Differing Views of God

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Siege, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Thanka, Anthra, for more spiritual readings.

    What about this injunction from Exodus 23, 19:

    Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk."

    Is that an instance of kindness to animals?

    Know of any explanation against the practice.

    In this connection but not in a religious context, I have never come across any recipe where fish and meat from pork or beef or chicken are cooked together.

    Do you know of any explanation for this non-usage?


    Susma Rio Sep
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Susma Rio Sep wrote:

    "What about this injunction from Exodus 23, 19:

    Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk."

    Is that an instance of kindness to animals?

    Know of any explanation against the practice."

    Reply:

    I'm not an expert on Torah, but apparently there was a Canaanite practise of seething a kid in it's mother's milk, and this practise was therefore forbidden. So to the extent it is a prohibition, I suppose you could argue it is a "kindness". You will find the same injunction against the practise in Exodus 34:26 and in Deuteronomy 14:21, so it must have been a widespread practise in Canaan that was forbidden in the Torah.

    Susma wrote:

    "In this connection but not in a religious context, I have never come across any recipe where fish and meat from pork or beef or chicken are cooked together.

    Do you know of any explanation for this non-usage?"

    My reply:

    I'm unsure here to what you are referring as these laws in Torah always by definition have a "religious context".... certain fish, pork were forbidden. There is a site that details what was forbidden in the Torah:

    http://www.torah.org/learning/halacha-overview/chapter28.html

    I think there were reasons for these prohibitions at the time they were made. Certain meats were disease carriers and methods of sanitization were unknown for centuries so various requirements made sense.

    As to "kindness to animals" in the context of these regulations to appreciate them you must also be aware of the context they were given and what kinds of practices were common in thse days, such as the Canaanite practse I mentioned above.

    - Art
     
  3. veritasamat

    veritasamat New Member

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    Greetings,

    Kindness to animals is taught in Islam. Here is a link to a short article, if anyone is interested to read it....

    http://members.tripod.com/maseeh1/advices7/id188.htm

    In Islam, man is considered the one earthly creature who received from Allah the responsibility of free-will, meaning we don't operate on instinct alone as other animals but can learn and program ourselves. We are the only creatures capable of willfully complying or violating nature's order. In the Qur'an this is called a trust. The Islamic understanding of man's role on the planet is one of khalifa, which means steward or viceregent, the one who holds responsibility in place of the ruler. We are supposed to use our free will not as one who dominates and owns but one who cares for creation with the creator's interests in mind. This includes the treatment of animals and the environment.

    In Islam, it is taught that in the judgment, animals will be given the ability to speak and testify against those who have abused them. This clearly implies that they are sentient. Although people may not be aware, animal rights are something clearly delineated in Islam.

    Although vegetarianism is not mandated, neither is eating of meat. It is recognized that the cycle of life and death is part of this existence, and men are allowed to eat animal flesh, but there are protocols to ensure that in their life and death they are treated with kindness and respect. There are many observant muslims here in the west who eat a vegetarian diet because they cannot verify if the meat at the market came from a properly cared for animal. It's also worth noting, that mad cow disease is spread by the abhorrent practice of feeding dead cow parts back to the cows, something that is against the nature of the cow. In Islam, this practice is considered haram, or forbidden.

    I love animals and this topic has always been of special interest to me. I hope this helps.

    veritasamat
     
  4. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Someone knew something

    Milk, anykind of milk should never be boiled (seethed) to begin with. It can be warmed, but boiling releases lactic acids and other toxins that can kill a man outright, let alone cause kidney and renal failure, overtax the liver, and a slew of other biological problems.

    Pork of the past carried a varied number of diseases, including Triginosis. (spelling is wrong) Nasty stuff. People tended not to cook the meat of the pig enough.

    Seafood. Any fish (true fish) with a vertebrate, that was not a "bottom dweller", was fair for food. Crusteaceans (sea life with exoskeletons), were considered bottom dwellers and scavangers, therefore not safe to eat.

    There was also something about cloven hooved animals, carrying more parasites, because they were usually not domestic animals.

    Avians. Birds that scavenged carcasses were considered parasite carriers (still are).

    I agree that feeding cows processed beef products is stupidity and greed at its finest. We just turned our food animal into a carcass scavenger.

    According to Genesis, it is implied that man did not eat meat before the "flood". This makes sense, considering that though we have a combination of teeth in our mouths comparable to an herbavor, and a carnivore, our digestive tract is better suited to that of an herbavor. We do however, need a little bit of flesh, for certain fatty acids, enzymes and proteins, that no plant can provide.

    This could explain why the majority of our teeth are designed for chrushing seeds and vegetable fiber, and are quite dominant in their design. Our bicuspids, canines and incisors however, are a bit recessed in their development. They are also in the minority, concerning ratio of types of teeth we possess.

    As far as kindness to animals, Scripture states that man was given dominion over the Earth and all animal and plant life. Thus animal Husbandry was invented. Basically, not only are we all our brothers' keepers, we are also the keeper of this biosphere that keeps us alive.

    In Michigan a few years back, the deer population grew so large (due in great deal to successful animal rights lobyists, curtailing hunting), that deer populations by the tens of thousands starved to death, and destroyed thousand of acres of winter corn before dying. (deer cannot digest corn, but that was what available, so they were found dead of malnutrition, yet had full stomaches of corn). Was that kindness, to let the herds proliferate to such a large population? No. It was good intentions gone terribly wrong, resulting in damaged crops and dead carcasses everywhere.

    This had never happened before in Michigan's history, though the state is well known for being a hunter's paradise. It seems that hunters make the best animal husbandry advocates, and not the animal rights activists. There is strong historical support to back this up, and the State rescinded much of the hunting ban. Hunters have a vested interest in coming back each season and having healthy prey to catch. and in plentiful numbers. Activists have a let it be attitude, which does not work with society encroaching upon wild lands.

    It isn't that the hunters are destroying the wildlife, or that the activists are negligent in maintaining a ecological balance. The point is extremism in either direction is cruel to animals.

    We live here, we are dominant, I guess that makes us responsible for that which we dominate.

    I am a hunter. The bow is my weapon of choice. I live in the woods, by a beautiful river that provides water to the city 15 miles up stream. I am an advocate against any company that attempts to pollute that river. I feed the local deer population throughout the year with wild herbs (like dill), and provide mineral blocks for nutrition. I also ensure their foot paths to the river are kept clear and clean.

    I do not hunt the deer near my house, though I have no problem hunting them in the cornfields several miles from home. If I wound a deer, I will track it until I find it (took me two days once). I take the entrails and spread them for other wild life. I grind the antlers and spread that for calcium for other wild life (rodents, polecats, etc.). I ship the hide to my brother who's wife turns it into winter clothing. The bones are ground and put in my garden. Nothing goes to waste.

    There is honor between the hunter and hunted. There is a respect. sometimes I lose and the deer wins, sometimes it is the other way.

    I think this is kindness.

    I'd go nuts if I didn't have meat in my diet, or fish, or poultry, or pork, or wild game. Some folk want trophies, I want to fill my freezer with healthy nutrition. I give back to nature in the way of managing my land and providing food and safety for the wildlife throughout the year. It is a good relationship.

    That to me is being kind. Most "hunters" think along the same lines. Some are idiots (but then you can find that kind in all the world's governments as well).

    I had to deal with animal rights activist group (about 6 people) who attempted to rig vietnam style booby traps around our hunting area once. They forgot one small detail. There are children living in these woods as well. That is not kind, that is insane. Not all are that way, not even a good number. But they have idiots in their ranks as well.

    Human nature. My dad gave me the best advice I've heard to date. KISS (keep it simple, stupid). I like that philosophy.

    I'll stop here before I exceed the bandwidth.
     
  5. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    oh, for feck's sake. show me some cockroach culture or intelligence - although, sometimes i'd settle for human. this argument is such a waste of breath.

    *rolls eyes*
    you're wrong. why do people automatically assume that the abrahamic faiths lack things when it is in fact the result of people not having taken the trouble to ask or find out? is it my fault people have a sunday-school conception of them?

    firstly, the story of bala'am's ass is far more about bala'am being a pigheaded fascist - the donkey comes out of it rather better by going with its instinct. secondly, exodus 23:4 is about ethical behaviour being correct and operative regardless of one's personal feelings and not about animals at all - they are given as a for instance. the following verse is a further clarification that even where no contractual relationship exists, you are particularly bound to assist if there is an animal, because it does not understand the relationships involved. the overall thrust of the halacha is to oblige us to avoid causing unnecessary pain or suffering to animals. the parental bond is particularly protected, because animals certainly feel it - this is reflected in the prohibition of taking eggs in sight of the mother bird. in fact, this principle is so strongly supported that it is respected even after the death of the mother - the seethed lamb being the prime example of this. the fact that the "seven nations" used to do this is considered evidence that they respected the parental bond not at all, as evidenced by their immoral behaviour in relation to child sacrifice and incest.

    a sacrificial system is *not* evidence of a lack of respect for animals. plenty of animal-respecting societies had one of these. ours is unique in that it was instituted specifically to show that it was not acceptable to sacrifice human beings. what the psalm is saying (and the Tanakh says this in numerous places) is that G!D Is not literally sitting up there inhaling the smoke and that we shouldn't kid ourselves thinking that sacrifices can influence or appease the Divine when our own conduct is lacking. it would be like buying your wife chocolates to make up for cheating on her - indeed this relationship is proverbial. sacrifices are the flowers and chocolates, not the commitment and hard work.

    and us, because the slaughter wouldn't be kosher. i'm pretty sure the same goes for halal.

    you can't cook fish and meat together, but you can eat them during the same meal, just not off the same plate. there is a strong injunction to separate distinct categories.

    yeah, a lot of people believe that, but it always turns into an argument that "we don't need to do that sort of thing nowadays because we're so advanced". this is effectively subjecting jewish law to the validation of scientific knowledge, which i think is antithetical to the purpose of it. jewish law is not obliged to conform to modern (and extremely fickle) notions of logic and rationality - that is eurocentric imperialism. quite apart from the fact that there are a whole load of laws (such as the prohibition on linsey-woolsey garments) that appear completely nonsensical on that basis - which is usually considered a good reason for people to ignore them. on that basis, judaism very soon ceases to be recognisable.

    as it is in judaism.


    i believe that current thinking is far from in unanimous agreement with this - although some opinions hold that judaism considers vegetarianism to be de rigueur for advanced spiritual development, the famous mystic rav kook being a significant proponent of this.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  6. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    "there is a strong injunction to separate distinct categories."
    I've noticed that: a lot of the Torah comes across like "Thou shalt not let the mashed potatoes touch the green beans, for that is an abomination to Me, neither shalt thou mix peanut butter and ice cream, for that is just plain gross."
    bananabrain, do you have a rationale for the "linsey-woolsey" etc. laws, or do you just say "G-D said it, so that is how it is" or perhaps "It is a mystery but surely we will know the reasons in the 'Ulam ha-Ba"?
    In Gen. 18, Abraham feeds his angelic guests a pita roll stuffed with roast beef and cottage cheese. Isn't that unkosher? Was this OK because those laws had not been given yet (like his marriage to a half-sister), or am I simply misunderstanding what the meal consisted of?
     
  7. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    hur, hur hur. yes, sometimes the categories aren't very clear without a lot of Talmudic wrangling. linsey-woolsey (or "sha'atnez" as it's called) is just one of that really weird category of laws called a "KhoQ". and yes, the best reason people seem to be able to find for it is that we'll understand it in the 'olam ha-ba. rav kook explains it rather well: http://www.geocities.com/m_yericho/ravkook/KEDOSHIM58.htm

    however, not all category-mixing concerns this type of law, although milk and meat, i believe, is also a khoq. as for abraham's guests, i noticed this a while ago, so you've just reminded me to look it up and it seems that my first reaction - "he must have served the milk before the meat" (which is OK as long as they waited an hour) is also the basic traditional reaction. it is the Talmudic discussion arising from this that allows scoping of the various rules and limits about how long you have to wait between milk and meat, which is rather more technical, as well as affecting the halacha about what constitutes mar ukba (the end of a meal), which then affects rules about starting birchat ha-mazon (grace after meals). as usual, the written Law is simply the hook on which the oral Law relies.
    more strangely, there is also a contradictory opinion (Shabbat 88a and Shabbat 88b) that state that the only reason we received the Torah is that the angels ate meat and milk together! this is taken to show that 'the Torah speaks in human language' and angels are obviously not human, so they're not subject to these laws. alternatively, as the angels are also not jewish, by extension, this turns into an argument for the applicability of the 613 commandments to jews alone.

    as for the half-sister thing, this is generally explained by the general usage of the term "sister" to refer more generally to "a female relative" (there are other examples of this but i forget where at present) given that she was a cousin, as i remember.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  8. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    How do you read Gen. 20:12 then? "And yet indeed [she is] my sister; she [is] the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother" sounds explicit that she was a half-sister.
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    there are a number of explanations, depending upon the perspective of the commentator concerned:

    1. that abraham's conduct *predated* the prohibition of marriage by degree of relation and, therefore, he was not at fault. this tends to be popular with people who like history.

    2. that he was lying to avimelech to get himself off the hook for having put her in danger. this tends to be popular with the sort of commentators that like criticising the patriarchs and pointing out that they were humanly fallible too. the rashbam and the tosefot are very keen on this, as it means they get to be rude to their grandpa, rashi.

    3. that as the prohibition only refers to the sister on the mother's side and not the father's side, no sin was committed. however, this also necessitates a later clarification in leviticus 18:11 - which is also an argument for a progressive view of the development of the Law. many commentators get out of this by deciding that abraham observed the *noachide* laws rather than the Torah, which hadn't been given. this, however, tends to argue against the idea that abraham could figure out all the implications of the stuff he knew. we can probably say, therefore, that whereas the milk/meat portion of the *pre-existing oral tradition* that had developed before and alongside the formal giving of Torah, perhaps the marriage prohibitions didn't till later, which would enable us to reconcile much of the patriarchal family's relationship behaviour (for example, the problem arising in connection with jacob marrying a pair sisters, in apparent violation of leviticus 18:18) with the halacha as given at sinai.

    4. that there is a special category of person known as "wife-sister" (i believe some of the anthropologically savvy scholars support this) who is elevated above the mere "wife" - compare this with the "sister-beloved" of the song of songs. nonetheless, abraham may still come across as a bit of a weasel for arguing that his words were taken out of context!

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  10. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Bill.

    Thanks for your post and good to hear from your perspective! I think had you been involved earlier it would have corrected some misunderstandings and shed more light as the discussion progressed.

    You wrote:

    Regarding my note earlier

    "....a sacrificial system is *not* evidence of a lack of respect for animals. plenty of animal-respecting societies had one of these. ours is unique in that it was instituted specifically to show that it was not acceptable to sacrifice human beings."

    My reply:

    I can accept that and the historical reason you give... however the reasons why something started though is not always how it turns out ultimately. My remark i think was responding to the issue of kindness to animals and that's why i cited Jesus as apparently disapproving of how things were run in the Temple precincts....that's just how i see it and i can appreciate where you are coming from at the same time.

    Bill wrote:

    "...firstly, the story of bala'am's ass is far more about bala'am being a pigheaded fascist - the donkey comes out of it rather better by going with its instinct. secondly, exodus 23:4 is about ethical behaviour being correct and operative regardless of one's personal feelings and not about animals at all - they are given as a for instance. the following verse is a further clarification that even where no contractual relationship exists, you are particularly bound to assist if there is an animal, because it does not understand the relationships involved.

    Comment:

    Again Bill I was drawing from scripture that there was an emphasis on kindness to animals and I can also appreciate your view also.

    Bill wrote:

    ".... jewish law is not obliged to conform to modern (and extremely fickle) notions of logic and rationality - that is eurocentric imperialism. quite apart from the fact that there are a whole load of laws (such as the prohibition on linsey-woolsey garments) that appear completely nonsensical on that basis - which is usually considered a good reason for people to ignore them. on that basis, judaism very soon ceases to be recognisable."

    Comment:

    I have no argument with "Jewish law".

    Being a Baha'i though, our belief is in a concept known as "Progressive Reevaltion" which accepts that G-d can revise the laws and requirements as He sees fit.

    Good to read your post!

    - Art
     
  11. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    "bill"? who is bill? are you getting confused by my quote from the 'big yin'?


    exactly - but we actually have our own set of checks and balances on this, which are part of the Oral Law.

    the Temple precincts of jesus' time came in for a lot of criticism, once the high priesthood had passed into the dynastic control of the hasmoneans and the political influence of the sadducees - but this criticism comes very much from the *rabbis*, who were to a certain extent part of this system in that they used the Temple and served on the sanhedrin and, to a certain extent, provided the principal opposition to the corruption that was taking over the system at the time. jesus, to this way of thinking, turns into a somewhat radical country preacher that doesn't like the way things are done in the big city. this is not such a bad thing from a jewish point of view.

    well, that is all very well, but we don't believe that G!D has ever revised the laws and requirements that he gave to the jews at sinai. we may have explained them further and their implications, via commentary and interpretation, but the core of Torah remains. this refers to *jewish* laws and requirements, not anything else or anyone else's revelations, laws or requirements.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  12. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Yes "bananabrain", well I apologize for my confusion i mistakenly called you "Bill"

    and i appreciate your response.

    Good and accurate information that you've supplied regarding the Hasmoneans and I liked your reference to Jesus:

    "jesus, to this way of thinking, turns into a somewhat radical country preacher that doesn't like the way things are done in the big city. this is not such a bad thing from a jewish point of view."

    I suppose our difference would be in the last remark about whether G-d can change His laws for us.

    - Art
     
  13. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    No problems with Catholics

    I suppose our difference would be in the last remark about whether G-d can change His laws for us.

    - Art


    Of course God is immutable in Himself. Can and will He change His laws for us? Being immutable doesn't seem to allow for that option.

    But with the Catholic Church, God's laws as the Author of the Christian Dispensation, aka, history of salvation, are immutable provided they have been propagated by the Church through infallible pronouncement.

    The trouble is when the Church has changed some rule of moral or some article of faith. Just the same, the Church can and has also reasoned out with her expert theologians that things were not infallibly declared to be from God; so that accusation of change or error would not stick.

    In effect, God's laws in the Catholic Church do change, only after a long long time, when the infraction of a law is more the rule than the exception. The wait will not be long now when artificial contraception is allowed by the Catholic Church -- then her theologians will have a great job explaining how there was no real drastic change.


    I don’t take all that seriously though, for being a postgraduate Catholic.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks Susma for your elucidation of the Catholic perspective!

    Susma quoting me:

    I suppose our difference would be in the last remark about whether G-d can change His laws for us.

    Responded:

    "Of course God is immutable in Himself. Can and will He change His laws for us? Being immutable doesn't seem to allow for that option.

    But with the Catholic Church, God's laws as the Author of the Christian Dispensation, aka, history of salvation, are immutable provided they have been propagated by the Church through infallible pronouncement."

    I'd also like to clarify how Baha'is see it by quoting Robert Stockman a well known Baha'i writer among us:

      'Abdu'l-Bahá noted that "the world of existence is progressive. It is subject to development and growth" (Promulgation of Universal Peace, 378). Since revelation is part of the world, thus it must also develop and change; and the progressive revealing of divine truth is one of the main causes for the progress of human civilization. The Bahá'í scriptures assert that while all revelations bring eternal and unchanging teachings--such as teachings about one's relation to the divine, and moral fundamentals such as doing unto others as one would have them do to oneself--each also brings truths suited to its own time and place.

    Source:

    http://bahai-library.com/?file=stockman_encyclopedia_progressive_revelation.html

    So there are spiritual truths and some basic ethical teachings that don't change but there are also laws that are changed according to circumstances and the growing needs of humanity.

    Also:

    Abdul-Baha noted:

    "One division concerns the world of morality and ethical institutions. These are the essential ordinances. They instill and awaken the knowledge and love of God, love for humanity, the virtues of the world of mankind, the attributes of the divine kingdom, rebirth and resurrection from the kingdom of nature. These constitute one kind of divine law which is common to all and never subject to change. From the dawn of the Adamic cycle to the present day this fundamental law of God has continued changeless. This is the foundation of divine religion.

    "The second division comprises laws and institutions which provide for human needs and conditions according to exigencies of time and place. These are accidental, of no essential importance and should never have been made the cause and source of human contention."

    Baha'is believe there are certain principles that should be adopted that were revealed by Baha'u'llah around the 1870's ...among them is the establishment of a world government based of a federal parliamentary system, the elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty, elimenation of racial prejudice and so on.... These would be extensions of the basic moral and ethical teachings of the world's religions.

    - Art
     
  15. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    fortunately for us judaism doesn't nail its theological trousers to the mast in such a manner, thus possibly necessitating embarrassing climbdowns in the future.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  16. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Interesting. I had only been aware of explanation 1 (that the law hadn't been given yet). For those of the other lines of thought, who think the incest laws were always in place, what do they think about where Cain and Seth got their wives? Cain maybe sinned by marrying a sister, but Seth's wife was the daughter of Lilith and Steve?
     
  17. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Steve? :confused:
     
  18. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i think that's exactly bob's point, brian. anyway, bob, i think there are a bunch of other explanations, ranging from "it was OK only that one time" to "there are other births that the text doesn't mention" - perhaps although adam's family are directly created, the rest of humanity evolves. anyway, it is mostly significant because lot's daughters are punished for committing incest with him, although they believe that they are thereby repopulating the world after they think everyone was killed in the destruction of sodom and gomorrah. either way it doesn't exactly keep me awake at night.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  19. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Viability of a colony requires 5000 life forms

    In order to ensure the viability of a colony of humans (no DNA degredation), 5000 unique people are required.

    Now, if the story of ADAM and EVE is to be believed, they:

    1. Had to have given birth to 857 children in 900 years, or/and

    2. Had to have other neighbors that we don't know about, or/and

    3. DNA evolved radically within their offspring, inorder to perpetuate the species.

    4. (this is kind of radical) Adam had two wives, and all the above apply. This is not my idea, but a friend who thinks that the XX XY varients of human chromosones may be linked to this two female/one male concept. (Hey, I said I'd include it in my thoughts).

    The way I figure it, since God gave me a particular set of equipment, and a brain that can't follow all the nuances of my current mate, what the hell would I want two for?...unless I was suicidal. Hmmm, maybe that IS WHY ADAM BIT INTO THE APPLE.

    :D
     
  20. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Baha'is don't accept that there were no people before Adam as Baha'u'llah revealed in the following:

    And now regarding thy question, "How is it that no records are to be found concerning the Prophets that have preceded Adam, the Father of Mankind, or of the kings that lived in the days of those Prophets?" Know thou that the absence of any reference to them is no proof that they did not actually exist. That no records concerning them are now available, should be attributed to their extreme remoteness, as well as to the vast changes which the earth hath undergone since their time.
    2
    Moreover such forms and modes of writing as are now current amongst men were unknown to the generations that were before Adam. There was even a time when men were wholly ignorant of the art of writing, and had adopted a system entirely different from the one which they now use. For a proper exposition of this an elaborate explanation would be required.
    3

    - Gleanings LXXXVII

    Source:

    http://bahai-library.org/writings/bahaullah/gwb/087.html

    So trying to reconcile the Bible with science in this regard is not an issue for us. We believe that the story of Aadm and Eve is allegorical and has spiritual significance. Abdul-Baha Who was the Interpretor of the Baha'i Writings suggested:

    "We must reflect a little: if the literal meaning of this story were attributed to a wise man, certainly all would logically deny that this arrangement, this invention, could have emanated from an intelligent being. Therefore, this story of Adam and Eve who ate from the tree, and their expulsion from Paradise, must be thought of simply as a symbol. It contains divine mysteries and universal meanings, and it is capable of marvelous explanations. Only those who are initiated into mysteries, and those who are near the Court of the All-Powerful, are aware of these secrets. Hence these verses of the Bible have numerous meanings."

    Some Answered Questions Part Two -- Some Christian Subjects
    "ADAM AND EVE"

    Source:
    http://bahai-library.org/writings/abdulbaha/saq/30.html

    - Art
     

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