Issues with the Garden of Eden

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by CKava, May 6, 2007.

  1. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    The decision was made a few pages before the wrestling match.

    He could have used the Celts or the Chinese instead, but, you know, got to pick somebody. It certainly wasn't based on merit. Jacob had issues. But then again, don't we all have faults? Whoa, there could be a lesson in there!
  2. CanuckMA

    CanuckMA Valued Member

    G-d made Abraham's descendents His chosen people.
  3. CanuckMA

    CanuckMA Valued Member

    All the Patriarchs were flawed. And both Isaac and Jacob were second born, in a culture where he first born inherited everything.

    Even Noah is described as the best in his generation, might not have made the cut at another time.
  4. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    Anyway, back on topic, has anyone got answers to Ckava's original topic?
    The "God Vs Man" tangent was amusing but it would be good to see some answers to the real challenge at hand.
  5. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    The story of the Garden of Eden is a parable, a metaphor. It isn't literally true, so getting hung up on details like snakes and apples and 'who mowed the lawn' is just a distraction.
  6. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Fine. But you're buying the first pitcher.

    Why ask why?
    I remember you and Strafio both telling me that Buddhism doesn't ask or care about the "why" of why the world is as it is. Buddhism just deals with the here-and-now, and that's not a cop out.

    Likewise -- maybe you don't have to know the reasons why God did what he did. Maybe you just have to take life as it is. The first few chapters of Genesis tells us that (1) we have free will, and (2) that we often choose to go against God's rules for proper living, and (3) breaking God's rules is the source of all trouble. That's the way it is. The book of Job in particular, and the rest of Bible more broadly, tells us that we don't have to know why the world was set up that way. Rather, we just have to live with it.
    And that's not a cop out anymore than the lack of answers in Buddhism is a cop out.
  7. tekkengod

    tekkengod the MAP MP

    why ask why? because its relevant to the validacy of your own presupposed assumptions and evedentiary claims about the nature of god.
  8. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    If nobody ever asked "why" Christianity wouldn't exist. Jesus would have been content with the way the temple was being run and wouldn't have lost his temper. The event that kick started his whole pacifist urban terrorist rage against authority and create my own religion phase.
  9. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    I guess it depends on your theology and your claims regarding the stories of the Bible. Many modern Christians believe that much the Bible is merely meant to inspire you rather than dictate truths, in which case literal concerns like this are irrelevent. For others, the Garden of Eden story is the backbone to an important part of their theology - original sin. They make a claim that God wanted us to be a certain way and that we blew it, but Ckava has said that if God wanted to us to be a certain way then he would've made us that way. They could reply that God is a mystery, but if so then why are they making claims like 'God wanted us to be a certain way'? - once you try and explain God in a way like then your explanation must make sense.

    It depends on how much you're claiming about God.
    Many claim that God is righteous then that entails that he will does what is right - that's what the word means. A common way of explaining it by Christians is "yeah, he's got a plan that'll make things right for everyone, even if we don't understand what this plan is, it'll work out for everyone no matter what." and this would leave a lot unexplained but it would be consistent with itself.

    I'm not sure whether Ckava's were relevent to your theology, but I think that the questions are relevent to Cpn Ann's. After all, the post was a reply to one of her posts.
  10. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    You are making the assumption that the reader's job today is to create a religion. I reject that assumption. From my position, we take what is written in the holy books, and those books don't tell us all of the "whys". They sometimes just state the way things are, and offer a way to deal with it.

    See -- you agree that it's a good enough answer! :D
  11. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    Yeah, but I don't think it's an answer that fits Cpn Ann's theology.
    I might be a bit behind the times but last time we discussed this she believed that atleast some people end up screwed in hell for eternity.

    Another thing you should note with this answer is it implies that God intended for everything to happen. It was always his plan that Adam and Eve would eat the apple and get kicked out of the garden, it was always his plan that the humanity would be bad and he'd wipe all of the out except for Noah...
    So humanity can bear no responsibility regarding 'sin against God' because everything they do is part of his plan, how he made us to be. (not that there's anything wrong with that, just that it goes against many Christian theologies)

    Even though he gave us 'free will', he must've known what the consequences of said 'free will' would be.
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
  12. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Maybe so, but isn't this now a discussion on how "love" and "justice" and "righteous" combine together? You know, whether or not hell is eternal, and if it is eternal, how is an eternal punishment a fit punishment for a temporal sin, and whether or not a loving God could even punish someone like that, and what it means for God to be "righteous"? I think that's where your question really sits.
  13. WatchfulAbyss

    WatchfulAbyss Active Member

    Can these things even be answered? I mean, to answer these things would place specific human ideals on God, define him under human terms and there will be flaws. I was trying to go through and rationalize all of the above, I found that my answers became irrational in doing so. (I suppose you could chalk that up to my being a non believer, but, I haven't seen a believer justify all those in working relation to each other in a flawless manner either.)

    I personally think that the "I don't know" answer is best.....

    But anyway, this has brought up a question for me....... What is the nature of Gods plan? How does it work? I geuss it may be better to ask, how does God having a plan, set with the concept of free will?

    Is God's plan an open concept rather than a detailed map? For example, if God's plan went something like.... "Every one who deserves God's reward will receive said reward" then there would no longer be a need to claim and make attempts to try and rationalize that every tragedy was set up to merely feed yet another chain of planned events.

    Imho..... Things in this life don't always benefit seemingly good people, and I don't understand why one would have to be sacrificed to help another, especially by a being who doesn't need to make said sacrifices.
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
  14. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    The original topic was related to this but isolated the discussion to one part.
    It's the story of 'first sin' that many Christians use, using the analogy of "Just as it's your fault if you break secular law and must be punished, it's man's fault man broke God's law and must be punished" to explain their view on morality.
    Ckava was questioning the analogy, showing how it doesn't fit.
  15. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    :D No, they cannot be answered. "I know this much, but I don't know the rest" is the final answer. :D

    I don't know. But my ignorance neither negates free will nor Jesus. :D
  16. WatchfulAbyss

    WatchfulAbyss Active Member

    Lol, don't worry, I was mostly making an observation not an argument per se... :D

    I had nothing to gain really, just trying to come to an understanding is all. When we here the term "God's plan" it goes without saying that it looks to be in contridiction with the concept of "free will". But, since we don't know the nature of said plan, we can't be sure if that's correct or not. That's when I thought of the example in my above post. The plan may be more of an open concept rather than something that sacrifices anyone to it's goal.
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
  17. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    Man was created in the image and likeness of God. By getting Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit, he was basically telling him that he wasn't good enough as he was, and needed to be more. He was taking away his image (The Image and Likeness of God). Man then lost sight of who he really was, and this is where separation took place.

    We have lost track that we are ALL made in the image and likeness of God (Our spirits are), and this is the reason the world is in the state it is in.

    We are the pinnacle of God's creation. If we all knew and accepted this truth, we would not want to hurt each other, and this world would be a much better place.
  18. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I don't really follow, it sounds like your saying God made man take the forbidden fruit in order to 'take away' the fact that man was made in the image of God and yet somehow this makes man responsible for losing this image. If God caused it to be why is Adam (and by extension man) responsible?

    According to your explanation we lost this 'track' because God caused it to happen hence God wanted the world to be in this state hence the downfall of man and all the crap in the world today is part of Gods plan, isn't it? If not why didn't he just let Adam eat the immortal fruit rather than sending shifty the shifty snake?

    That's a nice sentiment though I don't think we need to view ourselves as the pinnacle of God's creation to realise it.
  19. Topher

    Topher allo!


    Here’s an article which explains the contradiction with the ‘fall’ that you might be interested in: ’The fall commits an internal contradiction’

    Capt Ann contested the article when I posted it here a while back. Her comments and the author’s rebuttal of her comments can be found HERE.
  20. Topher

    Topher allo!

    Free will is a moot point and doesn’t serve the purpose it was designed for – to remove responsibility from god (which, by the way, is an impossibility).

    God would be responsible for everything that can possibly influence a persons ‘choice’. He would be responsible for the very concept of existence itself, along with all of the parameters of existence: morality, sin, evil, rape, murder, love, charity... and so on. He would be responsible for the concept of choice, and even the concept of concepts!

    So even if we had free will it would be still contingent on the parameters of existence, which god is perfectly responsible for. None of them are necessary parts of existence. So this god would be responsible for everything that can and does possibly shape our choices.

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