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Ok, So Like There's One Thing I Don't Understand About The Concept Of Sin And Evil


ExMachina1
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I've been meaning to rant about this for a while.......ever since my deconversion I lost the concept of sin and evil. I don't believe in sin anymore, but what bothers is how so many Christians accept this without question. First of all, if Adam and Eve were perfect with a free will, how was it so easy for them to sin?  Like, if they walked amongst their creator every day, how was disobeying him so easy? Second, after they sinned, how did all of mankind suddenly develop urges to sin? Like, according to the Bible, the human heart is wicked. But how? Adam and Eve did everything right until they were influenced to disobey and then following that everyone gained wickedness in their hearts. If the desire to sin is innate in all people, then where did it come from? How could people have just out of nowhere developed an urge to kill and destroy? Had they not sinned, would their hearts have still been wicked? Which leads to believe that according to the Bible's logic only God could have endowed them with the very wickedness he disdains. If so, how is this a loving God? This in particular was something on mind, and one of the leading elements that led to my deconversion.

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Yeah, the "original sin" story (along with all the others in the bible) makes less and less sense, the more "distant" you get from complete immersion.

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And even if "wickedness" is a consequence of "free will", why does it have to be so extreme? I mean, God could have limited our inclination towards "evil", just like he limited us in several other ways. Biggest question of all is of course why he planted that tree right in the middle of Eden, as well as putting that damn snake there.

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The bible backs itself into a corner with this one. Since adam and eve could not know what evil was until after they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, there is no way they could have committed the sin of disobedience (evil) before they ate it. According the bible, god created them good, and gave them a nature bent only towards doing good so committing sin of any kind would have been impossible. 

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I've been meaning to rant about this for a while.......ever since my deconversion I lost the concept of sin and evil. I don't believe in sin anymore, but what bothers is how so many Christians accept this without question. First of all, if Adam and Eve were perfect with a free will, how was it so easy for them to sin?  Like, if they walked amongst their creator every day, how was disobeying him so easy?

     It wasn't that easy.  It took a short conversation with a field snake that may or may not have been Satan (depending on what you read-in to this story).  You try talking with a snake and see if it convinces you of anything like eating some fruit.  This shows that Eve was a bit touched in the head and heard voices or something.  But she was a rib woman and probably had all sorts of defects so we should cut her some slack.

 

 

Second, after they sinned, how did all of mankind suddenly develop urges to sin? Like, according to the Bible, the human heart is wicked. But how? Adam and Eve did everything right until they were influenced to disobey and then following that everyone gained wickedness in their hearts. If the desire to sin is innate in all people, then where did it come from? How could people have just out of nowhere developed an urge to kill and destroy? Had they not sinned, would their hearts have still been wicked? Which leads to believe that according to the Bible's logic only God could have endowed them with the very wickedness he disdains. If so, how is this a loving God? This in particular was something on mind, and one of the leading elements that led to my deconversion.

     The humans weren't wicked.  They developed a taste for fruit and fucking and this is very clear from the text.  In addition they developed a leaf fetish.  It got all weird and sticky so god didn't want that going on in his plantation so he stuck them on in the dirty field.

 

     It was at this point when people got all murdery.  And it makes sense.  We're told it's over sacrifices but really the kids only had their mom, dad, one another or the sheep to bang and this was all god's idea.  It made them mad.  It pushed them over the top once god demanded they bring some sacrifices.  The plants were fine but he also demanded those sheep.  The only other things they could hump.  And he was pleased when they were dead.  It was only a matter of time before someone was dead.  Little did they know that if they simply had left their little area god had apparently made some other people that they could hook up with that he didn't initially mention in the creation narrative and that plenty of people like to say were Adam and Eve's kids as well even though that makes little sense.

 

          mwc

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plenty of people like to say were Adam and Eve's kids as well even though that makes little sense.

 

Could someone do the math on how 7 billion people could originate from one single couple that allegedly lived 6000 years ago? If we assume that one generation is roughly equal to 25 years, that leaves us with 240 generations since Genesis. Let's assume every couple had 3 children on average , which would be in the lower end, historically speaking. How do you got about these things... 3^240, or 240^3? I'm mathematically illiterate, so please enlighten me.

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Ok, So Like There's One Thing I Don't Understand About The Concept Of Sin And Evil

 

 

 

Don't fret.  Even those that believe in this religious dogma don't understand it.

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plenty of people like to say were Adam and Eve's kids as well even though that makes little sense.

 

Could someone do the math on how 7 billion people could originate from one single couple that allegedly lived 6000 years ago? If we assume that one generation is roughly equal to 25 years, that leaves us with 240 generations since Genesis. Let's assume every couple had 3 children on average , which would be in the lower end, historically speaking. How do you got about these things... 3^240, or 240^3? I'm mathematically illiterate, so please enlighten me.

 

     Don't forget you have to reboot at Noah.

 

          mwc

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True. According to Answers in Genesis, the Flood was around 2400-2500 BCE, so that leaves us with 180 generations.

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Oh for God's sake! Some desert tribesman writes an analogy of growing up and the Christers all say it's divinely inspired? Most infants live in a perfect world for a while in that everything is provided for them. It's still not so bad when they become preschoolers and then primary school kids. Eventually however, they get to an age where everything isn't provided for them, (they have to do more and more for themselves) and they have to accept the world for what it really is, which includes knowing right from wrong. Further on, they (usually) have to leave home and provide for themselves. What is so fucking hard to understand about that? Is it not part of the human condition, which that ancient scribe was at pains to describe? If you read the blasted thing, that's what he is describing, I'd have thought, an ideal home in a temperate climate complete with garden, with Adam and Eve cast in the role of simple minded adults. Their circumstances change and they can no longer live there, because they get wised up.

 

Casey

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True. According to Answers in Genesis, the Flood was around 2400-2500 BCE, so that leaves us with 180 generations.

 

 

 

Include in your formula that persons 3 generations old (on average) will be dead and not part of the current population.

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When you are made from 'dust' and a 'rib', things will just go wrong........Wendybanghead.gif

 

  Genesis was the chapter that deconverted me also.

 

(hug)

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They developed a taste for fruit and fucking.....

 

In addition they developed a leaf fetish.....

 

It got all weird and sticky.....

 

 

mwc

I always wondered how they got their leaves to stick to their genitals in those old pics! Thanks for the visual, btw.
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Oh for God's sake! Some desert tribesman writes an analogy of growing up and the Christers all say it's divinely inspired? Most infants live in a perfect world for a while in that everything is provided for them. It's still not so bad when they become preschoolers and then primary school kids. Eventually however, they get to an age where everything isn't provided for them, (they have to do more and more for themselves) and they have to accept the world for what it really is, which includes knowing right from wrong. Further on, they (usually) have to leave home and provide for themselves. What is so fucking hard to understand about that? Is it not part of the human condition, which that ancient scribe was at pains to describe? If you read the blasted thing, that's what he is describing, I'd have thought, an ideal home in a temperate climate complete with garden, with Adam and Eve cast in the role of simple minded adults. Their circumstances change and they can no longer live there, because they get wised up.

 

Casey

 

+1

 

I never had a problem with symbolic interpretations, unlike many Christians. I've always thought the version you presented above is kinda beautiful really, but unfortunately, that is not the way most people tend to interpret it.

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The story is nothing more than an example of the way ancient cultures used myth & symbolism to account for creation & how good & evil came into the world. Different cultures created their own versions.

 

It apparently takes an indoctrinated mind to believe any of those stories were literally true or historically accurate.

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The story is nothing more than an example of the way ancient cultures used myth & symbolism to account for creation & how good & evil came into the world. Different cultures created their own versions.

 

It apparently takes an indoctrinated mind to believe any of those stories were literally true or historically accurate.

 

I sincerely doubt ancient people took all of their myths literally. Ever read "The Case for God" by Karen Armstrong? She underscores the importance of keeping "Mythos" (symbolic and spiritual interpretation) and "Logos" (literal approach to the world. For instance, history and natural science) apart, and makes the claim that many ancient people were more capable of this than many of us seem to think. I still think some myths have something to offer us. They're not simply fairytales, but have messages embedded in them, told in a fantastical way. It does become a problem however, when they're interpreted as literal fact, and this is what the fundies are so fond of doing. 

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The story is nothing more than an example of the way ancient cultures used myth & symbolism to account for creation & how good & evil came into the world. Different cultures created their own versions.

 

It apparently takes an indoctrinated mind to believe any of those stories were literally true or historically accurate.

 

I sincerely doubt ancient people took all of their myths literally. Ever read "The Case for God" by Karen Armstrong? She underscores the importance of keeping "Mythos" (symbolic and spiritual interpretation) and "Logos" (literal approach to the world. For instance, history and natural science) apart, and makes the claim that many ancient people were more capable of this than many of us seem to think. I still think some myths have something to offer us. They're not simply fairytales, but have messages embedded in them, told in a fantastical way. It does become a problem however, when they're interpreted as literal fact, and this is what the fundies are so fond of doing. 

 

 

I recently read a book called "Did the Greeks believe their myths?" and the answer was... complicated. It varied over time, location, and educational level. Kinda like today, the more highly educated you were, the less likely you were to believe that the myths were literal truth. And even if you did believe in them, they may have happened "Once upon a time", not exactly in the distant past, but almost is a timeline that isn't exactly the same as ours. Or they may have been real events with fantastical stuff tacked on top of them later. All the different ways modern liberal Christans have of relating to they mythology in the Bible, the ancient Greeks had too for relating to their myths.

 

Though even if you didn't believe it was literal truth, it was still important - kinda like the way we argue over Who Shot First in Star Wars. Except their arguments over Who Shot First weren't just in fandom, they were serious components of political fights; if you can make some other city out to be a good guy or a bad guy in some old story, you can use that to argue about whether you should ally with or fight with them in the current war. Orators loved that stuff. Looking at our modern political debates, I can't really claim that we're any better.

 

 

Going back to the original post, the Greeks also had a magic time in the past where everything was prosperous and peaceful, sorta like Eden except with more people. They even had the same freak out about morality/pollution (they didn't quite do sin in the same way Christians do) and atheism as modern Christians. Like they'd charge atheists with treason, because godless people can't be moral and atheists were going to destroy the fabric of society. But the transition between the golden age and today in Greek myths seems more gradual, and more about external influences than human moral choices. Still weird to be reading this stuff and thinking "Hey, wait... this sounds familiar..." Especially after hearing years of Christians claiming that their myths are totally different from everyone else's myths, and that that uniqueness is part of why you should believe them.

 

The answer I'd been given growing up is that in Eden, people had the Holy Spirit or something like that; that's why they were ok being naked, because they glowed with holy light and you couldn't see their naughty bits (see Moses's glowing face and the transfiguration for more examples of glowing people). But once they sinned, that piece of God was taken out of them, and that's why their behaviour fell apart. Kinda like brain damage. How that squares with a just God, no one's ever given an explanation that I find satisfactory.

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The story is nothing more than an example of the way ancient cultures used myth & symbolism to account for creation & how good & evil came into the world. Different cultures created their own versions.

 

It apparently takes an indoctrinated mind to believe any of those stories were literally true or historically accurate.

 

I sincerely doubt ancient people took all of their myths literally. Ever read "The Case for God" by Karen Armstrong? She underscores the importance of keeping "Mythos" (symbolic and spiritual interpretation) and "Logos" (literal approach to the world. For instance, history and natural science) apart, and makes the claim that many ancient people were more capable of this than many of us seem to think. I still think some myths have something to offer us. They're not simply fairytales, but have messages embedded in them, told in a fantastical way. It does become a problem however, when they're interpreted as literal fact, and this is what the fundies are so fond of doing. 

 

 

I recently read a book called "Did the Greeks believe their myths?" and the answer was... complicated. It varied over time, location, and educational level. Kinda like today, the more highly educated you were, the less likely you were to believe that the myths were literal truth. And even if you did believe in them, they may have happened "Once upon a time", not exactly in the distant past, but almost is a timeline that isn't exactly the same as ours. Or they may have been real events with fantastical stuff tacked on top of them later. All the different ways modern liberal Christans have of relating to they mythology in the Bible, the ancient Greeks had too for relating to their myths.

 

[...]

 

The answer I'd been given growing up is that in Eden, people had the Holy Spirit or something like that; that's why they were ok being naked, because they glowed with holy light and you couldn't see their naughty bits (see Moses's glowing face and the transfiguration for more examples of glowing people). But once they sinned, that piece of God was taken out of them, and that's why their behaviour fell apart. Kinda like brain damage. How that squares with a just God, no one's ever given an explanation that I find satisfactory.

 

 

I think the "Golden Age" (Satya Yuga in Dharmic/Vedic religion) was viewed as something that happened on a spiritual plane, not in linear timespan. Some goes for many myths. It was not really "back then", but going on all the time, being part of the spiritual fabric.

 

As for Eden... I never heard that stuff about "not seeing the naughty parts". I always assumed that because there was no sin, those parts were not yet viewed as "naughty".

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Oh for God's sake! Some desert tribesman writes an analogy of growing up and the Christers all say it's divinely inspired? Most infants live in a perfect world for a while in that everything is provided for them. It's still not so bad when they become preschoolers and then primary school kids. Eventually however, they get to an age where everything isn't provided for them, (they have to do more and more for themselves) and they have to accept the world for what it really is, which includes knowing right from wrong. Further on, they (usually) have to leave home and provide for themselves. What is so fucking hard to understand about that? Is it not part of the human condition, which that ancient scribe was at pains to describe? If you read the blasted thing, that's what he is describing, I'd have thought, an ideal home in a temperate climate complete with garden, with Adam and Eve cast in the role of simple minded adults. Their circumstances change and they can no longer live there, because they get wised up.

 

Casey

 

+1

 

I never had a problem with symbolic interpretations, unlike many Christians. I've always thought the version you presented above is kinda beautiful really, but unfortunately, that is not the way most people tend to interpret it.

 

Yes, I always viewed the first ten chapters of Genesis as poetic literature, not as a history book. Therefore Genesis 1-3 didn't really have to make sense to me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And even if "wickedness" is a consequence of "free will", why does it have to be so extreme? I mean, God could have limited our inclination towards "evil", just like he limited us in several other ways. Biggest question of all is of course why he planted that tree right in the middle of Eden, as well as putting that damn snake there.

 

At this point this thread is old, but I was rereading it and just realized how amazingly true your comment is. It really got me thinking, WHY is it that the extent of our evil is so great? Like, why are we able to comment such terrible offenses toward one another? Why couldnt the extent of our evil be nothing more than, lets say, pissing each other off, but not killing them or physically harming them? If we're our limited in our physical capabilities, like, we can't fly or shoot laser beams out of our eyes, then why couldn't there have limits on our ability to commit evil? Dude, you really really got me thinking. This is profound. What kind of God designs us so that we can commit almos an unlimited number of terrible crimes, but can't give us the ability to fly or move at superhuman speeds? How can any Christian reason this?

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 How can any Christian reason this?

 

 

Just like how any christian can "reason" why the holy spirit lives in them (supposedly) and others (supposedly), yet the church has almost zero unity on most matters. They ignore it, hand wave it away, and claim "god is mysterious".  

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Adam and Eve never understood Good and Evil as until they ate from the tree they had no knowledge of either what God nent by telling them e.g how could they have willingly sinned without knowing. And also they would believe the snake as according to them there is no concept of deception so why not believe the snake... I find it funny how God did not realise the deadly combination he made up then punished the innocent human

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