What If I Want to Eat the Cake I Have?

by Perry Hall

"You can't have your cake and eat it too."

  1. Well, you can't eat your cake unless you have it in the first place, so duh!
  2. Then again, to "have" can mean to "eat" as a synonym.
  3. Why would one have a cake if they didn't want to eat it?
  4. This would all make more sense if we changed it to, "You can't have your Kate and your Edith, too."

This has been an exercise in Bible interpretation.

  1. ERROR #1 ‐ The Bible, like all religions, says things that are already known to be common sense, such as murder is wrong. Religion is unnecessary.
  2. ERROR #2 - The Bible is nonsense because you can "have" (eat) your cake and eat it too." Just redefine everything into a contradiction.
  3. ERROR #3 - The Bible (i.e., God) just wants to control us. There is nothing immoral about eating cake. My cake, my choice.
  4. ERROR #4 - The Bible is filled with errors.

Or, we can do the hard work and strive to understand it. For example, flip the sentence order (i.e., use a different translation) and it makes sense - "You can't eat your cake and (still) have it too". It has the same words, one added for clarification, but now we see how we had imposed upon the reading our misunderstanding. Once you eat the cake, you no longer have it. So, the proverb means you can't possess something for the future if you use it now. You can't have $5 and spend it too. Having seen that, even the original word order makes sense: You can't have your cake (i.e., continually possess into the future) and eat it too (i.e., use it now).

Yes, this was a silly exercise in some ways, but people presumed the meaning of "You can't have your cake and eat it too" that was never intended by the original author. People do that with God's word. Plus, isn't it presumptuous to think my way of saying something is the only way?

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