Monday, August 15, 2005

The Eden Set-Up

Dear Internet Diary,

Very few people actually believe the Garden of Eden story. This is strange, because what happened there is really the basis for Christianity. Without it, there's really no point.

I'm speaking of Original Sin. The naked kids ate the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told them not to. Since God was a Very Important Person, this offense to Him is worth banishing them from his sight, and is worth the ultimate curse against them and all of their offspring (and all the animals that were innocent bystanders in the way of God's Wrath): death, menstrual periods, and labour pains both female and male. I wonder if the labour pains of female mammals is also the result of God's punishment? But where is the male mammal equivalent--the pain of having to provide for a family (wah wah wah), since most male mammals do not provide food or stay monogamous with female mammals?

We can see clearly that it is a myth, an unoriginal one at that. There are dozens of gardens and trees in world mythology, like the Sumerian Eden story:

In the myth of Enki and Ninhursag it is related that the mother-goddess Ninhursag caused eight plants to grow in the garden of the gods. Enki desired to eat these plants and sent his messenger Isimud to fetch them. Enki ate them one by one, and Ninhursag in her rage pronounced the curse of death upon Enki. As the result of the curse eight of Enki’s bodily organs were attacked by disease and he was at the pain of death. The great gods were in dismay and Enlil [the chief god] was powerless to help. Ninhursag was induced to return and deal with the situation. She created eight goddesses of healing who proceeded to heal each of the diseased parts of Enki’s body. One of these parts was the god’s rib, and the goddess who was created to deal with the rib was named Ninti, which means “lady of the rib”.---The Babylonian Origins of the Creation-Myths

In refuting the garden of eden story, we are not concerned with disproving the literal events in the story: that would be absurd. What we are refuting is the lesson it supposedly teaches, the biblical concept of a God-Subjective Free Will, and the concept of a divine moral basis and objectivity. Adam and Eve sinned against God, therefore they, and all of us, were justifiably punished, thereby necessitating a Savior to keep our inherently evil-because-of-Eve selves from Hellfire.

We are evil because our ancestors disobeyed God. First problem. Nobody believes in the Garden of Eden, so exactly which ancestors of ours committed such a crime? Maybe we aren't inherently evil, and maybe there was no need for a Messiah?

Now I have to assume a real flesh-and-blood Adam and Eve. Why not? Let's play.

The Trees. We tell the story of the Garden, and we just assume the trees were just there. We don't ask ourselves what the fuck was Jehovah thinking? So Jehovah creates a tree whose fruit somehow imparts knowledge by eating it. Then he forbids its fruit from being eaten. Why? Why the magic tree, God, why?

Here is where we are sure its a story made by men. Is there, anywhere in the world, a food that, when eaten, "enlightens" the eater? Why, yes. Of course. There are many foods that cause hallucination. Psyllocybin in particular, can cause the eater to imagine that his thoughts are deep and significant. He thinks that he has become enlightened, that he finally understands something very exciting. He (in this case, "she") might even try to write down or express these thoughts. Unfortunately, when the effects of the drug wear off, so does the "enlightenment." Your paradise is lost, and you might even experience a temporary dark episode--maybe shame? Not always, but you follow me, right?

So why God why. If he intended Adam and Eve to live in bliss, he didn't have to create that tree. But he did, and we can only assume that, since he "knows everything," that he intended the tree for them in the first place. (Who the fuck else was it for? The Unicorns?) And don't give me that snot about a "test." Snort! A Test? The Being that knows the future needs a test. Take away God's omniscience, and you have to ask yourself, why the test?

The issue of Adam and Eve's disobedience is up for debate as well. What is this "disobedience," in a world with no negativity, no pain, no death? And for that matter, no knowledge of Good and Evil? How could they know before eating this fruit?

I have heard the argument that God was protecting his children from harm by telling them not to eat the fruit. It was said that it was like a parent telling his child not to walk in the street when a car is coming. If they disobey, they'll get hit by a car! God's being a good parent.

If I were a parent, I would watch my kids. No parent with half a brain thinks that telling a toddler who has never walked across a street "don't do this" will be enough to keep him safe. God, what a lazy parent! Especially since I built the car, and there is no one to drive it. There are a lot of cars out there to play in, but the red convertible thunderbird is the deadly one. I refuse to say why I made this one car that can run down my kids, as opposed to all the other benign cars out there. It's not like I need it, or would ever want to drive it. I sure made it attractive to look at, what with the candy red color, orange flames, and white leather interior. (And the ice-cream freezer in back.) I made it so that if the kids go near it, it will automatically run them over. Neat, eh? Rotten kids.

Thanks for listening, diary.


Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is this: God says Adam and Eve will DIE if they eat of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. BUT, without eating of the Tree of life they are already fated to die anyway! In fact, God does NOT kill them for disobedience, he just banishes them. Turns out, the serpent was RIGHT when he said "you will not surely die."

I like you analogy of parent-to-child. Can you imagine saying to your kids "these are the cookies of the knowledge of good and evil; I'm going to leave them right here in the middle of the table while we're gone. Don't touch them."

By the way, are you speaking from experience regarding mushrooms?


breakerslion said...

Don't answer that! Some mystery is good in life! :-)

I think I know why God created the tree, he wanted the lumber for his porch!

Skull_Duggery said...

Ahh, what would life be without these little tests? Sort of like the Jewish mother that gives her son two shirts for his birthday and he wears one the next time he goes to see her. Her response: "Oh, so the other one you didn't like?" Well, OK, not really the same, but it's still fucking irritating. The whole concept of a benevolent God who turns out to be a manipulative and treacherous prick really makes me lose my lunch. That is only one of the reasons why I am not a Christian.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any knowledge on the things in the Bible that actually did happen (verifiably)?

Skull_Duggery said...

Can't say I know of anyone who was alive at the time and was an eyewitness, so I guess the answer to that is NO.