Christian THINK: How Did We Learn About What Kills Us?

It's curious to me how often most Christians just do not think about some things. Has it ever occurred to you how human beings first learned what killed us? Take lead poisoning for instance. Do you know that people had to die before we could figure it out? Then think about all of the poisonous plants and venomous creatures. People had to die from eating certain plants and being bitten by certain creatures before we knew what not to do. Take polluted water. Same thing. Read the book, The Ghost Map and see for yourself. You see, there was no other way. None. And if a good God existed and put us in this environment he didn't do us any good. At best a good God would've told us in advance to avoid the kinds of things that will kill our daughters, fathers, husbands and wives. But he didn't. So he knew in advance people would have to die tragic and sudden deaths before we could figure it out.

60 comments:

Leah Elliott Hauge said...

Oh, John, lighten up. Those tragic, sudden deaths were all part of His eternal plan. And God is mysterious. Stop trying to understand.

Jer said...

Well duh. If our great-great-great-great-.....-great-great grandparents hadn't eaten a bit of fruit 6000 years ago we'd all be living in paradise right now. But, you know, God really likes his fruit. So all of their descendants must suffer for their sin of not doing what they were arbitrarily told to do.

Perfect justice and all that. And it's exactly how a loving parent would act. Or so I've been told - I've yet to feel the need to consign my son and all of his descendants to a lifetime of misery for not listening when I tell him something. Perhaps it's just a difference in parenting styles.

Tyro said...

I'm sure there's a good explanation, probably having something to do with subtly improving my compassion or empathy if people in foreign jungles or deserts suffer and die. Perhaps God likes Agatha Christie novels and realized that he needed to create deadly poisons so that some above average mystery novels could be written. I mean, they were going to die anyway and novels live forever. I'm sure that's it.

Mark Plus said...

I've wondered about pagans in remote parts of the world who died literally minutes before the first christian missionary walked into the village and started to preach the gospel. Talk about bad timing.

Getting back to things which kill us, however, why didn't god tell the Israelites how to make soap and wash their hands with it frequently, especially after they defecated or urinated, before they handled food and before they delivered babies or treated wounds?

J. L. Watts said...

John, I'll try to get to this today, but if I don't, then sometime next year (you know, like tomorrow)

Lynn said...

Remember the people who died from someone putting poison in Tylenol?
I especially remember the mother who was in her bathroom one morning, took out a capsule, ingested it and instantly died.

I pictured how if there IS a God, he watched as the poisoner placed the poison in some random bottle at a drugstore somewhere in the country. God silently watched as the bottle was bought by some random woman. Then the bottle sat on a shelf in her house for everhow long, then the fateful morning came.

Now I don't see how people cannot then conclude: either there is no God or he's totally without pity.

Then on top of the obvious indifference of God on display all around us, they have the nerve to say he places great value on human beings.

Cole Houx said...

I like what Eleonore Stump says about the problem of evil:

"If we taste the goodness of God, then the vision of our world that we see in the mirror of evil will look different too. Start just with the fact of evil in the world, and the problem of evil presents itself forcefully to you. But start with a view of evil and a deep taste of the goodness of God, and you will know there must be a morally sufficient reason for God to allow evil-not some legal and ultimately unsatisfying sort of reason, but the sort of reason that the Chambonnais would recognize and approve of, a reason in which goodness is manifest."

Tyro said...

I don't expect to know the exact reasons for why God tolerates evil and suffering, but I do expect people making this argument to come up with at least one possible reason. It doesn't even have to be all that plausible, just something which would tie up some lose ends.

To date, everyone that I've seen who has the courage to attempt this feat must either make God impotent, incompetent, amoral or uncaring. That's assuming it doesn't make God outright monstrous as some have done.

Just one example, that's all it takes...

DavidCT said...

The idea that even with the suffering brought on by the trial and error discovery of natural poisons, at least people would quickly learn from the experience and avoid the poisons does not always hold. There is at least one all natural "god given" herb that has a delayed effect. The herb aristolochia will cause sometimes irreversible kidney damage. In spite of this it is still used as part of traditional chinese medicine. The reason that the toxicity was not commonly known, is that the symptoms are usually delayed by weeks or months. At that point person may no longer be taking the drug but the damage still progresses. Another gift from an all loving god. It is entirely consistent with the evil psychopath of the old testament and the creator of hell in the new.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

John wrote: "So he knew in advance people would have to die tragic and sudden deaths before we could figure it out."

He also knew about the good that He has prepared for us in heaven. A good father doesn't dominate or micromanage either - but, I suppose some ppl like being micro-managed and dominated.

Tyro said...

A good father doesn't dominate or micromanage either - but, I suppose some ppl like being micro-managed and dominated.

Educating people about toxins is "micro-managing"? Seriously? If you were hatched from a clutch of one hundred eggs and left to forage without parents I might believe you but even wolves and bears teach their offspring how to live without unintentionally harming themselves. I'm calling "bullshit" on this, one of the lamest of lame special pleading arguments which would, at best, make God into an uncaring, amoral deadbeat.

Lynn said...

"A good father doesn't micro-manage"?? Is it micro-managing to save someone's life if you can? Or at least try?

Most people would try to help a stranger because they are a human being and they have some compassion for others. They would go beyond that for a friend and would go to the point of sacrificing their own life for their child.

Whereas God says "You're on your own, buddy."

If someone does stop you from harming yourself, you usually appreciate that they cared. You don't accuse them of micro-managing.

Joshua Jung said...

Things we would NOT have in a death-less paradise:

* Cat claws
* Teeth needed to tear meat
* Steak knives
* Meat (chicken, steak, filet mignon... god I'm getting hungry)
* Murder stories (as mentioned)
* FPS, RTS, and RPG computer games
* Acting (you don't need drama at all if there is no impending danger of any sort, and without death nothing is truly dangerous)
* Most inventions. Ever.
* Most education. Ever.
* Rollercoasters
* Skydiving
* Any thrills really. There is no thrill if there is no risk and there is not risk if there is no potential to get hurt or die.
* Fast cars... you don't need to get anywhere fast if you aren't going to ever die.
* A need to eat
* A need to sleep
* Food
* Mythical creatures like werewolves, vampires, etc.
* Lord of the Rings
* Jesus Christ
* God. What good is he if you can't die?
* Millions of art pieces
* Every book that ever said anything about death
* Every song that ever said anything about death
* The Bible
* Hospitals and medical science
* Motivation to get things done in life before you die
* Chameleons
* Venus fly traps
* Angler fish
* Snapping turtles
* Paleontology
* Archaeology
* etc.

Umm, and the big one:

* The freakin' food chain.

Hasn't any Christian ever thought of that? Without death the entire food chain collapses. Ummm, talk about great design. Seems like the entire planet was designed perfectly *for* death.

We would live in weird, entirely pointless world if death didn't exist.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Tyro and Lynn ---- thx for your comments. The POE gets dressed up in all variety of ways but evil exists and to label it a "problem" is a practice in redundancy.

God is not a hypocrite - He says to love even that which is antagonistic towards Him ---- nor is He intimidated by evil as we can be. Evil carries with it the potential for developing Godly compassion and courage. (and, BTW, I do not presume that God doesn't try and avert evil - I know from my firsthand experiences that I have not been in the habit of yielding to intuition in unknown situations which could have spared me some distress).

Some ppl envision living in a world that is not completely whitewashed and void of any or all overcomings. Faith brings fullness and humane heartedness to my life.

Ppl raise offenses at the many ways ppl can die or suffer but death and suffering are imminent and without hope these offenses have the potential to turn ppl against one another. How we respond to death and suffering can turn ppl against one another.

I keep forgetting though - you must be disappointed in the god who promised we wouldn't experience physical death and dying or promised we should never suffer or neglects us or abandons us in times of trouble. That 'god' is an idol.

Anthony said...

I like to envision two scenarios:

The first answers the idea of God not "micro-managing" us. Were a father to enter his child's room one night to find the child in the act of committing suicide, the father would do everything in his power to stop the child. If he didn't, and was heard that night telling the evening news that he "didn't want to violate his child's free will", this father would be considered a monster. Plain and simple.

Scenario two seems to go against the general idea that god allows suffering and reprobation to some of his children so that he can bring eternal joy (salvation) to others. I imagine a father who has saved up all of his money to provide his family with the greatest Chrismas they've ever had. A noble cause, to say the least. The night he is planning to go spend that money to bring his dream to fruition, one of his children, in a complete act of defiance, takes the other family car out for a joy-ride (illegally), and during the joy-ride, is critically injured in an accident.

The son will need a specific type of surgery/procedure to save him, but the procedure will cost exactly the amount the father has saved up to provide his family the amazing Christmas. Would the father seriously abandon the injured, disobedient child to accomodate the more obedient children? Not a chance. He would save his disobedient child, and that would take priority over lavishing his other children with gifts.

In the same vein, why would it make sense that God would abandon his non-believing children and suffer them unto hell for all aternity just so he could save some others and lavish them with joy and pleasure for all eternity? It is not the loving thing to do.

Now, if it be said that we cannot impose our ideas of love upon God, then stop telling us God is loving. Obviously the inherent understanding of what love is to us (non-believers) does not reconcile with your picture of God, and our idea of love is not going to change. This really becomes the issue of us not being able to understand God (You know the verse...God's ways our higher than ours....). God eventually becomes without definition, and really all that matters, is whether or not you can prove your God is true, empirically, and devoid of rhetoric.

Since this can't be done, no matter how much you try to rationalize how an omnibenevolent Creator can co-exist with the capricious suffering that is part and parcel with merely existing on this planet (pretty much every species of every living thing on this planet suffers a great deal during their lives), it will never line up with what we feel should characterize an ultimately loving God.

Again, you can't tell us we don't understand love, because, if in the next breath, you tell us God is loving, you might as well tell us God is blivish. It will have just as much meaning.

Double A said...

Death is not terrible. It is part of our journey. Your logic is coming from a scared kitten POV. Man up a little.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Anthony; In regard to your response about God not being a micromanager --- BTW, I do believe He cares about the smallest of matters but not in a subjugating or cruel way. So I'm glad to have the chance to clarify that.

About a son committing suicide -you didn't mention in your scenario why he was attempting that - perhaps an abusive upbringing whereby a father wouldn't intervene??? At any rate, we are invited to share in the good and noble work of God in doing such if we are enabled. There are those who insist on ending their lives and no one can intervene.

But you also wrote this: ""didn't want to violate his child's free will"

I personally do not espouse this notion of "free will". I was able to move about freely and make decisions, but these were made upon a foundation of a subliminal and debasing notion of myself. I do not advocate that humanity is completely autonomous - I wasn't 'free' until Jesus set me free. I was set free by connecting to His free spirit.

Then you mentioned this: "Scenario two seems to go against the general idea that god allows suffering and reprobation to some of his children so that he can bring eternal joy (salvation) to others"

You are describing one of those win/lose situations. But God is about win/win. God's grace allows those who hold Him in contempt to be saved. He loves those who hate Him, misinterpret Him, etc. But He also acknowledges that there are those who reject peace and prefer darkness - I think that is the truth.

Then this one: "Not a chance. He would save his disobedient child, and that would take priority over lavishing his other children with gifts."

How about if the obedient child felt it was an honor and a gift to serve his brother?? How about that?? No need to "prioritize" but share in the good work of God in helping both sons - one by serving, another by receiving goodness.

Then this: "In the same vein, why would it make sense that God would abandon his non-believing children "
Rejection of peace keeps ppl from inheriting a familial relationship with God so there are no children of God in hell. I've "been" there - it was more comfortable in hell than in heaven on earth but I'm learning that heaven is more than a worthwhile pursuit in giving up prideful ways.

You mentioned this, "Now, if it be said that we cannot impose our ideas of love upon God," I have said just the opposite - we DO impose our experiences and conceptions upon an idolotrous god, but there is a God who loves beyond our capacity.

Then, "Obviously the inherent understanding of what love is to us (non-believers) does not reconcile with your picture of God"

Agreed! I shared your perspective at one time as a matter of fact. But God invites us to gain spiritual insight and understanding - it's a good thing, not a punishment or scornful approach.

You then wrote, "Again, you can't tell us we don't understand love, because, if in the next breath, you tell us God is loving, you might as well tell us God is blivish. It will have just as much meaning."

If someone were to persist upon holding a misconception against you and scapegoat you that would be considered abusive, but that is the way we view Jesus. He doesn't need us to feel sorry for Him, or defend Him, but to love Him and enjoy His company at dinner. Do you want to come or not?? I'm inviting you.

It seems to me that there are those here who have nothing but good intentions to love and care deeply about loving. I do not necessarily view ppl in accordance with their proposed 'label' of atheist or believer. It is love that counts.

Take care,
3M

Double A said...

most of the posts here: 80% mockery; 10% ignorance; 10% lack of perspective (which I have too, all of us - you can't portend to know that which you have no view of ...yes, this is the same concept Leah mocked in the first post "and God is mysterious" ...as if you're taking the legs off of that argument simply by mocking it. It is a mystery. To you, to me. Are you denying the possibility of a great mystery?).

Anthony said...

I'm not scared of death, as I think it is no more than a state of nothingness, likened to sleeping. But, what am I scared of?

Unending, infinite, eteral torment, languishing in hell (quite possibly on fire), completely despondent, without respite or repose, the whole while being utterly alone. did I say that this would go on forever? I'm sure I did.

I defy you to find someone is not afriad of that. From this, and this alone comes my greatest objection to people telling me God is loving.

The God of Universalist Christianity (as goes the foundation of their beliefs), who will eventually save all his children. They will suffer, for sure, but they will all ultimately be saved. This God; why He would go through all that he did to create and save us when He could have existed in perfect pleasure unto all eternity; this God would be a God whose love and compassion I'd never understand. The God as presented by Christianity throughout the ages is a God I completely understand, and with whome I want nothing to do.

But, since neither charicature of God is founded upon empirical evidence, I choose to believe in neither.

Joshua Jung said...

"God is not a hypocrite"

God clearly says children should not be put to death for the sins of their father (Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18:20).

BibleGod directly killed David and Bathsheba's child and says it was a consequence of David's sin.

Definition of Hypocrisy: an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction.

God is a hypocrite... by definition.

Good luck, MMM.

Tyro said...

Re suicide - since the OP is talking about toxic plants, animals and minerals, why not pick a more appropriate metaphor.

You're in the garage and you see your child unscrewing the antifreeze and pouring it into a glass. You know it will hurt the child if she drinks, you're pretty sure she's planning on drinking, and you know she doesn't know that it's toxic.

Do you:
a) watch quietly as you don't want to micromanage, knowing that if the child lives, she will have gained valuable knowledge

b) say "that's poison, it will kill you if you drink it" but don't intervene, allowing her to make an informed choice

c) take the antifreeze away and then sit down with her to discuss what nearly happened


This isn't a perfect analogy since antifreeze has several "poison" labels (natural poisons do not), a child-proof lid (natural poisons do not), and a significant function unrelated to its toxicity (natural poisons often arise precisely to harm or kill).

My guess is that, if a parent ever did (a) the outrage and revulsion would be so wide-spread that a jury would take one minute to decide that this parent should never see their children again. Criminal negligence if you're lucky.

And this is the behaviour of a loving, powerful god, so cruel that all but the most deranged humans would recoil from it in shock and horror?

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Josh - how are you doing? I hope well, and BTW, happy New Year!

About this notion of OT decrees - I disagree with you - Jesus acted consistently in a loving and relational way to ppl. Old Testament authors cannot corrupt the nature of Jesus and you are more than welcome to this vantage point if you are interested in pursuing Him.

Jesus once told ppl that when He came, they would hate their mother, father, sons, daughters in order to follow Him. He was speaking to all humanity, including the Israelites. That is because He needed them to separate that which is of human relationship (and can impede our ability to understand divine nature)in order to draw near to divine nature. He was giving them (and us) permission to separate from familial loyalties that keep us from progressing and becoming acquainted with the grace and lovingkindness of the divine.

That's all for now,
Take care,
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Oh, BTW, I wanted to address this, "God is a hypocrite... by definition."

Josh, This makes sense that this hypocritical and inconsistent image was projected upon God - Jesus did say that the religious elite were experiencing hypocrisy. He came to intervene on that.

zenmite said...

Well, he did warn his chosen people about the dangers of pork. Of course he could have easily just given instructions that it be cooked thoroughly.

To me, the book of Job encapsulates god's view of suffering and freewill. He allows unspeakable pain and death (to Job's family) in order to make a point. What point? Might makes right. I'm bigger and stronger than you so that means you can't question me or why I do things. It's the logic of a schoolyard bully.

I could assert the god Moloch is absolutely good and so far beyond our tiny mortal minds that we shouldn't question or doubt him. Why he demands child sacrifice is simply a 'mystery'. If scientists don't understand a particular problem yet, it's obviously proof that Moloch did it.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Tyro: You wrote this, "Re suicide - since the OP is talking about toxic plants, animals and minerals, why not pick a more appropriate metaphor."

Well, you are the superior person here for sure, but I don't see that suicide is a less apt metaphor - as a matter of fact, suicide and poisoning by drinking antifreeze are very real and present dangers. But I also know that heaven exists - not just as a future destination, but on this earth as well (as it says in the Lords' prayer - on earth as it is in heaven).

So I really do hope that you are taking the proper precautions in keeping antifreeze out of harm's way since we can honor the lessons of those who have gone before us.

BTW, I'm just a little dismayed that you didn't address the evils inherent in the creation of automobiles since their use and emissions seem to have such a deleterious effect on the environment........ why not address every single evil known to mankind - why narrow it down to just a few items, like antifreeze??? You are being negligent in your fault finding duties here! You have a great opportunity to raise more and more offenses!

Just because some things are more insidious does not make them any less harmless.

That is why Jesus addressed empowered hypocritical authority as being a seed for more sensationalized versions of evil (which can infect the religious and secular populations alike).

HNY,
3M

Tyro said...

Well, you are the superior person here for sure, but I don't see that suicide is a less apt metaphor - as a matter of fact, suicide and poisoning by drinking antifreeze are very real and present dangers. But I also know that heaven exists

Changing the subject, are we?

I tried to clarify the metaphor because people voluntarily commit suicide, knowing the consequences even though they may not be thinking rationally at the time. Accidental death was the issue raised in the OP and the one that you aren't addressing.

So I really do hope that you are taking the proper precautions in keeping antifreeze out of harm's way since we can honor the lessons of those who have gone before us.

Why should we keep it out of harms way, why should we even label poisons? After all, there is a heaven and if God doesn't care if we unintentionally poison ourselves, why should we care either? Strike that - if a perfectly loving being leaves poison out without labelling or informing us, isn't leaving poisons out where children can find them an act of love?

why narrow it down to just a few items, like antifreeze?

Why bother when you and others shut down so completely when faced with one small aspect of the problem? Besides, no doubt you'd blame car pollution on man but there's no ambiguity with the "wealth" of natural poisons and toxins.

Richard said...

Jer said...

"God really likes his fruit. So all of their descendants must suffer for their sin of not doing what they were arbitrarily told to do."

The real bitch is that Eve had not eaten from the tree yet, she did not understand good, evil. right, wrong. She was tricked because her father didn't protect her. Then he blamed her for it.
Talk about being setup to fail. Then we have to pay the price for that.
Doesn't sound to loving to me sounds like a spoiled child who doesn't want to take responsibility for his mistakes.

Drives me insane people fall for this crap.

It's no wonder he didn't tell us about the dangerous stuff.
I think if there is a god he is more like a mad scientist, than a loving father.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Pyro! You wrote about this, "I tried to clarify the metaphor because people voluntarily commit suicide, knowing the consequences even though they may not be thinking rationally at the time. Accidental death was the issue raised in the OP and the one that you aren't addressing."

I apologize for not being specific about the topic of death - either by accidental or voluntary means, I was addressing the larger issue of death and POE here which includes accidental death for sure. So, my crime is being more inclusive rather than exclusive.

I have come to peace with the truth and as a result, I no longer am paralyzed and left to analyze, scrutinize or otherwise become passive about suffering. I recognize it and express God's divine nature to address it. We all have the invitation to come to spiritual recognition and develop compassion (which does not annihilate or eliminate antagonism but by faith, antagonism becomes a shaping device for faithful character and an impetus for creative expression.)

I do recall, as a nonbeliever, feeling that death was the culminating event in a human life. I am not putting myself or others down as a nonbeliever, because God loved me even then and He knew I was trying my best to love ppl - the same for you. But I also came to the truth that I housed a lot of contempt and it showed up in justifying and perpetuating that contempt in double standards and hypocrisy for those who were antagonistic towards me. Not very much fun, but a whole lot of perishing!

At any rate, God invites humanity to dinner - do you want to come or not? Again, I am inviting you. We can sit next to each other but we'll have to think of something else to talk about since debating God's existence will no longer be an issue. What do you think??

At any rate, thx Tyro, for the exchange - ttyl,
and also, happy new year!
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Oh! darn!~ I keep forgetting to address things here - Tyro, you mentioned this perspective:
"Why should we keep it out of harms way, why should we even label poisons? After all, there is a heaven and if God doesn't care if we unintentionally poison ourselves, why should we care either? Strike that - if a perfectly loving being leaves poison out without labelling or informing us, isn't leaving poisons out where children can find them an act of love?"

Without faith, one is left vascillating between sensationalized and opposing choices -- all or nothing - black or white only. But grace allows for an entire, full life to happen between the formations of loving conviction. I used to be driven by circumstances and so that when ppl did good, I would think in terms that ppl are basically good. But when I couldn't understand ppl or when ppl were visibly fallible, I would condemn them as basically evil. Even my inbetween stances of ppl were peppered with condescension and conceit. There is grace to make mistakes, and by faith and God's standards, death is not a condemnation. But I am wondering what your reaction will be if you see me in heaven waving to you? "Hi Tyro! C'mon in!" Oh my goodness!

Bye for now,
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Richard! Hey, you wrote this very disparaging remark, "I think if there is a god he is more like a mad scientist, than a loving father."

I thought there was a prevailing trend whereby nonbelievers revered scientists???! I know I used to idolize them! At any rate, I love scientists and if one is mad, I pray I have the faith to care enough to invite him out of it.

I'm almost sure I'll ttyl,
3M

Tyro said...

MMM

But I also came to the truth that I housed a lot of contempt and it showed up in justifying and perpetuating that contempt in double standards and hypocrisy for those who were antagonistic towards me. Not very much fun, but a whole lot of perishing!

I'm sorry to hear that you had these problems but I don't see how it's anything other than a distraction to the topic at hand. From my perspective, there are some simple, direct questions and in response we are either assured that some experts have answers (but we can't be told what they are), or we are treated to distracting stories unrelated to the subject.

At any rate, God invites humanity to dinner - do you want to come or not?

After a discussion about how God evidently leaves poison lying around and doesn't care to inform people all the while claiming to be loving, I think your Christianity-as-food metaphor is entirely too apt.

Samuel said...

"He also knew about the good that He has prepared for us in heaven. A good father doesn't dominate or micromanage either - but, I suppose some ppl like being micro-managed and dominated."

Someone skipped over the book of Leviticus....

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi again Tyro - wow, you are fast to respond - same here.

You said, "After a discussion about how God evidently leaves poison lying around and doesn't care to inform people all the while claiming to be loving, I think your Christianity-as-food metaphor is entirely too apt."


Did my writing Christianity-as-food as a mere metaphor?? There is spirituality/metaphor that does become manifested in the real world, so if I love God, I will love ppl, including expressing His loving invitation towards those who are still antagonistic towards faith.

So, in essence, I am not discouraged, but it looks like I just need to out a little more grace-y on the mashed potatoes.

Gotta go get ready for new years,
3M

P.S. Please consider the invitation, okay? Okay!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Oh dear, Tyro, I suspect that you extend grace and do not hold a record of wrongs against those who make grievous typing errors, but, because typos can scew the message I'll re-write them here:

What I intended to write was this:

"Did my writing convey a message of Christianity-as-food as a mere metaphor??"

And, finally:

"but it looks like I just need to put a little more grace-y on the mashed potatoes."

Okay, that should be it for now cuz I gotta get going but please feel free to carry on without me!

3M

Tyro said...

MMM,

As a mark of courtesy and respect to you, I'll be blunt. I'm interested in the discussion only, so your proselytizing is doubly unwelcome, as a presumption and a diversion.

Wayne D said...

Come on John, you are a former Christian Minister, surely you know the answer. Remember Adam and Eve in the Garden where all the plants were edible and none poisonous? Well if Adam hadn't eaten the forbidden fruit, man would still be there and wouldn't have to worry about poisonous plants. The mistake Adam and Eve made was not eating the fruit of eternal life instead. God threw them out of the garden before they had a chance to correct that mistake. Perhaps they needed to first eat the fruit of knowledge first in order to know about the fruit of eternal life :-) BTW, I am a former Christian who is now agnostic and this is my first post here. You appear to have a cool blog. I will later explain what blew Christianity out of the water for me.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Tyro, You wrote, "As a mark of courtesy and respect to you, I'll be blunt. I'm interested in the discussion only, so your proselytizing is doubly unwelcome, as a presumption and a diversion."

Hmmm...now I'm a proseltyizer and a presuming diversion (hadn't I already confessed to hypocrisy and conceit before?? Why yes, yes I did....). So, what's your point??? Just a friendly bit of advice, but if I really don't want to cooperate with a presumptuous diversion, I ignore it, (but, of course, you don't have to take my advice).

I'll take your comment as a "no show" on the invite. But I'll still be waiting by the pearly gates, encouraging you to come in, Tyro!

Bye!

3M

Lynn said...

Wayne D,

Looking forward to hearing your story.

Gandolf said...

MMM -"I do recall, as a nonbeliever, feeling that death was the culminating event in a human life"

So that fact that your family and friends lived on after you, and you lived on also in their memories.As non believer left you feeling life in death was actually so final?.

Thats where faith in gods which have always tended to be very selfish type beliefs in their very nature, by teaching people to think of themselves by way of gripping onto life by salvation in worthless dreams of the afterlife.Have purverted and downplayed what actually mattered most about our earthly lives.And produced selfish zombie type followers,who dont care if their faithful gambling habits happen to promote selfish gambling on mere dreams.But gamblers are that way inclined,their beliefs almost always revolved around "themself".

MMM some ungodly tribes used to understand what life was honestly all about, and celebrated that they were part of it.Some first nation people of the U.S.A for instance,even welcomed death in old age, specially if it benefitted the whole tribes future.They were even quite happy under their own steam to purposely rush out to meet death at its doorstep!,and after the sadness of their passing had been mourned by the tribe. The tribe/family carried on through what the future brought along, with fellowship in their past memories to accompany them also.

This type lifestyle was modeled much more on reason and reality.This type lifestyle did not worship the selfish gambling type nature of faith,that promotes and produces superstiton and ignorance such as witch killers killing children in Africa ...Kids even killed by the hands of family members, who minds had been twisted by (selfish faithful) dreams of securing their "own" salvation .

MMM- the father of your faith you believe in is a very selfish thoughtless type father.He is built around ideals of selfish thoughts of salvation of the "self"

The faith you follow is built on a idol god.A idol god that idolizes and promotes selfish thoughts of salvation of the "self".

Its why folks dont mind killing their own family as a witch.Your faith makes them selfish...Selfish for "their" own salvation.

Parents will worship faith so much and become (so selfish) for their "own" salvation.They are even fully prepared to sacrifice the lives of their own children,by way of placing faith in gods and prayer..(not using scientific medicine)

One day maybe you will understand and realize it MMM.

At present you dont worship a very commpassionate thoughtful caring god,you worship a sad god who produces humans with selfish thoughts of their "own" mortality through salvation.


Wayne D said... "Well if Adam hadn't eaten the forbidden fruit, man would still be there and wouldn't have to worry about poisonous plants. The mistake Adam and Eve made was not eating the fruit of eternal life instead"

Yeah sure makes for good reason to atleast be agnostic dont it.

Classic reasoning aint it? ..A father who punishes the whole family forever!,simply because the two kiddies Adam and Eve, happened to be normal kiddies and make some mistakes.

Ahh what a great role model huh

One day faithful folks will realize this argument John has put forward,has got nothing to do with non bwelievers fearing death or pain or whatever.

Its got everything to do with "reasoning" and "questioning" the "honest logical" likelyhood of gods and inteligent design and fine tuning etc

Peasantess said...

And then there are just some people who intuitively know which plants to eat and which to avoid.
Some of them were called witches.

J. L. Watts said...

Here,


John is my answer:

Yeshuamyking said...

I think that the teaching of original sin should be debunked first.Then perhaps we might have a better understanding of God.We read that the payment for sin is death,this refers to Adam's sin and his suffering physical/temporal death,which was passed on to humanity in procreation.Not procreation of the soul and spirit,but the body alone.We read that the payment for sin is death.Again,the physical/temporal death of Adam, which was passed onto all of humanity.

Nowhere in scripture is original sin,spiritual death and separation from God taught.How can it be? The spirit and the soul is not made of earthly matter.The soul and spirit of all who die depart from the body/dust at death,and return to God,who gave them.Keep in mind that the soul and spirit are at times used interchangeably in scripture.They come from God and return to God.Gen 35:18,Ecclesiastes 12:7.

Therefore the sin nature or original sin or spiritual death cannot be true.We are made in the image of God,from his very substance,although we are physically and biologically made in the image of Adam/man.
Procreation of the body,should not be confused with the teaching of some,of the so called 'sin nature' passed on from the male parent. Therefore spiritual death and separation from God at conception or birth makes no sense at all.

Physical not spiritual death was passed on by Adam.In him(all die)even those who's sin cannot be compared to his.It is death that is the cause of sin,not the other way around.We sin because we die. Think of the impeccability of Christ,(forget about his virgin birth,his being the seed of the woman,having no earthly father,for a moment)and think only of his humanity,and the corruption of his body also,because physical death passed on by Adam.Yes Jesus is the Son of God,having the same nature as his Father,who is God.Yet,how could he alone be sinless,if all are 'born' with a sin nature? Is Mary his mother,not a daughter of Adam?

So what-that it can be argued that the nature of men and women come from the male parent? Does scripture tell us this? No,though i do not deny it can be inferred,if one already believes in original sin,that is.

Nevertheless,death not sin was passed onto all of humanity and all of humanity will be made alive,at the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust at the coming of Christ.However,only those who believe,receive the gift of eternal life.It was Jesus' sinless life in his corrupted body of death,by which he is able to save us all.We are saved by his life and his death,we are justified by his resurrection from the dead.

Just to clarify:i am in noway saying that we are NOT sinners and are separated from God,we are.And reconciliation is in Christ alone. What i am saying is that we were not BORN with a sin nature or original sin.

Edward T. Babinski said...

HI J.L., I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS, BUT FIRST A JOKE...

A preacher who was visiting a farm and said to the farmer, "God's been mighty good to your fields, Mr. Farmer." "Yes," the Farmer replied, "But you should have seen how He treated them when I wasn't around."

Did God design the bacteria that infect the food we eat? Even "prayed over" leftovers from Thanksgiving Day? Microgram for microgram, the poisons produced by some bacteria in our food are more potent than all other known poisons on earth. It is estimated that one tenth of an ounce of the toxin produced by bacteria causing botulism would be more than enough to kill everyone in the city of New York; and a 12-ounce glassful would be enough to kill all 5.9 billion human beings on the face of the Earth. (The same goes for the toxin that causes tetanus.) Pretty powerful stuff. Is that God's handiwork? Creationists - if they thought about it - must imagine God working overtime in His own personal biological warfare laboratory.

Did God design the sawtoothed grain beetle, angoumois grain moths, Mediterranean flour moths, scale insects, cabbage worms, corn earworms, corn rootworms, cutworms, tomato fruitworms, etc., that destroy 30% of U.S. food crops by voraciously devouring leaves, fruits, grain, and also by spreading fungal and bacterial plant rots as well? Are we supposed to praise the Lord for designing such insects whose proliferation leads to human starvation?

Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to plant upon the earth "thousands of deadly shrubs and vines; stock the earth with ferocious beasts and poisonous reptiles; take pains to breed malaria and a host of other diseases in just the right `host' animals and environments he'd created for that purpose; arrange that the ground would occasionally open and swallow a few of his darlings; establish volcanoes that might at any moment overwhelm his children with rivers of fire; and then neglect to tell his children which of the plants and animals were deadly; failed to say anything about the earthquakes, and kept the volcano business a profound secret." [Ingersoll]

Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to "control the wind, the rain and lightning, such that whole States dry and wither, while at the same time wasting precious rain on the sea; make hurricanes and tornadoes such that cities and people are crushed to shapelessness; and direct lightning to strike the life out of men, women, and children." [Ingersoll] (See Job, chapters 36-38)

Also next time you say "grace" why not thank the person who invented fire, the person who invented the first language, who planted the first seeds, domesticated the first livestock, the person who invented knives and forks, pots and pans, the stove, and limitless other items? What did we have before THOSE people arose?

And thanks to the clergy they are busy teaching children about Adam and Noah instead of evolution; about David killing Goliath instead of Koch killing cholera; about Christ’s ascent into heaven instead of Montgolfier’s or Wright’s. Worse than that they are taught that it is a virtue to accept a statement without adequate evidence, which leaves them prey to quacks of every kind and makes it difficult for them to accept the methods of thought that are successful in science.--J. B. Haldane [NOTE] Montgolfier ascended into the heavens via a balloon filled with hot air, and the Wright brothers designed and piloted the first successful heavier-than-air flying machine.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/4/

Wayne D said...

Hi Lynn,
I was originally Christian, but had too many questions like why did Jesus preach to the people that they must prepare for the coming of God’s Kingdom if it wasn’t going to happen until millenniums later. The same holds true for the apostle Paul, who, upon being asked by one of his churches if they should help the poor, responded that it wasn’t necessary because they would soon be elevated to God coming Kingdom. I tried to get the answer from religious sources including my minister, but to no avail. Finally, I found the answer in a Teaching Company college lecture titled The Historic Jesus by Bart Erhman. Erhman was once an evangelical as well as a fundamentalist until he finally realized that the Bible was man-made, not God inspired. In the oldest Gospel, Mark 9:1, Jesus responds to a question as to when the ‘ends times were coming. He responded as follow: “Verily I say unto you, that there be some of them that stand here, which shall taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Here was the answer all along. It was supposed to happen back then in the life time of Jesus’ followers. The Jews were under the cruel Roman rule and were looking for a military leader who would overthrow the Romans. Jesus was preaching that God’s kingdom was about to come down to earth and the poor and downtrodden were to be raised up into this kingdom and the rich and powerful Romans were going to be put down. The Catholic church long ago decided that Jesus was God. If so, then you would think that God would know the future. However, it did not happen, and, as a result, I can only come to the conclusion that Jesus was just another failed prophet, which, has, for me, blown Christianity out of the water. Since then, I have listened to other lectures and read many books like Karen Armstrong’s The History of God. As a result, I feel that religion is simply man made. That said, I also look at how complicated we are in that we simultaneously require digestion, elimination, respiration, a flap to prevent food and drink from going down into our lungs, circulation and reproduction. Even if you have all but reproduction, the animal that came about by chance would eventually die and the chance process would have to start all over again. Therefore, I lean toward the existence of a creator, but I am an agnostic, because I know that a creator can neither be proven or disproven scientifically. What we do know is that we evolved from lower forms, but that does not disprove a creator. An atheist will respond that, if there is a creator, who created it? I must admit that it is a valid argument, but still feel that since we require all the above simultaneously, that it does not matter that there was a long period of time involved.

Wayne D said...

Hi Lynn,
I was originally Christian, but had too many questions like why did Jesus preach to the people that they must prepare for the coming of God’s Kingdom if it wasn’t going to happen until millenniums later. The same holds true for the apostle Paul, who, upon being asked by one of his churches if they should help the poor, responded that it wasn’t necessary because they would soon be elevated to God coming Kingdom. I tried to get the answer from religious sources including my minister, but to no avail. Finally, I found the answer in a Teaching Company college lecture titled The Historic Jesus by Bart Erhman. Erhman was once an evangelical as well as a fundamentalist until he finally realized that the Bible was man-made, not God inspired. In the oldest Gospel, Mark 9:1, Jesus responds to a question as to when the ‘ends times were coming. He responded as follow: “Verily I say unto you, that there be some of them that stand here, which shall taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Here was the answer all along. It was supposed to happen back then in the life time of Jesus’ followers. The Jews were under the cruel Roman rule and were looking for a military leader who would overthrow the Romans. Jesus was preaching that God’s kingdom was about to come down to earth and the poor and downtrodden were to be raised up into this kingdom and the rich and powerful Romans were going to be put down. The Catholic church long ago decided that Jesus was God. If so, then you would think that God would know the future. However, it did not happen, and, as a result, I can only come to the conclusion that Jesus was just another failed prophet, which, has, for me, blown Christianity out of the water. Since then, I have listened to other lectures and read many books like Karen Armstrong’s The History of God. As a result, I feel that religion is simply man made. That said, I also look at how complicated we are in that we simultaneously require digestion, elimination, respiration, a flap to prevent food and drink from going down into our lungs, circulation and reproduction. Even if you have all but reproduction, the animal that came about by chance would eventually die and the chance process would have to start all over again. Therefore, I lean toward the existence of a creator, but I am an agnostic, because I know that a creator can neither be proven or disproven scientifically. What we do know is that we evolved from lower forms, but that does not disprove a creator. An atheist will respond that, if there is a creator, who created it? I must admit that it is a valid argument, but still feel that since we require all the above simultaneously, that it does not matter that there was a long period of time involved.

Wayne D said...

Gandof said "Classic reasoning aint it? ..A father who punishes the whole family forever!,simply because the two kiddies Adam and Eve, happened to be normal kiddies and make some mistakes."

I agree with you, but a Christian would argue with you that this was merely a way of testing Adam and Ever. God gave them everything they needed for a good life, but made one command not to eat a certain fruit. God wanted to know if he could trust man to follow his rules to the letter. Since they didn't, he decided they did not earn the right to remain in his garden. Unfortunately, we all paid the price.

Wayne D said...

My appologies for posting my comment to Lynn twice. I thought it had failed and redid it.

Gandolf said...

Wayne D said... "Unfortunately, we all paid the price."

Very unfortunate.

J. L. Watts said...

Wayne, have you ever heard of Preterism?

Gandolf - why does everyone consider that hell is a settled question?

Gandolf said...

J. L. Watts said..."Gandolf - why does everyone consider that hell is a settled question?"

Hi J. L. Watts

Do you mind explaining a little what your questioning

Wayne D said...

Gandolf,
If Adam and Eve had gotten it right, they would have gone for the fruit from the tree of everlasting life instead. Perhaps, they didn't know about that until they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, and God knowing that, had to kick them out of the garden before they ate from that fruit.

Wayne D said...

J.L. Watts
Preterism is a variant of Christian eschatology which holds that most or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the End Times refer to events which have already happened in the first century after Christ's birth.

What exactly is your point? In Mark, the oldest Gospel, Jesus states that there will be some still standing when God arrives in glory in his kingdom. In a later Gospel, this is slightly changed because it has not yet happened. Finally, in John, the most recent Gospel, the claim is made that the prophesy was fulfilled by the Logos or word made flesh. At that point, it was obvious that the end times were not going to happen in the life time of those standing before Jesus when he made that statement. I don’t buy this because scholars know that the oldest accounts are usually the most accurate. My point is, it did not happen. God’s kingdom did not come down to earth with God arriving in glory like Jesus predicted it would in the life time of those he was preaching to, including his disciples.

Gandolf said...

Wayne D said...
"Gandolf,
If Adam and Eve had gotten it right, they would have gone for the fruit from the tree of everlasting life instead. Perhaps, they didn't know about that until they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, and God knowing that, had to kick them out of the garden before they ate from that fruit."

Hi again Wayne... Ive had a couple of kids myself, they make a few mistakes.Sometimes even more than once or twice.

Would it be right for me to boot them out of the house?.

Holy cow! i was the one who actually created them rug rats! ....Why the hell is it "they" should be the ones being held totally at fault here?

Wayne D said... "Unfortunately, we all paid the price."

Very unfortunate.

J. L. Watts said...

@Gandolf - Look at the history of the development of the doctrine of hell as well as the tension in the early church with Universalism.

@Wayne - not really buying your exegesis. Of course, the same will be said of mine.

Gandolf said...

J. L. Watts said... "@Gandolf - Look at the history of the development of the doctrine of hell as well as the tension in the early church with Universalism."

Ahhh ... Yes,almost seems its really just one dilemma after the other aint it.

Gandolf said...

J. L. Watts makes me wonder...Hey maybe folks would have simply been much better off to try to forget about perfection,and worked more on simple acceptance of each others differences and imperfections, and finding out how best they could best learnt to try to learn to get along.

But then i do understand... life for ancient early man with scientific education (lacking),must have always seemed like...Hey! maybe? there really must be some "supernatural power" punishing certain people here on earth.Lightning bolts randomly killing folks etc.

I can understand early uneducated man thinking,hey maybe gods will stop punishing us ..If we can somehow attain some sort of generalized perfection amongst ourselves.

From those early uneducated thoughts of humans, came all the different theorys of faiths, gods, sacrifices, heaven and hell etc etc

What do you think J.L ..Sound possible ? ...Or you still prefer to think likely the donkeys and snakes etc talked

Wayne D said...

Gandolf said:
Hi again Wayne... Ive had a couple of kids myself, they make a few mistakes.Sometimes even more than once or twice.

Would it be right for me to boot them out of the house?.>

Hi Gandolf. My answer is, absolutely not. Sounds like you are a better father than the god of the Old Testament.

Wayne D said...

J.L. Watts said: Wayne - not really buying your exegesis. Of course, the same will be said of mine.>

If you don't believe me, then just go ahead and check out Mark 9:1. It is quite clear from that that Jesus stated that the end times was going to occur in the life time of the people standing there. Nothing could be clear. It didn't happen and that made Jesus just another failed prophet. Nothing could be clearer.

Wayne D said...

In my last post, instead of nothing could be clear, I meant nothing could be clearer.

Wayne D said...

OOPs, I did say it correctly in the first place. Oh well, it's getting late. :-)