Did God know Eve would eat -- a non-Abrhamic perspective

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Nick the Pilot, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    winner08 asked this question in another thread:

    http://www.interfaith.org/forum/did-god-know-eve-would-9656.html

    "Did God know Eve would eat from the tree of good and evil??"

    Winner's post was as follows:

    "Did God know Eve would disobey HIM and eat from the tree of good and evil? and if not why would God put the tree of good and evil right smack in the middle of the garden??"

    --> I thought it would be good to have a separate thread, to consider answers that not of the 'approved' Abrahamic type.

    First of all, I want to thank Winner for asking such a provocotive question. I think there are a lot of people who either take Genesis at face value and believe it point-blank, or dismiss it out of hand as nothing but mumbo-jumbo. But I think there is real meaning in Genesis that has become confused over the passage of many, many centuries. For those who are interested, I would like to begin a discussion of a totally different interpretation of Genesis.

    Winner is right to ask such questions. Genesis, as it stands, just does not make sense to me. In order to really get to the bottom of the story, even more difficult questions need to be asked. No stereo-type should be held up when critically reading Genesis, and no part of it should be condered holy and unquestionable as it stands today.

    Winner, consider this: Is it possible that the part of God getting angry is wrong? Is it possible that Eve was supposed to eat the apple? How about the idea that it was natural and positive progress in both Adam and Eve's spiritual evolution that they eat the apple?
     
  2. winner08

    winner08 New Member

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    YES!YES!YES!, I do believe with all my heart and soul mind and spirit that Before God even created Adam and Eve that HE KNEW what they would do. How about this? This was God's way for man to know evil. Before man knew evil they only knew good. They had a very Good life. But God needed them to know the difference Why one might ask. Because God wants sons and daughters in His image and in order to have Godly charater one must suffer and know evil. One can not bulid Godly character if nothing ever goes wrong in your life. Death, pain, suffering and more. How do we bulid character? Just a thought.

    Darren

    PS That for starting this thread. I think it will do some good.
     
  3. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Darren,

    Therefore, we need to take a look at the next logical step in this discussion. I propose the idea that an angry, revenge-seeking, curse-spewing God was intentionally and wrongfully added to the piece of literature that eventually became Genesis. Many people say that it was written in this way, because the religious leaders of that day wanted to use religion to control the people. Sadly, I think this is exactly what happened.

    What do you think?
     
  5. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Sean,

    I agree that Adam and Eve were not individuals, but represent humanity as a whole. Again, I see this as a re-writing of the original story, which I obviously see as a bad thing.
     
  6. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Tree of knowledge parables go back much earlier than Genesis and into many cultures. Not surprising really. For many millennia tribal leaders would seek shade from the sun and debate their philosophies under the shade of a tree. From Australia to Norway, from Mexico to Indonesia sacred trees exist where rituals are enacted to this day.
    As the Biblical one is pillaged wholesale from Summerian polytheism we have to conclude that it was purposefully included in the Old Testament. For my money I go with the idea its the "knock em down at the beginning" technique of psychological conditioning. Like an interrogator seeks to debase and humiliate his subject from the outset. We have our goodness removed, we are deemed fallen, corrupted and all but worthless. Hey! But listen to us, pay your tithes, and we can show you the road to salvation! It sets the whole tone for Abrahamic monotheism. A single judgemental God you will have to crawl your whole life trying to please. And whos will can only really be understood by the gnosis of an elite class of holymen, who of course should be supported in comfort.
    There is no God to know or not know if Eve would take a bite. But we all know that she would inevitably do so.


    tao
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Got Children?

    What if a parent were trying to explain the creation of the universe to a child just as all have and also trying to intimate that there are consequences to actions. Is it possible the story would look like the garden? No evil or alterior intention. Just an answer to the incessant "Why?" from a child while you are trying to till the garden.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That the God of the Hebrew Scriptures is a Personal God goes, I think, without saying, unless one is going to argue that God, as present in Scripture, is a later and illegitimate addition to the text.

    Of course, once you start making such claims, then which bit is genuine and which bit is adulterous becomes a matter, in the absence of evidence, of personal taste and opinion.

    +++

    Assuming a Personal God, the question then is how can one hold to the idea of a God worthy of our loyalty, fidelity and obedience, in the face of the human experience of privation and suffering, and the answer to that question informs the Scriptures as a whole.

    I would suggest the answer offered is a unique and somewhat startling solution, not necessarily immediately apparent, as Nick the Pilot rightly asserts, to the reader.

    Thomas
     
  9. winner08

    winner08 New Member

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    Thank You Jesus. I have been saying this for a while now. God had known what man was is and going to do from the end to the beginning. This is where it all began. If one totally believes that Our Lord and God is a soverigen God then,

    1. He can not make a mistake
    2. He knows the end frome the beginning
    3 His Will is always going to be done.
    4 He will never change, Himself or His mind or His plan for us.

    Yes Nick I do think the writters of Gens. slanted it that way. for God to be angry revenge-seeking wrongfully, what ever else they slanted.

    Nick from a personal point I want to thank you for bringging up this idea. I feel at ease writting my true feelings. on the other threads I tryed to be careful I didn't want to offend anybody but often the truth hurts. Needless to say I was tore a new ONE.

    Thanks again OH, what do think???
    Darren
     
  10. winner08

    winner08 New Member

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    Pretty interesting. Break them down the tell them you need God to bring you back up. I think I the religious leaders of our time are just like the ones of Jesus days. They can quote scripture like nobodys buss. Just as In Jesus day When Jesus said to them that they know the law to the letter but they do no the true law( the spiritual side) love kindness mercy things like this. It was all about the money then and it is all about the money now.

    Darren

    PS BTW nice post.
     
  11. winner08

    winner08 New Member

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    Thomas good to see ya. Sorry about what had happen.
    That being said wouldn't just knowing that God is our creator is enough for us to worship Him and give Him our loyalty and obedience? As far as human suffering goes in order to be in the image of God I think we first need to have the character of God. Remember Jesus had gone through all the pain and suffering that a human can go through. Also with out pain death suffering how would we bulid character? If we only knew good, happy love without it's oppisites we can not bulid character.
    It is a neserserry evil. Just as in the fruit 9tree of good and evil or knowledge. They had to know about evil and that is the way God chose for them to find out.

    Darren

    PS You deffinetly gives me something to ponder.
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As this is Comparative Studies, I thought I'd put my philosophy hat on!

    Good idea. It's always useful to canvas opinion — thesis and antitheses, and all that — good Aristotelian discipline.

    That's what IO's here for.

    Indeed there are — why even you expressed exactly that sentiment to me in a previous discussion, insisting that the face value reading was the only reading that mattered ... do I discern something of a change of heart here? ;)

    Again, one can only logically agree. Genesis is a text expressing the religious sentiment and experience of a people in a given place, a given time, and a given historical setting. Removed from thence, guesswork, error and assumption is almost unavoidable. That's when informed commentary becomes invaluable.

    As in all things — understanding the con-text becomes a necessarily prior component to the understanding of the text.

    Sounds exciting.

    OK.

    OK.

    Well depends what you mean — That something is 'holy' does not mean it's beyond question.

    But if you seek to explain Genesis without reference to the Hebrew Scriptures as a whole, of which it is a part, then you've already lost the context and are immediately susceptible to all manner of error.

    OK. Questions ... questions ...

    So far you have stated that Genesis should not be taken at face value, that there might be more to it than meets the eye, but that you find it confusing, and can make no sense of it ...

    So my question would be, not what questions you might ask — obviously you have many — but where are you going to look for answers?

    Thomas
     
  13. winner08

    winner08 New Member

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    Thomas first of all let me make this clear, I am not speaking for Nick. Nick will ansewer you when he is ready. However at the end you asked the question "where are you going to look for ansewers"?

    IN The Bible of course. This is what I have seen and learned with my own eys and mind is that the more you search God will open your eyes more and more removing the scales so that one may see the truth. One has to remember that all this might or might not happen, it all dependes if it is God's will for one to know these thing or not.

    just a thought.
    Darren
     
  14. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    IF God made man to be conformed into His image, wouldn't that imply that one of the attributes of that image would to have free will in decision making?
     
  15. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I don't know. Did God have any choice about his own attributes? It doesn't seem to answer the question for me.
     
  16. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Darren,

    You said,

    "I feel at ease writting my true feelings. on the other threads I tryed to be careful I didn't want to offend anybody but often the truth hurts."

    --> My first rule is, we must pursue the truth, no matter where that search takes us. As a matter of fact, 'we' created this thread for the specific purpose of giving us (all of us) an opportunity to do just that. This thread is dedicated to those of us willing to go where we will, no matter what, even if it offends someone.

    Of course, we are respectful of other people's beliefs. That is why we are having this discussion in this thread, instead of barging into someone else's thread. In this thread, it is wide open, no one can hide behind a "that's too holy to discuss" excuse, and we welcome all comers.

    You say,

    "[without] ...pain death suffering how would we build character?"

    --> Exactly. Now, let's take it one step further. For human to take it to the next level (you call it Heaven, I call in Nirvana), the choice to do so must be made absolutely without any pressure from anyone. That is why our system on Earth, as ugly as it is, has to be this way. The choice to move up to the next level cannot be forced in any way. (Of course, this is why so many people are out there doing such evil things. This is a lousy system, but there is no better system.)

    "I am not speaking for Nick."

    --> You will find that Thomas and I have a very different take on the original question. Please feel free to compare our opinions, and see which one suits you best.

    You are doing well to keep an open mind and question everything. Good for you.

    Are you read for the next step? Are you ready to look at other parts of the Bible that do not 'make sense'?
     
  17. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    That is an interesting thought. I don't imagine God needing a choice in His attributes, He just is. But I fail to see how that would prevent Him from impressing the power of freewill in us, if God Himself has freewill. How else could we derive His image into our own. That freewill means we have choice to be conformed into His image...or not. The trick is in the influence.
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Dream,

    You had the exchange,

    "IF God made man to be conformed into His image, wouldn't that imply that one of the attributes of that image would to have free will in decision making? --> I don't know. Did God have any choice about his own attributes? It doesn't seem to answer the question for me."

    --> You have brought up an important question. It would seem God's image would be limitless. It leads me to believe that 'God' did not use His image to create humanity, but that 'angels' used their 'similar-to-human' image to do the creating — just like the Bible says. The idea is, human-like 'angels' used their image to create man — a process more reasonable than 'God' using His image — and makes a lot of sense to me.

    The Bible clearly indicates that a group of human-like 'angels' — not 'God' — created humanity.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Darren —

    No problem ... the internet is the easiest way to speak to people, and the easiest way to be misunderstood ... I was just checking before proceeding, that's all.

    You'd think so, wouldn't you? But man is inquisitive ... and curiosity killed the cat, as they say ...

    Oooh, steady ... many believe that God is beyond all attributes, all qualities, or rather, God is more than that. The character of God is how God appears to us, not necessarily how God is in Himself ...

    Having said that, there does seem to be one overwhelming characteristic ... love ... but that's me, from my tradition's viewpoint.

    Remember also that He did so, so that we don't have to — that's what love is. And he suffered as a man, not as a God.

    Also I would say pain and suffering is evidence of something wrong, not something right ... so God never intended pain and suffering, man visited that upon himself.

    God does not suffer pain, so we can't say it's a divine characteristic.

    The only thing pain and suffering builds is resistance to more pain and suffering. God wants a world without pain and suffering, not more of it.

    'You only appreciate what you've got when it's gone' might be a truism, but it's only true because of a sickness of our nature. There are those who appreciate things without losing them.

    We know happiness, joy and love because it's in our nature to be happy, loving and full of joy — it comes naturally to us, we don't have to learn it. It's not natural to us to be in pain or suffering, so doing something un-natural cannot make us more natural.

    Doing more of what is wrong won't make you better, and suffering more symptoms won't cure the disease.

    Old Tommy Cooper joke:
    Man goes to doctor and says, "Doc, my arm hurts when I do this ..." Doc says, "well, don't do it, then..." — God says exactly the same thing.

    No evil is necessary ... it's a tragic reality, and too often is just self-justification.

    If 'evil' were necessary, it would be a 'good'.

    What you are talking about is a corruption of nature. I think this way of thinking is a symptom of the problem not its cure.

    As I said before, I don't have to hurt my kids to prove to myself how much I love them, not do you have to threaten them so I can know how much I might miss them.

    If we were truly 'mindful', in the Buddhist sense, there would be no evil, no cause of evil, no reason for evil ... all our ills stem from a lack of mindfulness, a lack of love ... now we try and justify why we are the way we are, I'm saying we shouldn't be that way at all, full stop.

    Good ... then we're both learning out of this.

    Thomas
     
  20. Sean H.

    Sean H. Member

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    I don't think that Adam and Eve represent humanity as a whole, I think Adam and Eve represent the Soul and Spirit of Adam, as the link I posted discusses. If your main question is really, why does God create us if he knows that we will do bad things, then my opinion is that God never forces us to do these things, he creates us and divorces Himself from what we will do, but guides and tries to steer us toward the right path. Have a good day.
     

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