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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.