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One Atheist take on three Biblical stories

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posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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1. Snake fable

God tells Adam he may eat anything in a garden but the fruit from one tree, saying he will die on the day he eats it. A snake convinces Eve that she will gain knowledge after eating the forbidden fruit. Eve eats, likes what she learns, and encourages Adam to partake. They discover many things, including sex, and God banishes Adam and Eve from the garden and tells them they need to work for a living.

My moral: God makes blind obedience the supreme virtue, assuming ignorance is bliss. God either lied or was mistaken when he said humans would die on the day they received knowledge. So don’t blindly believe, even if you pay a price for independent thought. It’s better to have freedom without a guarantee of security, than to have security without freedom.

2. Cain and Abel fable

Adam and Eve’s two sons bring offerings to God, but God gives no reason for accepting Abel’s and rejecting Cain’s. Cain gets jealous and kills Abel. When God asks Cain where Abel is, Cain responds, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God curses Cain, who must then wander the earth, but God places a protective mark on Cain.

My moral: The first worship ceremony is followed immediately by the first murder, which shows we must not put our love and worship of a God above our love for human beings. Cain belatedly learns that humans should look out for one another, making each of us our brother and sister’s keeper. God recognizes his culpability in the first murder and puts a mark on Cain as a sign to those he meets that they must not do to Cain what Cain did to Abel.

3. Binding of Isaac fable

God commands Abraham to kill his son Isaac. Abraham acquiesces, but God stops Abraham as he lifts his knife, and provides a lamb to take Isaac’s place.

My moral: God tests Abraham, who fails the test. Nobody should commit an atrocity, no matter who makes the request. It is better to do good than to have faith.
Washington Post



I found this article a bit interesting not so much about what the author had to say but how he interpreted the bible. I do recommend reading the source article but really it’s interesting to me how different ideologies can interpret the same story and find different meaning in it. Maybe some of you can give your interpretations.

I can’t take the bible literally but like the author I can see the bible as a useful tool as stories with lessons to be learned.




posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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It appears that this shows more of a bitter and haughty attitude, with no real reflective thinking behind it.

For example, the fact that God asked Adam and Eve to recognize his sovereignty was in no means asking them to give him "blind obedience."

Let's put ourselves in their shoes for a moment (although they didn't have any -.-). Adam was given a perfect body, with the ability to reason, to talk, and with freewill. Where did Adam one day become a man and realize he existed? It was in a paradise. It was called the "garden of Eden." Eden means pleasure.

And indeed there was nothing but goodness. He enjoyed perfect health, had a paradise, and everything else one could ask for, including the most beautiful woman a person has ever laid eyes upon. This intelligent reasoning person must have come to the logical conclusion that God is a good and loving God. And also that he is very thoughtful and wise to be able to create all of this.

Also God frequently talked to Adam. It wasn't as if he was left wondering who he was, or why he was there. And he was given satisfying work. All in all, you may, or that author, may think that taking something that didn't belong to him, and something which God said, don't take, was a small matter.

But things back then were perfect, and a small thing was a big matter.

Rather than showing God's vengeful need for blind obedience, it was showing God's foresight and wisdom in dealing with his perfect creation. Allowing them to choose whether or not they were going to use their freewill to lovingly show loyalty to him, or would they selfishly use it to rebel.
edit on 15-10-2013 by Broom because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


The First two "fables" he chose are interesting because they are what is called "Religious Myth or Religious Poetry",

they are both Spiritually and Allegorically True while at the same time being Historically and Literally True,

they are True yet they are not true,

they are Historical yet not historical,

when you understand this Mystery, you understand the primeval history given in Genesis Chapters 1 - 11,

and Yes, I believe in the Scientific Age of the Universe and Earth, the Universe being ~13.7 billion years old, Earth being ~4.54 billion years old, and I believe in the basics of evolution microevolution...

although as far as totally and completely naturalistic Darwinian Evolution and Macroevolution, well that's debatable but that debate is best left to be done by professionals in Archaeology, Evolutionary Biology and other sciences who have PhDs and have dedicated their lives and then write books for the lay people like us to read and decipher for ourselves as to what is Truth and what is merely "truth"....

Progressive Creationism, Intelligent Design, Theistic Evolution / Old Earth Creation are all theories that leave all scientific explanations open for debate and acceptation as long as you accept the Holy Scriptures as Inspired by God....

God bless



posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by godlover25
 


Well I don’t believe anything literally about the bible and I don’t think it was meant to be taken literally but I can see how they were written to convey a message which depending on your outlook different people will have a different take on the moral of the story.



posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 09:26 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


My understanding of these fables is that: 1The snake fable is attempt to explain why people had to become farmers instead of their previous hunter gatherer lifestyle: 2 The story of Cain and Abel is the battle between pastoralists and croppers(ranchers and sod busters) as cropping was ruining the land.3The story of the binding of Isaac is an attempt to stop the horrible practice of human sacrifice which was obviously still going on at the time. (Just sacrifice a lamb now guys. God says.) There are many practical reasons why things are in the bible.



posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 10:02 PM
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Not quite sure why the author thinks Abraham failed that test. Jews, Christians and Muslims hold that he passed the test the very minute he was willing to make the sacrifice................But then again, the author is reading all three narratives from within his own limited udertstanding, ignorant of the larger concepts and making remarks. I guess, its the atheist version of ''if we evolved from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?''
edit on 15-10-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)
edit on 15-10-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by godlover25
 





they are True yet they are not true,

they are Historical yet not historical,




You realize this doesn't make sense right? Have you read Enoch? He speaks about "worthless mysteries", I'm pretty sure this is one of them.



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 08:43 AM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


I know that this will not be well recieved by some. Regarding the story of Cain and Abel, I always thought that the reason that God favored Abels's sacrifice over Cains was because he raised and cared for the animal he sacrificed. That caused him to be attached to it and it was more of a personal sacrifice. Cain seeing this decided to make an even greater sacrifice by sacrificing his dear beloved brother. This had the oppostite of the desired effect and sent God into a an angered state. For this reason he cursed/protected Cain. Just my take on the story. Take it or leave it as you see fit.



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


It makes no sense because in your mind nothing makes Sense,

You can see yet you do not See,

You can hear yet you do not Hear,

You have eyes yet you are blind to the Truth,

You can see the world and you have ideas of truth, but you do not know the World of Truth,

You will be lost in this fog and adrift with closed eyes until you accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty, God,

May you be blessed with Wisdom, Knowledge and Truth,

in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

Amen



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by borracho
 


Interesting view,

Thank you for that.

God bless



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 11:45 AM
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Grimpachi
reply to post by godlover25
 


Well I don’t believe anything literally about the bible and I don’t think it was meant to be taken literally


The Old Testament is full of myths, legends, fables, folk lore and allegories. The problem comes when people think it's supposed to be taken literally. It simply is not. And a lot of the supposed 'historical facts' of the Old Testament can be debunked quickly. Such as the Jews in Egypt being slaves and being led out into the desert for 40 years. That simply didn't happen. And the notion that all of humanity came from 3 pair of reproducing humans on Noahs Ark about 5,000 years ago. DNA science proves that is bunk. And the Abraham folk lore ... he supposedly lived in 2000 bc but the stories about his life weren't written down until 500 bc. That's 1500 years of folklore being rewritten and embellished and built up and changed. It's totally unreliable.

If people look at the Old Testament in the same way as childrens bedtime stories .... stories that are made up and have a moral theme ... then great. But to take them literally is a major mistake.



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by godlover25
 


No, it doesn't make sense because it doesn't make sense. Please explain how something can be true and untrue at the same time. How can something be historical but fictional at the same time? Did the Civil War really happen but also not happen? Can I eat a sandwich but not eat It at the same time?

I like how you start preaching a sermon to me too, thanks but I don't believe that stuff and using religious phrases and words doesn't prove your point one bit.

Please explain how your opinion in any way relates to reality please. I'll be waiting. If you can't then I'll just assume this "mystery" of yours is worthless.
edit on 16-10-2013 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


You can feel the wind and know its there but you cannot grasp it, hold it and put it under a microscope to "prove it",

You know a McDonalds Cheeseburger is yummy, but you cannot scientifically prove how great it tastes.

God is everywhere, yet nowhere,

God is everything, yet nothing,

God is you, yet you are not God,

I pray you'll understand



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 02:25 PM
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reply to post by borracho
 


Actually from my end anyway that interpretation is received well. I think most people already know what the mainstream religions interpret these stories as but what is truly interesting to me are alternet interpretations of what the message can be.

Well done.



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by godlover25
 


At least you can feel the wind or taste a hamburger, you cannot see something happening and not happening at the same time.

Either something happened or it didn't, it can't go both ways. Can you feel the wind but not feel it at the same time? Can you taste a hamburger and have no idea what it tastes like?

I disagree, God is me and I am God, just like you are. We all are.
edit on 16-10-2013 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 08:56 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


God is just a word with no neaning, therefore it can mean anything...

Light
Life
Light
A being capable of doing miracles
Love
Energy (vague term since all is energy)

God is even called "every thing", "universe", or "reality"

Which makes it a meaningless word, since we already have words for those thibgs



posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 12:05 AM
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@borracho... that is actually a terrible interpretation of Abels murder. It could NOT have been a sacrifice to God....... Because Cain buried Abels body and when God asked him about Abel, he says ''I don't know, am I my brothers keeper''? Does this sound like a sacrifice to you?



posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 07:58 AM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 


I could be mistaken but I think the moral if the story was that humans shouldet be keepers (protectors) of each other instead of killing each other - a mark to teach humanity not to kill itself.



posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by grumpy64
 


Your interpretations are good thinking and pretty neutral. It seems obvious that the Cain and Abel story goes back to a conflict of interests between two competing human groups, probably farmers vs. hunter-gatherers, as you say. The Adam and Eve story seems to me to antedate even this division; I would say it symbolises the emergence of what we call conscience as a by-product of the acquisition of the power of reflective thought. I attribute the birth of religion and morality to the conflict that arose from this. I argue as much in this thread. Here's a quote from my second post in that thread, appeariong on p.9:


Good and evil come into existence when beings who are driven by instinct evolve reason and the concept of a future, and begin to think about what they do and what they are.

A possible flaw in the hypothesis, though, is that we don't hear of similar myths from other cultures. Perhaps reason only evolved once, like life itself, and radiated outwards from that point in history and geography? Or are there similar myths in other cultures? Does anyone know of any?

Oh, and I think we can ignore the religious bats flittering about this particular belfry. We all know what their interpretations of these stories are; they always add up to the same thing: YOU ARE WORTH LESS THAN NOTHING, AND NOTHING IS WHAT YOU DESERVE. OBEY THE AUTHORITY THAT CLAIMS TO SPEAK FROM GOD AND SHUT YOUR MOUTH.

edit on 18/10/13 by Astyanax because: I didn't want readers to think I meant the OP's interpretations.



posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 10:42 PM
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reply to post by Broom
 


It appears that this shows more of a bitter and haughty attitude, with no real reflective thinking behind it.

On the contrary: these are positive, highly generous interpretations which, unlike the traditional ones, actually make God look good. Sort of, 'when God hands you a lemon, make lemonade.'

Unlike religious obsessives who spit out the juice and suck on the pips.






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