Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And Their Eyes Were Opened

I find that I can’t argue with someone unless one of us accepts the other’s framework of reference. Therefore, most of the time you’ll see me take the “let’s-assume-this-is-all-real” approach when I’m blogging. I’ll be doing the same for this post as well. After all, if we believe it’s 100% true then we’ll be more likely to throw it out when we see it doesn’t fit with reality.

According to the book of Genesis, once Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, she and her husband became “as gods, knowing good and evil”. I say having knowledge is never a bad thing, but that’s not the road I’m on here. Assuming their lineage passes down to us (and that there is a standard of Good and Evil apart from God), we should have the same knowledge about what good and evil are that god does. In a sense, we should be in agreement with decisions God makes (and vice-versa) regarding right and wrong, right? Furthermore, we humans should all be in agreement with each other about such matters.

Since this isn’t the case in either way, we must resolve this by one of three ways: 1) the godly knowledge Adam and Eve acquired was not passed down to us, 2) either God or humanity is going against the Knowledge, or 3) God’s views on good and evil ARE the same as the views of us humans: to each his own, so to speak. I won’t speak to number one, but for number two, I can personally judge God’s knowledge of good and evil to be at odds with my own. I make this judgment based on his record of inhuman and evil acts all throughout the book of which Genesis begins. Perhaps I do so via number three – morality is subjective.

Genesis says that once they learned right from wrong, Adam and Eve clothed themselves. Nudity is bad. Remember, when they were clueless, being naked wasn’t shameful. So we see that one of the edicts of this god-like knowledge of good and evil is that being naked (as we were created?) is evil. Nope, not in my book (pardon the pun). My morality doesn’t decree such an inane idea. So without having to leave the book of Genesis, we can come full circle and resolve the issue of this divine secret that God tried to keep from his creation.

Sure, it’s fun to psychoanalyze and tear down these old stories, but it’s best to realize that they aren’t real. Genesis is not a history book. It was written by people trying to make sense of it all, and trying to tie together the ideas that were around during their time. The fact is that we don’t need a God or a book to tell us how to be kind to one another, what good and evil mean to us, or whether or not being naked is wrong. If you think we do, read this book again and try to practice the morality it prescribes. Oh, and have fun in jail.


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