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What is the source of human conscience?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Saint Steven, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Did something good come from something bad?

    It seems that the source of human conscience, our innate ability to know right from wrong, came from the Fall of humanity in Genesis chapter three.

    Was the result of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, our human conscience, that gives us the ability to know right from wrong?

    Is our ability to know right from wrong the result of sinful disobedience to God?

    I've been puzzling about this. Any ideas?

    --- EDIT ---

    Here's the scripture that makes me puzzle about this.

    Romans 2:14-15
    (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  2. Heart2Soul

    Heart2Soul Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WOW, must be the theme this week because we have been discussing this for the past few days on the sister forum....Christianity Board. One thing I believe is that the thought never crossed Adam or Eve's mind to eat the fruit until is was planted by the serpent.
     
  3. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks for your reply. Does the consensus on the other forum seem to agree with the idea that the source of human conscience is from the Fall? (eating the forbidden fruit)
     
  4. Jeshu

    Jeshu Bought by His Blood Supporter

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    Absolutely a conscience in a fallen world is good but a guilty conscious is no good, while a conscience that has been seared as by a hot iron is even worse. A clear conscience, as we receive from Jesus Christ, is in fact not much of a conscience more like a crystal sea so the gap between sinners and God can be bridged again.

    To know wrong from right and then to do it wrong delivers scorpion stings as it were to the transgressor, guilt and shame play a big part in this as well. Have you noticed how the conscience can stoke a fire in the hearts and minds of those who have fallen? Tell tale sign of where such life is going to end up with out a mediator i reckon.

    So i think Adam and Eve already had a conscience in place but it wasn't invoked yet by wrong doing. Yet when their eyes were opened to good and bad then their conscience became their guardian angel so to speak. Though a guilty conscience attacks the wrong doer it doesn't lead to salvation but rather condemnation for satan knows how to manipulate the human psyche like no other. That is why the law fell short in saving people from their sins because our conscience is defiled by sin as well and does not lead back to God but more often than not away from Him.
     
  5. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Okay, thanks.
    Here's a question: Why do you think it was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
     
  6. Heart2Soul

    Heart2Soul Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a lot debate about the tree of good and evil and the other tree, the tree of life. So I think what it is coming down to is that God had a plan from the foundation of earth before He created mankind and it had to do with the fall of Satan (which was before the creation of man). God is Omnipotent and therefore knows the beginning and the end of all things. When He created mankind in His image He gave them a conscious and free will and the tree was the test. So after eating they became aware of their nakedness (not physical but spiritual) and became as god.
    21The LORD God made garments of skin and clothed Adam and his wife. 22Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. And now, lest he reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...” 23Therefore the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.…
    Without the knowledge of good and evil their existence was based on the commandments God gave Adam and nothing else. I don't think Eve understood the power of that knowledge and the consequences of her actions until that moment. That is when her conscious became fully opened to know she sinned against God.
     
  7. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks.
    The part of that scripture that really stands out to me is in verse 22. It says to me that they didn't know good and evil prior to eating the forbidden fruit.

    22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. …
     
  8. drjean

    drjean Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I believe both adams had a conscience from the get-go. Perhaps they just didn't have what modern man calls a 'guilty' conscience because there were no guilty feelings, with only one 'rule' from God. God created us with free will (yep, I said it and I believe it.) That means they had the ability to reason what they wanted to do and why they didn't want to do things. IF they did not have free will in the garden, then they would have been controlled and never would have broken God's rule.

    They took care of the garden, including the tree of knowledge of good and evil... they surely must have thought about what the fruit tasted like, since they had tasted everything else in the garden. Perhaps even the animals ate the fallen fruit on the ground. They even might have been "tempted" as we would call it, to taste it but they knew that God said no, and they didn't. They didn't give in because of their conscience to do good, reminding them of God's request? It wasn't until the walking serpent enticed them and twisted God's word that they gave in. Being tempted/tested is not sin, as witnessed by Jesus' being tested/tempted by satan as well. I think they were passing that test each time they tended to that tree. They had chosen not to eat for who knows how many decades?

    And, I believe that we talked back and forth with all the animals, but we lost that ability with the fall. This is why it was not surprising to eve when the devil spoke to her through the serpent. If you are an animal person, you 'know' they learn just what we are saying when they spend a lot of time with us. We just don't know all the time what they want to say.
     
  9. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks for your reply.
    This reminds me of what the serpent said. Comparing this with verse 22, I would say that they did not have a conscience until they ate. That changed everything. Much more to say about all this. But let's take it one step at a time.

    Genesis 3:4-5
    “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
     
  10. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    All what we consider “bad” (satan roaming the earth, Christ going to the cross, death, hell, tragedies of all kinds and even sin itself), God allows and can even cause tragedies to help willing mature adult individuals to fulfill their earthly objective.

    Increasing the ways man can sin (offences toward God) is not bad and helps willing mature adults in their fulfilling their objective.
     
  11. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    He did know right from wrong.
     
  12. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    How?
     
  13. Heart2Soul

    Heart2Soul Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No Adam only knew obedience until he "learned" disobedience and that happened when his eyes were opened and he now understood good and evil. Then his shame came upon him and he hid from God.
     
  14. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    That's good.
    This would be a good time to point out the unanswered question in Genesis chapter three. “Who told you that you were naked? - vs 11

    Who indeed?
     
  15. Heart2Soul

    Heart2Soul Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Exactly....it was his own knowledge of it....he now realized he was no longer covered by God's Grace......but he was quick to start justifying himself by saying it was that woman that YOU gave me....she told me to eat so I did....so basically Adam is telling God hey you were the one that gave me this woman who must have had some fault in how you created her cause look what she made me do.
     
  16. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Yes. While all that is true, there is another point I am driving toward here.

    At the moment that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they opened a door in their mind. A door that had been previously closed. They quite literally lost their minds.

    At the end of Genesis chapter two we read this.
    Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. - Genesis 2:25

    As soon as they ate the forbidden fruit, we read this.
    Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. - Genesis 3:7-8

    To me, this was the first appearance of that condemning voice we have in our head. The psychologists call it negative self-talk. We all have it. Most Christians understand that it is the enemy of our soul speaking. And I believe it entered at the Fall of humanity.

    Satan wanted to gain access to the human mind. The temptation to do wrong was from an outside source at the Fall. After that, the tempter is in our head. This is my take on it, of course.

    Once the enemy gained access to our minds, the first thing he told both Adam and Eve was a lie. He made a shaming comment about their nakedness. Something that had never been an issue before. And he is still lying to us today.

    God asked Adam,
    “Who told you that you were naked?" - vs 11

    Who indeed?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  17. Heart2Soul

    Heart2Soul Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh yeah, I see what you are driving at and it is a very good point and why we must guard our minds and cast down vain thoughts...not entertain any thoughts that exalts itself above the Will of God.
     
  18. Heart2Soul

    Heart2Soul Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is off topic but go check out this thread and what is being said on it....:rolleyes:
    https://www.christianforums.com/posts/73171910/
     
  19. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Exactly. Notice the reference to "double-minded" in this scripture. Where do we suppose that double-mindedness came from?

    James 4:7-8
    Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In the next chapter in Genesis, God has a talk with Cain about this. "Sin" is described as "crouching at your door", as if ready to pounce on us. God says, it desires to have us, but we must rule over it.

    Genesis 4:6-7
    Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
     
  20. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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