Monday, 18 August 2008

Adam and Eve Redux


OK, some apologists just don't get it, so let's use an analogy.

Let's say your kid who is all of 2 years old like to run in your garden and you don't like it. You go and confront the little kid and tell him, "Don't run into my yard, for the next time you do so, you shall surely feel my wrath." You don't put up a fence or do anything to keep the kid out - in fact you do the opposite and put something in the garden that the kid will be irresistibly drawn to just so that you can ensure the kid will enter the garden. Next thing you know, the kid is in your garden again. If you were an insane, egotistical, sadistic, angry person, you might take the following actions:

1. Banish the kid from your house forever and toss him out on his ass.
2. Inject him with some sort of genetically designed virus that causes birth defects in all his off-spring for all eternity.
3. Blame the kid for everything and convince him that it's all his fault that you are taking such extreme actions, but that you are doing it out of love.
4. Create a place of torture for this kid and all his descendants to go to if they don't bow down and kiss your feet and convince them it's all their fault.

etc. etc.

If you think that those actions are pretty insane, then consider god's actions against Adam and Eve. Yes, the analogy falls a little short, only because god's actions are even harder to defend and even more insane - he knew they would eat the fruit, he actually puts people in hell for all eternity, etc.

38 comments:

IM_BLACK said...

They had their shot then blew it. Why do we think that we deserve mercy? Why should we get 2nd 3rd or 852nd chances? How prideful are we that God owes us this somehow?

The rules were laid out very plainly and simply on how to live and what was acceptable, and the consequences were also laid out. The rules were broken and the punishment was delivered.

It seems fair to me. We have a legal system set up with consequences also. Should people be able to commit crimes without receiving the predetermined punishment for that crime? Our system is flawed...one person can commit murder and be locked up in prison or be put to death, the next person who commits the same crime can wash the blood off his hands write a book and make millions. Could this possibly inspire others try to follow the same path?

What if every person who committed the same crime experienced the same punishment? What if murder ended up as punishable by death....every time?

A good parent will draw the lines very clear, and the punishment for certain actions are very clear. A bad parent will have quite the opposite, and the result will be children that are constantly testing the parent wondering what they can get away with this time.

The beauty of the Garden of Eden is that God was not lying, or going to serve another punishment for the breaking of the rules. No gray area. Some kids learn from the lessons and some don't.

Dave said...

>Should people be able to commit crimes without receiving the predetermined punishment for that crime? <

It depends on the "crime," doesn't it, im black?

For example, it was a crime for black people to sit at a lunch counter with white people in many states in the U.S. Do you think people with dark skin colors should have been punished for committing that crime?

Dave said...

Despite your claim otherwise, your god did lie, im black:

"for on the day you eat of it you shall surely die."

But Eve and Adam did not die the day they ate apples. So god either lied or was mistaken - hardly godlike actions.

Or is there another explanation you can give for the continued existence of Eve and Adam?

GCT said...

im_black

Let's explore your analogy a bit further. Does our justice system hold toddlers and the mentally disabled accountable for their actions? Why not?

It's because they don't have the moral capability to understand the difference between right and wrong. So, flashing back to Adam and Eve, did they have the capability?

According to the Bible, they clearly did not. They did not know the difference between good and evil until AFTER they ate of the fruit that gave them that knowledge. So, in this case, yes, god should not have come down on them as he did, and he certainly should not have infected all of their offspring with this "sin."

Further, god had foreknowledge that this would happen and he did nothing about it. If a parent left out a box of rat poison and their kid ate it, don't you think the parent could and possibly should be held accountable, even if only for their negligence?

GCT said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot:
"What if every person who committed the same crime experienced the same punishment? What if murder ended up as punishable by death....every time?"

Is this an argument for god, because it's pretty clear that there is not a uniform distribution of punishment for crimes by god. Some people die earlier than others. Some people are murdered, others are the murderers. According to the Bible, some of those murderers end up in heaven while others like Gandhi end up in hell. This is not equitable and not a point in favor of god.

IM_BLACK said...

Dave,

Your point is well taken. However take your statement for example:

"For example, it was a crime for black people to sit at a lunch counter with white people in many states in the U.S"

The key to this is that yes it WAS a crime. Do you know how many times you can use the word WAS in this instance? Laws are changed all the time, and new ones are created every day. This goes back to my point that we live in a flawed system, one which changes all the time, every day, and for each situation.

The creator layed it out in the beginning, and changed nothing changed. No new laws, and no changed laws, and everything was very clear. Punishment was death, not physically though...we also need to understand this.

"But Eve and Adam did not die the day they ate apples. So god either lied or was mistaken - hardly godlike actions."

They did die, and consequently so did I. They represent humanity here and I am a part of that so I also endure the punishment of death.

I am curious what you mean when you mention "-hardly godlike actions." What exactly does that look like? How do we measure the actions of God and say if they are godlike or not quite godlike enough? It seems funny to me I guess...

IM_BLACK said...

I love this!

You are correct in saying that Adam and Eve did not have prior knowledge until after they ate of the fruit. We were given the ability to choose right or wrong though.

"So, in this case, yes, god should not have come down on them as he did, and he certainly should not have infected all of their offspring with this "sin.""

God did not infect us at all. We did. We chose. Now we will get the deserved punishment.

Your analogy of the stupid parents is taken very well. Why would He do this? I ask myself the same thing? It seems unfair at times, in fact many things do. I always come back to realize that I don't have infinite knowledge and can't tell God that He is wrong or right in doing something. I have no clue why He does some things, and why some people suffer, but I know that He knows more than I, and has purpose for everything that He does. Even if it may seem stupid to me. But what do I know anyway?

"Is this an argument for god, because it's pretty clear that there is not a uniform distribution of punishment for crimes by god. Some people die earlier than others. Some people are murdered, others are the murderers. According to the Bible, some of those murderers end up in heaven while others like Gandhi end up in hell. This is not equitable and not a point in favor of god."

All sin equals up to one thing: separation from God. This is the only punishment that matters. Physical death does not even matter in comparison to spiritual death. This is what we are talking about here. In this way all sin is equal: meanig that it ends up in separation from Him.

Anonymous said...

im_black said

"Why should we get 2nd 3rd or 852nd chances?"

And god doesn't have to "forgive 70times 7" just because he is god and can do whatever the fuck he wants? (Mt 18:21)

"How prideful are we that God owes us this somehow?"

It's "prideful" to expect that as "creations" built in "god's own image" to not want to be treated like shit?

"The rules"? Oh, I see. Like the rules imposed by a dictator or monarchy. Do as I say or else. What the fuck happened to free will?

i_m. Why do you hide behind a empty blog, anyway? Are you on a secret mission for god?

GCT said...

I'm_Black,
"The key to this is that yes it WAS a crime. Do you know how many times you can use the word WAS in this instance? Laws are changed all the time, and new ones are created every day. This goes back to my point that we live in a flawed system, one which changes all the time, every day, and for each situation."

Yet, we try to rectify that, unlike god.

"The creator layed it out in the beginning, and changed nothing changed. No new laws, and no changed laws, and everything was very clear."

Yes, and his laws about holding slaves and such are very moral, are they not? Our laws are more moral than god's.

"You are correct in saying that Adam and Eve did not have prior knowledge until after they ate of the fruit. We were given the ability to choose right or wrong though."

I'm tempted to say that you are suffering from cognitive dissonance. How could Adam and Eve have made a choice if they had no knowledge of good and evil? This makes no sense, nor does it make sense to hold them and all of us accountable for this action.

"God did not infect us at all. We did. We chose. Now we will get the deserved punishment."

I'm sorry, but when did I allow a talking snake to tempt me to eat of the fruit of good and evil? I was born sinful according to Xianity, so I did not choose to be sinful! So, why is god justified in not giving us all the same "choice"?

"Your analogy of the stupid parents is taken very well. Why would He do this? I ask myself the same thing? It seems unfair at times, in fact many things do. I always come back to realize that I don't have infinite knowledge and can't tell God that He is wrong or right in doing something."

Then, you can't assume that what god does is right. If you don't have the ability to judge god's actions as right or wrong, why do you assume they are right?

"I have no clue why He does some things, and why some people suffer, but I know that He knows more than I, and has purpose for everything that He does."

But, you have no assurance that god's purpose is good. In fact, you have quite a bit of evidence - if the Bible is true - that god does NOT have your best interests at heart, considering that most people will go to hell, the numerous genocides, that he sets you up as a sinner from the beginning, etc.

"All sin equals up to one thing: separation from God. This is the only punishment that matters."

And yet you haven't objected to the fact that some murderers are in heaven right now while Gandhi is in hell.

GCT said...

"i_m. Why do you hide behind a empty blog, anyway? Are you on a secret mission for god?"

Let's not cast unwarranted aspersions on others. You posted here as "Anonymous" as well. Let's let people post the way they want to and deal with their arguments as you did in the other part of your post.

IM_BLACK said...

Sorry bro I guess I have to admitt my stupidity here on this one. I am by no means a computer genius, and am very new to posting comments on blogs. Your site is actually the first site that I have ever really tried to have conversation. It was not my intention to post any anonymous comments or questions. I apologize.

Dave said...

>How do we measure the actions of God and say if they are godlike or not quite godlike enough? It seems funny to me I guess...<

Im black - you didn't answer my charge that your god lies. Eve and Adam did not die the day they ate the apple, as predicted by god. They were exiled from the Garden of Eden, and they had kids.

Dave said...

im black - You say god lays everything out and doesn't change what's laid out.

What about giving humans free will, then "hardening" Pharaoh's heart? The Egyptian ruler was prepared to give Moses and his people their freedom, but your god intervened and took away his free will.

Why do you say your god lays down rules that don't change, when clearly your god does change the rules?

GCT said...

im_black:
"Sorry bro I guess I have to admitt my stupidity here on this one. I am by no means a computer genius, and am very new to posting comments on blogs. Your site is actually the first site that I have ever really tried to have conversation. It was not my intention to post any anonymous comments or questions. I apologize."

I'm sorry that it wasn't clear that I wasn't talking about/to you. It looked to me like someone was criticizing you for "hiding behind an empty blog." I just wanted to point out that we should deal with the arguments made by others, not their identities. This was in no way critical of you.

IM_BLACK said...

Hey dude, sorry I did not respond to your thoughts I honestly skipped over them I guess as you can see my confusion earlier...but let me try here...

"And god doesn't have to "forgive 70times 7" just because he is god and can do whatever the fuck he wants? (Mt 18:21)"

Well.....yes, i suppose so. He created the world and has ultimate power should He choose to so yeah I guess He could do whatever the f*$# He wants...

"It's "prideful" to expect that as "creations" built in "god's own image" to not want to be treated like shit?"

Hey I did not "expect" to be created at all, I don't think that any of us did to my knowledge. It was the decision of God to create us in His own image.

""The rules"? Oh, I see. Like the rules imposed by a dictator or monarchy. Do as I say or else. What the fuck happened to free will?"

Sure there are rules and consequenses for them as well. But this does not put a hault to our free will. Are you and I incapable of choosing to do what we want? I have the free will go go and rob a bank right now and the cop watching me has the free will to put a bullet in me too. Why do you ask where our free will went?

GCT said...

im_black
"Hey I did not "expect" to be created at all, I don't think that any of us did to my knowledge."

This is actually a rather important point. None of us chose to be created, it was thrust upon us by god without our consent. That we may enjoy it after the fact does not change that it was non-consentual. This means that god has a moral obligation to us for taking this action. So, no, he can't do whatever the F he wants from that standpoint, since he is morally obligated to us.

"Are you and I incapable of choosing to do what we want?"

If god is omni-max, then the quick answer to this question is "Yes." With an omni-max god, we are indeed incapable of making our own choices.

thunder from on high said...

hey, im -

you probably see what i saw a long time ago...people justifying their lack of faith by attacking your faith.

you and i both know we will be with the Lord and, hopefully, these folks will be, too.

until then, please be patient with them for they know not what they are doing...

GCT said...

Thunder,
"you probably see what i saw a long time ago...people justifying their lack of faith by attacking your faith."

First of all, I don't need to justify anything. It is not up to me to justify my "lack of faith" - it is up to you to justify why your faith is one worth having.

Second, why are you afraid of criticism of your faith? Shouldn't you be able to defend it with rational and reasonable arguments if it is true?

"you and i both know we will be with the Lord..."

Actually, you don't know that, you have faith that this is true. IOW, you hope that it is true, but wishing and hoping don't make it a fact that you can "know." Do you understand the difference there?

thunder from on high said...

Actually, I don't have to justify my faith...and...there are far more things that merit my "fear" than your criticism.

What this blog seems to do again and again is...throw out some conclusion based only on your human understanding and...when someone happens to disagree...criticism just because we believe differently

Believe whatever you please...it's no skin off of my nose.

Take a "macro" look at this blog, and if you do it honestly...it is a broken record...

The last thing I will give you is my opinion of your general approach...yours is a very limited view of the world, centered almost completely on you and your sense of self-importance.

Get along...little doggie.

Anonymous said...

Thunder. What an arrogant asshole. Yet typical fucking Christian. Here comes in here like a smartass and those acts that he attacks are the very acts he uses.

GCT said...

Thunder,
"Actually, I don't have to justify my faith..."

Actually, you don't. But, if you won't, don't, and/or can't justify it, then you similarly can't criticize me for calling you out on it and pointing out that you are irrational for holding that faith.

"What this blog seems to do again and again is...throw out some conclusion based only on your human understanding and...when someone happens to disagree...criticism just because we believe differently..."

I think you'll be hard pressed to find an instance where I am criticizing a person for disagreeing with me. I criticize the ideas, not the person. Do you understand the difference? Also, I take exception to your assertion that I and the others here simply throw out conclusions in any fashion. I present actual arguments to back up my conclusions, arguments which you have made no attempt to rebut. Your only means of rebuttal is to simply say, "You're wrong," without being able to articulate why in a logical, rational, and/or coherent fashion.

"Take a "macro" look at this blog, and if you do it honestly...it is a broken record..."

Yes, it is. It's a broken record of pointing out the fallacies of religious thought, the illogical conclusions of religious thought, the poor arguments of religious thought. I wish I didn't have to act like a broken record in pointing out the ridiculousness of religious thought, but most people simply don't get it.

"The last thing I will give you is my opinion of your general approach...yours is a very limited view of the world, centered almost completely on you and your sense of self-importance."

And, this is almost insulting. How is my view of the world limited and self-centered? Examples please. And, how would you come to that conclusion by reading posts that debunk your religion? You sound like you are simply angry at me for having the temerity to attack your cherished beliefs and are now lashing out. I would much prefer that you actually deal with the arguments presented instead of making ad hominem attacks.

thunder from on high said...

If my posts come off as "angry", I apologize...also, I mean no personal offense.

I work for a large, national law firm, so I recognize your Socratic approach to religion.

The difference is, this approach applies to the law...only.

Plato made an important point that many people fail to heed...just because we are proficient in a particular discipline, it doesn't mean that we are expert in other areas, also.

I admit that religious belief does not always meet the test of the Socratic method...so what.

Like I said before, believe what you want to believe or not believe.

As to my point about "self-centered", your conclusions come off as "if religion does not meet my particular analytical skill set, it must be wrong".

I think even you will admit, there are things beyond basic human comprehension in every day life...doesn't necessarily make them wrong.

As Christ instructed His apostles...if after bringing the Word to your brothers, they reject what you have said, dust off your sandles on their doorstep and move on.

Christ was not some sort of "benevolent hippie", as some Christians portray.

He does not "fit the bill" that many feel He should fill.

Good bye and good luck.

GCT said...

Thunder,
"If my posts come off as "angry", I apologize...also, I mean no personal offense."

I was actually thinking more "defensive" than angry, but apology accepted.

"The difference is, this approach applies to the law...only."

Respectfully I disagree. In fact, most of my posts don't deal with the "law" but to the attributes that Xians say that god has.

"Plato made an important point that many people fail to heed...just because we are proficient in a particular discipline, it doesn't mean that we are expert in other areas, also."

Agreed, but I don't know why you are bringing this up.

"I admit that religious belief does not always meet the test of the Socratic method...so what."

If religious belief does not meet the reality of the actual, real world, why should be believe in it? In fact, we shouldn't replace the real world with make-believe.

"As to my point about "self-centered", your conclusions come off as "if religion does not meet my particular analytical skill set, it must be wrong"."

It's not just my analytical skill set, it is the agreed upon objective set of logical arguments. To assert that there are other types of logic out there or similar arguments is to assert a relativism to the universe that Xians do not believe in. And, yes, I believe that if we are to take the idea of god seriously, that this god should be logically consistent and coherent.

"I think even you will admit, there are things beyond basic human comprehension in every day life...doesn't necessarily make them wrong."

And, I didn't say they were wrong, nor have I ever made the argument that this implies - a reverse god of the gaps.

"As Christ instructed His apostles...if after bringing the Word to your brothers, they reject what you have said, dust off your sandles on their doorstep and move on.

Christ was not some sort of "benevolent hippie", as some Christians portray."

Actually, Jesus supposedly said a lot of things, but I agree with you that he was not a benevolent hippie. I think that if Jesus existed and is as described in the Bible, he had quite the conservative streak to him.

"He does not "fit the bill" that many feel He should fill."

Again, agreed. In fact, this is a trivially true statement in that Jesus is purported to fit so many bills that he can't possibly fit them all. Many Xians think of Jesus as a peace-loving person, but I don't see him that way (again, if he even existed and did the things described in the Bible). This does beg the question though; how do you know that the Jesus you think the Bible describes is actually correct or true? IOW, this is a two-part question. First, how do you know that this Jesus in the Bible actually existed and is the way described, and second, how do you know your interpretations are correct? These are huge problems for theologians that I've never seen a good answer for.

Dave said...

Im black, are you around? I'm waiting for you to explain why your god supposedly lays down immutable rules, but can change them at will. How is it humans have free will, for example, but god takes free will away when he wants to?

Specifically, can you address why god took free will away from the Pharaoh, when he "hardened" his heart against the Jews.

Dave said...

Thunder - I think you are wrong when you assert that

>there are things beyond basic human comprehension in every day life...<

as evidence that logical thought need not apply when it comes to a belief in god.

When you drive a car (assuming you do), I'll wager you follow consistent rules of behavior. You use the brake pedal to stop, the gas pedal to go, the light switch to turn on the lights. You steer in the direction of the road. You follow those procedures in everyday life.

When you eat, you cut food with a knife and you put food into your mouth with a fork. When you go to the john, you don't defecate anywhere other than into the toilet bowl.

And when you speak or, as you do here, write something, you use words we can all understand and you use the correct grammar.

In other words, in most instances in your life, you act in a logical, that is consistent, fashion. You know at least basically how a car works - inertia, internal combustion, etc - you know the sharp edge of knife can slice through a softer piece of chicken, you understand the principle of John Crapper's invention. You can communicate your thoughts well enough for other people to understand them. All this occurs in everyday life.

But when it comes to something you don't understand - for example, how our universe came to be, the nature of gravity, why time flows in a forward direction instead of the reverse - you're at a loss. As are we all, for now and perhaps forever.

While we humans may not understand the difficult concepts about the nature of reality, some of us - you, for example - prefer to accept the illogical ideas promulgated in your bible than admit there are true mysteries, some of which we may one day uncover (such as the ultimate fate of the universe, and the make-up of dark matter).

You drive a car in a consistent way, you know how to use a knife and a fork, you shit into the pot instead of onto the floor, yet you put forth contradictory religious notions, and then explain away to us these contradictions, these inanities, by claiming that logic doesn't count.

The truth is you put your faith in a false god because you don't want to accept the reality of your coming death. You put your faith in simplistic, contradictory beliefs because, for you and billions of other humans on this earth, it's easier to do that then ponder what's really happened, and what's really going to happen, not just to us individually, but to our universe.

I can't accept such a narrow, contradictory view of reality. In fact, there are no >things beyond basic human comprehension in every day life.< We've figured out everyday life well enough to drive a car and use the toilet.

There are things beyond our comprehension - at least for now - that are not part of everyday life. You choose to use your illogical religion to deal with these things, such as the creation of the universe and what happens when we die.

Others of us prefer to think logically about such matters, even if the answers aren't discoverable, now or forever. Unlike you, we aren't deceiving ourselves with simplistic, contradictory beliefs dreamed up long ago by humans who didn't even understand the mechanics of rainfall.

IM_BLACK said...

Dave,

Sorry you were waiting for a response from me. I guess that I take weekends off from commenting....that sounds wierd. And I guess that I comment when I have some extra time at work.
Your comment about God and Pharaoh is a good point that I really can't comment on. I have read the passage but without going back and looking at it again I am not sure of all the details involved, so I appologize for my stupidity on this one. I am not claiming to be a biblical scholar here at all just a guy that likes to pick the brain of the guy next to me and I like to be kept on my toes about what I believe, as you have done here.
Your comment on free will....I guess that humans having free will can niether be proven or disproven. My only example is that as I sit here now.....I can say or do whatever I want. To me this is free will. If God stopped me from saying certian words or going certian places then I guess that my free will would be limited.

Dave said...

Im black, you wrote:

"I have read the passage but without going back and looking at it again I am not sure of all the details involved, so I appologize for my stupidity on this one.<

Well - what's keeping you from doing that, so we can have a discussion? It's not so difficult to read your bible.

"I am not claiming to be a biblical scholar"

No one said you were or should be to participate here. But you can think for yourself. So read your own bible and comment to us about what's in it, rather than admitting your too lazy - or afraid - to see what's there.

If you thought more carefully about what you wrote, if you were willing to read your bible and then comment, I might put more stock in your assertions. But you assert one thing, and then assert another that contradicts the first thing. So you can't be trusted.

For example, you wrote:

"The rules were laid out very plainly and simply on how to live and what was acceptable, and the consequences were also laid out. The rules were broken and the punishment was delivered."

Who laid down the rules? Your god. Who broke the rules? Humans, Eve and Adam. And those humans were punished for breaking the rules.

But then you admit your god could make you do whatever it wants you to do. You write,

"I can say or do whatever I want. To me this is free will. If God stopped me from saying certian words or going certian places then I guess that my free will would be limited."

Either we have free will or we don't have free will. If we don't have free will, then we're not responsible for breaking the rules, because god makes us break the rules. If god makes us break the rules, god is the one responsible for breaking the rules.

Here's an example - the one you are too lazy to read and think about in your bible - of god being the one to break the rules:

Even though Pharaoh decided to set free the Jewish people, god wouldn't let him to it. Your god wormed his way into the hidden recesses of Pharoah's mind, he burrowed into the deepest reaches of Pharaoh's soul, to know in advance what Pharaoh was thinking; he knew what Pharaoh would do. Then your god hardened Pharoah's heart to make him do just the opposite.


The consequences for Pharaoh not acting the way he wanted to act? Your god killed all the first born children in Egypt, and all the first born animals, too.

Your god is immoral.

You want it both ways. You want your god to lay down rules that we humans can only disobey only at our own peril, and you also want your god to be able to make us do or say or think whatever it wants us to do or say or think, and then punish us for doing what god makes us do.

Try this experiment, in your mind. Tell a child it's wrong to hit another child, and that if she does, you'll punish her. Then grab that child's hand and smash it - really hard - into the face of another child. Would you then punish the first kid for doing something wrong?

Of course not. But that's just what your god did with Pharaoh. Your god made Pharaoh do something Pharaoh and your god knew was wrong.

Hardening Pharaoh's heart and then killing a bunch of humans and animals makes for a great story, but when you think deeply about it, as an adult, you can see god in the story - the fairy tale - is one sick puppy.

By the way, do you think Pharaoh knew god had hardened his heart? Do you think he twisted and turned and fell to the floor, and called out to his advisers, "Help me, I'm on fire here! An invisible force is making me do something I don't want to do!"

Naw. It didn't happen that way. Your god hardened Pharaoh's heart, and poor Pharaoh didn't have an inkling. If he did, his heart wouldn't have been hardened.

Do you think YOU would know if your god stopped you from, as you wrote, saying or doing certain things? If god hid the truth from you, could you figure out you had no free will? Well, god is all powerful, so if it didn't want you to know you'd lost your free will, you would never figure it out.

If there is a god like the one you believe exists, one that kills baby's, it must be a morally perverted god. And your morals, im black, if you believe in such a being, are therefore suspect, too.

You tell us, in your first comment, that humans blew it, and that we don't deserve mercy. Then you admit god could be responsible for making us behave wrongly. Since you contradict yourself, why should I give any credence to what you have to say about you god?

GCT said...

im_black,
"Your comment on free will....I guess that humans having free will can niether be proven or disproven."

Actually, it's rather trivial to show that we can't possibly have free will if god is omni-max, which many Xians believe.

Wallis said...

#1. Genesis 1 through 3 comprise fairy tales left over from the Sumerian period.

#2. These stories are not history.

#3. These stories are to impress upon the Jewish people to give up their idols and turn to the true God.

#4. Modern people who read these three chapters as if they read today's newspapers or Harry Potter are missing 99% of the original intent of the writers.

GCT said...

So Wallis, what is the original intent of the writers? What were they trying to convey? Whether you believe it literally happened or don't (as I obviously don't) the story still paints god in a rather unjust and unfavorable light.

Anonymous said...

Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Now that I know Genesis 1 - 3 is a "fairy tale" and that "all scripture is inspired by god", I guess he'll have no problem with me chosing Harry Potter as my god and religion.

Wallis said...

The original intent of the writers was to take the Neminomicrom and other creation stories that abounded during this period of time and declare that the One True God created the heavens and the Earth.

Since the other creation stories were well-known at the time, the Jews very cleverly reworked these creation stories to declare that there is only one God, and it is that God we should be worshipping.

The question I would ask is: does Genesis paint God in an unfavorable light, or does it paint human beings in an unfavorable light?

I will agree that from first blush, the first three chapters of Genesis do make God look rather stupid. But we are missing the Jewish humor here. Even today, from comments on this blog and others that I contribute, we tend to lean heavily on the concept that God is pretty stupid, uncaring, etc. When, in the Jewish intent, it is not God being stupid but we are who are being stupid because we will not understand--maybe refuse to understand--the big picture from God's point of view.

Anonymous, unfortunately, the word "inspire" is used only once in the Bible (I believe).

Theologians, when they come across a word in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek that can have many meanings, will look for that same word in other Biblical texts to determine the greater possibility of the intent of the writer.

If you would just look at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/inspire, you will find a great deal of modern meanings of this word.

So what does "inspire" mean in Timothy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inspiration will give you a quick overview of how the different churches have come to interpret the meaning of the word in Timothy.

Secondly, you remind me of a converstation I had with a born-again fundamentalist minister. I asked him that if I could prove that just one passage in the Bible was fasle, would that affect his belief in God.

He answered: "Yes."

Then I told him that he believed in a book, not in a God.

GCT said...

Wallis,
"Since the other creation stories were well-known at the time, the Jews very cleverly reworked these creation stories to declare that there is only one God, and it is that God we should be worshipping."

Except, they didn't create a god that was worthy of worship in a moral sense. Sure, if you think that power makes one worthy of worship, and people that long ago probably did. But, today, we understand that might does not make right, and you seem to understand that these are just the made up myths of an ancient people that didn't know any better, so it's highly illogical for you to believe in it, especially since you've already admitted you have zero evidence for god.

"The question I would ask is: does Genesis paint God in an unfavorable light, or does it paint human beings in an unfavorable light?"

god, hands down comes out smelling worse in the story. By far. Real far. In fact, I don't see the people doing anything wrong in the least, while god is a raging a-hole.

"I will agree that from first blush, the first three chapters of Genesis do make God look rather stupid. But we are missing the Jewish humor here. Even today, from comments on this blog and others that I contribute, we tend to lean heavily on the concept that God is pretty stupid, uncaring, etc. When, in the Jewish intent, it is not God being stupid but we are who are being stupid because we will not understand--maybe refuse to understand--the big picture from God's point of view."

Oh please. All this talk of god's point of view is all smoke and mirrors. god's point of view is no better. He would have known (through his omniscience) what was to happen, so he's even stupider if he didn't want it to happen. Of course, he did want it to happen, there's no other logical conclusion, and he wanted people to go to hell. This makes it even WORSE for god.

"Secondly, you remind me of a converstation I had with a born-again fundamentalist minister. I asked him that if I could prove that just one passage in the Bible was fasle, would that affect his belief in God.

He answered: "Yes.""

He was lying to you.

Anonymous said...

Wallis said: "I asked him that if I could prove that just one passage in the Bible was fasle, would that affect his belief in God. He answered: 'Yes.' Then I told him that he believed in a book, not in a God."

Excuse me. The entire Christian theology is based on the believen "fact" that the Bible is the "word of God" and that this is how one gets to know and understand him. And since He certainly doesn't appear or speak to us, then how do we know what to believe about God? I am finding that there exist a buttload of inacuracies and contridictions in the Bible and my initial nutshell conclusion is that if God does indeed exist, you can't count on Him for anything.

Incidentally, although the stock market was down today, the last investment in my retirement account plunged like no other and for no reason (ie bad news, bad earnings). You can thank your God for proving himself (not) to another and for the fact that I am now officially BANKRUPT. GGGOOOOOO Jesus (and holy shit too)

Wallis said...

Ha-ha. This actually beginning to be fun.

You have already decided what God is. AND, you have already decided that you are correct. Interesting.

You have already decided that God is at fault for everything. Is this not your own version of smoke and mirrors?

I believe that Bruce Almighty with Jim Carrey showed just how ridiculous this idea is.

You have decided that this life is the only thing that counts, and that it should be heaven. [Excuse me while I have a laughing fit here.]

Where two or three people gather together, there is chaos. And, you want to blame God for that! [Oh, my lord, the tears are begining to come: I can't see the keyboard any more.] Chaos exists not because of any God, but because of the stubborn blockheadedness of people.

Oh, wait! You want to blame God for making you that way, too. Ho-ho-ho! Is it that you can't change? Or that you don't want to change?

Jaye Tyler in Wonderfalls lived in a sick world. She felt she was no damn good, and she rejected any attempt to the contrary. Fortunately for her, the talking animals ("Are you God"), which were probably her subconsious trying to break out of her "hell" or prision, snapped her out of thinking that life is hell and she is doomed to live it.

In The 4400, Shawn Farrell wants to help a girl who lives on the streets. She tells him: "You can't help me. I don't want to be saved!" She buried herself so deep psychologically that she deluded herself that not only was she not salvageable as a human being, she also did not believe she was worthy of being salvaged.

This entire blog is not a raving against God at all, but an attempt to remain in the "pit" you have created for yourselves and an opportunity to resist any kind of change from your miserable existence.

Lordy. I know that I'm crazy. I'll be waiting until you realize that you are crazy, too, and then you'll start enjoying life a hell of a lot more. (No pun intended)

Anonymous said...

Hey Wallis. Thanks for showing what a dickhead you really are.

Anonymous said...

Wallis. You won't mind if I call you Jim Ladd, will you. How are things going at Grace Community there in Centennial, CO?

GCT said...

Wallis,
"You have already decided what God is. AND, you have already decided that you are correct. Interesting."

Actually, your scriptures decided and I'm just presenting the logic.

"You have already decided that God is at fault for everything. Is this not your own version of smoke and mirrors?"

Um, no, it's logically deduced. Tell me how it is possible for something to not be caused by an omni-max being.

"I believe that Bruce Almighty with Jim Carrey showed just how ridiculous this idea is."

Now I'm laughing. Are you really going to use a movie as proof of something?

"You have decided that this life is the only thing that counts, and that it should be heaven. [Excuse me while I have a laughing fit here.]"

If god is omni-max and omni-benevolent, then it is a contradictory notion that he should have to test us with suffering, etc. If we need suffering in order to feel happiness, then why don't we need that in heaven? This logically shows that suffering is not actually needed. That means that god is immoral for causing us to suffer unnecessarily.

"Where two or three people gather together, there is chaos. And, you want to blame God for that! [Oh, my lord, the tears are begining to come: I can't see the keyboard any more.] Chaos exists not because of any God, but because of the stubborn blockheadedness of people."

Um, no. Again, nothing can happen in this universe that is not caused by an omni-max being if one exists. This is pretty obvious. If you don't understand why, I can try and explain it, but it's pretty elementary. Second, if you contend that god created us, then he most certainly did create us to be the way that we are, so it's completely absurd for you to "laugh" at this point considering it's patently obvious.

"Oh, wait! You want to blame God for making you that way, too. Ho-ho-ho! Is it that you can't change? Or that you don't want to change?"

god judges us as unworthy for being human. So, no, I don't want to change, I'd rather remain as human. In terms of morality, I am always striving to be a better person, but I've already surpassed god, so I'm not doing too badly.

"This entire blog is not a raving against God at all, but an attempt to remain in the "pit" you have created for yourselves and an opportunity to resist any kind of change from your miserable existence."

You are partially right. There's no raving against god, just sound, logical arguments. Where you are wrong is in thinking my existence is miserable. This is just a canard that theists pull out uncritically in an attempt to smear the atheist. It's bigoted and uncalled for.

"I'll be waiting until you realize that you are crazy, too, and then you'll start enjoying life a hell of a lot more. (No pun intended)"

I enjoy life just fine, thank you very much. I'd enjoy it more if theists didn't try to push their religious beliefs on me through the state. But, again, I find this line of argumentation to be rather bigoted and uncalled for.