Another Take on Adam and Eve

August 4, 2010

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but I re-discovered a quote that pertains to the whole Adam and Eve business. It may come as a surprise, but the Bible isn’t the only thing I read or have read.

Whenever I read something I find interesting for some reason or another I write it down in what has become a book of quotes. What is surprising is that I found the following quote interesting before I even contemplated this Bible reading adventure. The quote below is from Ayn Rand’s epic Atlas Shrugged:

“What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they considered perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge – he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil – he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor – he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire – he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness and joy – all of the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man’s fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but his essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was – that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love – he was not man.”

Rand focuses on the way religious circles describe the story of Adam and Eve as a detrimental fall of mankind. She has an ability far superior to my own, and her insight is a welcome change of tone from my own prose. I don’t want to spoil her intriguing analysis with lesser discussion on my part, so I want to just leave this quote for your own reflection.

I know there are many authors with opinions about religion and the Bible, so I’ll keep an eye out and add their ideas when they come up.

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3 Responses to “Another Take on Adam and Eve”

  1. Ed B Says:

    Thanks for that !!
    Ed

  2. Friend Says:

    Focusing on the OLD testament is the weakest way to approach things. There are so many contradictory statements and obvious illogical statements that only fanatical persons adhere to them. I truly appreciate your quest, I’ve read it all. But feel free to continue it. But this is an argument against orthodox culture. Not a path towards any type of logical revelation. All the “revelation” is in the books and its all in my opinion only useful as a source of didactic fiction. Useful as an allegory like stories we tell children, but little else.

    These books in the old testament had their place then but not now. The old testament…

    “thou shalt not…”

    has been replaced by the message of

    “Be unto…. ”

    Do the same series and contradict the reported words of Jesus in the (sometimes conflicting) testaments and letters.

    I’m not saying the reporters at the time got everything he said right. But the general message of “love above all things is good” should be as a guiding principle is true

    Give me a new treatise and view on the new testament. That I’d be impressed by.

    By,
    Friend

    P.S.

    I love your writing. Please keep doing it. Dialogue is the way to the future.

    • sacrilible Says:

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Many people, both religious and not, have told me that the stories at the beginning of the Bible are just as you mentioned; allegories used to emphasize or to illustrate a point, but not to be taken literally. I am fine with that explanation. However, there are people who don’t see these pages of the Bible as mere bedtime stories and I wouldn’t want to exclude them from the discussion. Furthermore, these tales are still a part of the Bible as a whole and consequently should be evaluated with the rest of the text.

      I want to point out as well that my reading of the Bible is not just to illuminate fallacies and contradictions or to make jokes, but to get an idea as to why so many people live by and preach its contents. Having read the Bible in its entirety I am certain you have developed a different perspective as a result of the experience. At the moment, I am working on developing that perspective. Unfortunately I have yet to read any quotations to live by.

      I promise I will get to the New Testament and the stories of Jesus. I just have to get through all the other stuff first. But when the time comes I will do my best to bring the same style and approach as I have so far.

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