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Man’s oldest answer to what it’s all about… but is it right?
Been thinkin. Watch out.
Evidence would bear out that we exist, insofar as we can determine from the material world. Some allege there are two aspects to us, our physical form and spiritual form, or soul. We are tasked to live this physical life on a planet which is but a part of a vast universe. We are endowed with 5 physical senses with which to experience and interpret this life. Some, however, are denied some or all of these senses for a number of reasons and thereby hobbled in their human experience. It is said that for everything we do against God’s law (the Ten Commandments and sundry of sporadic prohibitions cited in the Bible) we risk spending eternity in eternal damnation, suffering, and agony. Of course, this can only apply to a non-physical self since we know that our bodies will rot and return to the earth. Therefore, it is our soul or spirit that will live on to be rewarded or punished… for eternity…. forever…..
Now, staunch people of faith, Bible thumpers, theologians, will intervene and preemptively claim, “No one understands the mind of God.” so as to stifle any contemplative dissent. I would say that, on some degree, we can understand the mind of God as shown by the steady and systematic analysis of physics, chemistry, quantum mechanics, biology… essentially sciences ad nauseum. Maybe we cannot understand the intent behind it, but there’s an argument to be made that even God is bound by the laws of physics, for all of what exists to work in unison there must be underlying laws that can’t be broken without negating reality in some fashion. By the same token, when it comes to people controlling other people, the shortest path is to what frightens them. If you imbue them with a concept of a soul that will suffer for eternity, and claim to know the best way to secure a place devoid of pain, they will follow you. Happy Birthday, religion.
Likewise, there is always the sidestep of saying the Bible is subject to interpretation, and to truly understand what God meant when people other than God, but who were allegedly inspired by God, you need a biblical scholar. But, if our eternal salvation depends on not deviating from God’s law, and the Bible is the inspired word of God, why would God put us in such a predicament to have to procure the services of a biblical scholar? And what of the deaf, blind, or even illiterate? They can neither see, hear, nor understand the writings in the Bible, and therefore incapable of receiving the “word”. What about them? Is the existence of the Bible enough to put everyone on notice, or is it having been exposed to it that makes you liable for any deviation? And what of the biblical scholars? Are they vetted, licensed, bonded and insured? What if you get a bad one, or one who decides to dispense bad interpretations that the unwitting then follow? Oops.
I can go on and on, and this would get very laborious and tedious while striving for one point. Nobody really “knows”. I’ll go one further and say few really “care”, and even fewer bother to “investigate”. It’s easier to adopt conventional wisdom, assume the dogmatic-style position, and bob about in the swells on the ocean of existence hoping that whatever feeds on them does so quickly and painlessly while dreaming of an eternity where they will spend eternity on the mirror-like surface of a serene lake being warmed by the sunlight, as opposed to the dark, dank, fecal effluent traversed by Andy Dufrense when escaping from Shawshank.
The story of creation…..
Question: Did Adam and Eve have souls?
Analysis: First of all, why would they need them? God made them to live forever in the Garden of Eden. The soul is immaterial, yet, God created a material universe for 2 people to live on a solitary planet in one solar system surrounded by all of other creation. If Adam and Eve were never to die, why would they need souls, and if God did want them to have a substantive, immaterial soul which would live forever why would he bother creating a material universe just to stuff that soul into a mud pie, give it free will to eat, or not eat, from the tree of knowledge?
Relevance: This concept will have relevance on the consistent application of the claim we are God’s preferred living thing of all creation, that we were created in “His” image, and that commandments, sins, reward and punishment are not absolute, and therefore, subject to whim. God has not entered into any contract with mankind, or creation for that matter. Who will arbitrate a dispute should God choose to give the Etch-A-Sketch a good shaking?
Question: Where did Adam and Eve go when they died, Heaven or Hell?
Analysis: Nowhere in the story of creation, the 6 days of labor in which God fashioned all of creation to surround one blue planet which was home to the Garden of Eden, where there lived 2 people of opposite sex totally unaware of their nakedness, does it mention the creation of Hell – or Heaven for that matter. Since God is presumed to be eternal, is it therefore implied that Heaven is his domicile and always existed, or did God create Heaven when he created everything else?
Let’s assume that Heaven and Hell pre-date the creation in Genesis, even though Hell would be vacant since God was in Heaven with all the angels -which for some reason were not company enough so he needed to create man -and until Lucifer exhibited free-will and disobeyed God, ultimately being banished to Hell, there was no need for Hell. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge, thereby creating original sin and dooming mankind for eons until the redemptive power of Christianity gave mankind salvation, he banished them to a life which is what we have today – misery, suffering, disease, violence, and death… oh, and the promise of eternal damnation and torture for sin.
So, what becomes of God’s first human creation when they transgress his word? At that time, there did not appear to be any forgiveness, redemption, or atonement. Since they would presumably be without souls, any concept of an afterlife is infeasible. For God to fashion Adam from the clay, breath life into him, then remove a rib and create his sexual counterpart (and subordinate) when there would be no demonstrable need for the sexes, sans the necessity to procreate, and then cast them aside with no possibility of redemption seems callous and indifferent, at best. Were they relegated to compost, to return to the earth from which they came, leaving behind a corpuscular Rube Goldberg-esque cascade of biological progeny predisposed to disobedience, violence, fear, physical gratification, conquest, suffering, and death? Seeing as how God presumably knows everything that has happened (he caused it, right?), is happening, or will ever happen, surely he saw this coming.
If Adam and Eve went to Heaven or Hell, it is not mentioned in the Bible. Based on what the Bible discloses, it is not clear, but evidence does not bode well for ma and pa humanity.
Relevance: Logic. Don’t poo-poo logic. I know.. faith! Faith in what? Faith in the inconstancies in the Bible that leaves us to speculate on the accuracy or authority of that text? Faith that God created us and loves us with the certainty that there is both reward and punishment at the end of this life? Faith in that we are created in his image and favored by him? Where did the soul come into existence, and why would Adam and Eve need them, and if they had them, under what rules were they ascribed salvation or damnation? When does the story of Creation become so flawed that others begin filling in the blanks, rewriting errors, and fabricating truths to meet their own agenda? Can we believe it at all, or ascribe anything to it other than being a fable for the feeble minded either too lazy to look, too fearful to question, or too honest to care?