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Passions in Poetry

A Homer Question

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 02-06-2006 05:50 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


So the apple from the Tree of Knowledge gets eaten
Eve and Adam get thrown out of the Kingdom
and everything after is pretty much down hill from there . . .
All because God did not want Man to have knowledge?


Stephanos
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1 posted 02-06-2006 10:19 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

There's a reason why Homer is so ... well ... Homerish.  He's not all bad, but oversimplication is pretty characteristic of his approach to life.       (you are talking about Homer Simpson right?  I don't recall the author of the Iliad ever saying anything like that.)


The tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, is not merely "The tree of knowledge".  Else there would not be the modifying phrase "of ..."  I have a knowledge of computers, guitars, philosophy.  So knowledge in general is not what is in question.  It is a particular kind of knowledge.


So what is that knowledge?  Let's paint a picture, in context ... The Serpent told Eve that her "eyes would be opened" and that she would "be like God", if she ate the fruit.  Also Eve saw in that this fruit was "good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for obtaining wisdom".  This fruit appealed to three areas of humanity which may become twisted ... bodily appetites, aesthetics, and knowledge.  The New Testament refers to the perversion of these normal traits as "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16).


Seeing that humanity was offered, in this fruit, 1) godlike authority and 2) fulfillment of desires, I think the "knowledge of good and evil", is referring to an autonomous kind of knowledge, where good and evil are arbitrated without God.  The temptation was not to agree with God (passively holding knowledge), but to decree like God (arbitrating knowledge).  Rather than choosing to think God's thoughts after him, and to be mentored in obedience, concerning what was good and evil, a short cut was chosen.  It's not that God didn't want them to have any originality of their own, he made them glorious individuals.  But the serpent insinuated that God was holding something back, keeping something from them, not for their own good, but to protect himself from competition.  "For God knows, that the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God", the serpent said, subtly casting God in a bad light.    


I won't let my 7 year old drive the car, for his own good.  But that doesn't mean that I'm witholding from him knowledge in a begrudging way.  It's not yet time.


So too many people charge God with not wanting mankind to possess knowledge, as if knowledge itself were bad.  It translates into anti-intellectualism in religion.  That's not what the scriptures seem to teach.  Rather it is a certain approach to knowledge, I believe, which is frowned upon ...  a particular humanistic framework that makes such knowledge (especially moral knowledge) arbitrary.


Stephen.          
Essorant
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2 posted 02-09-2006 06:01 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

In the English poem Genesis the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is called deađes beam "death's beam" (beam back then was a synonym for treow "tree").  That seems a more accurate name.
Christopher
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3 posted 02-09-2006 07:08 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Good response, Stephen. I don't usually agree with everything you say in a particular case, but find little to argue with on this rejoinder.

Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
Huan Yi
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4 posted 02-09-2006 07:26 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise”

Sir Thomas Gray


Now the Koran is supposed to be the literal word
of God and “Islam” literally translates to “Submission”
so that’s sort of the same thing then, right?


Essorant
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5 posted 02-11-2006 09:46 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

It is like punishing a mouse for being caught in a mouse trap.
Stephanos
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6 posted 02-11-2006 07:34 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,

What exactly, is like "punishing a mouse for getting caught in a mouse trap?"


Stephen.
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7 posted 02-12-2006 03:19 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

God punishing Adam and Eve, after the devil deceives them.
serenity blaze
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8 posted 02-12-2006 05:12 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ess, my take on the matter is that the gift of free will would dictate that Adam & Eve were not punished for their sin--but by it.
Essorant
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9 posted 02-12-2006 11:22 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Serenity,

God said: (to Eve)
"I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. "

God said: (to Adam)
"Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Then God banishes them from Paradise.  

After being left naked and vulnerable in a Garden, deceived by a deadly snake into eating from a deadly tree, and are now doomed to meet eventual death, God comes along and furthers their woes.


serenity blaze
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10 posted 02-12-2006 12:33 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Wow. That's pretty depressing.

Forgive me though, I ain't a literalist when it comes to scripture.

(In occult symbolism, the snake signifies wisdom.)

Though this age old blame game does amuse me.

Wouldn't the treachery be placed upon an omniscient "god"--who surely knew his "children" were doomed to fail?

But? shrug

I'm a little grouchy. It's that time of the month.
Stephanos
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11 posted 02-13-2006 01:40 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen: What exactly, is like "punishing a mouse for getting caught in a mouse trap?"

Essorant: God punishing Adam and Eve, after the devil deceives them.

Essorant, I have a few questions for you...


- Is a mouse a morally responsible being?

- Is a mouse a rational being?

- Can a mouse sign an informed consent?

- Can a mouse have any measure of understanding clearly articulated directives?

- Do setters of mousetraps warn mice about traps and their dire consequences?

- Do setters of mousetraps provide a plethora of food alternatives, to satisfy the mice, and so divert them from the danger of the trap?

- Do setters of mousetraps, describe mice in poetic terms (almost in the vein of romantic verse) of being in any way "like" themselves?  ... almost like describing a son or daughter?

- Do setters of mousetraps spend relational time with the mice, and seem to enjoy their company?



Essorant, even if you want to pretend that Adam was less than the Bible declares him to be (therefore less responsible), I'm still not convinced that that warrants your view.  The Bible says that Adam had even an advantage over you, in that he was not yet tainted with the deceptive nature of sin, when his directives were communicated by God.  


The character Lennie in Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" should remind you not to reduce yourself to a mouse, even by analogy.       Lennie, like Adam, also fell into the snare of deceptive beauty.  His buddy George warned him well enough to stay away from Curley's wife (symbolic of danger). But despite the warning, he ended up succumbing to Curley's wife, and he died at the end of the novel because of it.  Now Lennie was mentally handicapped.  Did that excuse Lennie's actions?  I would say not.  Because, after George warned him, Lennie sensed the danger well enough to say, "I don’t like this place, George. This ain’t a good place.”.  He failed to act upon what he knew.


Now I think (taking the Biblical text as presented) Adam and Eve, were a tad more advantaged than the simpleton "Lennie".  But even if not, I don't think God can reasonably be painted as the meanie.  Unless of course you want to do a major reconstruction of the story.  Like Karen, I don't always think everything in the Bible must be literal (in fact there are strands of it clearly not intended to be taken that way, but rather allegorically).  But that doesn't mean that a story shouldn't be taken on it's own terms, ignoring signifcant parts, taking things out of context.  That's simply making another story of your own.  That's fine too.  But should you misleadingly suggest that yours is the original?  


quote:
After being left naked and vulnerable in a Garden, deceived by a deadly snake into eating from a deadly tree, and are now doomed to meet eventual death, God comes along and furthers their woes.


Care to remember some fairly significant details you left out?  Such as ...


1) Adam and Eve's "nakedness" is represented as a glorious state of freedom without shame.  Vulnerability is expressed more by their attempts at clothing themselves with fig-leaves, after sin-awareness began to creep into their souls.  

"The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame." (Genesis 2:25)


2)  God's commication with Adam, forbidding him of ONE thing among a plethora of freedom, indicates both concern on God's part, and the ability to comply on Adam's part.  So being "doomed to failure", in a deterministic sense, does not apply, unless you want to say that Adam really had no freedom to choose.  But then if you say that, you're writing your own script again.  


"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'" (Genesis 2:15-17)


3) God coming along and "furthering their woes" was merely a fulfillment of what God said would happen if they ate the forbidden fruit.  God's holiness by it's very nature, necessitated that Adam and Eve could no longer dwell in paradise.  But this was not "adding insult to injury", it was what entails death and sin, and probably could have been alot worse were it not for God's mercy.


4) God, in addition to passing a just sentence, lovingly clothed Adam and Even with animal skins (a symbolic reference to the sacrifice of Christ), and promised them, through a prophecy, the coming of the "Woman's seed" who would eventually crush the serpent's head.  So temporal mercies, plus the promise of a righetous Messiah.  Enough to dissuade the idea that God was out to "add woes"?


"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and hers.  He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:15)

"The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21)


Essorant, I just want to ask you to reconsider whether or not your rendering is balanced and fair, considering ALL that the scripture has to say on the matter.


Karen:  
quote:
I'm a little grouchy. It's that time of the month.

I'm far away enough from you to ask whether or not there might be more truth to this than you think.  (ducking here)                   

Seriously, is God really the grump (especially in view of Christ), or those who tend to want to paint him that way?

(No offense, I have my grumpy days too... The difference with men, some say, is that their's is daily, not monthly)              


Stephen.
Stephanos
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12 posted 02-13-2006 02:01 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I just wanted to add that I'm going out of town today, probably without time for internet dialogue, for about a week and a half.  I hate to leave at such an exciting time of discussion and reflection ... But I'll try to pick up when I get back.


Don't go too hard on my replies till I get back okay?  (laugh)


Love and friendship to all my philosophical pipsters,


Stephen.
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13 posted 02-14-2006 11:49 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"- Is a mouse a morally responsible being?

- Is a mouse a rational being?

- Can a mouse sign an informed consent?

- Can a mouse have any measure of understanding clearly articulated directives?"


Not usually, unless he's Mickey Mouse.              

But your taking it from the wrong angle Stephanos.  I didn't mean a mouse is like a human.  But that specifically Adam and Eve are like a mouse considering how little knowledge, judgement, control they seem to have in comparison to Almighty God, and the snake that is called "more subtil than any beast of the field"--that seems to know the territory already, and also have the advantage of knowing good and evil.  If the snake is the devil, doesn't that mean he does have the knowledge of good and evil, from formerly being an angel?  Adam and Eve may be like God in frame before eating from the tree, but they seem far from being like God in ability to make moral judgements and choices.  The book says directly:

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden"


"The man is become as one of us"  by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Before eating from the tree Adam and Eve only appear like God in frame, not in moral knowledge, judgement, and ability to make choices.  Therefore, in comparison to three things: God, the snake, and how much they are like God after eating the fruit from the knowledge of good and evil, do seem like a mouse.

"- Do setters of mousetraps warn mice about traps and their dire consequences?

- Do setters of mousetraps provide a plethora of food alternatives, to satisfy the mice, and so divert them from the danger of the trap?

- Do setters of mousetrap, describe mice in poetic terms (almost in the vein of romantic verse) of being in any way "like" themselves?  ... almost like describing a son or daughter?

- Do setters of mousetraps spend relational time with the mice, and seem to enjoy their company?"


Not if the setter of the mousetrap is a devilish snake, Stephanos.  Did the snake warn about the tree, (were Adam and Eve even warned about the snake)?  Did the snake try to divert them from danger?  Did the snake describe them in poetic terms almost like describing a sons or daughters?  Did the snake spend intimate and personal time with Adam and Eve?  I wasn't accusing God of setting the "mousetrap".  The book does in fact mention a snake, and his deception seems like a trap that Adam and Eve are talked into by the snake.  

What protection did they have against the snake, if:

1) they didn't have knowledge of good and evil by which to make what they know is a good judgement and choice?  

2) Didn't have any warning--spiritual--protection against the snake? (did you ever hear the saying "forewarned is forearmed"?)

3) Didn't have any physical protection against the snake (Since they were naked and apparantly without physical defense couldn't the snake just as easily bite them and wound them physically if he wished?  Perhaps that was God-like mercy on the part of the snake?)

4) Were alone, without someone more knowledgeable and stronger directly to help guard them from snake, their own weaknesses, and from going to the tree.  

5) The tree itself was unguarded and seemingly easily accessible.  Why wasn't the tree guarded or blocked in some way from access to make sure Adam and Eve didn't go to it?    If a poisonous tree were in your backyard and your childeren were going back there, wouldn't you make sure that the childeren couldn't get to that tree?  


"Essorant, even if you want to pretend that Adam was less than the Bible declares him to be (therefore less responsible), I'm still not convinced that that warrants your view.
The Bible says that Adam had even an advantage over you, in that he was not yet tainted with the deceptive nature of sin, when his directives were communicated by God."

But the bible directly says that God said  "the man is become as one of us" after eating from the knowledge of good and evil. That doesn't seems a little or unmagnifying thing.  This seems to imply that man is become something more not something less. And is expressed as as the reason for banishing Adam and Eve:  "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden" The words of the bible almost seems to potray God as afraid that Adam and Eve may become even more and become too much like God, threatening God himself, and therefore they are removed from Paradise.  This part does not express banishment because Adam and Eve are too coarse now to live in Paradise.  But rather that they are become more than they were.  And the possibility that they may become even more is seemingly threatening, and therefore God prevents this by banishing them from Paradise.


"But even if not, I don't think God can reasonably be painted as the meanie.  Unless of course you want to do a major reconstruction of the story"

I'm just going by how the bible seems to paint God as at this point.  "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow" and "cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life" is harsh and mean.  How do you paint that with a rosey hue and call it "nice"?  
But this is just another reason why I believe approaching the bible in respect to the times and people it was written in and by is important.  Treating your childeren severely from what I understand, was part of culture back then, wasn't it?  Do you think that may come off in the bible's portrayal of God?

"1) Adam and Eve's "nakedness" is represented as a glorious state of freedom without shame. "

No argument here.  I just don't think that means that Adam and Eve become less thro knowledge of good and evil.


"Vulnerability is expressed more by their attempts at clothing themselves with fig-leaves, after sin-awareness began to creep into their souls. "

But if they weren't more vulnerable how did the snake succeed in deceiving them?   Are you saying knowledge of good and evil makes us more vulnerable and less able to defend ourselves against what is harmful?  

"God coming along and "furthering their woes" was merely a fulfillment of what God said would happen if they ate the forbidden fruit."

I don't remember him warning them that he would "greatly multiply" their sorrows and that the ground would be be "cursed for your sake" or that they would be banished from paradise because they are become as God himself.  Or was that written in microscopic small print?          


"it was what entails death and sin, and probably could have been alot worse were it not for God's mercy"

Couldn't the snake have deceived them a lot worse too by giving them fruit from the tree of life, which would make them even more like God?
If that is what defines mercy, wasn't the snake Godlike with mercy?  It feels very ironic to refer to eating from the "trees" and "fruits" of things that are good and better "knowledge of good and evil" and "life" and what make us more like God, as evil and worse.  

"God, in addition to passing a just sentence, lovingly clothed Adam and Even with animal skins (a symbolic reference to the sacrifice of Christ), and promised them, through a prophecy, the coming of the "Woman's seed" who would eventually crush the serpent's head.  So temporal mercies, plus the promise of a righetous Messiah.  Enough to dissuade the idea that God was out to "add woes"? "

I have no doubt that God makes just sentences Stephanos.  But that doesn't stop me from being judgemental about what things men write and attribute to God.  If it were that easiy, then you as well should be bound to accept things written under the name Zeus, or Thor, as being ideal and perfect, just as you accept things written under God.  I'm not trying to judge God when I judge and question things written about God, but try to judge the virtue and idealness of what is said.  If it is something I believe a human should never do, I will never believe it is something a God should.




Essorant
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14 posted 02-14-2006 12:14 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Hope you have a good time out of town, Stephanos.  
Stephanos
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15 posted 02-23-2006 02:51 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ess:
quote:
Hope you have a good time out of town, Stephanos.


Thank you, Ess.  I did.  Those mountains in Colorado are really beautiful.  And we got to spend some time with some really good friends of ours, which was a blessing.  I also went snow skiing for the first time (miserable failure   ) But at least I can say I did it.  


quote:
But your taking it from the wrong angle Stephanos.  I didn't mean a mouse is like a human.  But that specifically Adam and Eve are like a mouse considering how little knowledge, judgement, control they seem to have in comparison to Almighty God, and the snake that is called "more subtil than any beast of the field"--that seems to know the territory already, and also have the advantage of knowing good and evil.  If the snake is the devil, doesn't that mean he does have the knowledge of good and evil, from formerly being an angel?  Adam and Eve may be like God in frame before eating from the tree, but they seem far from being like God in ability to make moral judgements and choices.


But Essorant having all the knowledge of God, and having enough sense to choose the right path, are two different things.  That was really the point of the whole episode, to reiterate that Adam and Eve had the capacity for simple obedience ... and enough knowledge to know that taking the forbidden fruit would result in calamity.  God communicated this in no uncertain terms.  Their problem (much like our own) is that they did not retain an implicit trust in God.  They didn't retain the belief that God was essentially good and had therefore given them good and perfect advice.  


quote:
Not if the setter of the mousetrap is a devilish snake, Stephanos.


Oh, I misunderstood you.  I thought that earlier you were suggesting that God "set the moustrap".


But even so, Karen was pretty much correct when she said that Adam and Eve were punished "by their sin".  Everything God did was a necessary result, of what they had done.  Losing immortality, getting put out of the paradise, inheriting pain and turmoil, represent the "hammer" of the trap you are describing.  

So God wasn't unduly adding anything to their natural consequences.  God's judgement WAS the consequences of their action, and the serpent knew this beforehand.


quote:
What protection did they have against the snake, if:

1) they didn't have knowledge of good and evil by which to make what they know is a good judgement and choice?  

2) Didn't have any warning--spiritual--protection against the snake? (did you ever hear the saying "forewarned is forearmed"?)

3) Didn't have any physical protection against the snake (Since they were naked and apparantly without physical defense couldn't the snake just as easily bite them and wound them physically if he wished?  Perhaps that was God-like mercy on the part of the snake?)

4) Were alone, without someone more knowledgeable and stronger directly to help guard them from snake, their own weaknesses, and from going to the tree.  

5) The tree itself was unguarded and seemingly easily accessible.  Why wasn't the tree guarded or blocked in some way from access to make sure Adam and Eve didn't go to it?    If a poisonous tree were in your backyard and your childeren were going back there, wouldn't you make sure that the childeren couldn't get to that tree?


1) The "knowledge of good and evil" was not required to make this choice ... it was rather the very thing forbidden.  As I mentioned before, such knowledge represents the arbitrary human determination of what is good and evil, not a reliance upon the mentorship of God who is able to give right knowledge.  The text very plainly states that God made it clear that it would be "evil" for Adam and Eve to partake of this particular fruit.  

So your claim that they were without sufficient knowledge, is not supported by the text.  The real story seems to be that they acted contrary to the sufficient knowledge they had.  


2)  Even if we grant that Adam and Eve had no preliminary knowledge of the snake, they had such knowledge concerning the forbidden fruit, and a direct experiential knowledge of the goodness of God.  They also had ample opportunity, I suppose, to inquire of God concerning the serpent and the strange things he said.


3)  For whatever reason, they did not seem to be physically threatened by the snake.  Nor did their nakedness seem to be a disadvantage.  Rather their simple nakedness is presented as a boon that was lost, not a weakness to be rectified.  They were "naked and unashamed", and clothed, as it were, in the very glory of paradise and the blessing of God.  So textually speaking, your points here do not apply.    


4) God was a constant source of guidance in the garden.  And though they did seem to have time apart from his immediacy, he walked with Adam daily in the garden.  He also gave very clear instructions about the fruit.  

You suggest that Adam and Eve were isolated from God.  But again, the text doesn't even begin to paint that picture.  Essorant's version perhaps, but not the original.


5) For whatever reason, God thought it best to put no physical barrier to the forbidden fruit.  We certainly don't place all things out of reach of our children.  And though it may be argued that the severity of the consequences would warrant an absolute prevention on God's part, it must be remembered that Adam and Eve are not presented as the direct equivalent of children.  The advantages they had, are notable.  Also, though death is certainly severe from a creaturely perspective, to a God who may raise the dead, it may not be quite the monstrosity that we assume it to be.  Not to mention that God himself, through a literal incarnation, suffers the very death that Adam brought upon himself.    


  
quote:
But the bible directly says that God said  "the man is become as one of us" after eating from the knowledge of good and evil. That doesn't seems a little or unmagnifying thing.  This seems to imply that man is become something more not something less. And is expressed as as the reason for banishing Adam and Eve:  "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden" The words of the bible almost seems to potray God as afraid that Adam and Eve may become even more and become too much like God, threatening God himself, and therefore they are removed from Paradise.


You're interpreting the story from the Serpent's perspective, it seems.  Wasn't it his suggestion that God did not want Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit, out of a guarded desire to protect his own authority, and to withhold something of value from them?  If we believe that, then it would be natural to say that God carmudgeonly put them out of the garden, out of a feeling of base jealousy and insecurity.

But if we take the story in context, the serpent is wrong.  The "Knowledge of good and evil" represents something that is only God's prerogative to possess, as a proper authority.  When God laments that "the man has now become like one of us", he is in effect saying that man has taken upon himself something that is only God's responsibility.  Self appointed responsiblity without ability, is not a greater state of being, but a lesser.  He has become like God in office or position, but unlike God in heart.  As I mentioned before, Satan's deception that they would be "like" God, did have a twistedly ironic fulfillment.  But it was not at all true in the way they had imagined.  I too can be "like" a bird, by jumping off of a cliff.  But in another sense, I am most unlike a bird.  Thus, is the Judeo-Christian interpretation of the "fall" of man.


quote:
Treating your childeren severely from what I understand, was part of culture back then, wasn't it?  Do you think that may come off in the bible's portrayal of God?


Chronological snobbery?  No, I don't think that cruelty to children was any more a part of ancient Near Eastern culture, than it is in our culture.  Just call your local DFCS, and ask them.  

But even if that were the case, the story in Genesis, ipso facto, does not present cruelty on the part of God.  Justice, perhaps is there in a fullness that we are not used to.  But then again, so is mercy.  


quote:
Couldn't the snake have deceived them a lot worse too by giving them fruit from the tree of life, which would make them even more like God?

If that is what defines mercy, wasn't the snake Godlike with mercy?  It feels very ironic to refer to eating from the "trees" and "fruits" of things that are good and better "knowledge of good and evil" and "life" and what make us more like God, as evil and worse.

The fruit from the tree of life was never forbidden them.  In fact this would have made them more and more "like God".  But the whole point of the story, is that the serpent directed them to an improper likeness of God, through a false autonomy.  So Yes, if the serpent were so inclined to direct them to this tree, he would have been merciful.  But he was not merciful, in that he decieved them, and led them to something that had been forbidden by God.  

The whole problem with your interpretation, is that you are failing to recognize the qualitative difference between the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as presented in the text.  And even if the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was a good tree, it's fruit did not represent something good for Adam and Eve at this time.


quote:
I have no doubt that God makes just sentences Stephanos.  But that doesn't stop me from being judgemental about what things men write and attribute to God.  If it were that easiy, then you as well should be bound to accept things written under the name Zeus, or Thor, as being ideal and perfect, just as you accept things written under God.



I don't ask you not to assess what is written.  I am merely holding you to the context, of what IS written.  Judging a text on it's own terms, means not ignoring textual clues about the nature of what is written.  So far you fail to accept that these things are established textually:  1) The essential goodness of God, and his integrity toward Adam and Eve.  2) The qualitative difference between the forbidden fruit, and other legitimate fruits.


Stephen.
Huan Yi
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16 posted 02-24-2006 10:31 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“to reiterate that Adam and Eve had the capacity for simple obedience .”

i.e. to be slaves.


Go Adam, Go Eve!
Stephanos
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17 posted 02-24-2006 11:34 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Did you ever view your own children as slaves?

or your own parents as cruel task-masters?

I see no reason to view the situation so cynically as you do.  Unless you think it was an injustice to be given a paradise with a plethora of choices, responsibilities, and pleasures ... with only one restriction to speak of.


Stephen.    
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18 posted 04-05-2006 12:57 AM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

Scripture says that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot...Who was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
hmm  Foreordained    Therefore...What is in error?    God did not have His Plan A disrupted and had to fall back and regroup.  There is no Plan B and has never been a need for one.

Romans 8:20-21  "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Because the creature also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

Nothing is out of whack.  All is as ordered.
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19 posted 04-05-2006 01:50 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

You're right in saying that God's plan and prerogative has never been "out of whack".

But it's surely plain to see that Adam was disobedient to him when he ate the fruit.  


You have to look at it in this duality, even with problems today.  Much is as it should not be, else Jesus would have never instructed us to pray "Thy Kingdom Come".


Stephen.
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20 posted 04-05-2006 02:55 AM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

Once again...Romans 8:20-21  "For the creature was MADE subject to vanity, NOT WILLINGLY, but by reason of HIM who hath subjected the same in hope,
Because the creature also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

So...Whos reason?

Yes...We are instructed to pray...Thy Kingdom come.
And where is this Kingdom?
Jesus said that the Kingdom would not come with observation.

We are also instructed to count it ALL as joy when we fall into divers temptations. Knowing that the trying of our faith worketh patience.
We are also instructed to...In ALL things, be content.   Can we be content if we see it as error?
Doesn't God work   ALL  things...according to HIS purpose?
Doesn't God work  ALL  things...according to HIS good pleasure?

I see no error

It is only from having been in the filthy depths of the swine lot...that the prodigal begins to see how glorious his fathers house is.  It is then that he returns... prepared and willing to be... a servant.  And is welcomed as a ...Son.

I have said  Ye are gods  And all of you are children of the Most High.  But you shall die as men and fall like one of the princes.
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21 posted 04-05-2006 12:15 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Of course I believe in the ultimate sovereignty of God over the fall ... and redemption.  


But what does that have to do with this particular thread?
quote:
We are also instructed to...In ALL things, be content.   Can we be content if we see it as error?

Does that mean we are to be "content" with our own sins?  Are we not to view them as erroneous, or to grieve over our sinfulness?  You can take any doctrine too far.  And if you are minimizing the tragedy of the fall, then you just might be taking the doctrine of God's sovereignty too far.  Otherwise, if you're merely saying that it was God's plan all along to allow and redeem the tragedy of the fall, then I'm with you.

Stephen.
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22 posted 04-05-2006 03:39 PM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

Yes   I'm saying that God subjected his creation to vanity (futility) in accordance to His purpose.  That man was MADE subject to it.
Not Willingly.   I'm saying that even the "fall" was in accord with God's plan and purpose.   And it is Impossible to carry the idea of God's sovereignty... Too far.
God works ALL things according to His purpose.

I hear many today who proclaim that God has given us... Freewill..
to decide whether or not we  C H O O S E  to come to Him.

Freewill ... in deciding how we will live our lives.

Freewill ... in deciding whether or not we will do... His will.

Jonah thought the same thing when he exercised his freewill to NOT
obey God when told to go to Nineveh
Then... after suffering for his decision...after spending 3 days in the
belly of the fish, he was spat out ... and  D E C I D E D   to go to
Nineveh.   LOL    Glory to God

Its amazing to me that deep within each of us...we battle to understand and accept the idea of a loving God declaring "eternal" punishment.  Deep within...we know it is not so.  But we cling to the traditions taught by Man and will not come Out from Babylon (confusion).  

To save me some typing...I will just copy and paste a portion of a reply I made in the "Two quotes on why Hell is necessary" thread.

Jer 10:23   I know that the way of man is not in himself: It is not
in Man that walketh ... to direct his steps.

Freewill?

Rom 9:16   It is not of him that willeth or of him that runneth, but
of God that showeth mercy.

Freewill?


John 6:44  No man can come unto me except the Father which hath sent me
draw him.

Freewill?


Proverbs 16:33  The lot is cast into the lap (center)  but... the whole
disposing (every decision)  thereof ... is of the Lord

Freewill?


Proverbs 16:9  A Mans heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth
his steps.

Freewill?


Just as it was God who sent Moses to free the people ... It was also
God...who hardened Pharoahs heart...to deny Moses.
Exodus 9:12   10:1    10:20    10:27   11:10   14:8

Freewill?


1 Chr 21:1  And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to
number Israel...

Now...The same story in... 2 Sam 24:1   And again, the anger of the
L O R D   was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them
to say,  Go, number Israel and Judah

Yes... Pharoahs heart was hardened...but who was behind it?
Yes... David was provoked by satan...but who was behind it?
Yes... Job was tormented by satan....but who was behind it?

Romans 9:11-24    (for the children not yet being born, nor having
done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election
might stand, not of works but of  H I M  who calls),
12:  it was said to her, " The older shall serve the younger."
13:  As it is written, " Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."

Now look at this...thus far     Before they were even born...Before
either of them had done any good or evil...God had already declared
that He loved Jacob and hated Esau.   That the  P U R P O S E  of
GOD might stand     According to...election     N O T  of  W O R K S
.... but of  H I M   who   C A L L S         Glory to God

Does God love Jacob and hate Esau...because of any of the Freewill
CHOICES they have made?

14:  What shall we say then?  Is there unrighteousness with God?
Certainly not !
15:  For He says to Moses, " I will have mercy on whomever I will have
mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."
16:  So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of
God who shows mercy
17:  For the scripture says to the Pharoah, "For this very purpose I
have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name
may be declared in all the earth."
18:   Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He
hardens.
19:  You will say to me then, " Why does He still find fault ?  
For who has resisted His will ?"
20:  But indeed O man, who are you to reply against God?  Will the
thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like
this ?"
21:  Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump
to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22: What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His POWER known,
endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for
destruction.
23: and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels
of His mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
24: even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the
Gentiles?

There are vessels....prepared for honor and glory
And there are vessels...prepared for dishonor, wrath, and destruction.

It is ALL....GOD

There is  N O  Power ... but of  G O D  

Col 1:16   For by Him   A L L   things were created that are in heaven
and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through
Him and for Him.

There is NO power... but of God


Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it ?
                                                       Amos 3:6

I form the Light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil:
I the Lord do all these things        
                                                    Isaiah 45:7

The Lord hath made  A L L  things for Himself: YEA, even the wicked
for the Day of Evil.                              
                                                     Proverbs 16:4

Perfect peace....to each of you.
Stephanos
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23 posted 04-05-2006 04:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Yes but the problem with what you're saying is that there are also plenty of other scriptures which verify that man indeed does have choice.  Both kinds of scripture are there.  I'm not even interested in posting them all, unless you're really willing to consider them (you'll have to let me know if you are really willing to have a discussion, or are only here to "proclaim" your view).  That leaves us with the duty to believe that both sides, as contradictory as they seem, are true.  Are you willing to say that God is the author of sin?  That God tempted man to sin?  If we take sovereignty to the extreme, that's exactly what we have to say.  And there are scriptures which directly refute that idea (remember what James said?).  So ...


Been there done that,

It's not as simple as you're making it out to be.  But I'm kind of glad God isn't so simple minded as me.  That's one of the reasons I stand in awe of him.

Stephen.
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24 posted 04-05-2006 11:47 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"duty to believe"

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