Wow this has turned out to be quite a storm here! Time for me to pack up and run out!
But ... there is a piece of advice for you all: if you have read Karl Popper, there are distinctions between at least 5 types of knowledge, ranging from the platonic to the intersubjective and objective. These 5 types of knowledge are mutually exclusive from each other and are also not possible to reductionistically explain one knowledge in terms of the other; they are simply parallel perspectives of viewing the world, and it is because of this I find the stipulation that various schools of thought and religious beliefs are true to a certain extent within their own platonic realms, and that it may be derogatory for any belief system to attempt to debunk another through sheer objectivity because after all, many cultural worldviews (weltanschaung) have in a sense a right to exist for purposes of diversity. If you have read "Cultural Patterns" by Ruth Benedict, you will know what I mean, that each culture is indirectly implied in his book to have a certain form of 'direction' that propagates out from a center in a radial manner rather in a linear, and non-perpendicular manner. Each parcel of culture expands the scope of human knowledge in ways that some cultures take for granted: one example is how the prevalent Western view that the amalgam of rationalism/capitalism/economism etc. sometimes tend to become 'over-imperializing' by presupposing that other beliefs are not as equally important. That said, it is important to respect each other's culture.
However, there is a saying that goes that "while one is entitled to his or her own opinion, one is not entitled to his or her own facts", and this is the rationale for using an objective framework to attempt to decipher and create models that explain external phenomenon objectively. I do not like to use the world 'science', because it has become so personified and abstract to the extent that it has almost lost its meaning in the same way that the word 'god' did. While it is important to get certain facts right, it must be reiterated again that some forms of knowledge such as the arts or even some idiosyncratic beliefs have a form of consistency within themselves and social situations become defined as real (Thomas Theorem) and are therefore expressed as another facet of truth in a materialized form.
Therefore it is largely because of the above two arguments that I find this notorious debate on whether 'god' exists or not should be isolated and confined only to the boundaries of objectivity, and it should not be allowed to permeate into the lifeworlds of other cultures in a disruptive manner, whereby the banner of objectivity or rationalism can be used as an excuse to eradicate other forms of beliefs. Debating about the rationale of something through a series of arguments and counter-arguments is virtuous deed and I enjoy doing this as well, but imposing one's belief on another is not very different from that of trying to objectify one's subjectivity on another person when, as explained above, sometimes this is just not possible.
I am an atheist myself, but I find that the bible itself holds many truths, and offers just yet another perspective to look at the world. As people age, they gain more perspectives to examine the world, as well as the important ability to switch between different inconsistent views in a dialectical manner to deal with the contradictions of the immense cultural relativism in the world. I am not a Christian and I do not intend to be one, but I myself have been magnetized by Christian symbolism and the use of this semiotic and perspective to comprehend the world through Christian eyes, while bearing a certain measure of precaution to keep one leg on the safe shores of my own core belief structure. One of which is to appreciate the bible or works related to Christian morality such as Dante's Inferno (not quite) or the book of Job to see how some analogies of 'good and evil' are borrowed and hermeneutically expanded upon in other pieces of work. I also engage in the works of other religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Judaism and certain Folk religion to anthropologically try to understand a greater range of human paradigms rather than deliberately fixate on one and try to impose one view on others - that is just plain sociocentrism. Of course in developing my own intellectual prowess, I do not neglect the social and physical sciences either, and have been engaged in reading research articles on a routine basis so that I can more objectively form a compromise between as many forms of thoughts as possible.
And now the kaybeebiscuits has said what he has wanted to say. Kaybee biscuits are NOT biscuits by the way! We are not the new brand of 'living sashimi' biscuits that comprise baking living hamsters with a layer of chocolate, such that they squeak when they are chewed upon.
Seriously? You want to have this discussion?
Now we are talking motivation? Okay, kind of a sudden change of topic, but I'll answer it anyway. The motivation is probably exactly the same as the religious person: the search for truth. The difference is in methodology. The scientist has the scientific method (constantly challenging assumptions, experiments that can reproduce results), the religious have...guessing at what "god's plan" is (let's see, that involves reading a 1700 year old book...and uh..."having faith" while guessing).
I wonder which one is more accurate.
Again, you are mixing your concepts. When did I ever say that a scientist CAN'T be religious? What I'm saying is that regardless of the scientist's religious beliefs, he/she uses the scientific method NOT scripture or prayer to run experiments and find truth. Therefor, the scientist could be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Taoist, Hindu, Wiccan, Satanist, or Pastafarian...it doesn't matter because it's irrelevant. The only relevant thing is that they are using the scientific method.
How come you refuse to get what I'm saying? I'm being very clear. I'm talking about METHODOLOGY of finding truth. If you use the scientific METHOD, they you get actual usable data. If you use the prayer/scripture METHOD, then you get superstitious nonsense and the "best guesses" of people living thousands of years ago.
You cannot blame people for believing in the miracles when the science and history matches up.
By the way, you said there's four different accounts of the like of Jesus, and that they are contradictory...Could you please explain, and point out how they are contradictory.
Also the very fact that the Bible was the first book ever printed in an age of darkness when it came to scientific knowledge (in fact some scientific ideas where viewed as blasphemy by men), and yet the book is in line with science is part of the reason why the book is so impressive. Isn't it interesting when a scientist discovers something many hundreds of years after the Bible was first printed, and even longer since it was first written, and yet the scientist gets the credit.
In fact, most of the Bible is just a rehash of earlier myths and prophecies. The Bible's primary purpose when it was written was to appeal to various demographics (Jews, Pagans, etc). Thus you have the 4 books detailing Jesus's life and death in different ways...to appeal to different audiences. There are other accounts of Jesus's life that aren't included in the Bible, such as ones where Jesus uses magic to help his father do his carpentry.
Regarding the 4 gospels, it would actually be VERY suspect if all 4 told the exact same story. These were 4 people with 4 very different perspectives, so it would make sense that each one tells a different story with different anecdotes about Jesus.
Calm down everyone.
What is happening here does not fit into the grand scheme and agenda of kaybeebiscuits. The kaybeebiscuits arrived here eons ago with the benevolent intention of halting a possible heat death of the Civilization V universe; this need not be seen as estranged, for as we note that there are already other threads on the forums signalling the comprehension that Civilization V is dying, and we believe that this gradual death is caused by the increase in the amount of entropy in the Civilization V universe. It will only be a matter of time before this forum becomes dead with no activity at all.
To avoid this tragedy, the kaybeebiscuits created this thread to increase the amount of intelligent activity to avoid the insufferable agony of a heat death, but little did the kaybeebiscuits foresee the increased altercation and argument between so many forumites. Cooperation and love negate entropy, while heated debates that tear asunder the universe create entropy; therefore, this schism between the many branches of forumites has to stop, before it contributes way too significantly to the eventual heat death of the universe. The kaybeebiscuits was once from a universe that suffered from the agonizing pain of a heat death before, but managed to avert it through sheer cooperation and will-power to design a series of black-hole and white-hole generators to balance the flow of matter between this universe and its anti-universes; the amount of precision was made such that the cosmological density of our universe would never exceed, or be below the critical density needed to cause another Big Crunch through a universal contraction, but was high enough to avoid a heat-death, thereby attaining universal immortality such that our civilization was allowed to progress infinitely. The duality between the flow of matter in and out of our universe with our mirror universes also meant immortality for them.
Be warned: if you all do not find a way, no one will. The kaybeebiscuits is only here to deliver this exigent message of the necessity of cooperation, and the dangers of conflict, but is not here to directly assist in preventing this heat death. And now, the kaybeebiscuits has said what 'it' has decided to say, and shall return to 'its' parent universe.
It appears I actually know more about the Bible than you do, and I'm VERY far from an expert, which means you don't know much about it. So let's move on from that, because I'm not all that interested in pretending to be a Bible studies professor on a Civ forum.
Again, I would simply ask you to just take a second and read what you are writing. When you ask the question "How does god do XYZ?", the answer is "He wills it" or something along those lines. When you answer something like "It's gravity's effect on blah blah blah", you are actually answering the question, "How does NATURE/SCIENCE do XYZ?" God is not nature, he is not science. He is god. God makes things happen through magic (read Genesis). Nature makes things happens through laws of physics. You are purposefully mixing those two concepts up so that you can deceive yourself into thinking that they can exist together harmoniously.
You either accept the magic and hocus pocus as the "god" explanation or you don't. But if you don't, then you don't really accept "god" as a reason for anything. God IS the "magic" answer.
Your theory relies entirely on the principle that there is absolutely nothing beyond this universe, and everything that happens is a result of something else within this realm. Mine relies on the fact that at the very least, there is SOMETHING that started it all that exists beyond this world, even if it is no longer present. Our problem is that while both hold fast to these ideals, neither of us can absolutely prove into scientific law that it is truth. So let me ask this; you've debunked my theory for all time in your mind, why is your's any more valid?
The prevailing theory of creation is the Big Bang, would we not agree? Going from that, everything that is was once condensed into a singularity in the middle of nothingness. Why did that singularity even exist in the first place? Why did it suddenly decide that it would explode into what is now our universe? What caused this to happen in the middle of void? Why is there even a universe at all? I fail to see how we just happened to exist in the middle of nowhere and that without any outside influence, the universe exploded into what it is now. What could have caused that? Conventional science doesn't work too well because the laws of physics and relativity don't apply beyond our universe. Where can we go from there?
Any stabs at backing your theory?
If the Bible was based on early myths and prophecies then don't you think it would be a lot more fantastic and not scientific at all, and the history would all be tweaked as well! It was written so the people of that time period would understand it well, and so now reading it can be difficult to understand.
Those other books that mention Jesus do not say that they were inspired of God, while the Bible does say this in 2 Timothy 3:16, so from a Christian point of view we would not be surprised to see these independent books differ from the Bible. The Bible is a very unique book!
Last edited by Hawk; 10-29-2011 at 08:28 PM.
Now in answer...you presume that God does his will through magic, yet if he is real and did create everything - including science - then the most logical explanation is that he does his well via science. In fact it's the pagan religions who don't follow the Bible who are more likely to believe in and/or use magic (For example Sorceresses and Wiccans, and by saying this I mean no offence, since I have known some to be very nice people, I am simply pointing out that they believe in magic and yet their beliefs do not stem from the Bible.), while those who follow the Bible actually avoid the practice of magic, because scriptures in the Bible warn to stay away from magical practices, such as Deuteronomy 18:10-13.
In other words magic is un-Biblical.
Hungry Uruk: "I'm starving. We ain't had nothing but maggoty bread for 3 stinking days!"
Hungry orc: "Yeah! Why can't we have some meat?"
Hungry and craving for fresh meat?
Then have some Kaybeebiscuits! Meat-infused to provide all the proteins needed for the day! Not even maggoty bread hating orcs or Uruks can refuse its call!
Also, I don't care in the slightest about the "Christian point of view". I care about the independently verifiable view, ie the objective point of view.
Look, I know I'm not going to convince you or any other religious person of anything. But the fact remains that the Bible has lots and lots of reasons for existing. Some of it is ancient, barbaric law (Deuteronomy), some of it is propaganda to spread the power of the newly form Christian religion (The New Testament), and some of it is crazy doomsday ramblings (the book of Revelations). But none of it is particularly original or factual. It's not even written very elegantly, thus it makes for pretty poor reading.
A (cause) -> B (effect, measured by science)
A + G (god) -> B
therefore, G is an irrelevant variable.
If the cause and the effect are both the same with and without the "intervention" of god, then god doesn't even factor in. And since there is no scientific evidence for god, there's no reason to include him/her/it in the equation. I could just as easily say:
A + E (undetectible elf creature carrying Sauron's One Ring) -> B
I mean, when you can just throw any old non-disprovable value into the mix, you can literally create anything you want. But aside from making you feel "less alone" in your life, that doesn't accomplish anything.
And lastly, in regards to you being discriminated against for your beliefs, that's wrong and I'm sorry that happened to you. However, that doesn't mean that your beliefs are "sacred" or "deserving of respect". You have every right to live and think the way you want to, but I have every right to call you delusional. And I consider that a beautiful thing.
The Bible is very unique! Other historical recordings were all about glorifying and brown-nosing some ancient King, focusing on all his victories, but ignoring losses. The Bible recorded both the good and the bad, which was unique for that era, because no one liked to record when they lost. Also the miracles and uncanny events and supernatural beings are different from those of ancient Egypt and Greece, which are more about gods with imperfect personalities who were always trying to deceive one another and be the best, while the supernatural characters of the Bible behave perfectly - even the way Satan words things are so clever! Also the Bible has just one God...You see the Hebrew words for god and God (notice the capital) were different words, their word for "God" only ever referring to YHWH (Hebrew word probably sounding like "Yahwah", and translated into modern English as "Jehovah"), while "god" (now with no capital) is not used for YHWH. (*We only have one word for "God" so I have to use capital to show the difference.*)
Last edited by Hawk; 10-30-2011 at 05:26 AM.
You said that even though it's wrong that someone would go through discrimination just because of what they believe in is wrong, and yet my beliefs are not necessarily deserving of respect. This sounds contradictory, because if you show disrespect to someone because of what they believe in isn't that discrimination? By what you said it would be ok for me to call you delusional...But the thing is I don't want to. Even though I am not an atheist, and do not believe we evolved from apes, I feel no need to disrespect you for believing in those things. This is just one reason why I follow the Bible, because it teaches us to have respect for others, and to be peaceable with all men: 1 Peter 3:15, Romans 12:18.
The basis of the theory is that spacetime is not infinite, but there have been infinite universes before us and there will be infinite universes after us. Therefore, the singularity formed from a big crunch (where the universe becomes too unstable, and collapses on itself). From there the theory gets a little sketchy, because as you said, conventional physics does not work out of time. But the point is there is no need for a beginning, because there never was one, just as there will never be an end.
Also, regarding the prophecies, the thing is, when you're told that you're part of a prophecy, there is a compulsion to do said things in the prophecy. There's also the fact that the prophecies could have easily been written after the prophecy was completed.
But the book was not written by kings, for kings, or paid for by kings. It was entirely written by the people of Rome.The Bible is very unique! Other historical recordings were all about glorifying and brown-nosing some ancient King, focusing on all his victories, but ignoring losses. The Bible recorded both the good and the bad, which was unique for that era, because no one liked to record when they lost.
Still had them.Also the miracles and uncanny events and supernatural beings are different
Yahweh seems pretty nuts too.which are more about gods with imperfect personalities who were always trying to deceive one another and be the best
If you're a perfect being you don't need any of that. You can just sit around in your void. Also, the whole entire need for god to be in that equation defies Occam's Razor. The simplest solution is that a part of physics that we are currently unaware of caused the singularity to expand (NOT explode) into the current universe. The usage of of a god (god caused singularity to expand) complicates this. The second equation working under creationism doesn't matter - because it is a human invention. First, we must obey the laws of physics, then the beliefs of man.I don't disagree with the equation here. It still works logically with creationism, with God creating everything (including science), and he does it in such a way that it takes care of itself...And why not? If you were a god-like being with endless power wouldn't you design a world that doesn't need you to constantly pour the rain, grow the plants, and orbit it around the sun?
As for the prophecies, people could try to set up their situation so that it fits in with a prophecy, but in the case of Jesus there are too many fulfilled prophecies that he had absolutely no control over, such as where he was born, when he was born, the fact that he travelled to Egypt with his parents when he was a toddler, that he was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, that they cast lots over his clothing, the way people abused him when he was on the torture stake, and that he was pierced with a spear in the side and yet had no bones broken - unlike both the other people put to death along side him who had their legs broken.
It wasn't written by the people of Rome, but was written by Hebrews. The Roman writer (Paul) was a Roman citizen, but was a Jew, and he was not exactly in favour of the general population of Rome, since he were persecuted, beaten and thrown into prison!
Why do you say that Yahweh seems nuts?
The list goes on and on and on and on. I'm super thankful we DON'T live in a universe created by Yahweh. If we did, we would be a world held in the iron grip of an invincible lunatic dictator with a cult of personality.
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?Why do you say that Yahweh seems nuts?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"
-Epicurus, 33 C.E.
Firstly, God saying "Worship me above everything" is very reasonable, since if God did create everything then he's actually saying "Worship me, not my creation. Don't worship a piece of carved wood, or a human who thinks he 's god-like." - honestly, if he is the creator of everything (life, our existence, our planet), then is it too much to ask to give him the credit for it?
The flood of Noah's day was explained. First certain angels had done something very unnatural - materialized and taken human wives and had hybrid children, who turned out to be very nasty! Then there was the state of humankind in general back then (it wasn't exactly a nice period to live in), and he gave them plenty of time and warnings via Noah, who went out preaching to the people, trying to get them to save themselves, but they took no note until the flood came and slept them all away. Notice God always warns the people doing wrong and gives them a chance to turn around, but not everyone does. And since he is the creator he does have the right to dictate punishment over humanity, and to set up a moral code for humans to live by.
You may be thinking of Sodom and Gomorrah, where people were very bad. Lot (Bible character) came to live outside Sodom, and before the people of Sodom were destroyed he asked God to spare the city if there were just ten people who were good in it, but not even ten were found (basically it was explaining that Lot's family were the only good people there), and when Lot had visitors - who turned out to be angels - everybody in Sodom came out and tried to forcibly rape them! I'm talking young and old, everyone!
Black Gate, you are referring to why God allows suffering? There is definitely a reason for this...Let me try to explain using scriptures. Basically there are three main reasons: 1) Ecclesiastes 9:11 states "I return to see under the sun that the swift do not have the race, nor the mighty ones the battle, nor do the wise also have the food, nor do the understanding ones also have the riches, nor do even those having knowledge have the favour; because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all." Time and unforeseen occurrence befalls us all, so basically bad stuff just happens sometimes, and we can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
2) Ecclesiastes 8:9 says "All this I have seen, and there was an applying of my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his injury." Man ruling man to his injury is a huge part of our suffering - in other words a lot of it we do to ourselves as imperfect beings trying to self-govern without God's help.
3) 1 John 5:19 states "We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one." This states that Satan is in power at the moment, and controlling things happening in the world...Now why is that? Let's go back to the start...
In Genesis it explains the story of Adam and Eve, and how they lived as perfect beings with perfect health and had the ability to live forever. There is one tree in the garden they live in that God doesn't want them to touch, but as we know Satan tempts Eve and she goes and takes some, then Adam does too. This was them saying to God "We don't need you, we can rule ourselves!" So they rebelled and a universal issue came up...Can humans rule themselves without God's help? Now God could have ended it then and there, but the issue would have still been unsolved, and so he had two other choices. The first choice is to step back and let humans rule themselves, but step in whenever something bad happens to save the day - in other words not completely letting go, and not completely solving the issue. Second was to step back altogether and let humans try to rule themselves entirely, and let them try every government type, and once the issue is solved step in again. He chose the latter because he wanted to solve the issue completely. Now this also explains why we are all imperfect, since Adam is the forefather of all humans, so by becoming imperfect all of his offspring would also be imperfect through the genes. This is also the explanation for why Jesus had to die for us. You see Adam was originally perfect, so another perfect human had to be ransomed as a sacrifice to counter this, and to do this Jesus had to be born as a human and live his entire life without sinning, and then die a perfect being, which is what he did.
Here are a few scriptures that support this: Romans 5:12 points out that through Adam sin entered into the world. John 8:42 says that Gods sent Jesus. John 3:16 is about the ransom sacrifice.
Ok, so flip all the murdering around. What if someone walked in San Francisco (arguably a "worse" place than Sodom and Gomorrah ever was) and said, "I will murder every man woman and child in the place unless you either change your ways or flee!"
What would you call that person? Probably a psychopath with extreme homicidal tendencies. And there's your god. What a lovely guy.
The Bible (well let's get specific as the Old Testament and New Testament should really never be treated together when talking about the history of the Bible as they come from two different traditions and time periods), so the Old Testament isn't really all that unique as you seem to say. It's fairly typical of the Afro-Asiatic cultural group with identical stories in all the surrounding cultures (see the religious Ras Shamra tablets of Ugarit for the closest parallels). Anyway the Afro-Asiatic peoples originated somewhere in the Horn of Africa and then migrated into the Middle East and Northern Africa and became the Jews, Berbers, Egyptians, Babylonians, Canaanites, etc. etc. and just like all these people are all descended from the same proto-group of people, all their religions are also descended from the same religion of that proto-group. Which is why there's a bunch of parallels in terms of myths and worship between them.
Anyway, the real significance of the New Testament is that it represents a merging of the Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European religious groupings (the Indo-Europeans originating between the Black and Caspian Seas, and becoming the Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Norse, Indians, Persians, Tocharians, etc. etc.). Which is why if you analyze the structure of the Jesus "myth" it basically parallels the Proto-Indo-European creation myth, and elements of the major Mystery Cults of Rome (all of which, Dionysus, Zoroastrianism, Mithras were of Indo-European origin).
This is not to discredit Christianity. There is a historicity around Jesus. I'm just saying you should never really take any text, sacred or otherwise, at purely face value. (For example, Jesus did not really flee into Egypt, that story was added to the Bible to add another parallel between Jesus and Moses. However, this was deliberately and knowingly done, it wasn't meant to fool the audience of the time, but teach--the original intended audience knew it was a comparison). These types of texts are, however, invaluable in understanding the cultural evolution of societies as a whole.
Last edited by istry555; 10-30-2011 at 11:04 PM.
The story of Adam and Eve is ripe with problems. First, what about incest? Adam and Eve's sons and daughters would have no other humans to reproduce with.In Genesis it explains the story of Adam and Eve, and how they lived as perfect beings with perfect health and had the ability to live forever. There is one tree in the garden they live in that God doesn't want them to touch, but as we know Satan tempts Eve and she goes and takes some, then Adam does too. This was them saying to God "We don't need you, we can rule ourselves!" So they rebelled and a universal issue came up...Can humans rule themselves without God's help? Now God could have ended it then and there, but the issue would have still been unsolved, and so he had two other choices. The first choice is to step back and let humans rule themselves, but step in whenever something bad happens to save the day - in other words not completely letting go, and not completely solving the issue. Second was to step back altogether and let humans try to rule themselves entirely, and let them try every government type, and once the issue is solved step in again. He chose the latter because he wanted to solve the issue completely. Now this also explains why we are all imperfect, since Adam is the forefather of all humans, so by becoming imperfect all of his offspring would also be imperfect through the genes. This is also the explanation for why Jesus had to die for us. You see Adam was originally perfect, so another perfect human had to be ransomed as a sacrifice to counter this, and to do this Jesus had to be born as a human and live his entire life without sinning, and then die a perfect being, which is what he did.
Also, if God is omniscient, he would have known well ahead of creation that Adam and Eve were going to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. As Epicurus said, therefore he is malevolent and obviously not a God. And the problem of evil has an earlier stem than Adam and Eve - that story is simply supposed to explain sin within humans. Were did the snake come from? What earlier crime had it committed to be able to be evil? The simple knowledge that God knew his creation would sin and be doomed to suffering is that of an unjust and hateful God. A God that confines people to a fiery, endless torture, for simply not believing in him, is unjust and cruel. A God that is omnipresent and omniscient should know exactly why and how I am going to not believe in him, so if he is omnibenevolent, he should send all people to heaven, as he knows why they would not believe in him.
As I said before - if Adam brought sin into the world, how could the snake lie? Is lying not a sin?Here are a few scriptures that support this: Romans 5:12 points out that through Adam sin entered into the world. John 8:42 says that Gods sent Jesus. John 3:16 is about the ransom sacrifice.
What evidence do you have that Jesus never fled into Egypt with his parents? And there still are all the other fulfilled prophecies that he had no control over.
As we know with animals, species develop from the original animal, such as the dog - there are so many breeds of dog, yet they all are related. This is not proof of evolution though, since a dog is still in the end a dog, and not a bird or fish. So basically there were a lot less species of animals around, and later they spread around the earth and the different environments assisted in developing many species. Australian wildlife is a great example of this.
There is plenty of evidence that a world-wide flood occurred, such as shells being found up on top of mountains everywhere around the globe, and the fact that nearly every culture and people in every corner of the planet as a flood story.
Adam and Eve's children would have had to marry each other...There was no one else at the time. I'm not supporting incest, but this was a necessary step at the time - if they didn't then humans would've died out. Also at the time they were much closer to perfection, since people were still living for hundreds of years at the time, so there would not have been negative effects to incest so early on.
God can look into the future if he likes, but he doesn't since that would fix the future like destiny, and so he allows for free will, which is quite a gift!
The snake is not to blame, but the spirit creature that puppeted it. It was just an animal that was fitting in Satan's opinion to use.
Lying is a sin, and that is why Satan is called the "Father of the lie". Satan himself sinned, but Satan is not our genetic forefather, and thus did not give us all sin, as Adam did via genetics.
Regarding Adam, Eve, and the Snake, the snake is basically the devil. If you wonder how the devil exists, Lucifer was actually one of God's most highly regarded angels in Heaven. However, Lucifer plotted to make himself the most powerful being in existence. Naturally, God didn't take kindly to this so Lucifer was kicked out of Heaven and sent to Hell for all eternity. Thus, with Lucifer/Satan lurking around, it was only a matter of time before he tried to seduce Adam and Eve. When it came to incest, the Bible does not explicitly say anywhere about who else God created (again, most people do not take it for face value on historical matters), but its implied pretty heavily when Cain fears being killed by random people (Gen 4:14-16), finds a wife and founds a city (Gen 4:17), and when people began to call on the name of God (Gen 4:26) that there were more people than just Adam and Eve in the world.
This is the opinion from someone I think may be an Agnostic. He's against Atheism and Religion, and is not altogether tactful, but this is interesting nonetheless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkMsk5yH5O4
Let me know what you think.
Are you really not understanding this very basic concept?