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Old 05-24-2017, 02:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Hepburn View Post
Metaphorical myth is fine with me...how about why do u think man came up with it...you could
take that as a talking point...
I would - if I thought I knew what I was talking about.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post
An allegory for maturing - losing the innocence and freedom of childhood and accepting the responsibilities and consequences of adulthood.

I don't believe the teensiest whit of it to have actually happened. But it's an interesting story.
I believe the story is about how man was better off as an advanced primate living in the equatorial habitat, being gatherers and not hunters or farmers.

Man "ate from the tree of knowledge" and with this knowledge migrated out of the so called garden and had to use his knowledge to live in less hospitable environments. Had to hunt for clothing and food. Had to toil in the fields to provide grains and vegetables.

The writer of Genesis was basically saying it was a lot better when all we had to do was pick low hanging fruit.
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
15,547 posts, read 6,995,657 times
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I believe that Troutdude and Katzpur are on the right trails. It is a coming of age myth and therefore connected with awakening sexuality, but primarily from the loss of the innocense of not really realizing the harmful consequences of our essentially selfish actions...a conflict between primitive survival of the individual and group survival in a more advanced perception.

However I DO believe that this was really not a great problem in the gatherer-hunter societies prior to the agricultural revolution approximately 10,000 years ago when it became more possible to exert control over the community sources of survival and hide or enforce selfishness.
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Old 05-24-2017, 05:29 PM
 
37,489 posts, read 25,224,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
I see the story of "The Fall" as metaphorical, but also as representative of something that actually did transpire. I'm still actually kind of undecided as to how much of the story is factual and how much isn't. I do believe that at some point, mankind fell from grace, and that this Fall can be attributed to the disobedience of two individuals who succumbed to temptation from an actual being who can be described as the embodiment of evil. As to whether I think God "blamed" Adam and Eve, I'm not sure that's the word I'd use. I think He gave them instructions which they clearly disobeyed, and that He therefore held them accountable for their disobedience. At the same time, until they supposedly ate the "forbidden fruit," they did not have the "knowledge of good and evil" that the fruit of the tree was supposed to give them. Since I understand "sin" to be the intentional disregard of a religious law or moral principle, I don't think God actually considered their transgression to be "sin." In other words, you can't choose good over evil until you have the capability of understanding the difference between the two.

Am I mad at God for the whole thing? Not at all. Nor am I mad at Adam and Eve. I think they did exactly what God knew they would do under the circumstances, and exactly what they needed to do in order to get God's Plan of Salvation underway. I don't believe God ever intended mankind to live in blissful ignorance. I believe He intended that we be expected to learn to choose good over evil, and experience the full spectrum of human feelings as we progress to become what He wants us to become as His own offspring.
It is a metaphorical story about the beginning of consciousness which is necessary to produce such stories and to know the difference between good and evil. God was never angry and we were not punished. IT was simply our first lesson in discriminating among our primal urges. IMV, the Bible chronicles our spiritual (read=conscious) evolution and understanding of God. We can view them as the lessons we needed to evolve our consciousness toward its goal as set by God. Each stage of our evolution from primitive to civilized human beings had its special character and method of instruction and motivation. The beginning of wisdom was motivated by a fear of God, but that is not what the end motivation is supposed to be. Christ revealed the true motivation - the Holy Spirit of agape love.
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Old 05-24-2017, 05:45 PM
 
8,543 posts, read 11,872,774 times
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The "forbidden fruit" represents anyone who is in power not wanting his subordinates to unlock the secret to their power.

God = King Solomon
Garden = The Temple
Noah's ark = The Temple

These are just symbolic stories mixing the legends of the temple with political commentary.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,345 posts, read 1,396,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Hepburn View Post
Since this is not Christian, per se...it is here in Religion.

What is your take on the garden, fruit, Eden story?
The word 'blame' was brought up in another thread...do you think God 'blamed'
Adam and Eve?
I don't.

I thought it was clear, (but I see, now, like mud).
Again, my take shouldn't influence the direction of this thread...I can give my take later on.

Do you think it is all metaphor? Do think it happened?
Anything goes...are you mad at God for the whole thing?

Oh, and when I say 'your take'...I didn't mean long copy/pasts of Bible verses...but I suppose that will be inevitable.
Myth. I'm sure delusional fundie Christians think it's based in reality and actually happened though. Silly Christians, myths are for kids.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:55 PM
 
331 posts, read 171,016 times
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A purely secular way to view the Genesis account would be as simply a primitive explanation as to why human life is full of toil and travail ending in death. But it seems to me to be far too elaborate and sophisticated a tale for that to have been the purpose. To view it as merely an allegory for the journey from childhood innocence to the complexity of adulthood seems to me to ignore the context and really not fit the context.


The elements seem to be basically (1) Adam and Eve are fully-formed adult humans living in a state of innocence and with a direct parent-child relationship with God; (2) egged on by the wily serpent, but exercising their own free will, they disobey God's direct command not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; (3) their innocent eyes are opened and their relationship with God is fractured, but not completely destroyed; and (4) as a consequence of their disobedience, they are cast out of the garden and doomed to a life of toil and travail ending in death.


My guess is that the Jewish author(s) intended to convey pretty much exactly what the preceding paragraph suggests: Humans are estranged from their creator as a consequence of their own disobedience. Bada bing, bada boom, as a Jewish friend of mine always says.


My understanding is that the notion of a messiah did not become a part of Jewish theology until long after Genesis was written, and in any event the Jewish messiah is not a savior in the Christian sense. In Christian theology, the Fall had consequences for all humanity. The doctrine of original sin (in the sense of Adam's sin being imputed to us today) is not accepted by all Christians, but all accept that in some mysterious way human nature was corrupted by the Fall. Humanity is estranged from God and cannot bridge the gulf through its own efforts; hence the need for a savior.


I do see in the Genesis account a basis for the Christian understanding. Adam and Eve were in a direct parent-child relationship with God, in a state of innocence, and living in an earthly paradise - yet they still were incapable of obeying the simplest of God's commands. Viewed this way, there was some fundamental flaw in human nature even before the serpent appeared. I see this as the core message of the Genesis account: To be a human being is to be a flawed creature, period.


Some Christians get caught in the mindset that God's original plan and hope was that Adam and Eve and their descendants would continue forever in a state of innocence, happily occupying the garden. This was Plan A. When the Fall occurred, God was forced to shift to Plan B, that being salvation through Christ. This strikes me as completely absurd (and is indeed bad theology). Salvation through Christ was Plan A from the get-go, with everything described in Genesis being precisely what God knew would happen when he decided to create beings with free will and place them in an environment where temptation was inevitable. I don't think it's any accident that in the Genesis account it's the very first humans who fall; if Plan A had been for humanity to continue forever in a state of blissful innocence, that plan never even got off the launching pad and God must have been a hopelessly delusional optimist (which is certainly not what Genesis is attempting to convey).


I don't think it makes the slightest bit of difference whether the Genesis account is "true" in the sense of being a News at 5 report of actual events. The Genesis account expresses real-world truths. Human life is one of toil and travail ending in death. To be human is by definition to be a flawed creature, flawed in some mysterious way that causes all of us at times to act in a manner contrary to our own best interests and what we intuitively know to be right. I believe these are truths even if one believes God is a fantasy. As a believer, I am willing to accept the further truths that God owes me nothing beyond the opportunity to live this life, that this life as led by me and every other human is far from godly as a consequence of my own decisions, and that if I am going to be admitted to God's kingdom it is going to have to be as a result of his grace and not my own efforts.


Am I "mad at God for the whole thing"? For what whole thing - his act of creation, the fact that I exist at all, the fact that earthly existence is far from a bed of roses and ends in death? No, I am very thankful that I have been afforded the opportunity to live this life and experience its toil, travail and death. Contrary to the popular atheist sentiment that no all-good, all-powerful God could have created a world such as this, I am often struck by the thought that this is exactly the world God would have if his purposes had been what I think they were.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,263 posts, read 20,865,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troglodyte74 View Post
A purely secular way to view the Genesis account would be as simply a primitive explanation as to why human life is full of toil and travail ending in death. But it seems to me to be far too elaborate and sophisticated a tale for that to have been the purpose. To view it as merely an allegory for the journey from childhood innocence to the complexity of adulthood seems to me to ignore the context and really not fit the context.


The elements seem to be basically (1) Adam and Eve are fully-formed adult humans living in a state of innocence and with a direct parent-child relationship with God; (2) egged on by the wily serpent, but exercising their own free will, they disobey God's direct command not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; (3) their innocent eyes are opened and their relationship with God is fractured, but not completely destroyed; and (4) as a consequence of their disobedience, they are cast out of the garden and doomed to a life of toil and travail ending in death.


My guess is that the Jewish author(s) intended to convey pretty much exactly what the preceding paragraph suggests: Humans are estranged from their creator as a consequence of their own disobedience. Bada bing, bada boom, as a Jewish friend of mine always says.


My understanding is that the notion of a messiah did not become a part of Jewish theology until long after Genesis was written, and in any event the Jewish messiah is not a savior in the Christian sense. In Christian theology, the Fall had consequences for all humanity. The doctrine of original sin (in the sense of Adam's sin being imputed to us today) is not accepted by all Christians, but all accept that in some mysterious way human nature was corrupted by the Fall. Humanity is estranged from God and cannot bridge the gulf through its own efforts; hence the need for a savior.


I do see in the Genesis account a basis for the Christian understanding. Adam and Eve were in a direct parent-child relationship with God, in a state of innocence, and living in an earthly paradise - yet they still were incapable of obeying the simplest of God's commands. Viewed this way, there was some fundamental flaw in human nature even before the serpent appeared. I see this as the core message of the Genesis account: To be a human being is to be a flawed creature, period.


Some Christians get caught in the mindset that God's original plan and hope was that Adam and Eve and their descendants would continue forever in a state of innocence, happily occupying the garden. This was Plan A. When the Fall occurred, God was forced to shift to Plan B, that being salvation through Christ. This strikes me as completely absurd (and is indeed bad theology). Salvation through Christ was Plan A from the get-go, with everything described in Genesis being precisely what God knew would happen when he decided to create beings with free will and place them in an environment where temptation was inevitable. I don't think it's any accident that in the Genesis account it's the very first humans who fall; if Plan A had been for humanity to continue forever in a state of blissful innocence, that plan never even got off the launching pad and God must have been a hopelessly delusional optimist (which is certainly not what Genesis is attempting to convey).


I don't think it makes the slightest bit of difference whether the Genesis account is "true" in the sense of being a News at 5 report of actual events. The Genesis account expresses real-world truths. Human life is one of toil and travail ending in death. To be human is by definition to be a flawed creature, flawed in some mysterious way that causes all of us at times to act in a manner contrary to our own best interests and what we intuitively know to be right. I believe these are truths even if one believes God is a fantasy. As a believer, I am willing to accept the further truths that God owes me nothing beyond the opportunity to live this life, that this life as led by me and every other human is far from godly as a consequence of my own decisions, and that if I am going to be admitted to God's kingdom it is going to have to be as a result of his grace and not my own efforts.


Am I "mad at God for the whole thing"? For what whole thing - his act of creation, the fact that I exist at all, the fact that earthly existence is far from a bed of roses and ends in death? No, I am very thankful that I have been afforded the opportunity to live this life and experience its toil, travail and death. Contrary to the popular atheist sentiment that no all-good, all-powerful God could have created a world such as this, I am often struck by the thought that this is exactly the world God would have if his purposes had been what I think they were.
Very well stated. There is very little about your explanation/perspective that I would take issue with.
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
12,632 posts, read 10,732,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
It is a metaphorical story about the beginning of consciousness which is necessary to produce such stories and to know the difference between good and evil. God was never angry and we were not punished. IT was simply our first lesson in discriminating among our primal urges. IMV, the Bible chronicles our spiritual (read=conscious) evolution and understanding of God. We can view them as the lessons we needed to evolve our consciousness toward its goal as set by God. Each stage of our evolution from primitive to civilized human beings had its special character and method of instruction and motivation. The beginning of wisdom was motivated by a fear of God, but that is not what the end motivation is supposed to be. Christ revealed the true motivation - the Holy Spirit of agape love.
Excellent.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,560,010 times
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As Trout suggested, non-literalists generally take it as a parable about the loss of innocence and the transition to adulthood. You can apply that to individuals, or to various groups, or to humanity as a whole.
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