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Offline G-Roll

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Birth of Christian morality
« on: January 03, 2014, 01:44:14 PM »
I had a question on a topic that confuses me. When did according to Christianity humans become a moral species? Or did we ever become moral? I understand the 10 commandments were given by Moses from god to give to the people, but those were just laws.
From other conversations on this site I was curious as to when God gave us conscious, wrote laws in our hearts (and what that means), and when according to Christianity did humans figure out/were told about morality, good and evil, and all that.

I apologize if this is a huge question with multiple parts.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 01:57:12 PM »
As I understand it, Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so it goes all the way back to genesis.
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Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 02:26:13 PM »
Yeah... That’s how I understand it as well. But that means Satan is responsible for Christian morality and humanity. We can't have that!

So if not the Genesis story then what?

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 05:54:37 PM »
Yeah... That’s how I understand it as well. But that means Satan is responsible for Christian morality and humanity. We can't have that!

So if not the Genesis story then what?

I had the same basic understanding (that according to Christianity, morality was born when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). 

Interesting take, I guess Satan did trick Eve to eat from the ToK.  Although, I assume God put the tree there.  Perhaps God didn't want them to eat from the ToK until a later time.  Adam and Eve weren't finished yet and had to simmer in the garden of Eden.

Still, the story is obviously a children's fairy tale so ....
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Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 06:49:04 PM »
Quote
Interesting take, I guess Satan did trick Eve to eat from the ToK.  Although, I assume God put the tree there.  Perhaps God didn't want them to eat from the ToK until a later time.  Adam and Eve weren't finished yet and had to simmer in the garden of Eden.
Of course God put the tree there. And maybe he did want them to eat it eventually, but he sure was pissed that they did eat from it. So pissed that he cursed both man and snakes and tossed them right out of Eden. Also he cut off Adam and Eves link to immortality by separating them from and denying them from anymore magic apples from the tree of life. 

Quote
Still, the story is obviously a children's fairy tale so ....
Yes it is easy for us atheists to dismiss it as fable. However I see it as the backbone of Christianity. If the core of Christianity is Jesus died for our sins then this is the story where sin entered the world. Also humorously apparently when Satan gifted us our morality and humanity.

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 07:52:41 PM »
Of course, why was it referred to as the Tree of Life, if what it contained was the knowledge of good and evil. Because prior to munching on it, their life was supposedly pretty good, and it sounds like the ToE was more the Tree of Mucking Things Up.

Here we have a god who has, out of the kindness of his heart, made everything perfect. But then he plops down something that will ruin it all right into the middle of everything and then he and makes rules against it. For people who had no particular reason to know what a rule was. For people who had no need for reasoning power because everything was already perfect. The only two people in the world needed neither talent or skill, because everything was hunky-dory. And then along comes a big "but", and they don't have the tools to handle it.

We're talking about two people who presumably couldn't even stub their toes because it was so perfect, and they were asked to understand right and wrong without knowing what right and wrong was. Did Adam, when naming the animals, ever have to put up with god saying "Saber-toothed Tiger! What a dumb name, try again, idiot?" I think not. Everything was perfect except for A&E's knowledge of imperfect things, there was a tree put there deliberately to tempt them, and of course, there was the snake, with or without legs, assigned the task of ruining everything for all of time.

I guess if you're gonna have a story with holes, you might as well go all the way. Make everything implausible and then mess it up with something ridiculous, and call it a story. Have an omnipotent god, who can foresee everything, go into surprise mode because he didn't foresee something. Or else he did foresee it, but that was what he wanted because he was bored. Make sure that his reaction is extreme, otherwise it isn't worth telling the story.

Accepting the fall, carte blanche, is no more an intellectual exercise than passing gas, but with fewer benefits. One must leave credulity at the door, questions off the table and curiosity in some other universe. To be a christian, you simply hear the story, shrug you shoulders as you say "Yea, that makes sense." and go about your business, which is apparently to bug the hell out of others in an effort to convert them into sucker mode as well.

And the results? Exactly what a religion would need to justify its own existence. They get to define each and every one of us a sinner, and hence each and every one of us needs to join them in order not to suffer the ignoble infinity in store for those that didn't live long enough to be told, or didn't ever get to hear about, or heard about but dismissed the story, or heard about and laughed. Of course there is some variation amongst believers, so not all of the above apply, and some believers are even sweet enough to think that there isn't actually a hell. But most of the ones I've run in to put credence in the Eden story to one degree or another. Christians are actually pretty nice folks, I guess, because they accept you even though you're a wretch. And a poor wretch at that. Maybe I shouldn't complain.

So it isn't a story of morality. We're all so immoral, as per them, that it shouldn't even be an issue. As born sinners, we have no ability to correctly judge what is and is not moral, no matter how much god tattooed the details on our heart. The only morality they recognize is the good thing it is to give your life to JC. Everything else is fluff.

People who automatically diss every person on the planet and call themselves moral aren't very clear on the concept. People who say that they feel gods love and simultaneously rag on all of the hell bound non-followers aren't self-aware enough to be considered alive, technically. People who belittle and berate every single person on this planet even as they try to aim every one of us at heavens door have no sense of peace, balance, responsibility, caring or understanding. The only empathy they can conjure up is for those few other followers of JC who think exactly the same way they do, and for too often, the only use they are to others is as a bad example.

There is, of course, no real answer to the OP, but there are a lot of made up ones. If we're lucky, someone will show up and give us their version, and brag about how they are the only one who knows these things, because of being open to god and all. Then they will reel off a litany of stupidities justifying their tremendous insights. And we'll be stuck with more pages of long quote blocks and short, squishy responses (as opposed to snappy).

If god wrote anything on my heart, he used an etch-a-sketch and I've shaken the words away. I'm not bad, but there is no writing there telling me to be just like Skeptic or any other theist. And I, for one, am getting tired of being lectured about morality by people who don't actually have any idea what it is.


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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 09:06:17 PM »
Yeah... That’s how I understand it as well. But that means Satan is responsible for Christian morality and humanity. We can't have that!

So if not the Genesis story then what?

I had the same basic understanding (that according to Christianity, morality was born when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). 

Interesting take, I guess Satan did trick Eve to eat from the ToK.  Although, I assume God put the tree there.  Perhaps God didn't want them to eat from the ToK until a later time.  Adam and Eve weren't finished yet and had to simmer in the garden of Eden.

Still, the story is obviously a children's fairy tale so ....

Just out of curiosity, how do you conclude this is the work of the Satan?  According to the NIV:

Chapter 3

The Fall

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’?”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Source:  http://biblehub.com/niv/genesis/3.htm

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 09:16:56 PM »
ParkingPlaces, you are absolutely right and it's a little strange how much effort people put into taking this story and massaging it into some kind of real-life docu-drama.

It's also so contradictory and when we get the concept of original sin rearing its head when it wasn't mentioned in the first edition, it makes me wonder if the whole thing isn't just a folk story.

For example, in Yahweh Series One: the story of a genocidal maniac (based on a work first broadcast on Babylonian-TV), although Adam and Eve copped to the Apple Incident[1], it was several thousand years before the Christians retrospectively indicted and convicted them - in absentia I should add - for crimes against humanity. Until then, they'd just been regarded as having been very naughty, but not responsible for the fall of man. Considering how many Jewish Grandmothers were around at that time, I find it staggering that not one of them though to ask "my grandson, the lawyer"[2] to sue A&E (the people, not the Babylonian TV channel) as part of a class-action personal-injury suit. But I digress.

So how was this supposed to have gone down?

Yahweh, having created everyone, knowing all there was to know about human character, had failed to read the instructions on his Acme People Kit that said "note: Humans want what they can't have so don't, ever, place them in a cookie factory and tell them not to take a nibble"?

God: Do whatever you want except eat from that one tree.
Adam: Why not?
God: Because I say so
Adam: Why?
God: It would be wrong.
Adam: Wrong? What is that?
God: Wrong is not doing what I say.
Adam: Why did you put it there if you don't want me to eat from it?
God: To teach you what happens if you do wrong.
Adam: What happens if I do wrong?
God: I punish you?
Adam: Punish? What is that?
God: Oh, for effs sake, Adam! Just don't eat from the bloody tree else you'll get first hand knowledge of what it means to piss off a deity.
Adam: Worse than upsetting Eve and having to sleep in the basement?
God: Well, not worse than pissing-off the missus[3] but, yep, you and your mates will be sleeping in the basement and for a really, really, long time to come.
 1. possibly setting the tone for the patent wars to come
 2. I'm of an Orthodox Jewish upbringing, hence I claim cultural immunity to make these jokes
 3. there is no force more powerful in the universe than that unleashed from a pissed-off missus
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 09:37:47 PM by xyzzy »
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You are in a maze of twisty little religions, all alike -- xyzzy

Offline Willie

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 10:14:52 PM »
Even when I was young and still a believer, and even being taught to take the Bible as literal truth, I still couldn't help seeing the Adam and Eve story as metaphor. It seems obvious, really. The tree's name flat out states what it is a metaphor of. So, eating the fruit is then a metaphor for acquiring knowledge of good and evil. They had been naked all along, but their nakedness only became immoral after eating the fruit. That tells me that this moral "knowledge", contrary to the insistence of fundamentalists, is not some absolute or eternal or created by God, but rather that it is relative, wholly dependent on the ideology of its human inventor(s). That's right. Relative morality right there in the Holy Bible, and it's the very foundation of the doctrine of original sin and thus the need for salvation.

I also thought that Adam, Eve, and the other Genesis characters might be metaphors for early civilizations rather than individual people. This interpretation would solve the incest problem and would make sense of the 900 year lifespans. Cain slaying Abel would, in that view, represent genocide rather than an individual murder. I consider this interpretation to be much more of a stretch than the tree metaphor, which seems rather obvious, but it's sort of fun to reconsider the Genesis stories with this idea in mind, regardless of whether their original author(s) intended them that way. It might even make a good movie.

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 11:29:21 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how do you conclude this is the work of the Satan?  According to the NIV:

Chapter 3

The Fall

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’?”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Source:  http://biblehub.com/niv/genesis/3.htm

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Because God did not want them to gain that knowledge. He made it quite clear that they were not to eat from that tree. If A&E never ate the fruit would we not be merely hairless apes? 

I am curious if you would credit God with giving humans the knowledge of good and evil? While on the subject eating from the ToK awoken a self consciousness within A&E because they had not realized they were naked. So would you consider that an improvement on the species? Also do you think that if A&E did not have a self conscious were they aware of time, understood death, were capable of humor, or wisdom? Do you think that they would even be considered human before the fall?
All in all I agree with Parking Places that there most likely are no clear correct answers. But I still find it a fascinating subject.

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 11:34:57 PM »
Lol The whole thing makes me think of this!!


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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 11:45:16 PM »
Yeah... That’s how I understand it as well. But that means Satan is responsible for Christian morality and humanity. We can't have that!

So if not the Genesis story then what?

I had the same basic understanding (that according to Christianity, morality was born when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). 

Interesting take, I guess Satan did trick Eve to eat from the ToK.  Although, I assume God put the tree there.  Perhaps God didn't want them to eat from the ToK until a later time.  Adam and Eve weren't finished yet and had to simmer in the garden of Eden.

Still, the story is obviously a children's fairy tale so ....

Just out of curiosity, how do you conclude this is the work of the Satan?  According to the NIV:

Chapter 3

The Fall

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’?”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Source:  http://biblehub.com/niv/genesis/3.htm

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

I realize that this question wasn't addressed to me, but I was "tempted" to chime in anyway.


"And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." -Revelation 12:9

"And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;" -Revelation 20:2


When I was a child, every adult I can remember told me that Satan was the snake in the Garden of Eden. I don't remember them ever pointing to Revelation as their reason for their conclusion, but that's what they told me.

That's one of the main possible setbacks of being a Christian. As a Christian, one often finds themselves in a constant mental struggle trying to reconcile conflicting ideas that come from countless different minds and agendas of the Ancient World that are spread out over many generations that are differently influenced.

An honest literary scholar, who doesn't carry the baggage of being a Christian, is free to simply read  the Yahwist's own version of yet another ancient Mesopotamian tale involving a snake and a tree. In Genesis 3, you have four main characters: YHWH, Adam, Adam's wife, and a talking snake. YHWH is disappointed in the behavior of the three other characters, and hands out punishments to all three and their descendants. The Accuser was nowhere to be found. YHWH must have given The Accuser the day off and decided to handle the situation on His own, for whatever reason.
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2014, 08:40:19 AM »
Just out of curiosity, how do you conclude this is the work of the Satan?  According to the NIV:

Chapter 3

The Fall

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’?”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Source:  http://biblehub.com/niv/genesis/3.htm

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Because God did not want them to gain that knowledge. He made it quite clear that they were not to eat from that tree. If A&E never ate the fruit would we not be merely hairless apes? 

I am curious if you would credit God with giving humans the knowledge of good and evil? While on the subject eating from the ToK awoken a self consciousness within A&E because they had not realized they were naked. So would you consider that an improvement on the species? Also do you think that if A&E did not have a self conscious were they aware of time, understood death, were capable of humor, or wisdom? Do you think that they would even be considered human before the fall?
All in all I agree with Parking Places that there most likely are no clear correct answers. But I still find it a fascinating subject.

Frankly, I am OK with evolutionary theory since I do not interpret Genesis literally. 

It is my understanding this story is symbolic of being without God.  The idea of being naked means one is totally vulnerable now.  Thus the covering of themselves as a vain attempt to find comfort without God. 

I totally agree there are no clear cut or correct answers.  Nor am I saying that my interpretation is superior to any other interpretation.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2014, 08:50:25 AM »
Yeah... That’s how I understand it as well. But that means Satan is responsible for Christian morality and humanity. We can't have that!

So if not the Genesis story then what?

I had the same basic understanding (that according to Christianity, morality was born when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). 

Interesting take, I guess Satan did trick Eve to eat from the ToK.  Although, I assume God put the tree there.  Perhaps God didn't want them to eat from the ToK until a later time.  Adam and Eve weren't finished yet and had to simmer in the garden of Eden.

Still, the story is obviously a children's fairy tale so ....

Just out of curiosity, how do you conclude this is the work of the Satan?  According to the NIV:

Chapter 3

The Fall

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’?”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Source:  http://biblehub.com/niv/genesis/3.htm

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

I realize that this question wasn't addressed to me, but I was "tempted" to chime in anyway.


"And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." -Revelation 12:9

"And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;" -Revelation 20:2


When I was a child, every adult I can remember told me that Satan was the snake in the Garden of Eden. I don't remember them ever pointing to Revelation as their reason for their conclusion, but that's what they told me.

That's one of the main possible setbacks of being a Christian. As a Christian, one often finds themselves in a constant mental struggle trying to reconcile conflicting ideas that come from countless different minds and agendas of the Ancient World that are spread out over many generations that are differently influenced.

An honest literary scholar, who doesn't carry the baggage of being a Christian, is free to simply read  the Yahwist's own version of yet another ancient Mesopotamian tale involving a snake and a tree. In Genesis 3, you have four main characters: YHWH, Adam, Adam's wife, and a talking snake. YHWH is disappointed in the behavior of the three other characters, and hands out punishments to all three and their descendants. The Accuser was nowhere to be found. YHWH must have given The Accuser the day off and decided to handle the situation on His own, for whatever reason.

Bravo on the Revelation verses.  This is the only place that I am aware of where the serpent is connected with the Satan.   It would not surprise me if the writer of Revelation was trying to do God a favor by tying the two ideas (the serpent in Genesis and the Satan) together.  No way I can prove that, however.  Revelation is an interesting book of hope but that is another thread. 

Technically, the serpent became a snake only after being cursed by God.  Prior to this the serpent apparently had legs.  Maybe the GEICO gecko is a descendant of this serpent?  :)  OH NO!!!  DO YOU REALIZE WHAT THIS MEANS!!!!  The Anti-Christ in Revelation 13 is an animated character!!!!  It is only a matter of time before that gecko tries to take over the world with a one-world GEICO policy!!

I need to pass this revelation on to the Christian Broadcasting Network and Fox News!

Gotta go,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2014, 09:07:45 AM »
It is my understanding this story is symbolic of being without God.  The idea of being naked means one is totally vulnerable now.  Thus the covering of themselves as a vain attempt to find comfort without God. 
I have no argument against that as it makes since in a symbolic way within the story. I have heard that interpretation before and a few others that I can't seem to think of off the top of my head.

It has been a long time since I had heard someone refer to the serpent as just a serpent rather than Satan. I apologize that I didn’t pick up on you post right away. Lol perhaps we need to keep an eye on that Geico lizard.
I am still curious as to how you view the birth of Christian morality. Do you think the serpent is responsible or do you have a different idea or scripture?

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2014, 10:36:48 AM »
It is my understanding this story is symbolic of being without God.  The idea of being naked means one is totally vulnerable now.  Thus the covering of themselves as a vain attempt to find comfort without God. 
I have no argument against that as it makes since in a symbolic way within the story. I have heard that interpretation before and a few others that I can't seem to think of off the top of my head.

It has been a long time since I had heard someone refer to the serpent as just a serpent rather than Satan. I apologize that I didn’t pick up on you post right away. Lol perhaps we need to keep an eye on that Geico lizard.
I am still curious as to how you view the birth of Christian morality. Do you think the serpent is responsible or do you have a different idea or scripture?

Fox News and CBN said they would get back with me.  They were very polite but it seems like they are having a busy day as they both hung up quickly. 

Regarding the source of morality, I don't know.  I like to think it is God inspired.  However, evolutionary theory seems to make a strong case that morality is a way to preserve the tribe / clan.  The theory is that clans / tribes that cooperated with each other and respected each other were better able to survive than tribes / clans that were much more Darwinian.  This success became part of our genetic code.   And, perhaps, God inspired that first clan / tribe to be cooperative and respectful.  Only a guess on my part. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2014, 10:54:07 AM »
I assume that you do not take a literal stance on Genesis? Which parts (if any) do you feel are true or actual events? Do you believe this is when sin was introduced to the world? In your opinion did man actually fall?
I ask because I have a hard time wrapping my head around a non literal version of the story leading to the crucifixion of Jesus. I guess so long as sin is "physically" brought into the world one can follow to the crucifixion.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2014, 11:27:33 AM »
I assume that you do not take a literal stance on Genesis? Which parts (if any) do you feel are true or actual events? Do you believe this is when sin was introduced to the world? In your opinion did man actually fall?
I ask because I have a hard time wrapping my head around a non literal version of the story leading to the crucifixion of Jesus. I guess so long as sin is "physically" brought into the world one can follow to the crucifixion.

Just to be sure we are on the same page, it is my understanding the word "sin" is an archer's term meaning "missing the mark" or "missing the bulls eye".  If you are OK with that definition then so am I.  Let me know, please, if you prefer a different definition.  For me, sin has always been in the world because as humans we are inconsistent so we all miss the mark at one time or another. 

Regarding what is true or actual in Genesis?  My feeling is nothing prior to the time of Abraham is literal.  These stories are meant to buttress the radical idea (for the time) that there is a single God responsible for the known universe rather than a group of gods.  Because there are other creation stories and flood stories, I have no problem with concluding the writer(s) of Genesis took popular stories and gave them a monotheistic spin. 

I believe Abraham, Isaac and Jacob existed and probably married their half-sister, 1st cousin and 2nd cousin respectively.  I am still wrestling with whether the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac is true or not.  I think the various other stories are rooted in truth and probably modified over time to accommodate the needs of different generations. 

Understand, these are my opinions and I do not claim to speak for anyone else. 

Hopefully, I have answered your questions.  If not, let me know and I will do my best to give you an answer.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2014, 11:43:58 AM »
This is the only place that I am aware of where the serpent is connected with the Satan.   It would not surprise me if the writer of Revelation was trying to do God a favor by tying the two ideas (the serpent in Genesis and the Satan) together.  No way I can prove that, however.  Revelation is an interesting book of hope but that is another thread. 

Technically, the serpent became a snake only after being cursed by God.  Prior to this the serpent apparently had legs. 

So you are possibly saying that the serpent is not Satan?  Apologies, but does that not make the story even more ridiculous, at least for those who regard it more literally than you. Because what it means is that one of the low creatures god created to set in the garden, was created both "crafty", and with the character and inclination to screw things up.  Why would such a creature have been created into perfection?

I accept you don't believe that tale as it stands, this is for anyone reading who does.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 12:35:42 PM »
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Just to be sure we are on the same page, it is my understanding the word "sin" is an archer's term meaning "missing the mark" or "missing the bulls eye".  If you are OK with that definition then so am I.  Let me know, please, if you prefer a different definition.  For me, sin has always been in the world because as humans we are inconsistent so we all miss the mark at one time or another.
As I have come to understand sin is basically a spiritual construct that erodes an individual physically, mentally, and spiritually. For the wages of sin is death. All are born with this and it was the crucifixion of Jesus that will lift the curse or remove sin one day when he returns.
I am not Christian so I will not tell you a superior definition of sin or try to confine you to a definition. I have heard a few different interpretations from Christians as to what sin is. Your definition and various other ones similar to mine.
However if sin is simply missing the mark or day to day ethical mistakes and nothing more what was Jesus crucified for? I apologize if I have misunderstood your definition of sin or shrunk it down to something you did not intend it to be. As I understand it missing the mark or bulls eye can be an act of falling short of expectations or standards. Would that be an accurate description of your definition? Does falling short of Gods standard cause death? That is if I have your definition correct.

 
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Understand, these are my opinions and I do not claim to speak for anyone else.
Lol as do I.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2014, 03:00:07 PM »
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Just to be sure we are on the same page, it is my understanding the word "sin" is an archer's term meaning "missing the mark" or "missing the bulls eye".  If you are OK with that definition then so am I.  Let me know, please, if you prefer a different definition.  For me, sin has always been in the world because as humans we are inconsistent so we all miss the mark at one time or another.
As I have come to understand sin is basically a spiritual construct that erodes an individual physically, mentally, and spiritually. For the wages of sin is death. All are born with this and it was the crucifixion of Jesus that will lift the curse or remove sin one day when he returns.
I am not Christian so I will not tell you a superior definition of sin or try to confine you to a definition. I have heard a few different interpretations from Christians as to what sin is. Your definition and various other ones similar to mine.
However if sin is simply missing the mark or day to day ethical mistakes and nothing more what was Jesus crucified for? I apologize if I have misunderstood your definition of sin or shrunk it down to something you did not intend it to be. As I understand it missing the mark or bulls eye can be an act of falling short of expectations or standards. Would that be an accurate description of your definition? Does falling short of Gods standard cause death? That is if I have your definition correct.

 
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Understand, these are my opinions and I do not claim to speak for anyone else.
Lol as do I.

Frankly, I only looked up the meaning of sin a few years ago and immediately felt a great wave of relief.  Using the archery analogy, I believe we have a limitless quiver of arrows which are words and deeds with ourselves and others.  Sometimes we are dead on with what we say or do either with ourselves or with another person.  Sometimes we sin slightly by getting close to the bulls eye but missing it.  And sometimes we miss the target entirely.  Yet, as long as we are alive and functioning there is one more arrow we can reach for. 

Regarding the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ, at this point in time I think he was crucified by the Romans as he was seen as a threat to the Roman Pax Romana (the Peace of Rome).  The Sadducees and Pharisees saw him as a threat to their uneasy alliance with Rome so killing him was the ideal way to deal with trouble makers as it was a public way of helping to deter crime.  I'm not sure how effective crucifixion actually was in deterring crime but it would definitely cause me to have second thoughts.  :)

I believe the basic message of Jesus was to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  So Jesus guided people to seek first the kingdom of God and explained the kingdom of God is within each person.  Radical teachings for Jewish leaders to swallow with all the Law and it's burdens. 

As you can probably tell, I am not big on experiencing God through guilt.  I believe I deal with a God of love and a God that expects us to be thinking people.

End of lesson.  :)

Enjoying the exchange very much.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 03:31:15 PM »
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Frankly, I only looked up the meaning of sin a few years ago and immediately felt a great wave of relief.  Using the archery analogy, I believe we have a limitless quiver of arrows which are words and deeds with ourselves and others.  Sometimes we are dead on with what we say or do either with ourselves or with another person.  Sometimes we sin slightly by getting close to the bulls eye but missing it.  And sometimes we miss the target entirely.  Yet, as long as we are alive and functioning there is one more arrow we can reach for.
Could this metaphor also be seen as forgiveness for not hitting the target? In your opinion God will forgive you for having shoddy aim from time to time but he will sneak an extra arrow in the quiver every now and then?
I don’t know if I agree or disagree with what you typed but what kind of person would argue with a statement as lovely as that?

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Regarding the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ, at this point in time I think he was crucified by the Romans as he was seen as a threat to the Roman Pax Romana (the Peace of Rome).  The Sadducees and Pharisees saw him as a threat to their uneasy alliance with Rome so killing him was the ideal way to deal with trouble makers as it was a public way of helping to deter crime.  I'm not sure how effective crucifixion actually was in deterring crime but it would definitely cause me to have second thoughts.
Do you feel this is the only reason why Jesus was crucified? Do you feel Jesus was sacrificed to remove sin from the world? Lol can you be a Christian and believe Jesus didn’t sacrifice himself for you? Is there a rule about that?  :P

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As you can probably tell, I am not big on experiencing God through guilt.
That strikes me as a much healthier way to go about life.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2014, 04:02:01 PM »
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Frankly, I only looked up the meaning of sin a few years ago and immediately felt a great wave of relief.  Using the archery analogy, I believe we have a limitless quiver of arrows which are words and deeds with ourselves and others.  Sometimes we are dead on with what we say or do either with ourselves or with another person.  Sometimes we sin slightly by getting close to the bulls eye but missing it.  And sometimes we miss the target entirely.  Yet, as long as we are alive and functioning there is one more arrow we can reach for.

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Could this metaphor also be seen as forgiveness for not hitting the target?

In my opinion, yes.  Carrying on this archery analogy it is more important to keep trying / striving for the bulls eye than to hoard your arrows.  That means, for me anyway, interacting with people, asking questions, learning from them and (hopefully) becoming a better archer.

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In your opinion God will forgive you for having shoddy aim from time to time but he will sneak an extra arrow in the quiver every now and then?
 
I believe God forgives shoddy aim.  But this is getting into areas such a sociopaths.  Does God forgive their shoddy aim?  I don't know.  Please understand, this reasoning and rationale works for me.  In no way do I claim it should apply to everyone nor do I claim to have all answers with this outlook. 
 
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I don’t know if I agree or disagree with what you typed but what kind of person would argue with a statement as lovely as that?
Your kind words are truly appreciated.  Perhaps I scored a bulls eye?  :)

In case anyone is wondering, I also believe atheists are just as good an archer as a theist.  Maybe different bulls eyes and different targets, but still able and willing to help others.

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Regarding the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ, at this point in time I think he was crucified by the Romans as he was seen as a threat to the Roman Pax Romana (the Peace of Rome).  The Sadducees and Pharisees saw him as a threat to their uneasy alliance with Rome so killing him was the ideal way to deal with trouble makers as it was a public way of helping to deter crime.  I'm not sure how effective crucifixion actually was in deterring crime but it would definitely cause me to have second thoughts.

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Do you feel this is the only reason why Jesus was crucified?  Yes.  His message of love and grace was a threat to the Romans and Jewish leaders and the status quo. 

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Do you feel Jesus was sacrificed to remove sin from the world?
  At this time in my life, no I don't.  As near as I can tell, sin is still around.  :)

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Lol can you be a Christian and believe Jesus didn’t sacrifice himself for you?  Is there a rule about that?  :P
I think a Christian must accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ and as their personal Lord and Savior.  Why else be called a Christian? 

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As you can probably tell, I am not big on experiencing God through guilt.

That strikes me as a much healthier way to go about life.

Since you and I agree, you are a very bright person.  :)
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2014, 04:16:50 PM »
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I believe God forgives shoddy aim.  But this is getting into areas such a sociopaths.  Does God forgive their shoddy aim?  I don't know.  Please understand, this reasoning and rationale works for me.  In no way do I claim it should apply to everyone nor do I claim to have all answers with this outlook. 
Ah, sociopaths don’t bother aiming. They just shoot. I wasn’t under the impression that this metaphor was meant to explain the secret of life or provide the answer to every unknown question.

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Do you feel Jesus was sacrificed to remove sin from the world?   At this time in my life, no I don't.  As near as I can tell, sin is still around
As it has been explained to me Jesus work on the cross has not yet come to be. When he returns sin will be removed and all that. If Jesus didn't save you from sin do you see him as your personal lord and savior because he protects you from death with the after life/heaven? In your opinion of course.

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Since you and I agree, you are a very bright person.
HA! I think you have it backwards sir, since you and I agree you are the bright one!

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 04:37:20 PM »

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Do you feel Jesus was sacrificed to remove sin from the world?   At this time in my life, no I don't.  As near as I can tell, sin is still around

As it has been explained to me Jesus work on the cross has not yet come to be. When he returns sin will be removed and all that. If Jesus didn't save you from sin do you see him as your personal lord and savior because he protects you from death with the after life/heaven? In your opinion of course.

Perhaps all sin will be removed should Jesus the Christ return.  Heaven is definitely a perk (so to speak) but I see the primary purpose of Jesus was what I said earlier about a message of grace and love.  I think too many were worshipping the Law and not the God behind the Law.  Jesus reacquainted people the essence of God.  Again, this is my personal theology and NOT expected to be applied to everyone else nor is it complete.  I still wrestle with the question "Just who is this guy Jesus and why should I care?".  I have concluded it is a life long journey of discovery and participating on this website is part of that journey. 

It still amazes me that I can have a much more civil exchange of theology with atheists than I've had with Christian theists on other websites. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2014, 05:43:44 PM »
Yeah... That’s how I understand it as well. But that means Satan is responsible for Christian morality and humanity. We can't have that!

So if not the Genesis story then what?

I had the same basic understanding (that according to Christianity, morality was born when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). 

Interesting take, I guess Satan did trick Eve to eat from the ToK.  Although, I assume God put the tree there.  Perhaps God didn't want them to eat from the ToK until a later time.  Adam and Eve weren't finished yet and had to simmer in the garden of Eden.

Still, the story is obviously a children's fairy tale so ....

Just out of curiosity, how do you conclude this is the work of the Satan?  According to the NIV:

Chapter 3

The Fall

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’?”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Source:  http://biblehub.com/niv/genesis/3.htm

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Sorry for the late reply OCG.  I had to think about it.

I don't know if I ever believed Satan or the Devil was a physical being when I was a theist/Christian.  I previously associated Satan with "against God".  The serpent or snake went a against God by suggesting Eve not listen to God in regards to the ToK.

So I guess that is how I came to my conclusion. 
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline penfold

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2014, 07:07:36 AM »
I think the whole adam and eve thing is a bit of a red herring. While there are many Christians with a literal take on the bible as history this is, at best, a naive view.

Most intelligent accounts of Christian ethics that I've encountered suppose that human morality arises from our relationship to God. In this understanding the human is good when their actions accord to the nature of God and the human is bad when it fails to accord.

What depresses me about the Christian ethical view is that humans are treated as moral infants or imbeciles who are doomed to moral failure, only through the grace of a higher power can we be saved from our own base motives and desires.

Nietzsche was correct when he labeled Christian ethics as life denying. It is a morality of defeat and the defeated - where righteousness is constraint and self-denial and all that is florid or joyful is suspect. (Just look at Christian views of sex - constrained within marriage, to heterosexuality, for procreation etc... All about restraint and control. Get your willy wet as often as possible I say!)

« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:09:57 AM by penfold »
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Offline Boots

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Re: Birth of Christian morality
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2014, 02:22:47 PM »
Not sure why, but this:

It would not surprise me if the writer of Revelation was trying to do God a favor

REALLY hit my funny bone.   8)
* Religion: institutionalized superstition, period.

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