Discussion on “How did Abel find a wife?”

To the Quota site question, How did Abel find a wife?, Neil Hawkins replied:

Cain and Abel never existed. Their story is purely metaphorical and is based on the Sumer Akkadian legend of Enten and Emesh, who argued about who was the most important god in farming.
Enten brought forth the ewe to give birth to the lamb, the goat to give birth to the kid, the cow to give birth to calf etc etc . He was like a shepherd god.
Emesh brought forth the trees for their fruit, the grasses to produce grain, and to cause good harvests and stables and granaries to be filled high etc etc.
Their story is a combination of creation myth and the start of domesticating animals and agriculture.
The great god Enlil had to intervene and act as referee and state that both agriculture/farmer gods were as important as each other. So, the “brothers” stopped arguing and endeavoured to cooperate.
It’s a very different ending to the biblical tale of Abel, the personification of shepherds being murdered by Cain, the personification of agriculture.
Nearly all the stories in Genesis are based on ancient Sumerian and Akkadian mythology.

I, Ken Ammi, replied:

Why stop at that “Their story is purely metaphorical and is based on the Sumer Akkadian legend” and “Nearly all the stories in Genesis are based on ancient Sumerian and Akkadian mythology” rather than that both are based on what was then commonly known and shared history?

Neil Hawkins:

The point is, it’s exaggerated history. Nearly all myth is based on true events. A prime example is the Tower of Babel. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows it’s a metaphorical story, but it is based on the collapse of the great ziggurat of Eridu during its construction.
Cain and Abel aren’t real people. But, their story of agriculture and domesticating animals is based on the Sumerian myth, which in turn, could be based on a group of Neolithic settlers in Mesopotamia who argued about which form of farming is more important.
Yes, it’s a theory, but it’s a very plausible theory.

Ken Ammi:

I see. I’d caution against making positive affirmations such as “Cain and Abel never existed…Cain and Abel aren’t real people” since you may be called on it, to prove it.
So, we seem to agree on “both [or more] are based on what was then commonly known and shared history?”
FYI: “Anyone with an ounce of sense knows…” is not helpful.

Neil Hawkins:

Who are you, the Quora police?
I stand by what I say, anyone with an ounce of sense knows Cain and Abel are purely mythical. They are biblical characters, and as everyone in academia knows, the bible is a book of mythology, because it’s been proven as such. The bible is not a historical document.

But, back to Cain and Abel, they aren’t real. They are based on the Sumerian gods Enten and Emesh, who were the respective personifications of agriculture and shepherding. It’s possible that the Ubaid culture, which preceded the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, are the source of agricultural gods/persons, like Enten and Emesh, and of course Cain and Abel.
The biblical texts are typical of Middle Eastern mythology, where the person, or persons involved are an over exaggeration of a snippet of truth.

Ken Ammi:

I had noted, “I’d caution against making positive affirmations such as ‘Cain and Abel never existed…Cain and Abel aren’t real people’ since you may be called on it, to prove it.”
So now I am calling you on it: you made a positive affirmation and must prove it.
After that we can discuss your many, many hidden assumptions—since you tend to begin by jumping to merely asserted conclusions.

Neil Hawkins:

Oh you cautioned me, did you?! 😂😂
And now you’re calling me on it???!!! 😂
Well, well, well. It seems, Ken, that you are the self appointed Quora police after all!!
Now let me get this straight, Ken. You are demanding that I prove Cain and Abel, who are characters in a book, that has already been proven to be historically and scientifically unreliable? Are you sure this is the course of action that you wish to go?
I made a positive affirmation? Indeed I did, Ken!
Having studied the history behind the bible, I can say, unequivocally, that Cain and Abel are not and have never been real.
Let’s look at the history, shall we? You obviously know when the bible was written? Would you agree it was at the end of the Babylonian Exile and during Persian rule?
So, in historical and archaeological terms, 1,500 BCE to 1,300 BCE is not that long ago. I’m talking about the Old Testament now, because if I include the New Testament, the bible was completed in its current form 419–420 CE.
If we are to go back even further to the time of the Sumerians, then we get the origins of the stories contained in Genesis. That’s a historical fact. The evidence is overwhelming, and I don’t have to prove anything to you.

Ken Ammi:

Indeed, I cautioned you but you have clearly decided to be unconcerned about discrediting yourself—how sad.
You seem to be talking past yourself. You made a positive affirmation, I asked you to prove it, you fail time and again—including this time since merely asserting “has already been proven to be historically and scientifically unreliable” based on your own pseudo authority is impotent.
So, sure, you “can say” whatever you want and assert that you are doing so “unequivocally” but you merely followed that up by merely repeating the positive affirmation, “Cain and Abel are not and have never been real” which only begs the question—yet again.
But you miss the bigger point: by asserting, “been proven to be historically and scientifically unreliable” you imply some sort of universal imperative to only believe in what has been proven historically and scientifically reliable but how is that the case, on your worldview?
Ironically, you end up showing support of the historicity of Cain and Abel by appealing to that “If we are to go back even further to the time of the Sumerians, then we get the origins of the stories contained in Genesis.” Cool.

Neil Hawkins replied by posting three snowflake emojis.
It ended when I replied:

Quora is saturated with people who make big assertions but can’t back them.

For more details, see my relevant books.

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