INNATE WICKEDNESS OF MAN
The doctrine of original sin was the original fantasy of some
misguided but imaginative theologian and has absolutely no basis in
the writings of Moses or, for that matter, anywhere in the Bible.
This theory, whose absurdity is equalled only by its potential
for frightening people into submission, apparently has its roots in
a ludicrous interpretation of the 3rd chapter of Genesis.
The first three chapters of Genesis contain an allegorical
account of how the Earth and its inhabitants achieved their present
state of being. Allegories are never meant to be taken literally.
For the benefit of those who don't know what an allegory is, we
will treat the third chapter as though it were a literal account.
Notice that the action of the characters in this chapter,
Adam, Eve, and a serpent, revolves around a certain Tree called the
Knowledge of Good and Evil. The ability to distinguish between
Good and Evil derives from what we call Reason. Reason, most would
agree, is what differentiates humans from beasts.
In the fifth verse the serpent says to Eve, "You shall not
die. God knows that the day you eat the fruit, your eyes shall be
opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Sure enough Eve eats the fruit and doesn't die. Not only
that, but in the 22nd verse God Himself says, "Behold the man has
become as one of us, to know good from evil." Taking God's words
literally, or figuratively, it would certainly seem that man's
ability to know good from evil was a direct result of eating the
fruit. It is this ability which allows inductive and deductive
reasoning, abstract thought, and creative cognition. Although it
is often very hard to find any God-like qualities in humanity, if
such qualities do indeed exist they are certainly a direct result
of these faculties. It was these capabilities which gave humans
both ethics and H-bombs.
Despite the fact that God told Man not to eat the fruit, if
the man did not know that what he was doing was wrong (and how
could he have if he did not know what was wrong until after he
ate), would a just and merciful God punish him for doing something
which he had no way of knowing was wrong? Even the judicial
systems of mankind, which are rarely just nor merciful, recognize
that people can't be punished for acts the wrongness of which they
are unaware. Therefore we are faced with either an unjust and
merciless God, or an allegory.
Perhaps the same creative theologian who dreamed up original
sin spread the idea that the serpent was Satan. Ignoring the fact
that nowhere in the books of the Pentatuch can we find the concept
of Satan ... the name doesn't pop up until the parable of Job ...
and continuing to pretend that the Genesis account is literal,
let's take a look at the thirty-fifth verse, where God says to the
serpent, "I will put enmity between thee and the Woman, and between
they seed and her seed, and it shall bruise they head, and thou
shall bruise its heel." Are there any accounts on record of devils
being kicked in the head, or of people being bitten on the heel by
devils? But the question remains; if we are taking it literally
how can we call a literal snake a literal devil?
In the name of sanity, be reasonable. Read the Bible
carefully, think about it, and don't be misled by traditions of men
and the nonsense of false prophets.