And yes, they could have chosen to disobey those commands, though it's also important to note that those commands are part of a different, less ancient creation story.
Oh. Sorry for mixing up my creation stories. (I knew I was doing that at the time.) Here was I, thinking that anything written in Genesis could be quoted as truth. You (I assume) are arguing that Genesis is truth, otherwise, I don't know why you bother typing.
In which verse does it state that God didn't want it?
2:17; where he specifically says "don't", and issues a death threat. We are entering new territory here, where God puts down laws, and wants us to transgress them.
Do you mean that they understand morality in terms of good and evil, or are they acting according to social rules, or something else?
I mean that human philosophers can't even consistently define what "good and evil" is, but when it comes to animals, certain people know
that animals can't tell the difference, because they didn't eat from a magic tree. Actually, I don't think the bible writers put much thought into animals. They thought that insects had 4 legs, and never studied Bonobos and Merecats in great detail.
Questioning something rather than blindly accepting it is aggressive and fanatical? Awha?
Not following you, here.
You're asking me to prove a negative?
Well, yes, you have to
, because I can see when animals can
tell good and evil, but you will, for the sake of winning your argument about a magic tree, pretend that it's not really them having a rudimentary sense of "good and evil", but something else. So, when a dog trashes my sofa, and then runs away and cringes in the corner, you will say "that's training", or "being submissive to a master"... you won't admit that the dog has learned, in exactly the same way that children do, that trashing things, or being aggressive is bad. When Bonobos start having sex when their anxiety levels rise, you won't admit that Bonobos don't like confrontation, and need to always be at peace with their brothers (Matt 5:23), because they have morality... you'll come up with something else.
You have to prove "a negative", which as you put it, may be impossible. Many Christians come in here, and say that morals come from God, but in order to prove that is true, they really have to demonstrate that morals could not have come from man, or anywhere else. They have to do this, because God will not sign a note for them. How would you go about proving that, since we are the ones writing the moral books? It's not my fault, if the things Christians want to prove are impossible to prove.
The burden of proof is on you, to show that humans are unique in this way.No sir. You made the claim that animals have Property X. The burden of proof is on you to prove your own assertion. I replied with "do they?" and "I don't know," which are very low burden assertions.
If I changed my mind about who needs to show proof, it doesn't let you off the hook. You spotted it because I changed my mind. Are you really going to admit that animals can see good and evil, or will you just keep arguing? The burden of proof is for Christians to show that animals don't have "free will", and can't tell the difference between "good and evil". (Both these concepts are badly defined, and perhaps meaningless in the case of free will, which you seemed to be conflating.) If knowledge of good and evil is just a product of intelligence, and evolved social behaviour in animals, then it's got nothing to do with eating magic fruit.
The fact that you have to (even jokingly) appeal to nonexistent knowledge shows that you have your burden backwards:
Newer animal behaviour studies are showing that there were idiotic assumptions in earlier studies, which falsely evaluated the minds of animals. I may want to appeal to more advanced knowledge of animal psychology, to prove
my first assertion*, but that does not mean that Christians don't have the burden to prove the opposite. There is ample evidence in current studies that animals have a well developed sense of what is right and wrong, and certainly "free will" as much as we have, but perhaps not enough evidence to convince someone who wants to argue that Noah put ALL the animals onto the ark.
(*This is unprovable anyway, since Christians think they own the concept of good and evil; will never define what good and evil is, or will move the goal posts.)
if your side is still gathering evidence to show it is true, and that evidence will show my side false, then your side has the burden because that is the side where evidence makes the largest difference.
Exactly how much evidence do you want? Even one example of moral behaviour (to my satisfaction) in a pig or bonobo shows that animals know good and evil, without a magic tree. Genesis is written in a way that says there was no knowledge of good and evil (in humans), prior to eating the magic fruit. Perhaps I'm jumping the gun, and animals were created with knowledge of good and evil, and free will, and humans were created retarded. My initial assumption was that animals could be a control group, to compare whether humans were given knowledge of good and evil from a magic tree, however, I seem to have given you a way out, that you would not have thought of. Perhaps you should give me a -1 again, and claim to have won the argument.
I don't think I've seen a more classic example of shifting the burden of proof than your post.
I shifted it to where it should be, in all pointless arguments.
You seem to have realized that you were conflating "free will" with knowledge of "good and evil", because you didn't follow up on it.