Announcement

Collapse

Apologetics 301 Guidelines

If you think this is the area where you tell everyone you are sorry for eating their lunch out of the fridge, it probably isn't the place for you


This forum is open discussion between atheists and all theists to defend and debate their views on religion or non-religion. Please respect that this is a Christian-owned forum and refrain from gratuitous blasphemy. VERY wide leeway is given in range of expression and allowable behavior as compared to other areas of the forum, and moderation is not overly involved unless necessary. Please keep this in mind. Atheists who wish to interact with theists in a way that does not seek to undermine theistic faith may participate in the World Religions Department. Non-debate question and answers and mild and less confrontational discussions can take place in General Theistics.


Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

What Happened in the Real Beginning?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What Happened in the Real Beginning?

    On Patheos, someone named Micah Carpenter guest posted about reconciling the Genesis myth with what we actually know about the first human beings. I see difficulties in it, but I respect the attempt. Any interpretation of Genesis would have to be similar to this to get a hearing from educated skeptics. I zone out when anti-evolutionists wax teleological, so this is a breath of fresh air comparitively speaking.

    It's worth a read, especially for its daring exclusion of the devil. I always thought Satan was a useless character, anyway.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/cultiva...le-compromise/

  • #2
    Sounds a bit like something I read as a teenager. Maybe it was in CS Lewis, maybe somewhere else. It seems like it could have been Lewis, but then, I haven't read his works since high school.

    Anyway, I've thought a bit about a narrative like that; it's not implausible.
    Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

    Comment


    • #3
      The interpretation he offers isn't too shabby. Obviously just a hypothetical scenario, but it sounds rather plausible. Not perfect, by any means, but not bad.
      My Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0719RS8BK

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
        Sounds a bit like something I read as a teenager. Maybe it was in CS Lewis, maybe somewhere else. It seems like it could have been Lewis, but then, I haven't read his works since high school.

        Anyway, I've thought a bit about a narrative like that; it's not implausible.
        I think CS Lewis would try to shoehorn the devil in there somewhere.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by whag View Post
          I think CS Lewis would try to shoehorn the devil in there somewhere.
          An interesting branch of discussion: if Carpenter's view that the devil doesn't factor into the story is true, why is belief in Satan necessary? Is that particular faith essential to have?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by whag View Post
            An interesting branch of discussion: if Carpenter's view that the devil doesn't factor into the story is true, why is belief in Satan necessary? Is that particular faith essential to have?
            It's not that belief in Satan is or ever was necessary: Christianity is not a dualistic religion, and Satan is not God's opposite. It's not that it's necessary, just that it's true. There is a being that actively seeks the moral destruction of humanity-- not that we actually need his help.
            Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
              It's not that belief in Satan is or ever was necessary: Christianity is not a dualistic religion, and Satan is not God's opposite.
              Satan wouldn't necessarily have to be yin to God's yang to be "necessary." He could be necessary in the sense that the NT authors warned believers about this creature.


              Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
              It's not that it's necessary, just that it's true. There is a being that actively seeks the moral destruction of humanity--
              How do you know?


              Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
              not that we actually need his help.
              I think that's where Satan becomes irrelevent as a character. The onus of the fall should go to human beings who, as you say, would have inevitably fallen sans any assistance. In a way, the elevation of Satan as being more important than he is a completely undeserved aggrandizement. God makes Satan famous for no theologically helpful reason.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by whag View Post
                Satan wouldn't necessarily have to be yin to God's yang to be "necessary." He could be necessary in the sense that the NT authors warned believers about this creature.

                How do you know?
                I've never witnessed either demonic possession or an exorcism. That doesn't mean I'm ready to dismiss them as superstition or pseudo-psychology.

                I think that's where Satan becomes irrelevent as a character. The onus of the fall should go to human beings who, as you say, would have inevitably fallen sans any assistance. In a way, the elevation of Satan as being more important than he is a completely undeserved aggrandizement. God makes Satan famous for no theologically helpful reason.
                The interpretation of the serpent as Satan is just that: an interpretation-- and an anachronistic one at that.
                Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                  I've never witnessed either demonic possession or an exorcism. That doesn't mean I'm ready to dismiss them as superstition or pseudo-psychology.
                  I thought you said it's a fact that there is "a celestial being who seeks to undo humanity." If that's what you meant, are you basing your surety of that on eyewitness testimonies of possession or something else (like an extrasensory epistemology)?



                  Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                  The interpretation of the serpent as Satan is just that: an interpretation-- and an anachronistic one at that.

                  I agree. Religion is robbed of its fun when hard literal interpretations are enforced.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by whag View Post
                    I thought you said it's a fact that there is "a celestial being who seeks to undo humanity." If that's what you meant, are you basing your surety of that on eyewitness testimonies of possession or something else (like an extrasensory epistemology)?
                    You can take it up with Scalia, if you like: http://nymag.com/news/features/anton...10/index3.html

                    You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.
                    Incidentally, have you ever read The Screwtape Letters?

                    I agree. Religion is robbed of its fun when hard literal interpretations are enforced.
                    OK, so we agree that the Genesis narrative doesn't need the devil. So why be surprised when someone comes up with a creation narrative based on Genesis that doesn't explicitly involve on the devil?
                    Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                      You can take it up with Scalia, if you like: http://nymag.com/news/features/anton...10/index3.html





                      Incidentally, have you ever read The Screwtape Letters?
                      Yes, and Scalia's and Lewis' views appear to be very similar. They are smart, so intelligence has nothing to do with it, I agree.



                      Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                      OK, so we agree that the Genesis narrative doesn't need the devil. So why be surprised when someone comes up with a creation narrative based on Genesis that doesn't explicitly involve on the devil?
                      For the same reason Scalia is "surprised" his interviewer didn't believe in Satan. Satan is the one Christ ransoms you from

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by whag View Post
                        For the same reason Scalia is "surprised" his interviewer didn't believe in Satan. Satan is the one Christ ransoms you from
                        Not true. We are ransomed from sin and death. Satan is not in charge of hell, he is subject to it.
                        Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                          Not true. We are ransomed from sin and death. Satan is not in charge of hell, he is subject to it.
                          ^this. Sometimes the explication of this theology is easier-- or at least more colorful-- when you have a devil figure, but soteriology doesn't depend on the devil.
                          Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                            ^this. Sometimes the explication of this theology is easier-- or at least more colorful-- when you have a devil figure, but soteriology doesn't depend on the devil.
                            I agree. The devil complicates matters, especially in light of the actual human story. I think that's why Carpenter didn't even try to shoehorn him in as an essential component of Christian theology.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This explanation and concept of the relationship between the evolution of humanity and Revelation from God closely parallels the Baha'i concept. (1) The Baha'i view is that humanity naturally evolved physically and spiritually over time, and this process of evolution continues today. (2) Adam is the first Messiah of the Adamic cycle and the first to know of God and teach knowledge of God. (3) The Adamic cycle ended in 1844. (4) There is no 'original sin.' This concept originated with the early Christian Church fathers. (5) Satan or the Devil does not exist. It is relict of ancient polytheism. (6) The different religions of the world represent the diverse human views of Revelations from God in this progressive evolving spiritual evolution of humanity
                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by shunyadragon, 09-09-2016, 03:27 PM
                              1,258 responses
                              55,085 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Tassman
                              by Tassman
                               
                              Working...
                              X