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Author Topic:   Does the Christian God Play with Free Will?
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 46 of 83 (71796)
12-09-2003 4:02 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Prozacman
12-08-2003 6:14 PM


Prozacman responds to me:

quote:
Well, yea this god did force us to be sinners when Adam and Eve were tricked by the serpent

But Adam and Eve weren't tricked by the serpent.

Nobody told them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The only thing the serpent tells Eve is that god lied about dying if one were to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. He never tells her to go ahead and eat from it.

How is telling the truth a trick?

quote:
unless god had no ability to fortell what was going to happen.

But it's such an obvious result. If you have a delicate Mhing vase you want to keep unblemished, do you put it on a wobbly pedestal and put a baby that has just learned how to walk in the same room and then disappear for an hour? Do you seriously think that a baby will understand your admonition of "Do not touch"? Of course not...the baby doesn't know any better. You do, however, so if you don't want the baby to touch your vase, you put the vase where the baby can't get at it.

I'm not saying Adam and Eve were stupid. I'm saying they were innocent. They didn't understand what obedience means because that requires comprehension of good and evil...which they didn't have yet because they hadn't eaten from the Tree of Knowledge.

quote:
allowing the serpent(who was Satan in christian theology)

There is no justification for this, though. The serpent is constantly referenced as an animal, not a supernatural being. It is physically cursed...its limbs taken away, forced to crawl on the ground on its belly, and enmity put between the generations of humans and the generations of snakes. That's an animal, not the devil.

quote:
Yes, St. Paul taught that the "works of the law" will not get you into heaven, but faith in Jesus will.

So a person who was a complete bastard who converts just before he dies will go to heaven while a person who was a saint but never accepts Jesus will go to hell.

Doesn't seem very just now does it?

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Prozacman, posted 12-08-2003 6:14 PM Prozacman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Prozacman, posted 12-09-2003 4:57 PM Rrhain has responded

  
Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 83 (71927)
12-09-2003 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Rrhain
12-09-2003 4:02 AM


You are correct about no one telling A&E to eat of the tree of knowledge(of good & evil), but god did warn them NOT to eat of it or they would die. But what does it mean to "die". Well, as I used to see it, A&E didn't die physically; the serpent told the truth there. Instead they died spiritually. To a x-ian, spiritual death is what matters, not physical death. Spiritual death according to x-ianity is defined as separation from a relationship with God, and that is what I was taught when I was a fundee x-ian. So, x-ians ASSUME that the serpent was the devil AND wanted to get A&E in trouble with god. X-ians believe that the serpent was trying to trick A&E into thinking that god lied. Why? Because x-ian's believe that the devil used to be an angel of god who rebelled against god, therefor god threw the devil and his buddies out of heaven onto the earth where the angry devil-serpent messed up gods prime creation. Of course the big problem is that god didn't tell A&E what he meant by 'death' in the first place.
From a christian perspective the serpent-devil tricked A&E, but from a literary-critical perspective he was just a talking animal that god cursed. From my perspective x-ians must "read into" Genesis what is not necessarilly there in order to maintain their beliefs, one being that the serpent is the devil.
Your example of the vase&baby is precicely the kind of reasoning it took for me to honestly & critically begin questioning my previous faith. I haven't been able to counter that kind of argument yet. Perhaps a x-ian on this forum can do better than I on this(yeah right)! I agree with you,A&E were innocent and didn't deserve the treatment they got, but if god wanted to make them like "us knowing good & evil", then he might have done it differently; how differently?, Jeesh, I don't know! What a myth!
Yep, according to the christian theology I was taught, an ax-murdering, sexual predator who sinned constantly every day of his life, and then believes in jesus on his death-bed goes to heaven, while a good honest angel of a person who never believes goes to the firey-pit to conciously suffer in hideous screaming pain all over his body forever and ever! And the only thing I have to say to that is: "APOCALYPTIC-BLASPHEMING-ABOMINATIONS"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Rrhain, posted 12-09-2003 4:02 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Rrhain, posted 12-09-2003 7:58 PM Prozacman has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 48 of 83 (71960)
12-09-2003 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Prozacman
12-09-2003 4:57 PM


Prozacman responds to me:

quote:
You are correct about no one telling A&E to eat of the tree of knowledge(of good & evil), but god did warn them NOT to eat of it or they would die.

So why is the serpent being picked on? The serpent didn't tell Eve to eat from the tree.

And the fact that god told them not to eat from the tree is essentially irrelevant. Adam and Eve were innocent. They didn't understand the difference between good and evil since they hadn't eaten from the tree. And since obedience is a function of knowing good and evil, there is no way Adam and Eve could be expected to obey the commandment from god not to eat from the tree.

They're not stupid...they're innocent.

quote:
Well, as I used to see it, A&E didn't die physically

But that isn't what the Bible promises to happen. The language used by god to Adam is of a physical death.

quote:
Instead they died spiritually.

There was no such warning.

But even so, that is irrelevant. No matter why god didn't want them to eat from the tree, Adam and Eve were incapable of understanding obedience. Eventually, they were going to. The serpent has nothing to do with it.

quote:
So, x-ians ASSUME that the serpent was the devil AND wanted to get A&E in trouble with god.

But that's an assumption without justification, don't you think?

If I were to say to you, "Don't eat from this tree for if you do, your heart will explode from your chest and burst into a thousand pieces, causing you to die," is there really any justification in claiming I didn't really mean it? That I was just being metaphorical?

I don't deny that people make the claims that you are putting forth here. I am simply asking if those claims are justified using the Bible as a reference or perhaps if they are making it up out of whole cloth.

quote:
Of course the big problem is that god didn't tell A&E what he meant by 'death' in the first place.

Incorrect. If you look at the text, it is apparent that god was referring to a physical death.

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Prozacman, posted 12-09-2003 4:57 PM Prozacman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Prozacman, posted 12-11-2003 11:32 AM Rrhain has responded
 Message 82 by Tusko, posted 12-21-2004 10:40 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 49 of 83 (72284)
12-11-2003 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Rrhain
12-09-2003 7:58 PM


Yes, I agree you know. Why is the serpent being picked on?? From the christian perspective the answer is that he is a rebellious angel and he wants revenge against god for throwing him and his demons out of heaven. Unfortunately the theology is inconsistent because the devil seems like some kind of tool which god uses to test A&E's faith. This idea seems to be more consistent with ancient Jewish idea that the serpent was the adversarial angel who worked with god to test Job's faith. Again unfortunately, that idea isn't very consistent either because as you have pointed out, why should A&E's faith be tested when they are innocent and have no concept of right &wrong and rebellion against god? They have no faith in god to begin with because they have no idea what it is to not have faith.
I think, maybe this is a mythical story that teaches about child/parent relationships, and how parents set rules for children in order to keep them safe. A&E are told by god for instance; "don't touch that stove-top, or it will burn you." But A&E see the shiny red color and feel the warmth,(the serpent comes in here) and think anyway:"burn??, what in the world is 'burn'?", and the curious little tykes find out by themselves what 'burn' is all about! Not to blame them, and not to blame the shiny red stove-top or their "natural curiosity"(the serpent). But as I see it, if the parent here does'nt want his child burned, then the child needs to be kept away from the stove(the tree of knowledge). Sounds to me like the parent(god) is irresponsible or is prone to letting accidents happen. But all that's just a mythological analysis of the story, whether or not it makes any sense.
Christians define the "natural curiosity" of children, and people in general, as a manifestation of St. Augustine's "original Sin"= the idea that humans inherited sinfulness from A&E, as I have already mentioned. Hopefully I'm not too redundant here, but I'm attempting to show that the A&E story may be the ancient people's way of explaining why we humans have faults, problems, etc. Myths always include a god, god's or fantastic events in explaining why the world is the way it is, and so myths, although they are not always based on fact, can be true(human faults,etc.) nonetheless.
Ok, I'll respond to the rest of your points. Yes, the language used in Genesis does speak of a physical death. Unfortunately some christians think it was only a spiritual death that A&E suffered, while other christians believe it was a physical death, but that A&E would die later because of the "curse" where god said, 'OK A&E, I'm throwing you out of Eden because you did what I told you not to'. These christians interpret this as physical death because god spoke to his 'court' and said, 'let's put angels with flaming swords in the way to keepA&E from going back and eating from 'the tree of life' and live forever'. So god, according to these x-ians is trying to avoid a worse situation than the one A&E are already in! Imagine a rebellious humanity that lives forever and you can see why God blocked the way to Eden! You are right, there is no warning of a 'spiritual death' in Genesis. Christians however take different verses from various places in the Bible and create a 'theology of the Fall' from them. Certain passages in Revelation, & Paul's ideas of the soul mixed with the Fall story are an example. Does this make any sense? Only to the faithful.
Yes, I do think there's no justification in assuming that the 'devil' wanted to get A&E in trouble with god. As I have said elswhere, it may have been a conspiracy. Lastly, if my theorizing is correct, that the Fall story is a myth, and if we are both correct in saying that A&E were innocent, then I propose that A&E who were innocent 'children' so-to-speak, and had no idea what it
meant to 'die'. Yes, I agree with you, the passages speak of a physical death, but innocent children have no idea what death means until someone in their family tries to explain it to them. That may be the reason why god doesn't explain. How on god-scream-earth does a parent explain death to an innocent child without some pain involved? Beats me! Either the parent has to tell the child that daddy is gone forever, and make the kid feel suicidal, or the parent has to soften the blow by saying something like:"Daddy's gone to heaven to be with God", assuming the kid was taught a religion to begin with. In any case death was a painful experience for god, and so some x-ians reason that's why he didn't explain it to A&E. But this idea makes christian god more human than some christians would like, or as Revelation says 'death will be the last enemy destroyed'.

[This message has been edited by Prozacman, 12-11-2003]

[This message has been edited by Prozacman, 12-11-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Rrhain, posted 12-09-2003 7:58 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Rrhain, posted 12-12-2003 5:03 AM Prozacman has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 50 of 83 (72474)
12-12-2003 5:03 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Prozacman
12-11-2003 11:32 AM


Prozacman responds to me:

quote:
Why is the serpent being picked on?? From the christian perspective

I don't know how to make this any more clearer. Let me try again:

I don't care what the "Christian perspective" is. I know that lots of people think the serpent was the devil. And lots of people think the serpent "tricked" Eve into eating from the tree.

The question is: Is there anything in the Bible that actually justifies this claim?

Just because people claim that the Bible says it doesn't mean it actually does. It could be just a bunch of wishful thinking and preconceived assumptions that are driving it.

quote:
This idea seems to be more consistent with ancient Jewish idea that the serpent was the adversarial angel who worked with god to test Job's faith.

Where do we get this? The serpent is an animal, not an angel. It is compared to the other animals, is treated as an animal, and gets physically cursed even unto its children (just like you might do to an animal). Where is the justification that the serpent was the Adversary?

quote:
Yes, the language used in Genesis does speak of a physical death. Unfortunately some christians think it was only a spiritual death that A&E suffered

So where is the justification for it? I don't deny that they believe it, but where is the justification for it? Where do we find the verses in the Bible that indicate that when god told Adam he would die a physical death, he didn't really mean it?

quote:
while other christians believe it was a physical death, but that A&E would die later because of the "curse"

Again, where is the justification? God doesn't tell Adam that he would die eventually...god tells him that he would die that very day and since Jewish tradition measures days by sunsets ("evening and morning"), that means Adam was going to be physically dead by sunset.

Obviously, that doesn't happen. But that doesn't change the fact that that's what god said was going to happen.

quote:
Does this make any sense? Only to the faithful.

And that's fine. Faith doesn't require logic.

I'm simply asking if it is logical.

quote:
Yes, I do think there's no justification in assuming that the 'devil' wanted to get A&E in trouble with god.

But there is no justification that the serpent had anything to do with the devil, either.

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Prozacman, posted 12-11-2003 11:32 AM Prozacman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-12-2003 4:58 PM Rrhain has responded
 Message 55 by Prozacman, posted 12-13-2003 11:41 AM Rrhain has not yet responded
 Message 63 by Prozacman, posted 12-16-2003 5:04 PM Rrhain has responded

  
Zoraster's evil twin
Inactive Member


Message 51 of 83 (72572)
12-12-2003 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Rrhain
12-12-2003 5:03 AM


This "free will" in the first place is an invention of the same men who invented your christian god, if not so then where is it, is there will dangling from my back? Oh I assure you we are quite free, but the notion that the christian god made us so and gave it a name is laughable.

The story of Adam and Eve, taken for a record of our ancestors? Ahahah.. did you ever think how the races of the world stemmed from a couple of beautiful caucasians in paradise? Little more than a mythical fable, parable if you must, but history? Dear god, we are in a lot worse shape than previously thought if people really believe that nonsense.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Rrhain, posted 12-12-2003 5:03 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by AdminNosy, posted 12-12-2003 5:25 PM Zoraster's evil twin has not yet responded
 Message 53 by Rrhain, posted 12-13-2003 6:25 AM Zoraster's evil twin has responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 52 of 83 (72582)
12-12-2003 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Zoraster's evil twin
12-12-2003 4:58 PM


How about some content?
You are making a lot of posts. They are contentless, annoying, insulting and unsupported personal opinions. I suggest that you read over other posts and try to do better.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-12-2003 4:58 PM Zoraster's evil twin has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 53 of 83 (72649)
12-13-2003 6:25 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Zoraster's evil twin
12-12-2003 4:58 PM


Zoraster's evil twin responds to me...

...in a complete non sequitur.

Was there a point you were trying to make? The topic of the post to which you were responding had to do with whether or not the story of Genesis can be reasonably interpreted to indicate that the serpent mentioned was the devil and told Eve to eat from the Tree.

Note that it has nothing to do with whether or not the story of Genesis is actually true. It is simply a script analysis. Given the text, where does one find the justification that the serpent is the devil, that the serpent "tricked" Eve into eating from the tree, and that Adam was told something other than if he ate from the tree, he would die a physical death before sunset?

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-12-2003 4:58 PM Zoraster's evil twin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-13-2003 11:07 AM Rrhain has responded

  
Zoraster's evil twin
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 83 (72675)
12-13-2003 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Rrhain
12-13-2003 6:25 AM


Ahh well thank you very much for clarification! I do have your answers as well my friend, since both are fictions you might try looking into Paradise Lost as Milton gives a much more insightful and wonderful story than the ancients ever could. Satan did inhabit the serpent, and he was found at the side of Eve whispering lies and vanities into her ear. I find Milton's script on the paradise tale much more enchanting and leaving less to the imagination than the dusty ol' Bible.. Cheerio!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Rrhain, posted 12-13-2003 6:25 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Rrhain, posted 12-15-2003 9:04 PM Zoraster's evil twin has responded

  
Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 83 (72680)
12-13-2003 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Rrhain
12-12-2003 5:03 AM


Yikes, if I were as emotion/faith driven as I used to be, I would think you were personally attacking me. But, I know better that you are just a good critic and your arguments are very rational. I thought it would be easier to play the 'Devils advocate'! I don't have time right now, so I'll respond to your points in a day or so.
PM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Rrhain, posted 12-12-2003 5:03 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 56 of 83 (73149)
12-15-2003 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Zoraster's evil twin
12-13-2003 11:07 AM


Zoraster's evil twin responds to me:

quote:
Satan did inhabit the serpent, and he was found at the side of Eve whispering lies and vanities into her ear.

And your justification of this is what, precisely? Sorry, but Paradise Lost isn't sufficient evidence since it is not the actual text we are analysing.

quote:
I find Milton's script on the paradise tale much more enchanting and leaving less to the imagination than the dusty ol' Bible..

That may be, but we aren't discussing Paradise Lost. We're discussing Genesis. The only reason Paradise Lost was written is because of Genesis.

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-13-2003 11:07 AM Zoraster's evil twin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-15-2003 9:50 PM Rrhain has responded

  
Zoraster's evil twin
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 83 (73174)
12-15-2003 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Rrhain
12-15-2003 9:04 PM


I fail to see a difference between Genesis, who's writers swear to have conversed with God himself, and Milton, who in several books of Paradise Lost converses with a heavenly muse; would the christian God lead him astray?

I'd say it's better evidence than you'll find in an ancient riddle like that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Rrhain, posted 12-15-2003 9:04 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Rrhain, posted 12-16-2003 6:05 AM Zoraster's evil twin has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 58 of 83 (73270)
12-16-2003 6:05 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Zoraster's evil twin
12-15-2003 9:50 PM


Zoraster's evil twin responds to me:

quote:
I fail to see a difference between Genesis, who's writers swear to have conversed with God himself, and Milton, who in several books of Paradise Lost converses with a heavenly muse; would the christian God lead him astray?

Um, are you seriously claiming that Milton was not influenced in any way by any Christian? That he was actually, say, a Buddhist who had a revelation that turned out to be precisely coordinated with Christian mythology?

Milton is not an original source. It's rehashed Christianity. It wouldn't exist were it not for the Christian society in which Milton existed.

quote:
I'd say it's better evidence than you'll find in an ancient riddle like that.

But it's based upon the "ancient riddle." So if you don't like the "ancient riddle," why do you cotton to the identical statement with chocolate sprinkles?

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-15-2003 9:50 PM Zoraster's evil twin has not yet responded

  
Zoraster's evil twin
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 83 (73312)
12-16-2003 10:25 AM


No Rrhain I am not claiming that Milton was not influenced in any way by Christianity. What I am saying is that if the writers of the bible somehow had conversed with God, and Milton also called on the powers and truth of heaven to put truth into his doctrine, wouldn't believers see the two documents as infallible coming from the same God? Milton was extremely dedicated to Christianity, I don't know how you inferred that I thought any different.

Are we to believe that God expressly talks to only an explicit few, and does not personally convey his message to the rest of us? Are more ancient words more highly valued over "God's Word" of today?

[This message has been edited by Zoraster's evil twin, 12-16-2003]


Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by NosyNed, posted 12-16-2003 10:46 AM Zoraster's evil twin has responded
 Message 64 by Rrhain, posted 12-17-2003 4:06 AM Zoraster's evil twin has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8894
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 60 of 83 (73318)
12-16-2003 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Zoraster's evil twin
12-16-2003 10:25 AM


Nutty Idea
..., wouldn't believers see the two documents as infallible coming from the same God? Milton was extremely dedicated to Christianity

Why on earth would you expect them to do that. A very devote person may think that everything is a gift from God, even a writing inspiration. But why would that lead to thinking that the God would choose to create, in a sense, another Bible??? That is simply bizare, even to someone who isn't a believer


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-16-2003 10:25 AM Zoraster's evil twin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Zoraster's evil twin, posted 12-16-2003 4:45 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
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