Friday, August 21, 2009

Argument from morality


A fascinating thought.

Why is it that man has such a strong sense of right and wrong? To the point that even when someone breaks their promise we get upset. But if we break our promises we always need to find an excuse as to why we broke our promise.

Is there a standard outside of human opinion that all humans have a similar opinion on?

I'll let Lewis illustrate on a couple of points:

The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people's ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something-some Real Morality--for them to be true about. The reason why your idea of New York can be truer or less true than mine is that New York is a real place, existing quite apart from what either of us thinks. If when each of us said 'New York' each means merely 'The town I am imagining in my own head,' how could one of us have truer ideas than the other? There would be no question of truth or falsehood at all. In the same way, if the Rule of Decent Behaviour meant simply 'whatever each nation happens to approve,' there would be no sense in saying that any one nation had ever been more correct in its approval than any other; no sense in saying that the world could ever grow morally better or morally worse. - Mere Christianity

Or did morality (if you believe in evolution) come about through evolutionary developments?
(I hope you don't mind me quoting Lewis all the time, I am fascinated by so many interesting insights of his) :)

Note: C.S. Lewis believed in evolution.

Supposing you hear a cry for help from a man in danger. You will probably feel two desires--one a desire to give help (due to your herd instinct), the other a desire to keep out of danger (due to the instinct for self-preservation). But you will find inside you, in addition to these two impulses, a third thing which tells you that you ought to follow the impulse to help, and suppress the impulse to run away. Now this thing that judges between two instincts, that decides which should be encouraged, cannot itself be either of them. You might as well say that the sheet of music which tells you, at a given moment, to play one note on the piano and not another, is itself one of the notes on the keyboard. The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.

Another way of seeing that the Moral Law is not simply one of our instincts is this. If' two instincts are in conflict, and there is nothing in a creature's mind except those two instincts, obviously the stronger of' the two must win. But at those moments when we are most conscious of the Moral Law, it usually seems to be telling us to side with the weaker of the two impulses. You probably want to be safe much more than you want to help the man who is drowning: but the Moral Law tells you to help him all the same. And surely it often tells us to try to make the right impulse stronger than it naturally is? I mean, we often feel it our duty to stimulate the herd instinct, by waking up our imaginations and arousing our pity and so on, so as to get up enough steam for doing the right thing. But clearly we are not acting from instinct when we set about making an instinct stronger than it is. The thing that says to you, 'Your herd instinct is asleep. Wake it up,' cannot itself be the herd instinct. The thing that tells you which note on the piano needs to be played louder cannot itself be that note. - Mere Christianity

If there is no right and wrong ultimately then how can there be right and wrong? If it is the choice of humanity then it comes down to opinion. It would be merely my opinion to say that Hitler was "wrong".

R.C. Sproul Jr. stated that if there is no centre mark to aim for then how can you tell how far off the mark you are?
I remember a story he once said about when he was lecturing english classes. He stood up against the idea of relativism and stated that there was a real wrong and a real right.

A person in charge of him suggested that his career would not go far if he continued to talk like this. R.C. replied asking "Are you trying to say that it is "wrong" to say that there is a right and wrong?"

The person asked him to leave...

Without God there can be no right and wrong except for opinion. The person that will win their version of right and wrong will be the person with the biggest stick.

55 comments:

  1. My idea of a unicorn is more true than your idea of a unicorn. Thus there must be some real unicorn out there to judge our standards of unicorns by. Reductio ad absurdum for the win.

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  2. As for the moral law, there is a selfish reason to save someone. The next time it could be you out there drowning and thus you would want someone to save you. That is where the impulse to save someone comes from, because you can picture yourself in their situation. This is called empathy.

    If by a opinion you mean actually caring about the other person and how you would want to be treated then sure that is just opinion.

    I ask again, do Piranhas have a moral code placed on them by God? Do monkeys and other apes have a moral code placed on them by God? As well as any other social animal, do they all have moral codes placed on their hearts?

    If a bear kills a person is it evil? If a human does the same is it evil?

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  3. Hey Beams,

    "My idea of a unicorn is more true than your idea of a unicorn. Thus there must be some real unicorn out there to judge our standards of unicorns by."

    Back to the unicorns. LOL! It is your guy's favourite atheist pet isn't it.

    So you are admitting that there is no real morality according to your belief, therefore sacrificing humans can't be wrong can it? Why do you have such a problem with it?

    I ask again, do Piranhas have a moral code placed on them by God? Do monkeys and other apes have a moral code placed on them by God? As well as any other social animal, do they all have moral codes placed on their hearts?

    Not that I know of.

    If a bear kills a person is it evil? If a human does the same is it evil?

    Exactly, that is my point. People know the difference between right and wrong, bears don't.

    Dan

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  4. As for the moral law, there is a selfish reason to save someone. The next time it could be you out there drowning and thus you would want someone to save you. That is where the impulse to save someone comes from, because you can picture yourself in their situation. This is called empathy.

    If by a opinion you mean actually caring about the other person and how you would want to be treated then sure that is just opinion.


    It is the sense of we "ought to". Not through reasoning such as "if I want to be saved, then I need to save him".

    Guilt is the key I think.

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  5. I have a question, DB. You finally understood Beams' cream pie substitution (sort of, and you still refused to address it), and it got me to thinking...

    What is your definition of evil? At its root, that is, what is the base definition of evil?

    --
    Stan

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  6. Hey Stan,

    What is your definition of evil? At its root, that is, what is the base definition of evil?

    Evil is doing/acting contrary to what is good. God determines what is good, so when we go against what God has said we are committing evil. (known in our conscience, and in His Word to us).

    This is why without God there is no right and wrong, because there is no standard of "good". There is no standard to measure to. Hitler thought one way, the rest thought differently. The person with the biggest stick wins.

    cheers,

    Dan

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  7. I ask again, do Piranhas have a moral code placed on them by God? Do monkeys and other apes have a moral code placed on them by God? As well as any other social animal, do they all have moral codes placed on their hearts?

    Not that I know of.

    When Piranhas go into a feeding frenzy, they do not eat or harm any other piranhas, just what they are eating. Without some God given moral guidelines they still don't attack each other.

    Monkeys have been shown to have a sense of fairness. In an experiment, several capuchin monkeys did the same thing but some were given better food than the others for the same work. The ones that were given the lesser food decided to stop helping unless they received equal food.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-09-17-monkey-usat_x.htm

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5733638.ece

    So they knew they were being treated unfairly. There was a sense of right and wrong going on here.

    In other experiments, capuchin monkeys have exhibited altruistic behavior. They would have a choice of pulling a tray that gave only themselves food, or one that would give them and another monkey food. They could only pull one and once they had they couldn't pull the other one. The capuchin monkeys consistently choose to pull the cord that feed both of them. This was with a monkey they had been cage mates with. With monkeys they did not know they were less likely to share food, but some still would.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSN2525835320080825

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3350232/Monkeys-find-giving-rewarding.html

    Altruism or doing what is good or right is not unusual in animals. Every social animal exhibits some sort of altruism. That is because social animals need the group to survive. If they can't have some sort of trust or understanding that by working together is how they survive, then they won't survive. Humans are a social animal. This is where morality comes from.

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

    So you are admitting that there is no real morality according to your belief, therefore sacrificing humans can't be wrong can it? Why do you have such a problem with it?

    Can you say straw man? I am saying there is no absolute standard by which everyone judges morality. Now I do believe it is absolutely wrong to murder, excluding some weird thought examples (ie murdering one random person to save the life of your loved ones). Morality has changed within the last few hundred years. Do you believe it is okay to own slaves? Until recently it was okay to own slaves. I find the idea of slavery as abhorrent. Yet not too long ago most people thought nothing of it. If there was an absolute standard then, everyone should have found slavery abhorrent from the beginning. You can look back in history and see the shifts in the moral zeitgeist.

    As a matter of fact, there is a shift that is slowly starting now. That has to do with same sex marriage. The idea would have been completely foreign about 50 to 70 years ago. Now people are changing their minds and it is becoming more acceptable the world over. This is a shift in the moral zeitgeist.

    There is a difference between believing something is absolutely morally wrong and saying there is an absolute standard of morality.

    It is the sense of we "ought to". Not through reasoning such as "if I want to be saved, then I need to save him".

    But why should we "ought too"? Within evolution, social animals that work together will survive longer and pass on their genes. Social animals that do not will not. So even if it is a subconscious part, the reason we risk our own life to save another is that it is good for everyone and thus good for ourselves in the long run.

    Guilt is the key I think.

    No, it is empathy. If you are doing good out of guilt, you are doing it wrong. Empathy is driving cause of doing good. People without empathy are called sociopaths.

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  8. Da Bomb,

    "This is why without God there is no right and wrong, because there is no standard of "good". There is no standard to measure to. Hitler thought one way, the rest thought differently. The person with the biggest stick wins".

    Erm, doesn't this necessarily apply to your belief system? I mean, what is God but the guy with the biggest stick (Hell) imaginable?

    Morality is just as subjective under God, it's just that God's stick is so big that you don't dare question his opinion.

    Food for thought...

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  9. If a bear kills a person is it evil? If a human does the same is it evil?

    Exactly, that is my point. People know the difference between right and wrong, bears don't.

    Actually, I don't know how this helps either of us. I think if there is an absolute standard of morality, then the actions of the bear should be condemned and considered evil. Although your point will be that the standard was not written on their heart by God. My response is that bears are not social animals; and it is social animals that show signs of morality. So pretty much ignore this one. :P

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  10. "My idea of a unicorn is more true than your idea of a unicorn. Thus there must be some real unicorn out there to judge our standards of unicorns by."

    Back to the unicorns. LOL! It is your guy's favourite atheist pet isn't it.

    The invisible pink unicorn is all knowing...

    Actually, most people will agree that unicorns don't exist. My usage of it was according to Mr. Lewis, invisible pink unicorn bless his soul, since people can argue over what a unicorn looks like then there must be a real unicorn. In other words his proof is fallacious.

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  11. Beams had said:

    If a bear kills a person is it evil? If a human does the same is it evil? 

    To which DB responded:

    Exactly, that is my point. People know the difference between right and wrong, bears don't. 

    Then, Beams said:

    Actually, I don't know how this helps either of us. 

    In that last bit, Beamstalk is wrong.

    If, as DB claims, one must "know the difference between right and wrong," in order to do evil, then surely the actions of Adam and Eve cannot be considered "evil" or "wrong" -- they did not know the difference until after they ate the apple.

    Likewise, this goes to my question regarding the definition of evil, which DB said was, "[going] against what God has said." If this definition is true, then Adam and Eve committed evil before they ate the apple, just by considering the action in anything other than a negative light. Eating the apple wasn't the sin, deciding to eat the apple was the sin.

    Of course, DB is now equating the two events -- the eating and the deciding are synonymous in his view -- but this is demonstrably false. Surely, if "free will" were intact, Adam and Eve could have "decided" to eat the apple many times prior to actually acting on that decision, including "deciding" not to eat it. Each of the decisions to disobey must be considered "evil" under DB's definition.

    What, then, of god's statement to Adam of the consequences of eating the apple? First, these consequences were laid down only to Adam, so far as we know from the text, so it may well be that Eve never actually sinned. Ignoring that aside, however, we are still left with a conundrum: if eating the apple would cause Adam to "surely die," then what of deciding to eat the apple? Clearly, that decision had to precede the action, yet only the action suffers a consequence. Doesn't this mean that the thought-crime Jesus and modern Christian theologians describe is actually acceptable?

    ...

    What I think should be clear at this point is that the whole story in Genesis 2-3 cannot be a literal one, else these absurd scenarios obtain. In the absence of a literal account of "sin," however, we are left to ponder the notion of "objective" morality, and wonder if we could ever hope to recognize such a thing, if it even existed. If a bear's actions are not evil, then neither could a human's if that human were unaware of the existence of evil. Thus, any human who lacks this cognitive faculty must be considered sinless, else the bear must be guilty of sin.

    As to the cognitive faculties of Adam and Eve, if you insist that the story is still literal as told, don't get me started. Those two were buffoons.

    --
    Stan

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  12. someone said above:
    If, as DB claims, one must "know the difference between right and wrong," in order to do evil, then surely the actions of Adam and Eve cannot be considered "evil" or "wrong" -- they did not know the difference until after they ate the apple.

    --

    They knew they would be disobeying God when they ate the fruit. They knew EXACTLY what God had forbidden and still went ahead anyway. They knew that to eat the fruit was wrong and that the right thing to do would be to leave it alone.
    -------------------
    It was also said:
    Likewise, this goes to my question regarding the definition of evil, which DB said was, "[going] against what God has said." If this definition is true, then Adam and Eve committed evil before they ate the apple, just by considering the action in anything other than a negative light. Eating the apple wasn't the sin, deciding to eat the apple was the sin.

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

    Which is exactly the same kind of thing Jesus said - that adultery in the mind is no different to physical adultery; and hating in the mind is no different to murder.


    On a different note, I always find it amusing that Atheists seem to be more evangelical than most Christians.

    I can't imagine myself getting so obsessed with disproving someone I though did not exist.

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  13. Hey, Onesimus: Is it tiresome dragging that otherwise unused gray matter around with you wherever you go?

    Just curious.

    You missed the point entirely, and I'm hardly surprised. If Adam and Eve didn't know good from evil until they digested apple, then they did not know that there was a problem with disobeying the commandment to leave the fruit alone. If what you suggest is true, that "[t]hey knew that to eat the fruit was wrong," then god's description of and concern over the apple tree was untrue and unwarranted. You pick.

    As for the thought-crime, you seem to have ignored the fairly spelled-out implication, that thought-crime couldn't have been an issue for Adam and Eve, else they must have sinned before the fruit was plucked. I know what Jesus is alleged to have said, genius, but the fact is that it contradicts the treatment of Adam and Eve in the opening passages of that fascinating collection of mythology.

    They cannot have sinned before eating the apple, if god's statement about the apple was true. They cannot have known that eating the apple was wrong until they had knowledge of 'good' and 'evil,' which they cannot have had until they ate the fruit. They must have thought to eat the fruit prior to doing so, but those thoughts were not considered sinful, only the action, so again, the thought-crime does not obtain. The only way out is to admit that Adam and Eve were imbeciles, but that poses its own set of problems.

    --
    Stan

    P.S. - I'm not evangelical, and I don't actively proselytize. Rather, I enjoy the exercise I get from debate and research -- via blogging, I get to look up Supreme Court cases, familiarize myself with U.S. history, critique religious texts, contemplate the utility of tradition, etc. If there's anything that makes me want to actively proselytize, however, it's the way so many "fundamentalist" Christians (generally; other religions have their moments, too) actively seek to breach the U.S. Constitution in order to further their own ends, to the demise of those who deny their faith. Since that effort goes hand-in-hand with intellectual dishonesty, cognitive dissonance, and an apparent desire to stymie education, I tend to speak up when they (Christian fundies) get rowdy.

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  14. Good point, Stan, I completely missed that. That does raise interesting questions on the literal idea of Adam and Eve. I have often wondered how they could possibly know it was wrong to eat of the apple when they had no concept of what wrong was.

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  15. Stan,
    Before you set out to attack belief in God I suggest you actually find out more about what you are attacking.

    1) Adam and Eve were well aware of the consequences of disobeying God. They were TOLD.
    2) It was not an apple tree
    3) God was not concerned that eating of the fruit would be detrimental to Adam and Eve. His warning was not to prevent them from eating a harmful fruit. The command NOT to eat was given to present them with a choice. They could either continue in obedience to God, living in a perfect environment; or they could disobey God and miss out on the perfect environment He had created for them. The tragic results of the act came about because of their disobedience and not because of any properties of the fruit.
    4) Before you try to pick holes in one story from the bible, I suggest you gain familiarity with how that particular story fits into the whole biblical account of God’s relationship with mankind.
    5) Whether Adam and Eve’s sin began with the actual eating of the fruit or with the decision to eat the fruit is totally irrelevant. The point of the story is that in the process of eating the fruit they disobeyed God.

    You may not consider yourself “evangelical”, but I note that many atheists seem to take a much more active interest in a God they don’t believe in than many Christians take in a God they claim to worship. I find a considerable amount of irony in that fact.

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  16. Onesimus:

    1. Being aware of the consequences of an action, and knowing that action is wrong/evil, are two very different things. Adam and Eve may have been aware of the consequences, but unless that fruit was very wrongly named, they cannot have known it was wrong/evil to eat it.

    2. That's because there was no such tree. As a point of reference, however, any fruit will suffice, and 'apple' has been used to signify the fruit in question for some time. It doesn't matter what kind of tree it was, just that it had the magickal properties claimed in the story. Call it a tomato plant for all I care.

    3. What? If it was a test, it needn't have had the tree-specific consequences of 'knowledge of good and evil,' but could still have had the consequences of sin and fallen creation as you mention. The "tragic results" you mention undoubtedly stem not from the fruit, but from the disobedience, but the properties of the fruit cannot be so easily avoided -- if the fruit itself provided them with the knowledge of good and evil, then they cannot have had this knowledge before they ate it. Therefore, as with (1), their awareness of the consequences is separated from their knowledge that the action was wrong/evil.

    4. If the story itself is flawed, then the way it "fits into the whole biblical account of God's relationship with mankind" is also flawed. That's like saying, "Before you pick holes in ESP, I suggest you gain familiarity with how ESP fits into the psychic's range of abilities."

    Anyway, I already have the familiarity of which you speak, and I have shown -- argued, at least -- that the Christian god as described is incompatible with his own description. I didn't just get up yesterday and decide to pick apart the story of Adam and Eve -- I did that after determining that Christianity as a whole is untenable, or at least literal interpretations of many of its stories.

    5. Wrong. It's quite relevant. This statement actually contradicts itself -- if the process of eating the fruit is disobedient, then the process of thinking about eating the fruit is not, and therefore it is relevant. Since it is generally accepted that the story in question did not take place on the first actual day of Eve's existence, it is entirely possible -- probable, even, that one or both of them fantasized about eating the fruit, every occasion of which should have been a sin. The fact that there is no indication of sin prior to the actual snack shows that the action is separate from the consideration of the action, which contradicts Jesus' statements in the NT, and which reinforces (to some extent) the notion that Adam and Eve were unaware of the wrong/evil nature of their action, or even of the contemplation of that action.

    So perhaps you should engage the points rather than hand-waving, or get back on the sideline and observe.

    As to my interest in religion, I was raised in a Christian home, and am therefore quite familiar with that specific theology. The topic of religion is fascinating to all individuals (from my experience, anyway), but I am unafraid of broaching the subject. If you've visited my pathetic blog, you'll see that I'm hardly evangelizing. Instead, I engage people who do evangelize, like DB here, and a few others elsewhere. When JWs knock on my door, I invite them in and we have a discussion (until they awkwardly excuse themselves and never return). I simply respond to evangelists by engaging rather than ignoring.

    Ironic, though, is that Christianity fairly mandates evangelism, and yet so few comply. I expect it says something about their actual faith and trust in the very system they profess.

    Cheers.

    --
    Stan

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  17. Point of reference, the fruit was something akin to a grape. It is actually described in the Book of Enoch: "It was like a species of the Tamarind tree, bearing fruit which resembled grapes extremely fine; and its fragrance extended to a considerable distance. I exclaimed, How beautiful is this tree, and how delightful is its appearance!"

    Apple comes from a mistranslation of the Latin. Malus is descriptive as evil or sinful but as a noun means apple. That is where apple comes from.

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  18. The term Adam's apple also derives from the mistranslation. As this feature was supposedly a representation of the apple being caught in Adam's throat.

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  19. As a funny side, there are some people who believe it was a tomato. Basically because of the slavic word for tomato contains the slavic word for paradise.

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  20. Stan said:

    Ironic, though, is that Christianity fairly mandates evangelism, and yet so few comply. I expect it says something about their actual faith and trust in the very system they profess.

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

    Yes Stan, the irony cuts both ways.
    Maybe that shows the truth Jesus expressed when He said:

    "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

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  21. Onesimus, are you going to respond to Stan's points or just cherry pick your responses? If you do not respond to his points, I see this conversation as over.

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  22. Beams,

    "Onesimus, are you going to respond to Stan's points or just cherry pick your responses? If you do not respond to his points, I see this conversation as over."

    Stan has actually set up a bit of a straw man from the point of the post.

    Stan,

    16 ¶ And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
    17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

    It is clear that Adam and Eve had some understanding of what evil was and had not yet experienced it. Once they had eaten of the tree, they had a fuller understanding of good and evil. God wanted to shield them from that but they still chose to.

    It's really not a hard historical account to grasp.

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  23. EPM,

    "Morality is just as subjective under God, it's just that God's stick is so big that you don't dare question his opinion."

    LOL, true Matty!
    Better to have a good ruler than anarchy though :)

    Ultimately I think a kingdom is the best way...not democracy.
    So long as the king is good.

    My essay is going well thanks! (you mentioned it in a another post).

    Dan

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  24. Stan has actually set up a bit of a straw man from the point of the post. 

    O RLY??

    [From Genesis 2]

    16 ¶ And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
    17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
     

    I'm still waiting for an explanation as to your accusation...

    It is clear that Adam and Eve had some understanding of what evil was and had not yet experienced it. Once they had eaten of the tree, they had a fuller understanding of good and evil. God wanted to shield them from that but they still chose to. 

    What?! How the hell can you say "it is clear that Adam and Eve had some understanding of what evil was"? That's absurd. The only things that are clear, even if we grant for the moment the veracity of the story, are that Adam -- not Eve, who wasn't even created yet -- was told he couldn't eat of a specific tree, and that he was aware there were consequences of eating its fruit. You have restated -- poorly -- what Onesimus said, claimed that my factually correct statement was a straw man, and then baldly asserted some utter nonsense regarding the 'clarity' of the passage.

    To the point, then, to understand completely god's decree (and the consequences of disobedience), they need not know what "good" or "evil" are, but instead they need to know that "death" is undesirable. Technically, they needn't have known even this much, and only need to have known they were not to eat the fruit.

    As to the "fuller understanding of good and evil" you claim they gained after eating the fruit, this, too, belies the name of the tree. If it were called "The Tree of Fuller Understanding of Good and Evil," I'd allow your assertion, but it was called "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"; it's right there in the bible passage you quoted. Really -- take a look. It's a valid reference.

    If it were called "The Tree of Knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem," and they ate it, would you say they had a "fuller understanding of [the Pythagorean theorem]"?

    Get real. The magickal properties of the fruit are explicitly stated, anyway, in the relief expressed over the fact that the fruit from "The Tree of Life" wasn't also eaten:

    The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.

    Seriously. It's your bible. Don't you know what it says? The fruit was magickal, and they evidently did not know good and evil beforehand, else the relief statement would not have been made. Thus, and again, thought-crime is not sinful, or at least wasn't sinful, and the initial act of sin cannot have been an informed decision -- they may have known they were being disobedient, but they cannot have known that disobedience was evil.

    If you can't keep up, try to take notes or something.

    --
    Stan

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  25. We were talking about morality and conscience.
    Not Genesis.
    You dodged and changed topic to Genesis.

    I know what the Bible says, that is why I believe it.

    We know that Adam and Eve knew it was wrong to eat the fruit therefore they had some knowledge of evil. PERIOD.
    SO, it is somehow different to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and yet similar.

    Man knows it is wrong to dis obey God...they chose to and there are consequences...
    What on earth is the problem?!?!? It is pritty straight forward!

    Maybe your problem is your ability to inference?

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  26. About my accusation of a straw man...I thought it meant a change of topic.

    But I have found out that it meant a distortion of a position of an opponent.
    Apologies.

    "but they cannot have known that disobedience was evil."

    Why on earth not?
    This point you bring is ridiculous Stan.

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  27. Daniel, it is because they (Adam and Eve) had no knowledge of good and evil until they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

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  28. We were talking about morality and conscience. 

    Yes...

    Not Genesis. 

    Huh? Your position holds that human morality, the knowledge of good and evil, came from the eating of a fruit, does it not? If it does, then a Christian discussion of morality cannot escape an analysis of the story in Genesis 2-3...

    ...unless you accept that the Genesis account is not literal, but metaphorical, or allegorical.

    Anyway, I only brought up Adam and Eve in response to your own statement about needing to "know" that an action is good or evil, and in that regard, Adam and Eve are particularly relevant. Just because you don't want to talk about something doesn't make it a red herring.

    We know that Adam and Eve knew it was wrong to eat the fruit therefore they had some knowledge of evil. PERIOD. 

    You see, statements like this imply that you take the Genesis 2-3 account to be literal, so rather than "dodging," which seems to be one of your two new favorite terms (it, and "straw man"), I am instead engaging your position on its own terms.

    Anyway, we do not know that Eve knew it was wrong to eat the fruit, unless you are adding words to the bible. Eve wasn't even created, much less named, when the decree was given. Moreover, her flawed restatement of the decree to the serpent illustrates that she was either unaware of the actual decree, she was a moron, or she lied. You pick. By my count, two of the options render the eating of the fruit as a non-sin, and the third option renders the eating of the fruit moot, unless lying is not a sin... You pick.

    What on earth is the problem?!?!? It is pritty [sic] straight forward! 

    Well, one problem is your comprehension FAIL.

    Maybe your problem is your ability to inference? [sic]

    You mean 'to infer'?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Why on earth [can Adam and Eve] not [have known that disobedience was evil]? 

    I'm at a bit of a loss here... I already showed you where the bible explicitly states that the two special trees had magickal properties. Shall I provide them again? Will it matter?

    Genesis 3:22:

    And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

    Do you understand this passage? "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil." Sure, the translation puts that word in there, but even the YLT says the following:

    And Jehovah God saith, `Lo, the man was as one of Us, as to the knowledge of good and evil; and now, lest he send forth his hand, and have taken also of the tree of life, and eaten, and lived to the age,' 

    The text could hardly be clearer: The fruit imbued its eaters with the knowledge of good and evil -- a knowledge they did not already possess -- and the fruit of the other tree would likewise imbue its eater with eternal life, or at least something apparently far greater than the 900+ years the early generations enjoyed.

    If they hadn't eaten the fruit, they cannot have known anything was evil, unless 3:22 is untrue...

    What this means for your position is that morality and conscience were unintended afterthoughts, so the whole concept of 'original sin' is invalid -- Adam and Eve cannot have sinned when they ate the fruit, since a) Eve had already sinned when she misstated the decree, b) both had sinned when they decided to eat the fruit, which was before they actually ate it, or c) neither knew disobedience was evil, and therefore neither can be responsible for choosing to sin. In any of these three scenarios, the actual eating may have been a sin (in some of them), but it wasn't the first sin, and it wasn't until after  the fruit was eaten that an understanding of good and evil were realized. Since god decreed that this fruit not be eaten, we must assume that god's intention was that humans would live indefinitely in the garden, free of sin, or even of the knowledge of sin.

    It really is "pritty straight forward" -- especially since it is pretty much stated explicitly.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  30. So if Adam and Eve did not know if it was wrong to eat of the tree then why did God bother telling them not to?

    Inference.

    ReplyDelete
  31. So if Adam and Eve did not know if it was wrong to eat of the tree then why did God bother telling them not to?

    I'm certain I don't follow you at all here. Clearly you don't have children, but even so you should perfectly well understand that, in spite of the fact that children do not know whether a given action is wrong, we still tell them not to take those actions.

    Are you actually saying that you infer that they had knowledge of good and evil, despite the explicit statement that the fruit had magickal properties?

    Give me a break. You can dispute my take all you want, but at the very least I expect honesty. When Genesis 3:22 says specifically that the eating of the fruit was responsible for the knowledge of good and evil, and also mentions that if they had eaten of the Tree of Life they'd be immortal, you had better back up any claim that this passage shouldn't be taken literally, and if the entirety of your claim lies on an inference so chosen to avoid an apparent inconsistency (due to a literal interpretation), you beg the question in the most obvious and heinous of ways.

    So if Adam and Eve did not know if it was wrong to eat of the tree then why did God bother telling them not to?

    In addition to the above, your question doesn't make any sense... if they did know it was wrong, god's decree wouldn't make any sense, or it would at least be redundant.

    Really, the whole thing reads like a parent cautioning a child to not touch a hot stove -- the child doesn't know the stove is dangerous, and likewise he doesn't know it is 'evil' to disobey his parent. Unlike an actual parent, however, in this story, when the child disobeys and burns himself, the parent doesn't merely scold him and get some burn cream... this parent endeavors to punish the child -- and all of his descendants -- forever.

    Whatever. They cannot have known good from evil, lest the tree be improperly named, and 3:22 relegated to dramatic flair.

    Now then, if you really want to talk about inferences, let's talk about how stupid Adam and Eve were... I've heard some Christians argue that Adam and Eve were 'genetically perfect' humans, including magickally high intellects, but this is impossible. They were imbeciles.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  32. Remember to get the Bible in context with itself.
    Context interprets also, it is not just about literal words.

    When the Bible says "I can do all things through Christ"...I could grab that and run with it as you have done with the tree of knowledge.
    Context tells me that Paul is talking about being content.
    Context tells me that Adam and Eve had some understanding of what was right and wrong before they ate from the tree.

    Obviously they did not have the knowledge of God or Satan. But they chose to try and be like God.

    When a parent tells a child not to do something...they expect them to obey them for a reason, by distinguishing what is right and wrong for them to do.

    From my understanding God did just that.

    Romans 5:12:
    NLT: "When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned."

    I'll keep looking into it.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  33. Context tells me that Adam and Eve had some understanding of what was right and wrong before they ate from the tree.

    And what does the context of Genesis 3:22 tell you?

    Obviously they did not have the knowledge of God or Satan.

    Is there some magickal decoder ring you use to determine how much knowledge they did have regarding good and evil? I mean, the tree is called, 'The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,' right?

    ...or is your assertion of incomplete non-zero knowledge based on a desire to avoid the fact that if they did have zero understanding of good and evil, then they cannot have consciously sinned when they ate the fruit?

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sin means in the Greek in Romans 5:12

    "266 amartia hamartia ham-ar-tee’-ah

    from 264; TDNT-1:267,44; n f

    AV-sin 172, sinful 1, offense 1; 174

    1) equivalent to 264
    1a) to be without a share in
    1b) to miss the mark
    1c) to err, be mistaken
    1d) to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong
    1e) to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin
    2) that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act
    3) collectively, the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many "

    Unless I am wrong. It sounds like Adam knew he was doing wrong when he brought death into the world. But he still did not have full understanding of right and wrong.

    For example, murder may not have entered Adam's mind before he ate from the tree.

    ReplyDelete
  35. First, you cannot use a Greek lexicon to determine the meaning of Hebrew words, especially when that's not what's under discussion. The discussion hinges on whether or not Adam and Eve understood that what they were doing was evil, which the text clearly states they did not, based specifically on Genesis 3:22, the name of the tree in question, the serpent's description of the properties of the fruit, etc. The decree against eating the fruit is directly analogous to a parent warning a child to avoid a hot stove -- the child does not know what will happen, and does not know that disobedience is in any way "evil." You have done nothing to show otherwise.

    Even so, none of this bears whatever on the fact that prior to eating the fruit, sin must have occurred by way of fantasizing about eating, or deciding to eat, and both types of thoughts are considered sinful later in the bible.

    So there are two problems with the story which are under duress -- the fact that sin had to occur prior to the actual process of eating the fruit, and the fact that the perpetrators were unaware that their disobedience was 'evil,' and were certainly unaware of the consequences which any sane person would say they'd rather have avoided.

    Your 'explanation' based on 'inference' is nothing more than special pleading -- you even deny explicit textual statements to protect your precious tale's integrity -- but it is nonetheless comforting to see that you recognize that the story has problems. If we do practice our skills at inferring, we can furthermore determine that Adam and/or Eve were morons, but it is not inferring to draw meaning from a text which contradicts the explicit statements made in that text -- that's begging the question, and it's a clear case of eisegesis.

    Second, suggesting that murder didn't enter their minds until they ate of the fruit admits of magickal properties, and ignores the fact that Christian theology holds that all sins are equally vile in the eyes of god. Evidently, the thought of eating the fruit entered their minds before they actually ate the fruit, and that's considered sin in later passages.

    Enough of this, however -- I would ask at this point that you provide your version of an 'explanation' of Genesis 3:22. How and why would you suggest that this passage doesn't tell us that the eating of the fruits had the specific magickal properties which match the names of the trees involved. For extra credit, you might like to explain why Adam and Eve were such imbeciles.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  36. Stan,

    Enough of this, however -- I would ask at this point that you provide your version of an 'explanation' of Genesis 3:22. How and why would you suggest that this passage doesn't tell us that the eating of the fruits had the specific magickal properties which match the names of the trees involved. For extra credit, you might like to explain why Adam and Eve were such imbeciles.

    Genesis 3:
    7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
    8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
    9 ¶ Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
    10 So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
    11 ¶ And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
    12 Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."
    13 And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

    Why did Adam blame Eve if there was nothing they had done wrong in there own eyes?

    v11...God explained that He gave them a command. He expected it to be obeyed and it wasn't. Why would God expect Adam and Eve to obey a command they did not know was right or wrong, good or bad?

    We know that their eyes were opened more so because they knew they were naked.

    About them being idiots. Can I ask you a question?
    If you were 17 years of age and came to a library full of books. The Library manager explained that you could read any book you want except the book that was rated "18 years and over". The Library manager would then leave you for some time and lock the door.

    What would you do?...be honest.

    Many people would do what they ought not to do even if there are many other things to do. Adam and Eve are like all of us. Smart and with a will.

    ReplyDelete
  37. What? That is your response concerning the context of Genesis 3:22? You didn't even look at it...

    Let me get this straight, then. If one biblical passage explicitly states something in a factual manner which would expose an inconsistency, a contradiction, or some otherwise conundrum, the explicit statement is to be ignored, and we are to infer information contradictory to that explicit statement from nearby passages?!

    Really?

    Verse 7: Then the eyes of both of them were opened...

    That is, after eating the fruit, they were aware of things they before were not. This fits squarely with the explicit statement in verse 22, and doesn't require any nonsensical insertion of inference. Your little analysis of verses 7-13 is nothing short of avoiding to address verse 22, which was specifically requested of you...

    ...or did you just infer that I would rather hear about why those other verses support your position?

    Why did Adam blame Eve if there was nothing they had done wrong in there [sic] own eyes?

    If by blame you mean attempting to avoid responsibility by recasting fault, you're improperly inferring things again. Verse 12 is pure expository prose -- 'She gave it to me, and I ate it.' Not, 'I did nothing wrong, that vile woman you made for me is the culprit.' Adam is not blaming her, but it seems to me he is accurately reporting the events as told in the story. Eve gave him the fruit, and he ate it.

    Why would God expect Adam and Eve to obey a command they did not know was right or wrong, good or bad?

    ::Facepalm::

    1. Why do parents tell two-year-olds not to touch the hot stove? The answer to your question is the same.

    2. Why would god expect them to obey a command when you admit he knew they wouldn't? (What was the definition of insanity, again?)

    3. Why would god punish them for disobeying when they cannot have known disobedience was wrong or 'evil'?

    We know that their eyes were opened more so because they knew they were naked.

    Are you intentionally trying to get a rise out of me?

    Verse 7: Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked...

    Verse 22: The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil...

    Why do you treat these differently? We know their eyes were opened 'more so' because both passages explicitly state that their eyes were opened. They don't say 'more so,' they simply state that they were opened. They were aware of things of which before they were unaware. True, any amount of understanding is greater than zero, but you deny the explicit statement in verse 22 by embracing a convenient inference you take from verse 7, and the method of inference seems identical -- why are the two treated differently?

    Apply your standards honestly and consistently, or explain yourself regarding why you do not apply them consistently.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  38. About them being idiots. Can I ask you a question?

    Oh, please do...

    [Kinky library scenario]

    What would you do?...be honest.


    Dude. Fuck you very much. This is almost exactly the scenario I spelled out several threads back regarding the parent, the table, and the firearms. You refused to engage that scenario because you recognized it was damning to your position, yet now you embrace it, and still you fail to see how it works?

    That's bullshit. Your scenario is fine, but the fact that you so perniciously imply that the outcome is any different is beyond contempt. Even so, I shall detail the problems with your scenario:

    1. Introducing that which is off-limits to one unaware of same increases the chances exponentially that the off-limits item(s) will be explored, and if the formerly unaware happens also to be curious, the chances approach certainty.

    2. A 17-year-old, no matter how naïve, must be aware that the librarian's power to discipline him if he denies the order is extremely limited, and the perception of reward may outweigh the perception of risk. If that 17-year-old were aware that even considering viewing the porn as a non-hypothetical would infect him with E. bola, he'd probably stay the hell away.

    3. A librarian who locks a lone student into a library is demented, and guilty of false imprisonment. To highlight the porn before doing so, even with a warning of dire consequences, is especially sadistic.

    4. Your scenario presumes that the 17-year-old already has knowledge of good and evil, and the clear implication (based on the analogy) is that he likewise understands disobedience to be 'evil.' To fit the scenario, however, our young bookworm must be unaware of the 'evil' nature of acting on his curiosity. To really fit, the porn in question must be somehow poisonous, or deadly, and only after he views it will he become aware that his disobedience was actually 'evil.'

    5. The actual act of disobedience -- the illicit viewing of the porn -- is not the first 'sin.' As soon as our young bookworm considered viewing the porn as anything other than a hypothetical, it wouldn't matter whether he actually viewed it or not... according to Christian theology.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Now, in spite of all of this, as you've presented it, virtually any 17-year-old would head straight for the porn.

    So what? This does not affect my analysis of the Genesis 2-3 story in the slightest, due to the problems enumerated above. Also, even in your simplified and inaccurate version, it does not in any way justify later incarceration and torture of the 17-year-old for the rest of his life, nor does it absolve the librarian of his guilt for locking an impressionable minor unsupervised in the presence of inappropriate media.

    As with the parent leaving a table full of toy weapons, but with one real one in the center, god and the librarian are each guilty of criminal negligence, and since god has perfect knowledge that [the sinful act] will be realized, his guilt is inescapable. According to Christian theology, everything happened exactly the way god anticipated. Sin was a chosen, desired outcome.

    Adam and Eve are like all of us. Smart and with a will.

    No. Adam and Eve became like all of us, but they cannot have been 'smart' in any definition of the term, unless one or both of them were calculated liars prior to the fateful snack.

    Read the story again. When the serpent asks Eve about the decree, she misstates it. What are the possibilities here?

    1. She is accurately restating the decree as it was told to her -- she has been deceived by whomever told her of the decree.

    2. She is inaccurately restating the decree, irrespective of how it had been told to her.

    3. She is deliberately misleading the serpent.

    Since she cannot have sinned prior to eating the fruit, we can ignore #3, and eliminate Adam from possible culprits in #1. Since we can assume god would not have misstated his own decree, we can eliminate him from the possible culprits in #1. Since Eve would have corrected the serpent if he had been the one to tell her the decree, we can eliminate him from the possible culprits in #1, too. Since there is no mention of other talking animals, nor of other sources of deception, we can pretty safely eliminate "others" from the list of possible culprits in #1, leaving us with Adam if we take #1, or at least Eve if we take #2. In either case, one or both of them at the very least suffers from severe memory issues, such that we would all consider such a person of well below average intellect, or at least suffering from a learning disorder.

    But I thought they were created perfect?

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  40. Stan,

    [Kinky library scenario]

    I said: What would you do?...be honest.

    Dude. Fuck you very much.

    That scenario was not intended to be a porn scenario. But rather a scenario about the reality of Adam's and Eve's willful curiosity and rebellion.
    And I never intended to trick question you into a dirty answer.

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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  42. Stan,

    I am getting tired of your swearing and insults. I have warned you many a time not use bad language and yet you continue. Last warning and then I will have to ask you to leave.

    I hope that you have the common courtesy to respect a blog author's domain.

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  43. That scenario was not intended to be a porn scenario.

    Really? Are there any 18-and-over-only books in any library which aren't pornographic?

    But rather a scenario about the reality of Adam's and Eve's willful curiosity and rebellion.

    Which is a parallel to the very scenario I gave to you several threads ago, which you refused to engage. Insofar as your hypothetical 17-year-old may be wrong for disobeying his librarian captor, the librarian is wrong for imprisoning him, for providing him with inappropriate material, and for leaving a minor unsupervised. Any of these would be met with a criminal case or a civil suit.

    And I never intended to trick question you into a dirty answer.

    Which is largely why you got one. If you were at all able to connect the dots from '1' to '2' you would have seen that your library-with-porn scenario is virtually identical to my table-with-guns scenario, and you should have anticipated some anger on my part. You flat refused to engage that scenario, yet here you are tossing out its analogue as though it's new and different, and worse still, you ignore completely the fact that the librarian in your example is culpable.

    I am getting tired of your swearing and insults. I have warned you many a time not use bad language and yet you continue. Last warning and then I will have to ask you to leave.

    If you provoke me, I will respond in kind. It's as simple as that. If you don't like it, moderate your comments, or stop mindlessly provoking your opponents.

    In the case of the provocative post which prompted this outburst, you have been shown what you did, and why it warranted the reaction it got. If you directly insult me -- wittingly or otherwise -- I will respond, and that response will likely offend your precious sensibilities.

    Seriously. Crow any louder and I'd be tempted to compare you to Simon Peter's cock.

    Now, wipe your tears and let's get back to the discussion, shall we?

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  44. Stan,

    I was merely trying to point out a situation where the reality of what people would do if they were given everything to do and yet were deprived of one thing.
    We are all like Adam and Eve...with a choice to act against God's word or not.

    "Which is a parallel to the very scenario I gave to you several threads ago, which you refused to engage."

    No, that scenario was with children left alone to play with guns.
    This is one is a maturer person with a conscience.

    Adam and Eve were grown people like all of us, with an opportunity to disobey or obey.

    Context interprets statements...remember that.

    When you annoy me...do I swear and curse at you, and call you a rooster?
    Could you show me the same courtesy! If not, I will be taking action.

    ReplyDelete
  45. No, that scenario was with children left alone to play with guns.
    This is one is a maturer person with a conscience.


    ...which makes my scenario even more like the one in Eden, since they were unaware of good versus evil, which I have shown, and which you have failed to refute. Even so, it does not absolve the librarian of the guilt for his actions.

    Adam and Eve were grown people like all of us, with an opportunity to disobey or obey.

    Not quite like all of us -- they were sinless, and were unaware of good versus evil, and they were evidently morons.

    The truly maddening aspect of this stupid library scenario is, as I've said, the fact that it is virtually identical to the table-full-of-weapons scenario. In each case, I've clearly accepted that the children in the scenarios (17-year-olds are still children, too) are guilty of disobedience, but their disobedience does not warrant eternal torment as punishment. Furthermore, the guilt of the parent (in my scenario) or librarian (in yours) is obvious -- neither person is worthy of the position they hold, if they were to behave in such a manner.

    Adding to my scenario, the person giving the order is a parent -- one who they would presumably trust and generally obey -- versus a fracking librarian, whose authority a 17-year-old would be far more likely to ignore. Clearly, since each is an analogy meant to match up logically with the scenario outlined in Genesis 2-3, there are necessarily imperfections, but the beauty of them is that due to the assertions of the Genesis story, any failure of any appropriate analogy ruins the actual story.

    Why? Because in the actual story, god is alleged to be maximally good, omniscient, and omnipotent, and Adam and Eve are explicitly described as being naïve creatures who are unaware of good versus evil. If in a given analogy the subjects (Adam and Eve analogues) are aware that disobedience is evil, or that it will result in extremely severe punishment, yet they would perform the disobedient action anyway, it shows that the Eden story is a set-up. If, instead, the perpetrator (the parent or librarian) is less than omniscient, omnipotent, or less than maximally good, it shows that the Eden story is a sadistic prank.

    The librarian scenario is obviously less spectacular than the table-of-weapons scenario, but the result is no less damning (am I allowed to use 'damning,' or does it make baby Jesus cry?). The librarian must be the worst fracking librarian ever, and the 17-year-old's guilt is clearly mitigated by the librarian's gross negligence and despicable actions.

    Context interprets statements...remember that.

    Whatever your context nonsense. Answer to the explicit fracking statements before you start applying your inference 'skill.' When the text explicitly states that after they ate the fruit they knew good from evil, that after they ate the fruit they had become "as one of us," that if they had eaten the other fruit they'd "live forever"... When all of this is true, you cannot honestly apply your "context interprets statements" shizno.

    Now, what of the fact that Adam and Eve were imbeciles?

    --
    Stan

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  46. If in a given analogy the subjects (Adam and
    Stan,

    "Eve analogues) are aware that disobedience is evil, or that it will result in extremely severe punishment, yet they would perform the disobedient action anyway, it shows that the Eden story is a set-up. If, instead, the perpetrator (the parent or librarian) is less than omniscient, omnipotent, or less than maximally good, it shows that the Eden story is a sadistic prank."

    LOL, I disagree.

    Here is an example of context needed to interpret statements.

    You said: "If you provoke me, I will respond in kind."

    So according to what you said here, you will always respond without fail?

    Yes, Adam and Eve became "like" by knowing good and evil...this is true.
    Yet if they had knowledge that it was wrong to eat the fruit (which I believe) from that tree it shows that they don't have knowledge of good and evil because they did not have knowledge of ALL good and evil.
    They had knowledge of AN evil but not knowledge of good and evil.

    This is the way I see it and the way Genesis portrays it when I read it and the way Romans 5:12 portrays it.

    Although if you are right and Adam and Eve did not know it was wrong to take from the tree, they definitely knew it would be wise/good to follow/trust/be-loyal to God's word, but they didn't, and they got what God said they would get...their choice.

    We may be just playing with words.

    Same outcome either way.

    I think you are wasting your time trying to convince me it is a faiytale. Call me stupid if you like but it makes sense to me on a whole.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  47. "Yes, Adam and Eve became "like" by knowing good and evil...this is true."

    after "like" should be God

    ReplyDelete
  48. Yet if they had knowledge that it was wrong to eat the fruit...

    ...then the tree was improperly named, and the question of when they first sinned becomes more relevant -- if they considered eating the fruit as a non-hypothetical at any point prior to actually eating it, they sinned before they ate. Since it is impossible for them to have eaten without considering eating as a non-hypothetical, this scenario (under your view) obtains.

    (which I believe)

    ...never mind the fact that Genesis 3:22 clearly and explicitly states otherwise.

    [If they knew it was wrong to eat] from that tree it shows that they don't have knowledge of good and evil because they did not have knowledge of ALL good and evil.

    This is purely asinine. First, they needn't have known it was wrong to know that they were commanded to not eat of the fruit. It's exactly the same as the hot stove analogy. It's not required that a child know it's wrong to disobey, just to accept that it's in his best interest to do as the parent says.

    Second, it says nothing to the fact that god has set them up to fail -- he knew they would fail, according to you -- and that placing a hot stove, a loaded firearm, or a stash of porn in front of an intentionally unsupervised (even if observed as through a two-way mirror) is criminal negligence. You may fault Adam and Eve all you like (even though you deny the explicit text in doing so), but you cannot escape the fact that god is all the more guilty of wrongdoing.

    Third, you still haven't addressed the fact that no matter how you cut it, Adam and Eve were imbeciles. Naïve, innocent imbeciles (according to me), but imbeciles nonetheless.

    --
    Stan


    P.S. - If you hadn't figured it out yet, when I said "If ... the subjects ... are aware..." I meant unaware, not 'aware.' My mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Stan,

    Second, it says nothing to the fact that god has set them up to fail -- he knew they would fail, according to you -- and that placing a hot stove, a loaded firearm, or a stash of porn in front of an intentionally unsupervised (even if observed as through a two-way mirror) is criminal negligence. You may fault Adam and Eve all you like (even though you deny the explicit text in doing so), but you cannot escape the fact that god is all the more guilty of wrongdoing.

    I am getting tired of your strawmen. I WAS NOT MEANING A SITUATION OF PORN! God is not responsible, he did NOT make Adam and Eve sin/dis-obey, they chose to. That is how Genesis portrays it and if you deny it you are not being honest about the position of the Bible, nor God, nor me.

    It is clear that God did not make Adam and Eve eat the fruit. He left them to have their own decision...loyalty or dis-loyalty, just like a family. He also warned them that should they eat of the tree they would die, but also told them of all they could do and enjoy life with Him, just like a family. He also warned them that they would come to know evil and good (by the name of the tree), just like a good father warning His children not to enter down a wrong path.

    he wanted to protect them from evil and a bad world like the one we have today but He would rather have people that choose to have loyalty or not to have loyalty to their Maker. But Adam and Eve chose to rebel...and knew it. or at least doubted God's word (lack of faith)...which is sin.

    Romans makes it CLEAR that sin entered through Adam and death also. That is my stance.

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  50. I was checking up all the Hebrew words and here is the meaning of "good"

    adj
    1) good, pleasant, agreeable
    1a) pleasant, agreeable (to the senses)
    1b) pleasant (to the higher nature)
    1c) good, excellent (of its kind)
    1d) good, rich, valuable in estimation
    1e) good, appropriate, becoming
    1f) better (comparative)
    1g) glad, happy, prosperous (of man’s sensuous nature)
    1h) good understanding (of man’s intellectual nature)
    1i) good, kind, benign
    1j) good, right (ethical)

    n m
    2) a good thing, benefit, welfare
    2a) welfare, prosperity, happiness
    2b) good things (collective)
    2c) good, benefit
    2d) moral good

    n f
    3) welfare, benefit, good things
    3a) welfare, prosperity, happiness
    3b) good things (collective)
    3c) bounty


    It could have multiple meanings. Interesting, so could "evil" mean:

    adj
    1) bad, evil
    1a) bad, disagreeable, malignant
    1b) bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery)
    1c) evil, displeasing
    1d) bad (of its kind-land, water, etc)
    1e) bad (of value)
    1f) worse than, worst (comparison)
    1g) sad, unhappy
    1h) evil (hurtful)
    1i) bad, unkind (vicious in disposition)
    1j) bad, evil, wicked (ethically)
    1j1) in general, of persons, of thoughts
    1j2) deeds, actions

    n m
    2) evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity
    2a) evil, distress, adversity
    2b) evil, injury, wrong
    2c) evil (ethical)

    n f
    3) evil, misery, distress, injury
    3a) evil, misery, distress
    3b) evil, injury, wrong
    3c) evil (ethical)


    Ethical moral wrong is only one possible point.

    So as I have said before, we need to let the context interpret what the words mean.

    And I just checked out the word "know" from your favourite vs 3:22.


    1) to know
    1a) (Qal)
    1a1) to know
    1a1a) to know, learn to know
    1a1b) to perceive
    1a1c) to perceive and see, find out and discern
    1a1d) to discriminate, distinguish
    1a1e) to know by experience
    1a1f) to recognise, admit, acknowledge, confess
    1a1g) to consider
    1a2) to know, be acquainted with
    1a3) to know (a person carnally)
    1a4) to know how, be skilful in
    1a5) to have knowledge, be wise
    1b) (Niphal)
    1b1) to be made known, be or become known, be revealed
    1b2) to make oneself known
    1b3) to be perceived
    1b4) to be instructed
    1c) (Piel) to cause to know
    1d) (Poal) to cause to know
    1e) (Pual)
    1e1) to be known
    1e2) known, one known, acquaintance (participle)
    1f) (Hiphil) to make known, declare
    1g) (Hophal) to be made known
    1h) (Hithpael) to make oneself known, reveal oneself


    -So if I took the meaning that to "know" meant to experience (1a1e) and
    -evil as in "pain" (1H)and
    -good as in pleasant (1)

    Then the story would match the context. God experiences pain or grievance as well. So we have become like Him in that way by disobeying Him and sinning against Him, now we experience pain and pleasantness through our disobedience.

    NEway...another way of looking at it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am getting tired of your strawmen. I WAS NOT MEANING A SITUATION OF PORN!

    Settle down, junior. It doesn't fracking matter. You said, "the book that was rated '18 years and over,' " which category clearly includes pornography. Stop crying.

    God is not responsible, he did NOT make Adam and Eve sin/dis-obey, they chose to. That is how Genesis portrays it and if you deny it you are not being honest about the position of the Bible, nor God, nor me.

    And now you resort to blatant dishonesty. Outstanding. I have stated time and again that Adam and Eve are responsible for their decision(s), and I do not portray it in any way which suggests otherwise. If you are troubled by the implications of omniscience in such a scenario, that's your problem, not mine.

    It is clear that God did not make Adam and Eve eat the fruit. He left them to have their own decision.

    Right. He is guilty of leaving inappropriate [material] in the presence of unsupervised [minors]. Irrespective of their guilt, god is culpable, and guilty of gross negligence and criminal malfeasance.

    He also warned them that should they eat of the tree they would die, but also told them of all they could do and enjoy life with Him, just like a family.

    What?! Where does it say he "told them of all they could do and enjoy life with him"? The only stipulation regarding their lives in the garden is that they may eat of any tree save one. There is not even the slightest hint about any discussion regarding "enjoy[ing] life with him." Now you are guilty of adding to the text.

    He also warned them that they would come to know evil and good (by the name of the tree)...

    What?! You are full of crap. He did not warn them "that they would come to know evil and good," but he told them they could not eat of a specific tree with a specific name. Even if they understood the meaning of the tree's fracking name, this statement in no way implies "that they would come to know evil and good." In fact, since that process resulted in sin, we can glean from this that they were never intended "to know evil and good," unless you would like to assert that at some point in their futures god would lift the ban on that tree's fruit.

    Regardless, however, you are very much guilty of the serpent's crime -- you are twisting the words very obviously, and none-too-cleverly. Only a moron (Adam and Eve) would mistake your deceit here.

    ...just like a good father warning His children not to enter down a wrong path.

    This is maddeningly absurd. It was not just like a good father, but like a negligent father. "Don't touch the stove, it's hot," say both the good father and the negligent father. The negligent father then leaves and lets the child burn himself. The icehole father goes one step further and then beats mercilessly the burned child.

    But Adam and Eve chose to rebel...and knew it. or at least doubted God's word (lack of faith)...which is sin.

    Which denies the eating of the fruit as problematic, as it necessarily came after the decision, the doubt, the sin.

    Romans makes it CLEAR that sin entered through Adam and death also.

    Your constant reference to a later part of the bible is invalid. If I write a math textbook, and on page 10 I say that 2+2=5, and then on page 420 I refer to page 10 and say it is correct, I have proven nothing. Neither have you. Circular reasoning is true because circular reasoning is true...

    --
    Stan

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  52. I was checking up all the Hebrew words and here is the meaning of "good" [list of definitions for Strong's H2896]

    Heh. This should be good.

    It could have multiple meanings. Interesting, so could "evil" mean: [similar list for Strong's H7451]

    Uh-huh.

    Ethical moral wrong is only one possible point.

    So as I have said before, we need to let the context interpret what the words mean.


    Yes, you have said that before...

    -So if I took the meaning that to "know" meant to experience (1a1e) and
    -evil as in "pain" (1H)and
    -good as in pleasant (1)


    If you did all this you would expose your pathetic understanding of syntax. The definitions you cite for "good" and "evil" are adjectives. The use of the terms in the text are as nouns. Do you know the difference?

    As nouns, which is how "good" and "evil" were used, you lose all of those convenient meanings you sought to apply (through your blatant use of eisegesis), and you are left with much less friendly versions -- namely, the concepts themselves, of things which are good versus things which are evil.

    Just as bad for you is the use of Strong's H3045 for "to know," coupled with Strong's H1847 for "knowledge." When these two Hebrew terms are used together, we can see that they complement one another, and reinforce the notions of knowledge and perception which are embodied by the two.

    Perhaps the worst for you is the trebling of "wisdom," "understanding," and "knowledge" found in several OT passages, which illustrates the fact that the three veritable synonyms nonetheless apply to different aspects of cognitive faculty. "Wisdom" (H2451) seems to apply to the judicious application of knowledge. "Understanding" (H8394) seems to involve the categorization of knowledge. "Knowledge" (H1847) seems to apply to the possession of knowledge or the perception of concept. To your chagrin, it is this last term which is used to depict the fruit of the fateful tree.

    Then the story would match the context. God experiences pain or grievance as well.

    Well, I've already shown that your eisegesis is a giant failure, and while it is perhaps theologically possible that god may experience pain or grievance, the meanings and uses of the words in the story do not and cannot match the "context" you ignorantly promote.

    DB, what you are doing is a classic example of fitting a preferred meaning to a given text, and as far as textual analysis goes, it is invalid to the point that it is open to being mocked when attempted. Just because you don't like the implications of the text does not mean you can invent a friendly interpretation and claim that it fits the "context." What you have invented does not fit the context -- it doesn't even fit the syntax -- so everything that follows from your "analysis" necessarily fails.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  53. Stan,

    What?! You are full of crap. He did not warn them "that they would come to know evil and good," but he told them they could not eat of a specific tree with a specific name. Even if they understood the meaning of the tree's fracking name, this statement in no way implies "that they would come to know evil and good."

    And this is where we end this conversation. I am sure you are just rarking me up...wasting my time.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am sure you are just rarking me up...wasting my time.

    No, you're giving up because every comment you make is immediately dismantled. In your vain effort at affixing a specific meaning to the explicit statements in Genesis 2-3, you failed to accurately identify the part of speech.

    You may slink away in shame if you feel you must, but don't think for a moment that the issues here will be buried with your cowardice. In any future thread, if you bring up topics relevant to this thread, I'll remind you of your failure, and give you a fresh opportunity to defend your position.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hey Stan,

    I don't know if you are still around, but I will lay it out clear the way I read it and the way I have always understood from reading the text.

    God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree. They disobeyed by choice and chose to go against God's word. Through this act of choice (sin or not), they now experience and have full knowledge of sin and what disobedience results in (of which God warned).
    That is the way I understand it and the way the context reads when I read it.

    (By the way, thankyou for your reply to my essay and your tips about essay writing. Though I would appreciate it if mockery and put downs would not be thrown in.)

    cheers,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete