The Tree Of Knowledge

5 07 2010

The most perfect symbol of everything that is wrong with religion is shimmering at the core of Christianity.  The original sin.  The sin that got the ball rolling and opened the flood gates of damnation for all future generations.  The sin for which a savior was miraculously sent and eventually had to die for.

The sin of pursuing (and sharing) knowledge.

When created, both Adam and Eve were utterly ignorant, but it is apparent from the story that they both desired understanding.  Starving for the knowledge of right and wrong, craving wisdom, and dying of curiosity the fruit of that tree was very satisfying indeed.  So satisfying that once obtained Eve had to share it.  Of course once that knowledge had been obtained it was then impossible to remain in the cloistered “perfect” garden of blissful ignorance.

And that’s the ultimate problem with religion.  It must keep the flock sheltered from the facts that lay bare that the promises of a loving god, of redemption, and of heaven …are all just flimsy embellishments of an illusion.  An illusion perpetuated by the avoidance of knowledge and the active fortification of ignorance.

If the quest for knowledge is our greatest sin then I would strive to be the greatest sinner…and the greatest advocate of that original sin.  You can keep your saviors.  In days like these it will be in that original sin that our truest salvation will be found and realized.

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21 responses

6 07 2010
Tabbie

This is why I find the growing trend toward home-schooling amongst Fundamentalist Christians in the USA to be so disheartening. Ignorance, left unchecked, perpetuates itself quite efficiently.

6 07 2010
Barbara

Well said….I wonder where this conversation might lead to. Anybody? 😉

8 07 2010
Tabbie

Hmmm…well, I wonder why the Tree of Life wasn’t called the Tree of Blind Faith. It could also have been called The Tree of Ignorance, The Tree of Stupefaction, Prunus Pied Piperus, the Because I Said So Shrub or perhaps the Bush of Blithering Blindness. Full disclosure, after all, counts for a lot don’t you think?! The Lord Their God had made it perfectly clear to Adam and Eve that eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge would surely bring death, but nary a peep was uttered regarding the consequences of eating from The Tree of Life.

I also wonder why the Great Knowitall Creator even bothered to give gonads to The Perfect Pair as part of His perfectly designed One-Man-One-Woman planet-populating plan when He’d already decided any actual use of those gonads would be a sin. Happy-go-lucky Adam and Blissful Eve weren’t even aware of the penetratingly perfect penis or the vitally velvet vagina until made aware of them by Heavenly Padre Himself once they’d tasted that loopy fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They ate, and immediately they became ashamed of their nakedness and tried to hide themselves from Wowie Yahweh’s view. The implication, of course, is that sex is a sin. Wouldn’t it have been much more logical for Holy Daddy-O to have associated sex and procreation as good things which come from eating the fruit of The Tree of Life?

Alas, perhaps Alfie Omega would be happiest today if Adam and Eve had only thought to pluck their fruity afternoon delights from none other than the Vine of Virginity. We could all be budding out with new babies in a world where the buffalo roam but the gametes don’t swim ’round nor play. I can almost hear the GreenMan family chatter now…

“C’mon, Sport, let’s go praise Gawd. Maybe your sister, Stolon, would like to join in the worship celebration too, and where has your Uncle Stump run off to anyway? Now be careful, Sport, don’t you be spillin’ any pollen. Gawd will prune you hard for it! Maybe we’ll run into Great Auntie Tuber while we’re at the worship service. I’m sproutin’ some new woody tissue just thinkin’ about it. Amen!”

8 07 2010
Barbara

Best story I have read all day! LOL I think themysteryof might be afraid of you. 😀

14 07 2010
themysteryof

The original sin wasn’t simply the quest for knowledge, but the doubting of God in the process. So far as knowledge goes, perhaps there would really be no absolutes, but there should be. I think that’s why God desired to retain the right to make any moral decisions pertaining to knowledge. Any other choice would lead to moral chaos like we see in the world today. Now, a sort of “Cold War” of knowledge goes on as we struggle to survive.

Knowledge can be very dangerous. The United States, with good reason, doesn’t want North Korea, or Iran to possess nuclear weapons. Communists don’t want democratic ideas in their classrooms. Atheists, for the most part, don’t want Christians to have the right to home-school. It isn’t a question of whether knowledge will be suppressed or not, but what knowledge will be suppressed. Right now, it is the knowledge of God that is censored more than any.

In Genesis 1:21-22, God blessed the animals, and told them to be “fruitful, and multiply…” In Genesis 1:27-28, God told Adam and Eve the same thing. “Sex” wasn’t forbidden to them; that idea is a twist that Satan has put upon it. Some preachers do preach it the way Tabbie said it, but they’re forgetting Genesis 1:28. God creates, and Satan twists; that’s the way it is. God wanted mankind to choose the Tree of Life, but it seems that first we have to learn what happens when we choose to doubt God.

I have a “Tree of Knowledge” category at my blog, with some posts pertaining to this subject. If you haven’t already checked it out, I think you should. Any knowledge or ideas that can be presented however, can always be interpreted some other way. That is a result of the Tree of Knowledge.

14 07 2010
SuperJesus

Pursuit of knowledge requires skepticism about what is “known” and outright doubt of all things for which there is no evidence (ie God). To forgo knowledge and instead accept provably immoral and contradictory ancient writings as immutable and inerrant would be absurd.

Many things are dangerous, but the pursuit of knowledge is far less dangerous than persisting in ignorance and denial of the truth. To your examples, all those countries listed already know about nuclear weapons and generally how to make them, we just want to prevent them building them.

Regarding home schooling, atheists are not against home schooling per se, but it is generally appalling because it only continues the brain-washed ignorance and delusions which you appear to cling to. Your point is ironic because home schooling is more about limiting knowledge of real science in the interest of instead perpetuating dogmatic and doctrinaire superstition.

And it is bemusing to watch you assume the position of besieged victim by suggesting that the “knowledge of God that is censored”. In a country where 78% of people identify themselves as Christian and there exist 320,000 Christian churches, it is laughable that you think yours is the message being censored. Coming from the position of the less than 3% population of atheists, I would suggest that your feelings of censorship are in fact misplaced feelings of fear that despite your far superior numbers and exposure…the facts are clearly not supportive of your theology.

15 07 2010
Tabbie

themysteryof, you said, “God creates, and Satan twists; that’s the way it is.”

No, I’m really sorry, but you’re quite mistaken. Man writes, and men twist. All of it is sheer baloney. That’s how it really is.

All of these things you are saying are common beliefs and teachings amongst many adherents of modern day Christianity. This talk of mankind doubting God and having to learn the hard way what will happen when we disobey God; this idea that freedom of choice was God’s gift to mankind; the explanation of God’s great plan of salvation; God’s retention of the right to make moral decisions pertaining to knowledgel Satan — all these things are simply more of your unsubstantiated circular reasoning. You’ve learned it well. You’ve embraced it. It’s all very convoluted yet it makes perfect sense to you and to the minds of millions upon millions of other deluded followers of Christ.

It works the same way for the millions upon millions of deluded followers of the teachings of Mohammed. A whole lot of weak minded people have joined the Church of Scientology, too, and have allowed themselves to be similarly deceived and stripped of their cash, dignity and humanity. Charles Manson’s followers were far fewer in number, but they believed in him just as fervently as you believe in your lord and savior JC. It’s called “willing suspension of disbelief” and you have as serious a case of it as anyone I have ever encountered.

Such faith becomes problematic over time. Those of us who have not embraced Jesus like velcro on velcro might ask ourselves, “Who cares? What does it matter?” It matters a lot because religion inevitably comes with a clause which compels those who have embraced it to go out and proselytize. Many take it even further and try to impose their own personal beliefs and practices on those around them and on society at large. Freedoms are impinged upon. Theocracies are born. People die.

Theocracies are fantastic…for those who hold the same religious beliefs as their heads of state. Theocracies suck really bad for everyone else. At the very least we will get buried in circular reasoning, and at the very worst, those of us who don’t buy into the current ruler’s ideas about God may find ourselves getting beheaded. To this I say a resounding, “NO!”

15 07 2010
themysteryof

The Bible uses a phrase; “Ever learning, and never able to come to the Knowledge of the truth.” That can happen in God’s presence, as well as it happens here. That’s what happened to the angel that became Satan. He knew that God existed, yet he didn’t believe in God in the most important sense. He reached the conclusion that God “shouldn’t be God.” That is why we experience this on a temporal level where there’s a chance we’ll “see the light.”

Home schooling isn’t about limiting knowledge of real science. It is more about the proper interpretation of science and learning. Yes, the greater percentage of people in this country identify themselves as Christians, but that doesn’t mean much. Secularism is in far greater control of the educational system, and the popular culture.

I don’t want to live in a “theocracy” here in this world Tabbie, because the inner corruption of people begins to show when they have power. It isn’t so much that power corrupts, as it is that people that desire power find a way to attain it. Therefore, you have people who reach the top who are there mainly for that power. That is a real problem in any form of government though. Atheistic governments have done more than their share of persecuting their citizens. Check out “The Rage Against God,” by Christopher Hitchens’ brother Peter Hitchens.

15 07 2010
SuperJesus

You dismiss and ignore all the points I took the time to bring up in this conversation by retreating to biblical stories about the Devil as if it’s real or has any relevance to the comments I made. It’s all made up silly stories but you cling to them as if you saw it happen with your own eyes. I don’t mean to sound rude but you seem to be so indoctrinated as to be completely incapable of critical thought.

And to characterize homeschooling as being “about the proper interpretation of science and learning” and not about casting your own theology onto the education and indoctrination of children only proves you know nothing about what constitutes real science. You clearly have no idea what an upside down perception of reality you’ve constructed in your mind.

I’m sincerely frustrated. I simply don’t see the point in addressing you seriously anymore since you prefer to anchor your reasoning in fairy tales rather than thinking critically for yourself. Your reasoning is childish and trying to reason with someone as deluded as you has proven to be an exercise in futility. It is conversations that go nowhere like this one that leave me pessimistic about the future of this country and our species in general.

15 07 2010
Tabbie

SuperJesus, you took the words right out of my mouth! What more can I say? The neverending game of Duck, Duck Godgoose can drive a sane person all the way to Nutsville. It’s no more productive than cranking the handle on a little box all day while a little ditty plays,

“All around the cobbler’s bench, the monkey chased the weasel, the monkey stopped to pull up his socks, Pop! goes the weasel.

All around the burning bush, the monkey chased the weasel, the monkey stomped to put out the flames, “Stop!” shouts the weasel.

All around the temple, the atheists chase the faithful, the atheists prove their points with the facts, “Pray!” cry the faithful.”

16 07 2010
Barbara

As much as I can see the frustration in which it is to argue with someone so dogmatic in their pursuit of ignoring truths and evidence and instead accepting smoke and mirror parlor tricks, I think that these discussions can prove valuable to others. And less for the side of theism and more for the side of doubt and inquiry.

I wonder if someone had written the bible with an ending that made no mention of an afterlife, if anyone would bother. My bet would be that atheists would be in the majority if that were the case. As it is, in the many interpretations that have been held, I don’t think many Christians truly understand that according to the biblical outcome, most of them aren’t going to make it. Or that in their delusion, they are one of the few.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. — Matthew 7:13-14

Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ — Luke 13:23-25

themysteryof……
Do you find yourself among the worthy?

Fortunately, as I see it Pascals Wager is a sham, the smoke and mirrors parlor trick. Yes you do lose something by believing. You lose all integrity of being human. Of caring simply to care, of loving simply to love, of giving simply to give and of living, simply to live. It isn’t beyond a Christian to do any of those things, but it is often beyond them to do it without hoping to receive some benefit or reward. Ultimately, the reward you are seeking is from a very selfish deity who has done nothing but promise you more upon death and offering little during life. How sad is that?

17 07 2010
culturepress

Thanks, SuperJ, for continuing to preach truth.

No more blogging for me – been way too busy this year, working like a dog. Hope all is well 🙂 I have been meaning to check in from time to time, and promise I’ll be better about that…!

17 07 2010
SuperJesus

You’re sweet. Good luck out there and stay in touch.

19 07 2010
culturepress

Hi SuperJ, it’s great to see that you’re still blogging, even if it is in fits and starts.

Whenever my dude and I have some time, we’re hoping to start some kind of atheist NPO (he’s good at making shit happen, too), something that would give atheists better PR than just those billboards that were popping up last year. There are thousands of charities that give in the name of christianity, which is great PR for those folks, but we’re hoping to do the same. Hopefully show people that a lot of us actually do give a crap about humanity and don’t need religion to do that 🙂

Take good care, and I’ll pop in from time to time when I can…!

18 07 2010
themysteryof

Barbara,

I don’t think anyone is actually “worthy,” and I know I’m not. I don”t believe anyone can meet the Lord with any bragging rights. The Lord has told us that if we believe him, we’ll be saved. I believe in him. I trust that he can do what he promised.

SuperJesus, and Tabbie,

I’m sorry this has been frustrating for you. It isn’t only atheists who become frustrated with the debate though. I appreciate the fact that you’ve allowed me to make the comments.

18 07 2010
Tabbie

themysteryof,

I know you are frustrated. Indeed I am frustrated too, but please know I feel no animosity toward you…only immense frustration. It’s terribly difficult for me to accept the fact that there are untold millions of people just like you on this planet who choose to believe what they will no matter what the evidence or lack thereof may indicate contrary to their system of belief. Your mind is made up, and your beliefs are set in stone. You have told yourself you will never let go of your current set of beliefs. I’m not convinced you’ve grasped my level of frustration nor the fact that I fully understand your position and your point of view. I have been where you are, for I, too, was once a Christian.

Discussion and debate are great, and being able to banter back and forth sans violence and hatred is a wonderful thing. It’s disheartening, however, when you continually back your arguments with an endless stream of circular reasoning based on passages of scripture and/or your personal doctrinal dogma. You repeatedly fail to back up any of your arguments with any concrete evidence which is based in verifiable documented scientific fact.

Imagine you’ve owned a purple ball for the past twenty years, yet one day your child or your life partner suddenly decides this purple ball is actually an orange box which is alive and cognizant. Imagine how troubling this would be for you. Perhaps you’d have to accept the reality that your loved one had gone round the bend. Maybe you would simply decide to ignore the situation, to live and let live, but then what if your loved one took it a step further? What if they made it their mission in life to convince you that your purple ball is not only an orange box but also a god which must be worshipped and obeyed? They must worship and obey it, and they insist you must do likewise or face eternal torture in a pit of molten lava.

Think about how frustrated you could become in a situation like this. You know the truth. You know it’s just a purple ball. You bounce it. You kick it around. You demonstrate the truth of the matter, but your loved one still truly believes your purple ball is actually an orange box god! They insist on it. They believe in the joys of worshipping their orange box god, and they believe in the horrors of what will happen if their orange box god is not worshipped and obeyed. They even have a book called Boxible which supports the story of their orange box god. They use every argument you have used in this blog to support their faith in orange box god. Orange box god is love. Orange box god is just. Orange box god has provided a way for mankind to find salvation.

“There hath no purple ball taken you but such as is common to man: but orange box god is faithful, who will not suffer you to be balled above that ye are able; but will with the purple balls also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Your Jesus Christ is my purple ball.

18 07 2010
Barbara

@themysteryof………
you entirely missed my point, but I had expected you would. Many do, especially while clinging to religion.

19 07 2010
themysteryof

Tabbie,

I once considered myself to be an atheist also. I have now been convinced by the evidence for God, and the logic of it, to trust Jesus. I am much more sure of the truth of this than I ever was of Atheism. I don’t like the word “religion” for the same reason I don’t like the word “evolution.” Both words are used deceptively, more often than not.

I realize that I haven’t posted much on the physical evidence for God. I’ve focused more on the logical aspects of Christianity. I have mentioned a few of the physical evidences, here and there, in my posts. There are some pretty good books out there, but I mainly focus on my own studies in the little time that I have.

One of the critical points to consider is that, for the most part, all of us are looking at the same evidence. We are just interpreting it in very different ways. I look at the Grand Canyon now, and I see evidence for the after-effects of Noah’s flood. As an Atheist, I looked at it as evidence for evolution. These are huge subjects to tackle. “Responding To The Challenge of Evolution,” by Kevin Logan, is a pretty good book that explores our different ways of interpreting these things.

The effect of the Tree of Knowledge is that we become the interpreters of all knowledge, and we are incapable of rightly judging all these things. Can you read every book on science, and all other subjects, ever written and set us straight on everything? No human can, therefore, we have to trust someone.

I no longer trust the majority of scientists who believe in themselves more than anything else. I trust Jesus, and the smaller percentage of scientists, and historians etc., who side with him. When there are unresolvable conflicts, I trust Jesus. The opinion of the majority isn’t always right.

I agree that an unbiased study of the evidence would eventually lead you one way, or the other. I also agree that Christians have done a very poor job of showing the evidence, so part of the problem is our fault. None of it is the fault of the Lord, though he get’s the blame for it all.

19 07 2010
Tabbie

The human brain, thanks to evolution, is quite capable of using high levels of analytical thinking in conjunction with defined sound principles of reasoning to evaluate observable, empirical and measurable evidence within a disciplined framework of scientific study to advance our knowledge of the universe. The metaphorical mythology of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has absolutely nothing to do with it.

You’ve misplaced your trust, themysterof. You’re wearing blinders. You could take them off, but you won’t. There’s a false sense of safety you achieve by wearing them, and it comforts you. I understand.

19 07 2010
SuperJesus

I look forward to hearing more about your evidence of God.

20 07 2010
Tabbie

To themysteryof,

I’d like to point out as well that, regarding the Grand Canyon, I think you’ve confused evolution with erosion. One has to do with biology and the other with geology.

I’m not convinced you fully understand the principles of evolution nor the science behind it. I’m equally unconvinced you’ve ever really understood what it means to be an atheist. You may have considered yourself an atheist, but I’d guess you were more of an agnostic than anything else. I see you now as a follower of your endorphins.

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