The Diseased Imaginings of a Tainted Mind
*Another Take on the Flood Story in Genesis*
For a long time, the story of the flood in Genesis has been a source of theological problems for most theologians. On the face of it, it essentially shows God getting annoyed with the world, and drowning them en-masse apart from Noah and his family.
I’ve been wrestling with this passage, trying to see what it is that it has to tell us, in light of what we know about God, and what we know about context.
Random question. Would a clone suffer from “Original Sin” Also, byextension, would it have a soul? – A Question I was asked by a friend. My Answer is below.Random question. Would a clone suffer from “Original Sin” Also, byextension, would it have a soul?
An interesting question. One I quess that by the time I’ve answered this, your going to wish you hadn’t asked.
First, we need to define “Original Sin”. To do that, I’m going to make a few assumptions. The first is that your talking about the popular understanding of “Original Sin”. This is the one that is taken primarily from the thought of St. Augustine. This is taking to assume that Original Sin begins with what is known as the “fall”narrative in Genesis 2:8-3:28, and talks about Eve being convinced by a snake to eat a piece of fruit from the tree. This brings about the loss of intimacy with God (they are thrown out of the Garden), and they are made to toil and suffer, and of course, death enters the world. St. Augustine explored this and found that it was through intercourse that the Man passed the “stain” of Original Sin onto his offspring. St. Augustine believed that sexual desire was “bad”,like many Christians of his time, but his influence is one that Christianity has struggled to throw off.
Here’s an interesting thought… Genesis, as a psudo-literal story is a very irritating read. There are two trees in the Garden of Eden, one of Good and Evil, and one Life. When Eve touched the tree, she had disobeyed God (NRSV Genesis 3:3). So she may as well have eaten it.
Lets stop and rewind a little. At this point, Eve is a true innocent. She has no concept of punishment, because she does not know what is “Good”, and by extension, what is “Evil”. She cannot have any concept of what her actions were going to bring about. She knew that God had told her not too, but any kind of reasoning as to why He would do this, or that there could be a punishment is simply beyond here. When she is led by the Serpent to go and look at the tree, she noticed that it was good for food, and pretty, she also noticed that it was desired to make one wise.
So, she was seduced by the pretty shiny thing. She was thrown out of the Garden because of the Shiny.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of it’s fruit and ate;” (NRSV: Genesis 3:4).
This leaves us with a few problems. Eve, according to the rest of the Bible, was meant to look after Adam. This presumably meant gathering the best food she could find. In the Garden Of Eden, the best fruit available was on the Tree Of Knowledge, or the Tree of Life. Admitedly, the serpent showed her the Tree Of Knowledge first, but presumably, eventually she would have found it, and seen that it was Good.
The second is that she desired knowledge. A woman, who wanted to know things. The Bible says that a woman should not seek knowledge on her own, she must be led by a men. Presumably, the Serpant was a man, so she was following the general feeling of the Bible. You have to remember, Eve had no idea that it was wrong, because she had no concept of the word. Had Eve not been a woman; had Adam found the tree, then presumably this would have been more desirable, because the REST of the O.T. does not condemn the search for knowledge, rather she (wisdom) is to be positively searched for. Wisdom is the most important thing a man can desire.
So what on earth are we to take away from this tale? On the surface, God is a parent who doesn’t really understand toddlers. Telling a toddler not to do something, and leaving it in a room with another Adult that says “Do this”. The toddler, who has no real concept of right and wrong, will follow what the adult tells it to do, it trusts the adult*.
What of Adam? His job, or at least, the job of Men as dictated by the Bible was to look after the women, and to ensure that they didn’t get themselves into trouble. If they did so, it was HIS fault. Where was Adam? Being a man, as usual. There was house-work to be done, gathering food, so he was, of course, unavailable.
So, what then, did we get thrown out for? This was the days of the wrathful God, so perhaps He’d had a bad day. My guess, is that the answer is a little further down. The Lord God comes to the Garden, and our newly clothed couple get afraid, and HIDE. The Lord calls to the them, “Where are you?” (NRSV: Genesis 3:9). Adam answers that he had heard God, and was afraid of being naked before God.
This, naturally upsets God. Now they know the knowledge of Good and Evil, they can no-longer remain in the Garden. Perhaps this is because they are no-longer immortal, the down-side to the knowledge is death. God, however, doesn’t just throw them out into the cold, harsh world. He stops and makes them clothes of skin to keep them warm.
Satan wanted us out of the Garden (according to apocraphyl sources), because he was Jelous. Because we had eaten of the tree of Knowledge before the tree of life, we were condemned to the world before we were fully armed. Now, armed with our knowledge, we are to seek the tree of life, so that we may show our pass to the Cherubim, and be re-admited.
Re-Interpreting the Bible.
* It trusts the Adult, providing it’s own experiences tell it otherwise. “Hot”, “Bad” etc. YMMV with this annalogy.