1. Donationrwingett
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    29 Aug '10 13:14
    OK, I’ve thought about my Cain and Abel theory and have decided to rework it slightly. The role of man in his natural state as a hunter-gatherer, which I had previously assigned to Abel, I will now reassign to Adam himself. Adam represents pre-civilized mankind living in small, nomadic, non-hierarchical and egalitarian hunter-gatherer communities. They were free from the corrupting influences of civilized life in this idyllic Golden Age of Hesiod and Ovid. This was the Garden of Eden.

    Taking a page from Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality, Marshall Sahlins, in his book The Original Affluent Society, makes the claim that (contrary to Hobbes) the early hunter-gatherer societies of mankind were not precarious and brutish, but instead that they lived in a society where their few needs were easily met - where, according to Ovid, the “Earth herself, untroubled and untouched by the hoe, unwounded by any ploughshare, used to give all things of her own accord.” They had what Sahlins refers to as “affluence without abundance.”

    But then came The Fall. The simple fact is that you cannot support an ever-increasing population on a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The available land mass, being finite, can only support just so many people per square mile that way. Mankind had to leave the Garden of Eden. The Fall, in this scenario, was necessary.

    Adam’s offspring, Cain and Abel, represent two divergent paths of cultural evolution that were presented to mankind, Abel representing that of the nomadic herder, while Cain represents that of the agricultural farmer. Abel’s lifestyle represents a direct and linear path from Adam’s. Even though Abel has left the Garden, he has retained some tenuous ties to it. Cain, on the other hand, represents a clear and irrevocable break from Adam’s life in the Garden. Agriculture begat private property, which begat civil society, which begat hierarchy, exploitation, oppression, greed, avarice and an endless litany of woes which afflict mankind to this current day. Abel settled just outside the Garden’s gates, while Cain left it far, far behind.
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    29 Aug '10 20:37
    Originally posted by rwingett
    OK, I’ve thought about my Cain and Abel theory and have decided to rework it slightly. The role of man in his natural state as a hunter-gatherer, which I had previously assigned to Abel, I will now reassign to Adam himself. Adam represents pre-civilized mankind living in small, nomadic, non-hierarchical and egalitarian hunter-gatherer communities. They were ...[text shortened]... s current day. Abel settled just outside the Garden’s gates, while Cain left it far, far behind.
    OK, I’ve thought about my Cain and Abel theory and have decided to rework it slightly. The role of man in his natural state as a hunter-gatherer, which I had previously assigned to Abel, I will now reassign to Adam himself. Adam represents pre-civilized mankind living in small, nomadic, non-hierarchical and egalitarian hunter-gatherer communities. They were free from the corrupting influences of civilized life in this idyllic Golden Age of Hesiod and Ovid. This was the Garden of Eden.

    Hunt for what? They were all vegetarians until after the flood.



    Taking a page from Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality, Marshall Sahlins, in his book The Original Affluent Society, makes the claim that (contrary to Hobbes) the early hunter-gatherer societies of mankind were not precarious and brutish, but instead that they lived in a society where their few needs were easily met - where, according to Ovid, the “Earth herself, untroubled and untouched by the hoe, unwounded by any ploughshare, used to give all things of her own accord.” They had what Sahlins refers to as “affluence without abundance.”

    Was Rousseau and Sahlins there?


    But then came The Fall. The simple fact is that you cannot support an ever-increasing population on a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The available land mass, being finite, can only support just so many people per square mile that way. Mankind had to leave the Garden of Eden. The Fall, in this scenario, was necessary.

    So, how many people can a square mile support? 😛
  3. Donationrwingett
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    29 Aug '10 20:56
    Originally posted by josephw
    OK, I’ve thought about my Cain and Abel theory and have decided to rework it slightly. The role of man in his natural state as a hunter-gatherer, which I had previously assigned to Abel, I will now reassign to Adam himself. Adam represents pre-civilized mankind living in small, nomadic, non-hierarchical and egalitarian hunter-gatherer communities. They were ...[text shortened]... l, in this scenario, was necessary.

    [b]So, how many people can a square mile support?
    😛[/b]
    Mankind has never been vegetarian. They have always had an omnivorous diet, although it may have initially been more the scavenging of dead animals than the hunting of them. What's more, Homo Sapiens have lived as hunter gatherers for about 95% of their history. It's only been within the last 10,000 years that they had to eat the forbidden fruit, leave the Garden, and follow Cain to the east of Eden.

    It's my theory that Genesis is a poetic and metaphorical retelling of mankind's transition to a civilized, agricultural society from one of primitive hunter-gatherers. But you biblical literalists have taken those metaphorical representations and, well, literalized them. Cain and Abel weren't real people. They're archetypes. I think, perhaps, that early Christians realized this and were savvy to the symbolism in the story.
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    29 Aug '10 21:06
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It's my theory that Genesis is a poetic and metaphorical retelling of mankind's transition to a civilized, agricultural society from one of primitive hunter-gatherers.
    You're not the only one having this interpretation of the genesis. As such, a poetic and metaphorical retelling, it's quite beautiful. So are other legends of how man came to be. In particular I like the Nordic legend, perhaps natural for me considering my own culture.

    I rec your posting.
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    29 Aug '10 21:18
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Mankind has never been vegetarian. They have always had an omnivorous diet, although it may have initially been more the scavenging of dead animals than the hunting of them. What's more, Homo Sapiens have lived as hunter gatherers for about 95% of their history. It's only been within the last 10,000 years that they had to eat the forbidden fruit, leave the ...[text shortened]... perhaps, that early Christians realized this and were savvy to the symbolism in the story.
    That is just your personal opinion.

    There is no real reason to suppose that the Genesis account of the origin of man is anything other than literal.

    Unless that interferes with one's personal agenda. Which is generally the case. Those who spiritualise the scripture usually do so for legalistic reasons. By spiritualising the scriptures one can make it say whatever they want it to say, thereby controlling those whom they seek to control.

    While on the other hand, allowing the scripture to stand on it's own ensures that it's author(God) is sovereign.

    The whole concept escapes you doesn't it?
  6. Donationrwingett
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    29 Aug '10 21:22
    Originally posted by josephw
    That is just your personal opinion.

    There is no real reason to suppose that the Genesis account of the origin of man is anything other than literal.

    Unless that interferes with one's personal agenda. Which is generally the case. Those who spiritualise the scripture usually do so for legalistic reasons. By spiritualising the scriptures one can make it s ...[text shortened]... own ensures that it's author(God) is sovereign.

    The whole concept escapes you doesn't it?
    I think that god himself is a metaphor. But that's the subject of another post.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    29 Aug '10 21:25
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    You're not the only one having this interpretation of the genesis. As such, a poetic and metaphorical retelling, it's quite beautiful. So are other legends of how man came to be. In particular I like the Nordic legend, perhaps natural for me considering my own culture.

    I rec your posting.
    Yes! That was a lot of work for that rec. Much appreciated.
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    29 Aug '10 21:29
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I think that god himself is a metaphor. But that's the subject of another post.
    If you say so.
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    29 Aug '10 21:361 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    OK, I’ve thought about my Cain and Abel theory and have decided to rework it slightly. The role of man in his natural state as a hunter-gatherer, which I had previously assigned to Abel, I will now reassign to Adam himself. Adam represents pre-civilized mankind living in small, nomadic, non-hierarchical and egalitarian hunter-gatherer communities. They were ...[text shortened]... s current day. Abel settled just outside the Garden’s gates, while Cain left it far, far behind.
    I guess you are going to claim that Abel was the father of socialism!

    Why do you so easily embrace and quote other authors and yet ignore the actual biblical themes appertaining to the accounts you are referring to?
  10. Donationrwingett
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    29 Aug '10 21:42
    In his book Living Off the Grid, David Black gives an account of his experience among some of the Andean cultures a while ago. They had no appreciable knowledge of modern appliances and consumer culture. Their "life was lived a slower, more relaxed pace, and the neuroses of keeping up with the Joneses were practically nonexistent. It was only when these people got a glimpse of modern luxuries, or when somebody managed to obtain some...that the Andean people realized they lacked these items. This awareness inevitably led to envy, envy to an insatiable desire to "get" things, and possessing these "things" to a neurotic feeling of dissatisfaction and resentment.

    This desire for possession and the ensuing neurotic feeling of dissatisfaction and resentment are what is at the heart of The Fall.
  11. Donationrwingett
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    29 Aug '10 21:47
    Originally posted by divegeester
    I guess you are going to claim that Abel was the father of socialism!

    Why do you so easily embrace and quote other authors and yet ignore the actual biblical themes appertaining to the accounts you are referring to?
    Adam lived, without knowing it, in a form of primitive socialism. As there was nothing much to own, there was no property. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one who lived consciously as a proto-socialist.
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    29 Aug '10 21:47
    Originally posted by rwingett
    In his book Living Off the Grid, David Black gives an account of his experience among some of the Andean cultures a while ago. They had no appreciable knowledge of modern appliances and consumer culture. Their [i]"life was lived a slower, more relaxed pace, and the neuroses of keeping up with the Joneses were practically nonexistent. It was only when ...[text shortened]... ng neurotic feeling of dissatisfaction and resentment are what is at the heart of The Fall.
    What is at the heart of the fall was it's cause. Disobedience.

    What you state are the effects. And I would agree.
  13. Subscriberdivegeester
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    29 Aug '10 21:481 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    This desire for possession and the ensuing neurotic feeling of dissatisfaction and resentment are what is at the heart of The Fall.
    Pride and unbelief are at the heart of man's fall, as is clearly stated in the Genesis account.

    (Joseph: I would suggest disobedience was the symptom not the cause.)
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    29 Aug '10 21:51
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Adam lived, without knowing it, in a form of primitive socialism. As there was nothing much to own, there was no property. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one who lived consciously as a proto-socialist.
    Aren't all forms of human interaction in some way socialistic?

    Even the idea of the survival of the fittest?
  15. Subscriberdivegeester
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    29 Aug '10 21:51
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Adam lived, without knowing it, in a form of primitive socialism. As there was nothing much to own, there was no property. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one who lived consciously as a proto-socialist.
    In Eden Adam lived in perfect 'socialism' if that is what you want to call it. Man's attempt at recreating that 'socialism' is at best a hippy commune and at worst what the world saw in soviet communism. Jesus did not come to bring peace (in his time) but a sword.
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