Considering God is supposedly omnipotent and omniscient, he would have known before he even made Adam & Eve, that if he made them the way he did, they would have been too weak to resist the temptation.
My question is, what is the point of making that happen? It's been said that God is incapable of creating imperfect beings, but being able to break so readily is a huge imperfection. A 'perfect' car that will break down in 5 seconds is not a perfect car at all.
Itsmore like the human trap.
Christianity is just the most popular misinterpretation of it.
and one the story is misunderstood the trap is created.
I know it to be the story of absolute freedom.
Please elaborate on how you see it as the story of absolute freedom.
Consider first that whatever decision Adam & Eve made was the direct will of God, nothing to do with their free choices.
Having the knowledge of good alone is good but not good enough,
because that one remain,incomplete, half made, dependant.
So when one has both the knowledge of good and evil, he is now present with the all knowledge...
So is either he gets bogged down by the knowledge of evil,
or he set himself absolutely free with the same knowledge of evil, because he percieve the benefits of it for himself and all others...
So we see those who misunderstand it creates a way of Life which cause one to be fearful because of percieve destruction of Evil....
This is the way of death, which teaches a man to do good and forsake evil lest he willl sure die.
But this death they themselves have created for themselves by themselves.
This they do because they are not able to percieve that nothing is evil of itself, but evil is created merely by one perception of the thing.
So they cannot see what is meant for good they have transformed it into evil...
But knowledge is always and will forever be good once used for the good, by the good and unto all. Even the knowledge of Evil.
So there is a god which rules by fears of death in mean.
There is another God that rules by understanding gained from all knowledge.
The first serve the latter, but the latter is still believing that he is the first, and his kingdom is unlike the first. For he rules with an iron fist.
While the latter who is actually the First fules as a gentle breeze which blow each and every wway to ease the burdens of men.
Just wade right in, brother. You have a great mind.
"So when one has both the knowledge of good and evil, he is now present with the all knowledge..." And what might I ask, would the purpose of gaining this "good" knowledge be, and where do you get the concept that this is the case,
because: "but knowledge is always and will forever be good" can have the reverse argument of "they cannot see what is meant for good they have transformed it into evil" which is "you cannot see that what is meant to be evil you have transformed into good" can be used.
Rather, is it not conceivable that everything that we perceive is neutral, and we perceive things to be negative or positive due to our physiological responses.
We would understand pain and pleasure even if we never felt pain. It's a ridiculously propagated idea that happiness cannot be felt without sadness. Though stupidity often prevails and people forget about the stance of "neutral".
I agree wth with your comment that It's a ridiculously propagated idea that happiness cannot be felt without sadness however, you can't learn the deeper values of one without the other. True hapiness wouldn't be possible without an understanding of some level of the opposite. Don't you think?
I can see how you might think that may be true, however the reverse could be argued, which is that true happiness cannot be reached if you have been mentally scarred by deeply or to any extent, saddening emotions.
In the extreme: many people who have suffered trauma never recover and feel this "true happiness" even if their lives are seemingly perfect. The sadness and hatred festers inside of them, often leading to suicide or terrible crimes.
So I personally would tell you that true happiness wouldn't be possible without an understanding of some level of the opposite is a false statement.
I would tell you that understanding the difference between 'neutral' and 'not neutral' is sufficient for 'true happiness' and any sadness will in fact impede reaching 'true happiness' and vis versa, any happiness will indeed impede on feeling 'true sadness'.
'true happiness' is complete and utter bliss, because nothing wrong has ever happened. You would have the same physiological effects of happiness without sadness as happiness with sadness.
However, a higher, more strong sensation of happiness can be felt in people who have felt sadness, this is exhibited in extremely emotional people. They find everything slightly (or a lot more) effective to their emotional state than other people. As a result, they feel greater sadness and greater happiness. But their greater happiness you would not call 'true happiness' just because the effect is bigger. No, we wouldn't call it that at all..
I think we differ somewhat on the meaning of true happiness. To me, it isn't a state of bliss, but a more knowledge place to stand. True happiness, if it means total bliss with no distractions, is unattainable imo. That being said, I still think you have to have experienced one to gain a better understanding of the other.
Yes Emile R, but understanding by no means, brings happiness.
Ignorance is verifiably biss!
And 'true happiness' is of course impossible.
In regards to your view on it, how do you explain the idea that people who are happy would say things like "I wish this didn't happen" or "I wish this happened sooner". Even those that are happy, will never as they say themselves reach 'true happiness' because whatever happiness they have reached, they will always know that in different circumstances, it could have happened earlier, to a greater extent, or better in some other way.
No. Ignorance is not always bliss.
And, I would explain your examples of what people say as proof that true happiness is impossible. Which does not negate my assertion that one cannot understand the deeper value of happiness unless one has been exposed to sorrow on some levels.
Ignorance by definition is always bliss. I dare ask for one situation where the pain or neutrality of a situation cannot be negated by not knowing something.
And I never said that it negates the understanding, but that it negates ever reaching it. Leaving ignorance, leaving bliss.
And please go ahead and explain it
Treatable cancer. Ignorance means death. I guess you might consider that bliss. I don't.
And I was the one who first said true happiness was unattainable. It appears we agree on that, at least.
Not sure what your is for. Maybe in this situation, ignorance is bliss?
Answering your first-
Can Life be good? and if yes why not?
Isn't good a good enogh reason in itself?
Anyone who's perception of this Life is skewed by Evil, then that evil will rule them until they become it...
You either believe that or you don't... and if you don't well there isn't anything anyone can do for you.
What then is nuetral is it a mixture of the two opposite?
If it is so in your world fine by me...
But I am here to show you a better way but...
I cannot make you into what your are not.
Life for a person is what you make of it, lives can be good for people. Life however is neutral.
Incidentally, that wasn't my question. My question was this:
What makes you think that "knowledge is always and will forever be good". You don't tell children horrific details of their parent's murder. That would be knowledge to them. Knowledge that may inevitably lead to those children suiciding. Forever good you say?
What is neutral? It is the absence of either, not a mixture of both.
'I am here to show you a better way" Excuse me? A better way ? That's about the rudest thing I've ever seen on HP.
I have already answer you but I will do it again but I will not spoon feed...
Knowlwedge(as is every other thing) can only be good, it cannot be otherwise because you would not know to even ask such a question.
Whenever it becomes evil is you the person (even if they are children) make it so, as because of such you reap the consequences.
Concerning nuetrality.. you as a man Life in this world of good and evil and remain nuetral?
Your agitation is not allowing you to see clearly...because you are saying you can be neither good nor evil (nuetral) while in this world which is the mixture of good and evil.
I tell you truly it either you are for Good or you are for evil.
And if you can't see the good then the other rule.
If you were to find it in you to believe me you would not see me as rude...
Absolute freedom would mean freedom from repercussions and freedom to explore everything without fear. In the fairytale of Eve & Adam they only have limited freedom and are predestined to failure, which means no freedom at all.
(So when one has both the knowledge of good and evil)
What is good? What is evil? Would an evil act still be evil if it were not known to be evil? Could an evil act even be performed without that knowledge? If Adam had murdered Eve before eating from the tree, would that act have been evil? What would make it evil with the knowledge that it was evil?
What you have proposed is a human choice between conceptual abstractions, but said nothing about the human action involved. Free will can only apply to actions taken, as motivation is subjective and cannot be compared to an absolute standard.
The only thing that matters is the actions taken by Adam and Eve. The knowledge of whether there was a arbitrary yes/no dichotomy attached to the action had no bearing on the decision.
An omniscient being would have known what actions Adam and Eve would take, so that being is responsible for the actions taken, as omnipotence would allow creation of beings who would not act that way.
No matter how you slice it, evil is god's fault.
Knowledge have already defined all things...
So if you are still in need of a definition of good and evil, then this post is above your understanding.
Knowledge precedes all action.
without knowledge there can be no action,
The act your 'if' question propose is a impossibility cause the state of existence is unlike our present which is with the knowledge of good and evil.
...but to entertain it for a while the answer is no, for knowledge have defined murder as evil, and this act would precede having knowlege of evil...
So therefore murder cannot exist in a state of pure goodness.
So as you continue in your misunderstanding, you thus create concepts which you set about defending and dismantling ... such as proposed by your free will ramble...
Lastly, the One who initiated all these things are indeed responsible for it all including the result of men having the knowledge of evil .
Thus those who see that it is all for Good are those who live and those who see continues to see Evil.. with die their death....
For in the end only that which is Good prevails.
... where then are those who point fingers.. ?
Excellent; brief but full of meaning.
Please explain for benefit of us all.
Randomness is perfect, the universe does it all of the time. Even the universe has a day and given the scope of things, even it will meet it's maker in a sense.
Would an absence of everything not still result in the universe?
I would say the universe would exist even with nothing in it, purely for the fact that if matter were to appear, it would have had to appear in the space that existed where it appeared.
I may have misunderstood your comment. Apologies if so
It would be. Even the concept of nothing is a theory, if you don't see it, it doesn't mean it isn't there. Words come out of nothing, something is the product. We use words to describe sensations that are already there, if it is a new experience, it came out of nothing. In this sense every moment comes out of nothing, this could be applied to all things, for every moment is a creation of the observer. The brain is the magician that makes these sensations (illusions) real.
Real for that specific entity of course. Reality though is predicated on whether the thing in question is constant or not?
In that sense, it can be said that every thought thought and every dream dreamt was real insofar as a perception of sensory (or imagination?) organs, though as far as the constants to all sentience is concerned, it was not in reality, just real.
But what did you mean by even the universe will meet its maker?
It has a ticket to puch, a bucket to kick and a pasture to graze in. The phrase was not based on biblical terms, it was just a way to say it will cease to exist, just as the past moments of our lives. This could also mean that the future is nothing and the past is deceased.
haha but I thought you agree with me that even if the universe ceases to have anything in it, it still exists?
Not as we know it of course.
It does and it doesn't, but only in an infinite line of moments. So it's only real for a moment at a time and our brain is to slow to keep up, so our brain creates a past and a future that can be compared to illusion.
"Nothingness" is also a creation as is "something"; from the Creator God.
God is that which creates it's self. the observer is God and God is the observer. Time is God, the dog is God and the universe is God. It is not a concept in truth, it is the concept of a conditioned brain. The truth of it, is that there is no knowing. We don't know why this reality exists, so we make labels to better understand it. God is one of the illusions of the brain.
I think you are confused person; don't have any idea of the Creator God.
As long as I'm alive, that's all the creation I'll ever need.
Please leave meaningless dribble out of the forum.
Hey Phil, I made this mistake once also, but it is 'drivel'.
Millerci, I think you and I are of different worlds.
Dribble is used here to express my view that the author of the words was mentally impaired at the time of writing them, and salivating excessively due to the circumstances, not making any sense but producing a fair amount of "dribble".
However, I'd forgotten all about the word "drivel" - thank you for refreshing my lexis! The people of hubpages are endlessly useful haha.
Keep in mind however that dribble is a colloquialism of mine, so I am in the wrong here for allowing my colloquialisms into the forum. Though I have found this to legitimise my slang:
I have never seen someone scramble to save face like you just did.
"ehhh-hem, blah blah blah, BIG WORD, yadda yadda yadda BIG WORD"
Any of us could go to urbandictionary.com and find some way to redefine a word we mis-used.
Good try though.
Perhaps I might think it is a "colloquialism" of yours if you actually used it in your writing.
Don't be so prideful!!
Who do you think you are fooling?
(Even the concept of nothing is a theory)
Nothing is our definition of the absence of matter. It is not a claim but an explanation. If there were something there, it would no longer be called nothing.
Nothing is rellative yet, so is something. If I see something my brain having been educated creates a representaion of what I am seeing and then feeds it to rest of my body as a sensation. Whether it be hearing, seeing, touching or tasting, they are judgements made by my brain. In other words, my brain builds a concept of reality for me and it is my choice to believe it or not.
You mean system is perfect; or you mean chaos?
You're asking why God gave us free will, right?
Same answer as always---Love. If He had wanted little robots to worship Him, He would've made little robots to worship Him. Instead, He made us. God is Love. He wants to give and receive Love.
Brenda, I agree with you about the nature of god (being love)
But in support of philanthropy, is it not conceivable that I could love someone, give them free will, and still not set them up to fail as Genesis suggests? (You can live right next to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That knowledge is really important stuff. You can't have it. Have a good day.)
Surely god could love us enough to support us through that choice without exposing us to the horrible consequences of being alienated from him.
I suspect the truth is far more complex than the simple poetry of genesis.
Anton, may I ask again, why do you think our creator is capable or willing to be loving?
Didn't I write a whole hub on that one?
Because it works. It works well. Just like gravity. Just like evolution.
If there is a creator and love is not a part of it, I should be sorely disapointed.
Actually, no I won't. Cause love is a wonderful thing, even if it is only an accident. I'll have to duke it out with the creator myself if it doesn't agree.
Truly, though, I thought I had gone over the details in the "A Loving God" hub.
Also a good interpretation; thanks Brenda.
You are a good writer. Do you have any other concerns? You are wearing this anti-Christian thing out.
Indeed my intentions Mr Curry, I am sorry for boring you!
I shall be promptly moving onto informative hubs about Japan, Russia & France, though I find it more interesting to argue religion, there are more possibilities and the results of the argument usually have more significance in people's lives.
Not to mention the fact that everyone can say something about religious philosophy, whilst the debate on which form of utilitarianism is fairest or most possible would be quite limited!
Whilst? You're a Brit!
I did not mean to imply that you are boring at all. You have some good chops, and I think you have more versatility than these tired old arguements. The first time I heard this one, I dropped my rattle. Somehow, it is still rattling around.
If God doesn't make mistakes, then he created evil on purpose. How can God be all good if he created evil? If God gave Lucifer a free will, and he didn't know Lucifer would rebel and start a war against him, then he must have made a mistake, and isn't all knowing. If God is one, then how can God be three? What about all of the weird beings, like cherubim and arch angels, what are they all about? How about Ezekiel's description with the eyes all around and wheels within wheels and fire and smoke and lightning and thunder? Is that a description of an alien space ship? Was Ezekiel on mushrooms, or did he get a hold of some moldy rye bread or what?
We used to talk about that in the day when we were doing Florida shrooms. The line of thought came from the same cow patty.
Indeed I am, while you are the rare species known as 'USA citizen'!
And I am indeed picking subjects that will not provoke seemingly endless questionable quotes from the bible to back up the argument.
I have foregone all of that malarkey, and am trying to get to the fundamentals of religion. The simple concept that we cannot have free will if we were actively designed by a knowing sentience, and the possible arguments against it.
So far I've had the counter argument of "God gave us free will"!
Hey, I love Brits. I am no yank, I live in Florida, we are Crackers. We love British tourists. They know how to travel light, and their spirits aren't dampened by a rainy day. Their humor is subtle and matter of fact. They never complain that you can't get good pizza down here and they rarely stay permanently. One of my best friends went to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, and had the time of his life. When he got back, something was wrong with him, though. He watched soccer on TV . . . from start to finish. He got exited about it. Everyone else fell asleep.
Insolence? You don't have free will? You do? Those molecules and amino acids are right clever, aren't they?
I have no beef with you. I recognize (recognise) your talent. The informative hubs will probably be good enough for students to reference for reports. I think you have a lot of creativity and could knock out "killer" fiction. Magazines demand a cover letter before sending a manuscript for an article. With fiction, you can send the manuscript for the story along with your cover letter, and have a better chance of selling it for thirty five cents to a dollar a word. How much is $3,600 in Pounds Sterling? You know you are intelligent, but I wonder if you realize how brilliant you are.
To see if we could restraint ourselves within limits and with and for a greater purpose; a price distinct from the animals who hardly can resist on will.
What is the use in saying he wanted "to see" something when he is omniscient and has already seen what would happen?
Religion is for everybody; for the ordinary, the special, the genius, the technician, the carpenter, the plumber, the banker, the philosophe, the scienits; everybody should understand and improve ethically, morally and spiritually.
Religion is for everybody to take ideas from, good and bad.
Not to follow blindly.
Thinking, is the key to morality.
What morality will ever arise from an absolutist, stringent religion.
religion is not "for everybody", it is "for everybody, to look at from a distance"
It's very simple.
God created us with free will. Yes we make bad choices, but if we didn't have free will, We [/b] be able to choos Him freely [b] and no person period wants to be loved without choice, as like I wouln't want my lover to love me automatically...free will goes with everything. choices, which lead to evil if bad, but he did give us rules to follow, and ulitimately Jesus Christ as the perfect example to follow
I don't think you understand.
God created Adam and Eve so that they would bite the apple. We know this because we know he knew they would do that before he created them.
It was not Adam or Eve's choice. God created them to do that, knowing they would.
I am asking why he did that and supposedly punished his creations for something he knew they would do before he even made them.
Just to stress one last time: If god is omniscient, he knew that if he made Adam & Eve the way he did, they would bite the apple before Adam & Eve were even created. So it was not Adam & Eve's choice. They had no free will over the matter.
It is not enough to be one of billions of unique organisms; humans have to be special because emotions look for comforting, and that comforting comes from the notion of being more than simply unique, in being individually special. Special creatures have superpowerful allies that look out for their well being.
The story is nothing more than a fantasy created to assuage the inate knowledge and fear of our own powerlessness.
No one really knows how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden before they sinned, It could have been a million years for all we know. I wonder sometimes too though why he created man when he knows how sinful we can be.
Maybe it's as simple as a stage in our development as a species. The fruit from the tree of knowledge represents Man's awakening as a truly unique species. When his eyes were opened to the reality of the physical world, they were closed to the spiritual. He was cut loose, in a way. We have to grow up and find our way home.
They say God breathed into Man to bring him to life, so maybe the breath represents the beginning of the species and the fruit represents the inception of self awareness.
I've never understood why the Church makes the demise of the Garden sound like a bad thing. That whole interpretation of the beginning of the story screws up everything else The garden, pre-bite of the fruit sounds like a bore. I would assume, with our potential, we would automatically need more from existence than that.
Emile R, I understand, and some religions, like the Mormons, do indeed God intended for it to happen.
They believe that God wanted Adam & Eve to bite the apple so that they may become imperfect (something he couldn't do - somehow). He wanted them to become imperfect, because get this, he wants them to gain knowledge and become perfect.
This is to say that all humans are capable of becoming a "God" or "god-like" through the journeys set for humans, which is a farfetched albeit noble, idea.
My question then is, what's the point? Why not make humans perfect in the first place (if he can't, why can't he? He's no longer omnipotent? His value burns to ashes). Or make it easier. Or make it harder. Why is it the specific way it is? There is no visible pattern. Almost as if everything happened by accident...
You got me. But maybe some lessons we learn as humans could never be learned by 'spirit'. We all talk about it not making sense that a God would create evil, but evil only exists in comparison to what we perceive as good. We have to recognize and label something as evil. Even if it is just a thought; it is recognized when it becomes an active thought, or external action. So a god didn't create it. We do.
I personally think that if there is any truth to the spiritual we exist in this physical form to learn the lessons that can't be learned without it. To come to a better understanding through the senses we have that wouldn't exist otherwise.
IF the bible is true and factual then God is a sadist; a cruel spoiled child. He most likely did it because he likes others to suffer.
IF the bible lies, and God is not perfect, then it could be a mistake on His part, it could part of a necessary growing and tempering process or it could be that Satan was able to overpower God's work. There could be a thousands reasons.
As omnipotence and omniscience is not a rational possibility...
As the bible is a seriously flawed document with quite a few conceptual and factual contradictions...
I suspect it simply didn't happen the way it was writtten.
If I didn't want someone to have something, I wouldn't give it to them.
And if freedom of choice is more important to me than freedom from sin, than I would accept the consequences of my own poor planning and not foist the responsibility off on a brand new species who couldn't really know any better.
The adam and eve story (more than most in the bible) is clearly an allegory of lost innocence, tangled with a rather misogynistic rationale as to why women are evil so suffering in child birth is their everlasting punishment. . .
None of this sounds like a god I would respect, let alone worship.
The scribes could not quote the original word of the Creator God; and they did not understand it properly;ignorant people.
You mean those scribes that were commanded by the will of God?
God's influence over the scribes, is the proposed explanation for how mere uneducated men knew such knowledge featured in the bible as the creation of the Universe, and the order it happened.
These ignorant people were either dictated to write what they did by God, or they didn't have anything to go by other than their imaginations?
Why are the scribes to blame?
I think the story is allegorical; an attempt to give meaning to a folklore account who's original details were forgotten over the generations. Adam and Eve were not real individuals; perhaps the story writer used them as a literary device to represent men and women. Early civilisation needed a creation story and a reason for all the evil in the world, this story is just one of many that were passed along by civilisations and just happens to be the one we have inherited via Israel.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ … -Eden.html
I think there is mileage in the theory explained in the link above. If I accept this, then the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to me represents the invention of religion. Religion attempts to divide good from evil, impart wisdom, and give man a set of rules for living apart from God. But ultimately, religion leads to division, conflict, stupid doctrines that appear wise but are not, and separates man from a relationship with God. And in the case of Gobekli Tepe, religion resulted in the destruction of the local environment (paradise), slavery to agriculture and wages, and a reduction in human lifespans.
That's a very clever take on it. The first part of the bible being a story about what religion is and does and attempts to foresee the future results of it, I like that.
It seems that there is no problem of looking at the Bible as a novel, being based on some ideas or things at the time, including fictional events to make it seem more interesting, and pumping up things and ideas to express what the author wants to put across. Logical? I think so
As a Christian, I believe God can create perfect beings. When Christ returns, those who believe in Him will be without spot or blemish, sin essentially, and they will sin no more. No pain, no suffering, etc.
Since you ask what the point is, though I know you will not like it, I would suggest that it is to glorify and praise Himself with His creation and by revealing Himself to it.
Now I can anticipate the accusations of narcissism, egoism, selfishness, etc. But I want to give a preemptive rebuttal: Wouldn't it make sense that since everything belongs to Him, and since He is the greatest thing there is, that He can set the rules for everything? Also, since He is the greatest, wouldn't he deserve that acknowledgment?
Now I am not asking you believe it, but to see that it can make sense.
Perhaps God can create perfect beings, but he did not do so.
To then think that the purpose of creating flawed beings is to glorify himself does not make a lot of sense to me. If I want to glorify myself, I will create as perfect an object as possible - not deliberately create a flawed one and think that that makes be worthy of great praise.
God may be the greatest, but we have only his word for that - he is selling himself to his flawed creations. No outside corroboration. Ever buy a used car?
Well if you were God, then you can set the rules and say that creating a perfect being is the best way to glorify yourself.
So if we are flawed creations, what makes us capable of knowing what perfection is in the fullest?
Also, if we are talking about the Christian God and assuming the primary beliefs, then I don't need to know how it does so, but just that it does.
I am just making a point from the Christian standpoint, since the forum question asks why does God do this, then I assumed He wanted to know from a Christian POV.
But doesn't that simply make us property? Where is the free will other than an illusion? What good free will if my immortal soul pays the price (damnation) of that freedom? Given my existence is so much more than my life, why does a loving god put me in the situation of excercising free will to my own personal detriment? Where is the love in that?
The christian view can point to a simple case of abject slavery to the maker.
No wonder leviticus condones it. It is the reality set down by the basic concept of the bible.
I really think there must be more to it than that.
I don't think you can make a biblical argument for the 'free will' you are referring to.
If you are understanding Christian doctrine, and hypothetically applying it, then you deserve the wrath of God because you have sinned against Him. (As have we all.)
I think you should try and define what free will is, then see if it fits what the bible teaches about God's sovereignty. That would be interesting. (It would be interesting just to see you try and define 'free will')
Slavery is bad because the person who claims to own the slave did not create that person nor does he truly own the other person. In fact the concept of slavery is wrong for that reason: Someone claims to own someone who belongs to God.
Leviticus merely regulates it. People are rebellious and hard hearted.
I don't see how sin does deserve the wrath of God. We are human. I have children who occasionally disobey, yet 'wrath' is completely disproportionate. Much better to discipline; attempt to correct behaviour rather than punish.
What is sin anyway? We can't use the Church definition for sin as it is not objective and historically refers to any act that does not submit to Church authority. If sin is defined as falling short of God's expectations, what are those explicitly? Absolute perfection enjoyed by 'Adam' per-fall? That isn't realistic, we are human, we err. Is it justice to bring wrath upon those who sin as a result of Adam and Eve being such idiots (original sin is a prerequisite belief here)?
Just to put it in a biblical perspective, God is not just like a human parent, but He is the creator of everything and the just, rule-giver. He has the right to declare the rules and mete out their punishments. He is also able to have mercy on disobedient people by not punishing them the instant they sin, letting them prosper despite sinfulness and even chastising them to correct their ways.
Well, sin is simply disobedience to God. If you really wish to understand a Christian perspective, this is the definition you have to work with. This is also how the bible describes sin.
Since you understand prerequisite beliefs, to argue with a Christian is to argue with someone who presupposes the bible is true. If you want to argue whether the bible is true, we would need a new forum for that. If you want to argue the history of the bible, we need another forum.
I agree that humans err. Jesus says 'Love God with all your heart, mind, body and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.' Jesus then teaches and shows us how that looks. Then men who loved and were set apart by Jesus, empowered with the Holy-Spirit, showed us more. Also, as we stand now, God doesn't ask us for perfection, since He knows we are not so, but He does ask us to have Faith in Jesus and His righteousness. It is by this grace that we are saved from wrath, not by perfect obedience.
So " sin is disobedience to God", yet obedience is not the cure as you say "by grace we are saved,..... Not by perfect obedience".
But "God does ask us to have faith" and it's only then that grace is imparted. So grace is limited and being saved is not dependant on oneself only; it is entirely dependant on the quality of the argument presented to us by the Christian and the credibility of that Christian.
Odd because in Revelation each man is judged upon what they have done.
Yes. I agree that the bible does not support free will, and there are many other arguments, secular and religious, that also refute free will as anything more than illusion.
But then why do so many respondents on this thread say that god wants us to come to him on our own and that he's giving us the choice? If the free will is an illusion only, how does god value that we made the illusory choice to do what he always knew we would?
It is much more likely, more believable, and more emotionally tractable, that the writer of genesis got it wrong, or that we are interpreting something wrong, than that the perfect creator of everything made such an elementary error.
I am glad we are on the same page.
I think we have will that is somewhat free. But biblically, the only way I come to know and believe in Jesus is if I am born again. If the Holy Spirit comes and regenerates me. A common reference to this is 'ordo salutis' or order of salvation. I believe it is biblical to say a man is regenerated and then they believe. Not that a man believes and then is regenerated.
If you can gather a libertarian free will from the bible then yes, I would agree with you. Otherwise, I must admit it was the intention of God to have Adam sin and bring about the fall of humanity. Why? Well, I don't need to know why, but I can trust that God has a greater reason for it.
But here is another thing: words like perfection, free will, love, etc are all understood right in a different manner than what the bible suggests. So while you say 'perfect creator', I don't know what you mean by perfect. Same for things like love and free will. I think you might agree, but it is important to define these things so we can even argue on the same level.
"but it is important to define these things"
For ease of conversation I agree, but our definitions may have no bearing on reality.
For example, I don't accept the creator MUST be perfect. I offered that because that is one of the (many) accepted versions of god according to the bible.
The commandments have god describing himself as jealous. This doesn't sound perfect to me. Neither does the notion that god is wrathful, which is all over the old testament.
"The bible is a book. Its a good book, but its not the only book."
"How do we know god did not (speak) to Darwin?"
(both quotes from the play: 'Inherit the Wind')
We go to god by grace and not by works is a central tenant of the Lutheran faith, but who says they're right? The calvinists believe we are all pre-ordained to heaven and hell and the faithful can tell which is which by the actions they observe.
In the context of 'why adam and eve and the fall of humanity was how god chose to express his will?' the question I have for you is, why do you ' trust that god has a greater reason for it?'
Why does it make sense to trust that apparent contradiction than trust that the human writer of genesis had difficulty understanding a being with the power and knowledge to create life?
(I have a hard time understanding other humans with much more direct interaction than any of us have had with the writer of genesis.)
So why do you even bother to converse with people about this stuff? You say it has not bearing, but you don't live that way.
No one is asking you to accept it. But by dialoguing with a believer, God is the definition of perfection and you have to understand that He is the measuring tool by which we judge perfection. Does that make sense? I don't decide what is perfect and then measure Him against it, He is the ruler but which I judge whether anything else is perfect.
Well, what is wrong with jealously when the object of your jealousy truly belongs to you. He is jealous when the people He created go after false Gods. He is jealous when the people He created give praise and glory that belong to Him, to other things.
He declares that it is wrong to desire something that isn't yours (covet) but it isn't wrong when that said thing belongs to you.
Also, wrath is understood in the context of justice. The wrath of God is poured out on those that deserve. As He is the creator of all things and makes the rules, when He upholds them and carries out punishment, it is by His wrath. (please remember, I am not asking you to believe this, but showing you why this is good.) If God did not punish evil, sinfulness, etc, then He would be unjust. (Jesus talks more of wrath than Heaven in the NT.)
To clarify on the Calvinist portion, it is because a believer is predestined and chosen then changed by God that they can truly say it is by grace they are saved. Otherwise they would need to credit themselves for making a good choice, which I believe is only capable after regeneration. If you are interested why I believe this, read my Hub Does Believing in Predestination Negate Evangelism?
I trust God has a greater reason for it because He is good.
What is the apparent contradiction?
Absolutely, and when he kills millions of people in a flood or commands his holy men to commit murder and genocide, we see the full height, breadth and width of that measuring tool and how it affects its followers attempts to attain such perfection.
That is incredibly selfish, petty and egotistic. These are the characteristics of a despot or dictator, not those of a loving god.
None that you can see, evidently.
How clever. Can I too take random words from your posts and string them together to change entirely what you said?
I don't know why you are asking me, you already do it.
That is entirely false. Why are you lying about that?
Ya got me there. Are there any more of those?
Other than that I can't think of any.
Honestly I think you are funny. Your one liners can be a little distracting at times though!
Fair enough, then we've both had our one time shots.
From here on in, I'll try very hard never to do that again. Thanks for pointing it out.
I have a tendency to use the fewest words to make a point. Often, that's all that's required.
first, its not often that Troubled Man and I come down on the same side in a discussion, so that's noteworthy right there.
I re-ask my earlier question. Why do you believe the books of the bible? Why is that collection more valid than any other?
I'm not asking you to demonstrate their claims have objective validity. I'm asking for your subjective opinion. Why do you think the bible is the 'one true way'?
The bible says god is good. The bible also tells me many things about god that are not good.
"He is the measuring tool by which we judge perfection." But all of your information about that 'measuring tool' comes from a book that has been through so many iterations, translations and interpretations that it's veracity as the word of god is at least a questionable item. So why do you believe it?
Honest question, asked honestly.
Which is why I enter into these discussions, incidently. I want to know how others think, and I gain in the sharing. It doesn't matter whether I agree or not. It's all good exchange. Even when I'm wading through the derision. There's truth in there somewhere and its worth finding.
re: "What's wrong with jealousy. . ."
Jealousy is an emotion associated with a threat to personal self esteem.
What threat to god's self esteem is one of his creation worshiping a god that doesn't exist?
Why is there a commandment against having 'other gods before Me' when there are in fact no other gods?
What place does wrath have in a god that forgives? I get punishment and justice fine. Why is he angry about it? Particularly since he knew it would come to pass?
How does anything belong to me if it belongs to god? Do I not always covet another's property if I covet anything?
In the Calvinist respose, why does god only choose some of us? Particularly since he made all of us precisely as we are and did so with foreknowledge as to the result.
By that token, this discussion is nothing more than god expressing opposing ideas through two of his creations for the purpose of killing some time in his eternal existence.
It is not, to my mind, conceivable that it is at all as simple as that. God is good, the bible says so. Therefore everything in the bible must be correct.
But why? Why do you believe it?
(sorry. Asked that already twice. Clearly that's all I really want to know.)
"Wouldn't it make sense that since everything belongs to Him, and since He is the greatest thing there is, that He can set the rules for everything? Also, since He is the greatest, wouldn't he deserve that acknowledgment?"
The greatest thing there is? That is subjective. In order for him to be the greatest thing there is objectively, he would have to have everyone thinking that. I do not think that, so I can personally tell you that he is not objectively the greatest thing that there is.
So no, that doesn't make sense on a fundamental level.
Since you are asking about the Christian POV, then it is not subjective but based on belief in the bible. (if you were questioning whether you should believe in the bible, then you might consider that subjective, but it is pretty common Christian doctrine to say God is the greatest. Considering He created everything from nothing, regulates it and is the only being who can do so.)
Having everyone agreeing on a concept isn't the basis for objectivity.
"I do not think that, so I can personally tell you that he is not objectively the greatest thing that there is. " << That is subjective.
So, just so you know, it is an objective Christian belief that God is the greatest thing/being there is. (Because I can demonstrate it from the bible in the Christian worldview.)
So yes, it does make sense on a fundamental level.
Because the God of the religious world is a working of man, I'd say the most powerful creative force in the universe, is the universe itself. If you let your pastor or whatever tell you the bible is factual, then you've just been cheated by your own brain. I hope you don't teach that mess to your children. Do you? The bible should be in the history section at the library, but only as a cultural study, not a book of facts. I am not an atheist, but come on. Realy? Do you honestly think you can defend a religion without appearing naive?
Second Coming of Jesus has already taken place in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad; Jesus will not come literally again.
Yeah I get a little confused with the english language sometimes. I can admit my folly and say I was wrong. Though he can be quite immature, grammar set aside. I would like to think that I am at least a gentleman.
I get confused by this wacky program's poorly designed threads. I am used to user friendly. My statement was not meant for you at all. My bad.
God created Adam and Eve perfect and immortal, but not as mindless robots. He wanted to have love and fellowship with someone who genuinely loves him by their own free will, and not because they have too. Tempting them, as with tempting us today, was an opportunity for them to exercise their freewill. If the possibility of them making the wrong choice didn't exist, then neither would their freewill. In failing to make the right decision, sin entered into their lives, corrupting them as well as every subsequent generation.
(He wanted to have love and fellowship with someone who genuinely loves him by their own free will, and not because they have too.)
the lone gunman,
I don't know which is more frightening, the fact that you apparently believe you can read the mind, know, and then pass on as fact the actual motivations of a being for whom there is not even a validation of existence or that you are apparently out walking the streets a free man, possibly awaiting orders only you can hear that tell you to fly an airplane into a building.
I was not suggesting that I can read the mind of God or anyone for that matter, but rather that I possess the ability to read, such as in reading a book like the Bible, and in doing so I have studied and found that my previous statements to be the most likely case, in my opinion. While I am fully aware of the shoulders upon which the burden of proof lies, it still should not be disregarded the impossibility of disproving the existence of God, especially when, based on observation and the laws of physics, all of creation points to an intelligent designer, or a God. As to why He would create Adam and Eve knowing full well that they would fail and that their offspring would one day spawn beings like yourself that mock and jeer at the very notion of an all powerful yet personal God, I have no logical answer. There is no logical response to why God would willfully create a race of people the majority of which only acknowledge Him in dirty jokes, except that He loves us and wants to have a relationship with us, despite our faults.
Now could I have been aware of your inability to understand my comments as interpretive and not the literal thoughts or words of God, I would have taken great care in writing on a more K5 level. If you would take some time to read the Bible, which clearly you haven't, these things may become more clear to you. As for your snide comment about the airplane into a building thing, I believe you are referring to Islam, which is the polar opposite of true Christianity.
(I was not suggesting that I can read the mind of God....but rather that I possess the ability to read)
Dear Grassy Knoll Person, aka The Lone Gunman,
Please point me to the exact scripture, then, that states the following:
(He wanted to have love and fellowship with someone who genuinely loves him by their own free will, and not because they have too.)
Sorry, but I don't remember reading that anywhere in the bible and it sure looks like your own interpretation of what you think was on god's mind.
(As for your snide comment about the airplane into a building thing, I believe you are referring to Islam, which is the polar opposite of true Christianity.)
No, I was talking specifically about people who think that can know what is unknowable and live their lives according to those irrational beliefs - it doesn't matter what irrational belief they hold - Jim Jones, David Koresh, or Osama bin Laden - they were all as nuts and all thought they alone knew what an unknowable being thought.
Good luck with that.
Yet by exercising this free will all of humanity is condemned. Doesn't make any sense to me.
WHAT IF we are needed for the "spirit" to experience material reality? If this were so, then we are doing more things wrong than most would care to admit.
I don't recall anything from the old testament saying that God knows the future. If he did, what would be the point in creating it?
Then by your definition you are limiting what this god can do and thus stating he is not omnipotent and omniscient? What else can't he do? Forgive sin?
I am not saying what I believe in, but am looking at it from an outsider's perspective. The original texts do not say that God knows the future. I do not know about "forgiving sin" as most of the new testament was written centuries after the death of Jesus.
OK. Allow me to apologize for, at least in this case, making a poor choice of words. However I will say those were my words. There is no exact verse that says those words exactly. There are verses that point toward this. Genesis 3:8 says that "they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden." This suggests, that before the fall, God would come down to the garden and walk with Adam and Eve, meaning He would fellowship with them. Another verse, 1 Cor 1:9, speaks of God's desire for fellowship with he creation. Since man sinned, God could no longer have direct fellowship with him because he cannot look on sin, so He sent His son, Jesus, so that we might have fellowship with God through Him.
I don't know why He did it the way He did, why He would allow man to sin. I also have never claimed to know the unknowable. I know what I know from the Bible, which is how anyone can know some of the "unknowable" that you speak of. And I definitely don't think that I alone have the answer, right or not.
Whether your believe in the Bible or not, are Buddhist, Islamic, or Atheists, everyone has something upon which they base their beliefs, but that doesn't mean they think they know all the answers. I do not know all the answers but I believe I know they One who does.
("The Lone Gunmen" name is more in reference to the three characters from the TV series the X Files, though it is where they got they name)
Over the months of my involvement in HUBS, I have labored through many debates, discussions, and dogfights under Religion & Philosophy. Mostly dogfights. Often dumb, silly dogfights informed more by selfish promotion of individual agendae, bursts of personal acrimony, and nasty attacks on character than by any attempt to grapple with the thorny, invariably insoluble, problems that lie at the heart of religion.
Not THIS time! I'd like to thank everyone on this thread for the most intellectually stimulating, thoughtful, well-reasoned, and occasionally witty posts I've seen yet on a HUBS religious topic. You've certainly taught me a lot, and I thank you.
You've all done such a helluva job, I have little to add. Certainly nothing specific on the central issues 1) God putting a flawed being into paradise, knowing he would fail and--apparently--creating evil Himself in the process; 2) Adam's "Free Will"--how can his Will be "free" if God already knows what his choices will be?
Theologians have grappled with these issues for hundreds of years, and by all measures have failed to come up with answers that work. Good and evil co-exist; HOW they came into being is the most popular question--and (of course) the one impossible to answer. Perhaps we should simply accept this ultimate incongruity and try to experience it from the /inside/ rather than analyze it with our tools from the outside? The implicit acceptance of dichotomies in the imagery of great Christian stories may be instructive here. St. Theresa's blatant sexual union with God in her vision of the heavenly cherub repeatedly plunging his spear into her, causing her to experience /simultaneous/ blinding pain and exquisite ecstasy--this image is one of the more striking attempts to describe a deeply spiritual experience in physical terms.
These kinds of images--the Bible has many, as do the works of Christian theologians and poets--show physical/spiritual, good/evil in constant juxtaposition, NOT in argumentative opposition. Perhaps these two abstractions are, finally, best understood as fused images, opposite sides of the /same/ face? In other words, don't fight it baby--it's who we are!
On the other issue--Adam & Eve and the "free" will they didn't really have, I offer the following. The quandary is summed up rather well in the catchy phrase, "The Paradox of the Fortunate Fall". Emile R. posted a succinct and excellent comment on the quandry "3 days ago". Superb. For those Hubbers who might want to pursue the Free Will bit further, please check out---
http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/b … _ficek.pdf
This is a relatively short article on the paradox of the fortunate fall, which is enlightening and informative. I've taken the liberty of printing the Conclusions to the article here:
1. The paradox of the fortunate Fall, which has an illustrious history in Christian theology, points to the basic and profound truths of experience-the ambiguity and contingency of all human activity and the power of God to work "in spite of"(trotz) , to transform evil into good. It affirms the fundamental theological axiom that at the basis of every doctrine is a paradox-God is both hidden and revealed in His
Revelation, Christ is both human and divine, man is both justified and a sinner (simuliustus et peccator), both in the image of God and a partaker of original sin.
2. In keeping with the emphasis in contemporary theology upon a description of the alienation and estrangement of man from himself, the ground of Being, his fellow man, the fortunate aspect of the Fall is seen in the emergence of self-awareness and self-consciousness. Whereas the older theology saw as fortunate the heavenly provision
of God in Christ, the new sees the emergence of selfhood.
3. The identification of the Fall with Creation poses some fundamental problems.The goodness of God's creative activity affirmed in two passages-"God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:25) "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1 :31) -makes such identification implausible.
The position discussed makes sin to be finiteness, limitation, individuality, separateness-for which man does not carry the burden of responsibility. "Fallenness" (Geworfenheit) suggests a higher state from which one has fallen, from which he is judged, and against which he understands and sees himself. Without granting the
existence of such a state it is difficult to see how it is possible to talk about "essence,""true manhood," "goodness of being."
4. The interpretation of the Fall in existential or experiental terms, while valuable and informing in psychological and anthropolical terms and corrective of erroneous interpretations ("inheritance," biological views of sin's transmission),poses problems in Christology. Acknowledgement of the experience of alienation and separation, accompanied by a denial of the disobedience of a historical figure poses problems in understanding Biblical references to the first and second Adam (i.e.,Romans 5 :12-21). If we interpret this passage historically with reference to Christ we should not merely regard it existentially with reference to Adam. The whole thrust of this argument seems to be that in the same way that men are justified on the grounds of one man's righteousness and obedience they are brought into condemnation on the basis of the disobedience and uprighteousness of another.
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