In Abrahamic tradition, the origin of human existence is derived from Adam and Eve. As follows the Genesis story, God created man, Adam, in the likeness of his image to live in a paradise known as Eden. Whilst Adam was sleeping, God decided to take a rib and provide him feminine counterpart, Eve. The pair was welcome to live in paradise under one provision, not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. In the tree lived a devious serpent that tempted Eve into biting an apple, she gave the apple to Adam and he too indulged. God then appeared to curse all involved; man to a life of hard labour till death, women the pain of childbirth and complete subordination to man, the serpent to forever remain on its belly and suffer enmity from humans. Referred to as Original sin, according to the church every human inherits an innate tendency for evil due to Adam and Eve actions.
Examining the story a question arises; why would God prohibit his children from acquiring knowledge when it reflects universal truth and morality?
Who’s At Fault?
As an omnipotent being, it seems peculiar of God to ignore human curiosity and the potential for us to follow intuition. A child best exhibits this; when being told not to touch something they initially resist, however, when an opportunity arises, it’s only a matter of time until a piece of flesh is laid on the forbidden object.
Adam and Eve’s bodies may resemble adults but they are essentially large newborns, with little experience and limited intellect, why create a tree just to ban them from it? As for the snake, God the almighty should be cognizant of its potential to beguile, living in the Tree of Knowledge one can assume the serpent possess great intelligence. When Eve arrives at the tree the odds of her resisting are already well out of favour. One could imagine the serpent mesmerizing Eve, and due to her childish nature, it is only fitting she take a nibble; sharing it with Adam highlighting the egalitarian nature of humans, not preconceived deception.
Think of God as a car manufacturer and Adam and Eve a car; if the car begins to malfunction, is it fault of the car or the designer? Instead of examining his creations with benevolence and repairing any defects, God averts the blame to Adam and Eve and curses them. It seems a mechanic takes more responsibility for their work than the Almighty Father.
Is God a little too harsh on his kids? Punishment till the end of days seems a bit severe for puerile disobedience. The curse of the man, hard labour until death, could not be considered an act of God but rather a depiction of society. When the story was engendered only men were allowed to work, and it appears more a rationale of the times than an inflexible hex.
God is also is not a feminist, enslaving women to a lifetime under man’s subordination again speaks more of the epoch and the agenda of whomever wrote the story. Every mammal encounters pain when giving birth not just women, has God also chosen to punish mammals for human error?
If God created the Garden of Eden he decided to place the serpent in the tree of knowledge, why then would he curse it for following its instincts? Serpents exclusively use their bellies for movement, why would God curse an animal to do what it naturally does? There always has to be a villain and unfortunately for the serpent it’s the ideal candidate in this tale.
God imposing death on his creations isn’t a jinx but an essential part of existence; without death there can be no life, denoting mortality to the “sin” of our first ancestors is pure trickery.
The Suppression Of Knowledge
In any other field an example like this could not be recognized as true, there are too many questions raised and not enough evidence provided, however, in religion, faith takes precedence over proof. In the story Adam and Eve are not permitted to acquire knowledge for themselves and must, without question, abide by the word of God; ironically, this indicates the suppression of information administered by the church throughout its existence.
The following centuries after Constantinople was established any literature testing Christian teachings was sent to be locked away, only information approved by he church was relayed for public use. The fall of the City in 1453 saw progression in these artefacts returning to Europe, catalysing the Renaissance and eventually the Enlightenment. If we consider the leaps and bounds intellectuals took during these periods a question habitually surfaces, what could have been possible if the forbidden works never left the continent?
When the King James Bible was completed in 1611, vast amounts of scripture not suited for the church’s narrative was cast aside. The bible is said to be “books officially accepted as Holy Scripture”; if something is considered Holy at your own discretion anything can be sanctified. When only one source provides information pollution of material becomes exceptionally easy. In attempt to amplify the obedience of followers, it has been indispensable for regimes and religions alike.
Over the course of history different religions have intentionally restricted knowledge to sustain hegemony over the community, it is no real surprise to see in scripture God doing the same. The idea of original sin should be stripped from the human experience, when one acts immorally it is not to the detriment of God, but to the person themselves. Within human potential for brilliance there too be potential for sacrilege, yet, with critical analysis, one can determine for themselves which is which.