Is the Christian God the first cause of sin?

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Borromeo
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14 Aug 2019, 9:57 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
It was definitely "entrapment".

I doubt that anyone denies that God set up Adam and Eve to fail.

But why he did that I don't know.



Well, I deny it. So count one. :wink:

There is a poem that is worth reading about this. It is in Latin but you can find an English translation on the Web. It is called the Exsultet and is sung on Holy Saturday (night before Easter) at the highest religious ceremonies of the Catholic Church. I copy here from Wikipedia. Note the paradox:

This is the night
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.

Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!

O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!

O happy fault
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!

This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.


O happy fault! (Oh awesome paradox.)

The English Lit nerd in me is gratified at this.



TheOther
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15 Aug 2019, 9:18 am

Prometheus18 wrote:
God created men with free will, and it is by virtue of this free will, in opposition to that of God himself, that men choose sin. Of course, being omniscient, that means he had, as it were, foreknowledge that men would sin, but this is not held to be in opposition to his goodness, for we cannot know wholly what were his purposes in creating the world in exactly the way he did. We cannot even know if another world would be ontologically possible. Your first statement is true, then, but your second is at least of indeterminate truth value.


My philosophical worry with the ontological argument is that, isn't it God who decided what is ontologically possible? God is all-powerful, and dictates the rules of logic, not the other way around.

Second, to say that God abhors sin, but that it is necessary for his process implies that god is limited in his power in so far that he could not have created a world to suit his purpose without sin. To say that God could not both have free will and a sinless world imposes a severe limit to God's abilities.

The only other option is that God could have created a world with both free will and a lack of sin, but chose not to. This is a problem, because God holds us accountable to sin, but sin only exists because he, seemingly arbitrarily, created a world he knew it would contain to begin with.

I would be responsible if an infant cut themselves with a knife I left in their play area, not the infant. This is an especially apt analogy, as man's sin supposedly originated from before they had knowledge of good and evil.



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15 Aug 2019, 10:13 am

No.


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15 Aug 2019, 11:50 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
The "Christian God" is only the "Christian God" to Christians. He's actually the same "God" in Judaism and Islam. And probably some religions I don't know about.


And I think - Kortie correct me if I am wrong - that the Jewish God preceded the Christian God and that the Jewish religion also talks about sin. And, again if I am not mistaken, the concept of sin in the Jewish religion is more like: "I have missed the mark" - not: "You are headed for hell and eternal damnation." I also like the Jewish concept of a mitzvah which involves doing something good for others.


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15 Aug 2019, 2:03 pm

Shalom.
Same God in New & Old Testament.

Same answer from this Righter.
No.


Shalom
Zvii Arey


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TheOther
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15 Aug 2019, 2:41 pm

drlaugh wrote:
No.

Where is the fault in my argument? Which step in the reasoning is false?



Prometheus18
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15 Aug 2019, 2:52 pm

TheOther wrote:
Prometheus18 wrote:
God created men with free will, and it is by virtue of this free will, in opposition to that of God himself, that men choose sin. Of course, being omniscient, that means he had, as it were, foreknowledge that men would sin, but this is not held to be in opposition to his goodness, for we cannot know wholly what were his purposes in creating the world in exactly the way he did. We cannot even know if another world would be ontologically possible. Your first statement is true, then, but your second is at least of indeterminate truth value.


My philosophical worry with the ontological argument is that, isn't it God who decided what is ontologically possible? God is all-powerful, and dictates the rules of logic, not the other way around.

Second, to say that God abhors sin, but that it is necessary for his process implies that god is limited in his power in so far that he could not have created a world to suit his purpose without sin. To say that God could not both have free will and a sinless world imposes a severe limit to God's abilities.

The only other option is that God could have created a world with both free will and a lack of sin, but chose not to. This is a problem, because God holds us accountable to sin, but sin only exists because he, seemingly arbitrarily, created a world he knew it would contain to begin with.

I would be responsible if an infant cut themselves with a knife I left in their play area, not the infant. This is an especially apt analogy, as man's sin supposedly originated from before they had knowledge of good and evil.

There is an infinite variety of worlds that are impossible because they do not pass Hume's test of conceivability, though this point is largely linguistic. It is impossible to say what a world that operated under different logical rules would be like, so that the idea has to be dismissed as wordplay, rather than a serious metaphysical possiblity.

Quote:
To say that God could not both have free will and a sinless world imposes a severe limit to God's abilities.

I assume that by free will here, you're talking about OUR free will. If so, the statement would be erroneous; free will logically necessitates the possibility of sin, and we're in the realm, again, of demanding that God alter the laws of logic, which idea would seem to be semantically meaningless.

Your infant analogy is a good one: we do not enclose infants in sterile bubbles (yet), although not doing so incurs a degree of risk, because we know that a certain measure of freedom is necessary for their well-being.



May I say, as an aside, that I'm impressed by how civil and respectful you've been in this discussion so far, rather unlike many nonbelievers on this site.



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15 Aug 2019, 2:55 pm

I resigned from the debate club decades ago.
My answer is No.


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15 Aug 2019, 9:57 pm

I find myself wanting to add more to this discussion, but although I consider myself Catholic I do find myself exploring various ideas that don’t necessarily align with Catholic doctrine.

I definitely do agree with the free will argument. I have heard arguments about not having free will but that doesn’t make sense to me. But the original point is a good one as well. Why would God lead us into a world in which we would suffer? I am not sure what the answer is. Some religions might say living in a sinful world is some sort of path to enlightenment. I don’t know if that necessarily aligns with Christianity. I think Hinduism has something about a path to enlightenment.



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15 Aug 2019, 11:08 pm

Hello. I have studied the Bible and Christianity from a scholars perspective, because a number of years ago my ex-wife, who was then portraying herself as a devout Jehovah Witness, attempted to force convert me.

The JW's have their own take on mainstream Christianity, which is very dogmatic and selective.
I studied hard and came to my own conclusions. So I have gone though a great of personal trauma facing these philosophical theosophical debates. I will try and help you. I am not a Christian or JW.

OK.

First, may i explain Creation / Genesis.

In the beginning God made the universe. God did this out of his own free will.
God also made the universe and all inside it.

He then made Adam and Eve, to live in the Garden of Eden with him in person.
He made Adam and Eve and gave them free choice, so as to make things interesting.
Of course, he could have made Adam and Eve to be like Robots, with no free choice,
but there wouldn't be any fun in that. As how would he know they were good or not?
If there wasn't a choice. Also, how would he know they even liked him if they had no
choice?

Anyway, with free choice Adam and Eve got to hang out with God, in the blissful Garden of Eden,
and had to but keep one rule. Not to eat from his Tree of Knowledge.

Easy enough to understand, we get to hang out with God in the blissful garden and all will be cool
as long as no one breaks the rules imposed.

But Adam and Eve unfortunately caved into the temptation, and were manipulated by the serpent.
And broke the rules, which upset God. Who had gone to all this work creating the universe for them
so that they could hang out with him.

God got so upset, he decided to teach them a lesson and throw them out of the Garden of Eden,
and make them experience suffering.

Now, here is the thing that a lot of people don't understand, is that in order to get back into the
Garden. The Jewish people await for a non supernatural person to come along and give them the
answer to get back in with God.

Logically speaking, the way i look at things. It makes most sense that what is needed is for us as humans
to reconcile for original sin, by first realising our wrong doing but then to do what we were told in the first place
and keep Gods laws. And then, if we do that enough ( i am not sure how long for ) then we may have a chance
of returning to the Garden of Eden, haven learnt our lesson.

That is my take on Original Sin.

As for the premise that Adam and Eve have to be perfect because God is perfect.
Then first i shall ask you why you make that assumption, as surely God can do what God wants.
After all God is all powerful. I do believe that the emphasis in the creation story is that human beings
were created to have free will, so as to give us personality and make it more interesting.

Now, i note that one of the statements made earlier is that the Bible is supposed to be interpreted as the word of God literally. This is incorrect, in that the new testament is a collection of various books that give various views on early Christianity.

These books in the new testament, called the Cannon were created to give an overview of the various view points, from the various different perspectives, and were not all meant to be taken literally. Although some religious people did start to interpret the Bible literally later on. This was often due to trends that occurred over the years.

Another point, which i have explained before on this forum is that the concept of Hell is a fairly new one, which developed around the sixteenth hundreds. The word hell was a new edition to the Bible which was swapped where the word Gehenna was originally used.

Gehenna was literally a place outside Jerusalem which was rich in sulfur, a chemical that burns easy and stays alight.
Burns red and white hot.

Gehenna was used by those in Jerusalem as a rubbish dump as well as to dispose of their dead.
Apparently also some of the kinds of Judah were known to sacrifice their children on this rubbish tip.

So. In the Bible, if someone wanted to scare you. They would say that if you did wrong, then
that's where your going to end up. On the fire based rubbish tip where all the rubbish but also the dead bodies go.
Why a person ends up there, i can not say. Perhaps it is evidence of death threats from the leaders of the day.

Last point about Gods reasoning, as God is all powerful, he ultimately can do what ever he wants.
For what ever reason he wants. As after all he is all powerful.
Perhaps we are just an experiment for him, or life is a training ground for something more.
Perhaps he just punished us because he felt like it.

We don't really have the position to question him nor do anything about it.
As we are not all powerful, not even those among us that think we are Gods,
nor those who worship Satan. Little good any of that does us. As all of us
are stuck in the same place regardless as to our religious beliefs.

What i do understand is however, is that genuine Christians can make good friends
especially ones that don't judge or who are understanding with regards to our
imperfections.

Much more loyal, generous, light hearted and kind than other people in have experienced in life.
That's if you can find any who are completely genuine while being not too religious (who do not
constantly preach but live the values in the Bible rather than just preach it, and then are mean).

Hope that helps.



naturalplastic
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16 Aug 2019, 4:36 am

Borromeo wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
It was definitely "entrapment".

I doubt that anyone denies that God set up Adam and Eve to fail.

But why he did that I don't know.



Well, I deny it. So count one. :wink:

There is a poem that is worth reading about this. It is in Latin but you can find an English translation on the Web. It is called the Exsultet and is sung on Holy Saturday (night before Easter) at the highest religious ceremonies of the Catholic Church. I copy here from Wikipedia. Note the paradox:

This is the night
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.

Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!

O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!

O happy fault
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!

This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.


O happy fault! (Oh awesome paradox.)

The English Lit nerd in me is gratified at this.


You disagree that God was setting up Adam and Eve like a pair of bowling pins.

But then you quote a poem that agrees with me.

Yeah. That IS a paradox!



TheOther
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16 Aug 2019, 8:59 am

Prometheus18 wrote:
TheOther wrote:
To say that God could not both have free will and a sinless world imposes a severe limit to God's abilities.


I assume that by free will here, you're talking about OUR free will. If so, the statement would be erroneous; free will logically necessitates the possibility of sin, and we're in the realm, again, of demanding that God alter the laws of logic, which idea would seem to be semantically meaningless.


I guess this is a foundation issue. Are the laws of logic true in of themselves (i.e. apart from God), or did God set them up when he created the universe to suit his purposes?

It is hard to imagine a universe where 1+1 = 3, however it also seems like if God is truly ALL powerful, he should be able to reconstitute reality as such.

I think a lot of Christians (particularly the fundamentalists type) would have a hard time saying something like, "God is also bound by the laws of logic."

Prometheus18 wrote:
Your infant analogy is a good one: we do not enclose infants in sterile bubbles (yet), although not doing so incurs a degree of risk, because we know that a certain measure of freedom is necessary for their well-being.


I think for me the trouble with all of this is God's omniscience. We take risks as humans because we don't know what will happen in the future. I guess a big part of my worry is that I cannot conceive of God taking a risk. He knows everything, so everything is certain to him.

Prometheus18 wrote:
May I say, as an aside, that I'm impressed by how civil and respectful you've been in this discussion so far, rather unlike many nonbelievers on this site.


Thank you and likewise! You are clearly a smart person who has a valuable perspective in this discussion of ideas.

I enjoy this sort of conversation immensely, and I truly come from a place of curiosity and good will. I believe we are all seeking the truth here, and I don't think I need to agree with everything everyone says or believes to be their friend. I actually get in trouble for this line of thinking in the real world a lot, as it seems to me that most people find their identity in their various beliefs, and feel personally attacked when their views are questioned. I wonder if people on the spectrum are less that way in general? When someone convinces me that something that I firmly believe is wrong, I find it mind blowing (in a good way) and feel invigorated.

I am genuinely curious as to what people have to say, and always assume that someone else might know something I don't. I find arguing for the sake of putting other people down and feeling intellectually superior to be completely detrimental and in direct opposition to finding the truth.



Borromeo
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16 Aug 2019, 9:06 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Borromeo wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
It was definitely "entrapment".

I doubt that anyone denies that God set up Adam and Eve to fail.

But why he did that I don't know.



Well, I deny it. So count one. :wink:

There is a poem that is worth reading about this. It is in Latin but you can find an English translation on the Web. It is called the Exsultet and is sung on Holy Saturday (night before Easter) at the highest religious ceremonies of the Catholic Church. I copy here from Wikipedia. Note the paradox:

This is the night
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.

Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!

O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!

O happy fault
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!

This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.


O happy fault! (Oh awesome paradox.)

The English Lit nerd in me is gratified at this.


You disagree that God was setting up Adam and Eve like a pair of bowling pins.

But then you quote a poem that agrees with me.

Yeah. That IS a paradox!



It was their decision. How is that a set-up?

Incidentally, in the early Church, Adam & Eve were/are considered to be saints. Interesting.



TheOther
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16 Aug 2019, 9:11 am

madbutnotmad wrote:
Hello. I have studied the Bible and Christianity from a scholars perspective, because a number of years ago my ex-wife, who was then portraying herself as a devout Jehovah Witness, attempted to force convert me.

The JW's have their own take on mainstream Christianity, which is very dogmatic and selective.
I studied hard and came to my own conclusions. So I have gone though a great of personal trauma facing these philosophical theosophical debates. I will try and help you. I am not a Christian or JW.

OK.

First, may i explain Creation / Genesis.

In the beginning God made the universe. God did this out of his own free will.
God also made the universe and all inside it.

He then made Adam and Eve, to live in the Garden of Eden with him in person.
He made Adam and Eve and gave them free choice, so as to make things interesting.
Of course, he could have made Adam and Eve to be like Robots, with no free choice,
but there wouldn't be any fun in that. As how would he know they were good or not?
If there wasn't a choice. Also, how would he know they even liked him if they had no
choice?

Anyway, with free choice Adam and Eve got to hang out with God, in the blissful Garden of Eden,
and had to but keep one rule. Not to eat from his Tree of Knowledge.

Easy enough to understand, we get to hang out with God in the blissful garden and all will be cool
as long as no one breaks the rules imposed.

But Adam and Eve unfortunately caved into the temptation, and were manipulated by the serpent.
And broke the rules, which upset God. Who had gone to all this work creating the universe for them
so that they could hang out with him.

God got so upset, he decided to teach them a lesson and throw them out of the Garden of Eden,
and make them experience suffering.

Now, here is the thing that a lot of people don't understand, is that in order to get back into the
Garden. The Jewish people await for a non supernatural person to come along and give them the
answer to get back in with God.

Logically speaking, the way i look at things. It makes most sense that what is needed is for us as humans
to reconcile for original sin, by first realising our wrong doing but then to do what we were told in the first place
and keep Gods laws. And then, if we do that enough ( i am not sure how long for ) then we may have a chance
of returning to the Garden of Eden, haven learnt our lesson.

That is my take on Original Sin.

As for the premise that Adam and Eve have to be perfect because God is perfect.
Then first i shall ask you why you make that assumption, as surely God can do what God wants.
After all God is all powerful. I do believe that the emphasis in the creation story is that human beings
were created to have free will, so as to give us personality and make it more interesting.

Now, i note that one of the statements made earlier is that the Bible is supposed to be interpreted as the word of God literally. This is incorrect, in that the new testament is a collection of various books that give various views on early Christianity.

These books in the new testament, called the Cannon were created to give an overview of the various view points, from the various different perspectives, and were not all meant to be taken literally. Although some religious people did start to interpret the Bible literally later on. This was often due to trends that occurred over the years.

Another point, which i have explained before on this forum is that the concept of Hell is a fairly new one, which developed around the sixteenth hundreds. The word hell was a new edition to the Bible which was swapped where the word Gehenna was originally used.

Gehenna was literally a place outside Jerusalem which was rich in sulfur, a chemical that burns easy and stays alight.
Burns red and white hot.

Gehenna was used by those in Jerusalem as a rubbish dump as well as to dispose of their dead.
Apparently also some of the kinds of Judah were known to sacrifice their children on this rubbish tip.

So. In the Bible, if someone wanted to scare you. They would say that if you did wrong, then
that's where your going to end up. On the fire based rubbish tip where all the rubbish but also the dead bodies go.
Why a person ends up there, i can not say. Perhaps it is evidence of death threats from the leaders of the day.

Last point about Gods reasoning, as God is all powerful, he ultimately can do what ever he wants.
For what ever reason he wants. As after all he is all powerful.
Perhaps we are just an experiment for him, or life is a training ground for something more.
Perhaps he just punished us because he felt like it.

We don't really have the position to question him nor do anything about it.
As we are not all powerful, not even those among us that think we are Gods,
nor those who worship Satan. Little good any of that does us. As all of us
are stuck in the same place regardless as to our religious beliefs.

What i do understand is however, is that genuine Christians can make good friends
especially ones that don't judge or who are understanding with regards to our
imperfections.

Much more loyal, generous, light hearted and kind than other people in have experienced in life.
That's if you can find any who are completely genuine while being not too religious (who do not
constantly preach but live the values in the Bible rather than just preach it, and then are mean).

Hope that helps.


Thank you for your response. I guess my main point is that I have a hard time rectifying the three big triats we ascribe to God (All knowing, All Powerful, All Good) with how Genesis plays out.

I feel like we are forced to say that 1. God had the ability to create the world such that it could achieve all of his purposes but not include sin. (because he is All powerful) and 2. created man in a universe he knew would include sin anyways.

If so, I still contend that the following must be true (that is, it is not my flawed human opinion, but a necessary consequence of the claimed facts):

God chose to include sin in creation, even though he could have chosen not to and still achieved all of his purposes. Thus, God is not purely good (especially given that the punishment for sin is eternal damnation and suffering).

If you disagree with the above, then one of the following must be true:

God is not all powerful, because he was unable to make a world that suited his purposes without the inclusion of sin.

God is not all-knowing, and he did not know that humans would sin when he created them.



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16 Aug 2019, 9:16 am

Borromeo wrote:
It was their decision. How is that a set-up?

Incidentally, in the early Church, Adam & Eve were/are considered to be saints. Interesting.


The problem is that, before God even created Eden, he knew that the world he setup the way he was going to set it up would result in them sinning.

If I am just about to start off a chain reaction that I know will cause some horrible harm, then what does it say about me if I go through with it without changing something to alter the course?

For example, if I am just about push my car down a hill knowing that there are people at the bottom of it, don't I have an obligation to change something about what I am about to do?