Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adam and Eve - The First Sinners

According to the mythology of the Judeo-Christian tradition, Adam and Eve were created by God. And they were created in a state where they lacked the capacity to know of good and evil. However, there was a tree, called "The tree of knowledge of good and evil". A tree which if they eat from they will get the capacity to know of good and evil. However, God forbids Adam and Eve to eat from that tree.

But Satan, manifested as a serpent, lures Eve to taste the forbidden fruit. Eve falls into the temptation and prompted Adam to do the same. And so they both ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but when God discovers that both Adam and Eve have eaten from the forbidden tree, he punishes them for defying his will. They have sinned, and needed to be punished!!

But Adam and Eve had no concept of good and evil... How could they have sinned if they didn't have the concept of good and evil?! How would Adam and Eve know that defying God's will is an act of evil?! The concept simply isn't present in their mind!

While their actions might be interpreted as evil and sinful, but they clearly had no malice intent... Again, because they had no concept of good and evil! So the question begs itself: Why would God punish Adam and Eve -and all of their descendants- when they clearly lacked the awareness of the significance of their actions?!

Biblical References:
Old Testament: (PDF)
Genesis 2:16-17 [God forbids Adam to eat from the tree]
Genesis 3:1-5 [Satan convinces Eve to eat from the tree]
Genesis 3:7-11 [What happened when Man has eaten from the tree]
Genesis 3:16-23 [The punishment of Adam and Eve]


Doomish.net said...

With respect to religious text, these texts and it's purpose and meaning change with time and the popular opinion of that era.

But what did not change since 2000 years, is the sexism, male superiority and magnification of the concept of sin, the later is to ensure the continuim of guilt, the never ending submission to the clergy and God.

Having God punishing humanity for eternity because Adam and eve sinned shows that God is vindictive, clearly not a good impression to have early in the book.

The use of "mythology" is vague, because you mentioned Judeo-Christian and alienated Islam. Why did you use mythology, and why you never mentioned Islam

Devil's Mind said...

There are minor differences between the Judeo-Christian story, and the Islamic story. At first I made a generalization, but after some research, I figured that the generalization may cause confusion. However, the story I mention is based on the Judeo-Christian version.

I agree that God's wrath shows a vindictive God, but I chose to address the issue in more objective and specific manner.

I chose the word "mythology" for two reasons. First, lack of evidence that those events actually happened in human history. And the stories are usually considered symbolic rather than factual (even by followers of the faiths).

Devil's Mind said...

To be more specific, I read the Quran version of the story, and I couldn't find a specific mentioning of the tree being called "the tree of knowledge of good and evil". Maybe I missed it, but it would be useful if you know a verse in Quran where they mention the tree by its name.

Doomish said...

I asked about mythology partly because reading your profile and noticing your favorite book, made me wonder if you are anti or more of atheist or agnostic, i read the book many times, i actually memorize a few things from it, but in the end i realized that its just like any other religious text, and i use religious loosely here. once the concept of these books gets institutionalized, they lose their credence.

the other part was to see if you believe these books as just as sci fi history books while the non mentioned are something else.

back to your book, i dont like Anton, he is brilliant, but lost it with the theatrics and circus acts he did, which was to me a breaking point, partly due to mimicking the spiritual mass ceremonies of the Judeo-Christian faith with the addition of holywood evil imagery, all the while promoting his religion as an earthly religion.

the other part, i read some of Alister crowley and read few articles and studies done by Dr. Michael Aquino, which were simply amazing, and made Anton fade in the background.

dont get me wrong, the book is good, and in my opinion it is practiced by the majority of humanity while asking forgiveness and absolution every friday, saturday and sundays :)

finally, no offense intended by this comment.

Devil's Mind said...

No offense taken. I am glad that you read at least some parts of the Satanic Bible by Anton Lavey. Just like any other book there is context and culture behind the written word. I admire Anton Lavey and his book, but I (and many other Satanists) disagree with him on many aspects.

This means that Lavey's book (the Satanic Bible) represents only his views, and there are many people who agree with him... But the majority of Satanists disagree!!

Lavey as you have noticed is an admirer of theatrics and ceremonial expressions. A quality that not many Satanists admire, but that's his style, and it's one of many ways to express oneself.

The most important thing that Lavey did was to present Satanism as an above-ground religion. He made the first above-ground church of Satan. Satanists disagree on whether that is a good or bad thing. Many Satanists think that Satanism was never meant to be a recognized religion. And hence, having a church and getting tax-exempt status are things that should have never happened.

On that particular point I disagree. I think that Lavey had a point in presenting Satanism as a religion with the same status as other religions. If we live in a world where anyone can have a book and call it a religion, why should we not use that privilege?!

Devil's Mind said...

One more thing, I have made a small series of posts (here), where I make quotes from the Satanic Bible and provide some explanation. I might later expand on that series, but anyways, if you have any criticism or questions you can comment on there.

Devil's Mind said...

Another thing. You mention Alister Crowley, who is an influential figure in Satanism. However, the most influential figure in Satanism is Friedrich Nietzsche, and after him is Ayn Rand.

But I don't know of Dr. Michael Aquino, maybe I should read more about his views.

I agree, Anton Lavey's philosophy fades in comparison.