R_speir and the People Outside the Garden

You sound confused. I have no idea what you are driving at here referring to “thoughts”. The real threat was from God himself - who by the way, everyone believed in. Your argument is air only. My argument is real.

You know better than that. She did not have a say one way or the other. She knew to keep her mouth shut in that culture. Wherever he went, she went by default. Again, your argument is air only. No substance.

You make things up then ask us to take you seriously. Who said one person was going to build a city? Only you have said it thus far. Your arguments are air only. No reality. No substance.

So you have no idea what I’m driving at and I’m the one who sounds confused? Interesting. The Mark of Cain prevents people from killing him, but it doesn’t make people like him. It makes people stop seeking revenge but it doesn’t make them stop wishing they could get revenge. Is that not clear?

What culture? It’s just those two. Other people are family members in your scenario. And in your scenario they all hate Cain. Bet they would all take her in.

Nobody. I said “family”, which is in fact your claim, that Cain, his wife, and their children built the city. I can at least agree that you are confused.

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@r_speir

The Cain-centric evidence for humans prior to Eden is not limited to his so-called curse. We have THAT … plus Cain’s marriage, plus Cain’s city.

You are obfuscating.

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He’s already “explained” all those things, so you need to criticize his explanations, not his failure to note the evidence. (Should have put quotes around “evidence” too.)

Oh, you’ve crafted a real argument? Then please lay out its premises and conclusion formally, showing how the conclusion logically follows from those premises. You should be able to do this, if your argument is as airtight as you claim. Then I will point out how what I’ve already said, far from being mere wishful thinking, undermines said argument.

Though to be honest, the fact that you refuse to acknowledge the counterarguments already put forward leads to me suspect that you are either trolling, or engaged in the exact kind of wishful thinking that you accuse me of. Or you just need to read what I’ve written more carefully. I’m hoping you’ll do that in the course of laying out your argument formally.

I would formalize your argument myself to point out where it goes wrong, but I don’t want to misrepresent you.

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Why not? You constantly misrepresent Scripture. My argument can be summed in 2 questions that you cannot answer. 1. Why would a pre-Adamic hominid want to find and kill Cain? 2. And if indeed question 1. could even be successfully answered, how would a mark from God prevent one from killing Cain? If you get past question 1, you will not get past question 2 and Cain is dead within months.

Cain went out with his wife [and settled down, by the way, which is also a fact you cannot answer], had a son he named Enoch, built a city that he named after his son, had many sons and daughters in his 730 year life, who in turn, also had many sons and daughters, who in turn, etc, etc. Hence, a sizeable city in very few generations.

You don’t have an argument. All you have is a complaint. Answer the questions.

Questions aren’t arguments, @r_speir. Particularly not questions that have already been answered (even if you continue to ignore those responses, and refuse to address them or say why they are inadequate).

Formulate an argument - premises and a conclusion that follows logically from them. You should be able to do this since you claim your reasoning is so airtight that only one interpretation of the text is possible here.

How small. Ok new response.

Answer the questions posed or we do not have an intelligent conversation.

Do you actually think that neighboring tribes never hunt down and execute fugitives from other tribes who are murderers? Murderers are viewed as a danger to all, not just their own tribe.

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I can’t speak for Matt, but here are my answers:

  1. Why would a pre-Adamic hominid want to find and kill Cain?
    Nothing obvious comes to mind. Maybe they heard about his reputation and didn’t want him around. Maybe they were paid by Seth etc. But the Cain story may be fictional anyway, in which case the question is moot.

  2. How would a mark from God prevent one from killing Cain?
    No idea.

Can you now formulate a logical argument with premises and conclusion?

I don’t need to. Since you can’t legitimately answer these basic preliminary questions, you have no choice but to concede my premise before it even gets developed. In other words, I will spend several hours in developing an argument (and you know I can do it), and in the meantime your answers to these questions will not change. So…I won’t waste my time.

Conclusion: Cain’s remarks to God cannot be used to argue for a pre-Adamic race outside the Garden of Eden. Here is my strong request to scholars: Stop doing it

I not only do not know that you can develop such an argument, I’m confident that you can’t do it, and you’re just looking for an excuse to bail - not least because if you did have such an argument it wouldn’t take several hours to present, just a minute or so. I’m not even sure that you know what such an argument would even look like.

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Very well, then. I will risk danger of Proverbs 26:4 in order to take the advice of Proverbs 26:5 for your sake.

What was it that Jesus said to the Sadducees? "Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?" Those are the reasons you are wrong as well. I suspect there’s some failure to understand the hypothesis you are arguing against, as well, given the way you phrase the questions.

It isn’t really correct to call the people outside the Garden in Adam’s time “pre-Adamic hominids”. These are Adam’s contemporaries and of the same biological kind as him. A pretty natural way to frame the GAE hypothesis is that the people outside the garden are made in the image of God as well, according to Genesis 1. So the question you really want to ask is “Why would a person from outside the Garden want to find and kill Cain?”

And the answer is, even that question has some false presuppositions. Look at the text closely. Cain says “Anyone who finds me will kill me”, not “Anyone who tries to hunt me down will kill me.” Cain isn’t afraid of people wanting to find and kill him. He is afraid of people wanting to kill him if they happen to find him. This is an important difference in evaluating the force of your “argument”. (In support of my claim here, the Hebrew word translated “find”, like the English word, does not carry any particular connotation of intentionally searching for something - you can find something without having been looking for it.)

Moreover, you place much emphasis on Cain’s being called a fugitive, and this indicating that the reason for his fear must have been the potential for vengeance. But (as I suspected when I did a quick search though some other translations), the Hebrew words translated “fugitive” and “wandererdon’t carry the connotation of the English word fugitive; there’s no sense of running away from retribution or danger in those words. Rather, both of them convey only the sense of wandering or lacking stability; they are employed together for alliteration.

So the text simply does not require that the people Cain is afraid of have any motive to hunt him down; they just need a motive to kill him if they happen to meet him. And there is a readily available possible motive for that, particularly for people outside the Garden who are already settled in their lands: he is a stranger, encroaching on their territory. Fear of vengeance is not the only possible reading. You do not know the scriptures.

How does the mark prevent a member of Adam’s family from killing Cain? It prevents people outside the Garden from killing Cain in the same way.

In order for the mark to be effective, the people who see it must know it is from God and must know what it means for them if they kill the one bearing it. You seem to be assuming that God can communicate these things to Adam’s family, but not to people outside the Garden? My only response to that - same as it was before - is why on earth not!?

God can speak to people outside of the Garden to warn them of the consequences of killing Cain, just as he can with Adam’s family. Hence, God is able to prevent people outside the Garden from killing Cain just as easily as he can prevent people from Adam’s family from killing Cain. You have given absolutely no reason to think otherwise; you’ve merely asserted it. You don’t know the power of God.

Because of God’s protection, Cain was able to settle down, yes. This isn’t “also a fact I cannot answer”; if I can answer your question 2, this gets answered automatically. (Though if you look at the usual footnote on the name of the land in which Cain settled, it’s pretty clear that the author of Genesis sees Cain as still “wandering”.)

It should be obvious, but the text does not say that the city that Cain built was occupied entirely by his descendants and no one else. It doesn’t even specify that he had his wife before going into exile, or that his wife was his sister and not someone from outside the Garden. These are all assumptions that you are reading into the text.

To reiterate what Joshua said: your claim was that yours is the only possible reading. All I have to do to refute you is show that other readings are possible. Which I have done.

You don’t have an argument. Are you going to present one? Or are we done here?

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Maybe Cain was just paranoid that what goes around comes around. He wasn’t the most grounded of fellows.

People cannot label others? People label others all the time without constraint, even where none of their business, and often completely without justification.

Your long-windedness is for naught. You are wrong on all counts.

Wandering the earth, moving from place to place, would have been a completely new kind of lifestyle for Adam and his descendants who were to “till the ground”, inferring the stationary life of a farmer. You could not be more wrong here – wanderer can only mean fugitive. I think this is the only place that the Hebrew occurs and translations that have captured that subtlety via the choice of “fugitive” have rendered correctly.

And your second argument is void from start to finish. This part is really funny – “God can speak to people outside of the Garden to warn them of the consequences of killing Cain, just as he can with Adam’s family.” You will literally be the only one here to even believe such a fantastic storyline. Go ahead. Take a poll. See that I am correct.

God and a belief in a God would have meant less than nothing to [your imaginary] outsiders.
There is no mark that Cain could have borne that [your imaginary] outsiders would have heeded.

Ask around. See if your argument can garner some votes. Good luck.

This is whining, not arguing.

Sure, but it is true whining.

@r_speir, if we want to keep this thread going, you should try to adopt a less hostile, dismissive tone towards your fellow participants here. What’s the point of all those rhetorical digs?

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@r_speir is it cognitive dissonance?

Seems reasonable to me. You don’t believe God can speak to people? I believe that not only he can, he does.

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What? Really? You are voting for @structureoftruth 's argument? Now you have to explain this. What can you mean by doing this? [as this will noticeably change the tone of your book I believe]