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Author Topic:   Bible Question: What was the First Sin?
ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 256 of 312 (420975)
09-10-2007 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by Diios
09-10-2007 2:12 PM


Re: Welcome to EvC
Hi, Diios. I presume your reply was aimed at me. :)

Eve knew the truth....

Eve had information. She had no way of knowing it was "the truth". She had no way of distinguishing true from false, right from wrong, good from evil - until she ate the fruit.

Since she was incapable of making an informed decision, it was no sin.

Edited by Ringo, : Fixed missspelling of Diios' name.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by Diios, posted 09-10-2007 2:12 PM Diios has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 258 by Diios, posted 09-10-2007 8:01 PM ringo has responded
 Message 260 by arachnophilia, posted 09-10-2007 8:14 PM ringo has responded

PK
Inactive Junior Member


Message 257 of 312 (421016)
09-10-2007 6:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Brian
08-27-2003 12:57 PM


Metaphorically speaking, the whole story is basically in the book to demonstrate the human desire for knowledge over all other things, the other stuff in there is just to distract people. Dig for the understanding of the words, not for the meaning. In essence everything in the first part of the bible is there to describe a certain value, not necessarily to tell a story, because quite frankly, 99% of the story's are far-fetched.

The book was written by people, remember that, PEOPLE. And many other people look to the book as fact rather than a clever way to indirectly give wisdom to people who do not have wisdom.

Richard


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 Message 1 by Brian, posted 08-27-2003 12:57 PM Brian has not yet responded

Diios
Junior Member (Idle past 4207 days)
Posts: 3
Joined: 09-10-2007


Message 258 of 312 (421031)
09-10-2007 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 256 by ringo
09-10-2007 2:50 PM


Re: Welcome to EvC
I see your reasoning, sir, yet you do not see mine. You are concluding that knowing what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' is required in order to sin. It is not. Sin is disobedience to God. Period. Ignorance is not a defence.

God told Adam and, it is implied, Eve not to eat of the fruit. Truth be told, it is irrelevant who told her, as the decree ultimately came from God. Whether she knew the reason why, is also irrelevant. Wether she could or could not comprehend that going against God would be 'wrong,' is irrelevant. She clearly states her 'knowledge' that God told her 'no.' She chose to ignore that command. She disobeyed God, and, ergo, sinned.

Cause and effect, sir, is very simple and exists beyond a shadow of a doubt. I will admit that they did not, perhaps, know true sin until after eating the fruit. However, it does not change the fact that they defied a clear order from God. There can be no excuse for doing the exact opposite of an order. They cannot claim ignorance, they were told.

Her decision was, indeed, an informed one. She knew the outcome of her decision, she knew the source of the command, she knew the command. I fail to see how this is an uninformed decision? Knowing all pertinent facts, she chose.

Ignoring all this, your statements seem to indicate a belief that Adam and Eve were simpletons, with only a partly functioning brain, largely incapable of making decisions. They were not. They were perfect beings, unlike ourselves. But, again, that would be a discussion for another day.

The point is, sir, she did not accept God's word. She did not accept His Command. She accepted the word of another. That is sin. Her knowledge of wether or not it was sin is moot. She sinned, followed shortly there after by her husband.


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 Message 256 by ringo, posted 09-10-2007 2:50 PM ringo has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 259 of 312 (421033)
09-10-2007 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 258 by Diios
09-10-2007 8:01 PM


Diios writes:

Sin is disobedience to God. Period. Ignorance is not a defence.

Then newborn babies go to hell?

I will admit that they did not, perhaps, know true sin until after eating the fruit.

That's what I'm saying.

There can be no excuse for doing the exact opposite of an order.

On the contrary, "I was only following orders," is the inexcusable position. Failure to evaluate the morality of an order you do understand is a sin. Blind obedience is a sin.

Failure to follow an order you don't understand is a mistake, not a sin.

Knowing all pertinent facts, she chose.

The point is that she didn't know they were "pertinent facts". She had no basis for the appraisal of pertinence.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
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This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 260 of 312 (421034)
09-10-2007 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 256 by ringo
09-10-2007 2:50 PM


the fundamental question
Since she was incapable of making an informed decision, it was no sin.

tradition on this question varies. reform jews (whom i am inclined to agree with) support your point. but just for a devil's advocate argument, and because i'm truly curious --

why is knowledge, or an informed opinion, necessary to follow orders? why does the decision have to be meaningful in order for it to count?

while today we'd like to think that god is fair, and would only weigh sins against us that we were aware of, what in the text would indicate that this is the case? everything about the story (book, library...) indicates a very unfair god in many places. and god certainly seemed pretty pissed at adam and chavah. he punishes the serpent (who concievably DID know better), but he also punishes chavah (who in your reading justifiably blames the serpent) and punishes adam (who blames god himself) as well. the whole message of the story seems to be that they are indeed responsible for their actions, and shifting blame because they didn't know better just isn't going to cut it.

if this is so, maybe it's best we read "the tree of knowledge" as something a bit more powerful than simply "the ability to choose" as they had that choice in the first place -- or at least treated that way by god.

thoughts?


אָרַח

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Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 261 of 312 (421035)
09-10-2007 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 259 by ringo
09-10-2007 8:14 PM


On the contrary, "I was only following orders," is the inexcusable position. Failure to evaluate the morality of an order you do understand is a sin. Blind obedience is a sin.

...well, that's just the problem, isn't it? adam and chavah do NOT follow orders, because more accurate information is provided, and they make a choice based on it. chavah looks, sees the serpent is correct in his statements about the fruit, and after eating some (thus being maximally informed in either reading) takes it to here husband.

they are given a direct order to not touch the fruit, and they decide that the reasoning behind the order is not just. they do not blindly obey god, and they are punished for it.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 262 of 312 (421037)
09-10-2007 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by arachnophilia
09-10-2007 8:14 PM


Re: the fundamental question
arachnophilia writes:

the whole message of the story seems to be that they are indeed responsible for their actions, and shifting blame because they didn't know better just isn't going to cut it.

It's the "paradox of Genesis" again. Did God lie when He said they would die that same day? Did He treat them unfairly when He punished them for "disobedience"?

It gets complicated if you try to get every detail of the story to make sense.

Yes, the whole message of the story seems to be that they (we) are indeed responsible for their (our) actions. The story about how they became responsible has a few plot holes in it.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
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This message is a reply to:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 263 of 312 (421038)
09-10-2007 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by arachnophilia
09-10-2007 8:19 PM


arachnophilia writes:

chavah looks, sees the serpent is correct in his statements about the fruit....

I don't think she necessarily sees that. She has two choices and she picks one.

Does she eat the fruit because she "believes" the serpent over God? Or does she eat because she likes fruit and doesn't understand the reason not to eat it?

Edited by Ringo, : Apelling.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by arachnophilia, posted 09-10-2007 8:19 PM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 265 by arachnophilia, posted 09-10-2007 8:38 PM ringo has responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 264 of 312 (421039)
09-10-2007 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by ringo
09-10-2007 8:25 PM


Re: the fundamental question
It's the "paradox of Genesis" again.

indeed. the story really is a paradox. do you follow orders that are flawed, or disobey them based on correct information? damned either way.

Yes, the whole message of the story seems to be that they (we) are indeed responsible for their (our) actions. The story about how they became responsible has a few plot holes in it.

well, that's just the problem. they're either responsible, or they're not. god seems to hold them responsible.

i think a more correct reading might be that adam and chavah were created with choice already (otherwise, why give them instructions?) and that the tree and the serpent represent that ability to choose as the negatives. but they do not grant the choice itself -- instead, the tree grants something special that truly makes the man and the woman godlike, but isn't necessarily handed down.

it might be that this betrays part of the etiological significance of the tale -- but it functions as so many etiologies it might not have been intended to be read that way anyways. i'm not sure. it's a tough question.


אָרַח

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 265 of 312 (421040)
09-10-2007 8:38 PM
Reply to: Message 263 by ringo
09-10-2007 8:31 PM


I don't think she necessarily sees that. She has two choices and she picks one.

quote:
And the serpent said unto the woman: 'Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.' And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise...

the serpent tells her it's not poison, and it'll mke her wise. she looks at it, and sees that he's right. at least, that's what it seems to say.

Does she eat the fruit because she "believes" the serpent over God?

well, as above, she seems to verify it first. and even so, if it WAS poison, she certainly wouldn't have taken it to her husband. since that decision is made AFTER eating the fruit it has to be informed in any manner of speaking. that part is definitely sin, regardless how we look at it.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 266 of 312 (421041)
09-10-2007 8:41 PM
Reply to: Message 264 by arachnophilia
09-10-2007 8:32 PM


Re: the fundamental question
arachnophilia writes:

i think a more correct reading might be that adam and chavah were created with choice already (otherwise, why give them instructions?) and that the tree and the serpent represent that ability to choose as the negatives.

I don't see that as any different from what I've been saying: that Adam and Eve were created with the ability to make choices (free will) but the fruit gave them the ability to make informed choices.

To make informed choices, we need true alternatives. God's "Don't touch or else," was only one side of the coin. The other side was presented through (His representative?) the serpent.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 264 by arachnophilia, posted 09-10-2007 8:32 PM arachnophilia has responded

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 267 of 312 (421042)
09-10-2007 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 266 by ringo
09-10-2007 8:41 PM


Re: the fundamental question
I don't see that as any different from what I've been saying: that Adam and Eve were created with the ability to make choices (free will) but the fruit gave them the ability to make informed choices.

well, no, what i mean is that it seems like they could make reasobaly informed choices before eating the fruit. chavah does not blindly follow the serpent, she looks and judges for herself upon hearing the alternative. and both are punished for shifting blame.

To make informed choices, we need true alternatives. God's "Don't touch or else," was only one side of the coin. The other side was presented through (His representative?) the serpent.

well, yes, but then it is simply the presence of the tree and of the serpent that gives them a meaningful choice, not the knowledge from the tree itself. see what i mean?

traditional qabalists ascribe a different kind of knowledge to the tree altogether: procreative, sexual, godly knowledge, not your average human intellect. i'm not saying this is a more appropriate reading, of course, just that there are other alternatives that should probably be considered as well.


אָרַח

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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 268 of 312 (421043)
09-10-2007 8:54 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by arachnophilia
09-10-2007 8:38 PM


arachnophilia writes:

... she seems to verify it first.

But what value does that "verification" have? It's like children verifying their ideas by consulting with each other.

if it WAS poison, she certainly wouldn't have taken it to her husband.

It's not a very important point, but I don't see where she took it to him. He might have been standing right there and they might have eaten together.

It doesn't say, after all, that she relayed the serpent's message to him. He seems to have eaten without batting an eye. Does that suggest that he took God's warning seriously?


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 265 by arachnophilia, posted 09-10-2007 8:38 PM arachnophilia has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 269 of 312 (421044)
09-10-2007 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by arachnophilia
09-10-2007 8:48 PM


Re: the fundamental question
arachnophilia writes:

chavah does not blindly follow the serpent, she looks and judges for herself upon hearing the alternative.

She doesn't blindly follow anybody.

It's interesting that she couldn't have made an informed choice, because God didn't inform her of the true consquences.

and both are punished for shifting blame.

So the first sin is playing the blame game?


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by arachnophilia, posted 09-10-2007 8:48 PM arachnophilia has responded

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 270 of 312 (421046)
09-10-2007 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 268 by ringo
09-10-2007 8:54 PM


But what value does that "verification" have? It's like children verifying their ideas by consulting with each other.

that's a valid question. (aren't we all sort of like children consulting one another to god? or maybe not, we seem to be able to argue him down later on in the bible)

It's not a very important point, but I don't see where she took it to him. He might have been standing right there and they might have eaten together.

might have been, but she eats before she gives it to him. though it says their eyes were openned after they both ate.

It doesn't say, after all, that she relayed the serpent's message to him. He seems to have eaten without batting an eye. Does that suggest that he took God's warning seriously?

there's some suggestion that he wasn't there, and she brought it to him, and he had no idea what he was eating. i'm not sure that idea stands, though.


אָרַח

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