In the first chapter of Genesis, after God created Adam and Eve, we read in verse 1:29 that God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; and you shall have them for food.” In the very next verse God seems to reiterate the previous benevolence by saying “I have given every green plant for food.”
Then in 2:17 we read that God did not actually mean what he said. Everything is now revised to exclude the fruit of one tree, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; a tree that bore fruit, that if eaten would enable Adam to comprehend “good and evil”–in other words, to understand what is right and what is wrong. This admonition was so strong the God informed Adam that he would die in the day that he ate the fruit.
Enter the serpent. The conversation between the serpent and Eve was along the lines of Eve being told by the serpent that God did not want her or Adam to eat from the tree because God knew that if they did they would “be as the Gods, knowing good and evil” (3:5). Now setting aside the revision to what God initially told Adam he could eat and how Eve came to learn of the revision to the rules, (remember Eve had not been created when god forbade Adam to eat from the tree) we are presented with a dilemma. The Bible says Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil–and even had the gall to convince Adam to eat his share too. And, of course, we are aware of the result. The dilemma is that neither Adam nor Eve had any conception of what was good or evil prior to eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil! That is to say they simply could not understand the concept of what was acceptable and what was not. In what is often referred to as “the first temptation,” namely the serpent tempting Eve, we realize that it simply could not have happened. “Temptation” infers a choice to do “A” or “B.” Is “A” good or evil? Is “B” good or evil? Eve was not equipped with the mentality to know; therefore she could NOT be tempted. The same is true of Adam. For God to issue rules that the players could not possibly understand is incomprehensible and immoral.
Just why God changed the rules is unclear, but for him to impose punishment for an act that could not be comprehended as either good or evil is illogical. To continue with the illogic, God did not follow through with the threatened punishment (2:17). There God clearly told Adam he would die the same day he ate from the tree. God did not do that; again God changed the rules. That is not good parenting. But here is even a greater fubar on God’s part: how could Adam even comprehend death?
Imposing illogical, incomprehensible rules on Adam and Eve is incredulous. But a benevolent God? Speaking of a benevolent God, it seems to me outrageous that he would condemn all future generations because of Adam and Eve’s actions.
When presented with this ridicules story a common response from Christians is the simple answer that “God wanted us to have free will.”
My question to them, again is: how is it possible for Adam or Eve to have the free will to choose bad over good when they could not possibly grasp the concept until their fate had been sealed after having eaten the fruit? Again, the answer is that they couldn’t.
Now to the question of their nakedness. It didn’t seem evil (in God’s eyes or theirs) to be naked before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, so this begs the question: Why would Adam hide from God because of his nakedness when they had already made clothes out of fig leaves (3:10)? It just doesn’t make sense. But wait, there are more questions to be answered.
How is it that Adam could hide from God (3:10)? Doesn’t God see all and know all? Why does God have to ask Adam? He knew he was naked (3:11). God is supposed to know everything.
God asks Adam if he has eaten from the tree that God had commanded him not to eat (3:11). Again: Isn’t God supposed to know everything?
Returning to the question of free will, we note that God did not allow the exercise of free will when it came to allowing Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life. Instead, He promptly kicked them out of the Garden of Eden and placed an angel with a flaming sword as a guard to prevent them from exercising that choice. So much for free will!
There are many more examples in the Bible where God acts illogically, but these examples are the first such acts and those with the gravest consequences. According to the accounts chronicled in the Bible, God’s illogical behavior goes downhill from here on.
The actions of God throughout the Bible defy logic and are clearly contradictory to his purported omnipotent, omniscience and benevolent nature, therefore I assert that the God of the Bible does not and cannot exist.
There are those who will tell us that God is a merciful being, but the treatment of Adam and eve, and for that matter all of mankind, paints a far different picture.
Given the choice, I choose to exercise my free will to ignore all the rules purportedly established by such an illogical God. There are far better sources from which to glean my moral code.