1. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    08 Aug '15 04:41
    "I am a snake, not an apple. What does that mean? Well, our civilization - the Judeo-Christian - in its founding myth portrayed the deliverer of knowledge as the source of evil - the devil - and the loss of innocence as a catastrophe. This probably had less to do with religion than with the standard desire of those in authority to control those who are not." ~ John Ralston Saul 'The Unconscious Civilization'.

    I live in a society ~ like many others around the world, maybe even all societies, to a degree ~ where the controlling and withholding of knowledge creates power for some, and the gaining of 'proscribed' knowledge can create danger for others.

    While followers of the Abrahamic religions may have incorporated the metaphor into their traditions and given it a supernatural edge, surely the knowledge-authority thing is in fact merely an inevitable upshot of the human condition and of the relationships and interactions between people?

    Might not the snake & apple metaphor have been the product of minds seeking to consolidate earthly power and might not the religious trappings have merely been a means of ensuring that the exercise of that power was perceived with deadly seriousness and - most importantly - conformity and obedience?
  2. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
    Joined
    24 Jan '11
    Moves
    12695
    08 Aug '15 05:32
    Originally posted by FMF
    "I am a snake, not an apple. What does that mean? Well, our civilization - the Judeo-Christian - in its founding myth portrayed the deliverer of knowledge as the source of evil - the devil - and the loss of innocence as a catastrophe. This probably had less to do with religion than with the standard desire of those in authority to control those who are not." ~ J ...[text shortened]... t power was perceived with deadly seriousness and - most importantly - conformity and obedience?
    For the children, the metaphor of the Serpent and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is often substituted with a common snake and apple. This makes it seem even more like just another myth to adults who have outgrown children stories.

    You are apparently one with that mindset and are unable to see the seriousness of the sin problem and therefore it is understandable that you view the gospel solution as foolishness. Some do not see that there is a problem with sin in their lives, so they see no need for any solution.
  3. Standard memberlemon lime
    go phish
    oLd ScHoOl
    Joined
    31 May '13
    Moves
    5577
    08 Aug '15 05:49
    Originally posted by FMF
    "I am a snake, not an apple. What does that mean? Well, our civilization - the Judeo-Christian - in its founding myth portrayed the deliverer of knowledge as the source of evil - the devil - and the loss of innocence as a catastrophe. This probably had less to do with religion than with the standard desire of those in authority to control those who are not." ~ J ...[text shortened]... t power was perceived with deadly seriousness and - most importantly - conformity and obedience?
    How do you know it was an apple?
  4. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    08 Aug '15 05:51
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    You are apparently one with that mindset and are unable to see the seriousness of the sin problem and therefore it is understandable that you view the gospel solution as foolishness. Some do not see that there is a problem with sin in their lives, so they see no need for any solution.
    One has to believe in your God figure if one is to believe what you claim about "sin" and about the "sin problem".

    I certainly do believe that morally unsound behaviour is a problem in everybody's lives. I'm even willing to say that, if your belief in supernatural things helps you to act in a morally sound way (and also if it gives you some sort of consolation in the face of the inevitability of death), then I welcome that outcome and say good for you.

    I still think the metaphor is about the nature of power in the human condition and that there is no convincing reason to embellish it with a supernatural narrative
  5. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    08 Aug '15 05:52
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    How do you know it was an apple?
    John Ralston Saul was referring to the Biblical folklore.
  6. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
    Joined
    24 Jan '11
    Moves
    12695
    08 Aug '15 06:01
  7. Standard memberlemon lime
    go phish
    oLd ScHoOl
    Joined
    31 May '13
    Moves
    5577
    08 Aug '15 06:02
    Originally posted by FMF
    John Ralston Saul was referring to the Biblical folklore.
    Well... I suppose I could ask how John Ralston Saul knew it was an apple, but the answer would be the same as how you knew it was an apple.
  8. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    08 Aug '15 06:10
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    Well... I suppose I [b]could ask how John Ralston Saul knew it was an apple, but the answer would be the same as how you knew it was an apple.[/b]
    It's folklore. And it's a metaphor.

    The thread is intended to be about the link between knowledge and power being part and parcel of the human condition whether it's packaged as theology or not.
  9. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35531
    08 Aug '15 06:44
    Originally posted by FMF
    "I am a snake, not an apple. What does that mean? Well, our civilization - the Judeo-Christian - in its founding myth portrayed the deliverer of knowledge as the source of evil - the devil - and the loss of innocence as a catastrophe. This probably had less to do with religion than with the standard desire of those in authority to control those who are not." ~ J ...[text shortened]... t power was perceived with deadly seriousness and - most importantly - conformity and obedience?
    Wut?
  10. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35531
    08 Aug '15 06:46
    Originally posted by FMF
    It's folklore. And it's a metaphor.

    The thread is intended to be about the link between knowledge and power being part and parcel of the human condition whether it's packaged as theology or not.
    If that was the intention, then perhaps you should have stayed away from theology entirely.
  11. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    08 Aug '15 06:58
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    If that was the intention, then perhaps you should have stayed away from theology entirely.
    But this element of the human condition, which is evident everywhere, has been enshrined in some religious literature, so it serves no purpose to stay away from it on a discussion forum intended for discussing such things.
  12. Joined
    16 Feb '08
    Moves
    86384
    08 Aug '15 06:59
    Originally posted by FMF
    One has to believe in your God figure if one is to believe what you claim about "sin" and about the "sin problem".

    I certainly do believe that morally unsound behaviour is a problem in everybody's lives. I'm even willing to say that, if your belief in supernatural things helps you to act in a morally sound way (and also if it gives you some sort of consolati ...[text shortened]... n condition and that there is no convincing reason to embellish it with a supernatural narrative
    But where is the power without the embellishment?
  13. Joined
    16 Feb '08
    Moves
    86384
    08 Aug '15 07:04
    Originally posted by FMF
    The thread is intended to be about the link between knowledge and power being part and parcel of the human condition whether it's packaged as theology or not.
    OK I see; and theological metaphors are one expression of this human condition. It would be interesting to here sonhouse POV on is as he seems to me to believe that the human condition is derived from the theological metaphor and not, as you are proposing, the metaphor from the condition.
  14. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    08 Aug '15 07:07
    Originally posted by divegeester
    But where is the power without the embellishment?
    Without the supernatural/theological embellishment?

    In military man power, weaponry, control of resources, cultural factors like royalty, ideology, oral history, and other stuff. But all these things can - and have - worked hand in hand with the concept of 'divine rights' conjured up by packaging earthly power arrangements with the trappings of religion since (seemingly) the year dot
  15. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35531
    08 Aug '15 07:19
    Originally posted by FMF
    Without the supernatural/theological embellishment?

    In military man power, weaponry, control of resources, cultural factors like royalty, ideology, oral history, and other stuff. But all these things can - and have - worked hand in hand with the concept of 'divine rights' conjured up by packaging earthly power arrangements with the trappings of religion since (seemingly) the year dot
    Mankind constantly leans towards the 'simplest' answers, but man and God are not the simplest beings.
Back to Top