The Test in the Supposed Garden of Eden Was a Sham

If under the same initial test conditions in the supposed Garden of Eden every human being would fail that test, then either, 1) God created us faulty in some way, or 2) The test was a sham. And since a fair test would mean some of us would not have sinned, then some human beings are being punished in this world for something they never would have done in the first place. This is just one of many problems that keeps me from believing.

111 comments:

Anthony said...

Agreed.

When I was struggling with my faith this was one of the issues that hit me very hard. Being a staunch Calvinist that I was, I had a high view of the doctrine of imputation. Both the imputation of Adam's sin and the imputation of Christ's righteousness. To me you couldn't have the one without the other. Once I realized Adam and Eve were not historical persons brought the whole thing down.

Sure, we could try to come up with some time of "original sin" idea by tying it to evolution to try to keep the doctrine of imputation intact, but in the end, I found it to be a total failure. I ended up giving up on my views of salvation and began seriously considering the ideas of the New Perspective, and specifically those of N.T. Wright and James Dunn.

KKbundy said...

Of course it was an unfair test. God creates us with no interference from any outside source and put impossible demands on us that he knew we were going to fail and punishes us for the rest of our existence for it. Quite the bastard, huh

There are ethical problems with the traditional view. The Christians aren’t reading their own myths right. An omniscient God creates us in his image and then forbids us to do one thing, to know right from wrong. Am I the only one who finds this troubling? Isn’t this knowledge essential to be human? Were we not animals before “the fall” and only became truly human after the sin? Was God not denying our free will? For what is free will, but to exercise our choices with knowledge in hand. Our quest for knowledge and our ignoring God’s commandment is what made us sentient. Instead of original sin, this event should be viewed as our separation from the animals, our first step towards the future. The castigation Eve has received throughout history is unjust. She should be applauded for making us human, for taking that first step to becoming a worthy companion of any supreme being worthy of being called such. Biting that apple was progress. Adam, the frakkin’ coward, should have made his first act in the garden a feast of all the knowledge offered by every damn tree in that garden. To hell with edicts from above. We should never submit to the slavery of one stronger than us. Might never makes right even when that might is all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Humankind did not fall with that apple. We climbed. Way to go Eve!

Personally I think we passed the test. Screw anyone who thinks otherwise.

Blessed Atheist Bible study@ http://blessedatheist.com/

Anthony said...

---

I visited my old church's local single's meeting this Wednesday, and the senior pastor was giving a message on "taming the tongue". There was a specific comment that caught my attention. He said that Christians were going to sin against one another by their words (and by deeds), because, as he put it, "we are not perfect; if we were perfect, we would be God."

This got me thinking. What he's implying there is that to be sinless would mean one is perfect. But, as far as he's concerned, perfection is equivalent to actually being God. It is impossible, therefore, to be perfect and NOT be God. Consequently, not being God means, by default, you will be imperfect.

But, God's holiness (perfection) is incompatible with imperfection (our sinful nature). Therefore, we are at enmity with God, because we are not God. That's why Jesus's death was necessary. So that God could look on him in our place, and see his perfection in lieu of our inherent imperfection.

But when you think of it this way, WE NEVER STOOD A CHANCE! We had no say in how we would be created nor did we have any say in whether or not we wanted to be created. John Edwards and John Owens recognized that if it were possible to be sinless, surely by now, someone would have accomplished the feat. Since it hadn't been done, they were forced to accep the idea of original sin.

And I agree with John. It's a ridiculous belief and any God who would create this situation, and then torture for all eternity those who could have been no other way, deserves no worship and is truly a tyrant.

feralboy12 said...

Why was a test even required? Everything was beautiful, everybody was fine. Why stick a tree with forbidden fruit smack in the middle of the Garden of Eden?
I'm reminded of the Portal of Death or whatever it's called in one of the Harry Potter stories. It's a barrier between life and death; to pass through it is to die. No one can come back through and return to life, you can only pass through one way to death.
Why would you even have something like that? So at some point in the story, there can be a struggle and somebody can fall through. It's a cheap dramatic device whose only purpose is to create an exciting scene.
God thinks like a fantasy novelist or Hollywood screenwriter. Which I guess would explain all the natural disasters--everything is rigged to blow up at the slightest provocation.

normajean said...

The 'doctrine' of 'original sin' is not a settled issue. Perhaps you have the wrong version.

Wes Widner said...

I'm curious: What is the basis for your assertion that "a fair test would mean some of us would not have sinned"? What makes you think that the criteria for a fair test is that some pass it? What does the pass/fail ratio have to do with the test itself?

Chris Jones said...

This is a brilliant point. I've had many objections to this tale's premise as taken by Christianity as a basis for the whole original sin doctrine, but this had never occurred to me before. My already substantial objection was mostly based on the fairness of holding someone's descendents accountable for the actions of the ancestor.

It hadn't occurred to me that this might be defended on the grounds that all of us (allegedly) would have followed the same course of action, so perhaps those with whom I've argued over this were of a lower level of theological sophistication and didn't think to offer this objection. But had they done so, your point is solid. Creating a test with only one possible outcome -- an unfavorable one, nonetheless -- isn't a "test" or a "choice" so much as a sham, as you've pointed out.

But what I find REALLY distasteful is just how many flagrantly stacked deck sort of propositions really are a central feature of Christian theology, and even more importantly, how comfortable these guys tend to be with rationalizing those propositions.

How often do we hear something that really boils down to, "well, that does seem unjust, but we're all worthless pieces of crap who deserve whatever scorn can be divinely heaped upon us"

Brap Gronk said...

It seems like a major focus of Christianity is to get people to act in a way that God wants us to act, or think in a way God wants us to think. If God cares so much about how people think and act, why didn't he just make humans that way in the first place? Why didn't he give humans a better conscience than the one some Christians like to tout as proof of God's existence?

Roy Chang said...

Christian response: "god's mysterious ways are not meant for us to understand" or in another words, "just don't think about it / have faith"

ennangal said...

One more point which always bothers me in Genesis story is, what would have happen
if Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of life first before eating fruit of knowledge ? God somehow had to prevent that from happening, otherwise they might lived forever in the sinful nature. In Genesis 3 says, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden..." Could eating a fruit make someone live forever?, God had to banish them away to prevent them from eating it? Whats all these? It seems more mythological than history!!!

I wonder whoever wrote these part of Genesis meant it as a literal history (as Creationist interpret) or symbolical to teach people some principles? There are many devoted Christians think Genesis story as symbolical. I know this would create problem for "original sin" theory. Denis O. Lamoureux has an interesting explanation in his book "I Love Jesus & I Accept Evolution", where he says entrance of sin into humanity can be treated in the same way as sin enters into a child life; we don't know when did we lose our innocence in our development from childhood to teen to adults; Lamoureux says, we can apply the same logic to entrance of sin in human evolution as well. This is his theory! I have to read his larger volume to fully understand what he is saying.

OK! my point is, one does not need to take Genesis story as literal history to be a Christian or believe in God.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

John,

It seems as if you assume that freewill agents would automatically do the right thing because they are freewill agents??? I don't think that holds true. Within freewill there is always the possibility that it will be handled or exercised wrongly. God being God certainly knew what man would do, but not fatalistically predetermined it, BUT made provision for it...

So I can't fully see your argument although I would agree that some brand of Calvinists have muddied the water with their interpretation of predestination and election.

So on one hand I disagree, BUT on the other I can understand your argument based on some generally accepted teachings within evangelical Christianity.

Hope you're doing well and I'm looking for info on this conference. hopefully they'll have some type of internet hookup also.

Thanks.

geraldmacoris said...

What if, even though God knew that the Fall would happen, he had to let it happen through the influence of Satan because of "the way things are"--laws that are "co-eternal" with that alleged deity?

zenmite said...

I'm going to have lots of children. I know the vast majority of my kids will be evil and go to prison to be tortured most of their lives. (never mind eternity...that's too horrible to take seriously)

But I freely choose to bring them into the world knowing all of this. Why? Why do I value their free will more than their happiness / not being tortured?

Like these hypothetical kids, we were not asked if we wanted this wonderful 'gift' of life and freewill. It was forced upon us, so we were never free to choose our freedom. If I knew this freewill gift meant that I would likely spend eternity in hell (most will be damned) would I choose it? Personally, No.

Wouldn't it have been more compassionate of god to never have created us in the first place? Was he that lonely? In need of lesser beings to 'freely' worship and love him? His needs being so great that it was worth the price (to us) of condemning the vast majority of his creatures to everlasting torment? How does our freely choosing to sin absolve the creator of this decision? Woudn't a temporary or partial hell make more sense? Shouldn't even satan have a chance to repent?

And once in heaven, what happens to our precious freewill? Are we then still free to sin in heaven? Would god then send us to hell?...so that even going to heaven does not assure eternal salvation. Or if sinning is not possible once in heaven, what happened to this freewill that god supposedly values above all else?

The whole setup wreaks of something some poor primitive just didn't think through clearly.

magnumdb said...

Wes Widner,

It's like a dads test to see if his kids will get hit by a car by placing an object of their desires on the other side of the road, then allowing a car to zoom by and hit them if they walk into the street.

Yes, the father told them not to cross the street. But they don't understand right and wrong yet. Why would their dad even put something of their desires across the street and in view of them anyway?

So we understand that this dads test is to see if they will cross the street or not.

When viewed in this analogy, the fair ratio you ask about would be a 100% pass! As a bystander, I would want 100% of those kids to pass the test - meaning NOT crossing the street. Even if one child crosses the street, they've doomed themselves for eternity. And I would look at this test - a test for kids, which the consequence for failing is death - as completely unfair.

Why would a dad even put them to that kind of test? Especially if the dad knows the outcome already?

The fact is, as humans, we have certain things we need to have done to us in order for us to know we're loved. And tests like the one your god supposedly put on us contains none of what we as humans need to understand that we're being loved. So this god of yours CAN'T be all loving, because he hasn't loved his creation the way his creation needs in order to understand they're being loved.

Your holy book says his ultimate way of showing us he loved us was to kill his son/commit suicide. How can you expect a child to understand that his dad loves him, if his dad shows it by whipping and nailing a family member to death in front of him? Sounds like an abusive manipulative dad, if you ask me.

Dad to son: "LOOK WHAT YOU MAKE ME DO!! THIS HURTS ME MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU, BELIEVE ME!"

jbudrdanl said...

I don't understand why atheists continue to insist that fundamentalist or Calvinist interpretation of Christian theology is representative of all of Christianity. It's not. The Garden story is a myth invented to explain why people sin. Simple. End of story. Some say even Paul thought it was historically literal. He didn't have a choice given the culture in which he lived. No one was making arguments like this 2000 years ago because it wasn't a factor at all. But just a few hundred years later, people like Augustine were insisting that the creation stories did not have to be taken literally. In fact, he and many others wrote that they couldn't be taken literally.

You're arguing about issues that scholars know aren't even issues. This is why atheists continue to lose debate after debate after debate. You're answering the wrong questions with the wrong answers.

Rob R said...

I don't think it's true that any free being would have sinned. I don't think it was even true prior to the rebellion of the first humans that they would have sinned.

There was no guarantee one way or the other. Let's suppose the clock was rewound so the events would take place again. There's no reason to think that they would have unfolded in exactly the same way. If any of us were in that same position, the same indeterminacy would apply. There is no true "would" counterfactual about what any of the rest of us would do. Instead, we can speak of conjoined "might" counterfactuals.

I don't believe that we are judged for what the first humans did. We are just put on the wrong footing by our predecessors and because of that, we rebel. While there is no reason that we have to engage in any specific of rebellion, by statistical necessity, we will fail to respond to God's grace in the appropriate way.

And while we are not individually responsible for what happened in that rebellion and are not judged on an individual basis, we are corporately responsible. Yes, this offends our western individualism. But such an individualism is a myth as our fates and our moral responsibilities do indeed extend beyond ourselves and overlap.

Anthony said...

J: I don't understand why atheists continue to insist that fundamentalist or Calvinist interpretation of Christian theology is representative of all of Christianity. It's not.

Actually I do think most atheists understand this, some just simply don't care. But fundamentalist and Calvinist Christians do in fact make up a significant portion of evangelical Christianity.

J: The Garden story is a myth invented to explain why people sin. Simple. End of story.

Agreed, but most of evangelical Christianity would reject your statement as it contradicts their views of inspiration and inerrancy.

J: Some say even Paul thought it was historically literal. He didn't have a choice given the culture in which he lived.

Again I agree, but very few within the evangelical Christian community would agree.

J: But just a few hundred years later, people like Augustine were insisting that the creation stories did not have to be taken literally.

This may be an overstatement because Augustine (as far as I can tell) still believed in a real Adam and Eve, a real universal flood, and a young earth.

J: You're arguing about issues that scholars know aren't even issues.

True, but most Christians are pretty ignorant of what scholars believe.

J: This is why atheists continue to lose debate after debate after debate.

But this was also said of evolutionists in their debates with creationists. We all know that many debaters use various tactics to win over their audience, whether what they argued was true or not is beside the point.

zenmite said...

"The Garden story is a myth invented to explain why people sin. Simple. End of story."

I agree. Whatever your chosen scholars believe, the vast majority of christians I know believe it is literal.

I would only add; The God story is a myth invented to explain origins before we had any understanding of weather, geology, biology or physics. Simple. End of story.

"You're arguing about issues that scholars know aren't even issues."

Agree again. Most real scholars...as opposed to christian theologians...don't consider any of it an issue...for the simple reason it's all myth. Eden, resurrection, god.

Kaipo said...

Genesis 2:16,17
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
NKJV
I don't know how many other fruit bearing trees there was in the garden(how many fruit bearing trees do we have today?), but only ONE tree not to eat of...I think the odds were stacked in their favor. There had to be a choice (test) in order to fully exercise free-will.
Because of Adams' sin, the rest of humanity was born into sin, we inherited our sinful nature from this moment in history. Since we are in this sinful state already, it would be safe to say we would fail at this "test".

God is not punishing us; we are living in a world surrounded by sin, and living in sin is a punishment in itself.

DM said...
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Ken Pulliam, Ph.D. said...

Excellent comments. The "test" was a sham for even more reasons than you mentioned John. Its obvious that God stacked the deck against Adam by (1) allowing the deceiver (i.e., the serpent) into the garden; (2) not warning him of a deceiver who does not have his best interest in mind; (3) naming the tree with an innocuous name, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (would it not have been better to call the tree something like, the tree of misery and death?); and (4) expecting him to know the difference between good and evil before he ate from the tree which supposedly gave him that knowledge? It seems pretty obvious that God wanted Adam to fall and arranged things in such a way that it was extremely likely that he would do so.

Louise Antony uses the following analogy: She says imagine a parent tells her child before sending him out on Halloween night: Do not eat any of the candy that you get until I have a chance to inspect it. Then, unbeknownst to the child, the parent employs an evil person to give the child some poisoned candy. The evil conspirator tells the child to go ahead and eat the candy. The child says, No, my mother told me not to eat any candy until she inspects it first. The malefactor says: Oh it will be okay. Go ahead and eat it.. The child eats it and dies. Who is most culpable in this story?

See my discussion.

Rob R said...

The idea of corporate responsibility such as is work here throughout scripture from our association to Adam and so on provides for a very advanced ethics the lack of which is the bane of the west and particularly the U.S.

It was through studying corporate responsibility that I came to reverse my position on issues such as affirmative action. I personally bear no responsibility to the crimes committed against African Americans in history, and yet the sociological and historical effect of that abuse continues to burden them. If they shoulder the effects of abuses to their ancestors that they did not personally exprience, why shouldn't we shoulder some of the responsibilities to repair the damage by our forerunners.

Environmental concerns also greatly demonstrates the power of corporate responsibility over individualistic responsibility. Here, the small things we do, burning fuel, litering and so on on an individual level has little to no harmful effect on the environement. It is only when we accept that our actions place us within the group that we fully bear the blame and responsibility for the damage that is done and the need to act to place us into a group that is part of the solution.

We are a guilt/innocence society which means that our ethical ideal is to praise or blame people soley on the acts that they individually performed. But it seems that some elements of a shame/honor viewpoint may do better wonders for matters such as inner city violence. What if communities and families took more responsibility for each others actions. In our country, we have anecdotes of a poor woman who is raped and murdered in a crowded city as neighbors who hear the carnage just lock their doors. This is the kind of thing that we can expect from a purely individualistic notion of responsibility that begins and ends with me.

shane said...

I think Ken is absolutely right!

Think about it.....if the scripture says after they ate the fruit-"now man had become like us knowing both good and evil"-then it indicates that adam and eve obviously did not know what evil was before hand!

If they did not know what evil was before hand, then how could they possibly understood the evil of their disobedience?
To say that God commanded them not to eat it and this is how they new better simply does not do!

With no knowledge of evil before hand, they could not have committed a deliberate act of evil!....
So either God punished them for something they did not know any better of.....or the scripture of "they have become like us knowing both good and evil" is an obvious error!

shane said...

Rob R.

Ok.....so then what position are you taking on this....?
Are you saying that we should accept responsiblity for Adam and Eve's sin soley because they sinned against God?

This is no different then a man sitting at home with his family and the police knock on his door.
The man answers and the ploice say "you are under arrest because your great grandfather murdered somebody"
Then the man gets the death penalty because he had to take the burden of his ancestors crime?......that would be absurd!

The problem is that most christians see this as original sin....not that we have an obligation to pay for Adam and Eve, but that we inherited the sin nature!
Which to me is also absurd if God is all loving and merciful and knew before hand what our outcome would be!

AGS said...

@ Ken Pullman...

The Genesis account says quite clearly that Adam was warned that eating from the tree would result in death. That's sounds like a pretty straightforward and dire warning.

Given this, I don't think it would be accurate to shift culpability away from the free choice of Adam -especially when you consider that he was well aware of the authority of God as his creator.

shane said...

AGS.

Ok...then if Adam was warned by God not to eat the fruit and we cant shift responsibilty away from that.....then you are admitting that Adam knew the difference of what was sinful and what was not sinful prior to eating the forbidden fruit....otherwise how would Adam understand Gods command?

Therefore you are also admitting that the scripture which says-"man has become like us knowing both good and evil" is a biblical error, because you admit Adam already knew the difference before hand!

Ken Pulliam, Ph.D. said...

Rob,

I agree that the Scriptures reflect the idea of collective responsibility and collective guilt. It can be seen in a number of places including the killing of the Egyptian first-born, the killing of Achan's entire family for his sin, the Amalekites of Samuel's day being slaughtered for what their ancestors did 400 years prior, and so on. This mentality no doubt is also in play with the concept of original sin.

While I accept the idea of collective responsibility, I reject the notion of collective guilt (which the Bible teaches) as being invalid and unjust.

I think there is a clear difference between responsibility and guilt. I can accept the notion that we bare some collective responsibility for the actions of our ancestors but I cannot accept the idea that we bear personal guilt for their actions. Let me illustrate. If my non-adult child vandalizes my neighbor's property, I bear the responsibility for repairing the damage. However, I do not bear personal guilt for the crime. I cannot be prosecuted legally for it, unless I was somehow an accessory to the crime.

For those that are interested in this subject, keep an eye on my blog as I will be discussing this issue in much greater detail.

Ken

Soul Crushed said...

I'm still trying to figure out why John sees this as a big deal at all....

Soul Crushed said...

"While I accept the idea of collective responsibility, I reject the notion of collective guilt (which the Bible teaches) as being invalid and unjust."

It seems to me as if you have a rather compressed and limited understanding of the Bible. Just for starters:

"For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die." - Ezk. 18:4

shane said...

Soul Crushed.

You can quote as many scriptures as you like, but that does not make any of the biblical concepts any more true or less absurd in nature.

Anthony said...

Soul,

What is your point? That the Bible doesn't each collective guilt? If so how do you exegete what Paul says in Romans 5?

Soul Crushed said...

"You can quote as many scriptures as you like, but that does not make any of the biblical concepts any more true or less absurd in nature."

...to you <- with all due respect.

Soul Crushed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soul Crushed said...

Hi Anthony,

"What is your point?"

Merely that Scripture has a fuller explanation about collective and individual guilt than what Ken was trying to make it say.

Jim said...

Soul,

It's a big deal because the choice to "eat the fruit" is illustrative of a much larger issue that impacts us even to this day: "Who do you believe?"

"Voice A" says "Don't eat of the fruit"

"Voice B" says "Go ahead and eat the fruit--the other voice knows it will be O.K."

Now, the Christian must smuggle in a boatload of presuppositions to insist that Adam/Eve should have listened to "Voice A." They must have known somehow that Voice A was more knowledgeable than Voice B. They would have to know that Voice A is from an all-powerful force that REALLY IS the voice you must listen to instead of any other voice. They would have to be created with perfect decision making skills based on limited information (competing voices). They would have had to sit through hours of discourse by William Lane Craig "proving" the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, and all the other arguments for the existence of God--and then making a decision that God is real. et al.

All of which is pathetically unreasonable.

Today Christians like to point at Bible passages that presage false prophets, not realizing it's the oldest trick in the cult book. Claim you have the truth and then tell everyone that there will be "false prophets" coming who will say that the cult philosophy is wrong.

"See, we told you! Now you know that our cult philosophy is genuine! Now we must punish you for not believing us."

The question to Christians is, without presuppositions--should I believe Voice A or Voice B?

Today, should I listen to Bible passages, Koran passages, Scientology doctrine, Hindu passages?

I would argue Christianity is really the "talking serpent" of humanity--but the truth of it that none of us knows. Agnostic Atheism is the best philosophical position.

Anthony said...

I asked Soul Crushed: What is your point?

He responded with: Merely that Scripture has a fuller explanation about collective and individual guilt than what Ken was trying to make it say.

The only point that I saw Ken make was that the Bible taught "collective guilt" and that he disagreed with it. He didn't give any details on the form of that teaching, so unfortunately I do not believe you really have a point except maybe you wanted to dispute him just to be disputing, I'm not sure?

Ken Pulliam, Ph.D. said...

Soul,

You say: Scripture has a fuller explanation about collective and individual guilt than what Ken was trying to make it say.

I would argue that Scripture has contradictory teachings on this subject (as it does on many subjects). For example, Eze. 18:20 says: The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.

Yet Jer. 32:18 says: You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers' sins into the laps of their children after them. O great and powerful God, whose name is the Lord Almighty

Which am I supposed to believe? If I look at the examples of Yahweh's activity in the OT, I have to believe the latter. As I mentioned before, Achan's children died because of his sin (Joshua 7:24-25); the children of the Canaanites were killed because of the sins of their parents; the Amalekites were killed because of what their ancestors did 400 years prior (I Sam. 15), and son on.

When I come to the NT, I find that Paul says all of mankind is sinful and condemned before God because of the sin of Adam (Romans 5). Do I need to provide any more proof?

Soul Crushed said...

Hi Ken,

"I would argue that Scripture has contradictory teachings on this subject (as it does on many subjects)."

Okay, but now you're admitting with this concession that it does teach both, which was simply my point all along. I don't think it's contradictory as you say, but I'll refrain from making any more mess of the meta than I already have - and save any time arguing the point for a future blog post of my own. Best to you, Brad.

Ken Pulliam, Ph.D. said...

Soul,

there are one or two passages in Ezekiel that teach individual guilt but the great majority of the Bible including most importantly the actual practice of collective punishment in the examples I mentioned make me think that maybe Ezekiel was a lone voice.

Soul Crushed said...

Hi Ken,

Actually, there are many references that one could point to about individual guilt...for example: Cain's sin and curse wasn't imputed to his parents, or to Seth who was born later. David and the Amalekite in 2 Sam. 1 - "Your blood be on your own head." Judas' confession and the Pharisees response...Ananias and Sapphira...

zenmite said...

"I brought you into this world and I can take you out!"---Dr. Huxtable speaking to his children on the Bill Cosby show.

When it comes down to it, this is the argument many christians fall back upon when confronted with god's inexplicably immoral actions in the o.t. God "owns" us because he created us. Basically, the same reasoning that gave slave owners the right to beat their slaves for misbehaving.

Because god created and owns us, he can do whatever he wants with us. This is clear from reading Job as well as n.t. sources which suggest the pot can't take issue with the potter even if the potter decides to break the pot.

This is then put together with the (erroneous) notion that any concept of good and evil is meaningless without the concept of god. The two combine to rationalize any sort of horrible action yahweh has taken or will take. It's ok to send us to hell for eternity for not believing in him and any cries of 'no fair' do not apply because he created and owns us and only he provides any standard for what is right and wrong.

Imagine the christian reaction if a hindu told her that the very concept of good and evil is meaningless without the 'objective' truth of karma and reincarnation. That brahma is the creator of life and so whatever brahma orders is by definition right. The christian (correctly) recoils at the very notion that a poor, sick beggar is suffering because of his sins in another lifetime. I similarly recoil at the original sin / collective guilt notion.

As far as collective responsibility goes...this is just identity politics. Who gets to define what group is offended and which is the aggressor? Perhaps statistically it can be shown that green-eyed blondes have caused harm to blue-eyed redheads. Should the blondes take responsibility for all blondes actions since time immemorial? Maybe left-handed dwarfs oppressed liberal anarchists at some point in the past. WE choose to divide ourselves into groups and categories like black and white. I'm 1/16h native american. Does this fragment of me owe my other fragments reparations?

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Christians seem hell bent to get created dogma of Original Sin out of Genesis 3.

Here, we find a God who is so confused and screwed up that he thought the serpent had legs (even though he created him!!) and cursed him to eat dust (Genesis 3: 14).

Funny thing is that dust eating snakes are gone (just as all snakes should be as ALL were cured to eat dust (not just some) and yet not Orginal Sin!)

So, from the Bible itself we have proof that God is a liar in that Snakes don’t eat dust (never did, never will)!

Plus, in the Genesis creation story, the same Hebrew word for snake (Hebrew: NAHAS= Serpent) is used already pre 3:14 for a legless animal.

Simply put, God needs to get his facts straight before he wants to blame humans for his stupidity and lies!

(Help apologetic theology: Help!)

Rob R said...

Ok.....so then what position are you taking on this....?
Are you saying that we should accept responsiblity for Adam and Eve's sin soley because they sinned against God?


Individual responsibility? No. corporate responsibility? Absolutely. Corporate responsibility doesn't entail individual punishement, but it does speak to our real human nature that we do indeed pay for others mistakes and that the way out is often to take responsibility for it, not to bury our heads in the sand and demand our innocence.

This is no different then a man sitting at home with his family and the police knock on his door.
The man answers and the ploice say "you are under arrest because your great grandfather murdered somebody"


Why would he be held individually responsible for what he did not individually do? That is not the picture I am promoting.

But if he identifies with the way of living that his grandfather lived, if he embodies the same attitudes and prejudices and selfcenteredness, then he does indeed share some kind of responsibility that if not addressed will continue to lead to events that are just as destructive. And if the murdered man's family is still alive and suffers from the events, why shouldn't the ancestors of the murderer lend some assitence. Why? because we live a myth of individualism where we are only responsible for our own lives and if lives beyond that, only of those that are immeadiately relative to us, and yet history proves that the connections of the past continue on.

It's not as if I believe that too much emphasis on the corporate can't lead to other problems (shame/honor societies do indeed have some aspects that I think we'd righfully criticize). And I consider it part of the advance and progression of scripture that the individuals are given increasing attention.

Rob R said...

The problem is that most christians see this as original sin....not that we have an obligation to pay for Adam and Eve, but that we inherited the sin nature!

Through Jesus, we gain a new corporate identity and a loss of the sort of corporate guilt that leaves us out of the family of God. At the same time, to follow Christ is to embrace responsibility for things we are not faulted for and to no longer hold others responsibility and to repair what we did not break.

Soul Crushed said...
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Soul Crushed said...

Hi Jim,

"It's a big deal because the choice to "eat the fruit" is illustrative of a much larger issue that impacts us even to this day: 'Who do you believe?'"

So let's examine this... God (Voice A) creates you in a paradise garden, gives you a hot wife, and says eat from any tree you'd like, just not that one. A lesser creature (Voice B) has done absolutely nothing to provide us any proof that he's on an equal playing field with God, and yet Christians have somehow "smuggled in their assumptions" about which voice should have been listened to when they point this out? Dude.

christophermencken said...

Great post, John. Welcome back and this kind of post is exactly why you're going to win many battles in this fight against superstition and ignorance.

shane said...

Rob R.

Ok Rob....lets go right back to the root of the problem.....
I'll give you a prime example why no human being should be accountable to God whether it is individual or collective.

B.C Johnson, The author of "The Atheist Debators Handbook states- "Humans cannot be morally responsible to God!
If we blame people for an evil act, we thereby imply that he was to some extent evil prior to his actions, otherwise where would the intent to do evil come from?
For to say that a person is responsible for an evil action is to say that he caused it because he was evil.
But how did he become evil?
If he made himself evil, then this would be an act of evil and would imply that he was already evil.
It follows that the evil of a person must precede the act of making himself evil.
Therefore, this individual cannot (ultimately) be the responsible source of his own evil.......then who is?
It cannot be Satan, for the same argument would apply to him!
It must be God, for He created everything.
Therefore God must ultimatley be responsible for all evil!!!!!!!!

Harry H. McCall, CET said...
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Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Hi Rob R.

Here are 5 pre-Pauline facts:

1. Judaism had no doctrine of Original Sin. Genesis 3 was never read nor understood in either First or Second Temple Judaism as a dogma where humanity is cursed with Adam’s sin of disobedience in Genesis 3.

2. The Gospel accounts nowhere have either Jesus nor his disciples believing nor teaching any doctrine of Original Sin. Since there was no doctrine of Original Sin in Second Temple Judaism, this shows that neither Jesus nor his Apostles believed it. Nowhere in the Book if Acts is this doctrine taught.

3. Fact is, when Jesus’ Apostles tried to link (what we could refer to as something remotely closed to Original Sin), Jesus told them they were wrong:

As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9: 1-2)

So apart from the theology of St. Paul (especially in his final work of Romans), Genesis 3 was never read in light of this universal sin Adamic dogma. Thus there was no doctrine of Original Sin either in Judaism nor in Hellenism.

So why the artificial dogma of Original Sin?

Jewish-Christianity had to expanded (per Acts 15) so to evangelized the Hellenistic World of Asia Minor, Paul used a heretical doctrine found in the Intertestamental Pseudopigraphic literature to convict a Greek population (who did not know any better) that they were tainted with sin too and it work!

It’s simply as good selling point to evangelize with since the Greek world (and our own) cares nothing about the Jewish cultic Torah. Judaism is a sin based cultic / sacrifice religion of which gentiles cared little.

4. Since we have no idea how Christianity spread to other parts of the Roam Empire, there is a very good chance that the other Christianities to Palestine’s north and east had no doctrine of Original Sin either.

5. There closest dogma of human corruption with sin from birth is that of Southern or Egyptian Christianity called Gnosticism.

Thus, with this new dogma read into Genesis 3 by Paul, it's little wonder a number of scholars such a Elaine Pagels have written books on the Gnostic Paul.

Thus, we now find Rob R. teaching and defending this doctrine like it was original with Genesis 3.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...
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Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Here is a orthodox doctrine on Genesis 3 as quoted from Birger A\. Pearson’s Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature (Fortress Press, 2007).

Chapter 4 “Gnostic Biblical Interpretation: The Gnostic Genesis

Here we find a Christianity who praised the serpent and condemned the evil Jewish creator God. For me, this Christianity make more sense than Paul’s western Hellenistic Christianity version does!

Section 5: “The Serpent Was Wiser” (Summation)

The Gnostic text on the serpent of Genesis 3 surveyed here indicate that there were Gnostics who regarded that serpent as a revealer of saving gnosis (knowledge), while concomitantly condemning the God who tried to prevent Adam from eating of the tree of knowledge.

Traditions like these came to the attention of the churches heresy hunters, who extrapolated from them a Gnostic sect of Ophites, first attested in Pseudo-Tertullian, Against All Heresies. As we noted earlier (in chapter2) an Ophite sect probably never existed as such. Nevertheless, that kind of gnosis that attributes saving gnosis to the Genesis serpent can be referred to as an Ophite type Gnostic teaching, even if there were no Gnostics who referred to themselves as “Ophites”.

(p.122)

Soul Crushed said...

"If we blame people for an evil act, we thereby imply that he was to some extent evil prior to his actions, otherwise where would the intent to do evil come from? For to say that a person is responsible for an evil action is to say that he caused it because he was evil. But how did he become evil?"

Interesting. For atheists have the same problem in reverse in a world where "survival of the fittest" necessitates that you lie, cheat and kill in order to survive and pass on your genes. So how did humanity learn to do good ("evolve" by learning that lying, cheating and killing is evil) from the behavior we see in the rest of the animal kingdom?

But as to your question, evil - at least as defined by Scripture - is imputed and this imputation is proved every time you see a two-year old throw a tantrum or a forty-six year old CEO brought up on corruption charges.

Soul Crushed said...

"The Gospel accounts nowhere have either Jesus nor his disciples believing nor teaching any doctrine of Original Sin."

A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. - Luke 18:18-19

Breckmin said...

"Once I realized Adam and Eve were not historical persons brought the whole thing down."

Anthony,
this almost happened to me also, when I was temporarily T.E. I had an incredible amount of study as a creationist before T.E...but then I discovered the balance.

It is the same thing with inerrancy and inexactisms, phenomenology, anthropomorphisms, anthropocentric concepts, and recollections which have nothing to do with theology. You don't need verbal inspiration to have the authority of the scriptures (multiple sources which testify to the same thing). There is a balance in how you look at the Torah/Tanakh and reconcile it with hyper technicality.

I'm sorry that you still embrace universal common descent theory. It is clearly a great stumbling block in your relationship to your Creator. God tests us to see if we love Him. You can't have true love without the ability to make choices. Q.E.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Hi Crushed Soul,

Nice try, but you tried to save this late dogma of Original Sin at the expense of the sinless life and atonement of Jesus!(Ofcourse that doctrine is late too.) You just earned yourself a burning at the stake by orthodox Christianity!

You quoted:
Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. - Luke 18:18-19

So now we have Jesus himself admitting to be tainted with Original Sin. You just threw the Vicarious Atonement of Jesus out with the bath water in your recklessness to rescue the late Pauline dogma of Original Sin.

Did you not understand anything in my first post? Judaism NEVER believed it, nor Jesus as a Jew believed it!

Secondly, there are hundreds of theological books that must be rewritten with new facts and as well as hundreds of major commentaries. If not, then quote me one major commentary or theology book that supports this verse in Luke as a proof text for the context of Original Sin.

Thirdly, please quote me a scroll, chapter and verse from the Qumran texts (including Pesher texts) that would support that the Dead Sea sect believed in Paul’s doctrine of Original Sin.

I’ll await your reply to specific books or ancient texts.

Breckmin said...

"It must be God, for He created everything."

Except that He created little creators in His Image who create themselves and make choices and have wills and their own independent
impulses. (independent here is NOT independent of God's sustaining order and biological systems it refers only to human consciousness and will/impulse).


"Therefore God must ultimatley be responsible for all evil!!!!!!!!"

There is a "dual reality" to all sin/disobedience/moral evil in that it will all glorify God in the end when He declares His Righteousness and judges it perfectly and Demonstrates His Perfect Justice OR Mercy/Grace. (you are one of these two - either a born-again Christian or a non-born-again Christian which is a bad thing).

God allows evil choices/decisions
for His Purposes which will all be made right in the end and God will be glorified. He does NOT create "moral evil/disobedience/sin" exactly but rather creates the "being" who creates also.

Sin/disobedience is a potential byproduct of choice (Peter Kreeft has dealt with this)and God did NOT need to directly create it. He allows it to exist and "Wlls it" to exist for the knowledge of contrast and learning in the temporary creation(as well as other things), but God did not create the act itself...He created the being who commits the act.
Question everything.

Breckmin said...

When we "test" something like iron in the fire to make it stronger we might no "how hot" it can get before it melts...but the TEST is for a specific purpose. Clearly this is an imperfect analogy - BUT - my point has to do with the greater good which was necessary.

It was important for Adam's choice to take place before A & E procreated children. Salvation and the knowledge it brings makes so much sense...you just don't see it.

What if I explained to you how it was inevitable for at least one person to go to hell before knowledge of consequences could be seen/learned/demonstrated/known?

What you don't realize is that whether it is one or 50 billion..they are both eternally unfathomable and equally horrible.

Saving 500 million out of 50 billion is logically unfair. That is because there is nothing fair about grace/mercy to those who do not recieve it.

There is actually no such thing as true fairness in this universe where everyone is born under different circumstances being affected by other people's choices for all of eternity - with consequences for every action.

Fairness is therefore never a logical thing to appeal to when it comes to somehow judging God.

Question everything.

shane said...

Soul crush.

You said-" so how did humans learn to do good from the behavior we see in the animal kingdom"?

I dont believe lying, cheating, and killing were the only things humans did long ago to survive.
I think being good to each other (as far as we understand goodness) was also for survival purposes.
People are social animals, and we are not much unlike other primates when we watch how they behave in their little societies!

And animals are not always killing and thwarting eachother either.
Animals display as much affection for eachother as humans do, although they are hostile to most other animals they have to be to survive!

The world is a battle ground for survival and it always has been!

shane said...

Breckman.

You said- "God allows evil choices/decisions for His purposes which will all be made right in the end and God will be glorified."

What would that mean then?......it would mean that (if there is a God) that He allows evil to continue so He can glorify Himself at the expense of most of humanity!
This hardly befits an onmibenevolent God who's greatest concern is for His creation rather then Himself!

You also said-"God does not create moral evil/disobediance/sin exactly, but rather creates the being who creates also".

I disagree, although humans do have the power to commit evil actions and the power to commit good actions, no human has the power to create evil or good!
We may be able to do either good or evil things, but as far as evil existing in the universe, man is not responsible.
If God (assuming He exists) is the author and sustainer of all existence, then He is the author of evil aswell!
To say that man is the creator of evil is to take away from Gods ultimate power and say that God is not the creator of all things!

shane said...

Breckmin.

You said- "fairness is not something we can go by in judging God"

So then your saying that the God you believe in is not a fair being?

B.C johnson touches on this point aswell-" The fundamentalist belief in both the blamenessess of God and the reality of hell is inconsisitent.
God must know that many people in the past have gone to hell.
And He must know that if the human race is allowed to continue reproducing itself there will be many more victims, for there is no reason to believe that people will suddenly all become virtuous!
If God knows that this state of affairs will continue, He is responsible for the deliberate production of victims for hell!

In effect, God- who created the human race in the first place and who has allowed it to continue- has created victims in order to flood the gates of hell.
There is little difference between allowing people to be created while knowing they will be damned, and creating people for the expressed purpose of damning them!

shane said...

Breckmin.

The biblical scriptures themselves, verify that man is not responsible for the existence of evil in the universe.
When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.....they became like God "knowing both good and evil"

Here we have the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.......? apparentely evil existed before Adam and Eve knew about it.
Therefore, God must be ultimately responsible for the existence of evil!
What more need i say?

We also have the fact that the scripture says-"man has become like us knowing evil"!
This also indicates that evil existed

Jim said...

Soul,

So let's examine this... God (Voice A) creates you in a paradise garden, gives you a hot wife, and says eat from any tree you'd like, just not that one. A lesser creature (Voice B) has done absolutely nothing to provide us any proof that he's on an equal playing field with God, and yet Christians have somehow "smuggled in their assumptions" about which voice should have been listened to when they point this out? Dude.

Congratulations for trucking in all the presuppositions that I said you would. On top of that, let me add another presupposition you just illustrated with your non-response: That Adam/Eve knew that God would never lie to them.

Jeez, when are you guys gonna start thinking?

Rob R said...

post 1 of 2


Shane,


I was discussing this with my pastor. John Wesley belongs to my church tradition and didn't think God judged us for what the first humans did. The result of original sin is not our judgment but our brokenness that leads to our judgment.

But more specifically, we are judged for refusing god's grace. Why should we be judged for something that we can't help? I agree that this is nonsense. But because of God's work in the world, we have authentic chances to respond appropriately, and the refusal to do so is the ultimate core of our judgment. Paul noted that even the gentiles have this conviction because many of them do evidence ethical conduct which Paul says is based upon the law that is written in their heart.

Johnson's argument is deterministic. Even if one has a great capacity for evil due to brokenness, it does not mean that they cannot still refuse to do that evil. And that available potential is part of their judgement.

God did not make the first humans evil, he made them morally free that they could freely be good, and by definition, the ability to freely do good entails the possibility to do evil. Such a possibility is not evil in and of itself. The possibility of evil is not evil. The possibility of anything is not the same as the actuality of that thing. Actual evil is the moral problem, not possible evil.

I remember reading Paul and finding it very difficult not to understand his view as deterministic. I almost lost my faith because I couldn't stomach that and what followed was a great deal of prayer, study, and help from others at a range of academic skills in relevant subjects. That said, I agree that inevitable evil is no reasonable moral basis to judge someone eternally... unless they have a chance to correct it and refuse to do so.

Rob R said...

post 2 of 2


Harry McCall,

The idea that Judaism doesn't have an explicit doctrine of original sin, it doesn't bother me one bit. It's a reasonable interpretation of narrative. I don't buy that God ever quite teaching the church or that we are finished drawing out the implications of scripture and the history of God's people.

We have a task to continue to think about and develop our understanding of God's revelations special and general. In doing so, we will make some mistakes which highlights the continual need for the church to not only build from scripture, tradition, and experience but to scrutinize all of that to the best of our abilities in a coherent manner utilizing the best tools and thinking that we have available to us and yet in a prayerful way as we are dependent on God for truth.

I think in some instances, original sin has been taken too far, such as with the total depravity of Calvinism which I think leads to a moral skepticism given that those of other religions do indeed perform authentically ethical acts. I also find that that depravity in that tradition can be emphasized to the point that human dignity and worth is trampled upon in a way that is inconsistent with our full original nature (damaged yet still in effect) as creatures designed after God's own eternal pattern, ie in his image. I don't see the need to take a hyperbolic statement of Paul's to emphasize to the Jews that they weren't better off than the Gentiles to counter that scripture does indeed speak of authentically righteous people. I don't see the need to be a pelagian either since our goodness can be interpreted as an appropriate response to the grace of God that is available to us.

I don't find your counterexamples at odds with a moderate doctrine of original sin. Just because the blind man wasn't blind because of what his parents did doesn't mean that it isn't a function of the general brokenness of creation that was God's first judgment against our rebellion. And in that, ultimately, birth defects are indeed there that God's works may be displayed. It was an opportunity for that individual man to display God's power over creation to be displayed in his healing, but even for those who do not recieve a healing, their increased dependence upon us is part of God's plan to provide us opportunity to come closer to each other as dependence requires, to increase opportunity for compassion that we may become less self absorbed.

I don't know about a connection to adam, but it's not as if the results of original sin were absent from the gospels. At least the Gospel of John strongly implies the sin nature in the opening chapter with the discussion of the world as a dark place.

shane said...

Rob R.

I want to ask...how do we know the ethical conduct of a person is evidence of any law concerning a divine standard?....or that ethics are of a divine nature rather then natural to human intelligence and understanding?

I agree that a person can refuse to do evil and is responsible for his own evil....but only to an extent!
There are things that Jesus taught to be sinful which are not always within a persons power to avoid!

Example-anger, anger is a sin according to Jesus, yet no human can always avoid getting angry at another person.
-Having sexual desire, having sexual desire is also a sin to Jesus, unless its within the bonds of marriage....but sexual desire is beyond our control, it is a natural biological occurance that humans experience! According to biologists its not sinful its perfectly natural.

I also think your absolutely right that actual evil is the moral problem and not possible evil!!!
And that is why i demonstrated using Johnsons explaination that God would be the root of actual evil......that humans are not to be blamed for the existence of actual evil in the universe and therefore God is responsible for the existence of evil! possible and actual evil!

I agree that we have a responsiblity to not commit acts of evil, and im not saying we dont, but this does not exempt God from also being responsible for our evil acts since He is the creator of evil.......therefore we are not morally accountable to God for our evil!

Look at it this way....no person could commit an act of evil if God had not brought it into existence in the first place.....and then gave us the free will to act on that evil!

shane said...

Rob R.

You also have to remember that all the concepts you presented in your post are christian concepts.
They stem from the christian faith and the biblical preception of the truth, and the truth of christianity is exactly what is being debated on this blog!

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

So Just Who Committed the Real Original Sin?

Biblical facts prove it was none other than God himself! The real first Original Sin was lying.

Here is God’s Original Sin as stated in Genesis 2: 15 - 17.

Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

The Hebrew is clear on this that it will be the VERY DAY they ate of the fruit that they would die

Thus, it is a lying creator deity who committed the sin of lying, a sin even Jesus said only Satan did:

"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

Folks, Jesus nailed Yahweh’s butt to the Original Sin wall!!!

Breckmin said...

"This hardly befits an onmibenevolent God"

Does God really "love" satan and his demons? If being (the English word constructed by humans to describe God's Love)"omnibenevolent"
means that God has to love every spiritual being equally...no matter what His relationship is to them..then I would soundly reject the English word "omnibenevolent" as an imperfect word. Q.E.

Breckmin said...

@ Shane
"I disagree, although humans do have the power to commit evil actions and the power to commit good actions, no human has the power to create evil or good!"

I merely said we "create" also..which has to do with thoughts and impulses themselves which are NOT limited to the physical brain.

I never said we "create" good and evil since good is the standard and evil/disobedience is missing the standard.

What I am referring to is that we are little sovereign beings. Yes our sovereignty is very limited. Sometime our sovereignty (what little we have) is taken away by the choices of other individuals.
It comes down to the imperfection of the English word "free" as it relates to "free will." Yes we have a will..right now it is tied to a sin nature and no matter how "good" our conscience is - we WILL sin/disobey God at some point because our will is tied to this sin nature.

IOW, it is logically complicated.

"We may be able to do either good or evil things, but as far as evil existing in the universe, man is not responsible."

Lucifer/satan is responsible for the FIRST sin/evil/disobedience, but Adam or the whole human race would have eventually committed sin or done something wrong because certain knowledge has to be learned.

Each "person" is responsible for committing their own sin. It is based on the decisions that they make.

"If God (assuming He exists) is the author and sustainer of all existence, then He is the author of evil as well!"

Well, this is the heretical hyper-Calvinist conclusion..but that is because the Calvinist is operating with tunnel vision as we look at this logically.

God may "sunergei" (or together act with all circumstances) with all things to teach you to choose correctly...but in the end - YOU choose. You make a real choice.
You can't have love without choice.
You can spank a child and teach a child how to make good choices..but in the end..they make the choice.

Once again, it is complicated because of spiritual regeneration which changes the person's heart and gives them the desire/ability to finally choose God and seek salvation.

If you over-simplify this...then you will be incorrectly left with a Creator who looks like some kind of a monster. IF you look at this truthfully and with wisdom...you will instead "see" an absolutely PERFECT plan with a Holy/Righteous Creator Who is perfecting/saving/protecting His children for all of eternity.



To say that man is the creator of evil is to take away from Gods ultimate power and say that God is not the creator of all things!

Soul Crushed said...

"Congratulations for trucking in all the presuppositions that I said you would. On top of that, let me add another presupposition you just illustrated with your non-response: That Adam/Eve knew that God would never lie to them."

That's quite a dodge, Jim. Besides wondering if you've ever actually read, rather than skim the passages you tortured, your logic has become dislodged from your original argument. Peace.

Breckmin said...

"To say that man is the creator of evil is to take away from Gods ultimate power and say that God is not the creator of all things!" - Shane

Sorry about not addressing that last part.

Man/woman/or even angel is not exactly the "creator" of something which is based on standards..because the perfect standard was already there.

IOW, it comes down to an understanding of "cause" and first cause. Yes, choice/volition was the necessity for love which "created" the potential byproduct for missing the standard.
But satan/lucifer did not exactly create missing the standard because the standard belongs to God and His Perfect Nature and intentions.

Soul Crushed said...

Hi Shane,

"I don't believe lying, cheating, and killing were the only things humans did long ago to survive.
I think being good to each other (as far as we understand goodness) was also for survival purposes."

Well, we humans have been doing just that (lying, stealing, and killing) through most of modern history, so if you're going to claim that we're "ever evolving" you have assume a worse to better framework. And you can't avoid the modern animal kingdom in your paradigm, because animals would suggest the ancient behavior of humans under an evolutionary framework - besides this is exactly what biologists suggest everywhere else, so why not with behavior?

Breckmin said...

"So then your saying that the God you believe in is not a fair being?"

FOA, I wouldn't call God a "being" in that it implies limitation.

I would say that God is the Infinite Creator.

SOA, I would question the definition of "fair" as it relates to equal opportunity or as it relates to any type of equality.

Often, the "fairness" we learn about growing up can be reduced to "sharing" equally....but the reality is that this sharing is situational. Everyone is born at different points of time with different circumstances.

What I am actually saying is that there is no such thing as "fairness" as it relates to equal opportunity in a cosmic sense. I assert the Law of Unfairness because any type of equality or sharing is imperfect with respect to circumstances.

It is impossible to even have "true" fairness in a universe where we are affected by other people's choices.

Christians often say "there is nothing fair about "grace.""

I used to say "God is not fair He is Just. If He was fair then He would send us all to hell, etc" These are very imperfect sentences in the English to not address concepts which are far more sophisticated.

I'm not just saying God is not fair.

I am actually saying that there is no such thing as true fairness and therefore it is not a valid concept to appeal to as to somehow bring a charge against God (a Holy and Righteous Creator Who is omniscient).

shane said...

Soul.

I never said i didn't believe in evolution or that animals do not exhibit triats that we would have have had long ago.

I said animals and humans alike exhibit love,nurturing, and empathy toward eachother aswell as lies,killing...etc...
And i believe all of it has to do with survival.

If God intended this world to be a place of harmony, then why do animals savagely kill and eat eachother just to live?
I can see the concept of humans being evil because of our suppossed sin nature, but why would a loving God make the animal kingdom so savage?

Im not exactly sure what your getting at here so if im missing your point please explain.

Breckmin said...

"There is little difference between allowing people to be created while knowing they will be damned, and creating people for the expressed purpose of damning them!"

This is pretty much the Arminian objection to the Westminster Confession of 1647. The problem is that it is much involved with the issue of will/volition/choice as it relates to God's Perfect Justice for actual decisions.

Also, God is not tantamount to a human parent who "watches" their child but doesn't cosmically own them... that is why comparing the Owner of the universe to a neglectful parent is just plain silly. Why? Because God Infinitely Decrees EVERYONE'S death or number of days on earth (life). The same argument could
be said of God allowing a person to only live 120 years and die of old age. We need to address logical causes and circumstances which affect all existences and choices. We can NOT "isolate" on a single occurrence or we will miss
its "relationship to" eternity.

FTR, this subject is the one that I think we should be discussing in more detail. "How is God just in allowing billions to logically be separated and only saving millions?"

A very important question to discuss.

Breckmin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soul Crushed said...

Hi Harry,

"So now we have Jesus himself admitting to be tainted with Original Sin."

This would be a true statement if Jesus were but a man. But since he was God, his question back to the young ruler is looked at in a whole new light.

shane said...

Rob R.

You said Satan is responsible for the first sin?
Would you be implying that Satan brought the first sin into existence and has the power to bring it into existence out of nothing?

or....are you saying that sin already existed and Satan was the first to express it?
If this is the case then B.C, Johnson touched on this in my post by saying
"Satan cannot be responsible for evil, for the same argument would apply to him".

You also said "you cannot love without choice"?
I disagree, love is an emotion, and like all emotions it is not a voluntary choice/action, we cannot pick and choice our emotions they come naturally.

"If you look at this truthfully, you will see a perfect plan with a holy/righteous Creator"

Honestly, I do not see that within the biblical concept of truth.

I see a docrine that tells us that God brought man into existence and created man with weakness to temptation.
Then God played on man's weakness by placing a temptation before him.
Then God allows the serpent to come in and tempt man into sinning.
God did all this and knew beforehand (according to His omniscience) what was going to happen.
God already knew that man would fail and He would have to condemn man to eternal torture and yet He did it anyway?

Its obvious that most of the human race will go to hell if the bible is true....so apparently according to christian logic the condemnation of many is worth the salvation of the few as far as God is concerned!
I dont see this as a perfect plan of a loving God!

Soul Crushed said...

Hi Shane,

"I said animals and humans alike exhibit love,nurturing, and empathy toward each other as well as lies,killing...etc...
And i believe all of it has to do with survival."

Your statement just shifts the focal point, but it doesn't remove my argument. Evolutionary forces that are believed to have moved us from "the goo" to you, also applies to lesser forms as well. So animals are merely the latest product of an "ever evolving" world, and this would mean that they too are "better examples" of their former selves even as they supposedly show us something of ourselves. But in all this supposed evolution, it would mean that the most critical periods of our early development would have been dependent on killing and stealing (lying would be limited to humanity) in order to survive - just as humans and animals do today, particularly in desperate situations.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Crushed Soul: This would be a true statement if Jesus were but a man. But since he was God, his question back to the young ruler is looked at in a whole new light.

RE: You have read Trinitarian theology onto the non-Trinitarian Synoptic accounts. (Moreover, you have yet to support your reading of Luke’s verse (you earlier quoted) with a commentary that would support Original Sin there.)

Secondly, you have not proven (with quoted texts from Qumran, the Hebrew Bible nor the Talmud) that Judaism EVER believed in Original Sin. (I still waiting on this one.)

I need you to produce a Synoptic Gospel phase where Jesus says emphatically; “I am God.”

Fact is, Jesus avoids even being called the messiah in Mark (The Messianic Secret in Mark), and NOWHERE does Jesus make the statement “I am God.”

Quotes by Jesus such as “He who has see me has seen the Father.” or “I and the Father are one.” are vague statements since τῷ πατρὶ ὑμῶν was not equated with the clear statement Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν ἐγώ τὸν θεόν.

Breckmin said...

"they became like God "knowing both good and evil"
the scripture says-"man has become like us knowing evil"!
This also indicates that evil existed."

Clearly God is omniscient so - of course - God knew what evil was. Even at the point in time which this is recorded, lucifer had already fallen and become satan so evil literally existed and was not just a potential existence.

This in no way, however, means that God is both good and evil...NOR does it mean that sin/disobedience/moral evil existed prior to Lucifer.

It is important to see not only the progression of historical events...but also differentiate between actualities and future potential existences.

Breckmin said...

When we come to the fall of Adam there are many questions we should logically ask.

1. Why does this appear to be a story with a talking snake and two magic trees? How can it be literal?

2. What is the wolf doing alone with the sheep? (or in this case a serpent alone with Eve to deceive her)

3. Why did God allow these circumstances which would logically contribute to Adam making the wrong choice? (sin which would condemn all of us)

4. Why would Eve even hold a conversation with a talking serpent and why wouldn't she have the Red Flag up and run to Adam and tell him of this phenomenon?

5. If God is all-knowing, then why does He "need" to put Adam and Eve through such a test? (a pseudo question, btw)

6. Here's a good one.."Why was the evil serpent allowed in the garden when Adam and Eve were kicked out and not allowed to return?" How was it that sin was allowed in the garden with the serpent?

7. Why didn't they die immediately? How come they still lived 7 or 800 years after they ate? (clearly easily answered with "dying ye shall die" and the two part spiritual death which was immediate and the physical death which was eventual).

The fact is that there are hundreds of more questions we could ask about the factual test that Adam and Eve went through that caused the human race to be cursed by God.

There are LOGICAL answers to all of them.

Question everything.

But when you question...pray to the Holy Creator and God Who made All for protection from your own self-deception.

shane said...

Soul Crush.

Ok....so what are you getting at?
Yes i have read that some of our survival would have depended on killing...etc...just like animals do today?
Does that make evolution untrue?

shane said...

Breckmin.

You said sin and moral evil did not exist before Lucifer?

So are you saying that Lucifer brought evil into existence?
Was lucifer powerful enough to some how bring something into existence out of nothing?

I thought only God was the creator of all existence?

Here we once again have B.C. Johnsons argument.

If Lucifer is responsible for his own evil and the evil of everyone else, then is to say that he caused himself to be evil.
If Lucifer made himself evil, then this would be an act of evil and would imply that he was already evil!
Therefore, not even Lucifer is the responsible source of his own evil since he aswell was created by God....therefore God must be responsible for even Lucifers evil!

shane said...

Breckmin.

You see, christians want it both ways.

On one hand they say that- when made Lucifer He made him a pure and holy being (an angel).
On the other hand, they say that- at some point sin (pride) developed in Lucifer and he fell.

This is a contradiction!

A pure and holy being CANNOT develop evil, that is impossible, if a being like that did develop evil, then they were never pure and holy to begin with!
This can only lead to one conclusion. God made Lucifer with evil from the very beginning.

P.Coyle said...

Rob R writes:


God did not make the first humans evil, he made them morally free that they could freely be good, and by definition, the ability to freely do good entails the possibility to do evil. Such a possibility is not evil in and of itself. The possibility of evil is not evil. The possibility of anything is not the same as the actuality of that thing. Actual evil is the moral problem, not possible evil.


Consider the following statement: "When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they did nothing that was immoral." Discuss.

It is interesting to compare and contrast the myth of Adam and Eve with the Greek myth of Prometheus. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind, and was punished by Zeus for it. Similarly, Adam and Eve stole knowledge of good and evil from God and were punished by God for doing so. However, while Prometheus' defiance of the gods made him a hero, Adam and Eve don't appear to be particularly heroic.

It is also interesting to compare the figure of Eve the first woman) with the figure of Pandora (who was also the first woman). Both of these "first women" were blamed for bringing woe and trouble to mankind.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

I haven't read the previous comments, but it feels as though John's stance is that sin is to be avoided in order to escape punishment. But I don't think it is possible for grace to be exhibited without sin. I don't think it is possible to know unconditional love w/o the benefit of being fallible and vulnerable. Just saying.

zenmite said...

"A pure and holy being CANNOT develop evil, that is impossible, if a being like that did develop evil, then they were never pure and holy to begin with!"

No doubt they will turn back to the 'freewill' assertion. For Lucifer to be a truly free being he must be able to choose evil. Of course god knew that satan would freely choose evil and rebellion. Knowing all this, god chooses to create lucifer anyway.

Back to my question; Can souls in heaven choose to sin and be sent to hell? Are they no longer free? God apparently values freewill above all else...beyond massive suffering for all eternity. As long as he can wash his hands of it and insist we did it to ourselves.

If pure, free beings (like satan) can choose evil, couldn't god himself also choose evil. Even Jesus was tempted.

Being free, god could decide to become an evil being, destroy, torture & kill his creatures for no good reason..even babies. Oh wait. That is what happened!

shane said...

Zenmite.

Very good point!

What i was trying to get across to them was that if Satan chose evil by his free will, then this would be an act of evil in itself..... and imply he was already evil to begin with!
For the evil of Satan must precede his act of evil..........meaning God created Satan with evil in him.

But eitherway, you made a good point that i often wondered about myself.

Chuck O'Connor said...

What I find funny is Rob R's case is built on the fact that collective responsibility can be practiced when an observed wrong has been committed (e.g. The African Diaspora and US Slavery evoking Affirmative Action Policy) but, he fails to establish that Adam and Eve ever existed so, his analogy fails.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Soul Crushed,

All you are doing is indicating how little you know of evolutionary theory.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Here is a given Biblical fact:

נחש is a serpent and NOT השטן (the accuser) just as these Hebrew words are not the New Testament’s Σατανᾶς / ὁ διάβολος!

Theological evolution is a Biblical fact. Just consider how a snake of ancient wisdom first appeared on a Sumerian vase of c. 2000 B.C.E. representing the healing god Ningishita, the prototype of the Greek Asklepios.

This serpent of wisdom, which is still used by the medical profession today, and is an honored symbol for wisdom and healing.

Ironically, the very God who cursed Adam and Eve in the Garden ONLY accepts prayer and direct miracles provided by him (as Biblically required) since these are the only proofs that can directly prove he exists (In an ancient religious era where competing religions all claimed their own gods who alone created the world).

This Garden of Eden wisdom story is once again enforced in the New Testament by Jesus himself:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matt. 10:16)

Breckmin said...

@ Shane
"A pure and holy being CANNOT develop evil, that is impossible,"

This fails to identify what Peter Kreeft and other systematic theologians have long identified as being the beginnings of sin/disobedience.

Sin/disobedience/moral evil is a "potential byproduct" of choice.
It is having "choice" that creates this potential. Love requires "choice" so it is actually the necessity of having a being who will LOVE and "choose" which creates the inevitable potential byproduct of disobedience at some point, often due to a lack of knowledge or lack of motive.

This is NOT just programming as though you can look at this like simple "cause and effect." This is far more complicated. We are talking about "human consciousness" that has its own impulse. You are a little "sovereign" being. Yes your sovereignty is limited and it can indeed be taken away by the choices of others...still, however,
both angels and humans "choose."


"if a being like that did develop evil, then they were never pure and holy to begin with!"

He was "blameless in his ways" This doesn't mean he (Lucifer) was somehow perfect with all omniscient perfect knowledge. This means that he hadn't done anything wrong yet. He hadn't developed jealousy or become prideful, etc. This potential was there because of "free" will. ("free" is in quotes because we will probably have imperfection and equivocation on this word as it relates to circumstances, etc).
The point is that lucifer made an actual choice/decision.

The most important factor to talk about is the role of knowledge and the potential byproduct of choice.

"This can only lead to one conclusion."

God is Perfect and Holy is my conclusion.


"God made Lucifer with evil from the very beginning."

Completely illogical. Moral evil or sin/disobedience is based on choices and decision/knowledge.

What God did do is make Lucifer the number one angel....and he couldn't handle it. There was a lack of logical humility (his status in relation to the Infinite Creator)and there was also the concept of power corrupts.

As "top dog" among the angels..he
could not handle it. Either way only God should be number one among us...that that Number One Person is Jesus Christ - our Lord, Savior, God in human flesh, and Rightful King!

Question everything.

Breckmin said...

"For the evil of Satan must precede his act of evil"

Incorrect from a standpoint of actuality.

Of course, within the scope of God's Omniscience God knew that satan would commit an evil act (you could even talk about his circumstances and what he would or wouldn't be able to handle, etc.),
but this is still evasive to "free impulse." The concept of evil clearly existed "prior" to creation...but that has nothing to do with an actual "act" or decision - that is a BAD decision or violates the STANDARD of good.

Neither satan nore Adam "started" with original sin like all of us descendents of Adam and Eve do (this assertion is made within the agreed set of assumptions of Christianity and original sin being true).

It is very important to see how "sin/disobedience" is not something that God directly created...but is actually a potential byproduct of choice/violition.

Breckmin said...

"Can souls in heaven choose to sin and be sent to hell? Are they no longer free?"

Actually, they are finally free. Free to always obey God and armed with the motive (absolute love) and knowledge (everything from this temporary creation) do DO this and be protected by God's grace for all of eternity.

The point is that souls (or spiritual adopted children) WON'T
disobey or distrust God in heaven, because of the ROLE of knowledge (which has to be learned) and because of the GRACE of God which is being demonstrated.

Heaven is actually where the born-again Christian finally HAS free will. Free from the bondage of sin (the sin nature/ original sin) AND "knowledge of the truth" so that the Truth can set them free for all of eternity. This is very important to understand. It is logical to always obey God and to always completely Trust God...but you wouldn't know this unless you actually LEARNED about God...and knew Him via personal relationship.

The differences between heaven and earth are the removal of the sin nature (the bondage of the flesh) and the ROLE of knowledge which had to be LEARNED and the role of LOVE which had to be demonstrated. Q.E.

Breckmin said...

"The differences between heaven and earth are the removal of the sin nature (the bondage of the flesh) and the ROLE of knowledge which had to be LEARNED and the role of LOVE which had to be demonstrated." Q.E.

And, of course, spiritual regeneration through the power of God's Holy Spirit and everything that comes with it.

Breckmin said...

"1) God created us faulty in some way,"

There is nothing that would make us believe that God would create us omniscient...or that this is even possible since you would have to be infinite. There is certain knowledge which must be learned.
That doesn't mean we are faulty..
that means we can LOVE God by choosing. That means we can say
"no" - BUT we can also say "yes" which is the good thing.


"or 2) The test was a sham. And since a fair test would mean some of us would not have sinned,"

Disorder and would lead to a heaven of confusion..with people whom God loves dropping off.

Also...there is NO SUCH THING AS "fair." Fair is an illusion we grow up with which can be reduced to sharing and the illusion of equal opportunity which does not exist in this universe.


"then some human beings are being punished in this world for something they never would have done in the first place."

Unless it would have been no other way...in which case your point fails to deal with the reality of God's Omniscience and optimal plan for the greatness of salvation and the Glory of Love forever in heaven worshipping Jesus (because we "choose" to).

"This is just one of many problems that keeps me from believing"

As long as you fail to see the reality of the Law of Unfairness, you will never understand the absolute GRACE that God extends to you as a Christian...as well as the incredible LOVE He has for those for whom He died.

There is nothing "fair" about Grace.

shane said...

Breckmin.

I think your wrong. When i said Satans evil must precede his act of evil.....you said illogical, its all about choices??????

What are you talking about?

How can you dispute that an evil intention must precede the act/choice of evil?
A person must have the thought to do evil or the intent before they can commit a willfull act/choice of evil........

This is not a hard concept, it is perfectly logical, thoughts precede acts.

How could Satan commit a willfull act of rebellion unless he already had the tenacity to do so????

Therefore i asked, "how is it possible for a being created pure and holy by God to develop an evil intent or an evil mind"?

This indicates Satan would have had a character flaw right from the start.....which also indicates that God made him with this character flaw and would ultimately be to blame.

Basically i know your going to just write back and refute this....but looking at this biblical concept from a logical- rational- point of view i am not wrong.

shane said...

Breckmin.

You keep saying that we can love God by choosing and that love is a choice?

NO! love is not a choice. Love is an emotion and like all emotions it is not a voluntary action!
Nobody can choose to love, love is something that develops over time in a person based on experiences and emotional attachment!!!!

This is what really burns me up about christians, they say everything is a choice!
They say "believing is a choice"..."you most choose to believe in Christ"
Nodody can choose to believe anything because belief is not a voluntary action either!
Belief is based on what the brain perceives to be true based on new information compared with old information. People cannot pick and choose their belief's or what they happen to fall in love with.

The reason christians are so adamant about choices, is because they want to dismiss any blame that could be placed on God and His design, and focus all fault on human beings and their sinful choices.

Breckmin said...

@Shane

You can not escape "human consciousness" within the agreed assumptions of Christianity. It is as though you are viewing all human existence as mere "programming" or physical impulses in the human brain. Angels make intellectual choices without a human brain within the agreed set of assumptions of Christianity.

You can't Love God unless you "agree" with God. You can't agree with God unless you have the potential to "disagree" with God (which is a bad thing). Love requires choice and choice creates the potential byproduct of choosing incorrectly (which is a violation against the Holy Nature of God). Love is manifested in "action." Action is based on "choice."

The reason Christians are always talking about "choice" is because THEY/YOU make choices.

Knowledge (and absolute knowledge) helps you make the RIGHT choice or choose correctly. What you "want" to do is your motive. Love can be/is a great motive.

It is essential to pray for protection from deception as you
question.

Breckmin said...

"Love is an emotion and like all emotions it is not a voluntary action!"

The "actions" of love are based on choice. This is very important to see.

Love is often said to be "an action." (or will result in action)

Breckmin said...

"When i said Satans evil must precede his act of evil.....you said illogical,"

What I was referring to was in relation to God "creating him evil." This is the part that is illogical. God created him "neutral" in the sense that he was first "good" and would only do acts of good. BUT - he had the potential for sin/disobedience because he had the ability to "choose." This ability to make choices creates a potential byproduct to say "no" to God (which is a bad thing). Also, there is the issue of his circumstances...and things which caused him/contributed to/or allowed him/or influenced him (had an effect on him)to be jealous (the creation of Adam in God's Image who would be elevated).

Breckmin said...

"its all about choices??????"

Yes. It is all about being a so called "sovereign creature" with limited sovereignty based on circumstances and the ability to do what you please at the moment. It is the ability to make choices and be driven by personal impulses.

"What are you talking about?"

There are other things in Lucifer's circumstances which we could point to which could influence his potential (not a number or quantified potential) or already existing ability to choose or ignore logical humility and become prideful. To look at it in simplified cause and effect formula is painfully flawed and will lead you to error. You have to address the reality of how free will creates the potential byproduct as well as the ability to become corrupted.
You can say "he was flawed because he didn't know not to become satan" but this is still evasive to his choice/decision to be jealous, or become prideful.

"How can you dispute that an evil intention must precede the act/choice of evil?"

I do NOT dispute that point in anyway. What I dispute is that lucifer was created will pre-existing evil intention. This is not only evasive to the reality of his choice...but it is also evasive to the role of knowledge and experiences.

"A person must have the thought to do evil or the intent before they can commit a willfull act/choice of evil........"

Agreed.

"This is not a hard concept, it is perfectly logical, thoughts precede acts."

Agreed.

"How could Satan commit a willfull act of rebellion unless he already had the tenacity to do so????"

The problem is the word tenacity (or even if we used the word tendency) and what exactly you mean by it. If you said "he already had the potential to do so"
then I would agree with you - depending on how you explained the relationship between choice and potential. Every finite being of choice at first has the potential to be corrupted UNLESS you remove that potential in some way. (Special Pleading is logically justified that an Omniscient Infinite Creator Who sets the standard for good will never become evil and therefore "potential" does not apply to the Holy Creator).

"Therefore i asked, "how is it possible for a being created pure and holy by God to develop an evil intent or an evil mind"?"

The ability to choose creates the potential (ability) or byproduct.
Lucifer's corruption to satan is NOT creating evil out of nothing but is rather making a decision which falls short of the Perfect Standard of good. If you over-
simplify this with simple "cause and effect" you will miss the reality of "choice."

"This indicates Satan would have had a character flaw right from the start....."

If you believe that "choice" is a character flaw because it has the potential for disobedience/sin/lack of faith, etc
THEN you will blame God for creating angels with choice.

An angel couldn't really love God unless they could agree with God, however.

"which also indicates that God made him with this character flaw and would ultimately be to blame."

You need to be able to agree with God in order to obey Him. You can't agree with God unless you can disagree with God.
This creates the logical complication. (and the necessity of grace and protection from our own potential choices)

We are not puppets or robots.

shane said...

Breckmin.

You see.....i do apply cause and effect because it is an evident role in existence.

I find you on the other hand stating alot of your arguments on assumption.
You are assuming there is such a thing as angels, and that they possess minds without brains?

A mind cannot exist without a brain. The result of Alzheimers is a perfect example. If we have minds independant of the brain, then why does the mind lose memory when the brain is damaged, why doesn't it stay uneffected in people with Alzheimers, why does the brain have to learn before making a choice?

I agree that love is manifested in action and actions are a choice.......but you are over stepping what i said. I said love itself is not a voluntary action. We can choice to act on love, but we CANT choose TO love something out of freewill.
Neither you or I can just wake up one morning and decide to love someone?
We can choose to act on any emotions-love-anger-fear-joy....etc but love is an emotion an it develops based on emotional attachment.

You also said, "We cannot love God unless we are in agreement with Him"?

I love many people, but im not always in agreement with their actions, choices, and sensibilities?

All im saying in regards to Satan, is that to my biblical knowledge, God's standard is perfection!
That is why one act of sin (Adam and Eve) caused all to become sinful.
Jesus even said "therefore you most be perfect just as your father in heaven is perfect"
And the way we are to attain perfection is through Jesus sacrifice!

No sin can be in the presence of God!

Therefore, if angels are suppossed to be in Gods presence in heaven...they would have to be sinless beings!
And if Satan was a sinless being at one point, how could he possibly choice an evil act?
The fact that he could even have the INTENT do choice a sinful act is evidence of an imperfect character!

Jesus even said "for whosoever even looks at a woman in lust has already committed adultry with her in his HEART!
Here Jesus Himself is saying that its not just the act of evil that is the sin.....its also the intent.....He is saying that evil begins in the heart.

How could a perfectly holy being develop pride in their heart in the first place in order to act on it by free will?
The fact that Satan would have had to be perfect in the first place to be in the presence of God would mean that he could not commit evil, for that is exactly what made him perfect!

This whole biblical concept is flawed in logic and reason.
Your right......we do need the ability to choose between good and evil in order to have free will.....but that is my whole point, this fact completely contadicts the bible stories for reasons I have stated above!

You said that if im going to simplify all of this by the formula of cause and effect I will fail to understand?
Its not just cause and effect, im taking biblical passeges and putting them together here!......and they are not in harmony with the concept of free will.

shane said...

Breckmin.
Sorry, i kept spelling choice instead of choose?

pink_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pink_monkey said...

Chuck O'Connor said...

Soul Crushed,

All you are doing is indicating how little you know of evolutionary theory.


+1

ty chuck, his comments on the ToE are absurd.

James George said...

I guess the really sad part is that we must seriously have this conversation and its the year 2010 for heaven sakes!

Isn't it time the bible takes its rightful place next to Homer's Odyssey, Eosops fables, and all other past myths?

James George said...

Religion is a very necessary peice of the war death machine, that makes some Men very very rich at the expense of all of humanity, until we wake up and realize that all religion creates evil, can we have a world free from evil.