"Snakes will eat dirt in the new order."

by Comatose 89 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • mP

    Why did Eve listen to a talking snake ? Who the hell is that stupid ?

  • Jeffro


    the serpent was considered as possessing special insight into the secrets of eternal life

    Little wonder, since the theme was taken directly from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

    What did the animal do to deserve death!?!? "But God, that ewe came on to me!"....).

    So... if mutton dresses as lamb, they're asking for it? Or to put it another way, if people weren't meant to have sex with sheep, God wouldn't have made them so sexy.

    I like lamb, but only in a mint-sauce kind of way.

  • mP


    Not quite, the ancients beleived snakes were messengers of god. Thats why Eve listened to the snake. They blieved they were eternal and not mortal due to snakes shedding their skin and being reborn.

  • adamah

    Jeffro said:

    "So... if mutton dresses as lamb, they're asking for it? Or to put it another way, if people weren't meant to have sex with sheep, God wouldn't have made them so sexy."

    I see where you're going here: why make the organs of sexual reproduction so similar between humans and animals, with the ewe vagina so similar to the human vagina such that horny humans would even be able to try?

    Why didn't God limit asexual reproduction to animals (eg starfish breaks off a limb which regenerates into two organisms; a bacteria splits into two, via mitosis, etc) and keep the sexual reproduction exclusively for the humans?

    That's why it's hard to claim a perfect God created EVERYTHING and then discover problems with the basic design of an imperfect system that was supposedly designed by an Intelligent Designer. It makes no sense, as a God that supposedly can do ANYTHING certainly could've avoided many problems by making different basic design decisions, in the first place.

    That's the insight I had as a young teen in the JWs, realizing that a "perfect" God who created everything couldn't have been "perfect" since he created imperfect beings who displayed evil (a branch of theology called "theodicy" has arisen in order to deal with the "problem" of evil).

    LIke the old saying goes, 'the fish stinks from the head down', and there's no scape-goating His way out of this predicament, blaming others.

    It's irresolvably illogical, and represents a FUNDAMENTAL Achille's Heel in the hypothesis of God, which isn't exactly new: it was voiced 2,500 years ago by Epicurus:

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    PS Oh, then I went to college and learned about biology and evolution: that made TONS more rational sense than the answer, "A Perfect God Dun It!".

    mP said:

    Not quite, the ancients beleived snakes were messengers of god. Thats why Eve listened to the snake. They blieved they were eternal and not mortal due to snakes shedding their skin and being reborn.

    Yeah, that's quibbling over details that neither of us can claim any certainty of KNOWING: those people are long dead, and the far majority didn't leave directed statements explaining their beliefs.

    It's reasonable to assume that 'ancient people' were generally no different from modern people in holding a spectrum of beliefs, and that's the problem with making sweeping statement about the beliefs of an ancient people without bothering to define WHAT ancient people you're talking about, and WHEN: the beliefs of a culture will change over time.

    In this instance, the story likely was originally written for a Hebrew audience living circa 500 BC emerging from exile in Babylon, and they held many divergent beliefs based on the older mythology of the ancient Babylonians, Sumerians, etc. IN MOST cases, the ancient hearer of the story knew of the snake's association with special powers, having Divine insight by seemingly possess the secret powers of regeneration, etc. That viewpoint changed with time as syncretism under Persian/Hellenistic/Roman influences occurred, but the point is not to understand what the mythical character EVE believed in 4,000 BC, but what the AUDIENCE would think.

    The story contains a few anachronistic elements (AKA continuity errors, elements that are inconsistent with the time in which the the story is set), which are a "tell" that the story was written much later. The most obvious is the "flaming sword"; the story was set in 4,000 BC, long before the sword had supposedly been invented (even later in Genesis). Whoopsie!!


  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    Brilliant thread.

  • Comatose

    I have asked a few JW's about the "flaming sword" in Eden. They were non-plussed and vague. Some said well it wasn't a sword thats just all that Moses could understand. To which I asked, well then what other parts are not literal? They went into shock and zoned out like in a trance and ignored the question and me...

    The new book has a chapter on Abel and Cain. It makes reference to them growing up and seeing the angels guarding the way to the old paradise home. Excuse me?!? That's not in the bible and if it is true then how the hell did the earth get so bad so quick? There is a flaming sword and real angels over there but I don't believe in god and am going to live like there is no tomorrow???

  • Jeffro


    I see where you're going here: why make the organs of sexual reproduction so similar between humans and animals, with the ewe vagina so similar to the human vagina such that horny humans would even be able to try?

    That is so very very far from where I was going.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Strange, but elephants eat dirt in the old/current order

  • Comatose

    Not as their only source of food vanderhoven. They do it for dietary reasons occasionally.

  • adamah

    Here's something I've written that's relevant to the snakie story:

    Another goofy element in the story is that Adam and Eve were supposedly "perfect" (although it's not explicitly stated in the entire account), presumably meaning they were lacking in nothing, and had everything they wanted and/or needed.

    Per Genesis 3, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden under only ONE rule: "Don't eat of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil". ONE rule, right? But just like an itch that you cannot keep from scratching, we all know what happened next: fruit was consumed, a certain deity got angry, curses were made, legs and green thumbs were removed, and the rest is (allegedly) history.

    The element often overlooked in the account is the REASON Eve saw the fruit as "desirable to eat", the last of THREE reasons offered in Gen 3:6 (NIV):

    "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it."

    1) Good for food,

    2) pleasing to the eye, (it looked pretty)


    Hmmm, now if a talking snake didn't clue you in, which one of those reasons JUST MIGHT indicate that the hallucinogen the author had taken had firmly kicked in, and we're now deep into the land of magical fantasy? Perhaps the last one, the only UNIQUE and FANTASTIC (supernatural) reason which offers something that cannot be obtained by eating from regular non-magical trees? Sure, it's the last one, the "wisdom-bestowing" properties of the fruit, since wisdom is the 'fuel' used by the conscience (moral compass) in order to make sound, wise (or at least, not foolish) decisions. Last I checked, wisdom fruit doesn't exist!

    BTW, the New World Translation completely botches the translation by rendering Genesis 3:6 like this:

    6 Consequently the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, yes, the tree was desirable to look upon. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it...

    Did you catch what they did there? What are the THREE reasons they give?

    1) Good for food

    2) Longed for to the eyes, (it looked pretty)

    3) Desirable to look at, (it looked pretty)

    They completely DROPPED the last reason, and simply repeated the second reason to replace the third, thus removing the MOST-IMPORTANT, the truly-UNIQUE reason that explains why Eve wanted to eat the fruit: to gain WISDOM.

    Note that in the Bible, the antonym (opposite) of the word 'wise' is 'fool' (as reflected in the parallel usage of 'wise' and 'fool' found in Proverbs).

    But if Eve saw the fruit as "desirous for gaining wisdom", that implies God created the pair as LACKING or WANTING in wisdom, such that Eve was DESIROUS of GAINING wisdom. So the Genesis account is actually suggesting that God created the first pair as FOOLS, since people don't desire a property or trait they already possess!

    But to make matters worse, with his rule ("don't eat the fruit"), God actually forbade them from ACQUIRING wisdom.

    Now, Xians believe that Adam and Eve were created as the first "perfect pair", thus justifying the need for humankind's atonement from Adamic 'original sin' by the offering of a perfect sacrifice, Jesus. So if they weren't "perfect", something doesn't add up here, does it?

    (And note that Genesis doesn't indicate ANYTHING about the first pair being "perfect": the claim represents Xian eisegesis (defined as "reading an interpretation into the text" that isn't explicitly stated AKA rampant speculation). It's a reading of the account which has NEVER been supported by Jews, the people who wrote the story, since they don't believe in Adam's inherited sin.)

    It gets worse:

    Genesis 3:1 tells us that the serpent was 'arum' (Hebrew word translated in some translations as 'crafty', 'clever', or even 'prudent': THAT interpretation would never fly in Xian Bibles, as it's 'red flag' that something is rotten in the State of Denmark if the serpent (who's claimed to be Satan; more eisegesis) were described as 'prudent'!):

    Genesis 3:1 (NIV):

    "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made."

    So YHWH is stated as making the serpent CRAFTIER than the other animals, and possibly moreso than the human pair, since it was able to outsmart a foolish Eve who desired what she didn't have! Huh, go figure! It's almost like the account is actually mocking humans, making fun of our gullibility and naivity, right in front of our faces, as if most people are actually too stoopid (sic) to figure out when they're being insulted, LOL!

    (Of course, it's likely no accident the serpent happened to be hanging around the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad, since snakes were commonly-known symbols to early Hebrews, thought of as wise animals that had discovered the secret of immortality, largely due to their ability to magically regenerate, via shedding their skin. It was taken as a sign of rebirth.)

    So it turns out the magic fruit worked as promised (which, BTW, is a nice thing about fiction: all things are possible!), since the account states, "their eyes had been opened". Even God acknowledges the fruit worked as advertised, saying in Gen 3:22, "they have become like us, knowing good and evil". They possessed the wisdom of God(s).

    HOWEVER, that's where the paradox of Adam and Eve arises:

    How would Adam and Eve understand the FOOLISHNESS of disobeying YHWH if they were LACKING in wisdom BEFORE, and even AS THEY ATE the fruit?

    How would they be able to use their powers of right and wrong to decide the wrongness of disobedience to God, if their internal moral compass was 'out of fuel' (devoid of wisdom), in the first place?

    That's the paradox of Adam and Eve, the logical "continuity error" that only a few have spotted in the basic story-line since few stop to think about it.

    This paradox is quite analogous to Xians who claim they cannot trust their own horribly-flawed and corrupt moral compass, arguing that we ALL need to rely on their God as the ultimate source of morality, since He's the superior moral law-giver. But that admission of their lack of trust in their own decision-making skills only undermines their appeal, for if a Xian admits their internal moral compass is corrupt and horribly-flawed, then how do they trust it in order to make the MORAL DECISION that God actually IS a superior moral agent, deserving of handing over their own decision-making capabilities to Him? Hmmmm, might THEIR decision in fact be flawed, since it was made using their flawed moral compass? Could THEY in fact be wrong?

    (Fundamentalist Xian Eric Hovind loves to ask that question of rationalists ("could you be WRONG?"), exploiting the fact that most atheists know statistics and understand that absolute answers rarely exist: instead, the language of math is statistics, which is all about 'confidence intervals', the LEVELS of certainty you obtain, where absolutes don't exist. Eric doesn't get any of that, and claims that NOT possessing absolute certainty is a WEAKNESS, as if someone who claims ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY is more trust-worthy that someone who honestly admits to a measure of uncertainty, however small it may be.)

    The problem is we cannot determine the morality of another entity without using our OWN moral compass, so we're ALL independent moral entities, however much anyone wants to claim otherwise.

    And such is the case with Adam and Eve's understanding of their disobedience, except the situation is slightly altered, since they didn't possess the wisdom to drive their conscience to understand the immorality of disobeying God.

    The often-heard comparison of Adam and Eve to infants and children is actually quite valid, since children seemingly lack shame or self-awareness of their nakedness (hence why they run around nude), and children also act rashly, without thinking of the consequences of their impulsive actions. A child's lack of forethought explains why modern law recognizes the concept of minors not being held fully-liable for their actions, since society EXPECTS them to lack sound judgment: they're children, and that's EXPECTED BEHAVIOR, in their nature! Even in adults, society recognizes the concept of "diminished capacity", where people are not criminally-liable for their actions by reason of temporary insanity, after being diagnosed as sociopaths or psychotic (instead of being sentenced to general population of prisoners, they are sent to a Fed prison with mental heath services).

    The Adam and Eve account actually supports the concept of diminished capacity, which reveals they only understood the 'wrongness' of their disobedience only AFTER eating the fruit, after their "eyes had been opened". Hence why they only knew it was wrong AFTER gaining wisdom to know it was a mistake. But that doesn't apply to their decision which was made BEFORE gaining wisdom: they weren't aware.

    (Some cite Eve's parroting of the rule to the serpent as evidence that she knew better, but apparently these people have never dealt with children, who can exactly cite the rule they are not supposed to break, and will break it anyway: they haven't intellectualized the reason WHY they should obey, and have to learn the hard way, experiencing consequences for it to sink in. For God to exact death and pain is more than a bit severe, showing a preference to teach lessons via punishment, setting them into an unwinnable scenario, AKA Divine entrapment.)

    Of course, this plot element is a classical motif found in a Greek tragedy, where the protagonist only realizes the folly of their action (hamartia), but only AFTER it's too late to do anything about it (anagnoris, defined as a tragic recognition or insight which explains why the character is in their current dilemma). The story also uses elements of foreshadowing (the "and they were naked, and unaware" bit), as the author of the Genesis account apparently was familiar with the common source for the Greek tragedy.

    So if taken as literal truth, YHWH needs to be asked:

    if God KNEW they were incapable of making sound decisions, then WHY would He place the Tree in the MIDDLE of the Garden, and leave it unprotected, where they possibly could get to it?

    Principles of responsible custodianship (not to mention, Federal Laws) say that we cannot leave sweet-tasting anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) out where small child and animals can drink it, since it's toxic and kills; we also cannot leave loaded guns out where children can play with them. Duh? Isn't that OBVIOUS?

    To make matters worse for YHWH, the story demonstrates that He actually POSSESSED the ability to block their access to it, thus preventing humans from eating fruit off trees: remember that immediately afterwards, God posted a cherubim with a flaming sword. So YHWH clearly had the necessary technology to protect his wisdom-bestowing fruit, if he's only going to get his nose bent out of shape when someone ate his fruit! (I once had a roommate in college like that, but I digress...)

    God comes off more like that sad Uncle who says, "pull my finger!", except a much more sadistic version!

    Clearly the story is a Hebraic rewriting of an ancient origins myth common in the Ancient Near East, with Sumerian/Babylonian versions which predate by 1,000 years. The same plot line can be recognized in Greek versions you already likely know (eg Hesiod's story of Prometheus, the demi-god who stole "fire" (a symbol for knowledge) to help mortals; add Pandora's myth into the broth, and there's your Adam and Eve account, with hope remaining in Genesis 3:16.

    Only the names have been changed: replace 'Zeus' with 'YHWH', 'Prometheus' with 'the serpent', 'Pandora' with 'Eve', and 'fire' (the ancient symbol in Greek mythology for knowledge) with 'wisdom' (a special form of knowledge, morality), and you've got an identical parallel tale. The gnostics (an early groups of Xians) even recognized the 'good guy' nature of the serpent, just as Prometheus was viewed as the friend or advocate of humanity. Same elements of protagonists being given Sisypean never-ending tasks by God(s) (Adam: cursed by YHWH to work the cursed ground until he died; Prometheus: his liver was eaten daily by an eagle, a symbol for Zeus).

    In fact, the Adam and Eve account is counter-balanced by the tale of a young King Solomon who was asked by YHWH in a dream what he desired as a gift: he responded 'wisdom', and hence was granted a generous dollop. The MORAL of the stories is that one should ask before taking.

    It's as if YHWH wants to play an elaborate game of "Mother May I?" with mortals, where Adam and Eve lost the game (they also sucked at 'Hide and Seek', with God playing dumb with the, "Adam, where are thou?" line: it's admittedly hard to win, when the guy you're trying to hide from is omniscient, and KNOWS where you are hiding!). In contrast, King Solomon won at the "Mother, May I?" game by ASKING before TAKING (which would be hard to do, anyway, since the Tree of Wisdom has been removed off the face of the Earth by Solomon's time: it likely was chopped down and used to build Noah's Ark, as magic wood). :)

    It's absolutely crazy how so many people build their lives around these ancient myths. Seriously, is this Bible thing some kind of inside joke, where I just didn't get the memo (I expect camera crews to jump out any minute, with a host saying I've been punked)?


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