Bible Discussion: Adam & Eve. Were They Human Pre Fall?

Adam & Eve. Were They Human Pre Fall?
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Therion Ware
2004-10-18 10:48:13 EST

Here in alt.atheism (aa) one of those perennials has emerged again:
Adam & Eve: were they guilty?

That question revolves around the issue of whether without a
"knowledge of good and evil" A & E could be legitimately held culpable
for the apple business.

That raises a wider issue, and the one I'd like to explore here ...
if anyone is interested.

I have a feeling that "without a knowledge of good and evil" means,
amongst other things, no moral sense, which in turn means no capacity
for empathy (yes, a bit of a leap, but that's what we're here for?!).

If that's the case, then I think it's not going too far to regard A &
E as what were once called psychopaths though these days "Antisocial
personality disorder" (APD) seems to be the term.

What are the characteristics of someone who exhibits APD?

"Essentially, they violate social norms and expectations without the
slightest sense of guilt or regret in order to take what they want and
do as they please."

http://www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artID=292

So the question: if A & E had no moral sense, from a Christian
perspective I wonder if they could be considered human.
--
"Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You."
- Attrib: Pauline Reage.
Inexpensive VHS & other video to CD/DVD conversion?
See: <http://www.Video2CD.com>. 35.00 gets your video on DVD.
all posts to this email address are automatically deleted without being read.
** atheist poster child #1 ** #442.

Christopher A. Lee
2004-10-18 11:18:42 EST
On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 15:48:13 +0100, Therion Ware
<*e@city-of-dis.com> wrote:

>
>Here in alt.atheism (aa) one of those perennials has emerged again:
>Adam & Eve: were they guilty?

1. It's only a story.

2. In that story they did not yet know right from wrong so they
wouldn't have known it was wrong.

Echo2Drs
2004-10-18 11:28:54 EST
>That question revolves around the issue of whether without a
>"knowledge of good and evil" A & E could be legitimately held culpable
>for the apple business.

The word apple never appears in Genesis. I too, have heard that over and over
again about the apple thing.
The correct word is figs. They sewed figs to gether to cover their private
parts.
When you read the part about "their eyes were open," it is confussing, what the
translators should have put is...closed...
Their eyes were closed...
In other words they closed their eyes to the good and began living too freely
in flesh.
The word figs is mentioned throughout the Bible. In one, the good and bad figs,
or the good and bad souls.


Libertarius
2004-10-18 11:52:03 EST
===>Before any intelligent discussion is possible, it should be settled whether
this Is just a critique of a story, of its Christian interpretation, or is it
stipulated that the story is the account of the real life of a real couple
produced by a real supernatural being?

PLEASE CLARIFY. -- L.
========================

Therion Ware wrote:

> Here in alt.atheism (aa) one of those perennials has emerged again:
> Adam & Eve: were they guilty?
>
> That question revolves around the issue of whether without a
> "knowledge of good and evil" A & E could be legitimately held culpable
> for the apple business.
>
> That raises a wider issue, and the one I'd like to explore here ...
> if anyone is interested.
>
> I have a feeling that "without a knowledge of good and evil" means,
> amongst other things, no moral sense, which in turn means no capacity
> for empathy (yes, a bit of a leap, but that's what we're here for?!).
>
> If that's the case, then I think it's not going too far to regard A &
> E as what were once called psychopaths though these days "Antisocial
> personality disorder" (APD) seems to be the term.
>
> What are the characteristics of someone who exhibits APD?
>
> "Essentially, they violate social norms and expectations without the
> slightest sense of guilt or regret in order to take what they want and
> do as they please."
>
> http://www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artID=292
>
> So the question: if A & E had no moral sense, from a Christian
> perspective I wonder if they could be considered human.
> --
> "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You."
> - Attrib: Pauline Reage.
> Inexpensive VHS & other video to CD/DVD conversion?
> See: <http://www.Video2CD.com>. 35.00 gets your video on DVD.
> all posts to this email address are automatically deleted without being read.
> ** atheist poster child #1 ** #442.


Libertarius
2004-10-18 11:57:59 EST


"Christopher A. Lee" wrote:

> On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 15:48:13 +0100, Therion Ware
> <autodelete@city-of-dis.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >Here in alt.atheism (aa) one of those perennials has emerged again:
> >Adam & Eve: were they guilty?
>
> 1. It's only a story.
>
> 2. In that story they did not yet know right from wrong so they
> wouldn't have known it was wrong.

===>THANK YOU!

Staying with the story, it depicts the creator as a bungler,
punishing his creatures simply out of anger and a fear that
by eating yet another magic fruit, they would not just be
"like one of us" in knowledge, but become immortal.
Definitely not the kind of "omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent"
being Christian theology is presenting. -- L.




Marvin
2004-10-18 12:04:33 EST

"Therion Ware" <autodelete@city-of-dis.com> wrote in message
news:mh47n051b0kj6ulc9ugsms74s81ip6s0th@4ax.com...
>
> Here in alt.atheism (aa) one of those perennials has emerged
again:
> Adam & Eve: were they guilty?
>
> That question revolves around the issue of whether without a
> "knowledge of good and evil" A & E could be legitimately
held culpable
> for the apple business.

I can't remember running across this question before. Like so
many others, now that I've heard it, it seems obvious.
Without a knowledge that some things are wrong, why would
people feel compelled to obey if their curiosity led them to
do the opposite? And what kind of perverted tyrant would
punish its constructs for doing what it had made them to do?

> That raises a wider issue, and the one I'd like to explore
here ...
> if anyone is interested.
>
> I have a feeling that "without a knowledge of good and evil"
means,
> amongst other things, no moral sense, which in turn means no
capacity
> for empathy (yes, a bit of a leap, but that's what we're
here for?!).
>
> If that's the case, then I think it's not going too far to
regard A &
> E as what were once called psychopaths though these days
"Antisocial
> personality disorder" (APD) seems to be the term.
>
> What are the characteristics of someone who exhibits APD?
>
> "Essentially, they violate social norms and expectations
without the
> slightest sense of guilt or regret in order to take what
they want and
> do as they please."
>
>
http://www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artID=292
>
> So the question: if A & E had no moral sense, from a
Christian
> perspective I wonder if they could be considered human.

The validity of your question will undoubtedly be glibly
denied by the aa resident Christians. I certainly would have
found a way to do so when I was a Christian, but I find the
topic interesting and look forward to a spirited discussion.

As I sit here thinking about the concept of knowledge of good
and evil, I find it's impossible to imagine its absence in
self aware beings. Children develop a sense of what is fair
and unfair very early. That sense is almost entirely selfish
at first, admittedly, but it comes to include siblings,
parents, and play mates pretty quickly. I may be misusing the
word sense, but I don't really think knowledge would properly
name what develops. Whatever we decide to call it, though,
couldn't we argue that the ideas of right and wrong, fair and
unfair relate pretty directly to the concept of good and evil?
I simply can't imagine that a being could become self aware
without simultaneously developing such a sense.
--
Marvin
To reply, burn off fog.




Christopher A. Lee
2004-10-18 12:07:50 EST
On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:57:59 -0600, Libertarius
<*s@Nothing_But_The.Truth> wrote:

>
>
>"Christopher A. Lee" wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 15:48:13 +0100, Therion Ware
>> <autodelete@city-of-dis.com> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >Here in alt.atheism (aa) one of those perennials has emerged again:
>> >Adam & Eve: were they guilty?
>>
>> 1. It's only a story.
>>
>> 2. In that story they did not yet know right from wrong so they
>> wouldn't have known it was wrong.
>
>===>THANK YOU!
>
>Staying with the story, it depicts the creator as a bungler,
>punishing his creatures simply out of anger and a fear that
>by eating yet another magic fruit, they would not just be
>"like one of us" in knowledge, but become immortal.
>Definitely not the kind of "omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent"
>being Christian theology is presenting. -- L.

It's not my religion, so I don't have to rationalise it based on the
presumption that it's the truth and then throw a hissy fit at those
who don't.

I don't see why the religious can't see it as just a story without it
challenging their faith. I'm pretty sure that even 3,000 years ago
they saw it as just a story. All cultures had creation myths: I doubt
the ancient Greeks _really_ believed the Earth emerged from the sea on
the back of a giant turtle. Most probably didn't give it a thought,
and that was a just-so story they told the kids.

Libertarius
2004-10-18 12:14:38 EST


Echo2Drs wrote:

> >That question revolves around the issue of whether without a
> >"knowledge of good and evil" A & E could be legitimately held culpable
> >for the apple business.
>
> The word apple never appears in Genesis. I too, have heard that over and over
> again about the apple thing.
> The correct word is figs. They sewed figs to gether to cover their private
> parts.

===>You start out with the facts of the story, but make an inferences
as to the fruit.
It does not say they ate figs. It simply refers to a special fruit with
apparently magical properties.

>
> When you read the part about "their eyes were open," it is confussing, what the
> translators should have put is...closed...
> Their eyes were closed...

===>NONSENSE.
Don't rewrite the story.
It means they noticed their nakedness. Now that they had knowledge, they
realized that they should not be going around in the nude.

> In other words they closed their eyes to the good and began living too freely
> in flesh.

===>NONSENSE.
You are twisting the story into absurdity.
They were "living in the flesh" all along.

> The word figs is mentioned throughout the Bible. In one, the good and bad figs,
> or the good and bad souls.

===>Why don't you cite it, if there is such a thing?
As far as I know, figs are always mentioned in a POSITIVE sense,
having nothing to do with your weird interpretation. -- L.



Gregory Gadow
2004-10-18 13:07:16 EST
Therion Ware wrote:

> Here in alt.atheism (aa) one of those perennials has emerged again:
> Adam & Eve: were they guilty?
>
> That question revolves around the issue of whether without a
> "knowledge of good and evil" A & E could be legitimately held culpable
> for the apple business.

Apples were not known in the Middle East. Given the standard iconography of the
religion of El and Yah (pagan deities long before the Israelites merged them in
to a single god), the fruit was most likely a pomegranite, which was the symbol
for sex, fertility and wisdom. In European symbolism, the apple has the
association of birth, death and wisdom, which is probably how the apple can be
associated with Eden.

> That raises a wider issue, and the one I'd like to explore here ...
> if anyone is interested.
>
> I have a feeling that "without a knowledge of good and evil" means,
> amongst other things, no moral sense, which in turn means no capacity
> for empathy (yes, a bit of a leap, but that's what we're here for?!).

I've seen this discussed academically. The real iconography of the fruit of the
Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has nothing to do with moral principle; it
has to do with sex. You will notice that the first mention of sexuality occurs
*after* the Fall, and the "sin" of the Fall is propigated by virtue of sexual
reproduction.

In the worldview that gave rise to the Genesis story, sex and divine wisdom were
closely related; the pleasure of the sex act and the bliss of orgasm were tools
given by the gods for gaining knowledge from the gods. That is why sex was such
an important part of the early Middle Eastern religions, from the hierogamos of
king and goddess to the temple prostitutes. The ultimate symbol of this divine
intercourse -- specifically, the intercourse of mortal male and divine female --
was the ripe pomegranite.

Only after they ceased being virgins did Adam and Eve realize that they were
naked. Interesting that they would have chosen fig leaves to hid behind; most
species of figs have leaves covered in sharp, very fine hairs that tend to embed
in the skin and break off, giving rise to a very itchy rash (think stinging
nettle here.) Penance for violating the "no fucking allowed" rule? God only
knows.
--
Gregory Gadow
t*r@serv.net
http://www.serv.net/~techbear

"The accumulation of all power, legislative,
executive, and judicial in the same hands...
may justly be pronounced the very definition
of tyranny."
- James Madison, _The Federalist_, #47



Witziges R├Ątsel
2004-10-18 13:18:37 EST

> So the question: if A & E had no moral sense, from a Christian
> perspective I wonder if they could be considered human.

No. The whole point of the fable is that this is how
animals can become human. To those who believe this story,
the difference between animals and people is that, having
eaten the fruit, people know the difference between being
naked and wearing clothes and animals don't. That's why
it's just so wrong to dress dogs in little costumes.









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