Knowing good and bad and being judged for it...

by purrpurr 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • purrpurr

    The belief is that God created the tree of the knowledge of good and bad right? But then forbid Adam and eve to eat from it because if they did they would understand good and bad...

    The belief also is that either at death or Armageddon we will be judged as to whether we have been good or bad...

    So it seems that God did not want humans to have the knowledge of how to be good or bad in the first place but still wants to judge them on it?!?

    I always thought when reading that part of the bible " what would have been so wrong for humans to have that knowledge in the beginning? " maybe if they had that wouldn't have listened to a talking snake??

    I believe that is what's called beingset up to fail?

  • stuffwotifink
    Never made sense to me.
    If we accept that we deserve whatever god does to us because we know good and bad... Wouldn't that also mean that Adam and Eve don't deserve punishment because they didn't know good and bad when they ate the fruit, only after?
    Never mind the fact that he then judged the whole of mankind on the moral choices of a creature he made amoral.

    Seems like Yahweh holds people to the letter of the law, not its spirit. And was doing so even before he gave the law! I guess Yahweh never read Romans 2...
  • iconoclastic

    Here is something my friend sent to me:

    Adam and Eve story is just a story—of course with many flaws

    1. God, the source of all wisdom, will not act in dishonor of Himself. If God does not want them to eat from that particular tree, simple option is that such a tree should not be created in the first place! (It is like digging a big pit in the middle of an Express-Highway and asking the road-users to avoid falling into it.) Account does not glorify God in any way, because what God said (“in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”) did not take place. Bible says Adam lived for 930 years. (Genesis 5:3) And following the disobedience, in the affirmation of the punishment too God stresses harsher living, rather than the originally-decreed death. (Genesis 3:8-19) Story dishonors God in that He punished MORE severely the children of the violator, rather than the violator. For example, increasing of labour-pain given to Eve as punishment spread to all of her innocent children throughout the history. Some of them had to die in labour-room prematurely due to more pain than Eve experienced, thus delivering children with no mother to care for!

    2. “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil” planted by God did not live up to its name. Because account says “when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.” Sense of good or bad would have arisen in Eve only after eating the fruit of that tree, but here she got that sense even before eating it. Hence the question arises: Was it a literal tree?

    3. If Satan is so smart as to scheme against God and his children, he would definitely choose some smart method, not a sub-standard temptation as in this case. It is too obvious that Adam and Eve who had already experienced God as their unlimited benefactor would never believe God as withholding something good from them, nor He is a liar, especially when such a malicious suggestion originated from a stranger—with a strange phenomenon—a snake with speaking ability! Also Satan contradicted only the effects of their disobedience, which of course further weakens his position, because prima facie, it is the Law-giver that knows the effects of disobedience, not the spectators who have never seen a violation before.

    4. A) It is unlikely that Adam and Eve would respond to such a lie the way they did. If they wanted to know whether they would die without eating from the tree, it is common sense that they should wait for sufficient time. For need of eating from that tree arises only when they are going to die. Hence no one would choose to eat from that tree before such a need arises. Waiting was safer option. While waiting, either of the two situations will arise—they will continue to live on and on (in this case, they don’t have to eat from that tree), or they will gradually sense that their body is moving towards death (in this case, they can try that particular tree to avert death). On the contrary, if they go ahead and eat from the tree, and thereafter find that they are going to die, what will they do? They have no other option left to try!

    B) Adam and Eve who were perfect in their intelligence and reason will not act so rashly with such a life-and-death matter. They will definitely weigh the matter and see all the pros and cons of it. If they really believed what Satan said, they still had another safer option. In their natural wisdom, they would decide that one of them will try first, and after seeing the result, would decide the course of action for the other. Suppose Eve ate first, and then was going to succumb to death, Adam can avoid further testing, and approach God and say what had really happened and request God to take action against Satan, the liar, and deal with Eve mercifully as this was a matter of curiosity and first instance. [Suppose! Your loving Father says there is a lion in a nearby cave, and you and your wife should avoid going into its vicinity Later a stranger contradicts your father. Will you and your wife TOGETHER go straight into the cave to verify the presence of a lion inside the cave? You have so many other options like the medical scientists who try their newly-invented medicines on other species before they try on themselves] Look at the imperfect, distant offspring of Adam and Eve—for example Bank officials—how much checking and documentation they do before sanctioning a loan to an applicant, before parting with the money entrusted to them by others. In case of any doubt, they simply refuse to proceed!

    5. Accounts projects woman as solely responsible for bringing suffering into the world, just as in the similar accounts found in Middle East religions of that time. [It is interesting to note that Jesus himself testifies that there has been occurrences of diluting of Bible accounts to suit the perceived superiority of man over woman.—Mark 10:1-12]

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Iconoclastic, Adam and Eve could never had existed, they are a creation myth, a tale of "explanation" for the illiterate.

    Are you recently out of the JW org or do you just enjoy meaningless assertions?

  • punkofnice

    Even as a drone JW that believed anything the GB fed me, I still didn't understand the whole tree stuff.

    I now know it's just fairy tales and nonsense. Perhaps they were overlapping trees.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    the problem--as i see it--is just what bits of genesis do we accept as fact--and what is folklore and myth ?

    is another word for myth--a lie ? does the bible begin with a pack of lies ?

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    Biblical literalism will always lead to contorted efforts to explain the hopeless ramblings of bronze age goat herders.

    Given the knowledge they had it seemed like a reasonable explanation of the world around them, sadly even today millions buy into it as if it's fact.

    I used to be one of them.

  • Vidiot

    stan livedeath - " another word for myth - a lie?"

    Didn't used to be.

    Myths and archetypes had been used to explain or describe the world around us for thousands of years, and even if they hadn't necessarily been viewed as 100% literal, no one regarded them as "lies" per se. It was really the advent of the scientific method that kind of inadvertently triggered the comparison.

    The SM did such a demonstrably better job at explaining the world around us that mythology couldn't help but take a back seat and became discredited, to the point where, if something couldn't be verified via the scientific method, its factualness - and therefore its truthfulness - would inevitably be called into question.

    Since facts became so strongly associated with "truths" (even philosophical ones), myths very soon became associated with "lies" in the views of academia.

    Many religiously devout individuals - particularly American Protestants - felt very threatened by this trend, and reacted by swinging in the polar opposite direction, insisting that instead, the Bible must be viewed as literal whenever possible (otherwise the temptation to "dismiss" it all as myths - and therefore false - would soon become too strong, which was a slippery slope to full non-belief, which would be just terrible, especially for all those hard-working ministers)...

    ...and modern-day fundamentalism was born.

  • Vidiot

    purrpurr - "Knowing good and bad and being judged for it..."


    Looking back now, I'm remembering that that one always made my scratch my head when I was a kid.

    After all, wouldn't any parent want their children to know good from bad?

  • CalebInFloroda

    According to both ancient and current theology and religious history, the "tree of knowledge" was not considered literal until American Fundamentalism was born during the era of the great revivals in New England that gave birth to religious groups like the Pentecostals, the SDA, the LDS, and of course the JWs.

    The narrative of the "forbidden fruit" comes from the second of three creations narratives. The first in Genesis 1, states that all fruit from all trees and plants are given for food to humanity. But in the second, more ancient, the story of the tree of knowledge is introduced as an alternative or further explanation of the first mythology. (The third creation narrative is the Noachian flood, based on the more universal belief that the physical universe is built up of elements of a previous universe and that water is the basis for all material life.)

    In Judaism the account is generally viewed as a primitive explanation that describes how humans get along with the Creator, a give-and-take that results in the creation of the nation of "Israel" (which literally means "nation of contenders with G-d"), named after the patriarch Jacob who, legend has it, continued the "wrestling" match with YHWH begun by Adam and Eve.

    In early Christianity and current Catholicism/Orthodoxy, the narrative of Genesis 2 is the basis for the doctrine of "Original Sin." Interestingly it is not viewed as historical but written employing narrative devices that tell not so much the origin of sin as it does the fact that humanity has been marked by the nature of concupiscence since its very beginning.

    The eras of American history known as the First and Second "Great Awakenings" gave birth to a form of Sola Scriptura that denied thousands of years of Biblical scholarship, both Christian and Jewish. Developing in what would be termed the "Burned-over district," these groups would invent a form of literalism never seen before on the world religious schema.

    The idea that the "tree of knowledge" was somehow real lead to the belief that the taking of the "forbidden fruit" was a historical explanation for Original Sin. This idea is shared by religions from the Burned-over district, including the Millerites, the LDS, SDA, and JWs.

    Due to having practically no exposure to the original theology of the traditions that developed the narratives, many who have left these groups still consider the American-invented religious views as representative of the actual genre employed in Genesis 2. This has led to many criticizing the original text when in reality it was never accepted as historical in the first place. Any "errors" found in the text are compounded by the fact that some, after leaving these groups, have never considered that the narratives never attempted to be historically or scientifically accurate in the first place. The blame for this comes, of course, not upon any ex-members but upon the systems which abused the narratives in the first place.

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