"Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil/Tree of Life"

I was just thinking randomly about the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil/Tree of Life"

Now I have a question.. If knowledge is frowned upon as evidenced by the punishments for seeking knowledge through the fruit on the tree (painful childbirth, banishment from the Garden of Eden, and work to sustain oneself, as well as automatic "sin" that we are born into) ~ shouldn't Christian stance be anti-education? I mean, it kinda sounds like thats what god was wanting right?? I'm not for people staying ignorant or anything, it was just another random thought.

Any alternative ideas out there?

That said, I have one more question for you:
You know how they say we are born into sin because we sinned by disobeying gods orders to not eat from the tree of life? If this makes you a sinner than isn't it only fair to say we were automatically made to be sinners since we were not only capable of disobeying but wanted to and were even attracted to this stupid tree in the first place? Free will.. Yes. But explain it to me. What's the difference between that first betrayal and the ones we do now? I DON'T see one. And I don't believe it's fair to make that distinction.. Which automatically makes god unjust and unfair from the way that I see it... I should know. I ate the fruit by being born into this world right? Feeling sarcastic and irritated.. Apologies.

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Comment by _Robert_ on October 28, 2013 at 9:20am

There are hundreds of creation myths and every one that I have read about is a mess. People are imaginative, that's for sure. They do mostly start out "Gods 1, Humans 0. I like to ask new-earth Christians if  Adam and Eve had bellybuttons. They get the strangest twists in their faces.

Comment by Lindsey on October 28, 2013 at 12:50pm

Aren't Christian fundamentalists already anti-education? They bitch and moan about every little thing in public schools that even slightly deviates from their religion, if they even send their kids to public school at all instead of keeping them at home to "educate" them themselves.

Comment by Obfuskation on October 28, 2013 at 1:22pm

The garden of eden story is a perfect example of a rigged game.

  1. intentionally create beings who are ignorant, then create something of value and forbid it to them.
  2. allow a seducer into the equation to tempt the ignorant into violating the prohibition.
  3. punish not only the violators of the prohibition, but their descendants through the generations despite their innocence.

It is the first example of the obedience narrative that permeates the bible, and the first example of why the biblical god would not be worth worshipping if he did somehow exist.

Comment by Atheist Exile on October 28, 2013 at 5:51pm

Have you ever done something you regret? If so, how does that compare to eating a fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”? If sin is disobedience to God and all sins are the same to God, then eating the apple was, by God’s own terms, a pedestrian sin.

Yet God condemned all of us to death because of a single sin: the first sin ever sinned. Are you guilty of Eve’s sin? Of course not! No more so than for Lindsay Lohan’s sins or for mine. Right off the bat, common sense tells us that the Bible, in Genesis, is preaching a twisted morality. It puts us in opposition to ourselves by claiming our nature is sinful. The Catholic doctrine of Original Sin adheres faithfully to Genesis and affirms our sinful nature.

I’m no genius but I know a scam when I see one. Biblical sin is God’s heads-I-win-tails-you-lose con game: it’s a sham used to manipulate and control us via fear and guilt. I reject the neurosis of biblical sin: I believe our nature is basically good but we sometimes make mistakes. Hell, if we believe we’re not good, we probably won’t be.

But that’s definitely not what the Bible preaches, is it? We’re ALL unworthy, wretched, sinners.

The Bible says God created the universe and everything in it, including Adam and Eve. He did this in 6 days; executing his allegedly perfect plan on schedule and without a hitch (except that Eve was an afterthought). Adam and Eve were pure and sinless: they had all eternity, in Eden, to bask in God’s glory.

Unless, of course, they pissed Him off.

And it doesn’t take much to piss off God. No sir! And second chances? Forget about it. One mistake and you’re history. By the way, all of your offspring, forever, will also be cursed with death. How do you like them apples?

Because of Adam and Eve, we’re all born guilty of Original Sin. So much for God’s perfect plan (let’s call it, “plan A”). In fact, Original Sin made the human condition so intractably degenerate that God had to wipe out all life (human or not) with a catastrophic flood so that Noah’s family could start humanity anew, from scratch. This was God’s idea of plan B.

Well guess what? God’s plan B was all for naught. A few thousand years later, humanity had repopulated itself from Noah’s incestuous Ark and – surprise, surprise – was no better than before. I guess that’s what inbreeding gets you. You’d think God would have learned that the first time around.

Time for plan C.

This time, instead of genocide, God chose suicide. He came to Earth personally, as Jesus, to act out a script he divinely inspired, in biblical prophesy, that ended with his own trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension back home to heaven.

Why did God do this? Original Sin. Because of Original Sin, we can never be innocent enough for eternal life. We must be forgiven before heaven’s gates will open for us. If you know your dogma, you know Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross so that we may be redeemed from sin (and have everlasting life). Because God eternally cursed mankind with death, he had to provide some means for our redemption. The alternative was to abandon us. Quite a conundrum God put himself in, no?

Basically, God had to “save” us from the curse he imputed upon us to begin with. I’m amazed that so many people don’t see through this preposterous charade. Perhaps the pretzel logic is too tangled for most to unravel. The Bible would have us believe – and doctrine upholds – that we are all miserable wretches who will be granted eternal life only if we love Jesus. Of course, this assumes we can trust God not to resort to a plan D or E or whatever. After all, God is perfect and all-powerful: who’s going to stop him from tossing out plan C if he decides, yet again, that he still hasn’t gotten creation right?

God must regret cursing mankind with death. God is perfect, so we can’t say he makes mistakes; I prefer to say he has regrets. Anyway, I suppose God was hot-headed in his youth; the Old Testament clearly depicts him with a short fuse. So once he imputed death upon us, he couldn’t “un-impute” it. I mean, he’s God! Right? His word is law and immutable. What kind of self-respecting, omniscient, God would change his mind? If God is love, then I guess it’s true that, “love means never having to say you’re sorry”.

Eventually, God found a loophole in his own immutable law: leave mankind cursed but offer individuals an exemption by redemption. Yeah, that’s the ticket! For Christ’s sake – why didn’t God think of plan C before plan B? After all, if redemption is a workable plan, God flooded the Earth and wiped-out humanity for nothing. I hate when that happens!

From Original Sin to redemption, Eden to Gethsemane, the story twists a pretzel-logic plot of servile spiritual entrapment, with a theme of self-loathing morality.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think the Supreme Being should be an elected position. Surely we can put somebody with more compassion and foresight onto the throne of the Ruler of the Universe. At least, if we elect poorly, we can vote for a replacement next time.

P.S.

When the ridiculous pretzel logic of Original Sin and God’s covenants with mankind are considered in context of evolution, the whole story falls apart. Although natural selection is a theory (supported by mountains of consistent data), evolution itself is a fact. Homo sapien sapiens gradually evolved from prior species: there were no Adam and Eve proto-humans. And without 2 original humans to commit original sin, there was no purpose in the sacrifice of Jesus. If there were no original sin, no God-imputed curse . . . then no salvation is necessary. The fact of evolution proves the lie of Christianity.

Comment by Lady Elizabeth on October 28, 2013 at 8:10pm

Robert Piano, it's so funny that you brought up the belly button thing! I myself have asked them this... including if they had one and were made in god's image that would mean god had a belly button but for what purpose if he was the beginning of all? I mean.. the belly button signifies having been conceived in the womb and fed through the umbilical chord.. thus, he shouldn't need one if he was the beginning of everything! lol

Redlilly Pond:  I see what you're saying about them being anti-education to a degree. However, having gone to religious schools from Kindergarden through college, I can't agree that they are anti-education, as it is a huge thing at least for my family, and the families of all the churches I attended. They did teach science, I believe they were required. But when they spoke of the bible it was obviously very biased. I was just thinking in all ways (besides religious), it seem's like they SHOULD be anti-education, according to the story of creation. I hope that makes sense.

Lindsey: My parents never complained about what they taught in public schools, but maybe this has a lot to do with the fact that my parent's were both teachers in private religious school's and I didn't really have a choice as to attending or not. They are very pro-education.. which for some reason (new atheist) I had never made the connection of the Original Sin being wanting to know more (or all, like god, as someone else mentioned in the comments). Also why I thought it was worth asking since it seemed contradictory to me.

Obfuskation: I appreciate that perspective.. I wish more people could understand it if I shared it though.. everyone in my life is religious (except my husband and father-in-law). I love my family, and for them, religion brings them comfort and peace. I however, always tried to have what they had and never could. In fact, I saw the world as a really dark place and was sincerely afraid of god and satan, alike. They were essentially the same thing to me, but I didn't want to piss off god more because he had the ultimate power, as far as I knew. When I first realized I didn't believe, that I was an atheist, I didn't even want to admit it to myself. My grandparents were real life missionaries and they lived their lives following what the bible says. Not to say they never made mistakes, but they did their best not to. I loved them a lot, they are gone now and my dad always reminds me how much pain it would bring them to know I do not believe anymore. These guilt trips don't help fight his case. In fact, they make me happy that I'm not in that delusional state of mind anymore. Since I don't believe god is real, they should never have to suffer to find out that their precious granddaughter is a heathen after all of their hard work and teachings.  

Belle Rose: I'm having a hard time responding to this one.  I remember hearing exactly what you said as well about the whole pride thing, but the fact that it was so abominable in the first place makes me think how stupid it was to even make this tree in the first place, much less make it appealing to them and beautiful. Then, to make matter's worse there's serpent (who if I recall correctly they also said was satan, whom I believed had already been thrown out of heaven~ why would they even allow him in an otherwise perfect place to tempt his supposed most precious creation, us?) Not only was the snake a temptress, "stumbling block", encouraging them to make bad decisions based off of false information - as if the tree wasn't enough on it's own (that they wouldn't die~ when they would, maybe not then, but eventually).. it also seem's wrong to me to create anything  with such naivety and expect them to not believe something that anyone in their safe haven would say.. the only thing they were told not to do was eat from the best looking tree..  You make a very valid point about atheism being seeing as the same or similar to satanism. I find this very offensive though. Satan is part of religion, and I don't acknowledge either of them. Also, it is stupid for them to think I'm playing god, I'm just being myself. If that makes them think I'm like god, that's their problem, not mine, right :)

AtheistExile: Interesting perspective. Pedestrian sin... although I suppose they could either all be small/giant sin's.. but like you said, equally terrible. I'm assuming any disobedience towards god is considered severe because it seem's like he get's a rather severe and exaggerated reaction to each offense, which he said we had the choice to make in the first place. It's scary. Like dating someone who says you can go out if you want to but then when you get back they beat you for making the wrong decision. It's just screwed up philosophy..

Your second paragraph got me thinking about another thing.. According to the bible (Matthew 182:22), Jesus preached that we should forgive 70 x 7 times! Yet, it seem's like god is incapable of following any of his own teachings, beliefs, whatever... or that he's just exempt from them entirely. I realize he's god and he could do whatever he want's to do.. but let's say he's real for the sake of the conversation.. he gives us free will.. why would he give us freewill???? It's NOT in our best interest if his end intention is to burn us all in hell for not listening to him in the first place. right? gosh, i hope i didn't just bite off more than i can chew.

I understand where you're coming from but I do think that religion does help some people behave better to a degree, in certain instances. Obviously it's not a fail proof, and not everyone needs religion to be "good". Something they don't seem to recognize.

"How do you like them apples?" haha now that was a perfectly placed ironic joke! Thanks for the comic relief ^.~

Dang, I'm really glad I posted. I'm seeing a lot of different perspectives on this site, and I'm learning! I'm all for fairness in things, perhaps this is why religion and I never got along in the first place.

Second paragraph after your "Time for Plan C" header... got me thinking yet again, your thought really, but I understood..  After Noah and the flood, there was no clean slate.. after he "died for our sin's" there was still no clean slate. It's like he'll never be happy. Heaven doesn't really seem like a place I want to dwell forever when I think about it all this way anyways. I mean, it hasn't for a while but this solidified it slightly further. You did say one thing that got me though.. "his other choice was to abandon us," I keep thinking if he exist's he's already done this. Burning me in hell for not understanding, for being naive to his existence seem's counter productive of what he wanted.

Honestly, I think the reason 'so many people don’t see through this preposterous charade" is because MOST people, like me, were born into it and indoctrinated. Didn't really know there was anything else that was believed out there. 

LOL.. I don't think it would go over well if we had an election for Supreme Being.. whoever it turned out to be could just choose to wipe us all out and make a new thing that interests them :P But that was a funny thought.

------

Thank you everyone for responding. I really do appreciate the "spiritual enlightenment," for lack of a better way to put it ;) I hope no one is offended by anything I've said. Like I said, I'm new here, and still looking to understand things and educate myself further in term's of being an ex-Christian, current atheist. I do not want to hurt the ones I love, so I appreciate it if you don't just tell me to have them go suck an egg or something. lol

Comment by Doug Reardon on October 28, 2013 at 11:36pm

They want you educated in their book, the only book you need.  (ie: bible for christians, quran for muslims)

Comment by Cesar Deicide on October 29, 2013 at 1:32am

@Atheist Exile

Now, what to do with those that didn't get through plan C? They didn't do what he said, they didn't bow, they didn't sing, they didn't kill their son when he told them to. He likes plan B, but he wants something new, something fresh. What about ... fire? Burn the entire world and all those infidels while their friends and family see them from heaven unable to feel nothing but joy to their cries. But it's missing something, what is it? Monsters! Hundreds of them, all shapes and forms, each more horrific than the last, causing pain and suffering before the great fire.

But there will be nothing left to do when they all die. It'll be boring. I know! I'll give all of humanity eternal life and those that didn't do what i said, will be tortured! They will suffer the most horrible pain, day in and day out, for all of eternity. And only then, he will be barely pleased.

Comment by Jimmy on October 29, 2013 at 1:59am

Terence McKenna had an interpretation that perhaps that Edenic myth was a lost memory of some type of entheogen that was used long ago, in just the same way that the Aztecs and civilizations prior to that engaged in rituals where all members of the tribe would imbibe entheogens. The Aztecs were known for their knowledge and use of a cornucopia of entheogenic plants

I find it interesting that there's a verse, I don't recall exactly how it goes (it's been forever since I've read that book), but after eating the apple, it says something along the lines of, "Now, man has become like God." Then goes onto say that mankind will continue to suffer until he returns to the ground from which he was taken. Dust you are and dust you will return. 

I'd like to replace dust with "stardust." Okay, side-tracked! If you look into the word "entheogen," it literally means "God within." And so, I find it an interesting parallel that eating from this "apple tree," you become "God," and the same analogy is used for eating entheogens.

Terence had this further interpretation that Eden was a symbolism of a perfection, some kind of heaven, a pralaya, if you will, or hyperspace in which we were casted out into the descent of matter (life), and now have to find our way back. He often spoke of evolution being a conquest of dimensionality, where in early stages, you acquire mobility of three-dimensional space, then evolution allows you to occupy psychological space (the imaginal realm) where then you can project conceptually an awareness of time into this mysterious ontological hole we call "now", and with each new dimension, you explore a greater degree of freedom (but I'm not necessarily talking about free will). Perhaps it doesn't stop there, and that this conquest of dimensionality continues on progressively into higher dimensions until we "return to the ground from which we were taken." 

The Book of Genesis is a good example of hyperdimensional prose (which is a good working definition of scripture), since it is something like a crystal through which the creative light is refracted in infinite ways. What did the Master say? "My kingdom is not of this world." And I know some theists will run with that and try and use it against atheism and see "atheism as a fixed and rigid defense against the higher space of religiosity." I've had someone tell me this, verbatim. I mean, I thought that an interesting interpretation, and I just offer it to you guys as an idea.

Comment by Lady Elizabeth on October 31, 2013 at 5:50pm

Doug Reardon: I believe they want you educated in CERTAIN parts of their book, but not all ;) I've read that the quickest way to become an atheist is to read the bible from cover to cover, beginning to end. :/

Jimmy: Very interesting read :) I will have to look into that more. Thanks for the info!

Comment by Lady Elizabeth on October 31, 2013 at 6:54pm

 Doug Reardon: I think that's only a half truth.. it seem's they actually want you educated in SECTION's of the bible.. lol I say that after having grown up pretty much as religious as they come.. and put through their religious schools kindergarten through college, and never once did the bible teachers, or pastor's read the bible to us in order.. but they jumped around a lot and excluded portions. I always found that kind of funny...

Jimmy: That's very interesting and I'll have to look into that more. I love what you said about stardust. lol then again, I'm a sucker for anything that sparkles/glitters. hahaha ^.~


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