ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
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25-06-2015, 11:59 PM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(25-06-2015 10:36 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Q's belief in the simultaneous literalism of the Adam & Eve story with an Old Earth and evolution as the mechanism of Creation isn't quite as nuts as it sounds at first glance.

The book Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, goes into this a bit, and I've always found its principle plausible, even though I don't agree with the literal story of sin entering the world.

Loosely, it goes like this:

Adam is a word meaning, simply, "man". The use would be the same in Hebrew as in English, in that it can mean a single individual or the species itself, or can mean one individual as representative of the species, as in da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. If one takes the story of the first couple of chapters of Genesis as a very ancient story, passed-down orally from before the pre-Hebrews were nomadic peoples living among the Chaldeans/Sumerians, before they moved to what is now Canaan, and finally written down sometime during the Davidian period, it is an issue of a post-Agricultural-Revolution people trying to record and interpret a story originally written by a Hunter-Gatherer people with a very different perspective on the world.

In their version, Man the Hunter-Gatherer lived in the Garden of God (the entire earth), surviving by the Providence of God, as they saw it. That is, all the food they needed was made available if they simply looked around. Research into the H-G lifestyle seems to indicate that a post-ag lifestyle involved much more actual work and effort than that of a H-G. Of course, like any species, we lived by the laws of nature, and could over-forage an area, so our ancestors would have been aware of a simple rule: no animal gets to decide for itself whether or not it eats that moment/day. It is "the problem of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". Only the gods can know that information, because if the eagle gets to decide it will catch the rabbit (good for the eagle, as he has a full belly, but evil for the dying rabbit), soon the rabbits are wiped out; if the rabbit gets to decide, the eagles starve and the bunnies overpopulate the planet and wipe out other species that depend upon that balance to survive. Then one day (about 10,000 years ago), Man decided for himself that he would no longer depend on the Providence of the Creator for his meal, that he would be godlike and attain the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and was then cursed to be ejected from the "garden of God", forced to forever live "by the sweat of his brow."

Along with agriculture comes a massive population bloom, and the need for ever-more territory, and thus came the first expansionist warfare (beyond the "erratic retaliator" strategy of raids employed by most H-G peoples still extant, as well as our chimp cousins) and national boundaries. To the pre-Hebrews, who were not H-G anymore but were still nomadic shepherders, their agrarian brothers were unacceptable to God, while they still lived as closely as possible to the original, God-ordained manner of Adam in the Garden. Thus the elements of the story in which Abel's animal sacrifice was "acceptable" to God, while Cain's was rejected, and with this came the murder of man by his agriculturalist brothers.

This allegorical interpretation makes the Genesis story a valuable warning, sent to us today by our pre-agriculturalist ancestors through their descendants about 3,000-4,000 years ago, who imperfectly recorded the warning into a story that was never meant to be taken literally. We are indeed killing the planet, and as a result we are indeed "beginning to die", as Man was told when he decided he knew best what was Good and what was Evil.

Now, I'm not saying that I agree with this particular idea, that knowledge is suspect and that man is incapable of handling it, only that our H-G ancestors would have seen the early agrarian trend with such a jaundiced eye. And they're not entirely wrong! So far, we have done a miserable job with this responsibility. If we do not think of the writers of the original tale as total idiots simply because they were not "civilized" in the modern sense, then their warning may have meaning that Christians (and yes, us heathens) would do well to heed, today. My wife, who is a Christian and a geneticist, is the one who put me on to this notion of how to look at allegorical Genesis. Food for thought, anyway!

Some do look at Genesis as allegory. However, many YEC's would disagree on the basis that God would not make Jesus suffer and die for an allegory.
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26-06-2015, 12:11 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(25-06-2015 11:59 PM)jennybee Wrote:  
(25-06-2015 10:36 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Q's belief in the simultaneous literalism of the Adam & Eve story with an Old Earth and evolution as the mechanism of Creation isn't quite as nuts as it sounds at first glance.

The book Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, goes into this a bit, and I've always found its principle plausible, even though I don't agree with the literal story of sin entering the world.

Loosely, it goes like this:

Adam is a word meaning, simply, "man". The use would be the same in Hebrew as in English, in that it can mean a single individual or the species itself, or can mean one individual as representative of the species, as in da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. If one takes the story of the first couple of chapters of Genesis as a very ancient story, passed-down orally from before the pre-Hebrews were nomadic peoples living among the Chaldeans/Sumerians, before they moved to what is now Canaan, and finally written down sometime during the Davidian period, it is an issue of a post-Agricultural-Revolution people trying to record and interpret a story originally written by a Hunter-Gatherer people with a very different perspective on the world.

In their version, Man the Hunter-Gatherer lived in the Garden of God (the entire earth), surviving by the Providence of God, as they saw it. That is, all the food they needed was made available if they simply looked around. Research into the H-G lifestyle seems to indicate that a post-ag lifestyle involved much more actual work and effort than that of a H-G. Of course, like any species, we lived by the laws of nature, and could over-forage an area, so our ancestors would have been aware of a simple rule: no animal gets to decide for itself whether or not it eats that moment/day. It is "the problem of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". Only the gods can know that information, because if the eagle gets to decide it will catch the rabbit (good for the eagle, as he has a full belly, but evil for the dying rabbit), soon the rabbits are wiped out; if the rabbit gets to decide, the eagles starve and the bunnies overpopulate the planet and wipe out other species that depend upon that balance to survive. Then one day (about 10,000 years ago), Man decided for himself that he would no longer depend on the Providence of the Creator for his meal, that he would be godlike and attain the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and was then cursed to be ejected from the "garden of God", forced to forever live "by the sweat of his brow."

Along with agriculture comes a massive population bloom, and the need for ever-more territory, and thus came the first expansionist warfare (beyond the "erratic retaliator" strategy of raids employed by most H-G peoples still extant, as well as our chimp cousins) and national boundaries. To the pre-Hebrews, who were not H-G anymore but were still nomadic shepherders, their agrarian brothers were unacceptable to God, while they still lived as closely as possible to the original, God-ordained manner of Adam in the Garden. Thus the elements of the story in which Abel's animal sacrifice was "acceptable" to God, while Cain's was rejected, and with this came the murder of man by his agriculturalist brothers.

This allegorical interpretation makes the Genesis story a valuable warning, sent to us today by our pre-agriculturalist ancestors through their descendants about 3,000-4,000 years ago, who imperfectly recorded the warning into a story that was never meant to be taken literally. We are indeed killing the planet, and as a result we are indeed "beginning to die", as Man was told when he decided he knew best what was Good and what was Evil.

Now, I'm not saying that I agree with this particular idea, that knowledge is suspect and that man is incapable of handling it, only that our H-G ancestors would have seen the early agrarian trend with such a jaundiced eye. And they're not entirely wrong! So far, we have done a miserable job with this responsibility. If we do not think of the writers of the original tale as total idiots simply because they were not "civilized" in the modern sense, then their warning may have meaning that Christians (and yes, us heathens) would do well to heed, today. My wife, who is a Christian and a geneticist, is the one who put me on to this notion of how to look at allegorical Genesis. Food for thought, anyway!

Some do look at Genesis as allegory. However, many YEC's would disagree on the basis that God would not make Jesus suffer and die for an allegory.

And some say that too is an allegory.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-06-2015, 12:15 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(25-06-2015 10:36 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Q's belief in the simultaneous literalism of the Adam & Eve story with an Old Earth and evolution as the mechanism of Creation isn't quite as nuts as it sounds at first glance.

The book Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, goes into this a bit, and I've always found its principle plausible, even though I don't agree with the literal story of sin entering the world.

Loosely, it goes like this:

Adam is a word meaning, simply, "man". The use would be the same in Hebrew as in English, in that it can mean a single individual or the species itself, or can mean one individual as representative of the species, as in da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. If one takes the story of the first couple of chapters of Genesis as a very ancient story, passed-down orally from before the pre-Hebrews were nomadic peoples living among the Chaldeans/Sumerians, before they moved to what is now Canaan, and finally written down sometime during the Davidian period, it is an issue of a post-Agricultural-Revolution people trying to record and interpret a story originally written by a Hunter-Gatherer people with a very different perspective on the world.

In their version, Man the Hunter-Gatherer lived in the Garden of God (the entire earth), surviving by the Providence of God, as they saw it. That is, all the food they needed was made available if they simply looked around. Research into the H-G lifestyle seems to indicate that a post-ag lifestyle involved much more actual work and effort than that of a H-G. Of course, like any species, we lived by the laws of nature, and could over-forage an area, so our ancestors would have been aware of a simple rule: no animal gets to decide for itself whether or not it eats that moment/day. It is "the problem of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". Only the gods can know that information, because if the eagle gets to decide it will catch the rabbit (good for the eagle, as he has a full belly, but evil for the dying rabbit), soon the rabbits are wiped out; if the rabbit gets to decide, the eagles starve and the bunnies overpopulate the planet and wipe out other species that depend upon that balance to survive. Then one day (about 10,000 years ago), Man decided for himself that he would no longer depend on the Providence of the Creator for his meal, that he would be godlike and attain the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and was then cursed to be ejected from the "garden of God", forced to forever live "by the sweat of his brow."

Along with agriculture comes a massive population bloom, and the need for ever-more territory, and thus came the first expansionist warfare (beyond the "erratic retaliator" strategy of raids employed by most H-G peoples still extant, as well as our chimp cousins) and national boundaries. To the pre-Hebrews, who were not H-G anymore but were still nomadic shepherders, their agrarian brothers were unacceptable to God, while they still lived as closely as possible to the original, God-ordained manner of Adam in the Garden. Thus the elements of the story in which Abel's animal sacrifice was "acceptable" to God, while Cain's was rejected, and with this came the murder of man by his agriculturalist brothers.

This allegorical interpretation makes the Genesis story a valuable warning, sent to us today by our pre-agriculturalist ancestors through their descendants about 3,000-4,000 years ago, who imperfectly recorded the warning into a story that was never meant to be taken literally. We are indeed killing the planet, and as a result we are indeed "beginning to die", as Man was told when he decided he knew best what was Good and what was Evil.

Now, I'm not saying that I agree with this particular idea, that knowledge is suspect and that man is incapable of handling it, only that our H-G ancestors would have seen the early agrarian trend with such a jaundiced eye. And they're not entirely wrong! So far, we have done a miserable job with this responsibility. If we do not think of the writers of the original tale as total idiots simply because they were not "civilized" in the modern sense, then their warning may have meaning that Christians (and yes, us heathens) would do well to heed, today. My wife, who is a Christian and a geneticist, is the one who put me on to this notion of how to look at allegorical Genesis. Food for thought, anyway!

If that's not evidence that you can make any interpretation of imaginative stories, I don't know what it is.
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26-06-2015, 01:48 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
1. Chas - Yes, plausible that this was a view people who actually invented the stories, in the pre-Hebrew-civilization generations, that were later passed down in a different form by people who no longer understood the intent of the writers, might have held. I said from the beginning that this was an allegorical interpretation of Genesis, and one that makes (in my mind) more sense regarding why it was written and what the original authors were actually trying to say than the standard, literalist version. Many sections of the Bible are considered to be allegorical, even by near-literalists, and most of it so by liberal Christians; I saw no reason a more-reasonable (in terms of why it was written, rather than the literal-tale gobbletygook about a woman talking to a snake about apples and causing sin to enter the world) version of the Genesis tale could not be up for discussion.

2. Stevil - I don't think any of the people I'm talking about looked at it the way you did. Mainly, all you did was re-state the standard interpretation of Genesis, the one I was calling "nuts" (even by the perspective of the original storytellers, I'd say, if they could see/read it), and trying to come up with something more plausible the ancients might have been talking about. And the crack about Mein Kampf was unnecessary. I did not say there was a literal Adam-the-dude, but that the word simply meant "man", as we might say Neandertal to refer to an entire group of people, or Magdalenian, for instance. When looked at from the perspective of oral storytellers thousands of years after man had become agrarian (or at least nomadic shepherder) in that part of the world, there certainly can be a distinction between the Hunter-Gatherers and the people trying to pass down very old legends in a form still comprehensible to their time, just as we draw the distinction between Cro-magnon and "modern" man, when there really isn't much of one, and there's certainly no point where you can say THIS generation is, THAT generation isn't. Your version of the interpretation of good/evil is close to the standard definitions being used, and again are not the ones I used in this particular interpretation, where it amounts to a wisdom beyond what each mortal (and thus selfish) species or individual would use, which the ancestors attributed to a godlike ability in which man should not meddle. Of course any interpretation of a holy text's magical origin-story is going to be about a "magic invisible shy sky daddy", and is non-scientific and usually laughable by modern scholarship's standards. Were you implying I thought otherwise? In short, I feel like you developed a "Straw Man" of my interpretation. (Well, not mine, the interpretation of others, which I was trying to summarize for discussion.)

3. Jennybee - I specifically pointed out that I did not think the "sin entering the world" idea was valid or connected to the story, thus the Jesus dying for it part is moot. More importantly, Q said he was not a YEC, so his view on the possibility of Adam being the word for pre-Agricultural/Technological Man as we made the final transition from our evolutionary animal-origins to modern, civilization-building humanity, might well coincide with an idea like this, which I heard from a group of Christians who are not religious fanatics and who embrace the scientific method.

4. Bucky Ball - Thank you for giving at least part of the issue serious attention. I did not mean to imply anything about the veracity of Abraham or the legends of Hebrew origins they later concocted; I concur that the Bible was put together in its heavily-edited, multi-source version by the Zadukite priests during and after the Exile. I concur that it's likely almost everything about the "origin" of the Hebrew people, from Abraham to Joshua, was invented out of whole cloth or stolen from the amalgamated culture of the region. If anything, the Old Testament is to me the tale of a people who developed monotheism and tried to desperately find a way to suggest they had always been such and needed to remain such, in a place where all the stories were stolen and all the cultures were assimilating, at the crossroads of three major empires (and it worked, since Judaism survives). However, the ancient-even-by-the-standards-of-3000-years-ago tales being passed down, which I am discussing here and which wound up recorded in what we now call Genesis 1-2, would have been as common to the region as all the other tales with obvious plagiarized bits throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, Histories, and Prophets. The assertion here, rather, is that the tales of humanity "being cast out of the Garden" once made sense to their originators and, if looked at based on what we now know about how H-Gs operate and the way post-agrarian societies operate, the story can be brought into a better focus once a few of the later trappings of the Sumerian-era mythologies are brushed off like silt from a fossil. Yes, it is unlikely in the extreme that they had accurate information about history or even the ancient mythologies of their predecessors thousands of years before, but it seems equally unlikely to me to suggest that none of the legends could remain in oral tradition over the course of 7500 years, when they are something so basic and powerful as the story of origin. I confess I had not given it a huge amount of thought between the time I heard it, about a decade ago, and when I saw Q mention his non-young-earth viewpoint, but I think that means it should be debated, examined, and refined... not slapped down like I'm some fundie trying to push Creationism in here!

Everyone - Seriously, listen, and for the record: I am an atheist. I think every word in the Bible (and every book of religious mythology... except The Silmarillion... that mythology is real! Heh.) is claptrap and drivel, invented by humans best-guessing via their cultural preconceptions, rooted in mysterious god-magic, and trying to decipher the function and meaning of the world around them. That doesn't mean we ignore the information contained in the mythologies of our ancestors, and I feel a bit like you guys didn't take my concept very seriously simply because it was from the Bible, whereas I could have talked about Babylonian mythologies' influence on the Greek pantheon, and maybe had a better reaction. Perhaps not, but I suspect so.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-06-2015, 04:07 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(26-06-2015 01:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  the crack about Mein Kampf was unnecessary.
no, I think it is a very valid point.

The bible itself makes some pretty horrible claims.
People who don't obey the sabbath should be put to death...
Pigeons and doves should be sacrificed to cleans a woman of her period etc.
The story itself becomes irrelevant because they interprete it.
Very few Christians today think that people should be put to death for working on the week-end or wearing clothes made of more than one cloth or for adultery etc.

They interpret it all away and get their interpretations to match their current views of morality. Mein Kamph would do no better or worse than the bible as a religious text. The words are irrelevant as they interpret based on the premise of god is perfect and great then they do some philosophy and take that to some conclusions e.g. A perfect god wouldn't kill people for working on the week-end therefore god didn't mean for us to take that literally, therefore god must have meant to say that it is OK to work on the week-end. LOL

(26-06-2015 01:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I did not say there was a literal Adam-the-dude, but that the word simply meant "man",
Sorry but this song isn't about you.

Adam is seen as the first man, the first human. The myth is to claim why humans are different to other non human animals, why we appear to be bound to moral obligations and why other animals do not. They myth only works if Adam is not seen as a mere animal. In the context of the myth Adam must be the first man, the first person to be distinct from animals by having moral knowledge and moral obligation and hence the capability to sin.
Sin is seen as the reason why a perfect world created by a perfect being is now imperfect with pain and death.
If you interpret that Adam merely means human and not the first human then you are suggesting that humans aren't necessarily seperate from the other animals, that we aren't endowed with a special obligation towards morality. Because of course, the humans before this fellow that ate the fruit, they didn't have knowledge of right and wrong, they were mere animals, they can't possibly have been humans made in god's image.

I personally think you are trying too hard to fit Genesis into evolution. It just doesn't work whichever way you look at it. Genesis is a children's fable for very young kids that will believe anything you tell them.

(26-06-2015 01:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Were you implying I thought otherwise? In short, I feel like you developed a "Straw Man" of my interpretation. (Well, not mine, the interpretation of others, which I was trying to summarize for discussion.)
I wasn't making a critique of your own interpretation. I was merely offering my own take on Genesis (the biblical myth-story).
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26-06-2015, 05:42 AM (This post was last modified: 26-06-2015 07:55 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(26-06-2015 01:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  That doesn't mean we ignore the information contained in the mythologies of our ancestors, and I feel a bit like you guys didn't take my concept very seriously simply because it was from the Bible, whereas I could have talked about Babylonian mythologies' influence on the Greek pantheon, and maybe had a better reaction. Perhaps not, but I suspect so.

The Hebrews were not monotheist until well after the Exile. There is no reason monotheism has any value (or should be considered by us to have any more inherent value) above polytheism. (Yahweh had a wife for most of Israel's ancient history). We know from the Documentary Hypothesis which myth came from where, (what came from in general, the Northern Kingdom, and what from the Southern Kingdom. Every bit of the the entire story was POLITICAL. http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ble-Bull-s
Nothing was "plagiarized". Syncretism was the way ALL cultures assembled and borrowed from others to create their myths. "Plagiarism" is a modern concept. There is NO "information" about "origins" from MILLIONS of years before, in mythology ONLY a few thousand years old. None. Q's literalism DOES deserve to be slapped down. It devalues the inherent value of what "mythology" (as a literary form) is all about. It's not about "information". It's about human values and what they thought was "truth". There is not ONE shred of *information* about origins in ancient myths, except what ancient humans make up to explain what they saw around themselves to explain what they saw. They had NO WAY of accessing "information" as science had not yet been developed.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-06-2015, 06:06 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(26-06-2015 12:11 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(25-06-2015 11:59 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Some do look at Genesis as allegory. However, many YEC's would disagree on the basis that God would not make Jesus suffer and die for an allegory.

And some say that too is an allegory.

Very true. I usually find that to be more the case with OEC's though.
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26-06-2015, 06:24 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(26-06-2015 01:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  1. Chas - Yes, plausible that this was a view people who actually invented the stories, in the pre-Hebrew-civilization generations, that were later passed down in a different form by people who no longer understood the intent of the writers, might have held. I said from the beginning that this was an allegorical interpretation of Genesis, and one that makes (in my mind) more sense regarding why it was written and what the original authors were actually trying to say than the standard, literalist version. Many sections of the Bible are considered to be allegorical, even by near-literalists, and most of it so by liberal Christians; I saw no reason a more-reasonable (in terms of why it was written, rather than the literal-tale gobbletygook about a woman talking to a snake about apples and causing sin to enter the world) version of the Genesis tale could not be up for discussion.

2. Stevil - I don't think any of the people I'm talking about looked at it the way you did. Mainly, all you did was re-state the standard interpretation of Genesis, the one I was calling "nuts" (even by the perspective of the original storytellers, I'd say, if they could see/read it), and trying to come up with something more plausible the ancients might have been talking about. And the crack about Mein Kampf was unnecessary. I did not say there was a literal Adam-the-dude, but that the word simply meant "man", as we might say Neandertal to refer to an entire group of people, or Magdalenian, for instance. When looked at from the perspective of oral storytellers thousands of years after man had become agrarian (or at least nomadic shepherder) in that part of the world, there certainly can be a distinction between the Hunter-Gatherers and the people trying to pass down very old legends in a form still comprehensible to their time, just as we draw the distinction between Cro-magnon and "modern" man, when there really isn't much of one, and there's certainly no point where you can say THIS generation is, THAT generation isn't. Your version of the interpretation of good/evil is close to the standard definitions being used, and again are not the ones I used in this particular interpretation, where it amounts to a wisdom beyond what each mortal (and thus selfish) species or individual would use, which the ancestors attributed to a godlike ability in which man should not meddle. Of course any interpretation of a holy text's magical origin-story is going to be about a "magic invisible shy sky daddy", and is non-scientific and usually laughable by modern scholarship's standards. Were you implying I thought otherwise? In short, I feel like you developed a "Straw Man" of my interpretation. (Well, not mine, the interpretation of others, which I was trying to summarize for discussion.)

3. Jennybee - I specifically pointed out that I did not think the "sin entering the world" idea was valid or connected to the story, thus the Jesus dying for it part is moot. More importantly, Q said he was not a YEC, so his view on the possibility of Adam being the word for pre-Agricultural/Technological Man as we made the final transition from our evolutionary animal-origins to modern, civilization-building humanity, might well coincide with an idea like this, which I heard from a group of Christians who are not religious fanatics and who embrace the scientific method.

4. Bucky Ball - Thank you for giving at least part of the issue serious attention. I did not mean to imply anything about the veracity of Abraham or the legends of Hebrew origins they later concocted; I concur that the Bible was put together in its heavily-edited, multi-source version by the Zadukite priests during and after the Exile. I concur that it's likely almost everything about the "origin" of the Hebrew people, from Abraham to Joshua, was invented out of whole cloth or stolen from the amalgamated culture of the region. If anything, the Old Testament is to me the tale of a people who developed monotheism and tried to desperately find a way to suggest they had always been such and needed to remain such, in a place where all the stories were stolen and all the cultures were assimilating, at the crossroads of three major empires (and it worked, since Judaism survives). However, the ancient-even-by-the-standards-of-3000-years-ago tales being passed down, which I am discussing here and which wound up recorded in what we now call Genesis 1-2, would have been as common to the region as all the other tales with obvious plagiarized bits throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, Histories, and Prophets. The assertion here, rather, is that the tales of humanity "being cast out of the Garden" once made sense to their originators and, if looked at based on what we now know about how H-Gs operate and the way post-agrarian societies operate, the story can be brought into a better focus once a few of the later trappings of the Sumerian-era mythologies are brushed off like silt from a fossil. Yes, it is unlikely in the extreme that they had accurate information about history or even the ancient mythologies of their predecessors thousands of years before, but it seems equally unlikely to me to suggest that none of the legends could remain in oral tradition over the course of 7500 years, when they are something so basic and powerful as the story of origin. I confess I had not given it a huge amount of thought between the time I heard it, about a decade ago, and when I saw Q mention his non-young-earth viewpoint, but I think that means it should be debated, examined, and refined... not slapped down like I'm some fundie trying to push Creationism in here!

Everyone - Seriously, listen, and for the record: I am an atheist. I think every word in the Bible (and every book of religious mythology... except The Silmarillion... that mythology is real! Heh.) is claptrap and drivel, invented by humans best-guessing via their cultural preconceptions, rooted in mysterious god-magic, and trying to decipher the function and meaning of the world around them. That doesn't mean we ignore the information contained in the mythologies of our ancestors, and I feel a bit like you guys didn't take my concept very seriously simply because it was from the Bible, whereas I could have talked about Babylonian mythologies' influence on the Greek pantheon, and maybe had a better reaction. Perhaps not, but I suspect so.

I have exchanged posts with Q on here several times before--in particular, in the Adam and Eve section on here. It sounds to me from his posts (and I could be wrong, Q) that he believes in Genesis (not allegorical) and evolution. Some people are fine with believing in both things. Please correct me Q if I am wrong about your views...

I read what you said re: sin entering the world not being a valid idea or connected to the story. I agree on both points. I was just making a general statement that many YEC's would not go the allegory route because they believe it would be like saying Jesus suffered miserably for a made-up story. The idea to them that the Genesis story is real, makes it seem necessary for Jesus to come along and save them. That said, looking at the entire Bible as one giant allegory poses some problems of its own. For instance, why would a supernatural being who is so adamant about his creations living a certain way communicate in allegory (a medium which is so open to interpretation?)
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26-06-2015, 07:09 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(26-06-2015 01:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  1. Chas - Yes, plausible that this was a view people who actually invented the stories, in the pre-Hebrew-civilization generations, that were later passed down in a different form by people who no longer understood the intent of the writers, might have held. I said from the beginning that this was an allegorical interpretation of Genesis, and one that makes (in my mind) more sense regarding why it was written and what the original authors were actually trying to say than the standard, literalist version. Many sections of the Bible are considered to be allegorical, even by near-literalists, and most of it so by liberal Christians; I saw no reason a more-reasonable (in terms of why it was written, rather than the literal-tale gobbletygook about a woman talking to a snake about apples and causing sin to enter the world) version of the Genesis tale could not be up for discussion.

2. Stevil - I don't think any of the people I'm talking about looked at it the way you did. Mainly, all you did was re-state the standard interpretation of Genesis, the one I was calling "nuts" (even by the perspective of the original storytellers, I'd say, if they could see/read it), and trying to come up with something more plausible the ancients might have been talking about. And the crack about Mein Kampf was unnecessary. I did not say there was a literal Adam-the-dude, but that the word simply meant "man", as we might say Neandertal to refer to an entire group of people, or Magdalenian, for instance. When looked at from the perspective of oral storytellers thousands of years after man had become agrarian (or at least nomadic shepherder) in that part of the world, there certainly can be a distinction between the Hunter-Gatherers and the people trying to pass down very old legends in a form still comprehensible to their time, just as we draw the distinction between Cro-magnon and "modern" man, when there really isn't much of one, and there's certainly no point where you can say THIS generation is, THAT generation isn't. Your version of the interpretation of good/evil is close to the standard definitions being used, and again are not the ones I used in this particular interpretation, where it amounts to a wisdom beyond what each mortal (and thus selfish) species or individual would use, which the ancestors attributed to a godlike ability in which man should not meddle. Of course any interpretation of a holy text's magical origin-story is going to be about a "magic invisible shy sky daddy", and is non-scientific and usually laughable by modern scholarship's standards. Were you implying I thought otherwise? In short, I feel like you developed a "Straw Man" of my interpretation. (Well, not mine, the interpretation of others, which I was trying to summarize for discussion.)

3. Jennybee - I specifically pointed out that I did not think the "sin entering the world" idea was valid or connected to the story, thus the Jesus dying for it part is moot. More importantly, Q said he was not a YEC, so his view on the possibility of Adam being the word for pre-Agricultural/Technological Man as we made the final transition from our evolutionary animal-origins to modern, civilization-building humanity, might well coincide with an idea like this, which I heard from a group of Christians who are not religious fanatics and who embrace the scientific method.

4. Bucky Ball - Thank you for giving at least part of the issue serious attention. I did not mean to imply anything about the veracity of Abraham or the legends of Hebrew origins they later concocted; I concur that the Bible was put together in its heavily-edited, multi-source version by the Zadukite priests during and after the Exile. I concur that it's likely almost everything about the "origin" of the Hebrew people, from Abraham to Joshua, was invented out of whole cloth or stolen from the amalgamated culture of the region. If anything, the Old Testament is to me the tale of a people who developed monotheism and tried to desperately find a way to suggest they had always been such and needed to remain such, in a place where all the stories were stolen and all the cultures were assimilating, at the crossroads of three major empires (and it worked, since Judaism survives). However, the ancient-even-by-the-standards-of-3000-years-ago tales being passed down, which I am discussing here and which wound up recorded in what we now call Genesis 1-2, would have been as common to the region as all the other tales with obvious plagiarized bits throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, Histories, and Prophets. The assertion here, rather, is that the tales of humanity "being cast out of the Garden" once made sense to their originators and, if looked at based on what we now know about how H-Gs operate and the way post-agrarian societies operate, the story can be brought into a better focus once a few of the later trappings of the Sumerian-era mythologies are brushed off like silt from a fossil. Yes, it is unlikely in the extreme that they had accurate information about history or even the ancient mythologies of their predecessors thousands of years before, but it seems equally unlikely to me to suggest that none of the legends could remain in oral tradition over the course of 7500 years, when they are something so basic and powerful as the story of origin. I confess I had not given it a huge amount of thought between the time I heard it, about a decade ago, and when I saw Q mention his non-young-earth viewpoint, but I think that means it should be debated, examined, and refined... not slapped down like I'm some fundie trying to push Creationism in here!

Everyone - Seriously, listen, and for the record: I am an atheist. I think every word in the Bible (and every book of religious mythology... except The Silmarillion... that mythology is real! Heh.) is claptrap and drivel, invented by humans best-guessing via their cultural preconceptions, rooted in mysterious god-magic, and trying to decipher the function and meaning of the world around them. That doesn't mean we ignore the information contained in the mythologies of our ancestors, and I feel a bit like you guys didn't take my concept very seriously simply because it was from the Bible, whereas I could have talked about Babylonian mythologies' influence on the Greek pantheon, and maybe had a better reaction. Perhaps not, but I suspect so.

I think we did take your post seriously--but we discuss things on here--it's like kinda what we do Big Grin
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26-06-2015, 08:02 AM
RE: ATTN: The Q Continuum - 10 questions about your beliefs
(26-06-2015 07:09 AM)jennybee Wrote:  
(26-06-2015 01:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  1. Chas - Yes, plausible that this was a view people who actually invented the stories, in the pre-Hebrew-civilization generations, that were later passed down in a different form by people who no longer understood the intent of the writers, might have held. I said from the beginning that this was an allegorical interpretation of Genesis, and one that makes (in my mind) more sense regarding why it was written and what the original authors were actually trying to say than the standard, literalist version. Many sections of the Bible are considered to be allegorical, even by near-literalists, and most of it so by liberal Christians; I saw no reason a more-reasonable (in terms of why it was written, rather than the literal-tale gobbletygook about a woman talking to a snake about apples and causing sin to enter the world) version of the Genesis tale could not be up for discussion.

2. Stevil - I don't think any of the people I'm talking about looked at it the way you did. Mainly, all you did was re-state the standard interpretation of Genesis, the one I was calling "nuts" (even by the perspective of the original storytellers, I'd say, if they could see/read it), and trying to come up with something more plausible the ancients might have been talking about. And the crack about Mein Kampf was unnecessary. I did not say there was a literal Adam-the-dude, but that the word simply meant "man", as we might say Neandertal to refer to an entire group of people, or Magdalenian, for instance. When looked at from the perspective of oral storytellers thousands of years after man had become agrarian (or at least nomadic shepherder) in that part of the world, there certainly can be a distinction between the Hunter-Gatherers and the people trying to pass down very old legends in a form still comprehensible to their time, just as we draw the distinction between Cro-magnon and "modern" man, when there really isn't much of one, and there's certainly no point where you can say THIS generation is, THAT generation isn't. Your version of the interpretation of good/evil is close to the standard definitions being used, and again are not the ones I used in this particular interpretation, where it amounts to a wisdom beyond what each mortal (and thus selfish) species or individual would use, which the ancestors attributed to a godlike ability in which man should not meddle. Of course any interpretation of a holy text's magical origin-story is going to be about a "magic invisible shy sky daddy", and is non-scientific and usually laughable by modern scholarship's standards. Were you implying I thought otherwise? In short, I feel like you developed a "Straw Man" of my interpretation. (Well, not mine, the interpretation of others, which I was trying to summarize for discussion.)

3. Jennybee - I specifically pointed out that I did not think the "sin entering the world" idea was valid or connected to the story, thus the Jesus dying for it part is moot. More importantly, Q said he was not a YEC, so his view on the possibility of Adam being the word for pre-Agricultural/Technological Man as we made the final transition from our evolutionary animal-origins to modern, civilization-building humanity, might well coincide with an idea like this, which I heard from a group of Christians who are not religious fanatics and who embrace the scientific method.

4. Bucky Ball - Thank you for giving at least part of the issue serious attention. I did not mean to imply anything about the veracity of Abraham or the legends of Hebrew origins they later concocted; I concur that the Bible was put together in its heavily-edited, multi-source version by the Zadukite priests during and after the Exile. I concur that it's likely almost everything about the "origin" of the Hebrew people, from Abraham to Joshua, was invented out of whole cloth or stolen from the amalgamated culture of the region. If anything, the Old Testament is to me the tale of a people who developed monotheism and tried to desperately find a way to suggest they had always been such and needed to remain such, in a place where all the stories were stolen and all the cultures were assimilating, at the crossroads of three major empires (and it worked, since Judaism survives). However, the ancient-even-by-the-standards-of-3000-years-ago tales being passed down, which I am discussing here and which wound up recorded in what we now call Genesis 1-2, would have been as common to the region as all the other tales with obvious plagiarized bits throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, Histories, and Prophets. The assertion here, rather, is that the tales of humanity "being cast out of the Garden" once made sense to their originators and, if looked at based on what we now know about how H-Gs operate and the way post-agrarian societies operate, the story can be brought into a better focus once a few of the later trappings of the Sumerian-era mythologies are brushed off like silt from a fossil. Yes, it is unlikely in the extreme that they had accurate information about history or even the ancient mythologies of their predecessors thousands of years before, but it seems equally unlikely to me to suggest that none of the legends could remain in oral tradition over the course of 7500 years, when they are something so basic and powerful as the story of origin. I confess I had not given it a huge amount of thought between the time I heard it, about a decade ago, and when I saw Q mention his non-young-earth viewpoint, but I think that means it should be debated, examined, and refined... not slapped down like I'm some fundie trying to push Creationism in here!

Everyone - Seriously, listen, and for the record: I am an atheist. I think every word in the Bible (and every book of religious mythology... except The Silmarillion... that mythology is real! Heh.) is claptrap and drivel, invented by humans best-guessing via their cultural preconceptions, rooted in mysterious god-magic, and trying to decipher the function and meaning of the world around them. That doesn't mean we ignore the information contained in the mythologies of our ancestors, and I feel a bit like you guys didn't take my concept very seriously simply because it was from the Bible, whereas I could have talked about Babylonian mythologies' influence on the Greek pantheon, and maybe had a better reaction. Perhaps not, but I suspect so.

I think we did take your post seriously--but we discuss things on here--it's like kinda what we do Big Grin

Scrutiny of every idea and detail is a common trademark of atheists IMO. If not, most here would still be believers.
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