It’s been hammered into our heads that God is all-loving and all-good. For some, it is a matter of faith; for others it is a believable truth based on personal experience of love and happiness.
Then, at the same time, we are told that all sin and suffering in human history is due to a solitary mistake by one woman a very long time ago. The consequence of this one mistake is a wicked place called Hell. Hell is understood to be highly populated, with perhaps the vast majority of God’s children who, we are told, will suffer there for eternity.
Is this punishment?
The natural consequence of wrong action?
The response of an all-loving God?
Are we wrong to think that God is all-loving and all-good?
How can we reconcile a good and loving God with this scenario?
Do we perhaps not understand the magnitude of this mistake and its potential consequences?
What could this mean to us today?
Please share your thoughts below.
Is this a punishment? Yes punishment for God. Those 3 decided to punish God. I don’t believe that Adam and Eve’s choice can be God’s punishment to them. God carefully guided them to understand that perfection requires growth. Before the fruit becomes ripe, everything is immature and cannot function naturally. Immature Lucifer, Adam and Eve all decided that the goal of perfection of love was not worth it. The magnitude of this mistake is that we all lost our pure minds and hearts. (The first form of craziness) We cannot even imagine what it is like to be pure as in the premature state before the fall. The Bible suggests that Cain was so messed up, he married a non human. Humans write about our ancestors being Apes and creatures we should be lords over. The unimaginable DNA deformation become normal especially the spiritual destruction. Once Lucifer controlled the mind… Read more »
You make several interesting points to consider. I don’t think God punishes anyone in the way we normally think of it. I think that language in the Old Testament was a lot of angel talk. I think we are punished by the consequences of our mistakes and wrong judgements. Father Moon taught that God’s love is actually so deep that he doesn’t have the concept of an enemy. To him we are just all his wayward children whom he loves. I suspect that sometimes our ancestors punish us for going the wrong way.
It is not punishment. It is not God’s response. It has nothing to do with whether God is good or not. We have never understood the magnitude of the mistake nor its consequences. Everything is causal. Every action causes a reaction. Yes. This is the natural consequence of having gone against the direction they were given. We say that God commanded them not to eat but it is the same as being told not to jump off a cliff. It is not a commandment. It is direction so that you can come out with the proper result. Once they ate they were in the wrong direction and every time there was a chance to redirect to the proper direction a further mistake was made. Until NOW! A central figure has finally appeared and overcome the obstacles of the past. Now it is just a matter of the fulfillment of time… Read more »
It was not a solitary mistake by one woman but a series of events that, by Abel’s murder, put humankind on this intractable path. Before Adam joined the dynamic, he could have saved Eve. Before Cain killed Abel, the Foundation for the Messiah could have been established in Adam’s Family. Having lost both generations, however, humankind was plunged into such disconnect from God that it took generations for God to create the circumstances to get through. In response to your specific concern, if the human condition was a result of God’s punishment, then I would have to conclude that the punishment far outweighs the crime and God is not the unconditional Parent of love in whom I believe and trust. The human condition and its playing out through millennia, however, is simply – and devastatingly – the natural outcome of what took place. Conjugal love was was designed to make… Read more »
While it seems unlikely that the scientific understanding could contribute, consider the following two items. 1) In the ‘Freedom” book by Jeremy Griffith, the evolution of the brain is considered, which has a quantum genetic change aspect. The significant development of the prefrontal cortex and the resulting transition of the relationship to the amygdala resulted in a new creature that required mature and loving raising by mature and responsible parents. A comparison between chimpanzees and bonobos is somewhat relevant. 2) “Spirit World” is a religious term, but the meaning of quantum physics is increasingly discussing the role of information in the nature of reality e.g. “Information as the Internal Structure of the Universe” and other publications. Puthoff, H.E. and Targ R. (1976). “A perceptual channel for information transfer over kilometer distances:” Historical perspectives and recent research. Proceedings of the IEEE, 64, 3, 329 and other publications. The Casimir force is… Read more »
How to interpret all the new information is the question. And “spirit world” is not only a religious expression.
As there are papers and books written on the subject, my writing is called “A Way for Explaining Religion to Atheists and Agnostics.”. My mobile is 973-460-0722 where you can text your email, or perhaps ask questions. What is your PhD in by the way?
Love must be voluntary. Stories regarding Artificial Intelligences and love are just that–stories.
In order for God to have an object he could love and who could love him back with all their heart, they needed to take responsibility for their own actions.
The problem was not just the act itself, but their irresponsible attitude. “It wasn’t me, it was Eve.” “It wasn’t me, it was Lucifer.”
Will we make mistakes in the Kingdom of Heaven? Count on it. The difference is we will own up to our mistakes and correct them immediately.
By NOT taking responsibility for our mistakes, we brought about a world that doesn’t, and each time we don’t, the problem multiplies.
I assume that you are referring to the Garden of Eden story. There is no reference to Hell in this story. God offered humanity a choice: stay in the “Garden” and live an unconscious life, like animals, without thinking about the past or future or morality; or “eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil” and leave the “Garden”, separate ourselves from the other animals by consciousness, with the consequence that we would need to make our way in the world by our wits and intelligence and morality — or lack thereof. An incredible and deep and always relevant lesson in being human.
Hi Kris, it seems as if you know of an Australian Biologist who has taught what you say here. Some of His thoughts do make a lot is sense. I Forget his name.
True, the word ‘Hell’ does not appear in this story. The concept of sin leading to a world we call hell is inferred. Your interpretation of the story is very creative. I’m not sure what Biblical basis we can find for it. Thanks.
Really? No Biblical basis? That interpretation is the literal text: Adam and Eve ate of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”; “then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked”; and God then said “by the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken”. A vivid presentation of how humans split off from all the other animals.
We have been conditioned to interpret these passages as you have said.
I don’t think it is consistent for an all loving God to consign the majority of people who ever lived to hell. Hell exists in the afterlife just like it does on earth. But just as people can grow and reject hell on earth, they can also grow in the spirt world,
Thank you for your comment, Mr. Anderson. I agree with you that it would be inconsistent for an all-loving God to “consign” anyone to hell; even one person. I also agree that hell exists in the afterlife and also that we have choices and we can grow in the spirit world. It is our belief that God, in fact, does NOT consign anyone to hell. Hell is a state of being and a state of consciousness which could be characterized by such things as fear, guilt, regrets, depression, hatred, prejudices, addictions, etc. These are not expressions of godliness and are actually contrary and damaging to a person who harbors such perspectives and emotions. People strongly affected by such internal qualities cannot be close to God; in fact they will likely be far from him in heart and spirit. Therefore, when earthly people caught up in such thinking and feeling pollute… Read more »