Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Wish I Asked This One In Religion Class

From Futility Closet

Before eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve either knew that disobeying God was evil or they didn't.
If they didn't, then they can't be blamed for disobeying him.
If they did, then they already possessed the knowledge that God had forbidden.
Either way, God could not justly banish them from Eden.
(Adduced by Richard R. La Croix.)

Therefore, consider it, there is no Original Sin! Catholics rejoice!

That the concept was all based on a bad translation into the Latin vulgate by St Jerome, and then promulgated by St Augustine, coming into vogue and indeed doctrine, around the time of the Second Council of.... what was it again? -- let me think -- that's right, Orange.

What later came to be known as the Pelagian Heresy stems from the argument over whether infants needed to be baptised or not. Pelagius was a promoter of the idea that man was inherhently good and could guarantee his place in heaven by doing Good Works. The Establishment were of the opinion we are all macciato (which is to say massa damnata by virtue of FUCKING BEING THE ACTUAL ORIGINAL SIN, not plucking fruit without a license) and that we can be saved By The Flying Fickle Finger Of The Grace of God alone. In other words, the established said, if you are doomed, you're fucked no matter what. It's all a crap shoot, anarchy rules, God'll either take you to heaven on a whim or He'll not. This eventually led to the Protestant work ethic, whereby success on this earth meant that God approved of your actions, no matter what, which would mean that Donald Trump is the New Messiah, right?

You know, now I think about, maybe I did raise this conundrum at Christmas Dinner once. No doubt I received the usual "Burn in Hell, Heathen! More sparkling burgundy?" response.


I know Calvinists and Baptists have all have this down pat, but each generation of us Catholics get brainwashed as kids so that we know fuck-all about other religions and the discovey of these truths of history comes a shock to those with questioning minds in successive generations.



Skippy-san said...

Here is how you get trick f*cked on the subject though. Since God told them not to do it-they were not being banished for the knowledge of good an evil, but for not obeying God. Despite all that free will nonsense, the idea that Adam and Eve had a right to know why God was placing prohibitions on them was not part of the equation.

All of religon rests on the premise that you are not allowed to ask why. Even though, based on the description of man, he was created as a reasoning being.

Regrettably, women were created with the same feature and the present era gloomily dawned. :-)

savannah said...

it's a mystery...


Momentary Madness said...

Knowledge being a good thing or a bad thing no doubt will go on for a long time yet, especially when in Sudan a woman is on trail for wearing trousers. So, I wouldn’t hold my breath, or much hope for the at least the next century.
My head is sore with it all. I just want to go somewhere quiet, and forget, permanently if possible; obliterate my memory.
The human race is such a fuck up that any God who tolerates them I don’t want anything to do with. Fuck it let me burn in hell, better than sharing heaven
With a bunch of fuck-heads.

expat@large said...

Skip: what equation? How would they have known that disobeying God was wrong? Either he built them with an inbuilt sin detector or he didn't... The Bible never said he did, so the whole thing is a furphy... And of course, there was no such thing as "original sin" until 529 AD when St Augustine's fantasy was legitimised. It is not a concept the early Christians would have understood, not to mention the late Christians.

Sav: there are plenty of mysteries around. Like, what is that stench coming from the bottom of my shoe?

MomMad: in my youth I had always assumed the world was getting better, that it REALLY was getting better. Then I read 'Amongst The Beleivers' by V.S Naipul and thought, holy shit of the camelman's uncle, we're in for it now!

Must reread A Canticle For Leibowitz.

Paula said...

Dear "Heathen" one,

The Catholic Encyclopaedia is a great resource, with heavily researched and extremely detailed information about many topics including the history of various religions, original sin etc..
(re Original Sin - interesting but complex!!!)

btw apparently Saint Augustine was Manicharean (or however it's spelt) before he converted to Christianity...


Unknown said...

Hmmm how is it you and I elicit the same response at Christmas dinner?

The "apple" imparted in man the ability to reason, to recognize good and evil. Prior to that time he could not. The banishment from the garden was because A&E ignored God's commandment, much like a puppy pissing on the rug is banished to the basement. Don't confuse not obeying with enlightenment of what good and evil are. Until that point there was no free will, at least not in today's sense. The "apple" from the tree of knowledge suddenly opened A&E's eyes from a very non-self aware state.

What I find interesting is that nobody questions why God had to ask A&E why they were wearing fig leaves. If God is omniscient and omnipresent then God should've already known that they soiled the rug and banished them directly without the Q&A.

I love being Catholic because you can drive a lorry through much of what we believe. Sometimes even a juggernaut lorry. If I were to do it again I might consider Zen Buddhism. God is unknowable and so sit there and be quiet until you know God. Works for me.

expat@large said...

Paula: thanks or your input. Manichean - follower of Mani, a 'prophet' who preached of a peaceful assimilation or syncreticism of the religious themes of his time; as all religions basically expect the same thing of their followers - be nice etc, and to pray to what is probably the same god. Obviously he had to die.

Jay: is the knowledge of right and wrong not the part of that 'knowledge'? Were the guards who avoided a "doggy pissing" disobedience by obeying Hitler and stashing people into ovens not aware that they were committing evil? The difference between a misdemeanor and a major crime is surely just a matter of degree. Cops often find major criminals because they disregard the lower crimes, thinking they are boyond the law, and therefore get nabbed on some minor issue, and found to be wanted for something else. Either A&E knew what was right or they didn't.

The poisoning/activating of their minds by the devil/snake showed them they had a choice - an option that previously they weren't aware of - free will. By utilising this God-given free will, they chose to sample that fig (which I believe is currently the fruit most favored as being the original). They could NOT know that any choices they made were either right or wrong until they had tasted the fig of knowledge, and therefore they couldn't have been aware beforehand that the act making that choice to eat the fig itself was wrong. Or right. QED go eat a fig.

Splitting a ripe fig was what DH Lawrence compared to parting the labia of a sexually aroused woman. So maybe cunnilingus was the first sin? Anyway, Lilith (Adam's OTHER first wife) didn't approve of the missionary position and so she flew off to become a stealer of newborn babies' souls (what we now know as Perinatal Medicine - it is inborn errors of metabolism and ductal-dependent anomalies of the heart that are more usually the stealers of souls) and a light of the New Age Feminist Movement.

Unknown said...

I view the "tree of knowledge" as gaining the ability to reason, to judge and the ability to reject God, which they did not have prior to partaking of the delicious fruit. Again, back to the dog soiling the rug, what does it know? It might know that it will get swatted with a rolled up newspaper but it does not make a value judgement from that. In other words it does not know "good" from "evil". Those are labels we apply that, prior to that fructose experience, didn't exist. It might choose to not drown the ants on the carpet simply to avoid getting smacked. Or it might just let it rip and live with the consequence. It does not, however, equate not pissing on the rug as "good" and pissing on the rug as "bad".

In terms of Adam and Eve you're attaching "good" and "bad" labels post-fall where they didn't yet exist.

Of course, since we are taught that God is all knowing and all seeing then God surely knew that A&E were going to listen to the snake and he did nothing to stop them. If we accept that God is all knowing, etc. then God knew that A&E were going to listen to the snake and is therefore complicit in the creation of "original sin" the same as God was complicit with Pilot and the pharisees for Christ's crucifixion.

Of course, we can have none of that but if we don't then God is neither all seeing or all knowing. Which begs the question of just how much God really knows.

Isn't religion fun? Okay, it's more fun if you've been drinking (which I have not).

expat@large said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
expat@large said...

Jay: You say "I believe" - that is what this snippet of argument is there for, to challenge your own deadly inbuilt prejudices of thought. Because your argument is entirely familiar to me: what you say is exactly what we were taught in school and/or in church.

'I' think your argument suffers because it sounds to me like the justifications we got in school rather than the deflation of an impartial logical syllogism. Others of course may agree with you.

IMHO you're seeing it more as it was no doubt intended, as part of a parable that attempts explains why we're continually in the shit. We must've done something wrong on some occasion... How could THAT have happened? Along come da olde timey religion to explain... (as they all do...)

Looking beyond that, or before that, if you extract the argument out of context, in merely almost syllogistic simplicity, it appears to me and the guy who wrote that statement, that G is judging subjects A & E on stuff A & E could only have known about or decided upon after information F was available.

Of course, I don't believe ANY of this stuff, from God on down. A non-believer or a person coming from outside Christian thought would immediately see that the story, as a logical sequence of events, seems to have a fatal flaw.

Your point on God not seeming to be aware of it all, think of God as the ignorant cuckold (she's my chick, I made her!), is spot on the money though and yet ANOTHER flaw in the fable.

Free Podcast

Related Posts with Thumbnails