The Tree of Knowledge

There is a book that 2 billion people subscribe to in their reality that shares a story. It’s a lovely tale with dire consequences. In fact, we all are still effected by this event, and will continue to be effected by it until the end of time. Because of the disobedience of our great great grandmother, we are all imperfect and are cursed with sin.

Of course I am referring to the story of that sneaky speaking serpent who coaxed poor Eve into eating the apple. But just what happened on that fateful day in the superlative sanctuary of Eden? We continue the story just after God created Adam from the dust to be his full time property manager:

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Genesis 2:16-17

Doesn’t seem like too difficult of an order to follow. However, after some inspection and thinking, why is it that God wanted Man to be ignorant? Right off the bat, God is passing of the message of ignorance is bliss.

In our society today, there is nothing more powerful than knowledge. That isn’t to say that knowledge is the only thing to strive for in life, certainly not. But it is very hard to argue against what knowledge and understanding our planet, and ourselves, has done for us. Through accumulated knowledge and a process of inspection, science, we have increased our life expectancy from around 40 in 1900 to nearly 80 in 2009 (wiki). In the Western world, we have nearly completely erased our struggle for survival, are able to communicate with the other side of the world in less than a second, have sent many men into space, and are constantly searching for more understanding to keep increasing our collective knowledge.

But is ignorance bliss? What if all men and women knew no evil? Wouldn’t that be better? Well, I may be biased because I don’t know what it’s like to be without that knowledge, but I find it far more satisfying knowing as much as I can. You don’t need to hide the scary spooky stuff from me, I can take it. Especially if knowing the bad leads me to know the good.

That isn’t to say knowledge hasn’t done bad for our world. The same society and minds that doubled our life expectancy also built nuclear warheads, atomic bombs, tanks, and other macho dick waving death machines. All thanks to science! But to say knowledge hasn’t done well for us is absurd, and the fact that the big guy wanted to keep knowledge from us, is pretty sour. It’s an amazing feeling when we figure something out, something new and exciting, and learn more about how this crazy comedy of life works.

But back to the story, I hope I didn’t spoil it for you. We left off with God telling Adam the apple (to be honest, I’m not even sure if it is an apple, that’s just what I’ve heard over the years) is off limits. He then told Adam a bed time story, surgically removed a rib, waved his magic wand, and turned the rib into a woman, Eve. We get back into the story with the snake enticing Eve to take a bite:

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Genesis 3:4-6

Uh oh. He’s gonna be pretty pissed. Well, he ended up cursing the snake and made it slither on its belly (contrary to popular belief this wasn’t caused by evolution), made the woman hate the snake, gave them some clothes to wear, and expelled them from Eden. Every child that is ever born from then on, including you and I, are full of sin and bad thoughts and movies like Baseketball are made, all because they gained more knowledge.

To me, this makes knowledge seem sinful and evil. Why is it so bad that they understood and knew more? Good and evil, hot and cold, black and white, everything has an opposite, so it seems. Although I can’t imagine what it would be like to only have good, it’s certainly nothing that makes sense to me for good to exist without evil. Why would there need to be a word for happiness if there wasn’t sadness? I would rather know both sides than not even know I am experiencing happiness like some mindless drone. But then again, I’m just a victim of the first sin. Thanks grandma.

But am I missing the point? If you think that, then please help me understand what the point is. Is it obedience? Ignorance over knowledge? Choosing to be mindless happy drones on Valium? Snakes are bad?

I feel the bible teaches that we shouldn’t question everything and accept what we are taught. At least from this lesson, God wanted to keep knowledge from us, and that’s not very cool yo. But, I still have one more rant which ties in with the whole story. It’s what God says to Eve after he finds out what she did:

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and they conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and they desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Genesis 3:16

Keep in mind this isn’t some deranged male chauvinist, this is the word of GOD. If you believe that this book is the infallible word of God, you can not question it. Who are you to question God? So according to God, I am more important and rule over all women. Not just me, all men. This belief can be extremely dangerous.

Most people, including Christians, would agree that how the Islamic religions treat their women is despicable. However, right in the first 4 pages of the Christian Bible we see intolerance, prejudice and discrimination. And let’s not even get started on homosexuals, their verbal beating is later in the holy book.

I for one would like to shake the hand of the serpent for opening up our minds and giving us knowledge. If you think otherwise, I challenge you to question why that is.

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