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Introductory spiel: One of my more recent books, Not Seeing God: Atheism in the 21st Century (UK), has a plethora of gems in it for the reader and a smorgasbord of variety. It was a labour of love and was particularly rewarding due to the fact that so many great writers had been involved in the production of the book. There were some 24 writers from the ranks of Patheos Nonreligious and they all did their bit to make the project a really good looking, good feeling, and intellectually stimulating affair.

There is a great variety of writing and subject matter on offer, in the book, with the first section (Part One: DECONSTRUCTING GOD) dealing with philosophical, moral and theological issues with the God concept. The second section (Part Two: REFLECTING ON GODLESSNESS IN MODERN SOCIETY), deals with atheism within various contexts in modern society, from cinema to the military, politics to education. The final piece of the puzzle (Part Three: LOOKING TOWARD A FUTURE IN A GODLESS WORLD) asks the reader where we go from here, and seeks to give a few answers.

I am going to split up my opening chapter to the book over a number of posts here. All of that which I will excerpt has been the subject of various posts over time. After all, you are my sounding board. Here goes. This is the third piece.

Adam and Eve

Let’s put this design fault into biblical context. God creates Adam and Eve in this supposedly perfect scenario. They have been chosen to represent humanity in a big test: the test of not eating a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. In other words, before eating from a fruit that gives them the knowledge of what is right and wrong, they have to know that it is wrong to disobey God and eat some forbidden fruit.

Damn this logic game.

Okay, let’s let that issue slip and carry on with the story.

So, Adam and Eve represent humanity in this test. God presumably knows in advance the result of this test, but he picks Adam and Eve to do it anyway, and to knowingly fail. In other words, God is admitting a glaring design fault. If Adam and Eve are representative of humanity, then any given human taking that test would have failed, and we are all inherently faulty. This throws perfect design and creation down the pan.

If, however, Adam and Eve are not representative of humanity, then God has chosen non-representative people to take a test and fail, on account of which all other people, given the Fall, are punished. It’s bad enough to know we are being punished for the choice of Adam and Eve because we are all equally as shoddy as they are, but it’s quite another to think we are being punished for the wrongdoing of this brace when we could have passed the test ourselves!

Quite a two-horned dilemma.



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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...