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Ralph

Adam, A Reality or Allegory

My debut topic may have been answer, or debated, dozens of times on here but I have never read a satisfactory conclusion to it. It is not a faith threatening topic. It does not affect my belief in divinity regardless as to what the true answer is. In fact, I do not believe it is of any relevance to the ethos of Christianity. I have prayed about it many times only to be meet with a stupor of thought as if to say, it does not matter.

The Fall of Adam. Was it a reality or an allegory. For most of my life I thought it was a reality. Now, with the discovery of evolution, I just do not know anymore. I see that there are two theories. God created a serious of protozoa that evolved into modern day man. At a point where they received sufficient intelligence they were blessed with reasoning and self-awareness etc etc.. The other possibility is that God created protozoa’s that evolved into the variation of species we see today. Around 6,000 years ago God created modern day man in his image and likeness through blowing into the dust of the earth the spirit of man, probably setting into motion the DNA he had written.

Quote:
Genesis 1

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.


For these scriptures to work God would have to create man in his image and likeness. I do not think that a protozoa is in his image. This would only work if the creation of man constituted the blessing of Homo Sapiens with reasoning and self-awareness 6,000 years ago.

The problem with allegory is that there has to be a physical fall from Adam in immortality to Adam in mortality. That would mean that Satan would have to have tempted Adam and Eve to sin causing the fall and the consequential procreation of life and us. Many say that eve could not have been created by the rib of Adam as we have the same amount of ribs as each other. If you took my rib out would that mean that my offspring sons would be born without a rib. No, of course not. It is our DNA that determines that so it is entirely possible that God could have used the DNA in Adams rib to form Eve An allegory cannot do that. These are physical happening that cannot be produce by writing a story or is it all symbolic.

So what is the answer. Was it allegoric or did the creation and fall of Adam really happen and is he the originator of our species or did we evolve from a protozoa that took on a mantel of reasoning and self awareness 6,000 years ago. Do we take the bible as it is read or is it allegoric. Should we see it for what it is, a book of commandments where nothing is a reality but all is parable. If so then why have we not been told so. Why would god give an impression that these thing literally happened when they didn’t. I know God is no liar so what is the answer to this conundrum.

Kind Regards

Ralph
genghiscant

This all depends on whether you believe the people who wrote the bible got it right or not.
Jim

Re: Adam, A Reality or Allegory

Ou picked the one topic that was the trigger for my atheism in my teens, Ralph. Studying Egyptology made me realise that the literalist date for creation - 4004 BC - was errant nonsense, and therefore the Bible, all of it, was hogwash. Even if you took creation back four billion years, the idea of a Homo Sapiens only discovering the power of thought and self awareness 6 millenia ago was tripe; especially since I'd read accounts of excavations on the Badarian culture; a pre Pharonic Egyptian civilisation which had to date back to c5000 BC. How could Genesis be absolutely true?

    The conclusion I came to, and one with which I can live, though not entirely comfortably, is the one I reached after coming to know Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Was there a real Adam? a prototype for man? Probably yes, but not our ultimate ancestor. At a point in history, that man - Adam - ( Hebrew for 'man') became aware that he, and his, had fallen from perfection. Was there an Eden? Serpent? I honestly don't know, but if I believe in an all-creating God for whom all things are possible, then I have to accept the possibility that there could have been, though I think much of the early, pre-Abrahamic part of Genesis may well be allegorical. That does not negate the need for a Saviour to restore what that first Adam lost, so we have our second Adam to complete that work in us.
Ralph

genghiscant wrote:
This all depends on whether you believe the people who wrote the bible got it right or not.


genghiscant


I do not believe that they could have written it in any other way but the right way. God influenced the compilers of the Bible to include in it what he wanted in it making it the inspired word of God. If it was not right for the bible it would not have been chosen. As a Christian i accept that the contents of the bible is exactly what god wanted

Kind Regards

Ralph
Ralph

Re: Adam, A Reality or Allegory

Jim wrote:
Ou picked the one topic that was the trigger for my atheism in my teens, Ralph. Studying Egyptology made me realise that the literalist date for creation - 4004 BC - was errant nonsense, and therefore the Bible, all of it, was hogwash. Even if you took creation back four billion years, the idea of a Homo Sapiens only discovering the power of thought and self awareness 6 millenia ago was tripe; especially since I'd read accounts of excavations on the Badarian culture; a pre Pharonic Egyptian civilisation which had to date back to c5000 BC. How could Genesis be absolutely true?

    The conclusion I came to, and one with which I can live, though not entirely comfortably, is the one I reached after coming to know Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Was there a real Adam? a prototype for man? Probably yes, but not our ultimate ancestor. At a point in history, that man - Adam - ( Hebrew for 'man') became aware that he, and his, had fallen from perfection. Was there an Eden? Serpent? I honestly don't know, but if I believe in an all-creating God for whom all things are possible, then I have to accept the possibility that there could have been, though I think much of the early, pre-Abrahamic part of Genesis may well be allegorical. That does not negate the need for a Saviour to restore what that first Adam lost, so we have our second Adam to complete that work in us.


Hi Jim

i didn't realize that Adam was Hebrew for man. that is interesting. Do you believe that man evolved into Adam or that he fell from grace to become Adam.

So do you believe in the atonement of Christ where he suffered and bled for our sins. The sins committed in mortality which is supposed to be a condition caused by the fall.

Jim, I was under the impression that it had been established that the bible showed it was 4004 years from Adam until Christ. Is that true

Kind Regards

Ralph
Jim

Do I believe there was a fall?
Yes. After all, scripture says;
"As in Adam, all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive." (1 Cor 15: 22, NIV )
When exactly that fall, that realisation of man's - Adam's - imperfection, I honestly don't know. Biblical chronology has been used, and abused, so often, by so many, to meet their own definition of how things ought to be, that I don't know how to calculate it properly. The "Fall of Jerusalem" andsimilar threads on R&E testify to that!
     And, yes, since I believe in a fall, only in Christ can all be made as it should have been in the first place.
Ralph

Jim wrote:
Do I believe there was a fall?
Yes. After all, scripture says;
"As in Adam, all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive." (1 Cor 15: 22, NIV )
When exactly that fall, that realisation of man's - Adam's - imperfection, I honestly don't know. Biblical chronology has been used, and abused, so often, by so many, to meet their own definition of how things ought to be, that I don't know how to calculate it properly. The "Fall of Jerusalem" andsimilar threads on R&E testify to that!
     And, yes, since I believe in a fall, only in Christ can all be made as it should have been in the first place.


Hi Jim

Right, i got you. You believe it is a reality but you are not sure when that reality took place. Pretty similar to what i believe. i just took it to be a fact that Adam was created 4004 years before Christ. i did once see a calculation of it going back through the Old Testament prophet but i have never checked it myself. I did not realize that is was a point of contention.

Kind Regards

Ralph
Jim

Point of contention?
If you've nothing better to do, and want a laugh, google the following:
1 Were there Hebrew Kings of Egypt?
2. Was Moses Akhenaten?
3. When was Abraham in Egypt?
That's just for starters! You can find yourself in a totally weird world of theories which makes the "Sphaghetti Monster" thread in R&E look pretty plausible.

Note 1. Don't take them too seriously.
Note 2...have an aspirin handy!
Paul

I certainly believe in a literal Adam and Eve. I'm not a young Earther, though.
Jim

Agreed, Paul.
There's nothing to gainsay an Adam and Eve, and since it would be totally impossible to prove it, it will remain a matter of faith. Like you, I'm not a YEC. That particular movement has done more damage to the Christian cause than all the Dawkinsites put together.
I see no problems with evolution,and do not see a problem, either, in fitting Adam and Eve into it.
Ralph

Jim wrote:
Agreed, Paul.
There's nothing to gainsay an Adam and Eve, and since it would be totally impossible to prove it, it will remain a matter of faith. Like you, I'm not a YEC. That particular movement has done more damage to the Christian cause than all the Dawkinsites put together.
I see no problems with evolution,and do not see a problem, either, in fitting Adam and Eve into it.


Hi Jim

but how do you do that Jim. I too am no YEC. I believe in evolution because I have no alternative to. What i have difficulty in is placing Adam and Eve into it. How do you do that

Kind Regards

Ralph
Jim

I'm no palaentologist,but my own opinion is that, at some time in the distant past, possibly paleolithic period, Homo Sapiens became self-aware, and developed a concept of right over wrong. That was the point when Adam and Eve were made aware, no doubt by satan, of their mistake. Before this, they must have had a relationship with God. After this, that relationship was strained almost to breaking with the realisation that Adam and Eve themselves could not repair this relationship.
As far as history - or prehistory, is concerned, we know that there has, or had, been, a spiritual element in early man's thinking. Through cavwe paintings, ancient 'proto-statuary' votive offerings, and the first evidence of standing stones.
genghiscant

Quote:
God influenced the compilers of the Bible to include in it what he wanted in it making it the inspired word of God.


I know you believe this, but you can't possibly know it for fact.
Ralph

Jim wrote:
I'm no palaentologist,but my own opinion is that, at some time in the distant past, possibly paleolithic period, Homo Sapiens became self-aware, and developed a concept of right over wrong. That was the point when Adam and Eve were made aware, no doubt by satan, of their mistake. Before this, they must have had a relationship with God. After this, that relationship was strained almost to breaking with the realisation that Adam and Eve themselves could not repair this relationship.
As far as history - or prehistory, is concerned, we know that there has, or had, been, a spiritual element in early man's thinking. Through cavwe paintings, ancient 'proto-statuary' votive offerings, and the first evidence of standing stones.


Hi Jim

I am going to seriously contemplate this one. It sort of fits in with my idea that Homo Sapiens reached a point where, as I termed it, god blessed them with reasoning and self awareness. That is where i said that Adam and Eve began to exist as modern day man, as we know him. The only obstacle is that we are told that we are made in the image of God. Did that image of God come into being at the same time because, like god, we were able to reason. i wonder

Kind Regards

Ralph
Ralph

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
God influenced the compilers of the Bible to include in it what he wanted in it making it the inspired word of God.


I know you believe this, but you can't possibly know it for fact.


genghiscant

I know it for a fact, I just cannot provide any evidence for you. My evidence is my personal relationship with my God. Like i cannot prove to you that i love my wife and children I cannot prove to you that the bible is the word of God. Nobody can. If you wanted to know then only you can find out for yourself. Nobody can give it to you or take it away. If you do not want it, well, that is your right.

Kind Regards

Ralph
genghiscant

Quote:
I know it for a fact, I just cannot provide any evidence for you.


Without evidence there is no fact, or do you live outside of logic & reason?
Ralph

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
I know it for a fact, I just cannot provide any evidence for you.


Without evidence there is no fact, or do you live outside of logic & reason?


genghiscant

Not quite so is it. Without evidence in science there is no fact. That is the only place I can think of where that stands up. In the real world, that takes into account every eventuality, there is. Thank goodness we do not all live in a laboratory experiment. I do not think that is living outside of logic and reason

Kind Regards

Ralph
Powwow

Oh yes facts, those nasty things that we all interpret differently. And reasoning? Well all reasoning is based on axioms
Powwow

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his
hanywork."   Psalm 19:1
Ralph

pow wow wrote:
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his
hanywork."   Psalm 19:1


Hi pow wow

i guess for you it must just about be tea time and I am just about to turn in. Good weather there? Do you have light nights or are you the same as us

kind Regards

Ralph
Powwow

Well it's been warm for this time of year. Light nights? You will have to tell what those are. Some times the Northern Lights really put on a show. You can see them better out at the farm where there is no city or town lights. But I don't think that's what you were talking about so I'll put a cork in it. LOL
Ralph

pow wow wrote:
Well it's been warm for this time of year. Light nights? You will have to tell what those are. Some times the Northern Lights really put on a show. You can see them better out at the farm where there is no city or town lights. But I don't think that's what you were talking about so I'll put a cork in it. LOL


Hi pow wow

In Wales, during the winter months, it can get dark around 4.30pm. At the moment the nights are drawing out and it is staying light until around 5.30pm. I should have just asked what time it gets dark over there really. What i would give to see the Northern Lights.

Kind Regards

Ralph
Leonard James

Morning Jim,
Jim wrote:
I'm no palaentologist,but my own opinion is that, at some time in the distant past, possibly paleolithic period, Homo Sapiens became self-aware, and developed a concept of right over wrong.

You forget that many other social species have a code of behaviour/cooperation (i.e. a concept of right and wrong) which, on the whole, they instinctively observe. It is a requisite for most social species, and we are no different.
Quote:
As far as history - or prehistory, is concerned, we know that there has, or had, been, a spiritual element in early man's thinking. Through cavwe paintings, ancient 'proto-statuary' votive offerings, and the first evidence of standing stones.

All that shows is that man realised there were forces he didn't understand causing natural disasters, which he took to be an expression of their anger. So he invented a way to placate them, by worship and sacrifice. It sometimes appeared to work (coincidences) so he remained convinced of its truth.

Just like some people do today.
Paul

Ralph wrote:
In Wales, during the winter months, it can get dark around 4.30pm. At the moment the nights are drawing out and it is staying light until around 5.30pm. I should have just asked what time it gets dark over there really. What i would give to see the Northern Lights.


It's bloody annoying. I live about forty miles north of Helsinki. I've only ever seen the Northern Lights twice, and both by accident. I sometimes see on the news that there was a big sun storm and think that I have a chance to see them, but then it's always overcast. and you can't see a thing in the night sky.
Jim

I've just got time for this one before I pop off for a funeral...no, hard luck, not mine!
L.J;
I'll be the first to admit that what Ihave posted is speculation, and proof for it will be impossible to find.
Yes, I do acknowledge the higher primates, elephants and even some parrot species are self-aware, and socially conscious of the concept of right and wrong. ( There's a particular African Grey I know which is a deliberately devious so-and so. ) Yet I have no  knowledge of any such species having an awareness of 'other' or 'supernatural' possibilities. I'm willing to concede that such awareness was part of man's evolutionary make up - but not willing to conc3ede that it was baseless.
    That's why, I believe that at some indeterminate time, a particular individual or couples, conscious of the 'other' in the form of direct contact with the source of their awareness - God - became aware of their failings, and the seperation began. That's thwe way I see it, anyway.

Oh, and, L.J and Paul -
I've seen the Northern lights from Orkney. Absolutely awesome. The Aberdonians called them the 'heavenly dancers', and I can see why. All that caused by magnetism!
Leonard James

Hi Jim,
Jim wrote:

I'll be the first to admit that what Ihave posted is speculation, and proof for it will be impossible to find.
Yes, I do acknowledge the higher primates, elephants and even some parrot species are self-aware, and socially conscious of the concept of right and wrong. ( There's a particular African Grey I know which is a deliberately devious so-and so. ) Yet I have no  knowledge of any such species having an awareness of 'other' or 'supernatural' possibilities.

No, I don't think their brains have evolved that far.
Quote:
I'm willing to concede that such awareness was part of man's evolutionary make up - but not willing to conc3ede that it was baseless.

No indeed! It was based very firmly on the fact that man was aware of forces beyond his control which affected him directly, and so he started thinking about what they could be.
   
Quote:
That's why, I believe that at some indeterminate time, a particular individual or couples, conscious of the 'other' in the form of direct contact with the source of their awareness - God - became aware of their failings, and the seperation began. That's thwe way I see it, anyway.

Yes, I can see how our culture and religion will have led you to believe something like that. But the truth is that we don't have any 'failings'. We are simply members of a social species that inherited two opposing instincts from its forebears. The original self first instinct that drove life forward until the appearance of social species, and the group first instinct that became an essential for survival of the group. We are therefore a constant battleground for these two instincts, and although in the main the second prevails, in times of great stress the first can dominate us.

That, however, is not a failing of any sort. It is the way life has evolved for us as a social species, and we can only continue to survive as such by controlling the minority that infringe our social code.
Powwow

Hi Ralph,
No that's about the same here. This time of year  it's getting dark at 6pm.

Paul,
We need to swap locations! I don't know why, and I have always been like this, but I don't watch the Northern Lights. I can't explain it but they give me an uneasy, almost sickly feeling when ever I see them. Strange.  When I was a kid up at the farm, dad would always drag everyone outside to watch them, except me.LOL
Shrub Dweller

I haven't read all of your OP but to me the fall of Adam and Eve is an expression of our self awareness and consciousness. Genesis has the gods saying, 'now man has become like us, knowing good and bad'. It is this self consciousness that makes us see these things and takes away our innocence and gives us a sense of guilt, but also freedom. A dog can't have these things because its level of consciousness is not sufficient. The animal kingdom does not hold each other to account, as we do. Neither do they demand their rights and share of the 'communities' proceeds. All this sense of fair play and moral disposition is because of our level of consciousness. The real question here is, what is consciousness and this self awareness that we have ?
Ralph

Shrub Dweller wrote:
I haven't read all of your OP but to me the fall of Adam and Eve is an expression of our self awareness and consciousness. Genesis has the gods saying, 'now man has become like us, knowing good and bad'. It is this self consciousness that makes us see these things and takes away our innocence and gives us a sense of guilt, but also freedom. A dog can't have these things because its level of consciousness is not sufficient. The animal kingdom does not hold each other to account, as we do. Neither do they demand their rights and share of the 'communities' proceeds. All this sense of fair play and moral disposition is because of our level of consciousness. The real question here is, what is consciousness and this self awareness that we have ?


Shrub Dweller


I would  dearly like to agree with you, really, but I then considered Meerkats, Elephants, Chimpanzee, Dolphins etc etc... I have seen elephants holding another elephant to account for kicking her calf. Crying at the loss of her baby. I have seen Meerkats demanding their rightful place as leader of the pack.

Yes, they do not have the same level of consciousness as we have, however, according to you and others, we were once at that level. Are the animal just at a place where we once were, waiting for evolution to bring them to our level. If that is true, we are no different to the animals we are just at a different level of progression and religion is something we developed to make life and death easier. Personally, I cannot swallow that as to do so would make me schizophrenic. It also means that man does not have a spirit rather it is a consciousness. Neurological processes. Such a mindset dismisses all I stand for.

If animals are like us then we must have been like them at some point. If I then accept that we reached this level of intelligence as a result of the development of our consciousness I have to dismiss the intervention of God and put it down to nature or evolution. As a devout Christian, who would die rather than denounce God, I could never do that.

Kind Regards

Ralph
Leonard James

Morning Ralph,
Quote:
Yes, they do not have the same level of consciousness as we have, however, according to you and others, we were once at that level.

No, we never were. You are referring not to humans, but to our evolutionary forbears.
Quote:
Are the animal just at a place where we once were, waiting for evolution to bring them to our level.

They are not waiting for anything ... they are just evolving, and if evolution endows them with any vastly different capability (or they become unable to interbreed) they just become classified as another species.
Quote:
If that is true, we are no different to the animals we are just at a different level of progression and religion is something we developed to make life and death easier.

Spot on, except the "we are no different to the animals" part!
Quote:
Personally, I cannot swallow that as to do so would make me schizophrenic.

Whatever brings you to believe that? I am happy to say that it did not happen to me when I lost my faith! In fact I began to feel less divided in my thinking.  
Quote:
It also means that man does not have a spirit rather it is a consciousness. Neurological processes. Such a mindset dismisses all I stand for.

Well, that's a bit dramatic, Ralph, it merely dismisses your conception of religious belief ... not everything you stand for. I'm sure you stand for many of the things that I do.

Quote:
If animals are like us then we must have been like them at some point.

This is the same mistake as above. Once we became classified as humans, by definition we were different from other animals.
Quote:
If I then accept that we reached this level of intelligence as a result of the development of our consciousness I have to dismiss the intervention of God and put it down to nature or evolution.

You may find it a distasteful prospect, but that's the way it is.
Quote:
As a devout Christian, who would die rather than denounce God, I could never do that.  

I understand what you are saying, but cannot identify with the thought processes that bring you to say it. Such a conclusion for me is totally illogical.
Shaker

Ralph wrote:
Are the animal just at a place where we once were, waiting for evolution to bring them to our level. If that is true, we are no different to the animals we are just at a different level of progression and religion is something we developed to make life and death easier. Personally, I cannot swallow that as to do so would make me schizophrenic. It also means that man does not have a spirit rather it is a consciousness. Neurological processes. Such a mindset dismisses all I stand for.

If animals are like us then we must have been like them at some point. If I then accept that we reached this level of intelligence as a result of the development of our consciousness I have to dismiss the intervention of God and put it down to nature or evolution. As a devout Christian, who would die rather than denounce God, I could never do that.

Kind Regards

Ralph


The truth is the truth whether you like it or not, and aside from the anthropomorphism of claiming that non-human animals are "waiting" for anything what you've described was, and is, the case, regardless of your personal ability or otherwise to accept that fact. We really are no different to "the animals" since we're part of that set ("the animals") ourselves, we are just at a different level of intellectual ability (using a word such as "progression" is incorrect - evolution doesn't progress towards any final fixed point), and religion is just something we developed to make life and death easier. Got it in one. If the truth dismisses all that you stand for, tant pis for you: evolution doesn't and can't care.
Shrub Dweller

Ralph wrote:

I would  dearly like to agree with you, really, but I then considered Meerkats, Elephants, Chimpanzee, Dolphins etc etc... I have seen elephants holding another elephant to account for kicking her calf. Crying at the loss of her baby. I have seen Meerkats demanding their rightful place as leader of the pack.

Yes, they do not have the same level of consciousness as we have, however, according to you and others, we were once at that level. Are the animal just at a place where we once were, waiting for evolution to bring them to our level. If that is true, we are no different to the animals we are just at a different level of progression and religion is something we developed to make life and death easier. Personally, I cannot swallow that as to do so would make me schizophrenic. It also means that man does not have a spirit rather it is a consciousness. Neurological processes. Such a mindset dismisses all I stand for.

If animals are like us then we must have been like them at some point. If I then accept that we reached this level of intelligence as a result of the development of our consciousness I have to dismiss the intervention of God and put it down to nature or evolution. As a devout Christian, who would die rather than denounce God, I could never do that.

My overall observation of this is that by including the unfounded notion of God in the mix you have put a spanner in the works which negates any possibility of any resolution to the problem. Like early medicine ideas of blood letting and the 4 humours etc if you try to resolve and understand something with additional superfluous incorrect ideas then you will never find an answer.

As for consciousness this is a mystery which we at present can find no answer. It is not a product of the brain which is the last material element in the processess of our mind, but the mind can not be accounted for by the brain. From genetics we know that our bodies are rooted in the past with the process of evolution and natural selection and as animals show some level of consciousness then this too must be related to a process that has developed throuhg the eons of time.

If you look at the history of a subject you will tend to find a better outlook as to what it is really about, and with regards religion this started of as rituals around 11,000 years ago and is associated with symbolic items going back 60-100 thousand years ago. The whole point of rituals and symbols is to knit a community or group together. Just watch all the crap football fans take on and you'll see my point.

If mankind did become extinct then there is no reason to think that animals would just stay the way they are, and that it is possible that one of the organisms could, with much time, evolve a higher consciousness on a par with ours.

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