adults they will use an oven too, it is appropriate to have it in their environment as long as only I am using it while they don't understand the consequences.

Archeopteryx wrote:

--If we are to reject the idea that the serpent was Satan/Lucifer, then must we believe that there was a literal talking snake that had enough intelligence to argue persuasively?

It's an ancient grandfather story, hence the answer is most definitely, No. This is all symbolism.

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

--Where did the garden of Eden go? Specifically, what happened to the trees, the angel, and the flaming sword? If the trees of life and knowledge are now gone, wouldn't it have been more sensible to leave them out in the first place? (refer to second question).

You missed the part in revelation where it says that the tree of life still stands and that humanity is destined to eat from it eventually?

"Where did Eden go?" is a good question. It's behind the sword and the angel, whatever that means in our contemporary terms.

archeopteryx wrote:

--Of all things to use as a barrier, why would God use a weapon that wouldn't be created by man until circa the Egyptian era? (I find this more suspicious than problematic).

The good thing with symbolism is that even after it has suffered a severe case of chinese whispers a solid central concept is usually salvageable from it anyway. In this case what seems important about the sword itself is that it is flaming (a source of light) and that it is double edged & turning left and right (it possesses some form of superpositional duality). Frankly, this sword guarding eden is described as having similar characteristics to reality as we know it.

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Eloise

Eloise wrote:

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

--If god didn't want them to have knowledge of good and evil or to have everlasting life, then why did he put the trees in the garden in the first place? In doing so, God was literally inviting sin. Even though he did tell them not to eat from the trees, and even if we accept that he did not punish them for doing so, he still intentionally presented the opportunity for them to sin when he did not have to.

This is the best question, really. Yes maybe he was inviting sin, or perhaps it was a matter of co-habitation.

 

You're both missing the key point: 'god' couldn't be 'inviting sin' because sin requires intent, and intent requires knowledge of good and evil.

So Adam and Eve could not 'sin' in the first place.

The idea of 'sinning' in order to acquire the foundation required for sinning is clearly a catch 22 that goes over the head of every theist on the planet. One cannot be 'naive in their sin', sin requires intent.

 

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Archeopteryx wrote: Textom

Archeopteryx wrote:
Textom wrote:

In my multiple versions of the Bible, God didn't evict Adam and Eve from the garden for disobedience. He evicted them so that they wouldn't eat from the *other* tree, the tree of life, and live forever.

Hm. Granted. As far as I can tell, this may sneak someone past the paradox suggested by Todangst.

Not unless he's repudiating 'original sin'! Saying 'god' did it so that they wouldn't eat from the 'other tree' changes nothing unless you completely change the rest of the story, it's just a different spin on the very same behavior: 'god' is still punishing them for their actions, rendering them morally culpable. 

One might as well say "we are not giving you life in prison for murder, but because your murderous act has proven that you will murder again"... whatever the spin  you give the action, one is still punishing in response of the action, holding one morally culpable.

Again, no theist ever gives this obvious paradox any serious consideration... because they can't afford to.... 

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todangst wrote: Eloise

todangst wrote:
Eloise wrote:

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

--If god didn't want them to have knowledge of good and evil or to have everlasting life, then why did he put the trees in the garden in the first place? In doing so, God was literally inviting sin. Even though he did tell them not to eat from the trees, and even if we accept that he did not punish them for doing so, he still intentionally presented the opportunity for them to sin when he did not have to.

This is the best question, really. Yes maybe he was inviting sin, or perhaps it was a matter of co-habitation.

 

You're both missing the key point: 'god' couldn't be 'inviting sin' because sin requires intent, and intent requires knowledge of good and evil.

So Adam and Eve could not 'sin' in the first place.

The idea of 'sinning' in order to acquire the basis required for sinning is clearly a catch 22 that goes over the head of every theist on the planet.

Hi Todangst,

The thing about your argument for me is that I don't necessarily agree with how, and on what grounds, you are defining 'sin'.  You may note in my post above I have explained that in my opinion 'sin' is an ambiguous term (often with strange ideas attached). 

Even in the context of your 1 John quote alternative definitions of 'sin' such as 'error' make a kind of sense that sidesteps the morality issue, and if I was to put my sake to one most certain definition of sin it would be 'error', anyhow.

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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Hi Todangst,

The thing about your argument for me is that I don't necessarily agree with how, and on what grounds, you are defining 'sin'. You may note in my post above I have explained that in my opinion 'sin' is an ambiguous term (often with strange ideas attached).

There's only one point that matters here: Sin requires intent.

 

Do you accept this or not?

 

Quote:

Even in the context of your 1 John quote alternative definitions of 'sin' such as 'error' make a kind of sense that sidesteps the morality issue

I already point out that 'sidestepping' the moral issue places you in an even worse dilemma. See above.

 

Quote:
and if I was to put my sake to one most certain definition of sin it would be 'error', anyhow.

Again, what matters here is whether you are accepting or rejecting intent as a necessary component of 'sin'

If you do, you must accept the contradiction.

If you do not, you must accept that you've rendered morality itself incoherent, and by doing so, cut out the legs of your religion in order to 'save' it.

Welcome to the pincer. 

 

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todangst wrote:

todangst wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Hi Todangst,

The thing about your argument for me is that I don't necessarily agree with how, and on what grounds, you are defining 'sin'. You may note in my post above I have explained that in my opinion 'sin' is an ambiguous term (often with strange ideas attached).

There's only one point that matters here: Sin requires intent.

 

Do you accept this or not?

First you haven't given me reason to accept it on the basis of your argument from 1 John - If in the passage you quoted I read sin as hamartia (greek= tragic error) the result is - to know the good and do the bad is a mistake; It is no longer a moral statement, and nor does it require intent, it is given matter-of-fact-ly: to do this to make a terrible mistake.

Further, as I said already, No, I don't accept it.

todangst wrote:
eloise wrote:

Even in the context of your 1 John quote alternative definitions of 'sin' such as 'error' make a kind of sense that sidesteps the morality issue

I already point out that 'sidestepping' the moral issue places you in an even worse dilemma. See above.

 

This doesn't apply to my argument, I am not saying disobedience is a sin while ignoring your argument that sin requires intent, I am rebutting the premise of your intent argument and then claiming disobedience was a sin.

 

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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:
todangst wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Hi Todangst,

The thing about your argument for me is that I don't necessarily agree with how, and on what grounds, you are defining 'sin'. You may note in my post above I have explained that in my opinion 'sin' is an ambiguous term (often with strange ideas attached).

There's only one point that matters here: Sin requires intent.

 

Do you accept this or not?

First you haven't given me reason to accept it on the basis of your argument from 1 John -

I don't have to, seeing as the argument is not built on that passage. The argument is built upon the requirement of intent for a moral system.  How can you have a moral system without intent?! That's the key point here.

Quote:
to know the good and do the bad is a mistake;

You're just eqvivocating: to know the good and to do the bad is an intentional, immoral action.  You are not desccribing a 'mistake', seeing as mistakes are unintentional.

Quote:

It is no longer a moral statement,

What? It is the very basis of morality itself!

Quote:

and nor does it require intent,

Yes, it does. Knowing the good and choosing to do otherwise is intentful... you're just in denial here.

Quote:

it is given matter-of-fact-ly: to do this to make a terrible mistake.

And yet it's called "original sin", and held to be the basis for the requirement of salvation.

    To know the good and do that bad is in fact a moral statement, in fact, it is the basis of morality! Your claim that it is given 'matter of factly' is simply avoidance: what "matter of fact is being stated here?": it's held as the basis of original sin and man is 'punished' for it!

 

Quote:

Further, as I said already, No, I don't accept it.

If by this you mean to say that you do not accept the requirement of intent in a moral system, then you render morality bankrupt and enter a world of complete insanity, where we can hold people moraly culpable for unintentional actions. Accidently step on my foot, and I have the right to send you to the morgue just the same as if you intended harm.

See the problem?

'Sin' requires intent. Attempting to solve the contradiction by removing this requirement only makes matters worse.

 

Quote:

I already point out that 'sidestepping' the moral issue places you in an even worse dilemma. See above.

Quote:

This doesn't apply to my argument

Yes, it does. If you are removing intent from your moral system, then you enter a world of insane anarchy.

So again, does sin require intent?

Quote:

, I am not saying disobedience is a sin while ignoring your argument that sin requires intent, I am rebutting the premise of your intent argument and then claiming disobedience was a sin.

One more time: does sin require intent? Yes or no.

If you say 'yes', you are sunk.

If you say 'no' you are sunk.

Disobedience requires intent by the way.

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todangst wrote:

todangst wrote:
Eloise wrote:
todangst wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Hi Todangst,

The thing about your argument for me is that I don't necessarily agree with how, and on what grounds, you are defining 'sin'. You may note in my post above I have explained that in my opinion 'sin' is an ambiguous term (often with strange ideas attached).

There's only one point that matters here: Sin requires intent.

 

Do you accept this or not?

First you haven't given me reason to accept it on the basis of your argument from 1 John -

I don't have to, seeing as the argument is not built on that passage. The argument is built on common sense. How can you have a moral system without intent?! That's the key point here.

But again, you simply can't afford to dwell on this, you'll have to take recourse in endlessly debating translations.

But if you dare, please consider that the actual argument before you rests upon a necessary requirement for any moral system: intent.

Your argument with me rests on the connection you made between biblical sin and morality. My argument does not make that connection and therefore does not need to be consistent with it.

 

todangst wrote:
eloise wrote:

Further, as I said already, No, I don't accept it.

If by this you mean to say that you do not accept the requirement of intent in a moral system,

You asked :Does sin require intent?

and I answered that question.

You did Not ask does a moral system require intent. You killed a Straw man.

 

 

todangst wrote:

Disobedience requires intent by the way.

Fair point, disobedience requires intent, but it does not require any moral sophistication or foreknowledge of consequences (dog eats steak), thus it applies outside of the system of morality (that has nothing to do with my argument and everything to do with yours).

 

Does 'sin' require intent?

.... once more, No.

 

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todangst wrote: it's held

todangst wrote:
it's held as the basis of original sin and man is 'punished' for it!

Just a note to this point, see my post above re: Gen 3:22-24

 

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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:


Your argument with me rests on the connection you made between biblical sin and morality. My argument does not make that connection and therefore does not need to be consistent with it.

Then your argument leads to absurdity. Your 'god' is therefore the most vile sort of insane tyrant, purposely torturing his own creation for actions that are not their fault. If 'sin' requires no intent, and 'sin' leads to damnation, then your god creates creatures designed to be failed and tortured. 

eloise wrote:

You asked :Does sin require intent?

and I answered that question.

You did Not ask does a moral system require intent. You killed a Straw man.

No, you have it completely backwards: "sin" is part of a moral system, it is the transgression of moral law!

Seriously, I can't believe you're not thinking this through.

Just watch:

todangst wrote:

Disobedience requires intent by the way.

Quote:

Fair point, disobedience requires intent, but it does not require any moral sophistication or foreknowledge of consequences

What do you think intent is? Intent requires purpose. Intent requires moral knowledge and foreknowledge of consequences. If you accept that disobedience requires intent, your argument is sunk.

 

Intent is purposeful.

Sin is a trangression of moral law.

Trangression of moral laws requires intent.

Sin is intentful.

QED

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Eloise wrote: todangst

Eloise wrote:
todangst wrote:
it's held as the basis of original sin and man is 'punished' for it!

Just a note to this point, see my post above re: Gen 3:22-24

 

 

You mean this:

 

This sounds to me like what I did when my infant children grew to stand upright where they could reach dangerous objects. I barred them from the locations where there were dangerous objects and locked the doors.

 

This argument is both irrational and insulting! First, your 'god' is not acting to 'bar' an infant from danger, he's first creating the danger, then creating creatures susceptible to the danger, and then actually  punishing and torturing his own creation for a situation he created and placed them in!

Comparing these actions to protecting an infant is insulting!

And outright crazy!  

This argument is bad that I've written a stock reply to it:

Loving Parents

todangst's picture Submitted by todangst on Sun, 2007-01-07 06:51.

 

Loving parents seek to do whatever they can to keep their baby safe. If they could, they'd wish away any dangers of disease or disaster that might befall their child

 

No theist ever asks why a loving god creates a world where such things are possible in the first place..... I like to ask theists: If you were 'god', would you create a world where any of these things could even potentially happen to your own children? ?

Before you answer, consider this: Take a look at how parents actually care for their children: We do everything we can to create a safe haven, a safe world for our children. We spend hours, days searching for ways to create a safe place, free from the dangers of electricity or poison or sharp objects or even swallowable objects that could cause choking.

We devote time to finding the right foods, the right clothing, the right diapers (even something as minor as a rash is defended against) the right blankets, crib, pillow..... we purchase baby monitors, or make frequent examinations of the baby for safety.

We defend our child against disease, against crib death, against any possible danger that we can imagine.

Now a theist wants to tell me that someone who loves me infinitely more than I love my own child, is willing to place me, and the world's children in the midst of every single solitary imaginable harm in existence: poison, disease, natural disaster.....

The mistake theists usually make here is that they believe that these things are all 'givens', that there must be things like poison or disease, but if there is a loving, omnipotent god this is not the case. An omnipotent, omniscient creator must be perfectly responsible not only for putting our children in harm's way, but for creating the very dangers in the first place, both the dangers and our susceptability to them. Any or all of these entites would be completely contingent upon an omnipotent 'being'.

So I ask you: why is it that while no caring parent would go so far as to put their child in danger of getting a diaper rash, that an infinite loving god not only creates diaper rash, but disease and death?

 

 

 

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todangst wrote:

todangst wrote:
Eloise wrote:


Your argument with me rests on the connection you made between biblical sin and morality. My argument does not make that connection and therefore does not need to be consistent with it.

Then your argument leads to absurdity. Your 'god' is therefore the most vile sort of insane tyrant, purposely torturing his own creation for actions that are not their fault.

I expect that you hadn't read my post on Genesis 3:22 (above in this thread) when you posted this, so I'll postpone answering until I know that you have seen all of my argument.

Cut and paste from the above post:

Textom wrote:

-In my multiple versions of the Bible, God didn't evict Adam and Eve from the garden for disobedience. He evicted them so that they wouldn't eat from the *other* tree, the tree of life, and live forever.

Hallelujah! Tongue out Textom you are the first person ever, I've seen, to point this out (other than myself). Next to nobody recognises and comprehends this,

 

Genesis3 wrote:

22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

 

This sounds to me like what I did when my infant children grew to stand upright where they could reach dangerous objects. I barred them from the locations where there were dangerous objects and locked the doors.

--------------------------------------------------

 

 

todangst wrote:
eloise wrote:

You asked :Does sin require intent?

and I answered that question.

You did Not ask does a moral system require intent. You killed a Straw man.

No, you have it completely backwards: "sin" is part of a moral system, it is the transgression of moral law!

Says you.

Says I : 'sin' is generally the english rendering of the greek word hamartia which should be taken to mean 'missing the mark', 'falling short', 'tragic flaw or error' .

todangst wrote:

Seriously, I can't believe you're not thinking this through.

Just watch:

todangst wrote:

Disobedience requires intent by the way.

Quote:

Fair point, disobedience requires intent, but it does not require any moral sophistication or foreknowledge of consequences

What do you think intent is? Intent requires purpose. Intent requires moral knowledge and foreknowledge of consequences. If you accept that disobedience requires intent, your argument is sunk.

This is a little desperate of you, Todangst.

Intent is the basis of all action, none of it exclusively moral. Intent is required to reach out your hand and pick fruit.. ie the intent to reach out your hand and pick fruit.

I suppose you meant in your argument then that the dog accidently jumped on the table and ate steak?

todangst wrote:

Intent is purposeful.

Sin is a trangression of moral law.

Trangression of moral laws requires intent.

Sin is intentful.

QED

This is your connection between the word sin and moral transgression, that exists in your argument. Reiterating, I don't make that connection I make this one-

Sin is an error with consequences (alluding to tragedy)

moral transgression is a sin

thus moral transgression is an error with consequences (alluding to tragedy)

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todangst wrote:

todangst wrote:
Eloise wrote:
todangst wrote:
it's held as the basis of original sin and man is 'punished' for it!

Just a note to this point, see my post above re: Gen 3:22-24

 

 

You mean this:

 

This sounds to me like what I did when my infant children grew to stand upright where they could reach dangerous objects. I barred them from the locations where there were dangerous objects and locked the doors.

 

This argument is both irrational and insulting! First, your 'god' is not acting to 'bar' an infant from danger,

Why not? Living for ever and ever in error and moral infancy. Sounds dangerous to me, horrifying even.

 

todangst wrote:

he's first creating the danger, then creating creatures susceptible to the danger, and then actually punishing and torturing his own creation for a situation he created and placed them in!

Meh, what a boring overprotective god you ask me to prefer. What's wrong with a little adventure?

Todangst wrote:

Comparing these actions to protecting an infant is insulting!

And outright crazy!

This argument is bad that I've written a stock reply to it:

Loving Parents

todangst's picture Submitted by todangst on Sun, 2007-01-07 06:51.

 

Loving parents seek to do whatever they can to keep their baby safe. If they could, they'd wish away any dangers of disease or disaster that might befall their child

 

No theist ever asks why a loving god creates a world where such things are possible in the first place..... I like to ask theists: If you were 'god', would you create a world where any of these things could even potentially happen to your own children? ?

Yes. Give it some thought.

No parent 'wants' their child to be in danger, sure, but all parents want their children to have everything they desire. What we sometimes don't consider is that people hardly ever desire comfort, security and protection. We all too often crave excitement, drama and conquest. A full life is a wonderful thing and it comes from putting yourself to the test, physically, mentally and emotionally.

The true mark of a loving parent is balance. Giving a little on the leash but knowing when and under what circumstances a line must be clearly drawn. It's not an easy call for the parent, and it's almost never evident to the child in the moment of reigning them back exactly why they are being held back at that point. A loving parent will not forget the childs desire to venture into the danger zone, though. A loving parent will remember and gently ease them towards their desired independence. The child often doesn't even know this is happening until its done while the loving parent, on the other hand, will tell them it is happening:" in time, you can do that thing, in time, your freedom will extend to that point you have desired. But, it will not be easy because with more freedom comes more responsibility for you, less responsibility for me. First take the responsibility, then it will be fine for you to have the freedom."

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Eloise wrote: Says I :

Eloise wrote:
Says I : 'sin' is generally the english rendering of the greek word hamartia which should be taken to mean 'missing the mark', 'falling short', 'tragic flaw or error' .

'missing the mark' means there was a goal (intention)
'falling short' means there was a goal (intention)
'tragic flaw or error' which means there was the goal to do the right thing (intention)

Eloise wrote:
Sin is an error with consequences (alluding to tragedy)
So having a automobile accident is a sin?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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aiia wrote:

aiia wrote:
Eloise wrote:
Says I : 'sin' is generally the english rendering of the greek word hamartia which should be taken to mean 'missing the mark', 'falling short', 'tragic flaw or error' .

'missing the mark' means there was a goal (intention)
'falling short' means there was a goal (intention)
'tragic flaw or error' which means there was the goal to do the right thing (intention)

 

 The intention is not required in order for the sin to take place. Any action can fall short of some standard by default alone. 

I guess I can concede the grounds that error requires action which requires intent, that makes sense to me. But it does not imply that the intent must have a moral justification.

 

 

AiiA wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Sin is an error with consequences (alluding to tragedy)
So having a automobile accident is a sin?

LOL, I suspect the said consequences are confined to a spiritual context, but that's not to say a tragedy in physical terms is not a spiritual tragedy, it may be, there's just not simple equality of the two that I imagine.

 

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Eloise wrote: But it does

Eloise wrote:

But it does not imply that the intent must have a moral justification.
Precisely. adam committed an error not a moral crime

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todangst wrote: Not unless

todangst wrote:
Not unless he's repudiating 'original sin'!

Yep, I'm repudiating original sin.  Or more accurately, I don't find any original sin in my Bible.  Never did.

The doctrine of "original sin" was invented by Augustine of Hippo in the 5th century A.D.  You can only actually find it in the Bible if you make a series of unfounded assumptions that are not actually in the text. 

 

todangst wrote:
Saying 'god' did it so that they wouldn't eat from the 'other tree' changes nothing unless you completely change the rest of the story, it's just a different spin on the very same behavior.

You don't have to change the story--the story was already changed (or enhanced) to support the idea of original sin.

The word "sin" doesn't even appear in the Bible until the story of  Abel and Cain.  There's no sin in the garden. 

 

todangst wrote:
'god' is still punishing them for their actions, rendering them morally culpable

Again, not finding the punishment idea supported the Bible.  The idea that not eating from the tree is a law and that violating that law deserves punishment comes from our buddy Augustine.

When I read Gen 2-3, I see a fairytale about a God who tells the two people that if they eat from a particular tree, that the tree will cause them to die (not the God).  Then a snake (not a fallen angel) comes and tricks them into eating from it, and God explains to them (not condemns them to) what will happen now that they ate the poisoned fruit.  Then he kicks them out of the garden so they won't live forever.

I have real problems with Augustine's doctrine of original sin: I think it's responsible for a great deal of the bad stuff that Christianity has done since his time. 

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I should add, Todangst,

I should add, Todangst, that I agree with your characterizations of the logical contradictions and conclusions that stem from the doctrine of original sin as invented by Augustine of Hippo.

My point is that, on top of all the problems with the doctrine itself, it's not even actually in the Bible.  It's an ad hoc doctrine developed to supply a rationale for the sacrifice and atonement that were so central to the early church.

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Eloise wrote: Archeopteryx

Eloise wrote:


Archeopteryx wrote:


--If god didn't want them to have knowledge of good and evil or to have everlasting life, then why did he put the trees in the garden in the first place? In doing so, God was literally inviting sin. Even though he did tell them not to eat from the trees, and even if we accept that he did not punish them for doing so, he still intentionally presented the opportunity for them to sin when he did not have to.



This is the best question, really. Yes maybe he was inviting sin, or perhaps it was a matter of co-habitation. Adam and Eve, the story goes, lived with God, among Gods things which he had around him for his own personal use as an experienced and older being.

I have an oven in my home, I use the oven every day, I don't remove it when babies are around, but it is not my intetion that they climb into it an injure themselves. On the other hand I am conscious of the reality that one day when they are adults they will use an oven too, it is appropriate to have it in their environment as long as only I am using it while they don't understand the consequences.



To continue your analogy, If a child did happen to severally burn him or herself on an oven while unsupervised, wouldn't the parent be ultimately responsible and considered negligent for placing the child in a dangerous situation? If God created Adam and Eve, wouldn't God know exactly how mature they were and know better than to put them in such a situation in the first place?

Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

Sounds like God left Adam and Eve unattended since he had to ask "Where are you?"




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Veils of Maya

Veils of Maya wrote:


To continue your analogy, If a child did happen to severally burn him or herself on an oven while unsupervised, wouldn't the parent be ultimately responsible and considered negligent for placing the child in a dangerous situation? If God created Adam and Eve, wouldn't God know exactly how mature they were and know better than to put them in such a situation in the first place?

 

That's what I was driving at, really. I mean, by this logic, I could place a child the wheel of a moving vehicle and then just sit back and watch. After the car crashed into a wall or a pedestrian or whatever else, I could then precede to either A) Punish the child for not driving properly, or B) Take measures to keep the child from driving the car any longer, even though it was my fault that he was in that situation in the first place.

 

It doesn't make a lot of sense no matter how you look at it.

One proposed way of solving this problem was the idea of cohabitation---God sharing the garden with Adam and Eve---but I don't see how that would really be necessary, considering that he existed for an eternity before the Earth even existed. Why would he need to live there? Where were these trees before?

You can try various weasels to get out of the predicament, but I think that in the end you have to admit that it doesn't make a lot of sense.

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Veils of Maya

Veils of Maya wrote:
Eloise wrote:


Archeopteryx wrote:


--If god didn't want them to have knowledge of good and evil or to have everlasting life, then why did he put the trees in the garden in the first place? In doing so, God was literally inviting sin. Even though he did tell them not to eat from the trees, and even if we accept that he did not punish them for doing so, he still intentionally presented the opportunity for them to sin when he did not have to.



This is the best question, really. Yes maybe he was inviting sin, or perhaps it was a matter of co-habitation. Adam and Eve, the story goes, lived with God, among Gods things which he had around him for his own personal use as an experienced and older being.

I have an oven in my home, I use the oven every day, I don't remove it when babies are around, but it is not my intetion that they climb into it an injure themselves. On the other hand I am conscious of the reality that one day when they are adults they will use an oven too, it is appropriate to have it in their environment as long as only I am using it while they don't understand the consequences.



To continue your analogy, If a child did happen to severally burn him or herself on an oven while unsupervised, wouldn't the parent be ultimately responsible and considered negligent for placing the child in a dangerous situation?

 

Yep. I agree with that.

Now continue the analogy even further :

The child grows to an adult who lives with the scars of their youthful misadventure, he/she has anger and bitterness towards the parent for their part in his/her pain, and he/she harbours it endlessly always aching that unsupervised moment as though it were the only moment that ever existed.

 Or that child could grow to be an adult who likes who they have become, someone who embraces their scars and their pain as a catalyst in their own development of psychological being, unable to resent that which made them what they are today, unwilling to steep themselves in the bitter angry dispute over who holds the responsibility for the moments that defined the person they are and the life they now live. 

  God is still responsible, either way, for the original "sin" but humanity is the one who carries the scar, what becomes of them doesn't have to be bad simply because of the scar, it can be very very wonderful. 

Generally I like Genesis, can you tell? It is a deeply philosophical story, IMO. Still... that is JMHO.

Smiling 

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Archeopteryx wrote: Veils

Archeopteryx wrote:

Veils of Maya wrote:


To continue your analogy, If a child did happen to severally burn him or herself on an oven while unsupervised, wouldn't the parent be ultimately responsible and considered negligent for placing the child in a dangerous situation? If God created Adam and Eve, wouldn't God know exactly how mature they were and know better than to put them in such a situation in the first place?

 

That's what I was driving at, really. I mean, by this logic, I could place a child the wheel of a moving vehicle and then just sit back and watch. After the car crashed into a wall or a pedestrian or whatever else, I could then precede to either A) Punish the child for not driving properly, or B) Take measures to keep the child from driving the car any longer, even though it was my fault that he was in that situation in the first place.

 

Neither of those options actually fits what I was saying about Genesis and the analogy is kind of false, because the in the story God merely puts the car unlocked in the driveway tells the shild not to drive it and walks off, he doesn't place the child behind the wheel, the children do that bit themselves. Moreover God doesn't allow them to crash the car, he catches them putting it in gear and prevents them driving it onto the street. 

 Your analogy is false because the whole garden of eden wasn't dangerous, just the car and the temptation of being like daddy to drive it. They were otherwise in a safe environment.

as for punishment, they are sent from eden to live like we do, with struggles, responsibilities and difficult choices. It's not so awful, it's just not blissful oblivion like Eden. And you have to wonder upon what choice you'd make if your were given to choose between knowledge and oblivion. 

 In the analogy the preventative measure taken matches more closely to barring one particular road for driving. Once the fruit of knowledge is eaten the children are, for all intents and purposes, in the drivers seat for good. It must be a magic car that you can't get back out of Sticking out tongue ..... But anyhow, the preventative measure is to put the car in a paddock, there they can learn to drive it if they like, but don't let them on the road....

.....yet......

... that is to say The book of revelation reprises the tree of life story and in continuation of the analogy, its the appointment that was made for Adam and Eve at the licensing department.

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Eloise wrote: Moreover God

Eloise wrote:
Moreover God doesn't allow them to crash the car, he catches them putting it in gear and prevents them driving it onto the street.

And you don't find it at all relevant that god would have known exactly what they were going to do before he created the universe and that he would have (if it existed, which it doesn't) had the ability to create two people that would not eat the apple.  

 the story is incoherent on multiple levels. god tells the people not to do something knowing in advance that they would do it. the only reason it was possible for them to do it in the first place was because god orchestrated the situation to make it possible. they had no means of distinguishing the difference between following a rule and breaking one, and god could have created two peole that wouldn't break the rule but instead decides to create two people that he knew would break it. i think that the story is a test. a test to see who can be bent away from common sense enough to accept the religion.

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Point 6 is absurd. Eve is so

Point 6 is absurd. Eve is so stupid and retarded, that she didnt notice all ther animals around her were silent? What is she, lacking half her brain? Either that, or she mustve been approached by Satan a minute after her creation.

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God was a jerk.

Quote:

Neither of those options actually fits what I was saying about Genesis and the analogy is kind of false, because the in the story God merely puts the car unlocked in the driveway tells the shild not to drive it and walks off, he doesn't place the child behind the wheel, the children do that bit themselves. Moreover God doesn't allow them to crash the car, he catches them putting it in gear and prevents them driving it onto the street. 

 Your analogy is false because the whole garden of eden wasn't dangerous, just the car and the temptation of being like daddy to drive it. They were otherwise in a safe environment.

I think that any analogy to reality that we try to make is going to be inherently flawed in some way since we are comparing the natural to the supernatural, acts of man to acts of God. Analogies are just easy to toss out.

 Instead of using analogies, let me go back and break it down into smaller pieces and then look at it from the perspectives of the people involved. First, let's break down what happened.

THE EVENTS:

1) God existed eternally.

2) God created everything.

3) In creating everything, God intentionally placed two magical trees and two naive people in the garden at the same time.

4) God says, "Don't touch the trees" and then either A) is not omniscient, or B) Sees what is about to happen and, for some reason, lets it happen.

5) They have no concept of good and evil at this point, so they are naive of God's authority in matters of "rightness". They obey because they are asked/told.

6) A serpent tells them they should touch the trees. In fact, it's perfectly okay to do so. They have no concept of good and evil at this point, so they are naive of the serpent's authority (or lack thereof) in matters of "rightness". They eat from the trees because they are told they can and should.

7) God sees this (if omniscient, it must be said that he was expecting this), and decides to take measures against Adam and Eve.

 Now for some perspective, taking both of god's possible reactions into account:

GOD'S PERSPECTIVE:

1) I have intentionally placed Adam and Eve in this situation. I created them in such a way that they would have no way of judging whether or not this act was correct or incorrect, and I knew this when placing them and the trees together, but I will punish them for this act anyway.

2) I will place a barrier to prevent Adam and Eve from performing this act again. I created them in such a way that they would have no way of judging whether or not this act was correct or incorrect, and I knew this when I placed them and the trees together, but I will set this barrier anyway, ignoring the fact that I could have done this to begin with, or I could have simply barred them from the trees alone, or I could have simply removed the trees from the garden  altogether, or I could have simply never placed them there in the first place, since doing so was completely unnecessary.

Arch Critique: "Makes a good story though!"

ADAM AND EVE'S PERSPECTIVE:

1) We had no way of knowing that we were doing anything wrong. We were simply doing what we were told was acceptable. We only knew the wrongness of our action after the fact. Thus, we are being injustly punished for an action that can only be described as an accident.

2) We did not understand what we were doing, but now that our eyes have been opened and we understand the world enough to make a well-founded decsion NOT to eat from the trees or to listen to others who might tell us it's okay, we are being barred from the garden and the trees altogether, thus denying us the opportunity to accept good over evil.

 Commentary:

God self-righteously fails to consider that he might have had any act in Adam and Eve's shortcoming whatsoever.

God takes measures that are either 1) Completely unjust, or 2) pointless and illogical, serving no purpose for mankind whatsoever.

Barring them from the garden AFTER they understand good and evil is almost the same as sending people to eternal torment AFTER they realize the truth. What good does it do? It doesn't allow them any opportunity to rehabilitate. In both situations, it's illogical and just plain mean!

I still fail to see how it makes sense without making God look bad.

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God is a Terrorist.

Right, Archeo-- you should stop by my thread, "The Necessity of Sin for God's Glory", which is all about the Adam and Eve issue. It demonstrates how God could have created Adam and Eve in a such a way that they would never disobey him and still have free will, and the implications behind the fact that he didn't.

If God needs to be worshipped, he cannot then create beings who are his equal. He must create them inferior and imperfect so that he can rule over them. If God wants to be needed, he cannot then create beings that are self-sufficient. It then makes sense why God would create Adam and Eve in such a way that they will falter or offend him-- God will create a catastrophe that only he can save them from, because he wants to be a hero. He wants to be glorified and worshipped.

The way in which God does this indicates that he is indeed a jerk, to say the least. Even if he desired worship and glorification, he could have achieved this in more positive ways. For example, the situation in the Bible is that God is offended and his creations are the villains, deserving his punishment, but he sends... himself... to redeem them, so in essence, he is only saving them from himself. He is both the threat and the solution: a terrorist that you must submit to.

God's methods for becoming the hero would be devious in any circumstance simply because he is in control of the entire situation from the beginning. However, it would be less terrorist like if God simply put on a "big puppet show" to make himself the hero. For instance, he could create villains which seem to threaten us, but are really just illusions, and then he could show up and defeat them. "Look! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... SuuuuperGod!!!"

One might say this is the case with Satan, however, God himself is tempted by Satan in the Bible, which just makes it a ridiculous story. God is willing to personally kill infants because he deems them evil, but endures temptation from Satan rather than destroying him.

Another reason this is not the case is because such a situation would only tend to provide God with worship and glory-- control is still missing from the equation, and this is where the terrorism comes in. He must scare his creations into obeying him.

Knowing this, it is then easy to conclude that the Bible is entirely an invention of man. Only man desires control over other men so that he may become powerful, financially secure, constantly provided with food, shelter and other desirables. A perfect god would have no such needs, complete in and of itself. The Biblical god therefore acts as man's machine, a manmade, imaginary, superior force that man uses to control men so that they will do his bidding. This is why God is compared to Santa Claus-- both imaginary forces used to persuade humans into a desired behavior. 

 

 


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AngelEngine wrote: Point 6

AngelEngine wrote:
Point 6 is absurd. Eve is so stupid and retarded, that she didnt notice all ther animals around her were silent? What is she, lacking half her brain? Either that, or she mustve been approached by Satan a minute after her creation.

 Actually I haven't yet met the Bible scholar who can tell me for sure how much time passes between the end of Gen 2 (God is done creating everything and they're naked in the garden with no shame) and the beginning of Gen 3 ("Now the snake was more clever than any of the wild animals...&quotEye-wink.

Archbishop Usher obviously had some kind of inside knowledge, when he calculated the age of the earth, about how much lag there was between the first seven days and the time when the snake started making trouble.  But since the Tree of Life was keeping Adam & Eve immortal that whole time, I personally don't see how you can be sure it wasn't 15 billion years. 

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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:


Veils of Maya wrote:
Eloise wrote:


Archeopteryx wrote:


--If god didn't want them to have knowledge of good and evil or to have everlasting life, then why did he put the trees in the garden in the first place? In doing so, God was literally inviting sin. Even though he did tell them not to eat from the trees, and even if we accept that he did not punish them for doing so, he still intentionally presented the opportunity for them to sin when he did not have to.



This is the best question, really. Yes maybe he was inviting sin, or perhaps it was a matter of co-habitation. Adam and Eve, the story goes, lived with God, among Gods things which he had around him for his own personal use as an experienced and older being.

I have an oven in my home, I use the oven every day, I don't remove it when babies are around, but it is not my intetion that they climb into it an injure themselves. On the other hand I am conscious of the reality that one day when they are adults they will use an oven too, it is appropriate to have it in their environment as long as only I am using it while they don't understand the consequences.



To continue your analogy, If a child did happen to severally burn him or herself on an oven while unsupervised, wouldn't the parent be ultimately responsible and considered negligent for placing the child in a dangerous situation?



Yep. I agree with that.

Now continue the analogy even further :

The child grows to an adult who lives with the scars of their youthful misadventure, he/she has anger and bitterness towards the parent for their part in his/her pain, and he/she harbours it endlessly always aching that unsupervised moment as though it were the only moment that ever existed.



Misadventure? I wouldn't associate the potential of eternal punishment a "youthful misadventure."

Eloise wrote:


Or that child could grow to be an adult who likes who they have become, someone who embraces their scars and their pain as a catalyst in their own development of psychological being, unable to resent that which made them what they are today, unwilling to steep themselves in the bitter angry dispute over who holds the responsibility for the moments that defined the person they are and the life they now live.

God is still responsible, either way, for the original "sin" but humanity is the one who carries the scar, what becomes of them doesn't have to be bad simply because of the scar, it can be very very wonderful.



Your analogy doesn't match up. God is the one's who was angry and held man responsible. Not the other way around. And Christians seem bound and determined to remind you of this fact at every turn.

Eloise wrote:


Generally I like Genesis, can you tell? It is a deeply philosophical story, IMO. Still... that is JMHO.

Smiling


It makes you feel warm and fuzzy, so it must be true?

Do you like Harry Potter as well?

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Textom wrote:

Textom wrote:
But since the Tree of Life was keeping Adam & Eve immortal that whole time, I personally don't see how you can be sure it wasn't 15 billion years.

 

as shitty a storyteller as the person was who came up with that piece of crap i still don't think they would just omit 15 billion years in the middle of the story. wouldn't they say something? also it seems like in 15 billion years something would occur that was at least mildly noteworthy. i think it's pretty fair to assume that much time didn't pass.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
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Veils of Maya

Veils of Maya wrote:



Misadventure? I wouldn't associate the potential of eternal punishment a "youthful misadventure."

 No more than an accident with a hot oven that left life-long permanent scarring, which is the sense in which I meant it. I didn't mean to be unduly pleasant by it, I intended a neutral statement to be read from that context.

 

 

veils of maya wrote:

Your analogy doesn't match up. God is the one's who was angry and held man responsible. Not the other way around. And Christians seem bound and determined to remind you of this fact at every turn.

 This nicely outlines the distinction between a book and its readership. don't you think? 

Reading the book itself it's basically impossible to find any literal support for an angry, blaming God in genesis 3.

Most of the consequences related in 3-14:19 are linked directly to the action of eating the fruit. ie Because you ate it the ground is cursed; (to the snake) because you have done this you will eat dust. 

God takes personal credit for three things and those are laid on woman - the enmity between children and snakes, pain in childbirth and female subservience. To infer from this that god was angry you must first assume that these are things that an almighty God would do out of anger because God is never literally described as being angry over this event. This invokes the question which you see in debate over the problem of evil, greater good. The book itself doesn't specify the why's and wherefore's and it most definitely does not say God was angry.  

finally God dresses adam and eve in skins and sets a guard over the 'tree of life'. If anything is to be inferred from these last few lines of genesis three then it must be that a greater good was intended to be served.

 BTW re "match-up" You do realise I am not a christian apologist, yes? I have no obligation to 'match up' with christian dogma.

veils of maya wrote:
Eloise wrote:


Generally I like Genesis, can you tell? It is a deeply philosophical story, IMO. Still... that is JMHO.

Smiling


It makes you feel warm and fuzzy, so it must be true?

Do you like Harry Potter as well?

 

As a matter of fact, I love Harry Potter.  Smiling

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Archeopteryx wrote: I

Archeopteryx wrote:

I think that any analogy to reality that we try to make is going to be inherently flawed in some way since we are comparing the natural to the supernatural, acts of man to acts of God. Analogies are just easy to toss out.

Instead of using analogies, let me go back and break it down into smaller pieces and then look at it from the perspectives of the people involved.

 

Yeah, why not, I'm with you. Smiling

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

First, let's break down what happened.

THE EVENTS:

1) God existed eternally.

2) God created everything.

3) In creating everything, God intentionally placed two magical trees and two naive people in the garden at the same time.

4) God says, "Don't touch the trees" and then either A) is not omniscient, or B) Sees what is about to happen and, for some reason, lets it happen.

B

Quote:
 

5) They have no concept of good and evil at this point, so they are naive of God's authority in matters of "rightness". They obey because they are asked/told.

6) A serpent tells them they should touch the trees. In fact, it's perfectly okay to do so. They have no concept of good and evil at this point, so they are naive of the serpent's authority (or lack thereof) in matters of "rightness". They eat from the trees because they are told they can and should.

7) God sees this (if omniscient, it must be said that he was expecting this), and decides to take measures against Adam and Eve.

Now for some perspective, taking both of god's possible reactions into account:

GOD'S PERSPECTIVE:

1) I have intentionally placed Adam and Eve in this situation. I created them in such a way that they would have no way of judging whether or not this act was correct or incorrect, and I knew this when placing them and the trees together, but I will punish them for this act anyway.

I'm with you up to the point where you say punish.

 

Quote:
 

2) I will place a barrier to prevent Adam and Eve from performing this act again.

 

No, the barrier is to keep the way between man and the tree of life, not a repeat of the original sin, a follow up act which presumably was worse under the circumstances. But I reiterate, the end of the book reprises the tree of life theme tending to indicate that some time passed tilling ground and giving painful birth to children makes it possible for man who has become like god to eat from the second tree.

 

Quote:

I created them in such a way that they would have no way of judging whether or not this act was correct or incorrect, and I knew this when I placed them and the trees together, but I will set this barrier anyway, ignoring the fact that I could have done this to begin with, or I could have simply barred them from the trees alone, or I could have simply removed the trees from the garden altogether, or I could have simply never placed them there in the first place, since doing so was completely unnecessary.

Yes and he also put the snake in the garden, he could have left that bit out too.  but then this makes no issue in the absence of the 'punishment' dogma and that is where we leave off the same path.

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

God self-righteously fails to consider that he might have had any act in Adam and Eve's shortcoming whatsoever.

 Well he fails to say it, but I wouldn't say he fails to consider it. Who knows what is being considered by an omniscient?

 

Archeopteryx wrote:

God takes measures that are either 1) Completely unjust, or 2) pointless and illogical, serving no purpose for mankind whatsoever.

Well there is the possibility that it's neither of those things if the opposite of 2 is true.

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Eloise wrote: No more

Eloise wrote:

No more than an accident with a hot oven that left life-long permanent scarring, which is the sense in which I meant it. I didn't mean to be unduly pleasant by it, I intended a neutral statement to be read from that context.

Atleast the scar isnt passed onto your child. Sin however, is. Your analogy is flawed. No rational analogy can be created pertaining the sin of adam and eve. This is because the very sin is unjust and purely irrational. 

 

Quote:

This nicely outlines the distinction between a book and its readership. don't you think?

Youve nicely outlined the distinction between the book and its personal interpretation, dont you think? 

Quote:
 

Reading the book itself it's basically impossible to find any literal support for an angry, blaming God in genesis 3.

Except for the fact that he blames everyone but himself. He never once considers that he was at fault, for placing the tree in such an open, public place, for creating a snake that tricks eve, for not placing a gaurd at the tree.

 

Quote:

Most of the consequences related in 3-14:19 are linked directly to the action of eating the fruit. ie Because you ate it the ground is cursed; (to the snake) because you have done this you will eat dust.

Yes, god hands out punishment. However, he does not once consider himself at fault.

 

Quote:

God takes personal credit for three things and those are laid on woman - the enmity between children and snakes, pain in childbirth and female subservience. To infer from this that god was angry you must first assume that these are things that an almighty God would do out of anger because God is never literally described as being angry over this event.

I completely agree. I mean, how many parents smile and laugh when they hand out punishments? Many.

 Although i understand where your coming from, god is known to be a vengeful, angry god. Maybe not in genesis, but in other sections of the old testament, definately.

Its more possible that god would be dissapointed instead of angry at this point. However, it would also be possible that god was infact angry. Far be it for me to assume either. 

 

Quote:

This invokes the question which you see in debate over the problem of evil, greater good. The book itself doesn't specify the why's and wherefore's and it most definitely does not say God was angry.

It doesnt say god was angry, and thats our point, isnt it? 

Looking at his track record in the Old Testament, one could make a very convincing argument, thoguh. 

 

Quote:

finally God dresses adam and eve in skins and sets a guard over the 'tree of life'. If anything is to be inferred from these last few lines of genesis three then it must be that a greater good was intended to be served.

What good would that be, exactly?

 

I couldve swore it was a flaming sword at the gates of eden, instead of gaurding the tree.

Quote:
 

BTW re "match-up" You do realise I am not a christian apologist, yes? I have no obligation to 'match up' with christian dogma.

Well, if youre not going to practice what you preach, atleast have the decency to preach what you practice.

 

Quote:

 

As a matter of fact, I love Harry Potter. Smiling

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Waxing socratic

Eloise wrote:
Archeopteryx wrote:

I think that any analogy to reality that we try to make is going to be inherently flawed in some way since we are comparing the natural to the supernatural, acts of man to acts of God. Analogies are just easy to toss out.

Instead of using analogies, let me go back and break it down into smaller pieces and then look at it from the perspectives of the people involved.

Yeah, why not, I'm with you. Smiling

Archeopteryx wrote:

First, let's break down what happened.

THE EVENTS:

1) God existed eternally.

2) God created everything.

3) In creating everything, God intentionally placed two magical trees and two naive people in the garden at the same time.

4) God says, "Don't touch the trees" and then either A) is not omniscient, or B) Sees what is about to happen and, for some reason, lets it happen.

B

Okay, so you admit that God purposely allowed Adam and Eve to make this mistake? Why would he do that?

Quote:

Quote:

5) They have no concept of good and evil at this point, so they are naive of God's authority in matters of "rightness". They obey because they are asked/told.

6) A serpent tells them they should touch the trees. In fact, it's perfectly okay to do so. They have no concept of good and evil at this point, so they are naive of the serpent's authority (or lack thereof) in matters of "rightness". They eat from the trees because they are told they can and should.

7) God sees this (if omniscient, it must be said that he was expecting this), and decides to take measures against Adam and Eve.

Now for some perspective, taking both of god's possible reactions into account:

GOD'S PERSPECTIVE:

1) I have intentionally placed Adam and Eve in this situation. I created them in such a way that they would have no way of judging whether or not this act was correct or incorrect, and I knew this when placing them and the trees together, but I will punish them for this act anyway.

I'm with you up to the point where you say punish.

 

Quote:

2) I will place a barrier to prevent Adam and Eve from performing this act again.

No, the barrier is to keep the way between man and the tree of life, not a repeat of the original sin, a follow up act which presumably was worse under the circumstances. But I reiterate, the end of the book reprises the tree of life theme tending to indicate that some time passed tilling ground and giving painful birth to children makes it possible for man who has become like god to eat from the second tree.

Why is it initially considered bad for Adam and Eve to have the same knowledge or the same immortality as god?

But couldn't he have just prevented the way to the tree of life without removing them from the entire garden?

Doesn't removing them from the garden entirely seem like a punishment when allowing them to stay in the garden was a viable option? (i.e. isn't that kind of like grounding?)

Doesn't the ground-tilling and painful birth indicate that they are somehow being chastised?

If painful birth and tilling the ground for a period of time can possibly allow them access to the tree of life, then why was the tree bad in the first place?

Why couldn't god have nixed the entire tree plan and jumped straight to the result he wanted? If he is as powerful as he is claimed to be, what purpose would he have for using such a method?

Quote:

Quote:

I created them in such a way that they would have no way of judging whether or not this act was correct or incorrect, and I knew this when I placed them and the trees together, but I will set this barrier anyway, ignoring the fact that I could have done this to begin with, or I could have simply barred them from the trees alone, or I could have simply removed the trees from the garden altogether, or I could have simply never placed them there in the first place, since doing so was completely unnecessary.

Yes and he also put the snake in the garden, he could have left that bit out too. but then this makes no issue in the absence of the 'punishment' dogma and that is where we leave off the same path.


But it does make an issue, I think.

Considering that you don't accept the "punishment" explanation, we'll stick to the "prevention" version. (I was trying to cover both explanations in the post you've quoted).

If god knew this was all going to happen, as you seem to have indicated by selecting "B" earlier, then why did he need the trees to accomplish this goal? He has essentially set Adam and Eve up, knowing what they would do, and then had a plan ready for when they did it. Is there anything else we can call this other than "trickery"? Why would an all-powerful god, capable of anything, need to use such a plan?

Now let's think about the snake he put in the garden.

If there is no snake in the garden, and if Adam and Eve are willing to do whatever they are told in their naivette, then there is never any catalyst for them to eat from the tree. The reason they did so was because they were naive about good and evil and the snake told them it was okay to eat from the tree, and that they should. They unwisely, in their naivette about good and evil, took the snake as a trustworthy source of information. So if the snake was not there, it's at least reasonable to think that the event might not have happened (unless there were other possible characters lined up, for which I would defer to the following paragraph).

But if God did put the snake in the garden, how was the snake able to make such a claim about the tree? Adam and Eve were specifically created to have no knowledge of good and evil, but what about the snake (or any character that may have assumed his role in his absence)?

If the snake was created as naive as Adam and Eve, then he would not have been able to be so evil as to lie to eve about it being acceptable to eat from the tree; however, it's arguable that he may have eaten from the tree himself before tempting eve. That line of thinking would probably make more sense considering that the snake was punished by being forced to crawl on his belly, but in your case that would create a problem since you're arguing that Adam and Eve were not punished. Why would one eater be punished when another was not? What does this say of god's justice? Also, would this mean that the snake also has the option of becoming like god? If not, why not?

If the snake was not created as naive as Adam and Eve were, then it must be said that the snake was initially more like god than man or woman.

Finally, one might argue that the one particular snake was created specifically by god for this one specific purpose, but then it would not make much sense for god to punish the snake, and it still would not answer the question as to why an all powerful god would need to use such methods.

Quote:

Archeopteryx wrote:

God self-righteously fails to consider that he might have had any act in Adam and Eve's shortcoming whatsoever.

Well he fails to say it, but I wouldn't say he fails to consider it. Who knows what is being considered by an omniscient?

I concede that I don't know that he did not put some of the fault on himself. But similarly, I don't believe that you can know that he did find some fault with himself.

However, we do know that he failed to make it known if he did, and then continued to carry out his plan on those in whom fault was found, and it's for that reason that I call him self-righteous. Because that's how he made himself look.

Also, it is strange to conceive of an ostensibly perfect being with perfect knowledge of good and evil finding himself in error, is it not?

Quote:

Archeopteryx wrote:

God takes measures that are either 1) Completely unjust, or 2) pointless and illogical, serving no purpose for mankind whatsoever.

Well there is the possibility that it's neither of those things if the opposite of 2 is true.

It's also the possibility that I could leap into outter space if the opposite of "gravity exists" is true, but I would have to argue effectively for that claim before I could suggest its truth.

What was the point and logic behind these actions? What purpose did it serve for mankind?

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Gauche wrote:

Gauche wrote:

Textom wrote:
But since the Tree of Life was keeping Adam & Eve immortal that whole time, I personally don't see how you can be sure it wasn't 15 billion years.

 

as shitty a storyteller as the person was who came up with that piece of crap i still don't think they would just omit 15 billion years in the middle of the story. wouldn't they say something? also it seems like in 15 billion years something would occur that was at least mildly noteworthy. i think it's pretty fair to assume that much time didn't pass.

Well, since the priests who constructed the Genesis story were cannibalizing from two or possibly three different source texts--none of which we still have--we don't know for sure what they left out and/or what they added in.

But the Gen 2-3 gap kind of makes all those reams of apologetic writing about the literal meaning of "day" kind of moot. Usher's calculations were exact to the hour of creation, so if even a couple of years or a century or two went by, he'd be wrong. I've never been able to find out how he decided how much time passed in that interval.

[edit] Okay, I found it.  Ussher assumed that, because the Bible says Adam was 130 when Seth was born, that the earth was 130 years old at that time.

But the obvious flaw here is that there's no evidence one way or the other that Adam's age was counted from his creation, rather than from the time of the fall.  If there was no death in the garden, was there aging and time?  I don't think anybody can adequately answer that question based on what's in the Bible. 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Eloise wrote: Veils of

Eloise wrote:

Veils of Maya wrote:



Misadventure? I wouldn't associate the potential of eternal punishment a "youthful misadventure."


No more than an accident with a hot oven that left life-long permanent scarring, which is the sense in which I meant it. I didn't mean to be unduly pleasant by it, I intended a neutral statement to be read from that context.



Your story seemed to trivialize what is the pivotal point in the fall of man and all life on earth.

Eloise wrote:

veils of maya wrote:

Your analogy doesn't match up. God is the one's who was angry and held man responsible. Not the other way around. And Christians seem bound and determined to remind you of this fact at every turn.


This nicely outlines the distinction between a book and its readership. don't you think?

Reading the book itself it's basically impossible to find any literal support for an angry, blaming God in genesis 3.



You're correct in that there is no explicit indication of God's state of mind. However, the story doesn't imply that Adam or Eve were angry either. But, of the two scenarios you described, it appears that God is the one who's holding a grudge.

Eloise wrote:


Most of the consequences related in 3-14:19 are linked directly to the action of eating the fruit. ie Because you ate it the ground is cursed; (to the snake) because you have done this you will eat dust.

God takes personal credit for three things and those are laid on woman - the enmity between children and snakes, pain in childbirth and female subservience. To infer from this that god was angry you must first assume that these are things that an almighty God would do out of anger because God is never literally described as being angry over this event. This invokes the question which you see in debate over the problem of evil, greater good. The book itself doesn't specify the why's and wherefore's and it most definitely does not say God was angry.



The bible says all animals were created as vegitarians. Since this is obviously no longer the case, this seems to imply Man's disobedience caused some animals, such as tigers and piranhas, to become carnivorous. Their entire physiological structures of were changed to kill and eat meat. Those who remained vegetarians suddenly became prey. Animals began to die a violent death on a regular basis.

In addition, man is made mortal. God, in is infinite ability and intelligence, had an unlimited number of options at his disposal, but he essentially sentences Adam and Eve to a life of struggle and eventual death. Based on the choice he made, I'd say he was far from being happy with them.

Eloise wrote:


finally God dresses adam and eve in skins and sets a guard over the 'tree of life'. If anything is to be inferred from these last few lines of genesis three then it must be that a greater good was intended to be served.



God did not initially forbid man to eat from the Tree of Life. His resending this offer could quite easily be interpreted as punishment since it caused their eventual death. Again, God chooses death, which he uses as punishment in numerous other senerios in the Bible.

Eloise wrote:


BTW re "match-up" You do realise I am not a christian apologist, yes? I have no obligation to 'match up' with christian dogma.



But it's helpful if your analogies actually 'match up' with topic at hand: the Biblical story of Adam and Eve.

In addition, your story seemed to imply that some of us were acting like ungrateful children, angry at God for leaving us unattended in the Garden of Eden. Personally, I don't believe in God, so I can't blame or be angry with someone who doesn't exist.

veils of maya wrote:
Eloise wrote:


Generally I like Genesis, can you tell? It is a deeply philosophical story, IMO. Still... that is JMHO.

Smiling


It makes you feel warm and fuzzy, so it must be true?

Do you like Harry Potter as well?


As a matter of fact, I love Harry Potter. Smiling



The author of the Harry Potter series knew the importance of writing to her audience. She not only entertained her readers, but did so in a way that covered a wide range of subjects, such as good vs. evil, friendship, teamwork and even death. To do so, she put Harry and his friends in an magical environment - allowing her to orchestrate situations that clearly illustrated these very subjects.

While we may or may not like the story, the real question is "does the story of the Garden of Eden have any basis in reality?" That is, God really created Adam and Eve as perfect beings, then punished them for his disobedience. Or is God simply another plot device, like magic in the Harry Potter series?

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Textom wrote:   todangst

Textom wrote:

 

todangst wrote:
'god' is still punishing them for their actions, rendering them morally culpable

Again, not finding the punishment idea supported the Bible. The idea that not eating from the tree is a law and that violating that law deserves punishment comes from our buddy Augustine.

When I read Gen 2-3, I see a fairytale about a God who tells the two people that if they eat from a particular tree, that the tree will cause them to die (not the God).

I deal with this dodge in my original argument: calling it a fairytale does nothing to deal with the fact that the fairytale contains a clear contradiction.

I don't even see people here attempting to deal with this problem. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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AngelEngine wrote: Eloise

AngelEngine wrote:
Eloise wrote:

No more than an accident with a hot oven that left life-long permanent scarring, which is the sense in which I meant it. I didn't mean to be unduly pleasant by it, I intended a neutral statement to be read from that context.

Atleast the scar isnt passed onto your child. Sin however, is. Your analogy is flawed. No rational analogy can be created pertaining the sin of adam and eve. This is because the very sin is unjust and purely irrational.

Yeah fair enough, but its the closest I could come up with, a lifetime is the closest we have to eternity to draw an analogy from.

Quote:
Quote:

This nicely outlines the distinction between a book and its readership. don't you think?

Youve nicely outlined the distinction between the book and its personal interpretation, dont you think?

Hmm I suppose so, on the basis that every view is subjective.

I was attempting to slice the text literally and without introducing assumptions, though, and I'm really not convinced by your sarcasm that I did such a bad job. Smiling

 

Quote:
Quote:

Reading the book itself it's basically impossible to find any literal support for an angry, blaming God in genesis 3.

Except for the fact that he blames everyone but himself. He never once considers that he was at fault, for placing the tree in such an open, public place, for creating a snake that tricks eve, for not placing a gaurd at the tree.

Yeah I was just having this conversation with Archeopteryx.

I will continue there.

 

Quote:
Quote:

Most of the consequences related in 3-14:19 are linked directly to the action of eating the fruit. ie Because you ate it the ground is cursed; (to the snake) because you have done this you will eat dust.

Yes, god hands out punishment. However, he does not once consider himself at fault.

Okay, now this is what I meant about a book and its readership, where does it say in Genesis that these consequences are punishment? This is an introduced assumption, these consequences involve suffering ergo they must be punishment.

The theme of sin and suffering is also reprised later in the bible, and in that later story a perfect man suffers horrendously for sin with the explicit point made there and then God is not punishing him.

 

Quote:
Quote:

God takes personal credit for three things and those are laid on woman - the enmity between children and snakes, pain in childbirth and female subservience. To infer from this that god was angry you must first assume that these are things that an almighty God would do out of anger because God is never literally described as being angry over this event.

I completely agree. I mean, how many parents smile and laugh when they hand out punishments? Many.

Although i understand where your coming from, god is known to be a vengeful, angry god. Maybe not in genesis, but in other sections of the old testament, definately.

Yeah there is lots of angry god in the old testament, but is that anger blamed on the fall? No. It's usually related directly to something man is doing and this time he is doing it in knowledge. So it takes on a different meaning there. In contrast to Genesis, I don't generally like the rest of the OT, there are some philosophical moments, sure, but overall the OT is, to me, the harrowing prologue of an archetypal hero story. It's disturbing and tragic, the very epitome of a world in need of a hero.

 

Quote:

Quote:

finally God dresses adam and eve in skins and sets a guard over the 'tree of life'. If anything is to be inferred from these last few lines of genesis three then it must be that a greater good was intended to be served.

What good would that be, exactly?

There are no overt displays of emotion in genesis 3 plus none of the consequences are stated literally to be punishment, in fact when Jesus comes along he suffers worse never once referring to it as punishment. Jesus' suffering is explicitly described as being an act on behalf of greater good.

Now it stands that although adam and eve had no knowledge of good and evil, they possessed individual will and the choice to act on it. They chose to act on this will and, Eve especially, desired knowledge which they didn't have. Once they had this knowledge God could have taken it away from them, he could have erased the events of the day, could he not? Being omnipotent. But he didn't, he didn't negate the will of man and woman and he didn't overrule Eve's desire to be knowledgable with his omnipotence. His reaction was to outline to them the next step on the road of their choice. It included suffering and the prohibition of access to the tree of life. The book never says these things were done in anger, and if this god really didn't want the man and woman to have knowledge of good and evil he could have acted in accord with his overwhelming will and taken it away from them.

So in my view the right conclusion is that gods actions were intended to serve the good of allowing Adam and Eve their own will and desire to become wise and serving that desire by preparing them for the consequences of having knowledge of good and evil, while ensuring that they did not take another step toward being like god until they were ready.

 

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BTW re "match-up" You do realise I am not a christian apologist, yes? I have no obligation to 'match up' with christian dogma.

Well, if youre not going to practice what you preach, atleast have the decency to preach what you practice.

LOL, this is what I practice. I think the issue that confuses here is the idea that only a Christian would read and consider the book of genesis, an idea that this thread voids by its very nature.

 

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As a matter of fact, I love Harry Potter. Smiling

Blastphemer.

LOL. I have read all seven books, three of them on the day of release.

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