Garden of Eden, to Stay or Leave?

Garden of EdenI wrote a post about the nature of Satanists not long ago and in it I discussed their belief that Satan offered humans a real life outside the Garden of Eden when he suggested that Adam and Eve eat of the Tree of Knowledge. I wanted to explore the idea of Garden of Eden as it is understood from a religious perspective.

In the spirit of full disclosure: I am an Atheist. I don’t believe the Garden of Eden existed. I don’t believe God exists. I don’t believe Satan exists. I don’t believe that mankind started with Adam and Eve or that they had to make a decision about eating of the Tree of Knowledge. However, there are a lot of people who do believe that particularly story and this is what I want to discuss.

If you believe the story of Adam and Eve is true, then, facing a similar circumstance what choice would you make?

In the Garden of Eden man was created and tends the garden. For this duty man is granted a life of eternal ease, free of both good and evil. Man has everything provided for him. He is immortal. Adam and Eve frolic throughout the Garden of Eden in what those of a religious mind will tell is a Utopia.

God forbids Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge telling them that if they do so, they are doomed to die. He does not also tell them that all their children will be bathed in this sin and forever tainted and evil unless they ask forgiveness from God, Original Sin.

So, that’s the scene. You are living in a beautiful and fertile garden. Everything you want is there and you are not troubled by danger, death, disease, or wild animal. You are immortal. You will live forever and your one duty is to tend the garden. There are no books to read because knowledge is evil. You are a pet.

Satan comes along and tells you that the Tree of Knowledge, which has been forbidden to you by the master of the house, will free your mind to experience life but that this experience is not all good. There are many bad things outside the garden. That in order to experience the good in life beyond the garden you must be willing to accept the bad as well.

If you eat of the Tree of Knowledge you will know good and be able to enjoy it fully but also know evil and feel its pain.

What would you choose?

Herein rests one of my major problems with Judeo-Christian-Islamic philosophy. Not only has God created a couple of mindless pets so that he can enjoy watching them but he has placed the ability to become much more in their midst and forbid them from partaking in it. Any parent who place a toy in a room and tells their child not to play with that toy knows the result of such foolish behavior.

Even worse, because Adam and Eve make the right choice, they choose to live life fully rather than as pets of God, he punishes all of their children for eternity. This is not a God I would want to worship even if I thought for a moment he existed. This is a vindictive god who little understands his creation and merely wants slavering love with no actual thought behind it.

This is a vile creature. This is the thing that so many religious people worship. Not only do I not believe in your God but if he were to come forward and show me his existence I would tell him to go crawl back into his hole. I will eat of the Tree of Knowledge. I will suffer pain. I will lead my life on my terms, fully and completely. I reject your Garden. I reject your damnation. I reject your philosophy.

Tom Liberman