Saturday, 14 June 2008
The story of Adam and Eve is particularly troublesome for Xianity for many, many reasons. But, one that is especially galling to me is it's treatment of knowledge.
In the story, Adam and Eve eat the fruit and god gets angry and tosses them out of paradise. The fruit they eat, however, is the fruit of knowledge of good and evil and god clearly states that he is throwing them out because of the knowledge they have gained. The inescapable conclusion is that knowledge is a bad thing and it seems that Adam and Eve are being punished for gaining knowledge. It seems that god wants us to be ignorant and unlearned. He doesn't want us to discover new things, he simply wants us to do as he commands. Incidentally, this also argues against the Xian conception that god wants us to have free will. No he doesn't. He punishes Adam and Eve for using their free will. He wanted them to simply obey and be ignorant.
Sadly, this anti-knowledge streak persists to this day. There are tracts in the NT that speak against knowledge and Xianity tends to eschew it in many ways. Through the dark ages, the Catholic church refused to do mass in any language but Latin, thus assuring that the masses could not understand the words (I believe they still do this). This trend continues to the modern day where we see virulent anti-science sentiment among many Xians. These Xians are all too eager to use the latest technology - cell phones, computers, airplanes, etc. - while holding scientists in disdain and engaging in anti-evolutionism and anti-climatism among other science denials.