If Evil was made by the Fall, whenceforth was Eve tempted?

That sums it up right there.

Some Christians say that evil did not exist until the Fall - that all suffering and sin came about as a result of Eve's choice to disobey God. That sounds reasonable, right?


Imagine a world where there is no sin. Everything is perfect. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the lion is gettin' cuddly with that lamb over there (but not too cuddly - fornication is a sin). You have absolutely nothing to worry about.

In comes a snake. Now, this is not an ordinary, benevolent snake. It's a nasty snake, here to tear you away from your beautiful world. How? By lying to you.

Wait, what?

By lying to you.

Somehow, inexplicably, in this world where sin and evil do not exist, a snake is about to lie to you. Not only that, but he is about to persuade you to disobey your Creator, by coercing you into eating a fruit that will give you the knowledge of good and evil.

Wait, what?

The knowledge of good and evil.

In other words, sin and evil already exist.

Hold on, my inner Christian has a complaint. "Evil wasn't created by the fall," she says. "It was brought to Earth by the fall."

Whoops, sorry. Almost made a straw man there - that would have been embarrassing.

If evil was there all along, then, where was it before it came to Earth? In Heaven? God hadn't even created Heaven until the third day or so; it must have been lurking in the cosmos somewhere. And how did it get there? God can't have created it. God is omnibenevolent (all-loving), so he wouldn't have created anything that could possibly harm his creations.

The working hypothesis: In the beginning, God and evil existed. God created the world, created animals, created man, created the garden, created animals, and created man. And it was good. Then evil snuck into the garden, infested the snake, and messed everything up.

Wait a minute...

God is omniscient (all-seeing), so he should have seen that coming. But he did nothing to stop it, so he must have planned it or wanted it to happen. If he hadn't wanted it to happen, he could have stopped it. After all, he is omnipotent (all-powerful). Or did he not see it? Then he must not have been omniscient.

Views: 17

Comment by Eric on April 26, 2009 at 9:31pm
Also keep in mind that the snake didn't lie. God did - about the nature of the tree. Read it again - quite enlightening.
Comment by CJoe on April 26, 2009 at 9:45pm
...so, was it normal for there to be talking animals in The Garden? I think I was under the impression, when I was a little girl, that animals and humans actually communicated before "the fall" and, surely, this must be why Eve wasn't thrown off by a talking snake.

Oh. And I just made a connection. Is Eve the root of Evil? Eve-el? dEVIL=evil=Eve??? Good job demonizing women, God.
Comment by Pam on April 27, 2009 at 2:42pm
Fear not, Cara! The proper name "Eve" comes from the Hebrew meaning "a living being". "Evil" has Germanic origins, and even (heh) similar words like "eve" and "even" aren't etymologically related to "evil".
Comment by Laura on April 27, 2009 at 2:43pm
On a related note, as Bertram Russell pointed out, if god created the universe and is all-powerful, and if our understanding of morality comes from god, god must have defined right and wrong, good and evil, to begin with. If god came up with the definitions and decided what was good and what was evil, then to say that "god is good" means nothing, because god is just whatever god wants to be, and that by definition must be good. If god is just passing along information on what is right and wrong, then there is some universal system of morality that is above god.

Also, and this is another idea I can't take credit for, but I also can't remember where I heard it, the concept of Adam and Eve introducing evil into the world and that being the root of our suffering is absolutely barbaric. No rational, reasonable person, Christian or otherwise, would agree that governments should punish individuals for crimes committed by their parents or grandparents. Such a concept would be (nearly) universally condemned as horribly wrong. Yet, Christianity is based on the idea that god punishes us for the sins of our ancestors. If god is really punishing humanity today because Adam and Eve sinned, then god is using a system of punishment that most everyone would agree is barbaric. This is why I now see baptism as repulsive - the idea that an infant has sin in it because of the actions of two fictional characters thousands of years ago is abhorrent. Babies have nothing to be forgiven for under any rational system of morality.
Comment by Pam on April 27, 2009 at 3:00pm
If god is just passing along information on what is right and wrong, then there is some universal system of morality that is above god.

Ooh, interesting! Glad you remembered to post that for us.
Comment by Bob on April 27, 2009 at 5:05pm
The only way this kind of system (all powerful all knowing all loving God not liking evil but having it exist), near as I can tell, would be if the arrangement were how it works in Animorphs (hang on, bear (ha!) with me here). In Animorphs, there are two nigh-omnipotent beings, Ellimist and Crayak. I don't know about Crayak, but Ellimist originally was mortal, so he didn't create the universe, but he became all-powerful somehow and entered into battle with Crayak, destroying a LOT of stuff. In order to not destroy the universe, they decided to make their battle more about strategy. So, for millenia, they play a kind of cosmic chess with other species, doing all manner of crazy things (Crayak tempts one of the Animorphs to go back to his simpler life, Ellimist shows the Animorphs a possible Yeerk victorious future, etc.), but always being careful to not interfere too much in the universe, due to the rules of the game. Ellimist is good in this instance and Crayak is evil, obviously. Of course, the difference between the Christian God/Satan and Crayak/Ellimist is that C and E are equals, unlike God and Satan, and God has no reason not to interfere, and in fact has every reason to do so.
Comment by AnonyMouse on April 28, 2009 at 12:39pm
You know that and I know that, but the Christians don't seem to get it. They throw out this crap about a "spiritual death" in order to make God's lie, y'know, not a lie.


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