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The Genesis Paradox

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posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 06:25 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: akushla99
I never said God was evil, I never said anyone was evil - yet here are the apologists saying exactly that, supporting the myth of Original Sin upon which this discussion is based.

Posts like the opening post are created by people who want to use the Eden story to argue that God is evil in some way. That's what I was getting at.

The whole point of the doctrine of Original Sin is that it is presenting humanity as fundamentally evil. As I've observed before, you only have to look around at the kind of world that humanity has created to grasp that something has gone wrong.
The theme of the last book of the Bible- indeed, the running theme of the whole Bible- is the way that problem is to be tackled.



The point of the doctrine of original sin is to enslave the mind and make people think that they are inherently evil or sinners. I look around and see indeed much has gone wrong that could be said to be caused by "sin."

I also see that much has gone right. So using your logic is not going to explain the false doctrine of original sin. It is just a lie.

Doctrine is not synonymous with truth, Righteousness or justice.

And Paul was a misogynist.




posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: KingPhilipsiX

"That last statement about multiple authors is even true on the first page of the Bible.

Scholars divide the Torah/Pentateuch between four sources or authors. The Elohistic (pre-YHWH?) Yahwistic, priestly and Deuteronomistic.

After millennia of claiming them the works of Moses it is not even believed by the Catholic Church or in Jewry today.

But some not so scholarly people still believe it. "

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



There is a really good website called "Contradictions in the Bible". The author of that site goes into all of what you just mentioned. His name is Dr. Steven DiMattei. Excellent site.
contradictionsinthebible.com...


edit on 23-6-2016 by Matrixsurvivor because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 11:12 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: birdxofxprey
But Eve couldn't have known that disobedience was evil.

Yes she could.
If she knew that evil existed, then she could know that something is evil. The text does NOT say that she did not know evil existed. The text does NOT say that she did not know there was a difference.
This whole paradox is artificially created by an interpretation of the expression "knowing good and evil" which you have adopted for the sake of making the paradox.
Once you drop that unnecessary interpretation, the paradox disappears.






Let me say first that I recognize and respect your familiarity with Hebrew scholarship. I have no argument against your understanding of Genesis within that context, and would hope that my comments don’t appear antagonistic towards that part of your perspective. It is your understanding of the principles of categorical reasoning that is problematic. What I mean by this is that your argument that the paradox is artificially manufactured rests on a fallacy, an invalid inference.

Categories are abstract concepts based on some common property (or set of properties). Apples are distinct from non-apples, for example, because apples have specific qualities or properties that non-apples don’t have. Similarly, the categories good and evil are distinct from one another, as are the categories mammal and reptile, Klingon and Ferengi, etc.

I agree with your initial claim: Eve knew that good and evil are distinct categories.
The problem is that you are inferring more from this claim than it actually implies.

First, knowing that two categories are distinct from one another is quite different from knowing any of the criteria for making such a distinction. You’ve already pointed this out in noting that before she ate from the tree, Eve had to rely on God to distinguish good from evil for her. [She didn't know *how* they are different, only *that* they are different.]

So, knowing (1) *that good and evil are distinct categories* is one thing.
Knowing (2) *how to tell the difference between good and evil* is quite another.
And, it seems we agree (please correct me if I’m over-stating this) that Eve knew (1) before she ate from the tree, but she did not know (2) until after doing so.

Furthermore, knowing that (1) *good and evil are distinct categories* doesn’t provide any information as to whether or not either has anything in it. You’ve claimed that “If she knew that evil existed, then she could know that something is evil.” But this is not so. Knowing that evil is a category distinct from good does not imply that there really are some evil things. [And, presumably, before she ate the fruit, no instances of evil yet existed. When God finished creating everything, he said “it is good.” That’s it.]

To illustrate the point a bit more clearly, consider the categories Klingon and Ferengi. It is certainly possible to understand *that* these are distinct categories. But, for people who are less familiar with Star Trek, knowing *that* they’re distinct wouldn’t (by itself) enable them to tell the difference between the two (that’s information about *how* they’re different). Moreover, knowing that they’re distinct doesn’t imply that there’s any existing thing in either group (in fact, both of these categories are empty, even though many people understand the difference between them).

So, sure, Eve knew that good and evil are separate categories.
But it does not follow from this that she knew how to tell the difference between them.
And it does not follow from this that she could have known whether any evil things existed.

Back to the paradox, then.
If Eve couldn’t have known *how* good and evil are different from one another,
then she couldn’t have figured out which of her actions might be good or evil.
God didn’t tell her that eating from the tree was evil, he just told her not to do it.
And God didn’t tell her that disobedience was evil, he only told her not to eat from the tree.

-----------------------------
As an aside --
I see you’re familiar with some principles of logic (you previously alluded to the logical opposites “necessary” and “contingent”). As a formal matter in categorical logic, a universal statement cannot be used to draw a particular conclusion. Thus, the inference below is invalid:

Good things are completely different from evil things → At least one evil thing exists.

-----------------------------
Thanks,
BOP



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 11:49 AM
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originally posted by: birdxofxprey
So, knowing (1) *that good and evil are distinct categories* is one thing.
Knowing (2) *how to tell the difference between good and evil* is quite another.
And, it seems we agree (please correct me if I’m over-stating this) that Eve knew (1) before she ate from the tree, but she did not know (2) until after doing so.

To be exact, what I am claiming is that her knowledge of "how to tell the difference" was "I will ask God and he will tell me".


[And, presumably, before she ate the fruit, no instances of evil yet existed.

But she did know about "eating the fruit" as a hypothetical evil.

But it does not follow from this that she knew how to tell the difference between them.
And it does not follow from this that she could have known whether any evil things existed.

As I've said, her method of telling the difference would have been to ask God
And as I've said, again, she would have known about the hypothetical evil of "eating what God has told me not to eat, doing what God has told me not to do".

If Eve couldn’t have known *how* good and evil are different from one another,
then she couldn’t have figured out which of her actions might be good or evil.
God didn’t tell her that eating from the tree was evil, he just told her not to do it.
And God didn’t tell her that disobedience was evil, he only told her not to eat from the tree.

You haven't grasped my point yet that "Evil" equals "doing what God does not want you to do".
So telling her not to eat of the tree is the same thing as telling her that eating from the tree is evil.
And she figures out whether a potential action is good or evil by asking "Does God want me to do this?"
So the dilemma that she does not know whether she should do it or not simply fails to appear.
The act of eating from the tree is the act of deliberately doing what God does not want her to do, and therefore a conscious choice of evil.

Please also bear in mind the "common-sense" point which I made to another poster.
I'm sure we agree that this account had a human writer, one who believes in this God.
It cannot possibly have been that writer's intention to portray his God as doing things which are unjust or contradictory.
So anyone who strains the text with the purpose of creating that impression must be wandering away from the writer's intended meaning.
edit on 23-6-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Again, I'll concede that: God prohibits X = X is evil.

If you will please indulge me once more, consider the following --

A - Does God's prohibiting something cause it to be evil?
or
B - Does a thing's being evil cause God to prohibit it?

If God has reasons for prohibiting some things and not others (as it seems a rational being would), one obvious reason he'd prohibit something is *because it is evil.* [That means we're rejecting A in favor of B; once a thing is evil, that causes God to prohibit or disapprove of it (because God is good, just, etc.).]

So, what is it that makes something evil to begin with?
What is that property or form that all evil things have (which makes them evil) such that God decides to prohibit or disapprove of them?



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 12:25 PM
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originally posted by: birdxofxprey
A - Does God's prohibiting something cause it to be evil?
B - Does a thing's being evil cause God to prohibit it?

What I'm suggesting is that "evil" is a synonym for "what God does not want".
I suppose that is closer to A than B.
It is simply "not-God".



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 01:26 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: birdxofxprey
A - Does God's prohibiting something cause it to be evil?
B - Does a thing's being evil cause God to prohibit it?

What I'm suggesting is that "evil" is a synonym for "what God does not want".
I suppose that is closer to A than B.
It is simply "not-God".


I do not claim that you are incorrect, but you have not answered my question.
I did not bid you tell me one or two of the many synonyms for "evil," nor who wants (or does not want) evil, nor whether it is not its opposite (as all things are), but that form itself that makes things evil. What is the nature of evil?



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: birdxofxprey
Yes I have, but I will re-phrase it.
The nature of evil is to be "that which is outside God's will".



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: birdxofxprey
Yes I have, but I will re-phrase it.
The nature of evil is to be "that which is outside God's will".



Again, I don't dispute the truth of your claim.
But you've only relayed information about God (that he does not will evil).
You haven't told me what evil is.



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: birdxofxprey
I repeat, "yes I have".
The very definition of evil is "that which lies outside God's will". That is how I am defining the word, that's how I am defining the phenomenon. That is its nature.
Anything which is outside God's will is ipso facto evil, because that is what the word means.



edit on 23-6-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: birdxofxprey
I repeat, "yes I have".
The very definition of evil is "that which lies outside God's will". That is how I am defining the word, that's how I am defining the phenomenon. That is its nature.
Anything which is outside God's will is ipso facto evil, because that is what the word means.




Earlier in the discussion, you said:

"Before the Fall; "We know the difference between good and evil; it is what God says it is".
After the Fall; "We know the difference between good and evil; it is what WE say it is". "

I am asking a post-fall question, but you are giving a pre-fall answer.

That "fall" is now behind us, Eve having acquired the capacity (subsequently inherited by all people) to say what evil is.
So, what do you say that evil is?



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 03:04 PM
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originally posted by: birdxofxprey
Earlier in the discussion, you said:

"Before the Fall; "We know the difference between good and evil; it is what God says it is".
After the Fall; "We know the difference between good and evil; it is what WE say it is". "

I am asking a post-fall question, but you are giving a pre-fall answer.

That "fall" is now behind us, Eve having acquired the capacity (subsequently inherited by all people) to say what evil is.
So, what do you say that evil is?

I am giving the pre-fall answer because it is the only truthful one.
In the earlier post I was describing the difference between the pre-fall and post-fall attitudes of Adam and Eve.
I never suggested that their post-fall claim was valid.
In fact if evil is defined as "that which is outside God's will", then any attempt to identify it which involves setting aside God's will must necessarily be erroneous.
That is the whole point of "the Fall". The departure from God's will is where they went wrong.

The only thing which Eve acquired, and the only thing which we have inherited, is the propensity to assess evil independently of God and thereby make false assessments.


edit on 23-6-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 05:08 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: birdxofxprey
Earlier in the discussion, you said:

"Before the Fall; "We know the difference between good and evil; it is what God says it is".
After the Fall; "We know the difference between good and evil; it is what WE say it is". "

I am asking a post-fall question, but you are giving a pre-fall answer.

That "fall" is now behind us, Eve having acquired the capacity (subsequently inherited by all people) to say what evil is.
So, what do you say that evil is?

I am giving the pre-fall answer because it is the only truthful one.
In the earlier post I was describing the difference between the pre-fall and post-fall attitudes of Adam and Eve.
I never suggested that their post-fall claim was valid.
In fact if evil is defined as "that which is outside God's will", then any attempt to identify it which involves setting aside God's will must necessarily be erroneous.
That is the whole point of "the Fall". The departure from God's will is where they went wrong.

The only thing which Eve acquired, and the only thing which we have inherited, is the propensity to assess evil independently of God and thereby make false assessments.



Your appeal to authority as the basis of determining good and evil raises many questions indeed.
You now have me wondering if we really have any knowledge of good and evil at all (it appears not, since you say that we must consult God to avoid false assessments…). Unless you mean to say that "knowledge" is a "propensity" of some kind?
But, as you’ve graciously entertained so many questions already, I’ll only ask one.

It appears a matter of necessity that God doesn’t engage in action (or inaction) contrary to his own will.
If he did, he’d be doing evil…
So, it is indisputable that any act done by God must be consistent with God’s will.
Similarly, if God chooses not to do some act, then not doing it must be consistent with God’s will.
With certainty, then, we can say that --
If God does it, then doing it is good,
and
If God doesn’t do it, then not doing it is good.
Yes?



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 05:21 PM
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originally posted by: birdxofxprey
Your appeal to authority as the basis of determining good and evil raises many questions indeed.

Authority is really the central issue.
The story of Eden is the story of rejection of authority.
And the psychological motivation for the rejection of Biblical religion is mainly unwillingness to accept authority.
That is the human condition; we put our own egos at the centre of our world, and resent anything that threatens to override them.

If God does it, then doing it is good,
and
If God doesn’t do it, then not doing it is good.
Yes?

Yes. If God does it, then God doing it is good.
Of course that doesn't mean that it is good for humans to do the things which are reserved for God.
edit on 23-6-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 06:21 PM
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this is the same god that created malaria which killed millions. and when people stayed away from those that were infected, god fooled them. how?...by creating the mosquito to carry malaria over unknown distances, while at the same time gave it a painless way to infect people without them even noticing......
and why would god cause an earthquake that produced a tsunami so massive that it killed 230,000 men women and children just a few years ago. and yet god is to be worshipped?....for what?....not killing all of us at one time?...and how about when Nazi officers saw how monstrous Hitler was to human beings, and decided to sacrifice themselves in the bombing plot to kill him, and they were ONLY able to wound him....don't you think god should have shown a little mercy toward his human creations so that Hitler died instead of being wounded?.....I guess god wanted millions more to die, and at the same time disrespected those humans that tried to repent, and do the right thing by ending the life of an murdering dictator......I could go on, but you know god likes to award football players with touchdowns, and take credit for any type of merciful act by a human, but never the blame for killing humans.



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: Matrixsurvivor

Well no attachment to such things doesnt allow for pain from them to arise... attachment to them causes that reflex of either pleasure or displeasure so we form our own nooses with such attachments that arise and pass come and go and with each arising a brand new experience every time, and with attachment chasing a ghost from ones attachment which causes suffering instead of happiness... back and forth alive to the future but must drag ghost and now we haunt the future with trying to keep something impermanent the same... imbrace impermanence and each moment to moment to moment is brand new and nothing to suffer from except that ghost of experience chasing a dragon made of smoke and mirrors that can never exist again as one ever experienced it.



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 06:51 PM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

now if we could only make sense of what you say, it might be a legitimate post



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

But how could they have not eaten it? It was there. For all we know it would be there until it got eaten, always hanging over their heads. That unending temptation led to the ultimate punishment.

Yes, this is probably the Biblical matter I have the most trouble with.



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 07:11 PM
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a reply to: jimmyx

and if we could add another piece at the top another martyr in the futility of trying to explain the unexplainable but not the inexperiencible.

Vows of silence are sometimes a good thing.

Of course another pole beside it and again and again makes a fence... and that question arises as to on which side is one truely on in such things.

Of course I enjoy the "We" speaking for everyone is quite a talent.
edit on 23-6-2016 by BigBrotherDarkness because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 07:15 PM
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a reply to: StarAtomizer
There is something to be said for treating it as a symbolic story rather than one dealing with a literal tree;
The tree of what knowledge?



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