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The Bible: Is the Garden of Eden story true?

Is the Bible's account of the Garden of Eden true?

answered by Michael R. Burch

No, the biblical account of the Garden of Eden is a badly-told fairy tale … and if it were true the biblical "god" would be the "original sinner"!

The writers of the bible were not very good at logic, morality, or keeping their stories straight. The idea that the bible was authored by an all-wise, enlightened being would be tremendously amusing, if not for all the harm bible-inspired beliefs have done to the world. For instance, think of all the nonconformist women murdered as "witches" because the bible says "witches" must not be allowed to live. First, the bible is wrong because there are no women with supernatural powers. Second, even if there were women with supernatural powers, no one could give them a fair trial. A truly wise God would understand such things. The primitive men who wrote the bible erroneously believed that women could be "witches" and they ignored the fact that they lacked any way to prove who had done what.

Slavery is another example. As Mark Twain pointed out, prior to the Civil War the Bible was used in churches and schools throughout the American South to "prove" that slavery was "the will of God." There would have been no American slavery if the writers of the Bible had been wise enough to prohibit it. Doing so would have saved more than 600,000 lives and the destruction of large parts of the southern states. It also would have spared millions of African Americans the horrors and humiliations of slavery.

Another example is the homophobia created by bible verses that call homosexuality a "sin" and an "abomination." We now know that human sexuality is governed by genes and hormones. I did not choose to be a heterosexual; I was born that way. Other people were born homosexual or bisexual. The authors of the bible were unaware of genes and hormones, so they made terrible mistakes that still plague us in what should be the Age of Reason.

I read the bible from cover to cover as a boy, and it was obvious to me that the biblical "god" was evil, although there is no reason to believe that he actually exists. There are too many errors and contradictions in the bible for me to believe any of it. An all-wise "god" would not have made so many gargantuan mistakes. For instance, in the Genesis creation account trees and plants were created before the sun! We all know that didn't happen. And it's obvious from the fossil record that trillions of animals suffered and died before human beings existed. Therefore, Adam and Eve cannot be blamed for suffering and death entering the world. If there is a Creator, that is where the responsibility for suffering and death resides.

If the Genesis account were true, it would mean the biblical "god" murdered Adam and Eve on false charges, since he had denied them the knowledge of good and evil, meaning they couldn’t possibly know it was "wrong" to eat the forbidden fruit. It was like putting a bottle of poisoned milk in front of babies incapable of understanding the danger. No good parent would do that. The lethal fruit would have been placed safely out of reach by any good parent. The great English poet-artist-mystic William Blake called the biblical "god" Nobodaddy because no one would want him for a father.

According to whoever wrote Genesis, the biblical "god" was the first murderer because he murdered innocent animals to give their skins to Adam and Eve as clothes. Why didn’t he use his superpowers to give them clothes of cotton or wool?

The biblical "god" then murdered Adam and Eve unjustly, since he was the abusive, neglectful father responsible for the fruit being eaten.

The biblical "god" also murdered all the animals even though they didn’t eat the fruit or obtain the knowledge of good and evil. According to the "logic" of Genesis, the animals should never have suffered or died, since they didn’t obtain the knowledge of good and evil.

The biblical "god" would go on to slaughter trillions of innocent animals in a global flood, along with multitudes of children, babies and unborns. How can Christians claim abortion is a "sin" and that their "god" considers human life to be "sacred" when the bible portrays him as a serial abortionist and mass murderer of innocents? For Christians to claim their "god" considers human life to be "sacred" is one of the great ironies. If he considered human life to be sacred, he could not have murdered Adam and Eve.

The biblical "god" murdered Lot's wife for looking over her shoulder at the home she was losing. What sort of monster murders a woman for looking back regretfully at her house and hometown going up in flames? What would Christians say about a fireman who murdered the victim of an inferno for looking back? They would call him a monster, and yet they call Yahweh (Jehovah) "good" when he murders a fleeing woman?

The biblical "god" kept hardening the Egyptian pharaoh's heart so that he could demonstrate his powers by mass-murdering multitudes of animals, children and babies. Why didn't he use his superpowers to put the Egyptians to sleep and let the Israelites leave peacefully, then cover their tracks to keep them from being pursued?

The biblical "god"—either directly or through his prophets—commanded the worst crimes known to mankind: slavery, sex slavery, the stoning of children for misdemeanors (a truly ghastly method of execution for anyone, much less a child), infanticide, matricide, ethnic cleansing and genocide (the slaughter of "everything that breathes"). How can anyone claim this evil "god" was "good"?

In conclusion, the Genesis account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is a badly-told fairy tale that makes the biblical "god" a serial mass murderer. How can so many Christians claim this evil "god" was "good"? Did they fail to receive the knowledge of good and evil? Were they gypped by their "god" because they don't know evil when they read about it, meaning that according to the logic of Genesis they should never suffer or die? How can they not know that what was done to Adam and Eve was evil? How can they not know that what was done to the animals was evil? How can they not know that what was done to Lot's wife was evil? How can they not know that it was evil for Jehovah to keep hardening the pharaoh's heart so that he could murder more animals and children? If any man had that sort of power and did those terrible things, we would call him evil beyond belief—a monster. Perhaps the closest we have come to that sort of monstrosity was Adolph Hitler, and no one in his/her right mind calls Hitler "good." But even Hitler didn't murder all the animals, all the children, all the babies, all the unborns. If the bible were true, its "god" would be the greatest monster of all time, but there is no reason to believe such badly-told fairy tales are true.

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Is "hell" mentioned in the Old Testament?
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Hell is not Biblical!
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Hell in Hebrew

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