First of all I'd like to say a big hello to everyone on the forums !
Then I'd like to thank the gracious and charming hosts Emery, Scott and all the others for doing such a great podcast which has entertained me to no end in work although sometimes I do wish I could interject!
Anyway best lay my cards on a table - I am one of them there baby eating atheists - an one of those liberal European ones too . Anyway I suppose my feelings towards much of religion could be summarized with a poem, The Human Abstract by William Blake (to be fair I love this poem and just want an excuse to post it) anyway...
Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody Poor;
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.
And mutual fear brings peace,
Till the selfish loves increase:
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.
He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the grounds with tears;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.
Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head;
And the Catterpiller and Fly
Feed on the Mystery.
And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.
The Gods of the earth and sea
Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree;
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the Human Brain.
Now the point I want to address - if you are still with me is the idea of sin and squaring it with modern scientific understandings of our evolution. This is a copy paste of something I posted on another forums a long while ago:
"From my understanding the great issue for fundamentalist believers who reject it is that if you get rid of God creating man as he was in the form of Adam and then Eve from his rib original sin doesn't make sense and that if you can't take one part of the Bible as truth then why should they suspect any other part to be truth - Ken Ham of the Discovery institute for example gives this as the reason for his rejection of evolutionary theory.
If the evolutionary account of human origins is true which all evidence points towards, then there was certainly no literal Fall from Grace - no Adam and Eve disobeying the Abrahamic God and no Original Sin. But without Original Sin and expulsion from the Garden of Eden, then there is no reason to think that anything called "sin" (which is supposed to be disobedience to God) suddenly entered the world. If sin instead "evolved" into our ancestors through the natural development which God set into motion, why would God hold us accountable? A naturalistic development of sin should mean that insofar as we are "naturally" sinners, we simply are what our creator caused us to evolve into being.
Anyway to those of you (the many on this forum I understand it) who believe in the biblical God and also accept evolution how do you reconcile the idea of mankind's current condition of suffering being due to the transgression of individuals best described as allegory. The problem is that it's difficult to argue that a metaphorical Fall required a literal death and resurrection. One might argue for a metaphorical death and resurrection, but few if any Christians believe in that and doing so would mean rejecting some very important, orthodox facets of Christian theology.
Some might argue that "sin" should be read as simply "transgressing moral codes" and "original sin" is really the "original self-awareness" of moral codes, but whose moral codes? If we are the creators of the moral codes as I strongly believe, then what we have is the assertion that God needed Jesus to die because we have trouble following rules we create for ourselves. This to me makes little sense.
Within the framework of evolution, sin does not appear to have any tangible, real existence. We are supposed to have sin, but did Neanderthals? Homo Habilis? Homo Erectus? Is is possible to logically argue that this "sin" was dependent upon some specific piece of genetic code which evolved into our species in which case how can we be held responsible?
Some might also argue that "sin" is still "disobedience to God," but only where it concerns those moral rules God has given us. This still has problems. For one thing, these same people are unlikely to argue that the moral rules from God have reached us unadulterated by human interests over many thousands of years.
Sin, our alleged disobedience to God, appears to be nothing to me except one more religious concept created by some human beings and imposed upon other human beings. That, however, would mean that Jesus assuming he existed and was the son of God died for nothing, and no devout Christian can really accept that.
Sorry if I began to ramble but this topic really interests me I appreciate and thank you all for responses in advance."
Thanks guys and gals!