Monday, December 31, 2012

The Garden of Eden

Now, there are a lot of parts of the old testament that I don't get, and I can honestly say that without reading the whole thing. But one of the most well known stories, is the origin of humankind, the Garden of Eden, and it is also my least favorite.
It seems to be the spring of the science versus religion debate. Not only does it blatantly contradict common scientific knowledge by saying the world was created in seven days and that the earth was created  before the sun, but it actually supports ignorance and demonizes knowledge.
For anyone who is not aware of the story, there are the two first humans, Adam and Eve, were created in a perfect world in the garden of eden. Then the serpent tempts them into eating the fruit of knowledge, which is also forbidden by god. They eat it and have knowledge, but they are cast out by god and have to toil in the world in order to survive.
Now, I understand that this might not be meant literally. I have heard many examples of how both the story and the actual creation of the world could have happened, but its not the inaccuracies I dislike as much as the moral. Its surprising that so many people I have talked to, when attacking the christian faith, have used the scientific inaccuracies of that story, instead of pointing out that it clearly implies that knowledge is evil and complete trust and reliance on god is preferable to independence and the knowledge to make decisions.
The defense to that argument is that reliance in god is preferable to knowledge and independence, and that this story is to show the humility you should show before god. But humility is different than complete dependence. And the trouble with relying and trusting completely in god is that no one has any idea exactly what god wants them to do, and a lot of people get it really wrong.
The bible is a good book, but large sections of it, as I've said before, seem to be fictional, almost like myths or stories that have been hugely changed through the eras. and I think that the story of creation is probably fictional.