Sunday, February 13, 2011

Adam and Eve: The failed project.

So I was reading Genesis again, as you do, and even though I have read many critiques and parodies of the Biblical creation narrative, one criticism occurred to me which I don't believe I have heard before. 

It's not hard to find criticism in Genesis, in fact you don't have to look past the first two books and many people have concentrated on just those (they're called "books", but they really just take up the first two pages); they point out that there is a different order of creation in the two accounts given in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. They say there are contradiction which proves the stories are "made up". Although Christians, being Christians, have no problem reconciling the two stories, even literal creationists don't have a problem with this... 

However it's Genesis 3 where the REAL action begins..

Ok, let me set the stage for you:

Genesis 1: 

God creates the world and everything in it, he creates man and woman. Genesis 1 ends on the sixth day of creation. Interestingly, the mandate to not eat from the tree of knowledge is NOT given in Genesis 1, God in fact says  “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. " But that's a bit beside the point. 

Genesis 2:

Basically recounts the same story as Genesis 1, I'll ignore the discrepancies. There is an important addition:

17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

And the very LAST thing that happens in Genesis 2 is the creation of Eve to be Adam's "wife" and the final line is that they were naked and felt no shame.  

Genesis 3:

Now this is important, so i'm going to quote directly again:

 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Well, I think you should get the idea.

So let's get this straight: God's plan was to create a paradise for Adam and Eve. They were immortal, innocent and unashamed, so I think it's safe to assume God's plan was for Adam and Eve to live forever in this paradise. 

However, the VERY FIRST THING that happens in this garden after Adam and Eve are created is a snake comes along and talks Eve into doing the one thing she and Adam are NOT supposed to do. 


Forget even that technically, Adam and Eve didn't actually KNOW the difference between right and wrong because God hadn't taught them that. Just ignore that little inconvenient nugget. Also forget that actually God lied and the snake spoke the truth since Adam and Eve didn't in fact die that day.

Now I'm no project manager, but if you were planning something like the Garden of Eden project and the very first thing that happened was a snake came along and spoiled your entire plan, would you really be justified in punishing Adam and Eve for your ruined plan? 

In case the answer to that question is still a little ambiguous and you might be inclined to say "maybe", let's put it this way:

If you are an OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT and OMNIPOTENT God and you're working on the Garden of Eden project and you "finish", and the very first thing that happens is a SNAKE comes along and spoils your plan, who's fault is it really?


  1. Doesn't it say that man and woman got free will?

    Cause what you're saying is that if you installed an app on someone's PC and said "don't delete the cfg file" and someone else came along and said "delete the cfg file" and the luser deleted it, then it's a failed project. When in fact it's user error which is what the Bible says - and then it takes a bunch of time until Admin Jesus comes along and reboots the system.

  2. Haha, in which case it's primarily a failure of His Business Continuity Planning. The omnipotent sys-admin would have had hot standby redundancy waiting at a different site.

    There's several other points that come to mind:

    The omnipotent sys-admin would have locked the file down. Don't equate this with "free will", he didn't make A&E omnipotent. In fact, technically God didn't even teach them the difference between right and wrong.

    If you created the worlds first truly "thinking" AI; and THE FIRST THING IT DID when you turned it on was the one thing it was not supposed to do, wouldn't you turn it off and wonder where you went wrong?

    God threw the joystick.

    I think in the context of a superstitious desert tribe it still works; in the context of complex system analysis, it fails, badly.

  3. I've said this time and time again. It is an unjust story. How can you punish Adam and Eve for doing wrong when they only learned the difference between right and wrong after they ate the fruit. Makes no sense. They were set up to fail from the start, were ill prepared, weren't told not to believe talking snakes. Also, the "threat" of death would have been meaningless to individuals with no concept of it. Besides, why would knowledge of good and evil be something you want to withhold from your children?
    As for Jesus fixing things, that ordeal is convoluted, masturbatory sadomasochistic sucicide. Gee let me torture myself and kill myself to please myself so all is forgiven.


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