Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
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10-12-2013, 07:00 PM
Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
For any believers out there. First off, I don't believe for an instant that the Adam-and-Eve story actually happened. That said, if it were to have happened, it seems incredibly unjust, especially the curses placed upon Adam and Eve and their descendents. Can someone explain how all of this is just?

Let me go over the points that strike me as unjust in the first place.

1) This is an old atheist standby. God put what was essentially schmuckbait in front of two people so ignorant of good and evil that they can only be described as schmucks, and then is angry when the schmucks take the schmuckbait. And maybe God planned on the schmucks taking the schmuckbait and then punishing the schmucks for doing exactly what God planned on the schmucks doing all along. I've got issues with this, but let's leave it aside. Dead horse.

2) God, who is supposedly infinitely just, curses them for it. (God also curses the serpent, but meh.) God curses Eve with labor pains (bad) and... well, it varies from translation to translation, but either sexual desire for Adam (that's a curse?) or slavery to Adam, and God curses Adam with ground that's hard to farm and thorny weeds. It's easy to see that these curses are unequally applied, because Eve also suffers from Adam's curse, but Adam doesn't suffer from Eve's. It's not like she wouldn't have trouble with hard soil and thorns if she herself tried farming, nor is it as if Adam will ever suffer from labor pains. Now, I utterly reject the idea that justice is all about punishment and nothing more. But I can see how someone caught up in that mentality might call this justice. And I can kinda wrap my mind around the idea (even if I ultimately reject it) that Eve was the principle offender and thus deserves to be punished worse. But I'll leave it aside, too, because that's not what's really bugging me.

3) God doesn't just curse Adam and Eve, but also curses their descendents. This is known as a crime of blood, a crime where the punishment applies not only to the offender but to the offender's family. It would be as if you were thrown into jail for, say, committing, say, robbery, and your ten-year-old son were thrown in jail with you as well, and your twenty-year-old daughter, and HER five-month-old baby, none of whom had committed any crime. Or if historians uncovered that your great-great-great-great grandfather was actually John Wilkes Booth, and so you and every member of your family descended from him was hung for assassinating Lincoln. How in the world is this a just punishment?

4) Finally, and this is where it really gets confusing, the descendents of Adam and Eve are also punished unequally. Women still have to deal with thorns when gardening, and men still don't suffer from labor pains. At this point, we've lost even the fig leaf of justification for punishing Eve worse than Adam. Why are women cursed worse then men? Is it because women are descended from Eve... and men aren't? How in the world does this make any sense at all?
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11-12-2013, 11:38 AM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(10-12-2013 07:00 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  For any believers out there. First off, I don't believe for an instant that the Adam-and-Eve story actually happened. That said, if it were to have happened, it seems incredibly unjust, especially the curses placed upon Adam and Eve and their descendents. Can someone explain how all of this is just?

Let me go over the points that strike me as unjust in the first place.

1) This is an old atheist standby. God put what was essentially schmuckbait in front of two people so ignorant of good and evil that they can only be described as schmucks, and then is angry when the schmucks take the schmuckbait. And maybe God planned on the schmucks taking the schmuckbait and then punishing the schmucks for doing exactly what God planned on the schmucks doing all along. I've got issues with this, but let's leave it aside. Dead horse.

2) God, who is supposedly infinitely just, curses them for it. (God also curses the serpent, but meh.) God curses Eve with labor pains (bad) and... well, it varies from translation to translation, but either sexual desire for Adam (that's a curse?) or slavery to Adam, and God curses Adam with ground that's hard to farm and thorny weeds. It's easy to see that these curses are unequally applied, because Eve also suffers from Adam's curse, but Adam doesn't suffer from Eve's. It's not like she wouldn't have trouble with hard soil and thorns if she herself tried farming, nor is it as if Adam will ever suffer from labor pains. Now, I utterly reject the idea that justice is all about punishment and nothing more. But I can see how someone caught up in that mentality might call this justice. And I can kinda wrap my mind around the idea (even if I ultimately reject it) that Eve was the principle offender and thus deserves to be punished worse. But I'll leave it aside, too, because that's not what's really bugging me.

3) God doesn't just curse Adam and Eve, but also curses their descendents. This is known as a crime of blood, a crime where the punishment applies not only to the offender but to the offender's family. It would be as if you were thrown into jail for, say, committing, say, robbery, and your ten-year-old son were thrown in jail with you as well, and your twenty-year-old daughter, and HER five-month-old baby, none of whom had committed any crime. Or if historians uncovered that your great-great-great-great grandfather was actually John Wilkes Booth, and so you and every member of your family descended from him was hung for assassinating Lincoln. How in the world is this a just punishment?

4) Finally, and this is where it really gets confusing, the descendents of Adam and Eve are also punished unequally. Women still have to deal with thorns when gardening, and men still don't suffer from labor pains. At this point, we've lost even the fig leaf of justification for punishing Eve worse than Adam. Why are women cursed worse then men? Is it because women are descended from Eve... and men aren't? How in the world does this make any sense at all?
Your post is a very concise appraisal except in (4) you end with what in (2) you had appeared to imply you would "leave it aside".

I would like to answer all of it. The curses you describe are not God's desire to fall upon mankind. They are the foreseen consequences of distrusting God which preceded and accomplished the act of eating of the knowledge of good and evil. The reason the curses are visited upon all of mankind for generations is so that the lesson to be learned is experienced by mankind as a whole. That is why the term "Adam" in scripture refers to all of humanity as is seen in the New Testament.

It may seem unfair to us, but the same thing that occurred to Adam would eventually occur to all of mankind in some form or another. That is that at some point in time every person would fall victim to a vanity that wonders at God's integrity in His intentions towards His creation and the Holiness of His Character. In the end however, because this is all expected according to God's wisdom and foreknowledge, it is just. This is seen by God paying the price for man's sin through the image of His self, seen as the Christ, so that all men can be gathered up through mercy. In short, God knew we could not help but take Him for granted.
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11-12-2013, 12:12 PM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
One need go no further than the title of the thread. The answer is no, they cannot.

Everything they base their morality on starts from the naked assertion that a fictional invisible magic sky hero did it. So anything that follows as a "formula" will be just as shitty because the input is crap too.

Bad logic.

Naked assertion<=made up formula<=desired outcome

Good logic.

Established prior data=established tested formula=projected outcome

"sin" is a word rooted in superstition and has absolutely nothing to do with human morality which is rooted in our common and REAL evolution.

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11-12-2013, 12:40 PM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(11-12-2013 11:38 AM)childeye Wrote:  
(10-12-2013 07:00 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  For any believers out there. First off, I don't believe for an instant that the Adam-and-Eve story actually happened. That said, if it were to have happened, it seems incredibly unjust, especially the curses placed upon Adam and Eve and their descendents. Can someone explain how all of this is just?

Let me go over the points that strike me as unjust in the first place.

1) This is an old atheist standby. God put what was essentially schmuckbait in front of two people so ignorant of good and evil that they can only be described as schmucks, and then is angry when the schmucks take the schmuckbait. And maybe God planned on the schmucks taking the schmuckbait and then punishing the schmucks for doing exactly what God planned on the schmucks doing all along. I've got issues with this, but let's leave it aside. Dead horse.

2) God, who is supposedly infinitely just, curses them for it. (God also curses the serpent, but meh.) God curses Eve with labor pains (bad) and... well, it varies from translation to translation, but either sexual desire for Adam (that's a curse?) or slavery to Adam, and God curses Adam with ground that's hard to farm and thorny weeds. It's easy to see that these curses are unequally applied, because Eve also suffers from Adam's curse, but Adam doesn't suffer from Eve's. It's not like she wouldn't have trouble with hard soil and thorns if she herself tried farming, nor is it as if Adam will ever suffer from labor pains. Now, I utterly reject the idea that justice is all about punishment and nothing more. But I can see how someone caught up in that mentality might call this justice. And I can kinda wrap my mind around the idea (even if I ultimately reject it) that Eve was the principle offender and thus deserves to be punished worse. But I'll leave it aside, too, because that's not what's really bugging me.

3) God doesn't just curse Adam and Eve, but also curses their descendents. This is known as a crime of blood, a crime where the punishment applies not only to the offender but to the offender's family. It would be as if you were thrown into jail for, say, committing, say, robbery, and your ten-year-old son were thrown in jail with you as well, and your twenty-year-old daughter, and HER five-month-old baby, none of whom had committed any crime. Or if historians uncovered that your great-great-great-great grandfather was actually John Wilkes Booth, and so you and every member of your family descended from him was hung for assassinating Lincoln. How in the world is this a just punishment?

4) Finally, and this is where it really gets confusing, the descendents of Adam and Eve are also punished unequally. Women still have to deal with thorns when gardening, and men still don't suffer from labor pains. At this point, we've lost even the fig leaf of justification for punishing Eve worse than Adam. Why are women cursed worse then men? Is it because women are descended from Eve... and men aren't? How in the world does this make any sense at all?
Your post is a very concise appraisal except in (4) you end with what in (2) you had appeared to imply you would "leave it aside".

I would like to answer all of it. The curses you describe are not God's desire to fall upon mankind. They are the foreseen consequences of distrusting God which preceded and accomplished the act of eating of the knowledge of good and evil. The reason the curses are visited upon all of mankind for generations is so that the lesson to be learned is experienced by mankind as a whole. That is why the term "Adam" in scripture refers to all of humanity as is seen in the New Testament.

It may seem unfair to us, but the same thing that occurred to Adam would eventually occur to all of mankind in some form or another. That is that at some point in time every person would fall victim to a vanity that wonders at God's integrity in His intentions towards His creation and the Holiness of His Character. In the end however, because this is all expected according to God's wisdom and foreknowledge, it is just. This is seen by God paying the price for man's sin through the image of His self, seen as the Christ, so that all men can be gathered up through mercy. In short, God knew we could not help but take Him for granted.
IF this is true (and, of course I don't believe it is), it would only be because this is how God made us. God made us in a state that we would need to learn "the lesson". God created "the lesson" itself. God created all the circumstances around learning "the lesson" knowing full well we would have to learn "the lesson". God could have made us differently, still given us the same benefits that we have - all of them, including the knowledge "the lesson" would give - without all the pain and suffering (because he's God and can do anything) - but he didn't.

I'm still not seeing how this isn't the fault of an evil "god". He chose the pain and suffering route for us instead of another merciful one.

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11-12-2013, 12:55 PM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(11-12-2013 12:40 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 11:38 AM)childeye Wrote:  Your post is a very concise appraisal except in (4) you end with what in (2) you had appeared to imply you would "leave it aside".

I would like to answer all of it. The curses you describe are not God's desire to fall upon mankind. They are the foreseen consequences of distrusting God which preceded and accomplished the act of eating of the knowledge of good and evil. The reason the curses are visited upon all of mankind for generations is so that the lesson to be learned is experienced by mankind as a whole. That is why the term "Adam" in scripture refers to all of humanity as is seen in the New Testament.

It may seem unfair to us, but the same thing that occurred to Adam would eventually occur to all of mankind in some form or another. That is that at some point in time every person would fall victim to a vanity that wonders at God's integrity in His intentions towards His creation and the Holiness of His Character. In the end however, because this is all expected according to God's wisdom and foreknowledge, it is just. This is seen by God paying the price for man's sin through the image of His self, seen as the Christ, so that all men can be gathered up through mercy. In short, God knew we could not help but take Him for granted.
Quote:IF this is true (and, of course I don't believe it is), it would only be because this is how God made us. God made us in a state that we would need to learn "the lesson". God created "the lesson" itself. God created all the circumstances around learning "the lesson" knowing full well we would have to learn "the lesson". God could have made us differently, still given us the same benefits that we have - all of them, including the knowledge "the lesson" would give - without all the pain and suffering (because he's God and can do anything) - but he didn't.
We exist in a universe that is in time. As we know, time is relative. To us what is thousands of years to us could be a split second some place outside of our universe. So when you say He could have given us all of this including "the lesson", it could be argued that He is doing exactly that.

Quote:I'm still not seeing how this isn't the fault of an evil "god". He chose the pain and suffering route for us instead of another merciful one.
I'm not following you here. From what I see, He did it perfectly.
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11-12-2013, 01:15 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2013 01:56 PM by childeye.)
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(11-12-2013 12:12 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  One need go no further than the title of the thread. The answer is no, they cannot.

Everything they base their morality on starts from the naked assertion that a fictional invisible magic sky hero did it. So anything that follows as a "formula" will be just as shitty because the input is crap too.

Bad logic.

Naked assertion<=made up formula<=desired outcome

Good logic.

Established prior data=established tested formula=projected outcome

"sin" is a word rooted in superstition and has absolutely nothing to do with human morality which is rooted in our common and REAL evolution.
Brian 37, you are right in pointing out the hypothetical context of the topic. However your good reasoning formula is no different than your bad reasoning formula. The fact is, that it is established prior knowledge that all is built upon faith. Since we know that what is the eternal can never be proven to be eternal by a temporal view, we have no choice but to have to believe one way or the other. To stand on the fence is to end up with a duplicitous reasoning where both God exists and yet doesn't exist at the same time. To say that it is a fact that the eternal does not exist is a statement without merit. There is just no possible way to conclude there is not that which exists as eternal. There is the general consensus from our temporal view that we are in time while in the universe. This leaves open the very real possibility of that which exists eternally. This is acknowledged in mathematics as well as in philosophy. Ultimately we are simply left asking whether we believe good is greater than evil and therefore whether God is good. If God is good, we want to believe He exists as the eternal. If we believe He is evil, we want to believe He doesn't.
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11-12-2013, 01:45 PM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(11-12-2013 12:40 PM)Impulse Wrote:  IF this is true (and, of course I don't believe it is), it would only be because this is how God made us. God made us in a state that we would need to learn "the lesson". God created "the lesson" itself. God created all the circumstances around learning "the lesson" knowing full well we would have to learn "the lesson". God could have made us differently, still given us the same benefits that we have - all of them, including the knowledge "the lesson" would give - without all the pain and suffering (because he's God and can do anything) - but he didn't.
I don't think it would be correct to approach this question as God 'setting them up,' with two idiots being deliberately tempted then punished by Him. They were created in innocence, but not of naivety- they were given free will and the choice they made had consequences.

So God creates man and woman, and has an intimate relationship with them. Because they are not created simply to be robotic worshipping beings, the relationship is based on their choosing to walk with God and obey his command. Then the serpent comes and says to the woman (who unfortunately never gets the credit for actually disputing with the serpent- Adam just stands there and eats it) that basically they've been living a lie. Right over there is the opportunity to be like God, but God's been keeping it from you in order to keep you down.

So even though God has provided everything they need, they fail to trust God and instead eat the fruit. And as a result they have a knowledge of good and evil- they know the consequences of moving outside of God's command.

When you say God could've given the lesson without the suffering, that's not possible. In a way, they brought the lesson on themselves by choosing not to trust God. The 'lesson' was brought about because they chose a path which was not intended for them when they were created.

(11-12-2013 12:40 PM)Impulse Wrote:  I'm still not seeing how this isn't the fault of an evil "god". He chose the pain and suffering route for us instead of another merciful one.

Even though the choice had consequences, God wasn't 'evil.' What was His first act after He stated the punishment? Not lightening bolts, not giving them some awful disease, not setting a wild animal on them- He clothed them. Their lives would now be marked by the consequences of their choice, but God didn't write them off. That I think is the merciful route.
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11-12-2013, 02:00 PM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(11-12-2013 01:45 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 12:40 PM)Impulse Wrote:  IF this is true (and, of course I don't believe it is), it would only be because this is how God made us. God made us in a state that we would need to learn "the lesson". God created "the lesson" itself. God created all the circumstances around learning "the lesson" knowing full well we would have to learn "the lesson". God could have made us differently, still given us the same benefits that we have - all of them, including the knowledge "the lesson" would give - without all the pain and suffering (because he's God and can do anything) - but he didn't.
I don't think it would be correct to approach this question as God 'setting them up,' with two idiots being deliberately tempted then punished by Him. They were created in innocence, but not of naivety- they were given free will and the choice they made had consequences.

So God creates man and woman, and has an intimate relationship with them. Because they are not created simply to be robotic worshipping beings, the relationship is based on their choosing to walk with God and obey his command. Then the serpent comes and says to the woman (who unfortunately never gets the credit for actually disputing with the serpent- Adam just stands there and eats it) that basically they've been living a lie. Right over there is the opportunity to be like God, but God's been keeping it from you in order to keep you down.

So even though God has provided everything they need, they fail to trust God and instead eat the fruit. And as a result they have a knowledge of good and evil- they know the consequences of moving outside of God's command.

When you say God could've given the lesson without the suffering, that's not possible. In a way, they brought the lesson on themselves by choosing not to trust God. The 'lesson' was brought about because they chose a path which was not intended for them when they were created.

(11-12-2013 12:40 PM)Impulse Wrote:  I'm still not seeing how this isn't the fault of an evil "god". He chose the pain and suffering route for us instead of another merciful one.

Even though the choice had consequences, God wasn't 'evil.' What was His first act after He stated the punishment? Not lightening bolts, not giving them some awful disease, not setting a wild animal on them- He clothed them. Their lives would now be marked by the consequences of their choice, but God didn't write them off. That I think is the merciful route.

You totally ignore the fact that god knew darn well what would happen if he created flawed creatures. It's not like they surprised him or anything, he created them so that the exact thing could happen. He did set them up. Like a kid playing a video game.

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11-12-2013, 02:02 PM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(11-12-2013 12:55 PM)childeye Wrote:  We exist in a universe that is in time. As we know, time is relative. To us what is thousands of years to us could be a split second some place outside of our universe. So when you say He could have given us all of this including "the lesson", it could be argued that He is doing exactly that.

Ah, too funny! So to god it's but a second and he doesn't know that it's a very long time for those who suffer? or does he now?

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11-12-2013, 02:34 PM
RE: Can a believer explain the justice of the original sins curses?
(11-12-2013 02:00 PM)Dom Wrote:  You totally ignore the fact that god knew darn well what would happen if he created flawed creatures. It's not like they surprised him or anything, he created them so that the exact thing could happen. He did set them up. Like a kid playing a video game.

But that's the interesting point: did He create flawed creatures? At the end of creation God deems everything 'good.' Did God create creatures who were flawed and disposed to disobeying God or did they simply exercise their free will by choosing to disobey Him? The 'God and Free Will' thread's just started up with a similar issue, here's what I said:
Knowledge of a choice doesn't mean determination of that choice. This came up on another thread but also related to prayer and actions- if God knows, why bother asking or doing? Look, for example, at the prophet Jeremiah. God says to him 'the people have turned away from me, so you're going to preach my word to them for 40 years. Your life will be in danger, they will hate you for it, and at the end of 40 years no one would have listened. You could ask in relation to free will, 'if God knew no one would listen anyway, why bother going to all that trouble?' Because the choice was given, and they were always free to make it. God is still omniscient even with giving free will to humans.

It's interesting because it relates to anyone who sets boundaries. If I tell my nephew when we're cooking together 'you can touch everything in the kitchen except the hot stove,' am I setting him up for failure by making that boundary and 'tempting' him? Of course not. The Genesis account is about trust: can you trust that God's provided everything you need or are you going to push outside the limit and assume there's something more? God knew the action, but that doesn't mean he forced it.

For me, this has always brought up another issue that people struggle with. Do we have a problem with free will because we think it clashes with the the idea of God's omniscience, or because it creates accountability in our actions?
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