Why not vary the originally adopted format of watching a movie and commenting on it?! At the tip of an MC member, the meeting of a Bible Study group was sampled this past Wednesday, which yielded an official invitation for MC to co-sponsor the next discussion.
Whether one takes the Judeo-Christian Bible “seriously”, with suspicion/hostility, or professes to ignore it, isn’t it true that the morality of the “West” is to this day very much in line with some basic Biblical postulates? And isn’t it true that even “atheists” and “agnostics” may slip into the idiomatic use of references to “God”? In any case, those with philosophical inclination and/or disciplinary commitment cannot avoid running into the Christian worldview when analyzing key philosophers of the European Middle Ages and the Enlightenment, nor are its repercussions to be overlooked in the colonial and post-/neo-colonial context. Spiritual or academic, or both, Christianity underlies various present-day “cultures” in intricate, socio-historically evolved ways.
for those mildly or substantively interested:
Last Wednesday, sitting in a comfortable circle, the group, led by a United Church minister, read from Genesis, then addressed questions such as
- Are humans inherently sinful? – recall the “born in sin” presumption
- Does the “original sin” turn the Creator away from humans?
- What IS said “sin”?
So, it was established that the text of Genesis does not bear out either
- that humans are hardwired for sin (being unable to avoid doing “bad”, if you like),
- that Adam and Eve’s transgression — eating from the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil, despite being warned that that would bring death upon them — turned God away from humans.
Alas, if deeds that are not “good” cannot be blamed on “human nature”, a whole lot of injustices would have the justificatory rug pulled from under them. And if God clothed Adam and Eve, to protect them from the cold of a mortal life away from Eden, we would have no excuses for blaming on a punitive deity our feelings of unhappiness, even hopelessness. Nor would we be able to wallow in dramatic despair over the inaccessibility of happiness if Eden was on Earth, to start with, no in a “heaven”.
The yummy part for those in the “knowledge-business”, of course, is that the Fall was due not to engaging in sensual pleasures (as it has come to be interpreted in the popular consciousness), but to reaching for out-of-reach Knowledge — presumably the kind to which a God was entitled, but not humans.
Here’s the story of the Biblical fall in YouTube’s category — guess which — “Education”