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SQUEEKY2's avatar

If Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth.....(rest in details)

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (20831points) March 12th, 2015
36 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

And they had two sons, Cain and Able.
Then Cain killed Able, where did all the people we have today and through the ages come from?

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Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Or are we not supposed to ask this question?

josie's avatar

The premise is not correct.
Adam and Eve are the way the Ancients described the beginning of human life.
They have been replaced by science.
Give it up.

zenvelo's avatar

Cain and Abel weren’t the only kids. They were just the ones who got talked about.

(@josie has it right.)

kritiper's avatar

Monkey see, monkey do. Or possibly, see monkey, do monkey.

SavoirFaire's avatar

As has been noted, Cain and Abel weren’t the only children of Adam and Eve. It’s also possible that Adam and Eve were not the only people created directly by God (even if they were the first). But no, you are generally not expected to ask this question—or about why there are two contradictory stories describing God’s creation of the universe in chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis, or where Cain found a wife, or why he feared for his life when exiled to Nod if there wasn’t anyone there. It’s not that these questions can’t be answered, it’s just that most religious people wouldn’t have the first clue how to go about doing so (and the answers aren’t always very satisfying).

@josie @zenvelo I don’t think that @SQUEEKY2 asked this question because he thinks the premise is true, so he probably doesn’t need to “give it up.”

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Seth was considered to be in place of Abel, and it is said that after Seth, Adam and Eve had other sons (plural) and daughters (plural). Thus, Cain (1) + Abel (1) + Seth (1) + other sons (2+) and daughters (2+) would equal at least seven children.

But first there was Lilith. She was Adam’s first wife, but when she wouldn’t agree to her assigned inferior position, she was kicked out of Eden and written out of the story. If wasn’t for some ancient Hebrew texts, we wouldn’t know of her existence. So, maybe she had kids too and they were kicked out with her. Or maybe these were humans and there were others out beyond Eden, forbidden ones, Cro Magnons, that Seth and Cain and their sisters mated with. Which may explain evolution’s missing link? Who knows. It’s a story, it’s allegorical.

I’m still trying to figure out what we should learn from those 200 Philistine foreskins David brought back to Saul as a purchase price for one of Saul’s daughters.

And god’s behaviour toward his “chosen people” during the exodus. It seemed like Moses had to dissuade him from just killing everybody off every other time they met. This omniscient, omnipotent supreme being acted like a mean old drunk most of the time. In the case of Balaam, in Numbers, god damn near got the old prophet killed when he forgot that he changed his mind about letting him go and bless the Ammonite troops. Great stories. Strange, strange god.

More people should really read this book from cover to cover as it’s quite entertaining. For no other reason than it is the most single most influential document in Western Culture.

Judi's avatar

Then there were the giants

ucme's avatar

…then i’m a fucking Dutchman.

zenvelo's avatar

@ucme Hallo daar! Wat ben je vandaag neuken?

ucme's avatar

@zenvelo I see you’re a firm believer in Adamski unt Eva.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you believe the Bible, then God populated the earth by incest. Twice.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Dutchess_III Depending on how much of a literalist one is. And really, Christians ought not to be literalists (again, the first two chapters of the Bible contain mutually incompatible stories of the creation; there is no way for both to be literally true). So it seems to me one can believe the Bible without thinking that God twice populated the Earth through incest so long as there are non-literal ways of interpreting (and thus believing) the Bible.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Even as a Christian I never took the Bible literally. I questioned all of the impossible stories, and was basically told I was a bad Christian for that.

Esedess's avatar

@Dutchess_III
I agree with everyone who told you, “you are a bad Christian for that.”
Being “Christian” is an unfailing belief in the literal interpretation of the bible, as specifically taught by the church. Any stray from that translation means you’re picking and choosing portions of a religion to make up your own, completely separate set of beliefs. Don’t get me wrong… I applaud you for it. That’s what smart people do. They think, and incorporate good ideas where they find them, discard nonsense, and thus construct their own perspective on life.
However, calling yourself “Christian” after that process would be like gluing some nice soft fur on a lizard and calling it a dog. Or making a cup out of wood and calling it a glass… Or… some other equally contrived analogy. lol

Judi's avatar

With that logic @Esedess , Christian women should go around with their heads covered, never speak up in Church and if our husband dies we should marry his brother no matter how many wives he already has.
You can think and be a Christian at the same time. It’s doesn’t make someone “not a Christian” to realize that the writers of the Bible wrote from their perspectives and experience at the time. I’m not a Christian because I worship a book. I’m a Christian because I’m a follower of Jesus.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, that’s why I’m agnostic now, @Esedess. It’s not an easy thing to let go of, you know?

And I agree with what @Judi is saying.

Esedess's avatar

@Judi Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. Is the bible the word of god or isn’t it? It’s not supposed to be taken, nor is it preached about, as being from the perspective, times, and personal experience of the individual who wrote it. It’s “the word of God” as spoken to the blessed few who then transcribed it. You can’t pick and choose which of god’s words to believe and which to discard. If you do, you’re constructing a different belief system and still calling it by the same name.

By your logic, I would be a Christian.

Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.

All good advice which I agree with. But I don’t agree with everything the religion has to teach. Therefore I am not Christian. Correct? There are many aspects of Catholicism that coincide with Christianity. Not the least of which is the belief in and following of Jesus.
And yet even the minute differences between Christianity and Catholicism, despite the same base principle, leads you to label yourself one and not the other. So how then, when you take greater leaps away from Christianity than the difference that separate it from the title of Catholicism, do you still maintain the title “Christian”?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think you can still be a Christian and not blindly follow the Bible as though it was literal. Christianity is a philosophy….it’s Jesus’ philosophy.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Esedess The only requirement for being a Christian is believing that Christ died to redeem you. Most sects recognize this, because Jesus is quoted as saying it. Some biblical laws/rules/statements are more or less important to each Christian sect, and generally determine which one a Christian “belongs” to.

I would challenge you to find any Christian who believes 100% of the text written in the bible. The reason I feel confident in making this challenge is that the bible is full of contradictions. Christians who accept this, and retain their faith despite the fact the inconsistencies in the texts, are the ones I find to be very reasonable people. There are also many Christians who simply assume that the bible is inerrant truth, and who haven’t read it very closely. Those people tend to be difficult to talk to.

You say, “You can’t pick and choose which of god’s words to believe and which to discard.” I say that you must pick and choose which biblical words to believe and which to discard (discard being a less than generous word to use for this process). Or you must simply ignore the text. A person can’t have read it and accept every word of it.

Esedess's avatar

@dappled_leaves Seems like overkill to go to church every week for your whole life just to grasp the exceedingly simple idea that “Christ died to redeem you”.

As long as you hold that one belief you’re Christian? I thought you had to believe in heaven and hell, angels and demons, or at least god… And/or that god is the creator, not sin, repent when you do, have faith, abide the 10 commandments, and a whole slew of other meticulously recorded and taught beliefs. But ok…

Christians are Christians
Catholics are Christians
Mormons are Christians
People who wholeheartedly disagree with everything the church teaches, except that one point, are Christians.
I murder, I steel, I don’t believe in god or heaven, I use contraceptive, have sex out of wedlock, I’m pro abortion, pro gay rights, I don’t go to church, I sin, but I believe Christ died for my sins. I am Christian.
Do you see where I’m going with this?

It’s like if I said, “I’m a Scientologist. But I don’t believe all that crazy shit.”
Yea… Well… Then I’m NOT a Scientologist!!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Esedess “I murder, I steel, I don’t believe in god or heaven, I use contraceptive, have sex out of wedlock, I’m pro abortion, pro gay rights, I don’t go to church, I sin, but I believe Christ died for my sins. I am Christian. Do you see where I’m going with this?”

Actually, yeah. That’s the whole deal. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in life. Good works are meaningless, as are terrible acts. If a person accepts Christ as his saviour, then he goes to heaven. It’s a pretty appealing idea.

In case you are under a misapprehension, I am not a Christian. I’m an atheist.

Judi's avatar

@Esedess , Like I said, some Christians recognize that the words in the Bible were written by men. It was men who decided which books to keep and which books to reject. I think that God inspired most of the writings but again, I don’t worship the book.
Also, I consider Catholics Christians.
You can’t even find two people within a denomination who agree on everything in the Bible and reading Acts it appears that the early Church and even the apostles didn’t agree.
When I read the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 I believe that many people will be surprised that they saw favor in God’s eyes. You just might be one of those people.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Church is for to keep the brains washing alive. Plus I liked the social interaction.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Esedess

I hate to break the news to you, but whether or not you think someone has a right to call themselves Christian is pretty irrelevant. It’s really not going to effect their lives in any significant way.

I’m sure there are a goodly number of people who would brand me a heretic because I realized the truth about the myth of an unending eternal hellfire for what it is: nonsense.

It’s certainly not what the early Christians believed. As a matter of fact it didn’t become widely prevalent until after around 3,000 or so (after the conversion of Constantine who made Christianity a favored religion of the Roman Empire).

The idea of literal unending punishment of torture by fire is a concept more befitting the Roman Army (one of the cruelest and most brutal in history.)

There was no concept like conversion at swordpoint that was part of the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ.

It was written that the early Christians “went everywhere preaching and teaching” NOT conquering, pillaging, killing, as the Crusades did. Again that was more characteristic of the Roman Army not the way of Christ.

There are plenty of Christians who likewise have educated themselves enough to realize that the entire party line about unending hellfire is being propogated more by a mistranslation of the original Greek than by eternal truth.

You and a lot of other people can take the position of “well, if you don’t believe in eternal hellfire then you can’t call yourself a Christian” as much as you wish. But it really has little effect one way or another.

You can’t tell people how they are allowed to define themselves. You, personally, might feel uncomfortable describing yourself as Christian and that’s certainly your prerogative. But you really can’t do that for another. They get to decide that for themselves.

Just in case you’d like to know more about what people who have discarded the eternal hellfire myth have based that upon, I’ll include a link which you might find of interest. It’s not a position which has been arrived at casually just because they didn’t like the whole idea of endless burning. There’s a lot more to it than that. It’s just not a sound idea and has no biblical defense.

www.tentmaker.org

dappled_leaves's avatar

Oh good, this has turned into a proselytization thread.

@Buttonstc “It’s just not a sound idea and has no biblical defense.”

I’m not sure how you can argue this. There are plenty of references to some form or other of hellfire in the bible.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yep. I was called a bad Christian over and over again for various things. Some of them were familiar political issues (such as when I got yelled at for not hating gays and lesbians), others were really bizarre (one guy said I wasn’t a real Christian because I claimed there were better and worse times for proselytizing). I don’t think any of those complaints were legitimate (Christians don’t have to hate gays and lesbians, and they can recognize that their conversion speech isn’t appropriate in every social context). But when you hear the complaint enough, sometimes you just start to think “then maybe I’ll look elsewhere and stop troubling you with my membership.” I didn’t leave Christianity. I was driven out and then discovered I didn’t need it.

@Esedess While many Christians believe that the Bible is infallible, that does not require them to believe that it is literally true. These are importantly different notions. Furthermore, the whole idea of Biblical literalism is new. So when you try to force all Christians into that belief, you are committing the no true Scotsman fallacy. It is also worth noting that rejecting literalism does not have to mean picking and choosing parts of the religion. It may be that one simply interprets the religion through the lens of the primary message to better understand what other parts of the orthodoxy really mean.

For instance: if someone believes that the God of Christianity is all-loving, then that is going to help you understand which of the Old Testament laws are social laws sensitive to context and which are religious laws meant to hold everywhere and at all times (something that the original language helps with as well, but that non-speakers of Hebrew often resist for political reasons). The Bible is explicitly supposed to be a guide for Christians. It tells the history of God’s work on Earth and gives the example of Jesus Christ for others to follow. But a guide is exactly that: a guide. It doesn’t do the work for you. It gives you the information you need to figure out what to do.

And for the record, I am neither a Christian nor a theist. But I was for a long time, and I spent a lot of time thinking about these issues.

Buttonstc's avatar

@dappled_leaves

If you’re speaking of the King James English TRANSLATION of the Bible then your statement is true that it abounds with references to hellfire. There are other valid translations, you know.

And there lies a large part of the problem. There are numerous words in the original languages, all of which are expressed as hell in KJ English (which in large part is influenced by the Latin Vulgate translation) such as Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna.

I’ll just pick one for starters because I’m not trying to proselytize here. I’m just so sick and tired of everybody assuming that EVERY single Christian absolutely MUST believe in the cruelty of everlasting unending punishment by hellfire.

That is simply untrue. The idea isn’t even logical much less representative of a compassionate God.

If someone chooses to be an atheist and not believe in any god at all, that’s a totally separate issue and I’m not interested in talking them out of it.

But I would appreciate not being tarred with the same brush as those who are perfectly comfortable with condemning others to eternal torture because there is no such thing.

Anyhow, regarding Sheol, of Hebrew origin. One would assume that the Jewish people should be the experts on the translation of their own scriptures and they do not translate Sheol as Hell.

So why does it appear in English? Interesting question indeed.

If you’re interested further, you’ll figure it out but that’s just one example of numerous other mistranslations influenced by the prevailing doctrine. That’s backwards. It should be that doctrine is formed from correct translation.

And I do realize that this is a moot point for someone who self-defines as atheist. And that’s fine by me but just stop automatically consigning every single Christian to the baby burning brigade. There are significant numbers who DO NOT promulgate that whole myth. Is that too much to ask?

zenzen's avatar

@SavoirFaire I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

@SQUEEKY2 keep asking whatever you like, don’t stop for anyone.

@ steel is metal, to steal is to rob.

Fun thread. Learned much.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@zenzen “Fun thread. Learned much.”

Loved it. It reminds me of the good old days here. I think I’m gonna cry.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some interesting history of the word Hell

Strauss's avatar

According to Israel, a history of.com, there are old oral Jewish traditions that the children of Adam and Eve numbered 56. Adam had 33 sons and 23 daughters.

According to modern quranic scholar Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Eve went through 120 pregnancies with Adam and each of these consisted of a set of twins: a boy and a girl. The Wikipedia article states that this is still a subject of debate among Muslim scholars.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Sounds like a productive use of their time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

THAT POOR WOMAN!! But they still had to have sex with each other to get the population going.

Strauss's avatar

What else would they do? There was no Internet, and certainly no Fluther!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^ Those weren’t just 900 years that they lived. Those were 900 long years.

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