Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Garden of Eden

 Originally published on July 25, 2007...

Most of us know the “The Garden of Eden” story, even if we are not Christians. It goes something like this:

One day in the garden, Eve was hanging out, relaxing (or maybe eating, whatever). She gets approached by “The Serpent” who tempts her with the fruit of “The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil”. She eats it and gives some to her mate, Adam. He eats it, too.

“God” (Jehovah) had expressly forbidden them to eat from this tree.

This story has been told to me for the purpose of showing me that women are weaker than men, and that is why we women must obey men. What??? If women are weaker, why did it take a serpent (who must be more than a simple serpent as this one could talk, and knew what the tree offered) to tempt the woman; but it took a “mere” woman to tempt the man??? If I were the serpent and wanted to get both humans to eat from the tree, would I tempt the weaker one or the stronger one first? If I started with the weaker one, could I rely on that one to be able to tempt the stronger one? No, I would start with the stronger one, trusting that the stronger one could indeed tempt the weaker one. Or maybe the man and the woman were equally strong/weak and it did not really matter which one the serpent started with.

I have been told that God gave us free will, yet God forbade us to eat from the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. How can you have free will or use it, if you know not the difference between good and evil? (as God seems to have intended)

Besides, why did God put us (humans) there with the tree in the first place? If God really did not want us to eat from the tree, why didn’t he protect the tree from us? God is supposed to be all knowing, didn’t he know this would happen? If so, then he was just waiting for the time to come so he could punish us.

If, in the beginning, we did not know the difference between good and evil, how could we know that disobedience was evil? Sounds like a cruel set-up.

Once having eaten from the tree, Adam and Eve knew they were naked and covered themselves. Is nakedness an evil thing? Then why did God leave them naked in the first place? There they were running around naked and did not know it was evil. Or if it was not evil, why did they cover themselves???

I have been told that God created us and that God is perfect. We have minds, therefore God must have given us those minds. But we were not supposed to use them. Why? What did God want? Humans running around naked, not knowing the difference between good and evil? Were we supposed to remain like the rest of the animals?

The bible goes on to say that now we, like God, know the difference between good and evil. If God knows the difference between good and evil, did he choose evil or good? By the way, I wonder where that tree of”Everlasting Life” is…

Maybe it was the serpent who had our best interests at heart – Enlightenment.

Taken literally, this is not an argument for loving God. I for one do not love those who would toy with me in this way. I cannot love a god who would “give” me free will, a mind capable of reason, a source of knowledge (the tree), and then forbid me to use any of it.

As a metaphor, I get not a reason for obedience, but rather, I get a reason to think for myself. I think that we earned our free will by taking the fruit. We chose Enlightenment over blind obedience. That is what pissed God off. Sometimes we must do what is right no matter who gets pissed off at us. We suffered for our disobedience. But then, we suffer for most of our accomplishments.

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