Monday, September 16, 2013

Just a Few Questions: Part II Genesis

With ALL of these questions posed in regards to the Bible wouldn't it be nice to be able to access the questions in one place instead of flipping between blog postings? Now you can! The questions for the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch are now in one compilation, and there is no need whatsoever to flip-flop between various posts! Go here for your copy:

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Please add any answer you may have to any question in the comment link at the end of the post. Be sure to include the passage location if you choose to use Bible verses as references. Thank you.

So, here we are again. Glad to have you back! Now, let me pick up from where I left off in part one of this series of posts discussing questions I have about the Bible. Remember, I want to know your answers. Furthermore, responses of "because I said so" or any response reminiscent of the same will be deemed unacceptable. I do NOT want you to give me the answers you think I want to hear from you. Give me YOUR answers. Give me strong reasoning as to why you think the Bible is truth. Give me a reason to believe.

Part II continues where Part I left off in the Old Testament book of Genesis.

1. Genesis 2:18-20
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

     1) Which way should these verses be taken to mean? These are some of the verses that are very clever in their semantics. The creation story in chapter one of Genesis clearly states that man was the LAST thing God created, all of the animals and living creatures being created prior. 

Here it can be argued that, because of the language structure of these verses the Lord God formed animals from the dust of the ground and THEN, as each animal was created, brought them to the man, Adam, to name. It can also be argued that the language structure of these verses convey the idea that AFTER the animals and Adam were created in the order Genesis chapter one says that God created them, God then brought each animal before Adam to name. So...button, button, who's got the button? Which interpretation shall we go with?

     2) Why in the first chapter of Genesis when God is creating the animals does the semantics of the verses make it sound like God simply poofed every animal into existence from absolutely nothing, but here in this verse it says that God formed the animals out of the dust of the ground?

     3) If both Adam and all of the animals were formed from the dust of the ground, if both are formed from the very same substance, is it so far fetched for science to search for and study man's genetic links to animals such as the apes?

     4) If the animals were created before man and existed within their environments BEFORE man was created how was Adam able to name the animals that lived in the bottom of the sea, in the arctic regions, in the jungles of Mexico, in Australia, in the Black Hills, in the Yukon, in the Gobi Desert, in the Great Basin, in the highest of mountain ranges and the lowest of valleys...the list goes on and on? 

     5) If the verse is intended to be interpreted as God literally took these animals from their environments, put them before Adam who then named them, and then put the animals back into their natural environments HOW did God do this without killing the animals? For example, there are species of fish at the bottom of the ocean that have a special physiology that allows them to live at great depths and pressures in the ocean, but these same fish would not survive very long (if at all) on the surface. 

So, how did God do this? And I know this sounds trite, but is it supposed to be because of His greatness and since He is God He can do whatever He wants to do whenever He wants to do it however He wants to do it? Seriously, if this is your answer tell me. I know I previously stated that I would not accept any answers reminiscent of "because God said so" crap, but this is my one exception to my own rule. Please answer.

     6) Is there a reason why Adam may NOT have named ALL of the animals of the earth? Is such a thing possible? It can be argued that in this verse it clearly says that God brought the beasts of the field and the fowl of the air before Adam to name. It does not say God brought forth the fish at the bottom of the sea or the creatures of the arctic or of the jungles. It doesn't even say that God brought before Adam ALL of the animals of the earth to be named. When I was a kid I was taught Adam named ALL of the animals. The verse only mentions the beasts of the field and the fowl of the air. So, how should this verse be taken?

     7) According to what the Bible says it can be surmised from the mention of the Euphrates River that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in the Middle East. If, for the sake of argument, Adam only named the beasts of the field and the fowl of the air how did Adam name the birds that exist ONLY in areas of the world far, far away from where the Garden of Eden supposedly was? 

     8) Have you ever heard the argument that it would be impossible for Adam to name all of the animals of the earth, and I do mean all, and because of that the Bible is proved false? Sometimes the response to this is a directive to read the verse literally. Since this verse only says "fowl of the air" in regards to birds this means Adam did not name the penguin since it is NOT a fowl of the air. What about other flightless birds like the dodo, ostrich, emu, kakapo, or flightless cormorant? If this verse is taken literally, WHO named all of the other animals on the earth, animals both seen and unseen?

     9) This verse says that God put the beasts of the field before Adam to be named. Does this mean that God only put before Adam only the animals that literally inhabited fields? If so, what about the polar bear, mountain goat, cliff-dwelling creatures, salamanders, amphibians, insects, tigers (which generally live in swamps, grasslands, and rain forests), platypus, sea otter, desert fox, and pretty much every creature you can think of that does not spend its existence in a 'field' habitat?

     10) So, for the sake of argument let us say that Adam did name all of the beasts of the field. Snakes can be included in the 'beasts of the field' category since there are some species of snakes that live in fields. The Northern Copperhead, one of some 27 species of snake that reside in Maryland, USA, can often be found in fields. How did Adam name this snake? Does the verse pertaining to this question mean that Adam simply said what kind of creature it was (a SNAKE) and the verse was not intended to be interpreted as meaning Adam gave the field animals specific species names (another example would be Western Diamondback Rattlesnake or a Corn Snake)?

     11) If these verses are intended to be interpreted as meaning that Adam more or less did the equivalent of looking at an animal and saying, "Ah, that's a cow, that's a horse, that's a donkey," in essence meaning that Adam was very generalized in his animal naming, why does verse 20 say that Adam named all of the cattle? If Adam is naming the cattle he is doing far more than just pointing at the animal and calling it a cow, right? Wouldn't that mean Adam is going a step further and naming the type of cow? So, again I ask you how did Adam name all the cattle of the earth?

2. Genesis 1:14
14 And God said let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years.

     1) Where is the firmament? I am not asking about heaven. The verse clearly conveys the firmament and heaven are two different things. Again I ask you, WHERE is the firmament?

     2) Okay, this verse says that the lights are placed in the firmament of heaven, right? Even if you go by the oft mentioned claim that the firmament is another name for earth's atmosphere you are still screwed when it comes to this verse because the sun and the moon ARE NOT IN earth's atmosphere. So, how is this verse explained?

     3) When I was a kid I asked why this planet has bouts of terrible weather where conditions are so extreme people often die? Why did God create a planet with so many variations of hostile environments? I was informed that it was because of the fall of man, that the reason the entire planet is not one big giant lush garden as intended by God was directly due to the disobedience of man. The moment man ate of the wrong fruit was the very same moment dangerous weather/environmental conditions staked a claim on this planet, never to leave. In essence, I was informed that there was absolute, one hundred percent perfect weather on the earth at all times BEFORE man fell.

If this is indeed the case why does this verse say the lights in the firmament are for signs and seasons and days and years? Doesn't the word 'seasons' infer that the entire planet is NOT one big lush garden but did in fact possess difference in seasons BEFORE the fall of man? Thus, wouldn't there be, in addition to the environment of the Garden of Eden, jungles, deserts, extremely hot, and extremely cold regions on the planet?

     4) So, for the sake of a very delusional argument let us say that there really WAS perfect weather everywhere on the planet BEFORE man fell. Did God create all the animals on this entire planet? For this question I do not care whether or not Adam named the animal, I just want you to answer whether or not God made ALL of the animals? 

Now I want you to consider did God make the polar bear, emperor penguin, seal, snowy owl, snow leopard, the Japanese Macaque (which, by the way, live in the coldest climate environment of any nonhuman primate), Arctic fox, Musk Ox, Arctic hare, Caribou...would you say that God made these animals? Did God make these animals during CREATION as described in Genesis chapter one? If God did make these animals...the amazing and unusual extreme-temperature fitted creatures that they are... HOW in the freaky-deaky world could the entire planet have been one big lush garden before the frigging fall of man?

3. Genesis 2:16-17
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 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.


     1) God never explained good and evil to Adam and Eve, so how in the hell would they even have the slightest clue as to what good and evil are? For Pete's sake, the verse itself fucks up what it is trying to say because right there in black and white it says it is the tree of knowledge of good and evil and if they eat of it they will die. This means they HAVE NOT YET eaten of the bad fruit and thus have no FUCKING idea whatsoever as to what God is talking about. How can these verses be a valid directive from God to man when man has ZERO knowledge of what good and evil are? 

     2) If the above question is not specific enough for you or you are having issues wrapping your mind around my question here, let me present it in a different way, okay? Let us take a look at Genesis 3:5, which says, 

     "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

In interpreting this verse we may justifiably conclude that Adam and Eve do not know what good and evil are UNTIL they eat the bad fruit, thus God can tell them all He wants, until He is blue in the face, that if they eat of the bad tree they will die...and this directive will mean dick.

Would you agree that disobedience can be considered evil, bad, the opposite of other words, SIN? Sure, BUT...if Adam and Eve do not know about good and evil (which is actually necessary in order to understand consequences and thus act on an informed decision/voluntary action) they will not know that NOT listening/not doing what God said is wrong. They have ZERO concept of this. To disobey is wrong/evil, but remember we have already established that Adam and Eve do not know what good and evil are. 

So, WHERE is the watershed moment BEFORE the eating of the bad /forbidden fruit where Adam and Eve became aware of what good and evil are supposed to be?

     3) Adam and Eve were supposedly created by God and placed in this voon-der-bar garden where there is a bad tree whose fruit carries the power to kill/cause death by virtue of the knowledge of good and evil, right? How can these verses be a valid directive from God when Adam and Eve have ZERO concept of death? They have not seen death or 'tasted' death as everything around them is in a very fresh state of perfection. Everything simply IS.

When Adam and Eve come into the scene EVERYTHING in the universe is already in existence. Adam and Eve had never experienced (either by personal experience or direct observation) being without. They have ZERO experience of 'having' something or someone and then 'losing' that same someone or something. They do not know loss, and what is death itself but LOSS? 

All that Adam and Eve know FOR SURE is that they exist, the garden exists, and God exists; they likely would not have even been able to even fully understand and appreciate and articulate what existence is. They do not know of or suspect the possibility of another state of existence OTHER THAN the one they experienced prior to eating the wrong fruit.

Adam and Eve know not loss and thus know not death or anything remotely similar. Considering these things how can it be justified that God's directive was understood, valid, and binding?

4. Genesis 2:25
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


     1) Look, human beings are born into this world fully naked. Sure, we have decency laws that demand we cover ourselves but think about the possibilities as to why such laws came into being in the first damn place, right? For whatever reason some people just cannot control themselves or their urges when viewing another person naked. Then of course you have people covering themselves to various degrees in accordance and response to their environment.

Nakedness in and of itself is not wicked or bad or evil, no. What IS wicked and bad and evil is the aberrant behavior. Thus, as it became painfully obvious that there are morons in this world who cannot handle nakedness and respond to such violently, cultures and societies responded and the manner in which they did and the degree of which they did can be found within human history. 

But Adam and Eve had never experienced any of this because they were supposedly the only people on the entire earth, and thus far I have not found one verse in the entire Bible that so much as insinuates ANY kind of situation between Adam and Eve that would justify a shame of nakedness.

Now, the use of the word 'ashamed' in this particular verse is interesting. This verse implies that Adam and Eve were aware of the possibility of shame, the emotion of shame. But this verse is misleading, because as stated above Adam and Eve have no concept of good and evil, and isn't it justified to place the emotion of shame into the category of the knowledge of good and evil? 

5. Genesis 3:1
1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?


     1) 'Subtle' has a good number of synonyms one of them being the word 'crafty.' Obviously, here 'crafty' does not mean crafty in the constructive/creative sense, but in the willfully destructive, subversive sense. Why, why, WHY...didn't God inform/warn Adam and Eve about the serpent? How were Adam and Eve supposed to know the serpent was subtle/crafty if they have no concept of good and evil either by instruction or experience?

6. Genesis 3:5-7
For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

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. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.


     1) Now, God created man in His image and after His likeness, correct? If this is the case there is a serious problem. God knows everything there is to know. God knows everything about good and evil. God is the purpose of everything. 

While it would stand to reason that God would not create man in His own image and after His own likeness to the extent that man possesses ALL of the same powers and attributes of God, it also stands to reason that the likeness in which God supposedly created man includes at least a working knowledge, a basic understanding as to what good and evil are.

So, which part of the man that God created is in the likeness and image of God? Would the man God created in His own image be so ignorant, so misunderstanding, so trusting of the crafty serpent and his sack of shit lies? 

     2) Is there a possible defense for Adam and Eve and their actions that would exonerate them of the crime God tossed them out of the garden for? Were Adam and Eve warned and informed enough so that when they chose to eat of the fruit of wrong tree it could be a justified claim to assert that they assumed the risk of their actions in relation to the danger?

Boy, I tell you there were a b-zillion times when I was a child in Sunday School where we were taught that Adam and Eve KNEW they were being disobedient when they took and ate of the wrong tree. Since they acted on purpose and in willful defiance of God's instruction they deserved the harshest punishment.

Of course, this is pure bullshit. Consider that God never mentioned ANYTHING about what right and wrong are, what good and evil are, what shame is, who the serpent is, and what death is. God NEVER tells or explains anything to Adam and Eve. How, HOW can Adam and Eve be held accountable for assumption of the risk when God failed to provide them with necessary information? 

Because God NEVER said anything to them and because they do not know the depth of the risk let alone that there is even a risk to begin with, Adam and Eve cannot be guilty by virtue of assumption of the risk because...THERE WAS NO INFORMED CONSENT. 

So, WHERE is the justification for God not only kicking man out of the garden, but also for God immediately slapping those He created as well as all of their descendants with loathsome curse after loathsome curse?

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