Thursday, 27 September 2007

Larry Hooper: Danger of Coming Out of the Atheist Closet

On October 18, 2004, Arthur Shelton, a self described Christian and Eagle Scout, murdered his friend and roommate, Larry Hooper, because Hooper didn't believe in God.

On December 18, 2005, after many months of postponements, Arthur Shelton, with his defense attorney, Seymour Swartz, appeared at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit, Michigan, before Judge Gregory D. Bill to face charges of murder in the first degree brought by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Christina Guiruis.

The trial began with the taped phone call Arthur Shelton placed to the Taylor police department in Taylor, Michigan, October 18, 2004, at precisely 12:44 AM. Shelton sounded calm and pridefull when he told the dispatcher he had just shot "the devil himself" with a revolver and a shotgun because "he (Hooper) didn't believe in God." Shelton told the dispatcher he was "still armed and ready to shoot again in case he moves. I want to make sure he's gone." When the dispatcher asked how many times he shot the victim Shelton replied, "hopefully enough."

Source: Parallel Politics and Comment

Now, I know (and hope) most Christians wouldn't take it upon themselves to "take out" their atheists friends like Arthur saw fit to do. Yet, there is an underlying message writ here: Arthur felt and "knew" that his action was justified. What brought about this rationale to justify murder? After all, doesn't it say in the bible "Thou shalt not kill"? Do those words have any meaning to Christians like Arthur? Apparently not. What else? Take this example a bit further in what I have argued in past posts (here and there); the bible is left for interpretation and cannot be relied upon for "rules to live by". The moral code of the bible is a mish-mash of contradictions in this regard.
So, if Arthur is an avowed Christian; Why did he see fit to ignore the sixth commandment of (G)od? Plainly, I could say that being an atheist forfeits your protection afforded in the sixth commandment. Or, any other infidel (yes, infidel is not exclusive to Islam).

Also, I see this coming a mile away, most Christians will say that he wasn't a "true" Christian. Why wasn't he? This argument is complete bullshit. After all, we've got plenty of denominational churches in this country (and world wide), some declaring that this/that/and the other and not a true church. Would Anglicans see fit to compromise theirs to attend and become members of a Pentecostal church? I wouldn't think so, because it's the "wrong" church. If Anglicans don't go to that church then it's obvious they don't think Pentecostals are "true" Christians (Shit! We are seeing the schism of the Anglican Church right as I type this). Otherwise we wouldn't see all these spin-offs of Christianity. Martin Luther comes to mind. Yeah, you know, the guy who hated Jews. I wonder where Hitler got his "final solution" from.

No matter how it's spun, religion is the "final solution" for all of us.

Google Search: "Larry Hooper" atheist
Atheist Blogroll Search: "Larry Hooper"

Interesting discussion at Digg - Murdered for being an atheist.
"This is so disgusting and disheartening. I myself am an eagle scout and describe myself only as agnostic, but the actions here are only more evidence that religion can bring out the most evil anyone has ever seen. After reading the article I am convinced that this was a product of upbringing, as it seems the boy's entire family behaves the same way and probably thought he did the right thing! I'm definitely siding with Richard Dawkins on this one..."
- njackson


Anonymous said...

your essay said
"The moral code of the bible is a mish-mash of contradictions in this regard."

Please substantiate this claim. Its easy to throw out sound bites as if they are true, but lets have some evidence for your assertion.

tina said...

I really feel for this guys family, it was a senseless killing. The guy was a nut case, in the sense that he believes in an invisible guy and a book written by men. But, he was not so insane when it came to telling the police he knew exactly what he was doing. How do people like this live with themselves?

concerned citizen said...

I don't have a prob. with people defining their own philosophy & calling themselves Christian, or atheist or agnostic...but surely insanity exempts a person from having judgment sound enough to live by any philosophy?

These are interesting questions.

vjack said...

Just remember that the Christian bible actually tells its followers to kill nonbelievers.


concerned citizen said...

Well my point is that even Christians would call Arthur insane. All the Christians I know, anyway. So does that make Arthur an insane Christian?

If I rationalized killing someone because they were a Christian would it make me an insane atheist?

bill said...

Christian bible tells christians to kill non-believers? Are you sure your not talking about the Quran?

If your talking about the Bible, please point me to chapter and verse. I believe your 'dead wrong'.

drd said...

Very good point Concerned Citizen. This behavior is decidely outside the accepted behavior of Christians. Insanity does that to the best of world views. Your point is dead on.

Larro said...

Shelton insane? Indeed he was convicted by reason of insanity. But what about his families reaction to the presence of the American Atheists?

"taunting...with 'the people from hell, evil, and devils.'" and "'The one good thing of all of this is that another Atheist is dead and the world is better off for it" and "The only good Atheist is a dead Atheist.'"

Modusoperandi said...

Bill "Christian bible tells christians to kill non-believers? Are you sure your not talking about the Quran?

If your talking about the Bible, please point me to chapter and verse. I believe your 'dead wrong'."

Luk19:27 "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me."

Granted, it's from a parable. Of course, the "Lord" from the parable represents the LORD...

Bill said...

Luke 19-27, commentary by John Gill:
This was the pronouncement of the outcome of the Jewish nations rebellion against God, and the Roman destruction of is Gills commentary on this passage:

bring hither, and slay them before me; had its accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem, when multitudes of them were slain with the sword, both with their own, and with their enemies; The Romans were the Lords over the Jews, and their rebellion against Rome, is seen as a parallel to their rebellion against their God.

This is NOT a command to slay unbelievers. This is exactly how those unschooled in exegesis make huge errors misrepresenting what the Bible says.

DiverL said...

ANONYMOUS, THIS IS FOR YOU! Please check out the following:

Lots and lots of contriditions lined out for you in easy to read format. Enjoy!

concerned citizen said...

bill Is it a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE ?

I thought it was a parable about stewardship.

Bill said...

It is a parable about stewardship, and the reference at the end is how the jewish people, the stewards of Gods Kingdom were unfaithful, Gods face turns from them, and the lords of the land (Romans) undid them. Their God had turned His face due to their lack of stewardship, and let their enemies have their way. There was also a lot of internal traitors, and strife, hence "by your own sword" are correct, this is about stewardship, but of the Jewish nation.

Bill said...

The bible contradictions that you spoke of, are so laughably absurd, I cannot waist my time rebutting them...if you have one in particular you are interested in, I will be glad to review it with you.

All these have been answered by linguistic scholars, and there is no academic debate about the issue of 'contradiction' on any of the verses listed in this site.

Norman Geisler has written a book rebutting and explaining most of these, if your interested in truth.

I would be happy to review any you find particularly troubling.

bill said...

In any event DiverL, the point was made on "moral contradiction"...none of those applied that I saw.

Modusoperandi said...

Bill, so you're saying that Larry Hooper and his dear, dear family aren't experts in the bible? Are you telling me that there are people who misinterpret the bible?

Golly! Next you're going to tell me that there are people who take it all literally. Do you have any idea how dangerous those people would be?

Excuse me while I remove my tongue from my cheek.

Bill said...

Modusoperandi, the bible, like any book, should be read and interpreted as the author intended. So, if we have narrative writting, it cannot be interpreted as allegory. If it is written as a metaphor, it should be read that way.

A vast majority of the OT is written poetically, but it is certainly NOT all allegory and metaphor. So, when Christ says "I am the gate, no one..." He is not literally a gate. When He says I am 'Living Water' He is not literally water. When He says 'this is my body', the bread is not literally His body...and so on.

So, some understanding of the time, culture, terms, use of language and so on would be of utmost importance when reading the Bible. I am sure, however, that there are many parts atheists or agnostics, or disbelievers in general, would like to believe are allegory, when it is not. That is simply a reflection of wishful thinking to justify life patters.

concerned citizen said...

If you choose to believe the Bible is the word of God, bully for you...but for the rest of us it's an ancient manmade collection of myths & fables, with some exaggerated history thrown in with primitive Theology & lots of contradiction that Bible scholars work very hard to justify.

Insane Arthur went too far is sure, but if he would of stopped short of murder, he might of been an exemplary fundimentalist.

Bill said...

What you or I believe is really of no concern Concerned Citizen. The truth is the truth. It either is the Word of God, or it isn't. Belief is something that is predicated on some knowledge and background understanding. Do you truly feel your educated in the Bible enough to make the difinitive statement that its a myth?

Modusoperandi said...

Bill "A vast majority of the OT is written poetically...". Well, you should probably tell students of Falwell, Roberston, Hamm, Hovind, that guy who thinks that a banana is an atheist's worst nightmare, et al about this. They've been going around telling people that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that God gave the Israelites a bunch of land in perpetuity (and that they really should rebuilt the temple and start sacrificing animals again so that Jesus can come back), that theonomy is a good idea (as long as it's based on the OT, rather than Sharia, because the OT's brutality is God-sanctioned, while Sharia is Satan-centric), that God let 9/11 & Katrina happen because we tolerate homosexuality, and that climate change is impossible (and even if it is real, which it's not, it doesn't matter anyway because Jesus is coming back in our lifetime to magik away the righteous, while the rest are stuck in a hell-on-Earth that they yearned for and helped to create).

I'd appreciate it muchly if you'd explain this historically-based biblical analysis thing to them. Hopefully it will get them off my lawn. I'll still have to clean up all the lawn chairs and fastfood wrappers, but that's a small price to pay for avoiding a manmade armageddon.

drd said...

I find it funny that those you name especially Hovind (in jail) and Hamm (absolutely no degree, uneducated nit wit) are the ones you associate with mainstream Christianity. Certainly they are vocal and visible, but by no means represent orthodox teaching.

If any group picks out the fringe element of any other, it looks real bad.

Lets stick to issues rather than fringe people and it makes everything easier and more sane to discuss.

concerned citizen said...

BillMyth & religion go hand in hand. Do you know that every religion I can think of has a creation myth? Wikipedia defines myth thus: "In the academic fields of mythology, mythography, or folkloristics, a myth (mythos) is a sacred story concerning the origins of the world or how the world and the creatures in it came to have their present form. The active beings in myths are generally gods and heroes. Myths often are said to take place before recorded history begins. In saying that a myth is a sacred narrative, what is meant is that a myth is believed to be true by people who attach religious or spiritual significance to it. Use of the term by scholars does not imply that the narrative is either true or false."

bill said Do you truly feel your educated in the Bible enough to make the difinitive statement that its a myth? I only said it had myths in it. & yes I've studied the Bible quite a bit. I used to be a Sunday School teacher.

Bill said...

Concerned Citizen

That is one definition. I am a fan of CS Lewis, who was a liturature Prof at Oxford, and later, the Chair at Cambridge. He wrote some wonderful commentaries on 'myths', and the literary style of myths throughout the ages. You may disagree with him on his religious views, but his authority in the realm of liturature is unquestioned. I think you might find his comments on the literary from taken in all mythology of early origin, to be very interesting. Especially in light of how you ascribe myth to the OT, and maybe even the NT.

Also, I have sat with, under and next to many 'sunday school teacher' who barely knew their way to the NT from the Old. What training did you undergo in hermenutics or exegesis? I am not being smart or smug, just wondering.

Lastly, mythology tends to hold some truth, even if the it is far removed and the story is changed. It is based in rumor of other stories. Hence the Gilgamesh flood, and other creation accounts, even the virgin birth are heard of in other faiths. Yet, it is entirely possible that these fables have their roots in the real stories from which they were spawned.

Its interesting to note the similarity in the flood stories, from societies that never met, and around the globe from one another. Hard to explain

Modusoperandi said...

drd said... I find it funny that those you name especially Hovind (in jail) and Hamm (absolutely no degree, uneducated nit wit) are the ones you associate with mainstream Christianity...Lets stick to issues rather than fringe people and it makes everything easier and more sane to discuss.

I don't associate them with mainstream (liberal) Christianity at all. Fringe, yes. Powerless, no. Hamm regularly packs auditoriums. Hovind did the same, until the fall. Creationist museums are popping up all over (with millions of dollars behind them). Millions of people take the word of Pat Robertson (and Falwell, rip) as though his words come directly from the of God. Are they "True Christians"? By your definition, no. By theirs, however, you aren't.

Falwell says "Vote for this guy" and millions do. Roberston says "Send money" and millions do. Hamm says "Teach the controversy" and millions of well-meaning, but terribly ignorant parents run to their schoolboard and, come hell or high water, demand that ID be taught and that evolution texts get a "this is a theory" sticker. Fringe? If the mailing list of, or, or the 1.7 million members of the Christian Coalition are "fringe", then they're a fringe with a disproportionate amount of power (power enough to swing a number of election in favour of whomeever they vote for, for one).

The question isn't who's a true Christian. The question is who is dangerous Christian. Fringe or no "they" are incredibly dangerous. Any group that thinks the world is 6,000 years old is deeply delusional. That delusion, unfortunately, leads to a desire for the world to end. Fringe or no, they scare the hell out of me. Fringe or not, they want to drag us back to an ideal time that never existed.

Bill Its interesting to note the similarity in the flood stories, from societies that never met, and around the globe from one another. Hard to explain

No, not really. Floods happen. People remember things. People remember floods that happened. Flood stories are similar because floods tend to be a bunch of water that comes from somewhere, then goes away.

concerned citizen said...

bill you got me with the hermenutics & the exegesis. I'm not that sophisticated. :)

My qualifications for being a Sunday school teacher had to do with my own intense desire for truth & Intellectual honesty. I had too many questions to sit & listen to some canned lesson out of a Sunday school primer. Much better to do it myself.
I read C.S. Lewis, A.W.Tozer, Paul Tillich,(those are three that come immediately to mind)& many, many others. Do you realize how much Christian literature is out there? I've never figured out why.

drd said...

I never said they were not Christians...only fringe Christians with some off the cuff opinions that are not always biblical...especially the YEC stuff.
I am not in any way saying they are not real Christians however. They may be wrong on a lot of things, but as much as he annoys me, Hamm may be a Christian. I think Falwell certainly was.
And to clerify, I am anything but a 'liberal' Christian. I am very orthodox in my beliefs.
You somehow have equated YEC's with end time obsessionists. They are not at all the same from what I can tell.
Lastly, YEC's do more harm, and do you more favors then they ever do for the cause of Christ (at least on this subject matter). So, you should be glad for them if your an atheist.

Modusoperandi said...

drd "You somehow have equated YEC's with end time obsessionists."

Sorry, I mispoke. They aren't necessarily mutually inclusive. That being said, they get along like "plumber" and "butt crack"...

Jerry Falwell (you think he "certainly was" a true christian): both YEC (he founded Liberty University...LU's philosophy? YEC and fossils. There is probably more buried in LU's site, but my monitor bursts into flame when I try to explore it...the closest I got was "The universe was created in six historical days" from their statement of faith, They believe in a literal Adam, too. They don't mention the talking serpent, though. No one takes that bit literally, right? Oh. My bad. I'd hunt down a vid of him admitting YEC, but my interweb connection is slower than slow.) and "end time obsessionist" ("premillennial, pre-tribulational" Ooo! That LU catalog has "We affirm that the return of Christ for all believers is imminent. It will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, and then the coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years. The unsaved will then be raised and judged according to their works and separated forever from God in hell. The saved, having been raised, will live forever in Heaven in fellowship with God." Gosh. I wonder if Left Behind is on the course syllabus. Okay, that was unnecessary. Funny, but unnecessary

Lastly, about the "Lastly, YEC's do more harm, and do you more favors". Can you ask them to stop one, the other, or both. Their harm harms harmfully, and their favours appear to be the kind (not species, "kind". Oop. I may be cranky) that I can do without.

drd said...

Modusoperandi, from what I have seen, YEC's are not militant, they do not infringe on anyones 'rights' and they bother OEC Christian brothers, calling them heretics and the like, way more than they do unbelievers.
The idea of a second coming is certainly a big point to some, but again, you seem unduly bothered by this, as I have not heard any 'militant' issues with the idea of the second coming from the people you mention.
YEC loses credibility from the common sense, as well as the scientific prospective.
This furthers the cause of atheists and plays into the 'Christians are brainless idiots' shtick that the militant atheists like to offer. So, I am not so sure why this bothers you so much?
Other than its not technically correct from a science standpoint. Again, what does that matter if there is no god and life has no real point, no real truth exists anyway?

Modusoperandi said...

drd "...I have not heard any 'militant' issues with the idea of the second coming from the people you mention."

You're saying that this isn't harmful? Rev. Jerry Falwell: "What is going to happen on this earth when the Rapture occurs? You'll be riding along in an automobile. You'll be the driver, perhaps. You're a Christian. There will be several people in the automobile with you, maybe someone who is not a Christian. When the trumpet sounds, you and the other born-again believers in that automobile will be instantly called away - you will disappear, leaving behind only your clothing, and physical things that cannot inherit eternal life. That unsaved person or persons in the automobile will suddenly be startled to find that the car is moving along without a driver and suddenly somewhere crashes. These saved people in the car have disappeared. Other cars on the highway driven by believers will suddenly be out of control, and stark pandemonium will occur on that highway and every highway in the world where Christians are called away from the driver's wheel."

The rapture is a revenge fantasy. "I get to skip out on Armageddon, while you have to live through it. I have no reason to stop the world from sliding into oblivion because I won't be here when it happens. Climate change? Pshaw! War? Pshaw! Bad things are just signs from the Olivet discourse that Jesus is coming to take me away." If it was just some guy on the streetcorner with a "The end is nigh" sign I'd assist his crazy ass to a shelter and hope that he gets back on his medication, but this was a man who had the ear of Reagan. They both agreed that Armageddon was coming soon and that it would involve nuclear war with the Soviets. How is having the most powerful man in the world thinking that he's one key to Armageddon not an "issue"?

What about Pat Robertson's ""He was dividing God's land, and I would say, 'Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the [European Union], the United Nations or the United States of America...God says, 'This land belongs to me, and you'd better leave it alone,'", claiming that Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for him backing slowly out of Gaze and the West Strip ( is a poor story covering (poorly) Pat's comments). Pat said basically the same thing after Rabin's assassination. Remember, Pat believes that Israel must control all the land between the Jordan and Nile (if memory serves) and rebuild the temple, so that it can all get wrecked and JC can return.

These are "issues".

Supporting Israel because it has a right to exist is justifiable. Supporting Israel unconditionally, and huzzahing excesses like "collective punishment", because it has to get wiped out (but in a really specific way) before JC will come back is not.

Supporting a war with Iran because it supports terrorism, oppresses it's own people, and is taking steps toward obtaining weapons to wipe out another nation (never mind that Tehran dropping the bomb on Tel Aviv would lead to Iran's own annihilation) is justified, maybe. Supporting the destruction of Iran because some Revelations prophecy (or Daniel? They all start to run together after a while) dislikes Persians,, is not.

Modusoperandi said...

drd "Modusoperandi, from what I have seen, YEC's are not militant, they do not infringe on anyones 'rights'..."

As for YEC, lemme see if I get the theory right: God created the universe in six days, 6,000 years ago. He made man, plants and animals in their present form. Therefore, evolution is wrong. Only God guides the advancement of species, and then only on the scale of microevolution. Therefore, any evidence of a universe older than 6,000 years is a lie. Evidence of evolution is a lie. The only truth is In the beginning.... Public schools are, therefore, teaching lies. This breaks at least a few commandments (not worshipping Him, having the "God" Darwin before Him, worshipping graven images, like that "evolution of man" one, and breaking the commandment about false witness). Our God is a jealous God. Zealous, too. And wrathful. ID in the classroom, homeschooling, and private, proper schools that teach biblical truth are solutions for the short term...

Their delusions would merely be sad instead of dangerous, if they kept it to themselves. Unfortunately, for them Jesus dying to cleanse the original sin of a couple of fictional characters in a creation myth just doesn't make sense. It has to be literal or God died for a story (well, not died dead. More like long-weekend bender dead). Spreading the good news for them includes spreading the creation myth, taken literally, from an Iron Age tribe, which inevitably corrupts science and education, twisting and destroying the universe's actual history to fit a fictional, if poetic, one.

Larro said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from the comments I see no dialog relating to the premise of this post. In case some of you missed it, it is this: religious intolerance.

Sure the guy may have been on the fringe of Christianity. However, let me point out that Al Qaeda is on the fringe of Islam. On numerous occasions I hear in the news about how moderate Muslims need to reign in and otherwise decry extremists of this kind.

Arthur Shelton is a Christian. It's undeniable. He used the very same book that all other Christians get their moral footing from to justify his actions.

The very real problem lies in the hands of moderate Christians who let hate like this happen. Moderate Christians are enablers in this regard and are at fault for shoving this to the wayside explaining it away as if Shelton was not a "true" Christian. He was.

Also, the only word of remorse I've seen came from tina.

concerned citizen said...

well larro, if you've noticed on most of the posts the comments rarely stay strictly on course. The blogging forum allows for this kind of freedom. You are doing good if the first ten comments directly relate to the post. One of the elements here is that there are so many anonymous commentators(?) that it confines everyone to this blog. On the other hand I think it's a good thing really, because anonymity allows for freedom of dialog, hence ideas are challenged & therefore advanced.

Personally, I'm into the argument of drd & Modusoperandi

Larro said...

Well, ok. I can accept that concerned citizen.

drd said...

Modusoperandi from now on, if it does not offend you, I will just type Mod.

Let me make my position clear. Evolution is not at all scientifically clear. It is fraught with dead end science with no answers to huge areas. I dont think this should stop the research. On the contrary, I think it should continue: in some areas. I have a real problem with S.E.T.I. that is a monumental waste of money, manpower and time.

I think the science should speak for itself, and not let methodological naturalism dicate how we should interpret the data.

I agree that any claims of a 6,000 year old earth are ludicrous. I think, however that you have extrapolated this issue way beyond the boundaries where it has any real influence. Pat Robertson withstanding. Even your interpretation of end time (rapture) theology is very lop sided and skews the issue beyond its scope.

I would like you to clerify your last paragragh however. This has me confused. I agree that a story of a god dying for mythological people is absurd, and I agree that Jesus died for real people and real sin (missing the mark) as related to our relationship with our Creator. You imply this is not reasonable, but I am not sure why from this paragraph. You think the creation account hurts science, but I would offer that is only so if its taken as a young earth story. Not at all so if yom means 'an indeterminate period of time'...which is a VERY literal and accurate use of the term.

Modusoperandi said...

drd "I have a real problem with S.E.T.I. that is a monumental waste of money, manpower and time."
In that we are in agreement. Using radio telescope time to look for ET, while not pointless, could be used for more important projects, like looking for my glasses.

And this is the last time that I avoid rambling, adding asides or running off on a tangent. You have been warned. I may not be coherent, but hopefully I'm entertaining.

drd "I would like you to clerify your last paragragh however."
In order for Jesus's death to make sense, he has to have died for the sins of an actual person. A figurative Adam is not an actual Adam. Note that this is not my logic. I've never found the Godking sacrifice to make the slightest bit of sense, no matter who he's dying for, substitutionary atonement or otherwise. God getting Himself killed, but not really, so that He doesn't need to punish us for not living up to His standards...but He'll punish us anyway if we don't have believe really hard that He did. Imagine trying to run a court based on that logic. Sadly, we're all totally depraved, apparently, and it all would make sense if we, and I, weren't slaves to sin. Of course then we wouldn't need Him to pop down, visit for a while before falling under the radar, return after a couple of decades, wander around for a few weeks, then have one really, really bad day before resting up for the return trip home to pickup another round-trip ticket with an open departure date), and the Adam tale (even if taken figuratively) doesn't show god (he was small "g" back then) as all that competent...he can make the whole universe, but he can't raise a couple of kids? He gives two children (whether they had adult bodies or not is moot if they didn't get an edjumication) one command (wrapped around a threat based on something of which children have only the shakiest grasp, death), then gets pissed when they instead listen to a talking serpent who hovers. I assume it hovered, god doesn't curse snakes to crawl on their bellies until Gen 3:14, after the fruit incident. Just how he managed to talk isn't explained either, but in a story with a hovering snake I'll let it slide. Kicking your kids out of the house because they were exactly what you made isn't good gardening; it's bad parenting (it's worse if you're 3-O'd, then you set them up so that later on, in the sequel, you could come back and save some of them; which is a little like me breaking your leg so that I can put it in a splint). When you tell your kid to not touch the pan on the stove because it'll burn them, what happens? They ask "Why?" You explain why, they say "Oh.", then the minute your back is turned they touch it. This is why you turn the handle of the pan toward the wall, so that the adorable little ragamuffins don't cause their curious little bodies permanent damage. What you don't do is turf them out on their asses...and punish all their future family for their error. Absolute obedience is simply not enforceable with man; we're curious. He is too, if he made us in his image. (This, incidentally is why Adam had a bellybutton; because god has one. True story. But I digress).
Straight from AIG: "It is absolutely vital to understand that the Bible speaks of both as historic figures, real men who lived, walked, and breathed, who acted in time and space as flesh and blood representatives of the human race. It is unthinkable to regard the first Adam as a kind of mythological symbol. Many have attempted to do this, and thereby ended up compromising the person and work of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ. The two are inseparable." (emphasis mine) and "Jesus is the Last Adam, which also explains why He is the Second Man. As the man from Heaven, Jesus alone was suitable to replace the first., which makes no sense if Adam was simply a character in a serialized program (tune in next week for Genesis 6: Noah Builds a Boat!)
drd "You think the creation account hurts science, but I would offer that is only so if its taken as a young earth story. Not at all so if yom means 'an indeterminate period of time'...which is a VERY literal and accurate use of the term."
It doesn't matter whether a Genesis day is a literal day or a million billion years, if it's the Word of God, anything that conflicts with it is a lie (or His word is wrong or is only as correct as what an Iron Age tribe in the Middle East would be, which are unthinkable. His references, I hear, are impeccable. Plus he's got the 3-O thing happening, apparently, which must be quite an advantage come exam time). Evidence shows that through the Earth's various epochs life has changed. Gen 1 & 2 show things being magiked into existence just as they appear today (Gen1:25 has "cattle". Not proto-cattle, not dino-cattle, but "cattle"). Adam didn't come from a long line of slowing evolving forms going all the way back to some filty ooze 800,000,000 years ago. He got formed by God from dust, he didn't pop out of no stinkin' ape! ). After Adam, Eve. Before Adam, nuffin'!
Should people like those at AIG adopt an informed, historically-referenced, evidence-based view of it? Sure. Will they? I doubt it, because it's the literal Word of God (except for the bits that aren't, natch). And why should they take the story as anything other than literal? Rom5:14 has Adam as literal and, as with Genesis, it would be nonsense figuratively (again, how could a fictional character disobey God? and how just would it be to punish man for the sin of a fictional character? Come to think of it, how just would it be to punish all mankind for the sins of two actual people? Again, try running a court based on that precedent.)
Jesus' lineage lists Adam (Luke3:23-38), which wouldn't happen if Adam wasn't real. Enoch had Adam in his tree as well (Jude1:14). Eph5:22-24 and 1 Cor14:34-36 make my skin itch as well. There are more, but I'm getting off track. I do that, sometimes. There was this one time, back in '89, when I got off topic for a whole year. I remember it was an awfully hot summer, and my shoes were too small. I was wearing my best sweater, which was chafing terribly...
How could an actual person have a real lineage that's not real? I liked comics as a kid, but nowhere on my family tree are there any Ninja Turtles (not even Donatello!). How could Jesus have a fictional great-great-great-great-great-great -great-great-great-great-great-great -great-great-great-great-great-great -great-great-great-great-great-great -great-great-great-great-great-great -great-great-great-great-great-great -great-great-great-great-grandfather?

Modusoperandi said...

That's looked fine in preview. Good luck picking your way through that wall of text.

As a LOLcat would say, "I can haz carrij retern?"

drd said...

mod, your right, that thing is a mess, but you did warn me.

I do believe in a literal Adam, however, I do not hold to AIG's information as it relates to science at all.
I do agree with them that it is unthinkable to consider Adam a mythological creature, on which all of Christianity and Judaism hinges, and assume its a myth. There does have to be (if God is real) a first human indwelled with an immortal spirit, and that is Adam. Not a fictional/mythological figure.

uk said...

Christianity is irrational, so what do you expect from its followers?

Modusoperandi said...

drd "I do believe in a literal Adam..."

I hope this makes sense (sleep deprivation...long story. Short version, I can't get to sleep. The long version is the same, but it's got a 4/4ths beat and rhymes)...

I have no logical problem with Adam. Sometime in our distant past "Ook" and "Thuk" changed to "Why?" and "How?". Sometime in our distant past we went from getting wet in the rain to wondering where it came from. Sometime in our past we went from wondering why our bum was cold to wondering what happens when we die.

Is that the "Adam" moment? Is that step between the limited self-awareness of our distant-distant ancestors and our own, the spark of a soul? ("Soul" is the wrong word, as it comes with so much baggage, like the implication that it continues when we cease, but if I just called it "I" only I would understand it, in which case I wouldn't need to explain it.)

If so, Adam is not a myth (although not literal, either. Well, if you want to play semantics, yes, literal, but hopefully you know what I mean). That does not, however, in any way validate Genesis (or any of the many other creation myths where man falls out of god's bag of holding).

That also does not make the logic of the Jewish god any better (he made us curious so that he could push us away, knowing that we'd yearn for something greater than ourselves?). Neither does it do the same for the Christian version, which has all the faults of the Tanakh, plus the of the godking sacrifice, which I think I described somewhere above, but to recap, since the formatting made it look messier that it was...
He made us curious so that we would fall away from him, but continue to yearn for something greater than ourselves, so that He could come back later on to save us...bizarre enough on it's own, but there's more...and not all of us, but just the ones that believed real hard...not the good ones that heard but didn't believe, instead, all of the believers, whether pious or pirate.

Are those the acts of a just God?