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Monday, April 25, 2016

Let me do it!

As a parent, grandparent and teacher, I have often heard my children gleefully exclaim "let me do it" when attempting to show them how to do something. And how many times have we all felt the frustration of watching a loved one suffer the consequences of some course of action that we had warned them not to pursue? Isn't it very human to insist on making our own choices and learning things the hard way?

Isn't that the central message of the story of Adam and Eve? Consider the story as a parable or an allegory about humanity.

Adam and Eve (TOGETHER representative of humankind) are placed in a "garden" of perfection where they have access to EVERYTHING. Moreover, they are encouraged to explore, learn and classify/name those things. That doesn't sound anti-science or anti-intellectual to me.

In fact, the only thing that is placed off limits is the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." God has indicated that "He" will personally instruct them in how to differentiate between right and wrong.

But how do the humans react? "Let me do it!"

Hence, the story suggests that it was/is mankind's decision to go it on his own. God is portrayed as acceding to that decision (albeit reserving the right to intervene occasionally to assure the success of "His" project). Nevertheless, the point remains: It was/is our decision to go it alone.

Have you ever noticed how a child will ask: "Why didn't you catch me?" when he/she falls off of the bicycle that they just moments before insisted on trying to ride alone? OR "Why didn't you tell me this would happen?" when something goes wrong. OR "Where were you when I needed you?" (again ignoring the fact that it was their decision to go it alone).

Don't we do the same thing to God? Is it unreasonable for God to expect us to follow "His" rules if we want to play in "His" garden? Do you really want to play in "His" garden? OR is God just a convenient scapegoat when things go wrong for us?

I have cringed at some of the decisions my children/grandchildren/students have made. It's hard to let them fail, but it's essential to their independence and development to allow them to have that freedom. They have to personally internalize/learn each lesson - I can't do it for them (no matter how much I'd like to do just that).

6 comments:

  1. "Adam and Eve (TOGETHER representative of humankind)"

    Really? That's not a statement of fact; it's a cultic assertion.

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  2. Hello, the statement is consistent with my thesis that the story should be regarded as a parable or allegory. Your quarrel is with those who regard the story as an actual historical event and the characters in question as real people. An interpretation of the two human characters (Adam and Eve) as together being representative of humankind is consistent with the story told in Genesis. As you know, Eve is portrayed there as being a part of Adam. Moreover, the story suggests/implies that Eve completed Adam - that he is not whole without her. Hence, it is not unreasonable to conclude that they are representative of humankind in the parable. After all, aren't the other major elements of the story (garden, zootopia, tree of life, tree of the knowledge of good and evil, talking serpent, etc) clearly symbolic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "..(Adam and Eve) as together being representative of humankind is consistent with the story told in Genesis."
      Fallacy of Circularity - implying Genesis is divinely revealed truth(your previous belief)

      Delete
  3. Not to mention the fact that they (Adam and Eve) are portrayed as the progenitors of humankind!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hence, it is not unreasonable to conclude that they are representative of humankind"

      Yes, it is unreasonable: You don't have a shred of evidence to back up this claim.

      Delete
  4. Minimalist, you have erected a straw man. I'm speaking here in the context of a parable (a FICTIONAL story that illustrative of some deeper truth). And you know that my definition of inspiration is fundamentally different (pun intended) from how most Bible thumpers would characterize it. Finally, I provided three references to the story that are consistent with the story in Scripture. After all, the KJV reads that Eve was the mother of all living.

    ReplyDelete