Was Cain a Bad Man?

Was Cain a Bad Man? September 6, 2020

After I put out a call for help, a few people have stepped up to show their mettle in the intellectual cage fight that is ATP.  Please welcome Dana Horton who will be sharing some of his thoughts with us. And they most probably won’t be as lengthy as my overlong essays and articles here. So that’s something to look forward to!

Anyway, over to him:

Was Cain a Bad Man?

(3 minute read)

Most of us are familiar with the story in Genesis about the Garden of Eden. Even though it was written several centuries ago, it was not written as an eye-witness account of what really happened. Rather, it is a myth.

What is this myth about? Since none of us were there, we can only speculate what was in the mind of the original story-teller. But recently I ran across a couple of interesting observations worthy of further consideration.

  • Did you ever wonder what kind of God would put two people in the middle of a garden and specifically tell them not to eat from this particular tree? This is a less than satisfying picture of God. And yet it is the God we see the Jewish nation deal with throughout the Old Testament.

  • Y’know … Eve did not have to do a lot of seducing to get Adam to eat the fruit. She pretty much just held it up and he took it. And yet church doctrine (primarily written by men) has held up Eve as a symbol of evil and temptation throughout history. Using a parallel from Greek mythology, she’s like Prometheus stealing the fire of the Gods.

  • And the serpent was right — Adam and Eve did not die. But they did understand a lot more things after eating the fruit.

  • One of the immediate fallouts from this disobedience is that Cain kills his brother over preferential treatment regarding a sacrifice (Dad liked Abel best). The author here may be illustrating the inevitable friction arising from creativity and evolutionary thinking.

  • Alternatively (and I like this one), this could also be an allegorical description of how the rise of agriculture (Cain) crowded out the hunter/gatherer culture (Abel).

What are your thoughts on the story?

Dana Horton is from Ohio, United States and is currently (though not for much longer) working full time as Director of Energy Markets a large utility company.  In August 2019, he earned his ministerial license through an organization called Centers for Spiritual Living based in Denver, Colorado. This is a New Thought organization following the principles of Ernest Holmes. He acted as interim minister at the Columbus Center for Spiritual Living and, after eight months, he decided to leave and has no interest in returning to a formal religious organization. But he enjoys investigating spiritual principles, how they originated, and how they might be applicable to everyday living. I also enjoy discovering the history of both the Old and New Testaments, and how it differs (greatly) from the traditional Christian interpretations.


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