Genesis 3: God punishes all mankind for the disobedience of two

This is the third part in the series An Evil God?

A Short Story

Pullquote: They had done what he had forbidden!
He would kill them all!

Professor Sidney was proud — he was the creator of the first sentient, emotional beings made by man. They were in Lab 47, the largest biodome in history.

The Humloids (as he called them) were programmed with instructions to pick any of the flowers in the biodome except one. He was amused with his little test, because it would prove that they really loved their Creator. They thought they would die if they picked the forbidden flower — a harmless little joke that still made him chuckle. Of course they wouldn’t do it. How could they disobey him?

As he entered, he was aghast. Here were his beloved Humloids — with the forbidden flower in their hair! They had done what he had forbidden! He was furious! He would kill them all! No — a slow death would be better. He would make them suffer. And not only them, but every single one of their descendents. They must pay for their disobedience of picking the forbidden flower.

That’s What God Did

Pullquote: This isn’t just absurd —
it’s evil.

Wouldn’t that be absurd? Who would give a moral test to creatures that didn’t know right from wrong? And worse, if they failed, who would get angry enough to not only make them suffer, but all of their descendents as well? No, it’s not merely absurd — it’s evil.

Yet, according to the Bible, that is exactly what God did.

As we saw previously, God cursed Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. He said they would now die instead of living forever. He cursed the ground and said, “in pain you shall eat of it.” They would have to work hard for their own food and struggle with “thorns and thistles.” Women would now have immense pain in childbirth, and though she would want to rule over her husband, her husband would rule over her.

This applied not only to Adam and Eve, but to all their descendents. In other words, Genesis teaches we experience pain and suffering today because we are descended from Adam and Eve and inherit their sinful nature.

Is That Why Bad Things Happen?

Pullquote: When an innocent baby dies of a birth defect, is it because our ancestors ate some fruit?

When an innocent baby dies of a birth defect, is it because our ancestors ate some fruit? When a daughter is raped and killed by her step-father, is it because the step-father inherited “original sin”? When a tsunami destroys a city and millions are killed, is it because of an ancient myth passed on for thousands of years before it was written down? When a farmer gets pricked by a thorny weed, is it because God cursed the ground?

I don’t think so. Birth defects happen because of medical problems, which we have gotten better at screening and fixing. People are raped and killed by others not because we all have original sin, but because some people are mentally unstable, which through medication and therapy can sometimes be remedied. Natural disasters occur not because some invisible man in the sky controls them, but because of natural forces on this earth — so natural, in fact, that we can often predict their formation and path.

The Injustice of Generational Punishments

Pullquote: Is the God of this myth really loving and just?

Let’s say your grandfather is the worst man in the world. He raped and killed a thousand women and the truth finally came out. The judge pronounces the sentence: yes, this man must die, but not just him — his sons, daughters, and grandchildren must be killed as well. We would scream, “Injustice!” and remove him from office.

Yet that is what God considers justice:

[I am a merciful and gracious God…] visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations. (Ex 34:7, see also Deut 5:9)

Perhaps a case could be made for Adam and Eve to have been punished — though that would be difficult. But for God to punish the earth and all the descendants of Adam and Eve as well? Is the God of this myth really loving and just?

No, he would be an evil God.

Bob Cargill on the Holy Grail
You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down
Where the Fire Comes From
Meet The Wife
  • Vorjack

    It’s a myth, and as a myth – as an ancient just-so story – it works. We don’t expect justice to come out of it. Does it really make sense to punish people eternally for the actions of their ancestors? Well, no, but that doesn’t stop us from telling the story of “How the Camel Got It’s Hump” or the rest of Kipling’s stories. It’s purpose is to explain why things are the way they are. “Why does the world suck so much? Why do we have to work so hard just to feed ourselves? Why does labor hurt so much?” “Well, funny you should ask … The world used to be God’s pleasure garden, but there was this snake, you see …”

    Unfortunately, people want it to be more than what it is. Liberals and conservatives try to make a silk’s purse out of this sow’s ear.

  • cello

    I did a quick google on polls showing the number of Americans believing in hell. It was higher than I thought it would be. I found it to be 70%+. I came across this blog that quotes 40-70%……but also, sorry Daniel……this guy does a better job of demonstrating the angry bitter, Bible god than you do. ;-)

    http://covenant-theology.blogspot.com/2006/09/lost-doctrine-of-eternal-hell.html

    Wheeee! We need to get this guy on Larry King.

    IME, most Christians usually do the bait and switch. They advertise the loving God until they get you to commit, then wammo……you get the fine print on all the nasty stuff. But I don’t think this guy would shy away from the gore.

  • http://yunshui.wordpress.com yunshui

    Vorjack is bang on the money – the Eden story is a prime example of retconning in action. A bunch of desert-dwelling nomads look around one day, think, “Blimey, it sucks to be us,” and then construct a myth to show why their meagre existence is so utterly sucky. You can see the same thing at work in the OT prophets – “Oh shit, we’ve been kidnapped by the Babylonians. Wonder why that is? Maybe Yahweh’s a bit pissed off at us for some reason…”.

    Genesis is not really an attempt by early Judaism to understand God, but an effort to understand reality. It’s nonesensical, but no more so that the Norse creation myth of the giant Ymir, or the Native American myths of Raven. The problem of God’s sadistic nature only arises if you take the myth to be gospel truth, and who, in the modern world, would be dumb enough to do that?

    Oh… right…

  • Lynn

    The hero of the myth of the Garden of Eden is clearly the snake. It’s a great liberator, freeing two repressed and beleagered victims from the irrational and tyrannical oppression of a foul dictator–a tyrant who threatened them with dire punishments if they were disobedient enough to seek out enlightenment and/or moral understanding (depending upon which interpretation you accept of just what that “tree” was–the tree of knowledge, or the tree of knowledge of good and evil).

  • Vorjack

    “The hero of the myth of the Garden of Eden is clearly the snake.”

    I’ve often thought that there must be some early version of the story where the snake was a Prometheus character. Later versions stripped the identity away as the scribes got less comfortable with demigods outmaneuvering YHWH.

    The Prometheus and Pandora myth shows how Pandora – the first woman – brought strife into the world by emptying the jar of troubles. Some interpretations tie the emptying of the jar by the first woman to the introduction of childbirth. Before the jar was opened, there had been a golden age where no one aged and there was plenty to eat. After the jar, there were children and the resulting needs of society and pressures of population growth. People began to age, and life took on the suffering aspects it has today.

    So you can see Eve eating the fruit as a bit like Pandora opening the jar (or later, the box). The fruit caused them to realize that they were naked, so perhaps this knew knowledge included sexuality. This would result in childbirth and all the rest. God had to get them away from the tree of immortality quick, since a race of breeding immortals would overflow the planet in a hurry.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    Excellent post!

    “Natural disasters occur not because some invisible man in the sky controls them, but because of natural forces on this earth — so natural, in fact, that we can often predict their formation and path.”

    Good point.

    As always i’m curious what kinds of dissenting arguments will arise.

    I’m anticipating:

    A. “Who are we to judge what God chose to do with his creation?”
    B. “Who are we to put our morals on God?”
    C. “That story isn’t meant to be taken literally!”
    D. “Just because God chose to do this does not prove God does not exist!”

    Any others?

    @cello,

    “…most Christians usually do the bait and switch. They advertise the loving God until they get you to commit, then wammo……you get the fine print on all the nasty stuff.”

    HA! Awesome.

  • lover_of_inanna

    ** all these areas have been well studied for at least 100 years. **

    no need to speculate on mythopoeic connections —

    for example, many symbolic meanings attach to ‘snake’. because snakes molt — they break out of their old skins all bright and glossy — they have been used as a symbol of rebirth, regeneration.

    in the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh — it is a snake which eats a plant giving immortality. In the epic is also the first occurrence of “the” flood — with a Sumerian “Noah” and his family in a purpose built great boat (“ark”) the only human survivors. (Unapishtim the mariner and family)

    Even earlier the snake appears not as a symbol, but as one manifestation of a life-giving goddess, associated with drenching rain and lightning. she comes down to us through historical times as the great goddess of Crete — bare breasted, otherwise covered by a flounced skirt indicative of flowing water; in her upraised hands she hold aloft two snakes. See Marja Gimbutus: Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    lover_of_inanna,

    What is the point you are trying to make?

  • Jared Lessl

    > his sons, daughters, and grandchildren must be killed as well

    Actually, exactly that was a form of punishment under the Chinese Qing legal code. Extermination of Kindreds. They’d not only kill you, they’d kill everyone related to you out to X generations, with X depending on the severity of the crime (usually some insult to the emperor). The worst instance of it was 10 generations, as well as the offender’s students and peers. All told, 873 people were executed.

    The man’s crime? He refused to write the new emperor’s inauguration speech.

  • http://wintercityromance.blogspot.com Danae Cloud Mesa

    It doesn’t make sense. :( (right after I wrote that frown, I saw your little happy face at the bottom.) it’s cute.

  • http://yunshui.wordpress.com yunshui

    Lynn & Vorjack: I seem to remember there being a heretical Gnostic sect (a quick Wiki search hasn’t turned up the name, sorry, but I recollect they were an offshoot of the Manicheans) who worshipped the Genesis snake as the bringer of knowledge to mankind – almost exactly paralleling the Prometheus myth. Joseph Cambell would love it!

  • wazza

    Not only is he the hero, he’s the supernatural entity who actually tells the truth, as opposed to the first liar in the world. Any prizes guessing who that is?

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @Jared: That’s very interesting. Hadn’t heard about that before.

  • Pete G.

    Hey Daniel, I’m just passing through… came across your blog in my search for interesting takes on the creation myth… and I thought I’d lay my own professor story on ya…

    Professor DeMiurge was this pretty out there researcher that everybody talked about. I’ve read his papers, but I can’t say I knew him much, but there’s this story going around that he was the first to develop a fully functioning humanoid capable of mimicking rational and emotional capacities perfectly. Amazing stuff, and he got federal funding for 2 working prototypes, lucky him.

    As the story goes they too had this big deal hi-tech lab, and the bots were given a full set of instructions on what books, computers,and peripherals they could access. They could fill up on any data they liked except what was on the professors laptop (Mac… figures) That shiny titanium apple was absolutely, positively, unequivocally off limits due to the sensitive info that only DeMiurge and his research staff had access to.

    I’m just guessing here, but I think the professor was being such a hard ass because he knew that if these two idiot-bots ever got a gander at the data and code on file, they’d completely misunderstand it, misrepresent it, and totally misuse it. Algorithms forever altered beyond recognition. Kaput!

    In all seriousness, and to try to clarify what I’m trying to say… I do view the story as a sacred narrative myth (I so do love Joseph Campbell!) …I see it as a story written a millennium or two B.C., by a insightful person trying to show his/her community the error of their ways. …by describing what happens when they do something that should only be ‘reserved for gods’… Passing judgments on others.
    You see, I associate the eating of the apple from the tree of ‘Knowledge of Right and Wrong’ with that simple (and very tempting) deliberate act of claiming to know what’s what! …we all do it… countries do it… religions do it… even bloggers do it… etc. …falsely elevating ourselves above others, and often to the heights of heaven, so to speak.
    Strong opinions make strong divisions… killing much of the connection we should have with one another …along with any real (true) connection to a creator that we may have.

    …and that’s just one dude’s humble take on it all. …and I’d love feedback.
    Regards, P.G.
    Never stop searching …or asking …or thinking, damn it!

  • Paul

    I love reading stuff from the ex-evilgelicals. You so know exactly what it is you speak of since you have lived it… Writings like yours somewhat allow me to get into the mind of the believer.

    And of course I agree that the injustice of this story is amazing. I was just reading a Scienceblogs article about how even dogs can recognize injustice, not to mention how similar chimps and monkeys are to us when responding to injustice as well. Pre-programmed moral code, or evolutionary adaptions of social creatures?? I didn’t think that dogs and chimps had souls, or emotion according to most dogma, yet they also understand injustice??? I woud have to think that if a chimp could get the story, he think it was unjust as well…

  • wazza

    Pete: What exactly would you point to as something we weren’t meant to know? And can you explain why it should be reserved for God? How can God know He was meant to know it but we aren’t?

    As for the professor in your story… why is he so worried about giving the humanoids the information? Most scientists think information should be spread as freely as possible… and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from science fiction – and this is certainly something applicable here – it’s that whenever knowledge is kept from people and they find it out, they are quite understandably pissed off.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    @Pete:

    God uses Mac? I knew it!

    Seriously though… Not a bad re-imagining of the story, but it still suffers the same problems.

    If the professor really didn’t want his bots finding and then abusing the information on his laptop, he shouldn’t have left it in his lab.

    What basis did he have for trusting them with the one rule he gave them? With no basis for trust or knowing what they would do in such a situation, there is no way the very smart professor (all knowing?) could have trusted his bots 100%, and he should have known that. Because of this, since he left his laptop in the lab on purpose, a tiny part of him wanted them to find the laptop, and a tiny part of him wanted to find out what would happen if they did.

    So, you see, your story doesn’t make any more sense than the original.

  • wazza

    Or it does make sense, but not the kind of sense that’s intended…

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Pete G:

    If the Professor had such good reasons for keeping his laptop away from the experimental subjects, then maybe he should have put it in a locked cupboard, or maybe had a password set. As it is, he’s really got no-one to blame for himself when curiosity overcomes an unexplained order…

  • Pete G.

    wazza, McBloggenstein, tankz for the comments… Let me add a point or two in hopes of touching on what you bring up.

    I’ll start by saying that I come at the story of Genesis from the point of view that it didn’t write itself… that along with the rest of the bible it was written by thoughtful people at a certain point in history trying to get some message across to the people around them. Did the authors have hopes of communicating with distant generations? …I’m sure …but I don’t believe it was their priority. What moved me to comment on Daniel’s great post was actually his beginning with a simple story to get a point across. It’s effective to relate great truths about human nature in universally identifiable stories that speak to as many of those interested in listening as possible. I’m hip to the belief that the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, Vedas, Tao Te Ching, whatever… are top-notch sources of moral teachings, but not entirely reliable sources of historical fact.(lil’bit but not entirely) That being said let me make an attempt at wazza’s request for a clear example of a ‘forbidden’ knowledge…

    The most interesting thing that history has taught me is how human nature remains the same. They may not have known 3000 or so years ago what we know today, but I betchya they were just as dickish. I could just imagine, after much thoughtful contemplation, a Moses or someone equally unshaven sitting down to write an ageless script that would not only document the times of ancient Egypt, but extend a little commentary on society as they saw it. I feel it’s important to know the context of the times.

    So what might the tree/laptop of Knowledge of Right and Wrong represent? In my simplest explanation: a bite of the apple is the temptation of our egos to define something as good or bad without knowledge of the ‘BIG picture.’ (not knowing divine knowledge if you’d like) …it’s our best attempt at being godlike …all knowing.

    A fer instance… I was brought up in the Church of F.S.M., and it’s so hard for me to understand why there are still so many nonbelievers. I truly pray that one day these sinners will buy their pirate costumes saving themselves from the coming wrath that the almighty S. M. is sure to inflict on the shameless. Ramen.

    Another fer instances… Hey, I’m a Democrat so F-you! Well, I’m a Republican so F-you 2.

    It’s a perennial moral failing of ours to hold fast to our identity, our beliefs, our self-righteousness. A bit of abstract thought is needed here, but I hope it could be seen how our ego-centric certainty about what’s right & wrong kills not only our connection to each other, to ourselves, and to any god. BUT it also kills our inquisitive capacity to LEARN new things about this pretty cool world of ours. There are few things that annoy my spirit more than to here anybody claim to know the mind of god. …and part of my point is that these attitudes were probably just as common three, two, or even one thousand years ago as they are today.

    “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” (A. Huxley)

    It’s my humble opinion that this is ‘THE’ thing that God and professor D. were trying to WARN their creation against. I think this is equally true for people, preachers, presidents, or even physicists. Researching my faith is as exciting to me as digging into quantum theory or physical cosmology… It’s all about the WHY …and I often think scientist hold to their beautiful theoretical mathematics as fervently as priests and preachers do to their doctrines. There is much we do know, but still twice as much yet to be discovered.

    McBloggenstein, to briefly address your comment on the all-knowing professor leaving his mac behind… The best guess I would venture is that it was probably a contracted precondition stipulated in the government grant award. …hachachachaaa. …Either that or he had no choice… maybe not unlike the unbending laws of mathematics, the laws of any divine love dictate that freewill run the risk of shits happening.

    Anyway… I’ll wait for another post from Daniel on why an apple tree.

    Let me end by adding that this theory of ‘apple tree’ = ‘temptation to judge’ is still very much a work in progress, and I welcome any and all punching of the holes in it. …Best Regards!

    “Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.”(Andre Gide)

  • Pete G.

    Sorry for the lengthy post above… (hope it doesn’t come across as in any way preachy)
    …I can’t resist adding just one more quick word on something that often comes up… The nakedness thing.

    The description of Adam and Eve hiding is what I take as man judging himself shameful in the eyes of his creator. Judging ourselves Guilty as being the main cause of our separation from God. Doesn’t matter what God may think of us… we’re ready to run away and hide. …and stay hidden.

    I’ve only recently started to look at my own failings as possible bitter lessons that I may one day need… If I ever come across another person hurting with guilt from the same transgressions. (More of a big picture view.)
    I do believe in an all forgiving Divine Spirit… As far as an all forgiving human spirit — not so much.
    Carry on.

  • VorJack

    Pete G.

    I think we get all that. It’s an interesting interpretation and re-telling, but I think it tortures the text a bit. If you want to say, “well, this is what it means to me,” that’s one thing. But there’s no indication that the authors intended something as complex as ego formation in the story.

    Take this, for example “The description of Adam and Eve hiding is what I take as man judging himself shameful in the eyes of his creator.”

    But Adam and Eve were ashamed to be naked even before God appeared on the scene. They were seeking to cloth their nakedness when he arrived. It would seem that the authors were intending something else; possibly a general loss of innocence. This fits with themes in the other myths of the time, like the Epic of Gilgamesh. Look at Enkidu, the wild man who was both bestial and innocent, who became self-conscious and semi-civilized through the act of sex.

  • Margaret

    “… to the third and fourth generations.”

    Even by the nutty beliefs of the YECs, it’s been a lot more than 4 generations. Can they not count, can their god not count, did their god lie when it said this, or is their bible lying about what their god said? Saying their god changed its mind doesn’t count as a different option than lying because of the omniscience thing.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    @Pete

    I agree with VorJack.

    I also think your interpretation is not a so complex one, nor does it seem to me to be so different from the original meaning (if we’re assuming it was just a story that was meant to have meaning, rather than a true account of actual events).

    If you are interpreting it for the purpose of helping yourself to believe in God, then that is one thing. But you seem to agree that it is just a story, yet still subscribe to the idea of God.

    -“…Either that or he had no choice… maybe not unlike the unbending laws of mathematics, the laws of any divine love dictate that freewill run the risk of shits happening”

    Hmm. I’ve never heard any idea like that before. Interesting. Still unplausible, but interesting. Remember though, God supposedly wrote those laws of physics and mathematics.

  • http://blog.dc-agape.com dc-agape

    Margaret,
    Actually, we know that YHWH can’t count. Right after the flood he limited man’s live span to 120 years, but Abraham lived for 179 years. YHWH promised Abraham that his offspring would stay in Egypt for 4 generation, turned out to be over 400 years. And we all know that people don’t have children in the last 20 years of their life.

  • krissmith777

    dc-agape says:

    “Actually, we know that YHWH can’t count. Right after the flood he limited man’s live span to 120 years, but Abraham lived for 179 years.”

    Actually, you misunderstand the passage. The most widely accepted interpratation is that God is giving humanity 120 years until he wiped them out with the flood, not that nobody will not be able to live longer than 120 years afterwards.

    Nothis that Genesis 6:3 is a reference before the flood.

  • VorJack

    “God is giving humanity 120 years until he wiped them out with the flood”

    Then it’s placement is a little odd, mixed in with the discussion of the Sons of God. It looks more like an interpolation than anything else, wedged in between two passages about the Nephilim.

    Honestly, I’ve heard both interpretations, but it’s placement makes it really hard to figure out the context. However, the line “My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh” [RSV] makes me think it does refer to lifespan, rather than some looming threat. The “for he is flesh” part particularly, since it would be a non-sequitor if God were merely contemplating genocide.

  • Pete G.

    @ VorJack “…it tortures the text a bit”

    …boy, does it ever!

    “there’s no indication that the authors intended something as complex as ego formation”

    You may be absolutely right.
    Believe me, I’m aware of the absurdity of such a unusual take on this very old text, and I’d like to offer some reasoning on my intent on a future post.

    For now I just have time to say thanks for the Greek mythology leads you left above… if you could think of any related stories I’d be much appreciated!

    By the way… to all…
    I took the time to read some more posts since the beginning of this Daniel’s Evil God series, and I must say, I do applaud the lively debate! …and I also realized that I only contributed to the already overcrowded android imaginings with my above post… my apologies… should of gone with the talking orangutangs and zoologist.

  • Pete G.

    @McBloggenstein

    “But you seem to agree that it is just a story, yet still subscribe to the idea of God”

    Yep.

    “God supposedly wrote those laws of physics and mathematics.”

    …and stories?

    Thanks for the thoughts… my time is limited so I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your posts going back to the beginning of Daniel’s series as well, and I hope to comment again as soon as time allows.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    Pete,
    It’s true, there were other robotic analogies before. I think I liked yours better though.

  • wazza

    Now wait a minute… even if knowledge is forbidden (and I found your explanation a little confusing. Especially since a supposedly perfect creator stuffed up so badly as to make us unable to cope with this knowledge), surely we can have a reasonable explanation why, not just “DO NOT TOUCH!”

    We explain to children why they shouldn’t run with scissors (Because you might fall down and hurt yourself!), we explain why people shouldn’t touch electric fences (“Danger: High Voltage!”), we explain why people shouldn’t read any further under certain circumstances (“Spoiler Alert!”), so why can’t God, who presumably is infinitely smarter and more capable than us, explain things to his creation in such a way as to make them understand why this knowledge would be a bad thing?

  • VorJack

    “we explain why people shouldn’t read any further under certain circumstances (”Spoiler Alert!”),”

    You know, that’s kind of an interesting analogy.

    “Look, I’ll be honest – if you eat this fruit, you’ll understand everything better. But it will ruin your enjoyment of everything you do from here on out. I’m sorry we have to put it here right in front of you, but the Gods who created this garden have to have access to it, so there’s not much that can be done.

    “Look, I promise you that after your done with life, I’ll give you all the knowledge you’d get from eating the fruit. By then, you’ll have lived life and be better able to understand it all. You’ll enjoy it more then, anyway.”

    Except there was no death in the Garden, so no promise of wisdom after you die. Anyway, something like that.

    On the other hand, it makes the apple sound like the red pill, doesn’t it?

  • Pete G.

    Wish I could have posted sooner… pre-holiday madness kept me away.

    @wazza:
    “We explain to children why they shouldn’t run with scissors…”
    “…why can’t God … explain things to his creation in such a way as to make them understand…”

    That’s a great point… but how rational and reasonable could children really be? Could they fully understand the dangers of pointy objects before a certain age? What else can’t kids be trusted with until they know better?
    …I’d say car keys for one, since I still remember taking the family auto for a spin around the block when I was 15.

    My point being… was(is) that damn tree just for ‘grown ups’?

    (By the way, whose to say that the ‘knowledge of good and bad’ was forbidden for all eternity??? )

    Again… please understand I come at the genesis story not as literal account, but an abstraction of a moral precept.

  • Pete G.

    @VorJack

    “Look, I promise you that after your done with life, I’ll give you all the knowledge you’d get from eating the fruit. By then, you’ll have lived life and be better able to understand it all. You’ll enjoy it more then, anyway.”

    Nice.

  • Jabster

    @Peter G.

    The whole problem with the it’s just like a parent teaching a child is that the argument is basically rubbish. Take you example of taking the car – let’s suppose that you had an accident and were badly injured or even died. Do you think that your parents, if they had the power to stop it, would have let this happen or would have they have done nothing to ‘teach you a lesson’. So what we come back to is the argument that god works/thinks in ways we can’t understand unless we are talking about gays, non-believers, believers in false gods, those who shop on Sundays etc. then it’s clear god’s will that they are persecuted all the way to hell.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Pete G: when children can’t be trusted to understand that knives are dangerous, and should only be handled by adults, their parents don’t put a knife in their playpen. Or if they do, they get told they’re not fit to be parents and have their surviving kids taken away from them.

    How’s your analogy supposed to hold together, again?

  • AnonyMouse

    You left out the best part.

    Gen. 3:22: And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

    God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden because he was afraid that they’d become immortal, too, and then there’d be no stopping htem.

  • Stephen

    I once saw a program on the history channel about the many books of scripture that did not make it into the modern cannon at the Council of Nicene. I was intrigued by the gospels of the Gnostic Christians, so I went to Wikipedia to read up on them.

    Gnostic Christians were one of the early versions of Christianity that died out before the middle ages. They believed in two gods, Elohim, the creator, who is benevolent and indifferent, and a lesser evil god, Jehovah, the god of the Old Testament. They did not believe in an adversary. Basically Jehovah screwed things up so bad that the higher God took compassion on mankind and sent a savior, Jesus Christ.

    This interpretation of the scriptures seems to make a lot more sense. In fact, Satan is barely mentioned in the Bible, even in the New Testament, and such references can be interpreted in other ways. From what little I understand about the Jewish religion they do not believe in the devil or hell either. They devil seems to be a Christian invention and in my opinion was invented for two reasons, a.) as a scapegoat to evade responsibility for our own sins, and b.) to scare the shit out of people so as to keep them poor, unquestioning and obedient.

    For much of Christiany’s history the Church was incredibly corrupt and evil. The reformation brought the concept of morality and being a good person back to Christianity, but the fear of the devil and eternal damnation stuck, and I say that Protestants actually made it worse.

    I think a few of the biggest problems with Protestant Christianity are a.) belief in the devil, who we conveniently blame for evil in the world, and hell – a scare tactic to gain new recruit b.) the idea of sin and being saved, since we’re all sinners and none of our sins matter anymore some people use it as an excuse to have poor judgement c.) belief that the Bible is written by God Himself, not man, and believing it to be truth. I could fill an entire book explaining why this is dangerous and harmful.

  • Angela Who

    I doubt my comment will make it onto the board here but I will endeavour to try anyway…

    These blog posts are a disgrace! They seek to enlighten no one… But rather reveal who you have chosen as your master in your rebellion against God and humanity as a whole! In full knowledge and with full awareness, acting on your own will, you work diligently for your master (and you know who that is) to lead others astray. You have exchanged the truth for a lie! And are now peddling that lie as truth…

    An atheist can be forgiven for not knowing any different, you on the other hand can not! And you will be held accountable for all those you succeed in leading astray. These blogs are worthless and benefit nobody! This is nothing more than a sense of you feeling your own power over the ignorant masses as they praise you up for filling their itchy ears with this rubbish you spout. Poor souls foolishly believing you have some idea of what you’re talking about, hence your statement at being an ex-Christian. They have no idea what this really implies or else they would have the sense to steer well away from you.

    For anyone reading this, this blog spot is not atheistic, it is SATANIC! You should know the difference before reading any further here… All ex-Christians are in league with Satan and are fully aware of it, don’t let yourselves be fooled into believing otherwise.

    I know if you’re an atheist you won’t understand this, you believe that one either believes in God or doesn’t, but I tell you there are some who know God exists and yet rebel against Him as Satan and his minions have done, and this guy is one of them, he is not one of your own. And he is not one of mine either. I urge you to please take care and leave this place.

    From one who does care

    Angela…

  • Jabster

    @Angela Who

    Nice little post but I must have missed the bit where you supplied evidence for ID/Creationism … you did a nice little rant about the theory of Evolution not fitting in with goat herder’s view of life but scientific evidence seems to be some what lacking wouldn’t you agree. If you have no evidence, which you obviously don’t, then just stop being dishonest and say so.

    “I don’t know when I’ll be back, …”

    Maybe when you have some evidence for your claims of ‘god did it’ …


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