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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:50 am 
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8)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:09 am 
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WampusCat wrote:
I'd feel a lot safer in this forum if there were less talk about kicking cats and more about worshipping them. Just sayin'.

Theologically yours,

WampusCat :halo:


Yet again with Felinists wanting everyone to worship as they do. :roll: Some of us rightly refuse to worship any being that will not participate in a rousing game of fetch. Please note that this post is srs bsns and respond accordingly.

Sincerely yours,

Caninists everywhere 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:14 am 
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My cat plays fetch. I am constantly fetching up food and toys for him. Unless it's the stick toy and it's the middle of the night. Under those circumstances, he's fetching the cursed toy back to me...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:31 am 
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About one universal point of agreement between all religions is that Wampus Cats should be worshipped and adored.
:bow: :bow: :bow:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:35 am 
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of Vinyamar
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Anyone want to fill me in on the story with Adams first wife Lillith? I remember reading about it before. I could google of course, but I prefer asking you guys! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:19 pm 
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River wrote:
My cat plays fetch. I am constantly fetching up food and toys for him.


That's you playing fetch and the cat being amused by your behavior. Which may or may not be an apt analogy of religion, depending. ;)

One thing about the creation story that has been overlooked here is the motivation of Adam and Eve to disobey god. The serpent told Eve that eating the fruit would make them like god, the implication being that they would no longer need god, they would no longer have to obey god or worship god or follow his rules. They could make their own rules, or have no rules at all, they could worship themselves or force others to worship them, they would be beholden to no one and subject to no other will but their own. They could hurt others with impunity, they could lie, cheat, steal, fool around, whatever they wanted, they would be gods themselves so nothing else would matter.

The bible, despite its plethora of seeming contradictions, does offer a pretty good basis for a moral code. There are some thing you can't do, some things you shouldn't do, some things you should do. You can't be god yourself, you can't make up your own rules, you have to live within the rules given to you. You shouldn't lie, cheat, steal, kill people or fool around. You should take care of your parents. You should take a day off. Simple stuff, perhaps lacking in subtlety, but things most people should be able to agree on.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Good post, tinwë. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:44 pm 
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To cats, we are staff.

It seems to me that we are all pretty much in a kind of loose agreement that there is plenty of good stuff in the bible.

There is.

But to me, it's only a book containing some very interesting and/or disturbing stories - after all, humans do a lot of interesting and/or disturbing things. It also contains some rules.

The stories and the rules seem common among humans. Details tend to vary.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:02 pm 
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My cat plays fetch, too.


I'm interested in the deal on Lilith (Lillith?), as well.

I've always taken the "two" Creation accounts as the same thing from two different perspectives. I tend to think that the first one was told to Adam by God, and I tend to think that Adam wrote as much of the second account as he could. Alternately, one is an overview and the other goes into more detail on a few specific points, like the creation of woman. I don't really see contradictions in the two accounts. <shrug>

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:08 pm 
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AThey could make their own rules, or have no rules at all, they could worship themselves or force others to worship them, they would be beholden to no one and subject to no other will but their own. They could hurt others with impunity, they could lie, cheat, steal, fool around, whatever they wanted, they would be gods themselves so nothing else would matter.


That's a new one to me. Where does it say that this was the motivation?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:40 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Anyone want to fill me in on the story with Adams first wife Lillith? I remember reading about it before. I could google of course, but I prefer asking you guys! :)

You may have to google it :D I just stumbled across a reference to Lilith myself last night on wiki: Life of Adam and Eve.

Prim> Point taken. :love:

As I said I'm not sure what was intended there. Regarding the comment about the Sabbath: I attended an informal study at a new (to me) church and the leader made a comment to the effect, "the Sabbath rest in the creation story may be referring to entering a state of grace or going to heaven. It is not the same thing as keeping the Sabbath Day (Saturday) or the Lord's Day (Sunday) holy."

That was an idea I had never heard expressed before. It would seem to support a view that in the creation story a day wasn't a literal day (24hrs sunset to sunset). Unfortunately there wasn't time for me to ask him to elaborate...

Sort of related to this, this morning I had occasion to read Ezekiel 13, subtitled False Profits Condemned. I was blown away by the imagery there, the way it encapsulated an idea with a level of sophistication usually only observed among the best of artists.


Re cats. Cats seem to like me. Unless circling my feet as I walk is meant to trip me so they can eat me.

We've had a cat for years named Lily. She is bitey but in a good way. And she is pretty, a tortoiseshell. The only other cat I ever loved was Dr. Snuggles (she was my cat) but she was ill from her youth and died. The cat here where I am living at present is named Kenny. He is the one that soiled the dryer. And he is utterly insane... to his credit, though his first Christmas, he has not been molesting the Christmas tree.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
I don't really see contradictions in the two accounts. <shrug>


Lali, in the first account, God creates Man (ie: humans) in God's own image - male and female BOTH in God's image. In other words, both Male and Female are representations of God - both equal. He places both of them in the garden and it's all good.

In the second, more lengthy account, God creates a man. Then the man gets lonely, and so God decides - AFTER the creation is already finished, mind - to create a "helper" for the man. Not a partner. A helper. He doesn't create her from the clay, as he created the man. He creates her OUT of the man. She is NOT as important as the man. She is less. The man has sovereignty over her.

And thus it began.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:08 pm 
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http://www.straightdope.com/columns/rea ... first-wife

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Dear Straight Dope:

What's this I hear every so often about Lillith, Adam's (as in adam and Eve) first wife?

— Jack-E in killeen

We dunno what you've heard. You could have heard Lilith is a model for Oppressed Womanhood. You could have heard she's a succubus who gives men wet dreams. You could have heard that she's a demoness who murders babies. You could have heard that she's a goddess, the wife of Death.

On the one hand there are all these (and likely other) interpretations. On the other hand there are the legends themselves, which are also quite varied, from Jewish folklore. Let's start with a paraphrase of the most familiar legend, which dates to medieval times, from the controversial work known as the Alphabet of Ben Sirah, including a few of our own interjections:

When God created Adam, he was lonely, so God created Lilith from the same dust from which Adam was molded. But they quarrelled; Adam [the proverbial domineering male] wished to rule over Lilith. But Lilith [a militant feminist] was also proud and willful, claiming equality with Adam because she was created from the same dust. She left Adam and fled the Garden. God sent three angels in pursuit of Lilith. They caught her and ordered her to return to Adam. She refused, and said that she would henceforth weaken and kill little children, infants and babes. The angels overpowered her, and she promised that if the mother hung an amulet over the baby bearing the names of the three angels, she would stay away from that home. So they let her go, and God created Eve to be Adam's mate [created from Adam's rib, so that she couldn't claim equality]. And ever since, Lilith flies around the world, howling her hatred of mankind through the night, and vowing vengeance because of the shabby treatment she had received from Adam. She is also called "The Howling One."

You can see how this legend could lead to various interpretations, depending on whether you think she is noble (in rebelling against male domination) or evil (in vowing vengeance against innocent babies.)

But where does this legend come from? The author of Ben Sirah basically wove together three separate threads from centuries earlier works, because Lilith is a very ancient legend.

Let's start with the Bible as primary source material. Genesis of course mentions Adam and Eve, but -- please note -- doesn't mention Lilith. The idea of Lilith as a "prior first woman" before Eve arises much later. The only reference to Lilith in the Bible (Old or New Testaments) is Isaiah 34:14, probably written around 540 BC; it's a description of desolation, jackals and ravens among nettles and briers, etc.: "Goat demons shall greet each other; there too the lilith will repose." Most of the other creatures referenced in this poetry cannot be positively identified. The KJV, following the Vulgate, translates "the lilith" as "the night demon," confusing the lili- with the Hebrew word for night. But presumably Isaiah meant some sort of demon.

The notion of a lilith as a demon is probably Assyrian (say around 700 BC), incorporated into Isaiah by way of the ancient Israelite contacts with the mythologies of Babylonia and Chaldea. The Assyrians had three female demons, Lilit, Lilu,and Ardat Lilit. There's little doubt that the Hebrew lilith-demon mentioned in Isaiah was a folkloric adaptation of the Assyrian demons.

Several hundred years after Isaiah, we find Talmudic writings that describe Lilith (now as a named demon, rather than a broad category) as an irresistibly seductive she-demon with long hair (presumably worn loose, a sure sign of wantonness) and wings. Terey wants us to be sure to say that she's a succubus. She seduces unwary men, then savagely kills the children she bears for them.

From this, she becomes the demon responsible for the death of babies. In ancient times, one needed to protect against such demons; today, we blame other factors for the death of infants. To guard against Lilith, superstitious Jews would hang four amulets, one on the wall of each room of a newborn babe, with the inscription "Lilith - abi!" ["Lilith - begone!"] which some think is the origin, much later, of the English word "lullaby."

OK, that's legend one: a she-demon who kills babies.

Legend two: early rabbinic writings about Adam and Eve. There are rabbinic midrashim, stories filling in the gaps in the text, that tell of Adam and Eve after they leave the garden. Adam is angry with Eve for causing so much trouble, so he leaves her, and is beset by demons (called "lilith"; the name is still a generic category of demon). A particular lilith called Penzai seduces Adam and becomes pregnant. Got it? So that legend associates a lilith with Adam.

Legend three: an early midrash that puzzles about why Eve is created from a rib of Adam, why not created equally with him? The midrash suggests the creation of a prior "first woman" (unnamed) who doesn't work out as a fitting companion for Adam.

OK, so around a thousand years later (give or take a few centuries), the Alphabet of Ben Sira creates the story we started with, tying together all three legends, merging (1) Lilith the child-slaying night-demon story with (2) Penzai the lilith who seduces Adam with (3) the "prior first woman" story.

This mingling of legends provided a good Jewish context for the ancient custom of making the Lilith amulets (thus exonerating the custom from the taint of superstition or witchcraft.) That's why the legend of Lilith as Adam's first wife doesn't emerge until medieval times, although the strands of the story are much earlier.

The Zohar, the great book of Jewish mysticism from the 12th Century, adds yet another dimension. The Zohar generally doesn't mention Lilith by name, but refers to her as the wife of Samael, the Angel of Death ... and sometimes as the wife of Satan. She sleeps with men, causing wet dreams, and she collects semen from the marriage bed. (Flowing semen is a symbol of life, the white fluid, contrasted with flowing blood as a symbol of death, the red fluid, so the demoness who kills children collecting semen is symbolically very neat.)

So that's the legend(s) and their origin(s). A little confusing, but demonology is not an exact science.

Now, a brief footnote in Modern Times. You can imagine that modern feminists would latch on to the rabbinic story of punishment for resisting male domination, and use Lilith as a symbol. It's a two-edged symbol, of course, since Lilith as a demon who destroys newborns pre-dates the medieval explanation of Lilith as a rebellious wife. However, the modern use of Lilith as a symbol of oppressed womanhood is quite strong.

For tons more information, check out http:/www.lilitu.com/lilith/

A warning, though: because Lilith is used a modern symbol, some websites have distorted the legends to meet their political agendas. That's OK, we're not quibbling with that, that's one of the reasons that legends and mythologies persist is that they can grow and develop. We're just saying, be careful to separate modern interpretations from earlier historic ones.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:36 pm 
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SirDennis wrote:
Alatar wrote:
Anyone want to fill me in on the story with Adams first wife Lillith? I remember reading about it before. I could google of course, but I prefer asking you guys! :)

You may have to google it :D I just stumbled across a reference to Lilith myself last night on wiki: Life of Adam and Eve.


Oops, upon rereading that link, I realised it wasn't there the reference was found but from something surfed to (re Talmund) from there. Still the Life of Adam and Eve entry is worth reading. It does not appear to be a source of the condemnation (blaming) of women J.S. observes in the Biblical account.

Either way here is an entry on Lilith, also from wiki. This part seems especially relevant to this discussion:
Quote:
There is an ongoing scholarly debate as to whether the concept of Lilith occurs in the Bible. The only possible occurrence is in the Book of Isaiah 34:13–15, describing the desolation of Edom, where the Hebrew word lilit (or lilith) appears in a list of eight unclean animals, some of which may have demonic associations. Since the word lilit (or lilith) is a hapax legomenon in the Hebrew Bible and the other seven terms in the list are better documented, the reading of scholars and translators is often guided by a decision about the complete list of eight creatures as a whole.[73][74] Quoting from Isaiah 34 (NAB):
(12) Her nobles shall be no more, nor shall kings be proclaimed there; all her princes are gone. (13) Her castles shall be overgrown with thorns, her fortresses with thistles and briers. She shall become an abode for jackals and a haunt for ostriches. (14) Wildcats shall meet with desert beasts, satyrs shall call to one another; There shall the lilith repose, and find for herself a place to rest. (15) There the hoot owl shall nest and lay eggs, hatch them out and gather them in her shadow; There shall the kites assemble, none shall be missing its mate. (16) Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there. (17) It is he who casts the lot for them, and with his hands he marks off their shares of her; They shall possess her forever, and dwell there from generation to generation.
(Emphasis mine.)

ETA xpost with Al. So do you want us to comment on what you already read? :rofl: What do you think about the article you posted? (Buying time in order to read it ;) )


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:42 pm 
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JewelSong wrote:
Lalaith wrote:
I don't really see contradictions in the two accounts. <shrug>


Lali, in the first account, God creates Man (ie: humans) in God's own image - male and female BOTH in God's image. In other words, both Male and Female are representations of God - both equal. He places both of them in the garden and it's all good.

In the second, more lengthy account, God creates a man. Then the man gets lonely, and so God decides - AFTER the creation is already finished, mind - to create a "helper" for the man. Not a partner. A helper. He doesn't create her from the clay, as he created the man. He creates her OUT of the man. She is NOT as important as the man. She is less. The man has sovereignty over her.

And thus it began.


That's not how I read it at all, Jewel. I don't see the subordination taking place till after the Fall.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
That's not how I read it at all, Jewel. I don't see the subordination taking place till after the Fall.


Quote:
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.


In this passage, it is clear that the woman was NOT part of the original creation. She was made after none of the animals suited Adam as a "helper." She was not made out of the earth, as all the other living things were. She was taken out of the man.

Did God create Man in God's image - male and female? Or did God make a man and then, later on, make a woman to be his "helper?"

ETA: And none of the translations use a word anything like "partner." It is clear that the woman is a helper, an assistant.

The stories don't line up.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:54 pm 
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You can create a female clone from male cells, but not vice versa.

The Powers That Be cutting corners again. Just copy from previous design, not engineer the new one to be resistant to female problems like pelvic prolapse. :rage:


;)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:01 pm 
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To Al, but also sort of to the emerging thread:

Interesting article Al, I've never heard or read any of that before. I knew Lilith was a symbol of Women's Rights, and there is the festival-style concert series Lilith Fair...

With all the extra-biblical stories about (or featuring) Adam and Eve, the existence of which I've only learned about in the past 24 hours -- apart from Paradise Lost, which I have not yet read -- it is not surprising to me that it is hard to reach a consensus on what we are supposed to take away from the Biblical account.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:05 pm 
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We won't agree, Jewel.

If man is created in God's image and woman is created from man, then she is also created in God's image. And an overview perspective (man and woman are created, God rests) versus a detailed account (God made man and everything, waited a bit, and then made woman from man) can account for the differences there.

And "help meet" (the KJV's choice) is not a bad word. It's from a root word that means "to surround, to protect, to aid, to succour, to help." To me, the original intent was not for subordination, and I don't see the idea of inferiority in any of those actual meanings of the word.


Alatar, that's really interesting! I especially liked the part about the origin of our word "lullaby."

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
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They could make their own rules, or have no rules at all, they could worship themselves or force others to worship them, they would be beholden to no one and subject to no other will but their own. They could hurt others with impunity, they could lie, cheat, steal, fool around, whatever they wanted, they would be gods themselves so nothing else would matter.


That's a new one to me. Where does it say that this was the motivation?


In Genesis 3:5 the serpent says "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." The rest is, admittedly, just interpretation, but it is what I was taught was meant by the passage.

I was also taught to view the story as a metaphor for ourselves - that we are fallen, not because we are born that way (although there is still that) but because we all ultimately make the same choice as Adam and Eve, to do what we know is wrong, to turn away from god, from rules, from morality, because we think we don't need those things.


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