The eventuality of man is the same as animals
Interesting discussion. If we equate the eventuality of man with the eventuality of animals, then we need to determine exactly what that "eventuality" is.
We've always been taught as JWs that animals simply die and return to dust. However, if there is, in fact, an afterlife (which no one knows for sure until they get there...or not), and the eventuality of men and animals is the same, then animals will also enjoy an afterlife.
They did not sin, therefore, they would have no need of a redeemer for them to be able to enter "heaven".
Personally, most of the animals I have known have been just as worthy of a "reward" as any human....in fact, in many cases, more so.
i. Man alone has a natural countenance that looks upward
I don't perceive this to be true. Animals live very much in the present, but they look "upward"....to the ones who have been given the responsibility to look after them--namely, humans.
ii. Man alone has such a variety of facial expressions
Obviously, you haven't been around animals much. It is very easy to see various expressions on the face of an animal....joy, worry, fear,etc.
iii. Man alone has a sense of shame that expresses itself in a blush
Perhaps they can't blush, but animals can definitely feel shame. They know right from wrong as it is established by their masters, and they frequently exhibit "shame" at committing an error.
iv. Man alone speaks
Definitely untrue. The language may be different from ours, but animals communicate in many ways...through sound and body language. Listen to your cat or dog....they have very specific sounds for certain things, and others of their species understand these sounds. Watch what happens when one cat sees you take the milk container out of the refrigerator. He/she will "ask" for milk. The other cats within hearing range know that that particular meow means "milk", and they all come running. Next thing you know, they are all repeating that "word".
v. Man alone possesses personality, morality, and spirituality
Once again, I disagree. I have three horses, two dogs, seven cats, several fish, finches, and two chinchillas. Each one of these creatures has their own distinct personality. They also exhibit a form of morality, although it is not the same as ours. Spirituality? Well, I don't know about this. Perhaps they do, but I don't understand it.
There are definitely differences, but animals are not merely animated furballs. They are creatures with intelligence, personality, and societal mores. They are NOT us, and they should, therefore, not be judged by our standards.
Wouldnt it seem logical that Adam and Eve would have to understand and or be familiar with the concept death if they were to have that as a conequence for sin? To me it only seems fair to hold someone accountable if they truly understand the consequnce of their actions.
And didnt God tell them that they would die the very day they ate from the tree? So whats up with that? They didnt die. They lived on for quite a while. So Im confused evidently Gods definition of"Die the very day" is different. Maybe they(Adam) wanted to die(isnt that a possibilty too?)? Maybe if they were aware of the true consequences(supposed human suffering) they would have reconsidered.
I am starting to lean toward the thought that the idea of sin is really just an excuse for our bad choices(or why we make them). Its nice to have an interesting legend that allows us to have a reason for why we do some of the bone headed things we do.
Having a child I realize that when kids are young, and you try to hold them accountable for some mistake they made,and I ask why, they just shrug their shoulder and say "I dunno". And as far as they are concerned, thats true no excuses. As we get older a realize that mistakes are almost always a result of a bad choice, we begin to make excuses and rationalize our behavior.
Another point I grapple with, is what was the point of testing Adam? Is not death the worst possible punishment? What did it prove? God can kill us? ok so then we are dead. The fact that we can bother God to the point that he needs to kill us makes me wonder what sort of love he ever really had(so conditional). I kill mosquitos when they bug me(cause I dont love them) is that the same thing God did to us?
And another thing. God used swords in the garden. Whats up with that. Bizaar.
ADAM did die that day..in a spiritual sense.
it does seem like Adam and eve are children not understanding it all......
the test was one of will that ADAM had to pass......... the same as did Jesus , when tempted.....
Gen 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Adam at this point was alone..Adam having had a realtionship with GOD could have went to God and said hey, she made a mistake, rather than just joining in the apple coreing.......
Eve was spoken of in vs 18
: adam was never promised eternity in the flesh.......
Adam was never promised eternity, period. Dubs made that up.
Thanks for bringing in the Guzik commentary. He brings a lot of interesting ideas to the discussion.
I believe Adam and Eve were familiar with the concept of death. They saw animals being born and dying all the time in Eden.
You're right they didn't die that day. "Death" and/or "that day" may not be literal. Stephen said they died in a spiritual sense. Much like when you unplug a table fan, it keeps whirring, but the motion is slowly dying. The first couple began to die when they unplugged themselves from God's arrangement.
I agree that the "original sin" teaching does provide some people with reasons why they do bone-headed things. Hopefully they don't use that teaching as a crutch. "Oh well, I just can't help it." Sure they can't, but perhaps they could "try".
What was the point of testing Adam? Probably just to help him appreciate a principle. The principle being, recognize your Creator as your director in life. Stay inside your Creator's boundaries, and you can enjoy a great deal of happiness and even freedom. I don't think God actually enjoyed putting Adam and Eve to death. But that's only my opinion.
As far as the "sword". Great question. I thought that was a later human invention. Um, er, um.....
I understand limits and laws. Jump out of a tall building and you will die. (its not the fall that kills you its the sudden stop) I dont understand a father or creator killing its offspring(for whatever reason). Animals die but the species lives on, humans are no different. Think about it. My son is here to replace me! If Im worried about living forever, I will have to instill qualities in him that I would like to live on after I die.
how about this thought for you to chew on,
death in the OT was to be annilated, this could be the "death" that man was to suffer, it may be that it was not the end of the body at all, what is that it god, he need not have you end with your body.
then in the NT "death" no longer has a hold of man, the christ opened the way to the father. man no longer ends with his bodies demise.
if this was the case it would explain why man and animal, may have, the same end. the animal, being innocent, never suffered "death" (OT style) man no longer suffers "death" man now lives forever and never "dies"(OT style)
the ideas and opinions expressed in this post do not necessiarly represent those of the WTB&TS inc. or any of it's subsidiary corporations.
Why didn't the "scientifically correct" bible tell us that protoplasm must die so that other protoplasm can live?
Just thought I'd say through my own conclusions,
that I agree with Gopher.