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Adam And Eve And Free Will


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I know we have discussed this topic recently and this may seem repetitive. But a

new thought came to me that I had not considered before. I hesitant to disclose that this is a new thought because many or all of you may I have thought of this a long time ago. It deals with original sin and the concept of free will.

 

The Xtian doctrine that, because of Adam and Eve who sinned by eating the

forbidden fruit, all humans somehow inherited from them a sinful nature. Aside

from the fact that god didn't tell Adam or Eve (Did god ever condescend to talk to Eve before she ate from the tree?)that they would cause all of their progeny to have sinful natures worthy of eternal punishment if they ate the forbidden

fruit, how can it be said that all of mankind have sinned and fallen short of

the glory of god? The Xtian position is that every single one of us, by the exercise of our free will,have sinned and therefore should, be sent to hell.

But every one of us was declared sinful without exercising our will at all. None of us had the opportunity to exercise free will since none of us were born

before this sinful nature was imputed to as by divine fiat.

 

Every single person, since A and E, is innocent of doing anything sinful through

exercising free will. God took that choice from us. Nor should we be held

responsible for any sins we committed without the exercise of our free will

because our sinful nature was imposed on us without our consent and without our knowledge. We could not help our sinning.

 

Of course to any reasonable person this situation is patently unfair. Nobody can be convicted for a crime in which some action was taken against her will.

There's no criminal intent, which is indispensable to a conviction for a

crime under American law. But the worst that can happen is execution.How much

more important is it to prevent a person from receiving eternal punishment for

being the un-consenting victim of the imposition of a sinful nature upon her.

bill

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Ah the trap that all three abrahamic religions spring, isn't it great? 

 

Just take a look at the christians in the Den.  They all believe everyone is worthy of death. 

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Humans inherit from their parents through DNA.  On which chromosome is this "sin gene" located?  

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Humans inherit from their parents through DNA.  On which chromosome is this "sin gene" located?  

 

Apparently virgin girls were immune to this sin gene until they were married off. 

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Ah the trap that all three abrahamic religions spring, isn't it great? 

 

Just take a look at the christians in the Den.  They all believe everyone is worthy of death. 

 

To me what is telling about original sin and the "everyone is worthy of death" idea (not really death, but deserving of ETERNAL TORTURE), is that only the most hardened bastard thinks that infants who die in their first days of life are roasting in hell.  They nearly all are convinced there is an "age of accountability" or some other non-biblical nonsense.  The point is, if their theology of original sin is what they say it is, there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE those babies get into heaven.  NONE.  According to their apologetics, their sin nature should absolutely keep them out of god's presence.

 

It seems that over the centuries that the biblical books were being transcribed for the almighty, just ONCE this loving, merciful god might have mentioned this exception to the rule of original sin.  But he doesn't.  Of course, original sin was NEVER believed by the Jews and is a flimsy christian creation brought forth when somebody realized that the atoning death of Jesus was actually completely unnecessary under the system created by the Jewish Yahweh.  The story of Jesus parallels other pagan mystery religions nicely.  Judaism, not so much.

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Ah the trap that all three abrahamic religions spring, isn't it great? 

 

Just take a look at the christians in the Den.  They all believe everyone is worthy of death. 

 

To me what is telling about original sin and the "everyone is worthy of death" idea (not really death, but deserving of ETERNAL TORTURE), is that only the most hardened bastard thinks that infants who die in their first days of life are roasting in hell.  They nearly all are convinced there is an "age of accountability" or some other non-biblical nonsense.  The point is, if their theology of original sin is what they say it is, there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE those babies get into heaven.  NONE.  According to their apologetics, their sin nature should absolutely keep them out of god's presence.

 

It seems that over the centuries that the biblical books were being transcribed for the almighty, just ONCE this loving, merciful god might have mentioned this exception to the rule of original sin.  But he doesn't.  Of course, original sin was NEVER believed by the Jews and is a flimsy christian creation brought forth when somebody realized that the atoning death of Jesus was actually completely unnecessary under the system created by the Jewish Yahweh.  The story of Jesus parallels other pagan mystery religions nicely.  Judaism, not so much.

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Ah the trap that all three abrahamic religions spring, isn't it great? 

 

Just take a look at the christians in the Den.  They all believe everyone is worthy of death. 

 

To me what is telling about original sin and the "everyone is worthy of death" idea (not really death, but deserving of ETERNAL TORTURE), is that only the most hardened bastard thinks that infants who die in their first days of life are roasting in hell.  They nearly all are convinced there is an "age of accountability" or some other non-biblical nonsense.  The point is, if their theology of original sin is what they say it is, there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE those babies get into heaven.  NONE.  According to their apologetics, their sin nature should absolutely keep them out of god's presence.

 

It seems that over the centuries that the biblical books were being transcribed for the almighty, just ONCE this loving, merciful god might have mentioned this exception to the rule of original sin.  But he doesn't.  Of course, original sin was NEVER believed by the Jews and is a flimsy christian creation brought forth when somebody realized that the atoning death of Jesus was actually completely unnecessary under the system created by the Jewish Yahweh.  The story of Jesus parallels other pagan mystery religions nicely.  Judaism, not so much.

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I would take it a step further and say that none of us had any say in whether we were born or not.  If god is the creator, as christians would have us believe, then he created us without our consent or authorization, after which he placed upon us the burden of sin and the wages of death and eternal conscious torment.  I didn't ask to be alive and may have forgone the opportunity had I known what great tribulation this life uses to offset its triumphs.  No, life and Original Sin were both foisted upon me without even so much as a "by your leave."

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RNP: No. It was all done through our free will. Just ask a Xtian, because god is never unfair. You must

approach the evaluation of Xtianity with deductive thinking, starting with god is good. Everything else

follows from there. bill

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Yes, we were predestined to have free will and everyone in hell chose to be there through predestination because "good - god = o" and "god + o = good".

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Original sin isn't Biblical. If you read the story, it's only Adam and Eve who are punished, not all of humankind. Original sin was invented by Augustine as far as I know, it's theology, an invention.

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Original sin isn't Biblical. If you read the story, it's only Adam and Eve who are punished, not all of humankind. Original sin was invented by Augustine as far as I know, it's theology, an invention.

 

Yeah, wasnt it only like a few generations after A&E .... not all generations? I need to read up on that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good point bill! I usually only have two things to say about the "fee will" and "original sin" thing. First, we are told by many Christians that if god appeared to us so that faith for belief would not be required, that would some how infringe upon our free will. I point out that A and E walked with god in the cool of the day and talked with him face to face. That didn't infringe upon their free will.

 

Second, and the most obviously beaten dead horse, is that god forsaw A and E's disobedience knowing it would cause our sin nature which he also knew he would have to punish with eternal fire. Since god is all knowing and all powerful, he is directly responsible for our sin nature which we did not want or ask for since he forsaw it from the beginning and did nothin to stop it, and is thus entirely unjust to punish us for it. There is absolutely no way around this unless Christians want to concede that god is not all knowing and all powerful.

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Original sin isn't Biblical. If you read the story, it's only Adam and Eve who are punished, not all of humankind. Original sin was invented by Augustine as far as I know, it's theology, an invention.

I remember Paul saying that "through one man (Adam), sin entered the world." Jesus is refered to as the second Adam by Paul to illustrate that "through one man's (Adam's) disobedience, all were made sinners. But through one man's (Jesus') act of obedience, all were made righteous."

 

Augustine may have expounded upon that and made it orthodox doctrine, but I do think it has a biblical foundation. As I mentioned in my previous post, though, it is completely contradictory to the idea of an all-knowing, all-powerful deity.

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  • 4 weeks later...

May I drag Noah and his family into this?

Those eight people were righteous, and all of the others tainted with original sin were drowned, unborn babies and all.

 

Without the friggin forbidden fruit, now what's the excuse for Biblegod to torture people forever?

 

Margee, wherever she is and bless her heart, has it right. It all falls apart in Genesis, and all of the religions and sects and Puritans and Sunnis and Shias and Baptists and synagogues that come after are based on nothing. 

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I'd argue that the theology of the fall is highly flawed. It is entirely metaphorical and has zip to do with whatever one considers original sin to be.

 

The metaphor is this:

 

Genesis, especially the opening chapters, tells of the transition of the Israelites from nomadic herders to settled agriculturalists. Note that Adam's punishments were related to working the soil and procuring food and Eve's were related to her husband and birthing children. Prior to the rise of agriculture and settlements, they would have been in a more child-like state. Not that they were immature like children, but in that they were more playful, probably spent more time engaging in crafts, hobbies, storytelling, spending time with their tribe members, etc. They had traded that to work the land. Instead of living in a vast garden that provided all that they needed, they had work to extract food from the land. They had to own the land so that they control what was produced.

 

Their culture shifted from a nomadic hunter-gather bands that most likely lived together in small groups to separate families that lived on their own plots of land. It wasn't long before they developed the notions of ownership of other persons (slavery) and the practices of polygamy (more wives = more children, more children = more labor, more labor = more product, more product = more wealth). Soon, they began establishing fiefdoms and then they needed priests to communicate with their totem lord, Yahweh. They needed rules and they needed enforcers and they needed stories to codify it all. Hence the Torah, then the rest of the Holy Shamble.

 

The part in Genesis about a woman's desire being for her husband makes some sense when one stops to consider that ancient Israel was a polygamist culture. It was rare for a woman to be an only wife. She would have to compete with other women for his attention and would be cast aside if she failed to produce sons. Or worse yet, if she were barren. The pain of childbirth is real, but I believe that pain the Bible speaks of as the curse is much deeper: the pain of knowing that her child(s) worth is dependent upon the status of the family and their position in it. Also, the pain of knowing that if she can't or doesn't produce male heirs, that her position is tenuous. To be a female, is to be worthless in their society.

 

Genesis is not a story of how sin came to be. Genesis is the story of how mankind came to accept his "sin". That sin was the acquisition of wealth and the objectification of things, bound up with a lust for nostalgia. The time before the fall was not a time of A & E living in perfect bliss in the perfect garden. It is about a time before man became corrupted by a desire for power and wealth, a time before the priests when man "walked with God" on his own.

 

That is my take on it, fwiw. That is also why I consider a lot of the discussion surrounding original sin to be moot. There is no such thing. All of the assertions were made much later and were attempts to further justify the way that things were. In the NT, there is talk of obeying authority, paying taxes, etc. There is talk of how the priesthood is corrupt in the Gospels, but in the Epistles we find that "men of God" are to be cared for and supported by the believers. It is a crafty sleight of hand, this Holy Shamble, pieced together by the likes of Augustine and his ilk and further so as the Catholic church rose to power.

 

In the Reformation, Protestants protested the notion of an all-powerful priesthood, of the pardoning of sins, and many other things. They wanted all people to be evil, sinful from the start. They just didn't want the established churches getting all the money. So they spoke a good game and split the difference as time progressed. That's how we ended up with 40k versions of the same sorry ass bullshit stories told by different versions of same charlatans who hoodwinked our ancestors in distant times.

 

Jesus spoke against the priests of his day, yet he expected his followers to support him. As did Paul. Today, there are plenty of churches led by sincere persons who accept no pay...until it is offered. That doesn't make them terrible people, but it does make them hypocrites.

 

Free will doesn't jibe well with the conditions needed to support a priestly class. Free will would mean that people had some choice, some freedom, some autonomy. Any time that free will is permitted, there is the danger that one will not choose servitude. Can't have that in the Bible, can we? That's why the narrative ultimately became one of man's "sin" or his desire to be like God, have a bit of free will in his life. Once he chose to leave the garden, God punished him by making things hard and by changing the old ways into the much more barbaric new ways that required fighting, killing, raping, stealing, and ended with two spectacular displays of His divine wrath: the Flood and the suicide/killing of Jesus. That was the big metaphor and it is one that I have never really put into words until now.

 

The true lesson of Genesis? Don't listen to talking snakes aka popes, priests, pastors, preachers and spiritual teachers. Or televangelists, sermonizers, pontificators, or apologists.

 

PS -- Thanks to Bill for starting this thread. Wish that I had come across it sooner.

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