Indeed. Ignorance is not always an excuse.
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“...corporations and those who run them cannot stop exploiting resources and amassing wealth until they have... .I cannot finish this sentence, because the truth is that can never stop; like cancer, they can only continue to expand until they kill the host.”
-- Derrick Jensen
Indeed. Ignorance is not always an excuse.
It doesn't matter if its a parable or intended to be a real depiction.
I see it as a parent putting a kid at a table with an unwrapped candy bar in front of him and saying: "I'm going to go outside and mow the lawn, but DON'T TOUCH THAT CANDY BAR!"
Any parent that doesn't know with 100% certainty that their kid is going to eat the candy bar is stupid. So either a) God is stupid or b) He intended for us to eat the apple knowing what the consequences would be. Not just that he KNEW we'd eat the apple, that he created a situation in which nothing else could ever happen, he effectively arranged an entrapment scenario.
In either case, it doesn't paint a very good picture of God. Force us to eat the apple, and then hold us responsible for doing it later by forcing us to burn in hell forever if we don't do just what he wants. But he tries to frame it as a matter of 'free choice' and 'free will' which is BS if you buy into the garden of eden story framework.
Last edited by Disillusioned_1; 02-08-2011 at 10:44 AM.
I hope a practicing Christian makes a post here to shed light on your question.
"No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
-- Patrick Henry
I've always thought that the parable of the Garden of Eden and the Fall is about the transition from pre-civilized to civilized life. The Hebrews, being in a proto-civilized state when their oral traditions were put together (as nomadic herdsmen) and in very early civilization when they were written down, were close to that and conscious of it. Pre-civilized peoples have a "knowledge of good and evil" in a sense, but it's not as jarring as it is for more advanced peoples.
Humans lived in a pre-civilized pattern -- forager/hunter economy, small bands, no formal government, no organized religion -- for somewhere between a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand years. This social pattern came to us unchanged from our predecessors on the hominid line, the species H. erectus, along with fire and stone tools, so the pattern is actually millions of years old. It's in our genes. It's what we were made for by nature. Departure from that pattern feels wrong to us, hence the appeal of anarchism and primitivism.
Look at the penalties imposed by God for the Fall:
(Genesis 3.) Note that the chief changes here were 1) the woman would be subordinate to the man, and 2) the man would grow food "by the sweat of your brow," working hard as a farmer, rather than partaking of the bounty freely given by nature, as he did while in the Garden.16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
As I said, the Hebrews were no longer pre-civilized when this oral tradition was first composed, but they were not civilized, either. They lived as nomadic herdsmen, although obviously they had some familiarity with farming, too. They would have adopted the new ways, living by growing crops and domesticating animals rather than by hunting and foraging, not all that many generations past. The transition from the natural ways that are in our genes, to the new ways in which women are subjugated by men and it takes beaucoup hard work to feed yourself, was recent enough to be jarring, or to have this oral tradition of its being jarring at least.
If Adam Smith were alive today, he'd be a socialist.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas K. Gandhi
Robin, a science-fiction dystopic version of the Robin Hood myth: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/44436
A choice is: "Do you want to work in the yard or clean your room?" or "Do you want meatballs or macaroni and cheese"?
A choice isn't: "Do you want to clean the house and wash the dishes or watch tv and eat candy?"
There's no real choice with that last one. It sounds like a choice but it really isn't. Remember, Adam and Eve weren't modern human adults, they were in a figurative sense children --- innocents. They had no understanding or comprehension of the consequences of their actions.
Had God created a Tree of Death and Unending Pain and told them not to eat of the tree, well, I can see punishing them. Indeed, humans would be punished not for their sins but by their sins. The idea that God would tempt humans with creating a Tree of Knowledge, not merely of say math and science but a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and then say there is only one rule, don't learn what is good and evil an abomination. They say the Christian God is all knowing. This means it is all his fault and like a bad boss, blaming others for his mistake. Here is a classic from Ayn Rand:
Original Sin: Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof. It demands he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.
It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his (man’s) renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic god with some incomprehensible design or any passerby whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him – it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.
The name of this monstrosity is Original Sin.
A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil: a robot is amoral. To hold, as man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man’s nature as a sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet, that is your code.
That isn't correct. There are numerous ancient manuscripts housed in the Vatican and other places. Some of them are probably what some people thought to have been destroyed when the library at Alexandria was destroyed. And there are groups who have passed the meaning of those symbols down so that they mean exactly the same to those who have the knowledge of them in this day and time as they did thousands of years ago. Your not being a member of any of those groups does not mean that do not exist.
Moreover, the Bible was not handed down as 'word of mouth.' The Bible is a transcription of ancient documents. And there have been several of those.
We have the Rosetta Stone, which enabled us to be able to translate hieroglyphics and was, at least according to our Egyptian guides, an invitation to a wedding or party of some sort - not part of the Bible, though. (They could have been pulling our legs, though. I haven't looked it up.) And we have the Dead Sea Scrolls as well, ancient documents found and recovered in the 20th Century.
Women actually did figure quite strongly in the Bible. There's Mary Magdalene who was actually one of Christ's disciples. She and Florence Nightingale of moder times were both screwed over by the male powers that be. There is nothing in the Bible about Mary Magdaline being a prostitute. And Florence Nightingale didn't die of syphilis as the GOBs have declared. Both of those things were intended to keep women from having power.
Last edited by Sunshine; 02-08-2011 at 12:19 PM.
- Frustrated Independent
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people.” - Penn Jillette amazingly enough, and I agree.