"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Adam & Eve - Knowledge Of Evil
I've been surfing around for more on this.

Some Christians argue that simple disobediance of God was grounds for punishment, despite a lack of knowledge of good and evil:

"But they know God was there creator, and God was correct about everything, that’s not exclusive to Good and Evil – so they Don’t need the tree of knowledge to know that and thus, one can make argument that they still were aware that they shouldn’t disobey God! "
Others argue that "the Fall" was part of God's plan:
"This plan must go far beyond the traditional Protestant view that God created us just because He was lonely. If He just wanted companions, there would have been other, less painful ways to achieve it. But God's plan is bigger. Much bigger. According to the word of God, it is to allow us to progress beyond anything we know think possible. The plan requires real freedom (which brings the possibility of sin). It requires us to first fall from His presence, to learn things that we could learn no other way.

Why does God want us to go so far? Why is His plan so big? Because He is not just our creator. He is our father. And He wants for us what any father wants for his child: ultimately, to have what He has."
That's as may be - but it does not get round the fact that there are numerous instances in the Old Testament of God punishing apparent bystanders, or the descendents of those who displease him. That by itself shows that God as described in the Bible cannot be moral in any normal sense of the word.

ReligiousTolerance describe various examples in their article on The Transferability of Sin in the Hebrew Scriptures:
"[The First] commandment describes that God will punish the children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren of a transgressor, even though they did not participate in the sin. They might not have even been alive when their ancestor worshiped another God or bowed down before an image or statue. Yet, they were to be punished."
So, according to the Bible, if God does have a grand plan, it is not one which is open to all - for some are punished and damned for the sins of others. Further, it cannot be argued that this is merely a "collective responsibility" for our actions - since it is not just those who stand by and allow evil to occur who are punished. It is our unborn children too...

There is of course a simpler explanation. Accept the Bible Tales for the mythology that they undoubtably are, and the contradiction does not arise...

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