If God must have a story, like Him that story must have a beginning, a way to begin explaining how we all came to be living. Why flowers are pretty and mountains are high and why it takes a watchmaker to fashion an eye. But shouldn’t this story make sense, and stand up to reason? and tell us why we have stomachs, sunlight and seasons. Nature itself is unforgiving and cruel, noteworthy by it’s absence of patience for fools. It needs no creator to light the touch paper on a universe full of gaps. Filling holes with His Holiness and watching logic collapse.
So when it comes to Genesis logic is the nemesis, that lifts the lid on those story’s main premises. There’s no reason that I can see to read beyond The Fall, the point at which God’s plan hits that metaphorical wall. Everything up until the birds and the fishes had perfectly matched His deepest wishes: Five days straight without any slippages. Day six begins quite smoothly, not jittery, with the creation of creatures both ambulatory and slithery. But His vision is lost, His plans turned to dust, when from dust he makes a couple whose purpose is just to live and play in this garden enjoying all that they can see, while giving a wide berth to just one plucking tree.
Not any old tree, not by any degree, but one that let’s you see that nothing is worse, there’s no greater curse, than lounging nakedly. Adam & Eve, the first people deceived, had unwittingly sealed their fate, for when God spied the bits they dared hide he kicked them right out the gate. No second chance, no mitigating circumstance, could save them from his wrath, they had heeded a snake and did therefore forsake the good for the crooked path.
What happened next is right there in the text but it doesn’t get easier to believe, and trust me I’ve tried, I’ve looked at both sides but can’t see what was achieved. By evicting his kids for this one little slip God proves himself to be one righteous prick. Because he hadn’t even defined the punishment for this crime, but merely mentioned death. A concept as yet, to their enduring regret, unknown to all who drew breath. Giving reasons to be obedient is always expedient, but right there at the beginning, before ever there was sinning He was unwilling to behave in any way lenient. With no prior knowledge to call upon, no oral traditions of morality, no conception of the reception their transgression would get them, how guilty were they in reality?
OK, reality is not the best choice of words to apply to a story so patently absurd. But in trying to find a way to engage with the religious mind it must be observed that the reason we are all here, they’ll have you believe, is because of that sin and it’s lack of reprieve. If that tree hadn’t been plucked and it’s succulent fruit so sediciously sucked God’s plan might have gone to plan, but it didn’t, now we’re fucked. Because if things had turned out the way He had apparently intended, The Garden of Eden is where the bible would have ended. And we wouldn’t still have this shit to contend with. No, if Eve had only ignored what that snake had to say, herself and Adam would still be living in the garden today.
The generations of their children free from all cares, playing with the infants of leopards and bears. Every day beautiful, sunny and dry, nothing to bring a tear to the eye. No thorns on the roses they joyfully pick, eating Deadly Nightshade would not make them sick. No need for doctors or butchers or priests, nobody sins, gets ill or eats meat. Happyness obligatory, fornicating compulsory, an orgy of nakedness let loose in the shrubery. No hint of rain, no incidents of pain, nothing to purchase no toiling for gain. Making babies is the only commandment that God ever gave to those who would never encounter a grave. No Hell below them, above them only sky: Heaven is where you live if you’re never meant to die.
Now picture a situation where unbridled procreation is the only order to follow. And for the sake of speculation let’s run with creation, no matter how difficult to swallow, is a universe so vast for such a small cast to simply sit back and wallow. Riddle me how would life unrestricted, even if it were perpetually gifted, not eventually lead to a garden constricted by the mass of living things on which it was inflicted? On a planet of ants and beetles and plants that outnumber the stars in our sky, I for one can see no fun in a world where none of them die.
Just what kind of mentality accepts as reality that Earth is a gift to God’s peoples? When Haldane noted, as is often quoted, God’s ‘inordinate fondness for beetles’. For that one biological order accounts for a quarter of all moving life on our planet. And if you want to stretch reality, try working out mathematically the number of creatures we can fit, if we lickity split simply omit death from our locality. But omit it God did, and eternity did He give, to ‘every living thing that mov-eth’. And if He’d had his way, as I’ll repeatedly say, that is where the story should have end-eth…
But disobedience to the maker, to the first time creator, of everything that we can see caused the first couple a whole heap of trouble and screwed us all indefinitely. Because God could have said ‘My bad, if only I had not pointed out that tree. Or left it barren of fruit, a torturous root not worthy of your curiosity. I should have made it tall and impossible to pick, or found a safe place to stick, this most deadly of plants and removed any chance of it ever falling under your glance. Maybe the snake was the bigger mistake. I thought a forked tongue and a larynx high hung would make him effectively dumb. But I’m the dumb one, and look what I’ve done, such a shame this is not a dry run. So the consequence I see for all humanity is a lowly and desperate fate, you must worship and praise me, and hope that I’ll save ye from a Hell that I now must create. No, I really must censure your gullible nature or what kind of teacher would I be? If you were simply forgiven, what lesson in livin’ would that be from me to thee?
My mind is made up and I know this may suck, but from now till the end of days, a most hateful existence at my own insistence awaits anyone who disobeys. For I now see before me an opportunity for Glory, not to be mistaken for Pride, as your decendants in their billions become my minions, while I simply hide. The longer you go, the more than you learn, the less likely am I going to seem. But you’ll still be required, no matter what transpires, to keep believing this meme.
So get out of my garden, my resolve has been hardened, and I’m no longer feeling so kind. I’ll give you thistles and rain, demand sacrifice and pain, as punishment for being undermined. Childbirth will incur labour, and as the sheriff of your behaviour I want you to keep your hands out of your pants. I’ll now decide what’s wrong and what’s right in any given circumstance. I’ll put all of this in a book that will eventually look like the ramblings of a feeble mind, full of torture and death, pillage and rape, delusions of the grandest kind. Then we’ll see, who believes in me, and who will be left behind.
So now the ground needs tilling, and you best get used to killing, I’m going to need plenty of that. As you pay for your vice with blood sacrifice by cutting the heads off your chickens. And as a matter of fact, although it might show poor tact, I’m going to insist on this: after all your advances, your progress from trances induced in credulous heads, the battle will be drawn between those who were born to insist that I surely exist, and those who expose me as myth. I’ll fuck with your heads, I’ll give you no rest as you scramble around for a clue. You’ll be swamped with religion each sharing a smidgen but with no way to tell which is true. Let’s see how you like them apples as the human mind grapples with the nature of what you call God.
Ok back to reality, back to me, back to your good friend Daithi. I’m gettin’ carried away and I’m startin’ to say some things about which I disagree. But it’s easily done, and it’s so much fun to let your imagination run free. But it’s time to speak clearly as I lay out my theory of where the bible comes from.
It’s definitely not divine, or else we would find more logic and reason in it’s pages, than was there to be found in the minds of scribes from the late Bronze and the early Iron ages. To me it seems clear that the real godhead here is the capacity of humans to think. There is no height that we can’t reach and no depth to which we can’t sink. But our greatest treasure, the source of all pleasure, is the organ between our ears. It is the font of all joy, the root of all fears, and our pilot through this vale of tears. But it’s a dreadful mistake to think it can’t make one thing appear like another. So it’s no great wonder that when we came to ponder the question of whence we came, that with little to go on and much to explain we came up with the answer we did. It’s just a shame that the modern brain still labours and fumbles amid, the fantastical story, masquerading as Glory, that we are a sky daddy’s kids.