Illogic of the Garden of Eden Story (2 of 2)

Illogic of the Garden of Eden Story (2 of 2) August 29, 2016

Garden of Eden Genesis BibleLet’s look closer at the details of the Garden of Eden story (part 1 here). As history—or even a coherent story—it doesn’t stand up.

  • Omniscient God isn’t very knowledgeable when he goes into the Garden and doesn’t know where Adam and Eve are (Gen. 3:9). Omnibenevolent God isn’t very benevolent when it comes to delivering their punishment. This is another parallel with the Akkadian Atra-Hasis epic—those gods didn’t know everything and weren’t always benevolent either. As one commenter noted, “God’s powers can’t be that amazing if you can get them from a fruit tree.”
  • As crimes go, this one was a misdemeanor. Admittedly, Adam and Eve did disobey God, but how about just a scolding? This was the first bad act in their lives. Isn’t the trans-generational punishment out of proportion to the crime?
  • Before Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they didn’t know good and evil. Why blame them for doing something wrong when they couldn’t know it was wrong? It’s like punishing a two-year old for a moral infraction. In fact, Adam and Eve were likely not two years old themselves.
  • If Man understands good and evil today (we possess the knowledge of the Tree), why are we so bad at figuring out good and evil? Okay, let’s assume that selfishness and other base desires muddy the waters. Let’s assume that someone could know the right course of action but choose the easy or pleasurable over the right. Shouldn’t we all at least agree on what’s good? How could post-apple humans be divided on abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, and capital punishment?
  • How can getting wisdom be a bad thing? Solomon was celebrated for being the wisest man on earth (1 Kings 4:30). The Bible makes clear that wisdom is good: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” (Prov. 16:16).
  • Could an omniscient God have been surprised at the result of the Garden of Eden experiment? And if he knew the outcome, why go through the charade? (It’s almost like this is all just mythology … ?)
  • Tertullian said of women, “You are the devil’s gateway; you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law.” But read the story—Adam was with her the whole time. Why give Eve extra blame?
  • Why are their descendants cursed for all time—women with labor pain and men with difficult toil—when the descendants didn’t do anything? We see the same thinking in the second commandment (“I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”), which probably also came from the J source. It’s nice that God lightens up in later centuries (see Deuteronomy 24:16 or Jeremiah 31:30), though this doesn’t put God’s unchanging moral law in a good light.

At this point in the Bible, Jesus wasn’t even a twinkle in God’s eye, but it is worth noting that while Jesus provides forgiveness of one’s sins, Christians are still punished for Eve’s sin.

This is an aside, but it is curious that Christian Creationists who object to humans evolving from bacteria have no problem with God making Adam from dust (Gen. 2:7). Indeed, the word Adam comes from the Hebrew adamah (dust).

The NET Bible comment on Gen. 2:17 (“for when you eat from [the Tree,] you will surely die”) makes clear that this phrase means that death will happen almost immediately, as if the fruit were coated with poison. But, of course, the serpent was right, and they don’t die. Indeed, Adam lives to be 930 years old.

Apologists respond that this instead means that they will die eventually, that this introduced physical death and they would no longer be immortal. But the text makes clear that they never were immortal. They were driven from the Garden so they wouldn’t eat from the Tree of Life. That’s what makes you immortal.

Apologists try again: they say that “die” meant spiritual death. First off, that’s not what the text says. Second, the animals were driven from the Garden as well, so there’s no reason to imagine that their death was any different than Man’s. If the animals’ death was physical and not spiritual, what’s to argue that Man’s is any different?

Christian theologians tell us that the serpent was Satan in disguise, but (yet again) that’s not what the text tells us. It was a serpent, not Satan, and that’s what Jews today will tell you. And why is the serpent the bad guy? He told the truth! He was the Old Testament’s Prometheus.

I’ll close with comments from Ricky Gervais, who imagined the snake having this to say in response to God’s punishment that he crawl on his belly for the rest of his life.

“But I already.… Oh no! Oh yeah, you’ve done me, yeah. No, we’re even now. I asked for that. Okay, cheers. Oh—how does this work again? Owww—I’m being punished. This is rubbish—I wish I could fly, like normal.”

And the Son of God died; 
it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. 
And He was buried, and rose again; 
the fact is certain, because it is impossible.
— Tertullian

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 6/26/13.)

Image credit: Wikimedia

 

"Why would you need to tell the difference?OK. Look, I can see my jest is ..."

Gay Marriage: a Dietrich Bonhoeffer Moment?
"I wasn't really thinking about it that way, so I should. Where did the bad ..."

4 Steps Christians Must Take Before ..."
"You know what's fucked up? A lot of the bible happens when no one else ..."

4 Steps Christians Must Take Before ..."
"You're incoherently blathering on about a fictional book."

4 Steps Christians Must Take Before ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Chris J

    Before Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they didn’t know good and evil. Why blame them for doing something wrong when they couldn’t know it was wrong? It’s like punishing a two-year old for a moral infraction. In fact, Adam and Eve were likely not two years old themselves.

    You know, I’ve used this argument as well, but there is something that doesn’t sit right with me about it now. Apparently, “Good and Evil” in Hebrew is more like a phrase meaning totality through talking about opposites. It’s not a specific tree of moral knowledge, but a tree offering knowledge of everything.

    Now, I still think Adam and Eve didn’t really understand the consequences of acting wrong… Eve’s little “defence” was basically just “God told us not to do it, and said we would die.” All the serpent said was “no you won’t,” and apparently that was enough to convince her. It is like young children in the sense that morality for them was just what the parents said you’d get punished for. But I’m not as convinced at the moment of appealing to the description of “Knowledge of Good and Evil” specifically…

    • Mister Two

      I’m with you on this, Chris J. Seems like the implication is that they knew what they were told not to do, but once they ate the fruit they supposedly knew right and wrong without having to be told.

      • Chris J

        They knew what they were told not to do, but it doesn’t appear that they knew why they shouldn’t do it or what the act meant. They didn’t have any ability to justify the command.

      • Chris J

        This is why the story, to me, seems like a metaphor for growing up. Especially with the whole “being ashamed of their nakedness” thing. Eating the fruit was like being teleported into adulthood with a developed sense of morality along with the ability to feel shame and regret.

        • Dannorth

          I’ve read somewhere that this is how Jews view read it, as growing up.

          They don’t share the idea of original sin.

        • Chris J

          Ooh, neat, I didn’t know that was a potentially legit interpretation!

        • epeeist

          This is why the story, to me, seems like a metaphor for growing up.

          But if it is just a metaphor then why should we privilege the story above any other stories about growing up? Why should we treat it as though it has, some how, the odour of truth?

        • Anat

          ‘We’ shouldn’t. It is a story that was adapted from an earlier source by Jews for Jews.

        • Joe

          But if it is just a metaphor then why should we privilege the story above any other stories about growing up? Why should we treat it as though it has, some how, the odour of truth?

          We shouldn’t at all. The majority of the world’s population do not.

        • Greg G.

          But for many Christianities, the response would be, “Christ didn’t die for a metaphor.”

          The OT is a pile of mythologies from slightly different cultures. God was once a bull or a calf god, as seen in 1 Kings where a man and his sons made a couple of golden calves. This story was written into Numbers as a bad thing. Aaron wasn’t blamed for it though he made the golden calf. His sons’ names were the same as the sons in 1 Kings. When religious beliefs changed, history had to be rewritten to justify the new religion.

        • Anat

          IN the northern kingdom Yahweh was often depicted as a calf/bull. In the southern one he was often depicted as a sun deity, carried by a scarab beetle. The incorporeal universal deity is from later periods.

        • C.J. O’Brien

          Where does this stuff come from? Yahweh has always been a weather deity, not a solar one. The scarab is a representation of Khepri, an Egyptian figure of rebirth and an aspect of the solar deity as the rising sun.
          Early depictions of Yahweh, before the aniconism of later Judaean religion, were usually of a human figure, often seated in a chariot. Depiction as a bull was a syncretism with Ba’al/El worship, “Yahweh” having its origins as a name of the supreme god El (who had a great many), which is why there are two names for God in the Hebrew Bible.

        • Anat

          It comes from seals and seal impressions of various officials from the area of the southern kingdom. These often feature a scarab/winged sun element. Also, names involving a sun/light element and a reference to Yahweh are common on these seals: Uriyyah, Neriyyahu, Yizrahyah. The Osalms have sun imagery for Yahweh in some places. I learned of this when watching this lecture series.

          BTW the origin of Yahweh is probably the deity worshiped by other southern nomadic tribes, those that the Egyptians described as ‘the Shasu of Yahu’ (meaning Yahu’s nomadic people). Their equivalents in the Bible are the Midianites (but also the Edomites). Yahweh and El were separate deities. In several places Yahweh’s origin is described as Edom, Seir. Moses is described as learning of Yahweh’s existence while in Midian, and Jethro is the first to offer sacrifices to Yahweh.

          Like other Ancient Near East ethnic groups, the Judahites viewed Yahweh as one of El’s 70 sons, and like them, at a later phase had their people’s god fused with the supreme god El. Yahweh arrived in the area of the northern kingdom somewhat later than in the south, and there indeed come the calf/bull depictions.

        • C.J. O’Brien

          Hm. Well, it’s quite probable that the lecturer knows things I don’t, but I have never seen scarab imagery identified as Yahwehistic. I do know of combinations of the bull and solar disc motif on Persian period seal impressions, but my understanding is that those were less a home grown expression of Yahweh cult than an imitation of Achaemenid royal motifs, just as there was also Persian-inspired lion imagery used in Judah at the time.
          Sometimes Yahweh and El were different, sometimes they could be used interchangeably. That’s typical of syncretism. Clearly, to the authors and early audiences of some texts found in the Torah, the two names could denote the same entity.

        • Greg G.

          There are more than two names for God.

          Names of God by Adrian Rogers

        • MR
        • Greg G.

          I recall reading about a group that had a computer generating all possible combinations of letters in order to produce all the names of God because of a prophecy that God would come when that happened. I forget if it was completely fiction or if it was based on a group that was actually doing it.

        • C.J. O’Brien

          The Nine Billion Names of God, by Arthur C. Clarke. A classic.

        • Greg G.

          Bingo!

        • Dys

          I thought they were all variations of the name “Bob”…

        • I gotta admit–that’s a pretty good start to the name of God.

        • Dys

          My favorite is “Bobbert”

    • Kingasaurus

      Based on cognate stories from surrounding cultures, it seems likely to me that the “knowledge” in Genesis 2 is carnal knowledge – how to have sex and make more humans. The god clearly doesn’t want that – he just wants one gardener to keep things tidy, and gives him a companion so he wont be lonely. The “be fruitful and multiply” of Genesis 1 doesn’t exist in the very different Genesis 2. The god just wants 2 humans, and that’s it. Making more people would ruin everything.

  • Mister Two

    You say Jesus wasn’t even a twinkle in his eye. My contention is that according to the NT, Yahweh planned for the fall and the need for a redeemer before even creating the universe. See Eph 1:3-5

    “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined usb for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
    The implication is that before he even went through with the creation, he knew Adam and Eve would eat the fruit, that the majority of people would wind up in Hell, and that the only way a few would be spared was through Jesus’ death.

    • Chris J

      and that the only way a few would be spared was through Jesus’ death.

      Really? The only way? An omnipotent God couldn’t think of any possible way to not send the majority of His creation to Hell, by criteria of His own choosing, besides sending His own child to die?

      • Mister Two

        Hey, it’s not the way I would have done it! The writer of Romans just seems to think it was all planned out before hand!

        Really, the implication is that ol’ Yahweh intended to send a bunch of people to Hell in the first place.

        • Chris J

          Fair, fair. Came across a little more combative than I should have.

          It is really odd though, to think that even before humanity existed God was already planning for a loophole in the laws He had not yet created.

        • Greg G.

          It’s like the law was designed around the loophole. God was the first lobbyist.

        • But you see that the story doesn’t hang together? Therefore, the story is either completely flawed (just a myth) or largely flawed.

        • Mister Two

          Oh, sure! Realizing that this story was about a snake and that Satan wasn’t a part of it is what propelled me on the path to atheism. Christian views of the OT only work with NT views imposed upon them, and by ignoring the parts that don’t fit in. I think that applies both to Christians today and to the NT authors themselves. The Jews had picked up Zoroastrian and other views and imposed those upon their scriptures by the 1st century, and Christianity grabbed all of that.

          I was just making the point that the author of Romans applies the “plan of salvation” all the way back to “before the creation,” as if Jesus was already more than that “twinkle” in God’s eye. It’s just more rationalization.

          Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

  • busterggi

    Hmmm…I note that Tertullian cites non-canonical stories of fallen angels leaching women to adorn themselves – almost as if he didn’t know what the ‘real’ bible says.

    And if Yahweh didn’t intend to use death why did he create it? Dickish if you ask me.

    • Sophia Sadek

      That is because the canon was not established until a century after Tertullian.

      • busterggi

        You mean people voted on what would be in the bible instead of god directly telling them????

        • Sophia Sadek

          The Church claims that the corrupt bishops who decided on the list of acceptable literature were guided by the holey spurritt.

        • Greg G.

          The vote was rigged divinely. Some people think the holey spurritt messed up with the Epistle of James.

        • Sophia Sadek

          Revelations almost did not make the cut. It is the the text with the highest level of Gnostic content.

        • epicurus

          The shrink wrap on the Bible tore off when it hit the earth after God tossed it down to us. Stuff flying everywhere!

  • Sophia Sadek

    I do not believe the ancient Jews considered their deity to be omnipotent or omniscient. That was probably an invention of the Church when they adapted the Jewish deity to the cult of Caesar.

    • busterggi

      They had to upgrade their god as Caesar could read & write while their god couldn’t.

    • TheNuszAbides

      i haven’t heard of any Jew of any period who believes in either of those characteristics.

  • Tyler Willis

    An incoherent story if there ever was one. LOL

    I’ve never met a perfect human being and I can’t imagine there ever was one or ever will be one. My experience is that human beings as a species are “fallen”, every one of them.

    Forget the tall wild ass tales about talking snakes and apples, what do you think is the actual historical story that explains this human condition?

    • Myna A.

      …what do you think is the actual historical story that explains this human condition?

      Does there need to be some artificial story? Human beings are part of nature, and nature suffers. The human brain is a magnificent machine and I suppose an extremely simplistic answer is that it has an ego, and the ego is self-aware, self-absorbed; fragile and competitive at once. The ego is a survival mechanism that can easily run amok by any number of avenues. Eastern traditions attempt to transcend its more base meanderings, and Western traditions are more apt to feed into it.

      The greater question, to my mind, is how do we, as humans, collectively and individually, go about easing unnecessary suffering without letting our own egos, our own stories, get in the way?

      • Greg G.

        The human brain is a magnificent machine and I suppose an extremely simplistic answer is that it has an ego, and the ego is self-aware, self-absorbed; fragile and competitive at once.

        I’m more competitive than you are.

      • Tyler Willis

        I wouldn’t want an artificial story that’s why I asked about the actual story that explains “the fall” of humanity.

        The evidence that all human beings are imperfect (fallen) is undeniable. While the bible tries to explain this fact with stories of snakes an apples, I was wondering what the actual story was.

        • adam

          ” I was wondering what the actual story was.”

          Evolution.

          ALL animals are imperfect.

        • adam

          ” (fallen)”

          Is about an imaginary cure for an imaginary disease called ‘sin’.

          Pure political creation by man

        • Tyler Willis

          We are not looking at the biblical story or any fairy tale. We are looking at reality and asking for an explanation.

          We see that human illness is not an imaginary problem. It’s a biological fact. I’m not imagining the fact that a human being with an ill body is actually, really, factually “fallen” with respect to the human who is free of all illness.

        • adam

          Then we are back to evolution and germ theory

          Evolution is all about adaptation.
          As is germ theory.

        • MNb

          “We are not looking at the biblical story or any fairy tale.”
          Then avoid theological language like “fallen”.

        • Tyler Willis

          Fallen = ill = state of biological imperfection

        • Dys

          Your poor choice of religious terminology aside, it seems what you’re really asking isn’t anything “why isn’t the world/humanity/whatever perfect?”.

          Biological imperfection is a meaningless term. What would constitute biological perfection? And what would lead you to believe it was possible? Dogs have a better sense of smell than humans…does that constitute an imperfection on our part?

          You’ve been given an answer to your question already – evolution accounts for your biological imperfections.

        • MR

          This just goes back to the idea of objectivity. That what we see is somehow an imperfect reflection of a perfect or objective state. The Platonic ideal. Plato got it wrong because he didn’t have the same understanding of the universe and life that we do today, but he provided a powerful narrative that we still cling to today. It’s a shame that TW doesn’t take the time to better understand what science has to say about the universe instead of clinging to storytelling.

        • Dys

          Well….Plato got some things wrong, and some right. We do have a general, nebulous concept of what an ideal human might be, but it’s largely a subjective ideal. Mostly it seems that we just imagine what the ideal version of ourselves would be, and even then it’s just improvements, not perfection. Human perfection, to me, seems to be largely an unintelligible concept. We mistakenly equate betterment with perfection.

          In terms of geometry, however, Plato’s dead on…there is a concept of a perfect triangle, for instance, even though one can never exist in the real world, although it can be described mathematically. Different topics, different philosophies.

          But in terms of how we got to where we are, yes, you’re correct. The top down approach is useful for looking forward, but TW is looking backwards, and the Aristotelian bottom up approach is more appropriate to the task.

        • MR

          And TW is going to ask you how we can have a concept of what an ideal human might be if there has never been one.

        • Dys

          Hopefully not…I did some edits to my comment that should nip that objection in the bud.

          But just in case….we don’t actually have an objective concept of what an ideal human might be. We have a subjective concept of what a better human might be, and people confuse one for the other.

        • MR

          Yes, your edits helped my point (v.s.), and nice summary.

        • MR

          I think you’ve changed your comment since I responded because you’ve hit upon where I was headed:

          it’s just improvements

          We can arrive at the concept of perfection by considering one improvement added to another improvement added to another improvement until we no longer need improvement. Plato imagined that our concept of perfection was because we knew perfection from a time before we were born–which is not even biblical–and oh the religious love the platonic ideal.

          [edit to add:] The concept of Good (as in perfect good) is simply imagining good + better + better + better until it don’t get no better. Evil is simply bad + worse + worse + worse until it don’t get no worse.

        • Dys

          But the notion of what constitutes an improvement is, at a certain point, bound to be subjective. So is the cutoff point for where improvements are no longer needed. And once subjectivity is inevitably introduced, any claim of having an objective ideal is out the window.

          That’s why perfection in terms of humanity doesn’t make sense, but the notion of a perfect triangle does. There’s no subjectivity in defining perfect triangles – it’s mathematically defined.

        • MR

          But the notion of what constitutes an improvement is, at a certain point, bound to be subjective….

          Which you nicely pointed out with your comments on smell.

          Is a perfect human a human that can fly?

        • Dys

          And then it gets even worse for the perfect human concept…once a certain number of “improvements” have accumulated, does that species still qualify as human?

          It all inevitably leads to a being of pure consciousness (to avoid the physical examples we’re bringing up), and then trying to define such a being as a god. But even at that point, subjectivity gets introduced in terms of what that being would believe, how it would behave, etc.

          It winds up being just another failed attempt to define a god into existence via the ontological argument.

        • Dys

          The concept of Good (as in perfect good) is simply imagining good + better + better + better until it don’t get no better.

          There’s some issues with that, however, because it’s laced with subjectivity, and perfection is an objective declaration. In regards to humans, someone has to decide what constitutes “better”, and when they’ve reached “best” (or perfection). And since the whole enterprise relies upon a necessarily limited imagination…

          I don’t see any way to arrive at a coherent notion of a perfect human because it will inevitably be undermined by subjective judgements.

        • MR

          Well, I’m not talking about actualities there. I’m talking about the “concept” of absolute good. Platonists would have that absolute/perfect good must already exist or else we could have no concept of it at all. We must have already been exposed to it.

          But I can arrive at the concept of perfection by imagining an improved condition by one degree, then another improvement, then another…, until I get to a state where I don’t need to make anymore improvements. Key word is imagining.

          A perfect state might be meaningless in actuality, unachievable, but I don’t have to have foreknowledge of a perfect state, or even an example of a pre-existing perfect state, to imagine one.

        • Dys

          I don’t think anyone has a coherent concept of a perfect state for a human because it’s all inherently subjective. In the current discussion, I think the most anyone actually has is a laundry list of improvements that could theoretically exist. But the concept of perfection, in this instance, doesn’t seem to be much more than an inaccurate label slapped onto a limited, cobbled together list of properties.

          until I get to a state where I don’t need to make anymore improvements

          But this is just a reiteration I’ve already addressed. The subjectivity inherent in this undermines any claim of objective perfection, even in concept.

        • MR

          I’m not arguing for a “concept for a perfect state of a human.” You’re taking that up with TW. I’m with you there. I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m only arguing that humans had the capability of coming up with the “concept of perfection.” I’m not even arguing that perfection is a thing.

          What I’m arguing against is that we cannot understand [the concept of] perfection unless we have already been exposed to perfection. Plato would say we know this from a previous life. A Christian says that God gives us that understanding. I say we can arrive there on our own. [Forget human bodies or otherwise.]

        • Dys

          I think we can have a concept of perfection when it comes to things like math. We have a concept of a perfect circle (which can be described mathematically). I’m not sure we have a real concept of perfection when it comes to other things.

        • MR

          Yes, I know, we’re talking about two different things.

        • Paul B. Lot

          (BUTTS IN)

          It seems to me that a concept like “perfection” is analogous to “infinity.”

          Neither is “real”, despite which both are deeply fascinating to us humans.

          Because they are fascinating, we’ve built up make-believe grammars and syntaxes around them, based on impossible premises like the “Hilbert Hotel.”

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj3_KqkI9Zo&feature=youtu.be&t=16

          “IF we imagine a hotel with an infinite number of rooms….”

          That premise is absurd and impossible, but once we grant it we can allow ourselves to explore the possibilities if we assume a series of rules which govern the scenario…absurd though it is.

          IF there were such a thing as a “perfect human” (or “god(s)” for that matter) – then we, as we are now, would surely be imperfect.

          But there will never be such a thing. There could never be, in principle. (It seems to me.)

          And so the concept of “perfection” is a fun, useful, and (outside of rigorous, well-defined through experiments) useless.

          Perfection.

          I agree with you that we came up with “it”.

          I agree with you that we “have” a concept of “it”.

          But, much like taking the limit of a series as it approaches “infinity”, “it” is occasionally useful and yet ultimately illusory.

          If “it” did exist, the Platonist in me would label [the concept] which we refer to by the word [“perfection”] to be a shadow of its true form.

          ETA:

          The “true form” of “perfection” would be a thing/concept/reality utterly outside our (my?) ability to comprehend.

        • MR

          Yes. I think you understand where I’m coming from. I’m not arguing the same argument as Dys and TW. I’m striking at the heart of TW’s assumption that “perfection” even exists. I’m really arguing against Plato. We muggles can conceive of the idea of perfection. How did we get that conception. That doesn’t mean it exists, but we nonetheless have this idea of perfection.

          Dys is taking the approach of applying the concept of perfection to things and saying we can’t ever get there, but we muggles nonetheless can imagine that such a state could exist. Plato would say how can we imagine it if it doesn’t exist, we must have pre-knowledge of it. I say humans can imagine a state of improvements by degrees until you need no more improvement. Unattainable, illusory, yes, but I don’t need to have foreknowledge in order to imagine a perfect state. I don’t need to work out the details of what that is, only have a sense that, e.g., “if I could just get rid of x, my life will be better, x+1 my life will be even better, x+2 better still, until I run out of x’s. My argument isn’t interested in the subjectiveness of what that final result is, just that I can conceive of the idea of perfection. My perfection, your perfection, illusory perfection, unattainable perfection. Doesn’t matter. I can still conceive of it.

        • Dys

          Dys is taking the approach of applying the concept of perfection to things and saying we can’t ever get there

          Not quite…I’m saying that the inherent subjectivity of judging improvements, judging when no more improvements are needed, etc. undermines the notion of objective perfection.

          And I see the concept of subjective perfection as a contradiction in terms.

        • MR

          And, just to be clear, I’m not disagreeing with what you’ve been saying. I’m just talking about something else. I sense that you think I’m trying to counter what you’re saying, but I’m right there with you.

        • Dys

          No, I get that. I just wanted to clarify my position, because I wasn’t quite on board with how you summarized it. That’s all.

        • MR

          Nope, my bad. 🙂

        • MNb

          “I don’t think anyone has a coherent concept of a perfect state for a human.”
          I agree. My angle on this topic was just “even if we for the sake of argument accept that a coherent concept of a perfect state for a human is possible then Evolution Theory and Abiogenesis would explain it.” But it also has become obvious to me that TW exactly uses this lack of coherence to maintain that ET and A can’t. That’s bad thinking.

        • T-Paine

          Apologist: I can imagine an absolute moral and absolute good being.

          T-Paine: Of course you can. Without real world examples of absolute moral and good beings, you have to imagine one. And it is thus a figment of your imagination.

          Apologist: …. Why do you hate God so much?

        • TheNuszAbides

          as far as i can tell, he and his countless wannabes down through the centuries made an “is/ought” fumble by presuming that since flawless geometrical concepts exist in the abstract ‘realm’, there must necessarily be correlates for all other concepts (and by wannabes’ extrapolations, other entities).

        • Tyler Willis

          Biological imperfection is a meaningless term.
          evolution accounts for your biological imperfections.

          ??

        • Dys

          Biological imperfection as you mean it is meaningless. If you want to know why humans are they way they are, it’s evolution. Sorry I wasn’t clearer.

        • Tyler Willis

          Do biological imperfections exist? I think the answer is clearly, yes. Ask any biologist to tell you about an imperfect or faulty organ or biological system.

          Either biological organisms started off perfect and imperfections crept in over the millions of years so that we see them today, or imperfections have always existed. What do you think?

        • Dys

          Yes, some people have organs that don’t work properly. That doesn’t mean they were “perfect” before they started malfunctioning. A properly functioning liver isn’t “perfect”, so it doesn’t magically become imperfect when it stops working right. You’re using such a vacuous definition of what constitutes an imperfection that it’s meaningless.

          Either biological organisms started off perfect and imperfections crept in over the millions of years so that we see them today, or imperfections have always existed. What do you think?

          I think your insistence on trying to force imperfect/perfect valuations on human existence is a monumental category error.

          I’m also starting to think you’re intentionally avoiding the questions I’ve been asking. And you haven’t offered a coherent definition of what would constitute a perfect human. I would think, that if you’re going to persist on try to label all humans as imperfect, you should have some kind of idea. Because you can’t just say “not this”.

          I don’t think you actually have one, because I don’t think anyone does. I think you’ve got a list of imagined improvements that could happen, and are confusing that with perfection.

        • MNb

          The latter. And I don’t see why that should be a problem.

        • I haven’t been following this conversation. What are you getting at? Are you heading toward a point?

        • MNb

          My guess is that he tries to save the Fall story in a very metaphorical, abstract way.
          The answer he’ll give though will be something “I don’t know – I’m just asking questions.”
          All questions are not equal.

        • Tyler Willis

          Maybe you should follow more closely.

        • Uh huh. Sorry for intruding.

        • Tyler Willis

          I don’t mind the intrusion, really. I just prefer not to be the one to get you caught up.

        • I would’ve thought that this would’ve been a welcome opportunity for you to give a 2-sentence summary clarifying your position. I stand corrected.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Tyler has convoluted his position into the proverbial Gordian Knot with his blatant lying. No way can it be unraveled with a two sentence summary at this point.

        • MNb

          Or perhaps he has turned his convolution into that Gordian Knot without having any position.

        • MR

          Without “offering” any position. Oh, I think he has a position, but likes to hide behind the illusion of not having one.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He is certainly peddling out enough shite talk for that to be the case anyway, that’s for sure.

        • Dys

          He’s basically trying to form an ontological argument without referencing god. Now he’s going on about ‘maximally improved humans’, and not quite grasping that it’s not a coherent concept.

        • MR

          …without referencing god.

          Oh, no! I think you’re on to him! 😉

        • Paul B. Lot
        • MR

          Ew. Was that necessary? =D

        • Dys

          He keeps trying to force perfect/imperfect evaluations onto life. I’ve repeatedly pointed out some of the flaws in doing that, but he persists.

          He wants to know why biological life isn’t perfect, without being able to define what would constitute a perfect organism. Instead, he’s been listing off improvements – it would be better if we didn’t get sick, if we didn’t age, etc. But as he’s admitted, he doesn’t have a good idea of what would constitute human perfection either.

          Because human perfection (or biological perfection) are meaningless terms. TW doesn’t have an idea of “perfection”, he has an idea of “better”. But because he’s pushing the whole perfect/imperfect narrative, regardless of how ill-fitting it is, he insists I’m wrong in that, and then proceeds to give more examples that back up my point.

        • That’s like my saying, “You know that new paint color in your living room? It doesn’t work for me.” So therefore, it’s imperfect. But why should I get a say in your home decorating?

          Human perfection? From what/whose standpoint?? Sure, longer life would be nice from human standpoint, but our opinion doesn’t enter into it.

        • Dys

          Human perfection? From what/whose standpoint??

          Exactly. That’s what I’ve been trying to point out to him, but he seems to consistently ignore the things that punch holes in the perfect/imperfect narrative he wants to pretend exists.

          It’s like asking “Which is more perfect…dogs or cats?” or “What is the subject of a perfect painting?” Subjective assessments kills any notion of perfection, because perfection is objective.

        • MR

          “Which is more perfect…dogs or cats?”

          Nice example. Go back to their common ancestor and ask that question.

        • Pofarmer

          How many biologists have you actually talked to? How many Dr’s? How many Vets? Because none of them I’ve ever taken classes from or talked to use that sort of language. At all.

          “Either biological organisms started off perfect and imperfections crept
          in over the millions of years so that we see them today, or
          imperfections have always existed. What do you think?”

          You’ve got it bass ackwards. Biological organisms started of replicating, and developed systems through evolution that kept them replicating, and thriving in different environments. The “perfect” system is the one that passes it’s genes on to the next generation. The “imperfect” ones are the ones that are extinct. What you are trying to do is just silly.

        • Tyler Willis

          Examples of biological imperfections in humans include: heart disease, cancer tumors, downs syndrome, RNA transcription errors, birth defects

        • T-Paine

          And what are examples of biological perfections in humans?

        • Ignorant Amos

          It could be stated that evolution got going because of the imperfections in replicating. Meaning that imperfection has always been part of life.

          Tyler is still waffling shite though.

        • adam

          “I think the answer is clearly, yes. Ask any biologist to tell you about an imperfect or faulty organ or biological system.”

          I think the answer is clearly, no. Ask any evolutionist to tell you about diversity in an evolutionary system.

        • epeeist

          What would constitute biological perfection?

          This whole conversation seems to be stumbling on what is meant by “perfection”. Can I suggest you start from Aristotle and regard it as something that lacks nothing. Humans obviously lack the ability to completely resist any disease, to retain all their faculties until the very end of their life, to maintain homoeostasis regardless of external conditions and so on.

          Given these then they obviously lack “biological perfection”.

        • Dys

          This whole conversation seems to be stumbling on what is meant by “perfection”.

          Yep. That’s why I’ve asked TW to define it multiple times now.

          Can I suggest you start from Aristotle and regard it as something that lacks nothing.

          The problem with trying to apply the term ‘perfection’ to life in that way is that it relies on subjectivity – the limits of human imagination. As I’ve been asking TW…does a perfect human have wings? We currently lack those, so in such a broad definition, it would seem to fit. And then the list goes on – obviously there’s something wrong with liver that’s not working properly. But even a properly working liver could theoretically be more efficient. So does a perfect human have a perfectly functioning liver? Or would a perfect human even need one? It leads to imagining all sorts of things that a human would need in order to qualify as “perfect” until the imagination is exhausted.

          What I’ve been saying is that, due to the limits of human imagination and inherent subjectivity, the notion of “biological perfection” is incoherent. It’s a phrase for a vague concept without any ability for comprehension, and thus doesn’t have any real meaning behind it. I think it’s a category error, and that TW is, despite his protestations, merely listing perceived improvements rather than having any real notion of what constitutes biological perfection.

        • MNb

          Wrong. Fallen also metaphorically means going from a higher point to a lower point.
          That never happened if you accept evolution. Neither did the other way round.
          As long as you stick to your theological language you won’t be able to accept any scientific answer.

        • Tyler Willis

          The scientific answer is that biological orgainisms do become more (or less) healthy . To use your language, they do get to a higher point (or lower).

        • MNb

          Which means that “fallen” is a meaningless term. It’s not my language, it’s yours. You insist on the usage of “fallen”, not me.
          You’re not trustworthy indeed. Save me your sorry. It’s worth less than a penny.

        • Joe

          Nobody recovers from an illness? In the case of viruses, you can sometimes end up better than before, with acquired immunity.

        • Tyler Willis

          People do recover from illnesses.

        • Joe

          So they’re ‘raised back up’ to perfection? You’re posts are contradictory.

        • Myna A.

          There is no “Fall of Humanity”. This is why I referred to any notion of the phrase as suggesting an artificial story. The reality of life is evolution. Existence is survival. Events have cause and effect. What is perfection? It was pointed out in another thread by Greg G., that a vivid sunset admired here may be the result of disaster there. So, what you see is not always what you imagine on any level.

          Life consists of disease and deformity, as well as health and strength. Human beings are part of the chain of life. We are self-aware, but we are no less survivalists than the bison herd.

          If you are asking why humans are often destructive, again, it is self-interest. But we are also equipped with empathy, curiosity, high intelligence, dexterity, an internal drive for order and invention, which is also a mechanism of survival. Add to this, the human penchant for story. Story is psychological survival. If you want some measure of perfection, you could say it all works perfectly together to ensure survival.

          [Ed.]

        • Tyler Willis

          If there is no “fall” then what do people mean when they say humans are imperfect? “Rationally imperfect”, “biologically imperfect”, etc. These are not the philosophical musings of nutter creationists, these are the calm, cool statements from rational, science-minded people. I accept that.

          If health is more perfect than illness then degrees of perfection are degrees of biological states, which contradicts your statement that there is no fall of humanity. If doctors can see that “fallen nature” in their exams of human beings then I think you are wrong.

        • Myna A.

          I don’t see it as contradicting anything I’ve said. You seem to be asking for a model of perfection, as though it somehow existed at some point.

          Did this perfection exist before Ötzi, perchance? http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/07/iceman/hall-text

        • Tyler Willis

          I don’t have the answers. I just know that “fallen” humans exist today so there must be an explanation that doesn’t involve snakes and apples. Maybe it’s one of those unknowable things.

        • Myna A.

          “Fallen humans” is the language of story. There was never a time when a human being didn’t trip over an unseen stone and fall down.

        • Pofarmer

          Fallen humans doesn’t mean anything.

          As Christopher Hitchens put it

          “We are evolved primates, not fallen angels. ”

          The concept of being fallen doesn’t answer anything, it doesn’t ask any pertinent questions. It’s circular. And Ancient excuse to try to describe why humans are the way they are and the world is the way it is.

        • Michael Neville

          When did humans “fall”? Was Homo erectus unfallen and therefore perfect?

        • Pofarmer

          “If doctors can see that “fallen nature” in their exams of human beings then I think you are wrong.”

          This is so stupid that it isn’t even wrong. What doctor would say “This poor person is fallen.”? None.

        • Tyler Willis

          fallen = imperfect = ill

        • Pofarmer

          There is nothing “fallen” or “imperfect” about being ill. It’s a biological fact. We’re biological creatures.

        • Tyler Willis

          Well, shit my britches “health” is nothing but a lie. No human is actually ill.
          Damn creationists.

        • Pofarmer

          Health and perfection are not the same thing.

        • Tyler Willis

          Of course.

        • Pofarmer

          Then why are you conflating the two?

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m not. There are degrees of being more or less biologically healthy. That we known about. We don’t know about anyone being biologically perfectly healthy. Health does not equal perfection.

        • Joe

          So nobody was EVER perfect, so there was no ‘fall’. We started out this way.

        • Tyler Willis

          As far as I know, we started out that way.

        • Max Doubt

          “As far as I know, we started out that way.”

          The term “fallen” doesn’t apply here. Reasonable English speaking people who aren’t dishonest like you are would use the term to indicate a change of state or location, an implied comparison. When things are as they have always been there is no comparison. Your persistent dishonest equivocation is making you look like an asshole. Knock it off.

        • Tyler Willis

          I’ve clarified what I mean. If you can’t keep up, fine.

        • MNb

          And as such redefined the word “fallen”, marks or not. You denied that above and as long as you refuse to correct this dishonesty MR’s conclusion is correct that arguing like an asshole is your shtick.

        • MR

          Your persistent dishonest equivocation is making you look like an asshole. Knock it off.

          Oh, I think it goes beyond “making him look like” one. This is his shtick.

        • Joe

          So we never ‘fell’ in the slightest.

        • Joe

          Does a cat know you’re ‘ill’?

        • Joe

          Fallen = A biblical term with no meaning outside a theological sense.

          Imperfect = An arbitrary value judgement.

          Ill= A medical term.

          These terms are not equivalent, nor are they directly related.

        • Tyler Willis

          Ill is a medical term. It’s also a term that describes something that is not functioning properly. Something that is not functioning properly is functioning imperfectly.

        • Greg G.

          Something that is functioning properly and not ill may still be imperfect. A cell with multiple cases of DNA damage can still function normally. But certain combinations of DNA damage, each harmless in most combinations, can make the cell cancerous.

        • Tyler Willis

          The terms are not exact synonyms, that’s why we have different terms. What I said is accurate as far as it goes.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The terms are not exact synonyms, that’s why we have different terms.

          So why use the ‘=’ (equals) symbol then? Ya ignorant asshat.

          What I said is accurate as far as it goes.

          And as far as it goes is the space between your ears…you are talking a load of bubbles and are making an embarrassing arse of yerself by continuing with your nonsense. Give it up already.

        • Joe

          Assuming it was functioning ‘perfectly’ in the first place.

        • MNb

          And is not fallen. Something you totally have claimed.

        • Max Doubt

          “fallen = imperfect = ill”

          You’re engaging in a dishonest communication tactic called equivocation. When you’re communicating with intelligent people, if you mean “ill”, say “ill”.

        • Tyler Willis

          I”m engaging in defining my terms to make it more clear. If you think ill people have biological errors (ie: down syndrome, RNA transcription errors) and are therefore less perfect than healthy people then you’re on board with my terminology. If you don’t think that, then you still need to know that this is what I mean.

        • Max Doubt

          “I”m engaging in defining my terms to make it more clear.”

          But you’re not making it more clear. You’re equivocating. You’re being dishonest. And in your denial of your dishonesty and your persistence in equivocating you’re being an asshole.

          “If you think ill people have biological errors (ie: down syndrome, RNA transcription errors) and are therefore less perfect than healthy people then you’re on board with my terminology.”

          Define what you believe to be a state of perfection for humans.

          “If you don’t think that, then you still need to know that this is what I mean.”

          Here’s what you need to know…

          You clearly don’t understand the process of science or how the application of that process has brought us to understand the universe we live in. You’ll need to go back to at least junior high, maybe even more appropriately middle school, and get yourself up to speed on this science stuff before you’ll be able to ask a reasonable question or understand any of the answers people are giving you.

          So far you’re acting like an ill behaved five year old tugging on mom’s pant leg and asking why why why. Here’s a pat on the head, kid. Now go away and don’t come back until you can act more like an intelligent properly behaved seven year old.

        • MNb

          “If you think ill people have biological errors and are therefore less perfect than healthy people then you’re on board with my terminology.”
          Nope. Your terminology and especially “fallen” leads you to asking irrelevant questions and refusing to accept simple, reasonable answers. Plus you display your dishonesty again:

          “this is what I mean”
          with “fallen” – ie you admit that you have redefined “fallen”, something you denied above. At this point my conclusion is that you’re not trustworthy indeed and probably a liar.

        • Joe

          “Get this patient 10cc’s of manna, then page an angel. Stat!”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Classic TW fuckwittery.

        • MNb

          “what do people mean when they say humans are imperfect?”
          You already wrote it yourself. Could you please don’t get silly? Susceptible to diseases and ageing for instance.

        • Tyler Willis

          suceptible to disease and aging = imperfect

          Agree.

          I don’t think evolution explains this reality because the first life form was in this condition from the time T=0 before evolution had the ability to do anything. It was imperfect at T=0 and humans are no different. What then could explain this imperfect state?

          I realize my question may be impossible to answer, just tossing it out there to see what people might say. I certainly don’t have the answer.

        • Dys

          the first life form was in this condition from the time T=0 before evolution had the ability to do anything. It was imperfect at T=0 and humans are no different.

          I think you’re trying to force a binary valuation on a subject that doesn’t accommodate that approach, because it’s too complex.

          Is a human with six fingers on both hands closer to “perfection” than one with the standard five? What about seven? If so, what’s the cutoff point, and how do you determine that?

        • Tyler Willis

          He was able to identify one of the cutoff points… “susceptible to disease and aging”. That’s the point of being in a state of imperfection. I agree with that but I cannot help notice that at T=0 the biological state is not actually diseased or aged. It’s biologically imperfect but not really.

        • Dys

          “susceptible to disease and aging”. That’s the point of being in a state of imperfection

          The absence of ageing is essentially saying that not being immortal is imperfect. But that would run into massive problems with overpopulation, which would be imperfect.

          Your cutoff points are completely arbitrary. Are you beginning to see the problem with the notion of biological perfection yet?

        • Tyler Willis

          “But it’s susceptible to both, and so by your definition of perfection, not perfect.”

          Okay, then evolution didn’t make it imperfect. Something else made it imperfect at T=0.

          “You’re just listing perceived improvements.”

          No. A healing body is actually improving. This is not just my imagination or some arbitrary labeling.

        • Dys

          Okay, then evolution didn’t make it imperfect. Something else made it imperfect at T=0.

          Or your notion of perfection doesn’t apply to life. Because perfection is a post hoc valuation you’re making. It’s a human value judgement that doesn’t actually exist apart from the person making it.

          No. A healing body is actually improving. This is not just my imagination or some arbitrary labeling.

          Yes, your cutoffs are arbitrary. You listed two items that lead to illness or death, ageing and disease. Yet, if we allow that your notion of what components of human perfection would include, overpopulation and rapidly diminishing resources would lead inevitably to imperfection. Or you’d have to tack on more improvements.

          How many fingers does a perfect human have? Do they have wings? I’m not asking you these questions flippantly. I’m asking them to show you how farcical it is to insist that there’s any coherent notion of a perfect human being.

        • Tyler Willis

          “You’re confusing “better” with “perfect”.”

          I’m not. I’m recognizing that there are known degrees of perfection (or imperfection) without any known perfection. Those degrees are biological facts recognized by the sciences. What story explains the origin of those degrees? That’s my questino

        • Dys

          I’m not. I’m recognizing that there are known degrees of perfection

          You can’t, by definition, have degrees of perfection. You can’t have something be “more perfect”, because then it wasn’t perfect to begin with.

          Those degrees are biological facts recognized by the sciences.

          You’re playing semantics. First you tried it with really bad religious language, now you’re trying the same thing with a false perfect/imperfect dichotomy.

          Define what you mean by perfect. You haven’t bothered doing that yet. Then demonstrate it’s possible.

        • MNb

          Evolution.
          And as you began with your meaningless T=0: also abiogenesis.

        • evodevo

          You are attempting to insert teleology into a discussion of biology. Doesn’t compute. You obviously have no idea of how evolution works. If you wish to know, I can explain it to you. But I don’t respond to trolling.

        • MNb

          Wrong. Susceptible to disease and aging was never meant as a cutoff point. It was an example of imperfection and as such an answer to your question. I’d appreciate it if you don’t make more from what I write than I actually write; or I get suspicious that you’re not trustworthy.

        • MR

          ding ding ding

        • Tyler Willis

          Sorry about that.

        • MNb

          I don’t care if you’re sorry.
          I care if you do something about your dishonesty. Thus far not.

        • MNb

          You think wrongly.
          1. There was no first life form. The development from non-life to life was gradual. So T=0 is meaningless.
          2. For that development the same principle applies: perfection never was necessary for survival and reproduction.
          3. What explains this imperfect state is sufficient adaptation to the environmental circumstances, which by definition leaves room for imperfections.

        • Dys

          “Fallen” implies humanity was once risen. You’re insisting on a false narrative.

          Humanity was never “perfect”, ergo it never fell.

        • Tyler Willis

          I agree that humanity was never perfect. Was humanity ever imperfect or somehow “less than”? The scientific answer is yes. Humanity has always been in this “fallen” state. Ask any doctor of medicine or biologist about human imperfections.

        • Dys

          My point was that insisting on the “fallen” narrative implies that there was a time when mankind was not fallen (i.e. “perfect”).

          You’re using religious terminology to inaccurately describe the human condition.

        • Kodie

          The origin myth looks at reality, observes lack of perfection, and fucking invents a story to suppose a god and suppose he created humans perfect in the first place. The true story is evolution. We never were perfect. You are trying to fit a myth with reality as if there is a natural analogy, but guess what – religious stories are fictional.

    • MNb

      That actual historical story is told by Evolution Theory, paleontology, prehistory and archeology. It’s far from unraveled yet, but already more exciting than any religious counterpart.
      Moses wandering the Sinai? Homo Sapiens originating in East-Africa and from there wandering the entire globe, I say.

      • Tyler Willis

        You’ll have to fill in the details because I don’t see the connection. How do all these thigns explain what I was asking about? Maybe the answer is truly unknowable. I don’t claim to know the story, I just know that all human beings are imperfect (biblically referred to “fallen”). That fact is undeniable.

        • Pofarmer

          “I just know that all human beings are imperfect”

          No. No. No. No. No. NO. just fucking No. Human beings are Homo sapiens sapiens. We are evolved primates that filled a biological niche and we’ve exploited the hell out of it and our evolutionary advantages, particularly our brain make up. The concept of being perfect or imperfect doesn’t come into it. We evolved to reproduce and further our species, and we’ve done that stunningly well, wouldn’t you think?

        • Tyler Willis

          No. No. NO???

          What rock are you currently hiding under, sir? Last time I checked, the presence of disease in a human body is proof that the human body is in an imperfect biological state. If you don’t know that human beings are imperfect maybe it’s because you’ve never been to the hospital.

        • MNb

          “the presence of disease in a human body is proof that the human body is in an imperfect biological state.”
          An imperfect biological state that’s still good enough for the population not to become extinct. Exactly like Evolution Theory predicts.

        • Pofarmer

          There is no such thing as a perfect biological state.

        • busterggi

          Please provide a list of organisms that are perfect so we can know which ones are ‘fallen’ as opposed to which are biologically based.

        • Tyler Willis

          There are no perfect organisms that I am aware of, either now or at any time in the past. At t=0 before evolution got started I’d say biological imperfection existed then as they do today. If evolution didn’t produce them, then what did? That’s my question – a seemingly imposible one to answer. Maybe we will never know.

        • One could ask what biological imperfection means. The animal thrives in its environment–that’s about as good as it gets.

          I’m not sure where you’re coming from. Are you questioning evolution?

        • Tyler Willis

          I have been asking that question. Thriving is a decent term, but I think it presents the same problem as health, which I’ve been using. I would use them interchangeably.

          I’m not questioning evolution at all. I’m asking for the actual story behind the origin of human imperfections without having to rely on apples and snakes.

        • Joe

          I’m asking for the actual story behind the origin of human imperfections

          Things happened. The end.

        • Pofarmer

          “I’m not questioning evolution at all. I’m asking for the actual story
          behind the origin of human imperfections without having to rely on
          apples and snakes.”

          Then go to work and become an evolutionary biologist. Or, fer Pete’s sake, read some books by some.

        • Dys

          I’m asking for the actual story behind the origin of human imperfections without having to rely on apples and snakes.

          You’re asking the question, but you’re sticking with the religious paradigm. What people are telling you is that that paradigm doesn’t work.

          The apples and snakes story is reliant on the myth that mankind was, at one point, ideal (or perfect, or whatever word you want to use to describe the condition). But since the premise isn’t true, the entire story falls apart. There’s no need to replace Adam, Eve, the fruit, or the serpent with anything, because the whole story doesn’t work.

        • Tyler Willis

          I opened my comment with a question about the existence of imperfect human beings. I don’t NEED to use religious terminology to do that, but since the topic was about religion I decided to reference the religious story of how imperfect people came to exist (I used scare quotes around “fallen” to make it more clear), and then ask my non-religious question.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Now as well as talking shite, you are lying.

          I’ve never met a perfect human being and I can’t imagine there ever was one or ever will be one. My experience is that human beings as a species are “fallen”, every one of them.

          Forget the tall wild ass tales about talking snakes and apples, what do you think is the actual historical story that explains this human condition?

          The “fall” in the story is about the fall from grace. Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience to God were the first human sins. They forever ruined human nature, passing on the desire to sin to every person born since. It has fuck all to do with physical imperfections all humans have.

          No human has “fallen”, it’s a nonsense term. You are trying to equate the word to illness or physical imperfection is asshattery of the highest form.

          It’s your modus operandi…obfuscation and false equivalency. Seen ya at it here before.

          Sort yourself out and define your terms properly or prepare to be ridiculed and mocked for being a class one cockwomble.

        • Tyler Willis

          Note the “” marks when I say the human beings as a species are “fallen”. Yes no human has fallen from grace, but they are, in fact, “fallen” in the sense that I’ve described over several comments. I’ve defined what I mean by the terms I’m using. You really are ignorant amos.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So you are redefining the meaning of fallen to mean something it doesn’t mean in the context that you pulled it from the story? Why?

          Like a said, talking shite.

        • Tyler Willis

          I didn’t redefine fallen. It means what it means.

        • MNb

          You did and I pointed it out to you. So you’re a liar indeed.
          Fallen, whether literally or metaphorically, whether with or without “” marks means being at a higher point in the past then right now. When applied to the history of life it’s flat out wrong and as such a rejection of Evolution Theory indeed. As long as you keep on doing so you prefer theology to science, no matter how often you deny it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And it doesn’t mean what you think it means…

          Fallen = ill = state of biological imperfection

        • MNb

          The “” marks don’t change anything about fallen meaning that something in the past was on a higher point then now.

        • Tyler Willis

          “You are trying to equate the word to illness or physical imperfection is asshattery of the highest form.”

          I specifically denied that these terms are exact synonyms – because the are not. Duh! I’m not “trying to equate words”. I’m trying to point out the part where the terms overlap and are the same. Only an asshat would miss that. You are that asshat, Amos.

        • Susan

          I’m trying to point out the part where the terms overlap and are the same.

          There is no part where the terms are the same. “Fallen” has nothing to do with the history of life on this planet.

          “Perfect” applies to bowling scores and circles. Not to organisms.

          If you are interested in the real story, read a book on the subject of evolution. There are several good ones for the layperson.

        • MR

          If you are interested in the real story, read a book on the subject of evolution.

          What? And ruin a perfectly good ignorance?

        • Tyler Willis

          Fallen has something to do with being imperfect, which is analogous to being ill. That’s how I’m using the term. Maybe you don’t like analogies or loose comparisons and uncommon usage and prefer take things far too literally to the point of being overly pedantic. If so, then I expect you’ll tell Amos that “asshattery” has nothing to do with anything real on this planet because, literally, it just doesn’t. Get on that please.

        • MNb

          Fallen also has and a lot more to do with being at a higher point in the past, whether literally or metaphorically. You keep on neglecting that and that makes you dishonest indeed.

        • Susan

          Fallen has something to do with being imperfect, which is analogous to being ill.

          And baseball has something to do with strikes, which is analogous to the labour movement.

          Maybe you don’t like analogies

          I don’t like dreadful analogies that are engineered to miss the point entirely.

          “Fallen” is a loaded term. It has nothing to do with the “story” of life on this planet. You asked about the story but you are not in the least bit interested in the story.

          “Imperfect” does not equal “fallen”.

          Technically speaking, “perfect” means something that doesn’t apply to organisms in any literal way.

          It is also a very loose term that humans use in every day talk. Much like “sunset”. That humans talk about “sunsets” doesn’t mean that geocentrism is a reasonable position.

          “Illness” is an example of our misuse of the term.

          In your use of the the terms, when a baby is born less than “perfect” because it has an “illness”, it has fallen from nothing.

          Read a book on the subject.

          I have found over the years that when I ask the wrong questions on subjects about which I am curious, many knowledgeable people with tremendous patience have answered me politely and in detail.

          The same has happened for you here.

          The difference is that overall, I was interested in the answers, not in defending my malformed questions. It often takes me a while because there is so much about the world to understand.

          You are an example for all of us of what not to do.

          Read a book on the subject if you don’t want to listen to others here who have READ the books on the subject. . There is NOTHING about the story of life on this planet (which is what you asked for) that is in any way analogous to the term “fallen”.

        • MR

          Wow. Very nice, Susan. Thank you.

        • Susan

          Shucks.

          Thanks.

          (eyes in downward position, kicking a pebble)

        • Paul B. Lot

          Hear hear!

        • busterggi

          Wear, wear?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Their, their!

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s how I’m using the term. Maybe you don’t like analogies or loose comparisons and uncommon usage and prefer take things far too literally to the point of being overly pedantic.

          Stop using the the equals symbol then and people might understand some of your asshattery a bit better ya dopey twat.

          If you can’t express yourself so that the audience understands what it is you are trying to say, perhaps it might be prudent to cease and desist until you’ve mastered the art of it a bit better. Just saying.

        • Kodie

          You’re trying to fit reality into your myth, or trying to apply your myth to reality to prove some kind of stupid point which failed. Give it up.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Holy fuck on a pogo stick…get yer head out of yer arse, asshat.

          I specifically denied that these terms are exact synonyms –

          You said in the following comment that they were exactly synonymous…unless you are redefining that word too ya lying toerag.

          fallen = imperfect = ill

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/08/illogic-of-the-garden-of-eden-story-2-of-2-genesis-bible/#comment-2869492747

          Synonymous:- having the character of synonyms or a synonym; equivalent in meaning; expressing or implying the same idea.

          Like I said, Class ‘A’ asshat….or perhaps you are going a bit senile?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Duh! I’m not “trying to equate words”

          Found another example of your fuckwittery….hoist by yer own petard.

          Fallen = ill = state of biological imperfection

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/08/illogic-of-the-garden-of-eden-story-2-of-2-genesis-bible/#comment-2869531042

          It’s like shooting fish in a barrel ffs.

          You are a lying ignorant asshat and demonstrably so.

        • Dys

          And I’ve repeatedly pointed out that your insistence on the whole perfect/imperfect narrative doesn’t really work, because there’s no such thing as a perfect human being.

          When one half of your dichotomy doesn’t exist in reality or as a coherent concept, it’s time to ditch the dichotomy as broken.

          The reason human beings are, to use your terminology “imperfect” is because there’s no such thing as a “perfect” human being in reality or in concept.

        • Tyler Willis

          I’ve repeatedly pointed out that illness is a medical term used to describe a biological condition that is not functioning properly. Something that not functioning properly is something that is funtioning more imperfectly than it was before the illness. That’s how I’m using these terms.

        • Uzza

          Definitions: Illness = imperfection, wellness = perfection
          original claim = all human beings are imperfect, AKA “fallen”).
          Conclusion: All humans beings are ill.
          FAIL
          —————————————————–
          Yesterday:”fallen = imperfect = ill”
          34 minutes ago: “being imperfect, which is analogous to being ill”
          Conclusion: the equal sign means “analogous to”
          EPIC FAIL

        • Tyler Willis

          All humans have biological functions that can be improved. “Can be improved” means (per MY definition) that current biological functions are less than perfect. Perfect (per MY definition) cannot be improved upon. “Less than perfect” biological functions (per MY definition) have something in common with illnesses. Both states can be improved.

          Nitpicking mutherfucken fuckers you are. Show the world how utterly pedantic you are.

        • Paul B. Lot

          All humans have biological functions that can be improved. “Can be improved” means (per MY definition) that current biological functions are less than perfect. Perfect (per MY definition) cannot be improved upon.

          But “cannot be improved upon” is an illogical statement.

          First of all, it requires both an apriori designation of what [a/the “perfect” goal], which will be inherently relative. But further, and more importantly it relies on the idea of attaining infinity.

          What, for example, would be the “perfect mountain.”

          Well, first of all, we’ll need a measuring-stick, a variable to be perfected. I’m going to choose height versus, say, volume, or mass, or base-circumference, or number-of-peaks.

          So, what is a “perfect” mountain under this schema? Why, the “tallest”, of course!

          But what does that mean? If I climb Mt. Everest and place a stone at the summit, does Mt. Everest get closer to perfection?

          If so, how many times can that be done?

          A “perfect” mountain is incoherent in theory, let alone in practice: no matter how tall one got, it would only take a pebble to make it taller.

        • Tyler Willis

          Do you struggle as much with the idea that a body is improved upon when it gets rid of disease and cancer? No. You don’t.

          Do you need to know what the maximally improved state of your body is before you can know that it has been improved? No. You don’t.

          A human body has biological functionality and when it fails to have that functionality (disease destroys eyesight, dick shrivels up and drops off) it is in a state that is less perfectly functional than it was before. It never had maximally perfectly functionality, whatever that is.

          This is SO FUCKING SIMPLE that even a 5 year old can understand it. I guess it takes “geniuses” like you people to fuck up common sense. Jeepers fuckin creepers, get off the blog and get some common sense.

          “What, for example, would be the “perfect mountain.””

          If you can’t follow along with the human body why get into discussing something else. No thanks.

        • Michael Neville

          You have yet to define perfection other than to tell us what it isn’t. Okay, a cancer-ridden body is less “perfect” than a cancer-free body. My wife had breast cancer but after surgery and chemo-therapy has been cancer free for over five years. Is she more perfect now than before she had cancer?

        • Paul B. Lot

          I guess it takes “geniuses” like you people to fuck up common sense.

          I never claimed to be a genius.

          In particular, I imagine that if I were a genius in the pedagogy of philosophy, it wouldn’t be as difficult to communicate with you.

          I would do a better job of deducing [how you see/understand this issue], and thus I would be better at [explaining it to you in terms which make sense to you].

          If you can’t follow along with the human body why get into discussing something else. No thanks.

          I wasn’t trying to change the subject, I was trying to use [an analogy] to [better explain how I see this topic].

          Apparently it was unsuccessful, I apologize for choosing a bad analogy.

          Do you struggle as much with the idea that a body is improved upon when it gets rid of disease and cancer? No. You don’t.

          Do you need to know what the maximally improved state of your body is before you can know that it has been improved? No. You don’t.

          A human body has biological functionality and when it fails to have that functionality (disease destroys eyesight, dick shrivels up and drops off) it is in a state that is less perfectly functional than it was before. It never had maximally perfectly functionality, whatever that is.

          This is SO FUCKING SIMPLE that even a 5 year old can understand it.

          I doubt very much that you understand “it”, yourself.

          In particular, I hope to be able to show you (and others reading our exchange) how you are NOT in fact arguing from [perfection -> imperfection], despite your claim, but are arguing from [imperfection -> “perfection”].

          A. Given that everyone here has some sort of fear of death (I assume), we can all agree that “humans” have nadir of experience/essence/being at death.

          (Whether or not that perception/assumption is justified is an entirely different can of worms.)

          B. With death, we all have an intuitive, shared, philosophical floor to the questions of “what is it to be human?” or “to what heights can we aspire?’

          C. Building up from that floor, we can construct tiers of increasing development/competence/excellence:

          [Death < Brain Death < Vegetative coma with very low probability of future brain function < Fully conscious "coma" with no muscle control at all < Coma with high probability of future brain function < …… ]

          D. Where these tiers are arranged is going to vary from individual to individual, and which "conditions" are further towards the right of this chain of “is worse thans” is going to vary wildly.

          The point I’m trying to make is that we rate “goodness” or “desirability” of these conditions based on [how far they are to the the right of death], not based on [how far they are to the left of perfection].

          E. So when you ask me about whether or not I “struggle” with acknowledging that I’m happy to be cancer/disease free (crossed-fingers!) or to not-have-lost major functionality yet….the answer is “NO”. I do not struggle to acknowledge that I feel like I’m “better off” than I could be.

          Because I can look back at the “end point” of death, and see that I’d rather be further away from it than closer to it.

          I do not feel happy about being disease-free because, in so-being, I am “closer” to “perfection”.

          Now, as a side-note, let me speculate here:

          Humans are creative, and they love patterns and repetition.

          What if we just kept going to the right? Ancient cultures played this game, and came up with an “end-point” at “God(s)”.

          They realized that looking down at an infinite-chain-of-improvement was unsettling to the human psyche (we like repetition, but we also like boundaries), and so the natural thing to do was to call [the end result of improvement], “perfection” or “Divine” or “Angelic” or “Nirvahna” etc…

          It seems to me, therefore, that “perfection” or “sainthood” or “God” are the words human traditions came up to deal with the concept of “arbitrarily continuous improvement”.

          But “improvement” is a process, not a static state. In assigning a word like “perfection”, which implies a static-end-point, to label what is really an on-going process, we’ve committed a category error.

          Anyway. This last bit isn’t for you, I don’t think you’re interested in others’ thoughts. It’s for myself and our readers. 🙂

        • Dys

          Do you need to know what the maximally improved state of your body is before you can know that it has been improved?

          That’s a non-sequitur. You have to have a coherent notion of what a maximally improved human would be if you’re going to insist on a perfect/imperfect dichotomy. And you don’t.

          This is SO FUCKING SIMPLE that even a 5 year old can understand it.

          And yet you can’t see the problem in your argument. The 5 year old isn’t going to have any coherent concept of a maximally improved human is than you do.

          Jeepers fuckin creepers, get off the blog and get some common sense.

          Take your own advice. The errors in your argument are blatantly obvious, but you keep ignoring them. The other problem is that ‘common sense’ is frequently wrong.

          If you can’t follow along with the human body why get into discussing something else. No thanks.

          Translation: Willis will keep running away from questions that expose the inherent problems in his argument.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Coincidentally, this just landed in my inbox…

          Mountains Driving Evolution

          http://vridar.org/2016/09/02/mountains-driving-evolution/

        • MNb

          Nice article.
          Plus some nice links.
          For instance a while ago you mentioned Raphael Lataster.

          “How can anyone whose faith commits them to believing in the divine Jesus who walked on water possibly approach the question with a truly open mind?”

          Other version:

          “How can anyone who has lost faith and the belief in the divine Jesus possibly approach the question with a truly open mind?”
          That would rule out at least 90% of all JMs. The only ones remaining who apparently can approach the question with an open mind are unbelievers who never had any faith.
          Like me. Which you yourself confirmed when you refused to dicuss the credentials of your beloved Salm and then foolishly reproached me for refusing to discuss him just after I (not contradicted by you – you didn’t even try) demonstrated he’s a quack.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “How can anyone who has lost faith and the belief in the divine Jesus possibly approach the question with a truly open mind?”

          And if you’d read Lataster you’d know why this statement is fallacious, while the former is not. In the last comment on this subject I made to you, I also attempted an explanation. I got no reply, so I assumed you either ignored the comment, or accepted my explanation. Here it is again…

          Christian scholars start with a in-built bias. They have the presupposition that some ideal of a Jesus has to exist, their world view depends upon it. The central tenets and creeds of Christianity are built on the foundation that Jesus died for the sins of man and was resurrected into heaven. Without the historical guy, the dominoes fall. Not all versions of Christianity mind you, but the versions faithfully held by most scholars, certainly.

          The atheist has no need for such bias. It has no impact on the worldview of the atheist whether the Jesus figure was based on a real man or not. It is just interesting for some from an historical angle and a search for as near the truth as damn it. As Carrier and others explain in their books.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/josephus_a_reliable_source/#comment-2854993125

          That would rule out at least 90% of all JMs. The only ones remaining who apparently can approach the question with an open mind are unbelievers who never had any faith.
          Like me.

          No, no, no…whether a person existed in the first century is of pure interest to most of the JM community. I, you, and every atheist believe the NT Jesus is a myth. That he was constructed on a living human is where we differ. I, and most mythers are agnostic about it. The evidence supports either hypothesis and mythers contest that it fits better a non historical human. Again, if you had any knowledge of current positions on the subject, you’d be less likely to be not beating on straw men.

          Which you yourself confirmed when you refused to dicuss the credentials of your beloved Salm and then foolishly reproached me for refusing to discuss him just after I (not contradicted by you – you didn’t even try) demonstrated he’s a quack.

          Well I don’t remember that version of events. Salm is not my “hero” and I’m getting fed up pointing out that whether Nazareth existed at the time of the holy family has no impact on the historicity subject. Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus of some place else, he was not the gospel Jesus, who was a myth, just how much of a myth is what the debate is about.

          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ#Nazareth.27s_existence_and_the_trip_to_Bethlehem

          What Salm does is to show how flawed the scholarship is when it comes to the Jesus subject, even when it comes to archaeology. You didn’t demonstrate he was a quack. He is published and a report had to be extensively amended as a result of his research. His credentials are of little importance to me as opposed to his arguments. Because Salm has no credentials in the field, he has his research reviewed by those that do have the relevant qualifications, prior to publishing. I’d prefer if you would attack the arguments rather than the man because of his credentials, or lack thereof, but I’m not convinced you are up to speed with them, so I suppose criticising his lack of paper is all that is left.

        • Uzza

          Well, FINALLY we see the problem, we simply define terms differently.

          “Can be improved” means (per MY definition) Republican. “Perfect” (per MY definition) means a 1964 Baja Bug. “Less than perfect” biological functions (per MY
          definition) are those that enable trolling on the internet. “Nitpicking pedantic mutherfucken fuckers” (per MY definition) means Tyler Willis.

          just a simple misunderstanding.

        • Dys

          Perfect (per MY definition) cannot be improved upon.

          And since what constitutes an improvement is going to be inherently subjective along with deciding when no more improvements are needed, you don’t have any real concept of a perfect human. You just have a label on a vague collection of improvements.

          Nitpicking mutherfucken fuckers you are. Show the world how utterly pedantic you are.

          It’s not pedantic to ask you to define your terms.

        • Dys

          You’ve still haven’t defined what would constitute perfection. At best, you’ve got a better/worse scenario. Your insistence on perfect/imperfect doesn’t work, and I’ve already stated why on multiple occasions. Which you keep ignoring.

        • adam

          “I opened my comment with a question about the existence of imperfect human beings.”

          Which you presupposed.

          Perhaps what you see as imperfects and the exact things that evolution needs for this ecosystem.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I want to ask these people to put on the methodical-naturalism-hat for a few minutes:

          1) Assume that field lines and quarks and photons are the real stuff of the universe.
          2) Realize that everything we are and know and see was once all squished together.
          3) Muse on the fact that our elements we forged in the crucibles of generation after generation of stars being born, living, and exploding in death.
          4) Really try to accept/internalize that is what we are … and yet we are conscious. Cataracts? In-grown toenails? Cancer? “Imperfection” my ass. Every moment a conscious being experiences is an amazing* thing. Could it be better? Of course, and we’ll work on it with our flabbergasting ability to reason/understand some of what we experience. It could also be a hell of a lot less interesting: I hear the “surface” of Jupiter is pretty rough this time of year.

          * Amazing as in – awe/wonder/mystery; not meant to imply that everything is peachy.

        • Greg G.

          Evolution is subject to contingency. It generally has to modify existing structures and cannot completely disrupt a structure, even for one generation. The nerves to the throat goes around the clavicle, even in giraffes, because it was a straight run in our fish ancestors through gill supports. As the gill supports were not needed as the fish adapted to land and necks evolved, the gill supports became inner ear bones and shoulder supports. But there was no way to get that nerve on the other side of the support that became the clavicle in the early ancestors of quadrupeds.

          Walking upright requires the modification of legs and spines of quadrupedal walkers. The benefits apparently outweighed some of the drawbacks as the drawbacks weren’t detrimental enough to be eliminated by natural selection.

        • evodevo

          EXACTLY what imperfections are you talking about? Physical? Physiological? Cultural? Behavioral? More detail is required before the question can be considered.

        • Joe

          What would a ‘perfect’ organism look like? (Besides a bacterium.)

        • Tyler Willis

          I have no idea.

        • Greg G.
        • adam

          ” If evolution didn’t produce them, then what did? That’s my question – a seemingly imposible one to answer.”‘

          Why wouldnt evolution produce them.
          It seems you NEED such ‘imperfections’ to evolve.

          So in reality, they are not imperfections, but a need form for evolution

        • Paul B. Lot

          Last time I checked, the presence of disease in a human body is proof that the human body is in an imperfect biological state.

          So, in your mind, for an organism to occupy a “perfect biological state”, that organism would have to be immune to all disease? That’s how you define “perfect biological state”?

        • Dys

          We’ve been waiting for definitions since he started this whole deal.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Isn’t it always like that? 😀

          (Sorry if I’m Donny-ing the convo.)

        • Tyler Willis

          I have no idea what a perfect biological state would look like. All I know is the presence of disease is known to be an imperfect biological state compared to no disease.

        • Paul B. Lot

          But you would be willing to say that if organism XYZ were utterly perfect in every way except that it was susceptible to “disease”, it would be less perfect than organism XYY, which was perfect in all the same ways AND impervious to “disease”?

          In other words, being susceptible to “disease” is a sufficient cause for being labeled “imperfect” – if not a necessary cause.

        • MNb

          And what you refuse to accept is that Evolution Theory and Abiogenesis provide an excellent explanation for the presence of disease and hence for that particular imperfect biological state. Plus that “fallen” at best is misleading terminology here.

        • evodevo

          Quite. In ~200,000 years, our species now infests the earth’s surface like cockroaches, denuding the environment and possibly destroying the ecosystem. Unfortunately, for most species, that spells the end. We’ll see if ours is actually intelligent enough to pull back from the abyss….

        • MNb

          Evolution doesn’t produce perfect solutions. It favours (by means of natural selection for instance) solutions that are good enough, but are imperfect.

  • Kevin K

    I actually love this story. I think the abuse it’s been given is due to it being co-opted by Christianity as the raison d’etre for the brutal torture and execution of an innocent person (allegedly — I don’t think that particular event happened).

    But if you separate it from the Christian retrofitting, it’s one of the all-time great “just so” stories ever written. Think about what this little campfire story explains…

    1. Why humans have “intelligence” (knowledge of good and evil).
    2. Why humans wear clothing.
    3. Why humans toil in the fields.
    4. Why human childbirth is much more painful than that for other animals.
    5. Why snakes have no legs.
    6. Why humans hate snakes.
    7. Why humans aren’t immortal.
    8. Why men “rule” over women.

    No other myth from that era (or any other) to my knowledge does so much as comprehensively. It’s a great little story. Too bad the Christians came along and spoiled it by insisting that it actually happened.

  • SparklingMoon,

    There are many statements in the Bible that contradict one another. For example in Genesis 2:17 we read : ”For in the day that thou eatest thereof (the tree of the know- ledge of good and evil) thou shalt surely die”.

    In Genesis 2 : 9 we read : And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food ; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil”.

    This verse can mean only one of two things: either that there was one tree which was capable of giving life as well as the knowledge of good and evil ; or that there were two trees, one with life-giving powers and the other which gave the knowledge of good and evil. If, according to the verse, there was but one tree, then Genesis 2:17 is proved false, because verse 9 endows the tree with life-giving powers, not with death-like properties. If, according to Genesis, there were two trees and not one, then these two verses become contradictory. If Adam had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, death was not inevitable, because he could also have eaten of the life-giving tree.

    In fact, according to the Bible, when Adam ate of the tree of knowledge he could also have eaten of the life-giving tree. If the consequence of eating the fruit of one tree was certain death, the consequence of eating the fruit of the other tree was eternal life. The situation in which Adam was placed is hard to understand ; one tree offered him eternal life, another offered death.

    We know from the Bible that Adam and his wife ate of the tree of life. We read in Genesis (3:2-3): ”And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden : But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die”.

    From these verses it appears that Adam and his wife ate the fruit of all trees except the tree of knowledge. If this account of the Bible is true, then Adam and his wife certainly ate the fruit of the tree of life, and if they did eat of this tree of life, how could they die ? Yet we read in Genesis 3 : 22 : And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil : and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.
    This verse shows that Adam had eaten nothing of the tree of life, and it is impossible for us to determine which of the verses is true. Is it the one which says that Adam did not eat of the tree of life or the one in which Adam’s wife is reported to have said that, except the tree of knowledge, they ate of all the
    trees in the garden ? Nor is it possible for us to say whether eating of the tree of knowledge results in certain death or eating of the tree of life results in eternal life.

    All this kind of statements contradict one another, and the word of God cannot contain such contradictions. It is certain that these statements were added to the Bible by writers who entertained contradictory ideas. A book which contains such contradictory statements cannot be attributed to an ordinary rational human being, much less to God. But Moses was an honored Prophet of God, and the Torah was certainly a revelation of God received by him. We have, therefore, to assume that those contradictions are later additions. Because of them, no blame attaches to God or to Moses. Only we must say that when God decided to replace the Bible by a book of lasting value; the holy Quran, He withheld His protection from the Bible and it was no longer safe from human interference and from the ravages of time.

    • Greg G.

      If this account of the Bible is true

      It’s not.

      Yet we read in Genesis 3 : 22 : And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil : and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.
      This verse shows that Adam had eaten nothing of the tree of life, and it is impossible for us to determine which of the verses is true.

      Have you considered that eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil caused a permanent change while eating of the other trees yielded temporary results. If you filled up on fruits, you got hungry later. But you only got immortality from eating from the Tree of Life forever. It’s powers wore off after a while. Banning Adam and Eve from the garden prevented them from continuing to eat from it which resulted in them dying eventually.

      • SparklingMoon,

        The description above in the post is just to show that the Bible has contradiction in its statements and the word of God cannot contain such contradictions. Otherwise according to my knowledge the meanings of this description are totally different one as mostly described by the followers of Trinity. The early part of the Bible is actually revelation of prophet Moses and all descriptions about Adam, Eva, tree, serpent etc and the leaving of paradise of Adam and Eva are just symbolic expressions to deliver some subtle accounts. The Divine Words, which are the most eloquent of all speech, employs refined figures of speech as no human speech can ever rival. To persist in equating the pristine purity of the metaphorical original with crude and commonplace literality,regardless of context and occasion, is tantamount to reducing miracles of expression and style to dust.

        The early passages of the Bible are about the evolution of universe and the descriptions of Adam and Eva and their eating of tree are about the cycle of seven millennium of human progress on earth and its destruction.

        We, human beings, are actually at this time again passing through the time of Adam. We are in the beginning of seventh millennium and earthly progress and human knowledge has no stop now . The time is just near when this increasing knowledge will turn human earthly life into paradise; no shortage of food, no disease, no war.

        This knowledge about hidden will motivate some to touch human tree to change it and some will try to change humans as to get earthly life forever. This mistake will lead to destruction. This description of the Bible in symbolic language is a warning to avoid this mistake as the result will be destruction of earthly paradise and the cycle of seven millennium will start again from zero human progress as the punishment of this mistake is told by God Almighty in Genesis 3 in following words:

        (17)And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;(18)thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. (19) By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread,

        (16)To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
        in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          …the Bible has contradiction…

          No shit Sherlock!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya don’t get contradictions in the Quran though, right?

          Oh, wait on there a wee minute….yes ya do.

        • SparklingMoon,

          It is a fact that the Quran has no contradiction in its descriptions because of its being safe in Arabic words of its revelation.

        • Dys

          It is a fact that the Quran has no contradiction in its descriptions

          No, it’s not.

          because of its being safe in Arabic words of its revelation.

          There’s nothing magical about Arabic that prevents contradictions from existing.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          My explanation would counter your claim of a contradiction. I agree with you that there are contradictions in the Bible but that one is not necessarily one.

    • Kevin K

      HAHAHAHAHAHA.

      Oh boy, are YOU in the wrong place.

    • Ignorant Amos

      The God character lied.

      • adam

        And the serpent told the Truth

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh, the serpent lied too…

          For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

          Never happened.

        • Dys

          hmm…I always read that as humans gaining one particular attribute that is usually restricted to gods, in this case knowing good and evil. I don’t think it meant that humans would gain all the other traditional attributes as well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A thought there was supposed to be just the one god. Did the snake let the cat outta the bag there?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The snake shoulda made it clearer then. Perhaps something like…

          For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be a wee bit as gods, knowing good and evil.

          I still think it lied.

        • MR

          I agree, but reading it in context there is something of an implication by the serpent that by eating the apple you would become like God, as if knowing good and evil would make you one:

          Gen 3.5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

          But like our good apologists on this site, the serpent (more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made) has used weasel words to get out of it:

          Gen 3.13a “No, no, that’s not what I said! I didn’t say you would become a god, I only said you would become like a god. Specifically I said, ‘ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ “Like” a god, I didn’t say you would be one. No, that’s all I said. Don’t listen to her.

          And Eve is just standing there going, “But, but, but….”

        • Kodie

          No, it began the invention of gods to have the attributes of man, the arrogance, the awareness of effects of morality or immorality, the totally human flaws, inventing gods with those same flaws, and imagining those gods made us, and know more than we do, and that disasters and misfortunes that could have struck anyone by chance are the punishment for doing anything particular, and trying to figure out what – the superstition of it all. There is no coincidence that god has so many qualities of a human, and all the worst one particularly.

        • Uzza

          Sure it happened. Once Eve ate the apple, she suddenly knew that a) following that damn liar, God, was evil, and b) Adam was just as ignorant as she used to be and not fixing him was evil. She acted accordingly.

          Of course, another reading is that she would know good and evil to the same extent as God did. That’s setting the bar pretty low, as that petty, genocidal, maniac never seems to have much grasp of the concept.

        • adam

          I am not convinced

          the gods were pretty ignorant.
          making plants before the sun,
          planting the forbidden tree in the middle of the garden.
          ONLY to guard it after the horse left the barn.

          Bible God is not all that bright.

      • SparklingMoon,

        The original words of God’s revelation contains no lie.The early part of the Bible is actually revelation of prophet Moses(as) but it does not exist in its original words. God Almighty confirms in the revelation of the Quran about Torah [5:45] ”Surely, We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light.

        From the history of Israel we learn that in the time of Nebuchadnezzar the books of Israel were burnt and destroyed. For Example we read in Deuteronomy (34:5-6):”So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day”.

        These verses show clearly that these descriptions in the Bible were composed and added hundreds of years after the time of Moses. It does not stand to reason that God ever addressed Moses, saying, “Nobody knows about your sepulchre unto this day.” Can such words be addressed to a living human being ? Can the words “unto this day” be used in a speech addressed to him ?

        Then in verse 8 we read : And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days : so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. This verse also shows that it cannot have been revealed to Moses but is a later addition.

        Then in verse 10 we read : And there arose not a Prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. This also does not seem to be a revelation of Moses but an invention made many hundreds of years after his death and entered in the Book of Moses.

        • busterggi

          And despite knowing these books were incorrect Muslims based their magic book on them.

        • SparklingMoon,

          To think that the Holy Quran is made up of such wellknown accounts, tales, books or gospels, is the height of ignorance. Is there anything wrong with a book of God being in agreement with some past accounts? Many truths of the Vedas, which were not even known at the time, are to be found in the Holy Quran, but can we conclude from this that the Holy Prophet(sa) had studied the Vedas?

          The Gospels that have now become available—thanks to the printing press— were not known to anyone in Arabia, and the people of that land were simply unlettered. If there happened to be an odd Christian among them, he was not likely to know much about his own religion. It is therefore despicable to think that the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) plagiarized from these books.

          The Holy Prophet(sa) was unlettered and could not even read Arabic, let alone Greek or Hebrew. It is now upon our opponents to produce any manuscript of that time from which these accounts are supposed to have been taken. If the Holy Quran contained material copied from other sources, the Christians of Arabia, who were against Islam, would at once have cried out that it has been taken from their own accounts. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • busterggi

          You’d think an omnipotent god could at least find someone competent to write. But then, it was a god of illiterate goatherders.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Revelation needs purity of heart instead of worldly knowledge.

        • Dys

          And that’s the exact same thing Christians say in defense of the Bible. You can’t have it both ways, sorry.

        • SparklingMoon,

          No Divine revelation can be attacked merely on the basis of its similarity, or partial similarity, to a past book or account, even if that book or account is considered to be fictitious. When the Christians label a book as ‘historical’ or ‘revealed’, they do so without any substantial proof, and none of their books are free from the stains of doubt and suspicion. It is quite probable that the books they call forged or fabricated are not fabricated at all, and the ones they consider to be authentic may, in fact, be fabricated. A book of God cannot be subject to such likes and dislikes. Their labeling of certain books as fictitious is not something that has been proven by judicial inquiry, nor is it on the basis of established evidence that they declare a book to be authentic. It is all based on speculation and conjecture, which cannot be the criterion for judging a book of God. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • MNb

          When you label a book as ‘revealed’ you do so with any substantial proof as well. Your book isn’t free from the stains of doubt and suspicion. The one you consider to be authentic may be, in fact, fabricated. Your book of your god is subject to such likes and dislikes. It isn’t on the basis of established evidence that you declare your book to be authentic. It’s all about speculation and conjecture.
          Indeed that’s all you have managed to produce.

        • Kodie

          Divine revelation is your own illusion. Everything you say is fiction.

        • Dys

          Speculation and conjecture are all anyone who declares any book to be inerrant has, whether they’re referring to the Bible, Qur’an, or any other supposedly sacred text.

          You once again reveal that you employ the exact same tactics Christians do, but you just grant yourself a special exemption.

          Neither the Bible or the Qur’an have ever been proven to be any revelation from any god, nor have they been proven to be inerrant or miraculous. You’re blowing smoke, nothing more.

        • busterggi

          So a guy who got horny over a nine year old girl is what you consider pure of heart?

          Thank you for playing.

        • MNb

          How do you determine someone has a pure heart? Because of the revelations he/she produces.
          Just more circularity.

        • adam

          “Revelation needs purity of heart instead of worldly knowledge.”

          You mean ignorance and the gullibility to believe in MAGIC.

        • Kodie

          You mean gullibility. Revelation of a superstition needs gullibility. Worldly knowledge is increasingly resistant to the horseshit you gullible shit produce over and over. We’ll never get along, but you believe it’s because we’re just not seeing it – fuckhead, listen. We understand what you’re saying, but it’s fucking bullshit. We see it, we understand, but it’s absolutely fucking not true. It’s not revelation you have, it’s ignorance, and gullibility. Worldly knowledge will not go aha, that superstition you keep repeating is correct, not because we’re not not pure of heart, it means you’re fucking soft of head, and dumb. Dumb fucking dumb.

        • Dys

          Both the Bible and the Quran fall into the category of historical fiction.

        • SparklingMoon,

          The Holy Quran is the only scripture in the world that proclaims itself to be a miracle. The Holy Quran claimed that it was a unique and miraculous book, and it challenged anyone who considered it to be the word of man to come forward and prove it, but no opponent took up the challenge.

          Just consider, can a person dare to give such a challenge to the whole world, while being a plagiarist and having cooked the whole thing up on his own, and knowing full well that this knowledge has not come to him from the unseen, rather he has stolen it from such and such books, and to think that no one should be able to accept his challenge and expose him! (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Paul B. Lot

          can a person dare to give such a challenge to the whole world, while being a plagiarist and having cooked the whole thing up on his own

          Is this a serious question? The answer is: “Yes.”

          Have you not heard of con-men?
          Charlatans?
          Attention-seekers?
          Cult leaders?

          Do you expect anyone to take the “it can’t be fake, because no one would dare” argument seriously? People do this stupid shit all the time.

          Never heard of Joseph Smith? L. Ron Hubbard?

          Take a hike, goofball, your weak sauce is incredibly boring.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Holy Quran is the only scripture in the world that proclaims itself to be a miracle.

          That’s sort of circular.

          http://www.nobullshit-islam.net/imgs/circularity.jpg

          The Holy Quran claimed that it was a unique and miraculous book, and it challenged anyone who considered it to be the word of man to come forward and prove it, but no opponent took up the challenge.

          You need to understand how the Quran came about. Like the OT, then the NT, it wasn’t how the majority of people imagine. Do your due diligence and research the books formation.

        • busterggi

          Guess you’ve never heard of the Book of Mormon or Dianetics or Atlantis: the Antediluvian World or the Confusian Way of the Gods or …

        • SparklingMoon,

          The true criterion is whether the book proves its Divine origin through God’s law of nature and through powerful signs.The Holy Quran is the only book in the world that has shown God and His attributes to be in accord with the same law of nature which is the result of God’s ‘action’ in this world and is imprinted in human nature and conscience. The God of the Christians is confined to the leaves of the Contd Gospel, and anyone whom the Gospel has not reached remains ignorant of Him. But no thinking man can be unaware of the God presented by the Holy Quran. The True God is the one Who has been presented by the Quran and testified by human nature as well as the law of nature.

          The revelation of all the Prophets have come to an end, and their miracles are a thing of the past, and their followers are empty-handed but for a few fictitious tales, the revelation of the Holy Prophet (sa) has not ended, nor have his miracles, for they continue to be manifested in his perfect followers through the blessing of their obedience to him. This is why Islam is the living religion and its God is the Living God. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • adam

          ” and through powerful signs.”

          LIke billboards or like psychics?

        • busterggi

          Mind re-reading you last paragraph to yourself. Allah sure has hit the skids if you’re his spokeman.

        • MNb

          Assuming that a book can prove its divine origin through god’s law of nature and through power signes is begging the question.

          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/53/Begging_the_Question

        • Kodie

          You are a lunatic.

        • Dys

          The Holy Quran is the only scripture in the world that proclaims itself to be a miracle.

          No, it doesn’t. The author (and I mean the actual human who wrote it) might claim such, but the book doesn’t have agency.

          it challenged anyone who considered it to be the word of man to come forward and prove it, but no opponent took up the challenge.

          That’s not how it works. You don’t proclaim something is perfect, and then insist to be proven wrong. The Quran has to be proven correct – that’s your burden of proof. Your method of “this is perfect, prove me wrong” is shirking the burden of proof.

          And people have pointed out problems and contradictions in the Quran, but just like the Bible, believers make excuses and engage in apologetics to get around the inconvenient truth. You engage in the exact same game as the Christians do with their bible. You’re employing a double standard.

        • adam

          The moon split in half you say……….

        • SparklingMoon,

          The moon split in half you say
          ——————————————

          I do not say the moon split in half as is claimed by some Muslims. It is a mistake of those Muslims who consider that moon was physically split into two parts by prophet of Islam(sa). It is wrong as it is all against the laws of nature and could bring a destruction in solar system.

          No doubt it states in the Quran(54:2-3) ”The Hour has drawn nigh, and the moon is rent asunder.[54:3]And if they see a Sign, they turn away and say, ‘A passing feat of magic.’’

          The meanings of the verses are that the Hour of the ruin of Arab power has drawn nigh and the moon is rent asunder. When they see a Sign they turn away and say, ‘A powerful feat of magic!’ They have rejected the truth of Islam and have followed their own fancies; but every divine decree will certainly be fulfilled. These verses predicted that the ruin of Arab tribal power was approaching.

          The moon was the national emblem of the Arabs and the symbol of their political power. For instance, in a well known tradition Aisha (ra) the wife of prophet of Islam, saw in a dream that three moons had, one after the other, fallen into her chamber. This dream was fulfilled in that the Holy Prophet, and after him Abu Bakr, and after him Umar, were each in their turn, when they died, buried in the chamber of Aisha. And even Jews had the same thinking like Arabs that if a person saw the moon in his dream it signified Arab power, Arab rule or an Arab ruler. Safiyy (ra)a wife of prophet of Islam who was daughter of Huyay bin Akhtab (the chief of the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir ) before her marriage, once mentioned to her father that she had seen in a dream that the moon had fallen into her lap, he slapped her face saying that she wanted to marry the leader of the Arab. After the fall of the Khaiber Saffiyya’s dream was fulfilled when she was married to Prophet of Islam (Zurqani and Usud al-Ghabba)

          The time, these verses had been revealed, show the significance of this news that at the time the fortunes of Islam was in the estimation of the worldly, were at the lowest ebb. The Holy Prophet of Islam(sa) and his small band of followers were shut up in a narrow valley where they were exposed to extreme privation and distress. Once the hostility of Quraish was aroused, the Muslims were subjected to all manner of indignities, molestation and persecutions. Quraish were determined that the new doctrine must be crushed, and its followers forced to abandon it. Having met with nothing but frustration, Quraish were much incensed, and at last resolved upon a complete boycott of the Holy Prophet (sa), all Muslims, and all Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib. The ban was put rigorously in force and they found themselves cut off from all supply of corn and other necessaries of life. Quraish would sell them nothing; they were not strong enough to send forth a caravan of their own; if foreign merchants came, Quraish made them withhold their commodities from the besieged; and thus a great scarcity ensued which imposed terrible sufferings,particularly on women,children and old people. In this situation, God Almighty assured them that the time of the ruin of the power of their enemies was approaching, and that soon Islam would triumph.

          Secondly, according to the Islamic history a group of disbelievers of Mecca, gathered round the Holy Prophet(sa), and insisted on being shown some sign. It was night and the moon was full. The Holy Prophet pointed with his finger at the moon, and it appeared to those who were present that the moon had been split, This was a grand sign, which had some resemblance to a sign shown by prophet Moses, but was much more awe-inspiring. The sign of Moses is mentioned in the Holy Quran as follows: ‘We directed Moses, “Cast down thy rod,” and lo, it appeared to swallow up all that the magicians had fabricated’ (7:118).

          This sign or miracle was not viewed by all people of the area but this vision was confined to a particular group of people. who were around him at that time.

        • adam

          Isn it in the Koran?

        • SparklingMoon,

          No doubt there are verses of the Quran about the sp[it of the moon (54:2-3) ”The Hour has drawn nigh, and the moon is rent asunder.[54:3]And if they see a Sign, they turn away and say, ‘A passing feat of magic.’’

          And in my previous post I have explained that ” moon ” was the national emblem of the Arabs and the symbol of their political power. The meanings of these verses are that the Hour of the ruin of Arab power has drawn nigh and the moon is rent asunder. When they see a Sign they turn away and say, ‘A powerful feat of magic!’ They have rejected the truth of Islam and have followed their own fancies; but every divine decree will certainly be fulfilled. These verses predicted that the ruin of Arab tribal power was approaching.

        • adam

          So,

          The Koran doesnt say what it means or mean what it says.

          No miracle there.

        • SparklingMoon,

          The great miracle is the fulfillment of the message of these verses

          The time, these verses had been revealed, the fortunes of Islam was in the estimation of the worldly, were at the lowest ebb. The Holy Prophet of Islam(sa) and his small band of followers were shut up in a narrow valley where they were exposed to extreme privation and distress. Once the hostility of Quraish was aroused, the Muslims were subjected to all manner of indignities, molestation and persecutions. Quraish were determined that the new doctrine must be crushed, and its followers forced to abandon it. Having met with nothing but frustration, Quraish were much incensed, and at last resolved upon a complete boycott of the Holy Prophet (sa), all Muslims, and all Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib. The ban was put rigorously in force and they found themselves cut off from all supply of corn and other necessaries of life. Quraish would sell them nothing; they were not strong enough to send forth a caravan of their own; if foreign merchants came, Quraish made them withhold their commodities from the besieged; and thus a great scarcity ensued which imposed terrible sufferings,particularly on women,children and old people.

          In this situation, God Almighty revealed these verses of the Quran and assured those Muslims that the time of the ruin of the power of their enemies was approaching, and that soon Islam would triumph.

        • adam

          So the witnesses were right the moon split and you are wrong.

          Is anything you say about the Koran truthful?

        • busterggi

          There we were at the Alamo, me and Davy Crockett, shoulder to shoulder and backs to the wall…

        • adam

          I dropped a big knife during the fight, some guy named Jim somebody, picked it up.

          I want it back, no questions asked.

        • adam

          The literal splitting of the moon is a miracle attributed to Prophet Muhammad by early traditions transmitted on the authority of the companions of Muhammad such as Ibn Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Abdullah bin Masud and others.[1][2]

          Witnesses

        • SparklingMoon,

          There are descriptions in the books of Ahdith about it and a group of people had seen the split in the time of prophet of Islam but it would be mistake to consider that moon was literal split. If moon was really split then books of other people must have description about it.

          As I have already written that a group of disbelievers of Mecca, gathered round the Holy Prophet(sa), and insisted on being shown some sign. It was night and the moon was full. The Holy Prophet pointed with his finger at the moon, and it appeared to those who were present that the moon had been split, This was a grand sign, which had some resemblance to a sign shown by prophet Moses, but was much more awe-inspiring. The sign of Moses is mentioned in the Holy Quran as follows: ‘We directed Moses, “Cast down thy rod,” and lo, it appeared to swallow up all that the magicians had fabricated’ (7:118). This sign or miracle was not viewed by all people of the area but this vision was confined to a particular group of people. who were around him at that time.

        • busterggi

          Being able to see the moon doesn’t require any particular belief. Imagining you see the moon split does.

        • adam

          “The Holy Prophet pointed with his finger at the moon, and it appeared to those who were present that the moon had been split,”

          So it was deception.

          No miracle there.

          Was the winged horse the same kind of deception?

          What other deceptions are in the Koran?

        • Ignorant Amos

          This was a grand sign, which had some resemblance to a sign shown by prophet Moses, but was much more awe-inspiring. The sign of Moses is mentioned in the Holy Quran as follows: ‘We directed Moses, “Cast down thy rod,” and lo, it appeared to swallow up all that the magicians had fabricated’ (7:118). This sign or miracle was not viewed by all people of the area but this vision was confined to a particular group of people. who were around him at that time.

          That’s plagiarised from the Old Testament.

          Moses and Aaron appear before the pharaoh when Aaron’s rod is transformed into a serpent. The pharaoh’s sorcerers are also able to transform their own rods into serpents, but Aaron’s swallows them. Aaron’s rod is again used to turn the Nile blood-red. It is used several times on God’s command to initiate the plagues of Egypt.

          Who is the “We” that directed Moses?

        • SparklingMoon,

          And from where did the following verses plagiarize:

          ” People Of the Book! exceed not the bounds in the matter of your religion, and say not of God anything but the truth. Indeed, the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was but a Messenger Of God and the fulfi lment of glad tidings which he conveyed to Mary and a mercy for Him. So believe in God and His Messengers and say not: There are three gods. Desist, it will be the better for you. Indeed, God is only One God. His Holiness brooks not that He should have a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Sufficient is God as a Guardian. Surely, the Messiah would never disdain to be accounted a servant of God, nor would the angels who are close to God. Those who disdain to worship Him and consider themselves above it will He gather all together before Himself ”. (Quran 4:172-173)

        • adam

          But there were witnesses:

          When did this ‘Moon Splitting’ incident allegedly occur?
          According
          to Maududi, the traditionists and commentators have agreed that this
          incident took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy
          Prophet’s Hijra (migration) to Madinah.
          The Moon had split into two distinct parts in front of their very eyes.
          The two parts had separated and receded so much apart from each other
          that to the on-lookers (in Makkah) one part had appeared on one side of
          the mountain and the other on the other side of it. Then, in an instant
          the two had rejoined. This was a manifest proof of the truth that the
          system of the universe was neither eternal nor immortal, it could be
          disrupted.

          (54:1) The Spitting of the Moon
          Mustafa Mlivo, dipl. ing.

        • Greg G.

          You seem to be trying to tell us the Quran is true without contradiction due to its divine nature but even native Arabic speakers cannot reliably understand it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I do not say the moon split in half as is claimed by some Muslims. It is a mistake of those Muslims who consider that moon was physically split into two parts by prophet of Islam(sa). It is wrong as it is all against the laws of nature and could bring a destruction in solar system.

          Ah yes, the old No True Scotsman Fallacy…it must be in the theists water.

        • busterggi

          Oh, that was sOoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOO convincing!

        • Odd Jørgensen

          Have they found the puddle the sun sets in yet?

        • adam

          ” It is a mistake of those Muslims who consider that moon was physically split into two parts by prophet of Islam(sa). It is wrong as it is all against the laws of nature and could bring a destruction in solar system.”

          Moon Splitting Hadiths

          Narrated Abdullah bin Masud: “During the lifetime of the Prophet the moon was split into two parts and on that the Prophet said, ‘Bear witness (to thus).'”
          Sahih Bukhari 4:56:830

          Narrated Anas: “That the Meccan people requested
          Allah’s Apostle to show them a miracle, and so he showed them the splitting of the moon.”
          Sahih Bukhari 4:56:831

          Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “The moon was split into two parts during the lifetime of the Prophet.”
          Sahih Bukhari 4:56:832

          Narrated Anas bin Malik: “The people of Mecca asked
          Allah’s Apostle to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hiram’ mountain.”
          Sahih Bukhari 5:58:208

          Narrated ‘Abdullah: “The moon was split ( into two
          pieces ) while we were with the Prophet in Mina. He said, “Be witnesses.” Then a Piece of the moon went towards the mountain.”
          Sahih Bukhari 5:58:209

          Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas: “During the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle the moon was split (into two places).”
          Sahih Bukhari 5:58:210

          Narrated ‘Abdullah: “The moon was split (into two pieces).”
          Sahih Bukhari 5:58:211

        • busterggi

          Got better, wasn’t worth writing about.

        • Paul B. Lot
        • adam

          Just what I was thinking of.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Holy Prophet(sa) was unlettered and could not even read Arabic, let alone Greek or Hebrew.

          Are you really that naive? Did Mo not have ears on the side of his head. He was a well travelled merchant before he invented the cult of Islam.

          Stop listening to, and reading shite, written by imams and other woo-woo clerics and do some proper learning.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Are you really that naive? Did Mo not have ears on the side of his head. He was a well travelled merchant before he invented the cult of Islam.
          ———————————————

          Alas, you cannot understand an argument as plain as this: When the earth is filled with sin and becomes uncouth and when wickedness, debauchery, and impertinence weigh heavier on the scale of God than acts of righteousness, it is then that God’s mercy requires of Him to send one of His servants who would set the disorder right. Sickness and disease call for a healer.

          Pundit Dyanand writes in his book Satyarath Parkash, that even in the land of Aryawart [which takes pride in its monotheistic beliefs] idolatry had replaced the worship of God, and the Vedic faith had become extensively corrupted.Reverend Pfander, (a European priest in India and a staunch defender of Christian faith) also endorses these views in his book, Mizan-ul-Haq. He observes that at the time of the inception of Islam,the Christians had become the most corrupt among all the religious denominations.The lewd and wanton conduct of the Christians of the time was a source of shame and dishonor for Christianity. The Holy Quran, justifying its revelation, speaks of the same in the following verse (30:42) That is: ”Corruption has appeared on the land and the sea’. This verse implies that every nation, whether in a state of ignorance or whether it presumed itself to be wise, was not free from corruption.

          Thus it is established on the authority of all testimonies that the entire mankind, during the age of Prophet Muhammad (sa) were they oriental or occidental, those belonging to the land of Aryas or those who were dwellers of the Arabian desert, so also those who inhabited islands, had all become moral destitute. There was not one among them whose relation with God was without blemish. Evil practices contaminated the entire earth. Why then cannot a man of sound mind understand this simple matter of commonsense that it was the right time and the right age, with reference to which human reason can accept, that an exceptionally eminent Prophet must be raised. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wish you would stop copying and pasting huge screeds from that arsehole hero you think so highly of, Ruhanikhazain, and read some scholarship. Especially when nothing in the screed addresses the issue at hand.

          Here, this is a freebie for you, unfortunately I had to buy mine. Do yourself a favour and learn something.

          Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery

          Muhammad’s marriage at the age of twenty-five with a forty year-old wealthy businesswoman of
          Mecca, named Khadijah, dramatically changed his fortune and greatly increased his social standing.
          Muhammad was at first employed by her to run her businesses. Soon, he is said to have impressed his
          employer by running the business profitably. Impressed by the young, intelligent and able man, fifteen years
          younger than her; Khadijah proposed to marry him.

          Khadijah had an aging cousin, named Waraqa bin Naufal, a man of flexible faith, who—impressed
          by monotheism—had changed his faith first to Judaism and then to Christianity.20 Naufal ‘was a Christian
          convert and used to read the Gospels in Arabic,’ says a hadith [Bukhari 4:605]. Khadijah, through her close
          interaction with Waraqa, had also become influenced by monotheism, Christianity in particular. Muhammad,
          on his part, used to follow all the idolatrous rituals of the polytheistic religion of his Quraysh tribesmen. But
          after his marriage, which brought him in close contact with Waraqa and Khadijah, Muhammad abruptly
          stopped practicing Paganism and became interested in the monotheistic Jewish and Christian theology.

          http://www.islam-watch.org/books/islamic-jihad-legacy-of-forced-conversion-imperialism-slavery.pdf

          Now, enough with the preachy fuckwittery and learn a bit about your faith and its origins.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Firstly, Prophet of Islam did not suggested Khadijah(ra) to marry him but she, after seeing his honesty and nobility, offered him to marry. After marriage she gave her wealth to prophet of Islam but he did not use it for his ownself and gave all to poor people.

          Secondly, it is a pity that men test the claims of a heavenly Messenger by their self-devised standards and, when he does not satisfy those standards, they deceive themselves with the idea that they had weighed his claims dispassionately and with an open mind and
          had found them to be false. In the present age when man has made great progress in knowledge, science and culture and has known many Prophets, he presumes to test the claims of God’s Messengers not by criteria laid down by Him but by his own false standards.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Many truths of the Vedas, which were not even known at the time, are to be found in the Holy Quran, but can we conclude from this that the Holy Prophet(sa) had studied the Vedas?

          Are you for real? The Veda’s were two millennia old when Mo was murdering all around him ffs.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Gospels that have now become available—thanks to the printing press— were not known to anyone in Arabia, and the people of that land were simply unlettered. If there happened to be an odd Christian among them, he was not likely to know much about his own religion. It is therefore despicable to think that the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) plagiarized from these books.

          Your ignorance is nothing but flabbergasting.

        • Greg G.

          Many truths of the Vedas, which were not even known at the time, are to be found in the Holy Quran, but can we conclude from this that the Holy Prophet(sa) had studied the Vedas?

          The Holy Prophet(sa) was unlettered and could not even read Arabic, let alone Greek or Hebrew.

          These are good signs that the Quran was not written by the person it is attributed to. That seems to be the case for several New testament epistles, too.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’ve got it real bad, haven’t you?

      • TheNuszAbides

        and Joy of Satan took that angle and fucking RAN (backwards) with it.

  • Interesting that it claims the snake once didn’t crawl on its belly. So it was then a reptile with legs once? Now we know snakes did evolve from beings with legs (they still have vestigial leg bones). Perhaps some will claim this is evidence of the Bible’s divine inspiration, though it’s also just another problem if you believe in a special creation of living creatures.

    • MR

      I envision something along the lines of the Geico gecko.

      • Lol, yeah.

      • MR

        Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. –Gen 3.1

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          15 minutues could fuck up 15% or more of reality!

    • MNb

      Nothing is a problem for proper creationism. “Goddiddid” explains everything (hence nothing).

    • I’ve heard that (perhaps by looking at cognate stories from related cultures?) that the “serpent” used to be a winged creature of some sort, so “you shall now crawl on your belly” was indeed a punishment.

      • Interesting. So a bit like Quetzalcoatl or a Chinese dragon perhaps?

        • Michael Neville

          An old fashioned English name for dragon is wyrm. Tolkien refers to several of the dragons in his works as worms.

        • I remember that. The Bible refers to Satan as both a serpent and a dragon too. Maybe it comes from there.

        • Myna A.

          The late author Taylor Caldwell wrote a book many, many years ago entitled, Dialogues with the Devil. It’s a series of correspondences between the Archangels Michael and Lucifer. In one of the letters, Lucifer expresses his indignation over being portrayed as ugly or as a serpent. He is quite beautiful and vain in the book.

          I suspect the author was inspired by Twain’s, Letters from the Earth, and possibly the Geef brothers sculptures, L’ange du mal (Joseph, 1842) and Le génie du mal (Guillaume 1948), although the Dialogues book is written to be more somber in theme (complete with the Catholic bias of its author). Here’s a link to the sculptures, where I was able to get the actual dating of the pieces: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_g%C3%A9nie_du_mal

          I don’t know what this has to do with anything, but your comment on the biblical Satan as serpent and dragon brought the book to mind.

        • Interesting, thanks.

        • Myna A.

          In China, dragons are considered most auspicious. They rule over water and are of good fortune for those worthy of the dragon’s favor.

      • Greg G.

        Isaiah 14:29 (KJV)Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.

        I think the KJV translation is much cooler than the NIV.

        Isaiah 14:29 (NIV)29 Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,    that the rod that struck you is broken;from the root of that snake will spring up a viper,    its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.

        Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron ask about the crocoduck when the cockatrice is in the Bible.

        • Myna A.

          It’s interesting the wording between the KJV and the NIV version. How do you explain a cockatrice to a modern audience and expect them to believe it? Best change it to just a venous serpent so they can imagine copperheads the size of anacondas.

        • Unicorns and serpents and cockatrix, oh my! Yes, the KJV does have its charms.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Perhaps some will claim this is evidence of the Bible’s divine inspiration, though it’s also just another problem if you believe in a special creation of living creatures.

      Funny you should mention it, Michael. I posted this a few days ago…

      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/illogic_of_the_garden_of_eden_story_26/#comment-2865860834

  • TheMarsCydonia

    One thing that is never adressed (among the host of problems with this story) that I do not particularly get is why Adam and Eve disobeying god is the “original sin”, the “portal by which sin entered the world”.

    Wouldn’t Lucifer’s rebellion against god be the original sin? The Genesis days of creation do not go exactly into details about when god created angels and when that rebellion took place but it must have happened before the snake/devil tempted Eve.

    If Lucifer’s rebellion does not count as “this world’s” original sin, wouln’d tempting Eve count? So I do not see how Adam and Eve can be blamed as the first sinners or for bringing sin into the world.

    • Ignorant Amos

      But Lucifer and God were betting buddies in the Job story and that was well after the Garden of Eden saga…so something isn’t quite right.

    • ColdFusion8

      If you ask me the original sin is putting the Serpent in the garden with your innocent creations.

    • TheNuszAbides

      Lucifer’s rebellion is ‘overlooked’ throughout the OT. too many of the credulous either swallow that NT derivations were inventive, or put far too much stock in the actual inventions of the NT (like all manner of retcon).

  • Odd Jørgensen

    And the Son of God died;
    it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd.
    And He was buried, and rose again;
    the fact is certain, because it is impossible.
    — Tertullian

    This is the same watertight logic we get from the mormons, when Smith says that he has to use a different text because God is upset with them for “losing” the first transcript, so it won`t be exactly the same as before, thereby proving he was telling the Truth.