When Comments Become Articles: The Myth of the Garden of Eden?
Several years ago, a gentleman responded to an article I wrote dealing with the efficacy of the lives of Adam and Eve, and the existence of the Garden of Eden. The resultant discussion proved eye-opening about the source of opposing views which often comes about due to incorrect information or interpretation.
“What makes your interpretation more correct than mine?”
The question above seems like a valid political posit based on a faux reference to freedom of speech and religious belief based on Modern American doctrine. It is not valid. Instead of using reason to produce a philosophical understanding, it becomes a war of supposed equality. No matter how off-based a claim someone makes, rash emotion-based opinions in modern times seem to matter as much as reasoned opinions.
Ultimately, opinions, no matter how reasoned are just Opinions. Merit, fortunately, goes to those opinions formed based on overt thought and a willingness to change if further wisdom comes about to challenge long-held conclusions.
Of course, my opinion is going to matter more to me being that I am the one writing the article. Below, here our comments to each, Brad the Agnostic (Brad the Ag) and Rodric the Theist (Rodist). The wording has been adjusted to reflect the best estimation of the sentiment made.
Brad the Ag:
The garden of Eden story is childish and shows the shallowness of the biblical God. Even according to the Bible, God failed with a third of the angels, and now He is going to test humans. The biblical God failed at everything.
I appreciate your comment and for reading. You, Brad the Ag, have the right to your views. I believe in the Eden Experience. It is beautiful and simple; yet, it is also complex and yielding. God did not fail with fallen angels. Those angels used that agency to rebel against a plan with which they did not agree. Yes, God tests humans so that we can mature and become like He is. For those who do not seek to be as our Father, He prepared a place for them to serve as angels in His royal courts. He succeeded in allowing all humanity free agency.
Brad the Ag: A Poem?
God has failed.
He failed with the Angels.
He failed with Adam and Eve.
He failed with Cain and Abel.
He failed with Moses.
He failed with the billions of humans, as the humans have not changed for the better before or after Jesus Christ.
This is from the fable you call the Bible.
Take away your Bible and you have no contact with God, I don't mean that you don't talk to Him, but He never responds.
All the natural disasters kill thousands and millions of people, and they call them acts of God. Also, I will bet that you cannot tell me how many angels are a third of the angels.
Rodist: God Succeeded
You are correct that I do not know the number of angels who did not follow God’s plan, but if you read the articles that I have written, you can see what I believe. I am a Christian, specifically, a Latter-day Saint, known also as a Mormon. As such, I believe in modern-day prophets, that God speaks to prophets the same way today that He did back in Biblical times.
You are correct that we can speak to God because I speak to God daily. And honestly, He does speak to me. Rarely does He speak words in an audible voice, but mostly impressions or feelings of the Holy Spirit. God does live. I did not always know that, but I know it ever since I asked Him if He was there. It was the first time I ever heard God's voice and I have had a relationship with Him since.
Unfortunately, in life, bad things happen. Having a complete understanding of the Plan of Salvation helps to put those bad things into eternal perspective. Mortal life is not all that there is to experience. Life exists after death as it did before birth. Losing my grandmother, my daughter, and my mother came with crushing hurt, but I know that the Plan of Salvation will allow for us to meet again.
These terrible experiences in life are the result of the Earth refusing to cooperate with humankind for rejecting God’s teachings. Humans are the only creation of God who can think like Him. He cannot control us without robbing our agency. We have our free will. He invites us to voluntarily give our wills to Him because as a perfect Being He knows best. It is a choice which many will not make. I give my will by following His teachings and my life is blessed though still hard.
If we endure life well, all will be well with us in this life and the next iteration of life.
Brad the Ag: Imagine There's No Heaven. It's Easy if You Can.
That is your opinion, which is based on faith and not intelligence. There is no foundation for faith, as there has been no news from God for over two thousand years. Growing up as a Catholic, I went to parochial school for my first seven years. I liked the ideas that I was taught; but, as I grew to maturity, I did my own thinking. We humans have high intelligence, but there is no intelligence needed to have blind faith. A dog has blind faith in their master, but dogs are not highly intelligent. A dog at least can see, and be guided by their master. We can’t!
The Bibles were written by humans—men, actually—over a fifteen-hundred-year period. And, it was a human that put all the writings into the Bibles. The stories in the Bibles are written but they are stories created by men. From Genesis you couldn't even know that the Earth revolved around the Sun!
If you believe the Bible, there was no heaven for Adam and Eve and their children. The Garden of Eden was their eternal paradise on Earth. Creating Eve by cloning makes women subservient to men, as was the tradition at the time that the Bibles were being written.
Death, pain, suffering, misery, and hopelessness are a part of life that we must experience to understand living, peace, success, joy, and hope. Life is not meant to be ONLY a pleasant experience here. We would learn nothing if all we had learned was how to have only good times. Life is about progression to become like God.
"Science fiction” is Equal to “Science” plus “Faith”..
Brad the Ag: Fiction is Better than Faith.
How many billions of humans do you have to create before you realize that humans are failures, as much as were the angels? And if you already know the future, then stop the game. Because the game so far is a failure.
Why would humans do any better than did Adam and Eve? There was no difference that would make them more loyal or anything. Without making a change, it is fruitless to think that there would be a beneficial difference.
When Cain killed Abel, that should have stopped the game. Adam and Eve committed theft and disobedience, but Cain killed a person.
Even with God's help, Moses never got to the promised land—even after 40 years! The alleged tablets containing the Ten Commandments were easily broken by Moses.
The Jews were the chosen ones, but they didn't follow Jesus. The list goes on and on. If there is one God, then there should be one unified following. But there are religions that differ not because of what God wants, but what the humans that created the religions want. Finally, the Bibles are not self-authenticating; and God has chosen to be silent. So, the Bibles should stand alongside Aesop's Fables, and the story of Santa Claus.
Rodist: Open Your Mind!
Be skeptical, but be open to new ideas. Your mind needs to be open to possibilities. I promise you God will answer your petition if you put it towards Him. My faith remains in a state of growth or decline. I did not always believe. Now, however, more than belief, I know Him. God is willing to help us get to where He is if we are humble enough to listen. Listen to him and make your own judgment based on that interaction. If you still hate Him after you speak to Him, fine. Don't give up just because what you grew-up believing does not fit with what your limited understanding of what you think life ought to be.
Brad the Ag: Who are You?
You didn't read a word of my comment. Millions of people die while praying and having others pray for them. Why do you think that you are so special that you have God's ear? Are you better than these people, are you more deserving than these people, what is it?
Rodist: Special? Yes!
I read your comment. I am no better than any other person. Yes, however, I am that special and I do have God's ear. I understand that there is more to the Plan of Salvation than The NOW, this moment!
My health’s failing me right now and I live drawing disability funds, the dole. I am not free of trials. I am no better than the next person in value to God, who is the Father of us all. What I have is an understanding that life has challenges. Some of us will seem to have more than others. God loves us all the same and has a plan for all the billions of people who have lived and will yet live on this planet.
There is no special secret to talking to God, only faith to open our mouths and be willing to listen and receive inspiration or revelation. God did not fail my friend. He simply allows us to have our agency to choose. He has provided a plan for us to decide whether or not we accept Jesus Christ's atonement from Adam to the last person born before the world fulfills its purpose for creation. People deciding not to follow His commands is not a failure on God's part; it is a success. Again, it means we make choices to determine our eternal fates as God desires us to do. Life was never about everybody having the same glory. It is about everyone who wants glory to have the same chance to get it regardless of our stations in life.
With that, the conversation ended—me thinking that Brad the Ag refused to open his mind to possibilities of hope and understanding; and him thinking I had closed my mind to reason and logic. The exchange revealed a level of disappointment in Brad the Ag’s faith tradition standing up to the scrutiny of his doubt. Because the psychological wounds exist, Brad the Ag would not allow religion that intimate access to his faith in case, again, his beliefs prove nothing more than the fable he declared belief in God and Scripture appeared to be to him.
At odds, I invited him to try God again and he invited me to realize that God and Scripture are a waste of intellectual exertion since he considers all faith blind. Last of all, faith in God does not have to be blind or based in assumption. Jesus Christ teaches through the Prophet Moroni, “ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” [Moroni 10:4-5]
© 2019 Rodric Anthony