J FeustelPhilosophy 101Eric BoosMarch 31, 2012Paper #3 Gods Misunderstood Plan By nature, humans seek understanding of all things. This becomes a life long journey, becauseknowledge is often not easily obtained. When religion is part of a persons life, often they halt, or atleast slow their quest for knowledge. Christianity is an example of one of these religions.Understanding is no longer a priority in ones life, because Christianity has offered an easy answer:God. Since Christians stopped their own critical analysis of ideas, they view these analyses by others asa threat to their religion. If Christianity did not view questioning God and religion as unacceptable,Christianity would cease to exist. The questioning of God dates back as far as the first people on earth, as told by The Bible.Adam and Eve were the first critical thinkers. In Genesis 2:16-17 God tells Adam to not eat from thetree of knowledge. “And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thoumayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in theday that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam and Eve now both know not to eat from thetree of knowledge, because it will cause them to die. Genesis 3 begins with Eve talking to the serpent inthe garden of Eden. “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah Godhad made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: but of the fruitof the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall yetouch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth knowthat in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good
and evil.” The serpent contradicts what God said. God says the fruit will kill you, the serpent says thatis false. Eve has no reason to believe either party. Assuming God actually was correct, it wouldntmatter, since Eve holds no concept of good and evil. Eve couldnt know that God is good, or that itwould be bad to disobey him. This proposes two possibilities. The first is God knew Eve would eat thefruit, and wanted her to. It was Gods plan. God created humans, and is all knowing. Adam and Evewere destined to fail at his command. It would seem that this was Gods way of providing humans witha concept of good and evil. If this is the case, why did God first threaten Adam and Eve, and thenpunish them for making the discovery? Why would he attempt to discourage their curiosity? It wouldseem that God would prefer they continue their life of ignorance. Rather than restore their “pure”ignorant lives, he cast them out of Eden, to begin their quest for knowledge. Gods decision is illogical,as he had just punished Adam and Eve for their discovery. There was no real consequence ofdisobeying God. He now sent them into the world, to disobey him further. The second possibility isGod actually didnt want Adam and Eve to eat from the tree. If this is the case, why did God not destroythe tree, or not create it in the first place? What purpose would it serve other than to tempt the humanshe created? Since God is all knowing, he knew the humans would eat from the tree. If it was a test ofloyalty, why did he tell them the consequence of eating the fruit was death, and then not have them die?It would seem that this would cause further questions to arise in Adam and Eve. What else did God lieto us about? Why did god try to keep knowledge from us? The serpent told Eve the truth, she didnt diefrom eating the fruit. Is the serpent the true god? It is often considered unacceptable for a Christian to question Gods methods and aspects ofChristianity. A “good” Christian is supposed to accept the teachings of Christianity blindly, due to their“faith.” A Christian that questions God is often seen as immature by their fellow Christians. ManyChristians share their own stories of times in their lives where they questioned God, and their faith.They speak of these instances like a person would talk about dealing with a drug addiction. Thesestories continue in detail, and eventually end up with the person “finding” God again. This part of the
story is similar to a drug addict speaking of their rehabilitation and recovery. The Christian speaks ofhow much better their life is now that they have God again. While this may be true for them, thismethod of speaking about critical thinking is used by the Christian to belittle the skeptic. The Christiantalks about a persons skepticism like it is something they are already over. It is as if the skeptic isimmature, and will eventually discover what the Christian already has. This is because the Christiansees their religious beliefs as fact, with no other possibilities. They are content with these beliefs, anddo not explore other options. It is an interesting position to hold, as it would seem humanity is built onthe exploration of alternatives to all issues. Eve was told by God that the forbidden fruit would kill her.She challenged that with the help of the serpent, and gained knowledge. Without eating the fruit, Evewould have never gained the essential qualities of a human. She would have simply been a robot inparadise. No sense of good or evil, no pain or pleasure. It would seem that only through criticalthinking, and the analysis of everything in life, including God, one can become more human. Christians discourage others from questioning God, and encourage them to join in a life ofignorance, or, “faith.” One possibility for the Christians reasoning, is Christians are fearful of peoplediscovering that God is either wrong, nonexistent, or not as powerful as previously thought. Like thestory of the forbidden fruit, God turned out to be wrong about the fruit killing Adam and Eve. Inmodern times, people still question things, and gain knowledge. This knowledge sometimes contradictswhat is supposedly Gods word as told in The Bible. This scares Christians, just like it scared Godbefore. What is yet to be seen, is a reason of why this pursuit of understanding is wrong. Saying thatquestioning God is wrong, because God says it is wrong, is unacceptable. God has been proved to bewrong, and his word should not be blindly accepted as the truth. An inconsistent source should not bebe used to verify itself. The Christians see that if they too started truly questioning their “faith”, theywould be lead to accept things that contradict their religious beliefs. This threatens the lazy mentalattitude that the Christians have adopted. There would be no more easy answer, that God did it, or Godsaid so. One without God, has to ask questions and find answers for themselves.
Assuming there is a god, and he does love humans, he would want humanity to questioneverything, especially him. God created everything. God knows exactly what emotions and capabilitieshumans are programmed with. God knows what it takes for a human to grow, and be destroyed. Aperson can only develop through questioning things, and gaining knowledge. Some things haveanswers, like mathematical problems, while some things dont only have no answer, but propose morequestions, like questioning the size of the universe. To seek an answer to the question “how big is theuniverse?” is to initiate growth. The more one questions and discovers on the topic, the more theygrow. When a person finds an definite answer, they cease growth in that department. If a critical thinkersomehow discovered with 100% certainty the size of the universe, they could still analyze other aspectsof life. This is why a Christian cannot grow at the same rate as a critical thinker. A Christian becomescontent with an answer that could answers all questions. God is the answer. God doesnt want to be theanswer though. That is why God planted the forbidden fruit bait for humanity. God wants to bequestioned, and even denied. God knows that if humans view him as perfect, and all knowing, humanscannot grow. God expects people to question everything, thats what he built humanity to do. If Godwanted humans to worship him, and not question his authority, he would have never made the tree ofknowledge so accessible to humans. He would have never doomed humanity to the fate of free thought.Before the forbidden fruit, humans were the perfect Christians. They accepted God as a perfect deity,and had no thoughts of their own. The ability to embark on the quest for knowledge lies in every person, including Christians.Christians can use this ability by asking more questions, considering more options, and accepting lessanswers. In using their critical thinking skills, Christians would cease to be Christians. They would beaccepting of their new found lack of religion, because through the discovery of knowledge, they grewas humans. This growth, is Gods great plan. God meant humans to question everything, and grow, tobecome a truly self-perpetuating species.
Works Cited:1.The Bible (Genesis 1-4)2.Though I didnt directly use anything of his, I was inspired by Nietzsches book, “The Dawn”,specifically the excerpt posted in the article: “Freidrich Nietzsche on Doubt, Faith, and Sin: AreHumans Made for both Doubt and Faith?” on D2L.